Category Archives: For the Horde, Baby!

Spires of Awesome

Bombelina Hits 100

Bombelina Hits 100

After doggedly questing my way through Frostwall, Gorgrond and pretty much everything I could find in Talador, I ended up hitting level 100 while derping about in the Spires of Arak.  Quite a few folks have gushed over the WoD’s quests to me, but from my point of view, quests are quests are quests.  Kill x of that, y of that, and z of that, while simultaneously stopping at these three objective points to either pick something up or find a particular mob, and for efficiency’s sake, avoid the one big mob over there with the giant ! on the portrait, because you know you’re going to need to kill that later.

It’s not that it’s a bad thing to know the song and dance routine by now (it can be very efficient).  It’s just that the Draenor quests aren’t amazingly better than the Pandaland quests for me, because structurally, they’re more of the same thing.  I’m not saying that’s bad – I liked them – I just didn’t find ’em revolutionary.  And while I found the bonus objectives to be more of the traditional kill kill kill, I liked them anyway because HOORAY, A MECHANIC THAT VALIDATES MY DESIRE TO RUN TO THAT WEIRD LOOKING CORNER OF THE MAP!

Other thought fragments:

  • I wasn’t hugely enthralled with pandas, but guess I preferred the ambiguity of the Sha concept over EVIL ORCS.  (“When I kill something, it STAYS DEAD.”  ORLY, Kargath?)
  • I think I like Yrel?  Maybe?  Not sure yet?
  • I felt like Shattrath was largely just tossed in, like, oh hey, plot point yo.  I swear I spent at least twice as much time with a bunch of fur-clad orcs as I did charging through what I thought was a super-important city.

Right now, I am currently derping around doing one of four or five things:

1.) I swear to Gawd I am going to finish all these quests, even if it kills me.
JUST YOU WATCH.

2.) KILL THEM ALL
By now, I’ve been trained by the game to react when I see that tantalizing skull symbol on my map.  My brain lights up with good thoughts – RARE!  IT MAY HAVE A TOY!  MAYBE IT HAS A PET!  I MUST KILL IT! – and off I sprint, tossing out a Flame Shock the moment my target is within range.

Admittedly, the rares started getting a hair tougher the further I got into Spires, since my getup got comparatively weaker, but I was still able to defeat them on my own.  Then it got a little easier because I’d finally figured out how to take a bodyguard along with me!  As an elemental shaman, I traditionally use my good ol’ Earth Elemental as a temporary tank/make-aggro-go-haywire-er, but bodyguard Aeda Brightdawn turns out to be much better at grabbing and keeping aggro off me than Rocky is.  I’m cool with another body between me and danger.

Then, last week, I discovered that all this see-rare-kill-rare conditioning had been … not a lie, exactly, but kind of a trap.

I’d found a big blue hydra rare named Echidna.  Aeda is a freaking tiny blood elf, so I couldn’t see her through the foggy crap Echidna was spewing out – but then I noticed that little “I’m a diva and I’m going to punish you for letting me die by taking an hour to resurrect” icon appear.  Basically, Echidna had gone and ripped Aeda’s head off.  Based on the couple seconds it all took, I concluded THAT’S BAD AND I MUST LEAVE.

I tried to run, but, as the very first comment on Wowhead states (I kid you not), Echidna “hits like a mack Truck.”

Yeah, that comment was pretty accurate.

3.) Silver Proving Grounds
I am not the person this requirement was created to satisfy.  I don’t think it will put an end to the people queueing as tanks or heals and wondering what to do next, or DPS pulling crap when they shouldn’t.  I don’t think it will stop the stupid, because stupid is more certain than death or taxes.  I can borrow another standardized line to describe it: Stupidity is forever.

Get Ready ... To fail by one second

Get Ready …
To fail by one second

I do find it irritating that I have to do the Silver for each spec and then at least once for each alt.  Let’s be real here – I don’t expect to be bored enough to complete it on all my alts any time in the near future!

Bronze was easy-peasy.  As far as silver goes, DPS is OK, I just have to practice enough to shave a couple seconds off so I don’t run out of time on the last round.  Healing?  HAHAHAHAHA I RUN OUT OF MANA BY ROUND SIX OGOD WHY DOES THIS HURT SO BAD WHY ARE MY HEALS SO WEAK WE’RE INTERRUPTING CRAP I SWEAR

4.) Garrison of Grief
Bombelina expects quality, and like any good goblin, she’s not above working people to the bone to get it.  Her poor little green followers will level regardless of their feelings on the matter.  Her wee little level 90 recruits will get slammed into the hardest missions they can manage.  There will be no mercy.

5.) Getting additional alts through the starting zone and resting comfortably in their bare-bones Barracks.
Thermalix, Ignitine, Esplodine, Mechalis, Nioma, Ailabeth, Alexalis, Betheki
Daschela, Niremere, Yynsia

Basically, I do the starting zone about two quests at a time.  Stop the Dark Portal, then stop.  Free some people in cages and set huts on fire, then stop.  Kill some orb things, then stop.  Etc. etc. etc.  Tedious, but it works … eventually.

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Hello Lag, My Old Friend

Also entitled, “Ermagerd Warlerds.”  Comes with spoilers, sort of.

Being a little too eager to see the new content, I woke up early to send Bombelina through the Dark Portal.  I felt puzzled by Thrall’s premature baldness.  How had I not noticed it before?  Had his thick and luxuriant braids, their source hidden beneath a hood, convinced me that he had a full head of manly orc-hair?  As he and that random draenei dude barged through the portal like a couple of ninnies (look, I know you two are buff, but the Iron Horde’s got sheer numeric advantage on their side), I felt slightly betrayed by that whole adulthood thing.  I had to go to work at this critical moment.  “Just five more minutes …” I wanted to say.

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Tier Mix 02: Celestial Gale Set

"Celestial Gale" Set

“Celestial Gale” Set

“Celestial Gale” Set

Class: Shaman

H: Headpiece of Celestial Harmony (Heroic) | S: Shoulderwraps of Celestial Harmony (Heroic) | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Relentless Gladiator’s Mail Armor | Wa: Girdle of the Gale Storm | L: Not shown
G:
Relentless Gladiator’s Ringmail Gauntlets | Wr: Not shown | B: Skom Greaves

Dagger: Lhakaz’s Missing Ribspreader
Shield: Cannonball-Dented Shield

Thoughts: Technically, the helm and shoulders aren’t mogged yet, since she’s actually still wearing them, but that’s just between you and me.  I feel like the getup looks a little weird without the red cloak I had in mind, but I can’t mog the legendary cape, so that’ll just have to wait as well.  This set is one of two outfits I have planned for Bombelina to wear while blasting her way through WoD.

I’m tempted to ditch the Cannonball-Dented Shield and go for my old standby favorite, Gizlock’s Hypertech Buckler (it’s one of the gear-like shields that moves but doesn’t require engineering).

On another note, I am now regretting not getting and/or destroying some of those toys to save on space …

Pow! Bam! Smack! Wham!

The simple act of punching some poor mob in the face has a long and storied history in Azeroth, starting way back when in the dark ages known as Vanilla.  People of that era felt compelled to level up their skill in unarmed combat.  It seems strange to us now, but life in those days was rough, and you never knew when you might have to smash in someone’s schnozz.  More recently, this “punch the @#$%er in the face!” fighting technique has resurfaced for those who vastly outlevel the quest content they happen to be doing.  Why, my buddy Kash was in that very situation the other night!  Her character was buff beyond belief in comparison to the zone’s monsters, so in order to finish up the quest chain for a transmog item she wanted, she had to remove her weapon and strip all her gear.

LFR was being unusually docile* that evening, which left me with some extra time on my hands.  I had an idea.  It was not just a plain old idea, oh no – it was a freaking brilliant idea, and I lost no time sharing it.  “Let’s go punch our way through all the old raids ever,” I saidKash agreed that this was a genius time-wasting concept, so I set about creating a raid group devoted to naked fisticuffs with old school bosses.  I spent ages cajoling, demanding and insisting with virtually everybody on my friends list, but weirdly, nobody else wanted to come.  (Seriously, guys, where are your priorities!?)

Punchathon in Tempest Keep I just don't know why there are so few of us willing to do this kinda sheeyit out there.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep
I just don’t know why there are so few of us willing to do this kinda sheeyit out there.

So in the end, it was just Kash and me.  We had ambitious plans when we first started, which included taking on everything BC, battering all things Lich King, and ultimately ending up KO’ing Deathwing, all with our puny fists.  As you’ve probably guessed, we badly underestimated the amount of time it takes for two people to punch trash and raid bosses to death.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep Don't need no stinkin' pants.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep
Don’t need no stinkin’ pants.

We decided on a “no skills whatsoever” rule, so I brought Alexalis, assuming that as a Mistweaver monk, her punchy-healy goodness would keep our tiny party alive without anybody actually having to use healing abilities.  Kash was smart, and brought a tabard with her.  I didn’t think that far ahead, but I did have a shirt on by accident!  (I forgot Alexalis even had one …)

Punchathon in Tempest Keep Come at me!

Punchathon in Tempest Keep
Come at me!

We started off with Tempest Keep.  All seemed well at first, and we made it through the trash easily (if slowly) just by swinging our fists.  But then we started down the slippery slope of skill usage with Al’ar, who kept flying away.  Movement abilities were okay, we decreed, just not fighty-fighty abilities.  Unfortunately for us, old content still has berserk timers, and we went way past that limit.  Unfortunately for Al’ar, he couldn’t put much of a dent in us, even when he was berserked.  Still, it took so damn long, we concluded that fighty-fighty abilities were okay, as long as you weren’t using a weapon.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep I mean seriously, can't he just stay over here and get punched to death like a respectable raid boss?

Punchathon in Tempest Keep
I mean seriously, can’t he just stay over here and get punched to death like a respectable raid boss?

Goa then made the mistake of logging in, and in short order I dragged him into the Keep in time to face off against the Void Reaver.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep Void Reaver's warranty has been voided.  EL OH EL OH okay, shutting up now.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep
Void Reaver’s warranty has been voided. EL OH EL OH okay, shutting up now.

We’d forgotten that Goa, being a warrior, couldn’t use any skills whatsoever without weapons, and that just didn’t seem fair somehow.  We let him use his weapons after that, mostly so he could press some buttons, but also because it sped things up a good deal.  It’s not that we couldn’t punch everything to death, but more that the punching-only rule was sucking up more time than we had to waste – dinnertime was coming upon us fast.  We skipped Solarian or whatever her name is, and went directly to the top, getting into a fist (and dual mace) fight with Kael’thas.  We eventually managed to take him out – and promptly forgot to take a good picture.

Punchathon in Tempest Keep It turns out that if you run in circles around Kael-ol-buddy here, he'll shuffle around so fast he knocks himself out.  (Sorta.)

Punchathon in Tempest Keep
It turns out that if you run in circles around Kael-ol-buddy here, he’ll shuffle around so fast he knocks himself out. (Sorta.)

 

 

 

 

 

*So we came to the Spoils fight, and as usual, people started talking to the damned box and starting the fight even though groups hadn’t been split up yet.  Irritated, I told ’em, “don’t start it up yet, ya derps,” and they stopped.  Weirder yet, nobody objected to being called a “derp.”  Even stranger still, nobody insulted me, my momma and my DPS for telling them what to do.

I Don’t Know If I Can Do It

Also known as, “More Muttering About Models.”

The nice thing about playing mostly goblins is that my “mains” had no surprises in store for me.  I’ve been sitting on the fence about some other characters, however.  (I’ve also been browsing any and all “OMFG I HATE THE NEW MODELS” threads with avidity.  Look, somebody had problems worse than mine!)

Ailabeth
I loved Ailabeth’s old harlequin face.  To me, it was a smile fixed in place by rigor mortis, a mask resembling her old self that barely covered the motivations of her present unlife.

Ailabeth's New Model Hair apparently does grow in the grave, as does general annoyingness.

Ailabeth’s New Model
Hair apparently does grow in the grave, as does general annoyingness.

With the new model, the brows have been raised and the mouth has been made much narrower*, which gives the harlequin mask a rather pinched smirk.  It makes me want to punch the wearer every time I see it.

On the upside, her hair is fab.  I am ultimately unsure what to do with Ailabeth, but may leave her as Forsaken, since she doesn’t see a large amount of playtime these days.  For now, I’ve changed her face to something that makes me a little less irritated.

*Not that the mouth being made much wider helps, necessarily.  Exhibit A:

Forsaken Eek! Originally posted by Gentlebreeze on the forums.

Forsaken Derp Transformation!
Posted by Gentlebreeze on the forums.

Daschela and Yynsia
I just can’t with the eyes.  Why do they seem so big, when they didn’t before?  Why are they so goddamn turquoise, when they weren’t before?  Why are they so freakishly bright?

Dasch's New Model Nicely defined horns.  Freakishly flat eyes.

Dasch’s New Model
Nicely defined horns. Freakishly flat eyes.

Yynsia's New Model The new bright eyes seem even BRIGHTER on dark skins.

Yynsia’s New Model
The new bright eyes seem even BRIGHTER on dark skins.

Have you seen how the new face looks on the Armory for female draenei hunters?  I THINK YOU SHOULD.

>: | WAT IS WITH THIS FACE

>: |
WAT IS WITH THIS PINCHED EXPRESSION

I’d like to keep them Alliance, so that I am able to switch factions as desired to play with friends.  I’m leaning towards racechanging Daschela, the hunter, to a night elf, since the name originally applied to a night elf druid that later became Betheki the troll.  As far as Yynsia the shaman goes, I’ve been tossing around the idea of changing her either to a dwarf or panda.  On the one hand, I really like the panda casting animation.  On the other, pandas all have sameface syndrome, and I already have one panda.

Niremere
Alas, the changes to the human female hit me like a ton of bricks.  What bugs me the most about the human female faces is how it feels like Blizzard took the same approach they did with pandas: change the colors on the same face and call the resulting variations “different!”  Every face has the same eye shape, just in different colors.  (Speaking of eyes, they gave gnomes a face with mussed up eyeliner. What happened to the smudged eyeliner on my human?)  Every face has pencil-thin brows arched halfway to the moon.  Because of the shading on the upper lip, they almost all appear to be doing the duckface expression if you look at them straight on.

This image is a good example of how the human female faces could, you know, actually resemble the originals in more than eyecolor:

Original, live, and edited versions Originally posted to the forums by Vro of Evenfall server

Original, live, and edited versions
Posted to the forums by Vro

I think I could get used to the human female faces if I made a new character, but the problem with Niremere is that she has a history of sorts, a story in which her old appearance made sense but her new one makes no sense at all.  Niremere’s personality was even-keeled, stern and straightforward, and she was a competent badass who took no sheeyit.  Since the new face only superficially resembles the old one (is it just me, or does it look down), this is not the vibe I get from it.

Nir's New Model She grew a couple inches and several helm sizes.

Nir’s New Model
She grew a couple inches and several helm sizes.

This thread is of interest to me (despite how fast it got derailed by the “I don’t see what’s wrong just suck it up” camp) because the OP used the same face I did and has the same problem with the new model results.  One reply in the thread struck a chord for me as well:

“The human the OP posted, she looked pretty fierce. But with the raised eyebrows, tilted eyeballs, and lack of makeup, she looks pretty derp. And very different.

Still pretty, yeah. But she’s not the same character that was originally created.”

And that’s pretty much the crux of it.

I can’t see race-changing her, to be honest.  “Niremere” is human.  But I can’t see myself playing her much, either.  I’ll probably just leave her sitting as is for a good long while, until my idea of “Niremere” fades and I can pick a different face to go with a different character.


Other thoughts of note:

  • Interestingly, all the “old faces” have been mostly smoothed and dewrinkled
  • Re: gnomes.  People were complaining about female gnomes being too damn cutesy, so it looks an awful lot like Blizzard overcompensated by making them pissed off instead.
  • New Model Thread Catalogue – contains info on how to contact the lead character artist.  Debating actually doing it, because (as shown above) the human females can be made far more faithful to the original models.

 

How To Level a PvE Rogue Without Embarrassing Yourself

I was terrible at rogue.  I know this to be true because my previous attempts at rogue had damage so gawdawful bad, people in normally silent Dungeon Finder groups were openly questioning the validity of my very existence.  This time around, however, I have made decisions based on Goa’s expertise instead of the heirlooms I had available, and have accordingly arrived at a stage where (holy sheeyit) it looks almost like I know what I’m doing.  I’m not the worst DPS, you say?  AHAHAHAHA REVENGEEEE YOU THOUGHT I SUCKED BUT YOU WERE WROOOONG

In other words, I suddenly feel about 95% more badass and am therefore qualified to write this “guide” for the equally incompetent.

Step One: Mental Preparation
1. Begin the process of getting over your love affair with Pickpocketing.
It is sad to admit, but your love of Pickpocketing will only lead you to great frustration when it comes to leveling in dungeon groups.  Sheeyit dies too dang fast for you to actually Pickpocket and then Ambush.  Pickpocketing a few coppers and some gnome effigies is but a brief joy soon superseded by sorrow, thanks to the poor DPS you will do as a result.  Your goal is to find something that is hitting the tank, and attack it sooner than anybody else.  (p.s., ogres have pockets.  I hope you’re happy with that knowledge.)

2. Variety is the spice of life and all that jazz.
As DPS, one must prepare for a life of independence yet still be ready to work with others.  Ye must know your skills (or know someone who does, like Goa), since things like Kidney Shot are quite handy when leveling on your own, but are sadly useless against a variety of dungeon mobs.  DPS dungeon queues are quick and relatively painless up until about Blackrock, but once you’re in the 50s, you might as well quest until you hit 58.  Then you can queue for Hellfire Ramparts, where things pick up once more.  Once you hit the late 60s and start queueing for Utgarde Keep, you’ll probably want to quest until at least level 71 or so for your sanity.  Otherwise, it’s Utgarde Keep, Utgarde Keep, Utgarde Keep, and some more Utgarde Keep for you.  Ding, queue popped!  Oh, would ya look at that, it’s Utgarde Keep.

3. But I suck at melee!
Okay, yeah, you do, but this is one of just two classes you don’t have at 90.  You want one of everything, don’t you?  Don’t you?  Be the completionist that you are!

Step Two: Gear Preparation
You will need two heirloom daggers.  Other heirlooms are technically optional, but they’re great for making your nooblet damage-dealing look good in comparison to the DPS of other people.  “But Prinnie,” you say, “we’re in DIRE MAUL.  Does this sheeyit even MATTER?”  Fair question, fellow altoholic!  You see, doing decent DPS without even trying hides the fact that you don’t quite know what you’re doing yet.  Plus, looking good is good for your morale, and good morale is good for actually making it to the end of the leveling process.  By then, theoretically, you’ll actually know what you’re doing and you can ditch the looms.

Step Three: You Are a Mother-Trucking ASSASSIN
At level 10, for the love of Gawd, go with Assassination.  Seriously.  This is why you got two heirloom daggers, instead of one dagger and that agility mace you dumped in Void Storage after trying to level a confused enhancement shaman a year ago.  Speaking of assassins …

Step Four: At level 60, choose Cloak and Dagger
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STEP HERE.  Seriously.  It is especially useful if you, like me, are a compulsive looter who often gets left behind by chain-pulling tanks.  Stealth (or Vanish if you must), target some poor mob trailing behind the tank, and BAM!  NOW YOU’RE IN RANGE, MOTHER TRUCKERS!  Shadowstep (which does not require that you Ambush or otherwise do something painful to your target) does not cool down quickly enough to make it worthwhile in comparison.  This is especially true considering that YOU SHOULD AMBUSH NOW.  Yes.  Right now.

Note: try to let the tank hit the mob at least once before you hit Ambush.  Otherwise you’ll Cloak-and-Dagger yourself into being a temporary tank, and that hurts, sometimes badly.

Step Five: FAN OF FREAKING KNIVES
At level 66, you get Fan of Knives.  If there are a handful of mobs near you (which there probably will be, since you’ll almost certainly end up with a chain-pulling tank), you’ll be Fan of Knivesing a lot.

Note: try to let the tank get sufficient aggro before you go Fan of Knivesing all over the place.  Otherwise, your fate is dependent on the group’s healer and your cooldowns.  Good healer?  You’ll be ok.  Got Vanish at the ready?  You’ll be fine.  Panicked at the sudden onslaught of damage and forgot about Vanish as a result, or was the healer busy texting since they didn’t actually expect you to do something stupid?  Welcome to Deathtown, party of rogue.

Step Four: A Glowy Button Appears
At level, uh, 70, enjoy the glowy stabbity button provided by Blindside.  Glowy buttons are the best.

I feel like there should be a step five, but I can’t think of one.

The Stove is Hot. Stop Touching the Stove.

I have a good friend with a fondness for nostalgia.  This isn’t always a bad thing, mind you, but it does tend to cause emotional burns from time to time.  So whenever she talks about doing X, Y or Z, I tell her that the stove is hot.  She knows the stove is hot.  She should stop touching the stove, because touching the stove she knows to be hot is stupid.  I find it obnoxious when people give advice they obviously don’t follow themselves, so I try to live by my own words of wisdom idioms.

I fail at this on a regular basis.

I was looking for some new way to consume my game time, since Daschela got her cloak and Niremere is stuck trying to get hers.  So about a week ago, I had a very specific dream about leveling a panda rogue.  I mentioned this to Goa, who (of course) said that it must be a sign and maybe I’d like rogue this time around!  There is something to be said to exposure, after all, since you can teach yourself to like formerly hated foods by eating them until you just don’t care anymore.  In this case, there’s the Forsaken rogue I started (and abandoned because WTF AUGH CAN’T DO ANYTHING BUT WAIT), and all the former rogues I’ve deleted.

Still, I delayed.  No rogue, I said, because the stove is hot, and I’m not touching that.  Maybe a panda shaman?  I like shamans!  But then I realized that would be my third shaman, and that could be considered just a bit class-obsessive.  Okay, so how about a panda hunter, then?  I like hunters!  Oh.  Wait.  If I made one, that would be my third hunter.  Panda monk?  No, too obvious.  Panda mage!  Meh, Arcane Explosion is still not considered a rotation unto itself.  What about a panda warrior, then?  Naw, I still haven’t finished leveling Pixelby, who’s somewhere in the 60s.  While thinking through all this, I could practically hear my subconscious cheering in the background.  Panda rogue!  Panda rogue!  Panda rogue!

Yeah.  I made a mother trucking panda rogue.

The Eyes of Hellscream are Upon You The Eyes of Hellderp, maybe.

The Eyes of Hellscream are Upon You
The Eyes of Hellderp, maybe.

And the weird thing?  I … I liked it.  Kind of.  Assassination is more fun than Combat, as long as I don’t blow all my Energy at the beginning of combat (which I often do).  I dunno, I like the character for some reason.

There are still some issues, like positioning:

How Do I Rogue in a World Like This Logic is capricious

How Do I Rogue in a World Like This
Logic is capricious

And the lack of AoE is a real bummer.

The other weird thing is that healers don’t seem to like me much.  There have been several parties where every other member’s health has been topped off but mine was left at far less than full.  Is it because I am a rogue?  Is it because the perception of my DPS depends on the other DPSers in the party?  (That is, if there are other players in looms, I’m screwed.  If I am the only one in looms, however, I look great.)  Does “Nioma” mean something bad?  If so, oops.