The Bridge at Dun Baldar

Every time I end up fighting at the Bridge to Dun Baldar, my mind wanders to a certain poem we had to read at school so with apologies to Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay and to brave Horatius, I’d like to present a snippet of my version.

Great Drek’Thar of Alterac, by the ancestors he swore
That the great house of Frostwolf should suffer wrong no more.
By the ancestors he swore it, and named a trysting day,
And bade his messengers ride forth,
East and West and South and North,
To summon his array.

East and West and South and North the messengers ride fast,
And tower and town and cottage have heard the trumpet’s blast.
Shame on the false Frostwolf who prefers to roam,
When Drek’thar of Alterac is on the march for home!

Many many verses later

WoWScrnShot_110213_125950

When the gnome mends his armour, and trims his helmet’s plume,
And the nightelf’s shuttle merrily goes flashing through the loom;
With weeping and with laughter still is the story told,
How well Wildberri kept the bridge in the brave days of old.

(albeit from 30 yards behind any real action but everyone knows healers win the game!)

As an aside, this is how everyone should pvp, less trying to avoid it and allowing people to cap flags rather than dying defending objectives to buy time for your team.

Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,

It’s not a bad motto for life in general either.

Tycertank’s #WoWScreenshot a day (Day 6)

DAY 6 – “This is important to me!

important2

Winning is important to me but that’s not why I picked this shot. If you follow my beam (I’m the Nightelf stood next to the Jade Serpent Statue), you’ll see a Gnome taking on all comers and that’s why this was the natural choice.

That Gnome when he’s not punching Horde in the face has helped me up pyramids, their stones slippery with rain. He’s carried me down a volcano, struggling for safe footing in the ash. He’s stood between me and not one but several crocodiles and was willing to take on a Grizzly Bear and a bunch of Mexicans armed with machetes with only a swiss army knife (not at the same time obviously although that’s purely because Grizzly bears don’t hang out in Chiapas).

Keeping him alive in a video game might not quite compare with what he’s done for me, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Vengeful Porcupette Hunting: The Swarm is upon us

Carrying on from yesterday’s post, today I want to talk about mini pets and pvp.  This post was inspired by Quintessence over at Perks N Peeves and her blog post about the Vengeful Porcupette.

Should certain pets only be obtainable through pvp? For me this is a topic on which I’m torn. I love pvp and would like to see more items available for me and people like me. I hit 90 last weekend and will have run out of things to spend my honour points by the middle of this week despite having limited game time and managing to do lots of other things as well. I’d love to see Spike and Lady as mini pets for example, perhaps linked to the achievement for winning 100 Arathi Basins. The Temple of Kotmogu could give you those brightly coloured cubes you get over your head as pets and Silvershards Mines could reward you with a tiny mine cart of your own. However, as I said yesterday I do believe a lot of the problems in pvp (think Children’s Week as a prime example) comes from people who are there for the currency/achievements not because they enjoy killing or being killed by their fellow players.

The Timeless Isle will bring us a new currency, the Bloody Coins which will be used to purchase certain things including a new mini pet, the Vengeful Porcupette. Now that all seems simple enough but there is one issue, these coins are obtainable from killing other players (either faction will do) on the Timeless Isle. In order to pick them up you need to buy the Censer of Eternal Agony which on a PvE server will flag you for pvp but also makes you attack-able by your own faction.

From the tool tip, Blizzard could go two ways. If “reduces your maximum health by 90 percent”, doesn’t allow you to heal afterwards you’ll just have 40k (gear dependent) to play with which means that everyone who just happens to be enabled because they’re out to gank will manage to slaughter pet seekers with no issue whatsoever unless you form a raid group of zerglings (as the item makes you friendly to anyone else using the censer as of the current build).

critters2

You might have 400k health but hey, if 40 level 1s can take out Hogger…. imagine what a raid of aggressive, censer waving pet hunters could do! Or they could just reduce your health to 10 percent of your max but allow you to eat/bandage or heal your way back to up full before looking for people to kill. Personally, I’d prefer the former because I think it could be far more fun which probably means Blizzard will go for the latter.

Now I have no issue with this. In fact I’m sort of looking forward to this, especially if we end up with raids of people taking part like Halaa in the Burning Crusade or Tol Barad in the first few months of Cataclysm. In many regards, the same principle which governed vanilla world pvp will apply, pick your battles carefully or bring lots and lots of friends. However I can see quite a few other people not enjoying the road to this pet at all. That said, pet collectors are a diverse bunch of people and perhaps this should be reflected in-game. Raids both current and old hold pets, dailies and achievements reward them too but yet with the exception of the arena tournament ones, pvp is the only area without. It’s going to be interesting!

Mr Harpy isn’t particularly pet orientated however he’s going to get this one, in fact he’s probably the critter in the lead in the above image, little gnomish paws extended for extra momentum and teeth ready to tear chunks out of passers by.

 

Toxic Behaviour and Random Battlegrounds

It’s a reoccurring theme at the moment. Every where I look, twitter, guild chat, forums… there are people talking about the bad language, aggression and general nastiness encountered on a daily basis in battlegrounds. Now I have a theory and perhaps it’s not going to win me any friends but there should be no denying that I’m qualified to talk random battlegrounds, after all I’ve been known to cap my conquest points purely by doing them.

Recently I’ve been on a winning streak and I haven’t see a single swear word thrown out in anger. No one has had their capslock stuck and the whining has been down at a bare minimum. Now that doesn’t come as a surprise, after all, it surely takes a special sort of personality to launch into the hatefest that random battlegrounds are famous for when you’re winning. So obviously, losing is the issue and that’s where this gets thorny. I’ve pvped ever since I first found my way into the Barrens as a teenage Night Elf, I camped between Southshore and Tarren Mill before the honour system was implemented. In short, I do random battleground because I actually like them. Sure I prefer winning to losing but I’m there for the ride not the achievements or the currency and there-in lies the problem. When you pvp for the pure pleasure of smashing other people’s faces in, of learning how to play your class better and setting your own personal goals even when being 5 nil’d because the rest of your team are being corpse camped somewhere then there is little reason to get annoyed. You’re still gaining something from the experience. The problems start when you have people in battlegrounds who hate the whole concept but want something tangible from it. That’s when you get premades and you get temper tantrums because each loss means you have to spend longer doing something you dislike*.

Now my boss at work is very fond of coming out with corny phrases like “bring solutions not problems” and thus, I’d like to propose the following.

Change the deserter debuff completely. Instead of marking people idle, implement a vote kick system like the one which exists in pve. It doesn’t matter whether they’re jumping in the corner, running into walls or spamming chat with the sort of language which would make a squaddie blush, it would be a one size fits all button. Any behaviour at all which goes against the spirit of competition and generally ruins the atmosphere for the majority of players would count, other examples being people who pick up flags for the express purpose of not handing them in, people who ride demolishers into the sea and as far way from objectives as possible etc and should a person be evicted from the battleground, they don’t get a 15 minute debuff which stops them queuing, instead they get a debuff which prevents them getting honour, conquest or being eligible for any pvp achievements for one hour. They can choose to re-queue straight away but should they be chucked out again, the debuff will stack. Therefore if someone decides to be an idiot after being removed the first time, all they will be doing is increasing the time frame before they can tick off that achievement or buy those boots.

Now I would like this to be the case for people who afk mid battle too but then that’s just me. A better or at least more acceptable answer to that issue might be to leave the deserter debuff in place but have it stack so the first time you /afk a game it’s 15 minutes, the second game it’s 30 and so on up until the point where it’s better to hang around actually playing a losing game rather than bail on your teammates half way through.

Obviously there is a chance that people will be unfairly thrown out but given that I’ve hardly ever seen anyone marked as idle when they didn’t deserve it, I’m not sure that would be an issue and it might improve the quality of life for everyone who wishes to dabble in pvp now and then. Now it would ruin my fun in certain situations as I’ve been known to run around capping flags whilst the rest of my team are being camped at the entrance to Arathi Basin to and to pick up flags in Warsong whilst everyone else is in the graveyard because I don’t believe in handing victory to the Horde under any circumstances but if they could remove bots, afkers and general haters, I’d be wiling to sacrifice my simple pleasures.

(I have to admit I’m pretty desensitized to bad language in battlegrounds. I work with people who use swearing as a punctuation because they grew up in environments where it was far too common but I do find it amazing that people can be be bothered to actually type it out whilst playing WoW).

 

*Of course there are some people who just like calling people names but I’d like to think that these are somewhat in the minority.

Endgame: The Monk’s Gambit

So I bit the bullet and leveled. My monk is now 90 and having a surprisingly large amount of fun. Ever contrary it seems that as everyone else is losing that WoW feeling, I’ve got my groove back.

This weekend I found myself uttering the words I never expected to slip past my lips, “Let’s just queue to Strand of the Ancients because it’s the call to arms and it’s amazing”. As it turns out, on monks it is a great place to pvp because of all the utility which comes as a standard regardless of spec. No one else slowing vehicles, fine, I can do it myself at no mana or chi cost to myself. No one else cc’ing chasing opponents, no problem, slow one, paralyze one, silence one, disarm one and rinse and repeat. Finally I have the control my control freak nature appreciates.

I’ve also being doing a lot of Tol Barad as it’s an easy five hundred honor per game. It’s just a shame that the Horde on my server don’t see the point of queuing up. This is one zone that I really wish was cross realm as I miss the massive battles with three raid groups we had the start of Cataclysm when it was new and shiny and gave semi useful rewards.

tol barad
In between PvP, I’ve started leveling archaeology. My goal for this week is to cap it out and also hopefully acquire as many of the interesting items as possible. The pick up, put down nature of it suits being interwoven in between battleground queues and the screenshot opportunities it provides suits me down to the ground.

wetlands

I’m almost completely geared in the current honor set and my conquest point count is climbing nicely so the next thing on the agenda will be to run those scenarios so I can experience the Battlefield which has become the Barrens prior to the patch. Given all those happy days I spent pvping in the Barrens it seems only fitting that my journey should take me there again.

 

Fear of Flying (and being 90)

My Monk is just on the cusp of 89 and endgame is so close I can almost taste it. My honor point stash is close to maxed and I’ve got plenty of justice points to play with too. Yet I almost don’t want to hit 90. I love the class, pvp is so much fun and suddenly battlegrounds that I hated on Sprout, I now adore. Strand of the Ancients being one because if no one else is slowing vehicles well I can bring them to halt plus healing whilst nuking annoying people in the face… always awesome.

So therefore my rough plan is to force myself over the finishing line and then start both pvping with the big boys and at least hanging out in the Isle of Thunder and running scenarios with the intention of getting a look at the Battlefield Barrens carry on before it’s removed. Here’s hoping I still have enough time to get the Hordebreaker title, after all, it’s some what appropriate in oh so many ways.

I also need a proper transmogrification outfit because I can’t always hide like this:

WoWScrnShot_071213_211448

Baby panda + zen mediation = Cuteness

I’m also planning on tackling my left over achievements in a reasonably sensible fashion. Got far too many left to tick off to suit my list focused brain. Besides this might slow down the march to 90.

A hint of Vanilla: My thoughts on the original game

There has been a fair amount of Vanilla WoW bashing going on recently, both on twitter  (*) and on the forums. However my memories of the original game that I started playing back in 2005 don’t quite seem to tally up with everyone else’s. I’m not saying it was perfect, far from it and I can understand why Blizzard made a lot of the choices they did, but rose tinted spectacles aside, in many ways, it was the part of the game I enjoyed the most. Now I know a part of that, at least, has to come down to that sense of amazement and awe of those first few weeks and months of playing. Of discovering sea monsters off the coast of Darkshore and being chased by crocolisks through the Wetlands. The Deeprun Tram and Stitches patrolling the road in Duskwood, yes all these played a part in my love affair with WoW but there was more to it than the visual side.

Same server battlegrounds:

Yes the queues were horrific for the Alliance on most PvE servers and the Horde on most PvP servers but PvP is best played when personal. When it’s guild versus guild or you versus your nemesis, the guy you’ve hated since you were both level 30 in STV and you spent the better part of an afternoon taking turns to kill each other whilst fighting quest mobs. I was also rather partial to 24 hours Alterac Valleys when you could go to bed at 2 am and get up and find the game going on eight hours later. In particular the guild versus guild AVs were especially fun but they also served a purpose, as nothing builds teamwork and better game play than trying to beat people who will go straight to IRC and brag about it for the next year if you lose.

World PvP:

Pre battlegrounds, World PvP was prolific and far more fun than it is now that flying mounts factor into the equation. You had a reason to group up for leveling because numbers counted, as shown by the fact that a group of three level 40s in STV could take down a level 60 if played right. Southshore/Tarren Mill and Crossroads provided hours of fun between willing participants. As there was no gear originally associated with this, you could guarantee that everyone was there because they wanted to be there, thus the name calling and whining was kept to a minimum.

No name changes/server transfers:

An officer in my first proper guild said to me one late night, “All you have in WoW is your reputation” and back then it was true. Behave badly and your chances of a decent guild, good runs or being asked anywhere were pretty much zero. Community mattered,  both in and out of guilds and was cemented by the same server battlegrounds. I knew pretty much everyone on my faction at level 60, either because I’d played with them on some dungeon run or other or through pvp or simply by word of mouth. Now I know a handful of people on my current server and through the use of LFR, LFD and random battlegrounds have no incentive to get to know anyone.

Attunement Quests:

Not because I liked running UBRS over and over and over again to help everyone in a 40 man guild get their attunements to Onxyia and Blackwing Lair but because of the story and the sense of achievement. That raids weren’t just slightly bigger versions of dungeons but something a bit special so you entered with a sense of awe. You couldn’t simply stroll in and start killing. They also served a purpose in helping you get to know people outside raiding, in building the team you needed to take down the bosses hiding within.

40 man raiding:

My first ever raid was Molten Core and could be described as a bit of a disaster but that feeling of fighting along side 39 others was intense and immense. That’s what drew me in and addicted me, once I got over my feeling of “omg what if I screw up!!!! and waste everyone else’s time”. I suspect that’s what ruined 10 man raiding for me as well, having done plenty of 10 man Stratholme and Scholomance runs back then I just can’t see 10 man raiding as something epic or exciting. Yes, not all 40 were ever equal but that’s true of every size raid group. There will always been someone or another who is being carried by the rest of the team. Having struggled for weeks to clear our way through AQ40 for example, when we finally managed to kill C’thun as a team it was an amazing feeling, one which wasn’t recreated by any of the boss kills which came afterwards.

No reward for playing badly:

You couldn’t get “good” gear by making mistakes or by doing dailies. You either had to “grind” to rank 11 or higher or you had to raid at a decent level. There was incentive to improve thrust in your face on a daily basis if you wanted to see the entire game. Screw up on a couple of dungeon runs and the whole server knew your name and if you wanted to get asked on other runs, then you had to improve and be seen to improve.

Healers versus Dps:

I could take on most players in 1 v 1s as a Holy Priest and I had a good chance of winning. By the time I had proper pvp gear, warriors could pop recklessness and still lose against me. Now, they’d have to be afk or really bad for me to have a chance of winning.

The 5 second rule and downranking:

These were two of my favourite aspects of being a healer and I have to admit that I was sad to see them go. By the time Naxx rolled around it was amazing what you could do with low level heal spells, especially if you timed it right.

That constant and continuous  feeling of the World:

Very few loading screens and no phasing getting in the way when you’re trying to save guildmates from being ganked.

In conclusion I can’t help shake the feeling that perhaps we’re looking at it wrong, that vanilla, that most boring flavour of all is best applied to the game in it’s current incarnation. When all play styles are accounted for and the distinction between striving to be the best you can be and just bouncing along doing as little as possible is tiny, then there is something wrong. Botters are rife, so are loud mouthed and abusive jerks in every aspect of the game because there are no consequences to  obnoxious behaviour. Blizzard have tried to give us everything we wanted and yet the social side of the game, that huge and important aspect has suffered as a result. I can raid, dungeon and pvp without investing any effort in the people I play with and that is reflected in the way people behave. “Oh I’m never going to see this person again… so I’ll roll on X loot, call him a bunch of names and then pull the boss and leave”, we see it again and again in blog posts, on the forums and on twitter…. somewhere along the line we have created our own form of hell.

* Sorry for borrowing your post but you had the twitter conversation all nicely laid out already!

And the Wheel keeps turning: PvP and Chakras

Nothing seems to divide Holy Priests like Chakras. I know people who have quit their Priests all together over them, Priests who have gone Disc or Shadow because of them as well as plenty of Priests who have stuck with Holy but tend to pick their Chakra and stick with it regardless of their circumstances. My focus today is PvP but a lot of what applies here can also be used whilst dungeoning and raiding.

First of all, know your “enemy”!

chakra01

and

chakra02

Now I deliberately didn’t include the third Chakra and the reason for that is simple. Chastise is our default ability if we aren’t in a Chakra at all. So lets say I’m in Serenity and I have been for a while, all I need to do to throw a disorient on that pesky Holy Paladin over there is leave Chakra state, cast Chastise and then re-enter Serenity immediately incurring no real penalty (ok Chastise hits for less but…..).

chastise01

/cancelaura Chakra: Serenity
/cancelaura Chakra: Sanctuary
/cast [target=mouseover, harm, nodead] Holy Word: Chastise; Holy Word: Chastise

You do need to hit the macro twice to get the disorient but it leaves whichever of the two Chakra states you’re in and then will stun either your mouse over target if you have one or your actual target if you don’t. I’d definitely recommend using a macro because in hectic pvp combat the last thing you want to be doing is trying to right click off the right buff whilst the person you want to disorient is trying to smash your face in with an axe.

So with the basics covered, what I do use and why? Well my general rule of thumb sees Serenity as my go to Chakra for most things pvp related. I’m a great fan of casting on the move (you can tell I was a Resto Druid in a former life can’t you) and given that in most pvp, standing still just makes you an easier target, you can’t beat instant cast abilities. Being able to dance through and behind your enemies throwing out heals can make a huge difference on your time to live and that of your team-mates.

Also if you’re left alone, Serenity is definitely where it’s at. That instant heal can and will save your life over and over again.

However, especially in the two 40 mans, Sanctuary has it’s place:

Isle of Conquest

  • On entering the boss room to take down the opposing boss I switch because with his leap, every little bit of aoe healing counts. 
  • If we’re winning by attrition and camping the graveyard, i.e. everyone is grouped up in one place with lots of people taking damage, I switch.

Alterac Valley

  • End bosses are an obvious choice for Sanctuary, especially if you’re forced into pulling with towers up.
  • Any huge face offs on the road, i.e. by Iceblood graveyard or between Stonehearth and Stormpike, using Sanctuary is a potential option. It depends whether you’re just championing one person, i.e. a warrior/deathknight or trying to keep the masses alive.

As for Arenas, given that I only ever play 2 v 2, I tend to switch between Serenity, no Chakra at all for the disorient and then using Chakra: Chastise if I need to nuke.

Basically before you make a decision on which Chakra to use, consider the following:

  1. Are you sticking with the vast majority of the team or are you off either solo or with a handful of others. Then consider Sanctuary for the former and Serenity for the latter.
  2. How many opponents are there? Lets say for example that you and a rogue are attacking the Farm in Arathi Basin. There is just one defender but you know that this team have been fairly good at communicating thus far. Do you stick in your healing Chakra or do you switch to Chastise for the extra bit of oomph? After all, the faster they die, the quicker you can tag.
  3. Is anyone focusing you? Serenity all the way then.

TL,DR

  • Macro cancelling Chakra and disorient early and often. The more CC you can provide, the less healing you need to do. Consider things like Chastise – > Mindcontrol for defending the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin or in 2 v 2s. Not only is it annoying, it’s also effective, especially if you follow it up by parking the person next to you and then fearing them. 
  • Serenity normally beats Sanctuary unless the opposing team is kindly focusing on aoeing down your team at roughly the same rate, you aren’t taking huge amounts of damage yourself and you don’t like anyone else in the team enough to focus them with lots of single target heals.
  • Chakra: Chastise has it’s place. I use it in scenarios, 5 man groups in which people don’t stand in bad and the tank actually uses cooldowns and for nuking demolishers in Strand of the Ancients. It can also be handy in one v ones against certain classes (i.e the ones which don’t currently hit very hard themselves) as long as you’re ready to swap back to defensive mode Serenity the second they get a mate. The other thing to consider is how many healers are on your team. If I end up in a healer heavy side and no one has the gear/spec set up, I’ll use Chastise for dps, especially to help kill flag carriers whilst the others heal. My Dps isn’t awesome but I’ve never come bottom yet although in random battlegrounds that’s perhaps not surprising.

Above all, don’t be afraid to play around with them. Also I have it on good authority that chastise the disorient is cheating (rich coming from a Paladin :p) so use it often!

The three reasons why I love the Tillers

I admit to being a little dubious when Blizzard first raised the idea of farms in WoW, but a month into the expansion I find myself exalted with the Tillers and more importantly glad I farmed their rep. Quite often the best pleasures in life are simple ones and in many ways you can’t get simpler than planting vegetables and tilling the land, which in a roundabout way brings me to my all time favourite Tiller items.

Gin-Ji Knife Set

This wonderful set makes your character don a chefs hat and start chopping as if you’re in the final minutes of a closely fought Iron Chef battle. You swiftly reduce your kill to a pile of blood red guts such is your enthusiasm. There is a 20 minute cooldown because we can’t have it all, but given that you can use this little beauty on the fallen corpses of your enemies it’s well worth every penny not to mention the bag space it consumes. It’s not usable on anyone who releases fast but those who hang around hoping their mates will kill you… well they could be in for a surprise. A word of warning though, anyone who has been through the “mincer” is likely to spend the rest of the battleground stuck to you like glue (or hiding in a corner shaking).

Goats

I’ve always been fond of goats, in fact I think gnomes and goats have a lot in common as demonstrated in the picture below (the arm belongs to Mr Harpy).

Now I finally have a mount which correctly reflects the state of my bags.

I.e. weighed down with everything apart from the kitchen sink.

Scarecrow

The cocky crow is a wonderful touch, it’s just a shame the scarecrow doesn’t come to life, asking about getting a brain or even better given the time of year set out to get it’s own braiiiiinsss by chasing passers-by because everyone secretly knows that scarecrows or tattiebogles as they call them around here are actually very creepy.

So what are you waiting for, if you’re not exalted go go go and if you are exalted and you haven’t bought your julienne set… shame on you!

Thoughts on being 90

Whilst levelling is a journey full of wonder and amazement, arrival at 90 is like landing at the airport to discover they’ve lost your baggage, customs want to strip search you but you’ve won the lottery to compensate. Sure there are a lot of positives but some definite negatives thrown into the mix as well.

1. Dailies, dailies, dailies as far as the eye can see. The choice is overwhelming as is the feeling that you should ignore the “fun” ones (Tillers/Anglers/Cloud Serpents) whilst concentrating on the rest in the run up to raids and the arena season starting. Given that I don’t go back to work until Thursday, we have been spamming the lot but it definitely feels like overload. On the plus side (a phrase I never thought I’d ever use in this context) most of the daily hubs involve going to one specific area and slaughtering & collecting. On top of that, compared to the Molten Front, killing vermling, playing catch with baby dragons and beating up sharks with your bare hands is a refreshing change.

2. Heroics aren’t really heroic in any shape or form. When I queued up for the first time I was really nervous remembering back to the start of Cataclysm when on some trash packs mana was an issue. I didn’t need to worry, in fact even after boss fights my interweaving of power word:solace into the mix meant I didn’t need to drink then either. I know the challenge modes are there for just that purpose but I would have liked the Heroics to be slightly tougher. It just feels a bit wrong where the Stormstout brewery for example felt harder on normal at 86 than it did at 90 on heroic (just wearing blue 450 gear in every slot apart from my 463 legs and my epic trinket from Coren).

3. PvP is awesome. My favourite all time battleground now has to be the Temple of Kotmogu. It’s fast paced, fun and a bit like arenaing but with objectives other than making sure you’re the last team standing. I definitely don’t feel squishy as Holy unless the whole opposing team piles on top of me (or I’ve been hogging a power ball too long) which is a good start to an expansion too. I plan on doing a proper post covering my choice of glyphs + talents as Holy for each of the maps once I’ve finished testing a few things.

4. Scenarios! I love all of the ones I’ve played so far (apart from Theramore). They’re quick, varied and because it’s not just standing still and healing like a proper dungeon, great fun (ignoring the lore side of it, Theramore is just a bit too much like running a dungeon).

The loot bags are annoying though, I know RNG is RNG but so far Mr Harpy has had an item from pretty much every second bag and I’ve had zero which makes gearing up a little more irritating.

5. Priesting. Why oh why can’t chakras last after death and on zoning. I know it’s not a massive issue for most things but it’s still a quality of life issue. Other than that, I’m pretty happy with Holy. Mana is 10 times better than it was at the start of Cataclysm in both pve and pvp. In fact the only other thing which annoys me is the lack of useful minor glyphs for my chosen spec. We have a choice of ten, four are shadow specific, one is disc specific, one is holy specific but requires your death and the others are just flavour.

6. Pet battles. Fear my Hopling because it will lick you to death! This turned out to be more addictive and less annoying than on the beta. I’m still working my way through pre Outlands pets but I hit 250 unique pets a while back and am route to 400 albeit slowly. I have to admit I went and tamed an Infested Bear Cub even though I said I never would. (By the way, they only seem to spawn after midnight if you’re looking, at least that’s the only time I’ve ever found any sign of them). Also whoever designed Jaguero Isle to have a separate weather system to that of southern STV can take a spinning crane kick to the face.

7. MoP transmogrification. Yes please! The cloth pvp set consisting of a pants suit had me panicking slightly but the weapons and off-hands are stunning.

8. Pandas. I’m still not 100 percent convinced, but I’ve made one even though she hasn’t made it out of the start zone yet. She’s a Priest (surprise surprise) called Snowflower after a book I fell in love with a little while ago when I found a beat up copy in a charity shop. I’m slightly saddened by the fact that my favourite beta hairstyle isn’t available at the character creation stage but am hoping it will be an option once she escapes the Isle.

9. The Storyline in general. I’m really impressed with the stories this time around. Blizzard have added some really lovely touches and some tragic moments. I was particularly taken with the fact that my evil double giggles.

It’s a great mix of tragic, comedic and thought provoking.

I think I started out looking for things to criticise, wanting to believe that WoW had nothing left to offer me, that I reached my final destination as far as the game was concerned but it seems that somehow despite my cynicism, Pandaria’s beauty and sense of wonder has managed to pull me back.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,172 other followers