Excitement builds

I’ve been testing things on Beta and on the whole, have found myself falling in love with the game again. Of course there are things I don’t like (Snow has massive class hall envy for example) but that was always a given. Unless I designed the game myself, I was never going to like every aspect and if I designed it, there would be a lot of very unhappy Ret Paladins, Death Knights, Arms Warriors and Frost Mages out there.

Anyway, here are three screenshots which highlight the completely random things I’m especially excited about.





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).


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.


Shark Attack

I’ve been slightly absent this week, work has been a little full on but hopefully from next week I’ll be back to a more regular posting schedule. One involving more words and a few less pictures but in the meantime….

Mr Harpy tends to operate on a policy of “if it’s kill-able  it should be killed at least once just because” and although this has resulted in a few amusing deaths, it’s mostly been a rewarding little hobby.

Now we’re both rather fond of sea-life, sharks and whales in particular so when we spotted these two  swimming off the coast of Krasarang Wilds we knew we’d have to try and kill them.

Our very first experimental attack, carried out in the first few days at 90 didn’t go too well as it turns out these chaps pack quite a punch. However with a bit of refining and a lot of running, the tide turned in our favour.

The end result being a satisfying one although they don’t drop any loot to speak of.

Next up, we’re going to try the same technique on the Whale Shark.

One day I shall ride Midnight

That day is not today however but surely I deserve the mount after this?

Mark of the Wild

First, the Gnomeling has re-enabled WoW. It turns out he couldn’t stand watching me PvP alone any longer, which is rather sweet. Especially since the final straw was when my priest got smothered by 90 percent of the opposing team in Arathi Basin and died rather fast. I’m really not sure what difference his presence would have made.

So we have finally got around to making our two little druids (his 4th and my 3rd). Which brings me to the rant bit. So you make your brand new character and start running around whatever flavour start zone goes with your race but nothing attacks you unless you smack it first. Perhaps fair enough for the first few quests, break new players in gently, but quest after quest, still facing yellow mobs seems a little unfair. I remember the days (you know the ones, when warlocks had to climb mountains barefoot in search of elusive soulshards and ret paladins were rare and fabled beasties that everyone had a story about, but no one had actually seen one) when that spider cave on Teldrassil was a dark and dangerous place. Each and every step inside had to be tentative, drop your guard once and flock of spiders would leap on your face. Now you can saunter through the place, hands in pockets whistling and they don’t even stop and look at you.

Having battled your way through a horde of green hairy limbs, you came to face with Mummy Spider. Big teeth, bad attitude… not any more. Now she’s more than happy to stand by whilst evil little elves make off with her eggs.

A candidate for Azeroth's most careless Mother award?

A candidate for Azeroth's worst Mother competition?

Now I don’t particularly like whining about how much harder the game used to be or how Blizzard have sold out to Casuals (a favourite refrain of some of my ex-guildmates) but I do think this creates a bit of a false impression. When the majority of mobs make a beeline for you, all teeth and claws, having this sense of kindergarten til lv 5 seems a bit too much. Githylss should be vile and nasty and fond of biting your face off, after all she’s a mother being robbed of her children, not to mention a rather large spider and the first challenge nightelves  face. Once you leave the safety of whichever start zone your new character calls home, the world becomes a much scarier place. Maybe our training leads should come off a little sooner.

TLDR version of above: Make Githylss vile again. Mobs with names should make you tremble as you sneak closer, not giggle as you waltz past.

The second thing which has been annoying me recently is heirlooms. Now I somewhat naively assumed that everyone would have heirlooms (well not everyone but certainly the majority) and that idea has swiftly been proved false. We entered WSG at lv 16 for some fun and much to our surprise discovered we had by far the most health. In some cases twice as much and that was without needing to go bear. Now, I’m against a two tier system. It hardly seems fair that just because this isn’t my first character, I can have far better second hand gear in a competitive PvP environment. After all, its not like I farmed the gear on the character who is wearing it, a la lv 80s. If Blizzard had wanted to give an experience boost to people rolling through content on alts, they could have just made that aspect of the heirloom gear into something like an armour patch which you could buff onto a character. So yes you would  level faster but the playing field isn’t so screwed in other ways.

Leading on from that is my third annoyance of the week. People who enter battlegrounds at lv 10, particularly those with sub 250 health. Apart from getting in the way, they don’t usually bring anything to the battle. Well, apart from being cannon fodder of course. I wish Blizzard had increased the number of battleground brackets, so that it went 10-14 and 15-19, 20-24, 25-29 etc. The difference between a lv 10 and a lv 19, especially when the latter is wearing heirloom gear and the former isn’t, is just too big.

Butter wouldn't melt in our mouths

My heirloom gear looks better than his, although I have to admit I don’t look particularly druidic or at one with nature.

Achievements are like buses

They all come at once.

We cleared Ulduar last night and much to our surprise.. netted not one, not two but five fragments of Val’anyr which was enough to finish my mace and start one of our shamans off on hers.

Then all happy and bubbled, we headed off to Algalon to save the world or die trying. Due to a variety of factors we haven’t had many shots on him (unstable servers, people’s real lives all hitting them at once etc), so I admit I wasn’t that optimistic. A feeling not helped by the fact that after try number 1, a handful of people got dced temporarily but we rallied and after a 11 percent wipe, we pulled it together and convinced him that even the gnomes deserved a second a chance.

savedtheworld02Was one of those fights where you are almost taken by surprised when he surrenders/gives up/decides he likes you. The “RP” event afterwards in Dalaran was rather a let down though, ignoring the fact that Rhonin has a rather weedy voice, it was over in a flash. Blink and you could have literally missed it.

mammothFinally I managed to convince the Gnomeling that what I really needed to banish this flu thing completely was a traveller’s tundra mammoth. I want to swap Hakmud for that rather nice troll female the Horde get though and unfortunately, it seems to be working as well as the cough medicine at stopping me coughing.. i.e. totally useless but its the thought that counts. Then as the icing on the cake of getting shiny stuff, I got a mail from Breanni containing a little penguin in need of a good home.

All in all, a pretty good day.

Curiouser and curiouser!

cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English);

I always knew Cilantro had issues. Deep down the darkness in her soul seemed to almost overcome her on many an occasion. Its not normal for a disciplined priest to hunt down innocents, leaping from her warhorse to plague and smite them. I knew something was wrong, but I chose to look the other way… then this happened.

Cilantro is evil

The most important part of the picture is this:

No longer can I remain silent, something wicked this way comes.

When you discover you are living with a pyschopath

My warrior and the gnomeling’s shaman were happily and innocently leveling in Tanaris this morning, frolicking in the desert sun and generally minding our own business. Then along comes this lv 80 shaman helping a lv 40 bloodelf hunter quest, so what does the big strong tauren do? Naturally he pursues our lowbies and whilst Lylia being the self sacrifical sweetie he is, gave my mount waterwalking and told me to run for it, his ghostwolf couldnt escape from the shaman’s epic bear. To be fair, the shaman only killed him once and then left, allowing him to ankh but …..
Why did Blizzard put a portal in Dalaran straight to Tanaris if they didn’t want you to teach bullies in the desert a lesson? No the Caverns of Time is not the correct answer to the portal question btw. So we log off, log our mains and hurry off to do some sunbathing. Unfortunately it seemed that Mr hero shaman who bravely pursued two lowbies across the ocean, didn’t do so well in PvP versus a lv 80 warrior as he did versus a lv 46 shaman. In the same time it took Lylia to do 18k of damage, the shaman managed a mere 1k to him. I was a late arrival to the party so it wasn’t as if the shaman saw me and gave up, he was just a keyboardturning muppet who can’t fight or run away from a prot warrior.

So where does the pyscho bit come in? Well Lylia spent the next 2 hours killing them in a variety of locations leaving a trail of skeletons all the way from the Lost Rigger Cove to outside Mudspocket. The moral of this is, there are always bigger fish with bigger teeth in the sea and even if you are the mightiest player on the server, sometimes you will be beaten via quantity which is one reason why we don’t gank unless provoked. Hopefully thats a lesson Mr Cow learnt tonight.
Edit: Lylia’s guide to successful camping – kill the flight master so your friends (victims) can’t leave.

Romantic gestures + Warriors = ???

Gnomeling no more

The gnomeling (who techinically is no longer a gnomeling) hit 70 on his warrior a few days ago. We are trying to grab him a few pieces of gear and as much gold as possible before the expansion rolls around. The first items on the list were the undead slaying set, easily 2 mannable and if running around winterspring first thing in the morning pretty much uncontested. 

From there we headed off to the Scarlet Monstary to see how easy the Headless Horseman was for 2 undergeared overconfident idiots. As it turns out, prayer of mending owns and the Headless Horseman is basically a loot pinata. I hardly needed to do any healing at all in the first 2 phases, phase 1 I mainly wanded, phase 2 I just stood close enough to Lylia to make sure the prayer of mending would jump everytime i got conflagated, phase 3 was slightly harder but we were looting before we realised it. From our runs, Lylia got both the horseman’s blade (I wish priest’s could use swords) and the melee ring. 
Inspired by our success here we moved on to the Shattered Halls, an instance I loathe with a passion, mainly because everytime I run it normally its with aoehappy mages and warlocks who start nuking stuff before the tank has even sneezed on it. This time however it was relaxing and frightening easy, yet again prayer of mending turned out greater than Warchief Kargath Bladefist. Also just goes to show how much they have nerfed everything, obviously the new talents helped but it was a completely different instance to the one we ran almost 2 years ago for the first time.
Our next port of call was Magister’s Terrace, where we managed the first 2 bosses with ease. Selin Fireheart we just let him drain mana from the crystals and then used prayer of mending to keep us up (anyone seen a pattern here? :p) and used a similar tactic for Vexallus. Obviously all the instances were on normal, have to start somewhere after all and given our level of gear, easy stuff is good.