Category Archives: Guild Stuff

The bitter taste of defeat and people problems

You would not believe the hell of a week I had last week. I returned from a 5 day long business trip a few days and so haven’t really had much blogging time (after a 10 hour day in a hot loft space I wanted to kill stuff* not engage my brain for writing). So as I left just after the patch landed last week it was down to my friendly co-editor, Cantor, to give you chaps (and chappesses) a taste of what we were thinking. Now it’s my turn 🙂

The bitter taste of defeat…..

Over the last few months, we have, just like everyone else, been poking around in Firelands. We started a bit late, but managed to get to Ragnaros a few weeks ago. Initially our attempts seemed to be ok. Within 10 pulls we had hit P2, within 15 we were regularly getting to P2. With this in mind I had set up a little poll for my raiders regarding killing Raggy. The choices were;

  1. Kill Ragnaros no matter how long it takes
  2. Poke him for a few more nights and move on if we don’t get anywhere
  3. Drop FL like a hot rock the week DS is released.

Ultimately it had been decided to go with option 1. So we tried some more over a couple of raid nights and frankly we were fucking awful. There is no one person to blame, but for whatever reason the raid just didn’t seem to get the feel for it at all.

I don’t know if it was the distraction of 4.3, the fact that we were doing it simply for completion as the gear would be easily replaced or if was just that my casual raid team was sick of FL and sick of P1 Ragnaros.

Whatever the reason, we suddenly had trouble getting through the first transition phase. People were all over the place, no matter how we tried to organise things, used markers or whatever, the sons just did not get dealt with correctly. The first night I thought it was just a bad night, but after 3 nights of not consistently getting to P2 everyone was getting stressed and it was clear that we were not going to get Ragnaros down easily.

Obviously this was quite a downer as  we had really thought that we would be able to get Ragnaros down, if not before 4.3 then not long after but it was now clear we were banging our heads against a wall. So I took a quick cast of votes from my raiders and we decided to just sod Raggy and move onto DS rather than bang on against him and delay our start of Dragon Soul.

Now to a lot of people out there this is no big deal. The attitude would be “so what? you were not good enough, get over it” and so on.

It isn’t that easy though, we had all worked together no matter who we had (we never force people to change their mains etc, we run with what we have pretty much regardless of balance) and fought our way through Firelands after a delayed start (we didn’t start until the beginning of September) and we had really felt that we were making good steady progress – we had got 2/7 (and nearly had Rhyo) before the nerfbat hit and then we had had a bad four weeks with people on holiday and such that meant I had to cancel 7 raid nights (we only raid twice a week), but despite this we had then gone on to clear 6/7 without too much trouble. We had reached Ragnaros with good morale and what we considered a reasonable expectation of downing him. We had also managed to get a few people through to 6/7 who had little to no raiding experience, and they were pleased they got to see the inside of FL and maybe some loot. So all in all, we were feeling pretty good when we got to 6/7.

However, to get there and then to seemingly hit a wall was exceptionally demoralising. Even though we ended up with no where near as many attempts as other guilds before we called it, the fact that we seemed to have it going ok and then suddenly we lost it was a huge kick in the teeth. It was frustrating that we knew we were decent players, we know our stuff and we have worked together as team no problem for some time now and then all of a suddenly it all goes to shit.

Even though my team is generally very good at not pointing the blame unfairly and they don’t get too angsty with each other, that doesn’t stop me feeling responsible for the team as a whole. After all, I am the raid leader – was the teams failing due to me? Possibly, possibly not, but it doesn’t prevent the paranoia – could I have done more to help the raid through? This is always the problem with a position like raid leading or being a GM; the ephemeral “stuff” about actual leading. It’s easy to identify certain problems with raid team e.g. standing in fire, not add switching etc. However, RL problems are not always as easy to spot and that also makes it so much easy to get paranoid about it if the group fails. So, while we were all unhappy and stressed by not downing Ragnaros, I feel like I got a double helping. /sigh

Then as if things couldn’t get any worse…….

People problems

On my way back to the hotel last week after a lovely Japanese meal (at which I also got a very provincial guildie to try an assortment of raw fish!), I suddenly was bombarded with texts all at once. It would appear that in my absence Otaku ahd decided to implode. I won’t go into messy details, but the short story is that a guildie and the GM have rubbed each other up the wrong way for some time now. As a good friend to both, generally I have defused any major situations and we have moved on. This time however, the GM snapped and just kicked the guildie in question.

In turn this spawned a mass exodus of virtually all the regular guild members and the vast majority of my raid team. So I get back to the hotel and log in to find a barrage of /w, calls to go on vent for one party and calls to go on skype for the other and so on. Basically as a friend to both sides, as well the 2IC and RL  for the guild, I was informed that the direction both parties would take would be pretty much based on my stance on the whole thing. Thanks guys, no pressure.

The reason this was so difficult was that on the one hand I had a guild I have been a member of since only a few months after starting to play (so nearly 3 years), and over those years I had gone from a lowly little warrior who knew nobody and nothing to the player I am today. After my first summer there, I was promoted to officer and then 2IC, between us the GM and I plugged away and slowly built up Otaku into a well known and respected guild with a decent raiding team of friends. If anyone asked, I honestly loved that guild and saw Otaku as my home until WoW died, and even then it would probably still be my home but in whatever game we all moved too. However, with the exception of just a couple of people, everyone I would consider as a true part of that experience had suddenly gone. Suddenly Otaku was a hollow shell with just a name and a few regular people to keep it open.

 So on the other hand, I had a loose bunch of around 12 people who I was friends with IRL as well, who chatted with me on vent, listened to my IRL bitching (and I theirs), who had raided since ICC with me and a whole host of other things. I was close enough to some to consider them family.

What to do? No matter what I chose to do, some people would be upset – either my larger group of friends who felt that they were missing a major part of the group if my wife and I were not with them, or my GM and guild who would feel equally upset if I turned my back on them and left after all we had been through.

So for 48 hours I sat on the fence amidst an ever tangling web of ventrilo and skype conversations, text messages, emails and forum posts. I had told each party that I would not do anything rash or without thinking. I wanted all pertinent information from everyone regarding their plans and how they wanted to proceed either with or without me.

Finally I had to make a decision. In the end I chose to leave Otaku behind and form a new guild with my friends who had left. Was it easy to do? Hell no, I spent over an hour chatting with my GM about this and explaining that ultimately it wasn’t a choice between 2 people, but between a group of 12+ friends and my team on one side, and a couple of people and a pretty dead guild on the other. In a few years time, the guild would be gone anyway, but some of my team I felt would be friends for life. Do I think I made the right choice? To be brutally honest I have no fucking idea. I have never actually run a guild “properly” and I may end up not being that good, we may end up as nothing more than another tiny guild who tries to do as much together as possible, we shall see. Am I happy? Again, hell no. It wasn’t a choice between loosing a eye or not loosing a eye, but a choice between loosing the right or the left. I knew that no matter what I did, I would feel guilty, some people would feel betrayed and let down and I would possibly lose the support and respect of some of my fellow guildies. I really am not a “people” person and social stuff makes me panic like nothing else so this was a few days or sheer hell and left me feeling totally drained and exhausted and still unsure of if I did the right thing.

So we got together and formed Peep Derple, hopefully we will now be able to put this behind us and move on. The one nice thing after the downer that was the two events mentioned above was that the night we formed Peep Derple, we had a little raid time so we hit DS and managed to down the first two without a wipe. Kat even got some MS and OS loot. Further discussions on that will be saved for another day though as we progress further.

Then I realised I still hadn’t updated my guide to 4.3 and that I now had to organise a new website, forum, vent server and so on.



*by kill I ofc mean heal other people while they kill stuff 😀


Otaku, I have been expecting you…….

We stood at the top of the short flight of stairs. Below us was the courtyard; beyond that Sulfuron Keep – the abode of Ragnaros, the Fire Lord. Behind us was the bridge leading from the now vanquished gatekeeper. Looking across the expanse we could see sheets of flame washing over it every few seconds. A trio of flame druids stood on the stairs opposite us, daring us to risk the fire and try to reach them. Just beyond them, I could see a hazy silhouette standing on the other side of a wall of flame.

Everytime I looked at the distance over that courtyard and through the flames, it seemed greater and greater. Knowing we needed to cover the distance quickly, I summoned my faithful wintersaber climbed into the saddle. Feeling the pre-battle energy in the air, he opened his mouth and roared, pawing at the ground and impatient to charge. Slowly everyone mounted up and I gave my lead warrior the nod. Gathering the reins of his mammoth, he dug his heels in and thundered across the courtyard with the rest of us in close pursuit, a motley assortment of cats, horses, camels and others.

As he reached the base of the stairs, in a single fluid motion, the warrior dismounted and charged into the druids with a bellowing warcry. Suddenly the air was filled with shouts and screams as my companions sought to take down the enemy as quickly as possible. Immediately one of the traitors fell with a sword through it’s throat, writhing and gagging on it’s own blood before expiring with a choked shriek. The second was beaten down by a Death Knight and as it lay stunned, was savaged and hammered into the ground by the unholy warrior. Looking around for the third and final druid, I saw it change to a cat and leap towards my fellow healer. As I began to shout a warning, it dropped from the air, a smoking hole in it’s body from the blast of pure arcane energy our mage had punched through it.

Carefully everyone checked themselves for injury, and we patched each other up as best we could.

Now that we had defeated the guards, we could see that the wall of flame has disappeared. The silhouette walked forwards and we saw that it was the fallen Arch Druid – Fandral Staghelm. As he reached the top of the stairs, he paused and stood there looking at us. Rolling and flexing his shoulders, he appeared completely non-plussed by the sight of our group of ten defenders of Azeroth.

“Very well, you have defeated my guards, now witness the raw power of my new lord!” The voice of the treacherous Archdruid rolled across the courtyard and echoed around the towers.

Looking around my group I silently assessed and weighed up each of my friends and how they would fair against this powerful minion of the Fire Lord. At our head was Calipateiras, as human warrior who knew that he was about to get pretty beat up – his job was to distract Staghelm and take the brunt of his attacks. Ready to close in for the kill were Keosil, Acrania and Yddaear. This Death Knight, Warrior and Shaman were tasked with bludgeoning, slashing, cutting and slicing at our enemy until he fell. Also preparing to unleash a volley of arrows and magical bolts were our hunter, priest, warlock and mage – Andissiel, Reyni, Debzonne and Typhinia. Finally, at the back and hoping that our combined mastery of forces of Nature could keep our companions standing were myself and Salmander – a druid and shaman both skilled in channeling our powers to heal others.

Earlier I had encountered a rogue at Nordrassil. Apparently he was a the sole survivor of a previous foray in the Firelands. The band he was with had fallen to Staghelm after a long battle. As he could quickly disguise himself in the shadows, he had managed to escape and crawl back to safety, avoiding the pursuit of the fallen druid. I had spoken with him for some time and the advice he had given me would hopefully help us now.

As we assembled in the middle of the courtyard I quickly explained the plan to the group.

“We will begin by grouping up roughly in the middle, apparently he has a tendency to switch to a scorpion if you -“

“Scorpion!” Interrupted Andissiel, “I thought he was a bloody druid! I have never seen you change into a scorpion Kat!”

“Let me finish!” I snapped at the cheeky hunter. “He likes to swing his claws around and it will be more troublesome for him, and less harmful to Cali if we group together. However, he will also get faster and faster with his attacks so sooner or later we will have to disperse.”

I paused for a breath, keeping an eye on Staghelm but he seemed uninterested is us, as if we were amusing insects or similar and he was simply waiting to see what entertainment we would provide him with.

“The rogue told me that if you move away from him he will try and change into a cat and leap on people, while setting the ground alight under them. While doing this, he will also summon mirror images of himself that need to be dealt with. Unfortunately he will also do this faster and faster until we have to try and group together again and force him to shapeshift back to a scorpion.”

“Finally he will occasionally switch to an Elf again and cast a kind of a living bomb on some of us. We cannot use magic to purge it, so each of you will have to try and judge when the spell will detonate and move away from the rest of us.”

“Ok, ok, lets go!” Acrania, the gnome warrior was getting jittery after standing still for so long and was desperate to engage Staghelm.

Calipateiras straightened up and drew his sword while hefting his shield. “Andissiel, on my word send him to me.”

With a curt nod, Andissiel slipped into his hunting mode and silently crept forward towards Staghelm. He positioned himself in the shadows, in line with where Cali was standing. The rest of us gathered together in the centre of the courtyard.

Yddaear and Salmander opened their pouches and drew out the small stones that would allow them to summon their elemental totems. A series of small popping noises accompanied each totem as it was placed. In turn we each then cast the various spells that would aid us in the fight – imbuing us each with vigour, speed and improved magical capabilities.

Seeing we were ready, Calipateiras waved his shield at Andissiel – the signal to start. From his concealed position the Night Elf Hunter launched a quick volley of arrows towards Staghelm. The druid sensed the incoming missiles and turned to face them. Seeing only a warrior before him, Staghelm roared with rage and ran towards Cali.

The warrior responded with his own battlecry and surged forwards to meet the attack. As the two fighters slammed into each other, both rebounded slightly stunned before attacking the other with all their strength. Staghelm snarled at Cali and swung his staff in a great arc that nearly knocked the warrior off his feet.

“PULL BACK!” I bellowed at Cali as he regained his balance. Carefully and slowly he kept Fandral’s attention on him as he walked backwards towards our group. A sweeping blow was deflected by a hasty parry, but the momentum was swiftly reversed into a devastating blow towards Staghelm’s shoulder.

Staghelm contemptuously batted the sword aside and then roared when he saw us in the middle of the courtyard. His body flowed and changed as he grew a hard gleaming carapace and additional legs forced themselves out through the fresh shell. In the space of a few seconds we were no longer facing a fiery Elf but a giant scorpion.

Hissing and clacking, it scurried forwards, it’s tail whipping over it’s body trying to impale Cali. Suddenly I felt a huge infusion of power wash over me, I looked around and saw that Yddaear had unleashed one of his most powerful spells. The raw power surging through me made me feel as if I could do anything! I could feel myself growing in size, suddenly my spells were almost casting themselves and I saw that everyone else seemed to be the same.

Typhinia summoned her small army of clones and together they all poured blast after blast of raw arcane power into the shell of the scorpion, leaving smoking craters and  deep furrows across it’s chitinous armour. Yddaear’s arms became a blur as his weapons bit larger and larger chunks of carapace from his foe.

Then, just as we seemed to be gaining the upper hand, the scorpion’s huge claws scythed together and swept across us all, ripping flesh, clothing and armour as if it were parchment. None of us could avoid the blow. Quickly I drew on my skills and called forth ghostly swirls of natural magic from the ground. They enveloped the most wounded members of the group and the jagged slashes and tears closed almost instantly At the same time, Salmander doused the party in a refreshing and potent rain of healing water. Within seconds, we were all back to our full strength and ready to continue the fight.

However, the Archdruid wasn’t about to let up with his attack, and his sweeping claws began to cleave at us more and more frequently. Calipateiras growled through gritted teeth as a claw gouged through his shield and shattered the bone of his arm, forcing him to his knees. Immediately Salmander and I poured our most powerful spells into him and the wound closed, allowing him to face up to Fandral once more.

I heard a cry from my left and saw Reyni almost gutted by a vicious backswing of a claw. Using a barrage of natural energy I pulled her back from the edge of unconsciousness and death, before once more channeling a wave of healing power over the whole group.

“This is too much now, “I gasped to Salmander, “we have to break up!”

“Spread out!” I shouted hoarsely, “move!”

Everyone swiftly moved away from Staghelm and suddenly the mass of clicking chitin and snapping claws burst into flames. The carapace melted in seconds and from the shell emerged a huge flaming cat. Immediately it lashed out at Cali, only his quick reflexes and speed saved his legs from being sliced from under him.

As we spread further away from the melee in the centre, I saw Fandral turn to me and bunch his hindquarters as he prepared to leap. I waited until he pounced and then leapt to one side, just managing to avoid rolling into a huge pool of fire on the floor.  Winded, I clambered back to my feet and saw his mirror self fade away as a hail of dark magic and arrows pummelled it.

To my side, the blaze refused to diminish. Looking for the best position to move to, I noticed that once again Staghelm seemed ready to pounce on me. I tried to jump away again, but missed, landing on the edge of the blazing circle. Pain seared through my legs and hands as the flames licked over my skin. Concentrating, I hardened my skin and it took on a tough, bark-like appearance. While still painful, the toughened skin negated most of the fire and I was able to get out of it with only minor burns.

My armour still smouldering, I moved around towards Typhinia and Debzonne. Staghelm prepared to leap again, but thankfully it wasn’t towards me this time. Gathering my strength, I prepared a spell to mend whatever damage he would cause on impact. Sure enough, he targeted another weak member of the party and leapt upon Debzonne with a loud roar. The tiny warlock barely managed to escape, her robes aflame and her scampering cackling imp bouncing along behind.

Luckily, the rest of the party had seen the trouble Staghelm was causing and were much more cautious when he next jumped. No one was seriously injured, but we now had five large areas of fire spread across the courtyard. Looking around, I saw it was getting hard to move, and only the centre was clear.

“To the centre” I yelled and run towards Cali and the melee fighters. The other ranged combatants swiftly followed and as Staghelm prepared to pounce again he suddenly shimmered and shifted into his Elven form with a laugh. I tried to move, but was stunned and couldn’t speak or move at all as he carved intricate patterns in the air with his staff and chanted the words of a demonic spell.

As he completed the spell, his skin darkened and hardened as he once more shifted into his scorpion form. I could feel something growing and burning inside me, but could not expel it through my magic.

Yddaear called out “This must be the explosive spell!” He gasped and then shouted “if you can feel it ready to detonate get away from everyone” as he ran out of the group.

A few seconds later flames erupted from his body and he was engulfed in a raging inferno that sent rings of fire out from his body. We were far enough away to avoid the brunt of the blasts, but the heat was fiercely intense. The fire then calmed downed and Yddaear was left standing dazed and sweating. He staggered back to us panting, his skin grimy with soot and dust, the sweat leaving huge trails in the muck as it ran down his face.

“Damn, that was hot!” he gasped. He wiped his face and whimpered as he saw that most of his bristly red beard had singed away. “Ach, fifty years good growth gone” he exclaimed with a sigh.

Readying his weapons again, Yddaear jumped back into the fray. “Right you fiery bastard, you’re gonna pay for that!” he bellowed as he attacked.

Just a few seconds later, Acrania came hurtling out of the melee, streaming smoke and screaming. As with Yddaear, the gnome burst into flames and then flew back into battle once they had subsided.

Suddenly I felt a change in the flow of the combat. Staghelm was weakening! The gruff voice of Keosil growled over the noise of the flames and ringing steel. “Nearly there! Get him down!”. Despite the weariness we all felt, everyone seemed to find hidden reserves and the air became streaked with volleys of arrows and conjured missiles. Shadowy bolts of dark magic flickered across and pounded in the scorpion’s body. Wave after wave of pain hit Fandral from the shadow magic Reyni was heaping on him and the scorpion seemed to shudder with every blast.

Even in his weakened state, Staghelm continued to lash left and right with his claws, decimating the strength of the party. Feeling that we were nearly finished, I used the last of my reserves to shapeshift into my most impressive form – the tree of life. As my body changed I could feel the additional power at my disposal. Salmander also called upon his most mighty and draining abilities and it was clear that this was do or die.

Frantically we poured out as much healing energy as we could in our companions as they fought tooth and nail to bring down the corrupted druid. The power of Salmander’s totems started to wane and we could feel the fight slipping away as everyone became more and more injured with every swipe of the scorpion’s pincers.  Lifting my branches to the blood red sky, I called out to Elune to aid me and suddenly I felt invigorated with energy. I thanked the Moon goddess with a silent prayer and used this new found power to channel a massively powerful healing spell. As my energy, and the spell, ran it’s course, I heard loud shouting and cheering.

Exhausted, I looked down. Once again I was an Elf, the power of the Tree of Life having left me, also Fandral was defeated. In my concentration I hadn’t noticed that our party had triumphed over him. Wearied I sat on the floor and greedily ate and drank to replenish myself.

A shadow fell across me, looking up I saw Yddaear standing over me. His face still smeared with sweat, blood and soot, a look of determination in his eyes. “Get up your lazy Elf, there is still the Firelord to kill!” Then he walked off towards the entrance to Ragnaros’s lair.

Yes, that’s right, Otaku are now 6/7 🙂 I thought a little story was better than just writing “Woot we killed Staghelm”. I have taken a bit of licence with the fight and it didn’t happen exactly as above, but hey – my blog, my story, my raid 😛 

So onto Ragnaros!


Absent GM’s, making money and molten front dailies

It’s been a quiet few weeks for Kat and I. An assortment of various things has delayed or prevented us from raiding (along with not having a fixed team) so I have been back to pootling around on alts and gearing up other characters. However a few minor things have happened that I will bundle into a single post.

Power….. Overwhelming……
Firstly I have temporary promotion to GM of Otaku. As some of you may be aware (but others may not) if a guilds GM has been absent for more than 30 days (including alts) then it is possible for someone else to take over simply by ticketing a Gamesmaster in-game. I have been unable to find an appropriate FAQ or such regarding it and various posts on different forums have horror stories of long absent alts logging in and essentially stealing a guild because the GM is absent for a while.

Now every summer our GM takes a holiday and this often extends to over a month. Given that (as with every guild no doubt) we have had some less than admirable members who have been kicked or quit, I was worried that there may be some of their old alts lying around that someone hasn’t noticed and by pure bad luck they happen to log, see the GM is absent and ticket to gt the guild transferred over to them.  Now this may not be the case, I would think (hope) it would get passed to the highest active officer, but according to some posts this isn’t always the case and as I said above I can’t find any official FAQ regarding absent GMs and guild take overs.

So I decided to do it myself and simply relinquish the guild back to the rightful owner when he returned. In some ways it was actually scary how easy it was. Before I left work one day I ticketed a GM and briefly explained that our leader was absent and could they please give me the guild to look after. By the time I got home less than an hour later I had already received texts from guildies along the lines of “WTF?!?!?” as it suddenly just appeared in /g “Ikkitousen domotes Ikkitousen to Juinn, Ikkitousen promotes Katarnas to Guild Master” without either of us being present. Now obviously for us this isn’t a problem, as the real GM is returning this week and I will simply hand it over, but for some other guilds this may actually be a serious issue.

So if you ever take a wee break from playing in a guild you own, make sure you either log in once a month or promote someone you can trust to being GM in your absence otherwise you may returning to find no guild at all (quite a lot of people report finding GBs emptied, the guild sold as it had lots of perks etc).

Money, money, money!
One of the things I enjoy on WoW is making gold and playing the AH (though not in an exploitative way, just snagging sme good bargains and resell. Not particularly for any reason, it’s just like a sub-game almost and the gold count is simply a way of keeping score (yh, go on and laugh, my guildies do anyway :P). So atm my goal is to make 1,000,000 gold just so I can log my main and see that amount in her bags.

Now, as I seem to have terrible luck, I have never once had a BoE anything drop that was worth more than a few hundred goal. No battered hilt, no BoE 359’s within a week of cata or anything ever 😦 This means that I have actually had to make gold rather than striking lucky with a sudden +30k or whatever. So I have learnt a few tricks and some shortcuts to playing the AH and such that I will write up into a future post at some point, there is nothing groundbreaking, more just how I do it and what will make a steady income.

Finally they are done!
Lastly, a little about the MF dailies that came out with 4.2. This probably should have been written up some time ago but I never seemed to get around to it. I have had a few people ask me (and seen it on various forums) if the MF daily quests  are worth doing as a druid and if the rewards are good.

Given the lore characters involved and the storylines, then if you enjoy the background and lore in WoW at all then the whole Molten front experience is very much worth doing. In case anyone reads this who hasn’t done them yet, I won’t post any spoilers but of all the classes, these quests should mean most (lore wise) to druids. This is not counting the extra pets, title, mount and so on you can get as well.

On the more practical and loot rewards side of things, I would still say that the quests are worth doing. By the time you have completed all sections of the hub, you will have unlocked three vendors. These can be unlocked in any order and here is my recommended order and the rewards each offers:

Ayla Shadowstorm (unlocked by completing: “Filling the Moonwell”)
Definitely should be the first vendor unlocked as she offers:
Globe of Moonlight (Offhand frill) – +201 Int, +134 Crit + mastery. No haste or spirit, but unless you will drop below a good breakpoint still a good item for those without a decent 359
Moonwell Chalice (Trinket) – +340 int, on use +1700 mastery (20 secs/ 2min CD). Lots of nommy intellect and a decent on use to boot. Excellent all round item unless you are terribly lacking in regen.
Relic of Elune’s Light (Relic)+113 Int, +76 haste + mastery. No spirit, but got haste. A nice relic to tide over from a 359 until you can get the 378 VP one.
Additionally she also offers a relic and ring for feral (dps or tank) and a trinket (tank).

Damek Bloombeard (unlocked by completing: “Additional Armaments”)
Doesn’t really matter which you choose between Darmek and Varlan, personally I went for Varlan as I already had a 378 belt.
Fireplume Girdle (belt)+248 Int, yellow socket, +168 haste + mastery. Missing spirit, but has a good amount of haste and mastery. A nice filler until you can get the 378 from AoH rep.
Additionally offers an agility trinket for ferals.

Varlan Highbough (unlocked by completing: “Calling the Ancients”)
Spirit Fragment Band (ring) – +201 Int, +121 crit, +142 mastery. Not ideal, but increased intellect still gives it an edge over some 359’s.
Additionally offers gloves for feral.

Meh, a bit rambly, should have more to post soon, btw Kat is now on twitter as @restoisepic posting away with sporadic little tweets 🙂