Mists of Pandaria…… Smooth rollout so far…..

I was annoyed that Mists of Pandaria rolled out at 2:00 am my time. (Central US)  I was like, “What was Blizzard thinking?”  I woke up at 4:15 am and logged in and played for thirty minutes.  It was smooth and working…. And there weren’t a million people all trying to do the same thing.  Ok, maybe starting on a weeknight/school night in the middle of the night was the right thing to do.  Since this morning I have played a few hours off an on.  Mostly trying out the first couple of instances, fast and fun so far, and the pet battle system.  Fun for us people too old to have enjoyed Pokemon.

The Art is interesting and engaging.  The Hozen monkeys are fun to zap with an Arcane Barrage.  The Panda Bears are cute and deadly.  The mood is a bit more bright and the game a little more comical which is good to “pander” to a younger audience with more and more to play on the Internet.

So well done Blizzard.  So far the Mists of Pandaria is a great expansion.  I guess we do some leveling and collect some gear and see how it progresses.

Mist of Pandaria or the Return of the Thing

I started playing the beta of the Mist of Pandaria, the next installment of World of Warcraft. You get to play a Panda. It is like being Jack Black but without all the up front money or the residuals. The first few levels of the beta are like the first few levels of hell. You have a couple hundred people trying to turn in the same quest. You can’t even SEE the quest giver. It takes thirty minutes and a how to on You Tube to turn in a 30 second quest.

>Transmorgify! Ok that is a made up word. World of Warcraft new Armor and Weapon skinning.

>Finally WoW players can play in TIER Gear without looking like each other!  How?  By making your gear look like some other gear.  The World of Warcraft 4.3 update will allow you to change the way your armor looks to other armor…  Maybe some plate you have had since MC that that you really liked the look of can now have the stats of your current gear.

This is great!  You still have to have like gear, chain mail will look like other chain mail, no substituting cloth for leather pieces.


>Warcraft of the Worldly Kind. What does iLvl do for you?

>I dabble in raiding.  I am not hardcore.  I enjoy seeing new content but….  Sometimes I get bored waiting around for everyone to get ready.  25 man raiding can try your patience.  I know it tries mine on the best raids and guilds.  So when Cataclysm came out I leisurely leveled a number of toons but I did not get them raid ready very quickly.  10 man raids help. Less people waiting around for things to start.

I play on two servers, Trollbane, play with people I have known 30 years or more, people I have rolled dice with.  I also play on Elune, with people I known for 10 years, people I have rolled dice with.  On Trollbane I play Horde, on Elune I play Alliance.  I left Elune but brought my hunter toon, Horto back to help my Mrs. level her Alliance Shammy.  Horto started as a Dwarf, then went Troll now is back to Dwarf.  He is probably very confused.
Ok now if you have not played in a while how you gear your toon is now based on iLevel (ilvl) This is a gear measurement embedded in the game.  This is how you separate the I just turned 85 level player from the I have been running heroics non stop player from the I have raided and killed all the heroic boss player.
There are ilevel milestones.  Here they are in a nutshell;
ilvl 328  You can now enter heroic 5 mans with strangers through the Looking For Group system.
ilvl 340  You can now do RAIDing, start with Baradin’s Hold so you don’t embarrass yourself.
ilvl 346  You can now do the 2 new 5 mans.  The “troll dungeons” Heroic Zul’Aman or Zul’Gurub.
So each piece of gear you get has an ilvl.  WoW keeps track of your average gear level as a stat now.  But it is not what you are wearing but rather what you are wearing and what is in your bags.  Houston, this is our problem……
Wow players who may use a toon for two different purposes may not have all the gear needed in one of those purposes… When I say purposes I mean to say roles and when I say roles I really mean spec and when I say spec I, well, never mind.  They may not have the gear to heal or to tank, but can get into RAIDs and Troll Dungeons without the correct gear level because their gear ilvl is not divided up by gear designed for 2 different roles.  If you have ilvl340 Ret Gear, but attempt to tank Zul’Aman with ilvl 328 tank gear, you will just make the healer in your pug (Pick Up Group) mad.  Why, because you can’t tank Zul’Aman with 328 gear no matter how godly you believe your tanking skills are.  And it really pisses off the healer who has been waiting 30 minutes in a que to heal Zul’Aman.

>Saphra’s DPS Drama

>Ok. So the life of an elemental shaman is a glamorous one: awesome mail armor, those cool frost witch shoulder thingys that do that frozen-ghosty-air thing (“I’m not a witch – I’m nothing you heard…”), cruising on the proto drake looking for Saronite and Titanium veins. But it’s not all parties all the time, you know.

At the moment, Saphra is struggling with her DPS. Using the cool new Earthquake spell in large groups, I can get my DPS up to the 6000 range. But by the end of the instance it’s considerably lower. I’ve been told I need more haste. More elemental mastery. More cowbell. I’ve tried new gems, I’ve tried different food buffs, I’ve tried more caffeine – come on, I play after the baby goes to sleep. I’m tired!

What’s the magic formula? I don’t know. I see other shammies in instances with me doubling my DPS. It’s embarrassing! I check their stats in recount, they’re using the same spells as me. I check them out in the armory, their armor is a little different but……. I don’t know. I’m open to suggestions!

Who has an elemental shaman around here who can advise me? Help me out, folks!