Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Call me crazy.

I've created a new character.

On a PvP server.

My old one, Smolderthorn, and they've invited me back in the guild, now called Satori. They're killing Gruul, and I'm questing in the Barrens.

I'm Grorc, Orc Shaman. The wife, bless her, has created Oggra, Orc Warlock.

Playing on wireless, laptop computer, out of a hotel room, starting over on a PvP server.

I must be nuts.

And I stole the name of the other character on this server that I've made. Enricosuave, Blood Elf Rogue. (Of course.)

It really should be interesting. Now, two plus years after release, can you start from scratch on a PvP server and succeed? On the plus side I've got some really powerful friends.
And, dang, it's so cool to me around my old friends from my Day of the Dead/Requeim/Dies Irae days. Now they're Satori and back to the basics. Cool.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Then there was one.

One more night before the movers show up.

And then down to one computer.

Try to pause someplace comfortable.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The shoulders have gotten out of hand.

Blizzard. Please fix Orc shoulders soonest.

Ugly pink skin hood adornment is very ugly. It makes me look like rabbit.

Zug zug.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Droonda's First Time in the Steamvaults.

Training for chaos. #2 on the DPS.

DPS = Droonda, Princess, Shaman

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mager Twinkage.

Mana Wyrmling and some crafted gear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Why Horde lose very AV I've been in. Bruised monkeys, the lot of them.

Rampage-US Battlegroup. The last AV I was in:

The names my change as the battles do, but the habits and trends don't. Every AV I've been in has been a loss. The battles aren't even close anymore. We don't even reach Stormpike nowadays. We lose the entire map. There are Alliance packs everywhere. You only need 10 to kill Drek afterall.

If you find me in the battle, I'll be near the top of the chart, in healing, and healing my Resto Tauren butt off. I'll pick a Warrior, Earthshield the guy, let him do his thing, and keep him going. My small part in the effort.

What I've seen is typically 15-20 Horde sitting in our cave, and maybe 5 Alliance sitting in theirs. But, as you can see, winners will eventually get off their butts and make an appearance and score an honor kill somewhere. But losers? Losers are just yanking their monkeys waiting for the loss to end. How far the Horde has fallen. I bet the Blood Elves regret joining us.

P.S. The Arathi Basin match I was in before this? A win. Go figure.
A year ago, where was I?

Ah, yes. Just moved to Germany. With ideas.

How did these ideas turn out?

So, my dream team, assembeled on Kirin Tor:

Kinless, level 48 Night Elf Hunter (from Argent Dawn and brought out of retirement)

He made it to Kirin Tor, is now called Arcarius, and is level 65.

Darkhand, level 45 Night Elf Rogue (from Frostmane and brought out of retirement)

He made it to Kirin Tor too, same name, is now level 50.

Greenclaw, level 36 Night Elf Druid (already there)

He's made it to level 43. I do like the Druids. But six levels in a year?! That's got to pick up some! :)

Freewind, level 26 Night Elf Warrior (same)

He made it to 40 and joined the group on Steamwheedle Cartle and is now called Mourneblade. I can't abide losing characters. At least not too many.

Pharazon, Draenei Paladin (because a demon Paladin will be cool)

So I made a Draenei Shaman, and named him Exilarch. Level 21 now.

That's 5 for the Alliance, and a 50-50 split.

Darkhoof, level 60 Tauren Shaman (if he leaves Smolderthorn)

He did leave Smolderthorn. On Kirin Tor he became known as Blackhoof. He made it to 70.

Oddity, level 46 Orc Arms/Fury Warrior (if he leaves Smolderthorn)

He too left Smolderthorn for Kirin Tor. He's now called Msaker and he also made it to 70. Hard to believe!

Morticai, level 36 Forsaken Protection Warrior (Arms/Fury if Oddity stays put)

Morticai met his final demise. I didn't need 3 Warriors on the same server. One Alliance, Freewind, and one Horde, Msaker, was enough.

Darbanville, level 25 Forsaken Priest (if she leaves Smolderthorn)

She too arrived on Kirin Tor. (Time is money, friend.) And is level 40 now.

JohnDoe (no name yet), Blood Elf Warlock (of course)

That became Sunstriker, level 30 Frost Mage.

Nakosi, a 21 Tauren Druid, signed up, to keep my wife's Tauren Hunter company. I figured I'd make a guild called "Hialeah's Pet" and be the only member. My wife being, of course, Hialeah. Until then we're both the only members of "Need More Cowbell" and like the peace.

5 for the Horde.

And a week from today the last of our furniture will be loaded back onto a truck for our return back to the States.

It was a good year, a fun year, but home is calling.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two for the road.

Greenclaw and Itarilde are having a bit of difficulty finding quests in our level.

So we headed out to Feralas and Fethermoon Keep. There were some quests there we could start. The one with the Naga in the ruins, that was easy enough for us. Itarilde goes to Dire Bear form and tanks. Greenclaw goes to Cat form and ravages things. It's really a nice combo. We're both Feral and it's synergistic.

With two Druids we have:

Tank, with taunt + DPS, with aggro fade.

Each of us can heal, with two heals over time, plus a big heal. And we can heal ourselves in Bear form as well.

Our buffs are great. And we've got Leader of the Pack.

Crowd control against animals, times two.

We can stealth places mere mortals can't go.

And we can swim really fast. The new header graphic above was taken off the coast of Feralas as we searched for the couriers boat. The water elementals were red to us, but we were faster and never in danger. Felt like Jacques Cousteau subjects there. (Or Steve Zissou's.)

And, at 68, we'll have flight form.

And we're really deep in the lore with the Cenarian folks all over the place.

Druids: Not just tree huggers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Woodworking. And some random crafting thoughts.

Tobold mentioned it recently, and WoWInsider too. And I'm pretty sure I raised the issue a long while back in a comment on Tobold's in a crafting post he made.

Anyway, Woodworking.

They'd be able to craft shields. Better woodworking, better shields and higher level. How about customizing shields then. Make Paladin, Shaman, and Warrior shields custom tailored for their requirements.

Arrows. Allow woodworking to craft arrows that address certain needs. Fire Arrow for a small aoe fire burst on hit. Ice Arrow to impart a little slowing on the target. Hate Arrow to act as a taunt. Pain Arrow to add a dot. Useable by anyone that can use a bow or crossbow. (And not equipped in the ammo slot. Simply when used, if equipped with bow or crossbow, fires as the next shot as if in the ammo slot.) This would give non-hunters, but users of bows or crossbows, a few more situational options.

Tribal armor. Made of wood. Like the Forest Troll shoulders. The one like the Horde gets with AB rep. Primitive but "Green." Al Gore would be proud of me. (But is chopping down the forests really PC? I think not.)

Which leads me to custom crafted equipment. Why not allow the ability of include "of the Bear" or "of the Tiger" customization to gear? Using various gems in the standard recipe for blacksmiths, or essences and such, for leatherworking. This would make those crafts a lot more useful for various talent choices.

And, then, woodworking can make basic equipment and ammo for folks just like engineering can.

Oh, how about traps. Like Grizzly Adams. Make a wood contraption that acts like a hunter's trap. (Useable only by woodworkers.)

Or, how about a temporary stable? You know if your stables are full, and you dismiss your pet, you can tame another pet. You're last active pet just disappears into the ether. That's new, but get rid of that. It's not well implemented. How about make a temporary "Dog House" that you can pull out, stable your pet, tame a new one, learn it's ability, abandon, and retrieve your old pet back out of the Dog House.

Speaking of dog houses, I'd better go because I'll be in one shortly if I don't.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Charge.

Well, that wraps that up. Grom'tor's Charge is mine. And Droonda got the ridiculously large Torn-heart Axe of Battle. The two-hander is as big as she is.

We simply went to the alter and asked for help with Cyrukh the Firelord in general chat. Two Hunters and a Warlock responded. Droonda can heal, I can tank, we had DPS. That was all we needed. More easy loot.

And, it's a pretty nice axe.

Last bit of gear I want, before I'm satisfied, two really:

The Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves from the Mana Tombs escort quest.
And the Platinum Shield of the Valorous from Hellmaw in the Shadow Labyrinths.

And the rest of the Bold armor set.

And, oh yeah, 2 more points in Blacksmithing, and a few more Primal Mana's, to craft my own Helm of the Stalwart Defender.

Then he can take it easy for a bit.

P.S. The screenshot really highlights the "bug" Blizzard introduced last patch. Orc shoulders look like minitures. Really not sure how a "bug" like this would even be introduced. They aren't cockroaches that enter the Blizzard development room in the middle of the night, and after munching on stale cheetoes and drinking flat jolt cola they wander around and die somewhere, preferably in a forgotten section of code where they next appear as a "bug" in the latest patch.

Seriously, claiming it's a "bug" makes it sound like a random fluke thing. As if some wandering cockroach really just died in the code. Likely?

Maybe the developers were working on Orc shoulders and were calculating in english standard units and in reality metric was required. This seems much more likely. At least it's pretty likely that the developers were working on Orc shoulders and somehow messed up.

Yes, Orc shoulders can be big and imposing. And this Orc likes it that way. That's the whole point!
Five Reasons Why I Blog

I got tagged and didn't realize it. Back in May, the Ancient Gaming Noob tagged me.

"Kinless at Kinless’ Chronicles: Because he links me despite the fact I haven’t talked about WoW much lately and he appears to be the kind that actually responds to these things. I mean, Gitr got him to do one of these just a couple weeks back. Now he can pass this back to Gitr."


I remember the one the from Gitr. But this one slipped past me. Apologies! So I'll do it now.

Five reasons why I blog.

I blog because 1) I have opinions. All bottled up inside they're meaningless. May as well have saved the energy the brain cells and/or the everlasting soul used to formulate them, if they remain unheard/unseen. Get them out. Speak up. Sometimes you vent. Sometimes you rant. Sometimes something's irked you. Sometimes you're boasting, got Ruul!, sometimes you want to share your experiences, sometimes you've got some good stuff to share, Blood Elf Bandit Masks. Sometimes you're just letting the words flow like water moves downhill. They just come out. Servers down, Horde sucks in Alterac Valley, loot drops, raiders, casuals, other people, guildies. Yeah, I'm talking about all of it. As it strikes me.

2) I write a blog because I read blogs. I didn't think of doing this on my own. I was inspired by two blogs I'd found, a long time ago: Tomas Rofkahr's and Psyae's WoW et cetera. He's been busy with RL lately, and Psyae, I'm not sure. Both of these had engaging writing and looked like they were having fun. I thought it was an interesting pool to swim in, a community inside a community *inside* a community. And so it started. And now I read a few, and more linked by links, blogs. Not necessarily WoW related. Gaming related is fine, and interesting for me. Mostly WoW, but the rest are just enjoyable to read anyway. They've got eyes on worlds I can't see. I like to hear about it at least.

3) I write a blog because it's the closest thing to a journal or diary that I've ever done. Kinless' Chronicles. Says it right there in the title. It's a journal, recounting, for myself, and anyone else so interested, what I'm doing in the game. This blog is like having a photo album that stretches back a year and a half now, to December 2005. I can read it and remember my raiding days in Molten Core. Or world PvP battles. Or people who's lives, virtual, have crossed paths with mine. I still get the occasional "Hey, how's it going" on MSN Messenger from fellow raiders, guidies, friends, that have long left the game. This is how I remember those times.

4) I write a blog since I've been writing for a while now. I wrote probably a sizeable chunk of the student literary magazine in my senior year of high school. And I contributed twice more to my junior college's annual literary magazine. I even won an award for writing from the other writers in my class, given to me at the school's annual awards banquet by the writing professor who's son's name was given to the memorial award, even though I thought all their stuff was more interesting than mine. At each grade there were the teachers, then professors, who thought I was going into journalism or writing or something. I was learning computer programming languages for a bit, then I switched to engineering as the "default" career choice. I still do the engineering, management side of things now, and writing too it seems. I enjoy writing because I think of it as art, or an art.* I can't paint, I can't hold a tune, I can't bend metal into shapes, but this gets me close to that where I can be expressive and playful in a medium. For myself at the very least.

5) I blog because it's communication with other players/gamers. I'm not hanging out in a trading card game shop to discuss things, or hearing about stuff. I'm doing it here, with you all, via comments here and your own blogs.

And it would be at this point of a meme-based post, to pass it on. But, no, I can't do that. I missed the boat. Gitr is off the hook. :)

However! You can go ahead and do it anyway. All you. All two of you. (Three? no, that's your shadow, nevermind.) Tell us Five Reasons why you Blog on your blogs.

*For writing as art look no further than fantasy writer Gene Wolfe. His Book of the New Sun series, and Book of the Short Sun series are absolutely stunning examples of literature. The language, stories, stories inside stories, scenes, characters, manner of delivery even, provide something worthy of reading over and over into shreds and buying another copy of. Iain M. Banks is up there too.

P.S. I also use my log as a repository of resource links. Handy for all sorts of things.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Two getting it done.

Ruul the Darkener. Dead.

In the big quest chain in Shadowmoon Valley, working for the pig farmer Oronok and his sons, we're led to Ruul the Darkener. And we kill him. Four man quest, done by 2.

So far...

so good.

Admittedly the 2nd try. First time I tanked and Droonda dps'd. Bad idea. Ruul's got himself a cleave going on. Second try, Droonda stayed in back, in her healing gear. And Msaker piled on an endless stream of devastates, shield slams, revenges, and shield blocks.

Bottom line: Victory.

Now we wait for a little assistance on the final part.

Hey, where did we go
Days when the rains came?
Down in the hollow
Playing a new game,
Laughing and a-running, hey, hey,
Skipping and a-jumping
In the misty morning fog with
Our, our hearts a-thumping
And you, my brown-eyed girl.
-Van Morrison
Is WoW dying?

There's been a bit of buzz lately about "subscription" numbers, and censii, and impirical analyses involving the cost of pizza at the Pizza Hut in Nanjing. Common wisdom has it that as gold sales increase the cost of a slice of pepperoni pizza increases. And when sales drop, pizza prices drop, and that indicates a drop in players buying gold, and ultimately a drop in number of players. Okay, I'm making the last bit up. (But it does mirror in a way the pizza ordering skyrocketed at the Pentagon on the eve of the first Gulf War. Or was it donuts? You get the idea.)

But, whether or not you like pepperoni or sausage on your slice of pizza, or thin or thick crust, is World of Warcraft dying?

Censii numbers are interesting. But are you going to trust the Government on that? Or a collection of players dutifully submitting CensusPlus data back up the line? I've gone through two phases of running CensusPlus myself. Mostly out of curiosity. Are most players really Night Elf Hunters? Yep. But on PvP servers it was Rogues. A while back I returned to a mid-20's character on a PvP server. Took him to Redridge where he got jumped by a jumping jack level 60 Orc Rogue. Without a damn thing better to do with his time. The Census revealed a nearly flat chart, until you got to 60, where it then jumped to 4,000 some players. Sharks swim. If you aren't swimming with them, your shark food, or detritus sinking to the bottom. This was over a year ago. Was the server dead? Hardly. Dead to me? Perhaps.

Spring forward to today. I was in Winterspring last night. Winterspring is mostly empty of players anyway. What fool grinds out to 60 in the old world anymore? But back when we were, before the Burning Crusade even came out, it was empty. I was gathering Runecloth, and that was also getting me a little Timbermaw Reputation so I can leatherworking patterns to make stuff for characters that aren't 60 yet. Wouldn't you know it, a level 70 Nelf, but of course, Hunter was farming there too. His gun must have been faster since he always managed to tag the Chieftain. I got the Chieftain a few times. And at +25 rep, he's a real prize. (What am I doing wrong? Is +1/+5 and the occasional +25 rep the only way to grind Timbermaw rep? No beads dropped either. And the "totem turn in" item was only good to me once I reached Neutral with them. I'm still unfriendly. Enough to pass through, not a rep point higher.) So this level 70 Hunter was working on his Timbermaw Rep.

Anyway, Winterspring has always been empty in my experience. Going back well over a year. The Plaguelands were always busier. And they show occasional signs of life. Like the *deleted* thorium gatherers. (Wait. *I'm* a Thorium gatherer sometimes. Nonetheless, a plague on them. Let them stay home and sip chicken soup from sippy cups and watch "Lost" reruns. I need, no, really, need more Thorium to craft some more gear for Honorus and Halcyon. And the up-and-coming Winkydink.)

So, the high-end lands have always been bleak. Still are. No change there.

Now I'll admit the old "end-game" instances are pretty much dead. Except I got a tell the other night asking if I wanted to tank AQ20 for fun and shards. And our Human characters are going to make a pointed effort to get keys for Stratholme and Scholomance. People are hitting them anyway.

But that didn't kill the game, these dead former end-game instances. Folks just skipped right over through the Dark Portal into the Outlands. The rare level 60 PvP set I'd put together for Msaker, all the work I put into it, lasted, oh, a couple of quests and an instance run before I started trading it out with green upgrades. Most places will be empty of people, until you hit the level 70 hang outs, like the Elemental Plateau and other farming spots, as well as Shattrath City, and Goldshire where they climb to the roof of the inn and duel out front in the dust.

There's just as many new characters as ever, doing the same things people have been doing since forever. Goldshire is busy as ever. Elf bones line the road in the Wetlands. Somebody is always looking for group to find the flightpoint. The Auction House carrys a wide variety of goods, sellers and enchanters and jokesters populate the channels to the point of silliness.

Is WoW dead because their subscription numbers aren't increasing?

Are you dead because you reached maturity and stopped growing? Hardly.

Relax. Roll a Night Elf and enjoy the trees of Teldrassil. You've got plenty of adventure left in you.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Shadowmoon Valley vs. Netherstorm. Give me the Valley. But take my guildie, please.

We spent a few more hours yesterday questing in Shadowmoon Valley.

There was the super easy "Kill 20 things" quest that netted us 19g each.

And there was this crazy Blood Elf with a fascination for the dinosaurs. First we had to collect some of their spleens. Then we had to control some mechanical scorpions and go and "tag" some more of them. Then we had to track down and kill the Granddaddy Dino. Easy. No loot, a little cash.

Next quest was something about creating a bomb from Fel Reaver parts. As I was in the water collecting a part, and the mutant ... things were swimming about, I took a screenshot exclaiming "Wow. This place is acid." The whole place. The ground crawls with green nets of felstuff. There's parts of the landscape filled with flying ash. There are just so many things I've never noticed before and did. Netherstorm is sterile compared to the Valley.

(On other things you never notice till you do: Earlier, in the Badlands, Effilda and Honorus, while in an Ogre camp, noticed the tent was made with skins. The skin of a human head was part of it. Creepy. Wild.)

The Fel Reaver bomb quest concluded easily. Just flew in to the green zone. Killed the Mistress. Dropped the bomb. The stone guys all blew up, and the Warlocks kept walking as if nothing happened. Mount up, fly out. Easy.

The last quest we worked on is a rather long one. In the end it'll net me a nice "pre-Kara" tanking weapon. The first part was collecting elemental spirits for one guy. Earth and Fire, then Water, then Air. Upon which he sent us to another guy. This guy raises pigs who will search for tubors. That was seriously the most annoying quest. There are rock flayers in the same area that hunt the pigs. The tubor signs don't last that long. And you can accidently kill the pigs if you aren't careful. Getting 10 each was an exercise in patience. When we got the follow-on, to smash flayer eggs, we were on it. With a vengeance.

And that led us to our next set of quests, and that was to track down this pig farmers sons. That'll be for another day.

We did get a little side quest. While looking for Air Elementals we came upon this valley. You'll know it for the Netherwing Drakes flying all over. Just outside of the Black Temple area. There is an elf there, with twin Resonating Axes, that wants you to show a little kindness to the Netherwing Drakes. The young ones are spooked and getting hungry. So you go and kill some of the big flayers and put their carcass out. And a Drake will drop from the sky. It will then sniff the carcass, and then bat it like a cat might. Then a bite and the carcass is gone. Then it will turn to the person who fed it, say something in Draconic, and sniff the player. After feeding a few we returned to the elf and he told us to go talk to the big Netherwing named Neltharaku. He wanted us to go slay Dragonmaw Orcs. Another day as well.

After Droonda left for the night Msaker got an invite to Shadowlabs. Sure. It was a little late but I'd go. Shouldn't take too long. Well, we started later than I'd care for, and by the time Hellmaw was dead I was done. One player in particular, a guildie at that, who kept screaming we needed to do things his way, and stay by his totems, and just pull Hellmaw wherever the "f$*#" he was. "We usually take him back in the hallway that's behind him." (Seems that's the understanding of the other party members as well. And we don't need tremor totems doing it that way.) "THAT'S HEROICS. JUST PULL OR I WILL." Then the same person, Aldor it seems, said "Just need the Fel Armament," stupid me, I do, because I am, and the Paladin (healing) says, "Uh, no we roll" and rolls a 92. Ding. I'm done. I open a trade window with the Pally, since I'd won the need roll, and I gave him the Fel Armament. "I've got to go." "Replace him," says the Elementalist without missing a beat.

Oh yeah, Damage Meter reports over and over. So Elementalist tops the report. We're not surprised. But we also aren't interested. Over and over. How do you say "You're so leet, you rock my world. Your presence is an honor I don't deserve. You're so potent." without sounding snide about it? "Whatever, dude. Get over yourself."

(And we always greed the armaments regardless of faction because there should be some reward for everyone. You can sell if you aren't Aldor, and use if you are. On guild runs. So with some puggies along, naturally)

I'm figuring our lives need not "intersect," this Elementalist's and mine. Putting him on /ignore won't hurt me one bit. On the other hand I'd miss the opportunity to keep adding "Get over yourself," in guild and party chat.

Color me conservative, but we do fine playing things careful. There was no need to wipe three times before Hellmaw. Oh, yeah, the Elementalist is fast on his feet and didn't die every time. What a shame.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Two on the Path of conquest.

Msaker and Droonda. Tonight we did The Path of Conquest quest chain. Just the two of us. Flying mount was pretty much required for us to do it alone. Nachmahd gave us a hand on the very last part, healing while we killed our last two Crazed Colossi. There was a nice +Defense and +Shield Block ring for Msaker, and Droonda took the +Attack Power, of course.

Two worlds collide. Ours vs. Theirs. We win.

Who's crazy now?

Two too pretty.
A year and a half late. (More easy enough gear.)

Remember Molten Core? And Onyxia's Lair? Probably not. Anyway, remember the gear out of there? Again, probably not. "Onyxia's where?" Right.

There was once a day you could get some good, and good looking, gear out of level 60 end-game instances. That's when you ran them. The Molten Core "Tier 1" sets and then Onyxia, Ragnaros, and Blackwing Lair for the "Tier 2" stuff.

Now there's a new shot at Level 70 versions of it. Well, some of it. Well, the helms.

The "I'm a rabid dog, and these keep me from scratching my ears" or "Halp, my head is stuck in a bear trap!" Warrior helm out of Molten Core is available. And the Dragonstalker Hunter's helm, and the Helm of Ten Storms Shaman's helm from Onyxia as well. (And the Rogue and Druid helms too.) And for running a few quick quests in Shadowmoon Valley. You'll need a flying mount, and a tank, but otherwise it's easy enough.

The quest chain involves Teron Gorefiend. You're first stop, for the Horde(!), is Chief Apothecary Hildagard in Shadowmoon Valley. He sends you out to get 15 ash piles. Sooo easy. Just fly south out of the village and collect them along the green goo coastline. (They look like little volcanoes spewing green clouds.) If you want to collect fast, fight some stuff. If you don't want to fight, no problem either. There's a lot of it out there.

Next step is to kill ghosts. You'll be given some "Spectrecles" to see them. And, dang, if you aren't already surrounded by the ghosts right there in the village. Kill a dozen why don't you. They don't aggro and you won't see them, even with the Spectrecles on, if you've killed them and completed that part of the quest.

Next stop Hildagard sends you out to find an "Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit". Some alter on the edge of the world and there's this ghost. He wants three things from you. Teron Gorefiend's old Cloak, Truncheon, and Armor. The Cloak is easy to solo. There's some ghost clerics around, one of which has it. They don't run from the fight, they don't cast anything, and they've spread themselves out enough so you can fight them one at a time.

The Truncheon is a little more difficult, and you'll want a friend. It'll drop from some so-called Ghostriders. (Or you can come back to your lifeless corpse, rez, and loot the one that you did manage to kill by yourself.) They ride the road that runs in a circle around the Hand of Gul'dan. Take the road and you'll run into them. (Or plant yourself and they'll run into you.)

The last part, the Armor. Oh, noes! Five-man! Yeah, yeah. Like Dimensius the All-Devouring required five too. Yeah, right. Something about being a Protection Tank, if you know that you've got healing around, you feel like, no, you know, you're invincible. Msaker took Droonda, DPS Shaman Princess, and Nachmahd, Shaman Healer, and figured we were good. We flew to the highest peak where Vhel'kur was circling around. He's got the Gorefiend's armor.

What he doesn't have is a cleave, nor a kickback, nor an aoe attack. This is a pure "spank and tank" exercise. He hits hard, but nothing a Resto Shammy can't handle. And with Droonda cranking out DPS we got our armor in no time. Oh, yes, I've read some notes about pulling to an area, clearing out some of those flayers... Nuts to that. We three huddled on the very peak of that mountain and fought him standing still. Our battleground for this fight was like a square meter large. (Orcs are metric. Check the lore.)

Then it was back to the "ancient spirit" to whom you turn in Teron Gorefiend's gear. Psyche! You've been punked! That was no innocent "Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit!" That was Teron Gorefiend himself. And he's got one last trick to play on you. He makes you take control of him to defeat a big Draenei called Karsius the Ancient Watcher. You get a pet/minion bar with an attack button and some abilities. Trick is to use every ability as soon as the cooldown is over. I use OmniCC and I get actual numbers counting down on my buttons. This is a godsend. Anyway, for this fight, Karsius appears. I moved a little closer, and then dropped the aoe with Karsius at the outside edge and me on the opposite edge. That way when he moves in to me he's still in the aoe. Then I drop the shield, and then I drain the life. Repeat each as it's cooldown ends. Easy. And, woots, I, and Droonda and Nachmahd, returned to Hildagard to collect our reward. Our reward for releasing a revived Teron Gorefiend onto an unsuspecting world again. (What's wrong with this picture? Black Temple raiders should be rewarding me for freeing him so he can drop loot for them.)

Msaker got his Molten Core helm. Droonda took the Shaman helm. Her eyepatch from the Blade's Edge Mountains was better AP then the hunter's helm. And her headband of Simmonz from Nagrand was better healing. What the Shaman's helm provides her is some spell damage. And some very cool looks.

Then we watched some fireworks.

Then Blackhoof came out. He recruited some guildies, including a warrior to tank, hunter and rogue to dps, and we did the same thing. Some glitches. Even though I was wearing the Spectrecles, I could not see the dragon. When he attacked I did not see him. I could heal my guildies, but could not see him. In fact, being a little confused, our warrior died. And I could out-of-combat rez him, and did. And he kept fighting. And then they stopped fighting. WTF? I unequipped the Spectrecles. And then reequipped them. Dead dragon at my feet. Looted it for the armor. Sweet. I took the Shaman helm because it's slightly better than the headpiece I was wearing from Blade's Edge. And in the Battlegrounds a little more spell damage never hurt.

And, damn it, it's about time Onyxia gave up a Shaman Helm for me. Even if I had to wait a year and a half to get it, and after seeing and then killing a different dragon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

U.S. guild takes 6th, behind 5 European guilds.

WoWInsider had an interesting article yesterday. (They're all interesting, but this one I've commented about before.)

US guild Death and Taxes has managed to snag the US-first Illidan kill and thus finish all available raid content in the game. Their US-first puts them world-sixth, behind European guilds Nihilum, Forte, Last Resort, Curse, and For the Horde.
I'm just really curious why the Europeans dominate in this virtual world.

With drive like that, (first to Illidian, first to 70, first to 60?) the Europeans should rule the world.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

P.S. This just came into my head. Byproduct of a longer post I trimmed before publishing. From William Shatner's version of Pulp's Common People:

I said, pretend you've got no money.
She just laughed, and said
oh you're so funny. I said, yeah?
Well, I can't see anyone else smiling in here.

Are you sure you want to live like common people?
You want to see whatever common people see?
You want to sleep with common people?
You want to sleep with common people, like me?
But, she didn't understand,

She just smiled and held my hand.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Black Forest weekend. Mostly. More keys.

The wife and I headed south this weekend. Started playing tourist in Freiburg. We climbed the cathedral's bell tower, were there at quarter till when some bell rang (surprise!), wandered the town, had a fancy dinner, saw the market around the cathedral in the morning. Had coffee and muffins at Starbucks. Then off to the forest itself. Cuckoo clocks all over the place, Germany's highest falls, and then to an open air museum highlighting traditional farmhouses from all over the Black Forest region. One old house was last lived in in 1994 (before being moved to the museum site) and was filled with household stuff from the 50's through the 70's. What a curious life that person must have had. Watching t.v. in a house where cows are still under the same roof. Even the folks in Goldshire live better. Different. It was fascinating seeing these places and imagining what their lives were like.

Ah, back to thoughts of the game. So we return, home that is, and there's a Setthek Halls run called. Nothing there for me. But I tanked. And the Warlock at last got her Dungeon set boots (or legs). So while we had the group together, Nachmahd had already logged and we replaced him with a hunter, the group, my guild obviously, decided to take me to Steamvault and Arcatraz for the next two key fragments. Steamvault was more of the same old underground, lots of naga and water, that the rest of Coilfang is. But Arcatraz? Whoa. Really wild. I mean we've really hit the old Star Trek stage props at this point. These look like floating boats made of crystal, filled with Blood Elves fighting mutant creatures. It was a quick run, altogether way too late, and I, Msaker that is, got my two key fragments. Next stop is to go see Medivh and help him in the Black Morass.