Monthly Archives: December 2005

A Warrior’s Journey. From obscurity to getting a real nice axe.

Dinging Level 29 with my Warrior Oddity seems like so long ago. I vaguely recalled the moment I turned 29 and vowed to enter the Warsong Gulch and fight for honor till I’d earned my Sergeant’s stripes, or I dinged 30, whichever came first.

And did I ever fish up a storm. I mean the waits to get into Warsong Gulch are everlasting. I sometimes waited an hour, killing time by speaking with the Battle Master in Orgrimmar and heading out to the Crossroads and then running up to the Oasis up North where Deviate Fish spawn.

But one third of my way to Level 30 and I thought to myself “This sucks. I’m getting nowhere.” I’d earned all of two stripes for my time spent here. So I decided to head out into the real world and return to the Way of the Warrior.

I’d gotten a Warrior quest back when I was level 20. The Brutal Armor quest. I’d gone to Stonetalon Peak to get some ore out of one of it’s mines. I’d already mined some of my own iron ore and smelted it into bars. And I’d gotten some powdered Azurite from the Azureload Mine in Hillsbrad. What I had left was to get some Phlogistone (or something like that, Me Orc! Me Smash! Me not so bright always!). But I wasn’t worried about it. The quest reward for completing that armor set wasn’t as nice as what I could already make myself. BUT it was a Warrior quest and I figured I’d have to complete that one to get the one I really wanted, my own Whirlwind Axe.

Not really going anywhere and on my way south of Camp Tarajo to look for green mobs to kill I heard a group was looking for a tank for Razorfen Kraul. Checking real quick I realized the component I needed for my Warrior quest was actually found in RFK. Yay! And I had one quest there already, that was to get the heart of Razorflank. So I volunteered my axe and shield and was invited into a group.

It was a glorious run my friends. I the level 29 Tank, the Mage 30, the Priest 28, the Rogue 29, and a Hunter 28. I tanked and was 2nd on the DPS, the mage coming in first, and we did not have a single death. Not one. We were through there in a little over an hour. We were stoked on completing that one. A pick-up-group that good is something few and far between. Turning in the heart of Razorflank saw me dinging 30, and already having gotten a nice shield out of RFK I opted for the mail girdle quest reward. And with the phial of phlogistan I went to the armorer in the Barrens and he made me the promised Brutal Haubrek. This piece of chest armor was as nice as what I was wearing, but in different ways. One emphasized Strength and the other Stamina. Both could have their purpose.

But there was more to the Brutal armor set as I was to learn. Gloves, Leggings, and Helm as well. These turned out to be easier to acquire. I got the component for the Helm by killing a Chimera in the Charred Vale, and I returned it to the armorer and had a helm made. It wasn’t as nice as what I was already wearing.

I then turned my attention to the new Warrior quest set for me. That was to journey to Fray Island and speak with The Islander. (Yes, it’s a pun. :) I had to prove myself and it was just so easy. Even the big guy, Will, he fell to my blows without me even breaking a sweat.

So now I had the quest to go get my Axe. I volunteered the help of a guildmate and for that help assisted him with his own character. What a sweet axe for a level 30 Warrior. If you can get your hands on one, do so. With new axe in hand I continued on my journey to complete my Brutal Armor set.

The Brutal Leggings would be fashioned for me when I returned to the armorer with the shinbones taken from Dragonmaw Orcs. These are the Dragonmaw Orcs that patrol the Wetlands. To get to them I had to journey first from Hillsbrad to Hammerfall in the Arathi Highlands. This would be my first run there. It was a quick journey and I avoided the attention of the various beasts by sticking to the road. I even escaped the notice of the one Alliance I came across and that was a Level 60 Warlock. (Whew.)

On reaching Hammerfall and getting the flightpath there, I then turned south and headed into the Wetlands. Again, no Alliance and the Dragonmaw’s fell to the Whirlwind Axe like there was no tomorrow. And I dinged 31 while doing it. Not bad.

Now having gotten the shinbones, and being so far south already, I decided “Why not?” and decided to head out to the Badlands. I journeyed up the Dwarven tunnels, killing a couple of defenders very easily (that Whirlwind Axe is AWESOME!) and making my way through the Loch Modan region.

Actually entering the Badlands was equally anti-climatic. The wolves spotted me right away but I just kept running. My Warrior abilities kept me healthy with their every blow it seemed and I eventually arrived at Kargath.

From there I hopped on a Windrider and flew south to Grom’gol where I’d been the day before collecting tusks for the axe quest. I love the sea.

I then hopped on the Zepplin out of there and flew up to the Undercity where I turned in the legbones and collected my Brutal leggings.

I then hearthed back to the Crossroads and then flew north to Splintertree Post. I had one last piece of the Brutal armor set to get and that involved collecting Satyr hooves. So easy. I wasn’t one-shotting these level 28 Satyr, but close enough. Cleave is a wonderous thing. (One cleave hit was 456 points of damage!) And while a collected my hooves I noticed I was making good progress on the experience front as well. Before my hearthstone had cooled down for reuse I dinged 32. On dinging, I hearthed back to the Crossroads, flew to Orgrimmar, got some more Warrior training, and then ran down to Sin’jin Village where I collected the last piece of my Brutal Armor set, the gloves.

You know, if you can get all these quests done, you’re already wearing something better than the quest rewards. For a newcomer with modest means maybe it’s a good set. For someone twinked and pampered like Oddity, well, it was a bit of a let down. But, wasn’t that fitting afterall? For do we not find tears at the end of every Warrior’s journey?


Posted by on December 28, 2005 in Horde, Warriors


No Honor, No Dishonor.

The cow was an innocent victim of my friends new AoE. Honest.

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Posted by on December 28, 2005 in Uncategorized


Merry Christmas Everyone.

From my wife and I to you.

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Posted by on December 24, 2005 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on December 23, 2005 in Uncategorized


Zul’Gurub. Like the first time, but better.

The guild journeyed across the continent to Grom’Gol last night.

As any traveller or adventurer knows, this is the Horde outpost in the steamy jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. A Zeppelin Flight from both Orgrimmar and the Undercity. Jumping off point for forays into the dark woods of Duskwood and dusty Redridge. Base camp of adventurers seeking fame and fortune in the jungle itself. Nesingwary’s Camp being, of course, not an option on a PvP server.

We equipped ourselves, repaired our gear, created our party, fought several duels as Santa’s Helpers, and then set out for Zul’Gurub, the old Troll city to the northwest.

Our team make-up was a little different than usual. Our usual leader, Omaran, a protection specc’d warrior passed the baton for this trip to Mannos, who in equipment is a near clone of Omaran. And in leadership equalled him as well. Our targets were all arranged for us by him, and with five mages in tow we controlled each of the fights. And each of the three bosses went down so quick we were amazed.

If anyone has fought the Bat Lady, she’s got some tricks up her sleeves, but if you know about them, they’re easy to overcome. Her bat squads were easy enough to handle. The mages were reserved for that and I was set up to heal them. When they weren’t attacking her with their wands they were AoEing bats with their arcane spells. Soon enough she took on her Troll form. When she attempts to heal herself we hit her with shield bashes and Earthshocks. When the fire bats come you simply make sure you stay out of the napalm. Some odd pieces of loot dropped, of which, the Primalists Band, was not to be won by me.

The Snake Guy, he was even easier. So many snakes quickly becomes so many sheep. Poison cleansing totems serve to keep partymates free of it’s effects, and those that aren’t so cleansed are cured by shaman and druid magic. Longer battles will find the Snake Guy making several clouds of lethal poison. We took him down so quick he only had time to make one.

Our last boss for the night was the Raptor Guy. The Trolls that one encounters on the way back into his encampment include a particularly viscous sort. The Blooddrinkers. Typically in our earlier runs, the Blooddrinkers were mercilessly sheeped and when they were the last to remain, they were held at a distance from the rest of us and quietly killed. Our crowd control in this particular battle was not as good as we had been and we found these Blooddrinkers walking in our ranks. However they did not damage us as they might have and this was nothing serious.

The Raptor Guy is a tough fight. He has no magic to speak of, and he doesn’t heal himself. What is amusing is he will level up with each death he causes. Catch him on a good day and he’ll talk trash like the best of the gnome rogues. I believe I’ve heard him even exclaim “Woot!” once.

In fact, in this little fight, he did manage to kill a few of us, so he had the advantage of some increase in power. But, in the end, and with our experience in tackling him, he too met the same fate as the other two. Dead and looted. Woot.

Zepplin out, astral recall home. Darkhoof repaired his gear, sold the few odds and ends he’d come across, deposited the herbs into the bank, and logged for the night.

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Posted by on December 22, 2005 in Instances, Shamans


Whipped in Dire Maul. Creamed. Library is kind of cool.

Darkhoof’s been holding on to the book, Frostshock and You, for a while now. A kind guildmate sold it to him for a very reasonable cost. The book was for a Shaman to return, Darkhoof’s a Shaman, and the price was right. The book, a tome actually, seemed to belong to someone and I’d find that someone in the Athenaeum in Dire Maul. That appears to be a library of sorts. Don’t know why they didn’t just call it a library. Elves can be such snobs sometimes. (Wait…. Nevermind.)

I began assembling a party in Orgrimmar. From the guild I quickly had a Mage, who was on a quest to make better water, a Rogue, and a Druid enlisted. We only needed a Warrior to take the hits. All the guild’s Warriors were otherwise engaged elsewhere.

What to do, what to do? In the public channel of Orgrimmar I announced “LFM tank for Dire Maul.” Who responds to those kinds of calls? Hopefully I’d find a Warrior who had business of his own there.

Before long a Warrior responded. From a smaller guild. “Got room for a priest too?” Hmmm. Shackles and Priestly healing. I asked the party if anyone would care to drop and our Druid said he would. He’d just joined us to help out.

Excellent. Warrior and Priest joined us. And we set out for Camp Mojache where the team assembled. Feralas is a great zone. Provided you can easily handle the mobs, because the enemy tends to travel individually or in nothing more than pairs. Of the great battlegrounds of the world, Feralas is not one of them.

Riding to Dire Maul one is witness to the greater glories of the past. I understand the Elves originally built the place, but the scale is massive. So massive in fact that the Ogres have established themselves a comfortable camp here. With wandering packs of Hyenas and drunken Ogres you can well imagine it would be a dangerous place. (Dogs can, however, be a Tauren’s best friend. I’ll get to that yet.)

Well, being of the highest seasons (60) we all pass through the Ogres gathered about the entrance without drawing any attention to ourselves. It seems the more a threat you are to them, the less they will pay attention to you. That’s not just Ogres but any mob in the world. If it were the opposite the 60′s would be fighting every step of the way just to get around. And, too, the mobs aren’t stupid. Tackling a 60 is certain death for them.

We entered our side of Dire Maul and got ourselves ready. Large lumbering trees walked past. One at at time, or in pairs. Those weren’t our targets though. Our established tactic would be the Warrior would bring certain elementals to us at the door. If things went bad we’d simply head back to the portal and zone out. Our first pull, things go bad, and we portal out. I’m beginning to hate this place already.

Back in, we rezzed the fallen, and then continued. “Easy now.” The 2nd pull, and the subsequent ones went well enough. The elementals all taken care of we quickly ran across the path, under a large pylon, and back up to the other side, past those wandering trees, to stand above this large sunken garden with a huge moving tree in it. This entity was some kind of Protector as found among the Elvish. But he wasn’t our goal. We were wanting to get in the library. Or so I was trusting our Warrior to be leading us well.

We moved to the left and entered a room with ghosts in it. Curses. The Warrior attracted the attention of 6 ghosts and we were quickly killed. No nearby portal entrance to take advantage of. I ankhed, and rezzed the Priest. And we were immediately killed again by two ghosts that suddenly just appeared. Sneaky sneaky. Except we have the advantage of everliving life. They’d be ghosts forever.

We got the party back up, healed, and then reentered the room. We killed the guardians and moved to the far back where we encountered what appeared to be the ghost of an Elf. He was more material than the ghosts in that he appeared in the same form as he had in life. Though wearing cloth, he hit hard, and when he fell he dropped a nice set of leather shoulders. With Fire Resist so it was a particularly for the Rogue giving our new trips to the Molten Core where such gear is valuable.

We left this room and stood once more above the giant Protector. What would he drop, we wondered, if he was dead? With our axes flying we made quick work of it. A green staff. This mighty being and we get vendor trash off it? Nobody wanted it so the Rogue won it on the greed roll and would sell it for the gold to cover repairs.

We climbed back out of this sunken garden and prepared to move on. Looking over my shoulder I then noticed something unusual. A horse. Or the spirit of a horse. I walked back down and examined it. A fine beast. It’s heavy hooves struck the rock floor in a way that no Tauren’s hooves could, making a marvelously equestrian sound. This beast would make a magnificent mount for the stalwart.

Now Darkhoof does not know his way around Dire Maul and he simply followed the lead of the Warrior. But the Warrior was off on his game. Acting rather erratically. His friend explained to him that our goal was to visit the library, not to kill the Bosses of the place. But we moved towards another ghost filled room, and it again ended badly.

Four of us returned to life but the Warrior remained down. Apparently in some alternate universe his alter-ego was having issues with a girlfriend at the moment and he was not to rise again. Eight foot tall, five hundred pounds of brawn and attitude, and laid low by the flutterings of a female heart. I too have been felled by such and understood completely.

The Priest knew his way around, and knew what our goal was and motioned us to follow.

Back down to the sunken garden, and to a door. I possess a Crescent Key and had the door opened before the Rogue could get his lockpick tools out. We moved our way down this narrow hallway we found, killing the odd ghost and spirit on the way. At the end was another door. This door led to a large room which appeared to hold roaming groups of Wind Elementals. Like playing a childs game we waited for the right moments and made our way to another exit. This led down and down and at last we’d reached the Athenaeum.

This place was huge. And nice. A library and a museum and a laboratory all at the same time. The skeletal remains of a dragon suspended from the cieling, a great orb representing the globe we inhabit (or was it the stars that circled us?), elves making potions, and elves doing research.

I located what seemed to be the right librarian, and returned the tome to him. Now, I must ask, what is a tome, of value only to Shamans, doing in an Elvish library? What mysteries are these Elves hiding? But he was a grateful man and gave me a trinket for my effort. It was blue, Elvish in creation, and possessed rather nice magical value. +23 to my spells and healing, and +10 Fire Resist, it would be of use both in day-to-day work, and to my visits to the Molten Core.

Our Mage was shocked, however, to learn he’d have to find another elemental in Dire Maul. The Water Elemental boss. The library had not been his end goal. However, with our Warrior gone, still lying dead outside of the ghosts room above us, there was no longer a possibility with our group to accomplish that and so we called it mission complete.

I waved to the Priest, a decent fellow, as he and our Rogue hearthed home. The Mage took the rez sickness and ran to Camp Mojache.

I did not hearthstone back to Orgrimmar because I had one other thing to attend to back in Camp Mojache. It seems a colleague of one of the Tauren there had a friend go missing. I had found his remains in the library as well. Lucky for the Elves he was not suspended or made an exhibit in any way.

I returned to my body and picked an exit at random and ran for it. I was struck down by Gordok Ogres gathered around a campfire in a new part of Dire Maul. I ran back in and reentered to regain my corporeal self. I composed myself, regained my health, my mana, and smoothed my fur, and proceeded to continue on.

At exiting I happened across a little fight. A guild Warlock and two others were battling a Night Elf. I was not sure of her crime or transgression, but a guildmate was attacking her so I helped. She quickly dropped. “He said, she said” can be amusing at times, but in this case, with an insurmountable language barrier, there was none of that. “Kill, or be killed.”

Now I must also ask, why can I speak with these Elves here in the library, clearly understanding their tounge, but I can’t speak, even if we both try, with the Night Elves of the Alliance? I’ve encountered Elves across the world and I can communicate with them fine. Unless they are with the Alliance. That is a shame, I think. Though we might be enemies, we also happen to have similar goals. We both fight for the same causes, the Tauren and the Elves at least. We defend Nature, wishing to restore it to balance where we find it out of balance or corrupted. We both fight the Scourge and wish to deny Evil it’s sway over the land. We both hold sacred the Emerald Dream. Our two nations otherwise similar in outlook, are led by leaders in opposite and deadly contradictory directions.

For truly, the Trolls are an evil race. That is well known. If you doubt me go visit Hakkar at his altar in Zul’Gurub. The Undead are unnatural. And though allied with the Horde they do have their own reasons for doing so, and their own goals for an endstate to our world. The Orcs are a foreign race, with no place for them in this world. This world did not bring them life as a Mother would and they should not expect it’s shelter, and the sooner they return to Draenor or the Outlands the better for Azeroth. Should they wish to remain and assist in the fight against the Scourge they should ever be mindful they were once it’s servants and it’s a debt they owe the world. But, I digress.

Following the death of this Night Elf my guildmate entered the instance on his own mission and I moved to the exit. On the way out I passed a level 60 Gnome Mage. Surely he had business to attend to, as did I, so I passed without much remark. He sheeped me from behind.

This was probably the most interesting PvP encounter in a long time. Getting sheeped by a 60 Mage, who then winds up the next spell while you search for grass to nibble, has to be a quick way to the dinner table with a side of greenbeans and potatos. I did not have my PvP trinket ready since I’d eagerly equipped my new trinket earlier. The gnome’s spell flew and struck and with a puff of wool I was returned to my old self, and damaged quite a bit. We then began our little tussle, me attacking with my dagger, he just bouncing around as gnome mages do. Bringing up a new spell, I interrupted with an Earth shock, and the battle continued. He was having the better of me though, but both of us were getting into the danger zone, and then I noticed a pack of hyenas behind him, heading our way. I backed him in their direction and hoped for the best.

Both of us were damaged pretty badly. My health was in the red, his in the orange. Then, not blinking away he is all of a sudden locked in a block of ice. Safe it would seem. But, and I can’t explain it, the hyenas caught wind of him, him! and not me, and attacked him. I moved away to the exit as I saw all the dogs descend now on the mage. As I entered the hallway out I recieved notice that a Master Sergeant had just been killed and I’d received 69 Honor for it. I healed myself and continued on to Camp Mojache. Thank the dogs for that one.

And I must add, if the response of a gnome mage is to sheep all passing enemy, then gnome mages should not expect the enemy to pass them unmolested anymore. Death to gnomes. You’ve poisoned your own homeland and you only bring further destruction to the rest of the world with your explosives and weapons and fuel consuming contraptions. Death to all gnomes and the world will be a better place for it.

And with that Darkhoof returned to Orgrimmar and called it a night.

Oddity, the Orc Warrior, was sent back into the arena, to fight once more in Warsong Gulch on behalf of Thrall’s forces.

There was a time when the Horde could do no wrong. Every battle in Warsong Gulch was a victory. The Elves and Gnomes would scatter like chaff in the wind.

But nowadays it is different. Since when did the vendors start selling backbones in Darnassus and Stormwind City? Two forays into the Gulch and the Horde was handed two losses. Though, it being Monday night, it could be the kills were the important goal, not the wins. Regardless, Oddity retired to his fishing spot outside in the Valley of Strength. Letting his white kitten out of the cage to stretch it’s legs and turning his attention to catching a few fish for supper for them both.


Posted by on December 20, 2005 in Uncategorized


Saturday Night. Garr.

Garr downed and all my DKP spent, but the Earthfury Helm is mine. Sweet.

Entering Blackrock Spire we were decidedly please with how quiet it was. A full 3 hours earlier than our usual raiding time. This time it was us that camped the entrance to Molten Core while our guildmates showed up by riding in from Kargath or being summoned in by Warlock. We did dispatch the odd Alliance character or two that ventured past us. That’s just small revenge for the numerous attacks on us via Mind Controlling us into the lava. (A PvP death does not hurt the durability of one’s equipment. Being Mind Controlled into the lava and having the environment kill you, that will cause a durability hit. A nasty tactic. We do not employ that though. Our Priests are healers, not psychos. Mere Earthbind Totems, Frostshocks, and Ambushes for us. Clean deaths without durability loss on our enemies equipment. Strength and honor.)

This was a good run up to Garr. Having already downed Lucifron, Magmadar, and Gehennas, the infamous “trash mobs” were noticeably fewer in number. We cleaned those up easily, and we had five Warlocks as we took on Garr. Once you get the swing of a battle, get the rythym down, it goes rather easily.

For the Baron, let’s say we’re still out-of-tune on that one. :)

Oh, and for those wondering how well a Shaman might heal:


Posted by on December 18, 2005 in Uncategorized


Friday night? Three bosses down in Molten Core.

Darkhoof’s guild managed a nice run into the Molten Core on Friday night.

Things went so smooth. Well, they started out that way.

A reindeer train rode across the Burning Steppes to the entrance of Blackrock Spire. No Alliance scum were camping the entrance and we easily made our way into Molten Core.

We managed to down three bosses this night. Three wipes, and three bosses.

The first wipe came as we were squaring off against Lucifron. Someone stood too close to the cave at the entrance and next thing we know, as discussion of the tactics was underway, we’re surrounded by Fire Imps. Lucifron went down after we’d recovered from that.

During this battle one of our Priests disconnected. We continued on, taking out the five Core Hound Packs guarding Magmadar. And as we stood before Magmadar the Priest returned. With the original Core Hound Pack hot on her heels. We wiped. Then we wiped the floor with Magmadar.

We stripped, ran for the exit, and then ran back from the cemetery at Thorium Point as naked ghosts. Resurrecting at the entrance again we made our plans to get the next boss, Gehennes.

We cleared the path like pros. Our timers informed us of returning mobs and we dealt with them handily. Squared off against Lucifron we attacked! And we quickly had Lucifron cruising through our ranks. There were horns everywhere. One of the shamans ankhed and we were quickly back in business. “Uh hum. We’re better than this.” And we took Gehennas down the second time with few casualties.

The only Shaman loot that was to drop came from Magmadar and that was a pair of Earthfury Boots. The Mother Cow was not smiling on Darkhoof this night and he did not win them. Next time though.

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Posted by on December 17, 2005 in Uncategorized


Feast of Winter Veil. Playing and PvP in the Plague Lands.

The Holidays are upon us! Morticai, my Undead Warrior on Kirin Tor, was a little disappointed that he had to /kiss a stranger in hot pants under the Mistletoe in the Gallow’s End Tavern in Brill, but he got a little bit of mistletoe for it. His Warlock friend, Nachweis appreciated the Holiday Spirit buff however. As did Morticai’s significant other, Zauberin, his Undead Mage wife. While Zauberin caught up on a little training in the Mage Quarter in the Undercity, Nachweis and I checked out the tree in the UC Inn.

“That eggnog packs a punch, don’t it Nach?”

Later Zauberin and Morticai returned to the fields of northern Tirisfal and did their small part fighting against those Cursed by the scourge. (Only OUR Forsaken curses will be allowed!)

“You just saved a bunch of money by switching to GEICO?”

Morticai and Zauberin retired for the night, and on another server Darkhoof set out on several new missions.

First stop, naturally, was the Smokey Pasteurs holiday vendor. Darkhoof bought several stacks of snowballs which turned out to be great fun. (So I bought several hundred more snowballs and sent them to all of my characters on the server. They’ll store them in their bank accounts and await the return of the hot dry Durotar summer when they’ll come back out into play.)

The other vendor did have a problem though. It seems one of their reindeer had been kidnapped. Horrors. Who would do such a thing? Pirates. In Tanaris.

Darkhoof has wanted to pay a visit to Scholomance for some time now. The horrors of the former Barov Family estate needed to be eliminated for some quests and a few trinkets Dark’s been wanting to get his hands on.

Getting a 5-man party together is easy. Getting the *right* 5-man party together is more difficult. Lexia, our guild’s lead Mage, signed right up for the visit. We’d still need a Priest, and a Warrior, and then one other person, preferably who could do some damage. Khor, another of our Shamans wanted to join us, since Dark was wanting to get his Skyfury Helm as well. (The Guild Master said “Why bother? Get your helms in the Molten Core. He drops two at a time. ” :) Khor disconnected before long though and we invited Ona, another of our Shamans, into the party.

This assault on Scholomance wasn’t getting anywhere, and fast.

So we changed plans. “Let’s get the Reindeer back!” So the three of us flew to Gadgetzan. While Lexia and I visited the Auction House, Ona informs us “Alliance scum! I’m going to get me some.” “Take out the guy in the gnome costume first, please,” I requested. While my Auctioneer add-on was scanning the Auction House inventory I hear the sounds of a battle up above us. The Bruisers were going after someone. Seems Ona decided to attack the wrong guy dressed in a silly little costume, and, yada, yada, yada, Ona was soon in the graveyard. We quickly got our act together and the three of us rode to the coast.

Rescuing the reindeer was a little exciting given we weren’t the only rescuers doing so. But an Orc, a Forsaken, and a Tauren trumps two Night Elves, so we engaged in a little Holiday cheer, relaxed the Elves to the dirt of the compound, and rescued the reindeer. Aww. We’re so with the Holiday.

Then we opened a portal to the Undercity and headed back to our original business at hand.

Wonder of wonders, at the Zeppelin stand outside of the Undercity we were invited to make use of a new Goblin contraption. It reminded me a little bit of the transporter to Gnomeregan the goblins had set up in Ratchet. But this device worked differently. We three were transformed into Gnomes dressed in Santa costumes! How cool is this?! Dark didn’t like the green costume so he reentered and got a red costume instead. The roguish moustache didn’t suit him so he reentered and got the full blown St. Nick beard. Hooray! And then the snowballs came out. Darkhoof pegged Lexia and she was knocked flat. “Hey, what are those?” asked Ona. Whap! Whap! Two snowballs knocked him silly. We had a little snowball fight and then set out for the Western Plaguelands. (Ona was randomly peppered with snowballs for some time more until Darkhoof at last ran out. Nothing funnier than knocking a gruff Orc Shaman on his butt with a snowball.) Since I couldn’t get to Scholomance quite yet at least I could knock out the quest that leads to getting a key for Scholomance. This part of the quests involves setting some torches in the towers of Andorhol.

“Terminator Santa”

Darkhoof spotted what looked like an Undead Warlock running down the road past the Zeppelin Tower. Hunched forward like the Undead run, with a Fel Hunter demonic pet, and Dark being Gnome is disguise, half Gnome in thought now, Darkhoof didn’t hesitate to take pursuit. It was a Gnome Warlock taking his demonic pet to the Scarlet Monastery. Gnomes engaged in demonology! Is there anything more evil that that? Demons are the bringers of evil, and the Gnomes are all into it? All Gnomes must die! Well, Gnomes with demons as minions.

So Darkhoof ran down this Gnome and frostshocked him. Then struck him. Then stood over the body and let out a Gnomish laugh. Santa had struck down a demonologist! Balance was restored to the World! “Ho, ho, ho!”

Anyway, Ona and I kept our costumes on and changed to Ghostwolf form for the run to Andorhol. This increased our speed to 140% of normal while maintaining our Gnome costumes. Excellent. We ran to Andorhol and two Gnomes dressed in Santa costumes and an Undead Mage managed to mark all 4 towers and kill a few undead as well. Hooray!

One of our guildmates, Broxigar, mentioned he needed some assistance there in the zone. He was needing to slay Weldon Barov and Weldon Barov hits like a trainwreck. Two Shamans, a Mage, and a Warrior, all of us level 60, how hard could it be?

Let me add some slight wrinkling here. Weldon Barov is waiting for the intrepid at Chillwind Point. This is an Alliance flight point, there are some skills trainers there, and the Argent Dawn is stationed here as well. Weldon, when attacked, will /yell for help across the zone. “Assassins!” He cries. What a wuss. So we took a little time before hand to eliminate the npcs that will come to his aid. What is nice about this, a little odd though, is that as you slay the NPC humans, you can repair at the Argent Dawn Quartermaster since everyone is Honored with them. It seems our successes against the Scourge have earned us their respect. We can cut down Alliance without interference by the Argent Dawn. (So much for race unity. The Argent Dawn agents at Chillwind Point are Human.)

Anyway, as we are taking down the NPC who might come to Weldon’s aid, and complicate matters, we also catch the odd Alliance player. This is not going to help.

Well, we get to the point where we 4 are ready to take on Weldon. We drop our totems and the Warrior begins to go to work on him. Ona is a melee specc’d Shaman and he attacks too. I’ve got my hands full healing both. And then two of the NPC’s run up and start beating on me. It was not a shining success when the swords had been resheathed. We tried again. This time some Alliance Players jumped in and we met with the same result. At this point we turned our attention to the Alliance players that had now shown up. There was a 60 Gnome Mage called Winkie. We left him dead under the Griffins. There was a 60 Mage called Tearyouup (Mage Intellect does not extend ONE IOTA to creativity. Nice name. Did you take 5 seconds or more to think of it? And then to take such a NOOB name to level 60??? Unbelievable!) There were a couple Hunters that got involved, these two Mages, a Paladin or two.

It was a very see-saw battle and it raged up and down the roads outside of Chillwind Point. Horde players respawn at the graveyard at the Bulwark and face a long run back to Chillwind. Alliance players respawn across the street from Chillwind. They have a definite advantage. Except we were all on Vent and we called in our guildmates. We shortly had 10 guildmates from Requiem there and we chased Tearyouup up and down the streets and Toreherup. Twentyfive Honorkills later we finally were given some breathing room and we again set about attacking Weldon. Needless to say he fell quickly to our concerted blows. For the Horde!

Then, while the group was assembled I asked that they give me a hand with Araj the Lich found in Andorhol. We completed that task in five minutes. After we’d slain the Lich we summoned another guildmate from Orgrimmar and he collected the shard as well.

My wife, as she watched our activity at Chillwind, asked “Pick another character here on Smolderthorn that you want to get to 60.” She has an Undead Warlock called Zauber that is nearly 25 now. I thought Oddity, my Orc Warrior, would be a good choice, but then considered that the world is full of Warriors. And Warriors aren’t your prized resources in Instances. Priests are. She will level her Warlock along with my Undead Priest, Darbanville. She’ll play the male undead ‘toon in this pair while I play the female undead ‘toon. (Yeah, I’m a sucker for dancing women!)

Darkhoof concluded the night by turning in the quests at the Bulward. He get a nice trinket for killing Araj, and a new quest in the chain of quests to get the key to Scholomance.

There was no instance entered. We didn’t go to UBRS or Scholo or anywhere. We played in the game world. We didn’t do any grinding. We weren’t there to get 12 scales. We didn’t intend to do any PvP. We’d have raided Southshore if that was the goal. We merely got 3 or 4 quests accomplished, progressed a little further in the storyline, had a snowball fight, got to wear Gnome Santa costumes, and had one hell of a time. Being level 60 isn’t “game over.” This is one dynamic world and being 60 is just the opportunity to have more fun.

“Gnomes just want to have fun.”

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Posted by on December 16, 2005 in Uncategorized


Dragons and Drama.

The evening before Darkhoof ventured out from Orgrimmar to assist some guildmates in collecting their Dragonheads. Emberstrife’s thirst for heads is relentless. The team had already taken the Blue Dragon down in Winterspring and had proceeded on to Gadgetzan in Tanaris where we were to rendezvous and set out to the Chromatic Dragon.

Heading into the Auction House a small short person passed me. He was wearing very little in way of clothing. This could be due to the heat of the Tanarin Desert environment. Down the steps he went and up to the Auctioneer. Having done his business he turned to me. And waved. Ah ha! It dawned on me. That was our little spy we have secretly infiltrated into the Alliance. I nodded and whispered “Scram. You’ll give yourself away.” He laughed, in that incredibly annoying manner they do, and hearthstoned back from whence he came.

To be honest I’m not sure what inducements the Horde might offer such a race traitor. Positions at the right hand of Thrall or Sylvanus or Cairne Bloodhoof? I think not. How does one trust a deciever? I’m not sure where this little spy will fit in upon the Horde’s victory over the mountains of Dun Morogh. Perhaps on a skewer roasting over the fire at the inn in Anvilmar. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. From whence he came he’ll return for dinner. Perhaps with fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti.

But, we Tauren are vegetarians. My Orcish alter-ego must have been asserting himself.

We slew the Chromatic Dragon and headed to the Swamp of Sorrows to slay the Green Dragon Somnus. And then at last we journeyed back to Grim Batol to once again take the Red Dragon’s head.

After the head had been taken we began working on acquiring some red dragonscales. And then an Alliance Warrior rode past. Level 60 and at a high rate of speed. Three of us set off in pursuit. I’m not really sure what he was doing up there at Grim Batol. The keep’s gates are sealed and the area surrounding it is lifeless. It overlooks the massive dwarven dam and perhaps he was enjoying a little bungie jumping? I know we must have interrupted his plans and prevented his securing himself to a tree or anchor because next thing we know this human warrior was gone. He’d jumped from the heights to his death below.

We rode back to the rest of our party and came across a Night Elf Priest. The Gods require twentyfive honor kills a week to maintain our ranks. In fact, distracted as I’ve been lately, I did not manage to hold on to a rank I’d earned back at level 49. It may be time for me to reenter the Battle Grounds and gain further Honor against the enemy again. Needless to say it was quickly only twenty four required for this week.

As anyone on a PvP server will know, where there is one enemy there are five. In a short moment a Human Rogue managed to get the jump one of our cloth wearers. He took the Mage, alas poor Yorick, but we caught the black clad one and bludgeoned his head into the grass. “Moooo. Are you happy now?” Restoring the Mage to life we again returned to our original task. A Chromatic Cloak appears to require 12 red dragonscales, and it takes hours to get even a handful of them.

After one such scale being acquired I looked up. Here was our mage, shielded, bouncing in a splash of arcane color, that Rogue hot on his heels again! The Dishonor of it! The Rogue was level 60 and our Mage 57. Nonetheless, the Rogue was quickly surrounded and his head reintroduced to the bloody grounds of Grim Batol. “And stay down!” Our Mage, brought near to death by the ambush, had cleverly hurt the Rogue, lured him to us, and survived the encounter. For the Horde!

The night was late and we all journeyed back to Orgrimmar for some well earned rest.

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Posted by on December 15, 2005 in Uncategorized


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