30 Days (April) – Alliance Or Horde?

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On the rare occasion anymore where I encounter a WoW player outside of the game’s environment, the question is (and always has been) “Horde or Alliance?”  Early on in my adventures in WoW I didn’t really know much about either faction save for who their races were.  I was also told quite often, kids play Alliance and mature players tend to roll Horde.  If oldschool PvP was any indication, there might have been some truth to that.

These days, I don’t understand the point of the question.  Don’t get me wrong, I know some people are hardcore Horde and others bleed blue and gold.  Also, keep in mind until Wrath came along, I didn’t really play Horde.  I also didn’t level cap one until near the end of Cataclysm.  Odd when you consider the Tauren are my favourite playable race. Getting back on track, though, I’ve never been against either faction.  This is even more the case after reading and knowing much of the Azerothian lore.  Let’s face it, both sides have done some stupid things over the years.  “But what about what Garrosh just did???”  You just said it yourself, it was Garrosh.  Up next we’ll be judging all of us Canadians by Justin Bieber.

Now don’t get me wrong, just because I don’t understand why the question is out there doesn’t mean I’m crucifying anyone who picks one or the other.  You’re absolutely entitled to do so for your reasons, but I think by not having one of each you are really missing out.  There’s so much lore to the game and a chunk of it can only be found on one faction or the other, but not both.  In fact, my fourth time through Outland was finally with a Horde toon and my Illidan did I get my eyes opened on a few things.

So at the end of the day, I have no answer to the faction question because in all honesty I don’t have individual loyalty to either one…unless I’m PvPing as part of one.  Then all bets are off and opposing scum must die.  Where was I?  Right.  Both factions do things I agree with and both do things I disagree with.  But I support much of what the two sides are trying to accomplish.  I guess I rolled a Dual-Faction Spec.

Stat Guy Likes Stats

Intrs

Yesterday Mrs. Amateur sent me this link providing a number of interesting stats on World of Warcraft, and I see now the link has become a bit more commonplace now.  Essentially, it takes statistics from the game and provides some quirky insight into them.  After reading everything over here are my thoughts on a number of them:

100 million WoW players in 10 years
If I’m in charge of maintaining the player base, I would want to take a look at that number.  I realize it counts trial accounts and even Recruit-A-Friend accounts, but let’s look at it close.  During Wrath, the game peaked at over 11 million players.  As of last May, that number was down to 8 million.  Let’s say for a second there was a 3-4 year window where the game had over ten million players.  That leaves six years where it didn’t, and thus you start to see a turnover of accounts.  The millions and millions who stopped, did so because…?  I’m not heckling Blizz, it’s just something that I (as a number cruncher) would be intrigued to look into further.

The playerbase is currently 5% in favour of the Alliance
I don’t know if I’m surprised by this or not.  As a new player I remember hearing the kids roll Alliance and the players roll Horde.  Now obviously that’s not accurate entirely.  Of the players I know, there’s probably a pretty close split though if you include alts I think the Alliance gets the edge.  Still, whenever I see current tier accomplishments they always seem to be Horde.  Or rather, they were before I stepped away.  I can’t say in this very moment whether or not that’s true.  But, I also attribute it to the fact the Alliance have four staple races of RPG’s: Human, Dwarf, (Night) Elf, and Gnome.  For some, it might be easier to gravitate to what they know.

Most popular title: The Patient
Jenkins is number two.  It’s surprising, and yet it’s not.  The only reason I have that title in my inventory is because I did the run to help others get the title.  Lucky me.  As for the Patient, that’s one I definitely use and I think anyone that uses the “Looking For” system almost has to.  The other popular one for me is “Elder.”

Rarest Mount: Heavenly Onyx Cloud Serpent
I know nothing about this mount, shy of doing the old Google shuffle.  A less than 1% drop rate from the Sha of Anger.  Huh.  Well, odds of me getting that are right up there with the Baron’s reigns. Still, that it isn’t the Swift Spectral Tiger at the top of this list really surprises me.

There are 504 unique mounts
Wait, what?  I haven’t even qualified for the Albino Drake and there’s a strong probability someone out there has over 500 mounts?  Wow.

Tiny Red Carp is the rare pet
Once again, I’m a bit surprised.  It definitely sounds like this is one of those fluke casts in fishing (much like how Lioux caught the one at the Darkmoon Faire), but still.  If the bloody Minfernal isn’t up there, the Ethereal Soul Trader should be.

71 Auctioneers in Azeroth
As someone who frequents said gold houses, I have to sit and come up with all of them.  I don’t think I realized there was nearly that many.

3.6 million Pet Battles per day
I wish to track down every person who said this was a stupid feature to include in World of Warcraft.  I also tend to believe that 2/3 of these are done while folks are waiting to do something else (such as an instance or PvP).  Either way, the mechanic became an incredibly successful time sink and achievement magnet.  It also creates a great alternative to leveling (such as I posted when Saintvache hit 90).

All in all it’s an interesting collection of information if you’re a numbers person such as myself.  I’d love to see it go even deeper, particularly into classes and races and male percentages and female percentages.  But then, I also realize I’m in the minority and a good many folk would walk the other way with disinterest.

Continuing To Lay Back

Laid Back Raids was back at it again last night.  It was an Alliance night and this time we were going to visit Kil’Jaeden.  How is it we went into a raid with a Legendary bow without any Hunters?  Oh well, it didn’t drop as it was.  Still, several people got to see the Sunwell Plateau for the very first time.  We also had a couple of fresh faces for the night as Aricelle and Martha joined us.  I took Fireflint in the hopes of a rare Blacksmithing recipe dropping.  No such luck, but even at level 75 he found an upgrade for his helmet.  There were several other great looking transmogrification items that dropped along the way.

With a dozen of us, we were through the Plateau in less than half an hour.  As such I tossed out the idea of killing Magtheridon and almost everyone was on board.  One or two folk had to head out, but we were still in fine shape.  I decided to switch to Liouxpold…mostly because Draynee had arrived in her pink outfit and I kind of facepalmed that I wasn’t showing off for Breast Cancer in the first place.  But, a short time later the pink Draenei were rolling along.  We did stop long enough for a proper photo op though.

An hour after Laid Back Raids had started, both Kil’jaeden and Magtheridon were dead and I was pleasantly surprised by “what’s next?”  Once again one or two people had to leave but my Real ID housed a new face or two that were more than willing to join us as we headed to old school Mount Hyjal.  This took longer than the previous two raids combined, simply due to its timed design.  Still, we once again had no issue and Healblade’s mage Seraphinity picked up some nice transmog potential with the Robes of Rhonin.

After all was said and done I was tempted to call it a night.  However, I had a bit of puttering around to do first and a few people were still more than happy to chat about a fun night.  I then realized the Dark Irons would be attacking Brewfest in short order.  This is important because I had gotten to 191 coins and was aiming for Brew of the Month.

So I went down to the festival, knowing full well the Dark Irons usually succeeded in their efforts because there often isn’t nearly enough to put a dent in their attack.  But, I was determined (if not foolish) and started chucking mugs.  At one point I was completely smashed, with my screen a blur and I could still tell it was full of Dark Iron diggers.  I just kept drinking and chugging.  Finally I saw the retreat message in chat and knew all was good.  I stumbled my way through the blurred screen to the cog with the daily quest.  I cashed that in and headed back to Ironforge to collect my reward.

Chillin’ With Ony

I’d shiv someone for this miniature. Don’t judge me, Arvash would do it too.

Onyxia has always been one of my favourite characters/bosses in World of Warcraft.  When I first started playing, killing her was my goal.  Didn’t care about anything else, I was killing Onyxia.  Siori got the attunement and everything for it, and I think I still have the necklace in her bank.  Good thing, as less than two months later the attunement was removed as I remember it.

When I heard stories of people soloing her, I was a bit sad inside.  I just don’t think raid bosses should be able to be solo’d…well, ever.  But, such is how gear inflation works.  So you can imagine what it’s like when toons of 85 go in to visit her at level 80.

Take for example, myself, Dragonray, Navimie, and many of her friends in 25-man mode.  Yesterday morning they invited me in and we wiped.  It was an elected wipe, though, as the whelps spawned far earlier than needed for the achievement.  After that, it was a bit of a cake walk.

Good times were yet again had.  More achievements for Saintvache, and my account as well actually.  Not that I seek out that sort of thing, but I’ll not turn some of it down either.  The nice thing was, it gave me a lovely chance to visit the location of this week’s Laid Back Raids.  Difference is that we were doing it Alliance side.  So with Mrs. Amateur, Mavgret, Dragonray, Repgrind & co, we headed in 10-man.  We should have probably done 25 and the achievements.  That fight was “blink and you’ll miss it.”  The Mrs. was on her level appropriate Druid, so we needed to heal her back from near death at one point.  After that, I don’t think I cast a single heal spell.

It was nice to go back in there, let alone twice in the same day.  I know a lot of folks were hoping for the mount, but I honestly was a bit happy it didn’t drop.  For whatever reason, I just have this issue with people “riding around on Onyxia.”  It’s pure nostalgic, I think.  Or perhaps it’s the level of the character.   I’m not keen on any of the bigger characters having a mount version (granted, it’s supposed to be a Broodling).  That aside, both raids were a real pleasure and as always I thank the folks involved.

Just a reminder that next week’s LBR is also on a Saturday night.  I didn’t want to risk running late prior to the Twisted Nether Podcast, and as the schedule shows we will hit up Ahn’Qiraj on the Horde side.

Love Your Thorium

If you’re looking for some extra spending money, acquiring some Thorium will give you a versatile means of doing it.  The best place to acquire the Ore is Un’Goro Crater, and a few laps around the outside will result in plenty to work with.  You can always check the Auction House for the price of Ore and Bars to save yourself some time too.  While doing so, keep an eye on the price of Thorium Widgets if you have an Engineer (or know one).

The Lifelike Mechanical Toad requires four of such Widgets to make.  I’ve mentioned before how rare the recipe is, but if you have access to it through yourself or someone else you can easily sell them.  I personally sell mine for 150-300g each these days, listing one at a time.

Blacksmiths can generate an incredible amount of gold on Alliance side with Thorium, thanks to Transmogrification.  The Imperial Plate set is the only one that resembles the Stormwind guards and a great many players seek this look.  I keep listing pieces higher and higher and they keep selling.  I honestly expect to be undercut at some point, but it’s not happening.  A quick look at The Undermine Journal puts the US Alliance Market Price at 131g for the Chest alone, and more than that is quite reasonable to expect.

The third area to make use of Thorium is Jewelcrafting.  The Ruby Crown of Restoration is still a great BoE headpiece for its level.  But also, Ruby Pendant of Fire, Red Ring of Destruction, Simple Opal Ring, and Aquamarine Ward all tend to disenchant into materials worth far more than the Thorium and respective gem they require.

So there you are.  A few simple ways you can Transmute Thorium into Gold currency.  What surprises me is how little competition I have when I decide to start farming in Un’Goro Crater  If you find the same, there’s worse ways to generate some income.  It also means the less competition you have in the zone, the less competition you’re likely to have on your Auction House.

Through Your UI: 15 Days of WoW (Day 4)

What is your favourite accomplishment?

I’ll wholeheartedly admit that I’ve lost a number of screenshots over the years.  I’m on my third laptop since I started playing WoW and while I’m certainly smart enough to now move my pics to a hard drive on a regular basis, I’m still missing some great memories.  Fortunately, I didn’t lose the one I was most proud of.  This was probably when Claws of Nature was at its peak, or close to it and we were celebrating our anniversary as a guild:

Twenty Days of World of Warcraft Day Thirteen: For…?

While I don’t know if it stands today, there was a time when the Alliance was viewed as mostly younger players and the Horde was mostly older players.  Based on my limited PvP experience, I won’t argue the concept.  Horde players can follow direction.  Alliance players think they all know what they’re doing.  At least, that’s the impression set by law of averages.  If I were a betting man, it would be that both are equal.

Still, when it comes to which faction I’m “for,” I’d say probably the Defias Brotherhood.  I know what you’re thinking.  I’m supposed to say “For The Horde!” or “For The Alliance.”  Truth be told, I’m not.  Most of my “main” characters are Alliance simply because that’s the faction I was first invited to play when introduced to the game.  When I in turn brought my wife into WoW, she wanted to play Night Elves, and our alliance toons spread from there. 

I still have my fair share of Horde toons because aside from the current Warchief I’m rather fond of them.  As of late I’d really like to be playing some of them, but time’s not been a friend.  Still, when someone says they’re pro one side and anti the other side…I don’t get it and I never will.  Plain and simple.

Getting back to the Defias Brotherhood, though.  I can really understand the basic principle by which they came to exist.  When Stormwind was destroyed the first time, the labourers busted their asses to rebuild it.  When it came time to live in the city and get paid for their work, the monarchy shafted them but good.  If that were me, I’d probably have the same attitude.  Unfortunately, the Van Cleefs keep taking things a bit too far and manipulating the bitterness of the Defias members.  As unfortunate as that is, it does make for one of the best instances in the game’s history.