Flexing with the Frostwolves

Ras and Norushen

So I had my first taste of Flex raiding yesterday as I was invited to one by Navi, Luxy and the rest of the Frostwolves.  Navi told me prior that they had planned to do their guild Flex raiding on Sunday nights at 8:30 pm Aussie time…which meant 6:30 am my time.  Yeah, I know, who the hell wants to raid that early in the morning, lol.  But I wanted to give it a try and I’ve always wanted to raid current content with them.  So I sucked it up and got myself up early to do it….although next time I’ll give myself a little more than three hours of sleep to prepare for it, lol.

I had leveled up and maxed out a new Death Knight, Daemagor, in Navi’s guild on Saurfang last week and tried to gear him up as much as a I could.  There is no ilvl restriction for flex raids and even though Navi said everyone needed to be at least ilvl 480, I wanted to push for the LFR minimum, which was ilvl 496.

I managed to get a bunch of Timeless gear drops while farming the Isle, but I could only manage to get to 483.  My weapons are going to be hard to replace; I’ll have to either get them from Throne LFR or even get the PvP ones.  I wasn’t too happy with Dae’s dps at the moment either, so I brought my hunter Rasfari instead, who is my best-geared dps toon right now….and I also enjoy huntering at the moment, so…=P

Anywho, 6:30 am/8:30 pm rolls around and Navi starts assembling the raid together.  We get about 13 or 14 peeps on when she tells everyone to start heading to the instance.  Ras was on the Timeless Isle, so I hearthed back to the Shrine for a short run to the Siege portal.

When I tried to pass through the portal, I got a message that I needed to be on the correct realm in order to enter this raid.  Crap.  I guess I had to take Dae then.  I dropped group and switched over to Saurfang and onto Dae.  Navi then whispered to me, asking what I was doing and I told her that I couldn’t get into the raid with Ras and the message.  Apparently, flex raids work like LFR queues, where you actually have to queue up for them, like you do with dungeons and scenarios.  So I switched back to Ras and apologized to Navi for my noobishness.  /facepalm

After finally getting in, we headed towards Immerseus, clearing trash along the way.  An epic ilvl 540 BOE item dropped from one of the puddles, which I didn’t know could happen in flex, but was cool nonetheless.  As the tanks were explaining the strat to those who didn’t know the fight, we started summoning others to the raid and got the raid up to 23 people, woo!  I was a little concerned, though, as my PC doesn’t do well on graphics-heavy fights, like Elegon in LFR, where everything and everyone moves at a snail’s pace to me.  But it turned out not be an issue for me for that fight and the rest of them we did.

So I got paired up with Luxy in my slice of the room and I told her I would be misdirecting everything her way, lol.  My laughs didn’t last long though; I thought I was doing well dpsing down the Sha puddles after the first split, but then I guess I got one-shotted by the Contaminated ones that didn’t get healed and reached Immerseus.  Quite a few others died too, so I ended up watching the rest of the fight from the floor.  I think we ended up killing Immerseus with about a little less than half of the raid alive.  Oh well, a kill is a kill, right? =)

Flex vs the Fallen Protectors

So we moved on to the Fallen Protectors, which went a lot better for me, no dying this time, lol.  We did have a hiccup at the end of the fight where we didn’t kill all the Protectors at the same time within 10 seconds and they all healed up back to 20%.  We pushed them back down, this time waiting until they got really low before taking them out.  It only took us one attempt to do, so that was good.  I’m hoping SR’s raid this week is just as easy, lol.

Flex against Norushen

Next up was the Norushen encounter, which isn’t a fight against him, per se, but more of a “cleaning up” fight, like Immerseus.  I hadn’t seen the fight before, so tabbed out to quickly read about it.  We put in a good handful of attempts, but we couldn’t get past this fight.  The fight seemed to be a dps check of sorts, I’m not sure if not having enough raw dps was the issue or not having enough of the dps getting rid of their corruption fast enough, but our best attempt was 20% before we hit the enrage.  Maybe we’ll get it next time.

All in all, I had a fun time in my first flex raid.  It was nice to sit back and just pew pew for a change, not having to worry about holding aggro, grabbing adds, tank swapping and all the other stressful tanky stuff.  Thanks again to the Frostees for letting me join in their flex raid!

Super Soaker

Tuesday morning before work, I logged into WoW to do a little bit of bag cleaning on my toons when I noticed that Luxy had broadcasted a message looking for a Blood Elf with a Hozen Beach Ball to pose for a screenshot.  I was curious as to what she was up to, so I whispered her that I would be glad to help her out.  She wanted a pic on the beach and since we were on different realms, I suggested we queue up for the Unga Ingoo scenario for the shot.

So we got set up on the beach, both in our beach grab, when she started shooting me with a gun that was turning me blue.  I laughed and asked her what she was shooting me with and she laughed back and told me to read the post she would put up later.

After reading her post, I found out that the gun she was using was the Shado-Pan Geyser Gun, a rare item that can be found in Throne of Thunder.  The gun is bind on account, so it can be sent to other alts and you could also own multiple guns.

And the interesting thing is that it doesn’t drop off any boss, but comes from a jumping game that Blizz snuck into the raid.

Remember those geyser pools that form a circle on the top platform right before Tortos?  Yep, that’s where this mini-game is located.

Arv with the Geysers

I noticed these pools a while back when we first starting working on Tortos and always wondered what they were for.  I didn’t realize they would be part of a hidden game, let alone reward you with a nifty item.

Walking over one of these geysers will launch you in the air and forward in the direction that your toon is facing.  You will also receive a buff called Spray Water that lasts a few seconds.  After certain stacks of the buff, parts of your body begin to shimmer with a watery effect.

So what’s the catch?  You have to maintain not 25, not 50, but 250 consecutive stacks of the Spray Water buff without dropping any.  Yikes.

Sound easy, right?  Well, for some it was.  Luxy managed to get it after three tries and so did NaviLush.  Me?  Not that easy.

So after work Tuesday, I queued Rasfari up specifically for the Forgotten Depths wing of Throne.  As soon as we killed Ji-Kun and the raid left, I ran all the way back to the start of the wing to begin working towards that gun.

It took a couple attempts to get the mechanics of the geysers down, but then I started having trouble with my placements.  I don’t know if it was my computer lagging or what, but I would either swing my camera too far in, which would put me too far from the next pool and my stacks would fall off, or not swing my camera far enough, which would send me over the platform and into the surrounding water.

I even turned on Ras’ Aspect of the Pack to give me a little help running back to a pool in case I overshot it and that helped a little.  I can’t remember how many attempts I took, but I know I was getting increasingly better: 75 stacks on one attempt, then 130 on another, then 162 and so forth.  After getting sick of hearing the pool splashes for the umpteenth time, I decided to give it a break and went to run some arenas with Ryugan to cap our Conquest for the week before the SR raid.

After our raid, I stayed in ToT and went back to work on the geysers again, this time on Arv.  I was on one run when Slice laughingly asked in guild chat if I was working on that spray gun.  I wanted to respond back quick, but couldn’t; good thing for Slice I didn’t have too many stacks before I failed and they dropped off, lol.

The next attempt started really good.  I took quick glances at the counter.

75 stacks, then 100.

This could be it.

150 stacks, then 200.

I finally got this.

212 stacks, then…..splash!

I zoned out and totally overshot the pool, straight into the water.

NOOOOOOOoooooooooo…….

I was so pissed.  I vented my frustration in guild chat.  I whispered both Navi and Luxy how fail I was.  And I seriously thought about giving up, so frustrating to lose it, getting so close.

It was getting late, so I logged off and told myself that tomorrow would be a different day.

——–

I woke up yesterday morning and logged into WoW again for some toon cleanup, when I decided to give the geysers one try before heading off to work.  Ras was still in ToT in the same place I left him before, so hopped over to him.

The first pull started off great.

25 stacks, then 50.

50 became 75, then 100 stacks.

I then stopped looking at the counter and zoned out again, but this time I was focused and was nailing each pool like a pro.

I took a quick glance at the counter and I was sitting at 200.

Then my hands started to go numb.

Oh noes, not again.

215 stacks, then 220.

I started to shake.

235 stacks, then 240.

I looked ahead and saw that I was coming around to the pools in the back of the platform, the same ones that I would always overshoot on my fail attempts.

If only I can get past these pools….

248 stack, then 249, then…..

250!

BAM!  Finally!  I defeated the geyser boss!

Ras gets 250!

A wave of relief washed over me, no pun intended.  I was so excited that I almost forgot that I still had to go to work, lol.

Ras, on the other hand, looked exhausted.  After 250 stacks, your entire body shimmers and even snowflakes start to fall.

Well done, my friend. =)

"So tired, mon."

“So tired, mon.”

So after I got home from work, I logged in to finally test out my new toy.

As soon as you hit 250 stacks, you immediately get a mail from Taoshi, congratulating you on your efforts and crazy jumping skills.

Letter from Taoshi

Shado-Pan Geyser Gun

According to wowhead, you can target other players and most NPCs with the spray, so I sent the gun over to Arv, where I had some fun in Orgrimmar.

I tried to spray Gamon, but was one of the NPCs that couldn’t be effected by the spray. so I turned the jets on to the Kor’kron instead.

"Back off!"

“Back off!”

I then had some fun with my fellow blood elf brethren, I don’t think they looked too happy getting their hairdo wet, lol.

Spraying the Blood Elves in Org

And what better way to test out the gun’s effects than on that hot-headed orc himself, Garrosh.

"Cool it, brah."

“Cool it, brah.”

Here’s a close up of the gun, I’m not sure if it’s a unique model, but it is pretty cool-looking.

Arv with the Shado-Pan Geyser Gun

I did get to spray my guildies as well last night as we were working on Lei Shen, but I forgot to take screenshots. I’ll have to get some next time.

I know this item may not mean a big deal to others and my bag space is definitely paying for it, but as I was going around Org spraying all the NPCs, all I could think of was the fun times I had with my brother when we were young, playing with the real Soakers.  We used to have all kinds of Super Soakers, from the small handguns to the midsized ones to the massive ones that felt like spraying a firehose, lol.  We even ran around with those belts that carried multiple tanks and we enjoyed spraying each other on those hot summer days.  Those were some good times. =)

Now I just need to get some guildies to get their guns so we can have some water fights of our own, lol.

“Vol’jin, I am ready, mon.”

Rasfari

A couple of weeks ago my troll hunter Rasfari finally hit level 90,  joining in the revolution against Garrosh’s reign of power.  This also made the fifth character on Drak to join the max level club, along with Arv, Heavy, Caden and Kerian.

Quintessential Quintet

Leveling Ras was actually fun.  Before patch 5.3 hit, the trek from 85 to 87 was a long a painful one.  As my bank alt and keeper of my personal guild on Drak, Ras didn’t get to reap in the sweet guild benefits like those in SR.  But after 5.3 hit and the nerf to XP, leveling to 90 was a breeze.  The only thing of help was the BoA ilevel 463 Sonic Pulse Generator gun that can be discovered while completing Mantid artifacts for Archaeology.  Ras is actually still using it, as he has not been lucky in several runs through the T14 raids.

As for spec, I chose to stick with Beast Mastery, mainly because of the rare and exotic pets you can use.  By far, the pet I use the most is the rare wolf from Northrend, Skoll, who I nicknamed Snoop.  His model has always been my favorite, with the blues and electricity crackling around him.

Having my pet tank for you while you sit back and pewpew from afar is definitely refreshing, lol.  Killing mobs and picking up quest items uninterrupted at the same time makes completing quests a cinch.  Some of my favorite abilities include:

Dire Beast – an extra pet to help out dps on a 30 second CD?  Awesome.  And the pet changes depending on the zone you’re in.  Ever seen a giant monkey beating down on the Scarlet Crusade in the Scarlet Halls?  Hilarious.
Lynx Rush – an ability that has your pet attacking multiple mobs, jumping back and forth, kind similar to a rogue’s Killing Spree.  I probably could have picked A Murder of Crows for more dps, but watching Snoop going crazy on mobs is worth it.
Stampede – summons all your pets currently with you at the same time to attack the target.  Combined with Dire Beast, this gives new meaning to the term pet frenzy.  Crazy!

So, being a troll, it was only right that I had Ras go through the Barrens quests and weekly for the title.  It was a slow and painful process, as I did it as a fresh 90 and was still running around with greens on.  Not to mention that the Barrens is pretty much dead on Drak and whatever CRZ it shares.  Snoop died…a lot and Feign Death was my friend, lol.  But I eventually got it done, now he’s properly named, ready for the Siege.

Ras and Snoop

One more thing of note:  I was honored to have Ras be the subject matter for an awesome piece of fiction that Navi wrote, which you can read here.  It’s a really good read that paints a small picture of a Ras’ adventure out in the Barrens.  Thanks again Navi! =)