Monthly Archives: June 2007

Easy gear, for Shaman or Tank. Bring a healer. Or three.

Last night Msaker, Droonda, and our friend, Nachmahd, went to Netherstorm to run a little quest for Professor Dabiri at the Protectorate Watch Post. The quest chain is a mere 3 quests long, and the middle quest is a simple bombing run for which they provide the mount! The starting quest is called “Recipe for Destruction.”

The rewards are lucrative. 20 gold and some nice gear. +88 Healing mail armor for the Shamans, and a +30 Defence trinket for me, the Warrior.

We spoke with Captain Saeed, who stands close to the Professor, and he brings a group of Ethereal soldiers with him, up into Mana Forge Ultris. There we square off with a huge voidwalker called Dimensius.

Tanking is simple enough. The healer’s job undoubtedly tougher. I sundered and devastated and shield slammed and fun was had by all. Dimensius is slain and we go and collect our loot.

But Msaker isn’t the only toon in town. What of Blackhoof, recent convert to the Restoration side of Shamanism? He could certainly use a +88 Healing chest piece.

So Blackhoof flies out and the 3 Shamans take the fight on. Droonda didn’t tank, none of us did. We simply kept the Captain alive. And kept him alive. And kept him alive. And and and… Well, the sun’s set, the cow’s have come home, glaciers recede, advance, recede, bonds mature, investements accrue, seasons change, and we healed a little more.

Yes, it was a lot of healing. We healed in shifts, kept Mana Spring and Mana Tide totems down, and we pulled back and drank when we ran low, healing in shifts. Yes. You can actually back away to where you can simply sit and drink Draenic Water to restore your mana. Why waste a potion???

And in the end the Captain prevailed, and Blackhoof got himself some nice +Healing armor.

Funny part about this fight is that it seems the 2nd person on Dimensius’ threat list gets to be a “mini bomb” That had them “blowing up” in a purple flash and hitting the cieling. In the last fight Nachmahd, our friend, was “the bomb.” It was kind of amusing (that’s how long a fight it is) to watch him drinking and blowing up and eating and blowing up. It got to where we was hanging out in door openings so he wouldn’t be blow so high. First fight, unbeknownst to the tanking Msaker, it was Droonda that played this game.

All in all, an easy fight, even for three, provided you can get some good healing in. The three of us went with first two, then three healers, and it amounted to easy loot.

Later on Msaker returned to the Shadow Labyrinths. Easy. No wipes and every boss on the first try. And, again, no shield off Hellmaw, and no shoulders off Murmer. Good thing reputation with the Lower City continues to roll in.

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Posted by on June 28, 2007 in Gear, Instances, Quests, Shamans, Warriors


Orcs were busy. I should sell tickets for Orc on Orc action.

On Saturday, Droonda, Enhancement Shaman, and me, Msaker, Fury Warrior, hooked up with a guildie, Socrates, Protection Warrior, in Netherstorm. Three Orcs. Seemed Droonda had difficulty picking us apart. “I’m the good looking one,” I’d tell her.

Anyway, Socrates, the wise, had a plan of action to acquire some quest chain loot rewards. Droonda and I were only interested in clearing out our quest logs.

Wound up going to Kirin Var. That little town of human mage ghosts is just incredible for the number of quests in such a small location. No sooner did we arrive and get 10 quests, it seems every drop off a ghost started another quest. Just wild. The three of us wrapped up the quest chain that culminated in the killing of a Lich in a church. Droonda is tired and we wrap it up for the night.

And checking the records Droonda was out DPSing Msaker, despite Msaker having a crafted epic axe in his main hand, hasted by his offhand, and Droonda simply have the quest reward from … Hmm. It’s also a one-handed axe, starts with a small glow in the center of the blade that grows into a ball of white light? And the Mag’hari Furybrand (fist weapon) in her offhand. When gearing up Droonda we’ve taken a 2-pronged approach: Healing/Mana Regen and AP. And it’s been paying off.

Anyway, Droonda, the DPS Princess, was getting sleepy and called it a night.

Except Msaker, he’s a bit of a loot hound. (“Loot whore” sounds … harsh and judgemental.) So there I was in Orgrimmar when the Senthris, our guild master, whispers “Do you need Shadow Labs,” I say “Yes.” “Are you Protection?” I say “Well, with my tanking gear I’m blah blah blah.”

Long story short I wound up at the Warrior Trainer. I’m still discussing it with him. He thinks I should be Protection to tank instances. I’m thinking “Maybe” and then ask “So which talent in particular do you think I should tank?” I’ve got 20 points in Protection already.

Anyway, It’s something I’ve been gearing towards, maybe more so than Fury, so I take the leap and become Protection, yet again. 4/5/52. Well, I’m 490 Defense, so I’m Uncrushable, which is something.

And we go to the Shadow Labs and I get my key fragment. The Murmer fight really throws me though. I couldn’t get the timing down. The Vorpil fights have always been easy. And for the Inciter I kept telling everyone “Don’t worry about me, I’m Protection specced.”

So on Sunday Droonda and Msaker return to Netherstorm, and Kirin Var. And we tear through the quests. And we go shut down more Mana Forges, and do more quests. We must have cleared 500 gold in quests yesterday.

We took a break, had dinner, watched an episode of Lost (Season 2 DvD) and returned to the game. Before my loading screen is gone the Senthris has whispered Droonda “Do you need Shadow Labs?” She sure does. I don’t but “Hellmaw owes me a shield, and Murmer owes me shoulders.” (That’s my mantra now.) So we return to the Shadow Labs.

Senthris, 70 Mage (Frost), Macail, 70 Warlock (Demonology), Halafu, 70 Shaman (Restoration), Droonda, 70 Shaman (Enhancement), and your’s truly Msaker, 70 Warrior (Protection).

Nice, clean run. The pulls from Inciter’s classroom were handled easily. We had one student sheeped, one off-tanked by the Felguard, one feared, and two to tank. Droonda stuck by my side and we killed them in tanked, next tanked, off-tanked, feared, and then sheeped order.

The “Orc on Orc” action comment comes from the Inciter fight. It was Droonda’s first time there. Lots of fun.

Vorpil was easy again. Twice back, then forward, then back. First time I tanked him in this pattern I had slowly pulled him back. Last night I simply shot him to start the fight and ran all the way back. Senthris frost nova’d the Void Walker spawns to hold them in place. I found that following a teleport I was still Vorpil’s target. Great, and so I simply ran back, or forward, to my tanking spot. Easy.

Murmer. What a job the night before, we made it look easy. And I was in and out of his circle like a pro.

What I did, tanking him, was to “shorten” my viewpoint. While I tanked him I’d swing my camera around so I faced myself. Usually if the camera is too far back and all I’d see was the white insides of Murmer when I turned back. But now I saw my tusked mug and my path back to safety.

I also have an add-on called BigWigs. It’s Ace-based, of course. And it’ll put bars up for Murmering Touch and Sonic Boom. (It’ll provide more info for a lot of boss fights. Recommended.) And when Sonic Boom started I pushed down both mouse buttons and instantly ran back. Boom over I wheeled back around and got back into the fight. Very easy. We downed Murmer first try despite Murmer making Droonda and Halafu the bombs. Halafu twice.

There’s a few more items on our wish list, and our quest log is only half full, so things are looking up. Level 70 and it feels like the game’s just starting.

P.S. Capturing the Flames from the enemy cities for the Midsummer Festival can be done by any level. Actually starting the quests from them, to get your reward, requires Level 50. So says the GM that responded to me. If I can get 8 levels on Greenclaw before the festival is over, great. If not, I’ll turn them in next year.


Posted by on June 25, 2007 in Uncategorized


How to keep two Orcs busy. And a Druid.

Not really sure what the minimum level requirement for the new Midsummer Festival quests is. We did them with Msaker and Droonda, and I did it later with my Level 42 Druid, Greenclaw. The Orcs did the Wild Fires, and the Flickering Flames, in both the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, and the Druid just did the Wild Fires in the Eastern Kingdoms (for the Mantel of the Fire Festival shoulders). All of them did the basic “Recover a flame at each capital city” quest too.

Today we plan to take the Orcs to Stormwind City, Iron Forge, and Darnassus, and steal their fires. That’ll add the Crown of the Fire Festival to the set.

And in a few short moments, Greenclaw is going to take a stab at it as well, assaulting Orgrimmar, Thunderbluff, and the Undercity.


Why not?

“Too much trouble for no reward,” said someone. Hmm.

It’s pixels when it comes down to it. It’s all just pixels. All effort is simply towards higher numbers in the spreadsheets that are our characters to overcome lower limit thresholds the designers set before us and progress.

Or, it’s pimping your Orc with better gear, ala Champion’s Battlegear, so he looks badass when he’s hanging around Orgrimmar. And/or wearing spotlight shoulders and having people ask “Where did you get those?”

Otherwise, taking your high numbers to overcome lower numbers to acquire even higher numbers… boring.

Too, it was an evening’s journey across the lengths of the two Azerothian Continents, planning out a route so it doesn’t take bleeding forever.

Anyway, here’s a few screenshots.

I call this one “Wife Aggro.”

For a Level 42 Druid, completing this quest got me a few more flight points. I was not once in any serious danger. The Kalimdor reward are bracers with 3 charges on them to summon a guardian. Pfft.

This last I call “A man of letters.”

I enjoy the seasonal festivals. And we do them for the amusement factor.

Yes, the last screenshot has nothing to do with the Festival. But doesn’t this guy look relaxed? He’s only missing the cognac and a good cigar.

P.S. Stealing into Orgrimmar now. Leaving a line of elven skeletons behind me. Why don’t they move the cemetery closer??! Kek.

Update: Orgrimmar’s flame Stolen.

P.P.S. Stealing into Thunder Bluff was a piece of cake. Cow pie. Died twice and then I was home free.

Update 2: Thunder Bluff’s flame stolen.

P.P.P.S. Stealing into the Undercity wasn’t even necessary. They like the old throne room for such festivities. So do I.

Final Update: UC’s flame stolen.
P.P.P.P.S. I’VE BEEN ROBBED!!! NOOOOOO. There appears to be a minimum level for getting the quest after stealing the flames.

I cry “Foul!” There was no indicator that I was not high enough level. (Other than trying to take the quest from the items.) There should be an indicator or something.

Don’t know what it is. But it ain’t 42. Three more bank slots taken. Till next year then.


Heh. “Why?” “Why not?”

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Posted by on June 23, 2007 in Quests, Screenshots


Anonymous said…

This blog pissis me off and I wonder what excuse u gonna think out one day when
you stop playing WoW and believe me the day will come. Great work shooting down
Tobold like that which is a lot better and more open minded blogger than you!

I was originally just answering this in the comment below his (or hers?). But I decided I’d just go ahead and make it my post for the day…

So you figured you’d do a little drive-by there, Anonymous?

“Shooting down Tobold?”

Not at all. I think he’s pretty good when he’s got something worthwhile to say. Today’s topic, “Free epics!” is a really good read. I agree with him. And it’s analysis like this that make it fun reading commentary about the game. My writing here is more of a journal type deal.

Anyway, the trouble I had with him lately is he’d just gotten silly with his anti-WoW rant. Yes, silly.

It’s one thing to say you’ve moved on. Another to say you’ve quit. For the last time. You’ve moved on. You’re cancelling your account. He finally wound up complaining that WoW didn’t have among it’s 8 million players anyone who would do hand-drawn maps for the game. Not like the nice maps he’d found for LotRO. C’mon! Was he being for real? And what’s up with the constant comparisons? They’re each their own game.

And, hell, he ruined his own game in my opinion. That was kind of sad. Like watching a train about to wreck and you’re cringing and whisper “Stop! Stop!” under you’re breath. The whole LotRO farming deal of his was pretty painful to watch. Once you place sooo much importance on a single facet of the game, you will come crashing down.

And since he allows comments on his blog, I did comment. I suggested to him, perhaps in slightly strong terms, but you know, keeping it gamer style, (and, admittedly, trite and I apologized in a post on his site today) that he concentrate on being more constructive/productive with his posts. Give us more Pew Pew! Like today’s was. I love to read what he’s got to write about LotRO, even though I don’t play it, and maybe I don’t play LotRO because of what he’s written, and, eventually I hope, about the beta test he’s in that’s got the NDA on it. Warhammer probably. I sure hope they’re the listening type because I’m sure, no, I know he’s got some good stuff to add to their efforts to come out with a great game. Tobold’s been around the genre. (I sure hope he likes Warhammer longer than he liked LotRO.)

But, anyway, I haven’t thanked you yet for stopping by. And be sure to keep stopping by. As I keep having fun with this game, yeah,


(I’ll even bold it to highlight it.)

and I’ve been playing since release, I’ll keep posting about it.

And when I get bored with the game, or bored with blogging, or whatever, I’ll stop.

And what excuse do you think I’ll have to have? Heh. It’ll be because I want to, or I need to, or I found something different, or the wife has, ;), whatever.

I do get my jabs in at Blizzard here on my blog. I’ve complained about the end-game, about server reliability, about why Alliance always wins Alterac Valley!, or that Warlocks are overpowered. Yeah, it’s just a vent, not like they read my blog.

And it’s also where I keep my WoW links for handy reference, from add-on sites, to WoW blogs, or WoWHead searches, etc. I can peruse it from anyplace, and even tell my wife or friend “Look on my website for the Crafter’s Tome link. Check that out for the recipe you need to do X.”

But when my day to move on comes, I will.

And I’ve played this game too long to all of a sudden realize this has been the worst game. Then again:

Dear Blizzard,

Can I get 45 days of my life back after playing my Shaman to 70?
You’re intentions for the class don’t jibe with the game mechanics that let the
Shaman be pretty damn cool to 70, but leave me thinking it’s a tad lackluster at
the moment. Are Shamans DPS/Healer hybrids, or just piss poor

I kid! I kid!


P.S. Thanks for giving me a topic. Talking about Honorus and Effilda working on Tanaris Bandits and such just sounded a touch boring! Not that Pally AoE isn’t a fascinating topic. One of those “Whodathunkit” things. Hmmm


Posted by on June 22, 2007 in Uncategorized


What’s in a voice?

Vent can be an endless source of amusement sometimes. You hear a voice, listen to what they’re saying, see their character, and you can think to yourself “OMG! That’s a dude!” That female character you’ve seen all along, and you never, not really, wondered about the player behind it, and then you hear them in Vent for the first time. It’s really jarring.

About as amusing, sad really, is when a new guildie joins vent for the first time, and she’s really a she, she’s a girl in real life, and you get the whole “ZOMG!” and the chat just dissolves into mindless blathering as the boys will be boys. I’m sure the real life girl is wondering “What did I get myself into?” Or she’s expecting it.

Kind of a safe assumption to make, a catch-all kind of rule: Every character you see, whether they’re tall and macho, or lithe and sexy, or goofy and bald, or green with tusks, the player behind them is a 23 year old guy. Just assume that and go from there. If they surprise you with remarkable eloquence when they explain the strategy for the next fight, great! If you’re expecting that all along from the gold beggerz in Orgrimmar, or the duelists in Goldshire, your expectations have been met. Bottom line is how well the class is being played, not the player behind it or their choice of avatars.

But the voice behind the character can sure be distracting sometimes. And that’s why some refuse to use Vent. The old “Mic is broken” excuse.

/p I can hear, just can’t speak. I’ll type when I need to. Go ahead though I hear you fine.

What if your voice wasn’t your voice though? What if you could adopt a “voice avatar” much like you can adopt a “character avatar?”

Over on Virgin Worlds there’s an interview with someone from Vivox. In it they mention they’re doing voice communications for online games and virtual worlds. And they mention “voice fonts.” Would this transform voices on the fly?

If you could transform your own voice, squeaky where you want to portray yourself as leadership material, or manly where you’re playing a woman, would you? I’m wondering if that’s something “voice fonts” would allow.

We all want to retain a bit of our privacy. And if we could transform our voices into something fantastical that matched our avatars in-game, I’m sure a lot of folks would.

I know the “next thing” in MMORPG’s will be built-in voice communications to replace Vent or TeamSpeak. And I’d like it a whole lot more if we could customize our voice like we already customize our avatars.

And then the girls who play girls could still use a “Lurch” voice and we’d remain confused. And the boys who play girls and use a “Morticia” voice … well, it’s probably still best to assume: Every single player is a 23 year old guy.


Posted by on June 21, 2007 in Uncategorized


Server Down? Spam those servers that are up then.

Ah, the time honored traditions never die, do they?

Is your server down? Go roll a toon on a server that is up and whine, befoul, and otherwise stink the trade channel up with your incessant yapping. Yeah, yeah, we all have 70′s elsehwhere. Subject Matter Experts the lot of us.

Or play an alt that is on a server that is up.

Frightened, level 6 Warlock, was on a server that is up. My other 19 characters are on 2 servers that remain down. I *hate* when that happens! ;)

Which let me run Frightened up to Silvermoon and do the Blood Elf quests. “I’m here to help,” he’ll announce in Tranquillen.

Plus he took up herbalism and mining and cooking and first aid. Time sinks all.

P.S. Real nice job on the patch there, Blizzard. Real nice. A little over half the servers couldn’t be brought back from regular maintenance. And the servers that are up… lag city. Five minutes of dead realm, but the chat channel? Joy. It’s not like you nerfed the Shamans again. That usually goes so flawless. Tuning instances for those five guys over in Europe? And the rest of us suffer for it? GG.


Posted by on June 19, 2007 in Uncategorized


My space.

Cuppycake’s got a meme going. Show us your game space. “Here’s my demand: Fellow bloggers, you have to post a picture of your habitat.”


Roger Dean signed “Floating Water”
“Eroica” pencil drawing by Czech artist
Sony 19″ + Philips 17″
Logitech G15 keyboard.
Logitech G5 gaming mouse.
Panasonic headphones
Odds & ends
Picture of me & wife (who’s desk, pretty much like mine, but neater, is directly to the left of here, on the other side of the door opening).


Posted by on June 19, 2007 in Memes


Two nights. Two Alliance nights.

After two successful instance runs we took a break from the Horde. Droonda has earned herself a bit of rest.

First up were the Druids, Greenclaw and Itarilde. We didn’t do much but knock out a few quests in STV. She playing Bear/Warrior me playing Cat/Rogue/Healer. It worked out very well.

Last night we brought out the Humans, Honorus and Effilda. Our first stop was in the Badlands where Honorus attempted to grab as many Rock Elementals onto himself as he could. They appear to be spaced far enough apart that three or four is the limit since I have to body pull everything together. Some just get bored and leave. We completed all three of the quests there. Then we returned to Dustwallow Marsh and fought spiders. Lots of them. Oddly, despite them swarming everywhere, again I couldn’t get as many as I wanted to fight me. “Cowards!” A little later we were down on the beach and I saw the Murlocs. I hate Murlocs. None of these Murlocs had mana bars. *Idea*. That was amusing. I’ve got great armor and health and it was amusing to have these things just mobbing me. They’d get low on health and run away, “Great, bring your friends, there’s more Holiness here for all you lot.”

I remind my wife that there’s good Druid gear in the Outlands. She reminds me there’s good Paladin gear there too. So many toons, so many things to do.

I seriously hope Blizzard’s next expansion includes a healthy amount of new mid-game content.

1 Comment

Posted by on June 19, 2007 in Uncategorized


Two for the Outlands.

Congratulations to Droonda, level 70 Orc Shaman Princess.

Well, she came a long way. Always by my side. Through thick and thin. Out of Durotar, across Azeroth, into the Outlands, and then back in Time even.

So I collected a few snapshots of our journey together.

Could almost be today. Traveling through Mulgore.

Ah. The Shimmering Flats.

No more walking!

The merry band.

Letting her hair down. Orc style.

Getting ready.

In style.

Yowza. Almost there. 69 and ready to rock.

Unstoppable. (Yes, we were two Resto Shamans, one Enhancement Shaman (Droonda), and two Fury Warriors, Msaker tanking. We did it.)

No, really.

And here we are. Kind of full circle. Again on tawny Windriders. This time they’re our very own.

Msaker is a lucky Orc to have such a Princess by his side.

Grats, Droonda! You’ve come a long way, Baby!


Posted by on June 17, 2007 in Dings, Droonda, Screenshots


Dog and Butterfly.

See the dog and butterfly
Up in the air he like to fly
Dog and butterfly, below she had to try
She roll back down to the warm soft ground
With a little tear in her eye
She had to try, she had to try
Dog and butterfly – Heart.

Don’t know why that song came to me thinking of our Druids at play last night. The wife and I, it’s pretty cool, riding through STV, or running through in cat form, getting some quests done.

She likes Bear form, and in Dire Bear form she’s about wearing Plate armor. (Damage mitigation 51-52%.)

Me, I like Cat form, and I’m mostly wearing home crafted Nightscape Armor. (Though I know I should be adding more strength to the mix.)

Together we took on Tethys, level 43 Elite Raptor. Dead, and pretty quickly too.

And we worked on Skullsplitter Trolls, collecting their tusks until the lag became too much. You know you’ve got lag when you’ve got a mob down to half health and everything freezes, and the next thing you know your wife is killing the next mob. These were “I swear, this is a disconnect” type lag spikes, but no disconnects. Really annoying to see ten moves play out over the space of a microsecond.

Lagged, late, and like a sauna, she retires for the night to the air-condition bedroom.

That means some solo knocking around. This time Honorus (HONORUS: Variant of Latin Honorius, meaning “honor, valor”), who was close to level 42. He journeyed up to the Badlands and started collecting rocks. Protection Pally is just amazing. I couldn’t gather enough rock elementals on to myself. If I pulled too far to gather more I’d lose some. Three or four at a time, five if I was lucky. I completed all three quests, and got about 45% of level 42 done before I logged off. Pally AoE ftw.


Posted by on June 14, 2007 in Uncategorized


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