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) – First Class


I need to answer this one in two parts, because I consider myself to have two answers to it.  The first class I ever rolled was a Paladin, and he was Human.  Unfortunately, he hadn’t completed any quests before I got a message from the guys who got me to play in the first place; “Um, sorry.  The guild is Gnomes and Dwarves only.”  It took years for me to ever level a Paladin and I blame that moment.  I kid, of course…about the blame part anyway.

So having answered the question, it doesn’t really seem fair that a class I couldn’t even do a quest with would be my first.  That’s why I consider the class I rolled right after to really be my first.  My Priest.  I read up on the class (since my buddies needed a healer and I could at least take a shot based on my City of Villains experience), and WoWWiki said something to the effect of “if you can handle the blame for everything, then choose a healing priest.”  So I did.  He started Herbalism/Alchemy and took on all that the game had to offer.  He was Holy and had no trouble healing in the Deadmines, but got his butt kicked while wandering Ashenvale.

Prior to dual-specialization many people went Shadow and then at level cap flipped to Holy or Disc in order to heal.  My first class taught me what would be common for me in every character I made afterwards, and that is that there was no such thing as dual-spec or respeccing as far as I was concerned.  I took the spec I wanted out of the gate and I rode it to the finish.  In the case of what I consider to be my very first class, I’ve ridden 90 levels as Holy and spent a fair share of that time question.  But I’ve been in the dungeons, too.  Heck, Tum might’ve even healed you once or twice.

Hrm, Scenarios Eh?


So with the wee lad off for the night Saturday and the threat of bad weather locking us in for the night (not to mention eventually shutting the power off for all day Sunday), the Mrs. convinced me it was time for some scenarios.  I figured why not, and proceeded to improve Tumunzahar just a wee bit.  His fresh as a daisy 90 ilevel was not sexy in the slightest.  A few tweaks, two or three of which were couresty of Mrs. Amateur’s tailor, and I was all set for something new.

Once we queued and entered, we were all Goblins.  Seemed to be in a refinery, and it looked grim when we realized we were a tank and two healers.  Go group finder.  The Holy Paladin did have a Ret off-spec fortunately, though his gear wasn’t all that great for it.  Still, we rocked and rolled and while Mrs. Tank died a few times (still not sure how), we completed the scenario.  I even got a couple upgrades from the Cache…except they were gone from my inventory when I left group.  I put a ticket in for that one.

The second scenario was in Krasarang Wilds, so I was told much after the fact.  We needed to shore up some defenses and do some Orc fighting.  There was Mrs and I, and a Hunter.  I had nearly no healing to do.  When I’m a healer, I’m not a huge fan of those moments.  What was worse, was that I had no idea where to get the supplies for the second defense post.  The Gnome one was easy, but the other one…not so much.  But, we finished it pretty easily.  I even got to heal during the boss fight.

After that I felt…underwhelmed.  I don’t know if it’s because I had no clue what was going on half the time, or because I felt useless as a healer (again, not the case during the first one), or perhaps a combination of the two.  But I just was not feeling the fun of scenarios.  Now I’ve read before that they seem to be catered more towards dps roles and to me that did seem to be the case, but it could also be a coincidence.

At the end of the day, I still don’t know how I feel about them.  If the Mrs. or a friend ask me to go, I probably will.  I mean, it’s a chance to smite about with friends and I never turn that down.  But when I’m doing my own thing alone, I can’t see me hitting the queue button any time soon.

Getting Back To Form

Last night I decided it was time to see if my healing skills had deteriorated at all during my hiatus. I grabbed Tum and hit the old LFG button.  We ended up in some glorious bee hive.  Oh, wait.  Upon some research on my part it turns out it was Siege of Niuzao Temple.

I think I was just more focused on not screwing things up that I missed the name.  I’ve always been a confident Priest, but after nine months you never know if too much has changed.  The only thing I really noticed was that my spells weren’t healing for quite as much as I remember.  That likely means folk just have much more stamina than before, but either way I adjusted fine.  Of course, the first thing I made sure to mention was that I had never been in the place before.  I do that regardless of when I last healed.  It increases the chance of an explanation and reduces the chance of people just taking for granted the healer (or tank) has been there and does stuff we’re supposed to just expect.

So we rolled through the first boss easy enough and I got a great explanation on the second one so that was pretty easy as well.  Of course, the only person’s health bar I wasn’t watching was my own and I died just as the fight ended.  Boss three was a little bit harder.  We actually wiped because I didn’t quite understand how the adds worked.  Once I realized they loved my cologne, it was much easier.  No deaths and the final boss was a breeze.

All in all, I had a great group and the tank gave concise info on the boss fights.  I even picked up a solid upgrade in the Breezeswept Hood..  We talked briefly afterwards about the enjoyable and friendly run.  After mentioning it was my first dungeon run in over nine months, the tank informed us he just came back on Wednesday and one of the dps just came back from a year away!  Small world, so to speak.

The good news is that it seems I’m right where I was when I left.  At least as a healer.  We’ll have to see what my tanking and dps skills are like.  I don’t expect the term “good” for either as I couldn’t play the other classes all that well when I came back.  At least not the high end ones that I have.  Lowbies will never be hard., save for probably my Monk.  But, all that aside, it was nice to get the proverbial monkey off my back last night.

Banana Chucking Surrender Monkey (And Other Thoughts)


I took Tumunzahar out last night for about an hour as I try to come back.  Aside from lowbies, he seems to be the one (class?) I still remember how to play pretty well.  I didn’t queue for an instance or anything, as I wasn’t sure what my window of opportunity looked like.  But, in that hour, I did come to a few conclusions:

  • the auction house is as easy to make quick gold off of as it ever was.  I’ve played maybe 5-6 hours since coming back and made 5k.
  • No, I’m not an auction junkie again, I just realize I left the game somewhat broke.  It was totally worth it though!
  • The Ironforge cooking dailies are still simpler and faster than Stormwind.
  • The chickens in front of Ironforge no longer run around like their head is cut off when you need to catch them.
  • Oh Illidan.  The chickens sparkle.  Twilight jokes aside, it’s like they think the players can’t see that it’s a chicken, or might be confused that it might not be the right chicken.
  • I still don’t like much of the Jewelcrafting dailies in Stormwind.  Oh, yay, look, back to Cataclysm.
  • If it isn’t the goo, it’s no doubt the gems I don’t have and will cost 40g each on the auction house.
  • Pet Battles are just as I remember them, and so is my affinity towards having one of each.
  • I seriously need to remember to heal them first.  That or I need to level a lot more.  That might actually not be a bad idea, as I can see my son really liking that.
  • They mark rares on your map now?
  • There are a tonne of rares in Pandaria.
  • There are a tonne of rares in Pandaria when there’s no one around to kill them.
  • As a Holy Priest, I cannot kill very many of them.  In fact, I finally killed one on my own with Tum last night.
  • It’s the Nannermancer up there.  I swear, Tum’s underneath him there quite alive and quite well.
  • Yup.  The next rare I found slaughtered me.  The dog he summoned was doing more damage than I was.
  • The Pandaren lore still doesn’t pull me in.  There are nuggets of interest, but for the most part it’s just “there.”
  • In the rest of Azeroth, I’ve always wanted to read the quest text.  Now…*shrug*
  • This game still has way too many “collect x of this, while killing y of these and activating z more of these things.”

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed myself.  Smite spamming isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but Tum is 88 and at the moment I’d just like to get him to 90.  I’m in no rush, and will heal dungeons when I get the chance.  I’m just a bit too busy to commit to one without going “afk” more often than I would like.



“Hrm, not like Siori ta send fer me at this hour. Won’er what the lass wants…”

Tumunzahar strolled into his destination, where he found his Guild Leader sitting at a table in the corner.  The way she was dressed you would never suspect she was the kind of person responsible for the kind of things she’d made a living doing.  He was about to head to the bar for a pint first when the glare from those white eyes of hers made it clear there was something urgent.  He sat down across from her.

“Good evening Tumunzahar.  How is life with the Explorers’ League treating you?”

“Lemme see…ah dig, an ah dust.  So just fookin’ ducky.”  He preferred she get to the point, though he was always respectful of her not to say as such.

“Well, then…I suppose I bring good news for you then.  You’ll be putting down your duster for the foreseeable future.”

He raised an eyebrow to her.  “Fer what reason might that be?”

“Well you see, Tum…seems there’s quite a bit of conflict brewing between the Horde and Alliance in the new lands we’ve heard about.” 

He looked at her.  God it was near impossible to read that Night Elf!  “Th’ Alliance and Horde have conflict everywhere, Siori.  You’ve not summoned me fer a weird meetin’ at a weird hour any other time.”

“That’s because I was never resigned from the front lines.”  She paused, and Tumunzahar thought he saw a slight dejection in her posture before she corrected herself and continued.  “It was always me who called upon you.  As an ally and a friend.”  She passed a writ across the table.  “I’m not the one doing the calling this time.”

Tum looked down at the parchment, reading it over.  As the news sunk in, his brow hardened.  “Hrm.  No more dustin’ and diggin’ then.”

She smiled wryly.  “Guess not.”

With that he stood up, rolled the piece of paper up and stuck it in his pocket.  He gave his Guild Leader a courteous bow and made for the door.  Just before he left she spoke up.

“And Tum?”

“Aye lass?”

“Enjoy Pandaria.”



Tumunzahar in Pandaria?  Is the sky brown?  Have I joined Twitter and Facebook?  Well, the first one is a yes but the other ones remain definitive no’s in my world.  Heck, me and Mists of Pandaria was a definite “no” not more than a week ago.  But, a funny thing happened a couple of days ago.  I’m minding my own business at work and I get an e-mail from the Mrs. telling me to check my hotmail.  “Oh crap, it got hacked again” was my initial thought as that’s happened a few times this fall.  However, that wasn’t the case.  So as I looked over my Inbox I was horribly confused as to what she was getting at.  Checked my sent folder, nope, no recent messages sent out.  Check my Junkbox.  Hrm…what’s this now…


Mrs. Amateur: “It’s from the Bloggers.”

Well now.  That’s one way to get me into Pandaria it would seem.  All jokes aside, I’m pretty taken back by this.  I don’t know who all this includes, though I have my ideas who might’ve put it together.  For anyone who did contribute, thank you.  Sincerely.  I really don’t know what else to say right now.

Tides of War Cover Model

Yeah, I feel a lot like Jaina this week.  Not necessarily drowning, but definitely some pressure of a lot of things going on.  I did manage to get the patch installed on my main computer, turns out I just had to update my Windows Emulator (I run on Linux, you may recall) and then things went much more smoothly.  It was finding the right place to do that which lead to a bit of difficulty.  So at least I have piece of mind that fight is over.

I logged on for a few minutes yesterday and amid greetings folks were asking me my thoughts on the changes and while I would love to share them -I can’t.  I’ve posted some Glyphs and I chose my 5 talents for Tumunzahar.  That’s all the time I’ve had.  Well, not entirely true.  I logged on to most of my characters to combine my mounts and pets.  I do like the Mount UI by the way.  Oh, I’m also getting Glyph of Confession as soon as I have time.

I haven’t done anything else because I simply haven’t had the time.  This week was back to work and it’s prep for the kids as they return to school on Tuesday, so there’s a bit of running around.  I have dinner company coming tonight, and am still not done the bathroom or the bedroom. 

Then there’s Mogolympics.  I have to thank my fellow judges again, as the final three events are being shared by them for posting.  As I think the events I posted averaged out to about 8 hours of work each, I’m glad they’ve picked up the final ones.  Of course, the flipside of that is I have the closing ceremonies to do.  I had hoped to have that in much better shape than I do, but I digress there is only so much time in a day…or a week, as it were.  I’m hoping for a worst case scenario of getting that posted on Monday. 

Hope everyone else is delving into the new features, or maybe enjoying Guild Wars 2’s official release.  Either way, I look forward to both myself.  Just a few more hurdles to leap first.