Archive for the “Everyday WoWing” Category

In amongst all the hubbub surrounding 4.0.1 (which is still trying to download, curse you bad internet!), I was pondering the last patch like this – namely 3.0.1.

Before 3.0.1 hit, people were panicking everywhere.  “Oh no, we can’t pot more than once in a fight!”  “Oh no, it’s going to be so difficult!”

And then, of course, the absolute opposite happened.  It was so disappointing that I wrote a massive post on it (almost two years ago exactly!  It really doesn’t feel that long ago; I remember it as if it were yesterday).

Circumstances aren’t the same this time.  The universe isn’t getting nerfed to the ground, for starters.  But I still feel like I’m stuck in a Chicken Little story all over again.

Relax guys.  The sky isn’t falling.  Sure, you may need to learn how to play again.  Or at least change how you play a little.  But you’ll get there.  And as someone who has played all three roles in the game, I welcome some new challenges.  Especially when I’m healing.

That is, if I can ever get this insurmountable patch downloaded!

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The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Ok, so maybe there haven’t been any reports on my demise but I have been suspiciously silent this past week. The reason for my absence is quite mundane; I just got hammered with a ton of work last week. Mainly this was due to me taking a day off at the end of the week before to go out of town. Silly of me trying to take a day off and you can rest assured that I won’t be making that mistake again. Today’s post will be a quick, short one just to get me back into the swing of things. Thursday I promise y’all a rich and meaty post full of delicious warlocky goodness.
The only news of interest I have for today is pretty sweet.

Level 80!

I’m finally level 80! I was able to unwind this weekend from my hellish week at work so I took the opportunity to power through the last few levels I needed to max out my lock. The quest that put me over the top was my jewelcrafting daily. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! The first thing I did once I hit 80, besides dance a little jig at my desk, was to start crafting out a bunch of gear. I made sure to have my jewelcrafting and tailor maxed out before I hit 80 so I could gear out Gingerlei much easier. Within an hour, and with the help of a guildie, Ginger was outfitted with her Merlin’s Robe, Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers, Deathfrost Boots, and Leggins of Woven Death. Not a bad start if I do says so myself. By the end of the night, she had her first piece of T9 and a few other purples from heroics. My goal is to have her raid ready by our Thursday night guild alt run.

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I’ve forgotten how long it was between levels when you hit 70. Between 50 – 70 it was very easy for me to gain 2 or 3 levels per day. Now in Northrend I find myself going 2 or 3 days between leveling. I forgot how much Blizzard nerfed the experience requirements for all the pre-Wrath levels. However, I’m not really minding it all too much because questing through Northrend is pretty damn fun. Today I’m going to take a look back at the leveling experience and see how it compared to BC and Vanilla.

I absolutely hated leveling in Burning Crusade. Hellfire Peninsula was a barren waste land that sapped the energy right out of me. It felt like an absolute chore leveling through that area and the first time through almost ruined the game for me. I never really felt engaged at all while leveling and the constant abuse I got from max level Horde players did not help in the least. Hellfire being the only place for level 60 characters to quest made it a gankers paradise until the introduction of the Isle of Quel’Danas. Another chief complaint I heard from players who were around at the start of the expansion was that the huge volume of players each vying for the same quest mobs or quest items made leveling a cut throat experience. It was dog eat dog on the road to level 70.

The quest designers at Blizzard learned their lesson and Wrath of the Lich King brought with it to two unique starting zones. By not having the entire player base funneled into one starting area, the competition for quest mobs was drastically reduced which resulted in a much calmer leveling experience. The other benefit of having two starter zones was that if one of the zones was currently populated with griefers, you could make your way over to the other zone and continue with your leveling. Score a win here for Wrath.

My other chief complaint about leveling in BC is that I never really felt involved in the storyline. Aside from a handful of quests, it didn’t really seem as if I was taking the fight to the Burning Legion or to Illidan. It wasn’t until Shadowmoon Valley and the Akama quests that I even remember seeing anything about Illidan and by that point I was already close to level 70. Unlike in BC, the quest chains in Wrath got you involved with the main story lines right from the get go. In the Borean Tundra, one of the two starter zones, you get involved in a quest line that leads you face to face with the Lich King. By the end of the Thassarian quest chain in Borean, I was completely hooked. And it only got better from there. the pinnacle of questing in Wrath may have been the chain of events leading up to what unfolded at the Wrathgate. That was the first time I could honestly say I was blown away by an event in game. Personally, I was never bored while questing in Northrend nor did I ever find it to be a chore. Each new zone promised a new and exciting story arc with quest chains that helped build upon them. From the Worgen in Grizzly Hills to Freya in Sholazar Basin, there was always something new to explore.

For me, Wrath hit a home run in the leveling department. Some folks complained that they saw Arthas way too much and were kind of burnt out on him by the end of the expansion. I whole heatedly disagree. His presence and subsequent defeats made it feel as if I really were an important cog in the fight against the Scourge. And it was certainly a vast improvement over the invisible Illidan. The best part of leveling in Wrath however, was that it continued to improve the more we progressed into the expansion. Later patches would add Heirloom items that could be passed onto lower level characters to improve the early leveling experience and they would also introduce the Dungeon Finder tool, making it much simpler to find a group for an instance run. Overall, I was extremely happy with the changes Blizzard made to the leveling game in Wrath and I’m looking forward to what changes they have in store for us come Cataclysm.

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So late Tuesday afternoon, it finally happened. I reached my next major milestone on my journey to discover the ways of the Warlock. I finally hit level 70!

Gingerlei hits 70

Hooray for me! Looking back, I can honestly say that I’ve had a really good time leveling this character. I love this class and I’m really enjoying every minute of playing my little warlock. It’s to the point where I would almost rather give up raiding on my other toons to focus solely on leveling my Warlock. I must admit this is rather surprising for me since I have always considered myself in WoW to be a Boomkin before anything else. Now, realistically, I couldn’t give up raiding even if I wanted to. I’m the Raid Leader for my little 10 man guild and right now I’m in charge of training a bunch of new recruits and dragging them through ICC in the hopes of reforming a progression group for Cataclysm.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Druid. She has been my main for the entirety of my WoW career and may very well still be for Cata, but this whole Warlock thing is really giving me a reason to reconsider. I’ve been reading through a lot of the information coming out of the Beta and the PTR and I’m not digging what I’m seeing for Boomkins. I keep reminding myself that it’s still only Beta, and a lot could change between now and then, but the luster has come off a bit for me. Meanwhile, I’m absolutely loving the play style of Warlocks, specifically Affliction and the changes I’ve seen from the Beta have me even more excited about the class. If you’ve been through this type of thing before, I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

P.S. Seed of Corruption is the greatest spell ever! I can’t begin to describe the pure level of awesome this spell is and how giddy it makes me to seed spam my way to the top of the DPS meters on AOE trash pulls. Doing more damage than the rest of the group combined on trash is just pure freakin win!

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It’s been a while guys.  I’ve been stupid amounts of busy, my desktop is still mildly borked (totally repairable, just a matter of time, a commodity I have none of nowadays!), and I’ve been pursuing other, um, interests, as those of you who follow me on Twitter may or may not know.

As we all know, it’s getting closer and closer to expansion time.  Almost time to make decisions about which toons to keep, which to put on the backburner, and which to forget forever.  Now, I’m not going to tell you that you should most definitely play a Warlock in Cataclysm (even if I think they are really damned awesome and most anyone should enjoy them).  I am going to tell you that you should play the character that you know is you.  The one that, deep down inside your bones, you identify with and love.

I love playing my Druid and Hunter.  I really enjoy them.  They are great fun, they let me change it up a bit, and I get to experiment.  But they aren’t my Warlock.  She fits me like another skin.  Or maybe I fit her.  I can not touch her for months, but when I load her up and get rolling, it’s like rediscovering an old friend.

Your main should feel like an extension of yourself.  I might be (OK, I am most likely) psychotic, but my Warlock just makes me grin, and smile, and immediately think nasty awful thoughts of killing bunnies and roasting babies.  There is nothing wrong with any of that, by the way.  I can play her with my eyes closed most of the time, and if I really feel up to the effort, I can turn her into an almost unstoppable killing machine.  My alts?  Yeah, they’re fun… but they aren’t me.  They are like some sick twisted experiment that someone stitched on to me, and they just don’t ever feel quite natural.  Playing my Hunter is like wearing someone else’s pants: they might fit, they might look awesome, but damn it if they don’t give me a wedgie every so often.

So, when you choose who you stick with in WoW?  Choose the toon you love, choose the one who is as much a part of you as you are of them.  And if you don’t have a character like that?  Maybe it’s about time you found one!

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A few quick observations for you guys on this lovely, and I use that word loosely, Monday morning. The leveling grind from 50 – 70 has gone relatively quick. Much quicker than I remember the first two times I’ve done it. The dungeon finder has been an absolute wonder for leveling. From 50 to about 58 or so I would just pop into the queue and roam around Western or Eastern Plaguelands finishing up quests until it was time to hop into a dungeon. In my battlegroup the wait for a dungeon as DPS could take upwards of 30 minutes, but it’s not so bad when you’re actively doing something else. Taking the time to do quests between dungeons, I would average two or three dungeons per level.

I really enjoyed questing through both EPL and WPL. For me it was fun because you’re it’s the first chance you’re given to take the fight to the scourge. Also, it proved to be a very nice source for runecloth and allowed me to crank up my tailoring skill in a huge way. The first couple of times I leveled, I did the 55-60 grind in Silithus and I gotta say EPL and WPL was much more entertaining and felt a lot less soul crushing. Not to mention no having to listen to that awful buzzing noise was a very nice perk. There is also an interesting quest chain that begins with current scourge killing badass, Tirion Fordring. You can find him hanging out in Eastern Plaguelands near the river that marks the boundary between it and the Western Plaguelands. It’s a cool little look at the man who would someday hold the Ashbringer and lead the fight into Icecrown Citadel. Worth checking out if you’re in the area.

The dungeon finder tool provided a nice little break from all the questing and was a fantastic source of experience. One thing I noticed in a lot of these dungeons is the rather large quantity of idiotic Deathknight tanks. I understand the allure of the class being that I have one myself. The thing that really drew me to it was being able to start at 58 and skip that horrific leveling grind. And it’s really great that you can tank on your new DK and get instant queues in the dungeon finder. But is it really THAT hard to take 10 minutes before you queue for a dungeon to research a proper spec for your Death Knight? Yes all three talent trees make for very viable tanks, but there are key talents in each tree that you need to pick up to be a successful tank. Please don’t be that guy and queue as a tank in your DPS spec. You’ll make everyone’s lives that much simpler if you just invest a few minutes of time into picking up a proper tanking spec. Even if you can’t be bothered to take an honest to goodness tanking spec, for the love of my freaking sanity, make sure you’re at least in FROST PRESENCE.

One last thing I discovered this weekend while leveling is that the Alterac Valley Battleground Weekend freaking rocks. Even if you don’t really dig PVP, you really should give it a try. You will gain obscene amounts of experience during AV. All it takes is a few victories per level to gain you a level and since the queue is relatively short due to the large amount of people taking part coupled with the fact that it’s a 40 man BG you could easily gain a couple of levels an hour. It’s also a good opportunity to try out some PVP and get a feel for it. I find AV to be the easiest on folks new to PVP since you can just move with the pack and not feel as if you’re being too big of a drag on the team for not really knowing what you’re doing. Definitely easier to hide in the crowd in AV as opposed to say Warsong Gulch.

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Ah the joys of leveling a new alt. Soon after you begin your new journey you find yourself at level 10 and with it comes that very first talent point. Deciding in which talent tree this point will go is a very important decision for most people just starting out, but for me and my new lock this was a no brainer. My first talent point went into Improved Corruption and so I began my trip down the Affliction tree.

From the moment I created my Warlock, I knew her spec was going to be Affliction. The whole reason I created the character, aside from Warlocks being awesomesauce, was because I was intrigued by play style of the class. Warlock’s are the masters of DoT’s and having played a class that was all about straight up nuking its target into oblivion, I was looking forward to the change of pace. After doing a bit of research and running down the talent trees, it was obvious to me that Affliction was the tree that was most focused on managing DoT’s and would be the tree to give me the Warlock experience I was looking for.

Outside of game play reasons, Affliction appealed to me for another reason. I have a tendency to RP my characters in my head. Each of my characters has their own distinct personality and reasons for doing the things they do. Faelican, my druid, is a tree hugging nature worshiper concerned with returning balance to Azeroth by forcefully removing those who are upsetting said balance. My Death Knight Athena is solely focused on exacting her vengeance from Arthas for turning her into the monster she has become. I am well aware that this may be a tad over done in most RP circles but quite frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn. Gingerlei is border line psychotic and delights in pain. She delights in the pain of others or her own, she is not picky. The slower, more excruciating the pain, the more she savors it. The ability to use multiple spells to prolong her victims demise to the point where death is a welcome release from the suffering she is inflicting upon them made the Affliction tree perfectly suitable to her sick little desires.

Currently, her recipe for a well prepared enemy is as follows. Apply liberal helpings of Corruption and Curse of Agony. Immolate for crispy shell and to seal in all the juicy flavors. Sprinkle on Shadow Bolts to taste and serve. Works great with all varieties of monsters and gnomes. So now my dear readers, I’d like to hear about what drew you to the Warlock class and your particular spec in general. Was it strictly a game play decision or are you a closet RP nerd like me? Look forward to seeing your comments.

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I am so tired of seeing crap everywhere about Real ID.

So what am I going to do?

Write a post about Real ID!  Whoo hoo!

So many people have their panties in a knot over Real ID.  Some people are more on the social curmudgeon side of things (I thought Dorfs were meant to be social!), others are concerned about privacy issues, and others are telling you to untwist your knickers and pull them out of your arse before you get a haemorrhoid.  OK, maybe that’s my words, not his.  But you get the point.

I for one will be happy to add just about anyone to my Real ID.  I don’t give a flying proverbial if you know my real name (sticking with the whole ‘I’m not afraid of you, internets!), I’m not going to stress too much about being hacked when a) I have an authenticator and b) I have nothing to steal anyway, so NER.  Seriously, if you are really desperate for a fricking White Dress, go for it!  Just don’t take the masses of holiday garbage from my bank, please, I beg you!

Look, the thing is, I don’t care if you want to have a Real ID or not.  I’m more interested in making sure the Imp is using the bathroom on a regular basis, and the Succubus is getting her checks all regular and stuff (seriously – it’s a Minion Union Requirement).  I don’t care if people can find me on my Super Secret Alts, because I don’t bloody have any.  And I don’t play the game to escape from people, because it’s an MMO god damn it – if I wanted to escape from people, I’d play a single player game. Duh.

Sure, there are ‘some flaws with privacy.  Like I said, I’m not a privacy nut, so none of it affects me.  As someone with a rather unusual name, it probably should, but stealing my RL identity would probably be like hacking my account – I have no money, my credit rating is probably already shot to hell, and if you get me a criminal record or something I’ll have something to discuss at dinner parties: “Hey, did I tell you about the time I got arrested for drug trafficking in Venezuela while I was sitting on my butt at home?”

I just can’t be arsed sitting on my little soap box and telling you whether or not to Real ID.  And I’m not going to spout off little statements every day on Twitter sounding like a pompous arse because I won’t or will Real ID.  Here’s my announcement.  I’m using it.  You want to add me?  You know where to find me.


… unless you are one of my students.  That would just be too weird.  And would ruin my naked mail box dances forever.


P.S.  Seriously.  Read Stop’s post at least in those links.  It’s nice to see some not-paranoia floating around the place.  And it has 100% less arse than my post.  Although last I checked, arses can be pretty good.

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At least gold sellers are becoming more polite!  To be totally honest, I am not sure why I even bother ignoring them.  Force of habit, perhaps?

What about you?  How do you react to gold seller tells?

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Today, I was pondering exactly how I spend my time in game… especially as Saresa finally cracked the big 100 days /played the other day (gulp!).  Now, I KNOW that I haven’t been doing anything useful for most of that time.  In fact, the breakdown is probably something similar to the following:

chart time

Nice to see I like to do meaningful stuff with my time, no?


Also: A somewhat belated ‘Hi!’ to my visitors.  Thanks for stopping in!  Unfortunately, you caught me smackbang in the middle of a busy work week, but I guess you can feel free to have a look at the random crap linked in the sidebar.  Or try typing weird search terms into the search bar and see what happens!  Craziest search term that actually gets a result wins a prize.  Why do I have a feeling the main post returned will be the crab one

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