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Ground Hog Day

Been several weeks on the fire mage spec, and so far I am liking it. The new mitigation tools built into the spec make it a lot less likely that I’ll die just for being the center of attention, and the new flame shield is, well hawt.

I have not been pleased with the transmog, though. The Robe of Power is pretty sharp, but better worn in a disco than tramping around in the muck. And while the Mantle of Three Terrors is, in fact, super-appropriate to the spec, it also makes me look like a hunchback.  I have a problem with shoulders, all the way back to the second Scourge invasion – those shoulders and that head piece that dropped off the scourge bosses make me look like a bullet, or a torpedo, not a human mage with feelings. Feelings and wants and needs. A mage who …

… er, where was I? Oh, yes! Transmog! Fire mage transmog!

So, I got out my blue jeans from the frost outfit, some black-ish boots (nothing as good as mail wearers can get, but hey), and searched around for some more appropriate upper attire. First off was a nice shirt, the Corsair’s Overshirt, which drops off of of “Captain” Cookie in Deadmines (boy, was he surprised!).  And while I absolutely love my Junior Technician 3rd Grade Goggles, the new spec had me looking for something a little more interesting. Fortunately, there’s the Circle of Flame, and it drops from Ambassador Flamelash. This guy, in Blackrock Depths.

Flamelash Selfie

He’s not exactly super cooperative.

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It’s a low drop rate. We had several engagements. Flamelash went through the five stages of grief.

denial

anger

bargaining

depression

And finally …

acceptance

At which point he just chucked all his stuff into the foyer, packed his bags, and went off to The Firelands for a vacation.  Which is what he should have done to begin with, right?

That was the last of the shopping trip, however, so now I feel a lot better about myself and my chances of not getting annoying swamp stains all over that white robe’s hem.

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Out of the Comfort Zone

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It may come as a surprise to some that I am painfully shy around a bunch of strangers. This is why LFD has always been a bit of a turnoff for me.  Oh, I used it for a while when it was introduced back in WotLK, but I was still very concerned about the negativity one might encounter.

When I started healing, that went up by a factor of, I dunno, a bazillion? Being a DPS in a dungeon group is one thing – there’s three of you, and if you’re not the top of the ladder that usually just gives the others something to preen about while they bask on their sparkle pony in front of the AH.

But as a healer, you’re generally in a position of Great Responsibility™ and the least little fuck-up will probably result in a wipe. What’s that saying? “Nomi covers his mistakes up with mayonnaise. Priests cover their mistakes with dirt.”  Well, something like that.

I had been patiently awaiting my guildies to return to the game after the Christmas break. Unfortunately, like last expansion, they never did. Lives to live, that sort of thing. We were reenacting the pre-Legion doldrums, and me with a full quest log of stuff that I needed to clear up in dungeons. So what’s a priest to do?

That’s right … tighten your shorts, pilgrim and sing like The Duke. We’re going in.

Now, the surprising thing is that so far, Heroics haven’t been too bad. I’ve had two deaths in something like ten runs, and one total full on gonzo brain fart that resulted in me being, well, not kicked, but left to rot while the rest of the team completed the final boss.

So I’ve learned something important. A toon well equipped from almost daily Emissary runs can hold up pretty well in Heroic dungeons.  This will be instrumental in getting me to take my other toons in as well.

The other takeaway is that I’ve been driving the Priest around as primarily DPS as I solo’d my way across the island. But that’s different from healing. So I’m still learning the ropes on that. My biggest takeaway on that was that Power Word: Radiance is pretty frigging awesome since it keeps me from having to spam Plea every 10 or so seconds across five bodies. I hit two bodies (usually the tank and me), and Power Word: Radiance takes care of the rest. That realization has been very useful.

The other thing is getting an opening sequence down.  Is it more important to have a DoT ticking on the boss before lighting up the tank with Atonement? Or the other way around? I guess it depends on the tank – a squishy one is gonna need the Atonement lit first, then you can start a DoT up to get the heals flowing (unless you have to Shadow Mend just to keep him up). So far I’m going with Plan A in most cases.  The really squishy tanks tend to be more cautious. The ones that benefit from Plan A generally go in guns blazing anyway. So I tend to light up the boss then tickle the tank.

Is that legal in Kaledori law? Or do I need a lawyer?

A Memo to the Art Department

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TO: Warlock Armor Designers, Dreadscar Rift

FROM: Floramel, your Supreme Leader by Acclaim

I would like to draw your attention to the positioning of the horns on our class helm. I’m sure real demons wear them there all the time, but, unfortunately, human eyes are positioned in such a way so that the horns are functionally blinders.  Now, I’m sure this could be remedied a number of ways, but it occurs to me that the easiest way would be to move the horns up just a little bit (and not, by the way, moving our eyes onto stalks which seems to be the fashion on Zazzinoth these days).

If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, something on the back to counterbalance them would be nice, as well. My neck is killing me.

Besties,

Flora

Very funny.

Okay, who’s  big idea was it to put the giant snow globe right in front of the entrance to the Warlock’s hellish domain?

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I detect Ratsel’s fine handiwork, here.  I know those mages.  Always planning some sort of mischief together.

We’ll see who’s laughing when we feast on their souls.

Ponderables

Does anyone wanna tell me why this felguard has smilies on his kneecaps? Last time I saw that thing, it was some dude got drunk during Rush Week and his “bros” painted smilies on his kneecaps with a sharpie.

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File under “unexpectedly cheerful”. Is the Legion all about the smilies? Or is this some elaborate Frat hazing event?  Not saying the bro isn’t strong in WoW. FratBros even moreso. But I thought we were moving in a different direction. My bad.

It Kinda Grows on Ya

I’m not usually into the later expansions’ gear models, but, like Jasra, I’ve found something in the modern mix that has tickled my fancy a little bit. Namely, the Coif of Unstable Discharge.

Grimm's Helm

Doesn’t show in this image, of course, but the arcing lightning kinda fits in with the whole Beastmaster motif, with Titanstrike and Hati in tow.

Note that the rest of my current transmog is a mess. It’s a cross between my classic blue and the new hotness. I’ll figure something out eventually.  It really doesn’t deserve the name “transmog” at the moment.

It’s hard to beat Engineering goggles for style and functionality, but we may have found a winner, though.

Be Prepared; that’s the Prepfoot Marching Song

Highmountain is full of flight points that are extremely convenient for some world quests, but which are not entirely clear on how to get to them. In many cases, there are no bread crumbs leading you there or anything like this.

And while there are no end of YouTube vids showing you how to get to them, I’m sick of YT/Twitch echo chamber celebs that aren’t really part of our tribe trying to cash in – it’s like clickbait, 2010’s style.

I digress. Sorry. Video/Twitch “celebrities” just bug the hell outta me.

01 Highmountain MapAnyway, to the far east of Highmountain is a lonely enclave that is inhabited by an odd bunch of Taurens called the Prepfoot Tribe.  These guys are preparing for the return of Deathwing – regardless of repeatedly being told that he came, we kicked his ass, and they totally survived it.  By “prepare”, I mean they’re preparing by stockpiling stuff and wearing waterproof helms. They don’t offer any quests or rep, but they do have a flight point that is convenient to a number of world quests on the coast.  But, since there are no quests or any other involvement with the rest of the world, it’s up to you to discover the way to get there.

02 Starting Pointr

First of all, go to the Skyhorn flight point. This is your starting point.  From there, take the path to the south until you see a branch to the left –  this will take you to The Sepulcher of the Sky. Depending on where you are in your Highmountain questing, the Kolbolds there may or may not be hostile to you.

03 sepulchur of the sky

Directly across from where you enter the area, there’s a grassy drop off. Go over to that, that’s the start of the path to the Prepfoots … er, Prefeet?

04 Start of Path

Run down to the path and follow it off to the right …

05 Follow the Path

Looks like you’re going to fall off, but you won’t. Eventually you come to a switchback.

06 Switchback

Make a u-ey back the other way and follow the path. At one point the path looks like it’s blocked, but it isn’t.

07 Rough but navigable

From there on out, it’s a more or less straight shot.  Despite the rain.

08 Easy Peasy from here on out

And  for your cork board, here’s the full path marked out on the map.

09 prepfoot path route

Once you get the flight point, you can go due north from there and find a steep path down to the sea, where a Kirin Tor puzzle World Quest pops occasionally, and if you continue north you will find some Highmountain WQs as well.

Okay, fine. You want a youtube? I’ll give you a youtube.

https://youtu.be/gkrheaWuShU?t=8s

Awkward

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So, apparently when you go to do the Exodar scenario, in the final battle with Rakeesh, two of your class hall peeps show up.  In this case it was an Orc warlock and a demon.

awkward

Sometimes doing the right thing involves very strange bedfellows.

Three Weeks a Fire Mage

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Frost was okay, but nowhere near the big hits I was used to on Draenor, so I decided to do something decidedly boring.  That’s right, I swapped to Fire. Like, apparently, every other bloody mage in the entire game.

The problem with Fire for me was that I had gotten Ebonchill pretty far down the ol’ upgrade tree, then swapped out to Felo’melorn; running around with a child’s dinky in an adult’s body, as it were. At 110, you’re expected to be toting a 110-level weapon and gear to match.

So I held on to Ebonchill for those moments when I needed to swap out, but concentrated on Fire whenever I could. After all, practice, practice, practice.

As one might expect, survivability is not a thing with Fire mages. We’re not really designed for that.  But Felo’melorn does have some tools for us, such as a thing that causes Blink or Shimmer to heal you for a little bit. So your rotation often consists of taking a quick blip right after Dragon’s Breath.  And sometimes that brings more to the party.

The next piece of the puzzle was getting Belo’vir’s Final Stand from an Emissary loot box (Highmountain, if you must know, but WoWHead isn’t telling how many times it comes from what).  I’ve often been a critic of people blaming gear for their lack of <your thing here>, but I am here to tell you now that that robe made a world of difference in my damage output and survivability.

So I guess, for great differences, you do see some significant effects. Shut mah mouth.

Of course, changing specs calls for a new transmog. All those blue tones just don’t go with my flaming balls of doom, after all.  So I borrowed from the past.  Long time ago, Jasra made the Robe of Power(1) to wear – that was before she found something more sensible for her line of work – and it was available, so I grabbed it. And then I reached for the Mantle of Three Terrors and … hey, where is it?  It’s not in the box!

Okay, so  you know that there is a thing that any armor appearance you may have had in the past is available to you and your entire account provided they can wear it.  So Jasra’s robe was available to me, but anything class-specific wasn’t. The Mantle of Three Terrors, however, is not class bound, and Flora once had it.  We even have pictures.  Hell, she blogged about it. With pictures.

Let’s be clear – there has never been a more perfect shoulder piece for a fire mage. Two large dragon heads with little flames flickering in their maws and eyes, flanked by two more little dragon heads each. Fierce. And unique, too. There’s only one of these in existence, nothing that looks like them drops from anything else in the worlds.

So when I pinged Blizzard customer support, I was expecting a “wow, not sure how that happened, we’re restored it to your account”. What I got was “our records do not show that you ever had it, have a nice day.”

Thanks a lot, @BlizzardCS.

So what’s a mage to do?  Grind, that’s what.  When possible, I’ve been hitting The Black Morass to try to get Chrono Lord Deja to drop the things.  First note here: the drop rate on WoWHead is deceptive. I suspect it is for the Heroic version of the instance, which you cannot repeat more than once a day. You can reset the instance all you want, but it won’t actually reset. So you have to run it on Normal, and you get only so many tries if you’re efficient at it (nine to ten, generally).  Long story short (too late!), it took forty tries, but I got the damned thing. (that’s 2.5% for those keeping score)

Illume Fire MogStill not happy with the sword mog, but it’ll do for now – most sword models are so elaborate and fussy that they get caught on … well, everything. Brandishing the thing about during casting is an invite to any number of mishaps if you don’t manage it properly, and, let’s be honest here, bladecraft is not normally high up on a mage’s training regimen.

At any rate, let this be a warning to you – not all things you won in BC might have made the trip to the future with you. You might wanna check now and try to get @BlizzardCS to help out if you can figure a way to make that happen. Too late for me, at this point, but if I can help somebody fend off a last minute panic, so much the better.

At this point, fire magely speaking, I’m pretty satisfied with the spec, though I haven’t tested it in an instance or anything.  The DPS is pretty impressive compared to the frost spec with better weapon, though, so I’m hopeful.

An interesting thing about Felo’melorn is that I’ve been getting accosted by NPCs, only Sin’dorei so far, asking to look at the weapon. Once they do, you get +50 artifact power, which is helpful.  I wonder how many other NPCs there are wanting a gander at the blade? And I wonder how many there are out there interested in other class’ weapons? Ebonchill never got this sort of attention. Then again, this is an important part of Sin’dorei lore.  However that plays out, it’s a nice touch.


1 Hipster mode: remember what a gigantic pain in the ass it was to get that pattern and the mats to make it?  WELL I DO.

Things I’ve Learned since Taking Over the Warlocks

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Being the head of our order has taught me many things.

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First of all, we like green. A lot.

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But when it comes to flames, we’re not choosy. Orange is fine. Yellow is fine. Red is fine. Basically, if it’s flame, we’re copacetic.

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We’re also very fond of ostentatious displays of power.

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And, for whatever reason, we’re very fond of candles, clustered, in odd random places around the landscape.

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Did I mention we liked candles? Oh, yeah, got that covered. Also big ugly books. Always a crowd pleaser in a room full of warlocks.

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Did I mention we like green?  We do! A lot!

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And we’re also frugal. Never spend money on a training dummy when you can use a spare demon instead. Demons are the ultimate renewable resource. Kill one, and it’ll come back later, only angrier.


I also learned that whoever designed the Warlock Order Hall was not a warlock. Multilevel, burning, smelly, and hard to navigate. Must have been designed by demons and liberated by warlocks.

Well, at least it isn’t that multilevel maze of twisty passages that the Mages have. Guess we got that going for us.