Category Archives: Bombelina

“Volcanic Embrace” Set

"Volcanic Embrace" Set

“Volcanic Embrace” Set

Class: Shaman

H: Erupting Volcanic Headpiece | S: Erupting Volcanic Spaulders | Cl: Coldsinger Cloak
Ch: Gatekeeper’s Embrace | Wa: Varashi Belt | L: Not shown
G:
Nimblefinger Scaled Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: S.B.R.B. Prototype 3

1h Mace: Plunderer’s Drill
Shield: Protector of Frigid Souls

Thoughts: So I had finally transitioned away from keeping track of my planned mogs with Ye Olde Fashioned Notebooke to making more mogs than I could follow up on with the Mogit addon.  Hooray for technology!

And then I switched computers without writing down what said sets consisted of.

Cav was not very supportive, and he said I should just start over.  I whimpered and cried and threw mini-mog-fits, but I eventually did, if only because I can’t keep my little green hands off Mogit and Gawd knows I’m too lazy to reconnect my old computer just to figure out what was in every last set I’d come up with.

I started this particular set out of convenience – at some point, while clearing out my storage space (yet again), I saw I had most of the yellow version of the shaman tier from Firelands.  Cool beans, the set is half done and I haven’t even left my Garrison yet!

The S.B.R.B. Prototype 3 boots are a quest reward from the goblin starting zone (I KNOW, I’VE HUNG ONTO THEM FOR THAT FREAKING LONG), so if you’re not a goblin and/or did not keep them, you’ll need an alternative.  There is a lookalike for the shoulders should any hunter want to dress up like a shaman, but no lookalike for the helm.

As far as the Plunderer’s Drill goes, it seemed so dang perfect for a goblin.  It has a high drop rate, but keep in mind that the rare that drops it (the Mecha Plunderer) is in a daily quest area and has a respawn time of about an hour and a half – so unless you camp it, have a plan and/or get plain lucky, it can be some time before you spot it.  I achieved success by parking Bombelina next to the spawn site and checking it at ridiculously early morning hours (the things I do for mog …).  I believe sacrificing blood elves to the Mecha Plunderer also improved my chances.  I mean, uh, Aeda Brightdawn kept taunting the thing like she taunts every possible mob in a five mile radius, but she can’t take the beating she invites and that’s not my fault.  So, yeah, I totally used her as a tank knowing she’d drop dead before the mob did.  That is my fault, but it worked out so well.

 

#draenorworldproblems

I just got the level 3 Storehouse.  FINALLY, right?  MY OWN TRANSMOG JOINT.

So I sprint the hell over, all thrilled, and I start trying out different combinations of the stuff I have in storage.  This could work with this, and that might go well, and let’s try that weapon, and how about dem shoes when all of a sudden, the @#%$er moves, the dialog closes, and I am filled with nerdrage.

I take a deep breath.  I try again.  Off Warpweaver Farshlah goes to look at that other box.  You know, the one he looked at a minute ago.

WAT ARE YOU DOING

IF YOU MUST WANDER, WHY THE HELL CAN’T YOU AT LEAST STAY IN RANGE

It’s not like I can RUSH!  I can’t just mog any old thing together!  My combinations must be chosen carefully!  They require thought!  A solid judgement of color!  A sense of proportion!  SOMETIMES I HAVEN’T EVEN SELECTED AN ITEM YET AND HE MOVES.

Okay, I thought.

Let’s try organizing Void Storage.

I’m going to click on this shield here, and then click on the second tab, and then click in that sp… WHY DID YOU MOVE, YOU SON OF A MOTHER TRUCKING

Sworn Enemies They'd be frenemies, but we were never friends

Sworn Enemies
They’d be frenemies, but we were never friends

I can’t.

I just can’t.


Not Sure I Want to Know Sometimes, it's just better to let burning warlocks burn.

Not Sure I Want to Know
Sometimes, it’s just better to let burning warlocks burn.

My followers are always birds of a feather, so to speak.  Thermalix is swamped with followers who can counter Minion Swarms, and I’ve only had one mission to get a follower retraining certificate.  This is a certified pain in the whozawhatzit when considered from the perspective of my Plan: Gobligeddon*.

The first time I used my inn to recruit a follower, I searched for the Scavenger trait.  I had not gotten a follower with it Hordeside, and Bombelina was in the throes of a resource shortage due to the way a high population server can clear-cut the entirety of Gorgrond in a minute or less.  (I have since discovered that if I log on at four a.m. server time, TREES EVERYWHERE.)  Once I started leveling this follower, though, it occurred to me that the Scavenger trait is actually kinda pointless.  Number one, it’s not like you get that many missions for garrison resources, and number two, the mission probably has a threat said follower can’t counter and will fail in attempting anyway.

HOW DO I LOG Gathering resources is sometimes difficult.

HOW DO I LOG
Gathering resources is sometimes difficult.

So screw that. My current plan is to look exclusively for followers with Epic Mount, and pray to Gawd that they also have an ability that would actually be useful to me (if it’s Minion Swarms or Timed Battle, I will possibly have to punch someone).  The higher level missions are always ridiculously long, which I find problematic.  I only play for a couple/few hours in the evening, and sometimes in the morning before I leave for work.  I’d like to see my salvage crates followers more than once in a blue moon, thank you very much!


GO AWAY I will not be asking the Tauren to be my guards anytime soon kthxbye.

GO AWAY
I will not be asking the Tauren to be my guards anytime soon kthxbye.

Can someone tell that Tauren representative to get out of the middle of the room?  He BOTHERS me.  He just STANDS there and scratches himself.  He doesn’t walk around, or tell jokes, or say hi, or anything!  No, he just stands there like a creepy cow.


Now, about those “eff over disrupt the enemy” daily quests … I had gotten one from Khadgar’s elemental-thing that wanders around my garrison (I think?), but after that, I forgot about them completely until Cav inquired if I wanted to go irritate some ogres.  I next proceeded to shatter Cav’s faith in my intelligence by asking where he got these fancypants quests.  He could not get his head around the fact that I did not know.  After attempting to glue together the pieces of his broken mind, he finally told me, “that table in your town hall …”

Oh!  You mean that troll guy I ignore because he always says the same boring thing to me when I leave the building!

SHOCK Oh, THAT guy!

SHOCK
Oh, THAT guy!

Why the hell did Blizzard make it so that everybody in your faction is doing the quest in the same place on the same damn day?  I mean, really.  PITA on a high pop server for sure, as you have to be constantly on the lookout for things that aren’t dead.  They’re hard to find.

I'll Show Myself Out Now We're done here.

I’ll Show Myself Out Now
We’re done here.

 

 

* Every single active follower will some day be either a goblin or some sort of mechanical contraption, like Pleasure-Bot 8000.  Since you can’t search for followers by race (or, errr, metal type?), retraining certificates would make this much easier!

Yawnmaul

So last week I moved, and it was A Week, which essentially means that every single day was written off as total crap.  I’d decided that as soon as we got the internet working in the new place, I had to play WoW.  Therefore, I set myself up on a little end table (my desk had not yet been moved) and dinged my knee pretty hard so that I could try out at least one wing of the new LFR.

Nope nope, outdated.  Start over.

So last week I pretty much had a meltdown

Let’s rephrase that.

So my various families observed the holidays last week, which essentially means that every single day was devoted to things “in the real world” and not the digital.  This is me, though, so I snuck away for a little WoW time here and there!

Oh wait, it’s outdated again!

So last week was New Year’s and the Significant Other got the flu, which essentially means that every single day was

You know what, forget it.  This, children, is why you should publish your blog posts before a million things happen, because otherwise you do more things and you’ve gotta revise.  Repeatedly.

I also recently switched to a new computer.  While my four year old CPU was literally a tower of processing power at one time, it has now been eclipsed by a creation capable of showing reflections on water surfaces, and ripples on the water, and dramatic views off into the far distance, and light beams and all that fancy visual crap!  Alas, I was too excited to transfer all my screenshots at that time, so while they are not exactly lost, they are unavailable at the time of this posting.  GIFS FOR ALL INSTEAD.

Derp Derp Derp Derp Don't mind me.

Derp Derp Derp Derp
Don’t mind me.

While waiting in the long DPS queue, I pondered why you had to get a silver in the proving grounds for heroic dungeons, but not for LFR, even though incompetence would inconvenience a far larger group of people in the latter.  To me, the “natural order” has always been something like Dungeons (Normal > Heroic) > LFR > Real Raiding™, but guildmates insisted that heroic dungeons are supposed to be harder than LFR nowadays.  So now it’s more like Normal Dungeons > LFR > Heroic Dungeons > Real Raiding™.  Oh, and LFR is obsolete because of flex, or so I’m told.

How LFR Works Now After all, it requires little skill these days.

How LFR Works Now
Well, kinda how it always did.

Anyway, I was assured that the first wing of Highmaul LFR would be a total faceroll, and indeed, it was.  On the upside, there were only three bosses to the first wing, which I think is the darn perfect number for an LFR session – not too brief and therefore unsatisfying, but not too long and therefore irritating.  On the downside, the “challenge” level of LFR has been scaled to a point where even I, consummate lazy bum that I am, think there maaaaay be a problem.  If you make most things this easy,  you are guaranteed to get at least one or more stacks of Determination when the group reaches a boss that can’t simply be smashed to bits like the bosses before it (see: Ko’ragh, I haven’t tried that wing again yet).  Also, I get a feeling of “uh, wow.  Was that it?”

Kargath Bladefist
So I guess Kargath hooks some people with chains and throws ’em into the audience (I’m told it’s a random selection in LFR).  That didn’t happen to me, though, so I was bored.  It felt kind of like the Sha of Fear LFR fight, but with more testosterone and less fleeing in terror.  There were these “Flame Pillar” fiery skull-things that popped up and disappeared throughout the fight.  They’re apparently very important for interrupting Kargath’s Berserker Rush, but he didn’t target me for that, either, and I wasn’t dumb enough to stand next to them, so shape of the burning pillars reminded me of those round tube-like brushes you see in car washes.  Suddenly I was thinking of cleaning things …

How to improve: Get Kargath some shampoo and open the freaking Tiger Pits, and maybe have some tigers with blades on their paws pop out of them!  Yeah, that’s a great idea!

The Butcher
How was this even considered a boss?  I’ve met snails tougher than that!  Oh wait, he gave me loot, therefore, he is a boss.  Somehow.

How to improve: Get rid of this guy, or at least give him his primary mechanic back.  I mean, seriously, he is embarrassing right now.

Brackenspore
This one seemed more fun with the different kinds of adds spawning.  There must’ve been a handful of experienced folk present, because otherwise I cannot explain how the group went in swinging and came out alive without any stacks of Determination.

How to improve: First, add more flamethrowers.  Second, replace Brackenspore with Thok v2, and instead of mushrooms and plants appearing throughout the fight, have a bunch of mini raptor-sized Thoks show up instead.  Their bites would debilitate you in different ways!  If you got “Lose a Leg,” you’d experience a 35% reduction to mobility.  “Nomming on Your Noggin” would slow your casting speed, and so on.

I Am a Mighty Lion Thrashing All the Bosses in LFR

I Am a Mighty Lion
Thrashing All the Bosses in LFR

All in all, I do appreciate the move away from encounters where one person doing something stupid at the very start can screw the whole thing up, a la talking to Lorthie or Wrynn and beginning the Galakras fight before a tower team has been chosen (or before everybody’s zoned in).  Still, I kind of miss the LFR ToT level of challenge.  Okay, okay, I miss the LFR ToT level of challenge minus Durumu and Lei Sheeyit.  I definitely miss the snails.  I hope there’s something quirky like them in one of the later wings that gives this raid some character.

 

 

Life in the Slow Lane

Warp Speed Plz WE NEED TO GO TO PLAID

Warp Speed Plz
WE NEED TO GO TO PLAID

Okay.  Now that Bombelina’s been at 100 for a bit, I’ve gotten the Silver proving grounds requirement done for her DPS spec and I’ve had a chance to run a few dungeons, some normal and some heroic.  The proving grounds weren’t bad once I remembered which waves were what mobs, as NOT GETTING STUNNED helped with polishing a wave off with time to spare, which in turn let me prepare for the next by dropping my Capacitator Combustostunulator Totem, refreshing my Searing Totem and throwing out an Earthquake for the extra damage.

Dungeons?  Well …

We've Earned It So much wiping.  So much.

We’ve Earned It
So much wiping. So much.

Grimrail Depot: Bleh.  Can we talk camera angles?  I can’t see sheeyit, which is an issue, as I’ve accidentally pulled things more than once – I’ll think that I’ve tab-targeted THAT orc right in front of the tank, but it turns out to be that OTHER orc over THERE that I couldn’t see because of some crap hanging from the ceiling.  Also, my camera zooms in and out like it’s drunk.

Should Probably Shut Up Now But what if there are WATERLANDS too!?

Should Probably Shut Up Now
But what if there are WATERLANDS too!?

Shadowmoon Burial Grounds: Oooh, this one is purple, and that’s my favorite color!  But dear Gawd in heaven above, Ner’zhul is killer on dungeon groups who can’t coordinate worth crap.

The Birdhouse Skyreach: I don’t know why, but I seem to be super-challenged by narrow path wind mazes.  That one priest who tried to Life Grip me out had good intentions, but he probably wasn’t predicting that the wind on the stairs would blow me off said stairs to my death.  There’s also lag there, since my computer is old and reacts to the dramatic view distance by freaking the hell out.

Everbloom: What’s going on?  Where are we?  What the hell is with all these stupid golden flowers everywhere?

BOOMERANG ROCKS Who knew rocks could return to whoever threw 'em?

BOOMERANG ROCKS
Who knew rocks could return to whoever threw ’em?

Bloodmaul Slag Mines: Who let ogres have fire?  And who put a boss fight on a narrow bridge with giant stunning boulders of fiery death going back and forth?  Seriously, the only way they could’ve made that more painful for me was by placing the fight on some bridge made of STAIRS.  If I’m not getting my casts interrupted by dodging, I’m getting run over and stunned, and if it’s not either of those, then sorry, I can’t reincarnate right now, because I fell off the bridge and am in the lava.

No Invisible Wall Here Trust me, I tested.

No Invisible Wall Here
Trust me, I tested.

UBRS: Man, I so don’t remember Zaela having a batsheeyit crazyass voice prior to this expac … other than that, WE’RE ALL ON FIRE AND CAN WE KILL THOSE DRAKES OR SOMETHING BECAUSE FIRE NEVER MIND WE WIPED.

Dungeons have also made me reconsider which character I “main,” in the sense that I prioritize some alts over others.

In Cataclysm, I was so bad at shaman healing and so indifferent with elemental, I deleted my never-maxed shaman alt.  Then, I loved shaman in Mists.  Most importantly, the casting speeds were quick enough to work with my button mashing tendencies, while 300k mana meant that said button mashing didn’t cripple me when I got a little excited and went overboard – I could get my groove on with the rotation, if you know what I mean.  The rotation wasn’t too damn complex and it wasn’t overly reliant on procs that I couldn’t depend on (I HATE YOU FROST MAGE), while having just enough shiny button procs to keep things interesting.  The automatic double cast with Echo of the Elements made me feel like a default badass BECAUSE MORE CASTING.  Basically, Echo of the Elements made it like HAHAHAHAHA OMFG LAVA AND LIGHTNING EVERYWHERE HAHAHAHA.  I could use Lightning Bolt while moving, I loved my lightning elemental buddy from the SoO tier gear, and Ghost Wolf was like my next favorite thing ever. Bored while waiting for a pull, you say?  Ghost wolf and /dance!  I could DPS!  I could switch and heal!  I was versatile before Versatility existed!

Of course, the Powers That Be decreed this state of affairs wasn’t challenging enough.

I Miss Mine More Than You Miss Yours Uh, on second thought, since we died because of yours ...

I Miss Mine More Than You Miss Yours
Uh, on second thought, since we died because of yours …

Now, it feels like I am SO FREAKISHLY SLOW unless I get lucky with procs.  If we’re fighting mobs with minor amounts of HP (think the tiny trash spiders in Shadowmoon Burial Grounds), I may not even get a single cast off (depending on the competence of melee).  I’ve also noticed that my DPS has gone down the tubes to a degree that’s beyond “no longer wearing tier gear.”  Not only am I slow – I’m wimpy.  (In those cases where I am the top DPS in a dungeon, which has happened, we are totally slow and sometimes just effed, i.e., Ner’zhul.)  Is it because I don’t get as many spells off?  Is it because I hate the global cooldown triggered by Unleash Weapon when it feels like every freaking second counts if I want to get one damned cast in, and not using Unleash Weapon All The Time reduces your overall output by a crapton?  I’m not looking to be top DPS – I know that I don’t have the gear I used to.  It’s just that Shaman used to be a thing where I didn’t have to be some sort of freaking master gamer to land at #2 or #3 in terms of damage – I just had to pay attention and prioritize.  Now, even when I try hard, I’m still left way far behind.

The slow casting makes my button mashing tendencies worse because I get frustrated.  It’s a good thing that the red “that spell isn’t ready yet” messages disappear off the screen after about three of ’em or so – otherwise my screen would be covered.  I feel frustrated when a mob is already mostly dead and I still haven’t finished my first cast yet, which causes me to hit the buttons JUST BECAUSE CAST ALREADY DAMMIT.  Sometimes, my low DPS makes me irritated because it’s somehow not worth all the time I spent casting.  I also get annoyed when tanks pull two mobs instead of three, because I want the maximum number of charges on Earthquake for Gawd’s sake, HELP ME OUT HERE.

And I miss casting while moving, a lot.  I had one freaking spell I could use like that.  But nooooOOOOooooo that was TOO EASY, or something.  So now, not only can we NOT cast while moving in general (yes yes, I know, Spiritwalker’s Grace, which I use in tandem with Ascendance because OMFG does it PISS ME OFF when I use Ascendance and then have to interrupt my casts in order to move), we got a bunch of dungeon encounters where you have to move or DIE (OMFG NER’ZHUL), which means I get interrupted more often than not because I have to skedaddle.  Since I feel like my casts are slow right now, it starts to seem like getting a spell off AT ALL is something akin to a miracle.  All in the name of “challenge,” right?  Well, I call that sorta situation a PITA.

Not As Advertised Supposed to stop Fear, Charm, etc.  FAILS.

Not As Advertised
Supposed to stop Fear, Charm, etc. FAILS.

Also, dude, WTF, my tremor totem used to be, you know, USEFUL.  Now it doesn’t do a damned thing for Fear effects in dungeons, even though it says it should.  I am filled with small-time hate over that.

I know Blizzard can’t make everybody happy, and part of my problem is hanging onto the idea of the shaman as my main even when it’s obvious things have changed in a way my playstyle is not compatible with.  So my other two Horde options are Thermalix (ye old hunter), and Ignitine (goblin warlock with bad ideas).  From what I’ve seen through Dungeon Finder, neither class is derping quite as much as shaman is right now.  On the one hand, I wouldn’t have to worry about cast times or moving while casting on Thermalix.  On the other, Ignitine gets less crap simply by virtue of not being a hunter, and warlocks still have a lot of oomph.

Tangent: Can I just say I’m terrified of healing right now?  I’ve only done the Bronze proving grounds and haven’t even tried healing a real group, mostly because I’ve been watching the HP in these dungeons, and it seems clear that weaker healers struggle with the current setup.  (This goes for almost every single holy paladin I’ve met so far …)  It’s almost like the game design thought process is, “make mobs hit hard and make healing spells weaker, because keeping somebody at max health isn’t exciting or challenging!”  In practice, when one’s competence is determined by “keeping people alive” and that is most effectively done by keeping their HP as far away from death as possible, not having the same oomph sucks.  “This will limit healing to people who really want to do it,” you say.  “Only the people who are decent at it will do it!”  I guess so.  But putting the annoyance factor so high stops people from healing on the side, trying out a new spec or helping guildies/friends by healing a dungeon for ’em – and that seems like an overall loss.

Spires of Awesome

Bombelina Hits 100

Bombelina Hits 100

After doggedly questing my way through Frostwall, Gorgrond and pretty much everything I could find in Talador, I ended up hitting level 100 while derping about in the Spires of Arak.  Quite a few folks have gushed over the WoD’s quests to me, but from my point of view, quests are quests are quests.  Kill x of that, y of that, and z of that, while simultaneously stopping at these three objective points to either pick something up or find a particular mob, and for efficiency’s sake, avoid the one big mob over there with the giant ! on the portrait, because you know you’re going to need to kill that later.

It’s not that it’s a bad thing to know the song and dance routine by now (it can be very efficient).  It’s just that the Draenor quests aren’t amazingly better than the Pandaland quests for me, because structurally, they’re more of the same thing.  I’m not saying that’s bad – I liked them – I just didn’t find ’em revolutionary.  And while I found the bonus objectives to be more of the traditional kill kill kill, I liked them anyway because HOORAY, A MECHANIC THAT VALIDATES MY DESIRE TO RUN TO THAT WEIRD LOOKING CORNER OF THE MAP!

Other thought fragments:

  • I wasn’t hugely enthralled with pandas, but guess I preferred the ambiguity of the Sha concept over EVIL ORCS.  (“When I kill something, it STAYS DEAD.”  ORLY, Kargath?)
  • I think I like Yrel?  Maybe?  Not sure yet?
  • I felt like Shattrath was largely just tossed in, like, oh hey, plot point yo.  I swear I spent at least twice as much time with a bunch of fur-clad orcs as I did charging through what I thought was a super-important city.

Right now, I am currently derping around doing one of four or five things:

1.) I swear to Gawd I am going to finish all these quests, even if it kills me.
JUST YOU WATCH.

2.) KILL THEM ALL
By now, I’ve been trained by the game to react when I see that tantalizing skull symbol on my map.  My brain lights up with good thoughts – RARE!  IT MAY HAVE A TOY!  MAYBE IT HAS A PET!  I MUST KILL IT! – and off I sprint, tossing out a Flame Shock the moment my target is within range.

Admittedly, the rares started getting a hair tougher the further I got into Spires, since my getup got comparatively weaker, but I was still able to defeat them on my own.  Then it got a little easier because I’d finally figured out how to take a bodyguard along with me!  As an elemental shaman, I traditionally use my good ol’ Earth Elemental as a temporary tank/make-aggro-go-haywire-er, but bodyguard Aeda Brightdawn turns out to be much better at grabbing and keeping aggro off me than Rocky is.  I’m cool with another body between me and danger.

Then, last week, I discovered that all this see-rare-kill-rare conditioning had been … not a lie, exactly, but kind of a trap.

I’d found a big blue hydra rare named Echidna.  Aeda is a freaking tiny blood elf, so I couldn’t see her through the foggy crap Echidna was spewing out – but then I noticed that little “I’m a diva and I’m going to punish you for letting me die by taking an hour to resurrect” icon appear.  Basically, Echidna had gone and ripped Aeda’s head off.  Based on the couple seconds it all took, I concluded THAT’S BAD AND I MUST LEAVE.

I tried to run, but, as the very first comment on Wowhead states (I kid you not), Echidna “hits like a mack Truck.”

Yeah, that comment was pretty accurate.

3.) Silver Proving Grounds
I am not the person this requirement was created to satisfy.  I don’t think it will put an end to the people queueing as tanks or heals and wondering what to do next, or DPS pulling crap when they shouldn’t.  I don’t think it will stop the stupid, because stupid is more certain than death or taxes.  I can borrow another standardized line to describe it: Stupidity is forever.

Get Ready ... To fail by one second

Get Ready …
To fail by one second

I do find it irritating that I have to do the Silver for each spec and then at least once for each alt.  Let’s be real here – I don’t expect to be bored enough to complete it on all my alts any time in the near future!

Bronze was easy-peasy.  As far as silver goes, DPS is OK, I just have to practice enough to shave a couple seconds off so I don’t run out of time on the last round.  Healing?  HAHAHAHAHA I RUN OUT OF MANA BY ROUND SIX OGOD WHY DOES THIS HURT SO BAD WHY ARE MY HEALS SO WEAK WE’RE INTERRUPTING CRAP I SWEAR

4.) Garrison of Grief
Bombelina expects quality, and like any good goblin, she’s not above working people to the bone to get it.  Her poor little green followers will level regardless of their feelings on the matter.  Her wee little level 90 recruits will get slammed into the hardest missions they can manage.  There will be no mercy.

5.) Getting additional alts through the starting zone and resting comfortably in their bare-bones Barracks.
Thermalix, Ignitine, Esplodine, Mechalis, Nioma, Ailabeth, Alexalis, Betheki
Daschela, Niremere, Yynsia

Basically, I do the starting zone about two quests at a time.  Stop the Dark Portal, then stop.  Free some people in cages and set huts on fire, then stop.  Kill some orb things, then stop.  Etc. etc. etc.  Tedious, but it works … eventually.

Hello Lag, My Old Friend

Also entitled, “Ermagerd Warlerds.”  Comes with spoilers, sort of.

Being a little too eager to see the new content, I woke up early to send Bombelina through the Dark Portal.  I felt puzzled by Thrall’s premature baldness.  How had I not noticed it before?  Had his thick and luxuriant braids, their source hidden beneath a hood, convinced me that he had a full head of manly orc-hair?  As he and that random draenei dude barged through the portal like a couple of ninnies (look, I know you two are buff, but the Iron Horde’s got sheer numeric advantage on their side), I felt slightly betrayed by that whole adulthood thing.  I had to go to work at this critical moment.  “Just five more minutes …” I wanted to say.

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Tier Mix 02: Celestial Gale Set

"Celestial Gale" Set

“Celestial Gale” Set

“Celestial Gale” Set

Class: Shaman

H: Headpiece of Celestial Harmony (Heroic) | S: Shoulderwraps of Celestial Harmony (Heroic) | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Relentless Gladiator’s Mail Armor | Wa: Girdle of the Gale Storm | L: Not shown
G:
Relentless Gladiator’s Ringmail Gauntlets | Wr: Not shown | B: Skom Greaves

Dagger: Lhakaz’s Missing Ribspreader
Shield: Cannonball-Dented Shield

Thoughts: Technically, the helm and shoulders aren’t mogged yet, since she’s actually still wearing them, but that’s just between you and me.  I feel like the getup looks a little weird without the red cloak I had in mind, but I can’t mog the legendary cape, so that’ll just have to wait as well.  This set is one of two outfits I have planned for Bombelina to wear while blasting her way through WoD.

I’m tempted to ditch the Cannonball-Dented Shield and go for my old standby favorite, Gizlock’s Hypertech Buckler (it’s one of the gear-like shields that moves but doesn’t require engineering).

On another note, I am now regretting not getting and/or destroying some of those toys to save on space …

Tier Mix 01: “Celestial Naturalist” Set

"Stupid Belt" Set I mean, uh,

“Stupid Belt” Set
I mean, uh, “Celestial Naturalist” Set

“Celestial Naturalist” Set

Class: Shaman

H: Faceguard of Celestial Harmony (LFR) | S: Skyshatter Mantle | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Vicious Gladiator’s Ringmail Armor | Wa: Naturalist’s Preserving Cinch | L: Vicious Gladiator’s Ringmail Leggings
G:
Gallywix Laborer’s Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Amberpine Greaves

Dagger: Starshard Edge
Shield: Ice Layered Barrier

Thoughts: BANDANAHAT.  It combines the coolness of a bandana with the usefulness of a hat!  I get to be mysterious and shield myself from the sun at the same time.

Now, this could be proof of either insanity or long-term planning, but I’ve had those freaking blue mail gloves FOREVER.  You think I’m kidding?  Well, you can only get them from the goblin starting zone … and I just now found a use for ’em at level 90.  You know what else could be proof of insanity or long-term planning?  I started this set in like, November or December.  Supremus didn’t drop the belt until the end of April.  Mother trucker!

This was originally going to be my healing set, because hey, water spells and blue seem to go together, right? UNFORTUNATELY, I’ve been getting more and more OC about the legendary cloak wings working with/against a mog.  My healing wings are red and gold, not watery whatsoever, (dammit), while my DPS wings are tentacle-y and green, which go better.

Scarlets and Mantids and OMFG DEATH, Oh My

You know what they call THIS?

STATUS MOUNT BABY Now to add some chrome.  Maybe neon too ...

STATUS MOUNT BABY
Now to add some chrome. Maybe neon too …

They call this a STATUS MOUNT.  Yeah, that’s right.  It may not be as statusy as Invincible, but you can’t see that one anyway.  (p.s., can somebody explain to me why I can ride some flying mounts everywhere, even in instances – say, the Sky Golem – but others won’t let me do the same?  They’re all “flying” mounts to me, so I don’t get the distinction.)

You know what they call THIS?

Crazed Tribal Tiki Torch Bikini Babe If you're a guy, you actually expose your moobs.  GASP.

Crazed Tribal Tiki Torch Bikini Babe
If you’re a guy, you actually expose your moobs. GASP.

A FREAKING DISASTER!  Also, I think the shoulder totems/torches/cannons talk when I cast.  I have enough voices to start with, so I really don’t know how I feel about adding two more to the choir.  I guess it would be appropriate if one talking tiki cannon represented Good Prinnie.  Good Prinnie is the Prinnie known for her non-destructive works, like the times when I hit Ghost Wolf before the invis potion button thereby avoiding aggro for the greater good, or when I remembered to heal the tank keep the tank alive when the actual healer was getting mana, thereby saving time for the greater good.  The other talking tiki cannon would represent Derp Prinnie.  Derp Prinnie runs around in circles in the Siege of Niuzao, trailing all the adds everywhere while helpfully screaming “OGOD ALL THE ADDS” in Vent.  In my defense, I thought we were gonna restart the attempt (we didn’t).

Completing all Challenge mode dungeons at the bronze level will net you “the Undaunted” title. This is a very handy dandy title that serves to prove that you will NOT be stopped by the whim of RNG or even the pain of frequent, repeat death.  (YES.  YOU HEAR THAT!?  I AM NOT DAUNTED BY YOU, RNG!)  You can get the mount for all silver runs.  The transmog set is only available to those souls who have completed all the Challenge mode dungeons at a gold level (a.k.a., within a narrow, often annoyingly short time limit).

You gotta be READY for Challenge modes.  CMs are all like, “you think you know these dungeons, eh?  Feel pretty comfy in your tier gear?  Used to that legendary DPS cloak proc that tentacles all the adds dead?”  A CM dungeon will then laugh its ass off and tear you a new one while you sob about your favorite set bonus that no longer counts, or the fact that your invis pot didn’t last long enough for you to actually jump over the edge and engage Gekkan without also engaging sixteen bazillion adds.  Challenge modes like to see you suffer.  A CM dungeon will take one look at that fancy food you just ate and then kill you dead so you have to eat something else all over again.

The level of difficulty meant that Bombelina was the only one who could do Challenge modes, relegating every other alt to support staff status.  As a result, other characters with CM mog sets I liked better found themselves playing second fiddle despite mog usually being my top priority.  Ailabeth got stuck serving time in a damp cave out in Un’goro, looking for stupid mushrooms.  On the plus side, she discovered she could pass the time by one-shotting the gorillas with Shadow Word: Pain.  She eventually emptied the entire place.  Think about it, man –  Bombelina, Ailabeth and an entire species were all devastated by Challenge modes!

Most of My Screenshots Look Like This Because derp

Most of My Screenshots Look Like This
Because derp

My partners in crime in this endeavor were Goa, Kash, Shanthi and Shudal.  They’re all on the same server and in the same guild, which is good, because that means they’re all freaking heroic raiders (a.k.a., this kinda stuff doesn’t really phase them because lol it’s just timing).  Basically, it was all thanks to them that this went over well.  I kinda set the low bar in terms of overall performance.  Since gear is scaled down, it’s obviously a skill thing, but I shall pretend otherwise.  Seeking to deflect attention from my inadequacies, I totally say it’s because I was obviously busy dropping the combustostunulator totem and running away, or bringing out one of my elementals and running away, or trying to put down Healing Stream and running away … multitasking.  Yeah.

If I'm Alive Enough To Yell, I'm Fine It's IMPORTANT to state how I feel.

If I’m Alive Enough To Yell, I’m Fine
It’s IMPORTANT to state how I feel.

My reactions to each dungeon were somewhat varied, depending on how painful the experience was.

Scarlet Halls
I don’t even remember this one anymore, which means it wasn’t that traumatic.

Mogu’shan Palace
Ffffffffff invis potions jeebus cripes get in the car it’s a lot of saurok.

Scholomance
Even though I’ve seen that ice wall a million times and know it’s coming, it turns out that ice walls can still freak me out bad.

Siege of Niuzao
THERE ARE ADDS EVERYWHERE THERE IS NOTHING THAT ISN’T AN ADD THAT ISN’T BAD.

Gate of the Setting Sun
Bombelina doesn’t like to be on the receiving end of multiple bombs.

Temple of the Jade Serpent
I still can’t run in nice, even circles.  I do more of an oval.  Or this kinda wobbly sort of shape …

Shado-Pan Monastery
Pandas are pushovers.

Stormstout Brewery
If I ever see another hozen, it’ll be too soon (and it’s gonna be a dead hozen).

Scarlet Monastery
So, elemental shamans get Solar Beam when a druid uses Symbiosis on them.  98% of the time, this is entirely regrettable and utterly pointless.  BUT HOLY CRAP, IS IT USEFUL HERE OR WHAT!

It’ll probably be a cold day in hell before you see me in another Challenge Mode dungeon.

SoO LFR Seems Less Fun, But Why?

Good News, Everybody We now have scientific evidence that going AFK reduces the queue time by at least ten minutes.

Good News, Everybody
We now have scientific evidence that going AFK reduces the queue time by at least ten minutes.

I happened to be looking at Bombelina’s SoO LFR kill totals the other day.  They are, in order:

Wing One: Vale of Eternal WTFery

  • Immerseus x14
  • Fallen Protectors x14
  • Norushen x14
  • Sha of Pride x12

Wing Two: Gates of Retribution

  • Galakras x11
  • Iron Juggernaut x10
  • Dark Shamans x9
  • General Nazgrim x7

Wing Three: Underhold

  • Malkorok x6
  • Spoils of Pandaria x5
  • Thok x5

Wing Four: Downfall

  • Siegecrafter Blackfuse x4
  • Paragons of the Klaxxi x3
  • Garrosh Hellderp x1

From this assortment of digits and disappointments, I draw the following mostly unsupported and not necessarily even related conclusions:

1.) The Pain in the Assness Quotient increases substantially after Wing One
And as a result, my numbers begin to drop fast.  Unlike Ye Olde ToT LFR, I no longer finish one wing and queue for the next, and I’ve barely even touched the last wing at all.  Bombelina is the ONLY one who has defeated Garrosh (on LFR and Flex).  In comparison, a good number of my characters have downed Lei Shen, with Bombelina leading the pack at 18 LFR kills.  For Gawd’s sake, I’ve killed Siegecrafter Blackfuse and the Klaxxi more in Normal than I have in LFR.

Thanks to mechanics that require skills like group arrangement, personal restraint and focused DPS when presented with multiple targets, crap gets substantially harder for LFR groups after the Sha of Pride.  How many times have I seen people start the Galakras fight without setting up a tower team?  How many times have I seen people tunnel vision on Nazgrim only to die to all the adds?  (Oh yeah, or that whole DEFENSIVE STANCE business.)  How many times have I seen people attack different Klaxxi Paragons, or ignore Korven’s Amber?  (Answer: more than my number of kills would lead you to believe, since eventually I left and/or every group in question fragmented and quit.)

Blizzard did get smart when they made the Spoils fight require a grand total of FOUR people to start up in LFR, since somebody would ALWAYS kick the box and begin the encounter before everybody was ready.  So why, then, can the Galakras encounter STILL be started by ONE person?  Practically EVERY TIME I run that wing, SOMEBODY TALKS TO LORTHIE, and there’s NO ESCAPE once it has begun.

Yet it isn’t Pain in the Assness alone.  It’s also the fact that everybody’s annoyed as hell by the end of the first boss.

And They'll All Go Down Together If only I had a way to kill the tank without offing myself too.

And They’ll All Go Down Together
If only I had a way to kill the tank without offing myself too.

2.) Four bosses is too damn long
Like that one time somebody was getting ready to sass me for doing the least number of dispels on the Sha of Pride trash, or by the time I get back to Nazgrim after the second wipe – I’m finished, even if the last boss is not.  I am just DONE by then.  DONE.  Many people lose their cool a lot sooner.  Combine long boss fights with four bosses in the first two wings and you get people dropping so damn fast that nearly any group will disintegrate before it even gets to three stacks of Determination.

Or you get people trolling.  “Why are we taking so long to pull the boss,” they say, in a whiny tone with less words, right before they pull the boss and kill everyone.  Not sure which result I like least.

3.) OMFG Trash
I know that this is supposed to be like, the penultimate raid for the expansion and sheeyit, but damn!  SoO trash is like a boss unto itself, only spread out and every-freaking-where you go.  Just run by the blind swordsmen? HAHAHAHA YOU ACT LIKE YOU GOT 25 NOT-COMPLETELY-DISTRACTED PEOPLE TOGETHER HERE.  Bunch up tight so you don’t pull all the adds in the middle of Org?  HAHAHAHAHA YOU’RE NOT MY MOM, YOU CAN’T TELL ME HOW TO STACK.  LFR didn’t know you had to kill ALL the orc engineers who open those boxes, letting out Shredders?  HAHAHAHAHAHA ENJOY THE PAIN AND SUFFERING, MOTHER TRUCKERS.

Speaking of those engineers: WHY is it that the gnomes take care of the trash in those rooms for the Alliance, but we Hordies gotta fight through it?  Why?  It’s like Blizzard is trying to counter Horde favoritism claims by making the last wing suck for Horde.  Or maybe they want us to struggle ’cause Garrosh was our Warchief or something.  Dudes, you put Garrosh up there, not me!

5.) The Midas Touch OF DEATH
RNG.

If ever I meet you in a dark alleyway, RNG, you’d best be prepared to take a plunger to the face.

You have been warned.

DON'T JUDGE Agility.  It'll be the new priest tanking spec in WoD.

DON’T JUDGE
Agility. It’ll be the new priest tanking spec in WoD.

On the one hand, I like having individualized loot because I can’t imagine an LFR group trying to divvy up the goods, and also because I never win the really good crap when I have to roll against somebody.  But on the other hand, it still pisses me the hell off when I spend one of my three carefully acquired tokens, and get more gold.  It still irritates me deeply when I spend my evening hours trudging through Orgrimmar with crankyass, snarktastic LFR groups and enduring painful, long boss fights, only to get gold on every single freaking boss, or a piece of gear I can’t actually use.  YEAH, THANKS FOR THE OFFHAND, RNG.  DID I MENTION I USE A STAFF?

Maybe it’s because it seems to emphasize the unfairness somehow.  I have a limited amount (of course) of Seals (vs. 16 bosses or so if you include Ordos and the Celestials), and must be very choosy about spending them – therefore, when I finally use them and get the same old thing (A TRIFLING AMOUNT OF YET MORE GOLD!), it irritates me.  When I part with one of my precious, precious coins, I expect a damn piece of loot!

Maybe it’s because I can’t necessarily or easily get seals for the LFR that’s the appropriate level for the character in question.  For some of my alts, grinding Timeless Coins to purchase Mogu Runes of Fate is an impossibility.  Depending on my skill or lack thereof with an alt (as well as their gear), it may take too long to be practical, or may result in too many deaths.  Why can’t I choose which dang charm type I get from the quest guy?

Maybe it’s because I want to stomp on the toes of every asshat but can’t, and that impotent anger is redirected into RNG hate.

Or maybe it’s because I keep on hoping that dealing with sheeyit will be worth it because surviving said sheeyit will reward me with this or that thing that I’ve really wanted for whatever reason (getting rid of bad gear/getting a set bonus/etc.).  When it does not, it’s like I’ve gone through the same old sheeyit for no damn good reason.  If I cannot guarantee a replacement or even noticeably up my chance of upgrading my worst slots (why yes, that character is carting around a 450 trinket, thanks), then why bother?

I’ve started writing down what I get, or trying to at least.  I take note of the character, the date, the LFR/flex, what loot I received initially, whether or not I rolled, and what I received for that roll.  The idea here is that I will be able, in times of great gear sadness, to look at the list and say, “but hey, Bombelina got such and such on this date!”  Either that, or it’ll just reinforce my stinky RNG.  Probably the latter.