Showing posts with label azjol-nerub. Show all posts
Showing posts with label azjol-nerub. Show all posts


It's quiet... oh so quiet...

One of the things I've found the most striking since returning to WoW is how extremely quiet the game feels. The server we rolled on is consistently marked as having a medium population, one that's supposedly heavily lopsided in favour of our chosen faction, but I'm just not seeing it.

And no, I'm not saying that the game is dying - save your breath. Subscriptions have dropped by several million since I last played, which most certainly had an impact on how busy the in-game world appears, but there is more to it.

The Old Republic has probably spoiled me for what I consider a high population. Ever since they consolidated everything into a handful of "mega servers", there isn't an area in game that's completely quiet, ever. Each faction's fleet (the major hub) consistently has 300+ players puttering around at any time of day. Doesn't matter which planet you go to (except Quesh maybe, since it's so small...), at least on my home server there'll always be between 100 and 200 people out and about on each.

Meanwhile, in WoW I do a /who in Stormwind and it shows that aside from me, there are only seven other people online in my faction's capital. Ho hum. If that's a medium population, I'm not sure I want to know what a low pop server is like! It shows on the auction house as well, where even cheaply priced staples like herbs or cloth expire without anyone buying them every so often, and prices bounce like ping pong balls because supply and demand are extremely inconsistent and easily thrown out of whack by a single guy levelling a new profession (or that's what it feels like anyway).

Things aren't that much better out in the open world. Thanks to cross-realm zones, we do see other players about, but not that many. No two of them seem to share the same realm tag either, indicating that a lot of different servers have to be squished together this way to create the impression of any kind of activity. It also feels like the number of player characters that we run into (regardless of server) keeps dropping the further we advance in levels, CRZ or no CRZ.

I reckon that the active players that are out there are all hidden well out of sight of our lowbie characters, presumably chilling around some new portal hub in Pandaland (feel free to enlighten me). Flying mounts are also good at making people invisible to those who are ground-bound, and it's only every now and then when someone suddenly swoops out of the sky in front of you to "ninja" a gathering node you were making your way towards that you realise that there's potential for a whole additional layer of players traversing the skies above you and never interacting with you in any way.

It's certainly a far cry from the bustling MMO world that welcomed me with people all around me seven years ago (and back then the game actually had fewer subs than it does now).


Scary statistics

After following a link somewhere else and then browsing another blog's archives I stumbled upon this post at Bubblespec today, in which the writer talks about how she thinks that she ran way too many dungeons this expansion. To illustrate her point, she included a screenshot of an armoury statistics page that shows that two of her characters combined killed Cyanigosa an impressive sixty-nine times.

"Oh, that's neat," I thought, "I never thought of looking at all of my level eighties like that. I wonder how many instances I've run in WOTLK." So I looked at my statistics page. And, um. I almost wish I hadn't, because it was slightly scary.

Now, I know for a fact that a lot of the numbers on the statistics page are wonky at best. For example it claims that my paladin never killed the Black Knight on normal mode, even though she wore the Black Heart for a long time, or that my night elf priest has acquired less emblems of triumph than she already spent on gear. I still think that they have at least some basis in reality though; I guess at worst some of them need a little rounding up. Which is not really good thing when you have huge numbers to begin with, but there you go.

So, according to my armoury statistics page, I've entered 1456 WOTLK five-mans across my seven level eighties (yikes), but only completed 885 of them. Now, this is another number that I have a lot of trouble believing, because no way did I abandon 571 instance runs halfway through. Maybe it counts twice if you leave and re-enter an instance in progress while alive. I don't know. Still, close to nine hundred full dungeon runs is still a pretty damn impressive number. A lot of them were pugs too.

Curious as I was, I wasn't satisfied with those numbers however, and wanted to know which instances I did the most often. Somewhat to my surprise, the clear winner turned out to be Drak'tharon Keep, with a whopping 197 Prophet Tharon'ja kills (151 of them on heroic). To be fair, it does seem to come up as a random dungeon fairly often for me, and I also remember intentionally running it every day for a while early in the expansion, because it was considered one of the easiest heroics; and coming fresh from the Burning Crusade, we didn't dare to jump into something as scary as, say, heroic Utgarde Pinnacle right away.

In second place but already very far behind is Azjol-Nerub with 106 Anub'arak kills (seventy-three on heroic). Again I was slightly surprised at first, but then realised that this matched my habit of running this instance on multiple characters a day if it came up as the daily heroic pre dungeon finder.

My third most-visited dungeon of this expansion turned out to be the Violet Hold with one hundred Cyanigosa kills (eighty on heroic). I don't remember ever making a point of running this one more frequently, but it does seem to come up as my random reasonabily often.

Fourth place goes to the Culling of Stratholme and Mal'Ganis, whose butt I helped kick eighty-five times (seventy-five on heroic). I remember running this instance a lot early in the expansion while we were trying to make it to the Infinite Curroptor in time. (Yes, kids, once upon a time that was actually a difficult feat to achieve.) I never really got tired of it either, and stubbornly stuck it out even when pug members dropped group right at the start because they couldn't stand all the talking (before you could skip the dialogue, obviously).

Fifth place goes to the Black Knight, which, again, I found somewhat surprising considering that Trial of the Champion was released fairly late in the expansion. I didn't assist that many people with Black Heart farming either. I did run the instance on normal mode a lot with those of my characters that hit eighty after its release though, as it's a great way of getting geared up quickly. My paladin spent a lot of time in heroic mode as well, farming for the Peacekeeper Blade for a fairly long time.

Now, I'm not going to continue listing the numbers for every single boss. Let it just be said that the average for most of them seems to be around seventy.

The ones that I visited the least often are also interesting, however. For example I only escaped the Lich King in Halls of Reflection thirty-nine times (thirty-one on heroic). I suppose this is in part because the instance is one of the newest ones, in part because it has a high gear requirement on the dungeon finder, and in part because the few times that I went there intentionally for a gear drop, I got it almost immediately.

The other Icecrown five-mans are well within the normal average, presumably because even though they were released late, I ran them a stupid amount of times for gear drops for my alts.

My second least-visited dungeon is, not entirely unsurprisingly, the Oculus with forty-two completions (thirty-seven on heroic). I may have overcome my dislike for it now, but the fact that I avoided it like the plague for the first half of the expansion left a visible mark on the numbers.

Slightly above it with fifty-four kills is Sjonnir the Ironshaper from Halls of Stone (forty on heroic). Just goes to show that even though it feels like I get that instance all the time on some days, I really don't.

That's a crazy number of dungeon runs either way. Unlike Enlynn from Bubblespec I don't really regret them though. I mean, there is of course a vague sense of having wasted a lot of time on WoW, but as far as activities within WoW go, instance-running is still one of my favourites so there aren't many things that I'd prefer to have done instead anyway.


Sometimes I miss linear progression

Sometimes it's hard not to act like a grumpy old man, even when you're a woman.

I guess we all have those moments sometimes where we think that everything was better "back in the day" (both in WoW and in real life), but generally we realise that even at best that's only partially true, so we don't necessarily say it out loud. Many things are better now than they used to be, also both in WoW and in real life. But sometimes... sometimes it's hard not to be cranky.

I just came out of a normal Azjol-Nerub run with my draenei mage. We had a level eighty paladin tank in epic gear of a very high level: several drops from ICC ten-man and several pieces of emblem-bought ilevel 264 gear. I don't know what he was doing in normal Azjol-Nerub; I didn't bother to ask. Either way I figured that it should be a breeze as long as nobody got too cocky over having a level eighty in the group.

On the second boss the tank pulled Hadronox before he had a chance to web the tunnel entrances... and then kept spamming consecrate. The healer yelled at him to stop AoEing but he ignored it. A very slow and painful wipe ensued as the boss was endlessly healing himself for massive amounts with every add death.

As we ran back the tank asked why the adds had kept on coming. We explained. He seemed to think that our tone was condescending or something and told us not to talk to him as if he hadn't been here before. Um, he had just shown that he had no idea how the boss worked, hadn't he? "Anyway, the adds just kept on coming, there was nothing we could have done," he declared. Yes, there was. He could have stopped AoEing like the healer asked him to and we could have nuked down the big spider with single-target dps. He didn't argue the point any further - he seemed like a nice enough guy overall and the rest of the run was perfectly smooth, but I still couldn't help gnashing my teeth a little.

After the run I looked him up on the armoury. He had done Azjol-Nerub five times before, so there really was no excuse to not know the basics of the instance. Except, he also hit level eighty less than three months ago. I guess if you started running heroics at that point it wouldn't really teach you much, considering that you can largely ignore many boss mechanics these days. It's kind of depressing.

Back in BC (here it comes), if someone had gear from Black Temple, you could expect them to know their way around SSC and Tempest Keep too. If someone had the key to Karazhan, they weren't going to be completely clueless about the bosses in the Shadow Labyrinth. These days, none of it means anything. Someone could be in full ICC gear and get lost in Naxxramas. Or they might have hard mode achievements and die to something trivial and easily avoidable in a random heroic. I don't like it, because it makes something that used to have some meaning (level of gear) completely nonsensical and deceptive. Is it really that surprising that people go for silly requirements like "link achi plz" in search for something more informative?

I can deal with gear resets every so often, but if every other patch immediately pushes people into the newest piece of raid content, you can never expect anyone to have experience with anything but that content. And I think that kinda sucks, because I still like to enjoy the world beyond ICC as well.


A tale of two non-heroic pugs

So we've all been talking a lot about how the dungeon finder allows people to chain heroics by the dozen, but how well does it work for low-level dungeons? In the first few days after the patch my shaman alt got a little neglected since I was focusing on getting some new shinies for my eighties instead, but when I logged onto her again yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was already eligible to run a random normal dungeon for two emblems of triumph - and that at level 72! For some reason I had assumed that the random normal dungeon feature would be like the old daily quest for normal dungeons: only for characters that are level 78 and up. But no! At this rate my shaman will hit eighty and be able to buy some tier nine the moment she dings.

Anyway, the first time I queued myself up as a healer I was baffled when I got a group pop-up literally instantly. I got dumped into an Azjol-Nerub run that was tanked by a level eighty death knight who, frankly, didn't give a shit about whether he had a healer or not. When I discovered to my horror that I was still in my enhancement spec and said as much, he just said that it didn't matter. Sadly he was right and I healed through the first couple of trash packs just fine anyway, until I managed to snag a couple of seconds out of combat to change specs.

On the trash pack before Anub'arak both of the mobs decided to cast their debuff on me at once, I exploded big time as I tried to heal myself and died. As I ankhed and sat down to drink up, the tank decided to rush the boss, thereby locking me out of the fight. Well done. I got killed as the adds came in and so did the slightly confused retri pally, but really, we were clearly dead weight anyway. The 80 death knight just pwned Anub and his adds without even breaking a sweat, grabbed the loot and disappeared while the pally and I ran back to our corpses. I wasn't too annoyed because I had still got credit for the kill and had received my first two emblems, but well, as far as fun pugs go, that one was an utter failure.

Today I decided to try again. This time I had a wait of a couple of minutes, during which I went off to do the Shattrath fishing daily, until a pop-up invited me to join an Utgarde Keep run already in progress.

As it turned out the group was about halfway to the second boss but I didn't really mind as Utgarde Keep has a bit much trash for WOTLK standards anyway. The question was just what had happened to their previous healer, but I decided not to ask. When I reached the rest of the party I was initially a little worried upon discovering that the druid tank had only slightly more health than me, even when in bear form, but as it turned out that wasn't a major problem. I think it's important to keep things in perspective: when you're used to running heroics with tanks who have 50k health, seeing a tank with only 11k will initially make you uneasy, but back in BC that would have been enough to start running Karazhan - and since Utgarde Keep is a level seventy instance, that's pretty much exactly what it's tuned for.

Other members in the group included a retri pally who loved to pull aggro and spam damage metres, a shadow priest and... I can't actually recall what the third dps was, how lame is that? Anyway, this run actually turned out to be a blast and reminded me of what I miss while just "farming" instances at eighty: the sense of adventure. I mean, I knew the instance and I think most of the others did as well, but it was obvious that a lot of them were new to their current role and having fun figuring out how it works. As it was I couldn't even begrudge the retri pally his aggro pulling and damage metre spam, because he was clearly excited about being able to do damage omg! There's something cute about that.

Our tank, Mr Bear, was the cutest of all however. He was clearly new to this whole tanking lark and took a lot of damage, but he tried. He messed up a few pulls and lost aggro on mobs more than once, but damn it, he tried. He kindly asked the dps to not start too early, taunted things occasionally, and after the last boss he said "maybe I'll be a tank one day". Awww! I told him that he'd been doing fine and that he should just keep practising. You can't encourage enthusiastic and humble newbie players nearly enough.

As for myself, I also had a blast healing. Since the tank was pretty squishy, just putting an earth shield and riptide on him didn't really cut it, so I often had to cast lesser and normal healing waves as well, chain heal if the pally stood on a bomb too and so on. Now that I've made it all the way down the resto tree I'm actually having a lot of fun trying to optimise my use of tidal waves. It's kind of like a priest's serendipity (in fact I believe that the priest talent was modelled after the shaman one), only more complex. It encourages you to use a sort of rotation on occasion without making it so repetitive that you could macro the whole thing.

Also, I came to the conclusion that shamans are the perfect healers for newbie tanks. I mean, when my priest or druid gets aggro I always have to spam heals on myself big time and still risk dying very quickly. Whenever my shaman got aggro on the other hand, I kind of pictured her standing there with her shield over her head, just waiting patiently and hoping that the tank would notice the problem within the next decade. Paladins are sturdy like that too, but since they have no HoTs and little AoE healing, getting interrupted by an add on themselves is quite annoying. A shaman can just cast a chain heal or let earth shield and riptide keep the tank alive in the meantime, taking that beating with unsurpassed stoicism. Go shamans!

I'll have to try getting into a low-level instance on one of my littlest alts soon just to see how well that works.


Using the new dungeon finder, day 1

I kind of feel like I'm copying Spinks here since she made a post very much like this only a few hours ago, but to be honest I intended to write something like this long before I saw her entry - and I hope that many more people will do the same, because I'm very keen on hearing what experiences other people are having with the new dungeon finder.

First off, you can shake your head at people who take the day off work when cool new content is released on WoW just to be able to play more, but today I really wished that I could have been one of them. As it was, I was on afternoon shift at my workplace, which meant that I had just enough time to patch the game and see the servers come up before I had to leave for work, and that I didn't get a chance to actually log in until very late in the evening.

I knew that I'd want to turn my attention towards one of the new instance-related features first, so it was either pugging a random dungeon using the new dungeon finder or trying to get into one of the new Icecrown five-mans with some guildies. Seeing how I had found some unpleasant guild drama on the forums immediately upon logging in, I ended up preferring some distance from my guildies for the night and tried my luck with the pugs.

Random heroic #1: Azjol-Nerub on my priest

I started off by adding myself to the random heroic queue on my main, a healing priest. I got a "Your group is ready!" popup literally instantly, then got a loading screen for what I recognised as Azjol-Nerub, then found myself in a party but back in Dalaran. The name tags quickly made it apparent that it was indeed a cross-server pug and that we could chat just fine, but we were confused by the instance teleport apparently not working. Our tank then dropped group so we got thrown back into the queue, but found a new one within only a couple of minutes.

Someone in the group suggested that the tool was likely just buggy and that we should try making our way to the instance portal the old-fashioned way, as we should be able to meet up inside. I was the first to arrive at the Pit of Narjun but the instance portal acted like a solid wall to me. To make things worse I had accidentally got myself flagged myself for PvP by getting too close to Wintergrasp on the way, and before I could even grasp what was happening, a night elf druid had ganked my bewildered self as I was vainly trying to gain entrance to the instance.

While corpse-running back I realised that I had actually been greeted by an unpleasantly familiar error message: "Additional instances cannot be launched, please try again later." Argh, I thought we were past this! However, my party decided to valiantly try banging their heads against the instance portal for a few more minutes and eventually managed to snag a free instance ID. An interesting thing to note was that I could see their little dots right beside me on the mini-map, even though they were on a different server; I thought that was kind of cool.

I clearly wasn't the only one having ganking problems, as one hunter stumbled in and managed to die from an enemy dot a second later and right in front of me, which we both thought was kind of hilarious. At this point we had four people in the instance, but the fifth group member, a retribution paladin, was still sitting in Dalaran and apparently AFK, since he wasn't responding to chat and hadn't in fact said anything at all since the party got assembled. So we immediately got to try out the vote-kick feature as well, which worked nicely and we got a new dps from the queue instantly.

Happy to finally be ready to go, we proceeded to have a very fast and smooth run. Someone in the group must have been a disenchanter as the disenchant option came up and we got to try it. About half the group still selected greed though, more out of habit than anything else I suspect. I was also surprised to see the disenchant option pop up for bind-on-equip greens as well, I guess I can save my boyfriend's enchanter alt some work in the future then.

A guildie had warned me earlier that I should need on the frozen orb at the end because the other puggers were sure to do the same. Not wanting to be so cynical I hit greed, as did three of the others... but the fifth hit need and that was enough. Considering the low value of frozen orbs these days and the fact that it had been a nice run otherwise I decided not to say anything about it though.

Random heroic #2: The Nexus on my hunter

I decided to try my luck on my hunter next. Unsurprisingly damage ended up being a lot less in demand than healing, and despite of the tool's predicted wait time of two minutes, I spent a good ten minutes in the queue before a full group for heroic Ahn'kahet popped up. Still not too bad when you're a huntard I guess.

We ended up having the same problem with getting an instance ID, but I happily told my party that it shouldn't be a big deal if we just went to Dragonblight and poked the instance portal a bit, however I got no response. I still flew to the Pit of Narjun on my own and managed to get inside Old Kingdom after only a few attempts. Proudly I told my party that I had managed to snag an ID and if they'd only come over now... at which point several people went "meh" because clearly actually flying to an instance is too much fucking work, and quit the group. The remaining ones disconnected simultaneously, making it impossible for me to add new people to the group in the meantime (cause the tool wouldn't let me), and then disbanded the party as soon as they came back on without saying a word. I felt very sheepish as I stood there all alone on the ramp right behind the instance entrance.

When I complained about these events to my guildies, a couple of them helpfully pointed out to me that there had been no need to walk to the instance myself, as you can just click on the little eye icon next to the minimap and select "teleport to the instance". D'oh, if I had only been able to tell that to the other guys earlier... then again, I can pass on grouping with people that uncooperative and lazy anyway.

Nonetheless I was undeterred and hopped back into the queue. After another five minutes or so another group had been assembled for me, this time for the Nexus. Again we couldn't get an instance ID right away, but spamming the "teleport to the instance" command got us there after a few minutes.

Everyone was there and ready and we set off towards the dwarf mini boss. The resto shaman kept running ahead and pulling in place of the tank (What is it with the Nexus and annoying healers doing that?), complaining that we were going way too slowly. One of the dps responded with "quit your whinging", at which point the shaman decided that he didn't want to deal with "such attitude" and quit the group right in the middle of the boss fight. Fortunately we lived, and upon rejoining the LFG tool we got a priest healer as replacement immediately.

We plodded on happily, but only a few pulls later our mage messed up and brought some adds, causing us to wipe. In the Nexus, yeah. Still, it didn't have to be a big deal, but the mage "mystery-DCed" right afterwards, and the tank said that he had seen him log off on purpose outside the instance entrance (they must have been on the same server). So before I could even type out my suggestion to give the guy a minute or two to come back, the rest of the group had kicked him and got a replacement dps.

The rest of the run continued smoothly, though we didn't have a disenchanter and thus clicking on the "disenchant" option for drops did exactly nothing.

On a side note, I absolutely loved the revamped misdirection, even if the animation for it appearing over my head instead of that of my target confused me at first. Being able to transfer the threat of an entire volley salvo is simply amazing.

After Keristrasza's death we once again had just that one guy who rolled need on the frozen orb, and this time I couldn't resist at least asking about it. As it turned out he was quite apologetic and said that he'd only done it because he thought that's what everyone else would do too. Apparently people are only becoming cross-server ninjas if they are too scared of others ninjaing stuff from them. There was a happy ending though as we just ended up re-rolling for the orb and the priest won it.

Random heroic #3: The Oculus on my paladin

Once I was back in Dalaran, I decided that I had enough time for one more random heroic left, this time on my paladin. I queued up as both tank and healer and once again got a group instantly, though I was surprised that I had been assigned the healer spot. With the constant talk about tank shortages I was pretty sure that I would have to tank.

Once again a new instance couldn't be launched right away, but it didn't take us more than two or three tries to teleport inside. Also, for all the talking there's been about cross-realm LFG making it impossible to meet players repeatedly and to befriend them properly, I was amused to see the AFK pally from AN in my group again. He wasn't AFK this time but still didn't really talk - I think he said one sentence during the entire run, and that was in some nordic language that I didn't understand.

In fact at least three of my four temporary allies were Scandinavian, and happily chattering away in party chat in their native language throughout the whole run. To be honest I thought that was a bit rude - Earthen Ring has a large nordic population as well, but in mixed company it's generally considered polite to speak a lingua franca.

Performance-wise I really couldn't complain much about this group, except that it was maybe in a bit too much of a hurry. I barely had time to loot anything before the tank had once again rushed out of range and into the next group of mobs. The upside of this was that I got both the Experienced Drake Rider and the Make It Count achievements without even intending to. Oh, and nobody rolled need on the frozen orb this time.

The only other thing left to say about this run is that the Oculus really has been nerfed hard. From what I could make out, one of the Scandinavians actually asked if we had accidentally entered on normal mode, because it was just that easy. This was just as we were approaching Mage-Lord Urom, who died before he could even teleport once. Still, up to that point it might have been that we just had really good dps, but the last bit with the drakes had really changed quite noticeably.

The drakes have been scaling with gear for some time now, but as far as I recall that used to mean about a quarter more health for them if you were in top-end epics. Now on the other hand, not a single drake had less than one hundred thousand hit points, and I think the strongest one had nearly twice the "default" value of seventy-five thousand. There also seemed to be considerably fewer whelps around, and everything was just... weaker. I was riding a bronze drake, the one colour that I'm still not entirely comfortable with, and just hitting buttons randomly, yet we never got even close to dying. Also, I was making sure to save my time-stop for Eregos' enrage but it took ages until it actually happened and then we only had that one enrage during the whole fight. I couldn't help thinking of something my friend Scorch predicted when we were discussing what the incoming Oculus nerfs might be: "They removed all the dragons. All of them! You enter the dungeon and there's a mage there with a very big chest. The mage says: I will you give you my big chest, but about twenty minutes after I die, so you have to sit on your hands till then." That seems less and less unrealistic now...

So what's my verdict on the new dungeon finder so far?

Overall I'm happy to say that the quality of the players from the other servers in the battlegroup didn't strike me as any worse than that of Earthen Ring's. The over-sensitive shaman from the Nexus was a bit silly, but then I've had worse than that on ER too. The need-rolling on the frozen orbs and carefree chatter in a language that half the party can't understand struck me as signs of some servers simply having a different pug culture, and we'll see how things will develop in that regard now that we all have to find a common middle ground for the whole battlegroup.

The main advantage of the new tool is simply that it's incredibly fast. Being ported to and back from the instance instantly saves a lot of time (when it works), and things like getting a near-instant replacement for someone who threw a huff or disconnected are simply amazing.

The "additional instances cannot be launched" thing really annoyed me at first, but I have to cut Blizzard some slack. Considering just how many people were likely trying out the new tool they didn't do too badly, and as I said we were always able to snag an ID after a few minutes at the latest.

The few minor downsides I can think of is that not having an actual daily quest to hand in feels a lot less satisfying, plus it makes it impossible to kill two birds with one stone and do both the normal and the heroic daily at once, like you used to be able to on some days. Also, with the daily dungeon being unpredictably random, planning your runs will become harder to an extent. I used to be able to do stuff like run the daily heroic four times in two hours when I knew that it was Azjol-Nerub and thus really quick. When I queue for a random dungeon on the other hand, I might get Trial of the Champion and be done in fifteen minutes, but I might also get Old Kingdom and have to calculate for about an hour of run-time. Still, those seem like small trade-offs for the extreme increase in convenience.


Pug like a pro

This morning I logged onto my paladin to do the jewelcrafting daily as usual. While riding around Dalaran I decided to also check out the daily heroic quest and it turned out to be Azjol-Nerub. "Ooh," I thought to myself, "I only have a couple of hours before I have to go to work, but AN is nice and short; I'll be able to do that, no problem." So I hopped on LFG while I did my jewelcrafting daily. Shortly after I had finished it I got recruited into a party as a tank. The group filled up quickly, we got to the instance in no time and then breezed right through it with no deaths and amazing dps.

Feeling satisfied, I hearthed back to Dalaran, handed in and logged off to take care of a couple of other things. When I was done I logged back in, looked at the time and decided that I had more than enough time left to run the daily with my priest as well. Especially considering that I might not get to play in the evening, it seemed sensible to make sure that also I got my daily dose of emblems of triumph for my main.

Again I joined the LFG channel and got snatched up within a couple of minutes. Another few minutes later the party was full and at the instance. Another smooth run followed, though this one had a couple of deaths as people died from things like pulling aggro off a crusher or standing in Anub'arak's pound. Not much I can do about that as a healer.

As I handed in my second copy of the idle crown of Anub'arak I looked at the time again and saw that I had about an hour of play time left. Each run so far had taken about thirty minutes, including things like assembling the group. I had two level eighties left that hadn't done the instance yet. Should work, right?

And it did. Yes, I completed heroic Azjol-Nerub two more times in the following hour, once tanking it on my druid (who only dinged 80 two days ago, crafted gear rocks so much) and once providing dps on my hunter.

As much as I love running instances, I think pugging the daily heroic no less than four times before going to work has to be some kind of record even for me. I feel kind of dorky for doing it, but at the same time - it only took about two hours! Just goes to show how fast you can actually achieve things in WoW when you're focused.

Also, I think it speaks for the quality of my server that not a single one of the four pugs I joined contained anyone who played badly or acted like an idiot. Though I'm wondering if it wasn't also related to the time of day: at the risk of sounding ageist, all the kids are at school in the late morning hours...

Either way, I can heartily recommend heroic Azjol-Nerub for some quick and painless daily heroic fun, and as my example shows pugging really isn't always a bad option for it either!