Monthly Archives: August 2006

Blackhoof’s not an egotist. … No, wait a sec. Nope. He is. :)+

It’s been mentioned that I don’t talk enough about the other people I play with. Oh, I don’t know about that. I’ve mentioned Droonda/Itarilda, my wife. How she just got her Timberwolf mount. Even had the picture to show for that. Nachmahd my buddy. The only screenshots I could catch of him show an empty scene, no Tauren. What’s up with that? He’s probably out of range picking an herb somewhere. I’d call him a Pansy, in honor of his devotion to herbs and such, but he’s about 2 feet taller than me and double my size. Don’t mess with a Tauren or you’ll get the horns. So Hippy and Flowerboy will have to do.

Soooo, without further adieu, let me tell you a little about our latest adventure.

We set off to kill us some pirate captains. You know the three Captains, moored off the beach to the east of Booty Bay.

We make our way out to the island. There’s a mess load of warlocks to be cleared. I go after imps first, then the ‘lock herself. I hate the fireballs. Nachmahd is beside me, damn Enhancement Shaman making me work to beat him in DPS, and Droonda is backing us up, yay for Restoration Shaman! It’s easy to clear off the island.

Now we have two boat ramps. Up the left one we go. There’s two or three at a time. Swashbucklers and Mages and some sort of Rogue slash Deckhand type. I so hate being gouged over and over. Hard for me to hold the aggro. Me being Msaker of course. (See it’s not all about Blackhoof. ):p )

Hey, isn’t that some nice emoticon for a Tauren?
):) = happy Tauren.
):( = sad Tauren.
): = ambivalent Tauren.

:][ = tusked Orc? (We don’t smile)

Where was I? Ah yes. So we’ve stormed the first ship. We do pretty good. Droonda is pulling a little aggro, but nothing we can’t handle. (Cheaper on the bullets that way.) We clear through to the Captain and kill him.


Next boat. Same procedure as last year. We clear down to the Fleet Admiral this time. Hey! This is easy. The 2nd and 3rd targets of our assassination quest done here.

The first on the list must be on the boat off to it’s own. “This is going to be sooo easy” I think.

We swim over, clear the island. Mana regenned we storm the boat. Kind of a WTF moment arises when we are just surrounded by pirates. What’s an adventurer to do? “Run” I say to my wife and I turn and leave the boat. “Run” I type in party chat. I keep moving out. “Run” I type again in party chat. I’ve got 4 or so on me. Droonda and Nachmahd’s health bars are dipping. Mine is too. (Love the shield and plate armor.)

Two pirates swim after me and take me down to about 1/3 and then stop. They just stop in the water. This is like a guard spawn! That’s NOT what was on the other ship. They spawned more and more just because we were there.

Well. That’s just not fair.

Nachmahd anked, Droonda is rezzed, and I dance and wait. “I’ll pull” I say and go up the ramp. Pow and I get two to follow. Maybe it’s three. Well, this seems to be the toughest boat. There seems to always be more pirates than we see and expect. BUT we’re two Shaman and a Warrior. You think we can be stopped? Nah. The 1st Captain is killed and we swim back. Job well done.

That concluded our adventures for the night and everyone logged. Everyone, that is, except that wished-he-was-an-Officer Blackhoof. But let’s not talk about him again. :)

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Posted by on August 30, 2006 in Quests, Shamans


Rank 6. Nice. Never been an officer before.

“And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.” – Col Jessup, A Few Good Men.

So I got into the Officer’s Hall finally. Bought myself a nice Officer’s Tabard. Next week I hope I’m rank 7 and I can pick up some of the officer gear. It’s late nights, but a 15% increase in my Ghostwolf run speed might be worth something.

And all the while my faction rep grind is steady. Over 1/3 of the way to Exalted with Frostwolf. Half way or so to Revered with Warsong and the Defilers. All of these factions offer nice rewards. My goal, if it’s even possible at my casual pace, is “Champion”.

It’s not all wins and wins.

Alterac Valley we lost 3 times in a row. Twice as we were working on Vanndar. The first we got bogged down on the road to Stormpike Graveyard. I can’t imagine the hours long battles that used to be waged. But I got 3 tokens out the effort here.

Arathi Basin I entered in with some trepidation. This is the toughest one of the battlegrounds for me and the battles seem most personal. It was pug-vs-pug and we five-capped it. Woot. 3 tokens from this.

Warsong Gulch, and it’s gotten late. I only needed 1 more token to make 3. Initial rush out the gates. I see Alliance running down west side of the Gulch and we running up the east side. I’m epic mount, carrot on a stick, mithril spurs, and I always dismount outside so they can’t hear the dismount. I’m alone and I run to the balcony. There’s a fight going on below and someone bubbles me. “God? Is that you?” No matter, I grab the flag, drop an earthbind, a searing totem, and run for the door. Ghostwolf and start running. Back down to our base along the west side. Our flag is taken and is going north mid-field. I have company with me. Troll. Friend. I go up the ramp. Our flag is still gone. I tuck myself into a corner and wait. I see a Night Elf ride up and approach. I jump down and land on a gnome. (Heh.) Earthbind and I run down the tunnel towards the speed boots. Gone. And 3 more red names coming up at me. Hmm. I turn and run out the side tunnel. Up to the roof. I cross the area, jump down, drop an earthbind, and then go out the door I first exited at the game start. I ghostwolf and make myself scarce behind some clutter in a corner. I see that I’ve been targeted, by a hunter. Dwarf. Grrr. Well, I can’t stay put. So I take off, moving to the east, and then north, off the cliff. But I don’t want to go too far, so I cut hard to the left and simply run west along the bottom of the cliff. Not sure I want to try the tunnel, since most flag deliveries are handled via the tunnel I expect there’d be a mob in there, so I keep running west. Then up the ramp, back around to the left, and then up into the base at the balcony. Bang, our flag is returned and I jump off the balcony and cap it. 1/0.

Well, that’s a lot of running so I try a little defense now. I’m keeping totems down by the flag. It’s kind of quiet. There’s a priest there with me, from my own server it turns out. Two rogues too, Night Elf and Gnome. As soon as I come out of gouge I’m gouged again. Mooo! When I come out of this gouge I just start jumping around, I’m spamming shocks, the priest is bubbling and healing, both of us, and first the Night Elf dies and then the gnome is gone. Dead? Doesn’t matter because here comes a mage, with the Alliance flag, and she caps it. 2/0. Nice. /cheer!

Rinse and repeat. Except this time no rogues show up. Guess the leetness of me and the priest have kept them scared away? Good. “I AM SHAMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!” Believe it! Please? (We are seriously so nerfed vs. the pally’s. Whatever shall we do?) Anyway, here comes the Alliance flag. Our base is a sleepy haven waiting for it. I drop an earthbind at our flag and then head down the tunnel. What’s that I see? A blue flag. Yay! Surrounded by red names. Ruh roh! I run down and drop an earthbind. I’m trying to target the closest attacker. The mage is out in front. A Warrior. Frostshock! But, alas, the mage falls. Oh noes! I remember reading there is a delay between the flag dropping and reappearing. And it reappears ahead of the drop in the direction of travel. I am surrounded by Alliance now. They’re worried about getting their flag back. “Oh. This Flag?” I grab it. I’ve got Alliance on me like they were ticks and I was some backwoods ‘coon hound. The priest is keeping me alive. I’m concussed and poisoned and slowed and I walk the flag to our flag. Capping it as the rogues are busy trying to kill me. “HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?! I AM SHAMAN!” Heh. 3/0

Ah. It’s late and I turn in For Great Honor (3 tokens from each of the battlefields). Rank 7: I’m coming for you.

Blackhoof – Kirin Tor.


Posted by on August 30, 2006 in Uncategorized


Go Dawgs!

Droonda got her mount. She was very happy. And she always had a thing for red heads. (She married me afterall.)

About 120K in honor this week. Hooray for the new x-server Battlegrounds.

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Posted by on August 28, 2006 in Uncategorized


Road Trip!

Really enjoying playing the tank. Msaker, the name, means Carnivore in Armenian. Ashot Msaker was a king of theirs way back. Anyway, looking at it, doesn’t it look like Massacre? Kewl.

Spent a bit of time in the Arathi Highlands and up in the Alterac Ruins. We’re hunting elite Ogres. (When we can kill a Mauler in edgewise between the two level 49 Hunters, One a Troll, one a Night Elf, tiger and boar for pets, named Cat and Boar. They ran circuits, and the were running the identical pattern hours later when we returned. Bots? I’m 100% sure of it.

Then we do a run up into the Hinterlands. After we’d insulted the Witherbark Trolls long enough, collecting their skulls and making a village decoration out of them, (Probably a well known fact: not every troll has a skull. Yeah, mon!) I called a Road Trip. We’d run to Reventusk Village on the coast. Before we entered the village we killed a few turtles. I, level 46, and Droonda, level 39, and our friend Nachmahd, level 48, enjoyed the run.

Later Msaker and Droonda returned to Grom’Gol. The easy way.


Posted by on August 26, 2006 in Uncategorized


I couldn’t do that. Could you do that? Why can they do it? Who are those guys?

A line from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when Butch wonders at the trackers following them.

The new Battlegrounds. An improvement? I don’t know. But I can say there were like 19 Alterac Valleys happening (mid-afternoon EST) and rather than wait 2 hours for an AV match to pop, (or more), I couldn’t walk away from the AV quest giver before the match started. At one point I had 12 honor marks in my bag because the matches were coming so quick I couldn’t turn them in. It also meant I advanced from about 6k in honored to Exalted. In one night.

So, staying up way later than I should have, after I was done in Orgrimmar Blackhoof mounted up and rode post haste up to Alterac Valley itself. There was a quest to turn in (had I done something?! :) that would give me a weapon of sorts. :/ The Ice Barbed Spear is worth 7g when I sell it to a vendor. The one-handed mace I could use, *if* I needed a one-handed Mace with +Str on it. Which I don’t. I haven’t picked yet.

Then I went to see what was available to me for being exalted with the Frost Wolf folks. More weapon choices. A big blue axe. :/ (Stats aren’t that good for me.) Ah, well. With Revered I’ll actually pick up the Don Rodrigo’s band, and Therazin’s touch, perhaps. And the Lei of Lifegiving. I’ll also pick up The Unstoppable Force and that Shield, for the times I respec back to Enhancement to spice things up. And then it’ll be Arathi Basin matches.

And once Revered is reached with the Frostwolf Clan I’ll head out and offer my services to the Defilers. While AV offers weapon choices, AB offers armor upgrades. They complement each other. By design!?

All in all, I was pleased last night with my ability to play Alterac Valley as much as I wanted.

One negative though. Previously playing against folks on my server, I knew a few of the people on my side, “Oh, look! A guildie!” and some on the other as well. “Not those punks. Not again!” Knew *of* them that is. Now each match is a collection of 40 strangers from across the servers. I keep looking at the list trying to find someone else on from Kirin Tor. Or find someone from my old guild over on Smolderthorn. (There are Battlegroups of servers? How’s that determined??” I wonder if we’ll make “friends” and “acquaintances” like the old days, heh, or is 6 Million players too large a pool to expect that?

Anyway, Blackhoof of Kirin Tor /salutes you.


Posted by on August 24, 2006 in Uncategorized


Why do we fight? Why do our factions fight?

Do my actions in the battlegrounds effect anything or anyone except myself? No. I could get a rank that I have to fight to maintain. That’s just a tag over my head that other people see. I could get my hands on the officer’s gear of my faction (Horde or Alliance) if I get high enough rank, and I can get gear from the groups who we do battle for (Frostwolf Clan, Silverwing Sentinels, etc.).

Remember last year-end? The “Christmas” themed city decorations? I was thinking why not use that kind of “decorating” as a reward for a faction doing well?

Picture the NPC’s walking around. Shoulders stooped. All of them dressed like Topper McNabb. Blue skies are gone, replaced with gray clouds. (No rain though. Just gray skies.) Take away the luster, add some general shabbiness and gloom. This place looks like it’s hit the skids.

Over in Orgrimmar, the innkeeper and her patrons are wearing tuxedos. The stone floor in the bank and the auction house are replaced with marble. The open fires are contained in fire buckets. Things look a little bit neater. The vendors are buying stuff for a slight premium. There windriders fly a bit faster than the alliance’s griffins, who’ve succumbed to a miasma of sorts.

Oh my! Has Stormwind City suffered a plague? An economic downturn? No. The Alliance side has not earned as much honor, relatively, as the horde side. (More Alliance population needs to get more Honor against a smaller Horde population.)

If we can string up Christmas lights, we can certainly make a place gloomier, or brighter, in response to how the faction has done in battlegrounds.

This would give folks an incentive to participate in the wars raging every day in the battlegrounds. (When they’re working, of course.) Each side will want the pleasure of, and take pride in, getting their side the spiffy digs and improved earnings, and would love to see the other side living in greater squalor.

Now that’s something worth fighting for. I want to see gnomes on skidrow, their persistent little smiles removed from their faces. With extreme prejudice. “Death Coil this, my preciousses.” >;) Or living in splendour, whatever your poison. Whatever you are willing to fight for. Because it’ll make a difference to everyone around you.

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You’ll know your side has been CRUSHED when your beautiful cities look like Stratholme. Time to contribute.

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Posted by on August 23, 2006 in Uncategorized


GG Blizzard. Ya went and broke World of Warcraft.

To whom it may concern,

You began extended maintenace two hours early today. And now you tell me it is scheduled to last two hours later as well? Due to issues? What the hell? Key rings and a Shaman nerf. Bam. You patched those in just fine last time. Yeah, I admit, Cross Realm Battlegrounds sure sounds like a technical feat. All that networking mumbo jumbo is meant for brains brighter than this Tauren’s 25W bulb. Cross-Realm = Cross Server, no? Aren’t you having server problems as it is? Sorry, but IMHO you should have fixed the server issues first. Experienced a few weeks of server happiness. Then patched cross-server stuff into the game. Servers broke? Check. Broken servers connecting to broken servers? Check, check. Hmm.

Anyway, hurry it up. I’ve got rank to check.

Yours truly,

Blackhoof of Kirin Tor

P.S. Love the game. Please fix it. KTHXBYE.

P.P.S. In way of apology you might, if you are so inclined, drop one of those Totems of the Storm in my bags while the server is still down. I don’t have one of those yet. Sure would like one though. If you could arrange it I’d keep mum about it. Promise.

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Posted by on August 22, 2006 in Uncategorized


Consolidated on a good server: Medium population, more RP, less 1337, active Battlegrounds, all my characters.

Darkhoof retired from Smolderthorn and has been resurrected as Blackhoof of Kirin Tor, 60 Tauren Shaman. Blackhoof is quite pleased that twice the number of alliance versus horde means the battlegrounds are as busy as ever. Too, horde tend to win most bg’s. And, shocking, he actually gets invited in BG raids. (On Smolderthorn in AB and WSG nobody ever invited anyone and folks just lose, and they were always losing, on their own.)

Oddity also retired from Smolderthorn and has been resurrected as Msaker of Kirin Tor, 45 Orc Warrior.

Msaker is joined by Droonda, my wife, a 37 Orc Shaman. Their friend Nachmahd, 46 Tauren Shaman, greeted their arrival.

It’s been a good transfer over. I have my characters, my wife, and a friend and co-addict, all with me on the same server. Each of us have multiple level 30 characters here. Droonda is my wife’s character closest to level 40 and her mount. I have four characters with mounts, one level 60. Morticai (36 Forsaken Warrior) and Greenclaw (36 Night Elf Druid) are close to their mounts too.

It’s really really good having a built in support network and close friends close by.


Posted by on August 21, 2006 in Uncategorized


Spies in the mix. Twinks must die.

Hmm. Some things make you go “HMMM!”

Last night Freewind, Itarilda, and our friend Nachruf quested some in Duskwood. We were now tasked with slaying Morbent Fel. Not an easy task. He’s orange to me, and an elite. And he’s guarded. Such an easy fight. We cleared the lower area and slowly moved up the stairs. With a Druid and a Paladin present, and Freewind tanking with sword and board, it went so smoothly. The adds went down, and then we worked on Morbent Fel. I absolutely love it when something goes that well.

Freewind’s level 29 now. And he was within 3 bubbles of dinging 30. What’s that mean? Yeah, baby: Battlegrounds!

I was going to be top of the pack in there. Level 29 Warrior, what could go wrong? Mmmm, how about twinked Rogues whose enchants damage you more than their swings. I kid you not, I examined the combat logs. Their weapon enchants were doing more damage on me than their weapons were. That’s just wrong. Sorry. In order to finally get my Crusader enchant on my level 60′s Earthshaker, I had to save up a lot of stuff and sell a lot of herbs. But here, these level 29 characters have what amounts to 50G in enchants on their weapons? It’s not their skill at this point, it’s the money they’re willing to dump on a level 29 sword. All I can do is make their life tougher. Rends, deep wounds, and hamstringing them. And I pay particular attention to them. I even make special “/target Twink” macros so I can find them whereever. I know I’m winning when they single me out for their attention. ;) Win, lose, it’s just a difference in two honor tokens. And I’ll save my cash for the necessary things. Like buying my wife’s Enchanter weapon enchant spells!

Spies in the battlegrounds. Someone stated in the Warsong Gulch /General “They can see where we are.” I thought it was the ravings of a poor loser. However, nobody answered back “L2P noob.” I thought it was unlikely. Until I saw a zerg approach our tunnel. There must have been seven of them. The 3 rogues with their brilliantly glowing Enchants. I was watching from above, at the cemetary (where I spent a great deal of time it turns out), as they approached. I was going to announce “Zerg incoming” to the raid. Then I saw them turn, and head east. All of them. Hmm, I thought. Curious, I was watching to see where they went. Nobody on my side was over there. Maybe this was a secret way up to my level. Roh roh. They got to the trees and one of the Rogues went behind a tree limb. Okay, this is where I can see the path up, I thought. Or, maybe, this is a secret spot where folks can hide with flags. But nobody is there. I don’t see a flag.

Then the rogues two lightsabers start swinging. And then the group erupts. From their midst stumbles a level 22 Druid. She’s stunned and going down fast. I look for the flag. I don’t see one. What’s going on???

Why do 7 Horde approach our base, ignore getting the flag, head to a nothing corner of the map and track down and kill a level 22 Druid?? I didn’t see her, no way could they have seen her. She must have been Shadowmelded, and behind a tree limb. These guys zeroed in on her like guided munitions to a bunker. We’ve got a snitch.

I announce it in /General and nobody says anything about it. The zerg grabs the flags and caps it for the win. I haven’t done too badly scorewise. I’m near the top with killing blows (DOTs FTW!) and Honor Kills. (And deaths.) At the bottom is the Raid Leader. Level 29 Druid. 0 Killing blows, 0 deaths, 30 Honor Kills.

The raid rejoins the queue and we’re shortly back in. And against the same folks. This time I do not join the raid, preferring to go on my own. Later on in that match, as we’re one flag away from losing, I decide to scope things out in wisp form. I go to our flag area and see two enemy rogues in our flag room. (That’s where I died.) I announce it to /General. Someone invites me to the raid and I decline. I watch a Night Elf Hunter come in and she’s struck by the first Rogue. She sends in her cat and is stunned by the second rogue. /General “And that’s the 2nd one.” I say. They win, we retire to the Keep.

There I see some cats running around. Level 29 Druid knows the Level 22 Druid. Both are Corporals. Hmmm. Ms. Cat Form-Can see humanoids on a radar map-and-Does not Die knows Ms. Zerged Druid. Both unguilded.

Is it possible to be in Vent and report to your buddies so their WSG experience, not only enhanced by massively expensive enchants, is also given preternaturally abnormal amounts of info? Was I set up here? Sure feels like it.


Posted by on August 18, 2006 in Uncategorized


Itarilde & Freewind.

Druid and Warrior hearthing home after a hard day in Duskwood.


Posted by on August 14, 2006 in Uncategorized


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