Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Patch 4.2 and PvP Madness


The first news from Gav’s recent exploits is that patch 4.2’s new quests and quest hubs are fun. Some are total chaos,


Other then that it’s been PvP for me. I went ret to Twin Peaks and while I died a few times we won, 3-0. That was a nice change.


In contrast, it was a blood bath in Tol Barad, as you can see.



I was obviously a casualty. A repeat casualty. Dammit. We kept getting beat and killed and someone commented that we could really use some heals.

Uh oh. Can it be?


Yup, it’s the rebirth of the holy-s***-adin! I spent over a thousand gold on gear and glyphs, respecced my prot spec, and now I’m ready to heal! First up, this week’s Call to Arms, Alterac Valley.


Did  I know what I was doing? Hell no! Did I let that stop me? Hell no!! I wound up 2nd on our team in heals and we won. Yay! The bad part is that over 50% of my heals were done to myself. In the 2nd half of the battle I got caught fighting a never-ending swarm of NPCs and didn’t have much of a chance to heal anyone else. I caught a Tauren warrior out by himself, and with some help brought him down, too. Not a bad start. We’ll see how it holds up to Tol Barad later.

Alazar Absence

It may seem redundant to post this since I’ve not updated once this year, but I’ve not been playing World of Warcraft. The reasons are many but unimportant. I’m just here to say, officially, that Alazar is going into hiatus for a while. It will remain online, obviously, but I’m taking a official break from the site.

Why am I posting this now? Reverse psychology.

The last time I posted that I was leaving the game for a period of time and that I was suspending updates, I was back in the game and posting within about a week. We’ll see if that works this time, too.

The PTR has been Shattered!

As anyone who’s following WoW already knows, The Shattering (aka patch 4.0.3a) has occurred on the PTR. Naturally I had to go take a peak, and I had some adventures.

First off, obviously there’s no Old-World Flight in 4.0.3a since that’s a Cataclysm bullet-point feature, but that didn’t stop folks from bitching and moaning the whole hour I spent touring Stormwind. As for Stormwind, it is GORGEOUS. I love the new layout, and the changing pavement is amazingly beautiful. I learned a few things while in the human capital. One, was that there is now a quite extensive crypt below the Cathedral of Light. Two, I had a pillow on my back.


I swear, I have no idea either. It eventually disappeared so I don’t know what it was about. I finally decided to head out and explore, with the stated goal of riding my bear north to the Wetlands. I left Stormwind and headed east to Redridge, and was met by a curious sign.


No transients? Ok, I’m not real bright, so could someone explain what the hell they’re trying to keep out? WTF? I actually first read it as ‘no transvestites,’ which might actually apply to a large number of players. In any case it ultimately didn’t apply to me so I rode through the zone to the Burning Steppes. I learned some interesting new facts about the zone during this ride through. For one, the Dragonkin population has exploded and absolutely overrun the zone. Next, there’s a crazy standing army of Blackrock orcs near Blackrock Mountain, which I guess makes sense. There’s also a new outpost near BRM called Flamestar Post and it has a gryphon master. It’s also the world’s stupidest flight point, since when I tried to catch a ride to Searing Gorge, I was told that I knew no connecting flight points. I was rightly miffed, ranting and pointing at a bevy of nearby flight points, but the dude was unmoved. Thoroughly pissed, I rode all the way back across the zone to Mogan’s Vigil and caught a gryphon north the Thorium Point.

Riding from there to Loch Modan, I came across some advice for those who may yet be working on getting the key for Stonewrought Pass: skip it. Seriously, the damn gate is gone so that key will be scrap come Cataclysm. Once in the Loch I nearly rode to my death while headed through Thelsmar to the Loch because the land just dropped away into the dry loch. I never knew it was that deep! I opted to ride to the Badlands for fun, and was looking around while autorunning when I happened to glance ahead for a second and saw… this.



I literally turned around and saw this crevice just in time to stop where you see me. What the hell is this? Shouldn’t they warn me somehow? I mean damn, I don’t need klaxons sounding or anything, but any kind of heads-up would have been nice! I navigate the game primarily via muscle memory, and I understand that Cataclysm is designed to shake me out of my routine and that there will be an adjustment period, but I see a slight differentiation between “adjustment period” and “getting tossed to my doom.”  You just know some developer is cackling each time a player autoruns to his doom here. I bet they keep stats and everything.

Once in the Wetlands I stopped by the Greenwarden’s Grove for a short before riding to the now-flooded Menethil Harbor to take a boat to Theramore in Dustwallow Marsh. Theramore was thoroughly boring to I boarded a bird and flew to Gadgetzan to see the damage there. The coastal water was – as we’ve been told – up to the gates of the city, but inside not much had changed. Apparently you can fight in a Ring of Blood series of battles there that a number of level 80s were blitzing through.

At this, after a couple hours of exploration, I called it a night. It looks like we’re but a week or two from this hitting Live, so get ready to relearn the old world. Just do everyone a favor and leave Dalaran before The Shattering. If you don’t, the rest of us don’t want to hear you whine about having to hike back to the old world on foot when they take out the Dal portals. You’ve been warned.

4.0.3 is On the PTR Now

Apparently patch 4.0.3 is on the PTR now. I don’t exactly know what all that entails, but I intend on finding out. Presumably it’s a furthering of the pre-Cataclysm events, since the actual world changes will supposedly occur in patch 4.0.3a. I’ll get back once I’ve logged some play time.

Update: The answer as to what’s changed is, so far, not much. It pretty much picks up at the last PTR’s end. However, I did spy something that looked out of place to me.


Hmm… now where did those burns come from?

Post 4.0.1 Adventures


I’m back finally. I’ve been playing allot but not taking many pictures so that’s partially why I’ve been slow to post. Anyway, here’s what Gav’s been up to since patch 4.0.1 hit.

I hit up Wintergrasp as soon as I could and had a ball. I died once, but that was it as we blitzed the Horde in an offensive siege. Word of Glory is a God send sometimes in PvP. I also really dig Blizzard’s new raid frames. They worked wonders in Wintergrasp and eliminated my need for the plugin Grid.


Today I joined my first post-4.0.1 random heroic and it was obvious that I was rusty. It’s been almost a month since my last heroic dungeon, but that’s no excuse for forgetting to take down Crusader Aura for Retribution. I also wasn’t thinking and tried to cast Blessing of Kings on everybody (like I used to have to) when a single cast now covers the entire group. I actually needed to cast Might instead because our druid was already covering out stat buff. It was uneventful until our healer died during a bad pull. Fortunately for us our tank was a blood-specced death knight and all of the DPS could self-heal so we survived. Our druid even battle-rezzed our healer. Go team! I nabbed the Lodi Dodi and King’s Bane achievements on this run as well. It was a good night.

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.

The Patch 3.x Days are Over


For whatever reason I opted to ride WoW down to the server shutdown tonight, enjoying my last action in the Wrath of the Lich King, patch 3.x era. I have amazing memories from this series of patches. I went hit levels 60, 70 and 80 during these patches. One of my very first posts here covered the changes in the original Wrath content patch. I ran my first dungeon, heroic dungeon and raid during these patches. I fought my first battlegrounds during the 3.x run, and of course, I fought relentlessly in Lake Wintergrasp.


Actually, that’s one of the things I did while riding the Wrath patches to their end. The Alliance again successfully repelled the Horde, even though they had a tenacity of 10x (and health in the 100k range). I went as prot again and had fun. Once that was over, though, I opted to go to Ironforge to wait to train.


While waiting for the server to shut down, I fished for Old Ironjaw. No luck, as you would imagine.


There Gav now sits, waiting for the servers to go live with patch 4.0.1 so he can train his new skills. What will he do with them first? Maybe Wintergrasp again, maybe a random heroic. Only time will tell – and the time will come tomorrow.

Baking up Trouble on the PTR

I’m back with more pre-Cataclysm updates, so here we go again. It’s split-post time!

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More Updated Water Images


I originally posted this pic to demonstrate the new water effects on the PTR, but I wasn’t satisfied with it as an example. In my opinion it gives a poor impressio of a very nice new touch to Azeroth. Therefore, I’ve got two more pictures.


It looks much more convincing in the daylight, I think.


You can also see the improvements here in Elwynn Forest. Was this post necessary? No, but I felt the need to clarify the situation.

401 Pre-Cataclysm Preview: Stormwind Update

Once again, pre-Cataclysm spoilers, so here’s the ol’ split post once more. This time we delve into the meat (and the gristle) of the events.

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