Miscellanea

Login screen change

Huh. It used to be that hitting “Esc” on the character screen brought you back to the login screen, same as clicking the “Back” button below the character list. Now it does… well, this:

And there’s an extra button under the “Shop” and “AddOns” button, too:

How new is this? I could swear it wasn’t there last night.

On the one hand it’s a nice change — I never liked that you can switch settings before you log in or after you’ve loaded a character, but not on the character screen. On the other hand, I got a second account in TBC. That’s years of being used to hitting “Esc” to get back to the login screen to switch accounts. That’ll be obnoxious to unlearn…

[EDIT] Well, that’s interesting. That extra button is only there if you launch the game through the new Battle.net launcher, which skips the login screen and logs you in to the selected account automatically. If you then log out and log back in, even without closing the game client, the button disappears. That explains why I’ve not noticed it before — I usually skip the launcher and just start the game manually. It also makes sense (if you skip the login screen, you otherwise have no way to change game settings without loading a character).

On the other hand, here’s an extra annoyance:

I don’t mind the “Shop” button on the character list, I really don’t. Assuming they’re going to be selling character services in the shop (and not just level 90 boosts, either, other character services such as transfers, renames and such would make sense also), having a button there makes sense. “You need to log in to buy a character service, but then you need to log out to do it” doesn’t really work from a usability perspective.

What annoys me is the button doesn’t reskin to blue when you select a death knight, like all other buttons do. That sticks out like a sore thumb. Sigh.

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That was quick

As Mists of Pandaria winds down, I’ve been working on my (seemingly endless) bucket list. I got my priest to 89 by sheer force of will and spite (and a desire to have an extra character to farm the nonexistent Big Love Rocket), but smiting my way through quests and healing dungeons have both gotten very old, so she’s sat there accruing some rested XP before the last push to 90. My other 85+ characters are similarly waiting for now.

Poking through my achievement list for things to do, though, I realized I was still missing some of the zone-specific quest achievements in Eastern Kingdoms, since I got Loremaster long before the zones were split and then never went back to do the quests (largely because most of my existing characters have huge inventory issues already, and I know from experience that I will want to keep a lot of quest rewards for transmog).

I also knew I wanted the Thundering Serpent Hatchling pet and the Thundering Jade Cloud Serpent mount. They’re both relatively easy to get if you’re in a raiding guild, but, well, I’m not. The achievements associated with the pet and the mount are impossible to get if you’re the sole occupier of the guild you’re in.

I’ve also been meaning to level a monk.

So what I did was simple — I rolled a shiny new pandaren monk, I got her out of the Wandering Isle and then I sat in trade chat for a few hours advertising that I was looking for a guild with both the pet and the mount that would take me on as social. A kind person pointed me in the right direction, I whispered an officer and got an invite.

I promptly strapped on a Renowned Guild Tabard and went to quest. About an hour ago, I hit level 40 and, very shortly after, exalted with the guild.

I’ve bought and learned the pet and already bought the mount as well, just in case they decide to punt me out (I was very honest with the officer about my reasons to want to join as a social); while it does require level 85 and Artisan Riding to learn, that’ll come in time (and right now it’s the 85-90 leveling stretch I want a break from, anyway, so it shouldn’t take long to get to 85).

Unless they punt me out, though, I’m sticking around. God knows what other guild achievements they’ll add in Warlords of Draenor — it behooves me to have a character in an active raiding guild, in case I can’t find one for my main, just for the sake of buying any new guild rewards. Not that I couldn’t repeat the process with a different guild if need be, of course, but that’s no reason to waste effort.

Unique items in Blackrock Spire

Warlords of Draenor will include “a revamped version of the classic Blackrock Spire,” which is all well and good and I’m looking forward to it — except there’s unique items in there. I’ll need to build a list of which items to farm on which characters (it’s pointless to keep an item with a unique model if I’m never, ever going to transmog into it because I find it ugly); to do that, I need a complete list of all items that have no other source.

This is that list. I’m including items from the entire Blackrock Spire, whether you would count it as “lower” or “upper” (since it’s the same dungeon, just with two wings, and I have no guarantee that they’ll change one part and leave the other untouched). Items are listed by source.

I’m listing items that have one identical quest reward or relatively uncommon BoE, in case you want to get the model the “easy way” while it’s there. If there are a half-dozen alternatives, however, I’m skipping it.

I’m also including profession patterns and vanity pets, since both may become unobtainable when the place is revamped. It’ll cost you nothing but a little storage space to pick up, learn and then cage any pet that drops.

Tucking the list under a cut, since it got very, very long. Farming this place is likely going to be more obnoxious than it was to farm Scholomance before Mists dropped…

(more…)

Soloing High Priests of Ordos as a melee

My resolution to stay away from the Timeless Isle for a bit lasted all of a couple of days. Then I remembered that the “kill 20 elites” daily is one of the better sources of valor points, and I really should be capping VP every week, if for no other reason that the better my gear is the easier it is for me to solo things — never mind that I might be actually joining a very casual raiding guild again.

I’ve mostly been doing my killing in Three Breeze Terrace, since most people leave the place alone when the summon stone for Archiereus isn’t up and the summoning leaves behind a nice pile of Ordon that I can readily solo.

I tend to clear Kilnmasters first (because I still need the drop), then Chanters if I still need kills for the quest… and then the High Priests, because with an empty Terrace, why not figure out how to solo them?

Turns out they’re actually not that hard. A few caveats, though:

  • I’m relatively well-geared for somebody who hasn’t been raiding at all (548 equipped item level), since I got lucky with Ordos and I do have the legendary cloak
  • I’m a feral druid, which helps a fair bit (a lot of my damage comes from bleeds, which keep ticking while I run)
  • I’ve only ever done this at Three Breeze Terrace (I imagine the High Priests over at the Sanctuary would be a bit harder due to lack of space and the fact that it’s generally more crowded with mobs)

The trick lies in treating them like what they are — both a Kilnmaster and a Chanter. They used to charge like Kilnmasters, which would’ve made them essentially impossible for me to solo, but now they no longer do.

To start with, if there are any other Ordon near him, you want to pull the High Priest back. You’re going to be busy enough dealing with his abilities, and the last thing you want is to have to play “dodge the Ordon” while you’re already playing “dodge the Blazing Blow.”

I usually drag him back off the Terrace regardless of whether I’ve already cleared the rest or not, since people on my server really love to summon Archiereus whenever the stone is clear, whether somebody’s fighting something on the Terrace or not. Be aware, though, that it’s likely you will aggro some extra mobs (yaks, cranes, whatever) while running around, and they will occasionally daze you. I’m confident in my ability to kill anything extra in short order via the legendary cloak’s AOE, and my reflexes and latency mean that getting dazed isn’t deadly. If the idea makes you uncomfortable, though, clear first.

As soon as the High Priest reaches you, he’ll start casting his abilities. He usually starts with a Blazing Blow, followed by one or two more, then it’s largely random.

What you do is simple. You run around the High Priest in circles while he’s casting Blazing Blow, just like you would with a Kilnmaster. The moment he starts casting anything else, regardless of what it is, you run away and get some distance. Hit him with a ranged ability while you run so he doesn’t reset.

While you’re running, take the time to quickly glance at your surroundings and make sure you have the space to run in circles without running into either the Flarecore Golems he summons or a bit of geography (a rock, a plant, a tree, whatever) that would stop you at the worst possible time. The Golems run slower than the High Priest, so they’ll never catch you unless you run into them.

Don’t get hit by the Fire Storm. If you can’t avoid it, practice on Chanters until you can.

Ignore Eternal Kilns. High Priests, like Kilnmasters, don’t melee, so you’ll be fine as long as you keep moving and stay out of the bad.

Unless the High Priest is almost dead (as in, one or two more hits will kill him), do not interrupt Cauterize. Cauterize is your friend. Yes, Cauterize heals the High Priest for 25% of his health, but then it does a total of 30% of his health in damage back to him over 30 seconds. That’s 1.3 million damage you don’t have to do for each Cauterize you let through.

Lather, rinse, repeat until dead.

Do try to drag the High Priest in circles around the forest area instead of just dragging him to the Celestial Court, though. Maybe it’s just me, but I think getting poor unsuspecting random people killed with AoE is kind of rude.

LFR and scenarios in WoD

(Source.) Oh, god, I hope they do get LFR in this. Especially if they manage to also drop Dragon Soul in. I had the presence of mind to farm LFR Dragon Soul for transmog before Mists landed, and I’m doing the same now, but I didn’t get everything then and I’m unlikely to get everything now, RNG being what it is.

The scenario bit is nice even by itself, especially considering there’s a unique quilen in there that I want to tame; it’s also nice to know that if I fail to get some scenario achievements, I will likely be able to go and get them later — although honestly, I will try my best to get them now, just in case this doesn’t pan out.

Many thanks for wasting my time

Players under the effects of the Censer of Eternal Agony no longer gain Blood Coins for defeating players in their party or raid. (source)

Ugh. I suspect this was done to stop people farming Bloody Coins by way of joining a Celestials or Ordos raid, but it throws a wrench in my plans, too. I had been farming Bloody Coins by sitting on a pillar, killing my alt, and resurrecting her with Mass Resurrection.

Unless they make it so that people with the Censer up can’t join groups with people that don’t have it, I’m just going to kill her outside a group, invite her, use Mass Resurrection and then drop group, but ugh. It’s already enough of a pain in the neck (which is why I’ve not actually been farming it… it’s so incredibly dull).

Alternatively, I can just run her back manually, since the debuff takes 10 minutes to tick down anyway, but then I’d have to find myself a different spot, since successfully grabbing an albatross can be obnoxious. (And don’t get me started on the people that sit at the Celestial Court and deliberately kill albatrosses that are carrying others.)

Sigh.

Well played, RNG

There I was, innocently clearing Utgarde Pinnacle for a shot at the Blue Proto-Drake. I don’t do it religiously every day even just on one character, let alone all characters I have that are capable of it, simply because it’s dull as hell, but I try to do it at least two or three times a week. I have no idea how many times I’ve killed Skadi in total, but it must be numbering in the hundreds by now.

But this time, my Shadowmeld had failed me to get rid of the trash that was tailing me, so I’d killed it before starting Skadi. After Skadi died, I went back to loot, because hey, if nothing else it’s a few gold worth of vendor greys, no?

The mount, of course, didn’t drop. But on the trash, I found this:

It’s the world-drop BoP vanity trinket with an itty bitty 0.05% or so droprate. Of course it is. And if this were any other character of mine, I wouldn’t even mind that much, but Aeliel? As you can see in the tooltip, she already has one. I won it back in Wrath, in a random Trial of the Champion PuG, on a group-wide need roll.

I feel distinctly trolled…