Back from Vacation!

I’ve had a very relaxing and nice vacation skiing the past week and a half – with no broken legs to boot! Will miracles never cease? But it seems like I’m late to the party; patch 7.1.5. is already out and I’ve just gotten home and scraped the snow off of me. Well, better late than never as they say!

The past week I’ve been in one of four modes: sleeping, skiing, baking in the sauna or reading in front of a fire. The only thing missing was a strong choke hold on the notifications on my phone. Tried having it muted, but people were so upset that I never got back to them. Why is it so wrong that I take three days to get back to people? I mean, I can no longer give a pertinent reply to the question “Where R U now?” three days later, but the thought counts, right?

Mistweaver Changes

  • Dampen Harm now reduces all damage you take by 20% to 50% for 10 seconds, based on the size of the attack, with a 2 minute cooldown.
  • Ring of Peace now forms a Ring of Peace at the target location for 8 seconds. Enemies that enter will be ejected from the ring.
  • Mastery: Gust of Mists healing increased by 30%.
  • Rising Sun Kick mana cost is now 2% of base mana (was 2.25%).
  • Song of Chi-Ji cooldown reduced to 15 seconds (was 30 seconds).
  • Diffuse Magic cooldown is now 90 seconds (was 120 seconds).
  • Zen Pulse damage and healing increased to 220% of spell power (was 200%).
  • Mistwalk healing increased to 420% of spell power (was 350%).

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Brain Vacation at the Teahouse

I have been rather absent the past month, not just from the blog, but pretty much any social context. I’m trying to get my bearings again, and I thought that a post to recap my recent misbehaviours and adventures might just do the trick. So, warning! warning!, it’s a bit of personal post. I allow myself those on occasion.

I’m not gonna make this a pity-party so let’s go for the short version of the story. A huge amount of stressed coincided and piled up on me in a large festival of “Let’s see how much worse 2016 can become!” in a short amount of time. My mind felt like that was a good time to go on a strike, despite my objections, and I had to do a small retreat to avoid a complete burnout.

Can’t say I’ve been very successful. Social interactions were always hard for me, but now I was starting to look like a hermit. I’ve consumed tons of books. And when I say tons I mean that I’ve read about a book a day for the past month. It’s a coping mechanism for me, because when I read I forget I have stress and/or problems. Recently, I did a deep-dive in Urban Fantasy, which critically suffers from flat plot points, self-contradictory heroines with more bark than bite, inconsistent characters and book covers that make you cringe into a pretzel. But occasionally you find those golden nuggets of Urban Fantasy that take all your morals and worldviews and smack them in your face with it. I mean, they might not turn your world completely up-side-down but at least they got you thinking.

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TeaWatch – The Hype is Real

There are a few times in my life I wish I didn’t need to sleep, but sadly has to, and one of those times is right now. Between Overwatch (which I love), the new Fire Emblem, hype for the Warcraft movie, my Patreon work, I do other things as well. I have a confession to make.

There is a natural decline in WoW activity right now, part to the above-mentioned reasons and part to being at the end of an expansion. People have time to breathe a little, do other stuff and come back to Legion refreshed. That is the sane thing to do. You should take breaks, makes you savor the game more the times you play. But I am so bad at taking breaks.

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Staving off Boredom with Ferocious Tea Drinking

Oh, thy mistiness, Legion will not commence until the last day of summer. Or you know, next-to-last month of summer if you’re American. But I can guarantee you, there’s not a smudge of summer left in Sweden in September. Point being, Legion will launch in a little over four months, and it is such a long, long, long time until then. How does a poor WoW gamer keep herself entertained meanwhile? 

Well, to be technical, the fun will start a little earlier than last of August. The pre-patch will launch a few weeks before launch, and anyone who has experienced a pre-patch knows that it is absolute chaos. Like, fun chaos. The kind of chaos where you get all your delicious new spells and abilities, the wardrobe, demon hunters and everything like that. Then you grab a bag of popcorn, sit back and watch all the salty shalings whine about the spells that are tuned for level 110 being horrendously broken at level 100. Because nothing will work as it is intended at level 100, and it’s not supposed to either. I mean, we will basically be stuck in Legacy content for a short month. It’ll be mayhem.

So we will have to wait about 2½-3 months before things liven up again. What does one do in the meanwhile? Well, there’s of course plenty of stuff you can do. My shenanigans are almost entirely made up by gold farming, alt raising (oh yes, 14 level 100 alts is not enough for me), and my Patreon work which is creating new and cool UIs. My guild raid a few times a week still, though only one day is main raid now, when we down Mythic Manno and Archie. Them cheeky buggers cannot be allowed to live, even for a week.

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The Scale of the World

To the roots of Pandarens and Monks, in Legion we will find our way back to the Wandering Isle. Shen-zin Su, on whose back the Temple of the Five Dawns still stands, and the resident Monks welcome us with open arms. Yet, the heritage of Monks can be traced back further, to Pandaria itself, whose image is based upon Ancient China. The link between the land of imagination and the land that sparked the imagination is something a curious mind like mine eagerly explores.

JadeForest07You have to forgive me, but with the standing news drought, I usually turn to more philosophical topics. I often go back to the origin of Monks – Pandaria. It is quite enjoyable to run mountless in the Jade Forest and let your mind wander where it will. I take inspiration of my surroundings and imagine all kinds of art I could do for my UI. But as I track my way around the forest, I cannot help to think of the link between the world as imagined in World of Warcraft, and its real life counterpart, China.

If I would imagine the process of creating a world like Pandaria, I imagine the developers make a deep dive into Chinese culture, trying to understand the whole, and pick parts of to represent the core of the culture. The result is an outstanding vision, with every nook and cranny deeply sated with the philosophical and aesthetics parts of the culture of Ancient China – and in extension, the Pandaren culture. But is only a symbol of the whole; a small miniature world that merely represents in a metaphorical way our ideas of what China is.

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Misty Tea Talk

Tea TalkHello everyone! I am sorry for my slight disappearance; I have been swamped in IRL stuff, while longing to go back to alpha news and other secret projects that I’m working on. Now that I have some breathing room, it is time for some misty tea talk. What has been happening on the alpha since we last talked and what the heck have I been doing?

To kick off, alpha is progressing nicely, and while there haven’t been any new builds so far (though, one is right around the corner), we’ve had the opportunity to see some lucky people play and stream the alpha. In the last post, I linked some very interesting videos regarding the Mistweaver gameplay, the Class Hall and Artifact acquisition quests, etc. My second hand impression of looking at these videos is that Mistweavers seem to be really versatile, and hopefully, “niched” healers will be a thing of the past; all healers have the tools to do all kinds of encounters. In other words, some healer classes will not be benched because they cannot handle a specific situation. This is great, because then you can really focus on one class to master and it will really simplify raid setups.

The interesting part yet to come is an explanation of how the new healing philosophy will be in Legion. We haven’t heard anything official, but one can get a very vague impression just by looking at spells and talents. My prediction is that they want us to use more of our toolkits – a.k.a. not spam our only AoE heal. If we look at the gear – so far no spirit in sight. Spirit is on our character panel, but it seems like we will not be able to increase it with gear. Mana will be an important issue through all the expansion then, since mana regen won’t scale, only the strength of our spells. And our AoE heal, Essence Font, is not exactly spammable; it has no cooldown, but 1) it costs a lot of mana and 2) it gives up to a potential of 18 people a HoT you do not want to override by spamming. So, I am guessing we will have to work into a rotation with Vivify and hopefully some efficient single-target gameplay. This sounds great to my ears, because the more viable spells we have in a raid setting, the more strategic choices we have to make. BUT (!) this is just my predictions and it is early alpha – we will see how it pans out!

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Warcraft Classes – A Personal Review

A while ago, I managed to get my last character up to level 100. That’s right, now I have every single Warcraft class on max level. In light of this, I thought I could write a review of what I thought of each class. Do note however that I’m not reviewing how it is to raid as each single class, because I haven’t got that far with them (and I will probably never do so much work). This post is supposed to serve as a lighthearted commentary on class fantasies and mechanics. Keyword is “fun”!

MonkClass - Monk

You already know that my heart got stolen by the Mistweaver spec, but there are two other specs I haven’t talked much about. I know, right? Monks having other specs, pfft. But they do exist, Brewmaster and Windwalker, no matter how much I ignore them. To be fair, Brewmaster is kind of fun. Probably one of the few tank specs that I actually like, and I say that with a background as a tank (before I rerolled healer). The Brewmaster spec is very flexible with a plethora of strong tank cooldowns. I strongly favour them from a healer perspective as well. Being a reaction-based throughput healer can really put your heart in your mouth when the tank’s HP is making a rollercoaster (looking at you, Druids). A Brewmaster’s HP is thankfully very stable. Hurray for mitigation!

Windwalkers then? I must say, while I think the fantasy of a wind and lightning-based martial arts combatant is very cool, the mechanics of the spec fall a bit short. The Storm, Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart ability (or whatever it’s called) is a really clumsy mechanic that requires a number of addons to keep track on. I think I would prefer the spec without that ability. And with more wind and lightning effects. Especially lightning.

Honestly, I might have liked them more if it wasn’t for that weird nerf and buff circus they have going on. It is really making my Crane stance puke. Figuratively, that is.

Warlock

Class - Warlock

I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to level a Warlock, and for some reason or other, I’ve never succeeded. Until now, that is! I must say that I’m positively surprised. It was ridiculously easy to level in Draenor with a Voidlord that tanks everything. And when I got sick of pets, as I always do in the end, I could always sacrifice it for the greater evi- I mean good.

Warlock is not exactly a super easy class to get into as a beginner, I would say. A lot of spells interacting with each other, some stance dancing and some secondary resources that you have to get to know first. It took me a while to get the gist. But once I got it, it became really fun!

I’m also partial to the class because of transmog. I mean, the Corruptor set, the Deathbringer set, the Cataclysmic Gladiator set, etc. Stop looking so cool! It makes my heart ache for not being a cloth-wearer on my main!

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Musings on Mistweavers

Musing

The Developers of WoW have made a slight change of how they proceed with the talking about new expansions – namely, that they don’t. Apparently, they said too much before WoD and players got disappointed when the things they were promised changed in the final product. I’m totally in agreement with that it’s better to hold things secret a little bit longer than promising stuff they can’t keep. It’s also good that the actual talking and promising is much closer to the launch, because otherwise we go mooning about the new stuff we want but can’t have for over half a year. So, good things all around.

It does however create a large mystery about what we should expect. We know they’ll be focusing on class identity and that most likely Mistweavers will see a lot of changes – but we don’t know what. We know that there’ll be artifacts (Sheilun, hello) and Order Halls – but we don’t know completely what and where. Not knowing create a lot of suspense. I’m gonna go ahead and let my imagination run wild here. What would I like to see in Legion regarding Mistweavers?

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The 100th Post – A Milestone

100th post

I’m celebrating my 100th post, behold, the majesty of my post count. I don’t know many words I’ve written until this point, but I do know that so far I’ve got 56,000 unique visitors and over 240,000 views. It feels quite epic that my blog, a small corner in the Mistweaver community, has achieved this. I think a celebratory tea is in order! Hurray for the tea!

On another note, I’ve been tinkering with so many projects lately besides the progression on Hellfire Citadel (Archimonde heroic, da bastard!). It involves my UI. Naturally. You didn’t expect anything else, did you? I’m a UI-holic, it never stops. Just a fair warning though, don’t do a huge makeover before important raiding. Relearning your whole UI while progressing Archimonde is a bit too hardcore. Even for me.

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Breaching the Hellfire

CitadelThe third lockout is dawning in the Hellfire Citadel, take a deep breath and smell the brimstone and demonic soot. Glorious. Or it would be, if I hadn’t this annoyingly persistent cough. My survival hinges on inhaling tea 24/7, which all things considered isn’t that bad, because I do it anyway. But Chamomile and Eucalyptus have never been as tiresome as now.

I’m getting off-track here. Hellfire Citadel, anyone? My guild has taken a deep dive into the heroic difficulty and did a quick progression of it until we reached the higher levels of the Citadel where standing in fire has never been so dangerous. Downright explosive, I would say. But there just a matter of time until our scatter-brained damage dealers get the gist of fire = bad. I mean, you can only die so many times of fire explosions until it starts to sink in (Right? Right!?).

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