Lost Ark has officially been announced for localization in the West! I won’t say too much about it other than that it’s a free-to-play MMO-ARPG, and I’m very excited for it. You can check out a press release at amazongames.com.
Just because I haven’t posted recently doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy in WoW. Lately Mooglegem and I have been joining PUG rated battleground groups in an effort to earn the Vicious War Spider. Those groups come in two flavors – YOLO groups that fill quickly and are not very good and organized groups that fill slowly, use voice chat, and actually coordinate. Sometimes I might have “played” for over an hour just searching for a decent group, and once I joined one, I’d hope to stay for a couple hours.
Eventually I found steady group that welcomed Mooglegem and me to join them consistently. In addition to their RBG groups, we began to raid with them. Thanks to that group, I earned Ahead of the Curve: Sire Denathrius and Heroic: Castle Nathria! I was way over-geared for heroic already thanks to m+ and had a done a few of the bosses, but trying to find PUGs was always such a hassle that I never got around to finishing before this. It’s been fun raiding again, seeing how the fights are supposed to be done, and getting to know new friends.
The PVP grind took longer, but with a good group, I was at least making consistent progress. And about a week ago, I earned by Vicious War Spider! I’m continuing to do RBGs though because I’m having just too much fun. I used to PVP much more before it took a backseat to raiding and then m+, and it’s been so much fun focusing on it again. Playing with a coordinated group certainly helps! Now I’m looking forward to gaining rating (hopefully) and maybe earning another mount! In the screenshot at the top, I’m enjoying my mount while Moogle is on her IMPOSTER Vicious War Spider! Actually she’s about 10% off, and the rest of the group isn’t too far behind. Soon!
Last week I got Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One! Here’s the five of us on our Sintouched Deathwalkers in Oribos. From left to right: gem (Mooglegem), me (Devee), Matt (Mushkin), Marc (Kanora) and his minions, and Elias (Delillidan). Was the other character in the screenshot the guy who made fun of us? Possibly.
This season felt a lot faster to me. We have one dungeon left, Mists of Tirna Scithe, for a sixth guildmate!
It’s a good thing I have 12 characters and do the boss that drops Mollie, because my 12th run this week gave me the mount! This is probably only the 3rd time I ran all my characters through the boss this expansion (plus whatever I did last expansion when it was current), so not bad really. Look at Mollie! She’s so cute!
I’ve collected a few new mounts and a lot of new pets recently and thought I’d share some highlights. This is the Spirit of Eche’ro, who was Huln’s moose! Who doesn’t love a good spectral moose?
Here’s the beautiful Shimmermist Runner that can be obtained by solving the maze in Ardenweald.
There seems to be just a ton of little things treasures and surprises hidden in nooks and crannies throughout the Shadowlands. I’ve been focusing on Ardenweald when not working on progression. Here are just a couple of pets.
Mollie, the last alpaca that I need, was a mount that I not get. But at least I saw it drop for my friend gem here.
And lastly, the Prestigious Ivory Courser for reaching honor level 40 – a great indication of how little I PVP now!
I finished Castle Nathria normal last week by pugging it. I’m overgeared at this point thanks to m+ but wanted to get a handle on the mechanics before starting to pug heroic groups. The raid’s pretty fun, and I think Sludgefist, Stone Legion Generals, and Sire Denathrius are particularly good fights. Stone Legion Generals can seem overwhelming but it’s not bad if people follow a plan. There are spoilers for the outcome of the raid after this.
The Sire Denathrius fight was fun with some interesting mechanics – unburdening our sins, using the mirrors, dodging Remornia. Sire Denathrius was a really cool character with superb voice-acting. I think he has a lot more personality than Prince Renethal, which is too bad. I’m kind of disappointed we defeated Denathrius so soon after his introduction.
After he is defeated, Remornia absorbs him into herself. In an effort to bind him in the blade so he can’t escape, we bring Remornia to Prince Renethal and Z’rali (the naaru from Sanguine Depths) where Z’rali uses the Light to bind and torture Denathrius. Prince Renethal remarks that after “time the likes of which your kind have yet to measure” Denathrius may be released, changed, “his true purpose once again affirmed.” Obviously Blizzard could bring him back if they wanted, but I’m doubtful we’d see it any time soon. Too bad. What a fun character!
I finished the Venthyr Campaign last week. As you could guess, spoilers in this post.
The first part of the campaign involves trying to get the Harvesters to join Prince Renathal. We’re also trying to retrieve all the Medallions of the Harvesters. Mikanikos in Bastion crafts a Crown of the Harvester to house the medallions so that the Prince can harness all their power.
When I first saw Kael’thas chained in Sinfall, I was excited and hopeful that he’d play a part in the campaign. Obviously I ended up being right. I wasn’t sure at first, but this takes place the Sun King’s Salvation encounter in Castle Nathria. Through the Venthyr Campaign, we try to help him atone for his sins and we cleanse him of the sins piled upon him that were not his own.
Is that a dead version of the Swift White Hawkstrider? How cool!
Look at all that anima!
Remember to walk your Sun King twice a day.
While helping Kael’thas atone, we discover the the Tithelord in Revendreth has been siphoning anima to allies in Maldraxxus. We discover that he’s working with Kel’Thuzad, which doesn’t go over well with Kael’thas. (Arthas resurrected Kel’Thuzad using the Sunwell after invading Quel’Thalas during the Third War.) Kel’Thuzad even has the Medallion of Dominion, the final medallion.
Working with Baroness Draka and the necrolords, we defeat him and retrieve his medallion. That’s all the medallions besides the Medallion of Wrath, which belongs to the Stonewright, the Harvester of Wrath. She remains neutral between Prince Renathal’s rebellion and Sire Denathrius.
In the end, Prince Renathal decides that Revendreth will be lead by a court and not a Sire or Master. I wonder what this means, because he certainly seems like the leader – and it’s not like there wasn’t a Court of Harvesters under Sire Denathrius.
The Venthyr Campaign got me a lot more excited than the Kyrian Campaign, although I still enjoyed both. I’m looking forward to finding out more about Revendreth’s future. I suppose it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of action here given that the raid revolves around Revendreth as well. Also, I love those glasses on my DK!
Let’s talk about the kyrian covenant campaign! Spoilers, of course. I finished it the week that the end was unlocked and enjoyed it. While I didn’t have a problem with any of it, it really started to pick up part way through.
So, a brief summary. After helping Kleia with her final trial, she becomes Ascended. During her ascension, Uther leads the Forsworn in an attack on Elysian Hold and damages the Crest of Ascension. We defeat Devos, the Forsworn leader, in the Spires of Ascension, leaving Lysonia in charge. Mikanikos rebuilds the Crest of Ascension and we empower it with three items.
Alexandros Mograine of Maldraxxus requests kyrian aid in defeating Margrave Gharmal. The kyrian travel to Maldraxxus and kill the fleshshaper. Xandria cuts out his heart, and we use this to empower the Crest of Ascension.
We travel to Revendreth and talk to the Curator about finding something to empower the Crest of Ascension. She tells us about the Seal of Contrition. We eventually track it to Duke Vielle, who we kill so we can acquire the Seal.
Finally, we talk to the Winter Queen in Ardenweald, who tells us that she can give us power but it needs to be contained. Willowblossom volunteers to help. We save a worm, Grubby, from spriggan at Willowblossom’s request and then acquire items for a ritual. During the ritual, we learn the Willowblossom herself must become the vessel to contain her power. She gives her life so we can empower the Crest of Ascension.
We track down Lysonia to the Temple of Humility where the Forsworn are fighting the kyrian. On the verge of being defeated, Lysonia and Uther escape to the Maw using a portal opened by Helya. After going to the Maw, we witness Lysonia going through a ritual with Helya to create a manifestation of her pride, which we defeat.
Uther is disgusted at the lengths to which Lysonia would go. He seems to agree with some of the Forsworn’s ideals but not their methods. We escort Uther out of the Maw. This really isn’t that big of a surprise. I totally understand Uther’s thinking. The Archon’s way seems pretty brutal, but aligning with Helya and the Jailer is obviously terrible too. And as a player, I didn’t think Blizzard would keep Uther an antagonist.
Glad you could make it, Uther… to Oribos.
We lead a big final push against the Forsworn at the Temple of Loyalty. It was at this point that I knew Uther was going to step in sometime soon. He had to save the day, right? The fight goes in our favor until Lysonia reveals that it was a ploy to leave the Archon undefended. The kyrian forces return to Elysian Hold where Lysonia is using her new powers.
And then Uther shows up to defend the Archon and fight Lysonia. Because of course. Even though it wasn’t a surprise, I’m a simple man who likes simple, cliche stories.
Right after this screenshot, Uther flies away with Thenios to the Temple of Wisdom to find out what’s wrong with his soul.
I’m hoping that later in the expansion this involves more information about Arthas and Frostmourne. How could we not? While a bit less likely, I’d like to see some change within the kyrian. Is it really okay that they give up all their memories? With so many Ascended joining the Forsworn, perhaps the Archon needs to rethink her ways. I’m sure we’ll see continuations of all the covenant campaigns in future patches!
The whole time I was in Revendreth, I was loving the style and tone. The gothic architecture, the atmosphere, and the spin on vampirism combined to create a very engaging and immersive zone. It’s giving me a strong craving to see more of this type of world. I keep thinking about D&D and end up reading about old 1st edition Ravenloft modules! Fair warning: this post will contain spoilers.
Sire Denathrius is awesome! My friend I usually voice quests on Discord while we play, and she had a good Denathrius voice! It was a bummer when the story clearly moves him to villain territory and we no longer got to read quests from him! He’s one of the stronger characters this expansion in my opinion. I don’t know yet know exactly how the Castle Nathria raid ends, but I’m guessing Sire Denathrius won’t be around for long.
This was a bit of a brutal moment. The Accuser, once Harriett the Crimson Shade, murdered her own daughter, Camille. During the quest, the Accuser says “I did not know it was you! They liked to me!” I wonder if we’ll get to find out what happened exactly.
Let’s take a quick break from the heavy tone of the zone to mention that it did contain more bears, which is always awesome!
Prince Renathal is another cool character that I hope is fleshed out more. Torghast, or at least the tutorial part of it from the Revendreth quests, seemed pretty awesome. I’m definitely looking forward to doing it more. Although I have to admit, it also makes me want to get back to Hades on my Switch!
At this point, I think I want to see this plot more than any other. It’s too bad Venthyr isn’t the covenant for me. I’ll need to get another character ready for it soon!
Another gorgeous zone! The design of these zones is truly spectacular. Ardenweald was beautiful and had some variation despite being lush forest. More importantly, it was filled with animals! Note that this post will contain spoilers.
Aliothe is the best part of this zone (obviously). To be fair, Blizzard owed us a bear after Ursoc. I did not like that part and don’t want to talk about it anymore. But Aliothe was cute and powerful! Look at us in that screenshot above! We’re buddies. Do you see both vulpin (fox-like creatures) in the screenshot?
Her background of being from a world destroyed by the Legion (even if she didn’t know who they were) was a nice touch. It still seems odd to me that our characters don’t provide information to others more often. “Hey, I think I know what happened to your planet. And by the way, I helped stop the culprits for good.”
A thousand pardons, fine citizen, I cannot hear you. I HAVE A SQUIRREL ON MY HEAD! HA HA HA HA HA! (Okay, okay, I realize the squirrel wouldn’t block sound. But this made me think of Mad King Thorn on Halloween in Guild Wars who makes a joke about the pumpkin on his head. See my 2012 post!)
Look at all our friends – a squirrel, an owl, an otter, and a chubby cat!
I’m leaning toward having my druid join the Night Fae. It’s tough with multiple specs. I like guardian and resto, but I also spend time in balance while solo’ing. However, if covenants were purely cosmetic/story choices, that’s what I’d choose. And I think it’ll work.
For a lot of the zone, I expected the Winter Queen to be evil. It seemed like she just did not want to see us, and when she did show up, she left after a moment. Obviously Blizzard knew how it looked – our characters shrugged in the cutscene. By the end, she didn’t seem evil, so what was up with that?
I was trying to guess who was in the wildseed for a while. I forget when I guessed it. It was definitely before seeing any of her visions, which would have given it away, but likely not that much earlier.
The Winter Queen said something about the soul in the wildseed being related to somehow to her sister. What did that mean? What sister? Is the sister an Eternal One, the gods of the Shadowlands? None of them seem to have a relation to Ysera. It makes me wonder if she was referring to Elune. Does Ysera have a strong relation to Elune? Could Elune be an Eternal One who left or was exiled? Maybe I’m grasping at straws or just misunderstanding.
Three out of four main leveling zones down (story quests, anyways), and I’ve been impressed with all of them.
Two zones down now that I finished the story quests in Maldraxxus! Spoilers in this post by the way. (I posted previously about Bastion.)
I was expecting just Naxxramas as a zone and a lot of evil and undead… and I guess it kind of was, but at the same time, it was more than that. It had such a cool, desert wasteland vibe to it. The houses were not all pure evil even if they were quite brutal.
The area around the House of Plagues was a bit different even if still distinctly necromantic. Here I am with Mooglegem and our slimes! My transmog is quite different than what it normally is. During Death Rising, I changed to heroic sanctified tier 10 since it felt proper to be back in ICC gear. It matched Bastion so well that I decided to put something on that fit Maldraxxus.
There were some cool characters in the zone. We knew Draka would be here from the video, but I especially enjoyed meeting her and her declaring that she was once part of the Frostwolf clan. It contrasted well with the Kyrians in Bastion being forced to forget who they were. It did feel weird that we didn’t have a conversation with Draka about the mortal world. “Hey, you know that baby you had, Go’el? Well he became Warchief of the Horde and leads the orcs. And by the way, he might be stuck in the Maw.”
Lady Baroness Vashj was also neat. I didn’t actually kill her in Serpentshrine Cavern until Wrath and didn’t play WC3, so there wasn’t much nostalgia for me in that sense. However, I still enjoyed her being present.
Ooo my runeblade!
Finding that the missing Baron was Alexandros Mograine was definitely awesome. His story regarding life, death, and family is pretty interesting. In addition, I think he has a cool role in the history of the game thanks to the Corrupted Ashbringer and the various retcons. I’m looking forward to his interactions with Darion in the future.
The dungeon, Plaguefall, was challenging to heal. It might be a real “fun” time for mythic+. I had to drink quite a bit, and it’s hard to keep up with dispels. We had a couple wipes.
I didn’t think I’d like the Necrolords of Maldraxxus much at all, but I could see a few of my characters fitting here – at least RP-wise. I’ll figure out who goes here later. For now, it’s off to Ardenweald!
I finished Bastion, the first full zone of Shadowlands, although I did skip the side quests for now. I really love the aesthetics of the zone. It’s quite obviously inspired by ancient Greece, and I am down for that! Having seen the zone previews, I was most excited for Bastion and was planning on joining the Kyrian covenant.
Screenshot not really related to anything I’m about to say, but it was fun. I’m going to talk about the plot, and there will be spoilers.
I kept thinking that at some point, the player characters would switch alliances and that there would be a revolution or something. The idea of forgetting your past completely seems so harsh. As the story progressed, I agreed with the Forsworn. I wasn’t thinking the Ascended would be wiped out – just that their views would change. Well, that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if later actions change this, because I avoid spoilers (and please don’t tell me). But then, the Forsworn certainly seem bad too. Maybe the Ascended will decide to change some of their views to keep members who are tempted by the Forsworn, but the Forsworn will still be bad.
The extreme of giving up all memories and identity reminded me a bit of what Xe’ra tried to do to Illidan. At least, it shows that “goodness” can be brutal when pushed to an extreme (at least in this type of fictional setting). It’s also similar to Jedi teachings, and Star Wars kind of has the same message.
Bastion was a beautiful zone, and I had a lot of fun in it. Now it’s off to Maldraxxus!
Out with the old, in with the new! I always like swapping mousepads!
The Shadowlands launch seemed super smooth. No queues, no disconnects, and no problems. Plus, I thought the start with the Knights of the Ebon Blade was cool. I liked seeing Acherus dock with Icecrown Citadel.
Off to the Shadowlands! There was one bug I saw. I played in a party with another person, and I suspect that had something to do with this. Two NPCs had a conversation after turning in a quest, but I only saw one side of the conversation. And then there was no quest to pick up next. gem read the missed text to me, picked up the next quest, and shared it with me. Other than that, things were smooth!
The intro area, Escape from the Maw, seemed fun enough, but yeah, it might be boring for alts. I’m curious to see where the story goes. It felt to me like things were a set up; it was too easy to be reunited with our friends. Plus, it didn’t seem like they were treated all the bad. However, it’s always hard to know if that’s an actual part of the story or just because this is a game that doesn’t show gruesome torture. I’m also not thrilled with the idea that the Shadowlands is connected to all worlds. I guess I need some suspension of disbelief since I’m not seeing tons of sentient beings that I don’t recognize from the many worlds.
Death Rising, the Shadowlands pre-patch, had some interesting story points, lots of gear for catching up alts and unlocking transmog, and a small but fun plague event. I enjoyed the bits of story and character development, and I farmed rares like crazy.
Calia Menethil is in the screenshot above; she’s an interesting character given her important bloodline and rather unique status of Light-infused undead. Plus, her character model! That outfit is sick!
Watching Taelia find out about her father, the former Lich King, Bolvar, was pretty cool too. It’s no surprise she wasn’t happy to have been kept in the dark, and I look forward to seeing what Blizzard does with her and Bolvar. I suspect I’ll find out relatively soon, but I’m not sure since I’m staying in the dark about Shadowlands.
The rare farming for drops was kind of crazy, especially around Bronjahm, the Godfather of Souls and holder of bags! I managed to get one Papa’s Mint Condition Bag for Devee, my main. (Edit: I also just got one on Sotiros!) And I may have helped gem get some… including 1 duplicate by mistake. Oops. But 7 of her characters ended up with the bag, which is insane.
I also loved how for some reason, tons of people transforming into Gamon became a thing for Bronjahm! Apparently I didn’t take a screenshot, but I did take a photo of my phone once when I was the one to kick it off.
I also managed to get two Accursed Keepsakes!
I killed as many rares as I could. All 12 of my max-level toons managed to purchase all possible upgrades from the Argent Crusade and get everything for transmog. I also swapped characters per rare depending on what dropped and got a lot of drops even if I know a few ilvl doesn’t make a big difference.
I guess I got obsessive, but it was a bit of fun! It’s the little moments, like lining up on the Headless Horseman’s mount.
I posted about Nathanos previously, but he was a fun world boss that hit hard!
I think a lot of people underestimated him… look at all those skeletons!
The zombie event wasn’t very disruptive at all. In fact, I kind of wish it was more disruptive. It was hard to get infected and find battles between the living and dead. gem and I spent time claiming the Stormwind portal room for the Scourge!
Here’s a clip of me infecting and killing gem in Stormwind!
I think the weirdest thing about the event was the random dailies. I kept track of which ones I did and compared to lists online, and there were two dailies that I never saw pop up at all. Oh well, but I like to do everything I can.
All in all, it was nice little event. It gave the community something new to come together and do, helped gear up alts, and had some pretty cool little moments.
Thanks to a shaman with Glyph of the Spectral Raptor and a Reflecting Prism, my tedious Crucible of Storms LFR (hunting transmog) became a lot more fun. We were a raid full of spectral raptors!
So we finally get to go fight Nathanos! You know, I didn’t like him much during Battle for Azeroth, but this fight made him grow on me immensely. I think the arrogant attitude seems cooler when I get to fight him. I enjoyed the little callbacks to vanilla. And I especially enjoyed how he doesn’t hide from us. I should have seen it coming, but why would he care if he knows he’ll just get killed and be sent straight to the Shadowlands?
And Tyrande! I’m looking forward to her character. She certainly kicked ass in the cutscene. Did you see that little smirk as she killed him? It was amazing. I usually avoid story spoilers, so I don’t know if she has more character progression in the next expansion. I hope so.
New World had a preview week back in August, and I’ve been meaning to share this gem (pun intended) of a clip that features a nude rock thief stealing gem’s rocks. (That’s less confusing when you know that ‘gem’ is the name of someone who prefers it lowercase.)
Unfortunately, I only recorded her microphone and not mine because, well, I make mistakes. But somehow I think it makes it more hilarious.
In this clip, you can see me go through some of the introduction area. You can see a bit of the combat mechanics and skills as well as a gorgeous look at the island.
My friend gave me Lost Mail recently so I could do the mail quest series and earn the Postmaster title. It excited me when I learned about it during Legion, but I never sought it during that expansion. Now I’ve finally had the chance to finish it, and it was pretty great!
During the quests, you learn how mail gets delivered throughout Azeroth and even find out how lost items that get mailed to you actually find their way to you. You get to interact with Johnny Awesome, the NPC that spoofs a twinked out alt, which is always fun. And you get to sort mail! It’s more fun than it sounds, and it’s a minigame that you can access at any time in Dalaran.
As weird as it is to say this, I’m a big fan of the postal system in general. I think it’s great how effectively it works internationally, and I enjoy trading postcards with new locations. And now I know how it works in Azeroth too! I’m proud to be Postmaster Devee!
I wrote previously about earning Battle for Azeroth Keystone Master: Season Four for doing all +15s, but I wanted to recap a little more about m+ this season. I ran a few m+ in season 3 but didn’t seriously start until this last season. I know I was late to the party, but I think mythic+ is a fantastic addition to the game. It’s great getting challenging content that can be done in small chunks of time as well as with smaller groups of people than raids.
I mainly played disc priest, but I also used shadow a little. As for other classes, I did m+ on demo lock, holy and ret pali, resto and ele shaman, and a little bit of guardian druid and frost mage. This was my first expansion playing multiple classes as end game, and I had such a blast. Yes, it was stressful dealing with a weekly chest, assaults, and horrific visions on a bunch of toons, but actually playing them was so much fun.
I’m not sure which one to even talk about. The lock was by secondary most of the expansion, but I really enjoyed learning to heal dungeons on shaman and paladin. Holy paladin felt quite different since it’s played in melee. The most challenging past of holy paladin was hunting for glimmer on Azerite pieces. I think resto shaman was awesome, and I enjoyed using elemental when doing solo content. I really enjoyed the feeling of saying “you know, I think I’d prefer to heal this on my resto shaman rather than disc priest.” I had never tanked end game before, so trying my hand at guardian druid was exciting and nerve-racking. I couldn’t have done it with guildmates guiding me, but I might try tanking more in Shadowlands. I think if I do it from the beginning, I’d actually learn routes myself. Setting the pace and routes seems like the biggest hurdle to tanking. While my mage never got super geared, it was fun really learning frost. Even at low gear levels, it became so apparent how powerful Glacial Spike was. Mages can certainly bring the DPS, but they’re also definitely glass cannons!
In the end, here’s the raider.io scores I reached:
- Priest: 2017.3 (bestkeystone.com put me above 90% of m+ players that season)
- Warlock: 1329.7
- Paladin: 1199.4
- Shaman: 937.7
- Druid: 491.3
- Mage: 250.8
You can see how I tapered off. The priest was strongly my main, and then I played the next three for most of the patch. The final two classes were late additions.
Now if only I could figure out which ones I want to play in Shadowlands!
I might be emotionally scarred from the amount of Horrific Visions and accompanying assaults I did in 8.3. They were neat content, and I really enjoyed the challenge of pushing myself to play better on multiple classes, but I also felt completely burned out by the end of the patch.
By completing both the Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar and Horrific Vision of Stormwind solo while all five masks are activated (the hardest version), you earn the Mad World feat of strength, which rewards the title, The Faceless One. I found that it was significantly harder to do this on cloth characters than any others. I really pushed myself to master my mage and warlock, while it felt like the other classes came easier. In the end, I earned Mad World as a discipline priest, demonology warlock, retribution paladin, elemental shaman, and balance druid. Five classes down!
I also managed to save up the 100,000 corrupted mementos from Horrific Visions to purchase the Wicked Swarmer, shown at the top. It’s a really great mount I think. The color looks good, it’s a cool model, and it’s small enough that it isn’t annoying when using it. I decided to save up for it on my warlock so that my priest, my main, could spend the corrupted mementos on sockets.
The Glacial Tidestorm is guaranteed to drop twice off mythic Jaina in Battle for Dazar’alor, which is fairly easy to do with people who follow some simple directions. Mooglegem got the drop on her first try when I showed her the strat. Here she is with her Glacial Tidestorm, Squishy (her water elemental), and Aborius, the elemental fury in Nagrand!
It took me a lot more runs, but I got mine too! I got on my frost mage for the screenshot so we could have maximum water elementals!
We had to visit alternate Draenor as well of course!
Hertz Locker is a Feat of Strength achievement that can be earned by completing Mechagon with all hard modes and without anyone dying.
We only tried three different nights and ended up earning it last night – the last night before it became unobtainable when the Shadowlands pre-patch hit. We had a few hiccups because for some reason, despite being able to do 15s no problem, we still learned of new mechanics that would cause a death – on trash! I’m looking at you shrink ability that can cause someone to get trampled by their friends.
I’m glad we got it in the nick of time!
Two Sides to Every Tale (the achievement for doing all the 8.1 quests on both sides basically) gives a horse to the Horde and a wolf to the Alliance, which seemed strange at first until I paid attention. The reward for the achievement is, in lore, a stolen mount.
Alliance get the Ironclad Frostclaw: “Captured in the snows of Alterac Valley, this bloodthirsty hunter now roars for the Alliance.”
Horde get the Bloodflank Charger: “Stolen from the Arathi Basin stables, this fire-hearted charger now steeds for the Horde.”
This is an achievement for completing Zandalar Forever!, A Nation United, and both Tides of Vengeance achievements. So basically, do the Horde zones and their culminating storyline, do the Alliance zones and their culminating storyline, and finish both sides of the 8.1 war campaign. I did one Alliance zone before completing the A Nation United part, so I’m not sure if they changed in a later patch or just made it easier to for alts. (I’m still working on Drustvar and will do Stormsong Valley last.)
While I liked the wolf, I thought the horse was a bit of letdown until I realized it was stolen. Now I like it!
Before talking about the raid, check out that skybox in Ny’alotha! It’s really gorgeous!
The five of us who have been actively pushing m+ were geared and had our Ahead of the Curve already but wanted to be sure the rest of the guild could get it too. Carpe Flux Capacitor has a lot of people who have been in and out this expansion (some fairly geared from pushing through +10s) as well as one friend of mine who just recently came back to WoW and was a hard carry. Plus even the five of us had some bosses we still needed. I had never done Vexiona (besides LFR) even.
We did it over the course of three nights. The first night, we cleared the first few bosses without much issue. Unsurprisingly, Dark Inquisitor Xanesh and Vexiona gave us the most trouble. We eventually pushed through Xanesh, which I thought would be the hardest boss, but then we hit a brick wall with Vexiona.
Night two we descended into that pit to defeat Shad’har the Insatiable, Drest’agath, and Il’gynoth. Again, not too much trouble. And we managed to get Vexiona down as well!
On the third night we tackled Carapace of N’zoth and N’zoth himself. It was a lot of fun to be coordinated again in a group. While I’m enjoying m+ and prefer it to raiding now, raiding is a different beast and scratches an itch I’ve had for a while. Everyone did really well, and even my friend who was a carry in regards to his gear had execution down.
Here I am on my Uncorrupted Voidgwing, which now most of the active guild members have too! As fun as it was, getting the group together also reminds me of the most stressful part of raiding – organizing 10+ people.
Hopefully we can follow a similar path next expansion: pushing m+ primarily but then looping back to try the raid before the end of the patch. This patch has been a blast!
Last week my mythic+ group finished our last +15. This was for the Battle for Azeroth Keystone Master: Season Four achievement, which awards the Awakened Mindborer mount.
Here’s our mythic group! It makes me feel gross! Matt had already finished the achievement before the rest of us but was still helping the group push. It seemed like last week was our best shot because the affixes got harder this week, and we were running out of time.
The hardest part was getting the key we needed. Our final key was Siege of Boralus. We actually had a 16 of it. Besides little issues here and there with our run, our tank disconnected for a bit. We were fairly confident though, because even if we fail on +16, we’d be able to try again on +15. We were just about done with the boss, and the timer was close. We pushed hard and accidentally went just a couple seconds over – and that’s when we realized that by finishing it overtime, our key would change. We meant to walk out and reset. There goes our SoB key.
From that point, our group split up into PUGs. Sometimes a few of us went together, but usually we were pugging alone. Matt continued to try to run his own keys in an attempt to generate the SoB key, which was unlikely. It took forever trying to get into good PUGs, but eventually we all did it! While the end was stressful, m+ was a blast and felt very rewarding!
Last week I finally finished the war campaign as a Sylvanas loyalist. Since my warlock, Voidgazer, is Forsaken and keeps the Gift of N’zoth, he felt like the perfect candidate to be a Sylvanas loyalist. I know it doesn’t offer much that’s different from the war campaign when siding when Saurfang, but it was still fun to see.
I stitched together the campaign in the above video. The cutscene at the end is the most interesting part with some dialogue between Sylvanas and Nathanos. It’s easy to look it up on YouTube, but it couldn’t hurt to record myself as well!
After completing the war campaign while siding with Saurfang, completing it on an Alliance character, and completing the loyalist war campaign, I can say that I don’t think I’ll play through the war campaign ever again!
Why is it called Invincible if I can see it?!
Trolling aside, I got Invincible last week! It took 68 attempts according to Rarity, which means like a few more than that but not many. Pretty lucky honestly. While trying for the mount, I’ve also been collecting tier sets from ICC. I almost have all of them, so I’ll likely finish them up. It’ll be easier now that I don’t have to even bother finishing the raid during my transmog runs!
Eight years ago today, I posted on this blog about Proudmoore Pride, a pride event taking place in World of Warcraft. You can see the original video I posted above or check out the blog post.
June is LGBTQ Pride month, but there’s another reason why I’m reposting this. Today the video received a comment that read “We play games to get away from reality. Don’t bring your gay ass or race into this. Grow up.” And yesterday in Battle for Stromgarde, another player said something along the lines of “that old f****t is up” talking about Danath Trollbane, an NPC in the game. That language isn’t cool, and if you’re upset about people celebrating Pride in game, you need to rethink your opinions.
After performing a solo 5-mask run in the Horrific Vision of Stormwind last week on both my shadow priest and demonology warlock, I did a solo 5-mask run in Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar this week. This was a big goal for me, and while I’ve been working toward it for a while, I’m also kind of surprised that I managed to do it. Now I have my Mad World achievement and “the Faceless One” title! Later in the week I’ll give it a go on my lock!
Last week I managed to solo a 5-mask Horrific Vision of Stormwind for the first time! There was something about the madnesses that week that made me think that was the week to do it. It did take my shadow priest a few attempts (maybe 4 or so), but I managed to do it. There wasn’t really any magic trick or breakthrough, although I did use Potions of Unbridled Fury and drums for lust. My priest was ilvl 466 in shadow when I managed to do it.
Next I set my sights on my warlock. My demonology warlock is only ilvl 460, and I don’t play it as well as my priest. This took a lot more attempts and a lot more breakthroughs. I think I ended up trying 8 times last week. Like with my shadow priest, I used pots and drums. This isn’t really some big innovation, but I didn’t use those when I wasn’t seriously thinking I’d be able to solo 5-mask.
I also really struggled with Umbric. My first time on Umbric, I use an orb on pull, so not only was I at max sanity, but I stayed at max sanity for the first few seconds of the fight while in the orb. I still lost all my sanity during the fight. I get polymorphed and then wander in circles, leaving void zones on the ground and walking through them. My felguard’s stun wasn’t so helpful. I also tried using the felhunter for silences. What I found worked best was using my imp. It removes harmful magic effects on a very short CD, so it can break me out of polymorph. That was the ticket to defeating Umbric!
And then I went back to felguard for Alleria and lost to the same problem. On my successful run, I had to use my imp on both Umbric and Alleria, and I had to be sure to have my self-resurrect for Alleria. You can see it activate near the end of the fight with Alleria in the above video. Glad I had it!
These were challenging, and I’m not super confident that I’ll be able to do it this week in Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar. I’ll give it my best shot though!
This weekend I hit 20,000 achievements points on my account! Thanks to mythic Hellfire Citadel for pushing me over that threshold. And thanks to Mooglegem for tagging along to the run. There’s still many more to earn!
I recently joined Amazon Games as a technical writer on the Automation, Tools, and Insights team. We have an upcoming MMO called New World that I’ve been following for a couple years. I don’t want to talk about it too much to play it safe regarding public information, but here’s a recent PC Gamer story on it from March: Everything we know about New World, Amazon’s upcoming MMO.
I’m excited to join the team and to see more of New World!
This weekend I unlocked the Tauren heritage armor. It looks pretty cool, and it was a fun quest series.
I especially love that totem back piece!
The video above shows the unlock quests! Now, I need to work on Blood Elf!
Sleepypaw, my Alliance monk, hit 120 on Thursday!I’ve been leveling him a lot during the double XP event. Now that he’s hit 120, I have a max level character of every class. I owed a lot to Korrak’s Revenge during the anniversary event, which I talked about in Leveling in Korrak’s Revenge.
I dinged 120 in Warsong Gulch by returning the Alliance flag. Woo!
People have been loving his transmog. I’ve received messages in dungeons and battlegrounds, but more importantly, Marc really liked my transmog!
I particularly enjoy Anduin bringing his lumberjack / baker with him to assault Lordaeron, and what does this pandaren do but drink on the job.
It’s weird to have a max level character of every class. I’m glad I have a lot of options moving forward, and I can check out different Order Halls easily now. Or… I could start working on more races. Hmmm.
Time for an update on horrific visions! Last week I did a full clear of the Horrific Vision of Orgrimmar for the first time. I’ve been sitting on a lot of Coalescing Visions recently but just hadn’t had the time to keep running Horrific Visions. Also, I took Matt’s advice and switched to shadow when running these with gem (frost mage). It went much, much faster as shadow!
We also earned Mail Muncher mounts from the mailboxes in horrific visions!
I’m disappointed that there isn’t mail stuck to him or something, but oh well – still cool!
I befriended the Friendly Alpaca in January but never posted this video! I’ve been very excited about alpacas being in WoW, and I now have two of the three.
For this alpaca, you have find the Friendly Alpaca in Uldum and feed it Gersahl Greens for the Alpaca It Up quest. This can be done once per day, and once it’s done 7 times, you get the quest Alpaca It In. This one rewards the Reins of the Springfur Alpaca so you can bring this friendly alpaca with you on your adventures!
Isn’t she cute?!
I spent a lot of time during the anniversary event leveling characters in Korrak’s Revenge. I love battlegrounds, and I’m slowly working toward the 250,000 honorable kills achievement. This seemed like a good time to do a ton of battlegrounds thanks to the increased XP rate. By level 60+, you gained a level per battle or so!
I already had three classes as 120 – priest, hunter, and warlock. I leveled an additional 8 to 120 with the event! The first I leveled to 120 with Korrak’s Revenge was Death Knight. Logrus, my frost DK, was a lot of fun to play. Compared to my main, a healer, it felt like enemies really melted.
My fifth class to hit 120 was my Demon Hunter, Faiella. Like my DK, I found Demon Hunter was great at killing. Movement is incredibly fun with Demon Hunter as well.
Next up, my sixth toon to hit 120, paladin! Here’s Illuminnae standing next to gem’s paladin, Melantho. I’m glad I finally got Illuminnae to max level. It’s nice to have a really heroic-looking plate wearer. I envision her wearing full suits of armor always, as opposed to many other characters that I have in robes or other lighter-looking armor. I played her as ret, but I’d like to learn holy eventually.
This is Spritzi, my little goblin rogue. Stealthing was a lot of fun, but I don’t feel like rogue ever really clicked with me like the other classes did. Diko, gem’s priest, is cheering for her!
Here’s Sotiros, my shaman. He was the third character I ever thought of as my “main.” I created Devee thinking Devee would be temporary, yet Sotiros quickly got pushed aside and I focused on Devee ever since. Now Sotiros is finally max level. I played as resto, and wow, how fun. Chain Heal is amazing in battlegrounds (at least when there are a lot of players together). I enjoyed standing on top of towers and targeting the one Horde character in range with Chain Heal over and over so it could hit the others.
Here’s Mooglepete, my Blood Elf frost mage! I never knew just how much mages are glass cannons. He died easily, but he killed easily too! Here he is with Diko.
I named him after Mooglegem, gem’s mage. Here we are together with our Water Elementals.
Tyyrse, my Zandalari druid, was my next character to his max. Druid was difficult. I wanted Zandalari because I wanted the dino druid forms, but I felt like I wasn’t being “loyal” to Tyrse (one ‘y’), my Tauren druid who I use a bank alt and is lower-level.
But the dino forms! This is Tyyrse in the middle in the tank form dancing with Lafayette, gem’s druid. Awesome!
Lastly, I leveled my Mag’har Orc warrior, Mostymush. I named him in honor of Mushkin, the coolest warrior I know. My friend Matt plays Mushkin and a character named Mostydead, so I combined the names. Warrior is awesome! Heroic Leap gives such fun mobility, and I feel so powerful playing the warrior. Mostymush is my 11th character to hit max level. All I’m missing is monk! I leveled him as a tank, which was insanely fun.
All in all, I played 198 matches of Korrak’s Revenge and won 158 of those. That’s a win rate of 79.8%! I leveled 8 characters to 120 with it. Thanks Korrak’s Revenge!
Memories of Azeroth, the special raid celebrating the 15th anniversary of WoW, was quite different than the LFR version of Molten Core that was part of the 10th anniversary celebration. Having three wings instead of one long instance is huge in opening it up to more players, and I think that’s a good thing. Molten Core LFR was tuned too difficult in my opinion: casual players should be able to experience an anniversary celebration. The tuning on Memories of Azeroth felt very much in line with LFR. There were wipes, but groups could consistently finish it.
The idea behind the raid was pretty fantastic. Three wings, each featuring one of the first three expansions in World of Warcraft. As far as I know, this is the first time WoW has had a sort of boss rush too. In each wing, all three bosses had to be downed without wiping. However, you only see certain phases of the bosses and not all. Between bosses, all CDs are reset, and anyone who died is rezzed.
What seemed off to me was that some fights were so boring and easy that I never saw a wipe on them.
Memories of Fel / The Burning Crusade: Lady Vashj, Kael’thas, Archimonde. This was the easiest wing. I’m not sure I saw a wipe on Lady Vashj or Kael’thas. If so, I didn’t see many.
Memories of Frost / Wrath of the Lich King: Heigan, Anub’arak, The Lich King. This was the weirdest difficulty. Heigan should be incredibly simple. The “dance” of the fight is to simply stand in the one safe quadrant, moving with the group. The safe quadrant shifts in order. But there were wipes. Then there’s Anub’arak. Not only were there definitely no wipes, but there was no challenge at all. That fight is incredibly boring. And then we get to The Lich King, with many, many wipes to defile. Aw, the memories. Wiping is frustrating, but adding some challenge made it fun, and calling out defiles and teaching people was satisfying. Anub’arak was the worst part of this wing. It felt like a waste of time.
Memories of Fire / Cataclysm: Cho’gall, Nefarian, Ragnaros. This wing mirrored the last one pretty closely, except Cho’gall is much easier than Heigan. I’m not sure if we had wipes on him or not. But Nefarian… I don’t even think I saw any mechanics because it was so simple. However, the room filling with lava and later draining made a fun sort of timer so we could be in a DPS race with out past selves in an effort to do better than last time. Ragnaros was challenging for some people, and I don’t mind some wipes as people learn an encounter.
It was a nice stroll through past memories and it makes me long to see full versions of some of those fights. Complex, multi-phase fights felt gutted. I miss the rest of Arthas! Memories of Azeroth makes me with we had more timewalking raids – but broken into wings so I don’t have to do them in one go like Black Temple or Ulduar.
And for my trouble – an Obsidian Worldbreaker! Who wouldn’t love a Deathwing mount of their own? It’s pretty cool!
The best part of patch 8.3 releasing last week is the availability of three alpaca mounts! I obtained my first last night, the Elusive Quickhoof alpaca. Look how cute it is when it does its /mountspecial animation, bouncing in a little a circle. I’m pretty happy with it! Now I’m still farming the second one :)
I hope everyone had a happy Feast of Winter Veil! This is me as Tyyrse on the left and gem as Diko on the right getting festive in Korrak’s Revenge.
We also visited the snow globe in Orgrimmar. This was me as Faiella and gem as Melantho but under transformations anyways.
The sleigh was a nice addition to the holiday this year, but the Horde version stopped early. It wasn’t spawning at all on the last night even though the on another server where I play Alliance was spawning in Ironforge still. This was the best picture I have riding it – me on Tyyrse and gem on Diko.
Here’s me as Kavax and gem as Xanau (and my awesome bear, Albert) meeting Greatfather Winter in Ironforge.
Seriously, she’s embarrassing.
Happy Winter Veil!
A couple months ago, my main focus in WoW had been questing through the Alliance perspective. I created a new 110-boosted Worgen hunter to see the other side – I’ve mentioned him in a couple previous posts. Here is with his bear pet, Albert, and a lost alpaca from a quest. I just wanted to share a couple screenshots in this post.
My pet, Albert, is on the very left. Next to him is Rupert the… dog. At least, this quest giver and Rupert’s owner thinks he’s a dog. So cute!
Albert is a master of stealth!
Xanau looks to be enjoying that little toy rocking seahorse.
I didn’t even get one Kul’Tiran zone finished, because I focused on the War Campaign.
On my way to Orgrimmar to attempt to take out Sylvanas!
Here’s me and Xanau with some of the Alliance and Horde leadership. I love how Shaw leans against the building!
I’ve finished the War Campaign on both sides now. After the 15th anniversary event, I think my focus will be back to doing the Kul’Tiran zones on my hunter!
I completed Unfathomable, the achievement for completing the Nazjatar story, two months ago. I really enjoyed doing Nazjatar. The mix of dailies, one-time quests, and increasing the ranks with your bodyguards felt fun to me. However, once I completed Unfathomable and switched to working on Mechagon, Nazjatar felt worse. My primary goal is usually to finish main story beats, so going for extra things in Nazjatar wasn’t a high goal. After experiencing Mechagon, maneuvering through Nazjatar felt like such a chore.
Last month, I completed Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, Part Two, unlocking BfA flying. This is the first time I’ve been able to fly in current content since Mists of Pandaria, and wow is it nice. I do really like the pathfinder system despite not flying in WoD or Legion. I do think it should be relaxed once a new expansion is released though.
You can see me on my Wonderwing 2.0 mount and Mooglegem on hers in the above screenshot. That’s the mount that’s given as a reward. And all of a sudden, Nazjatar is no longer a headache! It’s a much more beautiful zone when I can fly through it!
As a bonus, I love this dialog between Urt the Bridgeholder and Urd the Heavy.
Urt the Bridgeholder: Too heavy!
Urd the Heavy: Who say that? Bridge can talk now?
I don’t have anything terribly insightful to say, but I wanted to share some screenshots of Zandalar. I love that we can jump on these big boys to ride around the zone. I’m on the far side, and Mooglegem is closer to the camera.
These direhorn are just so cute!
This shows the citizens of Dazar’alor at Rastakhan’s funeral.
Here’s another look at citizens assembled.
Brewfest, along with Hallow’s End, is one of my two favorite in-game holidays in WoW. I enjoy doing some of the activities even without consideration of rewards. Although I admit I miss the colored steins we used to get.
I purchased the new rewards available this year – the Bottomless Brewfest Stein, Tabard of Brew, Brewfest Reveler’s Hearthstone, and the Garland of Grain as well as a dress I missed last year. I didn’t play my alts as much previously and probably didn’t care about a dress with my main being a male.
This is my paladin, Illuminnae, with the dress, the Garland of Grain that looks like a pretzel on her head, and the new stein.
I also really loved the new Brewfest Chowdown minigame – a sausage eating contest! Plus, the trophy you get for winning five times, which can be seen above, makes everyone near it drunk!
I hope Hallow’s End gets something new this year too!
I accidentally changed some graphics settings in WoW recently that resulted in the game looking like an old SCUMM adventure game – or rather a modern game inspired by those old graphics. I suggest you click the image to get a bigger view. Doesn’t this remind you of The Secret of Monkey Island? How perfect that I’m even on a ship! It makes me a bit nostalgic for the time in my life when I was first playing those point and click adventure games.
Maybe I need to try that leaked Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, eh?
Back in 2017, my friend gem (usually referred to as Mooglegem on this blog) took me to an animal sanctuary called Lions Tigers & Bears for my birthday where I fed Albert peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I love bears, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Albert passed away this week. In honor of Albert, I tamed a bear on my hunter and named him Albert. The real Albert was so patient and gentle as I fed him. According to Lions Tigers & Bears, he loved to swim and splash in the water. I’ve been pretty sad, but it’s good to know that Albert had a happy life at the sanctuary. RIP Albert.
I’ve been leveling Voidgazer, my Forsaken warlock, recently in an effort to earn the Gift of N’zoth. The Gift of N’zoth is a buff that gives you an eyeball on your forehead at the end of a quest series about finding Xal’atath (the shadow priest artifact that was discarded in lore). Having the buff allows you to see other people who also have it; those who don’t have the buff won’t see it on you either. There’s a quest to remove it, but it seems appropriate that Voidgazer keeps it.
Voidgazer thought he’d get to spend more time with this babe he just me, but she took off right away.
I love his expression as he receives the gift.
Now Voidgazer can truly gaze into the void! Leveling him to 120 also earned me Dynamic Duo, the achievement for reaching maximum level with two different classes. I’m not sure how much I’ll play him, but it’s fun to have a second max level character!
I finally got around to unlocking the Nightborne recently after the long trek through the Suramar questing. The experience in Suramar was great and yet at the same time, it really seemed to drag on too long. I enjoyed that it had a cohesive story and that the zone changed with the progress, but I think it would have been better if it was shorter.
As for the unlock scenario, I really enjoyed seeing more story surrounding the blood elves. I realize the scenario was arguably about the Nightborne, but I was too distracted by the Sunwell, Lor’themar, and Lady Liadrin. And Alleria. Come to think of it, was this scenario even about the Nightborne?
I finished the death knight campaign from Legion last month, and it was as excellent as I heard. I know this is content from last expansion, but I should note that this post will have spoilers.
Over the course of the campaign, the Knights of the Ebon Blade work with Bolvar, the new Lich King. In exchange for the Lich King directing the death knights to two artifacts, helping with the third (reforging the shards of Frostmourne into the twin Blades of the Fallen Prince), and keeping the Scourge contained, the death knights agree to act as Bolvar’s vengeance against the Burning Legion. Bolvar asks the Deathlord, the new leader of the Ebon Blade and the player character, to raise new Four Horseman.
The first, Nazgrim, is my favorite. I loved Nazgrim. Seeing him develop from a Sergeant in Wrath to a Legionnaire in Cataclysm to a General that we defeated in Mists was a great experience that made the world feel much more alive. Plus, he’s responsible for “Thrall’s balls!” And now he’s one of the Four Horsemen.
The second is Thoras Trollbane, who was a king of Stromgarde. Honestly, I don’t really care about this much.
The third is Sally Whitemane, who was High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade. This is another cool callback.
Finally, Bolvar sends the Knights of the Ebon Blade to Light’s Hope Chapel to raise Tirion Fordring as the leader of the Four Horseman.
In the finale of the campaign, the death knights invade the Sanctum of Light, a secret underground order hall beneath Light’s Hope Chapel. It serves as the paladin order hall for the Knights of the Silver Hand, although the scenario is instanced so you don’t see players. After defeating Lady Liadrin, the Light itself stops you from resurrecting Tirion. Highlord Darion Morgraine uses a deathgate to escape but is killed in the process. Back in Acherus: The Ebon Hold, you resurrect Morgraine as the fourth horseman.
This was a fantastic finale to the campaign, and I loved experiencing the darkness after playing through the priest campaign. The priest campaign was really boring, and it never really felt like we did anything cool. In fact, the end of the priest campaign had the order hall, Netherlight Temple, get attacked by a dreadlord and the Knights of the Silver Hand come to save them. I like kicking some butt as a death knight over getting saved by the paladins. Although now that I think about it, I guess the paladins were the ones who really won!
I ran into The Caterer while questing. Before I could kill him, he yelled “It’s a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake!”
Well, I agree, Caterer. “If the way is hazy, you gotta do the cooking by the book. You know you can’t be lazy.”