WoW is popular

And don’t we know it.

Everywhere these days in the WoW community it’s WoW-has-sold-millions-of-copies this and WoW-has-12-million-subscribers that. But I don’t think, despite this, that I’d realised quite how well WoW out-performs other MMOs until I saw the following graph (sorry about the size):

mmog_subs

I think it’s pretty clear that all the other games got a bit owned by World of Warcraft right there.

Vel.

P.S. Since this was written days before it was published (hopefully, if the system has worked), this means that if you’re reading it before the 2nd of August, I’m actually effectively speaking to you from beyond the grave. Muhahahahahaaaaa! Or beyond the computer, whatever works for you.

Naxxramas

So as mentioned in my last post, my guild successfully completed Naxxramas last weekend. I use the term ‘my guild’ liberally since actually only 4 of the group were from the guild, but it was considered a guild run nevertheless, and we did recruit one or two of the PuG members afterwards as it happened.

We started as usual on the Saturday evening, and managed to pull a group together pretty quickly despite a lack of healers. At this point I was expecting to do the Spider quarter and perhaps the Plague quarter, but after completing both with only one wipe (Heigan, but it was on 7%, so we were close) very quickly, we thought we might as well continue.

Choosing Construct next (because I didn’t have a clue about Military and semi-hoped to avoid it, since I was raid-leading), we got Patchwerk down in good time. I also noticed at this point quite how much Mirtai’s dps had come on since she started her self-improvement tirade, as I think she got to 3rd on the Recount meter!

WWS Parse

We then went and got Grobbulus down, closely, and ran into Gluth pretty happily, despite our Retridin not really wanting to kite. As it happened, he did fine; the issue was when Gluth was on 19% health with 40 seconds of the fight left before the hard enrage. Did we give up? Nope, we hit the enrage, carried on, burned every cooldown in and out of the book, spam healed the tanks and got him down about a minute later, which was honestly awesome.

Then we wiped on pre-Thaddius trash, which was a downer.

At Thaddius himself, both mini-bosses went down simultaneously as planned, and we all jumped across. Well I say ‘all’ – I do in fact mean ‘most’, because being a fool I missed it completely and had to run all the way back up. I made it the second time though, and luckily didn’t cross any charges. My fault for forgetting the wise words of Nick Whelan, eh?

Unbelievably (and despite the late hour) we proposed to attempt to finish, because the mood was that we’d come too far to give up. So we went and did Razuvious on the second try. We did wipe the first time around but it was only because the tank hadn’t done the fight before, which was fair enough.

Gothik was good fun; ignoring everyone else, who was advising otherwise, I did it my way (cue singing) and we all stood on the live side until the dam burst and a tsunami-like wave of undead came rushing through the open gates to be met by a Rain of Fire, 3 Consecrations, a Death and Decay, a Fan of Knives and a Volley. They never stood a chance.

Unfortunately the night ended on Four Horsemen – I’d admitted by this point that leading through Military was proving hard for me (thank goodness Gothik worked or I’d have looked really stupid) but no-one else knew the final fight any better than I did, so we gave it a good try but it just didn’t happen that evening.

The next day, Sunday, we did Obsidian Sanctum as planned during the early afternoon (it went fine),  and then decided to go and try to finish up Naxx. Again there was a lack of healers, but we found a nice Shaman who thankfully knew 4H very well, and we got it on the third attempt that day.

Moving on to Sapphiron, and after assuring one or two people that there was actually going to be a boss there once we walked in, we narrowly killed her (him?) – as she (he?) died, I went down along with several others, as all our healers handily ran out of mana, but it was a kill nevertheless, and congratulations to the Paladin who took home the key.

Finally, we came to the big man Kel’Thuzad himself. At least I knew what to tell people to do here! He went down on the first go, but only thanks to our amazing main tank, who tanked both KT and the adds for a good third of the fight when our off-tank disconnected at a rather inopportune moment.

After that, as we were looting, there was a rather amusing incident in chat when a PuG member asked if our guild raided Ulduar – see the following chat log below (names blanked for privacy):

Raid chat funny

All in all it was a great weekend of raiding for the guild, and a couple of screenshots can be seen below. I did catch Mirtai graffiti-ing ‘Mir w0z ere 2k9‘ on the throne though; tut tut.

I’m away this coming week camping (not with Phil unfortunately) so I don’t know if there’ll be a post up until next weekend when I’m starting NaBloPoMo, but if one does go up it means I’ve successfully worked out how to set a post to publish itself at a preset time, which will be an achievement.

Vel.

Mir and Vel in Naxx

Mir and Vel in Naxx 2

The Little Green Man

Raid group not motivated? Want to get them going after an AFK break, but threatening them with playing the Shade of Aran Chant isn’t working? Do as I do, and begin telling them a certain story – guaranteed to get those raiders going if it’s the second telling or later…

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Leveling a Warlock: Summary

So I’ve finally completed my series of videos for the first 10 levels of Warlockery, and actually I very much enjoyed creating and producing them. I think it’s also noticeable how much better they got between the beginning and the end of the collection! Anyway, hopefully they will be of use to someone; it only takes one person to benefit to make it worth it.

The guide pages can all be found below, after the break:

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Leveling a Warlock: Level 10

At long last, here we are at level 10.

NB: This guide, whilst explaining some terminology, assumes you’re not new to the game and understand its basic principles.

Training right away at level 10 is going to bring us 4 spells – two new and two upgrades.

The two upgrades are to our Demon Skin and Immolate spells – the former will now give us more armour and the latter will simply do more damage, which is all great. Immolate still, of course, leaves a DoT on the enemy.

The first new ability we learn is very important, and goes by the name of Drain Soul. This is our first channeled spell, and what this means is we have to stand in place and channel it to cast it, hence it’s cancelled if we move or do something else (I didn’t explain this very well in the video). While we’re casting, it does deal a small amount of damage to the enemy, which is increased if the spell starts being channeled when the opponent is at 25% health or less, but the major part of the spell is the second half of the tooltip.

Basically, every time the spell deals damage it has a chance to create an item called a Soul Shard, and if the target dies while the spell is active (and gives you honour or xp) you have a 100% chance to create one. Soul Shards are key to being a Warlock, as they are the primary reagents for many of our spells, including some demon summons. While the Imp doesn’t require a shard to summon, the other trainer-learned demons do, and additionally things at later levels like Soul Fire, Soulshatter and our various stones (Healthstone, Soulstone, Spellstone and so on) can only be cast if we give up a shard, making them necessary to have, and Drain Soul facilitates this.

The second new thing we learn is the aforementioned Healthstone, which the trainer will only teach you if you know Drain Soul first. This spell creates (at this level) a Minor Healthstone, which essentially consumes a shard in the process but can then be used like a potion to instantly restore health – rank 1 will give us back 100, which is not bad at all. Healthstones can be very useful in a tight spot and I recommend keeping one on you at all times, however they will disappear if you log out for 15 minutes or longer.

As well as the above, level 10 also brings with it the quest to obtain our second demon, the Voidwalker. This is the Warlock tanking pet, able to take a lot of damage because of its high health pool and able to taunt mobs away from us with Torment. This ideally is the pet you want to use for most of your leveling, at least until the Felguard at level 50 if you’re Demonology (as you should be), as it will keep you alive better than the Imp will, though should you venture into an instance, or be in a group with a tank, feel free to use the Imp for greater damage.

That really wraps up this section of the guide – at some point in the future I’ll have guides for 11-80 for each of the 3 specs, but these will definitely be written because making videos is very time consuming and I’m not doing another 40 odd!

Thanks for watching / listening / reading!

Vel.

NaBloPoMo

This should be fun – if all goes well, I’ve decided I want to take part in NaBloPoMo for August, since I don’t think I’ll be away at all.

Can I do it? We’ll see!

A Mammoth Achievement

Mammoth2

As if the title of the post and the above screenshot weren’t enough – I got the mammoth!  It ripped a hole in the fabric of time and space my virtual wallet which I’ll probably never fill again, but on the other hand, I’m now riding a mount with repair, food, drink and reagent vendors, which couldn’t be better.
I suspect its true worth will show when I start farming places like ZG for rep (going for the Exalted title, 17 factions to go…) or when I resume farming Stratholme for the mount there – I’ll never have to sell greys to free up inventory space again! That second part ought to be useful no matter what I’m doing though. Additionally, I have constant repairs and that could be very good for raids. The mount has also proved to be good for ferrying the alts of guildies, as shown below – in particular, no more waiting for them to run from Southshore to SM when boosting; now I can just let them hop onto the back of my mount and it’ll be twice as fast!
Mammoth3
So as I said I haven’t had such little gold since the days of TBC, and it’s only going to get worse once I buy the epic flying for my paladin, but once that’s done I can start building up again and hopefully get the motorcycle, which is the other thing I really want. At least with 3.2 the epic flying will be cheaper slightly… But I’ll stop moaning. Stay tuned!