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?


16 comments on “The Pandas have Arrived

  1. koalabear21 says:

    I thought you could turn off names in the main interface.


    • Arioch says:

      You can. But that’s opening up the interface, finding it, clicking it off, going back in to game, taking the shot and then going back in to the interface to turn it all back on. I’m a lazy “photographer.” I’ve tried a couple different adds that are supposed to handle it but most want to also take care of the picture taking (not through FRAPS) or are almost as cumbersome as heading in to the interface manually.


  2. Leit says:

    OMG dem shoulders.

    Dragonkin are annoyingly hard to find. See if you can trap a good Spawn of Onyxia in Dustwallow. The spawns seem to have a lot of downtime, but it’ll save you having to level a Tyragosa or Li’l Deathwing from scratch. (even if li’l D is nasty as fsck against anything that’s not an elemental…) Plus they’re cute.

    Flying-class pets are pretty strong at the moment, so wings are all good. Even if only one of those pets is actually a official flyer. :D

    I don’t know about you, koala, but turning off names isn’t working properly for me… hiding the names of quest NPCs and trainers etc won’t work at all. :\


    • koalabear21 says:

      Interesting. I wonder if it is some custom UI addon that might be blocking that or if it is borked.

      I had a friend who played with NO names at all. So I know it is possible.


    • Leit says:

      Only thing I’m running is TidyPlates, because I tend to dislike the defauly poorly-rendered chickenscratch labels the game uses. >.<


    • Arioch says:

      The whelplings are all dragonkin, right? I’ve got 4-5 of those and a few of the dragons from the expansions (collector’s edition for BC and Wrath) so I think I’ve got enough of the little buggers to start with.

      Sadly, the shoulders that can shade an acre have already been replaced. =(


  3. I wish I knew of an add on like that. It would be incredibly useful.


  4. wolfgangcat says:

    I’m not sure if this is what you want, but when I take a screen shot I usually just hit Alt-Z to toggle off the entire UI and Alt-Z again to toggle it back on.


    • Arioch says:

      Names are still there. For whatever reason, Blizz considers that to be a feature. So either you have to go in to the interface to manually remove them (and the replace them after the screenshot) or write a script. But character limitations in macros mean multiple macros to get them all gone. So an add on would be the more elegant solution.


  5. […] blog… don’t have time for a full post right now but I did want to give an update from this post over […]


  6. ME says:

    ctrl + v removes names and puts them back


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