Archive for October, 2008

Back to Hallows End

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I personally had been chased out of WoW for a couple days by the Scourge Invasion that took place over the last week. Thankfully that’s over, so I can get back to business as usual. In this case, it involved completing a few more Hallows End achievements. What transpired has me in a fairly good mood.

I finished up the Tricks and Treats of the Eastern Kingdoms before the invasion started, and had a leg up on it’s western equivalent, Tricks and Treats of Kalimdor before I took the time off. During my tricking and treating across Kalimdor, I got the female Troll mask and the female Undead mask, which satisfied me more then a penny pouch. When I hit up the last candy bucket on my itinerary, on Bloodmyst Isle, I stopped by the innkeeper to trick-or-treat, and what do you think I got? If you voted ‘penny pouch,’ you’re thankfully wrong. No, I got the Sinister Squashling! I actually got something nice out of this whole ordeal, which makes me very, very happy. It sits right next to my Mechanical Squirrel and Wolpertinger in my inventory now. I figured I’d never see one, but I scored for once.

Hallows End isn’t that bad, after all.

Happy Hallows End? Maybe.

It’s Hallows End in World of Warcraft now, and I’ve been taking in what I can. Here’s my take so far.

  • The Shade of the Headless Horseman who attacks low-level villages isn’t particularly tough to deal with, if you’ve got a dedicated group of players. I’ve passed through Kharnos in Dun Morogh three times during his attacks, and not once have I seen him beaten back. However, I’ve helped hold him off four times in Goldshire. I must say though, that whoever does his voice needs commended. He’s spot-on perfect and great fun to listen to. Listen to THIS CLIP to see what I mean.
  • I must, however, complain about the rewards for the Shade of the Horseman event. As I said, I’ve done it three times and I’ve gotten candy, Weighted Jack-o-Lanterns, and – the stupidest thing I’ve yet seen in WoW – a Penny Pouch. Yes, that’s a 1-slot bag. I wanted a flimsy mask or maybe even one of those cheesy broom mounts, but no, I get this stupid sack. Rip off!
  • So far, I’ve nabbed possibly the three easiest achievements available: Trick or Treat, Savior of Hallow’s End and That Sparkling Smile. I’ve also completed the Hallow’s End Treats for Jesper quest, which involved clucking, flexing, dancing and impersonating a train for various people around Azeroth for candy.
  • Hallow’s End Pumpkin Treats are fun, what with their random shape changing effects. I’ve gotten the pirate appearance, the big-and-orange one, the skeleton one, and the floating ghost one. The ghost one looks cool, but ultimately has it’s drawbacks. I got stuck in the Stormwind Auction House because of it! Seriously, I couldn’t fit back out the door, so eat Pumpkin Treats with care.

In less Hallow’s End related news, my goal of getting Gavelier to level 55 prior to Wrath of the Lich King has been reached: I dinged 55 last night. Death Knight, here I come!

Druids are my Bane

I just had a bad experience in WoW that has deepened my disdain for druids. I initially became apprehensive of them as Lug, my Tauren hunter, when I’d pass their training areas in Mulgore and they’d be filled with hippie-style beads. Now, since hitting the 40s as Gav, I’ve had two less then stellar encounters with druids. My first meeting came when the innkeeper at the Gilded Rose in in Stormwind’s Trade District sent me to Darnassus on a quest to speak to Arch Druid Staghelm. This dude is a crack-pot, no two ways about it. He whined and moaned about me being there, and then told me to go get Un’Goro soil. I was in the mid-40s, Un’Goro Crater is for around level 50 players, and I’m supposed to go there to get dirt?? Hell no, I said, and went to the auction house and bought up more then 50 units of soil. I figured I’d sell back whatever he didn’t need. Well, next thing I know I’m trying to cultivate seeds with it to get 10 units of Morrowgrain. I use up all my soil, get four pieces of morrowgrain, buy more soil, get everything BUT morrowgrain, and then finally give up and buy the stupid morrowgrain straight out to satisfy him. In the end, I spent over 30 gold to make this turkey happy (if you count the 2 gold I paid a mage to port my to Darnassus in the first place). I was mad as heck, but I was done with him.

Fast forward to today. I’m level 54 now, and I talk to the town crier in Ironforge who sends me back to Darnassus to speak to someone who wants me. I don’t pay attention to who, so much, just that I need to get to Darnassus and look for a yellow question mark. I get to the Cenarion area of Darnassus and I’ll be damned if I didn’t recognize the building I was headed towards. I was en route to another oh-so-happy meeting with my friend Arch Dunce Staghelm. Needless to say, he welcomed me with closed arms and hostile words, and sent me off to see his subordinate. His subordinate sent me to Moonglade. Now, Gav had never been there before, but I knew about it. It’s the training ground for druids, and since I’d played a Night Elf druid up to level 14, I knew that druids teleported there. So how was I supposed to get there on foot? By going through Timbermaw Hold, evidently. I’d seen while reading the achievement list that came with the new patch that there was an achievement to be had by befriending Timbermaw Hold, so I thought I’d get a start on that while I was there. I walked in, and the first furbolg I encountered was happy to see me – I think he was hungry. What I’m trying to say is that he tried to KILL ME! I defended myself with no problem, but I was instantly Hostile with the Hold. Great. Now I’m running through, trying not to hurt anyone else, and I come across a hub room. I take the easiest path out, and when I exit the Hold, I’m in snow. Dammit! I apparently took a wrong turn and ended up in Winterspring, which is a little too tough a place for me to hang out in. So I turn to run back and try the other path and what do I see but 5,000 teddy bears charging out of the tunnel! I’d apparently aggro’d the entire freaking Hold on my way through. I burst through them and ran towards to tunnel I’d passed and guess what? There were even more Winnie-the-Pooh wannabe’s in that tunnel! I’m down to under 500 HP now from over 3,400, and I keep getting hit with movement impeding debuffs, so I drink a potion, use my Divine Shield spell, and keep running. I make it out of the tunnel with a little under 1,000 HP remaining after the potion and the spell wore off. I HATE furbolgs now, and I’m mad at Staghelm for sending me through that hellhole.

Well, I’m in Moonglade now. I find my way to the person I’m supposed to see, complete the quest, but pass on the new chain that would lead me to Silithus, because I’m not going there any time soon. I head to the nearest flight masters, where I’m told I can’t catch a flight there because – what else? – I’m not a druid! No ****ing duh! C’mon, people, I just want to get HOME! I finally find my way to Stormrage Barrow Dens, where I caught a flight back to Darkshore, at which point I took the boat to Stormwind.

Did I mention that I hate druids?

My Breaking Point with Power Levelers

I’ve hit my breaking point with power levelers. You know, the folks who think hitting the level cap as fast as humanly possible is the best way to play. There was someone on WOW Insider who was derided for only being level 48 a year into playing the game. People, STFU. There’s more to the game then maxing everything out as fast as possible. Believe it or not, there’s allot of content for lower levels that you’ll miss by leveling as fast as you humanly can. I enjoyed my adventures in Westfall, and had I rushed through it, I’d never have got as much out of it as I did. Leveling from 1 to 70 in a few weeks? Where’s the fun there? The only time I condone power leveling is with an alt where you’ve already seen everything that the alt is going to be doing or to reach a milestone. For me, I’m shooting for Gavelier to reach level 55 so I can get a Death Knight upon WotLK’s release.  I’m currently at 53 and anything after 55 is going to be a bonus. I’ve been playing since March this year and Gav is ‘only’ at level 53, and none of my half-dozen alts are over level 20. So? What’s wrong with that? I’m enjoying myself, thank you very much. Sure, I’d love to get Lug (my Tauren hunter) or Budman to a high level to play with their class’s better toys, but I’m playing at MY pace. That’s it. That’s the sum of this discussion. Play at your pace, and tell those power levelers to f*** off. And you can tell ‘em Alpha said so.

A Moment to Discuss Contractions

I’d like to take a moment of your time to discuss with you the geographic ecology issues in World of Warcraft. Take, for example, the dwarven homeland of Dun Morogh. This icy tundra sits smack dab inside a triangle formed by the semi-tropical Wetlands, the arid Badlands, and the fiery Searing Gorge. WTF? How is this possible? There’s no indication that Dun Morogh is sitting atop a precipice, and therefore should have no way of supporting all of that snow.

Following that train of thought, in central Kalimdor you’ll find allot of hot and/or arid zones. The Barrens, Thousand Needles, Tanaris, Desolace, the Stonetalon Mountains, and Silithus come to mind. However, right smack dab in the middle of all of that you’ll find Feralis and Un’Goro Crater. Again, how is this supposed to be possible? Up north, you come across Winterspring and it’s arctic climes in the same area as Felwood, Darkshore and Azshara. I’m not sure I follow all of this.

On a less blatant note, Westfall seems awful arid for being just west of the lush Elwynn Forest. I suppose I can ignore that, and assume that Elwynn Forest sits in the middle of a rain band while Westfall is just outside of it. In any case, this is a very, very weird world. And don’t even get me started on the fact that weather ceases to exist once inside major cities. That doesn’t even make a remote bit of sense. I suppose it’s not important, but I think about it enough that I had to bring it up here. If anyone has an answer, lemme know. I’d honestly like to hear it.

New Look, Same Content

Hey all. Welcome to the new-look Alazar. Like most of my blog edits, this one was made to facilitate easier access and posting. Be sure to let me know what you think!

Catching up with Gavelier

I figured it was time to catch everyone up on my whereabouts in WoW, so here’s what’s going on.

I, as Gavelier, recently spent a long stretch of time in Kalimdor, using Gadgetzan and Darnassus as my bases of operation. I went to Felwood and Azshara for the first time while up north and did my first real foray into Un’Goro Crater. When I wasn’t visiting new zones, I was trying to level up and grind rep with Darnassus. I have a serious desire for a nightsaber mount, and I’m only 5600 reputation points away from getting one. Yeah, I’ve got my (nearly) free paladin warhorse, but I want something different, and I’d rather have a nightsaber to a ram or an elekk. If only I could ride mechanostriders!

On the subject of levelling up, I reached level 52 this morning. That means that since I started this blog on Oct. 4th, I’ve gained 4 levels. I may make it to lvl. 55 before Wrath of the Litch King yet! Anyway, I got my Crusader Strike for filling in my Retribution talents finally. It’s ok, but I’m not yet sold on it. It seems to miss more often then I’d like. I also upgraded my weapon from the Beheading Blade I mentioned before to a new Warmonger. Aside from a vicious look (see a pic HERE), the new blade’s to-hit buff comes in handy. As for the rest of my gear, I’m working on replacing Gav’s near-full suit of Overlords armor with Imperial Plate. So far I have the only parts available to my level – the belt, shoulders and bracers – giving me the bonus for having at least 2 parts of the set (+100 armor).

I’ve also reached Artisan level in engineering, allowing me to pick a disipline, Goblin or Gnome. I chose Gnome, because I don’t have allot of use for the guns and explosives of Goblin engineering. I passed my entrance test and got my membership card.

As for odds and ends, I completed the questline for Marin Noggenfogger, netting me the Noggenfogger Elixir. I’ve seen folks all over the place under it’s influence, and now I’ve got my own! I did drink all of mine, though, so I’ll have to get more. Also, during the recent Brewfest holiday, I earned enough Brewfest Tokens to join the Brew of the Month club. September’s Binary Brew was weird (it made you speak in Gnomish Binary), but October’s Autumnal Acorn Ale, which makes a small animal love your character, is just plain off. I’m interested in seeing what odd brew November nets me.

That’s all for now, everyone. I’ll check back in later!

Shimmering Flats and the Mirage Raceway

Having swam from Theramore Isle in Dustwallow Marsh to Tanaris to get to Gadgetzan, I’d never had the need to go through Thousand Needles. Therefore, while I was killing Rocs for Rhapsody Shindigger’s Kalimdor Kocktail and saw a path leading north out of Tanaris, I was intrigued. I followed it and came upon the Shimmering Flats. As someone who’s only been playing WoW for a handful of months, there are still places that are on my to-see list, and the Mirage Raceway was one of them (Booty Bay, Gadgetzan, and the Barrens are among those already scratched off of said list). Call me a tourist, but it’s something I enjoy doing. So when I came upon the Shimmering Flats, completely by happenstance, I was thrilled. Now, I’ve been places where you can easily see mirages before, Las Vegas among them, and this place definately fit the bill for a mirage (but I kept wondering where they were going to put the volcano/fountain). In any event, I hung around for a while, took in a race, and did some quick quests for the two racing teams before posing with my warhorse for a shot with the two racers. It didn’t net me much XP or anything worthwhile (other then more quests for racer sponserships), but it was perhaps the most fun half hour or so I’d had in WoW in quite some time. With all of the grinding and questing I’ve been doing in harder areas, this was a welcome break. That’s my advice for everyone; take a break every once in a while and do something simple that you can enjoy. Be it fishing, cooking, or – like me – sightseeing, partake in something relaxing and you’ll come back to your adventures refreshed.

Sights Seen: Feralis

This is the first of our Sights Seen series, featuring pix from WoW that are amazing, unique or beautiful. If you have one to donate, please send it to me here. No UI please, unless it adds to the picture.

When I first got to Feralis with Gavelier, I really didn’t know what to expect, but when you consider the nearby zones – Tanaris, Desolace, The Barrens, and even Mulgore – I expected a very arid, rough land. When I was met with a semi-tropical enviroment, I was stunned. I took allot of pics on my first run through it, but this is my favorite.

(Edited because I kept calling Feralis, Tanaris. I was actually in Feralis)

Opinions of the PTR so far

The latest patch has been on the public testing realm for a while now, and I hopped onto the PTR as soon as it opened up, copying Gavelier over. What I’ve noticed so far can be broken down into a few choice details.

  • The graphical overhaul is subtle yet beautiful. I love the play of light and shadow across everything. Shadows move dynamically now, and you’ll notice your characater coming out from under the shade of a tree, dappled in light at first, and then brilliantly lit.
  • The choice of three judgements for paladins, as well as the fact that they no longer dispell your seals, will re-write how pallies are played. It’s nice for me, as a retribution-specced paladin to fire up Seal of Command and then just hit the enemy with whichever judgement fits – Wisdom for mana regen, Light for health regen, and Justice to stop mobs from fleeing – and still get the Seal of Command’s benifits. The judgements no longer renew when the mob is hit, though, so you’ll be casting it more often. The new seals last longer, too, up to 2 minutes from 30 seconds. They’ve even buffed up the eye-candy for seals – in particular Seal of Command – so they look more powerful. Nice touch, Blizzard.
  • A maxed-out Judgments of the Wise talent can keep most paladins pumped with mana, so long as they keep judging. This plus Improved Judgements and a maxed-out Benediction (which, admittedly, hasn’t actually changed) are critical to my playstyle.
  • Improved Blessing of Kings is broken atm, and doesn’t provide the full 10% stat benefit it should. It only gives you the 2% stat bonus of the base spell, which makes it useless for pouring talent points into. I hope this gets fixed by the patch’s release, or there’s going to be allot of unhappy paladins.
  • I have to admit that the glyph system is awesome. It’s also – at least on the PTR – expensive. I dabbled in inscription, but don’t count on getting any herbs – needed for inscription’s ink – at a decent price anytime after the patch’s release. 20 Peacebloom – the most basic herb you can get – are going for upwards of 500g on the PTR. Unreal. I actually started buying up herbs for inscription about a month ago on my main server to beat the rush, and it seems I was right on. I’ve been hearing allot of whining and moaning about herb prices, and it can only be because of the upcoming inscription profession.
  • The glyphs themselves are allot of fun, and can really differentiate one player from another. I’n addition to Gavelier, Budman is on the PTR. Budman’s major glyph is the Glyph of Slowfall, which, by releaving the spell of it’s reagent, is going to save Budman money and bag space. I don’t use the spell allot, but I can use it allot more now.
  • There seems to be a few new passive buffs in the game. Mining nets you the Toughness buff, but I’m not sure when you earn it or when it’s upgraded. On a related note, humans get a new racial ability called Every Man for Himself, which is good for getting out of traps and negating movement debuffs.

Unfortunately, Budman is under level 20, and – despite having an alt in about every class, race and profession – my only avatar over level 20 is Gav at 48, so I’m not in a position to test all of the new abilities. I’ll update again when more comes to the fore.

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Hi, I’m Alphasim . I’ve been playing World of WarCraft for four years now and my main is a level 85 human paladin named Gavelier. Gav features prominently here at Alazar so you'll get to know him and his guild.

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