Archive for the ‘Alazar’s Party Starter’ Category

Alazar’s Party Starter-Class Classification


I’ve been pondering the classes of WoW and I’ve come up with some interesting analogies. I was wondering what would happen if each of the classes was bound by the burdens and responsibilities befitting of their lore? What would playing them be like? Here, in summary, is my take.

  • Paladins – You refuse to kill most mobs and bad guys because they’re not pure evil.
  • Priests – No questing on Sunday morning for you! You’re needed at the Chapel of the Light.
  • Hunters – Forget acquiring Phat Lewts, Orgrimmar is starving. Go kill level six Dire Mottled Boars for hours  to feed the masses.
  • Warriors – Rent-a-cops. Your basically hired muscle so you spend your day guarding the auction house.
  • Rogues – You get chased by the rent-a-cops for robbing the local auction house.
  • Druids – Hippies. That’s all I have to say.
  • Shamans – You spend all day filling in the holes you make planting your totems around town, because the rent-a-cop makes you
  • Warlocks – The hell with the world. You spend all day playing Dungeons and Dragons in the basement of the Blue Recluse with your buddies.
  • Death Knights – You kill all of the other classes, because that’s just what you do.

Suffice it to say, I think the Death Knight probably gets the best of the deal.  In any case, I’d love to hear some other thoughts on this. Any takers?

Alazar’s Party Starter–Looking Back and Leveling

I got thinking this morning about the early-level changes to the classes in patch 4.0.1 and how they would have effected me while I was starting out. I was wondering what I would have done differently, and what would have stayed the same, primarily with my first two toons, Lug and Gavelier.

Thanks to the little icons on the talent trees specifying them as either tank, DPS or healer trees, Gav likely would have chosen retribution or protection for his tree rather then leveling into his early 30s as holy. I thought that I needed all the healing buffs I could get to survive and didn’t understand that increased durability or sound damage-dealing can also help keep my ass  ambulatory. I truly didn’t know what the ret or prot trees did, just that they didn’t give me healing improvements.

The addition of Crusader Strike as a baseline pally power would have sped my leveling up dramatically, and getting Templars Verdict or Hammer of Righteousness at level 10 would have made it even easier. Leveling with auto attacks and the occasional judgment was slow going.

The change for Tauren hunters to start the game with a tallstrider pet wouldn’t have changed Lug’s experience much since his first pet was a tallstrider named Stridy. It may have made the early game a little faster since I would have a pet’s DPS as well as my own, but the big change would have of course been the removal of ammo. Countless times early on I’d be out in the field fighting only to run out of ammunition, at which point I often died. The change to focus wouldn’t have made a big difference then either because well, Lug was my first character and the concepts of rage, energy and mana kinda blended together in my head. It was only after playing rogues and warriors (and later Death Knights) that I would have understood the difference.

It’s going to be interesting to un-mothball some of my low-level toons like Goldfox my lvl 12 gnome rogue,  Priset my lvl. 11 undead shadow priest or Slew my lvl. 14 Draenei Shaman to see if I can re-spark my interest in them. When Cataclysm hits, I’m sure they’ll get some burn.

After Gav hits level 85 that is.

Alazar Party Starter – All About Alazar

Today we’re going to open with an Alazar’s Party Starter, something we haven’t done since late April. I’m going to try and make this a weekly column, but no promises.

Our topic today is about Alazar itself. We’ve undergone quite a transformation in the last three years. We launched back in October of 2008 as a way to get WoW out of my main blog for Since then, Alazar has taken on a life of it’s own. It’s been busy, it’s been quiet, but it’s always been active.  Here are some of my favorite posts over the years.

  • (Oct. 2008) Druids are my Bane – This post covered my struggles doing quests for Night Elf druids. I got on a good rant here. This was my first major post.
  • (Jan. 2009) Outlands or Northrend? The Time is Now, Gavelier – I wrote this post literally as I was standing in Stormwind’s trade district, pondering what I should do. I was excited about going to Northrend but I didn’t want to miss everything in Outlands. Ah, decisions.
  • (Apr. 2009) Gav Assaults Wintergrasp – This began my obsession with Lake Wintergrasp. I’ve been there countless times since, but this is where it started.
  • (Apr. 2009) Gav News and Notes – an inauspicious name, and a calm beginning to the post bely my excitement: I had finally hit level 80. Time to celebrate with a video!
  • (Jul. 2009) Gav’s First 10-Man Dungeon – My first raid! My old guild Savagely Dysfuntional called for all level 80s to come help run Obsidian Sanctum so I came. They actually had to talk me out of going to Wintergrasp instead. It was fun, even if I did get hit by one of the lava waves.
  • (Jul. 2009) Path of the Paladin: Premiere Post – My first attempt at a live blog. I’ll have to do another of these some day.
  • (Jan. 2010) Beta did What?! – Betasim, my counterpoint, is notoriously anti-WoW. However, on one night in January 2010 she gave the game a shot. I still hope that someday she’ll come back to it.
  • (Apr. 2010) Alazar Party Starter – Death by Death Knight –  Finally, my most recent APS. The reason this is so special is that I submitted a modified version to (now WoW Insider) and got it published there. Publicity!

Alazar’s Party Starter – Death by Death Knight


I’ve been continuing to level Gleave (my Death Knight) in Borean Tundra with help from his Ebon Gryphon. It’s so much easier to level when you can fly! In any case, I was thinking that, of all the classes in WoW, dying by being killed by a Death Knight must be one of the worst deaths in the game. Think about it; you’re sick as hell, there’s often a ghoul  gnawing your limbs off, and the DK themselves is tearing into you with their weapon of choice. Is there a worse class to be killed by? For that matter, what’s the best class to die from? Who gives the most merciful death? I can’t decide, because they’re all pretty violent. Anyone want to volunteer their opinion?

Alazar’s Party Starter

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Party Starter, so here’s a new one. The realms are down as we speak for Tuesday maintenance, and I’m chomping at the bit to get back in. My question is, once the maintenance is over, what do most people do first? I usually do my dailies and maybe run a heroic, but what about everyone else? Do people immediately queue for a battleground, or start a raid for the weekly heroic, so just mill about and talk to folks? I’m curious to hear what others do when they first get in after maintenance.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Battlegrounds Cool Again?

In response to the overwhelming success of the Random Dungeon system, Blizzard is unveiling the Random Battleground system in the forthcoming patch 3.3.3. I’ve only partaken in Isle of Conquest from patch 3.2 and most recently Strand of the Ancients, but I would like to try some of the older ones. My observation however, is that the battlegrounds are – by large – empty There’s not a huge contingent of battleground instances running these days, at least not on my battlegroup. This new Random Battleground system could change that. With the ease of the Random Dungeon setup and streamlined PvP rewards, this could make battlegrounds a big thing like they used to be when they were first introduced. I hope so, and I’m interested in the influx of newcomers to battlegrounds like there were to dungeons. Like with the dungeon system, those newcomers would include the likes of me, so I’m looking forward to seeing if the tolerance that eventually developed among these new-age PUGs shows up in battlegrounds. You had to come to terms that some folks – like, say, me – weren’t experienced dungeon delvers, so the hard-core instance runs of the past are often left at the door for random dungeons and heroics. That makes for a lower-pressure environment, and that makes more people take part. That, to me, is the big bonus of these new systems. More people = more fun in an MMO.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Too Busy to Use


Here’s a quick topic: When is a custom UI too busy? For example, here’s mine after a run through Heroic Forge of Souls a while back.

TooBusyUIDo you see what I mean? At what point is a UI too busy to use? Does it take no being able to see the world anymore, unmanageable lag, crashing, or is it just when it looks crowded to you? I’ve got a ton of add-ons running here, and yes, it is a little slow. My biggest issue is that I want all of the information before me that I can get. If that means sacrificing a little speed or visibility, that’s ok. That’s just me, though. I know that allot of other games prefer a minimalist approach to their UI. I’ve tried to cut back, but losing information that I’m accustomed to is frustrating. I guess to each it’s own.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Spotty Specs


Dual specs have changed WoW, no doubt about it. I would never toy with off-specs if I couldn’t keep ret while doing so. For those that were swapping between specs be it for PvP, dailies or helping on instances, this has saved them a ton of money. It hasn’t saved me much, though, because aside from my main ret spec, I can’t settle on a build like.

I’ve tried holy for healing instances, I’ve tried holy for PvP, I’ve tried prot for PvP, I’ve tried holy/prot for PvP, I’ve tried prot/ret for PvP… hell, I tried a screwy holy/prot/ret hybrid spec for PvP and that didn’t work worth a damn (ever hear the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none”? that was me). What I need is to settle on a spec and stay with it. Right now, my PvP spec is 0/66/5, while my main ret spec is 5/5/61. I like my ret build. I does everything I need at the moment. My PvP spec, though, is fluid. I can’t tell what’s working, so I keep playing with it.

Anyone with a tip on what to do with my PvP spec, drop me a line. I’d love to hear it. Also, anyone else who has this problem, I’d love to hear your story as well.

Let me know I’m not alone here.

Alazar’s Party Starter – Casual Problems?


Welcome to our new feature, Alazar’s Party Starter. Here I’ll be touching on random subjects to get everyone thinking, and playing. There’s no limit to the topics I may touch on, so read often!

Today on Alazar’s Party Starter, I want to cover World of Warcraft’s tendency towards the casual gamer. When it launched back in 2004, it was straight from the Everquest lineage. The game was harder then it is today, it took my work then today, and dungeons and raids – once you finally reached them – were far more daunting then today. This last point was driven home to me when I took Gavelier to the Sunken Temple one time. Compared to Wrath of the Lich King’s heroics, this was a large, frustrating, clumsily-designed instance.Allot of mobs in the open world were Elites early on that aren’t so today. So has Blizzard dumbed down the game?

I don’t think so, I just think they made it more user-friendly. It’s a more welcoming game, and for better or for worse, it’s more solo-friendly. For those who say that soloists have no place in an MMO, I’d challenge them to show me a single-player off line game that offers what an MMO can… but I’m getting off subject.

Basically, the game is easier now, yes. Blizzard has definitely made concessions to reach a larger audience. The end result, though, is a game that doesn’t punish you for playing it. 40-man raids and long, slow grinds are welcome casualties to me. I look forward to Cataclysm, when the old world as a whole gets caught up to the current end-game’s quality. That will kill some crusty old hardcore vets, but for players like me – meaning players who want fun and not work – it will be a breath of fresh air.

Alazar Archives