So hey guys anything exciting happening in WoW lately? Hmm? And why am I so tired?
Last night at 2am PST we had 20 people online, which was rather remarkable. I know we had one guy working for a realm first to 85 achievement, and one gal working on realm first inscription. The rest of us were just innocent bystanders, joining in the fray to see the new zones.
I haven’t had a chance to go to Hyjal yet, but what I’ve seen so far of Vashj’ir has been amazing. I don’t want to blow any surprises, but there’s lots of bouncing along the sea floor, avoiding giant (GIANT) whale sharks, and a new seahorse mount. It looks gorgeous, and the new water mechanics really stand out when you’re in an ocean zone.
The Cats are working on realm first Working as a Team. Last night we got to 525 for Cooking, Herbalism, Fishing, and Mining, and we have a team of super awesome dedicated gatherers funneling materials to crafters. I’m responsible for Alchemy and Tailoring and while I wasn’t able to do a whole lot last night at least I can be at work and buy overpriced Embersilk off the Auction House.
Aside from that, right now it’s all about sitting here, watching the clock, and waiting until I can dive (har har, get it) back into things. Thus far I give Cataclysm two very tired thumbs up!
Which character are you leveling first in Cataclysm? That’s the question I Like Pancakes put to us all earlier this week, and it turns out to be more difficult to answer than I initially thought. My first instinct was simply to say, “Liore! Duh! Next question!” but the more I thought about it the less sure I felt. Cataclysm changes the rules for many things, like raiding and Battlegrounds, and expansion leveling is no exception.
Previously, expansion leveling for many folks — myself included — was big race to the finish. Install the expansion, stock up on energy drinks, and get your main to level cap go go go go go goooooooooooooo. I usually level as a holy smite spec (I’m a healer dammit!) which means that while I never leveled quite as fast as my DPS colleagues, I was usually somewhere in the first pack to hit level cap.
Cataclysm, though, has put new emphasis on having a cadre of leveled alts at a player’s disposal. With the new 10/25 lockout change both mains and alts can easily end up with almost identical gear, experience, and achievements, and in fact having one character for each type of lockout seems practical. Additionally, Blizz has brought in a few changes that encourage profession alts to level up, such as gated trainers and tighter level range requirements for crafting. The cherry on top, of course, is the new Guild Achievement system, which I suspect will reward guilds that have vibrant communities with many active alts.
The overall effect makes me inclined to get a number of alts to 85 around the same time, so instead of the usual main rush I may end up rotating through rested XP on a regular basis. Liore is still my favorite, so she has top priority. But Lunedi is anxious to start bashing in heads on 25s or 10s, and Thursday the mage wants to keep making money with high-level enchanting. And of course there’s the newest member of the bunch, Mercredi the rapidly-leveling future 10s tank, and the sooner the guild has an extra level 85 alt tank kicking around, the better.
Over all it seems versatility will give greater benefits to the player and the guild instead of the speed of yesteryear. My advice would be to enjoy your rested XP, and take the time to smite and shoot and stab the roses along the way.
Dwarf ladies get a lot of flack on the Alliance side. (Do Horde get that kind of talk about Tauren ladies?)
They’re rare enough as it is, but it doesn’t help that trade chat falls over itself to insult the wee lassies at every opportunity. They’re short, they’re fat, they jiggle in weird places when they run. They have silly braids and talk in Scottish accents. They do not flounce like pole-dancing Nelfs, nor do they convincingly pull off the space goat waggle.
And to people who dismissively say all of the above, I would like to introduce you to Lunedi 2.0. She is short, she is round, she is apple-cheeked, and she will knock the head off of anyone who calls her thunder thighs.
So how did 4.03a treat you yesterday? I admit that I hopped online, checked my auctions, and pretty much went straight to Hillsbrad Foothills to play Peacebloom Vs. Ghouls. And man, it was rad. I’m a serious Plants Vs. Zombies fan, so I didn’t have too much trouble completing the four (five?) rounds and getting the Singing Sunflower pet. The Sunflower is adorable — every so often it will stop and sing or hum perkily in a cloud of rainbows and flowers. It’s almost suspiciously happy. In fact, I think it might be plotting to kill me.
Anyway, enough of my paranoid theories. Let’s see some pictures!
Visitor Logs and Answers
I noticed that I got a number of visits yesterday from folks looking for specific 4.03a information. I can only imagine their disappointment when they came to the site and realized that I basically just write a blog so I won’t get banned from the official forums, not to provide useful details. But what the heck, huh?
Are there new mounts or pets in the patch?
Yes! There’s the Singing Sunflower pet I mentioned above, which is obtained by completing the Peacebloom vs. Ghouls quests by the Dalaran crater in Hillsbrad. There is also apparently a pet grub named Mr. Grubbs (cute!) which is a random drop off mobs in East Plaguelands, a new firefly pet from a questline in the Burning Steppes, and a pet from a new Darkshore questline that looks like a .. dying druid tree.
There were no new mounts added in this patch, although there should be some in the new Cataclysm content.
Is ICC getting nerfed before Cataclysm?
What, again? Over and above the 30% buff? And the incidental class buffs that came in with 4.01? And the improved gear availability with the old Invasion portal bosses, S8 arena gear, and lowered T10 prices? Have I asked enough questions that you’ve gotten my point?
Were DKs nerfed in 4.03a?
I am not a Death Knight, but I consulted my team of DKs experts and they said that DKs received a slight nerf to their self-healing abilities, as did any other DPS class with a self-heal, their DPS should be the same as always. Now in exchange for this answer, dear DK reader, promise to not steal aggro from the tanks in LFD. Thanks!
How do I get to Darnassus now?
I know, right? The portals are gone, Menethil sank into the sea, and I am so lost. According to WoWWiki, the boat that previously ran from The Exodar to Auberdine now runs from Stormwind to Rut’theran Village, and from there you can fly to The Exodar.
The above advice is probably only good if you’re Alliance. If you’re Horde, find your own way into Darnassus and stay the hell away from Tyrande. <3
It is now? It is now? It is now?
I don’t even have a plan for tonight except to run around saying, “Oh my god, it’s all gone.” or “What the heck is this?!” Well, that and fuss over my auctions a lot. (If you are planning on selling netherweave bags on Uldum, I will see you on the auction house battleground.)
I felt a little melancholy last night. I remember taking my first in-game flight, from Darnassus to Auberdine, and having my breath taken away by the view. I remember running Zul’Gurub over and over again back in Vanilla, and as we slowly progressed from Jeklik to Hakkar watching the guild grow from 12 people to 15 to an entire raid group. I’ve sat on the bleachers at Shimmering Flats and watched the races go by, stood on the rooftops of Orgrimmar, and danced with the Dwarf King Magni. (Oh Magni. :( )
I have spent a lot of time fighting and laughing in Old Azeroth with a lot of people, many of whom don’t play anymore but who were still around in my head every time I, say, took that flight from Stormwind to Booty Bay. So I’ll miss Old Azeroth. I’ll miss it a lot. And I miss those good times I once had there.
Plus there is the little matter of some giant metal-faced dragon who caused all this death and destruction in the first place. It might take a year or two to prepare ourselves, but we’re coming for you! For Magni and Cairne and Gweneth Bly’Leggonde and all her turtle carcasses and everything else that we’re about to lose today — we will be coming.
Okay, is it time to go home NOW? Let’s gooooooooooooo. I want to make some new memories in the New Azeroth.
A follow up on yesterday! Here is what I think happened:
Hackers got a hold of my Battle.net email address (aka user ID), which was pretty publicly available. They probably matched it with my full name, which is also not difficult to find. Somehow, whether it was through the web or through a packet or something, they asked Blizz to reset my password, probably under the “I lost my password” feature. Blizz resets it, and sends me an email asking me to pick a new password.
Here is where it gets fuzzy — I’m pretty sure that they weren’t able to hack into my email. I can’t know for sure, though. What I do know is that the hackers were unable to actually complete the password resetting process and pick a new password, either because they couldn’t get into my email or because Blizz locked down my account within 7 minutes.
Even if they had managed to hack into my email and change the password to my Battle.net account, thanks to the Authenticator they would not have been able to log into the game or log into the important bits of my Battle.net account.
So: Authenticators are good! They protect your account, even if hackers can still make your life difficult. Also I strongly recommend picking a Battle.Net ID/Email addy that you don’t use on any other site.
Only one week until The Shattering omg omg omg oh my god oh my god oh my god I have so much to do.
Five Things I Hated About WotLK
1) Trial of the (Grand) Crusader
Let’s just go ahead and get this one right out of the way. This. Raid. Sucked. Running four different versions? Suck. The matching gear across armor type? Suck. Having first four bosses be face-rolling easy and the last boss be amazingly tough? Suck. The horrible, horrible character writing? Suck. Seriously, we just recently went back to GC for kicks and I could not believe how poor Tirion’s dialog was. “Alas, you are victorious…” God, just stop that.
2) The Social Impact of the LFD System
I don’t have a problem with the LFD system per se. I think it’s actually pretty handy, and I love being able to quickly run something on alts or when there aren’t many guildies around. However, it’s just been another step towards dismantling server communities. Without effort, your server is simply the Dalaran lobby where you hang around waiting for your queue to pop. (I should say that I think guild leveling and perks will help with this somewhat.)
3) Achievements for Not Dying
Undying, Immortal, Insanity — no thank you! I like challenge, but I really dislike this type of achievement. It puts a lot of pressure on the healers, who are usually pretty sensitive to people dying anyway. Plus, unless you succeed someone is going to be the goose. My guild is pretty good about not giving the dead person a hard time, but it’s obvious that people are disappointed and the goose feels terrible about mucking up everyone else’s attempts. It just doesn’t promote teamwork the way I’d like.
4) One Year of Icecrown Citadel
I don’t think I really have to say much about this. I still think they rolled out the various buff stages too early, even if my guild benefited a great deal from it, and really Ulduar should have had another 2-3 months of being relevant.
“Easymode” doesn’t refer to how many people see content, or how quickly they can see it, or how many hours they play each week. It refers to many things in the game not requiring the same level of effort they did previously, and therefore in my opinion diminishing the amount of gameplay available. Under this I would list things like 25-man raid bosses that are farm content the minute you zone in (ToC, I’m looking at you), or heroics that can be AoEd down. I’m talking about nerfing a healthy chunk of The Insane. Even the Elemental Invasion seems to have all the rough edges sanded smooth, unlike the sheer chaos and fun of zombies. I don’t care if 100% of players kill the Lich King (in fact, good on ‘em) as long as the fight is a challenge to the majority of those people, and most of the content in WotLK was not challenging.