Elekk Plushie - Draenor Tamers

Now that my Elekk Plushie is overstuffed, I decided to take it around to all the tamers on Draenor and start working on [An Awfully Big Adventure].  Some of them took more work to figure out than others.

Here's what worked for me:

Gargra, Frostfire Ridge:  I used a Fluxfire Feline (S/S) and Mechanical Squirrel (S/B) for this since her set up is three wolf pups.  The Fluxfire is set up with Pounce, Flux, and Supercharge; I started with it for some backline damage.  Once it dies, the Mechanical Squirrel (Metal Fist, Overtune, and Wind-Up) can take out the other one/two left.

Cymre Brightblade, Gorgrond:  Cymre took some work to figure out; she's got magic, undead, and mechanical pets.  Ultimately I ended up using the Anubisath Idol (H/H) with Crush, Stoneskin, and Deflection, paired with the Infinite Whelpling (P/P) with Tail Sweep, Healing Flame, and Early Advantage.  These two are actually one of my go-to pairs for working with carry pets, but I hadn't used them in a while.  Deflection has to be paired up opposite the Idol of Decay's Rot for this to work.

Tarr the Terrible, Nagrand:  Okay, so I hadn't actually beaten Tarr before I tried this, and doing it straight up with the Elekk Plushie took some work.  He's got three humanoids (murlocs), so I went with double undead pets:  a Ghostly Skull (H/P) with Shadow Slash, Ghostly Bite, and Siphon Life, and a Scourged Whelpling (P/S) with Shadowflame, Death and Decay, and Plagued Blood.  I opened with the whelpling, made sure to keep Death and Decay up (including refreshing it before he died), and finished them off with the skull.  There's some RNG involved in this combination, but it will be really close even when it fails.  (If I bump my whelpling from uncommon up to rare, it might be more consistent.)

Ashlei, Shadowmoon Valley:  She's got an Elekk Plushie slotted - how hard can she be?!  Anywho, her other pets are magic and beast, so I used the Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P) with Emerald Bite, Ancient Blessing, and Proto-Strike and the Mechanical Squirrel (same set-up as for Gargra).  The Emerald Proto-Whelp will almost solo this.

Vesharr, Spires of Arak:  Vesharr has two flying pets and a mechanical that will briefly masquerade as a flyer.  I went with a Sprite Darter Hatchling (S/S) with Arcane Blast, Life Exchange, and Moonfire and a Crimson Geode (H/S) with Feedback, Amplify Magic, and Stone Rush.  I originally decided to level the geode because I've always found the Deepholm tamer annoying to beat, and it paid off for this.

Taralune, Talador:  Taralune has the standard Draenei pets, three moths.  I had good luck with a Disgusting Oozeling (H/B) with Ooze Touch, Corrosion, and Expunge opening for the Sprite Darter Hatchling.  The sprite darter's Moonfire will negate the Call Lightning, which can be really bad with Moth Balls.

Bonus:  Darkmoon Faire

I did both Darkmoon Faire tamers with the Elekk this week, too.  For Jeremy, with his magic/mechanical/beast team, I just used my regular Infinite Whelpling (same set-up as for Cymre) and Water Waveling (B/B - Ice Lance, Frost Nova, Geyser) set up and substituted the Elekk in for the Mechanical Squirrel, which is normally my third.  When the RNG is in your favor, the Infinite Whelpling will solo the first two pets, and eat the monkey's initial stun, and then the waveling can finish him off.  One of the keys is hitting the tonk with Early Advantage with the dragon buff, so you might need to pass a round (or heal or something) on the eye to get it active for the tonk.

Christoph took some experimentation to figure out.  He's got that initial fast magic pet with both a hard-hitting geyser and an attack-blocking bubble, and the obvious counter is a dragon - but which one?  It turns out the Silver Dragonhawk Hatchling (S/S) with Quills, Conflagrate, and Flame Breath can survive it.  Open with the Flame Breath to set Syd on fire; since it's a 100% speed breed, it's going to go before Syd's second-round bubble, so you can go ahead and Conflagrate on turn two, then basically Flame Breath or Quills till Syd's dead.  The tri-horn is going to kill the dragon, but a Mechanical Squirrel (Metal Fist, Overtune, Wind-Up) can take out both it and the cow.  Wind-Up will pretty much take out the tri-horn right away, but with the cow you may want to Metal Fist when you've got reduced damage to avoid wasting Wind-Up's big damage.


Garrison Choices

Now that we're a couple weeks into the expansion, I've had time to unlock Level 2 garrisons on several alts, and Level 3 on my main.  After playing around with it thus far, I think I know which way I want to go with the rest of them, as well.

Some observations:
  • Having an Enchanting Hut on anyone but an enchanter can be... frustrating.  Not everything disenchants via the cauldron.  Work orders are quite expensive when you're not able to disenchant everything.  All in all, if you have an enchanting toon already... Let's just say I replaced my blacksmith's.
  •  The Storehouse is awesome!  I have Jeeves and the guild bank button on my main, but I am so not regretting bank and guild bank access (and eventually transmog), and I am liking the extra work order capacity for the potential days I won't be able to check on them.  This is, in fact, what I replaced my blacksmith's Enchanting Hut with.
  • I haven't figured out which, if any, toon will get a Mage Tower (whatever the Horde name for that is).  War Mill, sure.  Stables, yes.  Barracks everyone starts with, and I like followers enough to keep it.  I think I'm giving my other engineer a Goblin Workshop to see what the inventions are.  But I don't know what I'd do with the Mage Tower, really.
  • Leatherworkers are still getting kind of screwed compared to professions that use ore or herbs, given that the Barn requires tying up a medium plot.  That said, the Barn isn't actually that bad for a medium plot, especially on a toon that doesn't have a tank or healer queue (for the Inn quests) or one that doesn't collect a lot of other raw materials (to do work orders at the Trading Post).
  • The Gladiator's Sanctum is... well, I don't PVP.  I kind of want to give it to a toon for account completionism, but I really don't know which one I'd even try it on.  The rogue, maybe?  One of the other hunters?  I don't know.
I really like followers and follower missions.  Once I have all 13 max level toons' garrisons open, I could easily just cycle through them doing their missions every hour or two and actually not mind.  They're going out fetching 630 ilvl gear for me right now!  (They had better be.  There's a 99% success chance for those boots with the group I sent out this afternoon.)

All in all, I think the way my toons' garrisons are going to shake out are:
  • Small Plot 1:  Crafting profession building
  • Small Plot 2:  Storehouse or crafting profession 2 building
  • Small Plot 3:  Salvage Yard or Storehouse, based on Small Plot 2
  • Medium Plot 1:  Inn or Trading Post (based on gathering profession and dungeon queue roles)
  • Medium Plot 2:  Lumber Mill or Barn (based on whether they need leather)
  • Large Plot 1:  Barracks
  • Large Plot 2:  War Mill (raiders) or Stables (gatherers); Goblin Workshop on Engineer 2
Have I mentioned that I really like followers?


What I'm Riding

And by I, of course, I mean they, my 12 13 characters that are 90+.  I've got a lot of mounts, so I try not to use the same one on two different characters.  I'll do these in the order I opened their garrisons (or plan to).

Duskhawk: Swift Shorestrider - It was a birthday present, and I still love it.

Priest: I use different mounts for different specs on the priest.  For Disc, I'm using the Imperial Quilen.  For Shadow I'm using the Spectral Wind Rider - because it's practically invisible in shadow form, and I find that amusing.

There's a wind rider there, I promise.

Death Knight: My death knight was the first toon I started using the Sky Golem on, since I was leveling her with herbalism.  I didn't realize just how much I would love its flight animation, or how much I miss it.

Warrior:  I'm still using the Sapphire Panther on my warrior; when I first made all the gem cats, I was like, dammit, they're expensive, I'm using them.  She got the blue one.  (Also I was a huge Voltron fan when I was like, 8.)

Hunter 2:  Expensive cats?  This is the jewelcrafter, so she got the black one.

Shaman:  My shaman had the yellow cat for a long time, but I switched her back to a wolf for Warlords.  I tend to prefer unarmored mounts when I have the option, so I went with the Old Cliff Jumper model, the Dire Wolf.

Warlock:  My warlock is still using the yellow cat.  I might switch her up if I find something else I like her on, but the cat turns more golden when she's got full embers, so...

Hunter 3:  This is what happens when I can't decide what mount to use: a boring old Swift Green Wind Rider.

Rogue:  I've been using the Sandstone Drake on her, because 21 canopic jars, but I'm not sure I want to keep using big giant dragon on the ground. 

Druid:  This is where I sigh about flight form and stuff.  At least the updated Astral form makes the Forest Strider look even cooler.

Mage:  This is another character using a drake mount, this time the Azure Drake from Malygos; it seemed appropriate for a mage.  I may just go back to her Burgundy Wolf due to huge drakeness on the ground.  (It matches her hair.  Ahem.)

Paladin:  My pally used to be my bank toon, so I gave her Tyrael's Charger for running back and forth between the auction house and the mailbox.  It was paladin-y, and it wasn't a huge kodo that I couldn't find the mailbox under.  It's also one of the mounts that goes seamlessly between flight and no-flight, which is a plus as you level.

Mabs:  When I first made a character, part of the reason she ended up like she did was because her hair could be green.  So she's got the green cat (after years of default nightsaber that matched her Kitty).


Argh Profession Gating

I'm a profession junky.  I had all of them maxed at the end of Mists, and four alchemists at 600 (because you can never have enough transmutes).  So garrisons have been both awesome and frustrating in that regard - awesome because it's a new system tied in, but frustrating because you run into gating based on level or resources.

If you don't use ore, your gathering bonus options are limited until later than the mine at 92; you can't unlock the herb garden until 94.  Want more leather?  The barn requires more work for leather than the mine or the herb garden do for their materials.  I haven't started my leatherworker yet, so I'm not sure this is actually going to be a big deal, and now that I know how trapping works, it's not that bad to deal with.  I'm still accidentally killing some things when I try to trap them, and I'm still running into mobs that inexplicably won't set off the trap, but I can go grab seven or eight boars or talbuk or clefthoofs and be good for the day's work orders in fifteen minutes in the right area.  It does seem a bit unfair that you have to tie up a medium building for it, though.

I'm more frustrated by the gating of the intermediary crafting materials than anything else, though.  We've had recipe acquisition gated behind dailies since Wrath, and I hated it for jewelcrafting then, but these are innocuous dailies more along the lines of alchemical and inscription discoveries, so they're not really that bad - you even get to pick which recipe you learn.  But I'm sitting on so much ore on my engineer, and I can't do anything with it.  I've got Blingtron 5k and scopes and pets in my recipe list, but I can't do anything to make them yet.  Delayed gratification sucks, but it also means that there's not going to be any jumping in on the market of selling those pets and scopes any time soon, because I'm saving up to make myself that gun and some goggles.

And that also sucks.  I'm trying to get into Molten Core, but I had bad luck on quest item upgrades at an ilvl that mattered, and so far my dungeon drops have been for slots that I already had 615 pieces in.  My most recent upgrades came from Mr. Pinchy Sr. (who got me into heroics) and 615 shoulders from a garrison mission.  I'll get there, and it won't be horribly slow, but there's no more, "Oh, I'll just drop 5k on mats on the auction house and make myself a piece of gear for that one slot I really need to upgrade."  Having done the silver proving grounds required for heroic dungeons at a 584 ilvl, though, it's a bit frustrating.

But I made my Elekk plushie last night, and my blacksmith has a forge in construction (actually it finished sometime last night), and this weekend I'll probably get all my alts a level 2 garrison so I can have their profession buildings made well before I actually get around to leveling them, so I can stockpile materials for when I do.  Other than herbs, I think I can keep them mostly supplied with raw materials for their cooldowns just from my main.  My death knight might get bumped up in playtime just for herb gathering.  Once I have a follower in the herb garden, that may end up unnecessary, though.

I like the tie-in of hunting down a follower of the affiliated profession and, now that they've got the mission levels fixed, leveling them up to the point they can go to work for you in the profession buildings.  I'm also liking the "cook to learn more cooking," although not so much the five meats/filets to make anything.  The talbuk have been scrawny.

All in all, it's not a bad system; it's just frustrating after several years with only the major pieces requiring delayed gratification for crafting.  Titansteel cooldowns, living steel cooldowns, sure.  Scopes being gated by cooldowns?  Not really sold on that, but it's what we've got.  I've been reluctant to put a scope on my leveling ranged weapons, because who knows when they'll be replaced, and I need those gears for a gun and goggles.

I should have just bought the yak, though.  That 120k I stockpiled before the expansion isn't going to be needed for powerleveling  professions this time around, because there is no more powerleveling professions if you're already at 600.

On the gating flipside, thank God there's a cap on timber stockpiling, because I was starting to somewhat obsessively deforest Nagrand.


6.0 - Initial Thoughts

Patch day has come and gone, and besides Battleground queues being temporarily broken...

I need a 'mog worthy of her now.
First and foremost, my warrior looks amazing. When I first saw her updated model in the beta, I nearly cried. Troll hair has been notoriously... sad, and she just looks awesome now.

My wolf dances again. I started burning party grenades after watching my tauren’s facial expressions while dancing, and I had puppy out from a foray into the new UBRS, and... I may have kind of shouted in excitement to my husband.

I only changed 7 of about 40 faces: three unfortunate human eyebrows; two unexpectedly scowling gnomes; one overly perky night elf; and one troll that has so many awesome options now that I liked better. The rest I’ve been happy enough with, although I might go change some hairstyles now that they’re less blocky.

My rogue won the most-filled-crafting-tab. She’s the one that’s kept one stack of every type of herb.

Yes, that's Blood of Heroes.
I shoved so much stuff into void storage on my main hunter... and then went and did the same on my warlock, because wow, she had a lot of banked gear.

My shaman won the most-gold-from-currency-conversion: ~1400g.

I snagged the Bottomless Bag pattern for <100g. Thanks, combined Auction House!

And soloing... Just, wow. Last time I hopped into Dragon Soul 10N (about 3 weeks ago?) Morchok killed me since my pet wouldn’t tank him. I killed him in 9 seconds last night. Everything up to Spine was a cakewalk; Spine does some weird rolling stuff that’s going to take some work to get down smoothly.

I haven't tried out healing on my priest yet - I have heard mixed reviews.  I'll see how it goes later this week.



Well, we know for sure now that 6.0 is coming on Tuesday.  A lot of the expansion's mechanical changes will show up, even though the content won't be available until the release date.  Some of these I will miss, and some I will not.

I will not miss...
  • Hit rating, and the affiliated reforging.  So frequently I'd get into the later stages of a tier and either be dripping in excess hit rating, or unable to get enough of it, usually the former.
  • Kor'kron guards.  I've been irritated by them since they moved into the Undercity, and I don't even like Sylvanas.
  • Faction-separated auction houses.  I've got at least two characters I had to go to the other faction for to get transmog gear.  I will be glad to cut out the middle-men in Booty Bay.
  • Having to macro Revive Pet and Mend Pet to save space on my action bar.  They've been like that since Vanilla.  That change is long due.
  • Garrosh Hellscream.  Oh, wait...
I will miss...
  • Flying.  Hopefully it comes to Draenor at some point - the place is gorgeous, and there are some views you only get from the air.
  • A spammable instant shot.  I don't really care about Arcane Shot going from a rotational point of view, but for quickly pulling half a dozen things over for my bear to tank...
  • Damage on the level 90 talents as Discipline.  It means I'll need to go Shadow to solo old dungeons via Halo.  It also highlights that Discipline really is a healing tree.  (There's a comment in the patch notes about them being between a full healer and a full damage dealer, which means there's a real chance they'll just suck at both.  I'll see how some dungeons go after Tuesday.)
I guess there's not a lot I'm really going to miss.  I'm a bit nostalgic about Scatter Shot going, since I used it a lot in Vanilla PVP, and Hunter's Mark - rogues get to hide again.

I've already mentioned that I'm looking forward to some of the changes to the inventory UI - I'm really looking forward to them.  I will likely spend most of Tuesday getting all that sorted out, and then running around buying yet more toys.

And maybe beating up Garrosh again for a fancy bow.


Toybox Prep

Now that several waves of toys have been added to the toybox on the beta, and I've done some obsessive putting-away-of-toys, I've started looking at the toys I don't have.  Some I don't have because I never bought them for lack of space; some I didn't finish out the quests or reputation for.  And of course, some of them are new for Warlords.

So now that we know when the expansion is launching, I've got about three months to level alts, wrap up quests, achievements, and reputations... and go toy hunting.  Wowhead's got a good guide for toys overall, and between that, Altoholic (to weed out stuff I have somewhere), and the beta client, I've been looking at what I can do ahead of time.

Some of the items are going to be pricy (Kalytha's Haunted Locket), and some are just going to require farming (all the Timeless Isle drops I haven't gotten yet), but I've definitely got enough to keep me occupied for three months.

Or rather, the guesstimated month or so after the 6.0 patch, because, well, inventory.  I hit up a few of the easy ones - Gokk'lok's Shell, the Gin-Ji Knife Set, and similar items - and realized that if I start collecting before the patch, I'm going to have zero bag spaces free for the next few months.

So for now I'm curating my spreadsheet, accumulating some currency, and waiting for the WoW equivalent of a Black Friday shopping spree.