The State Of The Amateur

“Question, now that you have a few levels/hours under your belt, do you see it pulling you away from Mists (or WoW in general) at all? Or will it be more, something to play with during maintainence?” –Missescake

I was going to touch on this as part of a larger mailbag post because more than Cake asked the question.  Then I realized there is enough merit for it to be a stand alone discussion (heck, some thought I might’ve delayed getting the closing ceremonies out due to the game’s release).

Let’s get the answer most people want out of the way first, shall we?  I’m not leaving.  Not closing up shop, not shutting down my Warcraft account, nothing like that.

We good?

Excellent.

Despite my lamenting over not being interested in Mists of Pandaria, I’m still content with WoW.  Our honeymoon phase is long over, I freely admit.  In fact, there’s nights we go to bed without speaking to one another.   But when we do sit down together, good times are had.  I credit it partly to the fact I treat my toons as characters.  I’ve openly mentioned this before and it certainly hasn’t changed.  So, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy  into them and there are things I still want to do with many of these characters (and more) that dance around inside my skull.  How much time I will actually commit to that will vary.  You can bet I’ll be all over the Theramore event for that week.  I’m also still trying to generate gold on Runetotem so that I can sponsor a WoWFactor before the year is out.

There are two much bigger reasons why I’m still here, though.  The first is that I very much enjoy writing about World of Warcraft.  I imagine I could quit playing immediately and still have plenty to say about the product as a whole.  That someone else in the house would still be playing would no doubt make that easier, but you get the idea.  I like blogging about WoW.

The second reason is friends.  It’s also the big one.  The awesome social circle I’ve got in Azeroth, and as an extension here on the blog, is too awesome to just walk away from.  I look forward to Laid Back Raids.  I look forward to seeing who can make it out and as anyone who ever Real ID messages me will tell you, I’m always happy to chat and here on the blog I love the network of additional people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and talk with.  So I’m sure not going to give that up.

So why even bother with the subject if that’s the case, right?  Well here’s the thing…Guild Wars 2 is sweet, sweet, love as far as I’m concerned right now.  I’ve been excited about the game for so long and now it’s here and I think it’s in the process of delivering -big time.

I’m early in the game, but there’s just so darn much I enjoy from the onset that I’m giddy about a video game for the first time in a long time.  Actually, since the Cataclysm trailer first came out is probably accurate (but it’s delivering more like Wrath).  I want to play it, experience it, and enjoy it.  It’s just so different.  Now that could very much wear off in a few months and I’d be more than happy to admit it, but that’s not the case right now (not even close).

So, no, Guild Wars 2 isn’t going to be a “maintenance day” getaway for me.  It’s very much got my attention and I look forward to devoting more time to it.   The occasion where I find myself with a large chunk of time, I’ll be delving into Tyria.  I’m not saying it’s better than World of Warcraft.  I honestly don’t know that yet.  It’s just different.  Yes, it’s fresh and new so everything looks shinier, but that doesn’t change how I (and others) feel about it.

So Tyria is going to be my focus mostly for a while (save for Theramore), but I’ll still be on regularly on WoW whether it’s for some reputation grind or to play the auction house or putter.  Using this week as an example, I’ve had GW2 installed and have played a bit but still frequented Azeroth more often.  I expect that’s how things will continue to go.  I also still have plenty to write about so it will be very much the status quo here.

Something to mention as well is first and foremost, this is a World of Warcraft blog and I don’t want to clutter it up with stuff about Guild Wars 2.  There may be moments where I borrow something because I feel it’s relevant to WoW, but those will be sparse.  Instead, I have a sister blog.  “Pillars of Tyria” is where you’ll be able to find all my Guild Wars 2 thoughts just as Amateur Azerothian remains my thoughts for all things WoW, and I hope you check it out if for no other reason than to see what the game is like or to read my thoughts on something different for a change.

My schedule doesn’t allow for two full-time MMO’s and I quite easily recognize that.  It does, however, allow for part time.  That one is free makes the management much easier for me to justify, I will not lie on that front.  But even if the only time I log on to World of Warcraft is to hook up with friends, it’s completely worth it.  The way I see it, WoW’s monthly fee is cheaper than three drinks at the bar.  It not only lasts much longer, but is far more rewarding as well.  Plus, I can play WoW and drink for free at home.

So if you don’t swing by Pillars any time soon, this will be the last you hear from me regarding Guild Wars 2 for a long time.  It’s once again “All Azeroth All The Time”.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a few links to copy and some LBR’s to schedule.

Ask The Amateur Some More

 Been a little while since we reached into the old mailbag to see what’s what. So, shall we?

With Mists of Pandaria coming I’m not sure who my main is anymore.  I love my Holy Priest and raid healing…but my Forsaken Warlock is a lot of fun now too!  What to do?

It depends on your approach with Mists.  Keep in mind, the raids require doing them in order to unlock the next and the first won’t be right away (if I understand correctly).  So getting your healer to 90 might not be as vital as you think.  Plus, if your Priest isn’t dual-spec’d into something that can hand out damage, it’s going to be tedious outside of dungeon healing.  If you want to explore the new land more than the new dungeons, I’d say the Warlock…and that’s coming from a guy who’s highest ‘Lock is 14.

With the Yak expected to be 120,000 gold I need to make some money fast, as it has become “my precious.”  Suggestions please!

This is where gathering professions are going to excel.  The first week people will be shooting for World First and server first.  Engineers, Alchemist, Scribes, and Blacksmiths who don’t have the proper gathering professions will be snatching the mats up left and right.  Jewelcrafters will be looking for Ore as well so they can max and work on new cuts.  As such, don’t even level when Mists launches.  Just go straight to farming and park a toon near an Auction House and mail the mats to them.  Also, Scribes can expect to rake in the gold in the early stages with all the new changes to Glyphs that are coming.  Druids alone have more fun Glyphs than you can count to.

I’m more of a solo player, but in an effort to improve on my gear I’ve tried to do a few random dungeons.  Needless to say, the experience was miserable.  You seem to have mixed results when you talk about dungeon groups, is there ANY way to make things more enjoyable?

Well, I’d ignore the idiots for starters.  One of the biggest positive moves I find is when I’m in a dungeon with a class/spec for the first time, I tell the group that right out of the gate.  Particularly as a tank or healer, and it’s rare that I have problems.  Having said that, the best groups you can possibly run with (and hey, I’m biased) are the Laid Back Raids that I organize one night a weekend, and Laid Back Dungeons that Shoryl puts together Wednesday nights.  It’s too casual for us to worry, and everyone is always more than happy to help.

I plan to roll a Troll Monk when the new expansion launches, as they’ve already got the Capoeira dance going.  I’m completely blank on a name though…help?

You mean besides Vudufu?  As cheesy as that one is, it popped into my head right away and I actually like it.  Put emphasis on the middle syllabel and it really could be a Troll name.  Even worse pun names could be Kigya and Bootadahead.  Those really bad ones aside, it depends what you’re looking for.  Obviously I wouldn’t recommend either on an RP server or if you’re playing a character rather than just a toon.  Spearfist is nickname-y and fits the Trolls, as might Frenzyfist.  Honestly, I like Vudufu.  Kick me 20g if you use it.

Posthumous started out really good but did you have to make him gay?

Alistair, is this you?  Last time I checked the calendar it was 2012, not 1912.  I didn’t “make” the character anything.  He loved someone.  It shouldn’t matter whether it was a man or a woman, the point was that he felt he found his soulmate.  I’m not about to explain the role of the Alistair character because I think part of it would be lost in this discussion.  If you choose to keep reading, so be it.  If the main character’s possible sexuality discerns you that much then I’m sorry for you.  I really am.

Quite the mixed bag this go around.  Positive or negative, I always appreciate you taking the time to write me.  If you’ve got a question, hit me up at arcanewordsmith@gmail.com.

Ask The Amateur!

Dear Illidan that title sounds horrible…I mean, in my head it made complete sense.  Yet seeing it there, well, I just wonder what’s going to come in terms of spam content today…

Moving on, as the title would suggest, I thought I would take today to answer some questions from the old mailbag.  Since I put up my e-mail (over there, on the left), I’ve started getting comments and questions and shared transmog pics.  Please, keep them coming.  I’m genuinely flattered every time someone takes the time to share their thoughts, creations, or laughs with me.  So let’s get to a few questions, ok?

I used to check up on your blog a few times a week for gold ideas, but I don’t see them nearly as much.  What gives?

In all honesty, it’s a case of plenty going on and quite frankly not wanting to repeat myself. Many of the ideas I’ve shared over time are still just as applicable now. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, but transmogrification took off far more than even I expected.

I can’t get over some of the outfits you’ve shown off for Transmogrification.  Do you, um, practice making outfits?

Not at all, but you could sort of say that at one time I did.  The big secret behind my outfit building skills comes from essentially one source: wrestling video games -specifically those with CAW mode, or Create-A-Wrestler.  From back in the N64 days, I spent far more time than I ever have in Azeroth with games like WWF Wrestlemania 2000, WWF No Mercy, Smackdown vs. Raw and Fire Pro Returns creating wrestler outfits.  There are many people far better at it than I am, but I always looked closely at how they did what they did.  Your wrestlers were allocated certain components, or in some cases merely layers, and you did as much as you could with what you had.  I’ve managed to take that approach to Transmogrification and I’m quite happy with the success I’ve found.

You gave up on 2012 in 2012 because you were quitting.  But you stayed, and still are quitting your own challenge?

Indeed, I am.  Granted, there’s a slim chance I actually still pull it off.  However, in no way am I actively pursuing that.  I have just way too much going on with what WoW time I have these days.  I never expected half of the things that have come across my plate in the calendar year already and there’s more on the way.

Is it just me or is the Ironman challenge something that was right up your alley?

You’re absolutely right.  See previous question.

Do you know where Flinthammer went?

No, oddly enough.  I say that because I pondered this question myself the other day when I realized there’s been no activity this year.  It’s disappointing as I really enjoyed his stories and the characters he brought to life.

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So there’s just a few questions I thought I’d take the time to respond to.  It was only over the weekend that I realized I had what I considered enough to make a column about it.  Who knows, if I keep getting sought for wisdom or am just a wall to bounce a question ball off of, I might do more.  In the meantime I’ll try to come up with a better title.