Shadowlands Blog

I will add entries for future dates by editing the main post. Come back and look for updates if this is your cup of tea.

30-Nov-2020

Well here we go again. My son talked me into going back to WoW. The thing that brought me back this time was the story. He is going to do full on progression raiding at the bleeding edge.

I started up WoW after buying the game for $40 on Thanksgiving. Minion had updated most of the addons, but some were broken. Cross checking dates on the addons showed that Minion was behind the most recent crop. I suppose I will have to find a better addon manager.

Coming back to WoW is a bit of a headache, because there is a re-learning curve. All of the stuff I was a pro at when I left seem impossibly difficult now. The good news was my interface worked out of the box. The bad news was I had a persistent error on login that something needed to be repaired, and when I would run repair (even as admin) it would hang.

So I uninstalled the game after copying my addons folder, reinstalled. This fixed the issue, but generated far more. Things like Fishing Buddy were no longer working and spewing out lots of errors. I had to rebuild my entire UI. Maybe it is better this time. I think I spent about 4hrs on Saturday just mucking around in UI.

To my delight my GSE and AHK were still working fine, but GSE is now GSE2. Spent a little time today relearning it, and started to hone a Beastmaster macro.

This time through I went with Beastmaster Hunter, just like everyone else did. Moo. It solos well. I have a Clefthoof that tanks just fine. Rotations are easy. You can move and DPS at the same time. I am playing a Worgen, which turns out to be a good pick since Running Wild gives you full mount speed in the Maw. Also he is a fast skinner and leatherworker. Between Darkflight, Aspect of the Cheetah, Soulshape, talented Disengage, and the 30% run speed talent I am Zippy McZippypants and can sprint all over the place. Really. There have been times when I just chained them all to range dump aggro.

But yeah, here is the experience. I came on and watched my 120 levels of every class get squished to 50. Umm, that sort of hurt. All those zones. Now all of those toons are just level 50 dweebs like anyone else. I get the whole inflation thing, and probably this is a better game, but man those toons that went through so many zones felt epic, and now feel a bit trivialized.

The intro cinematics and story this time around were fantastic. In fact, I like how the story line continues through the 4 major zones, and I think the basic idea of the afterlife planes being eroded by an evil force is a very compelling storyline. Each new zone sheds light on what happened in the other zones. I found myself reading quests again rather than autoskipping.

I like how the big decision of which covenant is right for you is helped by you getting a free taste test as you follow the main campaign storyline through the zones.

My impressions

Bastion/Kyrion- loved the angelic feel here. Like the bright sunlight, unimpeded vistas. Aesthetically my favorite zone. Not the best pick for a BM with its key power, but I really like the servant. Found myself wanting to find out what else happened.

Maldraxxus/Necrolord- felt more bleak, like some endless hell of war. Loved the rune recovery process. Ran across the perfect fishing hole- some pool in which they were tossing body parts, which showed up as a permanent pool to detect fish. So I parked it there for about 120ish fishing skill, pulling up lots of goodies. Also this boss spawned out of that pool that had something to do with the daily turn ins…people would come by and toss stuff in the water. At one point it went purplish, and the guy who did it started fishing, but someone else tossed something in and it went red. Once the boss spawned the pool was white and yielding rare fish. I figure I will hit that one up again. Seems like we have Draenor style lures that force what you want to pop in the water. Liked the chakram ability, but did not like the flesh armor ability.

Ardenweald/Night Fae- Feels like endless Shadowmoon valley. Creatures are goofy and saccharine cute. Lots of nature themes. At some point I had to do this stupid play that I think I will find really tiring. Liked the greater story arc involving drought and groves dying, and a resolve to fight on. Picked this for BM since it has this amazing AOE ability called Wild Spirits. My son who tanked the 750 reward anima dungeon for me yesterday said some 45% of my DPS was coming from that one ability…he had fun doing massive pulls based on when that was up for me. I love zipping around in Soulshape though.

Revendreth/Venthyr- Gothic, dreary, blood porting vampire stuff. Sigh. Felt sort of like the hellscape of Worgan homeland gone bad. Did not like the abilties at all. Did like the mirror stuff, and thought the big bad reveals were nice from a story standpoint. Overall zone dragged on longer than I would have liked.

So the trip up was story mode for me. Out of Discord, headphones on, game music on, maximum immersion. Overall I think I will want to have one character per covenant, just to get the full experience. I probably will drag everyone to 60 again, but only really go deep on 4 characters. Figure tank, heals, ranged DPS, melee DPS. Looking at maybe for tank Druid/Demon Hunter, for Heals Druid/Resto Shaman, and for melee DPS I will probably do a rogue since I have not bothered with one seriously in about 4 expansions.

Other than story, my favorite part is Torghast. This is the game part where you grind up the resource needed to make your legendary. But it involves these solo (or group) instances. And you find currency in those instances that must be spent immediately (lost when instance is done) and you can enhance your powers to crazy levels while running it. There are some challenging fights in there, and I was able to do tier 3 this weekend. The last one was hard and I had to call in my son since I did not have enough DPS to get past the enrage timer.

The Maw is a fun zone with that Jailer mechanic…the more you do, the more the Jailer is aware of you. Reminds me of corruption in ADOM. Gives you a sense of urgency in the zone…get in…get it done…get out. I think the campaign story is very nice in giving you the basics of these zones.

This expansion has a lot of the grind pressure off. Gone are rep grinds. Nothing really important comes from them. If you cap your soul dust and do your 1000 anima weeklies, you are on progression. If you fall behind, there are catchup mechanisms. This means you can putter around and do whatever strikes your fancy and not really feel left out. I am sure as I turn the game into a grind by doing 12 alts this honeymoon phase will fade. But for now it is sort of nice not to feel like there is an oppressive weight of must dos to stay on pace.

My portal strategy is to use all of my legacy stones (garrison, stormwind cloak, etc) to go to Stormwind and the portal hub to access the central hub zone Oribos (Eternal City), and use my Town Portal bind at my covenant hub.

Things I am liking about Beastmaster- love the pets doing most of the work. Love Disengage…it breaks me out of stun with my talent and gives me 4s of run speed buff. I do this jump up, flip about in the air, disengage, then flip around move to have a short cooldown run speed buff. Fun. Loved it when I got rooted as part of a 1-2 combo with a root-blast, that I could just disengage and break out of the stun and get some distance. I am running with 2 pets, which is fun. Seems like pets were nerfed and they are all sort of the same except for skins. Have some fund to try out there with others though. I don’t like the traps much, and it seems like the best BM legendary involves tar/flare, two annoying ground target attacks. I like how pets jump cliffs without pulling the whole zone now. Got to figure out feed pet again.

Robots- was doing a daily in Ardenweald. Saw a good 6-8 Boomkins just blasting everything in the quest zone, with a Monk near them spin killing. They were just parked there. Doing that. All day long. How boring.

Bugs- Some of these quests are bugged. One daily I had to grab a staff, but the second I moved from it, the quest despawned, but I needed the staff to do the actual quest. Ugh. There was another one involving faerie wings and pods up high, and I could not figure it out without hitting online spoilers. Faerie dust would let me double jump up, but the second I would interact with the pod I would fall. Also still have stuff that is holding me in combat yet never makes any effort to close the distance. Not sure what is up there. Fishing Buddy is broken for me on the Fishing Extravaganza lua. Ugh. Maybe I should just load up Bug Sack and ignore the errors.


2Dec2020

Had a few things worth mentioning.

Wowup seems to work fine as an addon manager. Adjour looks like an even better option. Mods presently are not crashing after updating via Wowup.

Went through some theory crafting and design for BM macros. Note Icy Veins rotations are garbage. Wowhead and Noxxic are good. I prefer Wowhead, so based this off of that. I think the best structure is to have a burst macro that does the 2min cooldowns of Aspect of the Wild and Wild Spirits. Used cast @cursor to facilitate the latter, and have to consciously hover the cursor where I want it when I burst.

Bestial wrath is a 90s CD that shortens by 12 for each barbed shot. I did the math for the rotations I am doing and it should be around 30s effective cooldown. For this reason it is best to add it to the main loops so as to maximize its uptime. One can delay the burst macro to align with Bestial Wrath to maximize its damage.

The single target loop seems to be best with BKCC (B=barbed, K=kill command, C=cobra shot). It is pretty lose so you can mash in something else as needed (like a heal pet, or a disengage, or a misdirect). The AOE loop repeats for this triple sequence of 3: MBK MCB MKC where M= multishot. It is hard keeping beast cleave up.

I have all 3 macros in right now, and they seem to be doing better than the ones I was using out of the box from Lazy Macros. I probably will do a simple macro for misdirect to a focus target. I also have a macro for tar trap/flare if I get the legendary piece. I did macro Darkflight/Aspect of the Cheetah to save keyspace. But my main mashers are burst, ST, AOE. Pulled out Mark of the Wild (no game effect now, just a glorified raid icon), and the autotargeting from the standard macros.

My son and I ran the Maw after work yesterday. His DK is pokey, but he took that covenant which grants the portal function, and when he does that I have little clue where he ran off to. We got close to jailer awareness 5. Apparently once you hit that you have 60s until you get autokilled by the jailer. It is best to port out when that happens, and wait the day for your awareness to clear. Died in the Maw, and ran back to my corpse to recover the loot. That is new.

There are a lot of hidden caches around the world, and it is fun trying to figure out how to get them. Found one in a secret cave behind vines. That cache advanced the Bastion Defense emissary quest by 20%…not too shabby.

Seems like Horde guys ding the map when someone has engaged a world boss. Look for that, because you can pile on for easy loot.

I have a 3rd champion for my mission table. Mission table missions seem really easy, and you do not need Garrison mission manager to do them. You have unlimited troops to supplement your champs. Many times I can send out only 1 champ and fill in the rest of slots with the troops.

I hit reknown 4. Yippee! Still need to figure out that whole mechanic. Am building the portal network for my faction right now.

ilvl is around 150. I have been having fun trying to clear out the quests on my covenant’s continent, and doing world quests. I am around 500/1000 anima on the weekly just from doing world quests, so that weekly is not that big of a deal.

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For addon manager, I’d recommend Wowup.io. It can pull from curse, wowinterface, tukui and perhaps other sites, so for the major addons you should never miss an update. And it has no built-in ads.

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You need to name your toon one of those names and your combat pet the other…would definitely cause a sensation!! :rofl: :rofl:

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I just completed this one tonight and what you should try is, once you double jump so you are actually floating up, steer towards the hanging pods and when you find one with a little box in it, try to get your feet inside the opening so you are standing there. Then you can interact with that box which contains fire/explosive dust needed to blow up some altars farther up the tree on one of the quests.

It took someone in discord to tell me that which then turned into a conversation about how Bliz sorta dropped the ball on that particular situation. Can’t just hang there and click the box because as you found out you drop to the ground. It took me a couple of tries before I was able to get it…the opening is really a tight fit but the sides seem not to be that solid so your form sorta meshes with it.

I collected several of those green fairy wing dusts so I had extra when I finally got enough of that fire/explosive dust to complete the rest of the quest, then went up the tree to finish it up. Made level 58 just as soon as I finished that quest which opened up the next series of story/campaign quests for me to move on.

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Thanks Daveon. I am using Wowup with no issues. I have heard that Overwolf is problematic with spyware and keyloggers, and I have also heard that those reports are false.

Hey Lynn

That was it. Double jump once, then just steer. Watch the timer. Find more wings (in baskets). Don’t use Faerie Dust and wings, it messes them up.

Also this guy’s name is Halfstream, so I can not easily change that. But the pet, however, is wide open…

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Welcome back Snydelee…have missed you. Every once in a while something will pop up and you come to mind because of your irresistibly funny commentaries. :rofl:

Yea, I found out about that dust+wings issue. lol

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I am currently using Overwolf (Beta) and have not experienced any of those issues. Of course I’ve not created an account yet, I just use the addon manager on my desktop. I think I got the free download a little over a week ago and never bothered making an account.

I will be trying the Wowup soon since that was my intention all along. Trying to find a replacement for Twitch/Curse has been high on my list. I did not like Twitch/Curse at all…to me the entire thing was bloatware and I never allowed it to constantly run. I only opened it up for the addon updates then closed it down when I was finished.

But I still had to download/install some of my addons manually since Twitch/Curse did not always have the most updated version of a few items (i.e., Healium). Especially with Healium, my shaman’s healing addon, even the developer who took it over was unable to get Curse to allow his updates because the original developer had not handed over something or other when he dropped that addon.

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Forbes did this interview with Uri Marchand, executive of Overwolf regarding the new addon manager. Wowhead went into the controversy with data privacy and Overwolf. Also Wowhead did this analysis of addon managers

15 Dec 2020

Funny how a couple of weeks passed already. Here is an update.

Ran my BM hunter up to around rep 6, and it started to feel a bit grindy. Do Torghast, do dailies, get your mythic in, get your anima done, polish off the emissaries. My son already has a Mythic 12 under his belt, and got 3 bosses down on heroic raids…no way I am going to catch him. He was pressing last night before reset to get a Mythic 14 done.

So I took a step back and asked myself how I wanted to play this game this time around. Nothing immediately popped into my head, so I did the first obvious thing. Run all of my alts through the Maw. Now they are all there.

Then I figured out how to Battle Pet again. That came back fairly fast. There are some pieces which are still broken, like levelling pets and slots. But that is done.

With my hunter in position to grind out the end game as Fae faction, I began to consider my healer. Resto druid is always a favorite for me, since it is mobile healing and I love the fire and forget HoTs. They seem to be strong and useful this expansion.

I have 2 druids as well. One is a lvl 50 Kul Tiran which is good for Guardian. The other was a level 14 Night Elf (Jellibelli). That Night Elf is ideal for feral, and the Shadowmeld is a threat dump for heals…a great pick there. Balance and Resto share gear sets and there is synergy, and Balance seems to be really strong this expansion. Also I had not tried levelling up this expansion. So I dusted off Jellibelli, got a guild invite, and played.

I began as Balance, and hated it. I do not like the rotations. I do not like the eclipse mechanic. So I switched go Guardian which is smooth and easy. I figured I would start off in Legion since some of my returning 50s had nice high Legendary weapons leftover from Legion that beat out the BFA gear they had. So I ran Legion, did the quests for all 4 legendaries for Druid, and went to Draenor. I noticed that those weapons lose item level in other zones…so they might be 34 if I am in a Legion zone, but if I go to Draenor, they are 20. What i had experienced with my 50s was legacy Legion weapons, which are pretty solid. So I did Draenor instead, as I love doing the garrison stuff.

As a Guardian I could fight most bosses I ran across. DPS was sort of low, but over time it got better. The thing that I noticed was I was using a balance set, which has int instead of agility, and hence my low DPS. Level 20 saw me fast running, and level 30 saw me flying. That is when it really took off. If you just run quests in Draenor, you level up fast. THe problem is there are a lot of shineys in Draenor and you can easily get distracted. I also did stuff like take cooking to 25 in Northrend so I could use the chef’s hat, and do fishing to 100 in vanilla so I could use lures. But this morning I was able to hit 48 and go to Shadowland, with a tier 3 garrison, and ship quests started in Draenor.

And so I asked myself if I am not going to do balance, what works? I took a look at Noxxic’s DPS tables, and feral druid does really well for single target DPS. Also feral and resto share Fae as the preferred faction. This is a bit of a bummer since my hunter is Fae. But overall feral brings skip potential with stealth, good hit and run tactics, travel form.

This motivated a larger project. Which 4 characters should I do the entire story line with? The story is good this expansion, and I want to see it all, more than I want to grind up item level. There are the 4 factions, and there is healer, tank, melee dps, ranged dps. Maybe I could identify something that works there?

To narrow it down some I took a look at Noxxic’s DPS tables. And I asked my son for advice on healers and tanks.

For tank he said I should go with Vengeance DH. So I looked into it at Wowhead. Kyrian is a good pick for them. I enjoyed all of the double jump gliding stuff before. And there is this immolation build which makes you a ‘wall’ that is close to untouchable, and does OK AOE. Sounds like fun. Sign me up for that.

Either my hunter or the resto/feral druid would tick off Fae. Seems like BM is lower in the tables, and Marksman is much better for DPS, earning a best all around DPS spec. I think maybe I might give that a try for variety.

That leaves Necrolord and Venthyr. None of them do really well in the DPS tables. Seems like everything is Fae or Kyrian. So began a long walk through preferred factions by class and DPS. And I think I found a couple.

Enhancement Shaman and Resto Shaman both work well with Necrolord. Enhancement is not too shabby on single targets, and you can get some crazy proc streaks. They have ghost form which helps with mobility. And they have a lot of tricks up their sleeves like Elemenatals and heroism. Resto shaman also seems to do well in the parses, being more of a burst healer. Not sure if that is for me, but there could be a good fallback healer option there.

That leaves Venthyr. And the one I found was Windwalker. On the top end DPS lists, Windwalker right now seems high for AOE. I did enjoy the mobility on my dwarven Windwalker (he is my artifact gatherer too). Brewmaster is supposed to be a pretty decent fallback tank this expansion as well.

So there it is, a shape of a plan. Now I will probably get side tracked and go off in another direction. That’s OK, this expansion is way more laid back for me.

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