Ragnaros Heroic

Last night Owlaf went back into the Firelands with help from her guild and a couple of random players we pugged from the city. Personally I wouldn’t mind bringing my mage in there someday to try for some cool gear, and other times I wish I could trade off my legendary quest to my mage, but that’s not possible at all. In fact, I wish the current legendary quest applied to all characters. I mean, my mage is the one who’s furthest along on the quest, getting slowly closer to getting the cloak, but all my other alts are either on the first phase or the second phase, or stuck on the Change of Command quest. I’m just wondering why can’t Blizzard do this for the current legendary… have it account bound. Meaning my mage has unlocked the first three rewards from the legendary (the weapon gem, the socket, and the helmet gem), so why not let all my alts have access to all these rewards instead of having to grind on all of them separately? It’s very tedious and tiresome, and it’ll be out of date soon anyway, as soon as Blizzard comes out with another expansion and we all move on to level 95 and get a new legendary to work on….

Anyway, I digress. Poor Owlaf has been on this legendary quest ever since it came out, which was years ago, and she’s still on the last phase of the quest in question. She has to collect 250 smouldering essences off the killed bosses in the Firelands, and once that’s done she needs to kill Ragnaros and loot his heart from him. The heart part cannot be looted until I get all 250 of the essences first, and as of last night, Owlaf has 180 essences. Just 70 to go now!

The way it works is that when the boss dies, if someone is on the quest then the dead body will have a duff on it called smouldering. I then equip my staff and use it to channel a spell, which syphons the essences off the dead boss. The exact amount varies depending on the size of the raid and the difficulty.

Well, last night with this group we decided to do, we planned to do it on heroic so we could get more essences from the bosses for me. There was also another agenda for heroic: we had already beaten all the other bosses on heroic except for Alysrazor, and the only way to kill Ragnaros on heroic was to kill all the other bosses on heroic as well. Alysrazor gave us trouble in the past, but this time it was pwn or bust.

First we got down the fire spider boss, and I was able to syphon the essences off that boss. Then we downed lord Ryolith, and we even got an achievement for that one by simply dpsing his right foot only. With the damage we could do at level 90 and during patch 5.4, it was pretty quick. Normally we’d have to steer him onto volcanoes to weaken his armor. In this case, several of them spawned right under his feet, and our ultimate dps did the rest.

Then Ryolith died, and for some reason I could not syphon the essences. Odd, I thought to myself and mentioned it to the raid, and proceeded to open a ticket with Blizzard about it. I mean I’ve been working on this quest for two years, I’d like to get some progress, you know?

So then we moved on to Alysrazor, and we down her on heroic mode in flying colors! Then, lo and behold, while I’m just getting ready to syphon the essences off the boss, I see one of the stranger pugs, a mage, doing it. It turned out she was on the legendary quest too, and according to her, she only needed to kill ragnaros to get the heart and no longer needed the essences. And yet here she was, syphoning essences just for the hell of it. Needless to say I was furious. Since she syphoned the essences off the last two bosses it meant that I could not do the same, so in reality she was stealing my quest progress.

Leadership of the raid was then passed to me, and after a minute of chewing the mage out, I reported her for cheating, put her on ignore, and kicked her out of the raid. Good riddance.

All the same, I was still mad for the rest of the run. I even altered my ticket to alert blizzard to this foul play, but I doubt they’d do anything at all. The great and powerful GMs are no more. Now it’s the game developers who have all the power to change stuff in the game and you have to submit a suggestion or a bug report to them to get any real progress. GM’s are just customer service, which does NOTHING.

We considered kiting one particular boss for an achievement, but in the end we decided it’d be easier if we just did that on normal mode, and we killed the rest of the bosses on heroic to unlock and kill ragnaros on heroic. I’ll admit, we wiped a few times on Ragnaros, but it was mainly due to bad luck with the adds from the splitting blow. When one player had to leave we managed to get more guildies in, and it turned into a guild run at last. On that attempt was when we downed it, and our guild “LOWERCASE” got the guild achievement at last.

Special thanks to my friend and guildie Voldemort for this screenshot. Good game!

Special thanks to my friend and guildie Voldemort for this screenshot. Good game!

Then I remembered one other thing and double checked my personal achievements. Once confirmed, I nodded to myself and announced it to the rest of my friends: By killing Ragnaros on heroic mode, we have unlocked the title “Firelord” for our characters!

So now, Owlaf is “Firelord Owlaf.”

The downside is that I missed out on some of the smouldering essences from a couple of the bosses, but at least I made some more progress last night. 180/250 Smouldering Essences, then I can kill Ragnaros again and loot his burning heart from him and complete the quest at last.

Congratulations to LOWERCASE, level 25 alliance guild on Feathermoon, for downing Ragnaros on Heroic Mode in the Firelands. Also grats to the following players for coming and getting their “Firelord” titles and for helping me with the legendary quest: Warguz, Mommia, Akainakali, Mamasun, Voldemort, Yurameshi, Gankingpally, and Draynam. Good job everyone, it was an awesome run!

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Owlaf and the Anglers

Well, I got to exaulted with the Anglers today on my main toon Owlaf. There are only three dailies for this reputation, although there are also some fish you can fish up that can be turned in once a day, but these fish are rare to catch. Not only that but those fish are the only way to gain rep with Nat Pagle, so I know getting exaulted with him will take forever since I don’t fish a lot.

The Azure Water Strider

But still, I’m exaulted with the Anglers, and that means I was able to buy the Water Strider mount. It’s considered an insect, although only four of its legs are most noticeable, the smallest two appendages are just under the creature’s mandibles. But the best benefit to getting this mount is for it’s ability to walk on water (in non-battleground areas), so this mount is a must-have for when you go questing as a low-level character and you haven’t gotten flying yet, or are in an area that has no flying… and lots of water.

The Water Strider runs low to the ground, and it’s long legs stretch out on either side of it, which probably is what contributes to it’s water-walking ability. Now just about everyone can ride on a mount across a lake without being a shaman or a death knight, and without an elixir of water-walking.

Cancel all orders on Elixirs of Water Walking. Everything under the carapace is okay!

The best thing I love about this mount is the “/mountspecial” action it does. As with all ground mounts, all you have to do is hit the space bar, or whichever is your jump button, while your mount is not moving. The critter will bring his feet in right under his body and thus raise itself up into the air and look around. The first time I did this, I said to myself, “YOW!!! WHOA!” and laughed at the action it did. Imagine you’re in a car and you press a button and the car raises itself up by about twelve feet into the air in two seconds, like in those spy movies. That’s what it looks like. ^-^

Even weirder when a moonkin is on it.

The strength this Strider has is incredible. Capable of stretching itself to full height even while supporting a Moonkin. This probably also applies to Tauren as well.

Hallow’s End is Coming!

Well another year, another stretch of holiday festivals. Starts with Labor day, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Although in some places they may celebrate holidays sooner or later, and some might be performed differently like Hanukkah, but they all seem to have a similarity of sorts here and there. In the World of Warcraft perspective there is no Labor Day, but they do have Brewfest, and right after that they have what’s called Hallow’s End, which is their version of Halloween.

Now they used to have this thing with the holiday achievements where if you complete all the meta achievements for the holidays, you get the violet proto-drake mount, which is a sort of flying dragon, and it used to award the player with Master Riding for free. Now you can still complete the achievement “What A Long, Strange, Trip It’s Been,” and it will still give you the Violet Proto-drake, but it no-longer will reward you with the top level of flying skill, so now we have to buy that level.

It costs 5000 gold to be able to buy the Artisan Riding, which lets you ride flying mounts at 280% speed, and Master riding costs the same amount of gold and increases your flight speed to 310%. An extra 30% for 5k gold is a bit much in my opinion and I never bought it for that much either. Instead I did all the holiday achievements on every character in the game I had, and once they got the Violet Proto-Drake, they get the extra 30% flight speed for free. Now though, it doesn’t do that anymore. So I don’t know if I’ll be doing all the achievements over again on my alternate characters this year.

SO! Anyway!If you’re thinking to yourself what should I focus on the Hallow’s End this year, let’s see what we can come up with. 

Hallow’s End is based on Halloween, and usually runs for two weeks up until Halloween. Now Halloween itself is a holiday based of of Samhain, which is a wiccan holiday that symbolizes the end of the year when they’d collect their harvest just before the winter season. In World of Warcraft, the slight similarity can be seen at the wickermen festivals. On the alliance side, the Wickerman will be ignited my Genn Greymane, the leader of the Worgen who joined the Alliance during the Cataclysm. The Worgen brought along their traditions of the Wickerman festival. Meanwhile on the Horde side of things, the Forsaken (who were humans once but are now undead) mark Hallow’s End as the time when this group of undead broke free from the Scourge and became known as the Forsaken, and they burn the wickerman as a celebration for regaining their free will and they smear ashes on their faces.

One of the more fun things to do is fighting the shade of the Headless Horseman. Yeah you heard me! The Headless Horsemen (also termed HH in the game) makes an appearance in World of Warcraft. His horse is black with hooves that glow green, similar to the warlock’s summonable horses, and the rider himself is headless, yet he still can be heard yelling as he assaults the villages. Players who complete the Fire Brigade quests, which teaches you how to use the water buckets, can summon the HH to come and try to burn down the village. The HH will fly around, cackling and taunting and yelling the usual speech that I have come to memorize: “Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled. Shelter your weak. your young and your old. Each of you shall pay the final sum! Cry for mercy, the reckoning has COME HAH-hahahahahahahaha!”

When you hear that, you know he’s coming. Click on the big bucket of water and then run to wherever you can see fire on the buildings and use the bucket to throw it at the buildings. But be careful, and be fast, because the fires tend to spark and spread, and if left unchecked it can cover the entire rooftops of the buildings. Now most players who have a speed buff, like shaman with ghost wolf form, druids with travel form, rogues with sprint and etc., can probably do this without help. But sometimes you might have to for a relay. When you pick up a bucket of water, you don’t have to throw it at the building – you can actually throw it to another player, so one method of doing this is to designate a spot to throw the buckets of water at, and while one player stays by the main bucket to get the pails of water, another player stands as far away as they can. They’ll have to be in reach of the throw distance for the pail of water though, so forming a group and using ground raid markers can help. The player by the bucket and click on it to get a pail of water, and then throw it at the designated spot, and if the player at that targeted location is here and does not have a bucket in their bags, they will catch the water pail and will be able to throw it to yet another player or onto the building. This can create a relay that helps get the water buckets to people standing at strategic points around the village which can help get the fires down faster. If you find yourself in a situation where you fail repeatedly to save the village from the fires, consider forming a party and coordinating a relay to throw water pails. Sometimes it takes more teamwork to get the fires under control. Once you have saved the village, the HH will come down and you can try to kill him. Once that is done, a large pumpkin will appear on the ground in the center of the  village, and every player will have the chance to smash the pumpkin and get loot out of it.

The rewards from putting out the fires (which is a daily quest) is a crudely wrapped gift, which players can open to receive a random prize. Mostly you might get candy or flimsy masks, but you do have the rare chance to get the Sinister Squashling pet or the Hallowed Helm, which is a low level head item that looks as though you have a jack o’ lantern on your head.

There is an item that is not bound on pickup (I must have dozens of these on my bank toon), and is more for vanity and fun than anything. It is used for an achievement called, “Check your head,” in which you target a player and click on the item in your bags (or set it to your action bar.) The Weighted Jack-o-lantern is what you use, and when you throw it to your target, they appear to have a jack-o-lantern on their heads. It’s a buff that can be removed manually from players if they wish, and the achievement requires throwing this item onto each race in the game, like onto one Dwarf, one Tauren, one Gnome, etc. Now Goblins and Worgen were added to the criteria way back when, and I have no word yet if you need to throw one onto a player who is a Pandaren, but you might as well! No reason to exclude them! ^-^ I’d say make them check their heads, just to be safe. So in a sense, you can give everyone the appearance of wearing the Hallowed Helm for a time, but for the achievement, you might wind up traveling to neutral cities or to the enemy capitals and hanging around outside to try and throw these things onto the players of the other faction. Good luck, especially if you are on a pvp realm. Another place to try this achievement is on the battlegrounds. Before you go to grab the flag, throw the pumpkin on the enemy player, and there you go!

Other things to do for this holiday is talking to the inn keepers. Once every hour, you can ask them “trick or treat” and you’ll get either a bag of  treats, or a trick played on you where your character can get turned into a bat or a cat or some other odd thing for hallow’s end. The “trick” debuff only lasts several seconds though, and then you can can wait an hour to trick or treat again. Also scattered in taverns and inns all across Azeroth and Outlands are Candy buckets. You can visit all of these and click on them to get a handful of candy, and also get a chance for the rare items like the pet or helm.

So for all levels of the game, even low level players, you can do the daily quests for smashing the pumpkin after you put out the fires, and that can be done in any of the following villages: Alliance sideGoldshire, Kharanos, Azure Watch. Horde sideRazor Hill, Brill, Falconwing Square. Players can also go trick or treating by talking to the inn keepers, and they can visit every inn that has a candy bucket and get a handful of candy from each of them. Bear in mind when you get a handful of candy, you have to open it to loot the candy/items before you can grab another handful.

As for the max level characters, at level 89-90 you can join the dungeon finder and cue up for a run in the Scarlet Monastery. Considering the fact that they revamped the entire instances, making the 4 dungeons into 2, thus combining some of the wings together for simplicity’s sake, it makes me wonder about the good ol’ HH. Before now, you would go into the Graveyard portion of the instance and click on the grave of the Headless Horseman to start the encounter. In this 5 man fight, the Headless Horseman fight is the usual tank and spank, but at some point he gets off his horse and walks about is if dazed or stunned, and he yells, “GET OVER HERE, YOU IDIOT!” (that phrase is a nice macro I sometimes use on my Death Knight’s Death Grip ability.) When this happens, you need to switch targets to his head, which can be seen somewhere nearby floating about on it’s own. Once the head dies, it goes right back onto the HH’s body and the fight resumes as normal. Usually, the head phase occurs three times. Once he’s dead, you get the achievement, “Bring Me The Head Of… Oh, Wait.”

Now the best thing is, the HH has a chance to drop the flying horse mount, which looks just like the one the HH uses, and shares a model along with the horse that drops in Karazhan, only this horse is all black with glowing green hooves, and acts as a flying mount if you have the skill, and at level 90 you should! ^-^ Nowadays though the mount is account bound, so if you have an alt that got the HH mount in previous years, log onto it even if only just for a moment, and then all your characters who has a riding skill can use this mount.

The only other reason to go for this holiday boss would be because he drops rings, and hopefully this year they’ll have it all completely updated. Not only do they need to update the boss to accommodate the new instance they revamped it into, but they’ll need to make sure the rings can be used by players who are at max level. Other wise there won’t be much reason to go for this holiday boss unless people want the mount.

We shall see soon enough. Hallow’s End starts in a few days, so I’ll be there to see these changes, if any! See ya there! ^-^

Edit: actually just now saw their website come back online. They’re half a step ahead of me, looks like the HH fight will be up to par with the expansion. I didn’t see the loot, but hopefully the rings will be worthwhile! http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/blog/6180725/

Rare Spawns

So as I log in, the loading screen displays a Mogu warrior and a tip floating just above the progress bar. Today it said to me, “Mobs with a silver dragon around their portrait are rare mobs with better than average treasure.”

And I nodded to myself and said, “Yeah, ya got that right!” What they’ve neglected to mention is the rare spawns in Pandaria are significantly tougher. I mean let’s say you’re level 60 and walking on the road towards Shattrath, and you encounter Doomsayer Jurim, who is a rare spawn that’s level 64. He’s a little tougher than other level 64 monsters in the area, so if you’re level 60 you’re in for a beating… maybe. But those old rares are nothing compared to the rare spawns in Pandaria. With the old rares, just pew pew and pwned. With Pandaria, the rares could pwn YOU!

The Pandaren Firework Launcher can be found from the silver-dragon rare “Ahone the Wanderer” who hangs out at a small Pagoda to the east of the Shado-Pan Monastry in Kun-Lai summit.

During the days of Cataclysm, I got obsessed with finding rare spawns, both on my druid and my hunter. For my hunter it was the rare pets that were a challenge to tame, and for my druid it was everything else. I found all the rares to complete two achievements in Outlands and Northrend and managed to get me the Time-Lost Protodrake, which I guarantee you is definitely rare. I haven’t gotten the Cataclysm version of the TLPD, but maybe one day when I’m bored of dailies and such I might find the time. But in cataclysm, I was sort of disappointed when there was no achievement associated with finding and killing rare mobs in the Cataclysm zones.

I guess maybe they saw my tips or suggestions or something, because they came out with something new in MoP that blew my socks off. A whopping 56 new silver dragon rare spawns inhabit Pandaria. Killing one alsways drops a green item that binds upon pickup, and it has a rare chance to drop a small bag of goods that contains gold and several profession mats. Motes of Harmony, ore, leather, herbs… talk about the works.

And then there’s an even more rare chance they might drop a rare item like a firework launcher. I got to see that item in action at a gathering yesterday in the game. We were on the beach waiting for the opening ceremonies for the Wanderer’s Festival. This event takes place every Sunday from 9pm to 11pm server time. I was fortunate to be reading general chat to see a mage post information about the event and tell people to come and get the achievement. I had no idea at the time about the achievement, but I did send invites to my friends in the guild to come by and get the achievement. Once a week, I now know. And seeing those fireworks makes me want to occasionally check the rare spawn in question and see if I can’t get it to drop.

While the mobs drop rare loot and interesting trinkets, they aren’t the only new rare things in the game. Other items are just that – rare items. If you’ve ever been tot he Shrine of Remembrance  then you might have seen a tiny little sack that glitters, indicating you can pick it up and loot it. It has 30 gold, and then promptly gives you a debuff that lasts one hour that’s called “Chastised.” The description of the debuff is “Stealing from the dead? Shame on you!”

Then again in this video game you kill a lot of monsters and take gold off their cold dead bodies, so stealing from the dead is a matter of opinion.

Turns out that all over the world you might come across an item that’s just lying out on thew ground, just waiting for a lucky passersby to click on it and pick it up. Some are vanity items, others can come in very useful, and if you find enough of them, you’ll get an achievement for it. Some items are bind on pickup, and others are account bound, which can come in handy for quite a few items, like weapons. ^-^

I’m hoping to find an axe that allows gem finding while mining in Pandaria since miners no longer find gems while digging up ores, and maybe a weapon or two that I might send to an alt. I definitely want the fireworks. I’d set that sucker down next to me brewfest pony keg.

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