Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thrall: Aspect of Earth?

Looks like I was right.  Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects is coming out on June 14th and it seems as if it will detail how Thrall becomes the Aspect of Earth. 

Many months ago I started telling people that Thrall would be the next earth aspect and all I heard was "you know nothing about lore" or "he is not a dragon so he can not be an aspect".  All I have to say to those people is this, you are playing a fantasy game in a make believe world, anything can happen. 

Warcraft is one of the most cliche writings I have ever seen and I've seen a lot.  Heck, with the wealth of fantasy material out there everything is cliche now-a-days it seems.  This was coming without a doubt and you could see it from a mile away.  While some might be upset with it I happen to like it a lot.  I find it quite fitting actually and I am glad they kicked all those lore-whores in the balls on this one and made a non-dragon an aspect. 

If anything, Thrall not becoming the earth aspect would have been a minor surprise.  It would have not bothered me if I was wrong but it would have been a bit of a shock.  Blizzard has not been very good at creating any twists in the game since I have been playing at least. 

Just wait until you see what will be happening next.  Anyone that has been doing all the old world quests would or should be asking themselves about Demon Hunters about now.  I think I know exactly what the future holds for them, do you?  Maybe someone will make a list of some of the demon hunter related quests so people can play catch up.  They are worth doing for sure even if they turn out to mean nothing.

A Gnome in ICC

My little Gnome Mage made his first adventure into ICC last night.  Mind you it is not well geared, heck, I am still using BoA trinkets if that gives you any indication of where he is at.  It was still fun.  I had some nice DPS on a few fights, some horrible DPS on others.  I guess it is about learning. 

Not like he is ever going to be in ICC again.  This was most likely the last alt run there that we will ever do.  Next time I see ICC on an alt it will most likely be in a flashback raid. 

One thing I can say for sure is that kiting as a Mage is so easy.  Once I got into the rhythm of things with my Hunter kiting became easy.  It took some practice and learning and really sucks now without mana but I become pretty good at it over time.  With my Mage there was no learning curve needed.  Mage kiting was just run and shoot while running.  If something gets close, blink.  Holy crap.  Why do they always ask Hunters to kite when it is really a Mage's job.

Hunter kiting takes skill, Mage kiting takes anyone with an IQ of at least their shoe size to be at the keyboard.  I probably could have kiting that blood beast all over the world and back again and it would have never even came close to touching me.  Never would have needed to worry about jump shots, turns to disengage like I need to do on my Hunter, or running out of mana.

Next time I need something kited and there is a Mage in the group I am going to say let the Mage kite.  Seriously, why even ask a hunter to do it when it is so much easier for a Mage to.

We only did 5 bosses but we had no wipes except one of trash.  Always seems to work that way right?  We had a first time healer, first time in ICC, not first time healing.  A few alts and people in off specs.  We had two mains however in DPS, so that took a lot of the pressure off me of course.  I liked running ICC as a different character just for fun.  Wish I had done that more often.  I have to remember next time around to just have fun a little more often.

Maybe we can come back after we first get to 85 and get some alts into ICC for an easy run, so to speak.  I have set up the first raid the last week of December.  That gives people 3 weeks to get to 85 and get themselves some gear.  It should be ample. The Mage however will not be one of them.  On the grand scheme of things my Mage will most likely be the 6th character I get to 85.  So he goes into retirement for now it seems.  At least he went out on a good note.

Monday, November 29, 2010

General Observations.


- You can do the cooking daily at any level, why isn't there anything to buy with the awards until higher skill then?

- The fishing daily will not appear if you never trained fishing.

- They give great experience for leveling characters, seems a bit over compensating at the moment.


- Woohoo, I get to play as a Naga with my Slitherblade Charm.

- The quest line is bugged at Deep Impact so the rest of the chain can not be done.

- You can still get the Desolace Quests achievement even with that bugged quest.

- That means I get to keep my Slitherblade Charm that turns in into a Naga.

- It only works in Desolace, it does not say that, I feel ripped off now.  I wanted to raid as a Naga.

Ret Paladin

- Didn't I used to have an AoE spell that used Holy Power?

- I hate talent resets sometimes.

- Okay, I got my keys set back up but I am missing that AoE spell.  Why can't I remember what it was.

- Was it Divine Shield?  I think it was.  Doesn't seem to require Holy Power now.

- If it was not Divine Shield what the hell was it?

- Okay, reset my talents if you want to but stop fucking removing shit from my bar.  Black it out if I can not use it any more.  Leave my bar in tact next time.

- I don't care what race I am, I want my freakin horse back.

Talent Resets

- Okay, I wanted to change my Bear around some.  But it is not a healer, why reset it.

- My Shaman is not a healer, why was it reset.  Screw it.  I am not even going to bother respecing now.

- My druid offspec could use work but being I can not be a tree any more I have little interest in healing with it.

- Now I need to make a new Disc and new Holy spec.  Blah.  At least they are easy, it is not like there are a lot of choices.

- Might make my offspec Disc PvP again.  I've no interest in Holy.

- Why was a Ret Pally, Enhance Shaman and Feral Druid reset, none of them are healers?


- I am going to have to wait until flying to get the three achievements in Azshara.

- As Alliance you can get to there the quest giver is and it is really fun to get there without a flying mount.  I suggest trying it.

- Being Alliance can not get the quest there is really no reason to do it other then it is cool.  Be prepared to hearth out if you do it before flying comes in.

- Where the hell do I catch a Bloated Salmon needed for The Oceanographer?  Three hours of fishing in the "old" places it could be caught and nothing.

- That one, and Raw Summer Bass are going to hold me up from completing that one right now.  Have to wait for summer to catch the bass.


- Buru the Gorger is my newest boss pet.  It was a super easy tame compared to The Beast.

- Hell, it was a super easy tame compared to King Krush.

- Quite possibly the easiest tame in the game, even my level 14 fox did more damage to me when I tamed it the other day.

- Start tame at max distance, he will be tamed before he gets to you. Wow, hard huh?

- Got plenty of the new questing achievements.

- I am worried about Earthen Ring and Wildhammer however.  There are quest givers for them, should I do them now or wait until the rep counts?

- Do they even award rep for the new factions?

- Hell, I should just get it done anyway.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No Ports? No Problem.

I will miss them.  Most likely you will miss them.  We got so used to using them to get around it will take some getting used to for sure.  Fear not however because I am here with a trusty guide to help you get around.

Things that will make life easier for you.

If you want to get back to Northrend you have two options. One takes gold and one takes time.

Argent Crusader's Tabard - 50 Champion Seals and this baby can be yours.
Band of the Kirin Tor - It will cost a bunch, less with rep, but it is nice to have if you have the gold.

Once your guild gets moving you can always buy these to get to Stormwind.

Shroud of Cooperation - This one has an 8 hour cool down however.
Wrap of Unity - This one has a 4 hour cool down.
Cloak of Coordination - Is a much more reasonable 2 hour cool down.

In case you have not noticed, and judging by reading the forums most of you haven't, there is still a very useful port in Dalaran.

The Port to the Caverns of Time is still there.  Use it.

Here are some ways how travel got easier in case you did not notice and again, it sure seems like no one has.

The boat from Stormwind goes directly to Darn now.
You can port to Exodar from Darn.  The port is next to the one to the blasted lands.
You can now fly to Exodar from anywhere in Kalimdor, it is now connected like it should be.

When Cataclysm comes out we have even more ways to get around easily.

Potion of Deepholm - Will bring you to Deepholm, might be worth holding on to a few of these while questing there.  Will allow you to keep your hearth elsewhere and use the potion to get there.
There are Ports to the new questing area in Stormwind.

So you see, it is really not all that bad.  Here is how you play it.

1) Get a ring or a tabard in case you need to head back to Northrend for some reason (or need to get to CoT).
2) Start by setting your hearth to Stormwind.
- You can get to Mid Kalimdor by a short flight to Booty Bay and a boat to Ratchet.
- You can get to North Kalimdor by taking the boat to Darn.
- You can get to South Kalimdor by using your ring/tabard and taking the CoT port in Dalaran.
- You can get to the new questing areas from Ports.
- You are centrally located in the Eastern Kingdom so have reasonable access to everything there.
3) When Cataclysm come out you can use one of two options.
- Set your hearth to your questing area and travel back to Stormwind should you need to.
- Set your hearth to Stormwind and travel back to your questing area as need be.
4) Once your guild starts getting achievements and ranks you will have...
- The back piece you can use to port you to Stormwind.
- A 15 minute hearthstone.
5) If you decide you need to go to Northrend you have...
- Your trusty new ring/tabard.
- The same boats that where there before.
- Easy return with your hearth because it will be set where you need to be.
6) If you decide you need to go to Outlands you have...
- The same ports to the blasted lands as before.
- Easy return with your hearth because it will be set where you need to be.

Extra points for you if you are a Scribe (scroll), a Shaman (recall), a Druid (moonglade) or Engineer (wormhole) to add to getting around.  This guide does not list them directly but if you are one of those things you already know about them I am sure. If you are a Mage please disregard this guide completely and just set your hearth to wherever you are currently questing.

Hope you enjoyed my guide.  I made it up on the fly and am sure I missed some things, but you should get the idea.  It might suck a little now being we are still doing things in Northrend, or some of us are, but once Cataclysm hits you will not even remember the ports where there.

A Loremaster No More?

I have the Loremaster title.  I have completed 5568 quests.  If there is a quest somewhere I do it or at least attempt to when I have the time to.  I like to quest, what can I say.  Yet now I feel like a complete noob all over again looking at all those undone quests floating all over the place as I went collecting all the new flight paths yesterday.

I will still wear my Loremaster title with pride but I do not feel as if I deserve it any more.  I have so many quests to do and looking at the achievements I have a lot of work ahead of me.  I will not feel right until I get them all done and once again earn the title.

Here is what the future looks like for me, hopefully I can get it all done before cataclysm.

Eastern Kingdoms
Arathi Highlands 0/18
Badlands 0/35
Blasted Lands 1/35
Burning Steppes 0/40
Cape of Stranglethorn 0/60
Duskwood 2/45
Eastern Plaguelands 0/70
Hinterlands 2/30
Loch Modan 8/45
Northern Stranglethorn 0/50
Redridge Mountains 0/40
Searing Gorge 0/35
Swamp of Sorrows 1/25
Western Plaguelands 0/45
Westfall 0/35
Wetlands 1/40

Silithus 19/19
Ashenvale 1/70
Bloodmyst Isle 59/60
Darkshore 2/90
Desolace 11/55
Dustwallow Marsh 6/60
Felwood 3/55
Feralas 1/40
Stonetalon Mountains 0/60
Southern Barrens 0/50
Tanaris 5/40
Thousand Needles 1/60
Un'Goro Crater 1/45
Winterspring 0/60

Don't know about you but from the looks of it it appears to me that I've done basically nothing.  Holy crap I have a lot of questing ahead of me.  I will not feel comfortable until I get all those quests done and can really be a true Loremaster again.

I did make sure to get my pet from Peacebloom vs Ghouls however.  Made a pass by there while collecting flight paths even if it was a little out of the way.  Going to be fun having my Singing Sunflower follow me while I do all those new quests.

So can anyone guess what I'll be doing when I play this weekend?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's The End Of The World As We Know It.

I won't be one of the first people to experience it on live being I am at work but I have taken a sneak peak already like a lot of curious players surely have.  The changes are astounding to say the least but I can not help but already miss certain things.

For instance, the docks when you first arrive to darkshore.  I've started many new characters on new servers where I did not have a sugar daddy 80 to give them gold and I used those docks to make gold.  A brand spanking new character, with 30 minutes of fishing from those docks, could easily find themselves with 50 gold.  That 50 gold would be enough to get somewhat decent bags and bags make leveling 100 times easier.  Where can I go for quick and easy cash now?

There are some places that needed a boost really because there was almost no reason to visit them.  Changes to the areas will surely bring a lot of visitors there but it will be a temporary thing.  Once people have gone there and taken in the scenery then what?  They go back to where the top level content is so they can hang there, farm there, or wait there for their raids.

There are a few places I will miss but over all the impact on me outside of those small things is extremely minimal.  Leveling in the new world will be fun. I have a Hunter, a Pally and a Warrior that are still just babies on an RP server that will get some attention in the new world.  That is something to look forward too.

Changing the old world is nice and all and it does progress the story of the game but over all it is sadly a complete and total waste of programmer and designer resources.  The amount of time that was spent redesigning what was there must have been huge.  While I do agree that a change was needed I do not believe that change should have really been, what seems like, a large portion of what this expansion will bring.  I do understand that the changes are across the whole world, not just for the expansion owners but it is still marketed as part of cataclysms changes so we have to consider that the time spent making cataclysm is also the time spend doing this.

If they spent even half that time on working on raids, mechanics, class balance, stopping bots, etc then the game would be 100 times better then it is now with just new scenery. 

The new Feathermoon is amazing I think.  I hated the old one because it was blah and it was so far away.  Now it is a tiny bit closer and looks incredible.  Does this mean I will go there?  Nope. Will I go there to look at it?  At some point, maybe.  Outside of a quest requiring me to go there I do not see any reason I will ever go there.  So all that time spent redesigning that is completely and totally wasted on me.  Actually, it is wasted on everyone. Even a first time player. 

There is no need outside of questing to ever go there and the old version was fine for that purpose.  After I quested there on my main my first time through playing the game I have never been through there again, never.  No need to.  It is so far out of the way and the quests are all spread out.  It is not an ideal area to quest.  Once you see it, there is never any need to go back.  Even with the redesign it will be the same.  Once you see it there is no reason to ever go back there.

While over all I support the changes, I do think an update of sorts was needed, I do not think it should be something that is being considered part of an expansion.  They could have just as easily updated little bits here and there when there was nothing going on and worked on other important things.

Don't get me wrong I do like the changes and being I am a questing fool I will do each and every quest that has been changed or added and is open to me to do.  It will give me a chance to enjoy the new old world.  I really am going to enjoy seeing it all again with new eyes.

I just question the over all thought put into this rebuilding.  As I said before, there is no reason to visit feathermoon before the change and there is no reason to visit feathermoon after.  All that work for nothing.

Blizzard should have considered making zones a bit more dynamic instead of making them pretty.  Scale mobs to the person attacking them.  If a level 40 runs past it will attack a level 40 creature, if a level 80 passes by they will attack a level 80 creature.  If a miner at level 20 passes by he will find a copper node and if a level 80 miner passes by he will find a saronite node. 

You get where I am going with this?  Make the zones all current for when you are at max level.  Only when at max.  So if a level 60 goes through a 40 zone they see 40 stuff but if a level 80 goes through they see 80 stuff, they pick 80 herbs, they mine 80 nodes, the skin 80 leather, they get 80 drops, etc.  Now there is a damn good reason to make me go to feathermoon.  It is so out of the way no one would ever go there.  So it would make for a perfect mining, herbing, skinning area being there would be less competition.  Now I would have a reason to see this feathermoon more then just once as I visit and never come back again.

It would have been as easy to code as redesigning the entire landscape was most likely and it would have actually made all these areas worth visiting again.  As it is, even as pretty as they look, 98% of azeroth will still be unused once everyone gets their first visits out of the way.  The way they did it gives top level players a reason to visit it once, if they made it dynamic based on top level it gives top level players a reason to visit it often.

Now that would have been a fantastic change to the game and not just a minor cosmetic one that this will be.  So say goodbye to the old things we will miss, say hello to the new things we have and when cataclysm comes we can go back to completely ignoring them like we have ever since we passed them the first time.  It will be like a kid with a new toy.  Everyone will love it and enjoy it and then cataclysm will come out and no one will ever see any of it again.  Sad really.  All that wasted time to make it and it will get thrown away again in 2 weeks.  They really should have used that time to do something that would have been good for the game.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Working on Cooking

The Pilgrim's Bounty is something I have been waiting for.  The reason being is that since it last passed I started a bunch of new characters.  Two of them I leveled cooking the old fashion way, I worked to level it.  This required fishing, hunting, running all over for recipes that I needed, even the occasional visit to the auction house.

Is there any more satisfaction doing it that way then doing it easy?  Nope.  High cooking is high cooking no matter how you got it there really.  With that in mind I stopped training cooking on my characters looking forward to pilgrim's bounty time.  Not saying I never picked it up.  I did.  But usually somewhere between 60 and 160 it died out.  Either because I needed to go somewhere out of the way to get a recipe or over pay on the auction house.  Two things I had no desire in doing. 

That is where this holiday event comes in.  You can easily get to 305 minimum and 350 maximum doing the quests and cooking from the recipes that are supplied for the event.

Basically you will need around 80 of each unique item, there are three, one each in each of the vanilla cities.  If you do the quest line the best way to handle this is to not make anything until you got the quest for it that says "prepare 5" of the item.  Once you get that quest, cook 80 of them.

Keep the others on hand because you will get a quest to turn in 20 so might as well already have them done being you were doing them to level any way.

On the last step if you go over the 80 mark and really stress it you can get it up to 295.  I would suggest that, the materials are cheap so getting 1 skill up every 4 or 5 is no big deal.  It also means less turkey hunting should you want to max it later.

Once you go back to do the turkey one you will need to get 25 turkeys anyway for both quests for it so kill 25 and go back and cook them and you will be at 320 cooking.  If you really want to you can go and kill more turkeys and get it up to 350 or if you want you can stop at 280 on the previous cooking and only get up to 305 with cooking the turkeys.

Either way, for much cheaper, less time, less travel, and some achievements made along the way, you will get cooking up to 305 at least.  Usually you can power level it from there using the auction house.  So many people leveling through BC areas sell meat and fish dirt cheap.  Just a matter of grabbing the recipes which in BC, with flight, is a hell of a lot faster then hunting them down in vanilla.

Love this event for the ease of leveling cooking.  I am not working on the meta achievement on any of the other characters.  I did it on my main last year and in truth it was most of them are not fun in the slightest.  It is not something I would ever want to do again on any of my other characters unless there is a pet or mount or title I might want.  With the exception of the polymorph rabbit from noblegarden I do not think there is anything in any event I would go after now.

I am proud of the achievement for a long strange trip on my main but it is not something I will ever do again even if you paid me to do it.  Not sure what type of person would consider doing some of the crap they have us do as fun.  90% of the things you do for these events are purely time wasters and nothing more. 

In the end, all you get out of it is a mount and master flight now.  That is 4,000g (with faction rep discount). It will take you at least 100 hours to complete all the crap for the meta.  Most of it is either boring or frustrating.  Now, in that same 100 hour you can make 40,000g with ease even if you are not an auction house master mind.  So lets see. 100 hours get the mount and flight for one character or 100 hours gets no mount but flying for all 10 characters on a server.  I'll take 310% for everyone and only worry about the meta on my main if that is really what you are into.  Most of these events are useless.

Except for this one.  It is something that everyone should do even if you do not care about cooking.  Why not level it up if it is cheap and easy?

Pro Tip:
If you have a Mage, hang around one of the tables, people will whisper you for ports.  I made almost 500 gold and I was not even trying.  I was just getting my cooking up and at that it was really early in the morning and not many where on yet.  Once I was done I logged off.  Imagine if I stayed around?  I could have easily made 10K gold yesterday.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Collecting Some New Pets

When 4.0.03a launches we will have the ability to tame a few new pets.  Needless to say like any good Hunter I am already looking to find some new companions to travel with.  Over at Petopia, the pet bible, they have a great page just dedicated for Cataclysm pet additions.

Some I will need to wait to get but others I can pick up as soon as 4.0.3a is released.

So far it is looking like these babies will be on my hit list.

Purple Scarab Beetle - Might even name him Dung but I have a feeling that will be over used.  A purple beetle for a Night Elf Hunter just goes without saying. However, in Uldum at 83, I will be waiting on him some.  There are other beetles I can get now but they are not purple.  Might grab one of them just to test it out however.

Fox - I want one just for the dance.  Something fun to pass the time after a wipe.  Just have not decided on what color to roll with yet.

Purple Shale Spider - This baby I have to wait on as well being it will not exist come 4.0.3a but it is on my list for sure.  The buff will be fantastic to have for solo or grouping and purple is just, well purple.  I want a yellow one too but there is no use wasting two spaces on the same type of pet.

The other two new classes, Dog and Monkey do not really interest me.  Dog is just a wolf in my opinion and Monkey, while it does fling poo and you have to love that, does not have any skins that really interest me.

There are some pets with a few new skins that I would consider but am not really pouring over them just yet.  I do want to get the one tiger that I saw posted on someones blog that you can only get during a quest.  Damned if I can remember what it was called or where it was.

All I know is it is a level 85 Tiger in a phased 83 area.  Which means if I quest through there and miss it then I can never get it.  I'll go through my blog roll and the dozens of hunter links I have saved and find who posted about it and probably note it here so others can see which one I am talking about.  It is like my ZG tiger, but with glowing eyes.  Have to love that, can't miss it.

I'll need to make sure I do not do that quest line until I am level 85 so that way I can tame it.  Whichever area he is in I will just completely avoid and then go back at 85 and grab him.  From early reports it seems like everyone will be 85 in less then one day anyway, so it is not like I will have to wait long at all to get him.

Now to go searching for him again.  Will update this when I find him.

Found it over at the Brew Hall.  Now to make sure I remember this later.

Not enough for ICC?

Then why not run Naxx for fun?

We only had 7 people on willing to raid and did not feel like pugging to fill out our LK team, we want all guild members for that, and we did not feel like dragging pugs in for an alt run.  Worst thing ever is to fail at an alt run.  It makes you look bad.

So what do you do?  Well, lots and lots of us have alts, some are brand spanking new 80s even.  So why not take a run through Naxx and get them some easy gear.  Even if most of the people that were going were near appropriately geared for Naxx it should still be easy enough.

We had a few wipes because no one had ever seen any of these bosses before.  It was the first time any of them have even heard of them, never the less seen or done them.  They only knew the weekly ones and those are only first bosses.  It was also my first time healing any of this.  Not like it would really be a problem.  I was only of the three characters that was really over geared for this.

The safety dance was fun.  I have never in my life survived that.  I suck at dancing.  After a wipe we went back to try it again and we picked it up fast enough.  Was humorous seeing people do it for the first time.  You can actually see panic in someones character by the way they run sometimes.  I recognized that panic.  That panic was "I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I'm going to die".  I've been there. 

Hell, on fights like that I am still there.  I suck at dancing in case I had not mentioned that before.  BTW, I actually did live through it for the first time ever.  Five people lived through it actually.  Pretty impressive for the first time there for so many and people like me that just never got it.

Loatheb is the perfect example of how easily something could be over geared and it does not need a completely over geared group either.  Just one over geared Disc Priest is all you need.  My shields were more then enough to make sure no one ever took damage.  Some other heals where nice and all but the power of my shield being over geared could have had it covered all alone even if the other people there were not over geared.

It was fun doing it as a guild run.  It was fun to have people along that where not normal raiders.  It was fun doing something that you knew you could do even with lower geared people.  Most of all it was fun having the loot drop on an old raid like that and there were actually people there that needed the stuff.  Nearly every boss had something that someone needed.  It made the run not only fun, but an astounding success.

Who says that running old content is useless.  It was fun and helped people with gear.  I think I would like to run more runs like that.  Not to mention it got my healer a bunch of achievements.  She had never done anything in there outside of the weeklys.  She even won the key for Maly.  Not a bad day for her at all.

Sometimes when you feel let down by your guild, like people not showing for a LK kill you can find that your guild can pick you right back up by running something else.  It isn't all about the end game all the time.  Sometimes it is just about having fun and giving the new guys a taste of what raiding is like.  Sometimes, that is just flat out more fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I had seen those seemingly odd letter combinations around a lot lately and did not know what they were.  I notice that it is usually accompanied by some excellent writing of either the fan faction, or original variety.  Mostly I read the stuff over at Orcish Army Knife and was wondering what it was about.

So I did what any self respecting person would.  I hit google.  Sure, I could just ask but asking sometimes seems lazy.  Like all those people that ask "can we fly yet?" after every patch.  Get your lazy ass to any number of sites and take two seconds to look for yourself.  Needless to say I looked for myself.

It is about a writing.  You can check it out here at the National Novel Writing Month website. Seems interesting and I am considering joining in.  50,000 words is a decent amount to tackle for a web writing thing and even more so being I have less then 2 weeks to complete it now if I start but I have done more then that before plenty of times.

The thing is I have two worries.  One being where would I post it?  It would not really fit on this blog or an RP blog.  I could make another one just for it.  That would most likely be the way to go I think.

The second worry is that I would want to continue working on an old horror novel I never got to deep into and left behind.  The thing is the novel is not like my normal writing and nothing like anything I have ever published.  Most of my writing are what could best be considered family friendly.  Even if not aimed at kids it is just the way I write.  No sex, no cursing, no controversial subjects.  My writing is usually fantasy.  So that is simple really.

In this horror story I have interest in finishing there are lots of things that would be considered touchy.  A few friends of mine that I had decided to share it with left me with some doubts it might be something I could post on the net really.

One friend told me, after reading the first chapter, that they were sorry but they could not read any more.  They wanted to help me and give me some advice on the story but the first chapter was just way to much for them and if the rest of the story would be like that they could not read it.  Being it is a horror writing I can take that as a compliment I guess and in truth I wrote the first chapter hoping to have that effect on people.

I stopped working on it when the other friend that was reading it told me the same thing after the fifth chapter.  They said that it was just too real and they felt very uncomfortable reading it and they did not want me sharing any more chapters with them.

From that point on it just went away and I've never worked on it since then.  That was a few years ago.  If I were to write something that is where I would want to continue.  There was something to be said in that book and it was that not all horror comes from some bad guy going around killing people.  There is more to horror then that.  I really felt like I had something to tell and it got lost along the way.

I guess having people to push you along helps you keep writing when you have doubts but having people not want to read it, even if it is for what might be considered a good reason, makes you feel it is not worth continuing with.

As odd as it sounds, where the novel was going does have its place in the WoW world so to speak even if I had started it before WoW was even a game.  Maybe that is a sign?  There is an underlining story of a MMORPG connecting everything throughout the book.  Interesting when you think that back when I started it MMORPG was not even a term yet. Odd, isn't it?

The Exalted

I finally got my 40 exalted reputations and it came in a three pack.  40 Exalted Reputations came along with Frenzyheart Tribe and Mercenary of Sholazar.  Have to love the achievement spam when a few hit at the same time.

So that is another task down that I do not need to wait on.  They are changing the title from 40 to 45.  Not like it would have been a problem to get it in Cataclysm being there will be new factions so 40 and 45 are basically the same thing for all intent purposes but having it now is always better then having it later.

Now to finish off the five raid reputations I am missing from exalted. Heck, those would give me 45 already if I had not been a slacker and worked on them earlier. 

The next task will be the PvP factions.  That one I figure will take damn near forever for a few reasons.  First being I do not PvP often enough.  Second being my battlegroup sucks ass.  Third being right now Hunters are about as useful in PvP as a pair of gloves for the one armed man, only half useful.  If alliance wins one battleground out of every 10 it is a lot.  I'll just consider that a long term goal.  An extremely long term goal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ruby Sanctum

It might be really late in the game to get the achievement but over all it is not for me.  I went into a Ruby Sanctum run last night for the first time since it came out and got my achievement.  The Twilight Destroyer (25 Player) in the books now.

The last time I was in the Ruby Sanctum was the day it was released.  The guild went in and we were the first guild on the server to make it Halion.  We did a few attempts at it wiping each time of course as we where learning.  We had gotten it down to about 20% before raid time ran out.  If we had kept running we easily would have gotten realm first.  No one came even near as close as we did on that first night.

Realm first came about 2 weeks later on my server believe it or not.  No doubt we would have gotten realm first even if we had even continued the next day or the day after.  We were so close.  The downfall of my groups were always follow ups.  We never went back to continue it.  Hell, we never went back there at all, ever.

Last night I was invited to a PuG that was doing it and we almost one shot it.  We only had 2% left when we wiped.  How much does that suck?  We downed it no problem the next time.  Not bad for a PuG over all and killer for a server like mine which sucks big time.  Half the raid even got the achievement showing that it was a first time for many of us.

For an idea how bad PuGs on my server are, if you go 4/12 in ICC it is considered good.  I often only try to run with guild mates or friends of guild mates when we run.  We do not PuG often.  On the rare occasion that we PuG it is usually with alt runs into ICC.  We make 6/12 with ease even with alts and I've been told by a few PuGs we picked up for them saying that it was the best PuG they had ever been in.  That is actually high praise being PuGs on my server suck big time and we are all on alts.

All this goes to prove one thing for sure.  My crew is good.  It almost had realm first on RS but then gave up.  It runs smooth 6 or 7 boss ICC runs on alts in less then 2 hours.  So why can't we ever get anything done ourselves?  I just wish more people would show.

It is getting really sad that I am the raid leader and have to go join PuGs to get my achievements because my own raid members will not even show up for their own raids.  I am hoping this changes comes Cataclysm.  I keep saying we just need to recruit more people but it is really hard to recruit anyone when they see the horrible turnout that you have to start off with.  No one wants to stay.

Oh well, I'll keep plugging along and doing what it is I can do.  Makes me upset however that I did the right thing and healed an alt run for my guild for ICC when I had been invited on my main to go on an ICC 25 man that one shot the whole place the same night.  All I need for my 25 man achievement is the blood area and LK.  I choose to stay with my guild.  Sometimes I think I am an idiot.  Why do I go out of my way to help people that will not even show up more then once a week to continue a run?

Sometimes getting an achievement is depressing when you realize it should have been done a long time ago with your own crew but your own crew can't even show up for a raid 2 nights in the same week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Elemental Chaos

Phase 4 of the elemental invasion has started and so far it has been fun.  I did one defense with my Mage and one with my Shaman.  No need to do it on my Hunter being I had done it months ago on the PTR and there is really nothing to be gained from it. 

I might do all four bosses with my Hunter at one point just for the sake of doing it but there are no achievements for it and my Hunter surely does not need any gear from there.  Heck, even if this happened 9 months ago my Hunter needed none of this gear.

My Priest can use the cloth feet being the ones I am currently using are 251 DPS boots.  They were a huge upgrade from my 200 ones and no one else needed them so even with the wasted hit on them it was still a nice upgrade.  I would like to get these instead however.

My Shaman gets to see only one mail item drop and it doesn't even need it.  In all honesty, what self respecting player that actually wants gear does not already have at least the chest set item?  I do not have it on my Rogue, but that is because my Rogue hit 80 and I have not logged on to it since.  Otherwise anyone I actually play has it.  It is so easy to get JP now there is no reason why you should not have set items within two days of being 80 if you actually gave a crap about gearing up.

The free gear give away is kind of nice.  Will make it a bit easier from the start for leveling characters, even more so characters like my Death Knight and Rogue that hit 80 and then did nothing. but any character, even my Mage who is my other most recent 80 beside my Rogue already has most frost gear and I don't even play him often.  Just did the grind for a few days and got everything.

I'll try and pick up some offset pieces that I need for my otherwise half geared characters and I might consider running my DK and Rogue in there for easy goodies to make leveling a tiny bit easier when their time comes but over all there is nothing to be gained from doing these.

In the end it seems that all I want out of this are the boots for my Priest.  Maybe that is because that is the only character I have been running with normally outside of my Hunter and that is the only thing I actually need. Anything else would be something I wanted for reasons of greed only.  The greed of getting easy gear, that is the generation of WotLK.

Now that I think about it some, I will make sure to do all four bosses on my Hunter just in case they give a tabard to everyone that did all four after it is all said and done.  Better safe then sorry.  Don't want my Hunter who is my main to miss out on something else to clutter up my already full bags.

WTB Tabard Tab

Come on Blizzard, it will fit nicely next to the mount tab.  Don't you think?

Monday, November 15, 2010

39 - One More To Go

I did the grind to 39 exalted reputations this weekend.  I was at 34.  Had been 35 but I am in the process of switching from Oracle to Frenzyheart so that dropped me to 34 again.  The five I grinded were Keepers of Time and the four goblin factions.  Over all it was not as bad as it might seem.

I ran Black Morass eight times to finish off Keepers of Time which was rather easy.  Did not even need a tanking pet for it being it was only one heroic, the rest where normal.  The wait between the phases where the only time when it got frustrating waiting.  I hate doing nothing.  So I went around killing spiders, crocs and cats while I was waiting.  Just for the hell of it.

The goblins where more of a task.  I did some grinding by Ratchet.  I did some grinding by Gadgetzan and I did tons and tons of runs of Dire Maul.  Grinding by ratchet was super easy.  The mobs are all over the place and the the respawn rate means you never stop moving and never stop killing.  I was not even looting and I never stopped.  The problem was that they do not give any ratchet rep past revered.  So Gadgetzan was the highest I had to I moved there to grinding being getting no rep for them would not be a big deal.

I mixed this all up with runs of Dire Maul to do the Free Knot quest and get some Ogre Suits as well.  The thing is I have no luck.  As in none what so ever.  It seems to be a standard thing for me.  I was running them at a 50% rate of getting the key.  You read that right, half the time I did not even get the key at all.  I even did full clears and never got the key.  It did get better later on but never all that great.  I had a nice streak of eight in a row where I got the key and I thought things where looking like they were going my way.

Looking at my rep I needed 1000 more for Ratchet which was the last one.  That meant three more runs.  When you get the key to drop it is a quick run.  You could do 7 or 8 in an hour if the system would allow it.  When you do not get the keys it starts to take time.  Once I saw I only needed 3 more I hit the wall.  Five full clears, zero keys.  I hate my luck.  During those 5 runs I did get the ogre suit however, so that added up to me only needing 2 more runs.  After those 5 full clears with no keys I got 2 keys the next run.  Freed him, went out, reset, went right back in and freed him again without even needing to kill anything and then hearthed out of there.

Now all I need to do it wait until I am done with my Frenzyheart dailies and I will have my 40 exalted reputations.  I never thought it would be possible when someone told me that the goblin reps do not count.  I knew that meant I would need lots of old raid reps and getting people for old raids is not easy.  Now, I can take my time getting old raid rep being the goblins do indeed count.  I am so happy they do.  I get to finish this off before they change it to needing 45 for the title instead of 40.  However, now it will be easy to get to 45 from 40 being there are new reps to be added in cataclysm. 

I wonder if I will ever catch up and have a time where there is something I am not working on grinding out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Writing of Warcraft.

I will begin this by saying right off that I have never read any of the warcraft books.  I've read some excerpts from a few but never a full book.  Now to what the topic is about.  I've been reading a lot criticizing the writing of the people that write the books and from reading the criticism of them I can tell you exactly what the problem is based on my own personal experience writing.

The books are written for children, by children's standards.  Yes, I know these are adults that write them but they are writing them from a wild imagination of a childish mind.  There is nothing wrong with that really but that explains why they get cut up so much from the adults and young adults that read them.

I started writing when I was 9 years old.  Many years have passed since then and I am a published author now.  I write mostly high fantasy or epic fantasy. What I write now however is not what this is about.  It is about what I wrote when I was 9.

When I was 9 years old I started with this great idea for a book and even now many years later I still think the idea is pretty damn awesome.  It was about a post apocalyptic world where society basically was broken down into three parts.  The haves, the have nots and the mutants.  There was a battle for power of course as is standard with anything like that but it was sort of a complex task for a 9 year old to try to take to writing.

It took me roughly 4 years to finish it but when all was said and done it was about 210 pages and it was a complete masterpiece.  At least that is what I thought when I was 13 years old.  I worked on it some for the next 2 years cleaning it up and adding or removing as I saw fit.  At a certain point I lost interest in it and stopped writing.  I put it away and never touched it again.

When I was about 25 I started to write again.  Shortly after I had my first published work.  Remembering how awesome that story was when I was younger I dug it up and dusted it off.  I figured I would rework it now and maybe try to get that published as well.

I sat down one night with a cup of tea with a splash of canadian club in it for taste of course and put my feet up on the table and started to read the story.  Oh my god.  I was a horrible writer.  What the hell was I even trying to say here?  What is that word supposed to be?  Why does every sentence begin with the?  Is it really possible to have one sentence go on for a whole chapter?

You get the idea.  I was a horrible writer when I was 9 years old but from all my memories offered me it was an amazing story and it was very well written.  I thought I was going to go back and just have to expand the vocabulary some and that was it.  I remembered it being so great.

That is where the problem is.  Over the years my writing ability got better but so did my taste in things I liked.  That is not just me, that is everyone.  I talked to a friend that had read it back when I wrote it and told him about how horrible it was.  Do you know what he said?  You have to be kidding me, that was one of the best things I think I have ever read.  He went on to even recall certain scenes that he liked, the characters he connected to, events that happened, all with the awe of someone talking about the newest, lastest, greatest thing.

You see, he remembered it with a 9 year old mind.  He remembered it as he saw it back then and back then it really was good. Now, not so much really.  As you get older your tastes change but not only that but your wealth of experience changes as well.  If you have never read much then your expectations are lower. 

That is where I think these warcraft book writers are coming from.  They are writing with the heart that a 9 year old me had.  The wide eyed excitement of everything being fantastic.  Like one of those criticized things I see is the raptor army.  It seems rather stupid to me and many because it is so unbelievable but in the eyes of a 9 year old that is the greatest fucking thing ever.

That is who those books are aimed at I believe.  The people without a wealth of reading experience and knowledge of the genre. Not saying they are meant for 9 year olds or written by people that have the skills of a 9 year old.  What I am saying is that to someone out there those are the greatest books ever written and that is who it is aimed it.  The people who will really enjoy it.

As long as it is written well, even if it is completely unbelievable and utterly ridiculous, you can still enjoy it.  Let yourself relax and not take things so serious and you can enjoy them just like you would have enjoyed them when you were 9 years old.

Believe it or not, some adults still read the Goosebumps books and lets get real, once you are reading King and other horror mavens the Goosebump books are pretty darn lame.  The reason otherwise intelligent adults like these lesser books is because they are brainless fun and allow yourself to just let go and enjoy.

Next time someone blasts these warcraft book writers for things like the raptor army remember that out there are some kids, and adults that like to suspend belief, that think that is amazing and love it.  The books are written for the lowest common denominator.  Anyone can read them.  Adults just need to relax and not be so cynical and pick apart all those stupid things in the books.  Remember, they are not written for you alone.

Open your mind and enjoy them and if you are incapable of doing that just do not read them and understand that they were not written for you, they were written for everyone and everyone includes that 9 year old in all of us.  Release your inner child and enjoy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran of the Shifting Sands

I got the quest line done and now when 4.0.3 hits, it is it Cataclysm, I will have the Veteran of the Shifting Sands achievement.  Some rumors are going around that there might be a title added for it called of the Shifting Sands which sounds kind of cool.  If there is I will wear it at least for a little while.

A few guild mates of mine came along with me as I finished up the quests telling me stories about what it was like back in the day when the gates where first opened.  I wish I were there.  In terms of a world event the way they remember it really shine bright as a true world event.  Of course every looks back and sees things through rose colored glasses but even some of the videos I saw online of it seem to come off showing that is really was as amazing of an event as they made it out to be.

I am so glad to be done with all that running around and collecting and raiding and questing but I am also glad that I got a chance to do it before it was taken out.  It is a long journey but for anyone that likes to explore the old world and read the quests it was well worth the effort and the time involved.

One quest I have now that it is all done.  What the hell do I do with that Scepter now?  I will not throw it away as I am a junk collector with stuff like that but it really does serve no purpose what so ever.  I wish it were something we can use.  Even if it was a super low stat item that was for vanity only.  That would be fun to wear.  I took the sword from the quest reward at the end and that looks awesome.  It will go into my throwback set now.  That and my epic bow.  I'll be styling for sure.

Now to find the next task.  40 exalted before Cataclysm?  I'm at 34 now.  Was 35 but it went down one when I started the switch to Frenzyheart.  Will be back to 35 in 8 days.  Now to find myself 5 more factions I can grind.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ding! Another 80.

Okay, I know I said I was going to do it on the weekend but 76 to 80 is so stupid easy and quick and I had nothing to do so I went for it last night.  I did some work on it on Monday night before raid time and finished it up last night.

If leveling is Cataclysm is anything like 76-80 I expect to be 85 less then 1 day of game play time at most.  This is a feat that I never thought I would accomplish.  Rogues, in all kindness, suck ass.  They really are hard to level.  Maybe it is because I suck at being a Rogue, maybe it is because I really do not like melee to begin with, maybe it is because they are so freaking squishy for someone that is fighting a battle hand to hand.

Either way I rode recuperate to 80.  Go in hack hack stun (if I can), hack hack kill recuperate and move to the next target.  Never needed to stop and eat after battles, no worries about finishing moves unless it is going to be a long battle.  Just hack and recuperate made for a constant flow of movement.

Rogues basically went from kill one or two and eat to kill, kill, kill, kill, no stopping ever.  That is what got me back to leveling my Rogue.  I hated having to eat after every freaking fight because they get the crap beat out of them so easily.  The Rogue was my second character believe it or not and it took forever to get it to 80 (real time wise, not game time wise).  It feels like a huge accomplishment to get it done being as bad as they are to level.

A few notes on Recuperate that others that hate Rogues but want to punish themselves by trying to level them should know.

1) Use it whenever something dies with combo points on it.  If the time of the buff will be longer then the buff you are currently working on is then it will give you the max time for it.
2) It counts as a finishing move which means it procs Relentless Strikes which in turn can make it almost free and there is no reason not to take a free heal.
3) It can be used in stealth.  So if you need a break in the action you can vanish and use it before getting back into battle. Or stealth instantly after the fight and do it before moving to the next target.
4) You do not need to target the target to use it.  Two mobs?  No Problem.  Mow down one, target the other to start auto attacking it and use it to get the combo points off the dead one.
5) It has a nice range.  You do not need to be on top of the target.
Some things I read just recently but never personally realized...
6) You can get a small but free heal by using premeditation on anything and then recuperate to start the heal.  It will not start battle and it will not break stealth.
7) It stacks with Quick Recovery which ups the healing to 36%
8) Improved Recuperate brings it to 50%, 60% when paired with Quick Recovery
Honestly I never even noticed those things...

All in all, I would still have a level 60 something Rogue if it were not for this little baby that heals you.  When 4.0.1 dropped I had 2 characters sitting in 60s that I had not worked on.  My Mage and my Rogue.  The patch made Mages gods that walk on earth when it comes to damage which made leveling super fast.  The patch made Rogue less annoying because they no longer needed to stop and eat every 30 seconds.  Both those character from 60something-80 took me less then 1 day play time each to get from 60-80. 

I wonder if I can do that with my Warrior as well.  Just got to 60 with only 2 days played so far.  Imagine leveling to 80 in only 3 days while leveling engineering and jewel crafting as well to max.  That would be impressive.

Thank you 4.0.1.  For every bit of Hunter hate that patch spewed in massive amounts it seemingly gave huge love to every other class out there.  Now, can I get my Warrior, Lock and Paladin to 80 before Cataclysm comes?  Hell no.  But I will try to get my warrior there at least, if only because it is my only Engineer.

Still No Spirit But A King

Being I have been switching from Oracle to Frenzyheart recently I've been trying to get some new pets to level while doing this.  Picked up the Beast from UBRS a short time ago and leveled him just by doing the daily quests.  Lots of killing going on and I really do not even need a pet to help me for any of it so it is perfect for leveling.

Being I'm flying around the Basin doing those I've been doing it as BM so if I get lucky I can tame a Spirit Beast.  I make the passes around the spawn points every day but do not make a concentrated effort to camp one to tame.  If I get it I get it.  That is my attitude.

I've yet to see a Spirit Beast.  I did see the bird on my Mage but never on my Hunter.  I have also never seen King Krush.   Basically, while on my Hunter, I have never seen a trainable rare spawn.  That is until yesterday.

King Krush was just there hanging out so I figured what the hell, let me try and grab him.  I read that he is really hard to tame being he fears.  The shorter Tame Beast however will make it easier. 

So I went in for the Tame.  Landed, dismissed my pet and ran up to him at max range to start my tame.  He walked up to me, about half tame now, and whacked me for 2700.  Not bad, I have 30K health and I can easily take a few hits like that.  Then he feared me.  Blah, forgot to try on my PvP trinket, I should have known better.  The fear runs out and while I was being feared I came to thinking someone is going to kill him on me.  I've read 100s of Hunter horror stories.

So if someone is going to kill him I am going to make sure I get the loot at least.  I sting him and whack him once when he gets into melee range just for good measure.  Now at least he is my loot if someone wants to kill him on me. I start my tame and he hits me again for 3K, then again for 2800, then he fears me again.  But guess what?  I resisted.  I did not even know you could resist an NPC fear.  I thought that was only for PvP from another player that had diminishing returns.  I am not about to complain.  1 second after he tried to fear me he was mine.

Now I have another leveling pet while doing my Frenzyheart dailies.  I still hope to get a Spirit Beast at some point but I will not go crazy looking for one.  This is my first rare tame.  I needed a devilsaur anyway to fill my stable up.  Now I have my walking critical buff. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soloing at 85

I've recently seen some people posting about soloing 80 content at 85 such as heroic dungeons and raids.  Someone will always come up and say something about how DKs and Paladins can already solo many of the 80 heroic dungeons which is true but people seem to keep forgetting about Hunters.  I don't know about the other Hunters out there but I've been soloing 80 heroics since before ICC came out.  Give the Hunters some love.  When it comes to soloing we rock in any thing that does not require healing as well.

Soloing at 85 will not be a great deal easier then it is now.  Sure, we will have some higher stats and definitely some higher life totals but we will not be doing considerably more damage, at least on the entry phases of Cataclysm end game.  From what I have seen people are only doing end game DPS on the beta roughly equivalent to what we can currently achieve in ICC with the buff.

Where exactly does that leave us?  We will be doing slightly more DPS then we are now.  It will be like carrying that 30% buff with you everywhere you go.  Now think of what we are capable of doing at the moment and add 30% more damage to it.  Is that really enough to make classes that can not currently solo things be able to solo them?

I think not.  I will use myself as an example being I know what I have done and how I did it.  Factoring in carrying around the 30% buff and much higher life totals that 85 will bring us I will think of what I have been able to solo and what I have not been able to solo.

I've soloed Nexus, DTK, Gundrak, UK, CoS, and VH.  I am sure I can solo more but I have not really tried to.  I did all of those before ICC even came out, before I ever even stepped foot into ToC, Ulduar was my top gear when I did those. 

I am doing roughly three times the damage now that I was back when I first soloed them.  So does that mean that I can solo them easier?  Somewhat.  Faster?  Absolutely.  Doing more damage makes things die faster which makes following mechanics and managing pulls a lot easier being you down things faster.  It gives you a much larger margin for error.

With more life and damage I think I can easily get though some of the other ones, heck, I might even be able to do them now.  I just have not tried.  AN, AN:OK and HoS all seem like I should be able to do them if I tried. Whereas the mechanics of Oculus would seem to make it impossible to solo the end boss.

Doing more damage will make it easier to do the ones I have already done for those that do not have the patience I do when it comes to soloing.  I pull so slowly and as few packs as humanly possible.  The more damage you can do to them, the less the need for such highly controlled pulls.  So while you might see more people soloing the content it does not mean that it was 85 that made them capable of soloing it.  They probably could have before but they just never tried or they just did not have the skill needed to do so.

There are very few bosses in 80 heroics that having more DPS will help power through them solo.  Bronjahm in FoS is one of those bosses.  As it is now it is nearly impossible to ignore his Corrupt Soul and while soloing it there is no doubt that he will be getting the soul which heals him.  This is one of those cases were more DPS make a boss easier.  If you can do enough DPS then him absorbing the Soul will just prolong the fight and not make it impossible.

DPS will help in some cases but mechanics rule when it comes to soloing.  No matter what your life total is.  No matter what your healing capabilities are.  No what how much DPS you can pump out.  Some fights will just always be impossible to solo.

The difference between 80 and 85 is so minimal at the moment from all the evidence we have seen that it would lead me to believe that no one is going to be steam rolling through 80 heroics the way I can currently steamroll through 70 heroics.  I personally think that is a good thing.

When it comes to soloing there are three types of encounter you will run into.

Can Be Overpowered:  This is something that you will just straight out beat.
Can't Be Soloed:  This is something that absolutely requires more then one person.
Needs Time and Extreme Effort:  Like the Rogue that soloed Patchwork.

At the moment I think that with option 3, time and effort, anything that can be soloed at 85 can currently be soloed at 80 with ICC gear.  I doubt more things will open up to be soloable that aren't already so. 

The little extra that 85 offers over 80 will mean that some other players that are not as dedicated or skilled as the Rogue that soloed Patch was might be able to do it as well but they will still need time and effort, they will not be able to turn it into option 1 and just overpower it.  That is not going to happen between 80 and 85. 

For minor things like Bronjham it might move into option 1 from option 3 but that is it.  There are only a few fights on the cusp like that.  Most of the things that can't be done now will still not be able to be done later.  For option 2 you can take a look at the first boss in BWL.  We seriously out gear that raid now and you can still not solo that boss because as I stated before, mechanics rule.

Personally I love trying to solo old content that is challenging and I really do hate that some fights become impossible for only one person to do.  I think the ultimate challenge in the game is to do something that was not meant to be done without cheating of course.  I take pride in the few 80 heroics I have soloed.  Does it amount to anything?  Nope.  But being able to say you soloed an 80 heroic at 80 means a hell of a lot more then saying you soloed it at 85.  So head out there and test your skill and see how many heroics you can solo.  I might just have to try the ones I have not finished yet to see if I can.  Now that sounds like fun.

Why wait until 85 to start soloing 80 heroics?  Just do it now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

I am an East Coast user and anyone that is on the East Coast knows that there were connection issues yesterday.  Have to love how all these people reported issues and everyone else just says "I am fine it must be you".  I can understand that from another user but when Blizzard employees start saying that then we have a problem.

A friend of mine was told to check his anti virus because that was most likely causing the problem.  Another friend had put in a ticket and was lucky enough to get a response in for those rare moments you could log on.  When they finally responded they told him to delete the WTF folder.

I can understand other people not realizing that the problem is somewhere on Blizzards end being they can connect just fine but why Blizzard starts telling everyone it is their problem and not a Blizzard related problem then it might be time for Blizzard to start looking for new employees because the ones they have are morons.

Needless to say, it worked itself out and Blizzard still stands by the idea that it is a user issue.  Yes, you are right Blizzard, every single user on the East Coast all happened to have a problem at the same time.  If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you.

And now for something completely different...

Okay!  I can not tell you how sick I am of seeing that as my option when Blizzard screws up.  You have been disconnected from the server [Okay].  Nope, it is no okay.  Can I please have another option there.  It is not asking a lot.  It is just frustrating to have to click okay when it is not okay.  It is a matter of choice of words.  Change it to [Acknowledge] and now we are in business.  It is not [Okay] but I do [Acknowledge] it.

And now for something completely different...

I was working on leveling my bane this weekend.  The Rogue.  I still say it is the worst design in the game.  It is way to squishy and when dealing with multiple packs you might as well just consider yourself dead.    It is also the most dependent of hit rating of any class because without making contact you have no combo points and not special power moves.  Every other class, even if they miss some, have their power moves they can use.  Rogues are screwed without combo points which means you start missing and you are dead.

Something happened however when I hit Northrend and when the talent changes came.  The Rogue became mildly less annoying to play.  I can mow things down at a reasonable rate now and my survivability has gone up a great deal.  My Disc Priest was still 100 times more powerful then my Rogue however and could heal as well.  What does that say about Rogues?

With that said I did the impossible.  No, not 80 yet but 76.  76 is as good as 80.  Anyone that tells you otherwise is not a very observant player.  I've leveled so many characters through that point now and being you can get flying at 68 even your first time through now there is no reason for leveling through Northrend to take any time really.  76 to 80 is the easiest leveling in the game.  If I actually put in the work for it I can make 80 this weekend.  That thought alone is amazing being how much I hate playing a Rogue.

And now for something completely different...

I've never PvPed on my Rogue.  That is the one strong point of being a Rogue.  PvP.  Even more so since the patch.  Rogues are just way to OP in every sense of the word when it comes to PvP if the person at the controls is even half way decent.  Mind you, that is not me.  I never tried to PvP on my Rogue so I do not have ace PvP skills for sure but I did manage to grab my first Honorable Kill this weekend and my first Wintergrasp Victory as well.  Not bad at all for a baby Rogue in a world of 80s.  Of course they did all the work.  I only took pot shots so to speak.  Either way, did not die once and racked up a couple of achievements.

You might ask why I do not PvP on my Rogue and I will be glad to answer that.  I consider playing a Rogue in PvP to be as close to cheating as you can possibly get.  Beating someone that can not fight back is not exactly what I can fun.  I like battles.  I like them to be long and drawn out and to require a ton of thinking and moving.  Stunlocking and killing is not fun. 

Kiting a Paladin on my Hunter while he is trying to catch me is fun.  When I PvP I do not mind if I win or I lose I just want to have fun.  I do not think the concept of walk up behind someone, stun them, kill them, and repeat is fun.  That is boring as sin.  Then add to the fact that if you mess up even one button now you went from instant boring kill to instant I can't even fight back death.  There is no in between for Rogues.  Instant kill or instant death.  Both boring.

And now for something completely different...

When I kept getting disconnect I did experience some interesting stuff.  One of the times when I got disconnected I was still in game but just could not click anything any more.  I could click it, but it did not do anything to be more exact.  This lead to a few interesting things and the best one was flying.  I was on my bird when it disconnected but kept me in game.  I tried to dismount and that worked.  Sort of.

My bird disappeared but I was still flying.  It looked awesome.  I was superman.   I would go on the ground and be running at 100% speed then I would jump, do the night elf flip up in the air and take off like superman.  It looked awesome.  They should make an alchemist potion that allows flight like that for 2 minutes or something.  Nothing major but a fun item to have in the game. 

And now for something completely different...

I died two times because of disconnects.  I am thinking of putting in a ticket asking for them to reimburse my repair costs just to be annoying.  The first time my body was roughly 100 yard from where I was DCed.  Weird, sure, but not the weirdest.  That was reserved for the second time I died.  My body was half way across the zone.  Not even close to where I was questing and for that matter a place where I had not quested at all.  How the hell did I get there?  How did I die there?  How exactly do you die in a place where you have never even been?

And now for something completely different...

I lost my BoA bow on my Rogue too.  It just disappeared.  No sign of it at all.  No biggie, I put in a ticket and went on with my questing.  About 20 minutes later I went to put some new poisons on and noticed my bow was back.  Interesting.  Where did it go to?  Went out to lunch or something and forgot to leave me a note? 

Needless to say I canceled my ticket.  There were more then a few choice words in it too.  Maybe that is for the best.  I am a rather level headed Elf really.  For me to start throwing out nasty words you can tell it was getting beyond annoying.  I think I was annoyed mostly because Blizzard kept saying it was nothing on their part.  Yeap, it was every user on the East Coasts own fault. 

And now for something completely different...

I only need one more ingot to finish up my Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest line.  Lets assume for a moment that they are not changing the world on Tuesdays update.  That means I will be able to get this done this week and finish off the greatest quest line ever.  Even at 80 it was a trek and a half.  I could only imagine this having been hell back at 60.  You would have really had to have a support system of lots of very good players to get this done and most likely they all wanted to do the quest too. 

In a way I am glad I was not around then.  I would have been pissed if I were not able to complete the quest line and had to compete with my own guild mates to get it done.  As everything was only one person could do the quest at a time that means that only one person in each guild could possibly get it done and get the mount.  Of course I would have wanted to be that person.  I can see this quest having destroyed some guilds because a few people all wanted to be the one that finished it.

Epic quest line sure.  Bad design that only one member in a guild could get it done, bad design.  Did Blizzard want to force people to choose who got it for each guild?  Did they want to cause internal turmoil in the biggest, best guilds that were capable of doing this as quick as possible?  Sure seems it from my point of view.  Glad I was not there for this.  I could see this being a reason to quit the game, not only quitting a guild.

And now for something completely different...

Being it seems all but assured that my Rogue will be hitting 80 this coming weekend if I decide to throw 5 or 6 hours his way I have to think which way to go next.  On my main server that will give me seven 80s with three left to level.  One of each class of course.  I've got my 60 Warrior, my 52 Paladin and my 40 Warlock.  While it is not out of the realm of possibility that I can get another character to 80 before Cataclysm hits it is not something I am aiming for.

When considering which to level next I am weighing a few things.  My Paladin is my gatherer.  It is skinning and mining and really just there to do gathering for me.  My Warlock is a Tailor and Herbalist.  It will lose the herbalism when it gets max and pick up Alchemy.  I had taken herbalism so I could get the HoT from it but it seems like the HoT is useless now so it is basically useless for my Warlock now.  I am going to keep it however being it now gives experience which will help the leveling process. 

That puts me to my Warrior and his professions.  He has the only skill I have not maxed (or capable of, still working on leather working on my Rogue).  Engineering.  He is that and a Jewelcrafting.  I already have a maxed JC and that is my Druid which will be the 3rd character I bring up to 85 being that is my 3rd down the line behind my main hunter and second priest.  However, the Engineering part does have me thinking that working on my Warrior next would be my logical move.

The Paladin really is just repeat of other gathers I already have and my Lock has things others already have and even if I change him to alchemy I already have two of them maxed so really do not need a third.  Looks like from a professions standpoint the Warrior is really standing out.  Not to mention having another JC is not a bad thing really should they have limited things I can do once per day like they did before.

And now for something completely different...

Wow that is a lot of babble for a Monday morning.  I'll leave my random thoughts to think a little bit on their own for now and call it a day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Beast is a Beast

I mentioned that I tamed the Beast the other day in my previous post.  The thing is I've not tried to raid as Beastmaster yet so being the Beast was now 80, and he still shows a skull, I figured I would try to do some raiding with him last night.

We did not have enough, even with alts, to do an ICC run last night which is really sad.  The closer it gets to the end of the expansion the less interest people seem to have in raiding.  I figured I did not want to call it a scratch so what could we do with only 8 people?  Less is More (10 Player) seemed like the ideal answer.

So that is exactly what we did.  I went as BM.  I figured I have no experience raiding as BM since the change but this would be easy even with 8 people so my lack of fluid play will not be a hindrance to the group.  That and I got to use Beast in action for more then just doing some dailies.  Not saying dailies are a bad thing.  That is how I leveled my pup to 80. 

I am switching for Oracles to Frenzyheart and do only those three each day.  Took less then a week to level him up.  Most likely because every day I have to kill 50 Oracles.  That is a ton of experience for a up and coming boss level corehound.

After doing the run, which went well but was really clunky for me getting used to it, I noticed something I thought was interesting.  My pet did 53% of my damage.  That was the first time that I ever remember my pet doing more damage then me but that is not what came as a surprise to me. 

The Beast has 21 talent points.  Yeap, not 20 like all other exotic pets do but 21.  One extra point for being a boss maybe?

Yesterday I said if you where going to have a corehound why would you ever choose a different one then one that showed as a boss now I have even more reason to say that.  If you are going to get a corehound why would you ever choose one that had 20 talent points when you can get one that has 21 talent points?  You would be a complete fool to choose a different corehound.

The Beast is no doubt a Beast.  If I pop Kill Command and Bestial Wrath at the same time he seems to be able to almost solo any elite I ran into with me only getting in 3 or 4 shots at most.  The Beast is completely insane and I love him.

Now if only I can figure out to make a Ancient Hysteria macro so I can keybind it I will be okay.  I tried clicking it on the pet bar.  Nothing.  I tried dragging it to my bar.  It won't move.  I was stuck opening my spell book and having to click it manually.  That made me feel so... dirty.  I'll have to try and make a macro for it.

Get yourself a 21 point boss corehound before they make him untamable, you know that is going to happen sooner or later.  Every time there is a kick ass cool pet they stop us from getting it any more.  The slime, the Worgen, and soon the Beast.  Get it now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fun With Pets

Last weekend before we did a Blackwing Lair run we had to get a few people attuned to get into it which meant a run through Upper Blackrock Spire of course.  On our way through UBRS it occurred to me that I do not have a Core Hound yet and there is the Core Hound of all Core Hounds in UBRS.  The Boss known as The Beast.

Of course that meant I needed to tame him and that is exactly what I did.  It took quite some time.  The Beast was not what you would call a friendly tame.  He kept turning his attention to my friends and he kept interrupting my tame beast.

It took a good 10 minutes, I would guess, before I was able to land a tame beast on him.  When I finally did not only did I get a pet that has epic loot inside of him and pristine hide of the beast of course but I had a skull level pet.  My pet appears as ?? (Boss) to anyone that looks at him.

That is freaking awesome.  Imagine someone that does not know any better seeing this big red core hound, even bigger with bestial wrath kicking in of course, barreling at them with full drool going on and this ?? (Boss) tag and skull on him.  I could see someone running for the hills because they do not know any better.

One of the fun things about it is on my pet panel it says my pet is level 1.  Whenever I level the pet up it says that my pet has reached level 1.  It is a fun pet to have.  Sure it goes thump thump thump all the time, even when standing still but it says it is a boss and has a skull so that makes up for it some. 

They really need to quiet those things down, they are too damn loud.  Love the portable heroism/bloodlust as well.  Funny thing is that my Hunter is alliance and the pets debuff says that people can not benefit from bloodlust again.  That should not be a problem.  I doubt my alliance group members will be getting the bloodlust buff on them any time soon.  I am going to have to try with a friend to see if we can do both heroism and bloodlust at the same time, or back to back more specifically.  I doubt it would work but it would be interesting to see.

So what do you name the biggest, baddest, reddest core hound in the game?  Beast of course.  I mean, that is his name right?  It is not like it was some wild animal that I tamed.  It was a named animal so I keep its name.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tasty Experience

The opening events for Cataclysm gives us the option to get some free experience for out lower level characters.  I've only got 4 characters left that are not at max level.  My 37 Warlock, my 60 Warrior, my 49 Paladin and my 73 Rogue.  Last night I did the quests with my Warrior and got nearly 1/2 a level for what is roughly 20 minutes work.

Half a level in 20 minutes and lots of gold to boot all without ever really needing to leave a main city?  Yes please.  I'll take that all you want to give it.  This was only the first group of quests to come for this pre release event but it is the bulk of it.  So over all if I had to guess I would say we are looking at roughly 65%-70% of a level when all is said and done.  Can't beat that with a stick.

On my main I put in a little work toward finishing the scepter of the shifting sands quest line.  I logged on to my Horde characters over on Aggy.  It has been damn near forever since I was on there.  November 4th seems to be the last achievement I got over there.  That means it was almost a year ago exactly since I was last on any of those characters with exception of my Hunter over there.  I pop on him once in a while just to say hello to my pet and knock off a quest or two out of boredom.

The reason I was there was because I needed to find my way to get the book in Undercity.  I wouldn't know my way around Undercity with a tour guide.  It is one of those cities that I avoided like the plague.  Hell, even Org which must have been designed by a blind man is 100 times better then Undercity.  I found the book seller and worked my path out.  Going to use the side entrance to get in.  A few turns here and there and maybe a total of 4 guards to deal with and it should not be a problem.  I ran the path back and forth three time just to make sure I had the layout perfect.  The less time I spend in enemy territory the better.  If I were there to fight it would be one thing but I am not.  I am only there to pick up an item and leave.

I then went on my main and headed over to Winterspring to get the one page of Draconic For Dummies with relative ease. Of all the outdoor raids I've needed to do this one ranks up there in difficulty with the one in Blasted Lands and the one on Isle of Dread and that is not hard at all.  I then recruited to guild mates to help me out with the one in Dustwallow Marsh's Alcaz Island.  Doctor Weavil was not going to be as easy from what I had heard because of his mind control effect.  We ended up burning him down so damn fast I actively felt bad for asking for help to do it.

Oh well, I have four of the pages now and only need four more.  The one in Undercity is planned out and will not be an issue.  I'll grab it one morning before I go to work.  Undercity is normally empty and will be even more so at 4 in the morning for sure.

I set up a guild run of Onyxia for Friday, I hope there is enough interest.  We have BWL set for Saturday.  If Onyxia goes by nice and quickly on Friday we can do Molten Core after that.  The two together make for quick runs so it will not take long.

I am going to need to run Blackwing Lair a lot if I want to get all the Elementium Ingots I need.  Good thing I have a whole slew of alts that can do it.  Not sure if I have any that can solo it however.  Maybe my Druid but that is about it.  My Hunter, my main, the one I am doing the quest on will need to go with a group as I will have the quest in there when I got in as well.  I can grab the page I need and do the quest which I get from the second boss and it requires me to kill the last boss and return to Tanaris in less then 5 hours.  Time will not be an issue if I can get at least 5 or 6 people to do it with me.  It can be 3 manned completely but I would rather not have to make the extra effort.  I would rather blow through it.

I just hope my luck it better then normal.  My last four runs through Blackwing Lair ended like this 0, 3, 0, 1.  Yeap, four runs, 4 ingots.  That's it.  You know how everyone says it averages from 3 to 6 per run?  Well, they never ran with me.  I have the worst luck every in the history of this game.  Remember we are talking about someone that still has not upgraded gear.  All my tier pieces are still at 251 being I can never win a roll.  Let hope that this does not come as another case of being let down.  At least with this I can buy them off the auction market or send in alts to get them.  The 10 will just be about how much effort I am willing to put into it and if my guild mates can help me.

At the moment, it looks like I can get this done well before Cataclysm.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tripping the Rifts

The pre-launch event for Cataclysm started yesterday and of course I needed to get that done before I went back to doing my AQ stuff.  I figure if all goes well I have at least 2 weeks left for the AQ stuff, or at least I hope, so let me get this stuff out of the way.

The quests are basically boring as hell, go talk to this person, put up this sign, put on this costume, blah blah blah.  Nothing more then a little back story is all.  Be warned however that all the quests are not live yet.  There were many more quests I did on the PTR that are not live yet and some of those are actually interactive so at least they are better then these are.

The feat of strength Tripping the Rifts was the only thing that you actually needed to do something for. What you do was basically find a spawning point and wait.  Boring.  Not only boring but annoyingly so.  It gets you no achievement points.  It has no lore to listen to.  It is not a challenge.  It gets you a daily quest, that is all.

They should up the respawn timer.  I did it in three hours because I was lucky enough to get two spawns one hour and then one each for the next two hours.  For something that basically gives you nothing worthwhile it is really just a time sink.  Good games make productive time sinks.  Bad games make you waste time for no reason.  Nothing is gained here, this is boring.  Bad design on Blizzards part I say.

If you are going to make people wait around like idiots like I did at least give us something for it besides a feat of strength.  Even if it is something stupid that clutters my already over stocked bank.  A trinket that turns you into an elemental for 5 minutes and can only be used every 4 hours.  Completely useless, but something that would actually make you feel like you did not waste hours for nothing.  I know, I did not need to do it, but I have a compulsion where I need to do these things.

Being they are not giving anything but a feat for our efforts then they should have the timers respawn more often or make more spawning points.  That is all I am asking.  Not like people that want free epics for nothing.  I just want it done without wasting time.  There is nothing gained from it except the ability to say, woohoo I wasted 4 hours for no reason.  I guess I got lucky, I only wasted 3.  Woohoo, go me.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Tomorrow Brings - The AQ Quests.

In an effort to try and get some stuff that is going to be removed done I went on my quest to get Recipe: Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops before it is removed.  Not only is it the only epic cooking recipe in the game but it is also part of the long quest line that opened the gates of AQ so long before I ever even started playing.

The quest line which starts with What Tomorrow Brings is being removed for various reasons.  One being it is old and it seems blizzard does not want old around any more.  It is basically outdated and there is no actual need to do it so they are just getting rid of it.  Personally I disagree with the idea of removing old quest lines.  I am loving doing this quest line.

The other reason is that many of the areas you need to go for on this quest are being changed or removed completely.  So instead of redesigning a quest line that only weirdo elves like me would do it is easier for them just to remove it as a whole.

Sure, I started it with the intention to get the cooking recipe only but I am doing the whole thing.  If you like lore or adventure of an epic nature then this is a quest you will need to do while there is time left.  Sad part is there might not really enough time left.  Rumor has it that it will be taken out before cataclysm and I happen to believe that, it will be taken out when the world changes before the cataclysm release.

As part of the quest line I was required to go to areas that just will not exist any more come the world changes that could happen as soon as 2 or 3 weeks from now.  To get the recipe alone I needed to go to The Isle of Dread which will no longer exist once the world changes.

I've done most of the quest line already and the biggest challenge of it all has been the travel.  Personally I hate wasting my time traveling when it is just going back and forth because I need to get somewhere.  It is wasted time in my opinion, time better spent playing.  But I digress.  For something like this, the first time doing it, the large world wide scale of the adventure, the travel is what makes it feel so grand.

I must admit I never realized there were so many outdoor raids.  Heck, the one on isle of dread I never even knew.  I remembered going there to kill some naga for a quest or two but never even thought of going around the side to see if there was anything there.  I doubt anyone would.  As far as outdoor raids go that one was rather tame.  I had done others myself but a friend of mine came along with me on that one.  It was stupid easy even solo.  He had never noticed the place either and he had been playing for a long time.

The Nightmare's Corruption was exciting and even gave me the chance to have my revenge against some dragons that had ripped me apart a few times.  I remember back with my first run in with these elites from outdoor raids, I did not even know there was such a thing back then. 

I was questing out of Forest Song and took the path out and over to where they where.  Out of no where my little level 30ish butt was being owned by 3 dragonkin.  It is not like it took long for them to own me.  1 second was all it took.  This time around I got to get some revenge.  They did get a shot on me this time but nothing to painful and I killed them easy enough but wow, the knockback from them is crazy.  Sent me what felt like half way across the zone.  I danced on their dead bodies, revenge from killing me when I was just a young and innocent elf hunter questing my way through the world.  Take that you S.O.B.'s.

I've done a great deal of the quest line so far, sitting and waiting now on The Nightmare Manifests.  Oh how I miss volley for something like this. 100s, could have been 1000s for all I know, shades on me.  Not a hell of a lot I could do.  MD/multi does not do enough damage to actually MD them to my pet so they were on me like white on rice.  Some poor low level druids watched in awe while the events went down.  Who even knew that there was an outdoor raid in Moonglade?  I know I didn't.

I used every trick in the book but sadly the only thing that could have saved me was gone from the game.  Volley would have been all I needed.  That, or if I had played it smart and single targeted them down and not gotten so many of them on me at once.  I fought the good fight and killed a slew of them but they wore me down in time and I was a dead elf. Well, a FDed elf.

After they left I popped back up and a level 29 druid asked me, what the hell was that?  I said, a quest I am on.  He said he was awestruck watching the events and it never even occurred to him to move.  They ate him alive, him and a few other unlucky druids that happened to be there at the time that is.  It was very funny talking to them.

Even more funny then when I did Long Forgotten Memories earlier in the quest line and closed the gates of AQ.  There were a few people heading in to raid it as I was doing the quest and locked them outside.  Oops, sorry.  The battle outside was fantastic, the confused nature of everyone around watching was even better.

So far this quest line is ranking right up there with me doing the epic bow quest.  In terms of how grand the scale of things are, this has already passed the hunters epic bow and quiver quest line.  I hope I have enough time to finish it up before the changes.  I might not but even if I do not so far it was well worth the effort put into it.

When all is said and done I will have done outdoor raids in Ashenvale, Duskwood, two different ones in Feralas, Hinterlands, Dustwallow Marsh, Blasted Lands, and Winterspring.  I will have needed to sneak into Undercity and steal a book from the book vendor.  I will have needed to raid Molten Core, Onyxia's Lair, and Blackwing Lair multiple times for various reasons. 

To start all that part I needed to get a letter from the world dragon Azurego.  At least I was able to get that from the ghostly form that roams in Azshara.  If you do nothing else at least get to that point in the quest to read the conversation you have with the dragon.  As the saying goes, that alone is worth the price of admission.

This quest line is amazing.  I wish there were more in the game like this and I am greatly upset that it is being removed.  There is nothing like to in the game to replace it.  Something needs to be added to replace this and quests like this.  They take a long time just from travel and gathering things for all corners of the world but each step offers a bit of a story that is so much bigger then anything presently in the game.  I am doing this at 80 but I could imagine how it must have been at 60.  If it still feels epic now then it surely is something that you should have been proud of doing back then.

If you are a lore whore or a quest whore or even just want to see something that you will never see again in WoW then do this now and get as much done while you can because it is gone.  With the changes to the world many of the places you need to go will be gone or changed to the point that this quest will no longer be doable.  That is the reason they are removing it as a whole.  It is a huge loss for the game in my opinion because WoW really does not make anything epic like this any more. 

Trust me, I might be new to the game and all but with the exception of the wrathgate cinematic there has never been anything as enjoyable in this game then those epic 60 quests I have went back to do.  We need some epic quests for each max level.  We need something like this again.  We will not get it, ever.  It does not fit the casual design of the game now.  So enjoy it one last time while you still can. Things like this is what I fell in love with WoW for in the first place.  Not the mindless boring doing the same raid over and over for a year crap.  I want more fantasy, more story telling, more a feeling of actually doing something.  This quest line is offering that.  I am glad I have taken the time out to do it before it is gone forever. 

Cruse you Blizzard for removing the only semblance of a great game there was left in this game, epic quests.  Maybe you should think about that before the next expansion instead of making it all about, ohhh, we can fly in the old world now. Big Whoop.  I think I would have liked an expansion full of quests like this one and had to use my ground mount to get back and forth instead.  Now an expansion full of quests just like this one?  That is worth paying for.