I went into Dragon Soul this week without having updated DBM and without having studied any boss strategies beyond having taken a cursory glance at the Morchok thread on the ES forums. As we were expecting Dragon Soul to be like Firelands, where we only got one new boss down a week for about the first month, until we got stuck on Alsyrazor for a few weeks, the Morchok strategy was the only boss strategy thread on the forums. It was kind of fun to just examine the dungeon journal and then jump in and see how all those abilities really fit together. Morchok went down with barely a whimper. Then we tried General Whosits, the ping-pong boss. It took us most of the rest of the raid night to master the ball bouncing. In the healer channel, we were all crying “oh, my mana!” When General Ping-Pong was finally dead, we had about fifteen minutes of raid time left, so we went over to Whatshisface the Unsleeping, hoping to get some more epic drops from his trash. When we’d cleared the trash — and indeed gotten some more epic BoE or pattern drops — there were four minutes of raid time left. We decided to pull the boss just to see what he did… and down he went. This fight was a little tougher than Morchok, but we still one-shot it. We were 3/8 on the first night.
Mana was very tight in the ping-pong fight, and tight but not quite as painful in the colored oozes fight. I’d gone into Dragon Soul without having done any reforging, and I wasn’t really surprised that by the time we’d killed General Ping-Pong, I’d decided to reforge out of haste and back to mastery & spirit. Near the end of T11, Vixsin wrote about the oscillating relative importance of haste and mastery for Resto Shaman, and how mastery is king when content is new and gear levels are relatively low, but haste is better when content is old and gear levels are relatively high.
Before raid last night, therefore, I went to visit the reforger. I don’t remember exactly what stats I had when I started; my spirit was under 2000 unbuffed and around 2200-2300 fully buffed, my haste was around 20.5% fully buffed, my mastery was around 13, and I’m not sure what my crit was. After re-enchanting my boots and gloves from haste to mastery and reforging for spirit and mastery instead of haste, I am now sitting at (unbuffed) 2740 spirit, 7.15% haste (the bare minimum), 16.91% crit, and 17.27 mastery.
The Hagara fight was a lot of fun. It’s good to see that Kalecgos managed to get the Eye of Eternity fixed up — I always thought it a bit of a shame the way Malygos smashed it. The frost phase is a nice re-use of the spinning cutters mechanic from the Halion fight (srsly, Halion was a fun fight… it just wasn’t worth beating through all that trash and the 3 minibosses to get to), and the lightning chain phase is really cool. So then we were 4/8.
Then it was time for Ultraxion. I got to take one of the red crystals, and, although I think I look pretty funny as Alexstrasza, oh boy oh boy does being a heavily Mastery-stacked Resto Shaman with the Gift of Life buff ever look sweet on the meters!
This parse is from our last attempt of the night, which ended in a heartbreaking 2% wipe. We’ll get you next week, Ultraxion, you just wait!
For most attempts, including this one, Svenya and I picked up the Gift of Life, Vili and Morniel picked up the Essence of Dreams, and Holydd and Raziel, who were tank healing, picked up the Source of Magic. This parse is also my highest HPS numbers of the night. We tried a few pulls with the red and green teams switched, and then it was Morniel who absolutely OWNED the charts. My numbers were much smaller when I was green, but I wasn’t much surprised by that because the red crystals come out at about 75%, the green at 50%, and the blue at 25%. We decided, however, that overall we got better healing distribution with the original arrangements, so we switched back.
I’m glad that the later fights in the raid seem to be challenging us well. I was a little worried that the conditions I’d set for taking a hiatus from raiding would arrive a lot sooner than I expected. I am enjoying the Dragon Soul fights so far — though I still don’t particularly care to do them on Heroic, especially not Ultraxion! Perhaps I’ll keep raiding until the Mists of Pandaria release date has been announced.
* I eagerly dumped as much stuff into Void Storage as I thought I wouldn’t want for Transmogrification or other dress-up anytime soon. Kamalia’s Void Storage contains mostly Archaeology rares and odds & ends from her pre-Cataclysm pursuit of Loremaster.
* I like to have the gear for my two specs be visually different in some way, so that I can tell immediately from the character selection screen which spec I was in when I logged out. Currently, Kamalia is in 4pc T12 for her Resto spec and all Firelands T12-lookalike drops for her Elemental set. The two sets visually differed by the weapons — staff in Resto versus dagger+shield in Elemental. The only visible piece that her two sets actually share is the belt. I Transmogrified her Elemental set to the Netherstrike Tunic/Leggings of Beast Mastery set that I’d originally designed for my Hunter, and was pleased to find that the Netherstrike Belt also looks nice with her T12 Resto set. I like T12 a lot and plan to keep it around, so the only other piece of her Resto set that I Transmogrified was her staff. I gave it the appearance of the Resurgence Rod, which has long been her favored weapon for her Ceremonial RP set.
The shield Transmogrification is the Enamelled Disc of Mojo. I didn’t have another dagger I wanted to use, and I like Incineratus well enough anyway.
Kerisa was glad to give up her mis-matched T11/ZA/ZG appearance for this outfit built around Phaelia’s Vestments of the Sprouting Seed. Sadly, Baron Geddon still refuses to drop the T1 shoulders for her.
I discovered that I didn’t like the back view of the armor set I’d designed for Kregga nearly as much as the front view, so I had to make a quick trip to Acherus to pick up the Shroud of the North Wind to Transmogrify her cloak.
* One of Rades’s newest Letters referenced an undocumented patch change. Curious, I went to WoWpedia’s listing to find out what else had changed without having been catalogged in the official patch notes. WoWpedia said that a couple of hairstyles that had been on the Patch 4.2 PTR but had not gone live with that patch were now, at last, available on the live realms. Of course, I had to check that out right away. Sure enough, these two female Orc styles, “Bangs” and “Braided Hawk”, are finally in the Barbershop:
I have updated the “New ‘Dos in 4.2″ page and the appropriate style category pages of the Azeroth Beautician’s Manual of Feminine Style with these new hairdos.
* In another undocumented change, the new model for Tyrande that some correctly assumed would be Tyrande’s image in the Well of Eternity Heroic when it was first datamined also turns out to be her new model for the normal world:
Tyrande has finally gotten the same unique-model makeover treatment as Sylvanas, Jaina, Varian, Garrosh, Thrall, and Malfurion. (Which faction leader will be next?) Her new appearance makes her seem much more haughty and unapprochable to me, more someone to be feared than someone to be adored. I do love the skirt on that dress, though.
* Last year, I wanted to make Liala’s Perfect Potions for Ronada’s birthday, but then we got sick and so I had to resort to something a little more practical:
This year, I had the time to put together some Perfect Potions the way they were intended to be made! I found some fun-shaped little glass bottles (the tallest is about 7 inches) at Michaels. I bought full-page labels for my printer. I imported Liala’s PDFs into Adobe Illustrator and reduced them in size so they’d all fit on a single page. I made a test print (on normal paper) with them reduced to 25% of their original size. That was too small, so I tried 33%. That made the largest size of label just right for my bottles. I filled the bottles with colored water, so they’re just for pretty.
* Finally, I was rather sad last year that I missed out on the Blog Azeroth Secret Santa and Twitter-based art exchange, so I’m pretty excited about this year’s Blog Azeroth Furtive Father Winter event. I’m already thinking about what kind of post I should create to give away, although of course I’ll want to personalize it a bit once I know who it’s going to.