Out With The Old

When Wrath of the Lich King came out, had I not taken a break I would have had a very good chance at world first level 80 Rogue. I don’t say that as a means of bragging, because well…what’s there to brag about? I didn’t get the achievement. So why bring it up? Well, to illustrate just what I thought of the rogue class at one point. Siori was my main. I loved Combat and then its evolution into Outlaw. So after Saintvache hit 50, I decided she was the next out of the chute.

With the druid and paladin, I fell right back into old habits and rotations and took care of business. Imagine my surprise when that was not the case with my rogue. I got Slice ‘N’ Dice going and made sure poison was equipped and the other usual things. But overall it felt flat. I was incredibly underwhelmed and while I can’t quite put my finger on why, I do think the current state of combo finishers plays a large part. There were more to choose from when I last played. And I found them more affective. Now hitting your rotation is just as easy, but there’s no DoT’s anymore (that I can really see). Dispatch is there for dealing damage and Cheap Shot of course for stunning the target (when Kick just doesn’t do the trick). But overall I just felt I wasn’t putting out as much damage as I used to. It made me really keep an eye on what felt like a depleted survivability.

I did end up getting her to 50 though. How much play she’ll see from here out is up in the air at best. I feel like my Feral Druid does rogue better than rogue does, if that makes sense. Her biggest asset at this point is probably making Enchanting scrolls and opening lock boxes. Not exactly where I expected to be with my rogue if you had asked me a few years back. And if you’re curious, I did look at the other specs. While they might be more optimal, I wasn’t really feeling them all that much more than Outlaw. So, I suppose it is what it is. Perhaps at some point I dust her off again and suddenly the class clicks for me again, I don’t know. But for the short term, the boss is going to be doing her work from behind the desk instead of out in the field.

Oh The Questing Of Old

Quest

Ah the questing of the good old days. Well, ok, not entirely. If you’re playing in Wrath or older, that means you’re questing in Vanilla. And if you’re playing Classic WoW then of course you’re doing it also. Some of the quests are enjoyable (as I eluded to before and will bring up again later), and let’s face it a number of them are simply “Kill X of Y.” And then there’s other quests. Like class quests for example.

Now yes, I will get out of the way right now you are under no obligation to do any quest in particular (unless the loot entices you), I feel a desire to complete the class ones just to see the stories through and feel like I’m doing my characters a proper service. That said, it doesn’t mean they’re easy. Take this quest for example. At level 12 you receive the quest which will lead you to a great 2H Mace: Redemption.

Obviously good things are worth putting in the effort. But the quest for this lovely item starts outside the gates of Ironforge (as a dwarf). Subsequently you’re going to head off to find four items. No biggie. Except as you can see in the picture, there’s a bit more involved than that. Four stops: Thelsamar, Deadmines, Shadowfang Keep, and Blackfathom Deeps. As Alliance, you’re riding from Arathi Basin or possibly Southshore depending on how far north you’ve rode. You also have three instances to get into.

While it’s nice getting the quest at 12, you’re not completing it until you’re in your 20’s or higher. Me, I didn’t run and dungeons at level and as such didn’t complete it until about 40. Nice thing is, the mace is still solid at that level. Unless you’re a Prot Pally like yours truly.

Still, it’s not about the reward in this case. I did enjoy the mild story and the idea of someone building a weapon specifically for me (even if I couldn’t use it). But I forgot about the quests of old and the traveling involved. Some are worth doing, and others (an elf in Darnassus wanted me to go to the Hinterlands) can be passed on. And yet, I find I like it more than questing the original zones post-Wrath. Doing the traveling and completing the quests feels appropriate to your level, rather than going into a zone and jumping on a storyline that you out-level before it culminates.

5 Ups And 5 Downs In Wrath

It’s funny. Until you go back in time (no, not Warlords), you don’t realize just how much of the game has changed. But when you stop to think about it, Wrath ended 10 (!) years ago. With all the changes that have taken place, here are 5 things I like from Wrath and 5 things I’m glad changed.

Plus: Harder
Going back I’ve come to realize how much more difficult the game was, particularly at lower level. Yes, it was still the era where start zone mobs were yellow, but once you tag them, they can be hard to deal with. Even more so if they bring friends to the fight. My Mage has died a lot and it’s not from doing dumb things. Hunter could say the same pre-pet.

Minus: Mob Tagging
This was one of the things Blizzard got right, likely taking the lead from Guild Wars 2. There’s little more frustrating when you are doing a kill ‘`em quest and someone tags one of your mobs right before you do. And heaven forbid it’s a quest objective mob, otherwise you may as well get comfy for a couple of minutes.

Plus: Talent Trees
I might be in the minority on this one, but it was one of the things I always liked. The modern formula of choosing one of three abilities here and there was never the “better choices for the players” that the developers lauded when they brought it forward. Instead it became even more cookie cutter. Sure, the old trees still have their optimum build, but there is room to play around. And if the character isn’t raiding, the tree is your playground.

Minus: Profession Specialization
It’s a bit trivial, but having to choose between Weapons or Armor, for example, feels like you’re forced into a specific direction that by this time in the franchise certainly wasn’t necessary. For someone who also likes to have all craft options, it makes it a bit more difficult. But let’s be honest, if this is one of my gripes then things can’t be too bad.

Plus: Less Flight Paths
The abundance of flight paths post Cataclysm makes getting around significantly faster than it had been to that point. However, between that and being able to fly your mount, Azeroth got significantly smaller. But in the modern game if you are starting out then you’ve got 120 levels to get through. With only 80 back then, it wasn’t so bad. You could get Outland flying at 70 and Northrend flying at 80, the latter of which then unlocked the Cold Weather Flying option for any of your other characters and they just had to be high enough level to be in Northrend in the first place. But there’s something nostalgic about running from Loch Modan to Menethil Harbor, or Stormwind to Westfall, that while a short distance still seems to emphasize the “World” part of WoW.

Minus: Corpse Run
I like the world to feel bigger, just not when I’m dead. Having to run across a zone to get back to your body can be painful sometimes. Ok, almost always. And if you’re the only member of a group or raid, you feel even worse while everyone is waiting on you to return. The changes that made getting back to your body a minute or less ordeal was definitely a step forward.

Plus: Leveling
As I said in flight paths, the leveling had to change for the modern game. But the pre-Wrath zones that were changed in Cataclysm took things too far. We got quest hubs that we often outgrew before even finishing the story or getting the xp for the area becase it was no longer worth it. Ten years ago, that wasn’t the case. You could do all the quests in a hub and sometimes it wouldn’t even be enough to level out of. You might head to another zone just to get topped up, and start a new trek. Combining that with the talent trees gave a feeling like every level after ten meant something.

Minus: Wailing Caverns 
I can honestly say I have almost no difficulty in any of the dungeons or raids from 3.3.5 and older. This one, though, is a whole mess of worms. Without the later introduced map tool for dungeons, getting lost is incredibly easy.  And then one wrong step or turn and you’re really running around in circles which isn’t the best in an already incredibly long dungeon.

Plus: Dungeons
No, I’m not contradicting myself. With this one, I’m removing WC from the discussion save for the fact it’s a good run if you want the Druid of the Fang armour. But that aside, I love the way things were. Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman aren’t 5-man’s. High Inquisitor Fairbanks is hiding behind the secret wall in Scarlet Monastery, Deadmines is back to the way it was meant to be (though Vanessa Van Cleef’s story was one of the better ones in Cataclysm).  The original dungeons had excellent stories, and you tended to farm them while leveling. Now the pre-80 stuff you might see two or three times if you’re lucky, again because leveling is so much faster.

Minus: Missing Race/Class Combos
Sure, this one is purely cosmetic (for the most part). But I miss a lot of the things we got in 4.0.3. For the most part they were changes that made sense. Human Hunters, Dwarf Warlocks, Tauren Paladins, Troll Druids, and so forth. There are a number of them I am quite fond of being able to create. That said, I do not miss the idea of a Gnome Hunter.

So there’s a handful of thoughts that have come about as a result of my time warp. I might be able to make the list a bit longer, and maybe even on both sides of the equation, but these are the ones that stand out the most. If you can think back that far, what changes are you happy for? Which ones do you wish had never changed?
 

Revealing My Privates: Part One

Once upon a time I mentioned that I would share the members of the Private (server) Army. The problem for me and my stickler for things, is that I refused to do so until they were at a point where I was happy with them…Transmogrificantly speaking anyway. Yes, I’m choosing to make up the word Transmogrificantly. It’s gotta catch on better than “dab.” So while this is the first character I’m posting, none of the others are quite ready to make an appearance for one reason or another. But they’ll get there and I will post as they do.

When I rolled on the server I decided I wanted one of each class and no repeat races. Being as there are only 12 classes that meant one race was left out. Sorry Night Elf lovers. It came down to Trolls, Night Elf, and Humans and only Warlocks and Shaman left to assign. For today, though, we’ll focus on the Worgen, who takes up the Hunter slot.

Hunter
Soundwaive and his loyal companion, Tone’loque.

Soundwaive started out Marksman. However, I was doing some questing in Sholazar Basin when I hit level 80. I decided to leave the zone, but because I was close enough I decided to check the spot I had always seen Loque’nahar before (east of the Savage Thicket, up on a hill). Sure enough, there she was and that meant a change in spec. Absolutely worth it. Despite what Mrs. Amateur says, Tone’loque is clever.

Then I got the idea to put together an outfit that complimented the pet and I think it came together really well. The only thing missing is the Mechanized Snow Goggles, because I can’t find Borean Leather for the life of me…and my Skinner isn’t high enough to go get me some.

I made this outfit pre-100, so I found it convenient that the Titanstrike artifact for Beast Mastery is pretty much a perfect fit with the look. Here’s the rest of the components you see:

Head: None, but again will be Mechanized Snow Goggles
Shoulder: Mountainscaler Chain Spaulders
Cloak: Wyrmcultist’s Cloak
Chest: Kurken Padded Chainmail
Hands: Brazen Gauntlets
Waist: Padded Chain Belt
Legs: Bramblescar Legguards
Feet: Mountainscaler Chain Sabatons

Soundwaive is the third private to arrive in New Dalaran. With 100 levels under his belt he’ll be deployed to Aszuna soon enough. But first he’s going to spend some more time in his lab, further developing his Engineering and Alchemy.

Not Dead

Hand

I honestly didn’t just toss up a few posts and leave. Truth be told WordPress was griefing me something fierce. I couldn’t login because my username wasn’t recognized. Then it was my password. Efforts to have that reset didn’t go well at all. Fortunately I came to the discovery that my work computer was still logged in and not too long ago I got everything sorted out. In the meantime, I’ve just been too darn busy to devote some time to this post.

A lot has happened since my last post and those currently subscribed are no doubt experiencing all of the goodies (and apparently some bad?) that came with the final patch of Legion. 7.3.5 brought about the new leveling system and a myriad of other changes.

Meanwhile, I’m still chilling in my private lands. I honestly didn’t touch the game for the past month and the nice thing is in doing so I felt no guilt. Normally I’d make the effort simply based on the idea that I’m paying for it. Now I can take a break from gameplay and not fret. I can also come back to it fresh as a daisy as I did this week. The Druid finished up Outland, while the Hunter is still there. Death Knight’s just heading into Cataclysm territory, while the Paladin and Demon Hunter lead their respective factions as both are capped.

I’m hoping to get an introduction post, but thus far most of them are camera shy (which means I’m having quite the time trying to get them transmogged). I can’t blame the Hunter. He’s level 62 and wearing level 1 gloves. Talk about your bad luck drops.

But hopefully my bad luck with WordPress has come to a close and I can actually contribute thought to this page once more. Goodness knows I miss doing so, and I certainly enjoy it. Even when not playing I’m tied to Azeroth and this helps me enjoy it even further.

 

I AM Prepared

“For Azeroth!” This is what they tell me as they prepare to fight the Burning Legion. As if they are even remotely ready for what they are about to face. I should know, I have fought them. And won. What thanks did I get? Imprisonment.

But now those who imprisoned me, deemed me an asset. They’re that desperate. And they very well should be. I sacrificed so much to join the ranks of the Illidari. I died to open a portal to get my people home. To stop the Burning Legion. But now? Now I will sacrifice everything to put an end to them once and for all. Not for Azeroth, but for all of existence. And unlike the Horde or Alliance…I am prepared.

Khis

Patch 7.0 Thoughts

500So close. Alas, the new patch means I missed out on the Quintet achievement.

With a couple of days now to peruse and test some of the features brought about by the pre-Legion patch, I sat down with the army to get their immediate thoughts. I’ll share mine afterwards.

Lioux7 Liouxpold: WHERE ARE MY ANIMAL FRIENDS?!?!?…oh, they have moved the stable.

Log7 Logard: I no longer have to use this bow like a coward? Excellent.

Hart7 Hartley: Now that the Skullflame Shield is across the account, you’re not going to kill me, are you?

Car7 Carrera: I received two axes in the mail. To that I say…”OUTTA MY WAY!”

Vast7 Vastego: Give me the Fabulous title already.

Zar7 Zarahi: The soldiers in my Garrison no longer bring in money. I shall feed them to the creatures of Tanaan.

Elcombe7 Elcombe: Does this mean I can finally leave Northrend?

Siori7 Siori: A pistol? What in Elune’s name am I supposed to- *headshots an Orc* …nevermind. We’re good.

 

Um, so…yeah. The new patch content is certainly interesting, to say the very least. The new transmog system is pretty solid, with Blizzard clearly adapting MogIt for in-game. I definitely applaud the move, particularly the ability to finally hide shoulders! Sharing gear across accounts is also fantastic. Nothing like taking your Rogue into a dungeon for two months and never getting the drop you want, but your Druid on another server gets it on your first run.

The class changes are just too many to discuss, and some I am just too low to properly gauge. But I will say the Outlaw spec for the Rogue is interesting. I don’t know if it’s the talents I have chosen or I just haven’t looked up rotation but I find it to be very heavy on stun and attack together. Slice & Dice as a Level 100 talent I’m not to sure of. Particularly when I find Roll the Bones to be ineffective for the most part. Could just be my relationship with RNG.

The Hunter now has the most diverse specs and all three feel really good and unique. I still have to get used to getting into the fight with Survival. Unfortunately, Liouxpold loves his range weapons so for the first time ever he is no longer that spec (just Logard is at this point). He still thoroughly enjoys Beast Mastery though.

The change to adjusting talents is fantastic. Just having to move to a rest location and being able to change spec or talents is phenomenal and long overdue. It’s something I honestly never even considered and now wonder why it wasn’t a thing ages ago.

Glyphs are gone and I’m personally not upset about it. There were only a handful that were used for major slots, so many were redundant. After all the years of Blizzard saying they trimmed the talent trees because powers weren’t getting used, glyphs were a natural evolution of that thought. Though I will miss some of the minor ones like Confession. Even Siori tried to Sprint on water, much to no avail.

Obviously without being a raider, it’s hard for me to truly gauge what the classes are like now. I’ve heard from beta testers that most are really solid at 110, and that’s good to hear.  What I can say, from a casual player’s perspective, is all the experiences I’ve had related to the new features and changes are fantastic. I’m sure there will be bumps along the way the deeper I delve, but thus far the developers really seem to have nailed this one.