You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2009.

evil_easter_bunny4

I didn’t realize that the Noblegarden world event had hit until a few days ago so I may have missed the first couple days, but I did spend quite a lot of time with it on my day off. Even though I had a good time with it, I get the impression that many people are only seeing some of these holidays all the way through for the meta-achievement. I have no intention at all of getting the proto-drake, but it’s still pretty fun to get involved in the event.

Whenever the world events happen I usually only do the first couple easy achievements and get back to what I was doing. It’s not because I don’t like the special events. In fact, I think it’s a great thing that Blizz does stuff like this to keep people engaged in the game. My problem is that many of the achievements are insanely difficult to complete, and not in a challenging or fun way. Regardless, I had the whole day off to play on Wednesday so I decided to give “the Noble” achievement and honest shot. Here are some of my thoughts on it.

I came up against one specific achievement that ruined the whole thing for me, and that was the “Shake Your Bunny Maker” achievement. This involves finding female players of every race and throwing an item at them to give them bunny ears. As even non-WoW players could imagine, there aren’t very many people who play female characters in the game to begin with, let alone less aesthetically pleasing races like Trolls or Orcs. After running around Dal for awhile and doing some PVP in hopes of finding the right people, I got frustrated pretty quickly and gave up. Of course doing achievements is entirely optional, but I thought this was a bit much.

I read a recent post on WoW Insider telling people to go to Exodar to get their eggs for Noblegarden. This seemed like a good idea since it has long been one of the most difficult to reach and least popular capital cities, but this was all before it was written on a wildly popular blog. It was less crowded than most other cities I saw, but there were still a ton of people there. For as many people were there, it seemed like everybody tried to be respectful about looting which was cool.

From what I heard, Blizz also made them respawn instantly somewhere else after being looted which was a great idea. When I started collecting eggs, the only reason I was doing it was to get the Spring Rabbit which cost 100 marks. As it turns out, I picked up 2 of the pets in eggs so then it I just collected eggs to kill time while waiting for Alterac Valley to queue.

One thing I was surprised about was how ugly the damn bunny was. I don’t know much about the Noblegarden holiday but I can only assume that it’s been around since vanilla WoW by looks of this thing. I’m sure I could look it up later. The past few new pets that I’ve gotten look pretty cool and well designed, but I can’t say the same about this one.

Logging on from Japan helped for getting eggs. At one point I was the only person in the starting zone near Ironforge. This was where I got most of my eggs. I noticed that the respawn rate seemed to slow down when I was looting as fast as I could. I got a good amount and could’ve stayed longer and gotten all I needed, but it got pretty boring just running in circles picking up eggs. At least with grinding rep you can kill stuff and there are turn-ins to break it up for a minute or two.

chocoholic

There are a few other things that I could write but I feel like that was quite a bit right there. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the blog or the topics in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

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angry_chef-12160

Much like fishing, I never really bothered to level cooking until very late in the game. This is of course partially because I didn’t understand the benefits of it, and also because I just vendored most of the stuff I got when I began playing. I got it into cooking after seeing the obvious benefits of having an extra spellpower buff in heroics and then proceeded to power level my way though cooking. Now, unless I’m doing PVP, I always have some sort of buff on depending on what I’m doing.

I also really enjoyed doing the Dalaran cooking quests. The rewards are some great new recipes to use and almost all of the quest items are right in the city which is convienient. If I remember correctly, I think that the gold amount is also pretty good, coming in at about 9-10g. However, after I had bought all of the available recipes I very quickly found myself with no reason to run the quests. I suppose that eventually I will need some more Northrend Spices, but I’ve got over 100 in the bank now and plenty of food already cooked. Although the new chef’s hat is kind of cool, I can’t see myself spending all of that time and badges to get a funny looking hat.

The achievements are also pretty cool and I’m making a small effort to get the “Chef” title. After reading up on it, I think that some of the recipes needed are quite rare but I’d like to give it a shot later on. I’m making decent progress so far. One of the things standing in my way is the sheer amount of other stuff to do in the game right now, but more on that in a later post. I think I need to wrap up The Outland and Northrend Gourmet achievements to get the title but from what I’ve read some of those last few recipes can be tough to find.

The power leveling process was quite expensive but I tend to get impatient when it comes to things like this. I wanted to raise my cooking skill as high as possible in about 30 minutes or so and I ended up buying countless recipes and then the mats needed to make them. I remember there was some damn recipe that was the only green on in my book and had to make it to level. It was something that had to do with lobsters and the only lobsters in the AH were absurdly expensive but I went ahead and bought them anyway. I later realised that most of the recipes that I was buying from the AH at inflated prices were available from regular vendors in the game, but it saved me a lot of time so I don’t really regret any of that.

Let me know what you think about cooking in the comments section. Any tips for getting the “Chef” achievement?

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

413-halibut

I made it all the way to level 80 without ever fishing and then decided to give it a try for some achievements. I think I had a couple bad groups fall apart mid-instance one night and decided to give it a shot. Despite the fact that it’s a pretty mindless activity, I still had some fun with it. I started out in Stormwind and then moved to Ironforge to try for the rare fish achievement, Old Ironjaw. Having that goal in my mind got me over the hump of leveling up a bit and I eventually got him.

I realized that there was an equivalent fish for the Horde in Orgrimmar called Old Crafty, so to make things interesting I went in and gave it a shot. After getting killed a few times by the guards I made it to the pool and got in the corner. Since I was logging in from Japan, the time difference was pretty substantial which helped. But, knowing that I could get ganked at any second certainly added some much needed excitement to it. I tried for a couple hours but never got it. I still may try again someday, but lately grinding rep is high on my list of things to do among others.

I haven’t done any of the new fishing quests yet but plan on getting around to them in the next couple weeks. Although I read that the drop rate is crazy low, I’m also interested in trying to get the turtle mount. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s a world drop that comes from any pool in Northrend. According to one website, they couldn’t even quantify a drop rate because it was so low. I did manage to buy the epic fishing pole from the Kalu’ak which looks pretty cool.

Also in Northrend, the fountain in Dalaran is a nice way to level up while also working towards a few acheivements. Because of it’s size however, it gets tough if even two other people are fishing in the same spot. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the coins in the fountain having great bits of lore on them, but honestly I didn’t think too much of it at all. I enjoy some of the lore of the game, but the coins didn’t do much for me.

Overall, I think it’s cool that there is a variety of things you can do in-game from raids and PVP to fishing and cooking. I think that’s one of the things that keeps me logging in time after time. Depending on my mood or how much time I have to play, there is always something to do.With that said, fishing isn’t incredibly appealing to me at the moment but I’m sure I’ll get heavy into it again for some achievements.

Feel free to share your thoughts on fishing.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

exalted

Until Wrath of the Lich King I never did very much reputation grinding, barely knew why I should do it at all, and could care less. In fact the only faction I remember grinding was Aldor. I did the Aldor grind through probably 75% actual mob killing and 25% by buying turn-in items from the auction house. Even at it’s height, I never did any of the Shattered Sun Offensive quests either. At one point I really gave up on questing all together until recently.

Slowly but surely I really got into gaining exalted status with any faction I could and it’s surprisingly rewarding even for old factions where there is actually no reward. It’s worked out great for nights after work where I really want to listen to a podcast and play WoW, but am too lazy to quest but yet slightly too motivated to fish.

Here is a quick run down of my experience getting to exalted for each faction:

Alliance Factions: After figuring out that I could just turn in Runecloth for reputation, I pretty much only did that. My main strategy here was to watch the auction for cheap Runecloth and buy it up. Pretty simple. Occasionally I would run some low-level quests but I found it to be more time efficient to just buy the stuff. The different racial mounts are also a big plus. I usually switch between them quite a bit and before swimming mounts the Draenai elks helped a lot to stay moving.

Timbermaw Hold: Before I decided to go to exalted, I was at about mid-honored so it wasn’t too bad, but the reputation gains for turn-ins were pretty minimal so it took awhile. I also don’t like the look of this area so it wasn’t very fun. I really wanted the trinket guy who heals you but got lazy when I had trouble with the quest to get him. As a tailor, there were some patterns that were cool and I’m one step closer to getting “The Diplomat” title.

Stormpike Guard: For those who may not know, this is the faction for Alterac Valley. I really enjoy this BG and I’m pretty close to exalted with this faction. Probably another day or two and I’ll get there. I don’t think there are any real rewards for getting to exalted but it’s still pretty fun. The rep gains for Stormpike Guard made me wonder about the other factions for Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin. I think I’ve spent the most time in Arathi Basin and am nowhere close to getting to exalted with them. Maybe some more rep rewards would also be a way to get me to enjoy Warsong Gulch a bit more.

Valiance Expedition: I think this is the Alliance faction based in Northrend. I just got to exalted by running the regular quests and didn’t even realize until just now who they are. I don’t think there are any rewards for exalted status.

Sporeggar: I am currently grinding pretty heavy on this faction. I managed to get kind of far during my Burning Crusade questing but it’s still a hike. I’m kind of enjoying it though since the mobs for the quest are right by the turn in and of course go down nice and easy for a geared fire mage. I’ve got the last 21,000 rep to go but I can probably knock it out in a couple hours. The main reason I’m doing Sporeggar grind is to get the Diplomat title. Think about it: I will soon be “Chipdipson, The Diplomat” Pretty badass I think. I’ll try to post a picture after it happens.

Cenarion Circle: As far as I know these guys are based all over the place, but I did the grind in Silithus by killing a bunch of mobs around the crystals. If you do this grind just know that the non-bind-on-equip green items are needed to summon a mob at the stones. After you kill it you can get more rep. I vendored these greens for awhile before I realized this.

Kurenai: The Kurenai are the faction in Nagrand. I finished out the rep for these guys by killing a ton of Ogres in the mountains in the top left of the map. The area is perfect for grinding since all the mobs respawn by the time you come back from the circle. This counted towards “The Diplomat” achievement and you can also get some pretty cool mounts out of the deal.

Wrath Factions: I’ve been able to reach exalted with about four different Wrath factions without really trying which is nice. Granted, I did run some normal and daily quests for reputation, but I didn’t really go out of my way to do any of them. I can’t recall if the Burning Crusade was ever this way before, but I’m really liking the way that you can champion certain factions by wearing that tabard in heroic instances. It’s far more fun to run heroics for me than it is to run the same daily quests.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

decursive

Looking back, I think most of my playtime before using add-ons like Quest Helper, Coordinates, and Decursive among others was fairly aimless. I know that I made a very strong effort to complete quests, but it took me ages to complete them before I found Thottbot, and only then slightly less time until I found Quest Helper. Now I’m flying through quests and loving it. I’m sure that there are a lot of purists out there who think differently, but believe me I paid my dues in the quest department and now it’s fun time.

So it seems that the deeper into the game I get, the more important mods become. It then occurred to me recently that altough WoW of course encourages add-ons from the community, it seems as though a large part of the game is impossible without the use of certain add-ons. As much I love all of my mods, somehow this doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

The first add-on that stands out to me as a mage is Decursive. I’m sure most of the readers are familiar with this add-on, but let me explain. Decursive is a fantastic mod that places an artsy-looking color-coded square under your mini-map for each player in your group. Anytime a player in your group is afflicted with a curse or disease that you can cure , the box turns red and you click it. Decursive will automatically and instantly cast whatever spell is needed in the situation and you can get back to what ever it is you were doing. It’s simple and great…if you know how to install it or know it exists in the first place.

Without Decursive, the best bet I found is to individually drag each player from the raid list to the right of my screen, click their name to target them, then find the appropriate spell to cast on them, then get back to the target at hand, all while trying to keep your DPS up as high as possible. Damn…I got tired just typing that. I tried this method for several raid runs through parts of Naxx and Sarth and it is not conducive to smooth gameplay. Not only is half the damn screen filled with every name in your group, but it’s also awkward as hell. All this because I didn’t have and didn’t know about the Decursive mod. Now unless I’m mistaken, aside from aesthetics, the game should be easily playable without the use of any mods, and that is my issue with them.

How could Blizzard make a game where almost every guild worth their salt will require that you add things to the game that Blizzard didn’t?

As you may have gathered from my other posts, I would’ve made a damn good poster boy for noobishness when I began playing WoW. For starters, I didn’t even know that I had talent points unless the mid-20s and believe me there are countless other mistakes I made. Of course I picked up a lot of knowledge along the way, but even during what little Burning Crusade raiding and heroic instances I did, I didn’t know about any mods at all that could’ve come in handy.

I’m geniunely curious as to what other people think about this so please leave some comments below.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

dps

I logged on the other day to play for a few minutes before leaving for work and ended up doing a quick Obsidian Sanctum 10-man. I was intending on doing Vault of Archavon but forgot the difference and queued up for the wrong place. All in all it was a solid and smooth run. No wipes, no deaths, no problems. There were however a few things that occurred to me during the raid that I don’t really care for in regards to damage meters.

As far as damage meters go, I think that most players who use them have fairly good intentions. They want to make sure that everyone is pulling their weight in the raid which I appreciate. I’m putting in the time to get a chance to roll on better than average loot like everybody else and it would be a shame if someone was AFK the whole time and not doing their job.

There was once instance (no pun intended) in particular that comes to mind which also occurred in Obsidan Sanctum. There was a rogue who was acting very strange the whole time. He barely touched any of the mobs and just kind of jumped around. I think the raid was so chaotic that no one even noticed until we were making our rounds to the last drake. It’s one thing to have to AFK for a minute, but to actually be there but not attack anything is quite confusing. As it turns out he had only done around a few thousand damage the whole time. While we were waiting to replace him in front of Sartharion he decided to stealth and walk right up to Sarth and run in circles. Of course he pulled and we wiped. In this case, the problem could have easily been avoided if people were to check the damage meter every couple mobs, but certainly nobody was expecting this kind of mess.

That notwithstanding, in the most recent run that I did before work the whole raid was complaining about a lack of DPS. Since I’m a DPS class I’m of course concerned but things were going pretty smooth and everyone, according to my damage meter, was doing decent. Nobody was too high above anybody else and in fact I was quite low, slightly less than 2k. At this point though I was saving all of my big cooldowns for the first drake and also decursing everybody in the raid and had to frequently stop in mid-cast to do so. I was the only person to respond with a damage meter when asked and then the complaining really started. Mind you this is only after the second pull of trash mobs. I love to blow stuff up and the game is fun no matter what but at this point I was starting to get nervous after remembering a previous Sarth run I did where the raid leader almost called that anyone under 2k DPS can’t roll on loot…after we downed him.

I’m starting a new paragraph here because I want to drive this next point home: After the first drake someone else posted their damage readout and I was #1 at about 3k+. Far exceeding the rest of the raid. I’m not bragging because I’m not even sure if that’s really good or bad. My point is that from my experience the damage readers are not 100% accurate. I realize that there is a certain amount of damage that must be done or else the whole raid wipes, but it’s also a game and staring at damage meters can make people easily forget that.

These are of course just the thoughts of one casually raiding mage. Feel free to post a comment and let me know what you think.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

3092157858_abd1b754d6

I made my first Death Knight about a week ago and so far it’s been a blast. I made a gnome since I’ve never played one before. He looks ridiculous but I’m having fun with it. I later looked at the base stats for each race on WoWWiki and perhaps there were better choices as far as races go if I wanted to tank at some point, but I’ll take a few less Stamina if it means more fun in the long run. I’m mainly thinking of him as DPS but I would like to try to do some tanking just as an experiment at some point.

I named it Phillyboyroy after a character from The Best Show On WFMU. It’s a fantastic radio show/podcast and you should check it out if you get a chance. I’ve also written an article about the show on my other blog if you’re interested. I listen to podcasts almost all of the time that I play WoW so it’s only fitting that my characters should be named after them. Of course my main is a mage named Chipdipson from the podcast Jordan, Jessee Go and I’m sure I’ll write something about my priest soon as well.

I waited so long to start up the Death Knight since I only thought of them as a tanking class and have never done any tanking before. I suppose I was also still going through the Wrath content on the mage so I never really wanted to even make one at all. For whatever reason I got tired of playing the mage recently and made a DK for fun and was hooked before too long. The whole rune thing was a bit tough to figure out at first but I think I’ve got the hang of it now.

I’m currently specced Blood for leveling and I can say hands down that it is the best leveling experience I’ve ever had with any class. I do remember that the Horde shadow priest I leveled had some great health/mana regen once I got up into the 50s, but of course being a clothie I would still die if I got too crazy with pulls. I’m currently questing around Hellfire Peninsula and in most cases I can pull 5 mobs and not even take a dip in health. It’s insane. I’m planning on doing a lot of PVP on it later and join the rest of the mage killers that I’ve been seeing so much of these past couple months.

Being on the recieving end of a death grip and 0.5 second kill as a mage in BGs, I thought that the Death Knight class was way too overpowered. After playing it for awhile I’m started to really wonder about it. It’s surprising since I haven’t really heard too many people bring this up in game or online.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

wg

Despite playing as a fire mage and usually only lasting about 45 seconds at a time in most PVP battlegrounds, I still really enjoy it. If I only have a few minutes to play but still want to blow some stuff up then PVP is the way to go. Considering this, I think I’m more excited about being able to queue up from anywhere for BGs than dual speccing. Especially as a strictly DPS class, the other talent trees aren’t as enticing as classes that could potentially DPS/Tank/Heal simply by changing spec.

I realized that I had about 30 marks for both Alterac Valley and also Arathi Basin so I decided to throw down on some Warsong Gultch to get one of the PVP mounts, the Black Battlestrider. The reason why I was severely lacking in my Warsong Gultch marks is that I can’t stand the place. I’ve heard many other people complain for the same reasons I have, mainly that there is no time limit. There is very little incentive to play this particular BG. The honor isn’t really there and with no time limit you could end up playing for an hour sometimes, lose, and only have 1 mark to show for it.

I’m not really the kind of player that chases after honor but it would be nice to get a decent reward out of Warsong Gultch for the time spent playing. I’ve also got a pretty decent set of gear from reputation rewards so I’m not really chasing after any of the PVP gear either. But, somewhere along the line I started to like having a variety of mounts and have about 30 or so now, so the remaining PVP mounts are really my only reason for playing. Being the big Halo player that I was in the past, it’s not the Capture The Flag style of play that bothers me but mainly the lack of a time limit. Honestly, from my recent games, the most exciting thing that could happen is if I get into a group where the opposing faction has 2/3 flag caps to our 0/0 just so it would end sooner.

What are your thoughts on Warsong Gulch?

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

smallsplash

I played my main character up to about level 60 or so without really ever joining a guild. There wasn’t really a conscious decision to not join one, it’s just that I didn’t really know why people joined them or what to expect if I did. I joined a small guild for a little while after questing with some really nice people around Redridge Mountains, but there were only about 10 people in it, most of whom were never on all that much. Great people, but I left.

Several months later I was questing around Hellfire Peninsula and saw an ad in general chat for a guild that was looking for new people. I whispered the player, got an invite, and stayed in that guild up until a few weeks ago when I logged in to find an in-game mail with some gems in it and a notice that the guild was disbanded. I was really surprised to find myself pretty sad about it. I wasn’t very close to anyone in the guild but I always had a really good time when I was able to make it to raids and tried to put out positive energy for everyone. I’m ready to find another solid group of people to play with but no luck as of yet.

Although disappointed, I wasn’t surprised about the guild disbanding. Over the past few months the creator of the guild stopped playing. Things still held together pretty well and stayed mostly the same but little by little people were dropping off. It’s a shame because I think that after Wrath came out I really came into my own in terms of knowledge of the mage class and overall game mechanics. I ran countless heroics every time I played but rarely got a chance to do guild heroic runs. I’m sure to a lot of players guilds may come and go pretty frequently from what I know but I was in this one for quite sometime.

I was and still remain a casual/sometimes serious player. I log a lot of hours in the game every week, but I can’t commit to making raid times because of my schedule and quite frankly I’d rather be out drinking with friends or sleeping. Even in cases where I plan on playing WoW all day, I still don’t like to be tied to a schedule.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

cap02

I moved to Yokohama, Japan in March of 2008 and it’s been great so far. I was teaching in public schools and had huge summer break in 2008 and it was a blissful 2 months spent in WoW, karaoke bars, and the semi-clean beaches of Fujisawa. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that I’m in Japan and I should go out and explore, but I’d like to think that I have a pretty sizeable social life despite being a WoW player.

Anyway, while in a small bar in Shibuya, Tokyo about a month ago I was chatting up a group of new friends at the table next to me. It’s something that happens pretty often as a foreigner in Japan. It was pretty loud so I had to raise my voice a bit. When asked what sports I like or play, I responded that I’m not really a fan of sports but rather prefer music and video games, namely World Of Warcraft. At this point a very tall fellow foreigner at the next table stared at me and just said “What?”

I fully expect to hear the litany of the usual things people make fun of WoW for but instead it turns out that he was a Blizzard-enthusiast as well. Although he didn’t play World Of Warcraft exactly, he still was a avid player of Warcraft III. I never got a chance to play it and don’t know much about it but as I understand it it’s quite an old RTS-style game. Anyway, we had a good conversation since he still knew the basics of the various races and lore associated with WoW. As it turns out his hometown is quite close to mine in America and we have the same initials and last name. Pretty damn strange if you ask me. Only in Japan.

There was only one other instance that I have met a fellow WoW player in real life and surprisingly it was also in Japan. While walking around with some friends we were stopped by some fresh off the boat military guys looking for a good bar to go to so we all went together. As it turns out one of them was an avid WoW player, Warlock, and we spent the whole time nerding out about classes, imps, instances, etc. I’m not sure what he’s up to these days but it was great time to have some real life conversation about something that takes up so much of my time, yet all of my friends hate.

Have you had any odd or awesome WoW-related experiences? Let me know in the comment section.

Brad

For the faction my character is associated with!

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