Thursday, September 28, 2006

We played, hands down, the worst Alliance PUG I've ever ran across.

The stars must have been aligned right but last night Msaker went against the worst Alliance team he'd ever seen in Alterac Valley. It just wasn't right.

The game started normally enough. Most raced north. I noticed a few turning off to go defend Galv. Stonehearth is taken by us. Snowfall by them.

And then it went all wrong, and all right at the same time.

At Stonehearth there was a good bit of fighting going on. "Good grief," I thought. "This is where they stymie us." I figure we'd be banging our head against them here while they stole the Frostwolf Relief Hut and killed Drekk. I did manage to collect a lot of armor scraps before I went down. I rezzed at Iceblood and participated in a little of the fighting outside of Galv's place. More armor scraps and I was killed again. Not before holding my own staying above the half way mark on the score card. I rezzed and this time recalled back to Frostwolf to turn in the armor scraps I'd collected. My turn in managed to turn our guards into Veterans. Cool. The Primalist was gone though so I held onto the blood. Hmm. Lok wasn't being summoned (and he never was). There was one Paladin riding around near Drekk's keep. Seems he was trying to singlehandedly take out the archers. I found him up in a room by himself at the top of the tower healing himself. Level 60 to my 53. So I attack and just follow him around annoying him. Eventually I hear is death groans. (Same pluckiness manages to find the Alliance capturing all the mines.)

No matter! Back into the breach my friends! I rode north and noticed the countryside was pretty peaceful. Iceblood was still ours. And someone was saying in the raid chat "Let them have Snowfall." Sure. That's how it always goes. Galv is safe. Then I notice Snowfall is being captured. By us. Hmmm. I understand the need for a "release valve" for alliance dead. Funnel them safely past our offense so we can just get to killing the General. And they ours. May the fastest team win. But, no, one of ours was capturing Snowfall. And the raid chat was brutal! "Noobs." "WTF AER U DOING? YOU SUX!" I guess capturing every graveyard in the place was bad. Hmm. So the Alliance were going to turtle and this was going to be a longer fight.

I ride towards Stonehearth and check my map. The entire map is ours and we have people strung out from Frostwolf keep to Stormpike. :/ What's wrong with this picture??? Balinda is being attacked and I ride down and join in. (Being a warrior is kind of nice. Just dish out the pain and hope for the heals.) She goes down easily. Aw.

And at last I complete the trip up to Stormpike. It's a long fight it seems to capture the graveyard. All the alliance appear to be there. But we do capture it. And the "Battle for the Bridge" rages for a while too. BUT BUT here is where it's different. We've taken both of their bunkers! They're burning and we're still fighting on the bridge against a heavy defense force. I collect enough scraps and recall back to Frostwolf. Turning in the scraps I get to upgrade our guards to Champions. And I ride north again.

The battle around Stormpike graveyard continues. It's a regular furball at one point with as many alliance gathered in our, OURS DAMNIT, graveyard as we are. Five times I died and as a ghost targeted an Alliance character that I charged upon ressurection. And in the flurry of activity out at the graveyard we're manging to capture the Aid Station.

We're still fighting around the Stormpike graveyard when the win screen pops up. Huh? I scroll up and see Horde wins! How about that. I did not expect that! Amidst the alliance army we still manage to win. Why can't we do that more often? In a race, Alliance win. In a fight, maybe Horde win.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

News from the frontlines.

Nothing new since there's just so much happening.

Droonda main healed Zul'Farrak the other night. She's a 46 Shaman and she was our main healer. Nice work! Me, 53 Orc Warrior, Nachmahd, 54 Ehhancement Shammy, Xulu, 43 Troll Mage, and Nazaria, 44 Orc Warlock, ran the circuit. The groups of trolls were easy, and we survived the Fight at the Stairs without a death. We only managed to die when I, or Msaker rather, walked up to the Witchdoctor with the rest of the team in another area and Xulu was afk. Good grief. Green=not mean! Well, that encounter saw a ton of adds spawn, and they never despawned. We rezzed and began to work into the place again, this time moving right instead of left, alas the time got away from us and we didn't complete it.

The day earlier Droonda main healed our Maradaun run. She, I, Nachmahd, and Azghul, a guildmate Forsaken Warlock. We got the Celebrian Rod and the Celebrian Diamond, and got 3 of the 5 gems, all the shards, all the carvings. We did good. And Droonda healed like a pro. Nerf Shamans! No?

And ya gotta have a tank!

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Last night it was the Druids Night Out. Greenclaw took Itarilde down to Stranglethorn Vale and we did the hunting quests. Though the cats were yellow to Greenclaw, level 37, I can't imagine what Itarilde saw being only level 32. However, when we'd encounter a Shadowmaw Panther, say, she'd be in Bear Form and tank it and I'd be in Cat Form dps'ing, and pulling aggro off her. We did incredibly well! At our level we can tank, dps, heal, hide. What more can you ask for?

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Arcarius managed to reach level 51 at long last. (First ever character, been alive since November '04.) He reached 51 at Raven Hill in the Plaguelands. What was his first action on dinging? You bet! He turned in his scourgestones and traveled to Alterac Valley and attempted to go in. No luck since there appeared to be enough defenders. For another night it will be.

My wifes characters are getting their own love. Droonda of course. What a woman! Winkydink, her Gnome Warrior. ("Need more rage!") Effilda, her Human Mage, cleared house, and quests, in Redridge. Ombria, a Night Elf Rogue, is going to get some attention too.

Our friend Nachmahd continues to press to level 60 with his Shaman. And Nachzug was created last night and is an Orc Warrior nearing level 10. (What's nice is now he knows how Msaker feels when he loses aggro! :) )

Expansion? I don't need it quite yet. (But when it does come, we'll all be ready!)

Until then.

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Your humble correspondent signing off.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Orc who fell through the earth.

(Bowie reference. Msaker used to be known as Oddity. Another Bowie reference. Go figure, eh?)

Paladin hit me so hard I fell through while defending at our Relief Hut.

Rage against the machine!

Was in the Undercity last night.

And one of my readers spotted me. (Hey, Ric.) Somebody was showing off in a dumb way and I said something, the Trade channel I think, and I got recognized by another person. What were the odds? Cool.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ice Barbed Spear just for showing up, thank you.

No. Thank YOU, Frostwolf Clan. Thank you thank you thank you.

So, wrapping up a little mage quest with Zauberin in the Arathi Highlands, Msaker urged Zauberin to take a break and let his sweetie, Droonda, come out to play.

Nachmahd was waiting for us in Reventusk Village in The Hinterlands. Our mission here? Embarrass the Wildhammer Clan one more time. To send a final message to the Dorfs of Wildhammer.

We took up a cook in Reventusk's, Otho Moji'ko by name, first mission a few days ago. Slay elves. Slay a lot of elves. Slay them all. Break their bones. That was going to send a message, alright. That message being: "Don't mess with Orcs." We cruised through that little lodge like grifters at a Shriner convention. We rescued some troll, escorted him to safety, and wouldn't you know it, before we'd even made it back inside the lodge there he was again. Back in the cage. (Trolls. Hmph. These guys had empires once?!) Wasn't going to rescue him a second time.

Killing a few hundred elves, we wrapped up this little job. Going back we got the second mission. Kill the Gryphons and collect their feathers. But Gryphons are rare and don't seem to have feathers. "Troll Dude. They're lions. With eagle heads, but still, for the most part, MAMMAL." Orcs are smart. We do more than smash and grab shiny stuff. We went to Feralas and killed Frayfeather Hippogriffs. I know, I know. "Orc Dude. Moron. Hippogriffs are part horse and, like you said, MAMMALS." AH HA HA HA. I'll have the last laugh. We quickly collected the needed feathers off the Hippogriffs. Otho the Troll will never know the difference. And he didn't. (And we finished another quest to collect the spirits of Wandering Forest Wandering Tree Things at the same time. Orcs are smart!)

So, we bring Otho his feathers. "Oh, yeah, we sent a message alright. (kee kee) That would be Orcs aren't dumb. ... And never you mind. They're respawns."

And now he wants a final message sent. He wants us to take this spear and plant it in the Dorf village, at their well. Blood covered, wrapped in gryphon feathers, this spear certainly was a message alright! And I had a message of my own. That being: "Dorfs! (My pardon.) Dudes! The troll's are seriously nuts. Are you sure you don't wish to reconsider your previous objections to Orcish suzerainty over your dominions? Are you sure?"

No. They weren't having anything of it. The guard I approached at the well wasn't taking kindly to my approach. I felt a little like the new sheriff coming to Rockridge. All I wanted was a laurel, and a hearty handshake, but no, nooooo, they had to come out fighting. Ooh. Like he's all bad, this little dorf. Come to attack me Mr. Dorf? Come to be all bad and all that? Not today. Not now, not ever. Droonda, Nachmahd, and Msaker beat that Dorf silly. Knocked all the ugly out of him, and then his stuffing. Got a little silver and some wool off him too. Like a rag doll, no? Spears planted, we were done.

Nachmahd takes a side quest to rescue a chicken. I'd done it last time. (Not bad plate boots for the reward.) Droonda had taken the quest but she missed the completion and abandoned it. I figured we'd need to wait for another beacon to drop. But when Nachmahd activated the chicken she was asked if she wanted to take part, she did, and so they were both on the quest. Yay. Gotta save chickens. It went so easy. Just walked it to the beach and they were done.

But, that's not all. We returned to Feralas. This time we were sent to get the spirits of elite Mountain Giants. Level 49+ elites. We were level 46, 51, and 52. Tank + off tank + healer. No worries! We worked off Droonda's giants first since she was getting tired. (I guess not all Orcs are envigorated by slaughter.) Droonda departed and it was just Nachmahd and I. I'll tank, you support. Pull a Giant. EARTHSHOCK. "Let me get aggro." Defensive stance can do much and I managed to pull most of the damage taken onto me. Where it belongs. "Save your mana for healing." We were actually at the point, dumb positioning, where we had two giants and a bear. This is just two of us mind you. Woot. We come out of it hurt, but alive. Good healing. Good tanking I hope. That double trouble happened a few times. We finished the quest pretty quickly too. Back to Camp Mojache. The quest reward? A two-handed axe faster, more DPS, same stats, as the Whirlwind Axe I got at level 30. 20 levels later I get a free upgrade to that axe. Axe proficiency is good. I'll need it for my Arcanite Reaper.

So. Two quests out of the way tonight. It's late. What's left to do? I suggest to Nachmahd that we go to Tarren Mill and ride up to the entrance to Alterac Valley and get the quests there. In anticipation of going in this weekend. AV weekend, yeah baby! I collect like 5 quests, he gets 3 but his quest log is full. Standing there in the tunnel, pretty close to the instance entrance, he asks "Shall we?" He's up kind of late for him. I'm used to it. "Sure." We enter. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the quick BG pops for horde in my Battlegroup. And there we are. I give him a few words of advice. "Follow the crowd." That's how I started out. I'm level 51. Happily nobody commented on that. "Why'd you join noob. Get some levels and then come back." No. Nobody said anything. THANKS! That's cool. So we ride out and head north. Of course. I play some at the Stonehearth graveyard. I manage to get some killing blows in too. What the hell? Me and my Vanquisher/Sword of Omen dual wield and I'm getting killing blows in on level 60's? Execute for the win! I die a few times. But, odd, I don't die nearly as much as Blackhoof does. The Druids take me out twice, but later, not until I was helping assault the Stormpike graveyard, I was pretty happy just wandering around alive and happy. Did a few armor scraps turn-ins. (5000 xp or so for the first turn-in. Nice. Next time I'll catch the blood turn in too.) Nachmahd logged about a half hour later.

(I'll give Nachmahd the formal tour of Frostwolf next time. Show him where to turn in armor scraps and blood. Where to tame dogs for that quest. And we'll go to that mine and get the Frostwolf banner back. It's easy if you've been there before. I'm thinking my Night Elf Hunter will have the same thing to do. Learn where stuff is, how to move around the map and all. Will be fun. Ice Barbed Spear!)

I kept on though, night owl that I am. And, you know what, we won. Here was a first clue that someone was thinking. As we'd set out someone suggested that ten hold at Galvanger's for a bit. They held it for a good long time too. Lately, if Horde wins, it's when someone's defended at Galvanger's for a while. Take note.

Mulverick and Jetzor were up in the air. I've never noticed that. And we tried to summon Lokholar, I followed the Shamans out to the summoning circle (those cows are TOUGH!), took part in the summoning, least a low level character can contribute, but it appeared bugged. No Lokholar today.

Someone mentioned Balinda's so I rode down. I got to take part in her killing. Little ol' Msaker. /waves.

And then I concentrated up north. We took the Stormpike Graveyard and I didn't even notice the north and south bunkers get taken. Next I see we're taking the Stormpike Aid Station. Yay for us. So I'm doing my part at the flag. Trying to intercept and hamstring reinforcements going in to Vann. And we're fighting Marshals and we're holding the Aid Station, and then WHAM the score screen comes up. WTF? Oh noes. I'm stunned. Already? I actually scroll back the chat log to see who won. Horde wins! Alright!

I come out of the BG in the tunnel. I turn in the one quest that I completed there in the tunnel. I went in turned in my 3 Honor Marks (should have saved them for the weekend perhaps). And then I spoke to the guy who wanted Vann dead. We'd done it and he was ready to reward me. With an Ice Barbed Spear. ZOMG. I'm level 51. Some add-on tells me it's item level 63. Woot.

Ice. Barbed. Spear.

Anyway, that was my night. Msaker's been having himself some fun.

/signing off.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Alterac Valley, here we come.

Oh, it's going to be a hoot. Two entry level Hordies coming to a valley near you. You being someone in Battlegroup 7. Msaker, a nearly level 51 Warrior, and Nachmahd, now a level 52 Shaman.

Plan would be, while you guys are out fighting, to do the basic quests. Particularly the one to get the banner from the cave. It should be possible to do alone, but if not certainly there's other noobs to join in.

Droonda will be off in Guild Wars land previewing the new expansion.

And it's AV bonus weekend. And when Nachmahd tires of it, then Arcarius, soon to be level 50, will, hopefully, join the fray on the other side. See things from the Alliance viewpoint.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm back in the saddle again.

With friends.

Starting in The Hinterlands now, working our way to getting a mallet and then tearing up Zul Farrak. Msaker and Nachmahd starting in the Western Plaguelands killing bears and spiders for some Shaman Quest. Nerf Shaman!

And now the Tuesday ritual of checking my rank. More later.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Taking a break.

Droonda and Msaker will be away for the week. Going to sunny and warm Spain. My only fear is honor decay. :) At least we get back on a Saturday.

So, squash a gnome or two for me. /waves.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Hi, my name is Robert, and I am an altoholic. Unrepentent too.

But, hold on. Am I really? Compared to some? :) Check out Rah Si Kuhn's site. Whew. I don't get enough sleep just running a few characters. (Found this reading WoW Insider's recent breakfast topic.) How does she do it?

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Just the two of us. And then, something completely different.

Itarilda and Freewind returned to Stormwind City, prepared to cleanse the Stockades of the rioters. Just the two of us, so we visit the meeting stone and touch it. Wait. "MMM mmm. Dum dee dum. So. How's things? Like the weather we're having? 'I don't know about you, but I can't understand a thing those wisps say. I usually just nod.'"

Well, we stopped waiting and went in to see how it'd go. I being level 29, she level 31, how tough could it be? I carefully pull and we keep back. One or two at a time was easy enough. The only annoying part was the runners. Playing a Fury Warrior like Msaker I tend not to "stance dance". But I wanted to see how quickly I could fire off a hamstring once their health got low. I stayed in defensive stance, with a shield thank you very much, and then when the health got low I went into battle stance. All my rage was there. I dropped a hamstring on them and then an execute. Tactical Mastery for the win!

We worked our way down the corridor, and at the T made a left. This took us to Dextren Ward. It was going real well. We had a Druid join us for a few rooms but he disconnected. After we'd killed Dextren another person joined the party. Unfortunately the prisoners were back and we had a bad pull. When the new party member says "Well, I'm going to join a group that's ready," I'm thinking "We've cleared 2/3 of this place without you." and I say "Good luck to you." and uninvite him.

Back at the start, just the two of us again, we worked our way back through, and at the T made a right. Is it common knowledge that Hamhock is a Shaman? Mmm. Well, that's that then. We did get 3 out of our 4 quests completed and it was fun. Itarilda did a great job of keeping me alive and I think I did a pretty good job of keeping all the bad guys off her.

Leaving the Stockades and reporting back to Warden Thelwater, we both gained a level. I was now 30 and she 32. Time for training and then some R&R.


Getting to Exalted+ with Frostwolf (see below) concluded with a nice win for the Horde.
I do love it when someone actually takes charge. One of the last games, in the silence of the cave, I sent to raid chat "Silence until they take they Relief Hut, and bitching till we lose." It remained pretty much quiet until they took the Relief Hut and bitching till we lost. "Worst game ever," someone said towards the end. GG Battlegroup 7.

But yesterday somebody was suggesting strategies. And when I saw a few turn left at Iceblood Graveyard, and head towards the Garrison, I joined them. I'd never been to the Garrison and that was the first time I saw Captain Galvangar. We were actually going to defend it. But, frankly, how often do the Alliance defend Balinda?

So now there's eight of us in the Garrison, waiting the inevitable approach from Snowfall on the other side of the Field of Strife. And here they came. Like chickens to the stewpot. This went on for a little bit and then quieted down. I went east again to Iceblood Tower and climbed it. Alliance bunkers are much different from Horde Towers. Was it me or were there simply fewer archers defending here? Up next to one of our archers I take a Frostbolt. Hmmm. So I walk to the back and then begin a descent. I hear fighting below. Hmmm. So I fire up a Lightning Shield, put up a Windfury buff on my Unstoppable Force, and drop into a furball. Crikey! (to honor Steve) but there were a bunch of them. Red names. Alliance. I don't last long at all. So that's that then.

I resurrect at Iceblood and make my way north again. Stonehearth bunker, garrison, and graveyard are all taken. Progress!

Someone says "Need Healer and more DPS for Bal". That just happened to be right where I was. I swing left and dismount next to him. He charges the gnome captain at the door. I keep him healed and a mage joins in. The gnome drops as I run out of mana. (Sheesh. Shamans.) So we move in, we're five now. And Balinda is easy enough.

As we ride out I see our frontline has been doing well. Moving up the road to Stormpike Graveyard. This is usually where we get bogged down. Not this time. Our steamroller has kept rolling. Stormpike itself was lightly defended, but never abandoned. We were literally fighting Alliance, two or three at a time, around the flag, while we killed Marshall's, and through the killing of Vannadar himself. That final battle I was just running around the room targetting hoping to catch an Alliance player. And there were a few regular die-hards. Thanks for the HK's, ding! Horde Wins!, and good night.
Blood Guard + Frostwolf's (Epic Trinket) Eye of Command.


And the +15% Ghostwolf speed is great for picking herbs.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Exalted with Alterac Valley. Or, Boy, those Pirates are going to pay!

It was a long weekend and Blackhoof sallied forth into the battlegrounds again. This was no honor grind. Honor is precarious. Given out by the Powers that Be, and revoked as easily by the same Powers. The Powers grant benefits and rewards, and the Powers are also the first to lock you out again when you fail to pass the muster. The Powers won't deny progress, but the Powers are soon to be packing up. When Honor changes in the future, to become nothing more than a rankless commodity to be spent like copper, that's the day our War is over. That's when we become mercenaries, assassins, and/or terrorists. Out on our own business or vendettas when we lose State sponsorship. "For the Horde" will be such a hollow battlecry. While Blackhoof will never make Warlord, he doesn't deserve to wear that Warlord gear. If "Honor" is to become nothing more than credits earned towards buying reward, this is nothing more than being able to buy General's stars at the pawn shop. You're not a General, you've only got money.

But, I digress. Alterac Valley, the last few battles, were absolutely horrible! The Alliance are taking the Frostwolf Aid Station and we're still on the road leading to Stormpike Graveyard. Is it me, or is Frostwolf way too spread out to make defensible? I mean we enter Stormpike and we have towers on both sides, NPC's everywhere, live defenders all over the place. I was over in Frostwolf and I was alone when I watched a mage two-shot the entire Frostwolf Aid Station guard with Arcane Explosions. He was backed up with Paladins and some Rogues and then there was a swarm of them. We've captured Stonehearth and they're assaulting our Aid Station. It's always the same. We get Stonehearth, they get SnowFall. Then they grab Iceblood and it's we who ride the gauntlet through them to our frontline.

Second to last match I'm in I see a /say while we wait for the gates to open. "Anyone for Capture a Mine?" I see someone say "Sure." I ask "Can we also do Proving Grounds?" "Sure." So we ride out, Blackhoof and two Hunters. It's very easy with them. We capture the mine from the Kobolds and see it revert to Orcish labor. Then we ride south to the Windpaw Caverns. Again, very easy. At that point I see by the map that the Alliance have assaulted a few bldgs in Frostwolf. The Horde is strung out on the road north, and there's more than 10 AFK according to the raid chat. :/

It took a week but the Alliance x-server pugs have gotten the Zerg to Drekk down to an art.

I reach exalted though and take my ride up to the Frostwolf quartermaster north of Tarren Mill. I buy my Immovable Object and I buy The Unstoppable Force. Yes, I respecced back to Enhancement, with Stormstrike, to see how the up-close-and-personal battles in Arathi Basin will go. I do have about 1,000 more Reputation to earn with the Frostwolf and that will get me the Rank 6 Frostwolf Insignia. That'll be a nice "Been there, done that, lots" memento. And Faction Reputation, unlike Honor, you can't lose. I'll always be esteemed by the Clan. That's an accomplishment.

After reaching exalted, but before respeccing, Blackhoof accompanied Droonda down to the sands of Tanaris. She had never been there and took the missions the goblins had to go kill Rogues and Bandits and Assassins. She did the business, and I kept her safe and healthy. We didn't group so she'd receive the full benefit of the experience. Except on the mages, which I'd pull by attacking their voidwalkers.

We also rode up to Steamwheedle and got all the pirate missions. Blackhoof had never done them himself so we grouped for that. And when Nachmahd appeared and learned where we were, he wanted to join us as well. Rum: Everyone wants some. And we rolled through that camp like cavalry through a wheat field. >>Epic'd Shaman<< thank you very much. But 20 pirate hats took so long! But this was satisfying. Especially after the drubbing given the Horde by the Alliance. At least in my Battlegroup.

Msaker, level 49 now, Droonda, nearly level 44, and Nachmahd, also level 49, have a few more things to do yet in Feralas. The rain forest is very nice in the rain too.

And my Alliance characters... Where's the time??!