Quality of Life

I’ll admit that when the patch hit prior to the launch of MoP, I didn’t play much with the new talents.

I knew roughly what I wanted, picked what looked good/fun, and ran with it.

And by run with it, I mean I didn’t play my mage much before walking into panda land.

So when I left the airship and landed on foreign soil, it was with an untested mage toolkit.

The level 75 tier is where you pick up your AoE spell as a mage.

I know, no one really recommends Nether Tempest.

But I’m an arcane mage. Continue reading

Digging the Tillers

I have a confession to make.

I might be addicted to farming in WoW.

No doubt, I loved the leveling experience on Arioch. So many new sights and sounds and sparkles.

And a lot of running like hell and trying to peel individual mobs out a of a clusterfuck before the insane respawn led to screams of SHITSHITSHITFUCKFUCKFUCKRUNAWAY.

But I was in no hurry to get to the end game of 90 and took my time exploring each zone.

Without rest XP, I almost made it through all the content before hitting the end, snagged flying and finished it up. (Skipping dungeons helps you cover more ground in quests.)

And then began the dailies.

Which I haven’t done for 3 days running… Continue reading

The Pandas have Arrived

I don’t want to give away too much and I’m only 88 1/2 at the time of writing this so here’s a quick breakdown so far:

Midnight release at GameStop – Pretty low key (the location at the mall down the road was also holding a release so most people were there), maybe 2 dozen people by midnight, and the employees were awesome enough to let us hang inside.

Collector’s Edition – Everyone with the digital download has been enjoying their mounts and pets for a couple weeks now. But I haz a purty art book (OMG beautiful) and an awesome mouse pad. And the “making of” DVD and soundtrack.

Install – What install? Access your account management page and pop in your code. Log in to game. No need to insert CD.

Entering game – A little rocky. I started with Kaayn just to get rest XP going. DCed on the blue bar a time or two, and again when I attempted to accept the starter quest. Selwyn was a lot faster. Arioch easily made it through. Now there’s a queue.

Lead-in quest – You can’t avoid it. And it was crowded. Slightly buggy. But I was prepared for hordes of Horde and just sat and waited. Most “bug” issues could be resolved by holding still long enough for all the items to fully load. Constant moving around just slowed everything down. WHERE’S THE ROPE???

/1 is the new /2 – In Jade Forest be prepared for everything that trade normally is. And it was all in triplicate on my server. Three times the immaturity, politics, and hatemongering! Most times I turned it off, checking in periodically and infrequently whispering help to people that actually needed it. I FELL OFF THE BOAT HOW DO I GET BACK UP?!?!?111

New quest set up – Achievements for completing quests in zones are now done by quest chain. You get a mini-achievement notification when you complete a chain and all the chains are listed in the main achievement for the zone. You no longer see “Complete X number of quests.” I like the new way, but I wish they had kept the quest counter. The list of chains makes it possible to easily find missing quests using WoWHead or any other research site. Back in Outland, I ended up missing a couple Nagrand quests that took me weeks to track down (by completing quests everywhere else and they finally led back into Nagrand). I only knew I was missing quests, but had no record of what was or was not done. But, I liked the sense of accomplishment I got from seeing 140 quests completed in Icecrown versus 6-8 chains.

New quests – Hilarious. Blizzard always has shown a sense of humor with quest names and content and they did not disappoint here. I was honestly not expecting to be following advice from a monkey convinced that a village of pandas wasn’t suffering from depression – they were just constipated. FYI – Hozen home remedies should probably be avoided.

Quest issues – The opening was not all kittens and rainbows; I did manage to phase myself out of 2 quests. I eventually got credit for completing the quest chains, but I still have those two quests sitting in my log, unfinished. Ticket resolution is 2 days and 1 hour.

Zone layout – Huge. Every zone so far feels immense. I’m on a ground mount. And I don’t really care. I have spent probably the better part of 2-3 hours losing time by losing myself in every little corner. Lore items have great sparklies and a blue aura to them, moth to a flame. I’ve taken dozens of screenshots (request pertinent to this at the end of the post). Everything is so pretty and I want to see it all. The flight paths have gorgeous kites and a lot of quests have transportation to get you around if needed.

Pet battles – Hi everyone, my name is Arioch and I believe I may become addicted to pet battles. HAVE YOU SEEN THE TANUKI????? I WILL HAVE IT!! I MUST HAVE IT!! Honestly, I wasn’t really excited about them. But they are quick and easy and OMG I CAN HAVE EVEN MORE PETS!!!! I am currently training my Guardian Cub, Windrider Cub, and a Wolpertinger. Because little winged animals are cute. And most of them are pretty effective against critters, which is what I’m facing at these levels. I’ll start in on a dragonkin of some sort and probably a phoenix pretty soon. And the best part is that they are account-wide. So if I’m leveling somewhere and see one that Arioch missed I’ll be able to snag it.

Farmville – Now, for a reason completely beyond my grasp, I was looking forward to having my own little farm. Player housing doesn’t interest me, but the idea of cultivating my own little plot of land as a mini game is right up my alley. Perhaps because I have a black thumb in real life. I’ve got my farm started but sure wish you could go a little faster with it. GROW FASTER, DAMN YOU, SCALLIONS!!!

Dungeons – No clue. Haven’t set foot in one. (OK, technically I entered one to turn in a quest.) In Cata I burned through dungeons as my primary leveling tool and, no surprise, burned out, especially on Selwyn. I’ll do them a little later when the guild is ready to do them together. Sel will probably still level mostly through them, but at least I hopefully won’t have already spent a thousand hours in each one.

Gear – Can’t say that I’m much a fan for anything other than my T9, but eventually I had to break and replace my gear at about 88. The deciding factors were stamina (I needed more, shit hits HARD) and bag space. With the new quest reward system (everything you can choose is useful) I was rapidly running out of space. I think by the time I tossed a few new enchants around (160 INT TO RINGS??? FUCK YEAH!!!) I went up a bit in most stats and gained quite a bit of HP.

OK, got a request here. I like to take screen shots. And I like to have names of stuff visible when I’m NOT taking screen shots. For whatever fucktarded reason, Blizz decided that hiding your UI does not include hiding the names.

Does anyone know of an addon (that actually works) that can be assigned to a keybind (or button) that removes all names and puts them back? I do not need it to take the screen shot, I use FRAPS. But I want something that easily removes them and replaces them. Preferably a stand alone and doesn’t require some random broker that I don’t use. Help?

Hoarding or Preparing?

It suddenly dawned on me.

MoP is almost here.

Seeing the release date didn’t do it for me.

Putting in my pre-order for my collector’s edition didn’t make it click.

Skimming pages of beta information didn’t make it real.

No.

It was waiting to see if I would get a spot in the raid and wishing they would hurry up and form the raid so I would know if I could go FARM.

Farm what? Continue reading

Looking forward to MoP

I noticed the other day that I feel different about this upcoming expansion.

Not bad-different.

Not good-different.

Just different.

It’s not apathy, perhaps relaxation?

Make no mistake about it, I am looking forward to MoP.

But why?

I have no strong feeling about pandas. I can see both sides of the panda-monium arguments, but don’t really care. I have played a little of a panda and they are one of the few races that I enjoy playing a female character. The voice isn’t quite what I was hoping for, but it’s not abrasive or obnoxious. The range of facial expressions is impressive and movement in general is nice to watch.

But I’m not going to race change to a panda. I don’t think Selwyn has forgiven me for the last time we did that. And as cute as their hair is (with color streaks now!) nothing beats pointy ears framing that fox tail. Continue reading

I’m In!

OK, sorry about lack of posts again, real life interferes – just ask Tir if you want more details. But expect a sketchy schedule of posting roughly whenever it’s physically possible (read: not much) over the next 3 months.

Anyway, along with being too busy to post, I’ve been too busy to log in… and then we both get beta invites!

So, I can’t do much, but here’s a couple observations:

1 – It’s hard to test when you can’t play.

Tir was able to make a cute little panda and zone in. I’m on the same server… Failure. Failure. Failure. Too many pandas in play already. Judging from his screen, there are roughly a quarter million pandas in a gigantic black and white (and red!) clusterfuck around the third quest objective. Oh well.

2 – Character creation is pretty cool.

I don’t think they’ve fixed the difference in how skin tones appear on the creation screen and in the game, but being able to preview the colors and styles in a pane to the side is pretty cool. Much easier to remember you like the third on the left instead of counting clicks. Unless you’re a female gnome monk – then your character creation screen is kinda bugged out; enjoy your black background.

3 – Yes, I made another blood elf.

Well, I couldn’t make a panda, what did you expect? The starting area was full of blood elf monks so apparently I wasn’t alone in my panda-less situation.

4 – Playing without add ons sucks!

Seriously, just yuck. The map is in the wrong place and I have to look WAY up at my character pane to see how much chi I have.

5 – There are spellbook improvements.

Active and passive abilities are broken out on to separate tabs. Can’t really tell you much more because I only got up to level 4 before having to log out.

6 – Starting weapons for monks are wrist wraps.

And they are bugged. At least for blood elves. They display at full durability yet you have two red sword icons indicating they are broken and you do shit damage… until you take them off and put them back on.

7 – Blood elf monk “roll” animation is hopefully incomplete…

It’s going to be awfully silly just using the normal jump animations stretched out over a few more yards. With a puff of smoke added, leaving us with this conclusion:

If you didn’t want to click through, the joke revolves around the roll appearing to be a fart-powered jump.

8 – All the other classes still have their trainers in the belf starting area… but no new monk trainer.

There’s a bunch of wounded outrunners, but I can’t honestly remember if they were there before or not. Theoretically, no one needs trainers any more. But I haven’t rolled a pre-existing class to verify that.

9 – You choose your specialization at level 2.

Actually, it’s a lie. The pane is available and the icon blinks furiously at you, but you can’t do anything with it. And some of your talents are literally mystery talents and others aren’t implemented or functioning.

10 – Filtering at vendors is cool… in theory.

If you’re brand new and run up to the first vendor and see nada, might be a bit confusing.

11 – Quest drop rates seem to have been improved.

One of the reasons I chose to roll a belf was my familiarity with the starting zone. Fairly recently I ran my baby warrior through here and the drop on lynx collars was terrible. Now, I’m getting one off almost every kill. Which leads us to…

12 – AoE looting is awesome.

Forgot about it at first and was wondering how I got 2 collars off one cat, but I was looting the corpses of momma and baby together! Isn’t that sweet?

13 – As a monk, changing your weapon type changes your attacks.

Because “jabbing” with wristwraps is fine, but “clobbering” with a staff is better. Be prepared for changes to icon appearance and spell names… possible borking of macros as well.

And… we’re out of time.

Where you stand matters

As I’ve mentioned before, our Group 2 raids on Tuesday/Wednesday and is currently only raiding on Wednesday to alleviate lag issues that plague some members on the higher-population start of the raiding week.

So we’re trucking along Wednesday night, downing H Morchock in 2 pulls (even with the additional nerf, everyone needs to take stomps appropriately on the side with one healer).

We’re clearing trash on Yor’Sahj and two things come to mind.

The first is something I think about every week, regardless of the toon or group I’m with: The trash gets cleared in a circular path around the boss, starting at the portal entrance. Continue reading