Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bucket List Update – The Deadline Approacheth

September 25.

I had several goals in mind for getting prepared for Mists.  The majority of them are complete.

Shoryl – Check

Shoryl has maxed her engineering.

Oquae – Mostly Done

Oquae is level 85, and both Tailoring and Enchanting have reached 500 points. While I would still like to get those to 525, it’s not as high of a priority. She’ll be able to start in on leveling Mists content.

Sveala – Still Working

Sveala is level 71 now. Her Inscription is currently maxed at 450. Even with three heirlooms and the guild perk, leveling has tapered off a bit. I’m hoping that with the announced drop date, we’ll get some people returning to the game.

Gurdrid – Some New Desires

I’ve added a couple of things to the list for Gurdrid. I don’t know how attainable they are in the time available, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try:

I’d like her to finish up in Tol Barad. She needs a total of 215 commendations (Spectral Steed and Rustberg Gull), and has around 140 now. At an estimated 18-24 per week, she ought to be able to get that done without too much difficulty.

Red Drake! Also known as completing Glory of the Hero.  She’s got a long way to go for that. Hopefully there will be some willing friends, and some time to work on it.

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Arthas, We Brought Friends

Ratters and Mrs. Amateur joined JD and I on tonight’s Laid Back Dungeon.  Unfortunately, due to bizarre turns in conversation, we ended up not having Mrs. Amateur in our return to the Halls of Reflection. With extras along, we switch to heroic mode, and  Kinnaevieve, Tumunzahar and Gurdrid lit the place up, easily grabbing We’re Not Retreating, We’re Advancing In a Different Direction for both Gurdrid and Tum.

Gurdrid also picked up Falric’s Wrist Chopper, which will be the basis for her axe transmog set.

After that, we kibitzed about whether we would do a drake run or attempt Zombiefest! in the Culling of Stratholme. Zombiefest! won out when we realized all four of us had the bronze drake somewhere in our stables.  Unfortunately, we misremembered how to actually accomplish the achievement, and did things in the wrong order. But fun was had by all, and Danea picked up Plague-Infected Bracers.

While we were in between activities, Tum also gave us a teaser, saying that he’d built a set around the Blood Boil Lancet he picked up a couple of weeks ago; but he doesn’t yet have the shoulders. Hopefully we’ll get to see that set soon!

And, of course, I failed to take pictures. Feh. Maybe Tum got one of the Iceblock, Judgement and some sort of glowing thing all hitting Arthas at once. He said it looked neat from his angle. I don’t remember seeing it myself.

Side note: We were discussing getting Mrs. Amateur from CoT to Northrend via mage portal, and I mentioned that I didn’t have a mage. Tum pointed out that it wouldn’t really help, but I responded that all you have to do is port into Stockades together, and it’s all good. Ragefire Chasm would work nicely for Hordeys.  I’m sure my smart blogger friends have already thought of it (JD, you’re forgiven. 4:30 am comes mighty early); but just in case you haven’t, there you go.

Making It Easier

At the end of an expansion, there’s always a lot of talk about what we liked, and what we didn’t.  There are always successes and failures; both for the players and for Blizzard. While looking back lately, however, I have been looking beyond what the current expansion did, and looking at not just the last two years, but the last, um, 7 and a half years of play.  These are the things that I think are still relevant today; even though they may not be addressed specifically to the current expansion.

Transition Between Expansions

For the player leveling from scratch, or even just later in the game than most, this is jarring. If you haven’t been raiding in the previous expansion, your gear is woefully under powered for your first several quests (or dungeons). I remember Hellfire Peninsula in the beginning of BC as a paladin. I was in epics; but they were healing epics, and not all that suited to killing stuff.    When I arrived there later on a tanking paladin, all in dungeon blues, it was no better, despite the stronger survivability. This problem was even more jarring in the switch from Wrath to Cata. On my warrior, I died several times on my first quest in Hyjal, and even after I made a quick trip to the auction house, dropped about 50 gold, and also crafted a piece or two of gear, I was only just able to effectively quest.

The problem with our gear is simple: Stat inflation. I don’t really understand why the stats can’t be linear, instead of exponential between expansions.  It would also be nice if Blizzard could expend a little bit of development time right as a new expansion drops, to tune down the first, say, 10 quests in the previous expansion’s starting area so that the gear differential is not so stark.  There’s not going to be much in the way of starter gear for 80s on the AH after Mists drops, just because there aren’t going to be as many items generated.

On-rails Questing

While I love epic quest chains early in the game (Lots of toons went through Westfall, hunted for a Mysteriously missing diplomat, and protected Kinelory; it drives me batty now that even the small quests and short chains are “on rails”. Here I can only speak for the Alliance, because I haven’t leveled a Hordey yet; but it feels like a sense of duty rather than a sense of adventure right up until you get to Outland. And if you happen to play a Night Elf, Worgen, or Draenai, you’re in for an incredibly depressing run. You don’t actually get to see anything set to right. And between the Sundering ad Garrosh; well, you never get to just go fetch someone a half dozen baubles for study. I know fetch quests aren’t terribly popular; but they do exist for a reason.

Even though the highly amusing Buzzbox quests are still in the game, they are both required to complete the zone and repurposed to finding out what’s going on in Darkshore, not distilling alcohol for a very distraught gnome.

Having one main theme through a zone is all right. Having it be beaten into your very existence is overkill.

Dungeon Finder Defaults

There are plenty of quibbles out there with the dungeon finder, but most of them aren’t with the system itself ; and are instead with how people use the system.  When you run the Dungeon Finder while leveling, and even after cap; the defaults are to the highest level of content you can participate in. Not necessarily what’s appropriate. Transitioning from Outland to Northrend just last night, I found myself in Utgarde Keep at level 69. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Luckily, it was on a healer, so I did all right; but it was amazing what just one level did for my healing ability.

Gurdrid is geared for the End-Time dungeons, but I don’t have the experience to do them. Yet, if I’m not paying attention when I queue, that’s right where I’ll go!  It would be nice to have a way to set your own default.

In-Game Friends

I have friends who I know from real life. I have friends I know from blogging. I have friends I know from years of playing the game.  I would also like to have friends who I know are laid back tanks, healers and DPS. But I’m not going to go handing out my real name, however common it might be, to complete strangers.  Give me my Battle tag, please!

Flight Points

There are far too many of them. Or, barring that, they make very little sense. There are six flight points in Eastern Plaguelands, for goodness sake!  Now, I’m not saying that a few more than we did have isn’t useful. But on average 4 per zone? Why do I need to fly to Goldshire, for the light’s sake?  I thought the method (in various places, but the two that come to mind are Wetlands and Darkshore) of having an NPC lend you an epic ground mount that took you along where you needed to go was a lovely way to get around when getting around could, but shouldn’t be, hard.

It’s Not All Bad

I guess I sound a bit whiny, and I don’t mean to.  These are, for the most part, secondary to the reasons I play the game. About the only one that really gets me is on-rails questing being so complete.  The others I can live with; for the most part. And since Blizz has recommended we all set up battle tags, I suspect they ‘ll bet implemented in the game eventually.

No LBD 7/18!

Sorry for running out on folks, but the Laid Back Dungeon leader has a previous obligation that was originally supposed to happen sometime around April 28th; then…. things happened, as they do.

If others want to get together to run dungeons without me, I whole-heartedly encourage it!

We’ll be back on schedule on July 25, though, with some more Northrend Dungeons to see if we can’t knock out some special achievements.

I do have a question for everyone, however: would a 7:00 central start time work better for people? The two times we’ve had a shot at runs, folks needed to get started just a little bit later than the 6:00 scheduled time. I can do either, I’d just like to know!

What He Has Does Not Make Mine Less

Folks are all a-twitter about the Black Market Auction House, and I will admit that I’m intrigued by it. One of the big complaints is that there might be items that are currently available in the game on the BMAH – things that have been eluding many players for years already.  Another complaint is that people will go and buy gold to buy from the BMAH.    These things have been chattered over quite a bit, and are interesting to think about.  But that’s not quite why I’m here.

Another complaint that has come over the years, again and again, is when achievements get changed; or when new content makes achieving the old content “irrelevant”.

I have two Loremaster toons. Neither of them achieved Loremaster before Cataclysm; but I made a point of getting Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor before the Sundering on Shoryl – to experience it.  Do I feel that Kerridwen’s “easy” version is any less relevant? Absolutely not. They were both journeys, and I am proud of them.  By the same token,  I don’t particularly care, when I see the Loremaster title, how someone got it. They went to the effort to get it, and it is a part of their character’s journey.

It’s much like the nerfs given to various raid tiers – some raiders will get their achievements before the nerfs, some after. No, we can’ t tell who is who unless we keep a timeline of the nerfs and compare the achievement dates, but does someone getting the achievement before a nerf somehow have a sullied memory of that kill because someone else needed the nerf?

Back to the Black Market Auction House for a minute: JD talked about about how he probably won’t buy RNG based items from the BMAH; which is absolutely his choice. Though I might remind him of his luck with certain Mounts. 🙂  I will probably be of a different mind on different items. But all in all, it’s a matter of choice. Does having the item change having a story to tell about it? Is being able to purchase something from the BMAH not also a compelling story for someone who doesn’t play the player-based AH; or, for that matter, someone who does?

Wait, what did I just say? Yes. Does it not mean something to the individual who doesn’t have millions on hand to actually be able to take a shot at winning something?  Is that not in and of itself a goal? If there is nothing the acheivement system and transmogrification have taught me about WoW, is that the end of the journey is sweet. Whether it’s that special achievement ding; the acquisition of a coveted item; or  a spectacular hunter tame – each of these things is in its own right is important to the player. And what he, or she, or you have makes mine no less sweet.  Even if you did it first, even if I needed (or didn’t need, but got anyway) a nerf or an alternate way of acquiring the item.

Light vs Lich!

Tumunzahar and Gurdrid braved Icecrown Citadel; and made our way through both the Forge of Souls and the Pit of Saron.  Tum scored the Blood Boil Lancet from the Devourer (and Tum – freaky voice, not cool voice. K!)

We made our way into the Halls of Reflection with our hopes high. After all, we’d not even gotten close to wiping on the way.   Falric, Marwyn, and their buddies minions were no match for the daring duo; and Gurdrid found a satisfactory chunk of the door to take as her souvenir.

It could be a good Cathedral!

Unfortunately, while saving Jaina from the Lich King, we killed the minions a little too far away, and glitched Jaina actually melting the last bit of ice. We were a little too tired to take another go at it, so we finished for the night.

More Updates

It’s been a bit since I posted, and for that I apologize. Here’s an update or two on what’s been going on here at the Tiny guild.

Oquae

Has made it to level 85, and is nearing the 500 mark in tailoring. She can make the Embersilk bags, and I’m now contemplating whether I get her to 500 tailoring and start making bags out of the embersilk I get, or actively pursue 525.   Her enchanting is also moving along at the exact same pace, ironically. I just need to make up some vellum to get some enchants put down on paper.

Sveala

Is now level 67, and has once again capped her inscription. The levels are coming fast when I take the time to run 7 dungeons in one evening – that night netted 2+ levels, partially thanks to rebuffing during the Fire Festival.

Gurdrid

Hasn’t seen a whole lot of play time, since I was pushing so hard to get Oquae leveled via questing, and taking the dungeoning time for Sveala. She did go after Ahune a couple of times; and tends to be the one I take on the Laid Back Raids.   She did pick up the second Darkmoon Faire mount, so my stable will have both of them come Mists.

Oh, and about Ahune – I did decide to go and stretch Gurdrid’s sheild arm a bit, ran into a PuG that went well (after we got rid of the “not” impatient rogue (he left, we didn’t kick him) ) and three of the four wanted to keep running together; but they all needed Ahune (which I’d already done.) I said I’d go, and we picked up another pretty quickly, since it was a DPS slot. The first try didn’t go off, but there were no names called; and the only blaming was people blaming themselves (The hunter and DK both thought they performed suboptimally).   BUT – here’s the thing. We very nearly survived the full third wave. What an awesome healer!  Anyway – giant shoutouts to Kayliandra, Taldrek, Whitemist and Kerugan. Awesome runs, folks.  (Yes, the second run on Ahune and we had him down easily in the second spawn of his crystal.)

Shoryl

Shoryl went on a round of faffing (the new favorite word of WoW bloggers, all thanks to the Godmother) with Sonaira the other day, and all we came away with was some more Gilneas rep.  In case you’re wondering, the Alliance (and, I presume, Horde) racial tabards work in Outland dungeons.

Darkmoon Faire

At the Faire this month, I picked up two of the pets, a few frogs, and, as I mentioned above, the second mount. I didn’t quite get out there as much as I wanted, but I’ve decided that only Gurdrid is heavily pursuing the Faire (i.e, everyone else goes and does their profession monthlies, gets a few coins, which are played into tickets, and then they’re done for the month. Gurdrid goes out and does all of her monthlies, tries to complete the test of strength, and does Dailies whenever she’s there – usually two or three sets.

Laid Back Dungeons

The Laid Back Dungeons seem to have been beset with bad timing. The first couple of weeks, no one was on at the time to give them a start; then I missed Ratter‘s note one week, and last week was shot down by the evil thing called a Job. (More on that in a moment)

This week, however, I plan to be around. We’re thinking about the Icecrown trilogy of dungeons at this point. I may be on a little bit after the 6:00 central planned start time, due to that Job thing.  But I figure you’d probably all like it if I’ve already eaten before we get started. I know Sona would like that.

Transmogolympics

You won’t be seeing much Mogging from me for a little while, yet – though I do have something in the works for Rosedove (The Dwarven Dungeon Crawl’s tank) around this shield that she quite likes.  The reason for the lack of mogging posts isn’t that I won’t be mogging, just that I’ve joined the contest over at Amateur Azerothian.  I’ve got one set all designed up and the screenshots done; and a few things mulling around in the back of my brain.

The Accountant

One of the good parts about my new position is that I’m learning something new; and I’m once again a contributor to the daily grind. It might sound strange, but I was feeling like my hands were always tied if someone else in my old department didn’t agree with me, so this is refreshing. There’s a down side, though. The new department processes a whole lot of data every day, and two consecutive weekends worth of data got horked up in two completely different ways. On top of that, the first problem happened the week of our Departmental picnic, and the second happened this past week – when we were short a day thanks to us all wanting to sleep in and watch fireworks. So I’ve been putting in overtime to help get us dug back out.    I’m sure you can guess why it is that the blog hasn’t seen much action for a couple of weeks…