The boy’s first mount. And proud dad right there…in female form. Eh, details.
It goes without saying, over time we become more and more accustomed to things. And the more accustomed we become, the more we take it for granted. In some cases, it could just be that the luster has worn off. World of Warcraft is coming up on its 18th anniversary this year. As a player, I’ve been off and on (mostly the latter) for 15 years. In that time I’ve seen five expansions come, and lost track of how many times I’ve done a lot of the non-end game content.
Sometimes, there are still things that surprise me. Looks Like A Tauren Pirate To Me would certainly be one of them. I only recently came across the quest as normally I don’t do too much leveling around Booty Bay. Alas, the point is after all this time I forget what it felt like when the game was new to me. The trepidation when I made the trek from Thelsamar to Menethil Harbor. Heck, the first time I stumbled into Deadwind Pass. The music alone was enough to make me take a u-turn. Didn’t hurt that I was in my 20’s at the time…and a Holy Priest.
The reason for the reflection is I’ve recently gotten the opportunity to experience many of these things and others again, through my son. Coming up on 8 years old he now has his own (monitored) account on the same server as mom and dad. We recently watched the Warcraft movie (more on that in a future post), and him seeing the movie details in the game made him giddy. The giant grin as he exclaimed “I can’t believe I’m in Stormwind!” was contagious. I couldn’t help but be happy. Then I helped him track down his first mount (and explained “back in my day you had to be level 40”), and he couldn’t wait to tell his mother as soon as he saw her.
Every step he takes is a reminder of what I once had the chance to experience. But it’s being done so at a much younger age than when I went through, and that makes it even more special. There’s an innocence and a lack of expectations that comes with it. I get to watch him take it all in, make some of the same mistakes I did, and learn as he goes. Now if I could just convince him that Awesomedude is not the best idea for a character name. But then again, I have a Gnome named Junkshot so perhaps I should keep my mouth shut.
When Cataclysm came out, I made sure to hit up every zone. Tumunzahar went through Vashj’ir and even as a Holy Priest it was enjoyable. I quite liked the quests and the lore of the zone. Granted, it took much longer to do anything until you got your swimming boost, but it wasn’t all bad. At least not as bad as everyone made it seem to be.
At least not the first time.
I’ve taken several toons through the Cataclysm content since then and always went to Hyjal simply because of how quick and easy the zone is. It’s more familiarity than anything else. So when the Death Knight recently hit 80 I decided to shake things up a bit and head back under the sea. What a terrible idea that was.
Now, as you might expect, there wasn’t another soul in sight. I’m used to that at lower levels, so no biggie. Got my quests and off I went swimming. And swimming. And swimming. It was painful. So much so that I managed to hand in one quest (despite being in the process of completing several more) and then hearthed back to Orgrimmar. Because damn.
It then reminded me of what I mentioned earlier, and that’s that most people hate the zone and avoid it like the plague. It got me thinking about all the zones in the game now, and there are plenty of them. Is there any other one that comes even close to Vashj’ir in terms of disdain? I mean, for me Hellfire Penninsula was revolting because of all the damn boars everywhere and the grief that caused me over time. But that’s peanuts compared to trying to go through Sea World. I know some might mention Lost Isles but even that’s limited to Goblins only.
The thing with Vashj’ir is that in principle it was a fantastic idea. I think what separates it from everything else is the 3D movement and combat. It’s one thing to do it in the air, such as we are used to courtesy of the Oculus and other such events. But in the water folks can get confused. And really, we were in the water for a lot longer than a few minutes in a raid. Not to mention, you were hardly ever on the ground. Interacting with mobs and NPC’s was tricky as a result…and they weren’t always easy to find because the zone was huge in terms of both depth and sprawling.
It’s too bad, because lore wise it’s definitely one of the best zones in the game…even if some of the stories were left unfinished. It leads me to hope we get some sort of follow up down the road. And I think Blizzard could learn a lot from the zone and make a lot of great improvements that would lead to people enjoying the environment more. In the mean time I think Vashj’ir will continue to be the zone that is the most devoid of players.
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.
So that just happened. Well, a couple of hours ago now but I wanted to wait until the “What’s Next” panel concluded before I posted any thoughts. Let’s start with the trailer. I loved Anduin’s helm. If you didn’t know it was him, it would come across very cold. Too bad he’s the opposite. And then there’s his opposite on the battlefield. She can turn into a banshee again? I get goosebumps every time I watch the trailer and that moment comes up.
That we got a cinematic trailer the same day Battle For Azeroth was announced was a great surprise by Blizzard. I think this one does a great job of setting up the expansion (so much for my “we don’t need factions anymore”). One has to wonder how she obtained the ability to transform and also what brought the Alliance to the doorstep of Lordaeron. Hopefully enough will be explained at some point before we head off to Zandalar and Kul’Tiras.
Given the theme of the expansion, I really enjoy the idea that the Horde and Alliance will go 110-120 in completely different regions. It puts a proper emphasis on the factions being strongly divided once more. Both zones look interesting enough from the previews we got but there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to that. I’m sure more will trickle out from the players who get to playtest it this weekend. Same goes for the two dungeons that were made available. Though I am very interested in the Kezan dungeon when the time comes. Who knows what the goblins have done this time?
There were many things touched on in the brief one hour but I’m not going to talk about all of them. I will mention a few other things that I found noteworthy:
- Going the Guild Wars 2 route with all zones of Azeroth. This seems long overdue to be able to have scaled questing anywhere on the planet. Glad they are finally not only bringing it forward but pairing up expansions as well (such as Outland and Northrend being scaled 60-80). I only hope that with it we can have a somewhat expedited xp boost. It still takes too long to level a character, even with heirlooms. New players get the instant boost, so they don’t have to do it if they don’t want to. But existing players are probably going to roll more alts. Why?
- Allied Races. We are getting half a dozen subraces, with three to each side. Horde receive the Highmountain, Nightborne, and Zandalari. On the Alliance side it’s the Dark Iron Dwaves, Light Forged Draenei, and Void Elves. These races each need to be recruited but once you do, you basically unlock them as an alt that starts at level 20.
- No Legendary Artifacts. Those are going to fall by the wayside and we’ll go back to standard weapons once more. Instead, we’ll have “The Heart of Azeroth” which is an amulet powered by Azerite (the very essence of Azeroth herself, seeping into the world). The more you get, the more you can do and it is used by three armor slots (helm is certain, my guess is chest and legs as well).
- Realms are going to be streamlined so that there are no longer PvP or PvE realms. Instead, you will have the option on any server to simply toggle PvP on or off. In doing it across all realms, this gives the developers a chance to do things like Bounty Hunter quests or assassinations.
- World of Warcraft Classic. You wonder where a guy is going when he talks about his two favourite ice creams being Cookies & Cream (yes) and Chocolate (meh)…until he mentions some people prefer Vanilla. It sounds like things are still in early stages, but the plan is in place to have throwback servers. Who knows how many, but they are definitely on the way at some point.
There was more if you didn’t get to see the segment (or find it on YouTube yet), but I want to wait and see what comes from the panel later today as well as the Q & A before commenting further.
It’s strange. Whenever I walk away from Azeroth, for however long, it’s always around this time that I return. Last time it made sense, what with the launch of Legion. Other instances, not so much. Even now. I don’t know if it’s a subconscious thought process as BlizzCon approaches…but it’s always the end of summer and into the fall. It’s as innocent as reading a blog post or catching a video on YouTube (usually lore related). Normally it’s no big deal but then this seasonal change comes along and it all changes.
To be honest, I came back to the game at the end of August when my holidays were winding down. I went two or three weeks in that window without playing and in the past that has been the reason that I stopped subbing and playing all together. Not this time. This time is different. Why? Continue Reading
It’s almost time to say farewell to our visitors of Azeroth. In just a few short hours the Legion expansion will be upon us and that means the invasions will be no more. I have to say, it was a fantastic event. For the first time since Wrath of the Lich King, the event really was solid and offered a variety of tasks (the pamphlet collection might be the exception). Of course more importantly for everyone, the invasions were an incredible source of leveling. The experience awarded was vast, with even a vanilla toon (no xp buffs) able to gain a level or more in a single invasion. At higher levels, it might have taken two.
I used this as an opportunity to branch out the number of capped toons I had. It’s no secret I’d like one of each at 100 so that I can do the eventual legendary chains for each class. As you can see from the photo, I managed to get three in the time available. Shaman, Mage, and Death Knight can be stroked off. That leaves Demon Hunter, Warrior, Warlock, and Monk. Well, Demon Hunter obviously won’t be an issue and I am leaning towards using my 100 boost on a Monk. Unfortunately, time was not kind to me the past two weeks so I wasn’t able to get the other two to the end mark. The Warrior sits at 65 and the Warlock got to 40 earlier this evening. I could get a few more levels on either one but my energy is fading and I’m realistic the benefit just isn’t there at this point. Still, the Army is certainly ready to kick down the doors of the Broken Isles.
The Amateur house is looking more and more festive every day, and that means limited Azeroth festivities. I did, however, manage to upgrade my Garrison to level 3 yesterday. Having the Warchief refer to me as “General” was a nice touch…and a bit empowering. Of course said feeling of empowerment did me no good when I tried to do the Pet Battle Menagerie. I went after Gorefu and after several tries logged. I just don’t have enough high level Moths.
I had some free time this morning, but unfortunately the Realms are down for full maintenance (and Hearthstone too…who scheduled that?). There is good news, though, as when they go live in a few hours not only will the Highmaul raid be open but the World Bosses also go live. I’m hoping Zarahi can get in on one before I head to work today. If not, I will probably just get Tum or Liouxpold to 91. Both have set up their Garrison and, while Lioux has completed a couple of quests, the pair are both at relatively the same point.
What about you? When the realms pop back up, any immediate plans?