I found this video that I never uploaded. Apparently, Carpe Flux Capacitor drafts players when we need to split the raid group. It was a good time.
I found this video that I never uploaded. Apparently, Carpe Flux Capacitor drafts players when we need to split the raid group. It was a good time.
It’s hard to concentrate. I’m too excited about Warlords of Draenor. With the game releasing very soon, there are a lot of feelings swirling inside of me.
For the past week or so, there’s two conflicting feelings. First, there’s excitement, which is mainly what I’m feeling. I can’t wait to push the story forward and see the new content. Once I get to playing, I know I’ll experience a lot of boring filler, but the overall story progression is always so exhilarating. I also love the feeling or triumph over progression raid content. The other feeling that conflicts slightly is the constriction of my life by raiding. We’re starting in January (and I’m very thankful for that delay to enjoy the other content), and that means that two nights per week my time is already allotted.
(I’m sorry, but I had to include this. It’s
stolen taken from Hyperbole and a Half, and even though it’s not really applicable here since I wasn’t using the false word, “alot,” I like the alot a lot.)
Anyways, in addition to raid time, there are other commitments as well. I feel responsible for a lot of other things in WoW that need to get done, so it’s not just a leisurely game. Raiding is worth the stress for me – the challenge and the friendships are amazing – but there’s stress all the same. Maybe, just maybe, I can keep it more under control. If I don’t enjoy something, I shouldn’t do it… but when I’m part of a raid team, it’s hard to justify that thinking. I don’t know how it’ll be this expansion though without a plethora of dailies or Valor Points.
Now that that Warlords of Draenor is this close, the responsibilities are actually draining from my mind as the hype fills it. I’m just excited.
I pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor Collector’s Edition from Amazon this time. Two years ago I pre-ordered the Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition from GameStop and was not happy when they didn’t have my game for me. I don’t want to try them again. I did use GameStop for the Reaper of Souls Collector’s Edition, but I used a different location. This time I decided to try something different. While I’m not in the mood for midnight launches like I was when I was younger, it does mean that I’ll have to wait for the package to come on Thursday. This also seemed appropriate though because I’m working and didn’t want to take time off for the game. I’ll have all night Thursday and plenty of time after that to enjoy the game. Still, I can’t help but be sad now. Most of my guildmates will be playing tonight at midnight.
I’m also annoyed that there wasn’t a proper way to pre-purchase digitally and then upgrade to the Collector’s Edition. I liked what they did with the WoW annual pass and Diablo 3. You got Diablo 3 for free with a WoW annual pass, and if you purchased the Collector’s Edition of Diablo 3, they credited your account with the difference. This time they said that if you bought Warlords digitally and later added the Collector’s Edition, they’d issue you a standard edition Warlords key to give to someone else. I’m sorry, but that’s terrible. Everyone I know is already purchasing the game. That means I can’t play right at midnight, and more importantly, I couldn’t use my free boost-to-90 when I actually had the time to do so. Oh well.
I didn’t mean to get side-tracked with negativity. I’m super pumped! Soon I’ll get to see a smorgasbord of new content as well as many of my friends back in action. I can’t wait!
Patch 6.0.2, The Iron Tide, brought a number of changes and a bit of new content.
Iron Horde Invasion
The Dark Portal turns red, and the Iron Horde begins to attack. The Horde and Alliance settlements in the Blasted Lands fall, and we’re tasked with cleaning up. It was interesting, but it seemed to lack zest. It was just a bit anti-climatic. I never really got the feeling that we were in much danger. The questline did more to introduce mechanic changes than anything else. For example, quest objectives are clearly marked on the map and are outlined differently in the world. This includes locations that are targets for items; instead of going to where you think you need to plant a flag and clicking it, you right-click the outline of a flag. I like it. Still, I would have liked the event to feel more important. I think what I liked most was Thrall’s new model. He’s finally integrating the aspects of being a shaman and a warrior. Awesome.
Updated character models
I didn’t care previously, and I still don’t think this is a big deal. I’m looking at numbers. I’m watching health and mana, looking at buffs and debuffs, and tracking adds. I’m not looking at my cloak. At first, I certainly did. My troll runs stupidly. Honestly it seems normal now though.
Upper Blackrock Spire
It’s much more straight-forward, but it didn’t seem like it was anything special either. I suppose that could make sense because it’s only the first half, but why show us the first half if the first half isn’t awesome?
Flexible raids are great. Losing Renew and Void Shift sucks. Having to choose between Spirit Shell and Power Infusion sucks. Losing Heal wasn’t a big deal.
Now we’re even more OP in earlier content. That’s cool.
Void Storage and Toy Box
Oh, goodness. This was awesome. With a whole new Void Storage tab and the nifty Toy Box, I actually have free bag space again, allowing me to go do past raids for transmog. It’s wonderful. I don’t understand why they didn’t try to patch this in a couple months ago so we could actually do something in WoW. I can’t say enough good about this, although I know I’m going to fill it up soon. Mmmm old tier sets.
What have I done in the patch? I did the questline and UBRS of course. Besides that, I’ve mainly been going after old tier sets. That’s what I was doing months and months ago before I filled up all my bags, so it’s nice to be able to continue it again. I also got my heroic Siege of Orgrimmar heirloom – the staff. Unfortunately, I was hoping for the mace or offhand. The mace is shaped like a Horde symbol, and the offhand is a book with the Horde symbol on the cover. Maybe I’ll get one of them in normal mode!
When the servers went down early Tuesday morning, it was effectively the end of Mists of Pandaria. When they come back online, we’ll be starting Warlords of Draenor even if the expansion hasn’t actually released.
I enjoyed this expansion. Unlike some people, I had no problem with the setting. It was beautiful, the story of the sha was original, and I liked both the Alliance and the Horde’s character development. Yeah, it would have been better if we didn’t know Garrosh was going to be the end boss, and the expansion had a couple problems such as too many dailies and the feeling that LFR and flex were both requires for normal mode raiders.
As a healer, I found scenarios boring. However, I discovered Proving Grounds and Challenge Mode dungeons too late in the expansion. Of course I knew they existed, but I wish I cared about them earlier. I didn’t even touch the Brawler’s Guild unfortunately.
I’m obviously excited for Warlords of Draenor, but I’ll admit, I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I keep busy, and as much as I do love raiding, I’m not looking forward to the time sink.
On Sunday, I finished earning silvers in the Challenge Mode dungeons. Monday night I spent my currencies, and then Mooglegem and I said our goodbyes to the Kor’kron. I know they were the bad guys this expansion, but they weren’t always that way. They were once the elite soldiers and guards, and this blog is named after them. I’m kind of sad to see them go entirely.
Here we are with a couple more Kor’kron.
And finally, a ton of Kor’kron! Woo! I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this spot immediately.
Next I decided to visit the Dark Portal while it was still green.
Obviously I was not alone in this endeavor. Lots of other Horde were here along with a few Alliance as well. Why the one or two Alliance members that came decided to try to engage in PVP, I’ll never know.
What’s that? A line of Sea Turtles, jumping into their shells? Count me in! I know it seems silly, but this type of thing is one of the best aspects of MMOs. This isn’t part of the planned content. Visiting the Dark Portal after the patch might be, and coming here to quest is, sure. But everyone coming together to chat, emote, use fun items, and celebrate might be expected but it was not planned content. It was just a bunch of players having fun. I love it.
When the server’s come back online, these same players will be ready to stop the Iron Horde!
A few weeks ago, Zaghar, my guildmate, suggested we run Challenge Mode dungeons to get silvers for the mount before the first season of CMs ended with the completion of Mists of Pandaria. I’d been wanting to do CMs mostly for the, well, challenge of it. We’ve been running them when we had the chance. I wish we had started earlier because they’re a lot of fun.
Is that a second Devee in the picture? No, it’s just Mooglegem.
I really enjoy how Challenge Mode dungeons greatly reduce the role of gear and tests group skill. In Warlords of Draenor, I think I’d like to try Challenge Mode dungeons earlier so I could aim for golds. However, I have to be honest that I’m not sure how much time I can truly devote to the game. I doubt I can seriously focus on CMs and raiding.
gem and I both chose Violet Pandaren Phoenixes as our rewards! Of course, soon we’ll have all of them when the patch lands.
Having read War Crimes, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the Vision of Time quests would be anticlimactic. I suppose it was mildly interesting to see things about which I had read, but I was hoping for a little more. On the plus side, at least I won’t have to go killing on the Timeless Isle for Epoch Stones now. Farming while watching Netflix was getting tedious.
A group of my friends have started playing WoW together casually on Friday nights. They invited me to join. It’s been years since I’d done anything group content like that – dungeons and the like. It’s a different feeling to play as a group while leveling compared to endgame where the goal is to plow through content for valor points. They had already started, so I decided to catch up. They play Alliance, and I’ve never spent much time on that side of the game. I was looking forward to seeing the Alliance story.
I decided to roll a pandaren monk. His name is Sleepypaw. You can see him sleeping with his bear cub watching him.
The starting experience on the Wandering Isle was pretty fun, but nothing too amazing really. I enjoyed it, but the worgen starting experience was so much better. I did like getting the chance to talk to Shen-zin Su, the turtle known as the Wandering Isle. I also particularly liked Ji Firepaw, a Huojin follower, Aysa Cloudsinger, a Tushui follower, and their relationship. It was interesting to see them get close and then see that relationship strained. Of course, I chose to follow Aysa into the Alliance.
After fighting Varian at his request, I became a full member of the Alliance! Stormwind itself is a beautiful city, and I enjoyed running around it. While Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff have natural beauty, and I do particularly like the view of Orgrimmar from above mostly because I think of it as my city, Stormwind and Ironforge have a really heroic and powerful feel. I spent a couple hours one evening just running around Stormwind. I ignored the map so I could try to learn the city, looking around and using Stormwind Keep as a point of reference.
After questing through Elwynn Forest, I headed into Westfall, which had a really interesting story. It did a good job of showing me how different the Alliance is. First, I helped a detective who was looking for clues to solve a murder. He even had little alarmbots circling the crime scene. I can’t imagine the Horde taking such a modern approach to murder. Yet on the other hand, I can’t fathom the idea of homeless members of the Horde – orcs unable to afford to live in Orgrimmar, starving and begging for food. That’s what we see in Westfall though. Well, homeless humans, not orcs. We learn that while the Alliance spent time and money winning the war in Northrend, they neglected things at home. Guards are posted to keep them out of cities, with signs warning transients to stay out of the area.
This is probably one of my favorite screenshots now. It wasn’t a rare angle or anything like that, but it was a powerful moment in the story.
After Westfall, I moved into the Redridge Mountains, where I joined Bravo Company and defended Lakeshire against Blackrock orcs. The most important thing that happened was meeting this girl who loves rabbits. I love rabbits too!
The zone was quite idyllic when there wasn’t killing or war. Here’s a nice screenshot. I suppose the skeleton undermines my position on the zone though.
The Bravo Company storyline was fun mostly because they tag along with you and say funny things. There’s a paladin who complains about the Light, saying that one day he feels like all his abilities are weaker.
Also, yes, Rambo references.
I’ve now made it to Duskwood and am level 30. I have full heirlooms for all three spec, so if my friends need me to tank or heal, I’ll have the gear for it (even if I don’t know how to play those specs). They might be a little higher than 30 now, but I think I’ve matched them approximately! I’ve had a lot of fun experiencing the Alliance side of things and am looking forward to more.
I’m pretty excited to finally share this. I painted this Horde plate and Horde mug at Color Me Mine! In case you’re not familiar with the chain, allow me to briefly explain. Color Me Mine lets you choose and purchase ceramic pieces. Once you’ve chosen, you paint the piece there in the studio. They fire it while you go about your week, and a week later you can pick up your finished piece.
Because I’m more excited about the mug, I’ll talk about the plate first. I painted this on February 22 of this year. We were celebrating Mooglegem’s birthday!
If I spend too much time on details, I won’t be able to finish in a single evening and will have to return multiple times. To avoid that with this plate, I tried to keep it simple. I based the Horde symbol on the way it appears on the banners at the Shrine of Two Moons in Mists of Pandaria. It’s clearly Asian-inspired. The plate’s simple, but I’m pretty happy with it!
This mug is a much bigger deal. I’m so happy to finally have it completed. I don’t remember when I started it, but I do know that I signed and dated the bottom, and when I checked today, the year on the bottom was 2012.
I put a lot of work into this. In fact, it took me much longer than a single session. I probably went at least five times, spending hours each time. There was some other stress involved as well. Normally, you pay for the piece and you pay a studio fee to paint. If you purchase one piece or three pieces, the studio fee remains the same. If you don’t finish and bring a piece back, you don’t need to purchase the piece again, but you’d need to pay the studio fee again.
This side’s pretty boring. My intent with the colors here was to get that metal look with which Garrosh infused the Horde. Those circles were supposed to be metal rivets. I don’t know how well that came across.
I spent so much time on the mug that the Color Me Mine at which I purchased the piece closed. However, they had assured me when I began that I could take it to any store to continue working on it. The manager at the other store, however, seemed pretty upset by it. He made a big deal about how he can’t profit if I’m not purchasing from him. I guess he didn’t think the studio fee was high enough. Regardless, he was very huffy about the whole thing but let me work there, and I eventually finished. I’m not very artsy usually, so it was a big deal to me.
As a troll, I had to include some Darkspear love of course. Too bad a crack runs through the right mask.
A week after I finished painting, I went to pick up my piece, and it wasn’t really a piece. It was a bag of pieces. It had exploded in the kiln, which happens sometimes. I asked to look at the pieces because I was curious how it turned out, so the woman working there handed me the bag. A few moments later, she told me something about how she’d throw the pieces away for me, but I told her that I still wanted to keep it. She told me that they can’t let me do that because the sharp pieces are dangerous. This seems rather dumb to me, because I could always break a piece and then cut myself on it, right? Well, I told her that I really still wanted it. I think it helped that I was still holding the bag, and I honestly wasn’t going to give it back to her. I had already paid, I didn’t consider theft, and I doubt she would have physically stopped me. Luckily, she said okay, although she did make me sign the back of the receipt after she wrote something about how they wouldn’t be held responsible if I hurt myself.
The handle has a vine wrapping around it. It took a while to do that due to the shading.
I kept the bag in my room for a long time. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. There was lots of conflicting advice on what type of glue to use and how to fix it. Rather than choosing something, I kept putting it off.
When I painted the Horde plate, Mooglegem and I chatted with the staff, and one woman mentioned being able to glue pieces together there in the store. When I picked up my plate, I brought my mug with me, and they glued it back together for me!
For those wondering, the Color Me Mine in Tustin, CA on El Camino Real is a great business, and the people who work there are terrific!
The vine reaches the top and wraps around the inside of the mug.
It’s not safe to drink from it, but I created it for artistic reasons, not utility. I’m really pleased to have them completed. Now I just need to figure out where to display them!
Oh, and I suppose that the cracks just add to the representation. The Horde are the outcasts and underdogs. Individually we might be broken, but we come together! It’s apt that I didn’t get this glued together until after the Siege of Orgrimmar as well. Even though the Horde has been shattered, we piece ourselves back together!
Wednesday we had our one and only attempt on Iron Juggernaut, defeating him! It seemed like a strangely uneventful boss. I’d heard it was easy, but after a boss that had a group leaving to do their own thing in the towers on Galakras with comparatively complex mechanics, I don’t understand why Iron Juggernaut was even there! That said, he’s pretty cool looking, so I guess I get it.
You can watch our kill too. I forgot to start the video right at the beginning, but I remembered pretty early. Now that I’ve become the official kill poster on the Carpe Flux Capacitor guild website, I might as well link to our official kill announcement too.
Warlords of Draenor sounds very cool and seems to be bringing a lot of great things. I don’t intend for this post to rehash all the news released at BlizzCon, but I still want to talk about my reaction.
I love the direction of the story; Garrosh escapes and, with the help of the Timewalker Kairoz, travels back in time to Draenor. He stops the orcs from becoming corrupted by the Burning Legion and forms the Iron Horde. He then builds his own Dark Portal connecting that Draenor to our Azeroth. I know that anything relating to time travel can be confusing to people, but I kind of like that Blizzard basically told us not to worry about it and that there wouldn’t be any time paradoxes or consequences. I like it. It’s just an excuse for us to visit Draenor and interact with all the old orcs. Of course, this gives us a lot of potential. Seeing ruthless, old-fashioned orcs should be fun, and of course, experiencing Draenor will be great.
It could also be a vehicle for some interesting character development. What if Garrosh finds his father’s not what he expected? What if Grom thinks Garrosh is a failure? It’ll be fascinating. I also think Blizzard has a chance to do something great with Thrall. Thrall never had the chance to know his parents. We know Durotan is going to side with our Horde, but what if he’s different than Thrall imagined? Even if he’s a good guy, what if he’s still ruthless? What if he thinks the Horde is too soft? In addition, some characters could stick around after the end of the expansion. For example, Durotan could come through the Dark Portal to live on Azeroth.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of circumstance shaping a person, and I hope Warlords of Draenor examines this. I’d like to see some characters act very differently than they did in the original timeline due to the changed events in their lives.
Stats and itemization
Hit was always a boring stat to me. There was no strategy or choice. You just had to get hit-capped. I’m glad to see it and its fellow not-fun stats removed. Movement speed could be a fun stat on gear as well. Plus, being able to move quickly and get back to DPSing or healing means a DPS/HPS boost.
Having gear change to match the wearer’s current spec is very interesting. It means you can use more gear but that there’s more competition. Ultimately, I think it’ll make the game much more offspec-friendly.
Reforging seemed more needless than useful. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to change from a haste build to a crit build without changing gear. I almost feel like it would work better like changing specs. When you’re out of combat, you can could change builds. Oh well. We’ll have to see what it’s like for gems and enchants to be less common as well.
Garrisons are effectively the Sunsong Ranch farm crossed with the companion mission system of TOR (or other games) with a dash of Warcraft RTS. Sounds intriguing. I liked the farm even though it felt like a grind at times, so I’m optimistic about this. Honestly, it’s more of an evolution of the idea of keeps and followers from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It could be pretty fun.
Updated character models
Honestly, I don’t really care about this. I don’t understand it. My character is a pretty portion of my screen. When I play D&D, my representation is, at most, a small metal figure that isn’t even using an accurate weapon half the time. However, a lot of people do care, so I’m glad Blizzard’s doing it.
Boost to 90
I completely understand how some people are bothered by this, but I’m not at all. I’ve never had two characters at the level cap. With the character boost, I’m more likely to get a second to level 100. It’d be nice to check out some other styles of play, because I’ve only ever had my priest at endgame. In addition, being able to boost to 90 combined with updated character models mean that people who haven’t played WoW before can immediately begin playing what is effectively a new, modern game. That’s great.
Collections and quest items
These might be my favorite changes. Currently, mounts and pets are in collections rather than items. In Warlords of Draenor, toys, heirlooms, and possibly tabards will be in collections as well. That’s so much bag space I’ll be regaining. In addition, quest items won’t take up bag space. Finally. I’m pretty excited. The only downside is that I lost all those toys I earned previously. Maybe Blizzard could check that I did those quests and award me the toys. Please, Blizzard?
LFR is still LFR. Flex will be called Normal. Normal will be called Heroic. Heroic will be called Mythic. LFR, Normal, and Heroic will all be flexible (1o to 25 people) and cross-realm. Mythic will not be cross-realm and will be 20 people. As a normal-mode raider currently (so a heroic-mode raider next expansion) in a guild that struggles with attendance, this is great news. We recruit so we have 15-20 people, and then we take everyone every week. Awesome! I do feel bad for current 10-man heroic guilds, but it won’t be my problem at least.
Dailies and dynamic events
Dailies will not be widely used. Great. Dynamic events like those from the Timeless Isle will exist in the world. Also great if not overdone. In addition, they talked about wanting to combine the ideas behind the Isle of Thunder and the Timeless Isle. I think Blizzard is on to something, and I like to see them iterating on the way content is delivered. A combination of these two is exactly what I want.
The map will tell you where the next story quest is, and it also indicates how many story chapters you’ve completed. This is awesome news. In Mists of Pandaria, I finished all the zones before I started raiding, and I only did a dungeon once I got to it in the story. It made for a nice, cohesive experience, but it also meant I took longer to get raid-ready. In Warlords of Draenor, I’ll skip all the non-story quests and come back to them. This should speed up the process significantly.
PVP interface updates
I don’t know how anyone could have a problem with being able to see capping progress on the map and on the flags themselves. This is a welcome change.
Warlords of Draenor
I’m pretty excited about all the aspects of the expansion. I’ll admit, things could go wrong. The quests could be boring, or the new content delivery mechanisms could be boring. I won’t know until I see the content. But I’m feeling hyped to experience it. Of course, I’d like to defeat Garrosh in normal-mode first!
A Counter-Intuitive Idea For Tanks in LFR, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 10/16/13.
Rohan notes that there’s room for bad healers or DPS in LFR but not tanks. He speculates that increasing the number of tanks (while keeping encounters tuned for two) would make tanking more forgiving and possibly yield more people queuing as tanks. It’s a great idea.
An Alternate Explanation for Gender Bias in Healing and Tanking, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 10/8/13.
Here’s another fantastic piece by Rohan. He provides an alternate explanation on gender bias in which he speculates that women prefer to stay at range while men prefer melee. It’s interesting.
Crowd Control & Diminishing Returns, Lore, World of Warcraft Forums, 10/11/13.
If you’ve wondered what CC shared diminishing returns, this great thread has you covered.
Know Your Lore: A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 10/9/13.
This is a fantastic summary of what’s happened in Pandaria.
Reputation in review: Pandaria, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 10/14/13.
A consideration of the different reputation experiments in Mists of Pandaria.
Know Your Lore: The fate of Garrosh Hellscream, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 10/13/13.
Nothing new, but interesting look at why things happened the way they did.
Spec and Talent design likely to remain unchanged in 6.0, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 10/15/13.
If you read the article title, you don’t really need to read the article.
WoW Archivist: Spells we’ve lost, Scott Andrews, WoW Insider, 10/11/13.
An examination of spells that have been removed. I’m ready to lose more.
Behind the Blogging Scenes Interview: Rohan, Matticus, World of Matticus, 10/5/13.
Matticus interviewed Rohan, one of my favorite bloggers.
I Think I’m in Love With 5.4, Balkoth, Balkoth’s Word, 10/3/13.
Wondering what’s so special about 5.4? Balkoth can explain.
Inventory fixes being worked on, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 10/5/13.
Yes yes yes.
Warcraft as a whole: story balance between RTS and MMO, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 10/7/13.
A consideration of the different ways the MMO and RTS games have interacted with story.
WTB generic glyphs, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 10/9/13.
Some interesting ideas for generic glyphs.
The Mists of Pandaria that never was, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 10/4/13.
Things could have been a bit different.
New Refer-A-Friend system revealed, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 10/7/13.
The new system sounds good, but are there really people who are coming to play WoW for the first time still?
Breakfast Topic: Today, the Sky Golems invade Azeroth, Adam Koebel, WoW Insider, 10/9/13.
This is a pretty sweet mount.
The bag space problem, Adam Koebel, WoW Insider, 10/2/13.
An examination of the problem with bag space with possible solutions.
A lack of triumph, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 10/1/13.
The Siege of Orgrimmar lacks a triumphant feeling, and maybe that’s okay.
WoW’s Singing Sunflower sweetens the Lament of the Highborne, Lisa Poisso, WoW Insider, 7/29/13.
Whoops, I missed this one. Laura Shigihara, the voice of the Singing Sunflower pet (and the song from Plants vs. Zombies), sings Lament of the Highborne.
We may be in debt, but the chips on our shoulders are chocolate, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 9/18/13.
When Greg Street and Brian Holinka traded tweets about exciting changes to PVP, Olivia Grace replied to them, saying that she’d bake them each 1,000,000 cookies if the changes were cross-realm arenas. Well, they’re in patch 5.4 now, and in the Alliance PVP room in the Valley of the Four Winds, there’s an IOU note for “1,000,000 Chocolate Chip Cookies” signed “- O.D.G.” She better get on that.
WoW Trivial Pursuit now available, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 9/25/13.
Know Your Lore: This Was All Necessary, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/25/13.
Pandaria grew stagnant under the Sha of Pride. Garrosh was right that “such power cannot be contained.”
Hearthstone account wipe is coming, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 9/26/13.
Good to know if you’re still playing Hearthstone. You’ll be reimbursed with gold for your purchases, and they don’t believe there will be any additional wipes.
Queue for all the LFRs at once in patch 5.4, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 9/24/13.
This is a welcome change.
WoW Archivist: A rolled-back history of realms, Scott Andrews, WoW Insider, 9/13/13.
I remember roll-backs. Dark days, they were.
Know Your Lore: The future of the Horde, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 9/15/13.
What will happen to the Horde after the Siege of Orgrimmar?
Know Your Lore: Delenda est Orgrimmar, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/18/13.
This is a satirical piece from the Alliance perspective on why Orgrimmar should be destroyed.
Escape from Orgrimmar, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/19/13.
And this is the follow-up Rossi wrote after realizing that people didn’t realize the first was satirical. It lists the reasons why Orgrimmar shouldn’t be destroyed.
When the big squish happens, you’ll still be able to kill the mobs, Adam Holisky, WoW Insider, 9/19/13.
Some clarification for people who are still confused.
Last week, I earned my legendary cloak, Jina-Kang, Kindness of Chi-Ji. If you follow my blog and know that I play a discipline priest, you won’t be surprised that Jina-Kang is the healer legendary. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to earn this before my raid nights, but this week I should be set!
I’m sure you can find hundreds of videos showing the cutscene, but I recorded mine as well. It starts with some quest text and dialog before Wrathion sends me to the Seat of Knowledge above Mogu’shan Palace in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Around 2:00 into the video is when the good part starts. Do you remember how Lorewalker Cho has shown you scenes from stories? Now he, with Wrathion’s help, tells my story. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in World of Warcraft. We’ve all done great things, and the cutscene that plays will show each player his legendary accomplishments. To someone who loves the lore and story as well as building a character, it was incredible.
After earning it, the player is displayed with his or her appropriate legendary proc outside the Seat of Knowledge. I’m sad that I didn’t wait for Mooglegem so we could be displayed together. Oh well. Now to complete this chapter of the legendary, I just need to stop Garrosh Hellscream!
On 7/9 we downed Durumu for the first time. Yes, we wiped fifteen times first, but those wipes aren’t important! What’s important is the kill! I also finally figured out why my videos have stuck frames. I don’t know how to solve it, but it only happens when I trim a clip down to a few seconds. I usually put the last couple seconds of each wipe at the beginning of my kill videos, and I make them short enough, that entire clip will be a single frame. I’ll figure it out.
Primordius went down the following night. It was after only five wipes, so that’s an improvement over Durumu.
Why settle for two bosses when we could complete an entire wing? After killing Primordius, we continued to Dark Animus. After seven wipes, we killed it on the eighth attempt!
You’ll have to wait until next week to learn how we did this week. (Uh, because I haven’t done the videos yet.)
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Microtransactions in WoW. Last week I wrote Suggested Reading: Of the in-game store, pay-to-win, statistics, weapons, legendaries, nostalgia, and warlock utility. The author of one of the articles in my Suggested Reading, Balkoth, had a nice discussion with me in the comments. (If you haven’t read it, you should also check out his post titled I Have Discovered the Source of Forum Complaining in Mists! It’s fantastic.)
Anyways, we discussed pay-to-win, farming charms, and more. As people probably don’t go back to check comments, I just wanted to post to let people know that they might want to check the comments here. It’s a good read.
(Plus, I’ve been busy due to San Diego Comic-Con and don’t have anything else ready to post!)
The Isle of Thunder is now fully unlocked, and I recently defeated Shan Bu in the solo scenario, Fall of Shan Bu. It was a relatively simple scenario with a few plot development points of interest. The Horde and the Alliance almost clashed but focused on defeating the Mogu and Zandalari first. However, once Shan Bu was defeated, things escalated.
Regent-Lord Lor’themar Theron demanded that Lady Jaina Proudmoore free the Sunreavers. She responded that they were led an assault on an Alliance city from her own city. Lor’themar said that the Sunreavers didn’t know about that. What I particularly enjoyed was Aethas Sunreaver’s emote at this time. “Aethas Sunreaver shift uncomfortably.” No mention of this by the characters, and if you weren’t looking at the chat, you would have missed it.
After Taran Zhu told them to break the cycle and walk away, Lor’themar told his rangers to stand down. Soon after, Jaina told her followers to leave as well. I just want to point out that the Horde forces put their weapons down first, leaving them vulnerable. That’s because not everyone in the Horde are jerks!
The scenario ended with Nalak still waiting. We couldn’t just let her live, so Mooglegem and I hunted her down. Unfortunately, as she fell out of the sky, her open mouth landed around a terrified Mooglegem!
Last week we broke through the walls of the Thunder King at the end of Isle of Thunder’s Stage 2 in the scenario Tear Down This Wall!
This week, we continued our assault. At the end of Stage 3, we mounted an aerial assault in the solo scenario To the Skies! We now control of the Thunder Forges!
I love the use of these scenarios to progress the story. However, I believe that they should be repeatable some how in case we want to see the story again. The stages are unlocking at the perfect pace. I still have time between stages, but they’re unlocking fast enough that they make me want to do dailies another couple times to see what’s changed.
Earlier this week, the Horde completed phase one of the Isle of Thunder. I enjoyed what I saw of phase one, but the Horde needed a base on the island itself! When I showed up for my dailies that day, there was a single quest instead of dailies. This quest queued me for a solo scenario that tasked me with flying to the island, locating a Zanadalari outpost protected by a magic barrier, slaying the Zandalari inside, and taking down the barrier. It was a great of telling a story! You can watch me go through it in the video above.
With the Zandalari threat removed, Lor’themar was able to set up an outpost in the northwest section of the Isle of Thunder called the Dawnseeker Promontory. My favorite part? Well, my good friend Uda the Beast!
Uda the Beast was the Sunreaver innkeeper in Dalaran. I spent a lot of time with her during the War in Northrend because I loved her two wolves! I helped her evacuate with many other Sunreavers during the purging of Dalaran, and luckily she escaped with her wolves! Now she’s the innkeeper in Dawnseeker Promontory on the Isle of Thunder! You can see Mooglegem and me spending some quality time with her and her lovely wolves!
Why head to the Isle of Giants?, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 3/8/13.
This is a great overview of what’s offered on the Isle of Giants.
Blind player Ben Shaw on raiding and WoW for the sightless, Lisa Poisso, WoW Insider, 3/7/13.
If you’ve wondered what Ben Shaw, blind raider, has been doing, read this! (And if you’ve never heard of him, you really need to read it.)
Reconciling PvP and PvE, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 3/11/13.
Rohan if it would have been possible to keep PVP and PVE on the same path, using the same gear. It’d be interesting!
Analysis of the Post-Hotfix 5.2 Battleground Scaling Changes, Cynwise, Cynwise’s Warcraft Manual, 3/13/13.
More information on the funky new battleground level scaling.
Ra’sha <Tender of Sacrifices>, Cymre, Bubbles of Mischief, 3/12/13.
Did you know you can obtain a dagger that allows you to kill yourself? It’s called Ra’sha’s Sacrificial Dagger, and Cymre can tell you more about it.
Oondasta, Cymre, Bubbles of Mischief, 3/11/13.
If you haven’t had the chance to fight Oondasta, reading about it might be good!
#194 First impressions of Stage One and Two of the Isle of Thunder, Spencer Nozell, Be MOP, 3/13/13.
Another look at the Isle of Thunder.
Know Your Lore: Vereesa Windrunner, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 3/13/13.
Why’s that Vereesa Windrunner girl so mad, anyways?
Track your Isle of Thunder to-do list with this handy addon, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 3/13/13.
I just installed this, so I can’t yet say how useful it is. Apparently it tracks weekly things on the Isle of Thunder per character so you can know on what to focus.
PvP in Patch 5.2: Gear changes, resilience changes, class changes, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 3/11/13.
Lots of PVP changes.
Around Azeroth: Thunder was his engine and white lightning was his load, Elizabeth Wachowski, WoW Insider, 3/9/13.
I don’t usually share Around Azeroths, but this screenshot was pretty cool.
Spiritual Guidance: Priest gear in patch 5.2 and Throne of Thunder, Dawn Moore, WoW Insider, 3/7/13.
A list of all the gear you’ll be considering if you’re a priest.
Only one week left to get your Winter Squid, Sarah Pine, WoW Insider, 3/13/13.
If you need it, go get it.
The Queue: Hump day, Alex Ziebart, WoW Insider, 3/13/13.
@Dobablo asked, “If white smoke =pope and black smoke = no pope. Then green fire = what?” Ziebart answered, “Felpope.”
After checking out the Isle of Thunder, I decided to pay the Isle of Giants a visit. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew that a bunch of dinosaurs sounded like fun. The Isle of Giants is an island off the northern coast of Pandaria. Unlike almost everything else in World of Warcraft, there are no quests or hints telling you visit the island. You can’t fly on the island, but you can fly to it, and there’s a flight path on the island. What else is on the island? Dinosaurs, of course.
The dinosaurs are all large. The hatchlings look to be normal size, and the adults are huge. To take an adult dinosaur, you’ll likely need a group. I can solo the hatchlings, but I wouldn’t want to take on a group. I spent most of my time there with Mooglegem, which made it easier.
There are Zandalari on the island who have a chance to drop new raptor pets. They don’t drop them every time, but they do drop them regularly. If you spend the evening farming the Isle of Giants, you’ll probably end up with all four. In addition to pets, enemies drop Giant Dinosaur Bones. Zandalari drop one each, and dinosaurs drop multiple. The bigger the dinosaur, the more bones they drop.
You can turn the bones in to Ku’ma on the island for some neat rewards. For 10, he’ll give you a Mote of Harmony, and for 100, he’ll give you a Spirit of Harmony. You’re probably wondering why I said “neat rewards” but then talked about boring motes and spirits. There’s more. If you turn in 999 Giant Dinosaur Bones, you can get the Spectral Porcupette pet. It’s adorable, and I want it. Unfortunately, I won’t be saving for it; I’ll be saving 9999 Giant Dinosaur Bones so I can purchase the Reins of the Bone-White Primal Raptor. I want it!
Normally I’m against grinds, but I love the Isle of Giants. Consider Valor Point capping, my most hated grind. It has quests, story, and varying situations. That all sounds good, but it’s also needed. If I’m not Valor capping, I’m letting my raid team down. There are weeks during which I don’t quite cap, but I get close. Valor Points are tied directly to rewards that help me excel in raiding. In addition, a weekly cap gives me a set goal I have to make lest I don’t reach my full potential. If there was no cap, I wouldn’t feel the need to cap it. Yes, some people would get thousands in a week. I would probably say “I can always get more next week” and do less overall. Back to the Isle of Giants. No required PVE reward is tied to the grind, so it’s a grind I can do whenever I want. There’s no feeling of obligation. There’s just slaying enemies on a lost island filled with dinosaurs – a fun fantasy trope that fits well in World of Warcraft. I love it, and I hope Blizzard puts more content like the Isle of Giants into the game.
Every once in a while I can’t resist a photo op, even if there isn’t much to say about it!
Mooglegem and I started the Order of the Cloud Serpent faction recently. Look at these cute little guys. I said look at them! I want to permanently have a gang of multi-colored cloud serpent hatchlings following me around.
Note: There will be spoilers for the Golden Lotus reputation and quests in this post.
Recently Mooglegem and I had successfully retrieved three powerful artifacts once belonging to the mogu ruler, the Thunder King, and locked them away with the Golden Lotus standing guard. This past week the mogu hit the Vale very hard, and when we went to check on the artifacts, the guards were all dead and the artifacts were missing!
We began cleaning up the Vale by killing the mogu we encountered. When we approached Mogu’shan Palace, I saw a huge barrier of some sort. I joked that there must be a powerful discipline priest near because it looked like my Power: Word Barrier. Of course, what discipline priest would be strong enough to do this?
Apparently I forgot that there was one strong enough! We ran into Anduin Wrynn keeping the barrier stable. You know your in good hands when you encounter the Prince of Stormwind.
We assaulted the remaining mogu from the barrier Anduin provided and successfully drove them from the Vale. Returning to the Golden Pagoda, we were greeted with fireworks and congratulations. Despite how successful we might have been in killing the mogu, they did succeed in reclaiming the Thunder King’s artifacts. What do they have planned with those? I guess we’ll find out soon…
We managed to kill Garalon last night! I have a lot of videos of us failing, but near the end of the raid night we managed to kill him. Hopefully we have the strategy and skill to continue killing him in the future. We actually did a quick attempt on the next boss too before calling it.
You can see our success above! Funny that I just posted about Garalon, too. I’ll consider this a birthday present from Blizzard and my guild.
Lost!, Chris Pearson, Confessions of a Grown-Up Gamer, 11/14/12.
WoW let Chris know that he was in the wrong zone. Unfortunately, it didn’t elaborate.
Mists of Pandaria and the new age of World of Warcraft, Mike Schramm, WoW Insider, 11/9/12
How Mists of Pandaria represents a new era of WoW content.
Know Your Lore: Dailies and story development, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 11/11/12.
A look at how story progression and dailies have changed.
Know Your Lore: The mysteries of the pandaren, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 11/14/12.
What do we know about the pandaren? More importantly, what don’t we know?
A thought about the Brawlers Guild, TyphoonAndrew, TyphoonAndrew’s – Eye of the Storm, 11/10/12.
Why do you fight in the Brawler’s Guild? To fight.
Brawlers Guild Invitations, Rohan, Blessing of Kings, 11/9/12.
Rohan explains the Brawler’s Guild and gives some alternate ideas for inviting players to join.
Blizzard Talks about Brawler’s Guild, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 11/8/12.
Blizzard responds to questions and feedback about the Brawler’s Guild.
Every once in a while I can’t resist a photo op!
At least it’s a different type of minecart than last time!
This was the first weekend during which I had significant time to play Mists of Pandaria. I’m absolutely loving it so far, and the Jade Forest is a beautiful zone. I felt like I was taking screenshots all the time, and the plot moved forward nicely as well. Allowing players to take control of a lore character during stories is a nice touch and wasn’t overdone. Similarly, there were some cutscenes but not a distracting amount like there was in Uldum. The Jade Forest was done perfectly.
There will be some spoilers for the Jade Forest in this post.
This Dawn Watcher said “What interesting colors you are wearing. Did you weave that yourself?”
Interesting indeed, Miss Dawn Watcher. It’s the Runecloth Robe, the same thing you all are wearing!
We ran into a champion, Mister Ferocious. Mooglegem and I were 86, so we were a little nervous when a level 90 Alliance flew over to us. He just watched as we fought him. When Mister Ferocious was low, he began to attack us. Uh, oh. We should be nothing to a level 90, right? After killing Mister Ferocious, we focused on him until he ran away. In fact, we’ve been attacked a number of times now, and we’re always victorious. Why do higher level players who aren’t any good attack lower level players? On that subject, why do players who are alone attack us when we’re obviously together? It seems odd to me.
While I understood the concept that the Horde-Alliance war would bring about the Sha, it was wonderfully implemented. Here Mooglegem and I circle the Sha of Doubt before banishing it.
Upjade Complete! We finished the Jade Forest. It was a fun zone and great introduction to Pandaria.
Unrelated to the zone, I cleaned my bags too. I usually hang on to every holiday gear/item as well all my tier and PVP gear. I went through and DE’d things that don’t really get seen. I don’t need tier legs if my robe covers them, and I don’t need gloves if they’re under the robe anyways. There were also a few lame holiday items that I decided to throw away too. If they’re not for transmogrification and I’m never going to pull them out, why hold on to them? It’s great to have the additional bag space now, especially because Mists of Pandaria seems to hand out a lot of toys. I consider any item or trinket that has some sort of fun use a “toy,” and I have a category for toys in ArkInventory.
I noticed that there are less distinct trash items while questing. There’s still a lot of trash, but it’s a lot of the same trash, allowing it to stack. Thanks, Blizzard! This makes my bags feel even more empty! I actually cleaned my bags so I’d have more room while running dungeons. I only like to run a dungeon once the story has reached that point, so I had one dungeon to run.
The Temple of Jade Serpent, of course! This was a fun dungeon, and I managed to keep up even though it sure seemed like I came close to running out of mana. I’ve run it a couple times now and have yet to see any cloth drop. Is this a coincidence or is there just no cloth gear? Surely it must be a coincidence, but I should go check. I used the WoW Insider post Mists of Pandaria leveling dungeon bosses in 5 seconds by Olivia Grace to teach me what to do. WoW Insider’s 5 second guides are great because they teach you what you need to know without spoiling the instance.
I should add that I’ve also been doing some pet battles too, but I’ll talk more about that later.
Okay, enough blogging. I’m almost 88, and I need to go play more. Bye!
Note: Spoilers for the first few Horde quests of the expansion.
I finally made it to Pandaria over the weekend. After training pet battling and doing a few battles, Mooglegem and I reported to General Nazgrim. So far, I’ve enjoyed the story and the limited quests I’ve completed fit well and don’t feel lame.
Having characters remember you is nothing new, but I enjoyed the fact that General Nazgrim remembered me. I don’t know what the Jade Forest was like at the beginning of beta, but I like that the war between the Horde and the Alliance started right away. As of writing this, I just reached the first town. (I assume I’ll be a little further by the time this is posted.) I’m looking forward to travelling deeper into Pandaria!
When I wanted to pre-order Diablo 3: Collector’s Edition, GameStop always responded that they weren’t taking pre-orders yet. The day it was dated I tried to pre-order it, and they said it was sold out. (I ended up buying it at Fry’s.) For Mists of Pandaria, I checked repeatedly. The day it was dated I called my GameStop and asked if they were accepting pre-orders. They were! I confirmed that I didn’t need to pick it up at midnight and that I had a few days to pick it up. They let me know that they actually hold collector’s editions of games for weeks. Fantastic! After work that day I went to the store, asked them all the same questions again, and put my money down.
Later, I went back to that GameStop to pre-order a Wii U. While I was there, I checked on my pre-order to make sure everything was set with Mists of Pandaria. Everything was good. I asked all the same questions again and was reassured.
I wasn’t going to go to the midnight launch because I prefer sleep. However, it didn’t matter much anyways because my friends Alex and Darnell were visiting the week of the release, and I was going to be with them Monday and Tuesday anyways. On Wednesday after work, I stopped by GameStop to pick up my copy of the game.
I told the cashier I had pre-ordered Mists of Pandaria. He replied with, “did you want to pick it up?” Yes, yes I did. He grabbed the standard edition without even asking me for my name or phone number. I informed him that I had pre-ordered the collector’s edition. He went to the back to look, came back a few minutes later, said “sorry, just a sec” and went to the other door. A few minutes later he returned to tell me that they didn’t have any more copies.
Now I might forget the exact details, but I remember that he didn’t seem to offer any other information. I pointed out that I had pre-ordered it, and he was quick to tell me that they were short one unit in their delivery and that it wasn’t their fault. I told him that the whole point of pre-ordering is that I’ll have it for sure, and I told him about how I asked over and over about picking up a couple days later. He repeatedly reminded me that it wasn’t the store’s fault. Who cares if it’s corporate or the store? Either way, that’s the fault of GameStop.
The cashier, David, checked in the computer and told me that the Spectrum store (near my office and the location of the launch event) had extra copies. He called them, and his half of the conversation sure sounded like they weren’t sure if they could give me one. I heard him say something along the lines of “well can I give you my phone number and have you call me if things change?” He got off the phone and told me that he was pretty sure he’d get one from them. He said Blizzard was going to pick up the extra from them the next day but that he was pretty sure they could ship one copy. They might get it by the end of the week or the next week. Then he asked me how soon I needed it. I told him that my guild was probably hoping I had it by yesterday.
His manager told me to give them my name and phone number and that she’d figure out a way to get me a copy. She then let me know that everything would be okay. Well, it already wasn’t okay.
We went to In-N-Out, and on the way I called Fry’s Electronics. They had some and would hold one for me if I provided my name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and credit card information. I wasn’t okay with that and decided to just wait until after dinner and go to the store. Then GameStop called. The manager found a collector’s edition at another store and offered to pick it up in the morning on her way to work. Then I could pick it up later that day. I knew if I went to Fry’s, I wouldn’t have much time to play that night anyways because of the queue, so I agreed.
Before getting off the phone, she told me that she found me a copy so everything was fine now and there was no problem. This sort of bothered me. I’m glad she found a way of solving the problem of “I need a copy of the game I pre-ordered,” but it didn’t solve the problem of “I need to be happy with the whole interaction.”
On Thursday I called the store in the middle of the day to make sure that they had it. They did. After work, I swung by the store and picked it up. I wasn’t able to play it that night because I was busy, but at least I had it.
The store was in Orange, California on Katella and Tustin. Mistakes happen, and I wasn’t happy with how they handled everything; However, I was happy that the manager went out of her way to get me this copy. I’m still very nervous about my Wii U pre-order, but I have Mists of Pandaria: Collector’s Edition at least.
Today is the last day of Cataclysm. I thought it’d be a good time to look back over the expansion a bit. I hit my first level cap during Wrath of the Lich King, giving Dalaran and Northrend a sort of homie and familiar feel. Cataclysm was the first expansion to be released while I was actively part of the endgame, so it was a new experience for me.
As Cataclysm was released, I left Carpe Flux Capacitor to make a guild with friends, Playground Brigade. It was fun to play with them, and I’ll happily remember working with my friend Elizabeth on the Conclave of Wind. And by working, I mean joking around in whispers when we screwed up. I really like that memory!
We didn’t complete any of the three T12 raids, and the guild began to fall apart. I rejoined Carpe Flux Capacitor in, I think, 4.1. Unfortunately, my computer went down, and I didn’t get it back up until the end of 4.2. I managed to catch up on the troll heroics and jump into Firelands, killing Ragnaros before killing any other boss. I don’t regret my time with Playground Brigade, but I really regret leaving Carpe Flux Capacitor. That seems contradictory, but I still feel bad for leaving.
Love you, Carpe!
I enjoyed the zones for the most part, and the linearity didn’t bother me. Of course, I don’t have alts either. Vashj’ir was really fun in my opinion. I loved the story and the feeling of loneliness in the zone. I wish the story had continued! Hyjal was pretty cool, but I know I forgot a lot of the plot points as they were happening. Deepholm was fun, but I wish Therazane the Stone Mother would have showed up against Deathwing. Uldum was interesting, but the cutscenes screwed up on my computer all the time and would just show me the ground. I might have liked it more if it worked! Twilight Highlands was fun, and I enjoyed it while I did it. Most of it wasn’t memorable, but I enjoyed surfing on the drakes, exploring, and noticing the fun names of areas and NPCs.
The Zandalari patch was very fun. I’d like to see Blizzard use the option of a content patch without raids in the future. It’s not that I don’t enjoy raids, but Blizzard shouldn’t feel obligated. The raid finder sort of killed Carpe’s drive to raid, but I still think it’s a great tool. I’m thankful that in the future, I’ll always get to see all the content even if I can’t devote all the time.
Cataclysm also brought about void storage, reforging, and transmogrification. I filled my void storage on the first night, and would love to see more. Reforging is actually a bit annoying to me. It just adds an extra puzzle that I don’t enjoy. (Well, I just use Ask Mr. Robot.) Transmogrification, on the other hand, is one of the best features Blizzard has added in a long time. I already collected cool gear that I could only wear in town. Now I can be seen in it!
I love PVP, but I didn’t enjoy the two new Battlegrounds very much. Twin Peaks is just Warsong Gulch 2, and Warsong Gulch is much better. The Battle for Gilneas is decent, but I enjoy Arathi Basin a bit better. I’ll still play and enjoy Battle for Glineas as well, but I don’t know what it is about Twin Peaks that I dislike so much.
It’s been too long since Tier 12 for me to do an analysis really without revisiting. I enjoyed them for the most part though. As a healer, Chimaeron was an interesting fight. Atramedes the blind dragon was also very cool, although his sonar pulse didn’t show up right on my screen! I’m not really qualified to talk about most of the Firelands bosses either since I came late. The zone design was great though, and the Molten Front ties were fantastic. I’d love to see more of that. Ragnaros felt pretty epic. Honestly, it felt more epic than the Madness of Deathwing!
Dragon Soul was enjoyable but flawed. Morchok was a nice introduction to the raid. War’sahj the Unsleeping and Warlord Zon’ozz had interesting mechanics, but I feel like only one of them should have been in the raid. Hagara seemed a little odd, but it really did fit with the story, and I like visiting old locations (and using old artifacts). Ultraxion was cool and fit well, and Deathwing running for it after he saw us defeat his creation was great. Warmaster Blackhorn felt like a step backwards. The fight was odd and anti-climatic, and it seemed to go against the rising tension. Fought a bunch of minions, fought a powerful dragon, went after Deathwing, fought a tauren, and then jumped on Deathwing himself! Which one of those seems out of place? The Spine of Deathwing was very cool. It was so different than other fights, and we’ve never fought a boss while standing on him previously! The Madness of Deathwing sounded good in theory, but it was flawed as well. First, it didn’t look like we were fighting Deathwing. The camera doesn’t go back far enough (without some tinkering) to get a good look. It was also, as far as I know, never really explained why he was full of tentacles. And then there are the Aspects. They’re mortal now? What powers did they lose? Ah, whatever.
Soon it will be time for Mists of Pandaria. I’m already loving account-wide achievements, pets, and mounts. The new continent looks fun, pandaren seem interesting, and monks look pretty cool. I’m actually very excited about pet battles and farming! The character development should be excellent as well. It looks like Blizzard is developing Varian to be more heroic. This is very cool even as a Horde player. This will be a nice juxtaposition to Garrosh’s corruption. I’m looking forward to taking him down at the end of Mists of Pandaria!
Soulbound: A World of Warcraft-themed wedding, Lisa Poisso, WoW Insider, 9/6/12.
That’s a pretty cute (and cool) wedding!
Single-serving Friends, Chris Pearson, Confessions of a Grown-up Gamer, 9/12/12.
Chris uses Chuck Palahniuk’s idea from Fight Club that people you talk to on planes are single-serving friends to describe people he meets using the LFR and LFD tool and describes why he likes it that way.
Know Your Lore, Tin Foil Hat: All according to plan, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 9/12/12.
What if everything is going according to Deathwing’s plan? What if he intends Wrathion to be his untainted and unchained revenge?
Know Your Lore: Of Elune, naaru, and night elves, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 9/9/12.
Speculation about the relationship between Elune and the naaru.
Blizzard may be hiding information in your screenshots, but it can’t hurt you, Adam Holisky, WoW Insider, 9/11/12.
Screenshots appear to contain some sort of watermark containing data. Allegedly the data includes the server IP, account number (not e-mail or account name), and a date/time stamp. Perhaps this is to target private servers or stop exploits?
Mists of Pandaria beta: Who needs Frostmourne when you’ve got Lobstmourne?, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 9/11/12.
After completing a fun, continent-spanning quest series, you too can earn Lobstmourne, the coolest fist weapon ever.
The Tillers – Exalted, Cymre, Bubbles of Mischief, 9/9/12.
Look how cute those rewards are! I can’t wait to have a farm.
Alternate Transmog Idea, TyphoonAndrew, TyphoonAndrew’s – Eye of the Storm, 9/7/12.
TyphoonAndrew wants to be able to switch transmog sets from a menu (like the titles system). I want this too!
Gathering no longer needs tools, Robin Torres, WoW Insider, 9/11/12.
The title gives you a good idea. Tools now give +10 to that skill, and there’s a tool for herbalism too!
Fishing no longer requires poles, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 9/7/12.
Patch 5.0.4 hit last night, and as usual, there were some complications. No matter what I did, I couldn’t connect to the tracker to download the patch (which I thought we had already downloaded). Eventually I gave up trying to fix it when I realized that Mooglegem’s computer was updating just fine. She didn’t have room to optimize, so we moved her copy of TOR to an external drive, giving her 6 GB free on that drive. After optimizing, she had 30 GB free. This morning I copied her WoW copy to an external drive, and by before I left I began copying it to my computer.
I also logged in on each of my characters to unify the achievements. The screenshot above is of my very first character, a Night Elf warrior, looking at his achievements. In particular, I’m happy about the honorable kills achievements! I can now PVP on any character and still make progress on that achievement! I’m really looking forward to PVPing on alternate characters.
How do you make a raid?, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 8/20/12.
Olivia recounts what she learned about raid design from Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Game Producer John Lagrave at Gamescom. It’s a fascinating read!
Reminder: Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery prepped to change for good, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/17/12.
With these two instances being updated in Mists of Pandaria, Anne describes a bucketlist of things to do in the instances before the patch hits.
WoW Insider interviews author Christie Golden, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/21/12.
I love Golden’s book, so it’s nice to see her answer some general questions as well as talk about Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War.
Because the Old Gods, Garrosh Hellscream, The Warchief’s Command Board, 8/5/12.
I actually want to highlight this blog more than this entry (although hearing about everything’s the fault of the Old Gods is pretty funny too). This blog is almost entirely written from the perspective of Garrosh Hellscream. It’s really great.
Know Your Lore: Nazgrim and Taylor, faces for their factions, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/22/12.
An examination of these two character who, apparently, take on bigger roles in Mists of Pandaria. They are the leaders of their factions on the actual battlefield.
Shared Topic: Are you playing in the WoW Beta?, Chris Pearson, Confessions of a Grown-Up Gamer, 8/11/12.
I would have linked this in my Shared Topic post had I been reading his blog. (Sorry, Chris!) Now that I know how great his writing and thoughts on WoW are, I wanted to share this one. Chris beta tests extensively as part of his job, so he doesn’t want to beta test in his personal time. He also wants to be surprised by the finished product. He sums up my thoughts pretty well!
Patch 5.0.4 changes hit and expertise, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/21/12.
This could be some good information if you’re one of those sad people who plays tanks or DPS! Wait, and what do I need for PVP? Oh, he didn’t cover that.
Wild Pets of The Jade Forest, Cymre, Bubbles of Mischief, 8/18/12.
Look at that Bucktooth Flapper! I want him so badly!
Discovering OpenRaid, Chris Pearson, Confessions of a Grown-Up Gamer, 8/20/12.
Chris discovers OpenRaid, a site that helps people run cross-realm raids.
It’s been released finally, and I have to admit that I’m a bit underwhelmed. It looks good, and I enjoy the bits of comedy, but it doesn’t compare to the Wrathgate cutscene for example. I want a trailer that I’m going to want to watch over and over again. I still watch the Wrathgate video (and Summergale and Cranius’ Ulduar video) all the time.
The fight between the human and orc should have been shorter, but we should have seen more of an epic battle between the Horde and Alliance that was hinted at the beginning. I also think there should have been more focus on the wonder of Pandaria. The trailer makes it seem like it might simply be about one orc and one human who are fighting and then notice a pretty city. This expansion isn’t simply about a small fight between the Horde and Alliance; It’s about the escalating war between the factions reaching its peak, and we should see that. I want to see the Horde war machine in full gear, and the Alliance finally showing that they’ve had it. It’s about a place hidden for thousands of years, and the wonder of rediscovering it.
New Mists of Pandaria Battlegrounds: Temple of Kotmogu, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 8/15/12.
This new battleground is a powerball map featuring four different powerballs. It sounds really fun!
Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The whispers of Azeroth, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/12/12.
Have you ever noticed how WoW keeps telling the story of corruption and eventual failure? Maybe that’s because it’s the tale Sargeras over and over.
Fox Kit added to Tol Barad vendors in next patch, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/10/12.
Cute! It’ll be 200 tokens though.
Druid stag dance revealed!, Matt Low, WoW Insider, 8/15/12.
Breaking news: Stags are still super cute even while dancing.
Know Your Lore: The long game of the naaru, part 2, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 8/15/12.
In this second part, Rossi continues to consider what’s happening (and what’s happened) with the naaru.
Blizzard security breach, no evidence that financial data was compromised, Chase Hasbrouck, WoW Insider, 8/9/12.
Most WoW players should already know about this, but Blizzard was hacked recently. It’s not very bad, but you should definitely read about it.
A brief history of reputation in WoW, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 8/10/12.
Reputations have gone from something that only the hardcore cared about to a central part of the game.
WoW Archivist: A fluffy history of companion pets, Scott Andrews, WoW Insider, 8/10/12.
If you’re interested in another history lesson, this time you could learn about pets.
Voodoo Hoodoo Remind me of the Babe, Bravetank, 8/15/12.
Because trolls are obviously the best race, you might want to read about voodoo.
Mists of Pandaria Beta: New training dummies make testing raid DPS more accurate, Dawn Moore, WoW Insider, 8/15/12.
The new training dummies in Shattrath (yes) are designed for entire raids. They can be killed, have a lot of health, and buff everyone close to it with a full set of raid buffs.
Are you playing the MoP Beta? Why or why not? How much time are you spending there vs. the “live” servers.
Well, I think this is a quick one this week. No, I’m not touching it at all. While I don’t mean any offense to those that are playing it, I think it’s a complete waste of time. There are so many things to do; Repeating content does not appeal to me. Why should I bother playing through the beta when I’ll have to replay it on the live server? I’m not in a rush. I’ll play it when it’s released. Similarly, I don’t enjoy playing demos at E3 or watching movies on opening weekends when there are huge crowds.
Professions are fun for some and a necessary evil for others.
Some of us have farming professions. Some of us have crafting professions. Some of us have a little bit of everything! Professions are leveled because they fit our style of play, help us in raiding, allow us to outfit our alts, and make us money.
What professions do you have on your main? Do his/her professions fit their personality? Why did you choose them? If you chose professions based on your character and not on gaming needs, would that change some of their professions they use?
(This can include the secondary professions of archaeology, fishing, cooking, and first aid too!)
Two posts I wanted to mention this week. First, Faye’s post on the Dancing Tree – yes, Faye, I’d love to read about your musings about herbs and their lore! Spencer Nozell’s post on Be MOP mentioned how his random profession combination became his standard pairing, and his story is one a lot of players probably share!
In a blue post on the EU forums, Vaneras confirmed that the event has been pushed forward by over a week.
via Brewfest start date postponed after concerns raised, Chase Hasbrouck, WoW Insider.
I’m glad Blizzard decided to respond so quickly to the community’s disappointment. In general, Blizzard’s usually pretty good about listening to its community (when it can).
On a personal note, I don’t think this changes anything for Mooglegem or me. Pushing it back a week gives us a week and a half to two weeks to reach level 89. I bet I’ll be 86, maybe 87 by that time. The solution I wanted was Brewfest before Mists of Pandaria.
…over the entire 15-day run of Brewfest, Coren will only be accessible for 10 days, and you’ll only have as many tries at him as you can squeeze in once you hit 89, whenever that is.
via Brewfest updated for Mists of Pandaria, requires quick leveling, Matthew Rossi. Source: CM Nakatoir on the EU forums.
Brewfest begins on September 20 and ends on October 5. Unfortunately, Mists of Pandaria launches on September 25, and Coren Direbrew, the holiday boss, is tuned for level 90. That means you can’t queue for it until you’re 89. Those first five days of Brewfest? He’s inaccessible for those days. Of course, for the remaining 10 days you can only queue for him if you’re level 89 or 90.
There are a lot of boring in-game holidays, and Brewfest is not one of them. However, I level slowly. It took me almost six weeks to get from 80 to 85. Something tells me I won’t be fighting Coren Direwbrew this year. This is NOT cool. At the very least, he should be accessible and tuned for level 80 for the first five days, although I’d still be sad that they couldn’t just push the event to a different time. I know I’m in the extreme minority by saying this, but I would even prefer to delay the expansion. I love this event!
On the other hand, I already have the Swift Brewfest Ram. I’d like the kodo as well, but the ram is what I really wanted, and I have it. Mooglegem still needs the ram, but I’m fairly certain she has it on her alt (along with the kodo). There’s something I didn’t realize until I read this comment by ladyjbritish on the WoW Insider article.
At first I was like…noooo..then I was like.. WAIT. In MoP we get all the mounts from our toons on one account – and I have both on 2 different toons already. Now I’m like..yay no need to race to 89 :)
That doesn’t help me with the kodo, but I suppose that means gem doesn’t need Coren Direbrew at all. Still, I wish I could fight him all 15 days!
I’m actually a little sad that Mists of Pandaria has a release date. In just two months on September 25, the game will release. I’m looking forward to it, but at the same time, I guess I’m feeling a bit of anxiety over it.
On the positive side, I’m looking forward to raiding and seeing new stories. This is actually kind of odd since I still have tons of zones I haven’t done. I’m also really looking forward to pet battles. I’m not looking forward to changing my UI, unhiding my bars, and learning new spells.
Also, I dread not having mana.
Every Thursday I post a handful of links to articles written within the past week that are worth reading.
Gold Capped: Spirit of Harmony crafting limitations, Basil Berntsen, WoW Insider, 7/2/12.
Spirit of Harmony is a limiting crafting material in Pandaria similar to Chaos Orbs. They drop from random world mobs. This means that people questing will get many more than people who solely raid.
Blizzard wants your Diablo 3 Magic Find feedback, Michael Sacco, WoW Insider, 7/3/12.
Blizzard knows that many people are switching to magic find sets immediately before killing bosses. They’re looking for feedback on alterations to the system.
Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition rewards revealed, Alex Ziebart, WoW Insider, 7/2/12.
Title says it all.
Teacher uses SWTOR to connect with autistic student, Justin Olivetti, Massively, 7/2/12.
Another case of the title saying it all!
Mists of Pandaria Beta: The best Brann Bronzebeard appearance ever, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 7/2/12.
Archaeology is getting a lot better in Pandaria! You can “crate” gray archaeology finds rather than selling them. These can then act as currency for items that teleport you to an active dig site, items that randomize the dig site locations, and packages of fragments for any race!
Odin the All-Father’s Diablo 3 account hacked, Robin Torres, WoW Insider, 6/7/12.
An amusing complaint was posted on Blizzard’s forums recently. Apparently, it was posted by Odin the All-Father.
What classes should WoW have been designed with?, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 6/13/12.
A great consideration of what classes should have been implemented in WoW from the start and which can’t possibly fit now.
The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm, Chase Hasbrouck, WoW Insider, 6/13/12.
I don’t understand how the Spine of Deathwing isn’t on this list. That’s a very cool fight that’s different than most others. I’d probably throw Chimaeron on the list too. Hmmm… this might deserve its own post.
Mists of Pandaria Beta: The new endgame, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 6/13/12.
A discussion of the differences between the endgames of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, specifically the linearity of Cataclysm’s and the vast amount of choices in Mists.
Diablo 3 mechanics that World of Warcraft should steal, Mathew Rossi, WoW Insider, 6/11/12.
Spoiler: Topics are individual loot, healing globes, potions, environmental interaction, item enhancement, and crafting.
What WoW’s story could learn from Diablo III (and vice versa), Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 6/7/12.
Stickney discusses allusion, pacing, and voice-acting.
Legendaries for Everyone: What could it mean?, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 6/13/12.
Rossi reports that WoW Head has datamined that Mists will feature a legendary questline that spans multiple patches and will reward different forms of the legendary so every spec can have one. He also goes into some speculation on what this could mean.
Just Quit, Matticus, World of Matticus, 6/6/12.
Matticus suggests that raiders who don’t want to give it their all should quit.
Infographic shows the numbers behind Diablo III’s opening day, Jef Reahard, Massively, 6/6/12.
An interesting infographic showing how impressive Diablo 3’s first day of sales was. The amount of money from sales of the game on the first day would be equivalent to $42,000 per Blizzard employee.
You cannot get hacked by playing public games in Diablo 3, Michael Sacco, WoW Insider, 6/1/12.
Sacco agrees with Zarhym’s response that hacked D3 accounts were hacked using conventional methods (by obtaining passwords).
Big Pineapple problems, Mathew McCurley, WoW Insider, 6/1/12.
Diablo 3 can’t be sold in China right now, but “Big Pineapple” can be sold. Big Pineapple translated is “dà boluó.” Say that out loud.
Many WoW-like improvements discussed for Diablo 3, Robin Torres, WoW Insider, 6/4/12.
Bashiok responds to a forum post in the D3 forums by user Matthest in which he makes 35 suggestions for Diablo 3.
Mists of Pandaria Beta: New Jaina Proudmoore Theramore event voices, Michael Sacco, WoW Insider, 5/31/12.
I’m staying away from this one! I’ll just be surprised.
Know Your Lore: 3 developmental changes needed for storytelling in Mists, Anne Stickney, WoW Insider, 6/3/12.
Anne believes storytelling can be much better in Mists than in previous expansions due to the use of cinematics, keeping story developments secret, and making lore accessible. Of note, she points out that BC’s boss, Illidan, was never seen by non-raiders. To make sure non-raiders got to see Arthas, he showed up all the time in Wrath. In Cataclysm, the story was such that Deathwing showed up randomly, not for story purposes, to burn the countryside, giving non-raiders a way to see him. Mists is different. The raid finder will be present for the entire expansion, allowing Blizzard to keep certain things a secret knowing that any max level character should be able to see the raids.
Play Diablo 1 with World of Warcraft models in StarCraft 2, Alex Ziebart, WoW Insider, 6/5/12.
A fun new mod in SC2 lets you play something similar to D1 using WoW models and the original Diablo’s sound effects.
Mists of Pandaria Beta: Nomi, the cook’s apprentice, Mathew McCurley, WoW Insider, 6/6/12.
This article briefly discusses the various “Ways” (like specializations) of cooking in Pandaria before talking about Nomi! Nomi is the cook’s apprentice you get after you max your cooking. You gain friendship with her as you train her to be a master chef! Cute!
On Saturday, gem and I started playing Diablo III. She was going to create a witch doctor but ended up rolling a monk. I played a demon hunter in the beta, planned on playing a demon hunter, and, well, did play a demon hunter. So far we’re really enjoying the game. The story is much more intricate, and the skill system is different than both Diablo 2 and World of Warcraft. Currently we’re maybe halfway (or so?) through Act I. For those of you playing, we’ve fought the spider queen boss. The screenshot above was taken right after killing King Leoric.
I think the most important thing to consider is whether or not the game is fun, and it has been. I enjoy the visual style, which has a hand-painted look to it. Although different, it reminds me of the background of Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Giving Town Portal as a spell that can be cast as often as needed is very cool change. Being able to identify items at will without using a scroll of identification (or something similar) is a cool change, but it makes me wonder why some items need to be identified at all. Is it because unidentified items can be sold (providing a sort of gamble)? I have no idea.
The skill system is odd. As you level, you unlock new skills and runes, which modify skills. Basically, talents and glyphs from World of Warcraft. However, you don’t really make permanent choices. You can make changes at any time with a short cooldown to prevent, I’m guessing, changing choices during combat. You have a maximum of six skills in use at a time once all slots are unlocked. I have some mixed feelings on the skill system, which I’ll talk about in another post.
There were some big improvements to the general social system. Achievements are a cool addition to the Diablo series. While a lot of them are boring, there are some fun ones. I haven’t actually counted or anything, but I hope there are a decent number of ones that are actually achievements. I like achievements that task you with performing a task a certain way as opposed to ones like “Reach Level 10.” Having achievements be account-based rather than character-based seems to work well. I’m sure it’ll be similar in Mists of Pandaria, so I’m glad to find that I’m happy with them. I do kind of wish that we’ll eventually be able to see achievements across games though. I’ve been meaning to post about achievements in general, which, who knows, maybe I’ll get around to doing. Battle Tags are an improvement over the Real ID system but are still fundamentally flawed. I actually have a post on this already written, and it’ll get posted soon. I like that in addition to large toasts acknowledging earned achievements for a player, there are now smaller toasts above the chat window for achievements earned by party members. Achievements are also broadcast to your friends now I believe, which is a cool addition.
While we’ve only played a rather small chunk of the game, I’ve enjoyed it so far. It’s interesting to see Blizzard’s knowledge from World of Warcraft added to the mix and bits and pieces of things to expect in Mists of Pandaria. I’m anxious to try hardcore mode, and I can’t wait to try PVP when they release it!