Time for a pirate fashion show! It’s hard to decide which costume makes me look my best.
Time for a pirate fashion show! It’s hard to decide which costume makes me look my best.
Patch 5.3 Escalation brought four new scenarios with it, two of which are required to progress into the Darkspear Rebellion quests. None of them involves the actual player characters; they’re stories told about others on Azeroth through Lorewalker Cho and his dream brew. This is a very cool way of telling stories about other characters while still allowing all players to see them.
Please note that this post will contain spoilers!
The first scenario, Blood in the Snow, is about the Alliance. The Zandalari have instigated the Frostmane trolls in Dun Morogh to lead an attack on Ironforge. When Varian asks the dwarves to send troops to help him fight off the trolls, the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer both refuse. The two clans are scared to turn their backs on the Dark Iron. Meanwhile Moira Thaurissan, Queen-Regent of the Dark Iron clan, shows that she’s willing to contribute to the Alliance and defend Ironforge by leading her troops into battle alongside Varian Wrynn. (Why does Varian have to lead the effort? Why aren’t the dwarves taking the initiative to defend their own city?)
Mechanically there was nothing special about Blood in the Snow. However, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I think it might have been my favorite scenario. Now, do consider that I only played each scenario once. It’s fairly likely that I won’t play any of them again for a long time. While some of the other scenarios had awesome things happen, it’s not every day that I get to see character progression of Alliance faction leaders. Moira’s a cool character, and it’s exciting to see her step up. I hope they three clans don’t unite any time soon. I’d like to see Moira turn into the more honorable one while the other two bicker.
The Dark Heart of Pandaria puts you in the shoes of goblin engineers excavating the Vale of Eternal Blossoms under orders of Garrosh Hellscream who hopes to find an ancient power. The goblins find a large chest, but when they open it, Norushen, a Titan construct of a Mogu yells, “Containment failure. Active defense matrix enabled.” A goblin is transformed by sha energy into the Echo of Y’Shaarj, and the other goblins defeat him.
Grizzle Gearslip, Malkorok, and Kor’kron enter the room, claiming this is exactly what they wanted to find. Malkorok pays Grizzle Gearslip, but Grizzle Gearslip replies that it wasn’t the full amount. Malkorok says that Grizzle Gearslip is only paid for the workers present, not the ones who died. He grabs him by the neck and proceeds with a racist tirade about the weakness of the lesser races before leaving.
This is another very fascinating scenario. Of course, we get some nice progression about the Old God Y’Shaarj. Not only did we discover this presence, but we find that Garrosh not only knew of it but also wanted it. I think everyone on Azeroth who isn’t part of Garrosh’s ideal Horde thinks harnessing the power of an Old God is a bad idea. Lastly, this scenario seems to act as a tipping point for the goblins. It’s obvious what the orcs think of the goblins as well.
I actually ran through Battle on the High Seas last, but as it was my least favorite scenario of the four, I didn’t want to end this post with it. Horde and Alliance ships meet in the ocean en route to Pandaria and open fire on each other. You’re tasked with boarding the other ships both by swinging over with ropes and by shooting yourself with a cannon. Besides killing enemy sailors, you also place explosives to destroy the ships.
I thought this scenario was rather boring although it did have its moments. Swinging from the ropes and using the cannons was fun, but the instructions weren’t always clear. The third person in my group at one point jumped overboard and swam to the other ship, not realizing we needed to do something on the previous ship before being able to swing to the next. We also got caught on an enemy ship when the explosives went off, killing us. It told us to get off the ship, but we weren’t sure exactly what we were supposed to do.
The biggest problem with the scenario is that it doesn’t progress the story. Yes, yes, I realize the Horde and Alliance are at war. I guess they just wanted some scenario, any scenario, to show that conflict. What we get here is some random sailors dying. Was there anyone important on either side? No. Did we learn anything new (like we do in all three of the other scenarios)? No! I’m sure Blizzard could have reinforced the Horde-Alliance conflict while actually using some characters that mattered.
Lastly we have the Secrets of Ragefire. Citizens in Durotar have been disappearing, and the Gob Squad believes it has something to do with Ragefire Chasm. You’re placed in the roles of the Gob Squad, who previously had adventures in Azshara and the Twilight Highlands, to learn what’s happening. The Gob Squad works to create a bomb to blow open a door. The Dark Shaman Xorenth tries to stop them, but the Gob Squad defeats them. They find a large number of proto-drake eggs as well as Kor’kron supply crates, making them think Garrosh plans an invasion, including orcs mounted on proto-drakes. They also find discarded Pandaria artifacts. These are likely discarded because they’re not the source of power of Y’shaarj for which Garrosh was searching. The Gob Squad creates another bomb to blow open the next door.
Yes, that’s the bomb in the upper-left of that picture. Why yes, that is a pool pony, and no, we don’t know why it’s needed. The bomb detonates early, hurting some members of the Gob Squad. Soon after, Overseer Elaglo enters, claiming “The true horde, the pure horde, cannot be stopped!” While Grit sets up a teleporter, the other goblins defend him and defeat the racist Overseer Elaglo before escaping through the teleporter.
This is another great scenario. It’s a ton of fun to explore an area that Horde players explored for the first time so long ago. In true goblin fashion, the Gob Squad is a bit silly but still manage to kick butt! The scenario shows the pride and arrogance of Garrosh Hellscream’s Horde. I love the line about the true Horde. I also like the usage of Dark Shaman. An expansion ago, I hadn’t heard of the idea of Dark Shaman. I believe the first I heard of them was in Tides of War. With the release of Mists of Pandaria, Ragefire Chasm was updated. Gone was the concept of warlocks; in its place were the Dark Shaman, and the Secrets of Ragefire brings the problem to a head. It’s time we do something about the Old God harnessing, shamanic arts-abusing, “true Horde” led by Garrosh Hellscream! Maybe it’s time for a rebellion, and maybe I’ll be posting about the Darkspear Rebellion next time!
I Have Discovered the Source of Forum Complaining in Mists!, Balkoth, Balkoth’s Word, 4/13/13.
This is an extremely fascinating article. The idea is that opinions on how much effort gear is worth varies drastically. Balkoth found that 32.7% of responders think you’d be crazy to kill 200 mogu for a BiS heroic ring. Next, 50% think you’d be crazy not to kill 500 mogu for the ring. At 1000, 41% think you’d be crazy not to go for the ring. Lastly, 13% think 5000+ mogu is reasonable. Blizzard can’t make everyone happy.
Mini Horridon, Arvash, The Crimson Hammer, 4/17/13.
I didn’t even realize Horridon dropped a mount. It’s so cute! I want one!
Savage trolls roleplay the revenge of the Zandalari, Lisa Poisso, WoW Insider, 4/11/13.
Atal Zanza Aka on Argent Dawn (EU) is a roleplaying guild of trolls loyal to the Zandalari based in Zul’Gurub. Very cool.
Depths of Uldaman: Why we should go back, Matthew Rossi, 4/12/13.
What do we know about Uldaman, and why should we go back?
Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: What was the purpose of Uldaman?, Matthew Rossi, WoW Insider, 4/10/13.
Rossi guesses as to the purpose of Uldaman. I wonder if Blizzard actually thought that far ahead.
The eternal question of mounting versus running, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 4/15/13.
Jarre of Rank4HealingTouch provides some math to determine what’s faster – mounting or running.
Patch 5.3 PTR: Role Check in Battleground queues, Olivia Grace, WoW Insider, 4/15/13.
Here’s an interesting change. You’ll now have to pick your role when queuing for a battleground. From now on, the difference between the two teams’ number of healers can be no more than one. I wonder if I can just queue as DPS and then heal.
First Impressions: SWTOR’s Rise of the Hutt Cartel, Eliot Lefebvre, Massively, 4/15/13.
If you’re curious about what’s been happening in TOR, Lefebvre can bring you up to speed.
Devee here! There’s a lot happening lately, mon, and I wish I could be more places at once. (Yes, I’m a troll who can speak correctly!) First, Nana Mudclaw asked Farmer Yoon to take over her spot in the Tiller’s Union. Not having time for both, Farmer Yoon gifted his farm to me! As I had just harvested enough pink turnips to make Jogu the Drunk his Mad Brewer’s Breakfast, I wondered what to plant next. However, I began to receive work orders! I wonder why organizations never did this before I owned the farm? Regardless, I accepted work orders from the Shado-pan and the August Celestials because I’m still trying to prove myself to them.
Having proved myself valorous, dominating in Krasarang Wilds, and victorious in the Silvershard Mines and Temple of Kotmogu to Wrathion the previous week, I followed his next direction by slaying High Marshal Twinbraid in Lion’s Landing. With the help of my fellow champions of Carpe Flux Capacitor, I managed to slay him. Meeting with Wrathion again, he reminded Mooglegem and me that he had previously asked us what the soul of the Horde was. He wondered if it was an instrument of vengeance, showing us Garrosh, a refuge for those who need shelter, showing us Thrall, or an alliance of convenience, showing us Sylvanas. Well, it appears he has his answer. He told Mooglegem and me that it was us! Maybe he meant all heroes, but I’d like to believe he meant us specifically. You can see Mooglegem above with visions of the Horde leaders (exclusing Ji Firepaw, Master of Houjin). Some other Horde hero decided to get in the picture with Mooglegem, but oh well. He then gave each of us what we’re calling an Eye of the Black Prince, which allows us to fashion an additional gem to our sha-touched weapons or Armaments of the Thunder King, whatever those are.
We went upstairs to talk with Wrathion and his guest, Prince Anduin Wrynn of Stormwind. I was excited to see Sunwalker Dezco as well. Wrathion seems to be putting together quite the exclusive group, as I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Prince Anduin and Sunwalker Dezco before and am quite fond of them. I’m happy to learn that Prince Anduin is recovering after the tragedy at the hands of Warchief Hellscream. Wrathion feels he might be too soft to lead the Alliance, but I disagree. Prince Anduin would do what needs to be done.
Of course, almost every time I meet with Wrathion, he seems to have a task for us. He wants Mooglegem and me to travel to the Isle of Thunder and prove ourselves by fighting the mogu, Zandalari, saurok, and Alliance there. I found it very disrespectful that Wrathion would ask me to slay Alliance in the company of Prince Anduin, but Prince Anduin held his tongue. Wrathion also asked us to collect tablets with the history of the mogu from the Throne of Thunder.
We then spoke with Lorewalker Cho who told us a story called A Little Patience. Apparently it happened when war first broke in Krasarang Wilds. The Lorewalker told the story from the perspective of the Alliance, and it seemed so real that it felt like we were experiencing it. Varian and Tyrande disagreed about how to fight the Horde occupying the Temple of the Red Crane. Tyrande wanted to assault it directly, but Varian wanted to think more strategically and set traps, avoiding a direct fight. He sent heroes to help set up camps filled with traps. With that complete. he taunted the Horde forces, causing them to rush to fight. Most died in the traps. This allowed the heroes to kill the Kor’kron bodyguards and fight Commander Scargash, leader of the Horde forces at the Temple of the Red Crane. The Commander fell, and Varian proved to Tyrande that a little patience can indeed be valuable. It was interesting to hear things from the Alliance perspective, but I also found it odd that as a hero of the Horde, I didn’t know about our occupation of the Temple of the Red Crane. Sometimes I think that true Horde heroes have seen too much and that our Warchief likes to use lesser soldiers for tasks that heroes would question.
Mooglegem and I learned that the Shado-pan are leading an attack as the Shado-pan Assault on the mogu forces on the Isle of Thunder. Lor’themar is also on the Isle of Thunder leading the Sunreaver Onslaught. He informed me that Jaina Proudmoore and her forces, the Kirin Tor Offensive, are also on the island. Lor’themar said that Mooglegem and I “have served the Horde nobly across many campaigns,” and that he feels he “can take [us] into confidence.” I believe I can take you, readers, into confidence as well. Please don’t repeat this. He said, “Our Warchief’s campaign across Kalimdor and Pandaria is pulling the Horde apart at the seams. We are here to fight the Thunder King. Justice demands it, and Hellscream is too preoccupied at Domination Point to pay attention here. Bun, in defeating him, we must seek out the source of his great power. We must claim it for ourselves, as leverage against our ‘Warchief.’ In the event of an uprising, we must be prepared.” He took a break from his speech here to shoot down an approaching flying dinosaur of some sort. It was an impressive show of archery skills considering he has only one eye.
We ventured to the island itself and found three bases of sorts. There are a multitude of dangerous enemies here – the mogu, the Zandalari, the saurok, and the Alliance. The Alliance seems to be the most dangerous of the four. It’s too bad we can’t work together. There’s much more work to be done. I want to continue securing the Isle of Thunder, assault the Throne of Thunder, and explore the mysterious Isle of Giants. There’s only so much two heroes like Mooglegem and me can do, but I look forward to a future in which we can eliminate the threats to our life and happiness. I just worry that one of those threats is our own Warchief.
Tonight (or last night by the time this gets posted) we killed Gara’jal the Spiritbinder for the first time. Yes, yes, I know it’s late in the tier, but I’m still very happy! We didn’t really have problems with him either. We had a few delays, including an hour break in the middle of the raid, and we still downed him fairly early. I’m confident that we can get through the first three bosses in a single night in the future.
Gara’jal didn’t drop loot for me, but my Elder Charm actually came through for me! I received Sandals of the Severed Soul! Not only was it an upgrade, but it was better than five other possible upgrades! Woo! Tomorrow (or today) I get to see a new boss!
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!