Category Archives: World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft posts

Return of the Legion – Initial Thoughts

Like many of you, my eyes were glued to my computer screen as the Blizzard expansion announcement from Gamescon happened.  I even blew up my twitter account a little bit with some quick impressions just based off what I saw.  I’ve now had a little bit of time to think about it and I wanted to give some quick thoughts that I’m sure will evolve over time as more and more comes to light about the expansion.

I will admit I’m excited for this upcoming expansion I see in it so much of what I’ve seen the community ask for over the past 6 years that I’ve been playing.  That same insight makes me a little wary.  Is this expansion meant just to appease the community.  I like that they are taking the lore back to more of the old races with the ancient night elf civilization and the Vyr’kul (human predecessors) as that seems to be keeping with the theme that was established in Warlords of Draenor (Orc and Draenai (and yes I know more orc than draenai)).  I’m also worried that they are trying to do too much in one expansion.  They are giving us the Emerald Dream, Demon Hunters, Class Halls (class garrison with a twist), and returning back to the expanded dungeon experience.  We are getting a new continent, new worlds and updates to the druid forms.

I will say I’m looking forward to all of these things, this already looks to me much like what I saw when I first started playing in Wrath, the awe of it all, the lore, the dungeons the raids, and hopefully many things to keep us busy once we hit max level.

Here’s hoping the part of me that is excited is right and that we are in for one hell of a ride.  For now don’t mind me, I’ll be sitting over here imagining what it will be like to wield Doomhammer.

MoP Update – Klanu the Tauren Monk

Just a few quick thoughts I wanted to get out.  First  was wrong about the new frames.  Roll animations for non-Pandarens not out yet.  As I’ve gotten further with my Tauren monk, (he’s level 8 now)  I notice it more, especially with the kicks.  That being said, I’m having fun with it.  Though I should probably swap out the default weapons at some point, it would probably improve my damage.  Thanks for reading my rambles.  Comments and Criticisms are always welcome.

Mists of Pandaria Beta – First Impressions [SPOILERS]

With this newest wave of invites I have finally joined the mass of Annual Pass people who are playing in the MoP Beta.  I wanted to do a quick write up about my first impressions with the beta.  I do know that it is beta and things are subject to change, and I will keep writing about things I see as the beta progresses.

Say hello to Bearidar, he is my Pandaren Warrior.  I decided to use him to test the new starter zone.  The zone itself is very saturated on most test servers as everyone who joins wants to play a Panda, but that being said, I managed to complete the zone in about two hours without any real bottlenecks.  The first 10 levels through this zone are all about your training and helping to heal the land that has started to rebel.  You are mainly fighting different types of Hozun or Varmin, while working to bring the elements to the Temple of the Five winds.  You are assisted in this by the fiery Ji Firepaw and the sedate Aysa Cloudsinger.  Upon reaching level 10 you accompany the two of them to talk to the turtle that is the island, to find out what ails it.  He tells you that he has a thorn in his side and asks you to remove it.  You fly over to that area, see the crashed ship and then head back to the Temple before heading down to the contested area.  Without getting into what happens down there, I haven’t seen the conflict that is supposed to be the main portion of this yet.  You deal with very wounded reps of both factions and honestly you are offered a choice on how to remove the boat from the turtle, but only one faction has even made a suggestion on how it should be done.   It may just be me, but I didn’t feel there was enough of a lead up to the choice for it to be anything but a preference and no difference one way or another.  After making the selection ( I chose horde, because it’s my prefered side), you are transported to the faction capital to have a talk with the faction leader.  Quick note, if Blizzard is trying to make me hate Garrosh more than I already do, his little speech cemented my dislike.  This is where I’ve left him at this point, I will probably remake him a couple of times during the beta just to see changes as they are implemented and see if I can find any bugs.

This is Klanu the Tauren monk.  I am using him to test the monk class.  I have not done much with him yet as was concentrating on other things, but will be leveling him through Mulgore.  I chose to go this route rather than the Panda, because I wanted to test the new class with the least amount of lag I could find.  Only place that I could think of that might have been less would have been Silvermoon.  My initial impression of the class (really initial as I’m only level 5) is that it will be a fun class to play and will definitely present a almost rogue like play style.  It does appear Blizzard has done a lot of good with the skeletons as the movement seemed natural and not overly forced, at least to my untrained eye.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of this class as I progress through the levels.

The final part of what I started on beta was to start my shaman, Bulidar on his road to 90.  At this point they don’t have the beginning quests for Pandaria, just a messenger by Garrosh’s Throne room that will teleport you to one of three locations.  I chose the wreck because from what I had seen that is the actual starting area.  For questing, it’s a lot like Vash’jir initially in that you are going around and recovering things for the survivors, but these portions move relatively quickly, as you complete more and more quests you begin to work your way up to Hellscream’s Hope which is the first of the questing hubs.  So far I have noticed two quests that I see being real bottlenecks when there are a lot of people moving through the area.  The first is wet work that requires you to grab orbs spawned by elementals, the issue is the spawn rate is currently very slow and is one at a time.  This will cause a back up I think.  Luckily that quest is skippable.  The second quest I see as an issue is Acid Rain.  The quest involves you flying around bombing Hozun with poisoned throwing stars.  With about 30 people flying around the area simultaneously tonight the quest took about 25 minutes to complete.  I can’t imagine what it will be like if there is more.

Last thing I want to talk about still deals with Bulidar, but is more about the shaman changes.  I like the idea that most of our buffs are innate now and don’t require a totem.  What I have that I’m missing is the Call spells that let us drop multiple totems at once.  The main reason I miss the was that I was able to keymap the single spell to drop all 4 totems, now we are back to the original way it was which means single dropping totems.  Luckily with the buff totems mostly gone this allows us to pick and choose what we drop.  The exception I see to this is enhancement which always needs to have Searing down and anything else will be an additional drop.  I will admit I have only tested enhance so far and still have a lot to try out, but with the exception of totems the gameplay is very similar.

This wraps up my initial impressions.  I will write more as I get deeper into the beta and get more play time.  As always, questions and comments are appreciated.

The State of the Horde – A Layman’s View

The Horde through Cataclysm has been stretched to the breaking point.  In my opinion, it’s only a testament to the threat that is Deathwing that they are still together.  Lets step through each of the races and I’ll explain why.

The orcs are the best off of the races.  The introduction of Garrosh for them is a return to the Warchiefs of old.  The orcs love battle and conquering and for them Garrosh’s expansion and aggression fit right in.  The one issue that the orcs currently have is that Garrosh is ill suited to the positions of Warchief.  While he makes a great general and leader, he has little patience for the politics that come with running a nation.  This of course also extends to his interactions with other races.  Garrosh also doesn’t handle being questioned in his decisions or criticized well as evident in his interactions with  Vol’jin and Cairne Bloodhoof.  Garrosh has also spread his elite forces a little thin as he now must keep an eye on a revitalized Sylvanas and the Forsaken.

Sylvanas begins the expansion with a new enemy on her door step and a problem that must be solved on how to continue to grow her race.  Sylvanas has taken care of the latter problem by recruiting the Val’kyr and using them to create new forsaken by resurrecting the fallen of her enemies.  This ends up being most fortuitous as three of the Val’kyr sacrifice themselves to bring her back to life after she is killed by Lord Godfrey and his minions.  Garrosh is using the forsaken to establish a major foothold in Eastern Kingdoms with Sylvanas controlling it under his watchful eye.  Sylvanas and the forsaken army have already wiped out Gilneas and South Shore;  established major operations to wipe out the remaining scourge and push out the alliance from the plaguelands; and pushed into the Arathi Highlands and the Hinterlands looking to gain more ground for the forsaken.  Sylvanas has used the opportunity to refocus her wrath and ensure a safe buffer zone around Lorderan to protect her forsaken.  She has also shown she is not above any means necessary to accomplish her goals, so much so that Garrosh has assigned one of his generals to keep an eye on her and report back with everything she does.  Even with this, Sylvanas and the forsaken are happy with their place in the horde.

Of all the non-orc races the Tauren have the most reason to be upset with Garrosh.  The duel between Garrosh and Cairne cost them a beloved leader.  Garrosh’s incursions into Ashenvale has indirectly caused the destruction of Camp Taurajo.  Surprisingly though, the Tauren still tie their fate to that of the horde.  Baine and the rest of the Tauren feel that they still owe the Horde for saving them and helping them establish a homeland.  Additionally, they know where the responsibility for Cairne’s death lies, squarely on the shoulders of Magatha and her tribe of Grimtotems.  The Tauren did not even ask for help in reclaiming Thunderbluff, the responsibility for that was entirely on the Tauren.  The Tauren’s honor firmly entrenches them with the Horde.

Anyone who has played through the troll starting area since the beginning of Cataclysm knows exactly how Vol’jin feels about Garrosh.  Tensions between the orcs and trolls have never been higher.  Things have gotten so bad that Garrosh has actually banished the Trolls away from central Orgrimarr.  I think the only reason that tensions haven’t been higher is that the Darkspear have been busy dealing with the Zandalari menace in both Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub.  I expect tensions will get worse between the Trolls and the Orcs as Vol’jin has zero respect for Garrosh.

The last and by the opinion of the rest of the races the least of the races, is the Goblins.  The Goblins are currently led by Trade Prince Gallywix.  The Goblins are part of the Horde because they saved Thrall from the Alliance.  Garrosh tolerates them barely.  He likes there capability to build him war machines, but he doesn’t like them as a whole and as such as relegated them to their own slum away from central Orgrimarr.  Even for the mistreatment, the Goblins aren’t going anywhere, the Horde protects them and provides them a good profit source and as such, provide all the Goblins need and want.

The Horde through all it’s stretches and strains has remained mostly strong through Cataclysm, but the cracks are there.  For now though, the future looks bright for the Horde.

As always comments and criticisms are appreciated.

Neglecting my Main

  This is Bulidar.  He is my main and has been for almost three years.  I started playing him about a week into starting to play World of Warcraft.  I created and started leveling two characters prior to him, but he was my first max level (80 at the time) character.  I have leveled many other characters, but when I think about doing things in WoW I normally think about Bulidar first.  He is my collector (pet, mount and title), achievement hound, cook, fisherman, and main archeologist.

All that being said, I’ve been neglecting him lately.  He’s at his lowest point goldwise in about two years, and other than a weekly LFR I’ve been doing with friends, it’s been a couple of weeks since I logged in to just play on him.  This isn’t really a bad thing, it’s just a sign that for me World of Warcraft still has so much for me to do that I keep bringing other characters into the mix.  Lately it’s been Ajolki my undead rogue.

  I started leveling Ajolki to find out what rogue play is like, as well as to play thru the Silverpine Forest, post-Cataclysm story line.  I had leveled him up into Outlands, which is always my stumbling area when leveling, when a friend approached me and asked me if I would like to join an at level raid of Ulduar for the Herald of the Titans Achievement.  So I’ve been working on getting him from the mid-60’s limbo I always encounter when I level through Burning Crusade, up to level 80 and now running Wrath Heroics.  Working him and his professions has allowed me to experience new portions of the game that I hadn’t dealt with before and will give me a chance to see one of the older raids at the level and gear level intended.  This has been a much quicker task than I anticipated as I think I’m within a couple of days getting ready.

That’s probably a good thing, because tomorrow it will be back on pull to get 270 hearts to get the new Love is in the Air mount and try again this year for the Love Rocket.

I guess what I’m trying to say in all of this is there are always things in the game to keep you engaged if you choose to be, and there are more things always coming on the horizon.

As always comments and criticisms are welcome.  Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Why I Chose Shaman as My Main

I don’t think it’s hard to tell between here and the things I talk about on twitter, I play a shaman first and foremost.  Enhancement is my first love, but I actually play all three specs.  I’m actually so bad that among my alts, I have at least one shaman of every possible race (Yes, that means I’m going to be rolling a Pandaren Shaman as well).    What most don’t know is that it isn’t how I started out.

The first time I ever logged into WoW was during the European Beta.  I was living over there at the time and being an Everquest Player, I wanted to try this game that was supposed to be a Everquest killer.  When I first logged in, I actually went alliance, my thought at the time was, alliance=good, horde=bad (I know better now), so shaman wasn’t even an option.  I rolled a night elf hunter.  I got him up to about 20 before the beta ended (was balancing play time with being a raider in EQ), and enjoyed playing him.  I then walked away from Warcraft.  It wasn’t that the game wasn’t enjoyable, it was that I didn’t really have the time.  I even walked away from EQ a little later that year and focused my gaming on FPS and solo RPG’s.  Things I could easily pause or walk away from.

I actually didn’t have anything to do with WoW again until 2008, just before WoTLK hit.  I was deployed and to pass the time, we actually setup a private server (couldn’t play on the live servers, no real non-blocked connections) and I rolled an undead mage to play with the guys I was there with.  Of course with it being a private server and us having god powers, we started at level 70 with BT gear, so there was no challenge, and no leveling, we just goofed around.  It was enough to plant the bug for me to want to play.

It took six months for me to go out and get the game,  I loaded up the game, went out to Llane-US, my buddy’s server and rolled an undead mage named Kilidar.  I ran him arcane, and started to level him thru Eastern Kingdoms.  I very quickly got frustrated with the number of deaths (this was well before I realized I should level frost) and started looking for another class to try.

After talking it over with my buddy and talking about what the guild needed I settled on shaman.   I then looked at races.  At the time I wasn’t overly fond of the Trolls or the Orcs so I decided to go Tauren.  This is not a decision I regret.  As I ran thru Mulgore and into the Barrens, I fell more in love with the nobility of the Tauren, and can honestly say even now, they are my favorite race.  And with that Bulidar was born.

As I leveled him, I came to truly enjoy the game play of the shaman and once I hit 10 decided I wanted to melee, so I went enhancement,  I’ve never looked back.  To me enhancement is still the most fun to play.

Bulidar will probably always be my main, he’s my completionist, I have the most titles with him, and hopefully this year come Children’s Week he’ll get his purple drake.

Thanks for reading my little tale and as always, any comments are appreciated.