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T minus seven days a-a-and counting…

Anj's BC reputation

Hmm, it’s not a bad turn-out really. Honor Hold maxed out last night, with one of the only two non-painful heroic PuG runs I’ve been a part of since The Great Nerf, leaving the problem of that exalted gun being all very nice in stat-power except for the fact that it’s a gun and not a great-looking one at that. Damn Thrallmar bow, Blizzard weapon-racists. :p

I forgot the “riddle” in the hubbub of being investigated by trading standards over the use of the word “riddle”. It was daylight savings time that did the bug-fix. What? Clearly you’ve never been handing in daily quests close to the deadline and had to put up with the hour of dead time where all you’re told is:

New day begins in .

There’s six months of that whole thing working properly before the needs of farmers knocks it all out of line again. Because you know Blizzards sure ain’t gon’ be sortin’ it out. They’re too busy being weapons-racists. :p

Horde come to attack the king of Ironforge, Horde are sent swiftly away again with a flea in their ear.

Horde come to attack the king of Ironforge, Horde are sent swiftly away again with a flea in their ear. Yay the WorldDefense channel.

Anj becomes a heroine of the Netherwing and chooses Onyxien, partly based on colour, mainly based on name.

Anj becomes a heroine of the Netherwing and chooses Onyxien as her personal mount, partly based on colour, mainly based on name. She's skittish like that.

…It only took the two Nethermine quests to top the reputation bar up, thanks in no small part to finding four Netherdrake Eggs just sitting around in plain view of anybody, bold as brass. The Eggs have been like that consistently I’ve found, one day you can’t find one for love nor money, the next you’re practically tripping over them.

There was also a total “omgomgomg!” moment with the rep completion but I won’t put spoilers here, even though you can go to Wowhead and be spoiled inside of five seconds.

A little time out to stretch Anj’s legs in the big old world and it struck me how close she is to exalted with the Netherwing. I should think one more day of quests, not even all of them and certainly not the totally annoying ones like “The Not So Friendly Skies…“, and I should be about ready for a Netherdrake mount. Oh, I’ll still rely on the Cenarion War Hippogryph (beautiful plumage), but you know, for special occasions or when I don’t mind my whole screen being taken up by the wingspan…

Also, because I like to keep myself bang on top of all new developments, I finally remembered to pop by the Skyguard camp in Skettis and get my adorable little Nether Ray Fry. Aaw, look at the little smasher!

While I was in the mood for checking out the stuff added in the last patch, I pointed Alysha’s rear-end in the direction of Sporeggar to have a look at that herb bag recipe and wouldn’t you know it, I just knew Primal Mooncloth would be involved somewhere in the recipe. Dang, yo, it requires a revered repuation and Aly’s only honored. Looks like there’s going to be some pretty hardcore Naga killing goin’ on in the very near future.

A mad dash for Shattered Sun Offensive reputation with Alysha for the Pendant of Acumen got me to thinking that Anj’s struggle to be invited to Aldor coffee mornings had gone on far too long, so an extended grind for marks became the top priority job of the morning. Now, I’ve had this mad superstition for some time that Aldor rep marks would drop a lot more frequently for a Scryer and vice-versa which… is probably rubbish, but it’s no good fighting it because it’s in my head and no matter how many of them I farmed with Anj I’d always have the suspicion that, had I done the same with Aly, I’d have collected more. Mad.

Either way, it’s kind of a moot point considering that I can farm though mobs a hell of a lot quicker and with greater mana efficiency with Aly anyway, so the first port of call was Illidari Point in Shadowmoon Valley. I can gather marks while giving the new Pendant a test-drive and see how it performs, yeah? Win-win. All was going well until an undead rogue started showing up and ganking me, only while I was in combat with mobs naturally, and there’s no point me doing a good half-hour test when I’m spending some of that time running from the graveyard. We’ll move on.

Death’s Door in Blade’s Edge offered some peace a quiet and, also, slightly better drop rates, so here’s Recount’s report on the frequency of the Arcane Bolt over the duration of one Fel Armor (which, in case you don’t know, is half an hour):

This works out as pretty much exactly a burst of free arcane damage every three minutes which is not bad, certainly better than nothing. And considering it replaced an ages-old quest reward pendant with lower stats, all in all a pretty happy upgrade. Yay.

The true prize however, with 55 Marks of Sargaras and 5 Fel Armaments (together with a further two Fel Arms from the auction house), Anj joined the exclusive club of the Exalted With Aldor and, with almost perfect symmetry, could wrap the Shattered Sun Offensive Pendant of Might around her neck with the sounds of much rejoicing. Having a ranged attack power assisted by Aspect of the Hawk of 1818 is enough to make a poor mob dizzy as it is, throw in the +200rap Aldor Proc and maybe even Skyguard Silver Cross as well and you’re looking at the business end of 2158rap, and from a Beast Mastery girl too! Marksmanship hunters, feel the delicious power…

Oh. OH! I can feel it.

I’m troubled by the enchant options for spell-casters that are given to carrying a staff. See, the Spellpower enchant appears, to all intents and purposes, like it’s just for the one-hand weapons while your two-hand options are sadly limited. My question is this: The Enchant Weapon: Spellpower doesn’t make any mention of how many hands you need to hold it, does it apply to both? Does this mean I have to settle for a single-handed weapon? Not that it’s anything more than a moot point because I’m never going to actually use it.

So with this in mind, I put myself in the LFG group for doing some Caverns of Time instances, just a little bit of reputation needed to buy that snazzy-looking Continuum Blade, ready to be paired off with the Star-Heart Lamp from Black Morass. Dressed for success, right? But no! Not even shown on the loot table in Cartographer for Morass, Bloodfire Greatstaff drops! It’s a little bit of +crit shaved off as compared to The Bringer of Death, but with greater stamina and intellect thrown in to make it a more than worthwhile trade-off. And, having not liked the look of Bringer ever since I bought it from the auction house (as much as it looks kinda warlocky), it wins like a million times. Loving it loving it loving it. Sod the Blade and Lamp!

Given that my main rep-grinding companion was a good friend from The Last Guild who was wanting the Hourglass, we then proceeded to run the instance a further x times (lost count) and sadly, he didn’t see the same joy as me. We went through a different tank and/or healer on each run and, being the only skinner on each occasion, I also managed to end the day with five stacks of Knothide Leather to throw at the auction masses.

Surely I can get a bunch of spell damage stapled to it, we casters aren’t known for dual-wielding and we’re not allowed to enchant the fancy off-hand… things. I got the mats all ready to go!

As has been said about a week ago, I’ve started plugging away at Alysha again. Being a Scryer and with very little playtime attention it’s not much of a surprise to learn that she’s just hit exalted with her chosen faction. Anj, being Aldor, has /played time for level 70 that far surpasses all the time spent between 1 and 69 and is still struggling to get through revered. That’s the dictionary definition of “imba” right there.

Okay, I’ll admit, any and all Arcane Tomes and Sunfury Signets that Anj came across on her many travels were posted straight across to Alysha but, honestly, I swear Anj could go from hated to exalted with Scryers within a few weeks. In return, for the quest rewards that give the choice, Alysha has been selecting the Aldor packages to help her night elf half-sister out a bit. That’s just basic manners.

So now Aly’s got some shiny Runic Spellthread stitched into her pants and a fancy trinket to replace the very old and awe-inspiringly useless (at least for a warlock) Power Infused Mushroom. Quite why I even equipped that in the first place is, frankly, mind-boggling. A nice boost to spell damage overall, particularly after a first warlock trip to Magister’s Terrace ended disastrously with several wipes between the penultimate boss and final mobs just before Kael’Thas. My weak DPS killed us all!

Next up, no slacking on the Quel’Danas dailies and, with hard work and dedication, that Shattered Sun Pendant of Acumen will be mine! We will go to the ball!

Later edit: Okay, yeah, okay, yeah, the +10% reputation gain for humans takes some of the credit but still, seriously, if you’re scryer and have been for more than a month, what the hell is wrong with you? ;)

Woot. Finally managed to get into a group to open up the Netherwing daily quests, and not before time either. Exalted with Ogri’la and Sha’tari Skyguard, I was beginning to get bored of the quests they have to offer.

However, transforming into an orc when approaching the island is one thing, I can almost handle that, but changing sex too? “Wait a minute, I never used to be a man…”. It’s all just a little too much to bear, frankly. Not that it’s going to stop me from bustin’ out the Hammer dance though…

(I wonder about the changeable dance moves coming in the next expansion, will they be completely open for any race and gender to have any dance? Because, depending on what the new ones are like, I’ve got my eyes on either the male blood elf’s Napoleon Dynamite or the troll’s “I have every item about my person agility-boosted” capoeira moves. But I digress…)

So what of the future chance of getting a Netherdrake epic mount? I’m not sure, though I’m siding towards probably not until there’s a mini-version available. They’re too big! People riding them always seem to look like they’re… overcompensating… for something. ;)

Cenarion War Hippogryph, that’s what I still have my eyes on. Gots to parade my tree-hugging credentials!

III. Idiot.

We loves our portal from Shattrath to Quel’Danas, and we’re more than happy to pitch in and collect the mana cells to keep it. And so, touching down in Bashir Landing, the random killing of Ethereals began. Now, either the drop rates for this (and, while we’re at it, the Sunfury Attack Plans) had seen some kind of nerf shortly after the launch or I just got really lucky the first few days, I was patient at first. But after the better part of fifteen minutes spent on what was tantamount to genocide, no phasing device was dropping. Was I going mad? Was I in the right place? Seriously, I checked. On a whim I checked my quest log.

D’oh.

In my hyperactive willingness to help out, I’d completely forgotten to pick up the quest. The Sunfury elves on my next dailies port of call gladly felt the full brunt of my huffy attitude.

II. Second.

In no small thanks to the countless runs of normal Botanica to get my Beast Lord Cuirass, a PUG heroic run today popped my reputation with the Sha’tar up to exalted. Yeep! That’s two ticked off, it looks like the next one to see a glorious full bar will be Cenarion Expedition. Of the instance itself, mental note to myself: Pulling aggro to trap a mob from a paladin tank in love with Consecration is nigh impossible. The number of blue square-marked mobs that I killed whilst just trying to get them to show me some attention was… Well, it was a silly number.

I. First

My first Badge of Justice gear! Goodbye Cloak of Malice, hello Blood Knight War Cloak! Mmm, yummy. Some have remarked that it’s not the coolest-looking cloak in the world but here’s a trick I’ve employed since level 5 or something: In your interface options, find “Show Cloak” and uncheck it. They all look pretty stupid if you ask me (doubly so on the Draenei, where the tail gives it that oh-so-attractive Dilbert curl), and completely impractical. Did no-one see The Incredibles?

Joot! Achieved my first Outland exalted with the Sha’tari Skyguard, and went on to do nothing with it except say “Joot!”. Well, I’m not interested in getting a nether ray epic mount, the tabard is okay as a kind of “Hey, I got friends in high places, god, yeah, pun intended” badge of honour but not as good as my guild tabard. The only item that slightly piqued my interest was the Skyguard Silver Cross which I’ve heard both good and bad things about as far as usefulness goes but, as far as I see it, I’ve had Bladefist’s Breadth since level 62 and, yeah, it’s more my fault than the trinket’s that I don’t use it quite as often as I could. So, 4g from my growing epic mount fund isn’t much to ask to put it to the test in my own time. First impressions, has pushed my critical strike rating back above 25% since changing out of my PvP gear and in a short solo . That’s a good start! I’ll give it a go in an instance and keep the Breadth handy, I suppose.

I mentioned a few days ago about moving six points from the first tier of the Survivalist tree, losing my increased combat range and 3% of extra damage against humanoids, in favour of a 30% increased bonus damage from critical strikes. Well, I’ll be honest, I’m not happy with it. My overall DPS has gone down enough to make me uncomfortable and as for that +30% crit damage? One word: Underwhelming. So with Karazhan coming up next week (we hope), I am proposing a shift from this to something that has a more survival-based side salad.

Sacrifices are a grim fact of life and, you know, I’m going to miss the Improved Hunter’s Mark for the boost it gave kitty and the instance-tank assistance but if it has to go, it has to go. Likewise for Aimed Shot but the potential gains outweigh that loss. The extra 5% of critical strike chance that Lethal Shots affords I think is far too precious to lose, at least at this stage in the game with my current gear. Savage Strikes is one worth putting on probation, I might be only using my double-swing Wing Clip and Raptor Strike macro on the way through people back into range, it’s better to make them hurt, right? Right?

Clever Traps I’ve used before and is very valuable so that’s definitely on the team, similarly Improved Wing Clip has been tested before and gave good enough proc rates to, every so often, allow me to drop a class-suited trap at the feet of my opponent and still get into range. A Snake Trap for a mage? Yup, I’ve learned the hard way on that one a few more times than is noobishly necessary.

So all that remains is the difficult last two points. Is Deterrence worth spending a point on? I’m thinking it could earn its keep against melee classes as I charge in to dispense a Clip. Maybe then the final point popped into the Catlike Reflexes box? See, I’m not sure, and I’m certainly not about to start blowing a great deal of my carefully-gathered Epic Mount money into mucking about with two points, my next respec is probably going to cost me 40g as it is.

I hate decisions like this. /sob.

August 2017
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