I Never Thought I'd See the Day...

Wow. Over a month since my last post. Time sure does fly by fast. Quite a lot has happened to me since you've last had your ears aurally scraped by my inane "adventures." I'll give you a hint as to what the biggest change was: look at my banner.

For those especially astute at picking out details, you'll see my bear has traded in his horns for long pointy ears.

Yes, my lone long lost reader, I have gone to the dark side. I am now championing the cause of a teenage heartthrob, rather than a ruthless and tyrannical orange orc.

I had grandiose fears that being Alliance would make me all noodley and weak. That I would be surrounded by annoying children who would discuss how great the Transformers movies are and how hard third grade was. Or, even scarier, that I would become a human sympathizer.

Of course, none of this happened. Alliance really isn't all that different from Horde. Not even culturally. The home cities are different and I am surrounded by way more small people (and even smaller people than that) and humans. The Worgen certainly help to create a familiar atmosphere, as well, with their anthropomorphic design.

Being a Night Elf, I must admit, is pretty rockin'. 2% extra dodge is awesome for a bear, as dodge's stat reach is certainly not as impactful as it once was. Being tall has it's advantage in crossing over from a Tauren; I still find myself bumping my head upon the tops of doorways. But the one thing that I wouldn't trade for the world now? This amazing recreation of one of the finest gifts a human being has ever graced upon the world:

Though don't tell anyone... I will forever feel like a Tauren in my soul.

Until the next Faerie Fire pull...


Back to Square One

Today is the day Patch 5.0.4 hits! A whole slurry of changes prepares to slosh itself onto us. What is a newly (re)minted bear to do?!

 Be prepared to run a whole bunch of heroics to figure everything out, of course!

 After some deliberation, I have settled upon my initial build, come Tuesday. I give you "Lushious' Build of godliness and Bearocity (and Also Nuts and Berries)!"

I am going to miss my bear charge. A lot. Yet, I feel like the 15% movement speed gained by Feline Swiftness will be paramount in staying nimble in boss fights and quickly gaining ground on a mob that has gotten away. Though further testing may prove me way wrong here.

I have opted for Renewal in this tier. Yes, the free Rebirth of Nature's Swiftness is sure to be paramount in a raid environment, but only when there is no other member that can already perform a combat rez. In regards to healing, I think Renewal makes for a better "oh shit!" button. At current HP levels, it can heal for over 60k. On a properly geared tank, Healing Touch, according to my rough calculations, will only heal for around 20k. Even at the 1 minute cooldown of Nature's Swiftness, I feel Renewal will be much more useful to the large hits of bosses, when raiding.

Improved Faerie Swarm, I feel, is a waste, since Infected Wounds will take care of movement speed. In regards to other two spells in this tier, one could have either pick. I have decided that Mass Entanglement will ensure mobs can be firmly kept away from anyone that momentarily pulls threat away and ensures a good thrash or swipe hits all intended targets.

Until I can better understand the treeants' functions in Force of Nature, Soul of the Forest is my go-to skill here. The additional 2 rage will be especially helpful. In 5.0.4 it is my understanding rage generation is vastly different, with it constantly dipping up and down. Us nears can use any rage we can get now.

Incarnation: Son of Ursoc may prove to be the better skill, in practice. Similar to Berserk now, having a cooldown that allows us to do massive damage, and gain massive threat, very quickly may trump everything else in the tier. Earmark this one... I'll come back to it later.

Tier 5 could sway any number of ways. I've chosen Mighty Bash as an interrupt, deciding that Mass Entanglement already fills a good AoE "stun" slot.

Heart of the Wild's stat boost makes this one a given. Anything less is just uncivilized!

I honestly don't know how functional the non-specialization aspect of Heart of the Wild will be in a raid environment. And currently, I can only think of a few instances where it will be helpful (IE rocking Deathwing's face).

Stay tuned, my dear lone long lost reader, as I revisit this post and discuss just how wrong (or right) I am after some time with 5.0.4!

Until the next 40 yard Faerie Fire pull...



Opening Cinematic Revealed (and It's Sweet!)

I'm not going to lie, I want a Pandaren Brewmaster now...

Until the next 40 yard Faerie Fire pull...



How 'Bout Another Go? Part III

And now for the harrowing conclusion of my shamelessly rebooted origin story!

Many, many, many moons ago I was a fresh bear cub, running through Stranglethorn Vale and Tanaris, bashing, swiping, and spreading my rabies far and wide. Leveling my Druid to (at that time) level 70 when I first began playing WoW has been some of my most enjoyable gaming experiences to date.

Though questing is fun, and consuming the story is one of the great pillars of WoW, running instances and raiding is what truly keeps me going. I love the teamwork involved, the learning process for each fight (as well as your character's abilities), and, most important of all, the boss designs and battles!

Wait... there's one more thing I seem to be forgetting. Oh, yes, right, the loot! I loves me that loot!

Me, raiding in WoW, waiting for that sweet, sweet loot to drop

Now, of course, loot has to be earned. And I'll never forget the first time I ran an instance, bear tail wagging the whole way. The instance? Hellfire Ramparts. I was so nervous as we pulled that first pack of three, sweat forming on my brow as I tried to keep threat on each enemy. Of course, I couldn't. Watching as an enemy darted towards one of the Deeps, I panicked, taunting and swiping to keep threat. What a relief to see the enemy turn around, focusing once more on my flurry of teeth and claws.

"But what does this tale of an old BC dungeon have to do with your terrifically entertaining rebooted origin story, Lushious?" you may find yourself asking. Well, my dear long lost lone reader, let me tell you!

Sattler dragged me into my first instance, once dinging 85. We used Dungeon Finder, which I was utterly amazed and horrified by (expect a blog post for this, too!). Almost instantly we were transported to Blackrock Caverns.

How hard could it be? Here I was, a sexy bear that ate raid bosses for breakfast before I took an extended vacation from the game. Heroic Ulduar bosses fell before my might. People cheered me as I walked down the street. Women threw their undergarments at me, upon hearing of my arrival. What was a level 80 dungeon to Lushious the Ursus?!

Apparently it was a lot. I found myself feeling the same way as I did five years ago in Hellfire Ramparts. Much like then, I was coming to grips with my attacks, finding out which ones worked with each situation, and keeping my enemies from bum-rushing the other members of my party.

So much has changed for us bears, in regards to tanking. Where I would've face-rolled mangle, lacerate, and maul until my nose was bloody, I now have to be much more aware than simply what my target is doing. Pulverize should always be up, Mangle every time I am able, Maul is my rage dump, Swipe if I want to gain more aggro, Thrash for more dot damage... Dare I say it? Bear tanking is now even more enjoyable, without its set rotation.

It was all very daunting, being in Stonecore, learning new boss strategies, becoming acquainted with the new bear mechanics, and trying to maintain threat with a whole pack of geared groupmates. But I survived to write about that experience, and many more, right here on this blog, my lone long lost reader. Stay tuned for more of my harrowing adventures, now that the shamelessly rebooted origin story is out of the way.

Until the next 40 yard Faerie Fire pull...



How 'Bout Another Go? Part II

Last time, my dear long lost one reader, I could not wait to hop on here and tell you all about my new venture into Azeroth. I spoke of Sattler, and how she wooed me with her abilities to mend any wound. And mentioned a mysterious officemate that would play into the story. And, lastly, I spoke of putting my skinny little bear behind (remember, we're not fat, just 80% fur) on the line once more to ensure the victory of myself and four others.

Today I talk about that lone and mysterious officemate.

Two months ago I landed myself a wonderful job. Over eight months of overly complicated applications, rejection letters, and final round interviews (followed by more rejection letters), I found myself the Server Administrator of a higher educational institute. A dream job for an IT bear, such as myself. I couldn't wait for my first day! And on that first day, I found out, to my dismay, I'd be sharing an office, after previously enjoying four long years of wonderful solitude at my previous employer.

We'll call him "Himey." Himey, I quickly found out, loves video games almost as much as me. The work days flew by as we discussed the finer points of graphics, A.I., and shooting aliens and looking cool while doing it. And then he dropped a bombshell on me: He, too, was a recovering World of Warcraft addict.

"We have to be strong for each other, Himey. I'll make sure you don't play WoW again and you do the same for me," I said to him one day.

We've failed each other.

To my credit, Himey would talk of WoW every day. Our discussions would turn to what we did when we used to play, what has changed since, and what to expect in the future for the game. Half a day was once spent entirely on Transmogrification (expect a blog post about this!). Another on how much Himey loved PvP.

And then I failed him: he relogged. And then not only did he talk about WoW, but he started sending me screencaps! How could I resist the beautiful allure of Deepholm and Vashj'ir?!

Sattler in one ear and Himey in the other. The curiosity to experience the game again weighed too heavily on me. And so the rest is history.

Stay tuned for next time, as I relay my experience of transforming into bear form after three long years! Until the next Faerie Fire pull...



How 'Bout Another Go? Part I

See that post right below this, dated a little over three years ago? Not only was that the last post for this once and mighty Bear, but it was also the end of his WoW career... until now.

The new chapter of this bear's tale starts with a girl. And technically an officemate, but there's more literary ingenuity to put emphasis on the girl first.

So, this tale starts with a girl. And this girl plays World of Warcraft. She has been raiding since Vanilla, loves to heal, and is a Druid. And she is good!

Being the Bear that I am, and we all know bears have a natural affinity for trees (for purposes other than scratching one's butt upon), I was being drawn more and more into asking her about WoW. Every tale she spun, every encounter she relayed, my mouth began to water and my hands began to shake. The allure for a game I had missed for far too long washed over me like the river while salmon hunting.

And after much flip-flopping, she dropped a Scroll of Resurrection right in my inbox.

Lushious was reborn on 07/26/2012, like the all mighty and mystical zombie. And I dinged 85 four days later. Now, mere days beyond that, I find myself at iLVL 361.

This girl, who I shall from here on refer to as "Sattler*," has not only helped me ding 85, but has face-rollingly aided me on most of my Heroic Dungeon runs.

My, how this game has changed! The WoW I left behind is not the WoW I encounter now. Which is good news to you, my dear long lost one reader, as this now affords plenty of white space for me to dribble inane analyses of a bunch of ever-changing pixels on my screen!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my harrowing origin tale (now rebooted, ala Hollywood). It features action, adventure, romance, my officemate, and getting my bear claws callused with tanking once more!

Until the next Faerie Fire pull...


* Names, as always, have been changed to protect the innocent. And, of course, because it's more fun to give someone a nickname!


Not So Furious Anymore

This weekend I had my first real foray into the world of PvP. Now I've done battlegrounds before, but I hardly consider that to be in the same class as arenas. Now let me just say that I have been and always will be a PvE man. The camaraderie, teamwork, and epic scale of PvE is what I thrive off of.

A Shaman friend of mine and I took the plunge into 2v2s. He went Resto and I went cat-form. Upon discussing it, he did not feel that me being gemmed/enchanted for survivability would impact us too much. I also gave him the disclaimer that I suck at PvP greatly. And, because I suck so bad, I have a tendency to strongly dislike it.

He underestimated my suckiness.

0-8 we went that day before I hung my hat up and moved back into the PvE world. A 10-man Ulduar, to be exact. I daresay I may be done with Arenas until the end of time.

I roll on a PvP server (as if there were any other option), but world PvP (and battlegrounds, for that matter) is such a different beast than Arenas. Maybe 2s shouldn't have been my first foray, since they are so sensitive to mistakes, but I'm content working towards ensuring Yogg-Saron cannot corrupt the minds of Northrend's heroes.

My desire to try my hand at Arenas stemmed from bear's best-in-slot weapon, the Furious Gladiator's Greatstaff. "2200 rating is something I can do. I rock at PvE!" I said to myself. Shoot, if nothing else, I could ride on the coattails of someone good! And then the requirements for the weapon got increased. And now the weapon is nerfed, as of the current PTR build. The only thing that has changed, though, is the agility on the weapon. Where it had 210 before, it has now been halved to 105.

Now Furious Gladiator's Greatstaff has gone from being a great weapon to a good weapon. The stamina is otherworldly, but the agility nerf, coupled with the lack of any other real stats beyond critical strike rating, makes this staff less than desirable for PvE.

At this point, Bears are going to want Twisted Visage, Origin of Nightmares, or Lotrafen, Spear of the Damned. Origin remains our best mitigation staff, whereas I think Visage offers the best all-around bang for the buck. What amounts to about 500 less health between it and Origins, is more than made up for the additional agility. Not having the 800 armor is unfortunate, but the hit, crit, and additional AP all are win.

If Twisted Visage drops for you during a Heroic Ulduar run, do not let a Hunter take it. Fight people if you have to!

Until the next Faerie Fire pull...

Love All Animals
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