First Thoughts on 6.0.2

Patch days always fill me with foreboding, especially those which herald the end of an expansion. We know that as the sun goes down on the current incarnation of the game, that in a sense we have to learn anew and regardless of how positive those changes are, that always floods me with nervousness.

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The addition of new faces for old and familiar characters was a huge issue for me but somehow it’s worked out okay. My Gnomes have attitude by the bucket load of malfunctioning engineering gizmos and my Nightelf Priest, well she looks distinctly holier than thou now. A few hairstyles will need changing and I think my Monk and I will need a while to get reacquainted but nothing I can’t deal with. The Toybox and the reagent bank have proved invaluable. I actually have bag space.. something almost unheard of for me and across all my characters I seem to have wracked up 68 toys so now everyone can wreck trains and plant sinister blue dolls places.

No, the thing which has bothered me most about everything I’ve experienced today has to be Nethergarde Keep, that almost forgotten outpost lurking in the Blasted Lands.

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I know war is meant to be bloody and horrible, but this just seemed a step too far. For the first time since Theramore I’m angry, angry that another town was lost and I could nothing to save it. Angry that NPCs who have been apart of our journey through WoW since the very beginning are once again broken and bloodied amidst burning buildings and battered brick. Sure I now have another title and a new pet but that’s not enough. Poisoning Ogres helped but they aren’t the real enemy. In a way that the Lords of War clips couldn’t, this brief little quest chain has left me wishing to rain destruction down on the Iron Hordes.

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#WoWscreenshotaday: The October Diaries

Tycertank that temptress is yet again running her #WoWscreenshotaday prompt. I admit it feels somewhat fortuitous because I seem to have stopped taking and posting screenshots with anywhere near the frequency I used to. However whether or not I make it to the end of the month still remains to be seen. I particularly like the prompt this time around though because it seems to me at least to give way more scope.

A is for Apple Tree.

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B is for Boat.

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C is for Carriage or Coach.

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D is for Downpour, Drenched and Drowned which most of Menethil is these days.

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E is for  Éboulement. Now this might seem like cheating to some however you can use it in English although you might get called pretentious.

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F is for Fishing.

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G is for Ghost.

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On a Quest for the Best Quests : Dustwallow Marsh Alliance

Edit: Thanks to @spacebard for pointing out my Freudian slip with the name of the zone, as I prefer the place at twilight or dusk I have a terrible habit of calling it Duskwallow plus I suspect the correct name annoys me on some basic level because it’s not dusty in the slightest.

Leveling my Warlock has made me realise one fairly important fact, well two if you count that it highlights just how much I’m a creature of habit. Each zone seems to have at least two or three attractions within it, things which even if I’m just passing through I tend to be lured towards. Obviously this comes down to personal opinion and preferences but now I find myself wondering if this is true of every zone in game. Is there something  whether it’s because of the lore, the rewards or just the quirkiness which makes each individual zone interesting and worth repeating?

Well there is only one way to find out!

Today I want to look at Dustwallow Marsh, a zone I’ve always loved even back in the days when the Alliance barely had any quests here apart from the wonderfully convoluted “The Missing Diplomat” which had you running around Azeroth in search of the missing King. I know we could hardly be hunting Varian when he’s standing brooding in the Keep, but I wish when they redesigned the zone, they had left in the bit where Jaina and the Archmage port in to capture the bad guys.

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The one quest chain I always complete when I wander through the Marsh is that tragic tale of Smiling Jim and his unlucky family. There is something about Jim with his broken mind, perhaps the one person in the walled city for whom the destruction of Theramore was a blessing which always inspires me onwards to track down those responsible and of course to lay a wreath on the grave of his wife and son.

Flicking through my archives, I wrote about this chain way back in 2010 before Cataclysm ripped everything asunder and it’s interesting that unlike most quests in Azeroth it hasn’t actually changed much between now and then. The bread crumb from the Wetlands is gone but the essence of the chain remains the same.

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The second quest I tend to make a bee-line for is that terrible tale of a sea monster  named Tethyr. The chain begins with a quest to help a curious Gnome restart the Theramore Lighthouse and then once  you’ve got it going again, you learn from Nat Pagle that not only are legends of a sea monster off Theramore real but that Tethyr was the real reason they closed the lighthouse in the first place.

Yes, Tethyr is certainly real, and he lives in the waters off Theramore.

Has a thing for bright lights. He’s the reason they shut down the lighthouse in the first place, you know…

And if you light it up again, he’ll come right back. But no one in their right mind would do that.

Everyone’s favourite in-game fisherman and of course giant monsters with huge teeth are always going to be a winning combination.
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The Marsh is also the location of my favourite escort quest in the whole of Azeroth although to be fair that’s not particularly hard since I hate the rest of them with a passion.  Escorting Stinky through the marshlands as he pauses searching for what you assume the first time around is some tiny little flower hidden in the long grasses and swamp waters and saving him from angry crocodiles is fun enough by itself but that moment when you realise that plant which has taken him five minutes to find is actually the giant root you can see for miles…

The last thing I always do is pay Oxynia a visit in her lair and ponder the issue which has bothered me since the first time I killed her way back when, exactly who is the father of all those whelps? Our Priest chat* at the time decided it was either Bolvar or Marshal Windsor (well he knew she was Dragon…) although there are exceedingly dodgy theories out there on the internet if you are feeling brave enough to search for them.

*No one actually talked about Priesting, unless you count loot.

Home Sweet Home

Last week the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic was:

What in WoW reminds you of your home?

Suggested by Sycro of Sycro Owl.

Unfortunately I was too ill to put words on the page then so I’m sneaking in late.

I’ve been fortunate to call many beautiful places home and so rather than picking one, I’m going to take you on a quick tour of my life via WoW locations.

As a child, we lived in Germany in amongst the mountains and the fairytale castles so Gilneas immediately springs to mind. Their accents might be an approximation of English but those barren crags, dark waters and ornate walled city reminds me more of the Germany of my childhood than it does Britain.

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Then as a teenager, we moved to a far softer landscape surrounded by farm land in Scotland where you could see for miles, fields tapering down the sea. So in WoW terms I couldn’t imagine a better fit for Westfall and the rain in this particular shot is merely art mirroring life.

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There was an interlude traveling to places which didn’t remind me of home at all, following by a stint of living in a city about as far removed from Stormwind as possible and now, I live idyllically less than 200 metres from the sea in a tiny fishing village. The best equivalent I think in WoW would have to be  Sri-la village perched as it is at the base of a cliff. Okay, we don’t have a waterfall or any giant statues but that hidden away feel persists. There is only one road down into the village, passing the sea front and for a moment everyone seems to pause just to look down over the houses scattered below.

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This is the view less than a five minute walk from my front door and it makes me smile every time I see it.

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Fast First Impressions of the Beta (Spoilers included)

So far I’m pleasantly surprised.

My Nightelf is perhaps a tad too square jawed but I can live with that. I haven’t tried healing but am currently beating Orcs up on a 90 Druid and am heartily enjoying the experience. Would I want to do it 20 times, probably not but so far it’s been interesting and I’ve met some fascinating people along the way.

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I rather like the fact that the women did the fighting for once and having a Warden along for the ride… well that’s pretty awesome.

Also blood drinking Toucans are a wonderful touch and everything I’ve seen so far is extremely pretty if slightly gruesome.

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In fact I think Shadowmoon Valley mark 2 might easily become one of my favourite zones in game.

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The potential for transmogrification also seems interesting as my new character received this very quickly:

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Yep, a staff with a cluster of adorable little bugs flying around it’s end.

All in all, I find myself looking forward to the release.

Fanciful Friday – Wolfenstein: The New Order

We’ve finally finished our first play through of Wolfenstein and despite it’s somewhat dark subject matter, there is no denying it’s a stunning game.

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My Wildstar Nest

I’ve been a bit distracted recently because there has been quite a lot going on in my own nest but I’ve finally managed to get to level 14 in Wildstar. Unfortunately I’m a bit strapped for cash  and will probably never manage to afford a mount because it’s all going on flowers. I am however having a lot of fun designing and playing around. This is very much a work in progress however.

Eventually I want gardens running almost seamlessly from one to another with plenty of plant life inside the dwelling too. I haven’t quite decided but I think lots of trellises might be used plus I need a massive pile of pumpkins.

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Here is my relaxing outdoor area with it’s shaded patch underneath an olive tree, battered rug and book. The perfect spot for a cold drink when adventuring begins to pall. When my finances are a little sunnier, I’m going to try and build a tree house in the olive tree or at least a little platform and move everything up a level.

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One of the first decorative items I got off a mob was this rather fetching bra, thrown at me by a Torine lady so naturally it had to make the interior of my nest. I’m using a mushroom as a bedside table just because and of course that’s my cup of tea sat next to the flowers.
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My hedge of flowers needs some work and hopefully that garden fab kit will drop off those challenges soon before I have to slaughter an entire race of flying fish monster things but I have a plan, I just need money and more plants..
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