The Druid inside Me

Hi my name is Erinys and I’m addicted to playing Druids. I didn’t realise quite how bad my problem was until I started taking screenshots for this post but it seems that Druids are one of my go to alt classes. Therefore in chronological order, I’d like to introduce you to my furry, feathered and often squawking friends.

Briarrose1
Briarrose senior was my third character to end game and she was born out of guild drama and general stress. I wanted to spend time away from guild chat and what better way to do that than to level a character who wasn’t guilded. Mr Harpy already had two Druids at level 60 by this point (his first two characters) so I had a good understanding of the class and I loved being able to mix it up in pvp. In fact my greatest moment in a battleground was probably the game in which when facing a same server Horde Premade, my little Druid held the Blacksmith against around seven decently geared and decently played Horde through abuse of feral charge, bear healing and sprinting off to heal up out of line of sight and bouncing back moonfiring.

briarrose2

Briarrose the younger was my first ever Tauren and again dates back to “vanilla”. I have to admit I actually miss the original Tauren cat form (because I’m weird like that) and spent ages when they brought in the new colours trying to find a catform I found acceptable for her. Briarrose has been Feral for ever and will probably stay that way even though I’m not hugely taken with any of their catform alternatives.

tabby

Tabby only reached level 10 and has spent the rest of her existence on a pretty much dead server. I don’t however have the heart to delete her.

tansy

Tansy is a Moonkin and a ganker. Her hayday was in Wrath when she could bring squawk and awe justice from the skies to evil Horde. I think Cataclysm and then MoP pretty much broke her heart because it’s become impossible to slaughter someone as you fall past them with your parachute cloak up. She was also rather fond of Wintergrasp even though the imbalanced population on her server made it “interesting”.

kimimela

My Troll Druid was made because everyone needs a Troll in their lives. She’s another Boomkin because moonfiring stuff, especially Gnomes and Goblins never gets old.

teasel

Teasel is Resto through and through. That’s the way she leveled and whilst she does have dual spec, the second one is also Resto. I have to admit though, had Treeform still existed as a permanent form, she might well have been another Moonkin. I leveled her towards the end of Cataclysm and primarily through PvP and it’s definitely been fun comparing her to my original Druid Briarrose. I miss feral charge as Resto for sure and also I don’t think the damage in cat/bear form scaled at all from where it was back then. Originally you could use cat/bear to kill in PvP saving your mana for healing, even against DPS classes if you did it right. I’d be very surprised if that was possible now.

mentzelia
Finally my baby Worgen Druid, my Harvest Witch, Mentzelia. My plan for her (once she escapes Gilneas which she needs to do before Hallows End) is to level as Feral just because I haven’t done that for so long.

My goals for this week then are to make that final push to free Mentzelia and are to find a proper transmogrification for my little Tauren Briarrose.

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Proving your Worth: Why Class quests had value

Cymre put up an interesting post a while back about the old AQ Gates quest chain which got me thinking about a couple of my favourite and now removed quest chains. Then when I was attempting to clear out my drafts folder I came across this. A post I started in November 2009 but never got around to finishing or publishing (before now) plus it is Druid week and thus ever so slightly relevant (at least the first paragraph is).

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I’m currently re-running the Swift Flight form quest on my second druid. The experience has left me  feeling a little saddened and humbled. Why aren’t there more of these awesome quests scattered through the game. Why don’t all classes have the opportunity to discover more lore about their class? I had to use virtually all my spell book, from hibernate to cat form, to remove curse to moonfire. I visited places I’d never seen before, like the pink frosting masquerading as water outside the Barrow Dens and the river border of Azshara and Ashenvale. I came out of Sethekk Halls feeling like a proper grown up Druid.

WoWScrnShot_111009_141805

Back in Vanilla, I had the pleasure of doing the Benediction chain and I watched the Gnomeling do his Rhok’ledar (I was there for moral support and to kill any Horde who looked at him funny). Both were amazing chains but when you compare the Priest/Hunter epic chains to the Druid model, there are a couple of crucial differences. The Druid one doesn’t rely on RNG. I got lucky, my Eye dropped from our very first Majordomo “kill”. However I knew Priests who had to wait months for that chest to stop yielding leaves, conversely, my guild got Eye after Eye and so our Hunters were epic bowless. Putting the two parts that both Hunters/Priests needed on two different raid bosses meant that in order to experience your epic class quest you had to raid. For Priests especially, getting the Eye of Shadow on my server was hard. One guild (mine) tended to get 95 percent of all the Lord Kazzak kills and when you factored in the fact that we had something like 12 raiding priests and numerous priest alts, it took a while for them to filter onto the Auction House. Yes, you could farm it from those horrible demons in Winterspring but doing so as a Priest solo was hard and the drop rate sucked. That’s actually how I got mine, farming with three other holy priests and a resto druid until 4am – roots, smite, smite, smite, smite, wrath, roots, smite, smite, smite, smite, roots, wrath, wrath, wrath and so on. Painful doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. To be fair we started out with a bunch of dpsers but they all went to bed early. Not sure if that was because they were bored or because they had to get up early in the morning and we healers soldiered on.

So if any future class quests were added, I think that Blizzard should follow the Druid model and make the chain easily available to anyone regardless of how they choose to spend their time in-game. Availability obviously has to impact on the reward, but the rewards could be cosmetic or fun or even powerful at the start of the expansion but wilt over time. If something is easily obtained by say all warriors willing to spend a few hours running quests and probably doing a dungeon or two, I can’t think of any reason why it couldn’t be comparable with the first tier of raid weapons. It would provide a different gearing path and help factor out RNG for people trying to get their first set of gear together. As for dealing with the different specs, Benediction/Anathema was an awesome way of doing that and it would be nice to see Blizzard implement that on other stuff.

Which then got me thinking, Blizzard originally added quite a few class based zones. Think Ravenholdt hidden away in the hills, compete with its poison garden and staffed by persons of a dubious nature. Or Fray Island, the fight club of WoW where warriors would brawl to prove their worth and receive Berserker Stance. Then there is the Moonglade itself, the tranquil valley in which druids of both factions can meet, watched over by the Cenarion Circle. When Cataclysm rips a path through the world as we know it, WoW’s very own disaster movie, I really hope that areas like those get a bit more love.

Also WTB a Priest hideout where Erinys can sip honeymint tea and debate the finer points of religion with other Priestly types. Although I suspect we might as well just rent a battleground or a graveyard because given the diversity of our faiths, someone is bound to end up dead.

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Returning back to 2013, clearly my crystal ball was a bit out of tune. When Blizzard added the latest class quest (the epic Rogue one), they made it require a raid boss and so much for embellishing those class areas…

What I loved about all three of these quests was the fact that they made you think about what it meant to play that specific class. Not only in terms of playstyle although all three required you to explore your spell book, perhaps the Druid and Hunter more so than the Priest, although plenty of people I knew did take Holy Nova especially for the quest but also from an RP perspective if you wished to indulge it.

With the Priest quest, you had to merge the dual nature of the class by acquiring both the eye of shadow and the eye of divinity before striking a balance between them.

You have come for redemption, yet you yourself do not realize this… Do you?

From a roleplay perspective, when I look back on all the terrible things my Priest(s) have done since that day in EPL, I remember this:

I never stated that you were here to redeem yourself, priest/priestess. You are here to redeem me and the innocents murdered while trying to escape Stratholme. My spirit and the spirit of those lost are bound here, cursed to endlessly relive our own tragic deaths.

and consider the slate wiped clean. I really would love to see the quest chain added back into the game, possibly with the Eyes being available through the Black Market.

I also loved the fact that you had to do it by yourself otherwise the “Cleaner” would come and squish you underfoot.

Be warned, you must complete this task alone. It is recommended that your allies remain at a distance. Interference by outside agents will result in a most severe punishment.

Although that plus the fact that Eris Havenfire would yell, alerting the entire zone Horde and Alliance alike that some brave Priest was attempting the quest did make it easier for the opposing side to grief.

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Therefore it probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the main aspect of the next patch which I’m really looking forward to is the “Proving Grounds”. Yes I’d rather have the storytelling and romance of class quests but given that Blizzard understandably wishes to design for the masses not a percentage, I’ll happily settle for that.


I see Dead Pigeons

I know that Death knight week is technically over but given that I actually met my goal, I couldn’t resist posting this.

WoWScrnShot_082613_162437

Will she go any further than level 60? Not sure, I’ve managed to roughly get the hang of playing Blood and there is a certain enjoyment about pulling many mobs and living to talk about it however she’s still a Death Knight. I might love hanging out the ruins of the start zone and watching the cinematic but somehow the class doesn’t sing to me.

Days 20 through 24 – #WoWscreenshotaday

Here I am again playing catch up with Tycertank’s “A Screenshot a Day“.

Day 20 – Stairs

stairs

Day 21 – Slow

slow

Day 22 – A room

aroom

Day 23 – Yellow

yellow

Day 24 – In the Background

inthebackground

 

 

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder – Death Knight Week

So my latest Death Knight has finally escaped the start zone with only one embarrassing death to her name and to celebrate I thought I’d post about the one thing I do love about playing a Death Knight through the first few levels.

The Scenery.

The way it changes as you progress through the various quests had me oohing on the beta and even now, having leveled and then deleted far too many Death Knights, I can spend hours riding around taking screenshots instead of progressing the quest chains.

startzone2startzone01 startzone4startzone3

Although I have to admit I’m also passing fond of the fact that we have to first steal a horse and then enter a shadowy realm to defeat it’s ghostly rider to claim it for our own.

Perhaps I’m more in-tune with Death Knights than I care to admit.

Death Knight week – Inspiration

For today’s Death Knight week post, I want to look at my favourite NPC Death Knights. This maybe in the hope that I’ll get inspired and stop “faffing” about doing anything and everything but leveling a Dk.

Ever since the Wrath Beta I’ve had a soft spot for this lady.

banshee

Azeroth’s answer to Romeo, I wish Blizzard would let us find out exactly what’s been happening in Undercity. I mean after all:

lurid

Two factions, both alike in dignity,
In fair Azeroth, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Willie Shakespeare knew what he was talking about, it’s a shame he’s not writing the story lines.

Which brings me to Naxxramas, home of some of Azeroth’s most charming Deathknights. First up is the Instructor, perhaps the only Death Knight whose dress sense leaves something to be desired. I have many fond memories of being the only Priest in a 25 man raid who actually knew what their mind control key looked like…. turned out you could solo tank him. Although that might have been penance for the fact that I managed to avoid it in vanilla.
sweeptheleg

I’m also rather fond of Lady Blaumeux but am too lazy to run Naxxramas to take a picture but I wish Blizzard would add her outfit our at least her hat to the list of things available for transmogrification.

Finally I just love the name of this Death Knight.

bloodrose

As for my own little scrub DK, she’s managed to hit level 56 and take lots of pretty screenshots so maybe there is hope for her yet!
progress

Standing in the Shadows: Death Knight Week

Laeleiweyn had the brilliant idea of celebrating alts class by class over the next eleven weeks and of course I couldn’t resist joining in. Week 1 is Death Knight week and I have to admit my experience with Death Knights has been a little embarrassing and depressing. However not being one to give up, I thought in the spirit of the occasion and all, I’d roll another one.

deathknight

As you can probably gather from the shot, she hasn’t made it very far yet but I have high hopes that she’ll break my DK luck and actually survive Hellfire. Who knows, she might even manage to hit Zangarmarsh if I’m really lucky.

My goal for her is that by the end of the week, she manages to leave the Death Knight starter zone and annoys some non DK Horde in a couple of Alterac Valleys. Wish me luck!