World of Warcraft: Ironbound Wraith Charger and Grove Warden Mounts.

The last few days I’ve tried out the heroic and normal Hellfire Citadel out from the group finder, both times very successful and both times I used my rogue. The 50% debuff makes it pretty easy for organized groups or for high DPS groups to clear bosses with minimal fuss.

I got into a heroic Mannoroth and Archimonde group which cleared both with relative ease, I managed to luck out and get 2 pieces of gear. The Rogue Trinket from Archimonde and a Heroic tier chest. Also, I got the fel thingy to increase the ilevel of the legendary ring and the quest item for the Grove Warden mount.

grove warden

I also got enough time walking badges (5000) for the Ironbound Wraith Charger. I’ve been doing them pretty regularly on my rogue, mostly because I have the Legendary Daggers to play around with.

ironbound wraith charger

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World of Warcraft: Legion pre-patch.

So after a week or 2 of the legion pre-patch, I have at least 2 of the toons decided on to level first.

Roxanna

My Death Knight Roxanna, my main, will be the first. I’ll be doing Blood and Unholy spec, tanking instances up to 110 and then Unholy at 110 for my main spec as well as PVP. I’ve played both specs so far and been most impressed with Unholy which does some very good damage while having the ability to snare or Crowd Control with some very decent survival cooldowns. Armory Link here for specs. I am disappointed that haste is still the best stat to stack for DPS Death Knights but mastery is still decent.

I had some difficulty with Blood tanking at first but I got the feel for it again and it was decent. It’s really based around Death Striking and keeping stacks of Bone Shield up. There is very few tank/survival cooldowns and playing it like you have a tank cd to save you will get you killed. However, the damage is very good for a tank spec.

Shylo

My Rogue Shylo is gonna be my second toon to be leveled, as Outlaw Spec. I was pretty adamant about staying and playing only Assassination spec but I was swayed by the impressive damage and ease of play of Outlaw. Roll the bones is pretty fun and I like that I can single target DPS as well as putting out impressive AOE. Armory link here for specs.

Outlaw is great for PVP, Mythic Dungeons and Heroic Raids. Assassination is solid damage and decent in PVP as well. I like that both specs have Versatility as a prioritized stat. Mastery for both specs is also good.

I intend to level a pure DPS class and right now I’m having the most fun playing my Rogue.

When Demon Hunter’s are available for early access, I’ll be trying out both Havoc and Vengeance specs. I prefer to play classes that do 2 roles (I prefer DPS/Tank but DPS/Healer is a close second.) If Demon Hunters are decent damage and are fine as a tank, it will most likely be my 3rd toon. I’ll probably go with Skinning/Leatherworking as professions.

Arielyn

My Shaman Arielyn, was my main for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion but has been reduced to alt status as the performance of the Restoration spec has gone down. PVP healing is a pain and while PVE healing is decent, it still is behind other specs. I may level as Enhancement for a profession alt but that could easily change as Enhancement is very decent damage in PVP. Armory link here for Enhance/Resto specs.

Lostrauko

My Hunter Lostrauko was my pure DPS spec main during Warlords of Draenor but I have been thoroughly unimpressed with the changes. It’s personal preference but I felt the damage output is below other classes. However, I’ve seen a few hunters in Battlegrounds and in Mythic Dungeons do very decent damage. I will most likely leave this toon as is and not bother leveling her in legion. I’ve tried Marksmanship spec in BG’s and it’s damage was decent but I felt I was less impactful as I was in WoD. I’ve tried all the specs and Marks spec was the better one. Survival was interesting but felt unimpressive. Beast Mastery spec was ok but again, I was not impressed with the changes. Armory link here.

LATE EDIT: After a couple of hours of playing my hunter, I have a better understanding of playing Marksmanship. Previously, I was using insta-casts and hitting procs whenever they popped up while spamming Aimed Shot and using Barrage on CD. That really lowered my DPS by a significant amount, it is much better by using Barrage first (and immediately again when it comes off CD), then casting Aimed Shots while using Sidewinders only when you get to around 50 focus but immediately use Sidewinders when the proc for marking targets happens, then using Marked Shot. While doing all of that, you have to spam Aimed Shot while the vulnerable debuff is up for the damage buff to Aimed and Marked Shot. There will be times when the procs don’t line up and you get focus starved, in which you just really autoshot until you can sidewinder for more focus. The Spec really decent with 1 or multiple targets as you really do some decent aoe and single target damage. 

Traya

My mage Traya is one toon I may level if Demon Hunter’s are unimpressive to me. Frost Spec is my only spec and has been since vanilla. I haven’t tried her in battlegrounds yet but my damage is decent and the kiting of melee is something I’ve seen done well in BG’s from other mages. Armory spec here.

Melissandre

My monk, Melissandre. I am liking both the changes to Windwalker and Mistweaver. Windwalker damage is impressive and I like the mastery stat, it really adds to the DPS Rotation. In PVP, Windwalker really shines, the damage is on par with (I felt so anyways) other top performing classes. The mobility, the damage cooldowns, and the survival is very good.

I’ve also healed a couple Battlegrounds and was impressed with mobility and I liked the changes (the soothing mist channel passive) for healing.

I’ve also tanked a few Mythic Dungeons and enjoyed it as well, it was nice and easy. Threat, tank cooldowns, and mobility are all very good.

Armory link here.

Narese

My druid Narese, was once my go to PVP alt in Vanilla. I was able to get to the Lieutenant Commander rank and get the LT Commander set by capping flags in WSG, as well as healing in Arathi Basin.

I’ve played Feral spec in BG’s and very impressed with the Damage and pressure I was able to put out. Very strong in 1v1 and in groups. One of the best specs for running flags, solo defense of flags/carts/nodes. Hard to not to be impressed with Damage, pressure and mobility of the spec, especially with the Guardian or Restoration affinity talents.

I’ve also healed BG’s and the healing is solid but like every other healer, is vulnerable to stuns as well as melee trains. It fairs better than other healing classes due to tree of life and form shifting out of snares and roots.

I tanked a few mythic dungeons, it was very easy and smooth. I thought it was the strongest out of the 3 tanking classes/specs I’ve tried so far.

This could also by one of the toons I level in legion. Druids are always strong classes at the beginning of expansions and still one of the top performing classes throughout expansions.

Armory link here. 

Audible for July/August.

So I decided to go in a different direction again for audible this month, instead of jumping into either Sandman Slim or The Black Company, I went with Bernard Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series. I picked up the first 3 books in the series (which are the Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, and Lords of the North) and I may also buy an additional 3 audible credits to pick up the next 3 books as well.

I decided to go with the Last Kingdom series because I really enjoyed the TV series (I watched it on Canadian Netflix, and is currently on US Netflix as of July) and because GRRM recommended it on his blog a few years back. I stumbled back onto it from a post on reddit that linked an IMGUR post which was just a visual representation of his blog post and going through it again I found I’ve read some of it already. The Books in question being Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series books (especially Best Served Cold and the Heroes), Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard sequence (The Lies of Locke Lamora in the post but also the 2 other books Red Seas Under Red Skies and The Republic of Thieves), and Patrick Rothfuss’ KingKiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind, and The Wiseman’s Fear.) So I figured, why not check it out?

I’ll start listening to the books around August 1st, I’ll probably end up getting the next 3 books from additional audible credits and then getting the last 2 books with my audible credits in August.

At the moment, I’m re-listening to Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon and loving every bit of it. It is a nice break from all the fantasy genre books I’ve been listening to the last few months.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition.

I watched the Ultimate Edition for Batman v Superman last night, I thought it was pretty good and I really have no idea why the movie got so much flak. It definitely was not bad as many people have said it was. I did watch the Ultimate Edition first but even then I still can’t see why people would call it incoherent, however, they combined Doomsday and The Dark Knight Returns stories and that may be the cause of it for some. My only real complaint is that they turned Lex Luthor into a Big Bang Theory evil caricature of Lex, and then tagged it as a realistic interpretation of some one that intelligent and crazy/evil.

I did enjoy the fact they didn’t shoehorn in an origin story for Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. I also thought Apokolips vision of Earth by Bruce Wayne was nice foreshadowing as well as the Darkseid cameo from Luthor in the kryptonian ship.

It’s a shame the movie and Zack Snyder got so much flak for a superhero movie with a serious tone and I felt that many dumped on it because it wasn’t The Avenger’s and it didn’t have the comedic bits of the MCU movies to lighten the tone.

 

The Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch)

Pretty glad I picked these up last month and waited to read them back to back, they are very good and narrated very well by Will Patton. First off, I really enjoy anything hardboiled, I enjoy good characters, and I enjoy a well put together story, the Bill Hodges Trilogy has all 3.

I also liked that End of Watch had a very X-files vibe.

Out of all 3, I feel I enjoyed the first one the most, as it really nails the hardboiled aspect the most and I really wasn’t able to predict where it was gonna go or how it ended.

The next 2, while good and very well done, I was able to see the “Turkish Rug Pattern” (a very good analogy from the books) and yet still very much enjoy the well crafted story.

Out of the 3 main characters, I liked Holly the most. If you read it, you’ll know why.

It’s a series that is definitely worth checking out if you a fan of King or like hardboiled detective stories or like trilogies that have satisfying endings.

The Legion pre-expansion patch is arriving July 19

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/20176410/the-legion-pre-expansion-patch-arrives-july-19-7-15-2016

The skies over Azeroth are growing darker. . . .

The Legion pre-expansion patch is arriving July 19, and we wanted to give you a heads up about what to expect—and when you can expect it.

This update will include a wide variety of features and content that set the stage for the expansion, including system changes, quality-of-life improvements, and major in-game events. Some of these features will be available immediately, while other content will be unlocked in the weeks leading up to the expansion’s launch. Read on for more details.

The Opening Salvo
When the pre-expansion patch initially goes live, players will be able to immediately access many of its key system-related features. Some of these major updates include:

Transmogrification Updates
The new Transmogrification Collections system will make it easier than ever to collect, store, and sort through the gear you want to use for transmogging—without taking up storage space in your inventory, bank, or Void Storage. As you collect items that can be used with the system, you can browse through them—as well as sort by class or slot—in the Appearances tab in your Collections interface.

Class Updates
We’re making some significant changes to classes and their specs for Legion to further strengthen their identities. The core changes to spells, talents, and more are going into effect as soon as the pre-expansion patch goes live. For more information on what’s new for each class and spec, read our earlier class preview blogs.

We’re also making it easier to switch between specializations for different content. Players will be able to queue up for dungeons, raids, Battlegrounds, or Arenas as any role that is available to their class, while continuing to play as another role while they’re waiting. When they enter the content they’ve queued for, they will automatically switch to the suitable role upon entering (at no cost) and then switch back automatically when they leave the instance.

The March Toward Legion
In the weeks following the pre-expansion patch, we’ll be unlocking even more content that leads into the August 30 launch of Legion. We’re still determining the exact timing of these events, but players who pre-purchase Legion can expect to be playing a Demon Hunter around the second or third week of August (no later than August 17 globally). We’ll share more details in the weeks ahead, but here’s a look at what’s in store:

Burning Legion Invasions
Before all hellfire breaks loose upon the Broken Shore, the Burning Legion will begin its assault upon Azeroth, turning some familiar stomping grounds into demon-infested battlefields—and it will be up to the heroes of the Alliance and the Horde to face the onslaught.

Demon Hunter Early Access
In the weeks before launch, those who have pre-purchased Legion will get early access to the new Demon Hunter class. Players will begin at level 98 and will find themselves on the fel-shattered expanse of Mardum, where they’ll play the Demon Hunter starting experience before joining their allies in the fight against the Legion.

The Battle on the Broken Shore Begins
As the situation grows more dire, Azeroth’s heroes will begin their first foray onto the Broken Shore—the epicenter of the demonic invasion.

All of the features and content listed above (save for Demon Hunter early access) will be available to all World of Warcraft players, regardless of whether they’ve pre-purchased Legion.

 

Excellent, I can’t wait to try out the new class changes and the new transmog system is going to free up so much of my bank space. PVP will be interesting as well, since gear will scale and be nearly identical ilvl.

Definitely interested in trying out the Demon Hunter when it’s available for early access.

July 19th, just a few days away.