Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Warrior's Journey. From obscurity to getting a real nice axe.

Dinging Level 29 with my Warrior Oddity seems like so long ago. I vaguely recalled the moment I turned 29 and vowed to enter the Warsong Gulch and fight for honor till I'd earned my Sergeant's stripes, or I dinged 30, whichever came first.

And did I ever fish up a storm. I mean the waits to get into Warsong Gulch are everlasting. I sometimes waited an hour, killing time by speaking with the Battle Master in Orgrimmar and heading out to the Crossroads and then running up to the Oasis up North where Deviate Fish spawn.

But one third of my way to Level 30 and I thought to myself "This sucks. I'm getting nowhere." I'd earned all of two stripes for my time spent here. So I decided to head out into the real world and return to the Way of the Warrior.

I'd gotten a Warrior quest back when I was level 20. The Brutal Armor quest. I'd gone to Stonetalon Peak to get some ore out of one of it's mines. I'd already mined some of my own iron ore and smelted it into bars. And I'd gotten some powdered Azurite from the Azureload Mine in Hillsbrad. What I had left was to get some Phlogistone (or something like that, Me Orc! Me Smash! Me not so bright always!). But I wasn't worried about it. The quest reward for completing that armor set wasn't as nice as what I could already make myself. BUT it was a Warrior quest and I figured I'd have to complete that one to get the one I really wanted, my own Whirlwind Axe.

Not really going anywhere and on my way south of Camp Tarajo to look for green mobs to kill I heard a group was looking for a tank for Razorfen Kraul. Checking real quick I realized the component I needed for my Warrior quest was actually found in RFK. Yay! And I had one quest there already, that was to get the heart of Razorflank. So I volunteered my axe and shield and was invited into a group.

It was a glorious run my friends. I the level 29 Tank, the Mage 30, the Priest 28, the Rogue 29, and a Hunter 28. I tanked and was 2nd on the DPS, the mage coming in first, and we did not have a single death. Not one. We were through there in a little over an hour. We were stoked on completing that one. A pick-up-group that good is something few and far between. Turning in the heart of Razorflank saw me dinging 30, and already having gotten a nice shield out of RFK I opted for the mail girdle quest reward. And with the phial of phlogistan I went to the armorer in the Barrens and he made me the promised Brutal Haubrek. This piece of chest armor was as nice as what I was wearing, but in different ways. One emphasized Strength and the other Stamina. Both could have their purpose.

But there was more to the Brutal armor set as I was to learn. Gloves, Leggings, and Helm as well. These turned out to be easier to acquire. I got the component for the Helm by killing a Chimera in the Charred Vale, and I returned it to the armorer and had a helm made. It wasn't as nice as what I was already wearing.

I then turned my attention to the new Warrior quest set for me. That was to journey to Fray Island and speak with The Islander. (Yes, it's a pun. :) I had to prove myself and it was just so easy. Even the big guy, Will, he fell to my blows without me even breaking a sweat.

So now I had the quest to go get my Axe. I volunteered the help of a guildmate and for that help assisted him with his own character. What a sweet axe for a level 30 Warrior. If you can get your hands on one, do so. With new axe in hand I continued on my journey to complete my Brutal Armor set.

The Brutal Leggings would be fashioned for me when I returned to the armorer with the shinbones taken from Dragonmaw Orcs. These are the Dragonmaw Orcs that patrol the Wetlands. To get to them I had to journey first from Hillsbrad to Hammerfall in the Arathi Highlands. This would be my first run there. It was a quick journey and I avoided the attention of the various beasts by sticking to the road. I even escaped the notice of the one Alliance I came across and that was a Level 60 Warlock. (Whew.)

On reaching Hammerfall and getting the flightpath there, I then turned south and headed into the Wetlands. Again, no Alliance and the Dragonmaw's fell to the Whirlwind Axe like there was no tomorrow. And I dinged 31 while doing it. Not bad.

Now having gotten the shinbones, and being so far south already, I decided "Why not?" and decided to head out to the Badlands. I journeyed up the Dwarven tunnels, killing a couple of defenders very easily (that Whirlwind Axe is AWESOME!) and making my way through the Loch Modan region.

Actually entering the Badlands was equally anti-climatic. The wolves spotted me right away but I just kept running. My Warrior abilities kept me healthy with their every blow it seemed and I eventually arrived at Kargath.

From there I hopped on a Windrider and flew south to Grom'gol where I'd been the day before collecting tusks for the axe quest. I love the sea.

I then hopped on the Zepplin out of there and flew up to the Undercity where I turned in the legbones and collected my Brutal leggings.

I then hearthed back to the Crossroads and then flew north to Splintertree Post. I had one last piece of the Brutal armor set to get and that involved collecting Satyr hooves. So easy. I wasn't one-shotting these level 28 Satyr, but close enough. Cleave is a wonderous thing. (One cleave hit was 456 points of damage!) And while a collected my hooves I noticed I was making good progress on the experience front as well. Before my hearthstone had cooled down for reuse I dinged 32. On dinging, I hearthed back to the Crossroads, flew to Orgrimmar, got some more Warrior training, and then ran down to Sin'jin Village where I collected the last piece of my Brutal Armor set, the gloves.

You know, if you can get all these quests done, you're already wearing something better than the quest rewards. For a newcomer with modest means maybe it's a good set. For someone twinked and pampered like Oddity, well, it was a bit of a let down. But, wasn't that fitting afterall? For do we not find tears at the end of every Warrior's journey?

No Honor, No Dishonor.

The cow was an innocent victim of my friends new AoE. Honest.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone.

From my wife and I to you.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Zul'Gurub. Like the first time, but better.

The guild journeyed across the continent to Grom'Gol last night.

As any traveller or adventurer knows, this is the Horde outpost in the steamy jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. A Zeppelin Flight from both Orgrimmar and the Undercity. Jumping off point for forays into the dark woods of Duskwood and dusty Redridge. Base camp of adventurers seeking fame and fortune in the jungle itself. Nesingwary's Camp being, of course, not an option on a PvP server.

We equipped ourselves, repaired our gear, created our party, fought several duels as Santa's Helpers, and then set out for Zul'Gurub, the old Troll city to the northwest.

Our team make-up was a little different than usual. Our usual leader, Omaran, a protection specc'd warrior passed the baton for this trip to Mannos, who in equipment is a near clone of Omaran. And in leadership equalled him as well. Our targets were all arranged for us by him, and with five mages in tow we controlled each of the fights. And each of the three bosses went down so quick we were amazed.

If anyone has fought the Bat Lady, she's got some tricks up her sleeves, but if you know about them, they're easy to overcome. Her bat squads were easy enough to handle. The mages were reserved for that and I was set up to heal them. When they weren't attacking her with their wands they were AoEing bats with their arcane spells. Soon enough she took on her Troll form. When she attempts to heal herself we hit her with shield bashes and Earthshocks. When the fire bats come you simply make sure you stay out of the napalm. Some odd pieces of loot dropped, of which, the Primalists Band, was not to be won by me.

The Snake Guy, he was even easier. So many snakes quickly becomes so many sheep. Poison cleansing totems serve to keep partymates free of it's effects, and those that aren't so cleansed are cured by shaman and druid magic. Longer battles will find the Snake Guy making several clouds of lethal poison. We took him down so quick he only had time to make one.

Our last boss for the night was the Raptor Guy. The Trolls that one encounters on the way back into his encampment include a particularly viscous sort. The Blooddrinkers. Typically in our earlier runs, the Blooddrinkers were mercilessly sheeped and when they were the last to remain, they were held at a distance from the rest of us and quietly killed. Our crowd control in this particular battle was not as good as we had been and we found these Blooddrinkers walking in our ranks. However they did not damage us as they might have and this was nothing serious.

The Raptor Guy is a tough fight. He has no magic to speak of, and he doesn't heal himself. What is amusing is he will level up with each death he causes. Catch him on a good day and he'll talk trash like the best of the gnome rogues. I believe I've heard him even exclaim "Woot!" once.

In fact, in this little fight, he did manage to kill a few of us, so he had the advantage of some increase in power. But, in the end, and with our experience in tackling him, he too met the same fate as the other two. Dead and looted. Woot.

Zepplin out, astral recall home. Darkhoof repaired his gear, sold the few odds and ends he'd come across, deposited the herbs into the bank, and logged for the night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Whipped in Dire Maul. Creamed. Library is kind of cool.

Darkhoof's been holding on to the book, Frostshock and You, for a while now. A kind guildmate sold it to him for a very reasonable cost. The book was for a Shaman to return, Darkhoof's a Shaman, and the price was right. The book, a tome actually, seemed to belong to someone and I'd find that someone in the Athenaeum in Dire Maul. That appears to be a library of sorts. Don't know why they didn't just call it a library. Elves can be such snobs sometimes. (Wait.... Nevermind.)

I began assembling a party in Orgrimmar. From the guild I quickly had a Mage, who was on a quest to make better water, a Rogue, and a Druid enlisted. We only needed a Warrior to take the hits. All the guild's Warriors were otherwise engaged elsewhere.

What to do, what to do? In the public channel of Orgrimmar I announced "LFM tank for Dire Maul." Who responds to those kinds of calls? Hopefully I'd find a Warrior who had business of his own there.

Before long a Warrior responded. From a smaller guild. "Got room for a priest too?" Hmmm. Shackles and Priestly healing. I asked the party if anyone would care to drop and our Druid said he would. He'd just joined us to help out.

Excellent. Warrior and Priest joined us. And we set out for Camp Mojache where the team assembled. Feralas is a great zone. Provided you can easily handle the mobs, because the enemy tends to travel individually or in nothing more than pairs. Of the great battlegrounds of the world, Feralas is not one of them.

Riding to Dire Maul one is witness to the greater glories of the past. I understand the Elves originally built the place, but the scale is massive. So massive in fact that the Ogres have established themselves a comfortable camp here. With wandering packs of Hyenas and drunken Ogres you can well imagine it would be a dangerous place. (Dogs can, however, be a Tauren's best friend. I'll get to that yet.)

Well, being of the highest seasons (60) we all pass through the Ogres gathered about the entrance without drawing any attention to ourselves. It seems the more a threat you are to them, the less they will pay attention to you. That's not just Ogres but any mob in the world. If it were the opposite the 60's would be fighting every step of the way just to get around. And, too, the mobs aren't stupid. Tackling a 60 is certain death for them.

We entered our side of Dire Maul and got ourselves ready. Large lumbering trees walked past. One at at time, or in pairs. Those weren't our targets though. Our established tactic would be the Warrior would bring certain elementals to us at the door. If things went bad we'd simply head back to the portal and zone out. Our first pull, things go bad, and we portal out. I'm beginning to hate this place already.

Back in, we rezzed the fallen, and then continued. "Easy now." The 2nd pull, and the subsequent ones went well enough. The elementals all taken care of we quickly ran across the path, under a large pylon, and back up to the other side, past those wandering trees, to stand above this large sunken garden with a huge moving tree in it. This entity was some kind of Protector as found among the Elvish. But he wasn't our goal. We were wanting to get in the library. Or so I was trusting our Warrior to be leading us well.

We moved to the left and entered a room with ghosts in it. Curses. The Warrior attracted the attention of 6 ghosts and we were quickly killed. No nearby portal entrance to take advantage of. I ankhed, and rezzed the Priest. And we were immediately killed again by two ghosts that suddenly just appeared. Sneaky sneaky. Except we have the advantage of everliving life. They'd be ghosts forever.

We got the party back up, healed, and then reentered the room. We killed the guardians and moved to the far back where we encountered what appeared to be the ghost of an Elf. He was more material than the ghosts in that he appeared in the same form as he had in life. Though wearing cloth, he hit hard, and when he fell he dropped a nice set of leather shoulders. With Fire Resist so it was a particularly for the Rogue giving our new trips to the Molten Core where such gear is valuable.

We left this room and stood once more above the giant Protector. What would he drop, we wondered, if he was dead? With our axes flying we made quick work of it. A green staff. This mighty being and we get vendor trash off it? Nobody wanted it so the Rogue won it on the greed roll and would sell it for the gold to cover repairs.

We climbed back out of this sunken garden and prepared to move on. Looking over my shoulder I then noticed something unusual. A horse. Or the spirit of a horse. I walked back down and examined it. A fine beast. It's heavy hooves struck the rock floor in a way that no Tauren's hooves could, making a marvelously equestrian sound. This beast would make a magnificent mount for the stalwart.

Now Darkhoof does not know his way around Dire Maul and he simply followed the lead of the Warrior. But the Warrior was off on his game. Acting rather erratically. His friend explained to him that our goal was to visit the library, not to kill the Bosses of the place. But we moved towards another ghost filled room, and it again ended badly.

Four of us returned to life but the Warrior remained down. Apparently in some alternate universe his alter-ego was having issues with a girlfriend at the moment and he was not to rise again. Eight foot tall, five hundred pounds of brawn and attitude, and laid low by the flutterings of a female heart. I too have been felled by such and understood completely.

The Priest knew his way around, and knew what our goal was and motioned us to follow.

Back down to the sunken garden, and to a door. I possess a Crescent Key and had the door opened before the Rogue could get his lockpick tools out. We moved our way down this narrow hallway we found, killing the odd ghost and spirit on the way. At the end was another door. This door led to a large room which appeared to hold roaming groups of Wind Elementals. Like playing a childs game we waited for the right moments and made our way to another exit. This led down and down and at last we'd reached the Athenaeum.

This place was huge. And nice. A library and a museum and a laboratory all at the same time. The skeletal remains of a dragon suspended from the cieling, a great orb representing the globe we inhabit (or was it the stars that circled us?), elves making potions, and elves doing research.

I located what seemed to be the right librarian, and returned the tome to him. Now, I must ask, what is a tome, of value only to Shamans, doing in an Elvish library? What mysteries are these Elves hiding? But he was a grateful man and gave me a trinket for my effort. It was blue, Elvish in creation, and possessed rather nice magical value. +23 to my spells and healing, and +10 Fire Resist, it would be of use both in day-to-day work, and to my visits to the Molten Core.

Our Mage was shocked, however, to learn he'd have to find another elemental in Dire Maul. The Water Elemental boss. The library had not been his end goal. However, with our Warrior gone, still lying dead outside of the ghosts room above us, there was no longer a possibility with our group to accomplish that and so we called it mission complete.

I waved to the Priest, a decent fellow, as he and our Rogue hearthed home. The Mage took the rez sickness and ran to Camp Mojache.

I did not hearthstone back to Orgrimmar because I had one other thing to attend to back in Camp Mojache. It seems a colleague of one of the Tauren there had a friend go missing. I had found his remains in the library as well. Lucky for the Elves he was not suspended or made an exhibit in any way.

I returned to my body and picked an exit at random and ran for it. I was struck down by Gordok Ogres gathered around a campfire in a new part of Dire Maul. I ran back in and reentered to regain my corporeal self. I composed myself, regained my health, my mana, and smoothed my fur, and proceeded to continue on.

At exiting I happened across a little fight. A guild Warlock and two others were battling a Night Elf. I was not sure of her crime or transgression, but a guildmate was attacking her so I helped. She quickly dropped. "He said, she said" can be amusing at times, but in this case, with an insurmountable language barrier, there was none of that. "Kill, or be killed."

Now I must also ask, why can I speak with these Elves here in the library, clearly understanding their tounge, but I can't speak, even if we both try, with the Night Elves of the Alliance? I've encountered Elves across the world and I can communicate with them fine. Unless they are with the Alliance. That is a shame, I think. Though we might be enemies, we also happen to have similar goals. We both fight for the same causes, the Tauren and the Elves at least. We defend Nature, wishing to restore it to balance where we find it out of balance or corrupted. We both fight the Scourge and wish to deny Evil it's sway over the land. We both hold sacred the Emerald Dream. Our two nations otherwise similar in outlook, are led by leaders in opposite and deadly contradictory directions.

For truly, the Trolls are an evil race. That is well known. If you doubt me go visit Hakkar at his altar in Zul'Gurub. The Undead are unnatural. And though allied with the Horde they do have their own reasons for doing so, and their own goals for an endstate to our world. The Orcs are a foreign race, with no place for them in this world. This world did not bring them life as a Mother would and they should not expect it's shelter, and the sooner they return to Draenor or the Outlands the better for Azeroth. Should they wish to remain and assist in the fight against the Scourge they should ever be mindful they were once it's servants and it's a debt they owe the world. But, I digress.

Following the death of this Night Elf my guildmate entered the instance on his own mission and I moved to the exit. On the way out I passed a level 60 Gnome Mage. Surely he had business to attend to, as did I, so I passed without much remark. He sheeped me from behind.

This was probably the most interesting PvP encounter in a long time. Getting sheeped by a 60 Mage, who then winds up the next spell while you search for grass to nibble, has to be a quick way to the dinner table with a side of greenbeans and potatos. I did not have my PvP trinket ready since I'd eagerly equipped my new trinket earlier. The gnome's spell flew and struck and with a puff of wool I was returned to my old self, and damaged quite a bit. We then began our little tussle, me attacking with my dagger, he just bouncing around as gnome mages do. Bringing up a new spell, I interrupted with an Earth shock, and the battle continued. He was having the better of me though, but both of us were getting into the danger zone, and then I noticed a pack of hyenas behind him, heading our way. I backed him in their direction and hoped for the best.

Both of us were damaged pretty badly. My health was in the red, his in the orange. Then, not blinking away he is all of a sudden locked in a block of ice. Safe it would seem. But, and I can't explain it, the hyenas caught wind of him, him! and not me, and attacked him. I moved away to the exit as I saw all the dogs descend now on the mage. As I entered the hallway out I recieved notice that a Master Sergeant had just been killed and I'd received 69 Honor for it. I healed myself and continued on to Camp Mojache. Thank the dogs for that one.

And I must add, if the response of a gnome mage is to sheep all passing enemy, then gnome mages should not expect the enemy to pass them unmolested anymore. Death to gnomes. You've poisoned your own homeland and you only bring further destruction to the rest of the world with your explosives and weapons and fuel consuming contraptions. Death to all gnomes and the world will be a better place for it.

And with that Darkhoof returned to Orgrimmar and called it a night.


Oddity, the Orc Warrior, was sent back into the arena, to fight once more in Warsong Gulch on behalf of Thrall's forces.

There was a time when the Horde could do no wrong. Every battle in Warsong Gulch was a victory. The Elves and Gnomes would scatter like chaff in the wind.

But nowadays it is different. Since when did the vendors start selling backbones in Darnassus and Stormwind City? Two forays into the Gulch and the Horde was handed two losses. Though, it being Monday night, it could be the kills were the important goal, not the wins. Regardless, Oddity retired to his fishing spot outside in the Valley of Strength. Letting his white kitten out of the cage to stretch it's legs and turning his attention to catching a few fish for supper for them both.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Saturday Night. Garr.

Garr downed and all my DKP spent, but the Earthfury Helm is mine. Sweet.

Entering Blackrock Spire we were decidedly please with how quiet it was. A full 3 hours earlier than our usual raiding time. This time it was us that camped the entrance to Molten Core while our guildmates showed up by riding in from Kargath or being summoned in by Warlock. We did dispatch the odd Alliance character or two that ventured past us. That's just small revenge for the numerous attacks on us via Mind Controlling us into the lava. (A PvP death does not hurt the durability of one's equipment. Being Mind Controlled into the lava and having the environment kill you, that will cause a durability hit. A nasty tactic. We do not employ that though. Our Priests are healers, not psychos. Mere Earthbind Totems, Frostshocks, and Ambushes for us. Clean deaths without durability loss on our enemies equipment. Strength and honor.)

This was a good run up to Garr. Having already downed Lucifron, Magmadar, and Gehennas, the infamous "trash mobs" were noticeably fewer in number. We cleaned those up easily, and we had five Warlocks as we took on Garr. Once you get the swing of a battle, get the rythym down, it goes rather easily.

For the Baron, let's say we're still out-of-tune on that one. :)

Oh, and for those wondering how well a Shaman might heal:

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday night? Three bosses down in Molten Core.

Darkhoof's guild managed a nice run into the Molten Core on Friday night.

Things went so smooth. Well, they started out that way.

A reindeer train rode across the Burning Steppes to the entrance of Blackrock Spire. No Alliance scum were camping the entrance and we easily made our way into Molten Core.

We managed to down three bosses this night. Three wipes, and three bosses.

The first wipe came as we were squaring off against Lucifron. Someone stood too close to the cave at the entrance and next thing we know, as discussion of the tactics was underway, we're surrounded by Fire Imps. Lucifron went down after we'd recovered from that.

During this battle one of our Priests disconnected. We continued on, taking out the five Core Hound Packs guarding Magmadar. And as we stood before Magmadar the Priest returned. With the original Core Hound Pack hot on her heels. We wiped. Then we wiped the floor with Magmadar.

We stripped, ran for the exit, and then ran back from the cemetery at Thorium Point as naked ghosts. Resurrecting at the entrance again we made our plans to get the next boss, Gehennes.

We cleared the path like pros. Our timers informed us of returning mobs and we dealt with them handily. Squared off against Lucifron we attacked! And we quickly had Lucifron cruising through our ranks. There were horns everywhere. One of the shamans ankhed and we were quickly back in business. "Uh hum. We're better than this." And we took Gehennas down the second time with few casualties.

The only Shaman loot that was to drop came from Magmadar and that was a pair of Earthfury Boots. The Mother Cow was not smiling on Darkhoof this night and he did not win them. Next time though.

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."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dragons and Drama.

The evening before Darkhoof ventured out from Orgrimmar to assist some guildmates in collecting their Dragonheads. Emberstrife's thirst for heads is relentless. The team had already taken the Blue Dragon down in Winterspring and had proceeded on to Gadgetzan in Tanaris where we were to rendezvous and set out to the Chromatic Dragon.

Heading into the Auction House a small short person passed me. He was wearing very little in way of clothing. This could be due to the heat of the Tanarin Desert environment. Down the steps he went and up to the Auctioneer. Having done his business he turned to me. And waved. Ah ha! It dawned on me. That was our little spy we have secretly infiltrated into the Alliance. I nodded and whispered "Scram. You'll give yourself away." He laughed, in that incredibly annoying manner they do, and hearthstoned back from whence he came.

To be honest I'm not sure what inducements the Horde might offer such a race traitor. Positions at the right hand of Thrall or Sylvanus or Cairne Bloodhoof? I think not. How does one trust a deciever? I'm not sure where this little spy will fit in upon the Horde's victory over the mountains of Dun Morogh. Perhaps on a skewer roasting over the fire at the inn in Anvilmar. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. From whence he came he'll return for dinner. Perhaps with fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti.

But, we Tauren are vegetarians. My Orcish alter-ego must have been asserting himself.

We slew the Chromatic Dragon and headed to the Swamp of Sorrows to slay the Green Dragon Somnus. And then at last we journeyed back to Grim Batol to once again take the Red Dragon's head.

After the head had been taken we began working on acquiring some red dragonscales. And then an Alliance Warrior rode past. Level 60 and at a high rate of speed. Three of us set off in pursuit. I'm not really sure what he was doing up there at Grim Batol. The keep's gates are sealed and the area surrounding it is lifeless. It overlooks the massive dwarven dam and perhaps he was enjoying a little bungie jumping? I know we must have interrupted his plans and prevented his securing himself to a tree or anchor because next thing we know this human warrior was gone. He'd jumped from the heights to his death below.

We rode back to the rest of our party and came across a Night Elf Priest. The Gods require twentyfive honor kills a week to maintain our ranks. In fact, distracted as I've been lately, I did not manage to hold on to a rank I'd earned back at level 49. It may be time for me to reenter the Battle Grounds and gain further Honor against the enemy again. Needless to say it was quickly only twenty four required for this week.

As anyone on a PvP server will know, where there is one enemy there are five. In a short moment a Human Rogue managed to get the jump one of our cloth wearers. He took the Mage, alas poor Yorick, but we caught the black clad one and bludgeoned his head into the grass. "Moooo. Are you happy now?" Restoring the Mage to life we again returned to our original task. A Chromatic Cloak appears to require 12 red dragonscales, and it takes hours to get even a handful of them.

After one such scale being acquired I looked up. Here was our mage, shielded, bouncing in a splash of arcane color, that Rogue hot on his heels again! The Dishonor of it! The Rogue was level 60 and our Mage 57. Nonetheless, the Rogue was quickly surrounded and his head reintroduced to the bloody grounds of Grim Batol. "And stay down!" Our Mage, brought near to death by the ambush, had cleverly hurt the Rogue, lured him to us, and survived the encounter. For the Horde!

The night was late and we all journeyed back to Orgrimmar for some well earned rest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Keyed for Onyxia.

That was easy enough. After running around that long quest chain, killing Dragons across the world, the final run is simply another trip to UBRS and meeting with General Drakkisath.

Our 15-man raid formed very quickly but I decided to wait for more to show up in Kargath before setting out. Sometimes the Uber-guilds camp the entrances and they are in their with Rogues and Priests and Paladins. And they aren't there seeking hand-outs. And, as we can, we reply in kind.

Anyway, half the raid is in Kargath, and the rest? Already there.

We set out across the Badlands to Blackrock Spire and encountered no Alliance Scum. Easy enough. Through the gates, up the chain, around the rock and a quick jump to the terrace.

AHA! Alliance. Widdle biddy Alliance. A few met their demise. And then a famously despised Alliance Druid appeared. She was dispatched to whatever animal stall in heaven will have her.

And so we entered the instance. The place was strangely quiet. The roving bands of Orcs that usually greet us, gone. What's going on? I move into the hallway, and up the stairs and find more empty rooms. About this time the wise men say "WTH?" Aha! The other half of the party beat us here and had already cleared the first two areas. Nice.

And we played a catch-up game with these the entire run. Through to Drakkisith, downing Rend and The Beast on the way, we were relentless. Few deaths, and when all was said and done, one of our Priests got his shoulders, and one of the Rogues got his Vest. I got the Tooth of Gnarr which has nice +Int and +Spi. And of course I got some blood off the General.

We portalled to Orgrimmar and I made my way back to Desolace where I spoke with Rexxar one last time. A Drakefire Amulet, and the key to journey to Onyxia's lair, was at last mine.

(And it seems two of our Warriors have a tome called Foror's Compendium. Some sword they'll be able to craft in the hot blood of Onyxia it seems. Where's the love for the Shammy's? Where's our Quelserra?)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Onyxia Keyed. Almost.

Darkhoof ventured about Azeroth last night in his quest to become keyed for Onyxia.

It all started a few weeks ago. (Weeks? Is it possibly months? Maybe.) His guild was raiding Upper Blackrock Spire, and Lower, and so why not do the quests in addition to going for the set pieces of his Elemental armor?

Well, it's not that easy. The quest chain to get keyed for Onyxia starts with the Warlord's Command in Kargath. And that involves a 5-man group heading in, not a raid, and killing 3 bosses, Omokk, Voone, and Wyrmthalak, and recoving some secret documents in Lower Blackrock Spire.

In addition to advancing the quest chain, some gems might also drop that are used to get the key for Upperblack Rock Spire (UBRS). Darkhoof was very fortunate in that the gems dropped very easily for him and I've already told the tale of how he got his UBRS key.

Anyway, the Warlord's Command continued. Darkhoof and his party killed the bosses, got the documents, and returned to Kargath. Goretooth, the quest giver, sent Darkhoof to Thrall, in Orgrimmar, and Thrall sent him back out to UBRS to kill Rend Blackhand. (I've mentioned Rend before.) With Rend's head in his bags, he returned to Orgrimmar. Thrall is never slow with the praise and congratulated Darkhoof and then provided the citizens of Orgrimmar a nice little buff. Thrall then sent him out to speak with Rexxar in Desolace. Rexxar is the Half Orc that wanders the roads there.

Rexxar is just as bossy as any quest giver. Heedless of Darkhoof's efforts so far he instead keeps the pressure on, sending him to speak with an undead Gnome hag in Western Plaguelands. And, true to form, Myranda the Hag sent him back into UBRS, this time to collect Dragonkin eyes. Twenty of them. When Darkhoof did this part he was the only one collecting eyes and it was very easy to collect them all in one run. With the eyes in tow he returned to Myranda and she gave him the disguise with which to go see Emberstrife in Dustwallow Marsh. (And I've already mentioned the disguise and how Darkhoof used it.)

Anyway, speaking with Emberstrife as a member of his Dragonkin crew Darkhoof was given the task to kill 3 Dragons not on Emberstrife's Christmas Card list this year: Chronalis, Somnus, and Scryer.

When Darkhoof awoke in Orgrimmar he sent out a call in the guild channel: "Anyone up for collecting Dragon Heads for Emberstrife." Guild theme of the week was already: "Everyone get themselves keyed for Onyxia." Cool.

Scryer was the first Dragon our deadly little crew attempted. He is the leader of the Blue Dragonflight. We found him in his cave in Winterspring. He was easy enough to reach and we had a little help because his kind can drop a valuable scale used in crafting some good mail armor gear and a Warrior and Shaman accompanied our 5-man party. He went down easily. One head had been acquired.

One of the group had spoken with a small Dragon in UBRS named Awbee, and she'd sent him here, to the cave. Teleporting to the roof of the cave, and speaking with an enigmatic Blood Elf found there, our friend was punched across the world. Ouch. "Hope the water loads quick for you. Nothing worse than smashing into a muddy lake bottom, and THEN having the water appear that might have cushioned the fall.)

Chronalis was next. He is the leader of the Chromatic Dragonflight. These dragons guard the Caverns of Time. This Dragon was easier to reach because he had fewer guards. He did have a HUGE Dragon on his 6, but that Dragon remained disengaged while we slew Chronalis and took his head.

We then hopped up on the rocks around the Cavern/Temple. I peaked in, expecting to see stars or such, but instead just saw the group standing out front. It seems the Gods have removed the Caverns of Time for the time being.

Let me describe our adventuring group. It was me Darkhoof, a Tauren Shaman as you well know. Ona, an Orc Shaman who wears Beaststalker Pauldrons. Lexia, an Undead Mage, and owner of some 60 different pets. Murky being the latest and downright cool. Hsiri, an Undead Rogue, who won't stop until he gets a 5,000 crit. Carlspackler, a Tauren Warrior, bearer of the Halbeard of Smiting. Helping us out were Bezalbub, an Orc Warrior in full Valor, and Hammystyle, another Tauren Shaman, fully in Elements and already 4 pieces of Earthfury.

Each Dragon went down with our first attack on them. This was rather easy. I expect Onyxia won't be though.

Anyway, the last Dragon was Somnus, a Dragon in the Green Dragonflight. He's found in the Swamp of Sorrows surrounded by his Dragonkin protectors. You may have run across him before. He has a habit of appearing from behind and one-shotting you when you are out alone questing in the Swamp. Regardless we quickly exacted revenge for all the one-shotted and took his head too.

Lexia and I returned to Emberstrife and I turned in the heads. With that accomplishment Emberstrife sent me out one more time. This time to slay Axtrox of the Red Dragonflight. He (She? Who's going to check?) is found in Grim Batol, in the Wetlands. We rode out from Hammerfall and found him quickly. We spent a little time with him, and collecting his head, continued a little bit more and collected red dragonscales from his guards.

With the last dragon head in my bag I returned to, a final time I hope, to Emberstrife. There I got a medal and the command to go see General Drakkasith and discuss this with him. Seems I'd impressed old Emberstife with my willingness to kill other Dragons.

But, yeah, you're right. Dragons can lie and Rexxar in Desolace set Darkhoof straight.

Darkhoof will have to return to General Drakkisath alright, but to kill him and draw his blood. But that's for another night.

Darkhoof spent about 3 hours in Azeroth getting the Dragon Heads quests done and then retired for the night.

Tonight: UBRS.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Darkhoof goes to MC.

It's another week and Molten Core time again.

It's started excellent. We really have a handle on the mobs everywhere. All the way to Lucifron without too many dying. And Lucifron, downed without a single death. We rock.

Then we turned our attention to Magmadar. We took him down the 2nd time we through ourselves at him.

After posing for a picture we stripped and ran for the exit. We lasted 10 seconds. We then left our bodies to appear at the cemetery. The guild ran back in their underwear to the instance entrance.

We reentered and reequipped ourselves. We then moved on to Gehennas. We know how to handle him and we took him down with only a couple dead.

We then moved on to tackle Garr. However we did not have the warlocks we felt we needed, to do the banishes, and that attempt did not go as well as our first.

No loot dropped for Hoofie this trip. But he was #2 in healing again so that was good.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Seal of Ascension. An UBRS/LBRS run.

Last night I logged onto Darkhoof. I was hoping something would be going on even though it was a "down night" for the guild without anything scheduled. As soon as I log on I get a whisper "UBRS?" "Of course" I reply. I still would like to get my Vest of the Elements off General Drakkisath and UBRS has gotten pretty easy with all of our experience. Too we had a young Rogue and a new Priest along and they need their gear.

Anyway as I'm heading out to the zeppelin stand they tell me, as I was already doing, "Get on vent." (Ventrillo, our preferred voice comm choice.) By the time I get to the Zeppelin stand they tell me "Leave the raid." and I do so and get invited into a party. "We're going to get you the UBRS key." I.e. the Seal of Ascension.

Cool. I'd gotten lucky with the gem drops and have had the parts for over a month now, and I'd picked up Vaelyn's (sp?) Gift from Brackenwall Village. All that had been left to do was to visit Emberstrife in his lair deep in the marsh, beat him down, and make him forge a key for me.

So I left the zeppelin stand and headed back into Orgrimmar to catch a windrider to Brackenwall Village. Our party was all guild officers, and two were already ahead of me heading to Emberstrife's, and two were following. I knew they way because I'd already visited Emberstrife once before to speak with him and get some quests. (There's trouble in Dragonland my friends.)

Anyway Viscera, a Rogue, and Sapphyre, a Priest, were ahead of me and were already killing some of the elite Dragonkin outside of Emberstrife's Lair. As Hution, a Druid arrived, I'd stepped into the lair and put on my Dragonkin disguise. It's pretty cool though the movement's aren't all there. For instance, they can't dance or wave. But when armed they'll equip the shield and dagger you have in your hand.

Anyway, as soon as these three saw a Dragonkin standing in the entrance they all attacked. Sapph launched a Shadow Word: Pain, Hutty a Moonstrike, and Visc did his thing. All failed because it was me! HA HA! :) Funny stuff. Especially hearing it over vent. (Almost as funny as the time in the Tribute Run where they yelled in vent "Oh, *&#t! Run Darkhoof. Run!" And I ran. Dancing Ogres are so funny.)

Lexia, a Mage, arrived and we headed into the Lair.

I removed the disguise because for this Seal of Ascension quest the point is to beat Emberstrife down and break his will. Hutty went into Bear form and Visc did his Rogue thing and Emberstrife was quickly reduced to tears. I placed the unforged seal on the ground, and then mind controlled him with the orb. Cool. I was a real Dragon! Anyway, I looked for and initially did not see the seal I'd put on the ground. I didn't see it at all when the control broke. As I returned to Darkhoof, I again controlled Emberstrife. This time I saw the seal, and saw the Breath Fire command. I blew fire on the seal. Nothing. I blew more fire on the seal. Still nothing. Then the mind control broke again. We killed him until I could figure out what the deal was with the unforged seal. I was sure I was doing everything right.

So there we were, on Emberstrife's perch, when two Dragonkin walked up. "Where's the Dragon?" "We just pwned him." "Oh." "You doing the quests?" "Yeah. Don't pawn him again until we're done." ("Did he just say "pawn?" we ask each other on vent? :) "Okay." They do their thing and move on. We again attack Emberstrife and show him what a little girly-dragon he really is. I place the seal again, and mind control him. I see the seal and blow fire on it. Again. And then I see the frost breath button. Doh. I blow frost on the seal too. Bingo. The seal is forged and as I collect it I am restored to Darkhoof. Emberstrife dies, again, and I hear the distinctive sounds of skinning while Lexia takes Emberstrife's skin. The yardage this beast has shed in his career must be astronomical!

Anyway. Success! Now one last stage was to return to LBRS and return the forged seal and get the ring/key. We rejoin the UBRS raid, and the raid channel on vent, and make our way to Kargath.

As we arrive it sounds like an uber-Alliance guild is having it's fun in the entrances of Blackrock Spire and Depths. They've got folks stationed on the chain, down by the entrance to Molten Core, and at the entrance to BRS. There are skeletons everywhere. As we ride to the entrance from Kargath we hear the reports. We ride past a few alliance outside of the gates and then enter. The ramp downward is littered with bones. Lots of bones. But the trick here is: Keep moving and keep heading to your destination. To the left, up the rock, onto the chain, up to the left again, under the rock, over to the balcony, a jump onto it, head in, wade through the sea of red names to the instance entrance and go go go. Whew. Made it. Zerg entrance for the win!

We were a 15-man raid on UBRS. When you 5-man it, to do some quests, it is tough. 15-manning it, with Druids sleeping and Rogues sapping, is very easy. We cut our way down into LBRS where I turned in my forged seal to get the Seal of Ascension. +Nature, Fire, and Frost Resist. Not bad. And then we cut our way back to the entrance of the UBRS part.

Have I mentioned that I was the #2 healer on our last two runs into the Molton Core? I'm proud of that. I've got good +Int gear to boost my mana pool, and I've got +healing spells gear to improve my healing. (Hutty was the #1 healer there. Druids rock when it comes to healing. And the Battle Rez they can do is incredibly useful.) I'm a Restoration, 0/11/40, specc'd Shaman in order to provide the Mana Tide Totem for casters. And it counts. I crit often with my healing spells. (The 11 I have in Enhancement gets me faster ghost wolf casting and two-handed weopon talents.)

Anyway, I also have +Stamina gear for when I'm outside, and my Zulian Stone Axe, while providing +22 Int it also has +44 Attack Power.

My group had 4 Rogues in it. In the raid we had two other Shamans along, two Priests, several Mages and Warlocks, and 1 Warrior. We had a single tank. So I put on my +Stamina gear, and brought the Axe out and prepared to melee for a change. I might off-tank here, but I'm going to want to smash stuff while I do it.

I put out Stoneskin Totems to keep the damage my group takes down, and Healing Stream Totems to heal a little of what we do take, and reduce somewhat the burden on the healers, and for the Rogues I drop Grace of Air Totems. They just love it. (As much as Warriors love the Windfury Totem.)

Keeping the Windfury buff up on my Axe, and my Lightning Shield up, the Grace of Air Totems were providing me a lot of satisfactory triple hits. The Zulian Stone Axe, while all +Int also does decent damage. 58.6 damage per second. And +44 Attack Power adds, what, +3 dps as well? If you've ever been one-shotted by a Shaman, it was probably via a Windfury activating, and maybe even with some Flurry action to boost it. Mind you, being Resto specc'd, I don't have the Improved Windfury buff, nor the Flurry talent. (I miss those. I may respec when I head to the Outlands where I imagine smaller groups and melee will be common again.)

So, as I was saying, we were cutting through the ranks of the UBRS defenders. We cleared out those 8 rooms in the start without a loss. Our Warrior would charge the Summoner, one of the mages was casting some frost spell, and otherwise they were spamming Arcane Explosions, and a thought occured to me. "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" I wasn't straight up meleeing yet, casting like 2 Chain Lightnings per battle, and then meleeing the runners. (Our Warrior, a Tauren named Carlspackler, wasn't our usual Main Tank either. He's happiest wielding this huge Halbeard of Smiting. He is typically the main off-tank though, and this run, boy he did great as the Tank.)

We got to the Emberseers room and dispatched him without effort. I mean, for a boss, he's so ... wanting.

We then moved into the "LEEEEROY JEEENKINS" room. The Rookery. We did the Event. We then had one of the younger characters pop a few eggs as he moved to the ramp. Easy enough to kill the Whelps. That Leeroy Jenkins video is such a laugh. We took out the Dragons on the ramp, and along the ledge, and it was like wind through wheat.

We then moved on to attack the Orcs in the Armory. They went down swiftly as well. There was a rare Orc there and he dropped a Starsomething Tiara. Nice. And we just cut through to the balcony. Do you remember your first time in UBRS? When all this was so difficult? When all this took real strategy? I mean if we can pull one group, accidently another, and for giggles, another, and survive with only a death or two on our side, "What the hell?" What's happened to us? How did we get so good? Does the gear really provide that much more benefit? Could be. I didn't have my Sergeant's Cloak, or Timmy's Golashes, or my Dreamwalker Armor, or my Pauldrons of the Elements, or my Zulian Axe or Defender the first time I came to UBRS. With all this gear, and everyone else with their improved gear, we have gotten so much better. (And when you run into an Uber-Guild that makes Nefarian cry like a little girl on a weekly basis, they've got gear that makes ours look like vendor trash. That's turning around though with every guild trip to MC.)

So we make our way up to the balcony overlooking the Arena. Hooah! We jump down and wait. We dispatch wave after wave of Orcs and Dragonkin and Whelps. "Is this the best you've got Rend Blackhand? This? Send in the girl scouts and give us a challenge!"

That sets him off and next thing you know Rend arrives, riding his Dragon Gyth. Gyth is swiftly downed, and then we turn on Rend himself. And here's where my new Seal of Ascension again comes in handy. (It automatically opened the doors for us earlier.) Having equipped it before jumping down in the arena, I now used it. A huge Dragon appears, ghostly, heals us all for 5000 each, and then begins attacking Rend with us. Seems Rend's been a bad, bad Orc. Seems he's been abusing his Dragons. Rend goes down. And for the 2nd time in days drops another set of those Warrior shoulders. Alas, the guild warrior who want these is not with us. Rend also drops a polearm, but it's not as nice as what our Warrior already has, and so we disenchant both.

And so we moved on.

We moved our way on to the Beast. Our new Rogue, Kippin, is tasked with being "Punted." Yay for the Puntee. (Every newcomer to UBRS is made the Puntee. Its a tradition of ours. If you haven't been Punted, you haven't really lived. You must try it.)

We cleared out the rest of the room, and then the bridge leading over to General Drakkisath's room.

Clearing out the room to get to Drakkisath can sometimes be trying. Some days we don't do well and wipe on the first group. Last night we pulled one group at a time, got no adds, and did well. In our battles so far we lost one, maybe two tops. I didn't rez once this run. Didn't die once either.

We remove the trash mobs and have Drakkasith in our sights. We start the battle, and we have our Hunter lead Drakkasith off out of the room. We dispatch the first guard, and then turn on the second, and Drakkasith surprises us by being returning too early. No matter, we kill the 2nd guard and then concentrate on him. Our gear is good because he's taken down very easily. Yay for the team. Our Priest got his set shoulders earlier, and now he got the set robe as well.

Remember me telling you I've been #2 lately in healing on our 40-man MC runs? Well in melee mode I was #4 in damage output on our 15-man raid. And #3 in damage taken. Our guild's got skill.

Let me add: Recap is an add-on. It's been very useful in establishing what works, and what doesn't. Are you really "All that?" Let recap tell you. Using recap I set goals to be the best in a category that I can be. Are you really healing that well? How's your mana efficiency? You got the dps to keep up? Get Recap and find out.

All in all a great run in UBRS for the guild. And Darkhoof is now keyed for UBRS so that's excellent as well.

And tonight, Friday, we head back into Molton Core.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

What type of WoW character should you be? If you went to sleep tonight, but in the morning woke up in Azeroth, what class would you be?

Here is a site that'll reveal the inner class yearning to get out:

Me? With two Paladins named Bohemond, and one named Honorus, you'd think, and be right:

Mage Power. The Random Epic. Baron Geddon

My night began in Coldshire where Garbanzo was running a few errands out of Anvilmar Inn.

Bald, green moustache, cool blue eyes, Garbanzo put down troll after troll of the Frostmane Tribe. Seems they'd made off with some parts and such from the clumsy gnome in Anvilmar Inn. "Dude! Wipe the grease off your hands and keep a grip on them. Or next time get them yourself!"

But it proved a good opportunity to get out and practice my mage skills. Very effective at level 4 let me say.

Fun as that might have been, the Molton Core was calling a certain Tauren Shaman I know, and Garbanzo retired for the night.


It at long last happened. A random epic world drop.

There I was, waiting for the guild to assemble in Kargath and I was just out in the Badlands gathering herbs and killing scalding whelps there in Lethlor Ravine.

The Scalding Whelps will actually drop a small pet whelp and that's what I was hoping for. They sell very well in the Auction House.

But it was not to be.

And here's where good karma paid off for me.

See, on the way to the Ravine, rather than kill a Night Elf Hunter I'd ran across on the way to the Ravine, I stopped but did not kill her. Instead, I killed the 3 creatures that were attacking her. She appeared to have died anyway and I was rather disappointed. I hadn't saved her. But then I noticed one of the cats still fighting the other and it had two lines in it's name. Do hunters not realize feign death does not fool anyone when their pet remains there? Perhaps she feigned to avoid death at the jaws of the creatures. Anyway her cat and I killed the attacking mobs and I left her after bowing graciously. As I loped away in Ghost Wolf form (I can gather herbs in that form, very handy) I looked over my shoulder saw her stand back up. My Worg Pup announces my level for those in-the-know.

A little later, in the Ravine, after I'd killed a few Scalding Whelps I saw a mounted rider go past. A level 50 Priest. Human. An Honor Kill. I mounted up and set out to follow. But as I neared her, ready to leap off and cast a slowing Frostshock, I reconsidered. I wasn't going to take the easy kill, for a single HK. For what? One HK? I can dozens of HK's with just a little time in the Battlegrounds. Why kill one Priest? Let her live. Maybe she'll show mercy on the next Horde character who's path she crosses.

I merely followed her a bit more, up a gulley in the side hills and waved. I then rode on to continue on the Whelps. In a small gully right next to where the Priest was I saw another Alliance player. I caught the name, the double red line is such a giveaway in contested lands, but paid no mind to the class or level. I wasn't going to engage anyway and instead moved on.

So I wound up back in the Ravine killing more whelps. The priest rides out of the Ravine. Then a level 60 Alliance player rode out, and this was the one that was near her earlier. Had I attacked her, he right there and both together might have imposed somewhat on my survivability. What comes around goes around.

A few more whelps and another Night Elf rode past. This one was level 43 or so. I saw him after he'd ridden past, and then saw him suddenly stop. Without turning to me I did see him pause and his mount shrugged. I figure he was analyzing the situation. A moment later he rode on. I guess the skull in my level frightened him off. Lesson: Always inspect your opponent first, before attacking. If he's ?? or Skull to you, best just move on, quickly. I ignored him and continued with the Great Whelp Slaughter. (I will say being level 60 has it's advantages sometimes. Soloists tend to leave you alone.)

And then I killed another whelp.

And then the miracle. A first for me in a little over a year playing. A random epic world drop.

The Staff of Jordan

I think, for sparing these folks tonight, and being helpful as I could, I was at last rewarded with an epic drop.

Alas, it's of no use to me now. My wife's shaman is a few levels yet from using it, but the money it might earn in the Auction House has me wanting to sell it. That'll definitely buy some fancy blue items for her and my alts here on Smolderthorn.

- On reconsideration whether this Karma earned me the staff, the other night, as I moved to join my raid into Black Rock Depths to get some guildmates Attuned for Molton Core, I'd entered the area, made my way down the chain, and then proceeded all the way to the back where the BRD entrance is. After I passed the Blood Elf, and heading to the hallway, I caught sight of a level 54 Alliance player killing a dwarf. I kept going since my raid had already started. That one Alliance player turned into ten players, and I thought to myself, "Uh oh." I wasn't going to accomplish anything against them, I, as I'd already intended anyway, continued to run onward. Halfway down the tunnel one of the Black Iron Dwarves attacked me, not the Alliance players though. This dwarf managed to daze me and I slowed to a walk. Then it netted me. I could outrun this trouble I knew so I ignored it and continued on. Then came the dreaded Hunters Mark. One of the Alliance hunters was 1) preparing to kill me, 2) urging me onward, or 3) wishing me godspeed, and providing me incentive. Then came another net from the accursed dwarf. The Alliance players never moved in, and the dwarf eventually lost me as I entered the BRD instance. We got our guys attuned and there was great rejoicing. Maybe I'd already taken out a loan against the Karma I was going to earn. ---

The raid to Molton Core was fun. We already had 4 of the bosses down and today we attempted the Baron Geddon.

Darkhoof in Molton Core. Just before the battle with Geddon.

As you might know, the Core Hounds stop spawning after you kill Magmadan. The Lava Surgers stop spawning after you kill someone else. Some Rock guys stop spawning after killing Garr. So we simply had Molton Giants, Fire Lords, and Rock Annhilators to get through on our way to meet Baron Geddon.

The battle was fun. Every now and then the word goes out: "Darkhoof, you're the bomb." That of course is my cue to turn around and run to the back wall of the cave where I know I will explode. If the 3200 points of damage doesn't kill you, the fall from a great height will. Hence the trick is to run to the back wall, where the cieling is low, and explode by yourself there. The blast won't lift high enough to hurt you there. And if you can survive the 3200 hit, you can survive being the bomb. Alas, the Baron survived the encounter, but only after giving up valuable experience and lessons to us. Next time, as is the guilds habit, he'll go down.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Ah. Darkshore. It feels like home.

Nightsown and Moonlily continued their questing in Darkshore. Tonight visiting the ruins of Ameth'Aran and other sites now lost to the Elves. Killing high-born spirits, a wandering love lost, and bears and sabers beyond count.

We had quite the synergistic experience, Moonlily and I, as we quested.

I, the warrior, would charge foe after foe. This served to stun the hapless opponent for a brief bit of time. Enough for me to inflict a cutting rend. If this were the type that chose to flee the field, plainstriders for example, a quick hamstring would follow to help secure their proximity to me. And the ever more the battle raged I would then attempt mortal strikes that did extra punishing damage. And should I battle an agile foe I'd be given the opportunity to land an overpowering blow as well. Even like-levelled foes went down so quick I sometimes needed to wait a bit before I could charge the next one. At this stage in a Warrior's career, it's about damage output. Nightsown, with massive two-handed Cold Iron Pick, complies.

But, without Moonlily, I'd be half the man I am. In her experiences elsewhere she's learned how priests support warriors and Nightsown was shortly to benefit from her wisdom now. Before I charge, on the meaner beasts, she'd shield me. AH HA! I charged forward in a bubble of immunity and lay a hurting down on anything that stood in our way. Before the bubble fades the hapless opponent is already wracked with shadow word: pain. (My priestess, my disciple of Elune, will hurt you if she must.) And as I did my thing she kept me healed and we walked the Valley of Death and we feared not.

Bears to the of left me, sabers to the right, there I was stuck in the middle with a plainstrider, and, Hooah, we beat them down.

How wonderful life is, when she's in the world.

Nightsown dinged 16 and shortly thereafter Moonlily dinged 16 and we headed back to Darnassus from some training and the comforts of an inn with decent beds and indoor plumbing.

Moonlily and I are founders of Ysera's Flight, a guild on Emerald Dream. If you're looking for a small guild of mature players, send Nightsown or Moonlily a tell if you see them.


Oddity managed to gain another PvP rank. He is now Grunt Oddity. As you know the plan is for him to remain doing Warsong Gulches until he hits level 30 there.


Darkhoof went to UBRS last night. Part of a 15-man pick-up group. There were some 5 guildmates there, and one uber-equipped Rogue from one of Smolderthorn's new uber-guilds. The only thing green in his equipment was his [skin]. The only things blue, an odd trinket or ring. The rest was majestically epic purple [gear]. He was with a less well equipped female orc warrior who was obviously a member of an alt-guild of the uber-guild. Sadly though lady luck was not with her and she did not win any prize of note. She was to secure Rend's Head though so that was an accomplishment. Too, my warrior guildmate had managed to be disconnected just before we battled in the Arena there. When Rend dropped the Valor Shoulders another guildmate warrior managed to win them, but I know he was hugely disappointed. I tell this tale about this being a pick-up group because we went against Rend with 3 people disconnected. Nobody was using vent. We had 4 or 5 guilds present. One priest, one mage, two Warlocks, and, I guess, epic spirit. Rend went down so easily. - Lesson is pick-up groups ARE viable in this game, even in the raid-instances. We certainly were in no position to take on General Drakkisath but we did well. That far in and you have opportunities for set-piece gloves and shoulders to drop. And the belt and bracers can drop at any time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Levelling. My characters. Some speculation.

Where do people appear to find the time??? I'm referring to those leet level 60 characters that are already milling around in Ironforge that you've only just reached for the first time. And the server isn't a month old.

Kinless took me pretty far in the game. He quested through most of Stranglethorn Vale and had just started the tasks in Tanaris. But his trips to the Auction House in Ironforge were fraught with lag, and then, for the first time, he would have to queue to actually enter the realm! (Yep. Blizzard has something here. This World of Warcraft would do well. Look at all the players.)

And so new realms were to appear in the Warcraft multiverse, to borrow an idea from Michael Moorcock. Unfortunately there are no heroes that can cross from one realm to the other ... well at will. (The overrun of Smolderthorn, a new realm, by the elite veterans of Skullcrusher, an original realm, was quite a shock. Imagine encountering freakishly deadly Paladins. That's an oxymoron.)

Anyway, when these new realms appeared they included several PvP servers. I created a character on Frostmane and as I attempted to log on ... another queue! The goldrush was on. I waited a few days and then gained entrance. Darkhand, the Night Elf Rogue, began his career.

It was a mob scene. Elves were running rampant throughout the Tree. The boar and tiger populations took quite a hit that day my friends, let me tell you.

But Darkhand took it in stride and move out and onward. About the time I reached level 5 there was talk on the general chat channel of people seen that were level 30. Before I left the tree a few days later, characters on mounts had appeared.

Somehow the four-five hours I was playing a night was not nearly good enough. From some bizarre dimensional rift players were finding spare hours to somehow level their characters at rates approaching the speed of light.

Shame on me. I was actually attempting to do all the quests. The secret appears to be: quests aren't the answer. The early quest rewards are not worth the time lost running around doing them. Grinding and farming were the secret. Go out with empty bags and cut down green level monsters until your bags were full. Return to base, auction and vendor the things you've gotten, and repeat. You pretty much do that right up to 60. Minimize downtime and earn xp while you earn cash.

And I can attest to that. Kinless did a lot of solo work, and concentrated on his skinning and leatherworking. At level 48 he's 300 in skinning and could well be 300 in leatherworking too. (Perhaps not since he's started the Tribal Leatherworking quest series. He chose that speciality for the cool looking armor pieces, not because it would improve his hunting ability any.) If the quests weren't mostly farming (i.e. the hunting quests in STV) he did not do them. That's why at level 48 he has less reputation in the several factions than Darkhand did at 28.

Quests are a timesink that slow down levelling. But my characters on the PvP servers have studiously done all the quests because reputation has value and the story is important.

Too, lots of characters are a timesink as well.

Characters I have and play/played:

On Argent Dawn, RP server
o Kinless, level 48 Night Elf Hunter, skinning/leather
o Kinsman, level 16 Night Elf Rogue
o Moonbeam, level 16 Night Elf Druid, herbalist/alchemy
o Schaden, level 12 Gnome Rogue, skinning/engineering
o Bohemond, level 12 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing

These are all inactive. All too often one gets the queue waiting to log onto Argent Dawn.

On Frostmane, PvP server
o Darkhand, level 45 Night Elf Rogue, mining/engineering
o Bohemond, level 25 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing
o Msaker, level 22 Night Elf Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Rogier, level 6 Gnome Warrior

On Smolderthorn, PvP server
o Darkhoof, level 60 Tauren Shaman, herbalist/alchemist
o Darbanville, level 22 Undead Priest, tailor/enchanter
o Oddity, level 29 Orc Warrior, mining/blacksmith
o Denada, level 20 Troll Rogue, skinning/mining
o Lakota, level 14 Tauren Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Xojak, level 14 Undead Mage, mining/engineering

On Emerald Dream, RP-PvP server
o Dreamrunner, level 29 Night Elf Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Bohemond, level 15 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing
o Nightsown, level 14 Night Elf Warrior, mining/blacksmithing
o Garbanzo, level 5 Gnome Mage, will be mining/engineering

Okay. That's it. Honest.

Okay, you got me. I have space left for 3 on Smolderthorn and that will be some new Blood Elf characters.

And on Emerald Dream I'm hoping the new race will the Worgen. Accursed humans of Gilneas who have sealed themselves behind the Graymane Wall to avoid the plague that has otherwise overrun Silverpine and Tirisfal Glade, but yet still succumbed to another plague, that released by Arugal in neighboring Moonbrook. Perhaps in their isolation the Gilneans have devised a means to control their lycanthropy and the new race will be Human that can transform into Worgen at will. (Similar to the Druid transformation into a Moonkin form.) One can only hope.

Many think the Blood Elves were given to the Horde to help balance play. Few would play Horde because of the ugly races. So give them a pretty race and the sides will balance out some.

And that means the Alliance will have to get an ugly race. The Draenai were mentioned once. They are from Draenor, like the Orcs and Ogres, but were their enemies. You can find them now in a village in the Swamp of Sorrows. They are pug ugly.

Furbolg's is what I've recently heard. And if you've been to Ashenvale, Winterspring, and Azshara, this is viable. You have the Timbermaw Tribe with which either side can become friendly now. And if you do, when you travel to Azshara, there is a huge concentration of them near where one finds the Blood Elves up in the north. These are ugly enough and fit in well with the whole Emerald Dream slant the expansion will be moving towards.

The developers have promised that the race is already in the game, and everyone will go "Huh?!" when it is revealed as the next alliance race.

Anyway, that's just rumors I've read.

Tonight we have reports from Smolderthorn and Emerald Dream.

Report from Smolderthorn:

My level 29 Orc, Oddity, spent almost an hour waiting for Warsong Gulch to open up for him. He spent the time gathering a little ore and boar meat outside of Orgrimmar's gates.

He did finally get in. On asking to be invited to a group, and being so, he, like the rest, charged out to battle the moment the gates opened.

And like most matches the horde appeared to effortlessly control the battle. There were no tactics involved. The only /raid chat was the "Grats" at the end of the match. There are those who know what they are doing, and there are those who know "Orc intercept. Orc smash. Orc recover stolen flag." And that's enough it seems.

With Oddity having more kills than deaths, the top 8 players for the match were all Horde. Oddity included.

I started Oddity in Warsong Gulch as soon as he dinged level 29. He will stay there until he dings 30. He should make Sergeant in doing so. "For the Horde!"

About his name. See, Orcs aren't native to Azeroth. The come from a planet called Draenor. They're alien's here. Green, tusked, curdled mind, Space Oddity.

Report from Emerald Dream:

Nightsown, my Night Elf Warrior, and Moonlily, his Night Elf Priest companion (and real life wife) concluded the last of their quests on the Tree, and then journeyed to Darkshore.

We are both level 14 given the little bit of time we'd spent in Elwynn Forest over in the Human's lands. Nightsown enjoys the sunny, dusty, environment of Westfall, but Moonlily is Elf through and through and prefers the music and the trees of our native lands.
I created Ysera's Flight, a guild of our own. Members include Moonlily and Gretta, a Gnome Warlock, my wifes characters, and Dreamrunner, a Night Elf Druid of mine. Our real life friend, who joins us all the way from Heidelberg, Germany, plays Nachmahd, another Night Elf Druid and has joined us in Ysera's Flight. (And tonight the Flight invited Spyridon to the guild. A level 5 Druid (who is a level 60 Paladin over on Argent Dawn!).)

The three of us have Paladins in a guild called Righteous Arms. Nachruf, Durilda, and Bohemond.

In Coldridge Valley a young gnome graduated and began his adventure in the real, and cold, world. Garbanzo, level 5 Mage.

Garbanzo will have to play a little catch-up to get to Gretta's side, a level 15 Gnome Warlock.

Monday, December 5, 2005

I've decided to take up the blogcraft.

I've read several on-line World of Warcraft blogs and I was quite impressed. The bloggers all seem such reasonable and mature people and I'm glad to find the company I'm in is more than just l337 13-year olds.

My World of Warcraft addiction at the moment, aye, addiction I say, involves me most every night. It's also gotten me to 60 on a Tauren Shaman, 45 on a Night Elf Hunter, and 45 on a Night Elf Rogue. And so many 'toons it makes me sad there are only, like, 30 or 35 hours a day to play them all.

I'll use this forum to tell you the exploits of my Shammy, Darkhoof, while in Molton Core, and the young Druid couple Msaker and Silverfoot adventuring in Westfall, and the Orc couple Oddity and Droonda, and the Night Elf couple Nightsown and Moonlily, and the odd couple, Bohemond the Human Paladin and Durilda the Dwarf Paladinette. Darkhand, a brooding Night Elf Rogue, assisting, but not joining, the guild Exiles of Gilneas. Another Bohemond, older and wiser Human Paladin who shares the world with Effilda an aspiring mage, and the druids Msaker and Silverfoot. (I am a fortunate gamer in that my wife enjoys this game as much as I do.)

Too, this blog is a way to catalog my own WoW experience for myself. Who I played, when, and what I experienced. There are so many stories here.

Kinless, the blog's name, was the my first character.

Kinless is a Night Elf Hunter I took to level 45 on Argent Dawn, an RP server. There was a bit of a scare about level 30 or so when the name police took away my name. I objected, citing historical precedent to having a name that is an epithet and Kinless was restored his birthright. (Ah, the irony!) Ancient history, months and months ago, after Kinless had gained level 43 or so, and finally purchased his mount, a white spotted riding tiger that matched Jaguarette, my swamp jaguar pet, he was on a counter-strike raid in Ashenvale. Guildless he caught the attention of someone and was invited into a guild called The Kindred. Kinless signed up with The Kindred.

Up to level 43 I was very much a solo player. I finally began to join various parties to down the elites in Stranglethorn Vale like King Bangalash. But till then, and afterwards where I could, I continued to solo. Kinless is now camped in Gadgetzan and when I play him, so seldom nowadays, he makes slow but ever steady progress. Upshot was he was kicked from The Kindred due to not playing anymore.

Why did Kinless retire? Well I took the jump onto a PvP server. Actually several.

My first foray I created a few horde characters on Firetree. A Tauren Warrior and Bluetusk, a Troll Rogue. (I'd just watched a player-made WoW video called "Changes.") But that didn't last long.

I then created Darkhand, a Night Elf Rogue, on Frostmane.

Before I'd left Teldrassil Darkhand joined a party to do a quest in the Barrow Den. I didn't really know the rogue mechanics yet, but I'd had a lot of WoW experience with Kinless, so I handled myself well. Anyway the party had two people in a guild. I don't recall the name of this guild. I asked for admission and was invited and joined. Cool. And we actually played together.

The three of us enjoyed our excursions in Ashenvale. Rooting and smashing and slicing and dicing the odd Horde character that was so unfortunate as to cross our paths.

From that guild we moved to another, and that was a good guild.

RP or PvE server: Guilds are optional. PvP server: Guilds are so very helpful.

I was with that guild for a few weeks when news came of some new realms opening up. Several of us left our guild and jumped to a new server, Smolderthorn, to start life anew and Horde!

(Well, before we made that jump one our friends had left the game in favor of Magic the Gathering: Online. I'd played that for a while as well. He'd just downloaded the game and purchased enough decks that when I logged on to play him a game he thoroughly thrashed me. So much for my MtG skillz. :)

Anway, back to our move to Smolderthorn. This was back in May '05. We all started Tauren characters. Mine became Darkhoof, a Tauren Shaman. (Named in honor of Darkhand, my Rogue.) On our first visit to Thunderbluff our guildmaster made our guild. Loktar Legion. (Lok'tar meaning "Ride Forth!" or "Charge!" in Orcish.)

That guildmaster is still playing today, following a summerlong absence, in the guild we made, following several mergers, as an Undead Mage, level 54 now, and now an Orc Hunter in his 20's.

Our guildmaster became friends with an Undead Priestess in a guild called Dias de los Muertes. ("Day of the Dead.") A Mage/Priest duo can be a powerful thing and they did well. So well talk came about our merging. Loktar Legion and Dias de los Muertes merged and became Day of the Dead.

And boy, we were all moving up. Day of the Dead coalesced so well that soon enough we were making raids on Menethil Harbor. (This was before the big Battle Ground additions and we only got meaningful PvP honor by taking the battle to our enemies.)

And then we began an alliance with another guild, Satori, and that went so well, we merged and became Requiem. And Requiem has become a Molton Core raiding guild. We're just starting out but we're doing great. Three raids under our belts and we've taken down four bosses so far. I have a Sorcerous Blade to show for it. Our previous raid location, Zul Gurub, provided me my Zulian Defender. And our raids on UBRS and Strat and Scholo have scored me set pieces and some good equipment and cash.

At about the time I began doing UBRS Skullcrusher was invited to come crash our party on Smolderthorn. One week you're Gods in Battlegrounds, next you have Paladins, seeming Crit specc'd, PWNing your butt up and down the Arathi Basin. "I couldn't do that. Could you do that? How can they do that? ... Who are those guys?"

Then, some good news. A new server format was newly offered. RP-PvP. I created a Night Elf Druid, Dreamrunner, a Night Elf Warrior, Nightsown, and a Human Paladin, Bohemond, on Emerald Dream. (With the expansion possibly bringing The Emerald Dream and Druids more into the limelight, I figured these were good characters to start.) And there would be no massive influx of players from another server with 6 months head-start gearing up on you since this is the first of the RP-PvP servers.

Darkhoof remains active on Smolderthorn as Requiem starts their Molton Core raids. Check out the [Sorcerous Blade] on this Shaman!

So went my journey from Kinless, to Darkhand, to Darkhoof and now Dreamrunner and on into whatever the future holds here. And I'll be recounting the days here.