23 August 2009

Cataclysmic Events

I suppose that in order to preserve my claim to WoW bloggerhood, I really ought to comment on the news coming out of BlizzCon.

Here's my comment:


See, I know that they're posting a tentative 2010 release. But at the earliest, that's still AT LEAST four months away. In my opinion, that's more than long enough for the world to end, much less for the wiz kids at Blizzard to change what they've announced. While I'm really excited about some of the things that they've announced (retooling Azeroth, anyone?), I'm not gonna hold my breath until I can see an end in sight. Like, right around the time they announce the date of the release.

Okay, one more comment. Is it just me, or are Worgen totally slanted toward Huntery-types? Specifically, hunters that do skinning? Good heavens, about three minutes after Cataclysm is released, all the Alliance starting areas will be swarmed with new Worgen Hunters. Provided, of course, that making Hunters use Focus like bloody Rogues, damn their eyes, and that making our shots cost 30 to 60 Focus doesn't completely nerf Hunters into oblivion. It's possible.

The Gnome That Hated Me

There is a gnomish questgiver in Stonetalon Mountains. His name is Gaxim Rustfizzle, and he hangs out with this night elf Sentinal chick on the Windshear Crag. He is a jerk. The entire point to his existence is to make my life a nightmare.

"But, Feathers! He doesn't want to make your life a nightmare!! He wants you to go blow up the Venture Co.! Blowing up things is fun!!"

This I know full well, and I adore blowing things up. Which is why in my mid-20s, I'm always eager and looking forward to the opportunity to lay some serious beat-down on those wretched unenvironmentally-friendly deforesters and loggers that occupy like HALF THE ZONE. Seriously, trying to run through there? Which one has to do in order to get to where one needs to go? Nightmare, honestly.

Anyway, in order to facilitate said combustion, Hizzoner Rustfizzle sends you to Ironforge (yes, the other side of the bloody world, I know, I know) to talk to this other gnome jerk in order to get some combustables. Said Ironforge gnome jerk requires you to come back to him with...

Now, when I play on Darkspear and want to level a new hunter (it happens a lot), whenever I get to Stonetalon Mountains and our friend Gaxim, I simply pop on to Big Kia and head for the Auction House to check for the pots there first. I can almost always score the Mana pots. However. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE ELIXIRS ON THE AUCTION HOUSE. NEVER. NOT ONCE.

Therefore, my next step is to call on my friendly neighborhood guild alchemist. We've got several. I send him or her (depending on who happens to be online at the time) the mats, he or she gives me the pots. It's quite simple. The pots go in the post office, Kia goes offline, and New Alt logs in with the quest requirements waiting for her (I always play girls, always) in a nice tidy mail package.


Baby Kia does not have the benefit of a friendly neighborhood alchemist, as she is located on a new server. Likewise, being the first roll on said server, she is broke as anything. Ergo, even if she could find the pots on the AH (which she couldn't), she hasn't got the Benjamins, you know what I'm saying?

What to do, what to do? I could try to run around and make friends on New Server with a Friendly Neighborhood Alchemist. This could take a long time, plus Friendly Neighborhood Alchemist is unlikely to want to just give me potions out of the good of his or her heart, savvy? I could just ignore the quests, I suppose. Blasphemy!! I like the blow-up-the-Venturists quests.

Solution! Alt.

Internet, meet Kiamagi, baby mage and journeyman alchemist.

I realize that this might seem to be a radical step, but stick with me. The elixir recipe is at 50, so then the only trouble is finding enough Mageroyal for the Mana pots. I managed it just before dinging level 14. Honestly, the investment of time and questing was worth it to me in order to always be able to blow up Venture Co., no matter how many alts I roll on New Server.

And here's a secret. /Looks around nervously for Hunter Police.

Um. I kinda like playing her. Not as much as a hunter, but well enough that I'm considering maybe taking her a little farther, once Little Kia grows up and goes to live in Northrend. Except, she runs outta mana after, like, two mobs. That gets better eventually, right? Also, she's terrible squishy. I don't think that ever does get better, right?

*Note to self - find unsquishy people to play with before sending Little Magi to Southshore.*

One more note... in case you've never done it, leveling in Westfall at night is CREEPY.

Yeah, the moon is pretty cool, but seriously. All the mobs blend in with the yellow and you fall over them before you know they're there, and when you're only level 12, they hit HARD. Especially those bloody birds. Don't believe me? Take a baby to Westfall at like 3am Your Server Time and come back and tell me you weren't totally freaked out. I'll smile and nod, but I won't believe you. Westfall + night = CREEPY.

14 August 2009

Where I Learn Things About Leveling That I Didn't Learn The First Time Around

Okay, so I started playing WoW last August, due entirely to my good RL friend Yttrium called Ava (her first main was Avalei, and it sort of never wore off), who has since abandoned me and gone to live in a state Far, Far Away. We used Recruit-A-Friend, and Ytt started a druid called Deciduous (cause druids can be trees, see? C'mon, it's clever!) and I began the descent into madness known as Kialesse.

Now, the thing about RAF is that your accounts are linked, see, so whenever you play together, you GET THREE TIMES THE XP. Groovy, yes? Plus, since it's RAF, you're almost certainly playing with someone who has a high-level if not max character and who kind of knows what's going on. This was terrific for me. I didn't have a clue. When I started playing, if you were to look up "clueless" in the WoWtionary, you would find a picture of Kia, looking... um... clueless. So Ava, who was at that time a core raider with LOKI, shook her head, laughed at me, and then proceeded to haul me around various ports of call and tell me things like, "You're a hunter, Kia. You need to go get a pet. Like, now." And, "You're a hunter, Kia. Stay out of melee, for the love of everything that is decent. Shoot things in the face. Let Jake do the hard work."

So we start parading around Azeroth, kicking low-level mob butt, and we worked our way up the leveling ladder wicked fast, because of the aforementioned triple xp. I remember skipping level 55 entirely. Not kidding. I had finished about eight or nine quests, got Ava to pop on Deciduous and meet me to turn them in, and I went straight from 54 to 56. After 60, the triple xp wears off, so then I had a nice grind on my own to get to 70 before Wrath came out. I made it with three weeks to spare, and spent those three weeks on the Isle of Quel'Danas, desperately trying to make some money and getting ganked out of my mind. To this day, I still detest PvP. Anyway, by the time Wrath finally arrived, I had been sponsored into LOKI, had had my first and only Kara run (BOTH the gun and the bow dropped for me ON THE SAME RUN. TOTALLY EPIC), and had a whole group of people (OP Black Temple raiders, no less) to run with.

So, what's the point to all this nonsense? Just this.

I had no clue what it was like to really level by myself.

Now, I hear what you're saying.

"But, Feathers! You're a whining pansy! Do you know how much they've nerfed since I leveled my first toon! Blizz has all but handed you the first sixty levels! Back in my day, you had to walk until level 40!" /shake cane and scowl.

Yes, I understand that. However, this is about me, not you, so stuff a sock it in. I've started a new character on a new server. Of course, she's still a hunter, and I actually named her Kialesse again, but that's irrelevant. The point, which I am desperately driving towards, is to chat idly (read: whine) about some of the idiosyncrasies (read: sucky parts) of leveling that I missed realizing the first time around. Baby Kia is only level 25, as of an hour ago, so I imagine there will be a couple more (whiny) posts as I fumble my way toward 80 again. So, I begin with:

Bag space, and it's equally rare companion, Money. No, not Shaft. I'm not talking about the Money. I mean coinage. You know, currency. Gold, people, for the love! That which one pays out to trainers and people who sell you Ice Cold Milk and Sharp Arrows. Seriously, the first thing Ytt did when we started our characters was to hop on her tailor and make us a slew of these and send them in the mail along with I can't remember how much cash. Enough that I didn't need to worry about whether I could pay to learn how to Track Beasts. Ever since then, for every alt I've started (I think it's in the area of mayhap a dozen - there are currently 7 alts living on Darkspear) the first thing I've done is jump on Big Kia and send New Alt a bunch of bags and money.


When one is starting on a new server and one doesn't HAVE a maxed out character with a couple thousand gold just gathering dust in one's bank, one is Out Of Luck. One must therefore actually go out and, like, earn the money to pay for Track Beasts and Sharp Arrows and Ice Cold Milk. Which becomes a horrifying balancing act along the lines of that which is frequently seen in Cirque du Soleil. "Oh noes!" one is heard to cry. "I have but fifteen silver! It will cost me twenty-two to learn Scorpid Sting! GAHHH!!!"


Second, Traveling. Seriously, Blizz. Did you have to make the zones so bloody large?

/waits for the outcry of "Feathers, you're Alliance! You don't have to deal with THE BARRENS!" to die down.

I submit for your perusal the following:

See that arrow way, way at the top of Darkshore? That's me. See the little QuestHelper question mark way, way at the bottom of Darkshore? That's where I'm going. Sweet mercy.

Yes, I KNOW that Blizz JUST nerfed the first mounts so that you can get them at level 20. I'm very well aware. However, it still costs 4 gold to train and buy a mount. When I dinged 20, I had 37 silver. I intentionally went to Bloodmyst Isle, just to blitz through content that would give me enough money to buy the bloody thing. And it did, eventually. After I ran around like crazy, a mad killing machine slaughtering everything in my path for the 97 copper which it dropped. I learned that my favorite NPCs in the game are the Flightmasters.

In my screenshots folder, that picture is seriously titled "Thank God, A Flightmaster". 'Cause, darn it, the run from Auberdine to Astranaar is LONG.

Finally (for now, there will be other things to whine about later. I haven't made it to Stranglethorn yet, see?), weird questing patterns. This is totally a vanilla WoW thing that I didn't know the first time around, because as I've said, I was young and naive and completely clueless. It doesn't apply to the lands added for either BC or Wrath, presumably because by then, the designers had learned their lessons and neatly organized the questing in the new zones. Seriously, the draenai starting zones? LOVE THEM. Everything goes in gorgeous concentric circles around well-stocked villages. This is probably why I love draenai SO. FREAKIN'. MUCH. and have at least four draenai alts that I can think of off the top of my head. Bloodmyst Isle is like heaven. I even like all the red.


Once you hit 20 and tie up all the ends in Bloodmyst, then you have to go to Azeroth proper, and then all hell breaks loose.

At one point, Baby Kia had quests in Ashenvale, Stonetalon Mountains, Wetlands, Dun Morogh, Elwynn Forest and Darkshore. Simultaneously. Really. It was enough to make me want to weep. It takes days to get anywhere, and once you do get there, then you have to take days to get back again.

Oh, fine. You're still going on about how much worse it used to be. I know, I know, I know. Cut me some slack, yeah? In a way, this is the first time I'm doing this alone. I reserve the right to whine about leveling. I will continue to do so until I get to 80, and can find a whole new world of things to whine about.


Oh, and apologies for the Wall of Text critting you for 9000. Go visit Aertimus, she's a wicked good healer and will make it all better. Plus, she hardly ever whines.

04 August 2009

Yet More Evidence That "Leet" And "Epic" Are Not Synonymous

So, exciting times in Azeroth last night.

Shaft, our MIA blogger (he says hi, btw), went into Ulduar with Aertimus and Yakra and their usual crew. He came out the other side with this...

Holy. Moses.

Okay, so I already acknowledged that my blogmate (blogbuddy? co-blogger? I dunno.) Moneyx could out-hunter me any day of the week, even with a level 60 pet and a Bouquet of Red Roses equipped. Er, except I think Shaft's roses are black. Anyway. However, this was such a jaw-droppingly stunning reminder of said fact that I nearly whimpered over Vent, where I was eavesdropping on their instance. I do that a lot. I managed to restrain myself, barely, and simply /bowed at his feet.

Fortunately for me, still stuck plowing away in the Caverns of Time leveling my rep with the Keepers, Shaft was more than ready to throw the weight of his new title around on some dragonkin. After listening to me whine about how I couldn't manage to get all the adds and down the Rift Lords in Black Morass, he came down to help.

With two of us (one of us being totally OP), Black Morass fell victim to my voracious appetite for Achievements wicked fast, as you can well imagine.

"But, Feathers!" you say. "Why were you trying to level rep with the Keepers of Time?? Nobody cares about the Keepers of Time anymore! They're Burning Crusade! They're irrelevant and inconsequential!"

This is true. However, there is one thing for which you need to be at least Honored with Keepers of Time, and that is the Key of Time. It used to be that you could only get that at Revered, but like so many other things, it got a hit from the Nerf Bat come Wrath. And, since I'm a child of Wrath (only been playing a year, mates), I had never so much as stepped foot in the Cavern before, like, last week. So I runs Durnholde Keep a couple times, gets Shaft's help with Black Morass, and...

Boom, baby! THE KEYMASTER.

Okay, I understand that Keymaster has got nuthin' on CHAMPION OF ULDUAR. However, it just signified the most important difference (ahem, the most important non-gender difference) between Shaft and Feathers:

Shaft is LEET.

Feathers is EPIC.

Ha. So there, Shaft.

02 August 2009

There Are Reasons For Why I Can't Wait For My Alts To Get Mounts...

Naturally, one reason is because the bloody early zones are SO STINKIN' LONG. Does anyone else remember the quest in Darkshore where the quest giver (Oro? Some kind of tree spirit thingy? Wears lanterns as earrings?) is at one end of the zone and the quest mobs are at the other?

However, the biggest reason I can't wait for mounts is because I look at my quest log, my character page, my professions screen, whatever, while running..

... and I run into trees. All. The. Time.

"But, Feathers!" I hear you say. "How does getting a mount keep you from running into trees??"



It, ah... doesn't.