Shared Topic – Azeroth’s Hidden Gems

Over at Blog Azeroth, the shared topic this week is:

The secrets of the World of Warcraft

Suggested by Syl of Raging Monkeys.

I love this topic so much, I’m going to share a couple of my favourite hidden things with you. First of all, the best location in the whole of Azeroth. Up high, where the mountains touch the sky, you can sit, relax and look down on the world spread out beneath you. When I first started playing, I was so in awe of this world, I talked to every NPC I could find. Some with better results than others, for example Sergra Darkthorn really wasn’t happy to see my little human warlock wandering through Crossroads looking for polite conversation.

We were heading through Feralas on our way to Feathermoon Stronghold for the very first time, I think so I could learn the next alchemy recipes when we spotted this female nightelf standing by the way side.

Being the type of heroes who rush to the rescue of people in distress, we naturally left the path to ensure she was alright. However instead of asking us to retrieve her lost luggage or kill some marauding bears for food, she wanted to send us up a mountain. A little dubious as there were no ladders or any other visible means of ascending, we accepted her quest. Whoosh, one minute we were standing with both feet firmly on the ground and the next… it was as if some whirlwind had picked us up.

The land of Feralas has been through much, human. The earth, the trees, the creatures; they are all changing what Feralas is and will be.

The Twin Colossals above us remain constant, though, throughout all that has happened here…”

 

The perfect picnic spot

 

Here I am sitting at the top by the pool and watching the sky. Once you are up there, the only way is down but you don’t just have to hurtle to your death, unless you want to of course. A nightelf gentleman will sell you a parachute for a few silver, however don’t deploy it too soon as it doesn’t last long at all and those rocks hurt if you hit them head on. For mages, priests and engineers you can descend at your own pace taking in the view.

 

The Colossus in all it's glory

 

Trust me, that’s a long way down. Also if you hit the rocks half way up, it can be tricky to resurrect without someone else managing to land next to you to res you or taking res sickness, so be careful.

Possibly my favourite disguise is that of a Dark Iron Dwarf which comes from the best watering hole in the Eastern Kingdoms, The Grim Guzzler itself. Home to Coren Direbrew (some of the year), some of the best bar snacks in Azeroth (all the time) as well as the Tauren Chieftans, I love the bar. Especially now I have my direbrew remote, it’s my hangout spot of choice whilst forum reading. Whilst I’ve never managed to play a Dwarf beyond lv 5, I love their animations and so this is my substitute.

Standing at the back of the Bar is a gentleman called the Dark Iron Brewer. He’s neutral to both factions and has a couple of pages of dialogue for you  to work through.

Once you’ve read it all, he drops a flagon of beer on the ground. Drink it and you become a Dwarf. Unfortunately they don’t stack so you’re limited to one in your bags at once but you drink one and pick another up for later. The disguise doesn’t last after death either. From a spot of experimentation, it seems as if the Dwarf you become is down to armour specialisation rather than anything else. For example every caster I’ve tried, regardless of class and faction ends up looking like my Priest above.

Druids and I think rogues get this model and so on.

Finally, my favourite item of clothing tends to be a bit of a secret too, at least if you only play the Alliance. The sleeveless t-shirt only drops from Alliance corpses (includes players) inside Alterac Valley. The flavour text reads “On the inside collar it reads, “Inspected by Earl Z. Moade.” All my characters wear them with pride even though they’ve been around since the early days of AV, when you could argue that the Horde possibly had a slight advance over the Alliance as they could jump into the Dun Baldar bunkers and their choke point was considerably more choking than the Alliance version.

Here you see my Priest modelling a sleeveless T-shirt and a ripped ogre loin cloth. I’m guessing there must be a lot of safety pins around the back holding it together as there is a bit of a size difference between a Bloodelf and an Ogre.

This is one of the reasons I’m really looking forwards to Cataclysm. Exploring and hunting down new quirky things is up there with killing a boss for the very first time.

Saturday Screenshots – Selected entirely at Random

Dead People

Please don't leave me!

Alterac looking towards Silverpine

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What’s in a name?

The shared topic this week is all about names.

How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)? Did you delve into Norse, Greek, or Roman mythology? Did you choose a name from one of your family members? Did you mash the “Random” name generator button in vain until you stumbled upon something you liked? Is your name a play on aspects of your class, using spells or other traits? Did you play around with syllables, vowels, and consonants until you found something that you loved?

suggested by Llani of Pocket Heals.

I’ve always had trouble picking the perfect name for each of my characters. It has to be something which suits the personality of the character, without being too silly, obscene or full of íntéréstíng accents. I learnt the latter the hard way, after deciding to call my Undead Priest Dornröschen. What seemed like a good idea at lv 1 was actually exceedingly annoying for friends by lv 70. Although it did cut down on gold selling whispers, so I suppose every cloud has a  silver lining. As W.H Auden wrote “Proper names are poetry in the raw” and thus the choosing of cannot be taken lightly.

The very first character I made all by myself was a warlock. So when I went searching for suitable names I wanted something which I felt suited this slightly evil creature who liked playing with demons. At the same time I was reading the Illiad as part of my course work and when I came across this:

And he prayed aloud, looking up to the wide heaven: “Be Zeus before all witness, highest and best of the gods, and Earth, and Sun, and Erinyes, who under earth take vengeance upon men

and

but it is not I who am the cause, but Zeus and Destiny and Erinys that walketh in the darkness, who put into my soul fierce madness

I knew I had to call her Erinys and when I rerolled with friends on another server, my new main, a Priest ended up being called Erinys as well. I had intended the Priest would melt faces but since back then it was spec holy/disc or watch your guild raid without you, that didn’t last long. Despite having had the opportunity to name change whilst server and faction transfering, she just is Erinys now. Calling her anything else would be a crime.

My second and third warlocks are both called Teasel after the prickly plant which grew along the river bank near my Grandmother’s when I was a little girl. Plant names tend to be my fall back if I can’t find any suitable mythological names. Besides I couldn’t help but think that my warlocks suit being named after a very beautiful, although not in the classical sense plant which comes with lots of little spikes. It’s not a far leap of the imagination to go from a death of a thousand little spines to dying slowly covered in dots.

The third category of names I use are place names. My mage Clova for example is named after Glen Clova. We drove past the signpost for the Glen when I was frantically trying to think of a name and so it was obviously fate.

I was hoping to call my new gnome priest Bubblensqueak but unfortunately Blizzard are a bit mean with their character allowance and Bublensqueak or Bubblensquek or any variation there of just look wrong. That’s probably a good thing though.

One of my favourite resources for names can be found here. Failing that, road maps, atlases and gardening books have all proven very useful in the past. I have to say I loved reading everyone else’s responses though, perhaps more so than any other topic so far. Names are so personal and seeing a touch of other people’s thought processes has been fascinating.

At the end of the Brewfest

I flattened Coren Direbrew on at least three characters every single day and this is what I received. It seems that the drunken gods of Brewfest favour me far more than the frosty gods of Midsummer but I wouldn’t have said no to a ram.

  • Kodos: 2
  • Rams: 0
  • Dire Remotes: 4
  • Barman’s Bloody Shanker: 4
  • Tankard of Terror: 3

I’m also now a Brewmaster on three characters.

My longest tussle with Mr Direbrew was 53 seconds. Although that was a pretty weak group including a lv 78 rogue who died somehow. The best was around 14 seconds which really was a blink and you’ll miss it feeling.

Out of all the bits and pieces I picked up, my favourite has to be the Dire Remote. At the moment I’m farming the last little bit of rep I need to for exalted with the Hydraxian Waterlords and being able to port to the Bar and then run through the last little bit of the instance into Molten Core makes it so much quicker and easier. Plus being able to grab a dwarf disguise whenever I feel like it, without having to trek all the way to Blackrock Mountain is awesome (yes I’m lazy).

Over all, Brewfest is still one of my favourite festivals. Sure Coren could have a done with a few ICC runs to boost his gear but this close to the expansion, I admit I’d rather they were working on new shiny stuff rather than upgrading a two week holiday.

Raptor Raising

Way way back in the spring that I started to play WoW, I decided that I wanted a Winterspring Saber on my Priest. In-between UBRS, Stratholme and Scholomance runs I spent hours in Winterspring, running around on my non-epic mount grinding bits of chimera and bear. It was horribly painful, smiting things down slowly. Then I started raiding properly and my Winterspring saber time became herb picking in Felwood time instead.

By the time Wrath rolled around, I’d just tipped myself over into friendly. Unfortunately the addition of achievements meant that everyone had the same idea and that poor furbolg village was once again full of adventurers. I think I made it to honoured before again getting distracted by something marginally less grindy.

Fast forward to now, we faction transferred to the Horde 20 days ago and I already have my Venomhide Ravasaur.

Whilst I loathe the concept of daily quests, it seems in this particular case, spending five minutes a day taking care of a stolen baby ravasaur suited me far better than the opportunity to go as fast or as slow as I wanted. I think this also highlights the huge difference between the original Winterspring chain, in game since launch and the much more recent Un’goro addition. With the Horde version you bond with your soon to be mount, he’s got personality and a rather large appetite. You take him places and he watches you slaughter breakfast for him, the little guy even thinks you’re his mother. Perhaps most importantly, you watch him grown from a tiny little creature into a mount over a period of time. Compare that to the Alliance, the main bulk of the questing you do is the slaughter of furbolgs and giants, neither of which provide food for your kitty. The first you see of your mount is when you hit exalted and the guy hands it over.

In terms of a role play experience, the ravasaur chain does it so much better. I can’t help feeling that Blizzard missed a trick when they added the Horde version without altering the Alliance version. A slight revamp would have been all the Winterspring saber quests needed. Even just the addition of a baby cat who you could summon to hand in the furbolg/giant killing quests to without having to ride back and forth would have made the reputation gather a bit more pleasurable. I realise I’m advocating the dumbing down of the game and yes, some things should be harder to gain than others, but the rewards from these quests are the mirror of each other. It doesn’t make sense that one side should have track miles barefoot through the snow whilst the other merely takes a brief vacation of sun and sand for a few days.

I’m afflicted

Every one deals with the pre-expansion blues in different ways. For some they throw themselves into reading every morsel they can about the expansion, others stop playing all together and me, well, I’m levelling yet another alt. I always intended doing the Horde 1-60 quests again before Cataclysm hit, I just wasn’t sure when I could fit in it. So when my old guild decided to reform and more importantly go Horde, it felt as if all the pieces were falling into place.

This is Teasel (two). My third warlock and the second called Teasel. My original warlock is currently demonology, Teasel the first is destruction so it followed that this time I’d level as affliction. So far my strategy of  running around dotting everything with curse of agony and corruption is doing wonders but I hope it’s going to get a little more tricky at some point.

Whilst I’ve levelled Horde characters before, the last time was at the twilight of the previous expansion so it feels a little less on autopilot than levelling on the other side. I love the Forsaken quests which really have no equal on the Alliance. They are permanently up to no good, whether it’s poisoning people, pets or generally causing mayhem. There is an almost gleeful malice about them, especially the Apothecary Society which makes them fun to quest for.

The plan is to try and hit 80 before Cataclysm but we’re doing lots of semi premade battlegrounds at the moment to practice for the rated version, so making time is proving hard.

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