Friday, December 16, 2005

Feast of Winter Veil. Playing and PvP in the Plague Lands.

The Holidays are upon us! Morticai, my Undead Warrior on Kirin Tor, was a little disappointed that he had to /kiss a stranger in hot pants under the Mistletoe in the Gallow's End Tavern in Brill, but he got a little bit of mistletoe for it. His Warlock friend, Nachweis appreciated the Holiday Spirit buff however. As did Morticai's significant other, Zauberin, his Undead Mage wife. While Zauberin caught up on a little training in the Mage Quarter in the Undercity, Nachweis and I checked out the tree in the UC Inn.

"That eggnog packs a punch, don't it Nach?"

Later Zauberin and Morticai returned to the fields of northern Tirisfal and did their small part fighting against those Cursed by the scourge. (Only OUR Forsaken curses will be allowed!)

"You just saved a bunch of money by switching to GEICO?"

Morticai and Zauberin retired for the night, and on another server Darkhoof set out on several new missions.


First stop, naturally, was the Smokey Pasteurs holiday vendor. Darkhoof bought several stacks of snowballs which turned out to be great fun. (So I bought several hundred more snowballs and sent them to all of my characters on the server. They'll store them in their bank accounts and await the return of the hot dry Durotar summer when they'll come back out into play.)

The other vendor did have a problem though. It seems one of their reindeer had been kidnapped. Horrors. Who would do such a thing? Pirates. In Tanaris.

Darkhoof has wanted to pay a visit to Scholomance for some time now. The horrors of the former Barov Family estate needed to be eliminated for some quests and a few trinkets Dark's been wanting to get his hands on.

Getting a 5-man party together is easy. Getting the *right* 5-man party together is more difficult. Lexia, our guild's lead Mage, signed right up for the visit. We'd still need a Priest, and a Warrior, and then one other person, preferably who could do some damage. Khor, another of our Shamans wanted to join us, since Dark was wanting to get his Skyfury Helm as well. (The Guild Master said "Why bother? Get your helms in the Molten Core. He drops two at a time. " :) Khor disconnected before long though and we invited Ona, another of our Shamans, into the party.

This assault on Scholomance wasn't getting anywhere, and fast.

So we changed plans. "Let's get the Reindeer back!" So the three of us flew to Gadgetzan. While Lexia and I visited the Auction House, Ona informs us "Alliance scum! I'm going to get me some." "Take out the guy in the gnome costume first, please," I requested. While my Auctioneer add-on was scanning the Auction House inventory I hear the sounds of a battle up above us. The Bruisers were going after someone. Seems Ona decided to attack the wrong guy dressed in a silly little costume, and, yada, yada, yada, Ona was soon in the graveyard. We quickly got our act together and the three of us rode to the coast.

Rescuing the reindeer was a little exciting given we weren't the only rescuers doing so. But an Orc, a Forsaken, and a Tauren trumps two Night Elves, so we engaged in a little Holiday cheer, relaxed the Elves to the dirt of the compound, and rescued the reindeer. Aww. We're so with the Holiday.

Then we opened a portal to the Undercity and headed back to our original business at hand.

Wonder of wonders, at the Zeppelin stand outside of the Undercity we were invited to make use of a new Goblin contraption. It reminded me a little bit of the transporter to Gnomeregan the goblins had set up in Ratchet. But this device worked differently. We three were transformed into Gnomes dressed in Santa costumes! How cool is this?! Dark didn't like the green costume so he reentered and got a red costume instead. The roguish moustache didn't suit him so he reentered and got the full blown St. Nick beard. Hooray! And then the snowballs came out. Darkhoof pegged Lexia and she was knocked flat. "Hey, what are those?" asked Ona. Whap! Whap! Two snowballs knocked him silly. We had a little snowball fight and then set out for the Western Plaguelands. (Ona was randomly peppered with snowballs for some time more until Darkhoof at last ran out. Nothing funnier than knocking a gruff Orc Shaman on his butt with a snowball.) Since I couldn't get to Scholomance quite yet at least I could knock out the quest that leads to getting a key for Scholomance. This part of the quests involves setting some torches in the towers of Andorhol.

"Terminator Santa"

Darkhoof spotted what looked like an Undead Warlock running down the road past the Zeppelin Tower. Hunched forward like the Undead run, with a Fel Hunter demonic pet, and Dark being Gnome is disguise, half Gnome in thought now, Darkhoof didn't hesitate to take pursuit. It was a Gnome Warlock taking his demonic pet to the Scarlet Monastery. Gnomes engaged in demonology! Is there anything more evil that that? Demons are the bringers of evil, and the Gnomes are all into it? All Gnomes must die! Well, Gnomes with demons as minions.

So Darkhoof ran down this Gnome and frostshocked him. Then struck him. Then stood over the body and let out a Gnomish laugh. Santa had struck down a demonologist! Balance was restored to the World! "Ho, ho, ho!"

Anyway, Ona and I kept our costumes on and changed to Ghostwolf form for the run to Andorhol. This increased our speed to 140% of normal while maintaining our Gnome costumes. Excellent. We ran to Andorhol and two Gnomes dressed in Santa costumes and an Undead Mage managed to mark all 4 towers and kill a few undead as well. Hooray!

One of our guildmates, Broxigar, mentioned he needed some assistance there in the zone. He was needing to slay Weldon Barov and Weldon Barov hits like a trainwreck. Two Shamans, a Mage, and a Warrior, all of us level 60, how hard could it be?

Let me add some slight wrinkling here. Weldon Barov is waiting for the intrepid at Chillwind Point. This is an Alliance flight point, there are some skills trainers there, and the Argent Dawn is stationed here as well. Weldon, when attacked, will /yell for help across the zone. "Assassins!" He cries. What a wuss. So we took a little time before hand to eliminate the npcs that will come to his aid. What is nice about this, a little odd though, is that as you slay the NPC humans, you can repair at the Argent Dawn Quartermaster since everyone is Honored with them. It seems our successes against the Scourge have earned us their respect. We can cut down Alliance without interference by the Argent Dawn. (So much for race unity. The Argent Dawn agents at Chillwind Point are Human.)

Anyway, as we are taking down the NPC who might come to Weldon's aid, and complicate matters, we also catch the odd Alliance player. This is not going to help.

Well, we get to the point where we 4 are ready to take on Weldon. We drop our totems and the Warrior begins to go to work on him. Ona is a melee specc'd Shaman and he attacks too. I've got my hands full healing both. And then two of the NPC's run up and start beating on me. It was not a shining success when the swords had been resheathed. We tried again. This time some Alliance Players jumped in and we met with the same result. At this point we turned our attention to the Alliance players that had now shown up. There was a 60 Gnome Mage called Winkie. We left him dead under the Griffins. There was a 60 Mage called Tearyouup (Mage Intellect does not extend ONE IOTA to creativity. Nice name. Did you take 5 seconds or more to think of it? And then to take such a NOOB name to level 60??? Unbelievable!) There were a couple Hunters that got involved, these two Mages, a Paladin or two.

It was a very see-saw battle and it raged up and down the roads outside of Chillwind Point. Horde players respawn at the graveyard at the Bulwark and face a long run back to Chillwind. Alliance players respawn across the street from Chillwind. They have a definite advantage. Except we were all on Vent and we called in our guildmates. We shortly had 10 guildmates from Requiem there and we chased Tearyouup up and down the streets and Toreherup. Twentyfive Honorkills later we finally were given some breathing room and we again set about attacking Weldon. Needless to say he fell quickly to our concerted blows. For the Horde!

Then, while the group was assembled I asked that they give me a hand with Araj the Lich found in Andorhol. We completed that task in five minutes. After we'd slain the Lich we summoned another guildmate from Orgrimmar and he collected the shard as well.

My wife, as she watched our activity at Chillwind, asked "Pick another character here on Smolderthorn that you want to get to 60." She has an Undead Warlock called Zauber that is nearly 25 now. I thought Oddity, my Orc Warrior, would be a good choice, but then considered that the world is full of Warriors. And Warriors aren't your prized resources in Instances. Priests are. She will level her Warlock along with my Undead Priest, Darbanville. She'll play the male undead 'toon in this pair while I play the female undead 'toon. (Yeah, I'm a sucker for dancing women!)

Darkhoof concluded the night by turning in the quests at the Bulward. He get a nice trinket for killing Araj, and a new quest in the chain of quests to get the key to Scholomance.

There was no instance entered. We didn't go to UBRS or Scholo or anywhere. We played in the game world. We didn't do any grinding. We weren't there to get 12 scales. We didn't intend to do any PvP. We'd have raided Southshore if that was the goal. We merely got 3 or 4 quests accomplished, progressed a little further in the storyline, had a snowball fight, got to wear Gnome Santa costumes, and had one hell of a time. Being level 60 isn't "game over." This is one dynamic world and being 60 is just the opportunity to have more fun.

"Gnomes just want to have fun."

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