NHL Playoffs Round 2!

Well, if the NHL isn’t fixed, they sure are lucky to get the Washington and Pittsburgh match up in the Eastern Conference. That’s going to be a big series with Ovechkin vs. Crosby all over it or maybe even Ovechkin vs. Malkin.

For the previous round I got a good number of the winning teams right (five out of eight), but I missed the number of games for the series for all but one (out of eight). For this round there are only four series going on which I’ll be brief about.

BOSTON vs. CAROLINA

I’m going with CAROLINA on this one, though my gut is telling me Boston will take it. I’m going with Eric Staal leading his team to another series victory. I didn’t expect them to beat New Jersey, but I think they’ll be able to challenge Boston.

WASHINGTON vs. PITTSBURGH

Like I said above, this is a match up the NHL wants because it’ll draw hockey fans to the series even though the fan’s team isn’t represented simply because it is superstars against superstars with Ovechkin headlining with Crosby. This is a really tough one because I think Washington has more to their team. I’d like to say Pittsburgh, but I’m thinking it will go to Washington. Still, I thought Pittsburgh were down and out to Philly… so I’ll go with PITTSBURGH.

DETROIT vs. ANAHEIM

DETROIT. Without a doubt. I suspect it’ll be a longer series, going to 6 or 7 but Detroit will come out on top. My hate for Anaheim aside, Detroit just has all the talent and are the most versatile.

VANCOUVER vs. CHICAGO

I’m going with VANCOUVER on this one. I’m going against my gut feeling again which is telling me to pick Chicago. During the regular season, Chicago won the first two games against Vancouver, while the next two games, Vancouver defeated them handedly (7-3 and 4-0). I just think Vancouver will smother them and keep the talent from showing. The first few games will set the tone for the series which will either be really long if Chicago can overcome the wet blanket that is Vancouver, or really short if they cannot.

CAROLINA in 7
PITTSBURGH in 6
DETROIT in 6
VANCOUVER in 5

There you go.

MMO Firsts

I’m not talking about first to take down a critter or see a place, I’m talking about what I saw on Ysharros’ site which was nabbed from Syp.

First MMO Played? EverQuest, not too long after it was released.

First Character Class/Role Played? Paladin, Erudite, it was rough.

First MMO Subscribed For More Than A Consecutive Year? EverQuest.

First MMO You Fell In Love With? EverQuest.

First Guild You Really Felt Attached To? Death’s Disciples in EQ.

First Character/Game You Leveled To End Cap? Fabinusar Fabulous (most likely); 65 Erudite Cleric. I tended to get bored of leveling then tried something else.

First “Wow” Moment In A MMO? First time playing EQ. I popped in with Kaldonar (who was playing an Erudite Wizard, Lorianna at the time) and we stumbled around the Erudite newbie area – really dark woods, could barely see where we were going, got lost a lot. First ‘wow’ moment was wandering into that Troll SK that hangs about a bridge – he was pretty quick on the use of Flash of Light. We ended up dead not really knowing where our corpses were. Fortunately, a Necromancer used Locate Corpse to help us out. Good times.

First MMO You Burned Out On? EverQuest. I would get a few levels shy of the max and I’d either burn out of leveling or see greener grass on the other side of the class fence.

First MMO You Followed Avidly Prior To Launch? EverQuest 2, I think. Might have been DAoC but not sure – that one might have been mentioned in passing by a guild leader (Feigning of Improbus Odium) and I tried the beta for a little bit. I didn’t really follow it avidly. I can remember constantly checking EQ2’s site and some community sites several times a day though.

First Time You Felt Truly Noobish In A MMO? Never, I’m too awesome to be noobish.

First MMO You Went Alt-Crazy In? EverQuest.

By the way, the only reason I didn’t create a Troll or Ogre as a first time character was that I started an Erudite to play with Kaldonar – I didn’t know how to run to his starting area, which was probably a good thing because Ogres/Trolls are KOS there.

Slacken’ Smaken?

Not really. I just haven’t had anything interesting to post about so I’m going to post about not having anything to post about.

I’m still playing WoW, still at max level, though I have started mucking around with a low level (18) alt – a Hunter, go figure! A Night Elf Hunter in honor of Hudson’s love for those. With the Stone Keeper’s Shards Lannister accumulated, I bought her some of those nifty Bind to Account shoulders. I do have a Mage as well (21) but not enough Shards to get her some shoulders. I decided I’d go with the Hunter just for the simplicity of it and because I haven’t done Kalimdor from the Alliance side before.

Lannister is in all purple gear… ALL purple. He’s got a mix of T7 and T7.5 gear for all parts available (I have T7 helm and chest item in the bank). He’s got the exploration achievements for all continents except Kalimdor. He’s almost Exalted with Wyrmrest and with Sons of Hodir. He hit Exalted with the Ebon Blade awhile ago. Still no epic flier yet, but I’m back up to 2k gold – I dropped a lot when I started raiding because I was enchanting gear, buying gems and so on. With some of my gear items being really top level (at least until there is a replacement from Ulduar) I went and bought the best, therefore most expensive, enchants for most of my gear slots.

My secondary spec, Protection, is starting to fill out, though I don’t have nearly as many purples and I missed out on a lot of good items (some best in slot, at least until Ulduar stuff) from raids – not a problem really, they went to folks who were playing Protection primarily.

I ended up tanking some Heroic instances the other day with Kaldonar and Damogoth on Saturday morning. When one of the mages we were group with left I added Elessarr in to help DPS. We only did Violet Hold, Drak’tharon and Halls of Stone (all on Heroic). I admit, I had problems with agro when we started with Violet Hold. For some reason things just didn’t seem to be working as easily as I remembered them from over a month or two ago. My AE agro was pretty bad and my single target agro wasn’t what it used to be. At first I was thinking, “Pally nerf!” but then I realized right before Drak’tharon that my Righteous Fury buff wasn’t up.

0_0

For those of you that don’t know, that buff is the one that reduces damage I take but also increases the threat generated by all Holy damage by some crazy amount (I think it’s 90%). That’s what I get playing the DPS spec too long.

Aside from instances, I’ve hit up the Wintergrasp several times. So far I’ve been on the winning end each time, even when defending, but it was close. I wracked up a ton of kills and honor considering how little I’ve done it (I think I’ve done WG about 4-5 times, I’ve got over 20k honor). I think I’m going to start doing some more of that. The tough part is, I’m not really speced for it. There are a number of things you change between the Ret spec for PVP or PVE that can make a big difference. I can’t just switch to my second spec for this because my second spec is for tanking.

Ah well. I’ll take my lumps and move on when they happen.

By the way, I owned a level 80 DK in under 5 seconds. Yeah it was Damogoth, who I usually just let beat me up when we duel (I find it’s the easiest way to get him to stop trying to duel me is to accept it and just stand there hehe). That was as Ret after a raid we were both still raid buffed. I think every attack I made and every proc of Martyr crit on him. hehe. Next day (while I was in tank mode), he wanted to duel me again. I beat him again though it took awhile longer.

Dammit. I meant to talk about nothing and now I’ve talked about Wow. Damn you Blizzard!

Exploration Sunday

I made a promise to the wife that I wouldn’t play computer games on Saturday at all if she let me raid Thursday and Friday. Sounds sort of funny, no? Normally I wouldn’t ask for permission (it’s easier to ask forgiveness) but I was off last week and I did play quite a bit while I was off and everyone else wasn’t.

I started with a run through Hall of Blackhand (I think that’s LBRS) which was pretty fun solo. I admit, I had to burn my LoH and a couple of times it looked shaky. I’ll have to head back there with the gang and try for the Jenkins title. I got all the way through and got the achievement. I had to go out, but I continued playing a little later in the afternoon.

I now have explored all of Northrend and Outlands. I’m missing only the Blood Elf starting zones and that other area that was added in for Eastern Kingdoms. I still have a lot to go on Kalimdor though.

I’ll get those another time.

I realized just how many zones I missed in Outlands – well, I had done them with Smaken last time, but I completely missed Nagrand, Blade’s Edge and Netherstorm zones with Lannister. That’s about half the expansion’s content.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen most of Northrend’s content with a few exceptions in areas I didn’t spend a lot of time in, but I have been going back and completing some of those quests. It beats grinding cash or just flying about mining stuff.

I did manage to reach Exalted with the Ebon Blade. I’m slowly working up to Exalted on Wyrmrest and Sons of Hodir. Once those are done, I’ll look at getting Exalted for the Argent Crusade and the Kirin Tor.

I get the feeling I’ll have less time for all of this shortly…

NHL Playoffs Round 1

Here are my predictions for round 1…

Eastern Conference

  • Bruins over Habs
  • Pens over Flyers
  • Rangers over Caps
  • Devils over Canes

MONTREAL vs. BOSTON

Habs suck. They’re a shallow team that just doesn’t have all the right players in all the right places. Laraque on line 1? Yeesh. Bruins are solid this year, they’re playing well, showing good chemistry and not getting drawn into the stupidity… yet. I’d like to say Bruins in 4 just out of spite, but I think Montreal might steal at least two games so

BRUINS IN 6. UPDATE: BRUINS IN 4 – I should have been spiteful, but I expected Montreal to pull a horseshoe out of its collective ass and steal two. I wasn’t wrong, the Habs just failed me.

PITTSBURGH vs. PHILADELPHIA

Pens are a personal favorite. Defense is a little suspect but the offensive talent can more than make up for that. Fleury… well, he’s no Luongo but he’s better than average. Flyers are just too undisciplined and they’re going to bury themselves.

PENGUINS IN 5. UPDATE: PENS IN 6 – I was close… really close.

NEW YORK (RANGERS) vs. WASHINGTON

While I’d rather see the Capitals beat the Rangers (I loathe the way the Rangers buy up formerly successful players and underachieve… it’s a retirement team for former All Stars) since I do like Ovechkin and think he is what the NHL needs to market. Got to give the guy credit, he compliments the opposing team’s goal scorer. He’s a hockey guy first and foremost. The Caps just don’t have the goaltending; there is a reason most teams have given up on Theodore.

RANGERS IN 7.

NEW JERSEY vs. CAROLINA

This is a tough one. Can Eric Staal carry the team on his back over New Jersey’s impressive line up? Nope. They’ll steal a couple but the Devils are just too good. While I think Brodeur is ready for retirement, he is still the guy the series hangs on. If he plays well? Devils will crush the Canes. If he shows his age or gets injured? Canes will likely take it. I don’t think either of those items will happen so…

DEVILS IN 6.

Western Conference

  • Red Wings over Blue Jackets
  • Hawks over Flames
  • Canucks over Blues
  • Sharks over Ducks

DETROIT vs. COLUMBUS

I’d love to see Nash and the Blue Jackets punt the Wings out of the playoffs in the first round, but I know it’s just not going to happen. The odds are just stacked against them; lack of playoff experience going up against the Wings? I don’t see it happening. Osgood is looking… well… good. He’s a reliable playoff goalie, think the inverse of Turco (good regular season, has sort of stunk it up in the post season).

RED WINGS IN 5. UPDATE: WINGS IN 4 – I was close again. I was pretty sure Columbus would steal one.

CALGARY vs. CHICAGO

This is going to be a tough one. One one side you’ve got a lot of talent and experience while on the other side, you’ve got even more talent but far less experience. I think Game 1 is an example of how this series is going to go – it’s going to come down to game 7. The Hawks just have too much talent on their side and the experience is right where you need it – goaltending. As much as I look at Calgary and want to say they’ll take, I just have a feeling the Hawks are going to be inspired by their fans and step up to the level needed to win.

BLACKHAWKS IN 7. UPDATE: HAWKS IN 6 – Another one I was close with. You know what they say? Close only counts with Horseshoes and hand grenades.

VANCOUVER vs. ST. LOUIS

I hate to say this, but the Blues are seriously outclassed here.  Vancouver has the best goalie in the game right now (argue Brodeur all you want, this is Luongo’s era) and they’ve got some solid defense and their offense does what it needs to do. They’re heading back into St. Louis, but I don’t think that will change anything. Sorry Blues fans, there is going to be an early exit.

CANUCKS IN 4. UPDATE: CANUCKS IN 4 – I was right on for this one.

ANAHEIM vs. SAN JOSE

Okay, I might be bias here since the Ducks manhandled Ottawa a couple of years back and got away with it, but I do think the Sharks will beat them. Yeah, it was a bad showing in Game 1, but they’ll pick it up. There will be no upset in this series. I hope.

SHARKS IN 7. UPDATE: DUCKS IN 6 – Booo!

There you have it.

Ulduar Heroic…

Red Light District headed into Ulduar (Heroic) last night for the first time. Definitely an interesting twist on play.

For the first part you hop into vehicles. The vehicles are Siege Tanks, Demolishers and Choppers (bikes, not helicopters). Each one has a driver and can take a number of passengers while the Siege Tank and Demolisher also have gunners. The HPs of these vehicles are determined by the gear level of the occupants – the higher the item level total of the character at the wheel, the more HPs the vehicles have. That’s an interesting way of making gear matter. I’m not so sure buffs or anything else matters, though I was pretty high up there in DPS and wonder if it was due to my crit rating?

You drive around the first area destroying towers and defeating mobs. There are a couple that are challenging, but not too challenging if you know what to do. It’s a do or die type deal. There are four towers that are special since they provide the first boss with a buff if you don’t destroy them.

The first boss is a Fire Tank which has four buffs on him, provided by nearby towers – assuming you leave them up. Unfortunately, we triggered him early so we faced him fully buffed on the first time through. It was a messy wipe because we weren’t sure what was to be expected. Second time through, we did it.

It’s a crazy fight where the tank will chase a single target for a time then switch to someone else. If he catches you, you’re as good as dead if people don’t interrupt a special ability which means they have to be close to him and if he switches to them. Well, ow. At one point he’ll become too fast to keep away from so you load the passengers into the Demolisher cannons and the drivers fire them at the Fire Tank. They land on top and attack the turrets. When one is destroyed, the boss throws the people off, is stunned, loses it’s speed buff and becomes easier to damage for a time. That’s a good thing because it’s got 70 million HPs.

Very fun fight and it was a pretty good time. Honestly, it was a nice change from just being a Ret Pally.

Though I came in third for DPS at 30k DPS even though I was a gunner for a Siege Tank (Demolishers are supposed to be the DPS hehe).

Down Again…

It’s probably a good thing the servers are down for ‘urgent maintenance’ because I need some sleep. They’re supposed to be back up around 8am Eastern, but no guarantees.

Once again, I’m dirt poor. I burned some coin on the dual spec, picked up a few gear items and gems. Then went for a spin with the new talent spec and adjusted abilities.

Ow.

It feels like I was hit hard by the nerfbat. That or I’m missing something. While my normal attack swings are coming a little faster (more effect from haste), the damage seems lower for most of my abilities. Judgments with Martyr going are doing about 2000 damage on a crit – I used to do that without the crit. It does seem to proc more though. And then there is the fact I can use Exorcism on anything – that does another 2000 or so. Crusader Strike and Divine Storm seemed to do a little more damage.

It’s hard to tell where I am DPS-wise without fighting a raid mob where it will last more than a couple of seconds. Although, I do seem to need to push more buttons to make things dead. Pre-patch I wouldn’t get through my rotation before my target died. Now? I get through it and it is usually dead. Either way, the fights just aren’t long enough to get a good read.

Mana is a little trickier now. I don’t notice a big difference in Divine Plea. I think Spiritual Attunement was made a talent and pushed up the Prot tree but I’m not sure. That would mean no mana returned from heals.

Time to go get some addon updates.