I had psyched myself up yesterday to go off and do some raiding last night. Some friends of friends had graciously offered to drag me along with them for the first part of Heroic Hellfire Citadel. I thought to myself that this was an excellent opportunity, that could lead to gear and maybe even a moose at some point, so even though they raid PST, I figured I would make the good college try. The problem being my body is still conspiring against me. This is officially the sickest I have been in years, as we are now going on thirteen days for this crud. Admittedly my wife had something super similar weeks before we went to PAX and while she got over the bulk of it… almost a month later she still has the constant cough. The thing that is killing me at the moment is the sore throat, only exacerbated by the constant body shaking coughing fits and drainage. So by the time the raid was starting around 9:30 my time…. I was already taking NyQuil and planning to slip into bed. I politely begged off as best I could and if any of them are reading today… I sincerely thank them for the opportunity. One which I kinda hope will still be available when I am not feeling like shit.
The problem I am in with Belghast is the fact that my item level is artificially low, because there are four pieces of gear that I simply cannot afford to get rid of. I have the four piece normal Blackrock Foundry set, and every time I try and sim out swapping out of it for higher item level gear… it is a major dps loss. The problem being that I am playing a special snowflake class that will be going away in Legion. Gladiator just works strangely, and it feels like Blizzard inadvertently gave use the most perfect class set ever. The two piece bonus is “Shield Slam has a 8% Chance to Automatically Cast Shield Charge” which is massive, and helps fill in those spots where I could not normally have Shield Charge up for the damage bonuses. The four piece is essentially “Shield Charge increases the damage of Heroic Strike, Slam, and Revenge by an Additional 20%” which is the single best damage booster that I can get right now. So I simply cannot abandon this set bonus, and the only real option right now would be to try and find a Mythic Blackrock group so I could get the Mythic four piece set. Because of the way the Hellfire Dungeon set works… I can also squeeze in the two piece of that set giving me “Bonus Armor Increased by 145” which while not insane… is a decent dps boost since every point of armor translates to 2 attack power for Gladiator spec. So needless to say I am stuck in a corner where my 686 gear score does not exactly equate to my performance… but I don’t really have access to the upgrades that would actually help. I mean as much as I hate to see it go, I totally see why Blizzard is getting rid of this special snowflake spec. It is extremely hard to itemize for and gear for.
Madness and Cheese
So after getting frustrated that there was very little I could do to improve my lot in life on my Warrior, I ended up logging over into Elder Scrolls Online for some nice and peaceful questing. I actually managed to catch Solaria on at the same time, and I spent a little bit of time attempting to help her get started in crafting. The only problem being that during prime time it seems like all of the ore is heavily farmed down. Since I have the insane “see it from a distance” glow effect, I am wondering about dropping down to Betnikh and helping farm up a bunch of ore for her. She decided to go with a Heavy Armor Two-Handed Templar…. which was one of my favorite paths from alpha testing. It feels a little bit like a WoW Retribution Paladin in the burst damage department, and has some really high survival when running around questing. It also greatly simplifies the crafting, since Blacksmith can literally make everything they would need to use from the weapon to the armor. The problem there is Blacksmithing honestly seems to be the most useful profession, and as a result ore is always in high demand. I could in theory just pass over a bunch of bars, but she really needs the skill-ups from refining the bars right now, so I would be better served just going out and farming ore for her.
One of the things I had forgotten about Elder Scrolls Online was just how well written the quests are. I completed a sequence in Grahtwood where I ended up encountering my favorite of all Daedra… Sheogorath the Prince of Madness. You never know if he is going to attack you… or offer you cheese… and then attack you. What makes this sequence so great is the fact that I have tangled with Sheogorath in the past of this game. He remembers my interactions and even seems to comment based on my decisions…. in this completely unrelated quest line. The amount of time that they put into making sure that the dialog trees had little gems like this, is just awesome… and I am still really impressed by them when I find them. All of the content was designed knowing that your single character might be completing all three factions worth of it. There is just something warm and fuzzy about playing this game… and while at one point I was disappointed in it… I think most of that was really just me trying to make it into something that it was not. As a largely solo experience the game is exemplary, and honestly I look forward to trying to scramble enough people together to do a dungeon or two and see if that experience improved as well. Cheese for everyone!