Prestigious War Steed: Mount number 189

I finally managed to catch the last Black Rook Rumble I needed for this mount. It’s the reward for completing 20 of each of the four slightly more awkward pvp quests, Operation Murloc Freedom, Darkbrul arena, Black Rook Rumble and Bareback Brawl. Getting it had some brilliant moments, like going 2 versus 10 during Operation Murloc Freedom and technically winning although I died just after the 8th opponent fell over but Mr Harpy’s avenging Gnome took care of the other two (and yes, I was essentially tanking all of them on my Holy Priest… yay for Arcane mages and shadowmeld). There are also some less positive ones, Darkbrul arena I’m looking at you.


My favourite detail has to be the Troll head stuck just above the tail, gives a whole new meaning to eyes in the back of your head.

The Horde version is the Prestigious War Wolf.

Spot: Saved!

I’d forgotten how brilliant Silverpine Forest and Hillsbrad were since they revamped the zones. Tansy seemed to zoom to level 35. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to save Spot at bang on level 35 but thought it was worth a try. As it happened, the answer was yes, level 35 is high enough to breach the wall of Theramore and to tame him.

As it turned out, this corner of the keep has no guards anywhere near and also did a good job of keeping my dognapping (sorry saving) from the eyes of passing Alliance.

Although even when I ventured out into the open, no one seemed at all taken aback by a small Goblin riding off with Spot. No wonder Theramore got destroyed given how lax about security they seemed to be.

Now to level to 110 for the Class Hall and to kill those Alliance peasants who failed to keep Spot (and Theramore) safe in PvP.

Quick thoughts on Battlegrounds

Since hitting level 110, I’ve been doing quite a lot of battlegrounds. Yes, Demon Hunters can quite frankly go and do something obscene with their ranged interrupt and the next Retribution Paladin who thinks it’s in any way amusing to /lick or /kiss whilst stabbing me with their Blade of Justice can just take a running jump off the Lumber Mill (with or without the aid of mind control) but over all it’s been a lot of fun.

Healing versus one or two is okay, healing versus 3 or more hitting you a lot less so. I found myself missing Spectral Guise and Fear because whilst Mind Control is great one versus one or even in larger scale combat when no one is hitting you (won the Lumber Mill quite a lot by throwing their non Priest healer off the cliff) it’s pretty useless when every melee in range is thumping you. I’m currently talented in Shining Force for more throwing power and it definitely boots people a long way if you’re up high when you cast it but unfortunately is pretty useless if you aren’t up a cliff or a tower or standing next to the edge of the map because everyone just bounces right back at you.

My new favourite PvP toy is the tailoring cloth chests. Having colour coordination is so important if you want to win. It’s even better when you convince your entire raid that they want to dress as Dalaran Citizens.

wowscrnshot_091916_000009

The Honour talents annoy me slightly though, I don’t like the idea that I have separate talents for one area of the game which don’t apply in others but that’s minor compared to the annoyance of having to farm Honour to gain abilities like Inner Focus which I’ve previously had although to be fair, if it still makes “that” noise…the Priest Class Hall would be a nightmare if you could use it anywhere outside PvP.

I have a definite hankering after the various Prestige rewards so in-between hoping for a nerf of interrupts (or a limit to how many melee are allowed to hit me at any one time), I will be hanging out at the Lumber Mill, taking towers in Alterac Valley, lurking by the edge of the map in EotS and because Holy Nova is so going to get nerfed soon bouncing in the middle of Kotmogu holding an orb whilst confetti-ing people to death.

The Return of the Good Old Days – Thoughts on Southshore v Tarren Mill

Tarren Mill versus Southshore was the home of my first forays into PvP as first a Warlock in those halycon days* before the Honor system was introduced when the only people you encountered PvPing actually wanted to be doing it (PvE server) and then whilst leveling my Night Elf Priest on a PvP server. I quickly grew to know every inch of that territory, where you could shadowmeld amongst the trees and hide from rampaging Horde and the easiest way to drop Line of Sight. I still remember clearly the feeling of satisfaction when level 45 or so wearing the Mageweave set and Whitemane’s Chapeau I escaped from a level 60 Enhancement Shaman making all the way from the road to the safety of Southshore much to his annoyance expressed loudly on IRC. It was also where I grew to hate engineering when my Gnomish Net-o-Matic backfired and netted both me and the exceedingly large and angry Tauren Warrior trying to kill me side by side. In the aftermath of that little incident I promptly dropped it and leveled Tailoring instead.

It was there I learnt to PvP, learned to deal with res timers and tried to avoid dying as much as possible. The pattern was always the same, one side would gain ground to the point of entering the opposing side’s town and then would promptly be overwhelmed with guards. The trick being to try and avoid dying in downtown Tarren Mill unless you wanted to spend the next 40 minutes ressing, dying to more guards etc over and over again. The guard spawn would give impetus to the currently losing faction and back you’d go again. Some bright spark would always try and kill the Flight Master to stop people escaping and bring down angry animals all over you. Rogues would always sneak into the Inns and try and kill those licking their wounds and eating up. In many ways it’s predictability helped make it even more fun. We had a Mage guildmate whose favourite trick was to lure the Horde up to the cliffs and promptly slowfall off, much to our surprise, he got away with this time after time after time. It became part of the routine as did the comedy runs around the tower and the Warlocks all wandering off mid battle in search of soul shards.

duel01

Unlike Battlegrounds though, there was a lot less of the hate and venom you see being thrown around these days. Perhaps because everyone was participating because they wanted to rather than searching for some carrot on a stick like the legendary cloak. Yes, not everyone liked losing and there was the odd whiny message on IRC but in most cases, everyone took it in good humour. As the picture above shows (the only one I have left from back then), after the PvP there was silly things like cross faction unarmed boxing matches where everyone played by the rules and no one resorted to using spells or swords.

Therefore I’m sure it comes as no great surprise to anyone that I’m super excited by this announcement by Blizzard.

Tarren Mill vs. Southshore: The Rematch

If you engaged in PvP early on in WoW, you might have fond memories of—and perhaps a few scars from—the endless tug-of-war between Horde and Alliance players at Tarren Mill and Southshore. To recapture that feeling, we’ll be opening a Team Deathmatch–style Battleground based on that timeless struggle. However, unlike the old days of Tarren Mill vs. Southshore, there will be a clearly defined victor, so you’ll need to work as a team or face crushing defeat.

I am of course interested in just how they intend to pull it off. Deathmatch suggests that you start with 100 v 100 but that dying means just that which I admit does take away some of the old school feeling because everyone should experience ressing inside a Tauren mounted on a Kodo somewhere near that Tower between the two towns at least once. However I suspect I’ll be happy regardless although I’d prefer it if they didn’t make the Yeti cave, the farms and the mine count for anything just keep it focused on pure slaughter and of course have the guard spawns because it needs the guard spawns for realism.

As for it only being available for a limited period, I suspect that this could be a good thing. Taking 200 people from the Battleground pool all the time for 1 game would I imagine be problematic and with everything nostalgic it’s probably best to throw yourself in deep for a a month or so until you’re so sick of it, the very mention of it’s name has you gagging rather than want to drag it out. As with all PvP endeavors it probably won’t be for everyone however I hope people give it the benefit of the doubt and try it at least once.

I am of course happy at the thought of a Core Hound mount and a corgi on fire but for me, the reason I’ll be logging during the anniversary is 100 percent the chance to recreate old memories and make some new ones somewhere between Southshore and Tarren Mill.

*This is most certainly tongue in cheek.

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.