Thursday, December 31, 2009

Be Safe Out There!

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve and a wonderful 2010 to all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Satchel of Helpful Goods My Hiney...

I don't know why but maybe someone out there in this vast universe can tell me why this really cool part of the game sucks so very badly. The concept of offering goods for going into random dungeons with people from a huge subset of realms is awesome. The delivery of these goods has left me weighed, measured, and wanting.

What would be the difficulty in choosing an item that, A. You are not already wearing, and B. Something that is acutally "Helpful". How hard would it be to do a quick scan of what you have on, and possibly also scanning what talent spec you are to determine a possible item solution for you? I don't know, but it couldn't be much more difficult then randomly rolling for an item. At least this way you would know what you get can probably be used rather then having a huge amount of items you just have to throw to the vendors. Hey, if I already have everything, maybe some coin? It would save me a step.

The level 80 rewards aren't too bad because you get emblems. With those, you can buy whatever you want for your character and whatever spec you need. Maybe it is time to have some vendors with the lower choices of gear and give you emblems for those as well? Either way, something needs to change here. I am not the only one frustrated by the lack of unique items that they hand you.

I know, Blizz would probably say, "We give em free stuff and they still bitch..." And I would agree, but at least give us something we can use. You don't give a DK a mana potion and you definitely will never see a DK wearing anything with Spirit unless you make Spirit do something for your Runic Power.

I know there are only a few of us out there that care, but if you have any thoughts, please share them with me.

Oh, and P.S. Here is an Interview with that guy I mentioned a few days ago, Gordon Walton along with Rich Vogel, two of BV's favorites to interview from back in the day... Enjoy!

I Busted The Lich King Upside His Head...

And he killed me for it. Part two of why you don't mess with the LK...

**** This is loaded with spoilers, so if you don't want to know about the Fall of the Lich King instances, stop reading here ****

Okay so I mentioned before that you should not shoot the Lich King in the pre Lich King instances, because he really doesn't like it.

Well, not much has changed since the first time me and the LK went rounds outside of the Ice Throne. I don't have all of my experiences in quite perfect order yet, but I have gone through all of the new five man instances with My DK and would like to share my highlights with you.

To start off, there are wondering quest givers in Dalaran that will give you a quest to go in through this "back door" entrance to the LK's lair. Well, as luck would have it, once you get there, you will see the Banshee Queen or Lady Proudmore depending on which side you are on and they will promptly tell you that you should be able to get to the next part of the adventure on your own... What they don't mention is that this means to go on your own with four other people because the two skeleton goons at the front door will kick your head in like a pumpkin smashing on concrete.

After a few attempts at getting past the goons at the door, I decided to send in the pet and run past them. I was thinking maybe things would get better on the other side of that door. Ummmm, nope, they did not. I ran into a whole bunch of spell casters that pretty much ripped my limbs off and passed them back to me through a straw.

Take two, I grabbed my friend Huuna, we used the Dungeon finder to help us, help ourselves. We got a group, and headed through the first part of the dungeon. Now, just to be clear, the first time you go through these instances, you have to go on normal, and perform whatever quests they give you. As you progress to the Halls Of Reflection and turn in each quest, the heroic and regular versions will unlock.

We go prancing along in the Forge Of Souls, on our way to the Pit of Sauron. The most memorable part of this was that the first boss on this journey is the "Godfather of Souls"... The whole time we are trying to kill this guy named Bronjahm, which is some kind of play on James Brown, we can hear music playing in the background. James Brown music as a matter of fact. I had no idea what the music was at first, so I asked the group, and then we all laughed and they told me about an item he drops called "Papa's Brand New Bag", a 22 slot item container. A very cool part of the dungeon indeed, and once we finished him off, it was on to the next guy "Devourer of Souls"... Ohhh Scary stuff.

Actually, the second boss isn't too bad. I don't even remember anything special about him except he is extremely angry and talks way too much for a floating, two-faced head. The only thing I have found that I like about this guy is that he can drop a really cool sword that I can use on my warlock called Seethe. Once you finish this guy, you talk to the Banshee Queen again and turn in your two quests and move on to the next instance.

Now, the Pit of Sauron... This zone almost seems pointless because you don't clear it, but the bosses, I remember vaguely. The first boss, is a big giant that wants to throw Sauronite at you and is basically an overgrown Ogre, but looks like something else. I can't remember, maybe a Yetti or something. Once you clear this guy, you get to deal with a guy named Ick, that drops poison green pools under him, and the tank has to keep him moving around. The guy controlling Ick keeps throwing bubbles of exploding stuff at you to keep your damage high while trying to kill Ick. Not much of interest here, but then you learn that Frostmourne is all alone in the LK's chamber.

Okay, you can mount in the Pit instance, so it is a bit faster to get to the next section. You fight your way into the LK's chamber. All I remember here is that you have to run up a hill, kill about 15 bad guys, and then you hit this cave section which is kind of fun. You are constantly bombarded by falling ice from the top of the cave. If the tank is any good, they will aggro and pull several mobs at a time, only stopping in the middle and the end. Once you get through all of that, you get to face another boss that is really not much to mention, but the story line here gets interesting as you learn a little more about the LK's plans. There is a dragon rider at this point that sounds a lot like Tim Curry, and I thought that was funny.

You have to kill the dragon rider to move on. I don't remember what special attacks he does, but he tells the dragon to kill people the whole time. Once you kill the boss, the Horde guys come out and start talking about how we proved that even in the face of danger, yadda yadda... At the end of this instance, the dragon comes up and kills everyone except for your party because the Banshee Queen pulls you out at the last second. Then, off you go to the Halls Of Reflection. Now, I remember the Banshee Queen's voice reminded me of Rosie Perez. I am not sure if it is her or not, but the voice kept ringing "White Men Can't Jump" in my head, while listening to her long winded chatter with the LK.

Last but not least, we get to go into the LK's chamber and see Frostmourne there floating above a caulderon of skulls. The Banshee Queen tries to speak with the sword, and of course a good soul, Uther the Lightbringer, appears and tells her all of the reasons why we can't just kill the LK. If we did that, then the Scourge would destroy all of Azeroth, and the LK is really this guardian keeping them under controll. We would also have to put another LK in Arthas' in his place, and who could take on such a burden, etc... I am like "Oh, justification of Arthas' existence is unacceptable!"... So, the only way to kill the LK is to go to the Ice Throne. Okay, well we knew that was coming.

After a bit of talk, the LK walks in with his big self and starts to talk his usual Kurgan of The Highlander speak about how you are all going to die and be his slaves etc... Now, the cool part here is that the LK walks over to Frostmourne, his weapon, which is now a living entity, and reaches out to grasp the sword. The LK says that if you want to talk to the souls, you shall, and there is this great flash of light and souls start spinning all around, and Frostmourne goes to the LK's hand. The LK asks his minions to deal with us and bring our corpses to him when they are finished. The LK makes towards the door and the Banshee Queen runs after him yelling he won't get away that easily etc... I am thinking that chick is crazy, and we are left to deal with a couple rounds of souls and two bosses.

Now, on a side note here... I am not a big dungeon person, and I don't know if this is common, but some of these bosses say some pretty freaky stuff to you. One of them is kind of funny, because when someone dies, he says something about the look on your face when you died reminds him of someone, but the other guy... He says stuff like "Despair, so delicious" and then says "Fear, so exhilarating" or something, but it is just wierd to me. He repeats it throughout the whole battle. I get annoyed and want him to shut up, so I shoot faster. Anyways, once you get through these two guys and a whole bunch of attacks, you get to move on to the last part that I like to call the "Run Forest, Run!" ending...

You run down this hall, and you have to kill one more giant skeleton, and then you meet back up with the Banshee Queen sword fighting with the LK. Now, keep in mind, that usually someone needs to talk to the Banshee Queen or Lady Proudmore to get things going, or you will just be standing around watching them fight forever. So, you talk to the Banshee Queen and she continues talking major crap to the LK. He is calmly letting her know, he is not going to be as nice this time as he was last time etc... The group I was with couldn't decide if the Banshee Queen is actually a Night Elf, because she doesn't really look like a Blood Elf, and she is blue, so you go figure that one out.

Anyways, you get to start running away from the LK, as he walks in slow motion, and puts up barriers in front of your party. All the while, the Banshee Queen tries to break down the barriers and the LK throws a bunch of his minions your way that you must kill to get the barrier down. It is important that the DPS is high here, because if the LK slow walks himself to where you are, you die. So, our first experience here was painful as you can imagine. You can in fact aggro the DK into killing you as I did once again by tossing one too many Icy Touches his way. The group did not have a high enough DPS to kill the LK's minions before he caught us at the last barrier, thrust his sword into the ground killing the rest of the group instantly.

The next time through, like a day later, I went in and we made it past the last barrier. Once you do that, the Banshee Queen tells your party there is an opening up ahead, and to run for it. Unfortunately when you get there, it is a dead end. So, the Banshee Queen bears down and says this is where we die. So, everyone gets ready to die... LK strolls in, points his sword at the Banshee Queen lifting her off the ground. Just when you think its over, the gunship from Icecrown comes flying in and shoots down rocks in front of the LK, blocking him from your party, saving you from impending doom! They tell you to get on board the ship, but don't forget to turn in your last quest to the Banshee Queen or Lady Proudmore before you go. Once you do that, all of the instances are unlocked, and you are ready for prime time.

It was a fairly cool set of instances, with a nice progression of getting you to the end. Overall I enjoyed them enough to return a few more times. I am now working on getting my Warlock through the first time instances to get her in tune for getting some better gear.

We shall see how that goes in the future... I have been doing fairly well with my four alts that I frequently mention. The Druid is now 41, my Mage and Shammy are at 40, and the Pally is about 36. I am still having some issues getting the Pally's DPS up to par with the rest, but I still enjoy playing all of them. I have learned much about the games mechanics and have seen many dungeons I missed the first time around, so it has been some fun times.

Anyway, that's all I got for now. If you happen to be on my server, give me a /pst!


Take Two On Moon Guard... Still fun!

Well, I want to talk about my Lich King adventures, but first, I just wanted to comment about Tobold's latest post... "Twinking through Burning Crusade"

Anyway, I mentioned that I have a friend that plays Moon Guard, and I just love it there when I have nothing better to do with all of my new toons... Okay I am really pretty busy, but I just wanted to check out some of the level 60 fungeons...

So, I started again with the dungeon finder, only to realize that again, the DK is always getting stuff they just don't need. The first item the bag of useful goods gave me was a necklace with a bunch of Spirit... After blinking several times and trying to figure how this may be useful and asking the other three DK's in my dungeon group what they thought, I sold it. One DK pointed out that it was useful for selling, and even though I wanted to punch him in his eye for being sarcastic, he was in fact correct.

While I was in the dungeons, and doing quests in between, I noticed that the other items I received from the bag of useful goods were way below the standard drop in those dungeons. I picked up some gloves and boots with great stats and gem slots in the dungeons. I was shuttled back and forth between the Hellfire Ramparts, and the Hellfire Blood Furnace. I also finally picked up the Hellreaver, which is something I have wanted forever. Three people "need" rolled on this item, and I was the lucky one this day. The bag of useful goodies, kept throwing me this pair of plate gloves that were like 112 less armor and had nothing of interest to me. I must have received five pair of these junky plate wonders, and I don't see why they can't go one step further and try and at least give me something different, AND useful once in awhile.

In any event. I finally recieved some good gear for that character from doing both quests and dungeons. The only real issue I had with my experience this time on old Moon Guard was that the wait times for a group are significantly higher for the Emberstorm battlegroup. I am not sure if this is the fact that Stormstrike has more PvP servers with starving PvE'er running about or maybe Emberstorm is just so busy that it takes time to service all of the dungeon divers.

I still had some really good fun with those guys, and really love to visit there. Okay, so I promise, it's now going to be story time... Me and the LK get busy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Lich King Is Like An Evil Santa Clause...

I noticed that in the pre Fall Of The Lich King content, ole Arthas is a bit overweight. So, without spoiling too much, I will say that I enjoyed playing the 3 new 5 man instances in Icecrown. There is so much funny stuff too, and I swear most of the voices they used are like real actors. I recognize the voices, but I just can't put names to them.

I pugged a normal level instance just to get a feel for what is going on. Plus, the heroic people are always in a huge hurry and I wanted to enjoy the experience the first time around. I did enjoy it. These are probably the best put together instances I have seen to date. It is a little wordy in some areas, but I think Blizz did a more then fair job of making you feel like there is a story line and you are a major part of getting things done to help out the Crusaders. I've actually done the 2nd and 3rd parts twice. The second time I really started to understand what is happening.

The PUG's have been pretty good to me with a few exceptions of people just going in for a specific item and then leaving or doing another quest and then leaving. Sometimes just leaving because of a wipe, or whatever, but overall, my experience with the instances have been wonderful.

Once you get a good group you can stay with them and do whatever you want, so that is very helpful. You can vote people off the island if you don't want them in there as well. A lot of really good options and things that make this tool a "must have".

I am mostly doing instances with my lower level toons. I used to be a firm believer in doing the quests to level, but since the dungeon finder came out, I am a firm believer in running those random dungeons till my lips fall off. I leveled my mage from 34 to 38 in two days. And in two days, I am talking only about a handfull, maybe 5 or 6 runs in random dungeons. Mostly I ran the Monestary with different groups and today I hit Uldaman.

Some people say they are having troubles and waiting for groups for long periods of time, but I have had just the opposite effect. I have been getting groups that I would never have been patient enough to wait for with the old Looking For Group tool. The LFG tool would let you see things, but the dungeon finder actually lets you set it up graphically and walk away. When they are ready for you, a box pops up and lets you know it's time to go. Not only that, when you are done, you are returned where you were before you left. So, you can hang out in a city in the old lands where the lag is less and still have some fun.

BG's have been hit pretty hard at least so far. Getting in a BG is a huge wait now, and if you do get in, the people that are in the BG's have no clue what they are doing there. It is a farm fest which I hate more then anything in BG's. I still think they need to drop honor for killing other people and just give it to those that make things happen and help actually win the game. I also think they are going to need to do some serious rethinking on the rewards for BG's. As it is now, "fungeons" are the only way to go for loot and experience. The rewards are too high for dungeons and too low for BG's. So, BG's will suffer as a result.

I also believe that questing will take a huge hit. I mean the time involved vs. experience gained sucks anyway. You hardly ever get good loot, so why do it? They need to make all of the systems worth while to players if they want people to choose the path that is best for them. We will always choose the easiest and best way, so why not make them all equal so we can have a choice of easy and great ways to get what we want?

Wintergrasp has also taken a slight hit, and they made some changes that I am not quite able to figure out yet. I know that now the WG lasts longer, and defending on the Hordie side is actually possible now. My server is mostly Alliance, so it is wierd to see Horde defend when they are out-manned. It's interesting that this great change to the game (dungeon finder) is taking such a toll on other great systems. Like I said before, they are going to have to balance the options to make this all work out right.

I will have some stories soon. I just don't want to spoil too much right now. The LK and I have had some fun together, and I'll tell ya all about it next time.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

3.3 Gets A Two Thumbs From Fear...

I wanted to touch briefly on the latest WoW patch, the final in the Wrath Of The Lich King expansion. Not forgetting the entire day it took to get the thing working. I would bitch, but I had a date. So, I missed some of the fun stuff.

Although I have not, and probably will not, for some time be able to see the encounter with the Lich King himself, there were some other changes that I am completely tickled about.

The Dungeon Finder was a stroke of pure genius! I mean, they have sold this PvPer on dungeon diving... The system allows you to put yourself in a que similar to the battleground que and then, when it is time, you will be taken to the dungeon you were looking for or they also have a random dungeon feature. Once the dungeon is complete, you are returned to where you were in game previously. When you use the random feature, there is a reward for your character upon leaving. Level 80's get badges, but the lower levels get armor and maybe weapons of superior quality that your character can actually use! Not dumb crap that you have to sell for vendor trash.

You may remember I spoke before about dynamic rewards, and apparently someone at Blizzard also had a similar idea. I can see many other ways they can apply this going forward, and it was a great step in the right direction. You are no longer limited to getting into dungeon groups on your own server. From what I have read it is connected to the same group as your battlegroup. I hope they expand those groups down the road, because the more the better as far as I am concerned.

I would like them to be able to something similar with auction houses, and man, if you could do it with group quests, then the game will stay much more interesting to a much larger group of people for a lot longer. It is such a pain to go into looking for group and wait for people on your own server to decide thats what they want to do, but now, it is too easy and everyone that I have asked about it in my guild and in all of my groups have just said they love this system to death. Way to go guys, this dungeon finder was a great addition.

I leveled my mage from 34 to 36 in three dungeon runs. That in its self to me is a huge plus. It will inspire people to not only build that alt, but that alt will always be geared and always be happy.

The new map is another feature I really enjoy. Sorry to Quest Helper, but they have what I need built right in the user interface. The new map shows you where your quest is and then switches to show you where to return the quest once you have completed it. The only thing they don't have that I really like about Quest Helper is the flight path times. I like to know how much time I have to sit and wait while the damn bird flies me where I am going. If you have like 5 minutes, you can go make a sandwich or whatever. The new map can be maximized if you don't want to see the quests, or it can now be minimized if you want to see the map while you travel. Another great addition by the Blizzard team.

Okay, one thing about doing the Random Quests. Don't jump into a que and then accept when you are in combat. I did this and the only downside is that when I came back, umm, those guys were still there waiting. It was an interesting first run, because they chose my Ret Pally as a healer. I didn't even know that was possible, but we made it through. I almost lost one a few times, because I don't know what the hell I am doing, but it was interesting to be a healer for once instead of a solo entity.

The next time I went out, the group wiped except for the tank and myself on the last boss. It's kind of shameful, but I forgot to heal myself, and then I did die, but the tank finished off the boss and I got my blue treat. I was still happy.

My mage went in a few times and in one group, the tank wouldn't keep aggro or help the healer when he was under attack. So, I ended up getting killed by taking on the aggro to save the healer. I mean, I still got the shiny, so I wasn't that mad, but it is the risk you take going PUG...

I am sure I will find something to bitch about soon, but my last two days have been great. If you cancelled your WoW account, I think you would be wise to turn it back on just to see this. Everyone is getting ready to battle the LK, and as soon as I find a way, I am gonna be right there with em...


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Waiting For The Lich King To Come...

The Original Cardinal Fear

WoW went offline sometime in the early morning around 1:00 AM and hasn't come back yet. The new patch with the final piece to the upgrade we all paid for over a year ago is finally going to be on our door step.

One thing that irratated me about the Lich King expansion is that they didn't even release the most important part of what they claimed they were selling us. I don't read all of the public test server stuff and attend all of the discussion groups. I really thought that the entire upgrade would be included... Did they bite off more then they could chew again? Probably. I didn't agree with the way they released that expansion, and I think it could have been planned better. Throwing us 50 bones on the way to the expansion pack costs you accounts and that means less money.

I guess that if it means to get it out the door on time, you have to cheat the customer, I am not down with that. Hey, call it whatever you want, I feel cheated. Perception is everything, just ask Gordon Walton.

So, while I am waiting for over 12 hours for them to give me my game back, I thought I would come bitch about some stuff.

Okay, who ever thought rep grinding was a good idea needs to DIE! I mean, okay, there are ways to gain reputation with WAY TOO MANY different groups and organizations, but okay, here is an example. You build a DK, and they come with a lot of great stuff, but about zero reputation with anyone. So what do you do? So far my only options that I can see are... Participate in the Argent Tournament dailies, you can gain alittle rep each day with whatever faction you like, or you can go do all of the quests in the earlier zones that pertain to the faction you want to gain rep with.

Now, as much as I hated going back to Silvermoon to run all of the quests, I did have some fun when I found a "Ceremonial Loin Cloth" and a "Dirty Leather Vest". As you can imagine, even naked, my DK can perform quite well even up to level 50 or better. I decided to shed the DK of her massive plate PvP armor, and go with something a little more suitable to the enviornment. I wish I had taken a picture. Running around as a level 80, or a skull to them, in a newbie zone with newbie clothes and weapons certainly gets you a few questions from passers by. I tried to help one young undead get their "Duelicious" acheivement, but he couldn't even damage my DK nekkid. I told her to look me up when she hit 80 and took off. Eventually, I did get myself to exaulted with Silvermoon, and got the title I was looking for etc.

Then I made the mistake of trying to grind reputation for Undercity. I have some serious issues with these guys. Everything they do is trying to wipe out the living, which I am, "The Living". Not only that, they don't even administer their destruction themselves, they make me do it! Here, give this potion to this guy and see what happens... The guy dies.. Whoops! That's great Hazmat, Sylvanis will be pleased. I want to poke that bitch in her eye.

Some of those more questionable quest lines that normally wouldn't bother me, are bothering me now because I know it was happening from the beginning. I originally thought it was something new in the WotLK expansion, but that is not the case. Chemical warefare is pretty gruesome stuff, and I just think the undead could come up with something a little more creative. I guess it could just be me, but I am annoyed with those guys. They are supposed to be "good", hell we are all supposed to be "good", but the undead are not your typical, "cut the head off this guy" sorta folks.

So today, whilst I sit and wait, I offer you a glimpse of the Original WoW version of Cardinal Fear. In all his glory. He never made it past level 6 before I re-rolled him into one of my massive army of chicks. Maybe some day, he will live again on another account.

As far as my main account, I have my mage at 34, my druid is at 40 and holding, my pally is 32, and my shammy is 34. Still enjoying each different character, and it will take some time to get them all leveled, but it keeps me busy and my mind in the game. All of my hordies are still on vacation except Haz, my little money maker.

Enjoy your day people, that's all I got!