Monthly Archives: December 2005

Keyed for Onyxia.

That was easy enough. After running around that long quest chain, killing Dragons across the world, the final run is simply another trip to UBRS and meeting with General Drakkisath.

Our 15-man raid formed very quickly but I decided to wait for more to show up in Kargath before setting out. Sometimes the Uber-guilds camp the entrances and they are in their with Rogues and Priests and Paladins. And they aren’t there seeking hand-outs. And, as we can, we reply in kind.

Anyway, half the raid is in Kargath, and the rest? Already there.

We set out across the Badlands to Blackrock Spire and encountered no Alliance Scum. Easy enough. Through the gates, up the chain, around the rock and a quick jump to the terrace.

AHA! Alliance. Widdle biddy Alliance. A few met their demise. And then a famously despised Alliance Druid appeared. She was dispatched to whatever animal stall in heaven will have her.

And so we entered the instance. The place was strangely quiet. The roving bands of Orcs that usually greet us, gone. What’s going on? I move into the hallway, and up the stairs and find more empty rooms. About this time the wise men say “WTH?” Aha! The other half of the party beat us here and had already cleared the first two areas. Nice.

And we played a catch-up game with these the entire run. Through to Drakkisith, downing Rend and The Beast on the way, we were relentless. Few deaths, and when all was said and done, one of our Priests got his shoulders, and one of the Rogues got his Vest. I got the Tooth of Gnarr which has nice +Int and +Spi. And of course I got some blood off the General.

We portalled to Orgrimmar and I made my way back to Desolace where I spoke with Rexxar one last time. A Drakefire Amulet, and the key to journey to Onyxia’s lair, was at last mine.

(And it seems two of our Warriors have a tome called Foror’s Compendium. Some sword they’ll be able to craft in the hot blood of Onyxia it seems. Where’s the love for the Shammy’s? Where’s our Quelserra?)

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Posted by on December 13, 2005 in Uncategorized


Onyxia Keyed. Almost.

Darkhoof ventured about Azeroth last night in his quest to become keyed for Onyxia.

It all started a few weeks ago. (Weeks? Is it possibly months? Maybe.) His guild was raiding Upper Blackrock Spire, and Lower, and so why not do the quests in addition to going for the set pieces of his Elemental armor?

Well, it’s not that easy. The quest chain to get keyed for Onyxia starts with the Warlord’s Command in Kargath. And that involves a 5-man group heading in, not a raid, and killing 3 bosses, Omokk, Voone, and Wyrmthalak, and recoving some secret documents in Lower Blackrock Spire.

In addition to advancing the quest chain, some gems might also drop that are used to get the key for Upperblack Rock Spire (UBRS). Darkhoof was very fortunate in that the gems dropped very easily for him and I’ve already told the tale of how he got his UBRS key.

Anyway, the Warlord’s Command continued. Darkhoof and his party killed the bosses, got the documents, and returned to Kargath. Goretooth, the quest giver, sent Darkhoof to Thrall, in Orgrimmar, and Thrall sent him back out to UBRS to kill Rend Blackhand. (I’ve mentioned Rend before.) With Rend’s head in his bags, he returned to Orgrimmar. Thrall is never slow with the praise and congratulated Darkhoof and then provided the citizens of Orgrimmar a nice little buff. Thrall then sent him out to speak with Rexxar in Desolace. Rexxar is the Half Orc that wanders the roads there.

Rexxar is just as bossy as any quest giver. Heedless of Darkhoof’s efforts so far he instead keeps the pressure on, sending him to speak with an undead Gnome hag in Western Plaguelands. And, true to form, Myranda the Hag sent him back into UBRS, this time to collect Dragonkin eyes. Twenty of them. When Darkhoof did this part he was the only one collecting eyes and it was very easy to collect them all in one run. With the eyes in tow he returned to Myranda and she gave him the disguise with which to go see Emberstrife in Dustwallow Marsh. (And I’ve already mentioned the disguise and how Darkhoof used it.)

Anyway, speaking with Emberstrife as a member of his Dragonkin crew Darkhoof was given the task to kill 3 Dragons not on Emberstrife’s Christmas Card list this year: Chronalis, Somnus, and Scryer.

When Darkhoof awoke in Orgrimmar he sent out a call in the guild channel: “Anyone up for collecting Dragon Heads for Emberstrife.” Guild theme of the week was already: “Everyone get themselves keyed for Onyxia.” Cool.

Scryer was the first Dragon our deadly little crew attempted. He is the leader of the Blue Dragonflight. We found him in his cave in Winterspring. He was easy enough to reach and we had a little help because his kind can drop a valuable scale used in crafting some good mail armor gear and a Warrior and Shaman accompanied our 5-man party. He went down easily. One head had been acquired.

One of the group had spoken with a small Dragon in UBRS named Awbee, and she’d sent him here, to the cave. Teleporting to the roof of the cave, and speaking with an enigmatic Blood Elf found there, our friend was punched across the world. Ouch. “Hope the water loads quick for you. Nothing worse than smashing into a muddy lake bottom, and THEN having the water appear that might have cushioned the fall.)

Chronalis was next. He is the leader of the Chromatic Dragonflight. These dragons guard the Caverns of Time. This Dragon was easier to reach because he had fewer guards. He did have a HUGE Dragon on his 6, but that Dragon remained disengaged while we slew Chronalis and took his head.

We then hopped up on the rocks around the Cavern/Temple. I peaked in, expecting to see stars or such, but instead just saw the group standing out front. It seems the Gods have removed the Caverns of Time for the time being.

Let me describe our adventuring group. It was me Darkhoof, a Tauren Shaman as you well know. Ona, an Orc Shaman who wears Beaststalker Pauldrons. Lexia, an Undead Mage, and owner of some 60 different pets. Murky being the latest and downright cool. Hsiri, an Undead Rogue, who won’t stop until he gets a 5,000 crit. Carlspackler, a Tauren Warrior, bearer of the Halbeard of Smiting. Helping us out were Bezalbub, an Orc Warrior in full Valor, and Hammystyle, another Tauren Shaman, fully in Elements and already 4 pieces of Earthfury.

Each Dragon went down with our first attack on them. This was rather easy. I expect Onyxia won’t be though.

Anyway, the last Dragon was Somnus, a Dragon in the Green Dragonflight. He’s found in the Swamp of Sorrows surrounded by his Dragonkin protectors. You may have run across him before. He has a habit of appearing from behind and one-shotting you when you are out alone questing in the Swamp. Regardless we quickly exacted revenge for all the one-shotted and took his head too.

Lexia and I returned to Emberstrife and I turned in the heads. With that accomplishment Emberstrife sent me out one more time. This time to slay Axtrox of the Red Dragonflight. He (She? Who’s going to check?) is found in Grim Batol, in the Wetlands. We rode out from Hammerfall and found him quickly. We spent a little time with him, and collecting his head, continued a little bit more and collected red dragonscales from his guards.

With the last dragon head in my bag I returned to, a final time I hope, to Emberstrife. There I got a medal and the command to go see General Drakkasith and discuss this with him. Seems I’d impressed old Emberstife with my willingness to kill other Dragons.

But, yeah, you’re right. Dragons can lie and Rexxar in Desolace set Darkhoof straight.

Darkhoof will have to return to General Drakkisath alright, but to kill him and draw his blood. But that’s for another night.

Darkhoof spent about 3 hours in Azeroth getting the Dragon Heads quests done and then retired for the night.

Tonight: UBRS.

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Posted by on December 12, 2005 in Uncategorized


Darkhoof goes to MC.

It’s another week and Molten Core time again.

It’s started excellent. We really have a handle on the mobs everywhere. All the way to Lucifron without too many dying. And Lucifron, downed without a single death. We rock.

Then we turned our attention to Magmadar. We took him down the 2nd time we through ourselves at him.

After posing for a picture we stripped and ran for the exit. We lasted 10 seconds. We then left our bodies to appear at the cemetery. The guild ran back in their underwear to the instance entrance.

We reentered and reequipped ourselves. We then moved on to Gehennas. We know how to handle him and we took him down with only a couple dead.

We then moved on to tackle Garr. However we did not have the warlocks we felt we needed, to do the banishes, and that attempt did not go as well as our first.

No loot dropped for Hoofie this trip. But he was #2 in healing again so that was good.

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Posted by on December 10, 2005 in Uncategorized


Seal of Ascension. An UBRS/LBRS run.

Last night I logged onto Darkhoof. I was hoping something would be going on even though it was a “down night” for the guild without anything scheduled. As soon as I log on I get a whisper “UBRS?” “Of course” I reply. I still would like to get my Vest of the Elements off General Drakkisath and UBRS has gotten pretty easy with all of our experience. Too we had a young Rogue and a new Priest along and they need their gear.

Anyway as I’m heading out to the zeppelin stand they tell me, as I was already doing, “Get on vent.” (Ventrillo, our preferred voice comm choice.) By the time I get to the Zeppelin stand they tell me “Leave the raid.” and I do so and get invited into a party. “We’re going to get you the UBRS key.” I.e. the Seal of Ascension.

Cool. I’d gotten lucky with the gem drops and have had the parts for over a month now, and I’d picked up Vaelyn’s (sp?) Gift from Brackenwall Village. All that had been left to do was to visit Emberstrife in his lair deep in the marsh, beat him down, and make him forge a key for me.

So I left the zeppelin stand and headed back into Orgrimmar to catch a windrider to Brackenwall Village. Our party was all guild officers, and two were already ahead of me heading to Emberstrife’s, and two were following. I knew they way because I’d already visited Emberstrife once before to speak with him and get some quests. (There’s trouble in Dragonland my friends.)

Anyway Viscera, a Rogue, and Sapphyre, a Priest, were ahead of me and were already killing some of the elite Dragonkin outside of Emberstrife’s Lair. As Hution, a Druid arrived, I’d stepped into the lair and put on my Dragonkin disguise. It’s pretty cool though the movement’s aren’t all there. For instance, they can’t dance or wave. But when armed they’ll equip the shield and dagger you have in your hand.

Anyway, as soon as these three saw a Dragonkin standing in the entrance they all attacked. Sapph launched a Shadow Word: Pain, Hutty a Moonstrike, and Visc did his thing. All failed because it was me! HA HA! :) Funny stuff. Especially hearing it over vent. (Almost as funny as the time in the Tribute Run where they yelled in vent “Oh, *&#t! Run Darkhoof. Run!” And I ran. Dancing Ogres are so funny.)

Lexia, a Mage, arrived and we headed into the Lair.

I removed the disguise because for this Seal of Ascension quest the point is to beat Emberstrife down and break his will. Hutty went into Bear form and Visc did his Rogue thing and Emberstrife was quickly reduced to tears. I placed the unforged seal on the ground, and then mind controlled him with the orb. Cool. I was a real Dragon! Anyway, I looked for and initially did not see the seal I’d put on the ground. I didn’t see it at all when the control broke. As I returned to Darkhoof, I again controlled Emberstrife. This time I saw the seal, and saw the Breath Fire command. I blew fire on the seal. Nothing. I blew more fire on the seal. Still nothing. Then the mind control broke again. We killed him until I could figure out what the deal was with the unforged seal. I was sure I was doing everything right.

So there we were, on Emberstrife’s perch, when two Dragonkin walked up. “Where’s the Dragon?” “We just pwned him.” “Oh.” “You doing the quests?” “Yeah. Don’t pawn him again until we’re done.” (“Did he just say “pawn?” we ask each other on vent? :) “Okay.” They do their thing and move on. We again attack Emberstrife and show him what a little girly-dragon he really is. I place the seal again, and mind control him. I see the seal and blow fire on it. Again. And then I see the frost breath button. Doh. I blow frost on the seal too. Bingo. The seal is forged and as I collect it I am restored to Darkhoof. Emberstrife dies, again, and I hear the distinctive sounds of skinning while Lexia takes Emberstrife’s skin. The yardage this beast has shed in his career must be astronomical!

Anyway. Success! Now one last stage was to return to LBRS and return the forged seal and get the ring/key. We rejoin the UBRS raid, and the raid channel on vent, and make our way to Kargath.

As we arrive it sounds like an uber-Alliance guild is having it’s fun in the entrances of Blackrock Spire and Depths. They’ve got folks stationed on the chain, down by the entrance to Molten Core, and at the entrance to BRS. There are skeletons everywhere. As we ride to the entrance from Kargath we hear the reports. We ride past a few alliance outside of the gates and then enter. The ramp downward is littered with bones. Lots of bones. But the trick here is: Keep moving and keep heading to your destination. To the left, up the rock, onto the chain, up to the left again, under the rock, over to the balcony, a jump onto it, head in, wade through the sea of red names to the instance entrance and go go go. Whew. Made it. Zerg entrance for the win!

We were a 15-man raid on UBRS. When you 5-man it, to do some quests, it is tough. 15-manning it, with Druids sleeping and Rogues sapping, is very easy. We cut our way down into LBRS where I turned in my forged seal to get the Seal of Ascension. +Nature, Fire, and Frost Resist. Not bad. And then we cut our way back to the entrance of the UBRS part.

Have I mentioned that I was the #2 healer on our last two runs into the Molton Core? I’m proud of that. I’ve got good +Int gear to boost my mana pool, and I’ve got +healing spells gear to improve my healing. (Hutty was the #1 healer there. Druids rock when it comes to healing. And the Battle Rez they can do is incredibly useful.) I’m a Restoration, 0/11/40, specc’d Shaman in order to provide the Mana Tide Totem for casters. And it counts. I crit often with my healing spells. (The 11 I have in Enhancement gets me faster ghost wolf casting and two-handed weopon talents.)

Anyway, I also have +Stamina gear for when I’m outside, and my Zulian Stone Axe, while providing +22 Int it also has +44 Attack Power.

My group had 4 Rogues in it. In the raid we had two other Shamans along, two Priests, several Mages and Warlocks, and 1 Warrior. We had a single tank. So I put on my +Stamina gear, and brought the Axe out and prepared to melee for a change. I might off-tank here, but I’m going to want to smash stuff while I do it.

I put out Stoneskin Totems to keep the damage my group takes down, and Healing Stream Totems to heal a little of what we do take, and reduce somewhat the burden on the healers, and for the Rogues I drop Grace of Air Totems. They just love it. (As much as Warriors love the Windfury Totem.)

Keeping the Windfury buff up on my Axe, and my Lightning Shield up, the Grace of Air Totems were providing me a lot of satisfactory triple hits. The Zulian Stone Axe, while all +Int also does decent damage. 58.6 damage per second. And +44 Attack Power adds, what, +3 dps as well? If you’ve ever been one-shotted by a Shaman, it was probably via a Windfury activating, and maybe even with some Flurry action to boost it. Mind you, being Resto specc’d, I don’t have the Improved Windfury buff, nor the Flurry talent. (I miss those. I may respec when I head to the Outlands where I imagine smaller groups and melee will be common again.)

So, as I was saying, we were cutting through the ranks of the UBRS defenders. We cleared out those 8 rooms in the start without a loss. Our Warrior would charge the Summoner, one of the mages was casting some frost spell, and otherwise they were spamming Arcane Explosions, and a thought occured to me. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” I wasn’t straight up meleeing yet, casting like 2 Chain Lightnings per battle, and then meleeing the runners. (Our Warrior, a Tauren named Carlspackler, wasn’t our usual Main Tank either. He’s happiest wielding this huge Halbeard of Smiting. He is typically the main off-tank though, and this run, boy he did great as the Tank.)

We got to the Emberseers room and dispatched him without effort. I mean, for a boss, he’s so … wanting.

We then moved into the “LEEEEROY JEEENKINS” room. The Rookery. We did the Event. We then had one of the younger characters pop a few eggs as he moved to the ramp. Easy enough to kill the Whelps. That Leeroy Jenkins video is such a laugh. We took out the Dragons on the ramp, and along the ledge, and it was like wind through wheat.

We then moved on to attack the Orcs in the Armory. They went down swiftly as well. There was a rare Orc there and he dropped a Starsomething Tiara. Nice. And we just cut through to the balcony. Do you remember your first time in UBRS? When all this was so difficult? When all this took real strategy? I mean if we can pull one group, accidently another, and for giggles, another, and survive with only a death or two on our side, “What the hell?” What’s happened to us? How did we get so good? Does the gear really provide that much more benefit? Could be. I didn’t have my Sergeant’s Cloak, or Timmy’s Golashes, or my Dreamwalker Armor, or my Pauldrons of the Elements, or my Zulian Axe or Defender the first time I came to UBRS. With all this gear, and everyone else with their improved gear, we have gotten so much better. (And when you run into an Uber-Guild that makes Nefarian cry like a little girl on a weekly basis, they’ve got gear that makes ours look like vendor trash. That’s turning around though with every guild trip to MC.)

So we make our way up to the balcony overlooking the Arena. Hooah! We jump down and wait. We dispatch wave after wave of Orcs and Dragonkin and Whelps. “Is this the best you’ve got Rend Blackhand? This? Send in the girl scouts and give us a challenge!”

That sets him off and next thing you know Rend arrives, riding his Dragon Gyth. Gyth is swiftly downed, and then we turn on Rend himself. And here’s where my new Seal of Ascension again comes in handy. (It automatically opened the doors for us earlier.) Having equipped it before jumping down in the arena, I now used it. A huge Dragon appears, ghostly, heals us all for 5000 each, and then begins attacking Rend with us. Seems Rend’s been a bad, bad Orc. Seems he’s been abusing his Dragons. Rend goes down. And for the 2nd time in days drops another set of those Warrior shoulders. Alas, the guild warrior who want these is not with us. Rend also drops a polearm, but it’s not as nice as what our Warrior already has, and so we disenchant both.

And so we moved on.

We moved our way on to the Beast. Our new Rogue, Kippin, is tasked with being “Punted.” Yay for the Puntee. (Every newcomer to UBRS is made the Puntee. Its a tradition of ours. If you haven’t been Punted, you haven’t really lived. You must try it.)

We cleared out the rest of the room, and then the bridge leading over to General Drakkisath’s room.

Clearing out the room to get to Drakkisath can sometimes be trying. Some days we don’t do well and wipe on the first group. Last night we pulled one group at a time, got no adds, and did well. In our battles so far we lost one, maybe two tops. I didn’t rez once this run. Didn’t die once either.

We remove the trash mobs and have Drakkasith in our sights. We start the battle, and we have our Hunter lead Drakkasith off out of the room. We dispatch the first guard, and then turn on the second, and Drakkasith surprises us by being returning too early. No matter, we kill the 2nd guard and then concentrate on him. Our gear is good because he’s taken down very easily. Yay for the team. Our Priest got his set shoulders earlier, and now he got the set robe as well.

Remember me telling you I’ve been #2 lately in healing on our 40-man MC runs? Well in melee mode I was #4 in damage output on our 15-man raid. And #3 in damage taken. Our guild’s got skill.

Let me add: Recap is an add-on. It’s been very useful in establishing what works, and what doesn’t. Are you really “All that?” Let recap tell you. Using recap I set goals to be the best in a category that I can be. Are you really healing that well? How’s your mana efficiency? You got the dps to keep up? Get Recap and find out.

All in all a great run in UBRS for the guild. And Darkhoof is now keyed for UBRS so that’s excellent as well.

And tonight, Friday, we head back into Molton Core.

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Posted by on December 9, 2005 in Uncategorized


What type of WoW character should you be? If you went to sleep tonight, but in the morning woke up in Azeroth, what class would you be?

Here is a site that’ll reveal the inner class yearning to get out:

Me? With two Paladins named Bohemond, and one named Honorus, you’d think, and be right:

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Posted by on December 8, 2005 in Uncategorized


Mage Power. The Random Epic. Baron Geddon

My night began in Coldshire where Garbanzo was running a few errands out of Anvilmar Inn.

Bald, green moustache, cool blue eyes, Garbanzo put down troll after troll of the Frostmane Tribe. Seems they’d made off with some parts and such from the clumsy gnome in Anvilmar Inn. “Dude! Wipe the grease off your hands and keep a grip on them. Or next time get them yourself!”

But it proved a good opportunity to get out and practice my mage skills. Very effective at level 4 let me say.

Fun as that might have been, the Molton Core was calling a certain Tauren Shaman I know, and Garbanzo retired for the night.

It at long last happened. A random epic world drop.

There I was, waiting for the guild to assemble in Kargath and I was just out in the Badlands gathering herbs and killing scalding whelps there in Lethlor Ravine.

The Scalding Whelps will actually drop a small pet whelp and that’s what I was hoping for. They sell very well in the Auction House.

But it was not to be.

And here’s where good karma paid off for me.

See, on the way to the Ravine, rather than kill a Night Elf Hunter I’d ran across on the way to the Ravine, I stopped but did not kill her. Instead, I killed the 3 creatures that were attacking her. She appeared to have died anyway and I was rather disappointed. I hadn’t saved her. But then I noticed one of the cats still fighting the other and it had two lines in it’s name. Do hunters not realize feign death does not fool anyone when their pet remains there? Perhaps she feigned to avoid death at the jaws of the creatures. Anyway her cat and I killed the attacking mobs and I left her after bowing graciously. As I loped away in Ghost Wolf form (I can gather herbs in that form, very handy) I looked over my shoulder saw her stand back up. My Worg Pup announces my level for those in-the-know.

A little later, in the Ravine, after I’d killed a few Scalding Whelps I saw a mounted rider go past. A level 50 Priest. Human. An Honor Kill. I mounted up and set out to follow. But as I neared her, ready to leap off and cast a slowing Frostshock, I reconsidered. I wasn’t going to take the easy kill, for a single HK. For what? One HK? I can dozens of HK’s with just a little time in the Battlegrounds. Why kill one Priest? Let her live. Maybe she’ll show mercy on the next Horde character who’s path she crosses.

I merely followed her a bit more, up a gulley in the side hills and waved. I then rode on to continue on the Whelps. In a small gully right next to where the Priest was I saw another Alliance player. I caught the name, the double red line is such a giveaway in contested lands, but paid no mind to the class or level. I wasn’t going to engage anyway and instead moved on.

So I wound up back in the Ravine killing more whelps. The priest rides out of the Ravine. Then a level 60 Alliance player rode out, and this was the one that was near her earlier. Had I attacked her, he right there and both together might have imposed somewhat on my survivability. What comes around goes around.

A few more whelps and another Night Elf rode past. This one was level 43 or so. I saw him after he’d ridden past, and then saw him suddenly stop. Without turning to me I did see him pause and his mount shrugged. I figure he was analyzing the situation. A moment later he rode on. I guess the skull in my level frightened him off. Lesson: Always inspect your opponent first, before attacking. If he’s ?? or Skull to you, best just move on, quickly. I ignored him and continued with the Great Whelp Slaughter. (I will say being level 60 has it’s advantages sometimes. Soloists tend to leave you alone.)

And then I killed another whelp.

And then the miracle. A first for me in a little over a year playing. A random epic world drop.

The Staff of Jordan

I think, for sparing these folks tonight, and being helpful as I could, I was at last rewarded with an epic drop.

Alas, it’s of no use to me now. My wife’s shaman is a few levels yet from using it, but the money it might earn in the Auction House has me wanting to sell it. That’ll definitely buy some fancy blue items for her and my alts here on Smolderthorn.

- On reconsideration whether this Karma earned me the staff, the other night, as I moved to join my raid into Black Rock Depths to get some guildmates Attuned for Molton Core, I’d entered the area, made my way down the chain, and then proceeded all the way to the back where the BRD entrance is. After I passed the Blood Elf, and heading to the hallway, I caught sight of a level 54 Alliance player killing a dwarf. I kept going since my raid had already started. That one Alliance player turned into ten players, and I thought to myself, “Uh oh.” I wasn’t going to accomplish anything against them, I, as I’d already intended anyway, continued to run onward. Halfway down the tunnel one of the Black Iron Dwarves attacked me, not the Alliance players though. This dwarf managed to daze me and I slowed to a walk. Then it netted me. I could outrun this trouble I knew so I ignored it and continued on. Then came the dreaded Hunters Mark. One of the Alliance hunters was 1) preparing to kill me, 2) urging me onward, or 3) wishing me godspeed, and providing me incentive. Then came another net from the accursed dwarf. The Alliance players never moved in, and the dwarf eventually lost me as I entered the BRD instance. We got our guys attuned and there was great rejoicing. Maybe I’d already taken out a loan against the Karma I was going to earn. —

The raid to Molton Core was fun. We already had 4 of the bosses down and today we attempted the Baron Geddon.

Darkhoof in Molton Core. Just before the battle with Geddon.

As you might know, the Core Hounds stop spawning after you kill Magmadan. The Lava Surgers stop spawning after you kill someone else. Some Rock guys stop spawning after killing Garr. So we simply had Molton Giants, Fire Lords, and Rock Annhilators to get through on our way to meet Baron Geddon.

The battle was fun. Every now and then the word goes out: “Darkhoof, you’re the bomb.” That of course is my cue to turn around and run to the back wall of the cave where I know I will explode. If the 3200 points of damage doesn’t kill you, the fall from a great height will. Hence the trick is to run to the back wall, where the cieling is low, and explode by yourself there. The blast won’t lift high enough to hurt you there. And if you can survive the 3200 hit, you can survive being the bomb. Alas, the Baron survived the encounter, but only after giving up valuable experience and lessons to us. Next time, as is the guilds habit, he’ll go down.

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Posted by on December 8, 2005 in Uncategorized


Ah. Darkshore. It feels like home.

Nightsown and Moonlily continued their questing in Darkshore. Tonight visiting the ruins of Ameth’Aran and other sites now lost to the Elves. Killing high-born spirits, a wandering love lost, and bears and sabers beyond count.

We had quite the synergistic experience, Moonlily and I, as we quested.

I, the warrior, would charge foe after foe. This served to stun the hapless opponent for a brief bit of time. Enough for me to inflict a cutting rend. If this were the type that chose to flee the field, plainstriders for example, a quick hamstring would follow to help secure their proximity to me. And the ever more the battle raged I would then attempt mortal strikes that did extra punishing damage. And should I battle an agile foe I’d be given the opportunity to land an overpowering blow as well. Even like-levelled foes went down so quick I sometimes needed to wait a bit before I could charge the next one. At this stage in a Warrior’s career, it’s about damage output. Nightsown, with massive two-handed Cold Iron Pick, complies.

But, without Moonlily, I’d be half the man I am. In her experiences elsewhere she’s learned how priests support warriors and Nightsown was shortly to benefit from her wisdom now. Before I charge, on the meaner beasts, she’d shield me. AH HA! I charged forward in a bubble of immunity and lay a hurting down on anything that stood in our way. Before the bubble fades the hapless opponent is already wracked with shadow word: pain. (My priestess, my disciple of Elune, will hurt you if she must.) And as I did my thing she kept me healed and we walked the Valley of Death and we feared not.

Bears to the of left me, sabers to the right, there I was stuck in the middle with a plainstrider, and, Hooah, we beat them down.

How wonderful life is, when she’s in the world.

Nightsown dinged 16 and shortly thereafter Moonlily dinged 16 and we headed back to Darnassus from some training and the comforts of an inn with decent beds and indoor plumbing.

Moonlily and I are founders of Ysera’s Flight, a guild on Emerald Dream. If you’re looking for a small guild of mature players, send Nightsown or Moonlily a tell if you see them.

Oddity managed to gain another PvP rank. He is now Grunt Oddity. As you know the plan is for him to remain doing Warsong Gulches until he hits level 30 there.

Darkhoof went to UBRS last night. Part of a 15-man pick-up group. There were some 5 guildmates there, and one uber-equipped Rogue from one of Smolderthorn’s new uber-guilds. The only thing green in his equipment was his [skin]. The only things blue, an odd trinket or ring. The rest was majestically epic purple [gear]. He was with a less well equipped female orc warrior who was obviously a member of an alt-guild of the uber-guild. Sadly though lady luck was not with her and she did not win any prize of note. She was to secure Rend’s Head though so that was an accomplishment. Too, my warrior guildmate had managed to be disconnected just before we battled in the Arena there. When Rend dropped the Valor Shoulders another guildmate warrior managed to win them, but I know he was hugely disappointed. I tell this tale about this being a pick-up group because we went against Rend with 3 people disconnected. Nobody was using vent. We had 4 or 5 guilds present. One priest, one mage, two Warlocks, and, I guess, epic spirit. Rend went down so easily. – Lesson is pick-up groups ARE viable in this game, even in the raid-instances. We certainly were in no position to take on General Drakkisath but we did well. That far in and you have opportunities for set-piece gloves and shoulders to drop. And the belt and bracers can drop at any time.

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Posted by on December 7, 2005 in Uncategorized


Levelling. My characters. Some speculation.

Where do people appear to find the time??? I’m referring to those leet level 60 characters that are already milling around in Ironforge that you’ve only just reached for the first time. And the server isn’t a month old.

Kinless took me pretty far in the game. He quested through most of Stranglethorn Vale and had just started the tasks in Tanaris. But his trips to the Auction House in Ironforge were fraught with lag, and then, for the first time, he would have to queue to actually enter the realm! (Yep. Blizzard has something here. This World of Warcraft would do well. Look at all the players.)

And so new realms were to appear in the Warcraft multiverse, to borrow an idea from Michael Moorcock. Unfortunately there are no heroes that can cross from one realm to the other … well at will. (The overrun of Smolderthorn, a new realm, by the elite veterans of Skullcrusher, an original realm, was quite a shock. Imagine encountering freakishly deadly Paladins. That’s an oxymoron.)

Anyway, when these new realms appeared they included several PvP servers. I created a character on Frostmane and as I attempted to log on … another queue! The goldrush was on. I waited a few days and then gained entrance. Darkhand, the Night Elf Rogue, began his career.

It was a mob scene. Elves were running rampant throughout the Tree. The boar and tiger populations took quite a hit that day my friends, let me tell you.

But Darkhand took it in stride and move out and onward. About the time I reached level 5 there was talk on the general chat channel of people seen that were level 30. Before I left the tree a few days later, characters on mounts had appeared.

Somehow the four-five hours I was playing a night was not nearly good enough. From some bizarre dimensional rift players were finding spare hours to somehow level their characters at rates approaching the speed of light.

Shame on me. I was actually attempting to do all the quests. The secret appears to be: quests aren’t the answer. The early quest rewards are not worth the time lost running around doing them. Grinding and farming were the secret. Go out with empty bags and cut down green level monsters until your bags were full. Return to base, auction and vendor the things you’ve gotten, and repeat. You pretty much do that right up to 60. Minimize downtime and earn xp while you earn cash.

And I can attest to that. Kinless did a lot of solo work, and concentrated on his skinning and leatherworking. At level 48 he’s 300 in skinning and could well be 300 in leatherworking too. (Perhaps not since he’s started the Tribal Leatherworking quest series. He chose that speciality for the cool looking armor pieces, not because it would improve his hunting ability any.) If the quests weren’t mostly farming (i.e. the hunting quests in STV) he did not do them. That’s why at level 48 he has less reputation in the several factions than Darkhand did at 28.

Quests are a timesink that slow down levelling. But my characters on the PvP servers have studiously done all the quests because reputation has value and the story is important.

Too, lots of characters are a timesink as well.

Characters I have and play/played:

On Argent Dawn, RP server
o Kinless, level 48 Night Elf Hunter, skinning/leather
o Kinsman, level 16 Night Elf Rogue
o Moonbeam, level 16 Night Elf Druid, herbalist/alchemy
o Schaden, level 12 Gnome Rogue, skinning/engineering
o Bohemond, level 12 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing

These are all inactive. All too often one gets the queue waiting to log onto Argent Dawn.

On Frostmane, PvP server
o Darkhand, level 45 Night Elf Rogue, mining/engineering
o Bohemond, level 25 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing
o Msaker, level 22 Night Elf Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Rogier, level 6 Gnome Warrior

On Smolderthorn, PvP server
o Darkhoof, level 60 Tauren Shaman, herbalist/alchemist
o Darbanville, level 22 Undead Priest, tailor/enchanter
o Oddity, level 29 Orc Warrior, mining/blacksmith
o Denada, level 20 Troll Rogue, skinning/mining
o Lakota, level 14 Tauren Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Xojak, level 14 Undead Mage, mining/engineering

On Emerald Dream, RP-PvP server
o Dreamrunner, level 29 Night Elf Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Bohemond, level 15 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing
o Nightsown, level 14 Night Elf Warrior, mining/blacksmithing
o Garbanzo, level 5 Gnome Mage, will be mining/engineering

Okay. That’s it. Honest.

Okay, you got me. I have space left for 3 on Smolderthorn and that will be some new Blood Elf characters.

And on Emerald Dream I’m hoping the new race will the Worgen. Accursed humans of Gilneas who have sealed themselves behind the Graymane Wall to avoid the plague that has otherwise overrun Silverpine and Tirisfal Glade, but yet still succumbed to another plague, that released by Arugal in neighboring Moonbrook. Perhaps in their isolation the Gilneans have devised a means to control their lycanthropy and the new race will be Human that can transform into Worgen at will. (Similar to the Druid transformation into a Moonkin form.) One can only hope.

Many think the Blood Elves were given to the Horde to help balance play. Few would play Horde because of the ugly races. So give them a pretty race and the sides will balance out some.

And that means the Alliance will have to get an ugly race. The Draenai were mentioned once. They are from Draenor, like the Orcs and Ogres, but were their enemies. You can find them now in a village in the Swamp of Sorrows. They are pug ugly.

Furbolg’s is what I’ve recently heard. And if you’ve been to Ashenvale, Winterspring, and Azshara, this is viable. You have the Timbermaw Tribe with which either side can become friendly now. And if you do, when you travel to Azshara, there is a huge concentration of them near where one finds the Blood Elves up in the north. These are ugly enough and fit in well with the whole Emerald Dream slant the expansion will be moving towards.

The developers have promised that the race is already in the game, and everyone will go “Huh?!” when it is revealed as the next alliance race.

Anyway, that’s just rumors I’ve read.


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Posted by on December 6, 2005 in Altism


Tonight we have reports from Smolderthorn and Emerald Dream.

Report from Smolderthorn:

My level 29 Orc, Oddity, spent almost an hour waiting for Warsong Gulch to open up for him. He spent the time gathering a little ore and boar meat outside of Orgrimmar’s gates.

He did finally get in. On asking to be invited to a group, and being so, he, like the rest, charged out to battle the moment the gates opened.

And like most matches the horde appeared to effortlessly control the battle. There were no tactics involved. The only /raid chat was the “Grats” at the end of the match. There are those who know what they are doing, and there are those who know “Orc intercept. Orc smash. Orc recover stolen flag.” And that’s enough it seems.

With Oddity having more kills than deaths, the top 8 players for the match were all Horde. Oddity included.

I started Oddity in Warsong Gulch as soon as he dinged level 29. He will stay there until he dings 30. He should make Sergeant in doing so. “For the Horde!”

About his name. See, Orcs aren’t native to Azeroth. The come from a planet called Draenor. They’re alien’s here. Green, tusked, curdled mind, Space Oddity.

Report from Emerald Dream:

Nightsown, my Night Elf Warrior, and Moonlily, his Night Elf Priest companion (and real life wife) concluded the last of their quests on the Tree, and then journeyed to Darkshore.

We are both level 14 given the little bit of time we’d spent in Elwynn Forest over in the Human’s lands. Nightsown enjoys the sunny, dusty, environment of Westfall, but Moonlily is Elf through and through and prefers the music and the trees of our native lands.
I created Ysera’s Flight, a guild of our own. Members include Moonlily and Gretta, a Gnome Warlock, my wifes characters, and Dreamrunner, a Night Elf Druid of mine. Our real life friend, who joins us all the way from Heidelberg, Germany, plays Nachmahd, another Night Elf Druid and has joined us in Ysera’s Flight. (And tonight the Flight invited Spyridon to the guild. A level 5 Druid (who is a level 60 Paladin over on Argent Dawn!).)

The three of us have Paladins in a guild called Righteous Arms. Nachruf, Durilda, and Bohemond.

In Coldridge Valley a young gnome graduated and began his adventure in the real, and cold, world. Garbanzo, level 5 Mage.

Garbanzo will have to play a little catch-up to get to Gretta’s side, a level 15 Gnome Warlock.

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Posted by on December 6, 2005 in Uncategorized


I’ve decided to take up the blogcraft.

I’ve read several on-line World of Warcraft blogs and I was quite impressed. The bloggers all seem such reasonable and mature people and I’m glad to find the company I’m in is more than just l337 13-year olds.

My World of Warcraft addiction at the moment, aye, addiction I say, involves me most every night. It’s also gotten me to 60 on a Tauren Shaman, 45 on a Night Elf Hunter, and 45 on a Night Elf Rogue. And so many ‘toons it makes me sad there are only, like, 30 or 35 hours a day to play them all.

I’ll use this forum to tell you the exploits of my Shammy, Darkhoof, while in Molton Core, and the young Druid couple Msaker and Silverfoot adventuring in Westfall, and the Orc couple Oddity and Droonda, and the Night Elf couple Nightsown and Moonlily, and the odd couple, Bohemond the Human Paladin and Durilda the Dwarf Paladinette. Darkhand, a brooding Night Elf Rogue, assisting, but not joining, the guild Exiles of Gilneas. Another Bohemond, older and wiser Human Paladin who shares the world with Effilda an aspiring mage, and the druids Msaker and Silverfoot. (I am a fortunate gamer in that my wife enjoys this game as much as I do.)

Too, this blog is a way to catalog my own WoW experience for myself. Who I played, when, and what I experienced. There are so many stories here.

Kinless, the blog’s name, was the my first character.

Kinless is a Night Elf Hunter I took to level 45 on Argent Dawn, an RP server. There was a bit of a scare about level 30 or so when the name police took away my name. I objected, citing historical precedent to having a name that is an epithet and Kinless was restored his birthright. (Ah, the irony!) Ancient history, months and months ago, after Kinless had gained level 43 or so, and finally purchased his mount, a white spotted riding tiger that matched Jaguarette, my swamp jaguar pet, he was on a counter-strike raid in Ashenvale. Guildless he caught the attention of someone and was invited into a guild called The Kindred. Kinless signed up with The Kindred.

Up to level 43 I was very much a solo player. I finally began to join various parties to down the elites in Stranglethorn Vale like King Bangalash. But till then, and afterwards where I could, I continued to solo. Kinless is now camped in Gadgetzan and when I play him, so seldom nowadays, he makes slow but ever steady progress. Upshot was he was kicked from The Kindred due to not playing anymore.

Why did Kinless retire? Well I took the jump onto a PvP server. Actually several.

My first foray I created a few horde characters on Firetree. A Tauren Warrior and Bluetusk, a Troll Rogue. (I’d just watched a player-made WoW video called “Changes.”) But that didn’t last long.

I then created Darkhand, a Night Elf Rogue, on Frostmane.

Before I’d left Teldrassil Darkhand joined a party to do a quest in the Barrow Den. I didn’t really know the rogue mechanics yet, but I’d had a lot of WoW experience with Kinless, so I handled myself well. Anyway the party had two people in a guild. I don’t recall the name of this guild. I asked for admission and was invited and joined. Cool. And we actually played together.

The three of us enjoyed our excursions in Ashenvale. Rooting and smashing and slicing and dicing the odd Horde character that was so unfortunate as to cross our paths.

From that guild we moved to another, and that was a good guild.

RP or PvE server: Guilds are optional. PvP server: Guilds are so very helpful.

I was with that guild for a few weeks when news came of some new realms opening up. Several of us left our guild and jumped to a new server, Smolderthorn, to start life anew and Horde!

(Well, before we made that jump one our friends had left the game in favor of Magic the Gathering: Online. I’d played that for a while as well. He’d just downloaded the game and purchased enough decks that when I logged on to play him a game he thoroughly thrashed me. So much for my MtG skillz. :)

Anway, back to our move to Smolderthorn. This was back in May ’05. We all started Tauren characters. Mine became Darkhoof, a Tauren Shaman. (Named in honor of Darkhand, my Rogue.) On our first visit to Thunderbluff our guildmaster made our guild. Loktar Legion. (Lok’tar meaning “Ride Forth!” or “Charge!” in Orcish.)

That guildmaster is still playing today, following a summerlong absence, in the guild we made, following several mergers, as an Undead Mage, level 54 now, and now an Orc Hunter in his 20′s.

Our guildmaster became friends with an Undead Priestess in a guild called Dias de los Muertes. (“Day of the Dead.”) A Mage/Priest duo can be a powerful thing and they did well. So well talk came about our merging. Loktar Legion and Dias de los Muertes merged and became Day of the Dead.

And boy, we were all moving up. Day of the Dead coalesced so well that soon enough we were making raids on Menethil Harbor. (This was before the big Battle Ground additions and we only got meaningful PvP honor by taking the battle to our enemies.)

And then we began an alliance with another guild, Satori, and that went so well, we merged and became Requiem. And Requiem has become a Molton Core raiding guild. We’re just starting out but we’re doing great. Three raids under our belts and we’ve taken down four bosses so far. I have a Sorcerous Blade to show for it. Our previous raid location, Zul Gurub, provided me my Zulian Defender. And our raids on UBRS and Strat and Scholo have scored me set pieces and some good equipment and cash.

At about the time I began doing UBRS Skullcrusher was invited to come crash our party on Smolderthorn. One week you’re Gods in Battlegrounds, next you have Paladins, seeming Crit specc’d, PWNing your butt up and down the Arathi Basin. “I couldn’t do that. Could you do that? How can they do that? … Who are those guys?”

Then, some good news. A new server format was newly offered. RP-PvP. I created a Night Elf Druid, Dreamrunner, a Night Elf Warrior, Nightsown, and a Human Paladin, Bohemond, on Emerald Dream. (With the expansion possibly bringing The Emerald Dream and Druids more into the limelight, I figured these were good characters to start.) And there would be no massive influx of players from another server with 6 months head-start gearing up on you since this is the first of the RP-PvP servers.

Darkhoof remains active on Smolderthorn as Requiem starts their Molton Core raids. Check out the [Sorcerous Blade] on this Shaman!

So went my journey from Kinless, to Darkhand, to Darkhoof and now Dreamrunner and on into whatever the future holds here. And I’ll be recounting the days here.

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Posted by on December 5, 2005 in Uncategorized


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