2014
12.18

Fantheria’s Guide to Warlords of Draenor

Our fearless main tank / GM, Fantheria, recently made a pretty helpful post to get everybody caught up on the new expansion.  It’s a nice summary of all the new stuff in this expansion, so we thought we’d share this morsel of information with the unwashed masses.

SPG: Better than you

Also, Q told me to “throw a little MSPaint in there.  That way people will take it seriously” so, if you look closely, I’ve hidden some pictures I had laying around my harddrive between sections.

Fantheria writes…

Hi all,

Welcome back to raiding! Lots of changes have occurred to raiding in WoW to make it a lot more accessible and flexible. I will try to break down lockouts, raid difficulties, consumables, bonus tokens & apexis crystals as well as PvP gear & Ashran.

and then continues, without the obnoxious blockquote…

1) Lockouts & difficulties

There are now 4 levels of difficulty for raids. Lockouts for all 4 difficulties are separate from each other and apart from Mythic, are individual locks. A player can do LFR, Normal, and Heroic all in one week and can even repeat the raids with friends or guildmates but will only get loot once per boss per difficulty. Mythic lockouts still carry a unique raid ID which prevents them from being PUG’d easily.

A) Looking for Raid / LFR / Raid Finder

This is a complete steamroll. Currently, queues are 5-10 minutes (even for DPS) and it awards ilvl 640 gear. Highmaul is broken into 3 wings on LFR (First 3 bosses/Last 3 bosses/Last boss) with the last wing slated for release after new years. Each wing takes 15-20 minutes.

B) Normal (called “Flex” in Mists) and C) Heroic (called “Normal” in Mists)

This is the entry level raiding difficulty and scales from 10-30 players. Nothing changes with scaling except for boss HP and damage; mechanically, Normal and Heroic are identical. Normal awards ilvl 655 gear and Heroic awards ilvl 670 gear.

D) Mythic (called “Heroic” in Mists)

Does not scale. End-game raids tuned for 20 people. Mechanics change and, as with previous expansions, boss HP and damage are much higher. So far, Mythic Highmaul seems to be following the previous model established for Heroic / Mythic during Mists: the last boss of a Mythic raid will award a special Feat of Strength & title while that tier is current. If Blizzard continues the trend, the last boss of the last raid of the expansion will award a special Feat of Strength, title, and mount while the tier is current. It may also award Heirloom items for the next expansion. Mythic awards ilvl 690 loot.

I’m pretty good at pvp

2) Consumables

With the introduction of garrisons, consumables (flasks, potions, feasts) are very, very easy to obtain. Currently, the guild bank is overflowing with feasts1 and anyone with an alchemy lab can make their own flasks & potions. The guild bank is also well stocked on flasks, so do not hesitate to ask for some. If you roll an alt with alchemy and pick up an alchemy lab & barn, you will not need to worry about consumables for raiding whatsoever.

1: Food Rich.

3) Bonus Roll Tokens

In Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard introduced the bonus roll system to combat RNGeesus2. Each week, players can purchase 3 tokens from the Fate-Twister in Stormshield next to the auction house. Each time you purchase a seal using one of the four accepted currencies, the price for the next will double (honor, gold, garrison resources or apexis) He will sell you three tokens (Seal of Tempered Fate) which cost the following:

  • Honor: 500 / 1000 / 2000
  • Gold: 500/ 1000 / 2000
  • Apexis: 1000 / 2000 / 4000
  • Garrison Resources: 300 / 600 / 1200

Obviously, it is best to mix and match to avoid spending an assload of one currency. Players with a Dwarven Bunker garrison building can get one Seal each week for free. It is also possible to obtain addition seals throughout the week from follower missions.

After killing a boss (on any difficulty), a window will pop up asking you to use one of your tokens. It will give you a chance at obtaining any piece of loot from that boss’ loot table or some gold. It is best to know what you want to risk your tokens for ahead of time. Unfortunately, it is also entirely possible to bonus roll a piece of loot that you already have. Obviously, it is best to save these for our normal & heroic runs.

2: RNGeesus, photographed.

4) Apexis Crystals

The new valor/justice points. You can get 800 (solo) or 1000 (group) per day from your garrison once you reach 100. You can also get them randomly from quests, follower missions, garrison invasions, and random “bonus” areas that take place in the different level 100 daily areas across Draenor.

You can buy item level 630 (heroic equivalent) gear for 3000-5000 crystals. Items available include bracers, belts, capes, helms, leggings and gloves. They can be upgraded to item level 645 for 9000 and to item level 655 for 14,500.

These crystals can also be used to buy your bonus tokens each week. After a few clears of Highmaul, these will be completely worthless to you. You might even spend 25,000+ to get a fully upgraded piece, only to replace it with a piece of normal or heroic gear.

Fucking bikini cars man.

5) World Bosses

Currently, there are two world bosses, Drov the Ruiner and Tarlna the Ageless, both in Gorgrond. You can kill both each week but can only get loot from one. A 3rd boss, Rukhmar, will be available when Blackrock Foundry is released.

Drov & Tarlna drop ilvl 650 necks, hands, chests and belts.  Rukhmar will drop ilvl 665 legs, rings, and boots as well as a chance at a mount.

“Out and Proud”

6) PvP & Ashran

In Warlords of Draenor, PvP gear has been completely retuned. There is no more resilience or PvP power on gear and therefore, PvP gear is not a bad choice to fill slots. During PvP combat, PvP gear scales very high (ilvl 620 blue/rare gear scales to ilvl 675 and ilvl 660 purple/epic gear scales to ilvl 690) to increase survival. The blue PvP gear is VERY easy to obtain and is great for gearing up for heroics. Because resilience and PvP Power are gone, all of the stat weight on PvP gear is now actually given to PvE stats and some of them can be very good choices.

Honor in Warlords of Draenor is obtained by winning battlegrounds or found in strongboxes. Strongboxes are awarded at the end of a battleground now and can be bronze, silver, or gold based on how well your team performed. Strongboxes contain additional honor and can include the ilvl 620 PvP gear. The first three Random Battlegrounds or Arena matches won each weak provide conquest and have a chance at ilvl 660 PvP gear.

Ashran is a new Wintergrasp / Tol Barad area with multiple PvP & PvE objectives that make it very easy to cap conquest each week and obtain a lot of honor. Conquest currently caps at 1700/week unless you raise your cap by doing arenas. After obtaining 7200 conquest, you can begin to buy the ilvl 660 weapons. A lot of people hate Ashran but I find it very fun and if you focus on the PvE objectives on the map, you can pull in ~1000 conquest in an hour very easily. There are multiple ways to obtain strongboxes in Ashran as well.

This needs to be back on the front page

2014
12.05

Gettin’ The Band Back Together!

Gettin' the band back together!

And it’s about damn time.

It’s been a while, so let me catch you up.  Very end of Cataclysm, raiding Dragon Soul three nights a week, downing heroics.  I’m either too busy or too lazy to write frontpage updates, but we make quite a bit of progress, and clear Dragon Soul Heroic up through Spine in March of 2012.  We spend some time on Heroic Madness, but right around then some core people quit the game, myself included.  We call an end to our raiding schedule, and go into hibernation.  Like Cthulhu, only more handsome.

Handsome AND Eldritch!

For all of Mists, we don’t raid.  For those of you who don’t know us, SPG has been a semi-hardcore raiding guild since Molten Core and Blackwing Lair were the endgame.  (I say semi-hardcore, because although we’ve always ranked competitively on our server, SPG has always been more about the people you play with than stroking our reptilian sub-brains to DPS meters or item levels.  It works, I promise.)  Mists was the first time since pulling Lucifron in the mid-2000’s that we haven’t been a raiding guild.  Our ranks dwindled to the friendly and few.

And now we’re back!  One of the great side effects of taking an extended hiatus is that it really pares you down to the people who love playing together.  Our environment is great; our tiny roster is full of friendly and positive young professionals who have their lives together and play for the fun of it.  It reminds me of an ancient SPG, when we were a scrappy young raiding guild undermanning raid bosses and having a blast doing it.  Except now with jobs and money.

yay progrus

Highmaul opened this week, and although we’ve had to pug a handful of slots each night, we’ve made some progress and had some fun doing it.  We blew through Kargath and Butcher, and then skipped right to Twin Ogrons and downed them on the second pull, which was both epic and surprising, since the first pull consisted of fifteen seconds of running around wildly and wiping at 87%.  We met some great pugs, including two remarkable healers that I attempted to recruit, only to find out they were Australian and don’t normally raid in the middle of the day.

REED TAHT WURDS PLOX

Which brings me to something I’ve unstrategically buried in the part of this update where everyone will already have stopped reading. We’re not the most hardcore guild you’re going to find, and we probably won’t be a ticket to maxing your ilevel or earning Mythic achievements.  But for a certain kind of player, we are ideal. We raid well and take it seriously, but we have fun playing with each other while we do it. That can be a hard combination to find, and if you’re the type of person I’m looking for, you probably know that.  I mentioned that we’ve been pugging slots for our raids? We just put this band back together. We need a few people to round us out.

If you’ve been here for a while and rue the fact that this frontpage hasn’t been updated since 2011, Merry Christmas! If you’re taking a look at us and thinking about it, I’d encourage you to say hi. Come chat with us, run a heroic, fill one of our pug slots, see what you think. Maybe we’re not for you, but maybe we are. If that’s the case, we look forward to meeting you.

SPG is back.  Expect more.

2011
09.19

Hard Modes Out The Wazoo!

Since the last update, we’ve downed Ragnaros (of course), as well as five of the first six Firelands heroics: Shannox, Rhyolith, Fandral, Beth, and Baleroc, in that order.  Alys got to ~30% before we lost an interrupter and had to put it on the back burner, but she’s up next and shouldn’t take too long to finish up considering the amount of work we’ve put into her so far.

Why are these frontpage updates so short, you ask?  Global warming.

2011
07.04

SPG Kills Firescorpioncat Man

And resists making a number of staggeringly bad Morrowgrain puns.  You’d thank me, if you only knew.

2011
07.01

SPG kills Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire, and Fire.

I was getting sick of looking at my own crude drawring of a boss we killed months ago, so here’s an update!

In our first few days of playing around in Firelands we’ve managed to kill the first five bosses, most of which are made of fire.  They probably have names, too.  Anyway, they’re dead.

Updates!

2011
03.06

Cho Em Gee and other parables (or: A Nef, Already!)

Fresh on the heels of Cho-ing monstar after monstar who’s boss, SPG Cho-se to Cho ahead with a Cho-ordinated assault on the Cho-nly monstar remaining in the Bastion of Twilight, whose name I can’t Cho-member at the moment.  Successfully Cho-king him out, SPG proceeded to Cho-re up morale by performing a highly Cho-reographed dance number with the working title of Cho Me The Way (To Your Heart), accompanied by a Cho-rus of Cho-mely Cho-raliers.

“Cho what, Q?  Who cares about your dance routines?”

Cho buttons on your underwear, Straw Man.

We killed all of that crap.  (Bonus points if you can figure out what is who, and why!)

Meanwhile, we made the same mistake that all mortals make.  In our rush to glory, we assumed that the pace of the game revolved around our actions.  Blah blah etc. etc. the grand game of life that we thought we played actually played us, we killed a mouthy dragon.  Here, look!

So, as is implied by all these dead bosses, we are raiding Cataclysm thangs.  How exciting!

We started out this expansion with a highly unorthodox double 10-man rotating rosters type of a schedule, which was perfect for the number of people we had playing with us, even if it made getting all of the necessary raid buffs into a raid kind of a hassle.  But inevitably, the normal New Expansion Is A Few Months Old Flakeage has struck, and we were forced to cut back to a single primary progression 10-man.  Not tons of fun for everyone, since our roster still had ~15 people on it, but it’s less of an administrative headache for me than running two 10’s, which I know we can all appreciate!

Since cutting back, though, we’ve continued killing crap, including both Nefarian and Heroic Halfus this week.  As usual, the kills involved a lot of dying, swearing, shouting, blaming each other loudly, and then finally rallying for the kill and joining hands in song as we danced upon the corpse of our foe.  While the dancing and victory was certainly nice, the highlight of the evenings would, of course, remain the inspiration and near-religious fervor with which the profanity was delivered.  Really fine,  groundbreaking stuff.  Not going to share it with you.  :(

Next up:  Heroic Chimaeron, Heroic Atramedes, Heroic bitching about 10 man heroics being balanced around group stacking.  The next two should go down quick, but that last one we’ll probably be revisiting for months to come.

Finally, and most importantly, this guy:

faceman

Seeya in a year for the next update!

(jk)

…OR AM I!?

Ciao!