Season 4… Mythic+ and Fated Raids

We’re 2 weeks into the new season and I’m sitting with a M+ score of 1990. Just 10 points away from from KSM and the grape Kool-Aid mount. I only need to time a single 15+ this coming reset and that will take me over the 2000 required for KSM. It would have been possible to already have KSM if I pushed a little harder the first week, but I don’t want to burn myself out. A couple of us have been spamming dungeons fairly regularly, even going so far as to take some alts through a few dungeons (or 4 when it’s the Mythic dungeon weekly).

I love Grimrail Depot and voted for it. Hate me if you must, but it’s sooo fun.

Something that we do regularly when running lower keys on alts, we’ll have a person or two on mains (or decently geared alts) to help slam through the dungeons and will pug some folks with low iLevel and/or low M+ rating. We wind up meeting some folks that are good players and are simply gearing alts up. We had a warrior and a priest last night in that boat. Super chill folks that knew what they were doing, even though their gear needed some attention. Our guild DK that was tanking for us was able to give the warrior a set of shoulders. That was also the last dungeon the warrior needed for the weekly. We said we were running at least 1 more for folks that still needed dungeons and they decided to stick around. They headed back to Oribos first to turn in the weekly and wound up getting Gavel of the First Arbiter (heroic item level Jailer’s 2H mace, aka BIS for dps warriors, dps pally, and all DKs). We were all cheering them on when we saw that. Did junkyard after that to get everyone else’s last dungeon for the weekly, and they got the Remote Guidance Device (the unicycle trinket) too. It was a good night to be that warrior.

The guild has also been doing the fated raids on normal so that we can get the achievement for the Jigglesworth, Sr. (slime kitty) mount. The fated affixes are fun without being punishing. I would love to see this be the precursor of a cross-expansion R+ system where folks can test their mettle against old raids, as some sort of ever-green system implemented in WoW. Not necessarily how FF XIV handled old instances, but just a means for those instances to still be relevant. There’s so much awesome content that has been effectively binned to transmog runs only. Timewalking is a good couple of steps in the right direction, but they really need to take it across the finish line. I would love to see them also standardize the lockout and raid sizes of all raids to be identical to current content (per-boss lockout of normal/heroic, and instance lockout on Mythic, knowing full well that many instances don’t have a heroic and/or mythic difficulty so not always applicable).

This season looks like a tipping point for me. I’m enjoying pushing harder content on my main and I’m enjoying dipping my alts’ toes in that content too. Perhaps I’m getting to a point where I have both my main and a decently geared alt or two. We’ll see how things shape up.

Wasn’t sure I’d hit KSM this week aka SQUEEEEE!

I’m so ecstatic. I cannot put into words how awesome this feels. I was looking at the finer details of Mythic+ rating and where my scores were sitting for each dungeon (on both Fortified and Tyrannical weeks) and I thought for sure there was no way I’d pull off the achievement this week. Still, I just kept throwing myself at +16 or +17 versions of whatever dungeons had the lowest overall ratings and BOOM! It happened. I have my awesome guild to thank for getting me started on this journey. They gave me a huge head-start by doing our weekly get-a-mythic-item-in-the-vault runs. I hope that we can get more guildies their shiny red mount, because it’s sooooo pretty.

Not askeered of Mythic+

Rugrats Scream
I will always hear “askeered” in Rugrats’ voices

When I re-joined the raid team at the end of Sanctum, the guild carried me through a couple M+ dungeons to boost my gear a bit and get me a shiny in the great vault. In preparation of the new tier, our guild kept running M+ to get folks pretty new shinies. I’m having so much fun with the guild groups. It’s super chill and we don’t have to worry about rando pugs rage-quitting on us. Since I’m wanting that red mount this season, I’ve been dipping my toes in the M+ LFG pool. I’ve been very timid about it and been short-selling what I can run. I’ve been trying to avoid toxicity.

The other day, a guildie asked me if I wanted to heal an +18 NW (Necrotic Wake) and I just went for it. It was a depleted key before we got to the first boss. The tank didn’t know it was a necrotic-affix week, and when made aware, he forgot what necrotic was. FYI necrotic-affix is a stacking anti-heal debuff. At 40 stacks of this debuff, any healing spell cast on you will give you exactly 0 health. The debuff has a short-ish timer. As your stacks start to get up there, you will want to slow the mobs and yeet yourself far away so your stacks fall off and allow the healer to top you up. After 3 total wipes, one of our members leaves the group and that was the end of the NW +18.

The person with the key asks if we want to do the 17 key. We stick around and pull it off. The tank had a couple “oopsies” with stack management at the beginning, but got into his groove pretty quickly. We timed it with only a couple of deaths. The whole group was incredibly chill. I know there’s a lot of toxicity in the LFG, but this group gave me a big confidence boost to stop short-selling myself. I should be doing 15’s on the regular, but I still have many well below that. As of the writing of this post, I still have 1 dungeon that is sitting at a single digit key. I will have to fix next week when bolstering is the affix. I’m sitting at a M+ score of 2237. I’m soooooooooo close, I can taste it.

Lucky Doo is better than Lucky Don’t

I had been trying for years to get the Reigns of the Headless Horseman (basically since I first learned it was something I could farm each year). It took me running a random alt on a whim to earn me the elusive mount.

Enter BfA and the world boss Dunegorger Kraulok, which has a chance to drop the beloved alpaca mount Mollie. Throughout the entirety of BfA, I would run all of my max-level toons out to Vol’dun and try for the mount and would never see it.

Blah blah blah and mor schtuphfzs…..

Mad Luck, Catnip, and the interim copium dosage

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I figured I’d finally add a little more to it, then button it up and toss it onto the InterVoid.

I never expect to see the holiday boss mounts drop for me, but the Headless Horseman finally handed over The Horseman’s Reins.

It was a bit of a shock to say the least. On the first day of running the dungeon, I saw a Mage get the mount in one of my groups. I pretty much figured this was going to be the closest I get this year. I’d been running random content and swapped to a server I keep lesser played toons on and realized my instance lock was up and I had a couple tanks on this server that could run it. I hopped on my Void Elf DK (that I leveled solely for the heritage armor) and queued up as a tank. This was his first time ever seeing the Headless Horseman, but I’ve got a couple DKs and their setups are all identical. Only thing this one doesn’t have is the big covenant button to press. We finish the run, he gets his Bring Me The Head of… Oh Wait achievement and I open my box and expect to leave group and log out. Imagine my surprise when I see a horse head icon flash real quick in the auto-loot window. Someone in the group whispers to me “Congrats! Just know that I might hate you a little bit over this. ;-)” and then /cheers me. Open my bags, and there it is. It is officially over, my search is done. Fate chose when I’d claim the reward. AH-HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Of course I had to put on a pumpkin head and take a pic in front of the clock tower. I will still queue up as a tank or healer each year to help folks out, because I know the DPS queue sucks. However, now I don’t have to think of it as a “farming” activity, it’s a charity event.

Spoiler warning, adorbs kittehs ahead…..

Down for Maintenance, but for how long?

I’m trying to reconcile my feelings on WoW at the moment and I’m hard pressed to want to log in. I feel a little disconnected from all aspects of the game and the community.

Some of the disconnect centers around my anxiety and social awkwardness, some of it from the unnecessarily complex intermingling of systems within systems on top of other systems, some of it from the toxicity and “meh”-ness from fellow players, and now there’s the lawsuit mucking things up.

At this point, I log in every once in a while on my 2 faction mains and do their table and check in on my jewel crafter to see if the Cataclysm rare is up where I parked her (the out of the way one in Vashj’ir which few people ever look for because of how out of the way it is). I’m not farming my Chore-ghast. I’m not motivated to try the M+ climb. I might log in sometime this week on the mains and get the 3 renown and next chapter of Korthia done. Then again, I might not. The apathy with WoW is strong at the moment.

How I am currently spending my gaming time…..

9.1 Chains of Domination First Night

My honey and I consumed every quest we could find on our mains last night. We had a blast. I’m going to need to spend a ton of time in Korthia getting used to its layout. We still need to figure out how to get to the southern most part of the map too. The tie-in to the old Maw area was well done. We wound up killing so many rares and doing so many Maw dailies. Being able to mount in the Maw and not having the Eye ticking on you made this zone a great deal of fun. The new rares are so cool. The stage coach was just pure fun.

However, you want to know what the absolute best part of 9.1 is? The piece that simply puts it light-years ahead? Well I will tell you. Talk to the NPC right outside of the Barbershop in [SW/Org] and get you a proper set of glasses.

Aestalas looking epic in his specs
More 9.1 images…..

Time Killers

Random thoughts that bring up songs is always a big amusement for me. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. With that said, I give you Time Killer (aka what is an MMORPG after all) by And One.

As the expansion is coming to a close, I’m finding myself being less interested in finishing up 8.3 items and more into mindless amusement of random time killing mechanisms.

What do I want to finish up on 8.3? Or at least, think about possibly finishing up or not. Or maybe, I just put this on my Shadowlands lull list. Who knows?

  • Do enough heroic visions on my DK to get the corrupted mementos mount. I’m over the half-way mark. I could probably just make it a weekly routine at this point. At reset, buy as many vessels as I can with the 2 currencies and run Horrific Visions until I’m out. Then do assaults and World Quests as I want to farm currency.
  • Get my druid to Exalted with the 8.3 reputations (he’s my reputation mule, so it’s strange to me that this late into the expansion there are reps that he’s not exalted with yet).
  • Finish up the remainder of the 7 day Bumbles achievement. I honestly can’t recall if I’m at day 2 or 3.
  • Pick a toon and do the month-long 8.3 bug mount acquisition.
  • Farm an alpaca or 2.
  • Do the Pterradax quest line on my Shaman. I did the Bee mount quest on the allie side, so it’s only fitting that I get the Pterradax too.
  • Farm some more gold so I can purchase the remaining faction mounts.

What have I actually been doing instead of the above?

  • Working on acquiring the hidden artifact appearances. I’ve got 30 of the 36 spec base-appearances. I will say that the disparity on acquisition of some appearances is appalling. For the hunter, you can simply buy 2 of the appearance. For others, you have to pray to RNGeesus and attain exalted reps. Or, you have to jump through ridiculous hoops and then pray to RNGeesus. I will get them all, and I will hate Blizzard a little more because of it. Regarding the Dungeon/WQ/PVP tints, I’ve got a smattering of them across many classes.
  • Fight club… er… I mean Brawler’s Guild. I got to rank 8 and did the amusing murder mystery quest line. At current gear levels, many of the Brawler’s Guild fights can be cheesed. However, even cheesing it, there’s some fights that are a major pain in the butt. Mechanics matter even at iLvl 465 with 145 corruption.
  • Random transmog runs. Molten Core and Black Wing Lair sets on a couple of classes to name a few.
  • Playing Fall Guys and Animal Crossings. After completing Carrion, I wanted another easily playable time waster to saddle up next to Animal Crossings. Fall Guys is great. Plus, it is freaking adorable (and infuriating too, but endearingly so).

Honestly, I had grander ideas for this post. I just am having a hard time putting much effort into writing about WoW or gaming in general. Between the pandemic curtailing most of the activities I enjoy in my off-time and my state (as well as the neighboring states) being on fire and making the air-quality hazardous, it’s just really hard to get excited.

Faceless Fun

I’m not sure how I feel about the new WordPress editor. There’s some limitations to it that I don’t like. Whether these are true limitations, or I just haven’t found the editor option yet, are still to be seen. If I’m not able to directly tweak the HTML on my posts, I’m going to be a very sad panda. I don’t like how WP renders the HTML for some items (note: sometime during my revisions I found the code editor, but I’m still unsure about this new interface overall because some tweaks are not possible with my current understanding of it). Regardless though, let’s get on with the newest news (some of which is a bit stale since it’s 2 weeks old).

Recently, I watched Markiplier do a bit of a play through of Carrion by Phobia Game Studio and I was absolutely fascinated and engrossed (or was that just grossed-out?). I think WoW’s 8.3 patch has me completely enthralled with anything that resembles tentacled-old-god-looking blobs, because I simply had to have and play this game.

It’s an interesting horror-game. It’s got your mindless killings and it’s got a surprise twist to it with a story that slowly unfolds as the blob makes its way to full-sentience. I won’t give away any spoilers, because 1. I’m not 100% certain I know the ending of the story and 2. I’m still playing it and learning. I’m having a blast with it.

In WoW news, I’ve done it! I’ve beaten 8.3! I finally got the Mad World achievement. I still need to farm a boatload of Corrupted Mementos so that I can buy the Wicked Swarmer mount. However, I can choose to do that at my own pace without worry about the pre-patch pulling the rug out from under me (still have to get the Alliance Bumbles pet, Horde Pterodax mount, Uldum bug mount, and Friendly Alpaca mount too). I’ve also purchased me and my honey the Mighty Caravan Brutasaur, giving us the Conspicuous Consumption Feat of Strength achievement. Yes, 10 million gold. It was a slog to build up. I NEVER want to do that again. EVER!

At the beginning of August, I did a 5-mask solo of Orgrimmar on my decently geared (iLvl 466, Twilight Devastation rank 3, Severe rank 2) Orc Deathknight. It was my first 5-mask completion ever, giving me The Most Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar and Symphony of Masks achievements. It also gave me a new set of 470 gloves with Racing Pulse rank 3.

The next week, I just couldn’t pull off a 5-mask solo of Stormwind. If I was smart, I would have done a 4-mask run so that I could get my free core and a piece of iLvl 465 gear. I was just so frantic and frustrated, that I blew through all my Vessels with nothing to show for it. However, I was able to get into a partied 5-mask run on my Night Elf Druid, which gave me Through the Depths of Visions and the Black Serpent of N’Zoth mount.

This week, I did it. I soloed a 5-mask run in Stormwind on my decently geared (iLvl 467, Twilight Devastation rank 3, Severe rank 2, Racing Pulse rank 3) Orc Deathknight. I used all 3 orbs and my cheat death (I had a LOT of bad RNG on the Shaw fight), but it’s over. Finally! I have my The Most Horrific Vision of Stormwind and Mad World achievements and my nifty the Faceless One title (which I think I’ll use on my shadow priests, or any transmogs that fully obscure the face).

I’ve been comfortable running 4-mask visions since the middle of May, but that 5th mask is just BRUTAL! If you’re doing multi-mask runs, but not a 5-mask leave either Faceless Mask of the Long Night (reduces your maximum sanity to 65% of normal) or Faceless Mask of the Daredevil (increases sanity losses from creatures by 125%) off. In other words, NEVER combine those 2 masks unless you’re doing a 5-mask run. When doing a 4-mask run, I’d always leave daredevil off. When doing 3-mask or lower, I’d always leave daredevil and long night off. Once you hit cloak level 15 and get your Titan Research Panel filled out, 2/3/4-mask runs should be very doable.

Here’s my Unholy Deathknight setup for Visions:

  • Talents:
    – All Will Serve (extra pet dps helps a lot for movement-heavy fights)
    – Ebon Fever (gives your pestilence a bit of burst)
    – Asphyxiate (an extra interrupt for non-boss casters)
    – Soul Reaper (quick extra runes for burst)
    – Wraith Walk (speed is good)
    – Epidemic (round up lots of non-elites and use them as bombs on elites)
    – Unholy Frenzy (mini-Bloodlust… kinda… sorta… )
  • Azerite Essences:
    – Vision of Perfection [major, rank 3] (randomly spawns more pets)
    – Essence of the Focusing Iris [rank 3] (haste)
    – Memory of Lucid Dreams [rank 3] (reduced spell cost, heals, and vers)
    – Breath of the Dying [rank 3] (+10 corruption resist, damage/heal proc)
  • Azerite Traits:
    – Magus of the Dead (1, Helm)
    – Festermight (2, Shoulder+Chest)
    – Helchains (1, Shoulder)
    – Elemental Whirl (2, Shoulder+Chest)
    – Last Surprise (1, Helm)
    – Heed My Call (1, Helm)
    – Vampiric Speed (1, Helm)
    – Bulwark of the Masses (2, Shoulder+Chest)
    – Retaliatory Fury (1, Chest)
  • Enchants:
    – Weapon: Rune of the Fallen Crusader
    – Rings: Accord of Versatility
    – Gems: 3 Versatile Dark Opal
    note: I PVP a lot, so versatility is good to stack for Unholy… also great stat for Blood tanking. You might want to go with Critical Strike if you don’t PVP and don’t use some of the same gear for tanking.
  • Trinkets:
    Awakened Alchemist Stone [iLvl 455] (I will use Abyssal Healing potions from time to time in my runs. This makes them really pack a punch. Plus it’s more Versatility.)
    Writhing Segment of Drest’agath [iLvl 445] (A dps trinket that helps in both single target and multi-target scenarios.)

Rejuvenation and Regrowth.

I will probably always be a druid at heart with my way of thinking about the game (and some aspects of real life).

Regarding the choice of video for the opening of this post, on the off-chance that you don’t know about one of the up-coming features, we’re getting a Honey Bee mount! Also, Steam Powered Giraffe is an amazing group (somewhere between an a capella group and barbershop trio/quartet/however-many-are-in-the-group-at-any-given-time).

Onwards to Rejuvenation and Regrowth…..