Rise of Azshara…and the Amateur?

Patch 8.2 went live this week, the latest incarnation of events aimed at spicing up World of Warcraft and advancing the plot(s) further. Above everything else, the lore is something I’ve kept up with. Gameplay, um…not so much. It’s part of why there is nothing more than cobwebs and a few sparse comments over time. I haven’t been playing. Well, that’s not entirely correct. I’ll go a few weeks where I actually accomplish things and then a couple months where I don’t. As if that didn’t make things difficult enough, I play on a private server still. I’ve actually decided to write a post about that experience in a more detailed manner, but the preview of that is current content is easier said than done. And older stuff might not get done at all.

Funny enough, it isn’t the new content that brought me back. No, it looks like quite recently someone went back and read my entire blog. Every single post. Now, I have no idea who this individual was or what brought them to my humble little world. I would love to thank them for doing so, though. It reminds me of the time I’ve invested in Azeroth courtesy of the way they invested the time in reading all my musings, insight, and quirky thoughts. But imagine playing WoW and then you couldn’t because it just randomly stopped. All you got was a gallery of your mounts and pets. With no notice, that would be frustrating for certain. And I wondered if this person felt the same when the blog just stopped at that top 10 mount list from last year.

As I suggested, I’ve been playing here and there. I’ve been following things plenty. I know Blizzard supposedly confessed to mistakes as far as the classes go, in that they went too far. I liked how each spec felt when Legion hit, but I can understand a lot of the concerns the player base has had ever since. I can’t comment too much since I know my server is still in the process of tweaking some abilities. Some are broken in a bad way and some are overpowered. I suppose it’s like a PTR in that sense.

So what does someone do who is barely a casual player anymore, doesn’t play the game live, and is disgruntled about much of the WoW model at this time write about? Well, in this case he doesn’t. Or didn’t. It was as if I no longer felt what I was going to write was actually going to contribute anything to the game or the community. At least, not like I felt I did at one point in time.

But that can change with one viewer. That same thing can be said about any media platform. A viewer. A listener. A like, a tweet…you get the idea. I was honestly sparked in part by discovering that Tome had returned to blogging as well. And then seeing someone go through all my posts, it was humbling if you haven’t already gathered that. But it made me do the same. Indeed I also went through everything I’ve wrote over the years and I came to a realization. It wasn’t so much what I was writing, but that I was writing. If you wanted to read or learn about something specific, you know doubt had a handful of sites and blogs that provided that. I was never about that. Well, I did do a fair bit in the infancy of transmogrification. But I wrote about anything and everything. Whatever suited my fancy at the time. At some point in my negative view of the situation I managed to lose sight of that.

With the new clarity does not come new promises. This time of year, admittedly, my schedule gets a bit tougher and with it writing does too. Particularly when I’m a legit writer now as well. Well, legit in that my work for a company has been printed and it did well enough I’ve been asked to write more. But more on that another time. For now, I’m simply going to sit back, take it all in, and then start churning out the thoughts of Azeroth and more that have sat bottled up in my noggin’ this past year and more. The engine might churn fast, and it might churn slow. But I’ve put myself in a state where it’s likely I won’t take the key out of the ignition.

Not Dead


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.


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.

More 6.0 Observations

A few days in and we’ve definitely got a feel for the new flavor of WoW.   Yesterday I talked about the many immediate changes that bombarded us in the first minutes we logged in, but now the details can be absorbed a bit better.

Class changes are interesting.  The only thing I had to do on Saintvache was choose two new talents.  His action bars went nearly untouched.  I could not say the same for Tumunzahar, Siori, and Liouxpold.  Perhaps it’s an Alliance thing.  Speaking of classes, many people found Burnt Glyphs in their possession now.  Rest assured that’s just for Glyphs that are no longer in the game.

I completed the Iron Horde invasion on the Horde side, and while I don’t know the details of what is to follow, I really hope it isn’t done now.  I came out of it with a title and a new pet, but incredibly underwhelmed.  That and agitated because Thrally-Sue (which I think I’ll call him far more often now) had to be the one running around on the front line.  Really?  There couldn’t be anyone else?  The guy had a whole expansion dedicated to him (Deathwing was merely supporting cast) and still we get him shoved down our throat.  Not to rant too much, because up until the later parts of Cataclysm I actually liked Thrall.  It’s just that Blizzard has overplayed him.  Getting back to the Iron Horde, it seemed pretty linear and to the point.  I’ll have to flip over and give the Alliance side a try before I really assess it but I can’t imagine it is all that different.

One no longer has to spend so much time in Pandaria.  I logged into a toon and found it sitting at 100% XP, but hadn’t dinged yet.  There’s no way in Dire Maul I would ever let that happen.  The OCD in me would have to ding before I logged.  Particularly because that’s less than exploratory XP.  That’s more along the lines of “you dinged because the wind changed direction.”  Now, to confirm this is the case, I played for a little while and had six bubbles in half an hour.  At 88.  Hrm, this place really might not be that bad anymore.

The final nugget of “huzzah” is stacking.  Imagine my surprise when I had the bank open and decided to top up my stack of Dreamfoil and sell the rest.  Suddenly I had a stack of 28!  I began playing around with this immediately, finding eventually that stacks cap at 200 now.  Between that and the Toy Box my bags are bordering on empty (and the bag sort feature is fantastic).  But what it really excites me for is my guild banks.  For Claws, it just means having a cleaner bank.  For the auctioneer in me, it means more room to store goodies.  I mean, just look at the difference in one tab.


It wasn’t 100% good news, though.  On top of shelling out gold for some face lifts (I think I spent about 200g or so in total.  Obviously someone with more 90’s than I spent even more), I found that some gear held onto its transmogrification, while others reset.  Needless to say, many of my toons look incredibly goofy so I will have to correct that when given the chance to.

I’m sure many people knew about these changes already, from playing the PTR or reading about it.  For me, I have been incredibly removed from these details of the game as I’ve been merely puttering in it for the past few months.  I vaguely kept tabs on what’s going on and really didn’t read the changes ahead of time (of course I knew about character models).  Thus, it’s all a surprise.  It feels like a good surprise, and I have a feeling I’m not the only returning player to think so.

Waking Up To 6.0

Patch 6.0 is now live and with it came many changes, but none more than the vast amount of visual ones.  Almost everyone I spoke to yesterday was headed straight for the Barber Shop to see what they had to work with.  Many weren’t keen on what they saw when they logged in, while others didn’t mind the initial look when things went live around 1:30 EST.  Personally, Tum was far more angry than I wanted.  To be honest, almost all of the dwarves are surly/angry looking.  Not that it doesn’t fit the race, because it most certainly does.  It’s just that it wouldn’t hurt to have one lighthearted option.  As you can see by this image, I did the best I could with what I had.

New Tum
Initial one on the left, new on the right.

I had to change Saintvache as well, as logging on to him I was blinded by an albino.  I just wish we had more hair options for the Tauren.  As for the rest of the team, I’ll check them in due time.

It wasn’t just character models that changed.  From what I saw last night and this morning, nothing sparkles anymore.  No quest items, no nodes. Nothing!  Instead, you’ll get a faint outline that gets stronger once you mouse over it.  Even characters gain an outline now (green for friendly, red for not) when targeted, though I’m sure there’s an option to turn it off.  Still, at a glance it took me a second to complete a couple of quests because I was looking for the shiny.

Action bars have obviously changed, with some spells removed and others simply changed.  But speaking of spells, they even look better visually.  The animations are fantastic, though I’ve only seen Paladin, Mage, and Warlock.  Once again, I’ll get to them in due time…or simply see them amidst my travels.

This isn’t even documenting some of the bigger changes that came with the patch either.  Things like the new level UBRS, the Iron Horde invasion (which I’ve started Horde side…so far so good), Garrisons, Premade Groups in the Dungeon Finder, all the class changes, etc.

With the game seeing an increase of over half a million players, this patch is well timed.  Many of the changes brought the game up to relatively modern standards and introduced a lot of things the players have been yearning for, for quite some time.  Will it translate to more than 7.4 million players and sustain them for a while this time?  Hard to say, but you can’t say the new expansion isn’t setting up to take a big swing at it.

30 Days (April) – Favourite Official Trailer

I’m going to give two answers once again today as I’m not 100% certain what defines “official.”  If we’re talking about cinematic trailers, then there is excited like I was for Wrath of the Lich King.  But then there’s “oh #*$&” like I was when we got the Cataclysm trailer.

I was pretty well excited with terror when I saw that for the first time.  Even when the expansion was announced and we got “there can be no peace.  Deathwing…has returned.”  He’s just a monolith of evil.  Now, we’ll ignore how the whole expansion played out in terms of living up to that excitement.  But it was still a pretty sound trailer for Neltharion coming back to the surface of Azeroth.

If we’re going to include the Patch trailers, then it’s a completely different story.  The trailer for 3.1 (Ulduar) that I posted earlier this week is a great one.  But, when it comes to the preview videos for all the patches of WoW, there isn’t one that captures the content or delivers as well as 2.3 did.

I knew nothing about Zul’jin when I came into the game, pretty much right after this patch went live.  But man, this trailer made me want to.  Whoever wrote the dialogue just captured everything so well, and the voice work was phenomenal for it.  Yes, Ulduar is a close second, but I don’t think another patch trailer comes even close.

Thought Bubbles


If each of those bubbles was a thought, there probably still wouldn’t be nearly enough in the picture.  People ask me where I’ve been as of late, and I can’t say it didn’t come without fair warning that I’d grow quiet.  Some suspected I had sent my laptop off for repairs, but that’s not the case.  It remains wired to a television upstairs, which actually works alright.  It’s just near impossible some days to read the chat window.

I’ve been asked a little bit on my thoughts about 5.2 and I’ll try to articulate a post when I actually care.  That harshness isn’t directed at Blizzard or the content or anything like that…I just…well my interest in a lot of things lately (including WoW) is there one moment and gone for many more a heartbeat later.  So when WoW’s not of interest, it can be hard to want to even write about it.  So aside from the Transmog Contest, I really haven’t had much to say for some time now.

It’s weird.  One moment I want to race change my Worgen Warrior to a Pandaren, and the next I’m ready to cancel my subscription.  I haven’t, and in the near future I won’t.  There are times when I very much want to hop into Azeroth, and so I’m not turning my back on it.  I’m sure a few of you have seen me pop on here and there for moments at a time…and yet I never logged in for the Darkmoon Faire last week and aside from the first two days, completely skipped the Lunar Festival.

That brings me to Laid Back Raids.  With everything going on (and yes, I know exactly why the things I’ve talked about are the way they are), by the time an LBR comes around, I can be completely exhausted.  I’ve pushed through it most nights, but it takes more effort not to (unfairly) snap on people over trivial comments or matters that come with booting through a raid.  Trust me, for those wondering, you never genuinely bother me in the slightest.  As the ex always tells us, “it’s not you, it’s me.”  That’s the case.

But, LBR is important.  It’s a tonne of fun and there are always people up for it on some level.  As such, I’m continuing to schedule them and will even show up I’m sure.  My appearances are just going to be sporadic for a little while (much like my WoWing in general).  With that in mind, I asked both Healblade and Repgrind if they would be contacts and both graciously accepted.  Their contact information is on the LBR page, and I can’t thank the two of them enough for looking after things in my absence, especially when the two of them can almost always be counted on to be in attendance and bring both wisdom and laughs.  Kinda suits the LBR model (not that I ever bestowed much wisdom).

I’m trying to work on more chapters of Posthumous.  Yesterday’s was honestly written ages ago, but I kept forgetting to pull the image from my computer.  Yes, I’m obsessive like that.  I couldn’t publish it without that little raptor image.  I’ll see what I can do about posting more soon.  It’s a matter of getting the writing bug and the time to dedicate to writing it.

Saw an article that Trivial Pursuit is putting out a WoW edition later this year.  That’s exciting.  Combines two things I happen to enjoy a lot, and Mrs. Amateur is a trivia addict (and an Illidan damn wealth of knowledge to boot).  I can see it ending up in our collection in no time…barring an elaborate price tag.  Personally, I’d like to see them replace the pie with a generic character that has spots for Legendary weapons instead of pie slices.  That would be sweet.

Speaking of Legendaries…I think I got the quest that starts Tarecgosa’s Staff with Tum.  I doubt I’ll get past that first part, much like Siori’s daggers.  I know folks were willing to help me, but if I’m not on much…let alone when others are, it’s kinda hard to complete.  But, I’m ok with that.

I guess ok is probably the best way to sum things up all around.