Friday, April 30, 2010

Elder Gods

Tonight I tried to summon Cthulhu.

I'A I'A CTHULHU FHATGN!

We had runes, pentagrams, chants and various rituals. It was amazing. Tentacles were (are) everywhere.

Anyways, there are some old gods in WoW too.

Primarily there is Cthun. He was around in Classic WoW, awaiting you at the end of AQ40. He is this giant eye that shoots tentacles out of the ground. He then eats you and you have to fight your way out of his stomach.

There were other gods, especially the troll gods, prevalent in both Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. However, those aren't ancient gods. They're fairly new.

Then in Wrath we had Yogg'Saron. He's a big baddies with lots of eyes. I've never seen him myself, but he's evil and big.

Finally, with Cataclysm upcoming, we have Uldum and more old gods. It is in the desert (Similar to AQ) and as structure similarities with Ulduman and Ulduar.

Time Stop!

This is a mid-use shot of the Amber/Bronze Drakes' Time Stop ability.

The Mammoth

Right before we downed Deathbringer Saurfang I got on my mammoth and popped my Iron Boot Flask. I feel special.

A return to Wiping

So we were wiping tonight again. Last time my guild was wiping was a few months ago.

Tonight, rather than being in ToC, TOC was in ICC.

Last night we 1 shot Marrowgar, 4 shot Lady Deathwhisper (but the second and third didn't count). and 1 shot the Gunship Battle. We even had time in our limited schedule to wipe on Saurfang 3 times.

Tonight when we came in we two-shot Saurfang and went into lands unknown.

Two of us had seen the precious fight (me and a warlock) and I had seen the Valthira fight. This was the sum of our knowledge. We way over-pulled in front of the Plague district (or w/e it is called). And came back and only lost three or four people. We wiped on our first Precious try and then managed to get her the second time. However, by the end both tanks were dead, so two healers and two dps ran around like headless chickens.

They insisted that they were 'kiting' the zombies, but it was quite amusing to those already dead. When we fought Stinky, well, things went south (again). The OT died, so I wasn't able to have someone taunt off so I couldn't recieve much healing. Then I died and the dps managed to take him down, with two locks and a holy pally left standing.

Then we wiped a couple times on Festergut. Someone who had done a little presearch read off the WoWhead strategy guide. It actually went fairly well- on our second attempt we got him down to 38% but then had to call it a night.

All in all, another wonderful night of wiping.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Raiding Change

You may or may not have heard about the Cataclysm raiding changes. Some people like them, some people don't.

Essentially what is happening is that they are equalizing the loot between 10 and 25 man as well as making them share a lockout.

Many people don't like this. Some reference that since 25's are 'harder', there must be a greater than proportional increase in loot drops. If 10's drop 2 pieces, 25's need to drop 6. Additionally, it has been officially announced that you get more badges as well raiding 25. This means that you still gain more from running a 25 man.

To answer the argument that a 25 man is harder- well, the boss may have more health and do more damage, but you have more healers and more DPS. If one person isn't quite as good as you like at their role in the raid, well you have twenty-four other people to push them along. In a 10 man crew, everyone needs to be performing at their best. If they don't, the raid can wipe.

For leading progression guilds, this hurts. They spend a huge amount of time raiding, doing both 10 mans and 25 every week so as to gear up as far as possible.

Finally, if this doesn't work out, Blizzard can change the scheme of things back to something that works, or try something new, like they did with each of the major WotLK patches.

S-Foils to strike position!

Coming in fast and hot!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Engineering Spec

Engineering is a really cool profession. I know this because they can makes stuff that can be used not just worn.

However, I feel that engineering does not go far enough. In Cataclysm (or more realistically the following expansion) I want there to be an engineering class.

It would use either energy or focus, probably focus, and the three trees would be Gnomish, Goblin and Crystal.

You would be able to upgrade every single piece of armor you got. Your head could have your MC addon or a laser beam. Shoulders would have automatic rocket-launchers. You could install a flame thrower and flechette launcher into your bracers. Add hydraulics to your gloves so it fires faster. Grenades on your chest and belt. Jet pack on the legs, supplemented by either another jetpack on the back or a parachute.

Boots could have rockets but they would also be able to launch shuriken.

There would be the ability to transform into your flying mount, Mech style.

Engineers should be a class! Sign the petition!

Hadoken!

Epic combat screenshot is epic. I really love the combinations of colors we have here that you don't get int ICC or ToC shots.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Financial Aid

So- I've been filling out tax forms and financial aid and I'm starting to hate it.

But besides that, I've been known to give out financial aid in game. I feel that it is a good thing to do sometime while playing WoW. You should- at some point borrow and lend gold. You can choose not to pay it back promptly (or at all) and charge interest on your loans, but it is something that needs to be done.

I say that it needs to be done because it encourages you to work at making some money. If you owe a friend 1k, you are more likely to be able to pay that off quickly rather than if you were just grinding that gold from scratch with no motivation. When I was grinding gold for Epic Flying, I was about 200g a day (I was also leveling JC). When I got a 2k loan from a guildie and friend, I increased my revenue to about 500g a day and paid him back four days later. My increased revenue continued for another couple weeks and I almost had enough gold to get a second character Epic Flying.

So- clearly, by my experience, borrowing gold is a good thing. Therefore, it can be extrapolated that lending gold to people who are as trustworthy as me makes their play experience better. Thus, lending gold increases the overall fun had while playing.

In conclusion send all the gold you have to Alenena on Ursin (Alliance).

Raise Eck!

This is where that boss that we hate came from! Yay Eck!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Netherwing Rep

So as you may have noticed I got my netherdrakes.

There is a beginning quest chain that will get you up from hated to neutral. It is pretty easy, but near the end there is a fight that takes a little bit of power to get you through. It is nominally a five person quest, but can be soloed at 80 if you have good healing power.

After you do that, you are assigned to infiltrate the Dragonmaw of Shadowmoon Valley. You get a few daily quests as neutral and you can also find netherwing eggs to turn in. Once you hit friendly you get another few quests available and you still have the old ones. If you have a gathering profession, I suggest gathering as much as you can because there is a chance that they will drop eggs (about 1%). At honored, more quests open up and more dailies. At revered a few quests send you wandering, but it isn't too hard to do them, especially at 80.

If you only do your dailies and don't gather any eggs, it should take approximately two weeks.

However, it is very helpful if you do collect the eggs, it brought my total time down from fourteen days to five. I would very strongly suggest getting the addons Gatherer and the WoWhead Gatherer database.

The best place to find the eggs (esp for miners) is within the caves. They spawn all throughout it so you have to explore it fully but there is a chance they drop off the mobs and the nodes.

For all the mobs on the island there is a 1% chance that they will drop an egg. Over the course of these past five or so days, I probably killed around 500-700 mobs.

So go out there and get your netherdrakes!

The netherdrakes!

DRAKES! It only cost me four days of dailies and 1k gold for six drakes!

Update!

I've added another counter down at the bottom. The top one tracks independent visitors (by computer) and the other one merely tracks visits. Hopefully, the second will will soon past the first by a large marin.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I had a plan... again...

So I knew exactly what I was going to write tonight- but then I decided that it would be better to wait until I knew exactly what I was talking about to talk about it.

I think talking about epic swords is a good idea. And no- that is not what I mean.

One of the first epic swords was Excalibur. A wonderful weapon made for killing knights.

Then we have the Vorpal Blade- a slayer of monsters. It slew the Jabberwocky.

Finally, in this very short post, there is Frostmourne. It drains your soul and turns you into a zombie (our other potential topic of conversation today). Thats badass. Plus it has a serrated edge. How many longswords can claim that?

DOOM!

The name is Doom. Doctor Doom.

(Taken in Nagrand)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Elitest Jerkness

I am currently gearing up my paladin- Alenena, to tank raids (her gear may be displayed as Ret).

Anyways, right now all of my gear is iLv 232 or better- this means it is all t9 equivalent.

The ONLY possible upgrade from emblems of triumph (for my prot spec) is the 245 Helm. However, since no plate tanking helms drop in ICC 10 Reg, which is what I run, I have devoted my frost emblems to getting that particular tier piece. Following that I will occasionally upgrade my other slots with items that I can get as I get the frost.

However, as a not serious raider, I have trouble getting many frost. This means that I have to be very careful on what I purchase with my emblems.

Yes, I could do theory crafting and figure out which piece I need to get when, but it would take a lot of work. I would need to figure out my personal BiS set which is fairly unique- unlike most raiders, I have yet to progress past the first four bosses of ICC and I feel that it will be a while until my guild can successfully pass them.

This means I need to wait each stat and figure out the likely hood of each item dropping, and then the likely hood of me winning it.

So, rather than doing all that work, I'm just finding the items I'm least likely to get, aiming for those first and my selection method- after I get 2piece t10- will be prettiest first.

Lighttrails

I really like bright lights that leave a trail of glow behind them- like the netherdrake's wings.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bubble!

Whichever paladin cast this Divine Intervention is good. He covered the whole area and let them do stuff while in the bubble (not affecting the outside tho).

My bubble of happiness

I'm not referring to Divine Protection, Divine Shield, Divine Intervention or Hand of Protection.

Nor am I referring to Sacred shield or Power Word: Shield.

What I am referring to is my comfort zone. Right now my comfort zone is tanking on DK, Druid and Pally or DPSing on a Demo lock or Paladin. Anything else and I'm hopelessly confused and discomforted. However, with a little training, I can fix those comfort issues.

However, there are things in life that I cannot change. While my guild has been running ICC, I've been regularly paired with a certain bear tank and we have learned to understand each other's strategies, the pulls and the boss fights in conjunction. This week we had another bear who really wanted to tank. Since we are a casual guild, we let him. He had never tanked in a raid before (on any toon), was new to tanking, and had only been to ICC once before.

It took a while for him to grasp some concepts that I understand very well (mainly because I've been tanking at 80 for a year now). And there were certain pulls where I wouldn't have needed to say a word to my regular CT (co-tank) but I had to explain the whole strategy- beginning, middle and end.

Additionally, I have seen several players in my guild wear what one of them called their 'Frankenstein Suit'. They have been paladins and they have worn a mish-mash of gear. They wore SP plate, tanking plate and DPS plate. Their non-armor pieces were tanking, caster, and both agi and str based dps pieces. This frightens me and is way outside my zone of comfort. But I can learn to work with them and hope that if it all goes to shit, they can take over one of the other two rolls they are semi-geared for.

Reality

Today, on the the Icecrown Gunship Battle, one of my guildies made an interesting observation.

"I am on a motorcycle, on a boat, in the air."

Another guildie responded with

"Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."

Now, the original statement is 'Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' However, I feel that this statement works as well. But thats not my point here.

WoW has to have some barrier which it chooses not to cross to remain the game that it is. With original WoW, there were some elevators, guns, and a hovering tram-way. Since then we have also gained spaceships (in TBC) and in Wrath, we got steam-powered vehicles, airships, and other weird technologies.

Come Cataclysm, we have been promised submarines. It is very interesting to see the in-game technology progress, but have old technology be just a powerful, if not better. The best mechanical flying mount is only 280% but natural (as natural as celestial steeds, skeletan gryphons and dragons are) mounts can go faster.

If WoW advances too much more, we will be carrying around gattling guns and combat knives....

If we get to the point where we get lightsabers, I will be very confused. But very happy as well.

Faces

There are faces in the jewels... they want to eat me. Help me. Please.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A fun game!

Rather than give you a REAL post, I've decided to cheat a little.
Ain't that a purty pony? Yeah- so I got the lag problem. But here, when you be lagging- try playing this!



Servant of the Dragonmaw

While doing the Netherwing quests you get turned into an orc. It looks SOOO cool!

You all should start the rep grind.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vanity Titles

I have many titles on Alenena, they are as follows:

The Explorer
Champion of the Frozen Wastes
Jenkins
The Argent Champion
Ambassador
Of the Shattered Sun
The Hallowed
Brewmaster
Matron
Flame Warden
The Noble
The Love Fool
Elder
Merrymaker
Crusader
of Gnomergan
of Stormwind
of Ironforge
of Darnassus
of the Exodar
Bloodsail Admiral

Yeah- thats a lot of titles- but I would like to see more. Not just for my toon, but for other people as well. I think that getting to max level should grant everyone the title [Class] [Name] or [Name] the [Class]. Then, doing something above and beyond would get significant recognition and a superior class title- such as Light-Blessed for paladins, Hand of Elune for druids, Magister for mages etc...

This 'above and beyond' would be something really cool and probably class limited. It may be something like getting Benediction for a priest or challenging a particular mob built to fight the individual.

Probably the easiest way to do this is to create a fight balance for each class (so ten different mobs) and attach slaying it to a quest. The quest could be accessed from any capital-city trainer and they would send you to an arena to fight. It would be a one person instance and the enemy would be designed for your class, perhaps even your spec. Paladins would fight an undead monstrosity, warlocks would fight a demon, death knights would be challenged by a member of the Scarlet Crusade etc....

But this is just an idea.

More Black Temple

It be Illidan! The Betrayer! Now that would be a title I would work for. What would it be- cause 100 wipes? Kill 100,000 players of your own faction (Arena)?

What do you think it should be?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

WoW in Real Life: Compilation

I've finally finished all the WoW in Real Life pieces- at least the first round. When the next expac comes around, I may have had enough experience to fill out this list better- but who knows. Anyways, they are as follows, in alphabetic (and chronological) order.

And you think your weather is bad

Yeah- nothing can be Shadowmoon Valley for bad environment. The volcanoes don't spew lava- they spew lava spewing demons. And it doesn't rain rain, or even rain hail. It rains meteors- that summon demons. So yes- go outside, because relatively it is a glorious day.

WoW in Real Life: Warriors

Ok, so I have never leveled a warrior past 12, so I don't know the vast majority of warrior abilities. Anyhow, this is my best guess at what cool abilities warriors have that one might want in real life and can't get from training. Because, really, a person could train themselves so that they could duel-wield two-handed weapons and even bladestorm with them- which would be absolutely broken.

First up I would pick the buff shouts. Just by yelling you can make yourself (and your nearby friends) stronger and increase their stamina. Just get kinda angry, shout, and turn into the hulk.

Next up is hamstring. Now, you can argue that you can hamstring someone in real life, but this only lasts for fifteen seconds. If someone is really hamstringed, well then they'll have trouble walking for a VERY long time. This can just inflict a serious wound on someone without leaving permanent damage.

Finally we have heroic leap. It isn't in any spell books yet, but it seems pretty epic. You can jump something to the order of 20 yards from a standing start and end by creating a shockwave on landing. It would be first except for the fact that it doesn't exist yet.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

WoW in Real Life: Warlocks

I've been a long time in doing this, so I might as well get back on track.

So- Warlocks have a large number of utility spells that are mighty interesting.

Leading by at least a dozen miles is Metamorphosis. You become a demon. With that ability come the abilities to radiate fire, get hit by a truck and not feel it, and cleave your opponents in twain. Plus, you have wings and you're a demon!

Next we have Ritual of Summoning. Who needs cars? Once you have three friends over at your place, you can summon anyone you want in the entire world just by 'targeting' them in your mind.

Then there are all the demons that warlocks can summon. Yeah- thats a lot of demons. Sadly, Warlocks can't control them all at the same time (it would be really cool if they did, except they were all ridiculously weakened so they would not be effective at all). You have all sorts of various capabilities, you have ranged damage, a tank, a CC'er, a anti-magic one and a melee dps. The last two are not permanent pets, but rather need to be enslaved.

Finally we have the Warlocks teleportation capabilities. You can go back up to forty yards away. This means that you can jump off a hundred foot building and just teleport back before you hit the ground.

Demo A Demo

So maybe I have a bunch of friends backing me up, but I punched Illidan Stormrage.

And I was in demon form. You can't beat that level of Bad-Assery.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Celestial Pony!

So- the big deal in WoW is the Celestial Steed.

There is a lot of good in this mount.

It is a BoA that gets sent to all of your characters. Past, present and future.

It scales with your riding ability. This means that your lv 20 will be able to ride this at a 60% movement increase and your loaded lv 80 with epic flying and a 310% flying proto-drake will be able to walk the skies at 310%.

The only downside is that it costs $25. Now- Lil KT and the Pandaren Monk each cost $10 with $5 of the monk going to charity (for the first few months it was on sale). The new Lil XT also costs $10. The Gryphon and Wyvern pets each cost $25 but in addition to getting a pet in game, you get a high-quality medium sized plushie in real life.

The big argument is about whether or not it is 'fair' for Blizzard to offer this mount to us. The pets have absolutely no in game benefit- except for being part of some regular achievements.

However, if you buy the Celestial Steed, you will never have to buy a mount again. You save 1g at 20, 50g at 40, 100g at 60 and the pain and effort of getting an epic mount. If you DO want to get to 310% you will have to grind one out, get lucky or perhaps wait until Cataclysm as it has been reported that all epic flying mounts may be bumped to 310%- it may also be that if you have a 310% then the rest will be bumped appropriately.

Ret Bull gives me wings!

Wings! Horsies! Happiness!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Essay on Alternate Methods of Encouragement and Rating

This is not an essay. This is just a fancy title.

Anyways, the concept is to reward raiders in methods other than the usual.

When a raider enters a raid, they expect to get a small amount of gold and perhaps some loot. In some cases, when the raid is on farm, they can get some disenchant mats.

However, if there are promises of other rewards, they may attempt to perform better, especially if rewards are linked to performance.

Standard practices include:
  1. Reward the Best DPS
  2. Reward the Best Healer
  3. Reward the tank that takes the least damage.
However, those methods all have their weak points. The 'best' dps may just target the boss the whole way through- even when you're supposed to be focusing on the adds. The 'best' healer may just stand there and heal themselves and the tank- ignoring their other utilities and players. The 'best' tank may just be the off tank and only have to fight occasional adds that are burned down quickly.

However, there are alternate methods.

You can reward the person who takes the least amount of damage. This is good for the raid because then healers can focus on the tanks, rather than that hunter that is standing in the fire.

Give a reward to the tanks for most damage taken with fewest deaths. This indicates that they held threat on the most damaging of enemies, but managed to survive.

You can give rewards for bad-assery, creative strategies and other unique things.

Bad-assery awards include:
  1. Solo-tanking Marrowgar when the OT died at about 95%.
  2. Doing the most DPS- while your fishing pole is equipped.
  3. Tanking the boss- as a mage.
Creative strategy awards include:
  1. The "Maybe we should try CC this time" technique.
  2. The "Lets have our healers not be in dps specs" tactic.
  3. The "Lets not let Righteous Fury fall off in the middle of the fight" strategy.
  4. The "Doctrine says CC and single target. WotLK says AoE is teh best!"
And be creative with your rewards- give out gold, pets, pet rocks, monocles etc...

Mammoths!

Yes. The Famous Dalaran Parade of Mammoths has come to Ursin. I got there for the final screenshot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life Forms of 61 Vir D

61 Vir D is a real planet. This piece was a class assignment. We were to select an extra-solar planet, and then, using the minimal data we had, invent the life forms that live on that planet.

TL;DWR*? Aliens. In space. Fictional tho.

The planet known as 61 Vir D is the third planet in the of the system classified as 61 Virginis. There are two other planets in the system, 61 Vir B and 61 Vir C. 61 Vir B has a mass of five times that of the planet Sol D (colloquially: Earth) and is located at a distance of approximately .05 AU away from the sun. 61 Vir C is slightly more than three times the mass of 61 Vir B coming in at a mass of eighteen times that of Earth. It is four times the distance away from the sun as 61 Vir B, and is at a distance of .21 AU. The third planet, 61 Vir D has been classified as a Super-Earth. 61 Vir D has a mass of nearly twenty-three times that of Earth and it is located just outside the Habitable Zone. The sun of the zone is slightly smaller than Sol (the Earth sun) and therefore the planet is within a modified habitable zone line.

Planet 61 Vir D, to be known colloquially as Vurd, has collected several moons, ranging in size. As of the current research, no signs of life have been found on any of the moons, identified as 61 Vir D I, II, III and IV. The planet itself has a one-hundred twenty-three (Earth)day long orbital period and a rotational period of thirty-nine hours, leaving the planet with just seventy-five local days in a local year. Because of the nearness of the sun and the amount of time spent sun-ward each day, the planet has a constant rain cycle. There are few major oceans, but the smaller lakes can be extremely affected by fourteen hours in direct sunlight. Often, the lakes and ponds will shrink noticeably over the course of the day, only to be replenished by the nearly nightly rainfall. A portion of the problem comes from the somewhat thick atmosphere of the planet. Because of its immense size and mass, Vurd holds a thick atmosphere close to the surface. This leads to what has been called 'The Runaway Greenhouse Effect.' It when the heat of the sun begins to evaporate the lakes, it thickens the atmosphere, causing more evaporation and a thicker atmosphere. At the height of the days heat, midday, it is almost certainly fatal to go out into the open. However, when night comes around, the dark side of the planet has time to cool off and with the occurrence of precipitation, the atmosphere is thinner, ready to begin another day of evaporation and precipitation.

Vurd has both terrestrial and aquatic species. They have many fish-like animals in the oceans, but they are considerably larger than Earth fish. Because of the greater mass of Vurd, there is a significantly increased gravity, causing there to be more of a counter to it than on Earth. Therefore, aquatic creatures have massive swim bladders. The most fish like have the bladders inside them and appear to be merely larger versions of Earth fish. However, a strange species known as the Nulur have their sacks open directly into the ocean. They have a long, needle-shaped body with two large sacs to either side of their rear fin. The design of the bladders is very advantageous when try to escape a predator. There are no vital organs or major blood-paths in them so they act as a sort of cushion to any external blows, be they crushing or shredding. If they are punctured or if the Nulur notices it's predator, deflating them narrows the profile of the fish allowing to escape. It can now more easily propel itself forward and, without the swim bladders to lift it up, it begins to glide downwards. In addition to the Nulur there are many fish that use the naturally occurring drag caused by the water to keep themselves at their desired level. They have massively wide bodies, sometimes as large as twenty or thirty meters across, but no more than a few centimeters thick. The relatively low density compared to the surface area keeps them at one level for the majority of their lives. Smaller fish and some plants often find homes on their bodies as this means that they too will stay at one level and do not have to worry about getting to close to the surface and the dangers of the sun, nor too deep and closer to the larger aquatic beings. There are very few amphibians on Vurd because they would have to go across the surface on a regular basis and the heat of day could quickly dehydrate and kill them.

Despite the sun, there are still many terrestrial species that live on the land. The planet is formed of various tectonic plates so mountains and ridges have been formed. In some cases, rifts and canyons have been created, some only meters deep, others measuring kilometers. There are open plains, some with lakes and other bodies of water, but there are very few plants in these exposed areas, and those that are there are low and widespread so as to be able to soak as much water out of the dry ground as they can during the day. Some small animals, similar to Earth's lizards and moles burrow in the ground near the lakes. During the day, they stay within their shaded holes and at night they emerge to eat from the the plants and drink from the replenished waters. Over time, the construction of the burrows has become more advanced. Due to the large amounts of rain, the burrowing animals sometimes create two pairs of tunnels. One leads horizontally out, to there sleeping locations. The others are directed downward to create wells that can potentially last through the day.

In the mountains and on the ridges, there are more plants. Depending on geography, some of these plants grow to be much larger. Because they are in the shadow of the mountain or the ridge for a significant portion of the day, less water is evaporated so more water can be consumed. The animal life in these sections grow to be no larger than the largest Earth dogs. Because of the extra relief the shade of the mountain gives, they spend more of their time hunting and eating than the plains animals so they can afford to grow larger. When the sun does reach over the peak of the mountain, the vast majority retreat to caves. Smaller animals can hide within trees or in burrows. These animals, as well as the animals in the rifts and canyons would seem very odd to a visitor from Earth. They are proportionately wider and shorter than would be expected and many have exoskeletons. Their body proportions are strange because of the much greater gravity on Vurd than of Earth. Their proportions allow them to be many times more stable as does the exoskeleton. An additional benefit of the exoskeleton is that it can absorb and reflect some of the sunlight, allowing these animals more leeway in their hunting hours. The smaller animals are much more akin to standard expectations because of their lifestyle. Living near their food and water supply means that they do not often have to move, so they do not have to deal with the constant strain against gravity. Also, when they are being chased by larger animals, they have superior mobility and have a greater sprinting capability. However, they do not have the physical structure to be able to flee for a long period of time so they must find their destination.
Within the rifts and canyons, some of the most exciting life forms make their homes. These life forms are considerably more intelligent than the majority of the other species on Vurd. They would be akin to Earth's apes. In appearance they are generally short- a tall one being over a meter in height. They have powerful exoskeletons as well as endoskeletons. The exoskeleton is there for protection as well as for the improved support that it supplies its internal skeleton. An apt comparison would be a turtle, standing on its hind legs. However, these Jikta's have three pairs of legs, so that when they stand, their rear four are on the ground. In addition, instead of the flat foot that turtles have, its forward two pairs of appendages can either curl into fists with external armor for walking on, or extend into hands with four claws, one of them being an opposable thumb. The Jikta have begun to develop crude tools to aid in their lives. For the most part their tools are simply sharpened rocks for breaking the exoskeletons of other animals. The planet known as Vurd, or 61 Vir D has a wide variety of both aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants. Life on the planet manages to cling on despite the often lethal daylight hours and the constant cycle of evaporation and precipitation. Finally analysis is to consider 61 Vir D for continued study, but not as a potential colonization location.


*TL;DWR=Too Long; Don't Wanna Read?

Blue prints

This is a semi-glitchy view of the lower level of the first wing of Icecrown Citadel. I have an extended camera range and it needs to be at max range for this to appear, so it would slightly difficult to find. The nearer room is where Lady Deathwhisper is and the farther is the chamber which held Lord Marrowgar.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

200!

This is my 200th post. I would consider doing something special, but that may have to wait until I read the Paladin class changes list. Because of this landmark number of posts, I will be plugging this wherever I can and I will hope that I get many new readers.

If you ARE a new reader, first off, I apologize for the lack of sense many of my titles make (and some sentences).

Additionally, if you go to the directory, you should be able to find links to a couple sets of articles that you may or may not be interested in.

To be added to that collection in the near future are:
The 'WoW in Real Life' posts. A collection of posts looking at each class and naming some in game abilities that I would want in real life.
The 'Early Leveling Guide: The First 20 levels' this will be coming out slower and I will only write on those that I have leveled appropriately.

Man the Walls!

...So that you can kill the ghastly, ghostly curse-casting guards.

Monday, April 12, 2010

When Real Life Interferes

When you play WoW, you often hear the phrase, "Real Life is more important than WoW- go do [thing]." Real Life can be substituted with work, family, friends or other things that Real Life consists of.

However, this can sometimes be a problem. If you're raiding and your MT has to go afk for a RL emergency- it could be the end of your raiding that evening. If you have to leave often enough, you will lose your spot.

However, your commitment and promise does mean something even if it is in a game. If you join a PUG raid and say "I may have to leave at some point in the middle." or even if you join an unscheduled guild run, you can back out mid-way through if RL obligations come knocking.

However, I feel that if you sign up for a raid (or some other sort of event) you should go to that event even if there is a real life event- so long as that event is not critical. If you just started the run or even if you're fifteen minutes from raid time, if a friend asks if you want to go out to the movies- let them know about your current obligation. If you would really like to go, be honest with the group and find them a replacement before you leave.

If you just depart saying that you have to go, but don't bother finding a replacement, in a smaller guild the run could just end there. At your command.

So be nice and stay true to your commitments. But if you haven't committed to anything, go ahead with the real life.

Grand Marshal

When 3.3.3 came out, I had the Honor to finish up the missing pieces from my Lv 60 PvP set.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Impossible

As we play along in WoW, what once would have seemed impossible is now easily doable.

At level one you can't imagine fighting a dragon. Even at level sixty, it is absolutely inconceivable that you would be able to fight a dragon alone. But at eighty, many classes can solo Chillmaw.

We've killed dragon lords, demon lords, and now lich lords even old gods.

With the way that WoW is designed, it is impossible that we will ever find an impossible task. We'll just level past it and get the prize at the end.

What I think would be really cool is a 'uncrackable' fortress. The way I'm imagining it it would be an instanced area in the middle of the ocean. It would be a five player instance and you could only attempt it once a day. While zoned in your gear would not take any damage- the whole purpose of the place is to defeat the players.

You would have to start by flying in and avoiding the shot projectiles a la the frostwyrm quest at the end of the Death Knight starter zone. In this zone, and this zone alone, you would be able to use your normal abilities while mounted on any mount- ground or flying. If you got hit by the projectiles your mount would nearly always instantly die and you would fall to the frothing waves below.

Once landed you would be swarmed by several waves of guards- in the fashion of Halls of Reflection or perhaps the trash before Flame Leviathan. Getting off the ramparts would be a gauntlet run, with mobs continuously spawning. If you managed to get off the ramparts you would be in a tower. Climb the tower to activate a lever. Repeat this in the five or six other towers (by crossing more ramparts) to unlock something below.

When you do go down, you will be continuously assaulted by guards. Throughout the instance opposing mages will be communicating to each other your strategies and therefore as long as you are in combat, the enemies will gain combat knowledge and will level up in a manner similar to that of the Icecrown Gunship Battle.

From there, I don't have any particular thoughts, but the whole instance is nearly constant combat and an increasing number of debuffs on the party.

There would only be one boss at the end and the loot dropped would not be significant. There would be areas throughout the instance that could be made easier by having certain classes use unique (or nearly so) abilities. There would be locations that benefit from stealth, pets, curses, magic debuffs, DoTs etc.... One part may require a warlock using his teleport, another where a mage needs to cast mirror image.

The point of each of these specialization areas would be to improve your unique skills in a group without having to worry about repair costs.

As new expansions would be released after the initial launch of 'The Uncrackable Fortress" the enemies within the instance would change their abilities and scale, to keep the problem fresh. By the time we hit lv 100, the flying enemies outside would be easily as strong as Onyxia and the standard guardsmen might be as powerful as the Lich King- but they would be standard guards.

All in all, what I'm saying is that it would be nice to have something that can always be returned to and is always 'progression' material.

However, if the mobs scaled, they would not give experience, because otherwise players could spend all their time in the one instance and never see the rest of the game. It is still possible to do that- even now, by turning off exp but the Uncrackable Fortress is something that is meant to be tried on a daily basis- or perhaps even less often like a weekly basis.

The Scarlet Crusade

Their keep and harbor on the this lonely island in Icecrown are very easy to invade. I just flew in and landed on the roof of their cathedral. You would think that they would have something to prevent that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm a healer now

Yesterday was the first time I ever healed an instance.

I mean, I've done healing before on my Paladin, but never Holy specced and very rarely in groups.

When I healed on my pally, it was a Art of War/Flash of Light kinda deal. Additionally, the heals would be during a speed run wherein I was at least 10 levels above content.

But yesterday I actually healed an on level instance with the intent of healing it.

I signed up for Ragefire Chasm as a healer/dps Shaman with a Prot warrior friend. Admittedly I was in heirlooms and he was a good tank, but I didn't have to hit my healing spell more than fifteen or twenty times throughout the instance. It is definitely a good thing that I can enjoy healing because with the new LFD system, it is very helpful if I can heal or tank.

With this event having occurred, you can trust to hear from me in the future regarding healing.

Twister

Believe it or not, yesterday while running AQ 20, I saw non-NPC life forms in Silithus. And they weren't there for the holiday achievement.

Friday, April 9, 2010

WoW in Real Life: Shamans

Shamans have a bunch of cool casting abilities, but most of them are just throwing fire or earth or lightning or green-healy stuff at people. And that is all well and good, but nothing too spectacular.

First up we have Ghost Wolf. You turn into a wolf. And you're a ghost. A ghostly, ghastly, wondrous wolf. Incredibly awesome. And cool. And you're a wolf. Who people can't see. Cuz you're a ghost. And a wolf.

Second up have Feral Spirit. What's better than one ethereal wolf? Two ethereal wolves. However, you're not one of them in this case- they just follow you around. So it isn't quite as awesome.

Finally we have Thunderstorm. Not only do you rejuvenate your energy slightly, but you also push everything within 20 yards of you to twenty yards away. And you get hit by a bolt of lightning to prove that you are a BAMF.

Fel-Fire and Brimstone

I found a fun new way to kill low level mobs.



Run through them.

Laugh.

C is for Corpse Explosion

Yeah. It blows them up. And if you're a Unholy Forsaken DK, you can blow up their corpse, eat it and then raise a ghoul from it. Yeah- thats called serious desecration.

B is for Bad-Players

Don't be one.

Bad players can be classified by a few key things.

  1. Swearing, esp repeatedly. Now, it isn't ALWAYS a bad player, but if they are swearing to the group then they have anger issues/skill issues. If they're swearing as part of their standard means of communications eg. whispers/g-chat conversation, it is not as much of an indicator.
  2. Standing in the fire. Yeah- they die. You don't want to be that one.
  3. Pulling mobs/trash that the tank didn't want pulled yet. Sometimes, if they know the tank, it could be that they know the load the tank can handle- but often its not a good sign. However, if they only pull one pack in a few runs, it could very easily be a tab-target error.
  4. Boasting. Those who claim to have skills generally don't.
  5. Mis-gearing. Now, I try not to be an Elitist or a Jerk, but if you are wearing tanking gear and trying to DPS or heal, or healing gear and trying to tank- shame on you. Now, at lower levels it is quite possible- but at end game, gear precisely for your role. Gem and enchant for it as well.
  6. AFKness. Now, often real-life can interfere and that is fine. However, if they repeatedly go afk- that can be bad.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A is for Auto Attack

Auto Attack. The silliest prize.

It is something that is vital to melee dps, but it is rather silly. They have it on your action bar when you start playing a melee class, but you never actually hit it, except to stop attacking, which can often be achieved by moving away or turning around.

Auto attack is also bound to the 'T' button, which I rebind to something more useful, because- I never use auto attack.

Nonetheless, it remains an important part of the game. Many high level players still have their basic melee as a significant portion of their DPS.

Tomorrow (being sometime in the nebulous potential future) we'll find out what B is for.

Belly-tanking

Please examine that chest piece closely. I'm a tank guys! The point of wearing armor is to NOT get stuck in the stomach with the bad-guy's claws. This does not help!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

WoW in Real Life: Rogues

Rogues are a trick one. Most of their abilities are knife tricks, so you can already learn those in real life.

However, there are a cool few abilities that they do have.

Far and away, the number one rogue ability is vanish. Now, stealth is pretty cool, but the ability to vanish is far superior. Even if you're interacting with someone, you can disappear. If you are getting yelled at by someone you'll be in 'combat' so you can't stealth. Just smoke-bomb on a cloudy day and disappear into the shadows.

Number two you have stealth. Similar to vanish, you disappear from sight, but you can't be in combat. It also allows you to pick-pocket and sap without being seen.

Finally, we have evasion. When you hit evasion- you go into bullet-time. Matrixesque. You can dodge bullets. That come out of guns. Pointed at you. Thats pretty gnarly.

Good Sir Squire

I just found this 'lil fella in Acherus, after you liberate it. Ain't he a cutie?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Leveling Guide: The Early Rogue 1-20

So. When I leveled my rogue I have to admit that I skipped from levels 3 to 30 by using the Recruit-A-Friend function.

Anyways, rogues have a unique playstyle, in that the use a quickly regenerating resource- energy.

As you level, you should plan on getting behind your target and stabbing them to death quickly and efficiently. Be sure to keep all your health potions and your foods as rogues can have survivability issues- perhaps moreso than any other class. All the other classes except warriors can either heal themselves or kite their enemy. Warriors, unlike rogues were built to withstand damage and can hold off more enemies.

To help survive, level cooking and first aid so you have a steady supply of health suppliers. Additionally, picking up herbalism for Lifeblood is a good move.

When picking your spec, figure out what you want to focus on. Both Assassination and Combat give strong damage output but Subtlety can allow you to avoid mobs you don't need to fight.

For all of them, having a slow main-hand can be very helpful because it has a higher upper damage limit which allows your abilities to hit harder.

Assassination is a crit-heavy spec so you want to gear for Agility (which lends to both AP and Crit) or crit itself. While AP is still useful- it is not nearly as useful as the others. If you want to go with Assassination, I would recommend starting with this spec.

Combat is based on two-weapon fighting and improving your chance to hit. Talents add to hit and expertise as well as focusing on specific weapons. In this and future guides I will not suggest which of those to take, because at you can spend those points elsewhere, depending upon your gear. i would begin assigning your points in this fashion.

Subtlety is focused entirely on avoiding unnecessary fights and being able to sap or blind targets that you don't want to fight, but are too close. With this spec, you will be able to dodge higher level mobs with a great deal more confidence.

Jewelcrafting at its finest

Go go faux healing stream totem!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Directory installed

I've finally figured out how to post other pages. At the top of the page, below the title, you can see a link to the Directory.

Right now the Directory has minimal directions, but over time, when I have the patience, I will collect other pieces that should be brought together in a similar fashion.

Other pages similar to the Directory will be added, including the (eventually) full leveling guide for each class (as far as I can go with that). It is also possible that I will add other parts.

As another side note, I have achieved over 100 unique visitors to the site, a milestone of which I am proud.

Finally, this post is an experiment in Html, wherein I'm trying some other code. It is quite possible that you will not see anything special, but there may be more in the future.

POWA

I Feel the POWA!

Lightning Shield refresh reminders brought to you by Power Auras Classic. POWA to the Player!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

WoW In Real Life: Priests

Priests have a couple really cool abilities. Now, as I have not played a priest and don't know anyway who has, my knowledge is fairly limited. Heals are boring as are most of the Shadow Priest abilities- sure they have a lot mind-exploding abilities, but shrinks have those already.

Anyways, onto the list. First up we have Shadowform. Now, the actually abilities that go along with it aren't that interesting but you turn into a shadow. You're all stealthy-like. And a shadow- you're there- but you're not. It is epic.

And number two on this pathetically short list is Levitate. It is one of my favorite spells in the game- you just float there- and if you fall off a building, well, you can levitate so you don't kill your self.

Is it a Bug?

Yesterday, upon entering Dalaran, I came across and interesting bug- no one was on their mounts. I did some research and the bug is called "LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG". It is a well known problem but there is not way to fix it. This specific instance is called "Lagaran".

Friday, April 2, 2010

Looking Back

Today seems like an excellent day to look back.

I did a couple retro-raids (MC and the last couple bosses of BWL) and I have just finished three months worth of this blog.

I completely forgot about doing this for February, so I'm going to cover both months.

In February I covered the two holidays, Love is in the Air and the Lunar Festival.

Later in the month I started the Greedy Gronko Grand Gold Gathering Guide series, which poured over into March. A compilation of the set can be found here.

Right on the tail of that I began the WoW in Real Life series which I'm still working on and then also began working on class guides for levels 1-20.

And every day, I gave you images for your perusal. If you have any topic ideas or any screenshots you wish to submit, email me at eldritchreign@gmail.com

On a Horse

I am the face of Judgement. And I'm on a horse. Run horsie, run!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Leveling Guide: The Early Shaman 1-20

Now, this is going to be an interesting article to write, seeing as I don't have any shamans above level 19. That does give me some experience, but I've mostly played for the experience as a resto-ele Twink.

When you start out, you have your lighting and you heal. Just cast lightning a couple times, and then melee them, or if you don't seem to be having any mana troubles, keep on the lightning.

You'll get a chance to quest for your first totem at level four. You don't need to drop your totems for every fight, but they can be very helpful. If you know that there will be trouble, be sure to drop your totems before the pull, because otherwise you will waste valuable time during combat.

As you level you will gain more totems, and at level twelve you can begin the quest for your fire totem. For both factions, it requires large amounts of running around, more so for the Horde than for the Alliance.

Another thing to note is that your 'Shock' spells have a shared cooldown, before level 20 you will only have Earth Shock and Flame Shock.

You will additionally get spells that enhance your weapons- you will want to keep those up at all times as well.

Finally, you will get Lightning Shield, a free spell that creates a magical presence around you (like Thorns or Retribution Aura) so that the next three melee attacks damage the attacker.

If you want to go Elemental, which is the Shaman's ranged caster spec, I would suggest starting with these talents.

If you pick Enhancement, the Shaman's melee spec, I would say that these are your best choices.

Finally, if you want to heal instances and level through the Random Dungeon finder system, I would say you should start by picking these talents.

Skullz

The Lich King loves skulls. In fact, he went so far as to hire Martha Stewart to help place over two billion skulls in his quaint Northrend home.

WoW in Real Life: Paladins

Paladins are a utility-hybrid class. This means that they have a large number of abilities that can be used for various funtions. Anyways, there are five abilities that paladins have that I would want in real life.

Number one by a huge margin is Avenger's Shield. You fling out your shield and it bounces around like Captain America's. Coolest ability ever! Also, the Cap was part of the team known as the Avengers. Thank You Blizzard for being awesome.

More realistically, I would love to have Divine Shield. Immunity to everything for twelve seconds. Aliens attacking? Pop it. Falling from an airplane and realize you don't have your parachute equiped? Pop it.

Next on my list is Cleanse. Unlike most of what else I have mentioned, this would be very useful. It gets rid of a poison and a disease. Poof- no more cancer and no more arsenic.

Thirdly I would pick Hand of Protection. This is not nearly as powerful as Divine shield, but it is much more useful. You can toss this out on someone else who is not being assailed by magical means (which are non-existent in this world) and save them from harm for ten seconds.

Lastly, I would choose Beacon of Light. You could stick the beacon on a very ill person in a hospitable and whenever there was any healing done to another patient in the same ward, the beaconed patient would become slightly better.

R for Retribution

Except that I'm prot. But that doesn't matter.