A Weekend Resumed

Looks different around here, I know. But so does Azeroth. No, not in the private sector where you’ve occasionally heard me from. The real deal. I resubbed on Friday…for a month. Who knows, I might wrangle enough gold to buy a free month as well. But in the short term, we’ll see how it goes. It doesn’t mean I’m back for Shadowlands. Much as I have to have the Collector’s Edition at some point for my collection, I’m in no rush. Instead I came back to see what everything else is like.

The first thing I did was putter about on a couple of toons. Elcombe still has a 6-tab Guild Bank full of pets. So, guess no one hacked me at any point. After checking that, I took him to the barber shop to see what the new options looked like. He ended up looking like Stephen Baldwin apparently.

After that, I did what I do most. Maybe best. Took a bag full of pets over to the auction house. It’ll take me a little while to get settled into the market. But if I can sell a lot of what I’ve got in stock, that free month might not be all that difficult to achieve. Heck, if I put all my toons in one place it would be mission accomplished. But, that’s not the case, though I do still know how to move money around to some degree if I so desire.

Then it was time for familiarity. Over to Zarahi and druid adventuring. She was sitting at the top of the toons at level 42. So I puttered in Warlords for 1-2 levels and then made my way to Azsuna. Apparently I had some quests there from the last time I logged in…a couple of years ago. So I went through a few of the storylines.

Then decided to take her to the Barber Shop. Holy crap, I can be a Druid of the Flame. Permanently. Didn’t see that one coming at all…and nope, didn’t even look at Bear Form.

At this point, I decided to go to Zandalar. Figured her last few levels would get me on track to unlocking Allied Races. Of course, I didn’t put much research into how to do so and was disappointed when I completed the Zandalari stuff and it turns out that’s just the beginning of what was needed. Oh well, still hit the level cap in no time at all.

When I realized I wasn’t unlocking the Trolls just yet I thought I’d visit a place I’d been dying to see: Siege of Orgrimmar. If I can’t have what I want, at least I can go kill Garrosh, right? Well, not so much. Despite researching the issue, I just could not solo the Scrolls of Pandaria. After dying about a half dozen time I gave up. Between the trolls, Garrosh, and this site causing me grief (hence the new look), I wasn’t in the best of moods by Sunday night. So, I needed to remedy that. Went to a favourite place. No, not Karazhan oddly. Instead it was off to Sunwell Plateau. Wasn’t long after I paid Kil’jaeden a visit and felt better. Even had the Chaos Pup and Wretched Servant drop.

So I experienced some of the new and some of the old. We’ll see what the next 30 days brings. I know Shadowlands hits this week and as I said off the top, I’m in no rush to get it. I haven’t played the game in a couple of years so there’s lots for me to do for my dollar (which, yes I was fairly certain I would never again give Blizzard…eh, times change I suppose). I’ve certainly built up a few thoughts on how things are in Azeroth now. We’ll see if I can get them out here with some semblance of frequency. No guarantees, but for now we’ll do our best and enjoy the ride.

Dee King…Has Returned

From the onset, let us just get it out of the way now that Vol’jin has not returned. Last we saw, he was passing on the Warchief mantle to Sylvanas and was on his way to hang with the Loa. Why? We’re honestly not really sure. The mantle of Warchief and the fallout of it played next to no major part in the overall Legion story. Khadgar and Illidan basically ran the show and we got to tag along. Anduin becoming king was a much bigger development and had more depth to his ascension. With the Banshee Queen she vowed to avenge Vol’jin and that was that. It rallied most of the Horde. And then Genn broke her nightlight.

But this isn’t about Sylvanas today. The focus is on the Warchief we barely had. When Vol’jin took over as leader of the Horde at the end of Mists it was an excellent moment and well developed (given all the crap he went through). Plus, it was the choice most players seemed to agree on after the whole Garrosh mess. Warlords came and we went back in time (in another time, no less) and left Vol’jin in the present. So he basically relaxed while we were gone. Then we came back and he died almost immediately. If that doesn’t leave a bitter taste in a person’s mouth, I don’t know what does.

At this point, we’ve established that him passing on the mantle to Sylvanas before he died (from a spear…) accomplished nothing. It has lead to nothing. But giving the benefit of the doubt, surely there must be a reason this took place and the writers have that mapped out for the next expansion.

“In our darkest time, you would be the one to save us.”

Those were Vol’jin’s words to the Forsaken leader as he died. Well, so far it’s been all the Mary Sue’s of Azeroth that seem to be doing the saving. Thrall, Malfurion, Illidan, Khadgar…heck, what has transpired to qualify as the Horde’s “darkest time?” Again, nothing. At least on the Alliance side, they lost their actual king. So is something coming in the next expansion? It has to, otherwise what’s the point.

There’s no disputing how fond I am of the Sylvanas character, but what had great potential has been underwhelming for an entire expansion because nothing was done with it. So in the next expansion something has to happen, as I just mentioned. But what exactly would it be?

Well, I still believe Vol’jin wasn’t necessarily talking to the loa at the time of his death. With the potential involvement of N’Zoth in the upcoming stories, part of me wonders if it was actually the whispers of an Old God that convinced Vol’jin to choose the successor he did. And if that’s the case, what else has the Old God been up to? I’m thinking much, but that’s a story for another day. But there’s definitely been manipulation going on. So as a result of that, our something major happening to the Horde should come from that source. And that’s where I see the proverbial prophecy coming true with Sylvanas.

I don’t think she’ll directly save the day. I think she’ll bring back Vol’jin to do it. Hear me out. First off Vol’jin wasn’t burned like most trolls are when it comes time for their funeral. Also, it wouldn’t be the first time Vol’jin came back from the dead (read Shadows of the Horde if you haven’t already). So at this stage the window hasn’t been closed yet. Not to mention, any time anyone asks who the leader of the Darkspear Trolls is the answer is more or less circles around Vol’jin.

While I love Sylvanas, she is not going to be Warchief for long. I think it’s great from a fanboy perspective, but all wrong from a somewhat realistic perspective. As pointed out, no one trusts her…and she has done nothing in this expansion to change that. She always has her own agenda, sometimes even revolving around her people. Windrunner is a great advisor or council member but she shouldn’t be leader.

As far as Vol’jin goes, again, he was never really Warchief. Garrosh was spared. That’s pretty much all he did. So are we just going to thank him for getting a Garrison? Seems very underwhelming. He was also the most respected of the Horde leaders. Even the Alliance held him under high regard. So you have his own people, his enemies, and the players all pleased with a leader and he was gone in a breath. Blizzard has even recognized the fans were not at all happy with this and it seems early on that some of the content that was written was done so based on Vol’jin just going MIA again and that clearly did not happen this go around.

As for the how or the why she brings him back, the circumstances could be one of dozens. Again, I think something or someone is going to push the Horde to the brink of disaster under Sylvanas’ reign and all the distrust she has earned will make it impossible for her to overcome. Instead, she’ll bring back Vol’jin as a beacon for the Horde because she knows they’ll rally behind him and that will be the “darkest hour” rescue. How she does it could be simple. A bargain with Bwomsamdi. Performing another act like she did with Nathanos Blightcaller. Eh, that one seems less likely. Doubtful the Trolls would be happy about that and the Forsaken don’t seem keen on bringing back non-humans.

The how and why could make for excellent questing on the Horde side in the next expansion and it really does need to happen. Vol’jin should have the chance to be a proper Warchief. Unless Blizzard goes to a Horde council, him leading the faction is the right choice to make because there’s no one else that should hold the mantle. As I said before, not even Sylvanas. That’s why I strongly expect it to happen in whatever expansion gets announced in a few weeks. And that’s why at some point, “Dee King Will Have Returned.”

The 90 Death Knight March

On the even of Warlords I finally used my insta-90.  I hadn’t done so earlier because despite my previous ideas I wasn’t all that certain what I wanted to do.  Unlike the title, I did not actually choose a Death Knight.  I knew all along I wanted a Druid, but found myself stuck between a Male Tauren and a Female Troll.  In the end, tusks beat out hooves.  Admittedly I surprise myself on occasion.

If you haven’t boosted a character yet, it’s a surprising and oddly confusing experience.  Truth be told, I wish there was option to skip what I can only consider to be a tutorial.  For new players, it might be handy.  Personally, I found much of it to be a pain in the rear as the developers took the Death Knight leveling process and seemingly made it more frustrating.  I will admit it could just be the process for a Feral Druid, but I can’t imagine it’s just one spec in the system that works that way.

At the start I had two abilities: I had Shred and I had a Windrider.  This should have been the first sign of what I was in for because despite having the Windrider…you can’t actually fly.  Why not just put the racial mount then?  On top of no abilities, you have no talents either.  Near the end of the tutorial you get your first talent, which in the Iron Horde invasion is seemingly lost because as we all know the opening talent is movement based.  Had I been able to use my class fully, heck even Mass Entanglement once, I would not have done this more than my previous toons combined:

Zarahi

This was taken after death three or four.  It’s one thing to learn a new class or make mistakes.  But there were things I wanted that my level 24 Druid can do that would have helped me.  Unfortunately you don’t get those things until after the second last quest…at which point I wanted to get out of Blasted Lands as fast as I absolutely could.  And I most certainly did.

The process is very much like the Death Knight start zone, but in fairness it is presented well for a new player.  Starting out with a base ability, then learning them in groups of three and in categories, does slowly present what your class and spec can do.  It gives someone new the opportunity to fart around and see what does what.  Most existing players know what does what and just want to get going.  Not having that option becomes more and more frustrating because the zone is not nearly as forgiving as the DK zone.  It was designed to be encountered by a massive number of players who are not only level capped, but also have flight.  Running around on foot with a small portion of your abilities is somewhat torturous at best.  For a new player, I guess it’s a taste of death.  Which, when you think about it, is rather amusing.  Normally, you have to do something silly or have dumb luck work against you in order to die below level 50.  Here it can happen in less than 15 minutes.

I think in the end, I like the “tutorial” as it were.  I would merely change the location (not necessarily sure where a better option would be), and allow players to “skip” it and simply show up in the location all decked out and ready to go.

 

30 Days (April) – Favourite Religion/Spirituality

When it comes to World of Warcraft, I really don’t give the religion aspect of it much thought.  I’m sure that sounds really funny coming from a guy who’s only max-level characters are a Priest and a Paladin.  I enjoy both classes, but never really stop to think about them (or their abilities) on a spiritual level.  I guess I just don’t “walk with the light,” as it were.

When thinking long enough, the Draenei epitomize religion and faith in my opinion.  Much in the sense that the Scarlet Crusade does, but the Draenei aren’t really zealots about it.  Most assuredly there’s a big difference there.  But they also base their belief heavily on “the light” and the church.

Honestly, I don’t connect with any in particular.  Obviously I very much respect the idea of the Earthmother and how the Tauren approach that spirituality, and the Druid followers of Cenarius as well.  Having said that, I think it’s actually the Trolls that I think have it in order.  Ok, not the crazy savage takeover Trolls.  Actually, yes, even the crazy ones.  In the end, they all follow the loa.

When talking about the loa I’m not full on trumpeting voodoo.  The core belief of the loa is more to the fact each thing, be it living, sentient…or other…has its own spirit.  When something dies, the spirit lives on.  At its core it’s a very simple belief and falls within some of my own theories on the other side of the grass.  So Trolls honour the fallen spirits with ceremonies, which is where the voodoo tends to come into play.

Animal aspects, or Primal Gods, are their deities as it were.  What powers and abilities worshippers are able to envoke depends entirely on which Primal God is being prayed to.  We’ve seen these results in the various Zul dungeons and these are where it goes a little  bit too far obviously.  But that doesn’t necessarily separate it from other religious followings.  At the heart of the matter I think any of the Trolls have the right spirituality, it’s just some choose to take darker paths with that spirituality.

Darkside of the Toons

Finally!

So, quite some time ago I picked up the Shield of Impenetrable Darkness during a Laid Back Raid.  I had always meant to make an outfit for it, complimenting it with the Crystal Spire of Karabor.  Today was to be that day.  All I needed was the legs and gloves and I was set.  Husband of Ysera’s Daughter happened to be on and made me some Vicious Ornate Pyrium Legguards and Boots.  I then hit the JP vendor for a set of Bladebreaker Gauntlets and was good to go.  Or, rather, I thought I was.  I realized I still needed the Wailing Nightbane Pauldrons from The Unforgiven in Stratholme.  Fortunately it only took killing him twice to get them.

However, you’ll notice in the picture Saintvache isn’t sporting a Mace.  That’s because of a very annoying transmog limitation.  You see, you cannot put a Main Hand item over a One Hand item that you’re holding in your main hand.  So, that idea went out the window (no 85 Maces on the AH either at the time).  So, his tanking look remains the same as it’s been for the past six months.  Instead, I took his healing gear and knowing he was holding a sword grabbed The Turning Tide from his bank.  The other pieces of the outfit are Bogslayer Breastplate, Gilded Thorium Cloak (which dropped last night during a Kara run with Ratshag, Helke, and a few more), Vicious Pyrium Belt, and Heroic Skullcap.  I used the Argent Crusade Tabard to cap it off.  Made him just a hint less of a Death Knight.  And yes, as I pointed out to Arvash this morning, in pure ass-backwardness my tank outfit is light and my healing outfit is dark.

Now I no sooner finished that and switched over to Larfleeze to see what the Runetotem Auction House had for me to discover (cheap Primordial Rubies was the answer), when I came across my first Jeweled Onyx Panther in-game.  Brezell barely sat still long enough for me to get the shot, but you can see it alright.  That’s what happens when you take the four colours and merge them.  So you’re looking at about 100-125 thousand gold there.  Sexy, but I like the four others better.  Speaking of which, I still haven’t seen a green one in-game.

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.

Playing Mad

I apologize, as the post I had planned for today I’m just not in the mindset to write.  It’s just a case of being “one of those days.”  I still thought I’d share what my entry might have looked like for Round Two of Mog Madness.  I say might as I had various ideas but wanted to stay clear of borrowing from some of the amazing entries I’ve seen thus far.