Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ten character slots is not enough. Warlock. The 13th Warrior?

Blizzard has basically said "Ten slots is good enough." and won't be adding any slots to our ten per server character lists when the expansion comes.

In the two years (yowza) that I've been playing, I've managed to consolidate my regulars, the regulars mind you, onto one server, Kirin Tor.

Horde side: Shaman, Warrior, Priest, Hunter, and a Mage to come with the expansion.

Alliance side: Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Rogue, Paladin, and a Shaman to come with the expansion.

See the problem? 11 characters. In two years I consider 9 to be my regulars. If I can only have 10 per server, then the Horde Hunter will have to go. He's only level 13, and the only one now not at level 30 or more, but being a Hunter he is the most capable of soloing content and desireable to have on the Horde side as well.

Since I like being a support to my wife, and friends, I like having a Warrior around. Since I play both factions, that's two Warriors.

I like being a support class. Keeping people buffed, cleansed, cured, healthy, is really kind of cool. I have four of that class, and will add a 5th in the new Alliance Shaman.

And for soloing I'll have my Hunter and Rogue, and for the Lore a new Blood Elf Mage.

What's missing? Warlocks, for one.

So I've created Abdiblis, or Abd Iblis if I could add the right space, on another server. Steamwheedle Cartel I believe.

Iblis, per Wiki,

Iblis was a Jinn, a creature made of smokeless fire by God (like humans are made of 'clay'). In an outburst rooted in envy, Iblis disobeyed Allah and was expelled from the grace of Allah. He was later sent to earth along with Adam and Eve after having lured them into eating fruit from the forbidden tree, although in this role he is always referred to as al-Shaitan. He was condemned consequently by Allah (God) to Jahannam (Hell). He replied with saying that he wanted to bring the inhabitants of Earth down with him, and Allah (God), to test Mankind and Jinn, allowed him to roam Earth to attempt to misguide others.

The Qur'an does not depict Shaitan as the enemy of Allah, for Allah is supreme over all his creations and Iblis is just one of his creations. Unlike the Zoroastrian beliefs, all good and bad deeds are from Allah himself and only he can save humanity from the evils of his universe and his creations. Shaitan's single enemy is humanity. He intends to discourage humans from obeying God. Thus, humankind is warned to struggle against the mischiefs of the Shaitan and temptations he puts them in. A commonly shared belief in both Islam and Christianity is that the universal existence of evil in personal lives is usually experienced because of the devil.

Abd is the prefix used to say "Slave of...". Abdullah = Abd Allah = Slave of God.

Abdiblis = Slave of the Demon.

And isn't that being a Warlock?

And, in keeping with the Arabic name origin, He's got the crewcut black hair, goatee, the almond shaped eyes, and a dark complexion. I suppose he'd feel most at home in the sands of Tanaris.

I sure wish we could keep all our characters on one server. Why not?

Oh, yeah, warlock is pretty awesome. That dumb guy, Garrit Padfoot behind the vineyard. He melted before a combo of Combustion and Corruption and dagger blows. His sidekick? A stain. I'd previously played a Warlock to level 16, but being named Grimtounge is pretty much a death sentence.

Can we please have 12 character slots on a server Blizzard? How about 20?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The next World of Warcraft content update,

"Before the Storm," will include the new PvP Honor System, as well as other new features that will prepare us for The Burning Crusade expansion. We are currently planning to release this content update next Tuesday, December 5. Please note that the patch date is still subject to change, and we will keep you informed of any changes to the plan as they happen.

If the patch goes live as planned, this will be the last week that new PvP ranks under the old Honor System can be earned, as the patch will immediately introduce the new Honor System. We will run one final honor calculation on December 5 and update everyone's ranking accordingly on that date so that players who achieve a new rank for that week have the opportunity to display that title on their character. Please note, however, that no new PvP rewards will be unlocked for purchase with this final "old Honor System" calculation, regardless of any increase in rank.

For those who have been seeking high-rank PvP armor and weapons, note that the new Honor System will still include these item rewards, and it will actually be easier to earn these items under the new Honor System than under the old Honor System. Those who wish to see how their PvP abilities measure up against other players will still be able to do so under the new Arena System.


P.S. At last they announce it. And I lost my opportunity for Champion. Ah, well. I played it a little too safe. My call. At least they've finally announced it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanks Blizzard. You cost me Champion because you like to keep little secrets. Or you just don't care. Regardless, you cost me Champion.

That is to say Rather than spend last week working up from Rank 9 to Rank 10, very possible given 1: Alterac Valley Weekend, and 2: the holidays and some days vacation time, I instead just farted around on some alts. Rather than be Rank 10, Champion, with the last two pieces of Champion's Gear for my Warrior, I instead just leveled a Paladin to 30.

I did not want to risk having Blizzard throw all my effort out in the trash.

I am, perhaps foolishly, going to try for it this week.
"All realms are currently down for scheduled maintenance until 11am PST."

Is it patch day?

Are they going to use that 36MB + 443MB they downloaded to my machine last week?

Does Honor, as we know it, go the way of the Dinosaur and PvP Warriors?

We'll find out tonight!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Taerer in Duskwood at the portal to the Emerald Dream.

"Taerar was perhaps the most affected of Ysera's rogue lieutenants. His interaction with the dark force within the Emerald Dream shattered Taerar's sanity as well as his corporeal form. The dragon now exists as a specter with the ability to split into multiple entities, each of which possesses destructive magical powers. Taerar is a cunning and relentless foe who is intent on turning the madness of his existence into reality for the inhabitants of Azeroth."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And now, something completely different.

Logged on as Honorus tonight to join Effilda in her Duskwood quests.

I so very much enjoyed playing the Paladin tonight. So much so I leveled him from level 27 to level 29. It felt pretty powerful. I felt like a noob a few weeks ago in Redridge helping Effilda with the Gnolls there. Lower level, but many of them, and I was powerless.

Now, fighting equal, or higher level mobs, one or two at a time, we were quite the destruction machine. And vs. the Undead, Exorcism is just incredible for pulling+damage, and Righteous Fury helps me keep the aggro on me, and not my dear Effilda.

I'd been wondering, if I was limited to 10 characters on a server, who would I delete off Kirin Tor? My two choices were Paakanti, my Tauren Hunter, or Honorus, the Paladin. Having seen Paladins in action in the various Battlegrounds, they are capable. And I have a Hunter already in Arcarius. And a Tauren in Blackhoof. So I'm going to have to bid adios to Paakanti if we don't get any extra character slots. Because, today, being a Paladin felt great.

Friday, November 24, 2006

And for dessert, revenge served cold.

So here was poor Darbanville, level 29 Priest. Trying to get a job done in Tarren Mill. Kill a few apprentice blacksmiths, get a shipment of iron. Well, she'd done all that. Why not try for a little more experience?

So she attacks another guard. Mind Blast, Shadow Word: Pain, and then Shield. The Guard hits her and takes the Touch of Weakness on. She begin to fire her wand at him. A level 37 Paladin comes up.

She's already been killed once tonight by alliance. They flagged themselves, another Paladin and a Warrior, and, well, one thing led to another, she fired off a Fear, and next thing they're all embroiled and we all die. The Dorf laughs. And the Pally's not to be seen again.

Not this next Paladin. He actually puts a protective shield on the Guard. Because all of a sudden Darbanville is doing no damage. And she can't see this shield, nor does it register as a buff on him. Paladin has gotten himself flagged though.

He runs off and she's left to fight the Guard. Eventually, as the Paladin returns, the Guard is weakened, Mind Flayed, and a Shadow Word: Pain finishes him off. Paladin runs up the road towards Shadow Fang Keep.

That's where Darbanville logs off and Blackhoof, posted in Tarren Mill as a protective guard, logs in. He changes to fighting gear, casts windfury on his reaver axe, puts up a lightning shield, and transforms to ghost wolf form because he looks less threatening that way. Just another Shaman on quests.

He runs up the road towards SFK. There's a level 60 Night Elf Priest coming up behind him. On an epic mount he passes Blackhoof just as Blackhoof passes our Paladin. He targets the Priest but the Priest is minding his own business. Now running ahead of the Paladin, Blackhoof then notices the Paladin has targeted him. The Priest disappears ahead of him, and he does a u-turn. The Paladin isn't realizing the full impact of what's to come.

Blackhoof's in the same guild as Darbanville. Big Danger! sign. The Paladin doesn't pay attention. So when our Paladin attacks an Undead NPC there at the tower, Blackhoof hits him with a Frostshock. The Pally runs south now and bubbles. Blackhoof follows and waits for the bubble to burst. Which it does. Another Frostshock, the swing of the axe, and our Paladin hits the dirt of the road.

Darbanville comes back, runs up the road, but only a skeleton is to be found. Not sure if a /sigh, /shrug, or a /spit would have been appropriate. Our Paladin wisely, though he didn't have to in this case, chose to use the Spirit Healer and rezzed in the safety of Southshore.

I learned my lesson. I got flagged, I died. And what comes around, goes around.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

From our Orcs to yours.

Dorf. The other white meat.

Dinner. For the Horde!

The wife and I will be enjoying the holiday with a little turkey, (plainstrider is just too gamey), a walk around the neighborhood, a little Warlock quest, a little Furbolg rep grinding, and who knows what else. Life's good. Life's fun. We're thankful. We hope your day is a great one, and that you have a lot to be thankful for as well.

P.S. "Plainstrider is just too gamey." Gamey! AH HA HA! No pun intended when I typed it, but it was a pretty good one. :)

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!

I can say this: "Bots might not be so bad." With stacks and stacks of Rugged Leather, 25 Black Dragonscales, 20 Worn Dragonscales added to my inventory, and 1/4 of an xp bar added to my character, I can add "If Blizzard is okay with the Bots, then maybe I should be too."

I was asked by someone "Why are you helping him? (This new Bot friend of mine.) I've reported him before. Blizzard does nothing."

I replied "I've reported him too. Twice now. Yeah, Blizzard did nothing. But I'm not helping him. ... He's helping me!"

"Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!"

I maintained a nice converstation with my Orc-bot friend. Asking him occasionally /s "I helped you kill this, mind if I skin it after you loot?" He never objected.

Then, once I got the "target of target" targetting down, /s "You got the last one, let me get this one, and you help *me* kill it." He did so, very nicely. His Cat holds better aggro than my ol' Draka.

Occasionally he'd get stuck. Running into a wall. Running. Running. Back up a little, run into the same wall. Running. Running. Back up even more. Turn 30 degrees, then run a curve to get back on track. Over and and over as we made our loop.

One Dragonkin wasn't in his target list. He kept literally running into it then backing off to kill it at range.

He could target them from a mile away otherwise. Just not this one.

/s "We make a great team you and I!"

Is what I'm doing wrong though? Exploiting an exploiter? I think so. But, hey! If Blizzard is good to go with Bots, then I can be too.

Blizzard could stop this by paying attention to our reports on the Bots and doing something about them. It's so blazing obvious that these are automated Bots running around, and Blizzard does nothing, I question that.

So, they ignore my reports and I'll figure something else out.

In the meantime, I'm going to go collect some more dragonscales.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Public Test Realm thoughts.

Logged on as both Msaker and Blackhoof.

Played a little AV with Msaker.

Did a little dual wielding with Blackhoof.

I was wondering when this patch would go live. I'm thinking sooner rather than later based on what I saw. It looked pretty good, albeit a little unstable.

And dual wielding my Shaman feels fun. Not sure how damaging it is. But it really feels good.

Cry "Uncle," and forget the dogs of war.

250,000 honor earned last week was enough to take me from 17% into Rank 8 to 9% into Rank 9. Really not sure if I'd ever make Rank 10, before the patch, whenever that might be released, at this rate. This rate included playing pretty much all my freetime in the Battlegrounds. Argh! Enough! "Uncle!" Let my people go!

You know, I'd still be trying to Rank 10 if I had an idea when Blizzard's Honor Removing Patch was going live. If I knew a date I could count on, I could work within the window possibly to achieve that goal. But to be surprised, tomorrow, or next week, or a month from now... Nah. Not worth it. This is my life. I'm not going to piss away a week of my time to have Blizzard just erase it. If I wanted to do that I'd be playing offline games. I really wished Blizzard cared enough to give us the heads-up of when that patch was going live. But, so far, they've ignored the forum pleas for them to do so.

But I've been doing this Battlegrounding for months now. The more-there-than-somewhere-else thing, and it's gotten old.

It was a good run. I made it to Rank 9. Centurion. I was scoring pretty highly in the Killing Blows department in the Alterac Valley battles. The top Warrior, or 2nd, or 3rd at worst, most every battle I entered. (And I entered a lot!!) I was tanking Balinda. Me in my PvP gear + AH Valor Blues and Imperial Greens. The Unstoppable Force, and a Mortal Strike build, serving me sooo well.

And 10,400 Honor Kills in my lifetime so far. (Enough, I figure, for a small town. Cry Havoc! and let lose the Msaker of War!)

But enough's enough. Uncle. Ding, I'm done. Centurion it is. I'm not hardcore enough to get further.

So, the wife and I decided to play hooky from all the War.

Droonda and Msaker went north and fought the Deadwood Furbolgs.

Hialeah and Paakanti went to the Barrens to begin the quests there.

Zauber and Darbanville will shortly begin again on his Warlock quest for the Felhunter.

Good times.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ran into Paul Lazzaro's friend last night.

Let me explain with a movie quote.

"That Corporal. He'll get back home after the war. He'll be a big hero. Dames'll be climbin' all over him. Couple of years go by, and one day there's gonna be a knock on his door, and there'll be this stranger. 'Paul Lazzaro sent me,' the stranger will say and shoot his pecker off. Stranger will give him a couple of seconds to think about who Paul Lazzaro is... and what life's gonna be like without a pecker, then he'll shoot him once in the guts and walk away."

From Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.

See, I was securing the Icewing Bunker. Ran into a Dorf Hunter, he was decked out in his Tier 1 gear, skateboard ramp shoulders and his green glow staff/bow. He does the usual insta-feign+ice trap move. Except I anticipate this and actually jump over where it must have been placed and follow him down the stairs. I kill him on the bottom.

For the rest of the game I had a Hunter's Mark on me. From outside of Stormpike down to the inner sanctum of the Frostwolf Keep. The dude made a macro to target me, whereever I may be. And tracked me down across the map.

Well, two can play that game. I made a macro to target him. I'd fire it and find him and see he was working on someone else. That person dead the mark was put onto me. I then tried a couple times to just move to him and kill him. Smart for a Dorf he stayed surrounded by allies and I never reached him alive. When I did I was ice trapped. And then reapproaching him I get scatter shot. And then, no doubt, his feign death back up and he'd again insta-feign+ice trap me. And his auto-shots crit at 1400 so...

So I happened to run across a psycho.

In the end we both were tied in Killing Blows.

I've played a hunter like that. In the 10-19 wsg's I'd make a macro to target the worst of the rogue twinks. Not that Fiery + Death Stealing enchants on a level 19 character deserved any less. But if I can put a mark on your 500g butt for two minutes, I'm going to try. And on YOU, you specifically, the entire game.

But if my goal is to help my team, then I'd put the mark on my targets. Not on a vicitim I have a vendetta against. But, heck, he was alliance. They can win, and eat their cake too.

Otherwise just a mindless week of honor grinding in the BG's. (And pugging it, no premades.) At 210k honor so far. Really gunning for Rank 10 before the patch.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gear and the big reset. Then, two wins, three losses, and a neverending story.

Msaker (sounds like Massacre) made Rank 8 yesterday. (And no server downtime for maintenance.) I went to the O-Club and picked up two more pieces of the PvP armor set, the legs and chest pieces. Rank 9 gets me a flag, woot, and Rank 10 gets me the last two pieces of the set, the shoulders and the helm.

About 10% into Rank 8 (from 48% into Rank 7 + 133k honor) so I'm going to concentrate on this. I think about it like this: When you first start raiding Molten Core, you go and wipe a lot. You'll go 2-3 times a week and you'll spend 4-6 hours at a time there. That's if you're in a guild that's learning the place from square one. This isn't guild-hopping to an ueber-guild that'll run you through it. This is working your way up from BRD, LBRS, UBRS, and then into the Core.

Anyway, when do you get your first epic from this effort? 2-3 weeks in. An epic. One. You'll have downed 4 bosses, tops. So your variety of epics won't be large. (You'll have one epic and the Hunters and Rogues will have gotten, magically, their full Tier 1's and their Tier 2 helms from Onyxia. I swear Blizzard loves Hunters and Rogues in MC drop rates.)

It took me a month doing Alterac Valley and I got the Ice Barbed Spear, The Unstoppable Force, the Immoveable Object, the Rank 6 Trinket, Don Julio's Band. All but the Spear are epics, and the Spear, for a level 51 character, incredible. Time invested versus epics gained: not bad.

Kind of the same for the pvp armor set. Do I raid Scholomance, Stratholme, LBRS, and UBRS, over and over, and over and over, and hope to get the set put together? What's that get me? The same armor that the alliance guys wear. The Valor set.

In less time, I think I can put together a complete PvP set. And this is the proper Horde armor set, with cruel spiked pauldrons, spiked helm, and brutish umber and ochre colors.

The Public Test Realms came out yesterday. Patch notes say "Current honor totals have been reset." I.e. 2-3 weeks before going live.

So, from 10% in Rank 8, can I reach Rank 10? I have 2-3 weeks to find out.

So, without too much dilly dallying I jumped into the breach in Alterac Valley. The first two games there were Horde wins. The next three, losses. The last, the 6th game, at 1 a.m. I gave up on it and logged off. That was the most interesting fight to report on.

Don't you hate when Blizzard puts you smack dab into a lost cause? That happens often enough. Or you join late. That was my case here. All the honor to be earned from objectives had been gotten. It was already an hour into the game. Horde held the south, and the Alliance were holding out in Stormpike. The offense sucked. They were fighting on the low road, just feeding the meat grinder. I sat on the high road above and watched. I had two choices: Watch, or suicide with my teammates below. So I watched. At one point the alliance defenders, obviously turtling, were pushing hard back to Stonehearth. That's kind of embarassing for the Horde. And then reports came back from home. Frostwolf Graveyard was taken. I get into the fighting around Stonehearth and watch the map for the activity around FWGY. There were a lot of us there. Half our force, at least. And we didn't get it back. Then the towers, then the relief hut. We had no defense, we had no offense. We summoned Lok, and that was to be our salvation. We followed him up to Stormpike, and then he went in without us. The Alliance held us back while he surged ahead, and died. Back to square one, and they were again, still, fighting on the low road. So some of us did what any brave souls do, we recalled to help Drek. He was alone and beleagured. Yet enough of us, 6-8, showed up that we cleared his keep of the Alliance filth. And we kept them out. FWGY was retaken. And the Alliance kept spawning at the Relief Hut. And we kept Drek safe. Long story short: We retake the Relief Hut, and not long after Drek is rejoined by his wolves, Draka and Drusos, and three of his Warmasters. We had gotten a complete reset. 2 hours into the game. I got about 1100 honor for this fight, including 150 hk's. The south of the map was in Horde hands, Stormpike in Alliance hands. Fires of war everywhere. I logged.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Horde loses. 9 times in a row.

Oh, the usual Alterac Valley losses. 3 of those. Folks are screaming "Lose! Don't drag it out." To which I reply "You can leave quitters, but I'm not." I don't know, seems pointless, but, viscerally, I still think it's worth defending. The honor is there, it's just the right thing to do.

Three losses in the Arathi Basin. Twice against premades. Once vs. a pug.

Three losses in Warsong Gulch. Each time against a pug.

I felt real guitly doing the For Greater Honor turn in.

What's up? Horde just out and out suck?

Or is it the Alliance Majority, down to and including a constant +4% Attack Power bonus against Undead in the Plaguelands, with their greater and easier raiding for more epic gear, etc., vs. Horde rubes? A case of the stronger getting stronger?

133k in honor this week. Must take me from mid-Rank 7 to Rank 8.

I'm real curious to see if my Alliance Hunter losses as much as my Horde characters.

Post edit: No. Two wins in a row in AV for Arcarius. That feels pretty darn satisfying too.
Three Alterac Valleys, three wins in a row last night. EPIX!

Ooh, I'm going to stop while I'm ahead.

Clearing over 100k in honor so far this week. One more night and we'll see how far into Rank 8 I got. I'm told Rank 10 is possible for me. That helm and those shoulders, on my Orc Warrior... Okay, but that's it though!

11:30 and I finally can call it a night.

Except I wanted to see how an auction I had for a blue +Healing piece of cloth head armor went for Darbanville. (I don't know the exact name of the item, but it's low level, like 26 or 27, a blue item, and some decent +Healing on it.)

She had one drop in Thousand Needles, and rather than wear it she put it up for auction. It sold for 25g (the Auctioneer suggested price).

Browsing in the Cloth section I saw another such hood. For 16g. I bought it and turned around and sold it for another 25g. That 25g I got last night in the mail.

I went back to the AH and found the same hood again. This time for 11g. I bought it and have listed it for 25g again. Come, buy my hoods! They're good. They're ZOMG! [BLUE]. You want them. Cheap. Only 25g.

After that transaction I noticed a lot of Shamans hanging out in lots of Earthfury on white Frostwolf mounts. So Blackhoof logged on and cycled his gear through his [Epix] sets while riding around on his white Frostwolf mount. Look at me! LOOK AT ME DAMMIT! ;) "Yes, yes, that is from Molten Core. ... No, that's after UBRS. ... Blackrock Spire. ... Know where Kargath is? ... ")

And, still before midnight, I logged. Fun!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My wife wonders if I'm nuts. I'm going for PvP rank, ergo I am. AV kitchen menu: 1) Humble Pie; 2) Humility Ham; 3) Steaming cup o' $%*&

So, I pretty much PvP'd all night on Msaker (sounds like Massacre). Did quest a little with Freewind and Effilda, and then Arcarius, gent that he is, escorted Effilda through a few of the elite quests Redridge offers.

But after that Msaker had his turn. Premade after premade after pug-so-good-it-might-as-well-be-a-premade. 3 losses in AB. Then into Alterac Valley. Had a marker so two more losses brought me to 3. Lasted over an hour each, did rack up some serious honor kills though. And Msaker, in his garbage gear, did manage to score high, if not highest, on my DPS meter every little fight (Balinda, etc.), he was in the top 5 both battles in killing blows.

One battle he was 3rd. The next he was 4th.

Gear matters. (Look at how much more killing the Alliance folks do.) Then again, gear doesn't matter. Some of these folks are in BWL gear, and I'm holding my own.

Funny thing about this Vorcon earlier. Seems he almost got me riding the road to the SPGY. He had me down half when teammates showed up. They healed me, bubbled me, and I'm thinking I might have even gotten the killing blow in. He was wielding these orange fist weapon things. Looked pretty cool. Still dead my friend.

Even Arcarius gets into the action. His last match he came out 3rd, and on the winning side.

Did you ever stop to see the small details. Here is the bubbling chemistry lab at the Relief Hut. Relief from what? Acid indigestion?

Oh, yeah, my last battle in WSG for the Greater Honor turn-in. Turns out I was in with an 8-man premade from Cho'gall. Guild name FACE. Woot! It showed. Domination. Thanks guys.

If Blizzard wanted to even things, they'd do to WSG and AB what they did for AV. No premades. You join, and fight, alone. (Or each individually join the same game.) Let the "arena" matches be the pre-mades. Let the BG's represent the chaos that is war.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Scholomance isn't so bad. Not so dusty now. But the future?

Ran Scholomance last night with my guild, Dark Ministry. We were Drerie, a Warlock, Shadwell, a Rogue, Athair, a Priest, Senthris, a Mage, and Msaker, the only non-Forsaken, an Orc Warrior.

That's the classic group. And we did well. We had shackles and sheeps and saps for crowd control. Few of us have collected much of the Tier 0 gear. Senthris and Athair have the PvP gear, and Athair got the Epic drop from ... Raz?, the robes. (Looking much less pink when he's in shadow form.)

So we tore through the place, providing an instruction of our own (Beware the living!) to the students and instructors of the School of Necromancy, and downed the Darkmaster Gandling.

Naturally, like Blackhoof's Molten Core days, the Hunters got the love and the Beaststalker Cap drops.

You know, PvP is a lot of work, but unless you can run Scholo without deaths (which we did not), it's at least a somewhat guaranteed source of set (albeit pvp, not pve) armor pieces. Run Scholo with a few deaths = 4g in repairs.

And the future, with your accumulated efforts not degrading, holds even more promise for set stuff. Running a five-man with possibilities of a class piece drop, 8 classes, odds are there will be a lot of disappointment. If you go collect your set piece afterwards, from a quest giver, that'll fix that. However, if the current instances remain as is, with the drops as is, I predict a lot of dusty halls.

P.S. All the usual bots are back in place in the Burning Steppes. Reporting them did nothing. I watched a bot sit in a fire for ten minutes. He'd be taking damage, so sit and eat something, and take damage, and so sit and eat something, and take damage and sit and eat something... It went on and on. I suppose when the food runs dry an alarm sounds on the pc and whoever is running the bot can attend to him. And where is all the Thorium at 3 a.m.? Gone. And 100 thorium minings later, where do Arcane Crystals drop again? It's not from Thorium veins. Blizzard may as well just offer to sell gold to players themselves so we can buy the crystals from the bot's AH & mail handling alts. If bots are A-Okay, and nice stuff costs thousands of gold, then they should get in on the act.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Enough with the Horde losses! Or, if you are going to keep losing, do so consistently! Team Kinless for the win!

Rank 7 this week, Msaker picked up the Blood Guard gauntlets and boots. Perhaps next week, or so, he can reach Rank 8? I know he's going to try. Shooting for a Greater Honor turn-in, he ventured forth into the BG's last night. Alterac Valley. Three times. Three losses. There was a leader in the final one. A Tauren Warrior called Critaid (or something like that). Raging on how we should be doing it. He was wearing big [Bug Guy Pauldrons] so I figured "Hey, he's leading. Let's do as he says." (Not that experience in AQ40 means all too much in AV. Nor the ZG Tiger Mount he was riding. Cows on cats. Sounds like the apocalypse is anear! But hey, in absense of any leadership, let's listen to him.)

We did really well too. We actually took the Stormpike Graveyard before the Alliance got Frostwolf. And we raced across the bridge. For the most part I was alone in riding past the Aid Station flag into the graveyard. For the entire match 10-15 Alliance kept us at bay. Critaid was trying, shouting for heals, and we finally did get the Aid Station. Whew! Just as the Alliance kills Drek. (Sound effect plays here from Monty Hall's Price is Right as the contestent picks the door with the booby prize behind it.)

ENOUGH! Of AV. So I journey into AB. I'm holding two AB Marks and only need one. Good thing since we got nearly 5-capped by the Alliance. What's going on? All Horde just run around doing what they want. (Like Cartman. "Wahevea I do wa I want." Damn school kids.)

Can it not be simpler: Clear directions to 1) Take Farm. 2) Take Blacksmith. 3) Take Lumbermill, preferably at the same time. Hold all 3, and no other, and defend with 2 permanently stationed at the flag and a mobile defense force. See Alliance whine that the LM, BS, and Farm are too close to our side. If they whine, let's exploit that fact.

But, noooooooo. Can't have it. Inevitably a couple ride down to the mines. We hardly ever get the Blacksmith. Then the fools who got the Lumbermill ride down and try to take the Stables. Sometimes they can, sometimes this just sets things up to get our butts handed to us.

Okay, now it's four losses in a row. Into WSG. Argh!

Which we win. Go figure. We actually got somewhere for a change. Albeit it was 1-1 there for a bit, eventually we got the other two flags where they belong.

But, enough already. I turn in all my marks for a Greater Honor. And I log. (Defeat weighs real heavy.)

What's going to cheer me up? Knight Arcarius comes to town. Signs up for AV. (Of course!) In the thirty to forty minute wait I have I head out to the Burning Steppes to grind on Dragon Broodlings and Kin in order to accumulate some Black Dragonscales. (I have recipes for Chest and Shoulders and I'm thinking the +AP on both will help pump up my steady DPS rate.) AV pops and I join.

Damn. Horde are defending Galv. Well, they're late coming to his defense, but before Galv is down half way the Horde shows up and wipes us. Snowfall isn't capped yet so I rez in Dun Baldar. No, no, no. That's not how it's supposed to be.

I ride out again, heading south. I'm almost caught at Stonehearth. There's enough getting slaughtered trying to ride through that I escape with nothing more than a concussive shot to my back. We've given up on Galv and are now trying to take the Iceblood Graveyard. That's right. "Trying." We fail to. I die and somehow wind up in Dun Baldar. Okay. Let's try some defense then. Stormpike Graveyard is about to fall.

But rather than being able to push out to recover it, the Horde are rolling in over the Bridge. And very aggresively. And there he is. I see the problem. Mr. [Bug Guy Shoulders], no doubt shouting for them to push, and calling for heals. Last I remember, before rezzing in the tunnel, is me trying to take him down as he climbed the hill into our graveyard at the Aid Station, his health refusing to drop too low. Good for him. Serious.

And, of course, bad for us. We have nothing to do. Nobody seems to be wading into the sea of red surrounding the SPGY. Our Offense... who knows. At this point you just think "Ah, well, from a 91% to a 90% win rate.) They win. Unheard of. But I'm glad to see Critaid (sorry I'm not getting your name right!) vindicated. Horde can win if they try, and follow the simple strategies. It's not hard.

But, surely there is a win to be had for Team Kinless. (Another one, that is.) Arcarius reups and heads back out to the Steppes. Skinning a Broodling (black scale drops, thank you) AV pops. We rejoin.

It starts well enough. The usual. Galv goes down, then we take Iceblood. And then, shocking, the Horde is defending Frostwolf Graveyard. I mean, happily, they aren't pushing north. But, shockingly, they are defending tooth, hoof, horn, tusk, and nail.

It was brutal. And then I spot my friend, Nachmahd. But he's no friend of Aracarius, nor Draka, and so Draka goes to check out what Mulgore Prime Beef tastes like. I approach to drop a mana draining sting on him, and I think I do, but that's too close for comfort and I meet my maker. Often.

I also blame him for this. This ... defense. He's probably shouting at them, because he's smart, for a cowman, that defense works.

And the battle rages on. At long last we take FWGY. Does the defense melt? No! They back into the keep. The battle rages on the ramp leading to the big tower you passthrough. We fight through to that and the Horde retreat back behind their towers. They're holding Frostwolf at all costs, including that of offense.

I did notice, a previous reincarnation, that they sent the Primalist out. As far as I know they never got Lok summoned. On the other hand we summoned Ivus, and the Forest Lord stalked up to the rescue. He cleaned house and we capped the Relief Hut flag. And then it was over. We pulled the Warmasters with few interruptions. There were no horde captures of anywhere in the north. Perhaps Stonehearth, but I'm thinking I didn't even see that.

I think once Frostwolf was lost, and they'd put all their eggs, or cow pies if you will, in one basket, once the Alliance gnomes rode in and smashed all those eggs, they kind of gave up. An hour into the game, we took the Relief Hut. Sixteen minutes later we win. Whew. Over 200 Honor Kills. That was a hard fought battle.

Arcarius retired and Darkhand came out.

That's right, my Night Elf Rogue. He's been level 45 for what seems a year. Last night he dinged 46.

Not really sure what my plans are once Arcarius reaches level 60. He's a soloist, not a raider. He prefers the outdoors to dungeons.

But do I see how far Darkhand can go? Does the Druid, Greenclaw, level 37 now, get some attention? What of my Alliance Warrior, Freewind, level 31? Horde on Team Kinless are Blackhoof and Msaker, "done" at 60. Darbanville is at level 27 now. And a Draenei Shaman and a Bloodelf Warlock, or Mage (I'm not sure now), yet to join. (12 character slots per server! Please!)

And my wife's Orc Shaman Droonda, level 56 now. And her Druid, Itarilde, level 32. Her Forsaken Mage is level 34 now, so that's quite impressive.

So many characters, so little time!

(And anyone sitting on 6 level 60's and a slew of level 40's ... what can I say. Not sure where you find the extra 24 hours a day!)

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

My fighters rest as the war rooms crank their numbers. Who got a promotion? Who spun their wheels? 1,345,330 Blackdragon Scales . WTF!? Dear Bots,.

Wasn't easy. The Horde continued their losing ways. I think in the last battles the Horde didn't even bother defending. Msaker would ride north out of the tunnel, and nobody, but nobody, peeled off to defend Galv. Taking Stonehearth was easy enough, and then the endless slaughter of Alliance trying to ride through. Then, that fun over, heading to the high road from which he watched over half our forces refuse to take the high road and instead feed the meat grinder at the head of the low road. As if apathy had set in. 78k honor for Msaker this week. Slightly more than last, and last was Alterac Valley Weekend. I think what helped was the several wins in Arathi Basin. Warsong Gulch was touch-and-go, basically if you are against a skilled Druid-Priest combo, the rest just find you and kill you. If not, Horde can win.

Arcarius won 3 of 3 AV's last night. Too easy. Defending SPGY is easy. (Is standing on the SPGY flag, literally on top of the pole, an exploit? It wasn't me, but I being warrior and rogue proof must be nice.) Assaulting Frostwolf is easy. Hey, you Horde. Just stay at Stonehearth and stop the riders. I'll slip through your lines in wisp form if I need to. K, THX, BYE.

Arcarius also dinged level 56 grinding both in the Plaguelands and the Burning Steppes. Now in possession of a Blackdragon Scale Breastplate recipe he's got scales to get. I've collected, in several week's worth of attention, 15 scales. The recipe requires 60. I refuse to buy them on the Auction House where a stack of 20 goes for 18g. When you see 10 stacks of 20 scales on sale by the same person, can you say "Bot?"

Seriously, what is Blizzard thinking? If I fought enough Black Dragon flight dragons (all types) to collect 60 scales, I'd be level 60 and would have no further need for such armor. I'd also have to spend so much time in such a constricted area, I'd be reported as the bot. I'd love to craft me a set of dragonscale armor. As it stands, to get the scales myself will earn me so much xp... it'll make the pvp grind to Rank 10 seem easy.

(The Blackdragonscale Breastplate sells for 80g on my server. 54g in mats (3 stacks of 20 scales, ... hmm, I wonder how well they sell).)

And why force me to raid an instance with 10 people to get the patterns. Doesn't that force people to go to instances to advance? When you force people to instance you take away the beauty of the game. (I bought the pattern in the AH for 5g. I understand it's a drop from an instance.)

Hey, I loved the loot from Molten Core, when I could raid. I'm 7 hours ahead of my server (and no transfers possible to a European server) and I can't raid. So let me get something out of grinding. I'm willing to put in the time. They should provide some rewards.

Speaking of rewards tonight I check Msaker and Arcarius' progress.

Open letter to the bots:

Dear Bot, Your existence offends me. Don't think you go unreported. Ask your buddies Brafferty (and his buddy Cat) and Mppxporg (and his buddy Cat), Dwarf and Orc respectively. They have some time on their hands recently since I don't see them endlessly looping through their corners of the Steppes. Farmers would be one thing. See, I'm going to have to farm. But to be controlled by a program? You are thereby souless and I feel no pity or sympathy for you. Have a nice day.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Third character to 999/1000 Exalted with Alterac Valley.

Arcarius made it to exalted finally, fighting alongside the Stormpike incursion into the Alterac Valley. Alliance continue to dominate, mostly, but there is the occasional loss. It seems that when the Horde chose to defend, the Alliance may lose. If they don't defend, Alliance wins.

Msaker went on three failed defenses of Frostwolf. In each case no defense was offered at Galv's or Iceblood Graveyard. The Alliance steamrolled the Horde three times. At least the failures come quick. The last battle was harder fought. We actually captured the Aid Station. After RIDING THROUGH THE AID STATION FLAG INTO THE CEMETERY. It works.

Tonight will be a little more PvP action, as Droonda is out of town, and let's see where the Ranks fall come Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

How did they do it?

Arcarius played a lot of AV matches. Made 118k honor last week. He went from Rank 4 to all of Rank 5.

Msaker played in as many losing AV matches as he could stomach, and earned 69k honor. He went from Rank 6 to higher in Rank 6.

Well, hell. Now that I've gotten this close to Rank 7, I can't stop now, can I? I mean when the Honor system is revamped and all this accumulated honor and rank and standing just vanishes, I'll have to work like a dog, again, to get the PvP rewards.

So they've replaced the Grind-with-Decay (aka Swim-or-Sink) with a Grind-grind-grind system. (Anyone remember raising cash for a mount?) I envision, however, just as many people spending just as much of their lives, post change, to be the first, the next rather, to be fully equipped in Warlord's gear. IN FACT: I imagine that since everyone now has access to the Warlord's gear, with the change, everyone will be going for it. Good news being more people PvPing and more honor rolling in, and rewards costing fixed honor amounts, everyone will get what they want. This becomes a viable alternative (if you care to do it) to hours long raiding in the dungeons for a shot at a possibility of a chance of an increase in the likelihood in getting what you need.

How much time did the current high rank PvPers spend getting to where they got? That's a rhetorical question, and one to which most would admit "Way too much time."