Tag Archives: WoW

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.

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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.

Nostalgia – A Dish Best Served With A Side of AOE


I blogged the other day about my guilty pleasure, an occassional foray into gaming’s crackwhore behemoth World of Warcraft. However, since the 4.0.1 patch vastly changed the Class landscape I’ve not been sure about my fresh 80 Death Knight. Hence how I’ve hit 80 and not done a thing with her, spending my time between various alts (this will not surprise anyone I’ve played the game with) and currently enjoying the awesomeness of my Subtlety Rogue. She can stealth up behind things and pretty much one-shot mobs with Ambush, after rifling through the lint in their pockets of course!

After two nights playing (finally fixing a lag issue I’ve had) I’ve spent maybe three or four hours and taken my Rogue from level 26 through to 31 in that time. I use TourGuide to help my levelling, however, now things have been tweaked the XP comes that thick and fast that you can quickly outpace the guide, even with regular questing this is the case let alone adding in running Instances. According to my TourGuide I should be finishing off my quests in Stonetalon Mountains when really I can make a start at Stranglethorn Vale or go for what should be my second foray into Thousand Needles. I am about 5 levels ahead of TourGuide right now so am trying to skip ahead into the right zones for my level but with TourGuide some quests you pick up really far in advance and then hand them in much later so things like that I am skipping on.

Once I hit level 31 last night I decided to take a break from the ass-kicking I was handing out with my Rogue and went for a potter about with the Cataclysm quests on my Death Knight. To cut a long story short I ended up responding to a PST regarding a group that wanted a healer for Karazhan. They had already got one but took along my Death Knight to tank. 5k+ DPS are not going to be tanked by a fresh level 80 Death Knight, however, at level 80 we went in with 5 of us and AOE’d the whole place down in around 40 minutes.

The most fun I ever had with WoW were playing with Servitob, Mrs Servitob and nBreaker when we were in a guild together raiding this place as level 70s. It was challenging, it was fun and we spent far too much time playing WoW once we started raiding. Yet, despite the time sink it became I remember it fondly, going back with a group of strangers and walking through the place brought back a lot of those memories. It was nice to see the place again and watch the familiar bosses even if everyone of them went down in under a minute! I even got some RP loot hehe.

We may not have done the place properly but I still class that raid as the single crowning glory in WoW, certainly was nice to be in there again.

I’m still not sure if I like the gameplay changes to the Death Knight though, but at least I have a new shiny achievement!

/quit


New year is a time for new resolutions, as tradition has it. So what did I resolve? To give up World Of Warcraft.

Lets get some things straight here. I’ve been playing it on and off since it was released, so hopefully I am qualified to make these judgements:

1) It is one of the best computer games ever. Why? Because it thoroughly engages you like no other computer game. The gameplay is so vast, and options so immense that there’s always something new to do or try. Throw into this mix the ability to interact and cooperate with other completely unpredictable human players gives the game an interesting and exciting element. Once you get into the game you are guaranteed hours of fun and entertainment unlike any other form of recreation. It is truly hard to describe the experience without going through it.

2) It is horrendously addictive. I pull no punches here. It really is. The world dishes out small rewards as you play, new skills, new equipment, new rewards which progress you character further and deeper into the game. This gives the player a sense of achievement and further desire to play as achievements open up further options to gain more rewards. It is a viscious circle, the more you play, the more you want to play. Before you know it, you’ve spent an entire weekend playing. Not necessarily a bad thing, but once you get into the game you will enjoy it to the detriment of everything else. A point of fact I realised lately is that WoW is the only game I know of that people play ‘just to see what is going on’, in that people will log in for a few hours with no real goals in mind, and will log off much later not really having done anything productive.

I do worry for some younger players who have become so entrenched in this game that they have thrown away some of the most exciting and critical years of their lives. I do wonder if I would be where I am now in life if I had discovered this game in my formative years, or would I now be living like a neckbeard in a basement! Seriously, if you want to read some sad stories on the effects of Warcrack, just do an internet search.

So why am I giving it up? A few reasons. Firstly, I rarely get to play it with real life friends any more. Playing with real friends in Warcraft is truly awesome. Secondly, I think I have better things to do. The problem with Warcraft is that yes, it is entertaining but it has no real narrative. For example, watching a movie or playing a game such as ‘Dragon Age’ may be percieved as an equal waste of time, but it’s not. At the end of the movie you have progressed. You have followed a story, learned things and reached an end point. Warcraft doesn’t have that. There is no real story, it’s just fight monsters, gain loot, repeat ad infinitum. I’m still going to game… Probably as much as before, just with different games. I’ll probably spend more time watching documentaries and painting models. And at the end of it all, when Blizzard finally shut off the last Warcraft servers, I will have some random facts to impress my wife with, and some stuff to sell on ebay.