Category Archives: World of Warcraft

ZombiePirate – Undersea Adventures in Azeroth


Hopefully the picture gives a feeling for just how this post is going to turn out. However, hopefully the wordy parts will actually make some sense and offer adequate explanation of my recent experiences.

Over the weekend Cataclysm won out over any painting, I got to spend my Saturday really sinking my teeth into the new content (another Oracles egg with no Green Proto-Drake, it did drop me the whelpling pet just to taunt me a little more). I’ve spent some more time on the Vashj’ir questline and also continued levelling my mining (Obsidium Ore is selling for a fortune right now and there is heavy competition for the nodes). Speaking of mining, I’d like to give a shoutout to Bluebird, a Troll, so the same faction as my lovely Goblin Shaman Pazzaz on the Argent Dawn server. You gave me another treat by taking away the mining node I was standing on top of when one of the Mount Hyjal mobs attacked me when I started mining. I especially enjoyed the way you put me on ignore as well so I couldn’t congratulate you on being an asshole!

Right, now that’s off my chest, Vashj’ir. I’ve been in the zone long enough to form a proper opinion of it. I know that there has been a lot of criticism levelled on the Internet in general regarding the breadcrumb style progression. I have to say that the artwork is top notch, it really is very different to anything that we have seen in the past so a big congorats to Blizzard for that. However, the quest experience is really very, very dull. There is a vast stream of (seemingly) never-ending “kill x of y” and “collect x of y” quests, I will admit that there are a couple of quests that break this trend and some that even follow this trend that are actually interesting (the Naga vision questline for instance). Since I first started playing Cataclysm I’ve only been able to stomach an hour or so in the underwater landscapes, after I’ve done an area’s worth of quests I have to take a break and go do other things. This has led to me only being level 82 but I don’t see the need to rush through the content.

In between the questing sessions I’ve been doing my mining (almost at 475 now) which is netting me some nice profit as I’ve sold off everything I mined from Wrath zones and am now spending some time getting a few stacks here and there of Obsidium in Mount Hyjal to feed the people crafting their way to 525. Happy to be a provider at the forefront of crafting for a change and it is certainly helping out a character that started off the Echo Isles liberation quests with nary a gold piece to her name. My Archaoeology is also growing and I look forward to trying to find some of the more interesting pieces, with flying now allowed in Azeroth you can make some decent XP from it too. I’ve only completed two common artifacts so far but then I am still a Journeyman.

I’m training a Ravasaur mount too, sure none of these things are particularly epic but there is a lot of content I’ve skipped with my many absences and getting things done here and there is helping not die of boredom from Vashj’ir. I do want to finish the zone and will do, it’s just going to take me some time. Then there is also the final fact of me trying to get my Talbuks. I am five mounts off the Albino Drake (which I have on my Priest) and the Talbuks are what tipped me over fifty for that toon as well. I have enough cash to buy the Armored Blue Wind Rider and the Red Drake now but don’t really want to blow the money on them just to have them sit in my spellbook not being used. However, killing Ogres for Mag’har rep is actually a pretty calming way to kill some time and I’m about halfway to Exalted already. I’ve found the optimal place to do it and so want to finish that up. Lots of goals currently and I am hoping to eventually get the Traveller’s Tundra Mammoth and maybe even a Mechano-Hog once I increase my funds. Engineering is the tradeskill I already have on my Shaman to go with Mining but that will take a long time to level.

However, in amongst my normal goings on I have discovered the entrance to Blackrock Caverns. I read up on all the boss tactics and threw myself into LFD over the weekend. This resulted in the experience that Captain Picard is decrying at the start of this post. The first group I joined was down to the last two bosses and we blitzed them both without any trouble. Yet, in every other LFD group I have been in there has been a massive collectively fail with the Fire Elemental trash mobs before the third boss. No-one has had any problems with anything other than this. I cannot believe how many times I’ve wiped there with groups that pull everything together and try to AOE it down, even after being told that this cannot be done, I’ve tried using my CC on the little elementals to hold them in place while we down the big guy but no, AOE is still the mindset and as soon as the group fails more than once people just leave the group.

I guess I’m going to have to do guild groups only for my dungeon fixes as people don’t seem to be able to adapt to a new expansion doing things in new ways. I have yet to fight the third boss in BRC! I’ve seen everything else though. I need to actually find the Throne of the Tides too, that will hopefully give me more variety on where I end up and a chance of actually finishing some dungeons.

I’m liking Cataclysm overall, I just look forward to zones being a little more exciting than what they’ve done with Vashj’ir. We’ll see what I can do this week.

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Cataclysm – “I Know How to Queue, I’m British”


Another day, another post about Cataclysm as the blogosphere erupts now a new expansion has descended upon the gaming fraternity (and sorority if you believe that there are actually women on the Internet).

Last night was a night spent at home, I’d therefore be able to spend some time doing whatever and with Cataclysm out it’s more likely I’m going to be diving into Warcraft than sitting at my table painting. Although I do need to do some more of that!

The greatest problem to that at the moment is that every man and his dog that has ever had a character on Argent Dawn now seems to want to get in on the action, there are queues of between 1400 and 2000 people at most times since the midnight launch of Cataclysm. After dinner last night I fired up the PC and logged in, around 1900 people in the queue so I went to do the washing up, I figured that would kill some time and reduce the waiting time.

When I did actually get to the PC there were still 1400 odd people queueing so I had time to kill with an estimated one hour till I’d get to the front and be able to log in. I’d started WoW at 8pm and the household chores took me up till around 8.30 pm. Rather than sitting and watching the numbers tick down (or up as they managed to do from time to time) I thought I’d take the opportunity to play some Lord of the Rings Online. It’s now Free to Play and I had downloaded the client the previous week. I’d already created an Elven Hunter with one of my two character slots but fancied trying something a little different so I fired the game up and created Vayl, an Elven Lore-keeper. I went through the tutorial again and started the quests around the ruins of Endhelion (sp?).

I got up to level 6 before WoW was less a minute from letting me in and it was nice to take a break from an MMO I’ve got a lot of experience with. Free to Play means I can dive in and out at will and I did enjoy the more story-based aspect of the questing, it felt like I was actually doing something rather than picking up arbitrary jobs for random people too lazy to do it themselves. If long queues persist then I can see me spending more time exploring the LOTRO world.

When WoW did finally let me in I fired up Phake who was in Dalaran, checked my Oracles Egg that had hatched into yet another White Tickbird Hatchling (I could start my own breeding business with the amount of them that have popped for me) and flew off to Warsong Hold (grabbing another Egg on the way of course). I took the blimp to Orgrimmar, got the auto-quest for Cataclysm, grabbed my Azeroth flying license and sailed off into the sunset.

Vash’jir is quite an interesting diversion from the normal quest zones, being underwater and having to watch x, y and z axes is a new experience for MMO play. Sure you’re still killing X of this and collecting Y of that but the environment is certainly pretty, it’s just a shame that it is so overcrowded with at least 10-15 people doing the same quests as you are. I also saw my first level 85 in the flesh.. I almost felt sorry for them! I didn’t have a huge amount of time so quit the game having gotten around 20% towards 81, it’s going by pretty quickly with the small amount of rested XP I’d built up from logging off Monday night. I look forward to getting to spend longer than the hour before getting to bed trying things out.

For the last ten minutes of my play time I created a new Worgen Hunter, I played through the first part of the starting zone and have to say that it was absolutely fantastic! I don’t want to spoil it for those people who haven’t seen it yet but if you have the spare character slots I’d roll a Worgen and go sample it. Sure it plays off some Victorian era horror stereotypes but I love it. While I’m taking my Shaman to 85 I might be levelling another Alliance character… I want to stick with Horde but the Worgen are cool and I do need to try the new levelling experience and all my money is on Alliance side.

So far then Cataclysm is looking good, the new zones I need more time with as I am evidently one of the few people on Argent Dawn who have a full-time job and go to bed at a reasonable hour while also spending time right back as being a noob with one of the 3 new characters I have created using the new race/class combinations.

WoW Cataclysm – Saddos Already at 85


As the video gaming world cannot fail to notice online juggernaut and destroyer of social skills World of Warcraft has guffed forth another offering to tease and entertain fans of the world’s premiere MMO. After months of anticipation Cataclysm is here and its moniker is certainly well-earned!

Not only has the majority of Azeroth been rewritten but there is now the opportunity to grab another five levels and instantly replace all those epics you’ve spent two years earning and spending gold to enchant and gem! In true-to-form online style there are already saddos that have creamed the content and are sitting pretty at level 85, grabbing server firsts and accolades of dubious worth.

While I am more than aware that people play games for different reasons I cannot fathom why someone would spend the first few hours of an expansion (I heard it took 10 hours for the first 85 to appear) to spaz your way to 85 and then sit there waiting for others to catch up. You can’t have enjoyed the content that is already in place and with not even a day having passed can’t be working through end game content or diving into the first raid. I’m certainly not a hardcore player and therefore perhaps that is the reason that I can’t get my head around it. But just launching yourself into something that is going to last at least a year, if not two and finishing part of it inside of the first day, well, surely you’re missing the point of it all?

I certainly understand the allure of achievements (I found 3 Undead Horses I didn’t have in my stable yesterday reducing me to 7 more needed for my Albino Drake) but come on, grinding your way through the new zones just to hit max level and sitting bored because there is no one else to help out with what is there at that point? I was one of the people who chose the digital download option, I still haven’t sampled any of Cataclysm except for a quick stumble through Twilight Highlands last night before heading to bed. I couldn’t even login when the expansion went live and last night when I got home from work there were over 1500 people in my server’s queue, that rose to almost 2000 in just under two hours! I’ve got a free evening tonight so want to get on and try things out but I am looking at a minimum of an hour to wait in a queue before I can try my hand at the new content. I suppose the good news is that I am getting rest XP and should I get in my Oracles Egg will have hatched and we’ll see what crap I get rather than the Green Proto-Drake I’ve been praying for months for.

My plans are to take this expansion casually, I’ve now gotten myself into a guild and they currently seem like a nice and friendly bunch. This is the first expansion where I am hoping to be able to properly sample the raid content as it comes along, I will not be at the bleeding edge of progression, I can’t spend the time to do that and with a nipper on the way that’s only going to reduce the time I can spend gaming.

I appreciate that others have paid their money and can therefore consume content at their will, blitzing it in a few hours will never be my cup of tea. Hard work and effort has been put into the new zones and the quest lines, I plan on enjoying them, seeing the site and exploring around. I have two characters with the Explorer achievement, I’ll be going through the new Azeroth zones with at least one of those, Blizzard didn’t spend years on a patch for me to get through it in the same time as a weekend lie-in! I suppose it doesn’t matter what game it is though, there will always be people out there willing to spend their time sat in front of a PC trying to get as high as possible as fast as possible…

It’s a shame as you only get one life on this rock and there is a lot more to the world we live in than being the first person to ding 85!

WoW Cataclysm – ZombiePirate’s New Hotness


Nothing really quite characterises a Fantasy game quite like Dragons! Alongside Elves and women in unfeasibly skimpy armour, Dragons are a staple of the Fantasy genre and they featured quite heavily in the raid encounters for Vanilla WoW. There was Blackwing Lair and Onyxia’s Lair as some of the end game instances, more Dragons came into Wrath of the Lich King too with many an instance or raid encounter pitting you against the various Aspects. Now, the world shattering has happened, never again will we see the old Azeroth, consigned to history and people’s screenshot folders. The landscape has changed once more (pun intended) with new race/class combinations and a whole new realm to explore the week after next.

While I had other responsibilities to take care of last night I did manage to spend a little time in-game checking out the changes. First impressions are favourable, things have changed for sure, but there is still enough that seems familiar to make this seem like a world that has changed rather than a brand new environment. Orgrimmar is just, well, check it out if you can that place is a warren now! Stormwind is at the same time half-destroyed and massively redeveloped, the Forsaken have been busy pimping out Brill, the Northern Barrens looks pretty much the same as from old Azeroth but the Southern Barrens has changed dramatically. Ashenvale is under Horde attack with Astranaar burning and I am very glad that I have my Explorer achievement as it allows me to check out all the maps and see where all those new flight points are and there are a lot more of them. Even though flying mounts are going to be useable in Azeroth come the release of the expansion before you pick up flying travelling is going to be easier due to the increased number of flight points in every map. I can’t tell you how annoying I’ve found it that the second quest hub you come to don’t have flight points, well, now they do!

While I’ve played around with my character slots (my Undead Mage is now a brand new Night Elf to test the levelling changes) what will possibly be my most played new character is shown below, this is if the old gang gets back together to storm through new content and have fun together. Enjoy;

I introduce to you my new Warrior! While my Shaman will be fighting her way to 85 as and when I can, you need someone to stand in front of you and take the heat? She’s your gal, going to be grabbing Protection at level 10 and tanking my way, I’ve tanked on my Death Knight so have some experience with this role, I’ve healed and done Caster DPS. Let’s see what I can do with the new hotness!

ZombiePirate Awaits the Cataclysm


Despite taking time out to administer a kicking to Gribblin’s effeminate migrants last week I’ve been spending more time recently in Azeroth as a kind of break from everything really. While I certainly haven’t been full-time I’ve taken some opportunities to relax and enjoy myself before cracking open more blister packs and boxsets to get on with what I need to do to reinforce my War of the Ring force and make a start on all that Dark Eldar goodness.

It is a widely held belief that the patch that deals with the breaking of Azeroth will arrive tomorrow, I’ve done some of the quests involved in the Cataclysm event but haven’t really taken much time out to participate in the city defence parts. Instead I’ve been chilling out on my Troll Shaman, Phake, doing stuff I want to do. This has seen me running around various places just grabbing some fun achievements as well as ducking inside Heroics through the LFD system. Phake now has a raw gearscore of 4.4k not accounting my gems and enchants (not fully gemmed and enchanted yet hence GS won’t take all things into account). I’m certainly enjoying playing my Shaman again and am now kitted out with three Tier 9 pieces, only the legs and chest to go!

My latest achievements are pretty cool as far as I am concerned, I’ve been in some dungeon groups that have been just awesome as well as the ones you hear about more frequently that suck ass. Last night I finished off my Ambassador achievement for getting Exalted with all five Horde cities. I just need to do some Kodo shopping now to possess all the mounts. I wanted to get this finished before Cataclysm as I am not sure what is going to happen considering there will be new cities and the world is going to change dramatically. I’ll also have to admit that it is also kind of cheat for me. Phake was originally Lekktra, a Draenei Shaman and was Exalted with Stormwind and Darnassus before switching across to the Horde when she was 80. This gave me a leg up in terms of finishing off the rest of the cities, Thunderbluff was the longest and hardest, I did all the newbie quests in Mulgore, some dungeon quests, cleared out Thousand Needles and still needed some from Ferelas before hitting the target. I have a shiny new title and no need to bother worrying about reputation anymore.

I also achieved my Northrend Dungeon Hero. Considering I have played Wrath on and off since it was released it was only last night I came across the Bog Lord type boss in Ahn’kahet…. I seriously didn’t know this guy existed as I have never ever seen anybody actually do it. When I got ported in there last night I asked the PUG if anyone minded doing all the bosses as it was the last place I needed to go for that Achievement. They kindly agreed. So we went through even doing the achievement for the first boss of not killing any guardians. We rocked through the place but after killing the final boss the Healer quit but the rest of the group wanted to help me grab my achievement, I was stunned to find a group of players willing to go out of their way to help me. It was a shame though that none of them were from my own server! (I don’t think anyone on Argent Dawn runs Heroics anymore, or that’s the way it seems). I was tasked with healing, despite being a single spec Elemental Shaman. So, I switched some totems around, popped Earthliving on my weapon and fired Water Shield up. We then proceeded to 4 man a boss I’d never seen before and had no idea of tactics, no-one even died!

I went and got my T9 helmet with all the Justice Points I’d earnt (taking me up to 3 pieces) gemmed all my stuff up now I am at the hit cap and logged off early for the night happy with my progress. I’ve achieved what I wanted to do before Azeroth changes (Ambassador Phake woot!) and even though in a few weeks the gear landscape is going to change I like progressing my Shaman back to a half decent level. While friends and I might well be making a reunion for Cataclysm (Blood Elf warrior maybe) I’ll probably still want to get Phake up to 85 when I can.

Tonight I think I’ll be back onto the modelling to give me a break from the computer, I have to do something with some Easterlings!

If Shakespeare Had Played WoW


Shameless plagiarism here, copied from Ratshag’s blog;

If Shakespeare Had Played WoW

Romeo and Juliet would have been set on a PvP server.

When Lady MacBeth told MacBeth ta screw his courage ta the sticking place, he’d have replied “Yeah, but do the king drop any upgrades for me?”

Instead of “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”, King Harry woulda said “Let’s do this!”

Richard III would have been willing to trade his kingdom for a rusted proto-drake and 310 flying.

The Merry Wives of Windsor would be planning to re-roll worgen druids in Cataclysm.

Instead of “Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war”, Anthony woulda said “Kill skull first, then X. Sheep moon.”

“Taming the Shrew” would be a 10-point achievement.

Julius Caesar would have avoided assassination by popping his treants, rooting Brutus, running out of the Senate and then shadowmelding.

The Merchant of Venice would offer rare crafting recipes on a twelve-hour timer.

Instead of the Saint Crispin’s Day speech, King Harry woulda given the Leroy Jenkins speech.

Othello and Iago would always be blaming Desdemona  for not holding aggro.

Hamlet sooooo woulda blown up the guild with his drama.

Trolling World of Warcraft


Since the in-laws dropped in on our family a few weeks ago the painting gear has been tidied away in its little box. This has meant no further models have been painted in my War of the Ring force although the collection has grown by several miniatures since then! I, of course, need to correct this and am thinking my unit of Morgul Knights should be the quickest and easiest to get painted before I try finishing off the Easterlings.

Over the weekend I also gave myself properly to the Truekin, having read the new Dark Eldar Codex from cover to cover and planning out my 1500pts army list. I started off by putting down all the units I’d like to include and to my surprise came in 254pts short after putting those in. I then went to town on expanding some units and increasing the number of others. I even made my first few purchases on Saturday to start things off, looks like my un-retirement is now confirmed. The Orks are still destined for the sale bins though, they’ve been a lot of fun and have done me proud, however, it is time for me to return to my first love.

Speaking of first love, the gaps in my schedule that would usually be used for painting have been taken up with other hobbies. For me that is gaming on my PC. I’ve been pottering around in WoW getting myself ready for the Cataclysm with various alts. In January of this year I went through the drastic act of selling off all my characters gear and deleting them. I then stopped playing for around 6 months and was very happy. I was happy to come back too and got my character restored, however, their gear was of course all gone. I was back playing Alliance with friends so what money I did have was on a level 1 alt, I got my two 80’s restored and shipped my Priest back to the Alliance with a good chunk of moolah. My on-again, off-again nature with WoW has meant that I’ve missed out on a lot of the end game content for this expansion, the same as what happened with Burning Crusade. I was talking with Servitob the other night about perhaps trying to regear one of my 80s. The only gear I had on my Shaman was the T8 chest and gloves, a necklace, two trinkets and a ring, that was it. Therefore I knew there was no-way I’d be allowed to run Heroics, I’d get kicked out of the group for sure. So, I hatched a plot about wearing the Darkspear Warrior disguise from the Echo Isles liberation questline as that would hide all the gear I am missing! It was so devious it might actually work too…

I went to Orgrimmar and sat opposite the Heroic Target Dummy to see what I could do, I dropped my totems and managed just over 1000 dps. I then signed up for some normal 80 dungeons. I ended up running a couple of the Tournament 5 mans which got me some shoulders and a main weapon, I’d pulled a shield from my bank and grabbed a few items from quest rewards in Icecrown and rep items (cloak and belt) to round me out. Yesterday evening, after having spent a few hours in the afternoon running normal dungeons, I decided to chance an Heroic. It popped me into that same Tournament 5 man as I’d been doing on normal earlier. We walked it! Not only that but I was holding my own DPS wise against guys who were obviously way more geared than I was. I also ended up doing Heroic Utgarde Keep, Timed Culling of Strat, TotC, Azjol-Nerub, Forge of Souls and the Oculus. This got me my Northrend Dungeon Master achievement and a hell of a lot more gear! I got a load of Justice Points and grabbed myself a new belt which was a huge upgrade. In fact, the only item I am now missing are boots and most of my gear slots are once again filled with Epics. In around 3 or 4 hours I went from a well undergeared and virtually naked character to having a gearscore of 3600. Sure, that’s not a huge number but when I was hovering around 1k at the start of the day it’s amazing what a few dungeons have done and I’m very glad I did it.

Not only was it a hell of a lot of fun but I feel like I have a viable level character to do things with in the few weeks up till Cataclysm. Getting used to the way an Elemental Shaman plays after 4.0.1 has been interesting and I am liking it a lot. This was my favourite character to play in the past and is just as much fun now. I look forward to getting those boots I’m missing and going through some things I had missed out on when I quit. My Horde characters have next to no money, something I can correct having earnt 400g just from the dungeons I did. The fact that I can hold my own and feel like I am contributing to the group is very fulfilling when I thought I’d be dragging them down and making people work harder. It does almost seem too easy but I am happy to be back at the top-level again, I might not be kitted out in full tier 10 or whatever but I now have more options about things I can do.

Phake the Troll is back setting stuff on fire and then shooting lightning up its ass! Times are good.