Halls of Origination and Healing in Cataclysm

Halls of Origination - loading screen

Welcome to the Halls of Origination ... you're healing.

I finally got my Cataclysm Beta working again after downloading an extra 2GBs of content.

It was time to take the plunge and try my hand at healing a dungeon. I found myself quite apprehensive. As much as I’m confident healing on my Restoration Druid I very rarely heal random PUGs on live. I usually prefer to heal for my friends and guildies. So it took a bit of courage to branch out and heal a PUG with a completely new – and untested – talent build and a shaky knowledge of my (now much changed) healing spells.

I hadn’t played this Druid from 80 to 85. I had a premade level 85 Druid in a peppering of greens with a couple of blues that I had taken for a quick tour of Deepholm and Uldum to unlock the dungeons in those zones. I queued up and within a couple of minutes (before I had a chance to chicken out and Leave Queue) I found myself standing in Halls of Origination (Level 84-85).

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My Favourite Things

Ledgermain Lodge and Higher Learning

One of my favourite things...

I think this has been the longest we’ve gone since first starting our blog over a year ago without posting. I’m still raiding and getting back into the groove but it’s hard to post when I feel that my last post on guild apathy is pretty much still front and centre of my thoughts. (Yes, even all these weeks later)

I read Pugging Pally’s A Few of my Favorite Things post and thought I would also participate in the weekly Blog Azeroth shared topic. This week’s topic was suggested by Relevart at Relevart’s Druid Reliquary and I think it’s very timely considering most people seem to be well and truly unwinding from Wrath and looking towards the new expansion.

Relevart asked the question: What was your favourite ______ in Wrath of the Lich King?

He purposefully left it to us bloggers to fill in the blank and like Vidalya I decided to look at a few of the more meaningful “moments” this expansion brought me!

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Getting Our Balance

Caesandra-BCDungeonFinder

Something changed when I got close to level 70...

I remember how impossible it was to find a tank in the Burning Crusade. And I remember how hard it was to find healers early in Wrath of the Lich King. I remember how long the Dungeon Finder queues were for DPS when the Dungeon Finder was first introduced.

I remember how we worried that the Dungeon Finder made us too anonymous. That it encouraged players to behave like jerks. And that it was ruining the sense of community that you can just barely feel right now on your own realm.

Now I’ve almost leveled all the way to 80 on my Mage using the Dungeon Finder. And I’m starting it all over again on my Warlock. And I think like all things, the community will balance out all on its own.

ps. Lath is super excited and asked me to include this message: Vitare are currently looking for a second Resto Druid to join our raid team!

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End of Expansion Guild Apathy

Heroic Lich King

Oh no! Shadow Trap!

From the brief time I’ve had on the Beta, I doubt that Cataclysm will be launched before mid December. Even though that’s still 2 and a half months away I very much doubt my guild will keep raiding that long. In fact I’m getting that sneaky feeling that things will wrap up probably within the month.

It’s easy for me to be worried and upset about this because I’ve just come back from a 14 week break from WoW with no raiding. Many of our raiders have been slogging it out 4 nights a week for the entire patch and entire expansion without a break. Each time we’ve gone into a guild crushing fight or brick wall, there has always been another raid instance coming out on the horizon to look forward too.

Nothing refreshes a group of raiders like new content to experience, strategies to debate and loot to theory craft. Unfortunately this time there isn’t anything until the expansion and its becoming increasingly tough getting people to show up for our Heroic Lich King attempts. Read More »

OMG Wailing Caverns

Naralex in Wailing Caverns

A successful WC run ends here: where Naralex's Disciple either (a) turns Naralex into a Murloc or (b) draws a Murloc out of Naralex's dreams. Never really got that one.*

Wailing Caverns is designed to be a low level Horde instance (15-25). In the big picture view it’s the second instance that Horde players visit, after hacking and slashing their way through Ragefire Chasm. Wailing Caverns is technically tucked under some rocks in The Barrens but thanks to the Dungeon Finder it’s just one button away.

Because it’s a Horde instance I’d only run it a couple times at level 80 on various characters in order to earn the achievement. And each time I’d gotten hopelessly lost.

Now, at level 17, my baby new Warlock – pitifully decked out in common white and grey items with no resources over on Argent Dawn – has had her first Wailing Caverns (WC) experience. Surely this time, with four others and a nominated Dungeon Guide, I’d be okay and wouldn’t get lost?

Not a chance.

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Raiding Gear for Cataclysm Leveling

Cassandri and her 277 Wish List

Does gear have any meaning with Cataclysm on the horizon?

I think gear is only good for one thing: getting you to the next boss kill.

Which is a bit problematic right now. There isn’t really any new boss kills on the horizon at this moment in time. So far my mish mash set is serving me well and its gotten me nearly all the way through the heroic modes in Icecrown Citadel. In fact the 30% bonus from Strength of Wrynn is probably contributing a hell of a lot more to my damage output than any gear upgrade could.

Should I even bother trying to finish out my Best in Slot set? If I end up finishing my gear set at the end of Icecrown Citadel… has it all just been a waste of time?

After Icecrown Citadel we can look forward to the next World of Warcraft expansion: Cataclysm AKA five extra levels and a gear reset. Perhaps I need to look at my gear from another perspective: it’s going to form my 80 -> 85 leveling set. And maybe, if I’m lucky, it might help me step into the level 85 heroics… and raids? Read More »

How Cassandri Went Insane

Insane in the Membrane Achievement

Achievement Earned: Insane in the Membrane

I was going to make this into a video. Maybe I will at sometime in the future. Or when I figure out how to do the speed-up effect in iMovie. Some abbreviations:

Color-coded so you can see which items/activities are for which reputations. Read More »

Things to Do in Queue

Dungeon Finder Queue Timer

Queue times are fun times!

One of the things that brings me back to my Mage time and time again is the prospect of revisiting the Burning Crusade dungeons. The Dungeon Finder has other ideas: it wants me to queue for a Random Wrath Dungeon. I don’t want to do that. So my wait times in queue have been really, really long.

Last Saturday evening I waited over three hours in a queue for The Botanica. I’ve started to get a bit creative about using that time.

There’s really only one rule: don’t, whatever you do, join a party with a friend (or sell a Mage port, or take a Mage port) or log out or otherwise quit the game. You can enter combat (and still accept a dungeon invitation, I believe). You can die (but you won’t be auto-teleported to your dungeon whilst in spirit form). Read More »

Where Are All The Warlocks?

Warlock Summoning Portal

What's this? I can't remember the last time I saw one...

If you are a regular reader you may have noticed that my achievements have recently been updated and show that I have been raiding again.

I lasted on casual for a total of 14 weeks, and now that I can stay awake past 9pm and have more energy (sadly 18 weeks and still throwing up daily, what is the go with that?) I decided to try finishing out the expansion.

This may also have something to do with the fact that my other half is completely enmeshed into Starcraft II leaving me twiddling my thumbs in the evenings.

One thing hasn’t changed in Vitare since I left (and came back). We still can’t find a single Warlock to join our guild.

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And the Gamble Pays Off

Bloodsail-Admiral-hand-in with reputation panels

Who said you have to start with Bloodsail Buccaneers?

There’s one complicated, you could say contradictory, requirement to earning Insane in the Membrane: You must reach Exalted with the Steamwheedle Cartel (the Goblins who hang out in Booty Bay, Ratchet, Everlook and Gadgetzan) but you must also reach Honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers.

The goblins at Booty Bay are the sworn enemies of the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Killing members of the Bloodsail Buccaneers will increase reputation with the Steamwheedle… but get you no closer to completing Insane in the Membrane as you wreck your Bloodsail Buccaneers rep.

Most of the guides suggest the following plan of attack: gaining Bloodsail reputation (which you can only do by killing) and then repairing your (now Hated) Steamwheedle reputation all the way back to where you initially were, and then on to Exalted through a repeatable quest that doesn’t harm your Bloodsail rep. The quest forces you to run Dire Maul: North over and over again – hoping that you’ll be able to find a key and Free Knot! once every run for 350 reputation (385 for Humans).

Then there’s a second school of thought: The achievement never states that you must gain both Exalted Steamwheedle Cartel and Honored Bloodsail Buccaneers at the same point in time. Read More »