Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How to get a Blood Elf Bandit Face Mask.

(In case you're googling for it, I'll go ahead and post it.)

Alright. I think every Blood Elf should be wearing one.

You need to be level 5 to wear it, it counts as miscellaneous armor, any class can wear it, and it's not soulbound. (It's not Rogue only like the red Defias Face Mask.)

And there's an Archmage (NPC) in Silvermoon City wearing it.

And you'll see what it looks like in the picture below on Sunstriker. Halcyon has one now too.

And you're wondering to yourself "GET ON WITH IT! HOW DO I GET ONE!?"

Well, head on over to Azuremyst Isle. This is the level 5-12 Draenei area. That's right. Right where the Exodar is located.

If you're thinking "This is a job for a high level toon." You might be right. Because it helped greatly to be able to ride around on a circuit looking for these. My Night Elf Hunter had no trouble getting around. Horde characters will have some difficulty in getting over there. But, it's easier to get onto Azuremyst Isle than into Darnassus. (I imagine, don't know 100%.)

BUT, but, that is not to say low level characters couldn't do it on their own. I saw a band of low (5-12) level Blood Elves (I kid you not!) running around Azuremyst Isle.

The face mask drops off a stealthed level 7 mob called Blood Elf Bandit. The mobs spawn site moves around as well. However, they tend to mostly be on the roads. On the west side on the road going south to north, and on the southern east to west road. And elsewhere. I encountered more bandits on these two roads than elsewhere.

The bandits are stealthed and hang out just off the road. Near a lamp post, or a tree, or something. I think I found about 10 different spawn points. I use Cartographer and just made a map note to indicate where. (Should I want to repeat the exercise.) (You can just search Thottbot to get a map of spawn points. And, for me, the western spawns were better. It might also have been the Horde Druid that was getting all the eastern hits.)

Oh yes, north of the Exodar, on the beach with the Murloc camps, each camp is a spawn point as well.

Mounted it took me over an hour to get two masks to drop. It's going to take a while. But, if you're into vanity wear, this one can't be beat.

And that's how you get one of the Blood Elf Bandit Face Masks.

Edit: Here's the link to Thottbot for the map.
No "70 woot! ding!!!". No ding. But not nothing. Suffering from altism perhaps? But lucky nonetheless.

Well, a week after installing The Burning Crusade, and two weeks after it's release, I'm pleased to say not one character has dinged 70.

Well, hell, not one character has dinged 61 even.

Have I been in a coma, stricken down in some bizarre keyboarding accident, the more concerned among you might ask? No. Thanks for asking though.

Have I stopped playing? Hardly. Four plus hours a night doesn't qualify as "stopped playing" by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, what the fruk have I been doing? And why aren't I 61 yet??!

Well, each of my 3 60's is currently holed up in Inns in Hellfire Peninsula. Arcarius over in Honor Hold, and Msaker and Blackhoof in Thrallmar.

Arcarius is furthest along. He's about 85% of the way to 61. Questing has been easy enough with him. The Unyielding Cavalry guys were the most annoying mobs. The cat would attack them, and they'd charge me (WTF! DO YOUR JOB CAT!) and they'd be too close to use my crossbow, and I'd back off, and they'd charge me again, all the while fighting the cat. So I learned there is a fine point where I can just stand out at firing range and they won't charge me. I was surprised to see how easy those Maghar Orcs were. I was worried about getting more than one at a time, but they go down very quickly. The Hunter types, with the Ravager pets, were harder than the pairs of guards. I've probably got the name of the Orcs wrong, but, questing later on the Horde side, I believe these Maghar Orcs are the "good guys" on Thrall's side. I've noticed it's become much tougher to level up skinning, even on an orange level job. Thanks, Blizzard, for artificially extending the game for me. What took one skinning to level up one point in skinning, now takes twenty. And I've got to get me a Warp Stalker (white dragon thingy) soon!

Msaker remains at the Inn. Droonda hasn't been around, so he's being the faithful hubby and waiting for her to return to action. Meanwhile he's drinking grog and playing solitaire in the inn's pub.

Blackhoof is getting into the game now too. Night before last, or so, he started in the Outlands and started working on some of the quests. Enhancement Shaman isn't too bad. Isn't too good, but isn't too bad. Last night he was joined by Nachmahd (who is more Resto, less Enhancement) and the duo shined. And being mostly Enhancement Blackhoof out DPS'd Nachmahd, but that's stands to reason. Blackhoof stands at 50% the way to 61, so Msaker must surely have gotten past that by now.

But none of these are 61 now. What else have I been doing? Feeding my altism problem.

If you take a gander at my characters list over to the left here, you'll see my problem.

I've played my Blood Elf Mage a bit, my Draenei Shaman a bit less, and created a new Draenei Huntress (my 2nd only female toon - she's another "concept" like Darbanville was.). I've also played by Blood Elf Paladin a little. And I've created a Blood Elf Hunter, and a Draenei Paladin.

And Freewind is 85% of the way to his mount. And Darkhand is nearly 50, and that's where leveling speed picks up again.

My problem is I'm enjoying playing this game at every level still. But maybe "problem" is the wrong word.

Perhaps I should better say "I'm lucky to enjoy playing this game at every level still."

Woot. No ding, but not nothing.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Le content est mort. Viva la content.

I'm still happy with all the new content. And I'm still enjoying it.

Halcyon absolutely loves Sunstrider Isle. The trees, their foliage, the manicured grass, the glory of Silvermoon City. She could live there. I can't place the real world location for this. Lower Northern California perhaps? Except the trees are fantastical. They're like Birch trees. The whole place is like a manicured garden. I say California because of the sunshine and the sense that the temperature is perfect. Sunstriker is level 12 now, and she's level 11. And we've done all the quests up in Sunstrider and are just about to enter the Ghostlands to aid a sickened Blood Elf being tended by a Forsaken woman.

Exilarch and Zimraphel are on a bit of a pause. We'll get back to them shortly though. The Azuremyst Isle reminds me a lot of upper Northern California. The gray granite and the pine trees, and the ocean as well. The sun just doesn't feel as bright as on Sunstrider, things are shadier and cooler, though the sunset/sunrise at the Murloc beach feels great.

So far all three 60's are in Hellfire Peninsula doing quests. Arcarius has picked up a nice crossbow. I now wish I'd not bought that last gun at the AH for 50g, and only bought so to avoid the hours and hours, and hours and hours, of honor grinding in the battlegrounds for the Grandmarshals gun. And here one of the first quest rewards was a better ranged weapon. Msaker has quested some with Droonda and Nachmahd. Arcarius, soloist, has probably done more quests alone and is 3/4 of the way to 61. Blackhoof, he's just putzing around. I think becoming familiar with some of the common quests as Arcarius, Msaker and Droonda, and Blackhoof, will have an easier go at things.

Our Dark Ministry Guild Master is level 69 now. And a few others in the guild. Me, I have too much fun just messing around.

And I really wish I had just one more slot to roll a Blood Elf Hunter on Kirin Tor as well. I need some soloing goodness on the Horde side in my stable of characters.

Blizzard: Give me an 11th slot!

I hope the buzz isn't lost too quickly when my level 20 Draenei and Blood Elf characters hit the same old grind outside of their new lands.

P.S. What's up with that massive wall in Tor'Watha? I've heard folks speculating about a low level instance possible in the future here? A few more low level instances would be cool. Give the Blood Elves their Wailing Caverns ("I am the Serpent King, I can do anything!") and give the Draenei their Dead Mines ("Van Cleef pay big for your heads!"). Sure, we could do those old instances, but how about some personalized love for the new races. An Amani Troll instance for the Blood Elves, and a Blood Elf instance for the Draenei. (Here's a thought: An instance, inside/under the Exodar, ala Rage Fire Chasm, where the Draenei must clear out Blood Elves intent on undermining/destroying/stealing it.)

P.P.S. That's a terrific idea no? Can I have an 11th slot for thinking of it? Please?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Update on the new kids in town.

Sunstriker, Mage, with his Blood Elf Bandit Face Mask (origin: Azuremyst Isle), and Halcyon v. 2.0, Paladin.

The wife thought the original Halcyon was too Paris Hilton with the headband, and too ... nice and wholesome looking. I agree. The new Halcyon is much edgier looking. More attitude. Would you mess with this woman?

Friday, January 26, 2007

The new kids in town.

Sunstriker, Mage, and Halcyon, Paladin.

Exilarch, Shaman, and Zimraphel, Priest.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Second impression of the Expansion. I love it.

Firstly, reports that the current level 58-60 end-game dungeons are dead is true. There is no need to run any of them. Blizzard, with one expansion, and no updates to these dungeons, effectively cut them from the game. Oh, sure, some level 70's will five-man Ragnaros someday, but as a furnace to be forged in, the Molten Core has done gone cold. The natural leveling progression will find level 58's bypassing Strat, Scholomance, Blackrock Spire, and going straight into the Outlands. I know I will.

Hellfire Peninsula is cool, but the mushroom swamps beyond it cooler, and Shattrath City and environs, cooler still.

I love it.

Msaker rode with Nachmahd to Shattrath from Thrallmar, checked into the Inn there with permanent rooms, and then hopped into a portal back to Orgrimmar. To support Sunstriker's jewelsmithing, he rode out and up the red sands of Durotar, through the brown plains of The Barrens, north into Ashenvale, through there and then north up Darkshore along the mountains, farming copper and rough stone the entire way. Hearthed back to Shattrath, found a forge, smelted the copper bars, and mailed it all to Sunstriker. Then he hopped a bat (Draenei windrider master!!!) back to Thrallmar where a slumbering Droonda awaited him.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My first impressions of the Burning Crusade.

Well, right off, let me say that I did not get out into the Outlands. See, I pre-ordered two copies of the game. One Collector's Edition for my lovely wife, so she could be the owner of the cutsie Black Netherwhelp. For me the standard edition. So, a week after release, what arrived in the mail? Other than packages all week for my wife? Just one copy, her Collector's Edition.

Oh, she saw me sad and said I should install it on my machine, and it didn't really matter. But, no, this was her copy, not mine, it wasn't going to be installed on any machine but hers. Three hours later it's getting installed on her machine.

So, I didn't take anyone into the Outlands.

While it installed I listened to the music CD and looked through the art book. It's a companion edition to the original Art of the World of Warcraft. That's worth the price difference right there. And it came on both DVD and CD-ROM, and I think the standard edition is only CD-ROM. (So I'll be able to install it off her DVD and use my key.)

Anyway, while my wife gave me a little time, I created my two characters. Okay, I created two characters that would only get deleted since they're on her machine.

First up was the Draenei Shaman.

They are top heavy. The men are at least. Their legs, though ending in hooves like a Tauren, are much thinner. Now when a Tauren sits, he's like a huge 3 year old. He just plops down on his butt and his feet are sticking straight up. Just jam a lollypop in that grass munching maw and you've completed a Norman Rockwell scene. But when a Draenei male sits, imagine the scene from some old Italian painting, the kind set in the woods where there's fauns and satyrs running around. When he sits his one heel is planted, and his leg is bent a bit, the other leg lies on it's side. This is like something out of Greek mythology. I didn't explore too much, since it was just a temporary character. But I know Shamans, and he'll be fun to play. The wife, later on, created a Draenei Priest. Very elegant looking.

Then came the Blood Elf Mage.

I don't think the Blood Elf men are gay, like many do. Sure they have nice hair and all. This is clearly more manga, anime-moe influenced, in my opinion, than not. If a Belf jokes around with you, and says he's better looking than your girlfriend, he's right if you aren't a Belf.

Yeah, the guys are haughty, but so are the women, they all are. You aren't transplanted into some Horde universe with skulls and corruption and mention of an Earth Mother. It's like candy cane land. It's very magical, and very Harry Potter. (Magically animated brooms, etc.) And it's very Elven. And it's the antithesis of the Night Elves. And that's really the lore. Well done. (Maybe a little bit too Harry Potter. The spinning bookcases and the dancing brooms? Why is it so damned dusty there!?!? There's clouds of dust being pushed around by brooms. What's all this dust? Pixie dust??!)

The first quests are all close by. I remember my first time as a Night Elf. I was running all over that Shadowglen area, out to the cave, all foresty. These quests seemed closer to get to. And one of the first quest rewards is a 4-slot bag. Nice. (Not that my Horde Tailor hasn't hooked up our new Blood Elves with 4 Runecloth Bags each.)

Not sure about the vendor trash sold in the Draenei beginning area, but the Blood Elves have got some seriously flashy stuff. I got a quest reward staff at level 3 or 4. Later I went to a vendor and checked out her gear. And then I saw what she had for sale. There was a staff, not as good as mine, but damn, it looked epic. It looked so good I spent the 1s and got it. The first shield you get from the quest reward is so very, very Blood Elf, I couldn't believe it. Everything about the place looks good.

I'll have my serious Blood Elf on Kirin Tor, a Mage, and I'll definitely be creating a Blood Elf Paladin over on Steamwheedle Cartle.

I believe this WILL find more playing the Horde side than otherwise. And that's a good thing. The more balanced the factions are, the better off everyone will be. (Not an issue on PvP servers since those tend to be close to 1:1 anyway.) But battleground queues will even out the more balanced the sides are.

Anyway, hopefully today my copy will arrive. It ought to since the realms are down for maintenance and not due back up until 8pm or so our time.

Monday, January 22, 2007

C'mon. What's the point?

You flag yourself for PvP on a PvE server. But you aren't in the Plaguelands trying to capture towers. And you aren't in Silithus collecting dust. You're in Desolace killing skeletons.

There you are, level 36, Paladin, and you've flagged yourself. I suppose it guarantees you won't heal anyone, or be asked to heal, or buff, them. Is that your goal? To be anti-social? "I've infected myself with a lethal virus. You want no part of me." All you want to do is grind and be left alone, so you flag yourself?

You play on a PvE server by choice. I know I do. I played to 60, and into the end-game, on a PvP server. But I couldn't bear my wife dying at the hands of some punk Night Elf, or worse, Gnome, Rogue. So we transferred. So you rolled on a PvE (RP) server. And then you flag yourself.

Okay, I see some folks doing it in order to show they have balls of steel, or they're Warlocks. Who's going to mess with a Warlock. In fact I've seen a few flagged Pally's in the higher level areas. Who's going to kill a high level Pally? How? They'll heal to full twice, and you'll be bored to tears before you even get close. Meh. Not worth it. And Pally's have gotten sponge-worthy with the patches lately.

Anyway, seeing this level 36 flagged Pally in Desolace got me to thinking. What a terrible waste of my time to log onto my 60 Warrior, bring him all the way to Desolace, just to make her turn that damn flag off. Or, how long will she choose to remain flagged once I show up? How soon after I show up would she unflag? Five minutes?

I suspect it's an anti-social thing.

Or a trap. Flag yourself. Cry "Heal me!" in Goldshire. Some noob gets flagged healing you. And your buddy, on his Horde Faction Rogue, goes to town on the noob.

What on earth, or Azeroth, are you thinking flagging yourself for PvP in Desolace? Or Elwynn. What is the point??!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Left Behind, part II.

My Alliance guild has decided to move to the greener pastures of a new server, Farstriders. We can't move with them because we'd lose the synergy with our Horde characters who are in a very competent guild and among some good people.

Will the two new Dragonhawk Hatchling pets, for Msaker and Droonda, sent by Nachtschatte, our friends new Blood Elf Rogue, make up for it?

It feels very odd to be guildless. It's good to be part of something. Otherwise you're just ... Kinless.

P.S. On the plus side, my wife's characters lose the "pasties" that have been part of the guild tabard. (I.e. see above. Amusing for the first time you notice, and then it's just a smile with Janet Jackson winking at you. I guess it's a crescent moon, on it's back, with stars. Hmm, very Hollywood I guess.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Left behind.

What's my experience been since Tuesday, and the opening of the portal?

Hmmm. It's always pretty quiet. Playing European hours on a Central Time Zone server I never see crowds. I know the crowds exist because last week I was in Atlanta, and places got busy.

Last night Msaker farmed some Mageweave, for Darbanville's tailoring for disenchanting, off the Harpies in North Feralas. Got 5 stacks in under an hour, farming alongside a 49 Nelf Hunter which probably hurt the mageweave drop rate for me. Didn't see anyone else up there.

Afterwards, Darbanville, Zauber, and Nachweis did some questing in 1000 Needles. We were the only 3 there. Nachweis is our friend here in Germany, so our timezone.

Darbanville and Zauber went into the Shimmering Flats and ground on some basilisks and vultures and, you guessed it, we were the only ones there.

Later, in search of a tailoring pattern for Darbanville, Blackhoof flew up to Winterspring. He saw a Paladin in Everlook wearing the quest reward shield from the Outlands, and then later a 60 warrior who appeared not to have crossed over yet either.

Our guild was entirely in the Outlands except us, and the new Blood Elves in the Ghostlands. Nachweis does have the expansion already, Nachmahd sent some food from the Outlands to Msaker, but he's decided, other than reaching Shattrach City, to hold off until we can join him.

It's been quiet. Nice thing though is NOT having the Auction House in the Outlands. Players are forced back to Azeroth to do business. I suppose they could just employ bank-alts, but what a waste of a slot! :) So Msaker and Blackhoof visit the AH and dream of tomorrow.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thank God for mageweave.

That's the last pre-order I'll ever do. A pet can't possibly be worth the week's delay getting into the Outlands.

All my guildies, Horde and Alliance side, are in Hellfire Peninsula. I got so tired of hearing their "Oh, wow, look at ..." and "Wasn't that hilarious, I'm laughing so hard ..." that I had to leave our guild chat.

Msaker's stuck farming mageweave for Darbanville, and Arcarius knows it's pointless to strive for PvP rewards anymore. (And who's there to PvP with anyway? Everyone is in the Outlands already.) Blackhoof is grazing somewhere, building up strength.

If it weren't for mageweave, I'd have no game at all.
Gloom, dispair, and no BC for me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Looking for trouble, in all the right places.

Itarilde and Freewind, that's the wife and I, and the couple featured on the right in the graphic above, were looking to do a few quests. Not many left at this level (high 30's). Didn't want to visit the jungle. Planned to work on Ogres in Arathi Highlands. Saw we still had to get a Tome out of the Alterac Ruins. "They're Ogres, so let's go!"

Level 35-40 Elite Ogres. She, 39 Druid, and I, 38 Warrior. Woot. We took the Ogres one at a time and it was a piece of cake. And even if we got an add, we handled that too. Just root the melee type and we melt the 2nd, then kill the first. We'd finish fights with two with half her mana left, and all our health. She's quite the healer being Resto specced. The level 40 Elite guarding the bookcase with the tome, he fell easily as well.

I didn't think it'd be this easy. And it was fun. I love how I never get the chance to forget that with this game.

TBC, when it arrives in the mail from EB/Gamespot will hold 1) destinations for Arcarius, Blackhoof, Msaker, and Droonda to venture into, 2) Blood Elf Paladin (she) and Mage (me), 3) Draenei Priest (she) and Shaman (me), 4) dreams of Flight for Itarilde and Greenclaw, and 5) a Netherdragon Whelp for her.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Add-ons Extravaganza!

I put together a file list for my friend and decided this might be of use to others too.

This is what I've got in way of add-ons.

I mostly get them at: (Sort on timestamp to get newest on top) (New and updated add-ons on the right side) (This used to be my favorite, now WoW Interface is, but they still get stuff.)

(Some of these add-ons come with multiple parts in their own directories. (I.e. dependencies.) I'm not showing those. I'll just show the main directories. If you get all these you'll have more files in the add-on directory.)

Backbone of the Ace add-on system. This is a support library that other "Ace based" add-ons use. Memory efficient. Get it because a great many of the below are based on Ace2.

Tells me how long I've been playing. "How can you kill that which has no life?"


The loot to be found. Handy when you're asking yourself "Do I want to go raid Hello Kitty Fantasy Island? What's in it for me?"

Are you sure you got every quest there?

This is working. Get it at

This provides a quick bar for drink, food, mounts, etc. That way I can keep my action bars free for spells.

I primarily used this for auto-joining BG's. It'll also auto-repair your stuff when you visit a vendor that can do repairs. It'll auto-decline duel requests. It'll auto-accept raid and party invites and warlock summons. Etc. You can have it do what you want.

This will automatically sell off your gray items (i.e. vendor trash) in your bag. (You can set stuff in a "save" list so it won't be sold.)

This is my action bar add-on. So I can have my bars where I want them.

Shammy totem bars. This doesn't work as as the previous version yet. But it works.

I absolutely love the info you get in AB and AV with this.

This is like super-Gatherer+. (Get all the Cartographer add-ons as well. Mining, Herbalism, etc.) Very handy world map tool. And in AV you can see all your raid in little circles numbered by group. The class of the player is shown by color of the circle. And if the circle is flashing red you can see that they're in combat. Imagine knowing exactly where every fight is in AV. (Or AB.)

I keep this and Healbot so I can do more. (This is good for when you use Grid (below) and where the raid would otherwise overwhelm Healbot.)

"Skins" the Bartender bars and more.

How much DPS am I doing? How much healing am I doing?

This makes buying warlock pet spells easier.

This provides the setup options for other Ace add-ons in one place.

This will allow unit frames to show the Druids mana when he's in other shapes. (You'll recover mana after shifting to cat or bear form. Handy to know when you're full again.) Has it's own bar, or it'll provide the info for other unit frames (like X-Perl below.)

I like the info on buffs and debuffs.

Is that robe really better?

Provides some idea what you're after in the battlegrounds. Relevant mostly for 60's with lots of time on their hands.


I like info. I used Titan Bar until I found that the Ace/Fubar collection was much better memory wise. And FuBar tends not to be. (Army acronym.)

Should tell you if that recipe/pattern/schematic you see for sale in the auction house is sold by a vendor somewhere. Should.

If you're a hunter you can use these. If not, ignore.

I like this for raids. It'll do a compact 8x5 grid of everyone in AV. Then you can see their class, health, etc. This is where Clique comes in. I can shift-click on a person's box to heal them, for example.

CastParty/ClickHeal add-on. This and Clique about covers it.

This is AV magic for hunters. Target the enemy off your radar like you're some spy hunter.

Got time for that bio?

How good is that item? No, really. "Level you can use at" is not equal to "level of how good it really is."

This is your weapon/outfit swapping add-on.

It loads with a heart beat. I think it works.

A very configurable Hud.

This is a Scrolling Combat Text competitor.

This will tell you how much health that mob really has.

This arranges your bags. Handy.

This is a nice set of inventory add-ons.

I don't raid much, but when I did raid this fired up the Main Tank's targets. It's supposed to work with CT_Raid.

My chat channel has never been more organized.

Hmm. This does something.

This comes in handy for leatherworking, engineering, etc. Where one item is made of other items that are made of yet other items. Try it.

This really works. I love the info I get. I hate it when I'm crit for *1337* by a rogue. Punk.

Mini-map adjustments.

This is a crafting queue.

For those that need to compare themselves with others, and compare those others with yet others. I got it a while back because it's how I tracked my own +Healing and +Resist info.

ItemRack will handle trinkets. This is better.

This is similar to ItemLevel. However where ItemLevel looks at stats, this goes a step farther. This appears to be a realistic item level.

Quick looting+.

I used to use Classic Perl Bars. Now I use XPerl because I like the configuration possibilities better. And there's arcane bars for most units. And it looks good. I like it a lot.

This is a collection of hunter add-ons providing pet, aspect, tracking, trap pull-down action bars. Handy to free up your own action bars for /emotes. I keep the pet, aspect, and trap menus enabled. I use the GFW tracker add-on.

Anyway, that's what I play with.
GG, what now?

"Unable to validate game version. This may be caused by file corruption or the interferance of another program. Please visit for more information and possible solutions to this issue."

Anyone else getting this? On the eve of the server restarts tomorrow, and the expansion's release Tuesday, we have this?

I'm trying to log the website, and no luck.

The page cannot be displayed

There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot be displayed.

Background: The request cannot be processed at this time. The amount of traffic exceeds the Web site's configured capacity.
Go figure. Who'd imagine that?

And not just my machine but my wife's as well. (So it's not just me.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Three raids.

Arcarius, after pvp'ing his butt off in the battlegrounds traded all that work in for a set of epic shoulders. Nice and glowy. Bought a Crystal Slugthrower in the Auction House and so will get a few more armor pieces before grinding his way to a High Warlord's bow. And both pets, Bluntobject and Nevius are level 60 now.

And since I was in Atlanta this last week I had the opportunity to raid with both guilds. Arcarius joined the Kirin Tor Alliance as a member of Nightsong Moon as they raided Zul'Gurub for two nights. Bat and Snake boss downed. And Blackhoof came out of his semi-retirement to heal in a Dark Ministry raid on UBRS. Through to the end we had two deaths, total, that raid. These are good players.

And the wife's Warlock, Zauber, got his gold thread robes so that was a mission accomplished as well.

And all 3 60's have the Tabard from the event at the Dark Portal.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Easy (if you're level 60 or so) Argent Dawn Tabard.

Check out the WoW Insider today.

Basically, head down to the Dark Portal, get a quest from the Argent Dawn, to kill, or be involved in the killing of, 6 Invading Felguards. Took the wife and I five minutes to do it and we each got an Argent Dawn Tabard for service, "heroic" at that!, fighting the invasion at the Dark Portal.

Basically the tabard adds a little fun in that you can "use" it and you'll /flex, without the emote, and an arcane explosion (harmless) blows up around you. Fun. And it's an Argent Dawn Tabard without having to reach Exalted (or whatever) with them.

I suppose you'll have some fun watching Warlock Felguards in the mix, and if you're on a PvP server, heh, enjoy that too. I'd say this will be a pretty busy place for a bit.

Friday, January 5, 2007

The slow road to the Grandmarshal's Bow, aka Bullseye. And it's not just 60's.

Arcarius has been getting some amount of attention lately.

Yes, I could sign up for the Battlegrounds with Msaker, Orc Warrior, and join guildmates, play connected via Ventrillo, and basically be a big green lure to lull folks into thinking it's just a dumb Orc (in full rare pvp gear, frostbite and the immoveable object in his hands, lots of +health and +stamina enchants) standing there guarding the flag at the lumbermill. That's not the case. There's a bald dead guy whose got you targeted with cold, freezing critical death. Otherwise, it's just little ol' me. Zug Zug! "Come, pink one. Join the party."

More often than not Arcarius waits 15 minutes to join an Arathi Basin game. Relmstein has already pointed out an idea that now that the horde have become sated with gear (instant access to BG's) they're queuing less and that means even longer waits for the alliance. Arcarius waits 20-30 minutes to join an Alterac Valley game. Msaker continues to have instant access.

Arathi Basin, from Horde p.o.v.: Defend everything with a few, constantly harrass the Alliance with the rest. Win.

Arathi Basin, from Alliance p.o.v.: "Oh Noes! If they take the Stables, they'll only have Trollbane Hall's cemetery to camp." If they don't take the Stables then it's just a HK farming fest around it for everyone. Are they choosing not to take the Stables to prolong the game and rack up HK's against an ever changing Alliance group? Maybe. That's how I'd play it. Honor is harder to come by than marks afterall.

I note a lot more coordination going on, occasionally, on the Horde side. I see very little on the Alliance side. One game, seconds before the gate opened, I call out "Group 1 to the mine, group 2 to the bs, group 3 to the lm. lol." I added the "lol" because we were 5 against 15 Horde and we all rode to the mine. Yay! Late comers took the stables. We held the stables. That we manage pretty well, being 15 of us and all. Taking other nodes, aside from the ill-fated ninja steal that hardly ever last a minute, are rare.

Msaker *is* geared up, as Relmstein suggests he should be. The High Warlord's Poleaxe looks incredible though. I must consider getting back in there.

But Arcarius is still running with the Guttbuster, a level 48 Auction House Blue, for crying out loud. It's a decent gun, still, but it's time for an upgrade. That's where the Bullseye comes in. Wait, let me get that right. Bullseye. Better.

I try to play a couple hours of BG's every single night on Arcarius. I manage, in 2 hours, to get, maybe, 1-2k honor. That's 10-20 days play to get that gun. Hmm, that's not too bad. And then I'll work on the rest of my armor set (helm, boots, then shoulders and chest.) The GM Bow is much faster than the GM Gun or Crossbow. Go figure. Same DPS, 1.8 speed vs. 2.8 speed. I like the feel of speed and am going that route. And they tell me the epic weapon will last me longest in the expansion, then the shoulders and helm. Hmm. If it's not too painful maybe the last two pieces will be the epic versions. (Shiney shoulders. 'nuff said.)

Arcarius' new pet, Bluntobject, a white bear recently tamed in Winterspring, and dinging 59 last night, is coming along. He's tough, resilient, and hits for much more DPS than my 58 cat did. I can't explain it. He occasionally out DPSes me! (Damn Guttbuster. But, then again, why do I want his aggro? He's got more health and armor than me!) While I wait for BG's to pop we kill Dragonkin in the Burning Steppes alongside the botters. I don't complain about the bots because I can kill kill-steal from them if I'm fast (their cat charges, but my bullet is faster, and they help me kill it), and I can definitely skin-steal from them (skin it after they've looted). So much black dragonscale now, from my kills and that from the bots, that I can now send 3 stacks of black scales to Droonda so she can craft herself some fighting gear.

But's it not all about the 60's.

Last night I brought Darbanville out, 33 Priest, and she was joined by my wife's Warlock Zauber, level 31. We added Nachweis, level 26 Warlock, and Negar, a Shaman in the guild, level 32, and we tore the demons of Fel Hill outside of Splintertree new ones all over. The Shaman alone, bubbled, takes out Infernals. Zauber, bubbled, can AoE a pack of Felhounds into charred ruin. Those 2 named Demons we've wound up killing 3 times each in two days. It's laughable how hard our little party was hitting stuff. And party health remained fine the whole while thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Five Things You Didn't Know About Me. Or, "Tag, you're it."

Tobold tagged Relmstein and he tagged me.

Five things you might not know about me:

1. I've lived and worked overseas a lot, and at least a year in Germany, Ukraine, Belgium, and Turkey. (All the while working for the same employer.) I'm currently living in Germany again. Oh, I almost forgot about the couple of years we lived in Okinawa, Japan, as a kid.

2. Before I was addicted to WoW I was into genealogical research. This was spurred by my grandmother telling us that we were related to Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. I traced my family back to the Immigrants in the 1600's, solidly, and then even further back following traditional lineages. And I learned a lot about history, from the Middle Ages clear back to the Ancient World as the lineages traced back to Alexander and beyond. And living in places like Turkey I was surrounded by the stuff.

3. My first car as an Audi NSU Prinz1000. A wankel rotary engined car that looked a lot like a BMW 2002. It was a horrible car, but my college dormies, this being University of Maryland's Munich Campus, Munich, Germany, loved getting rides to the area's monastery which featured some damn good beer. And when I first got that car, 12th grade at the time, I did the grown-up thing and tried to touch up some rust spots. I wound up using about six different shades of the same burnt orange, and it still had a couple rust spots on it.

4. I had failing math grades in elementary school and had to take summer school to make it up. I failed 10th grade geometery. Proofs made no sense, though I know they're supposed to. I failed english tests, but passed with C's because I could bluff them with my writing. Before I graduated from high school I was nominated into and entered the Talented and Gifted Program. The school's brightest kids. As I sat there, their last meeting of the year, graduation only a few weeks away, I thought to myself: "Cool. Hey, wait. Look at these guys. ... Wait a minute. Hey, she's cute." Then I grew up and became an engineer with the Government. A Professional Engineer to boot.

5. My collection of antique daggers from the Caucuses, Kindjals, it pretty much museum grade stuff. One piece, a small sword, was crafted for the son of an officer in the time of Csar Alexander III. I bought it when I heard a Ukrainian military officer was looking at it too. I figured better me than him.

And in the spirit of things, I'll tag the following to tell us Five Things We Don't Know About You on your blogs: Excaliber, S4dfish, and Samownall. Tag. You're it!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Winning the lottery in AV. Or, why Autoloot is important.

My Warrior's got new pants. He can't wear them yet because he's only level 38. [Cloudkeeper Leggings].

Not a shabby drop for looting an NPC at Frostwolf Graveyard.

Like eating veggies, loot everything. You never know what you'll find. And use auto-loot. Everyone else does.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year, everyone.

What's that going to bring, this New Year?

The Burning Crusade, for starters. I look forward to seeing new content and both new races. Two years going and World of Warcraft still does it for me. (What's it take to get a Beta Key out of you guys?!) On the off chance of when I think to myself "Why do I bother?" I log onto my Warlock, level 12, and melt faces in Northshire. That's simply satisfying.

Two ski trips in February. One with my wife for a week so she can learn to ski. One with the guys at work doing a Ski Safari.

Mmm. A trip back to Seville, a week in a beachfront condo in Florida, and general roaming around.

And, oh, 43 more losses in the Arathi Basin. :)

So, what's the new year going to have in store for you? And here's hoping it's a good one.
Every game in AB is the same.

I sign up for the first available. 8 times out of 10 I join something in progress, and always, ALWAYS, Horde control 4 resources and Alliance is struggling to hold on to the stables. I can't tell you how often I join a game in that state.

It's amazing that 15 Horde can 1) manage to take and hold four resources, and 2) still mount a MASSIVE assault on the stables. It's even more amazing that Tauren Warriors and Orc and Forsaken 'locks and Rogues look so awesome and our Nelfs and Gnomes are ... where the hell is everyone? We're all dead. Looking pretty with our shiney armors and stuff.

It's massively sad.

And on games where I do start with a locked gate, Alliance will take the stables, head for the mines, a smattering will head for the lumbermill and nobody goes to the blacksmith.

Do I have such an incredible influence on events? I mean when I play my Horde, the Horde are the village idiots and the Alliance the rampaging heroes. Can I, little ol' me, make such a difference? It certainly seems to be so.

On the plus side I only have 7 more AB's to go, i.e 7 more AB Marks, and I'm done with the place. That'll get me the 70 Marks I need for all the armor pieces.

And I guess I'll keep my level 48 Guttbuster because I'd sooner gouge my eyes out with a spoon than suffer another 40 more losses in AB to get the High Warlord's gun.