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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Yellow, then red.

So there I was.  Sunstriker, Blood Elf Rogue, just departed from the Undercity, where he’d just got training following a successful campaign of dispensing justice with holy might, and plain cold steel, with the beautiful Halcyon, who’s retired for the night now.  Back to Hillsbrad, and Durnholde Keep, where apparently there are boxes waiting to be picked to improve my lockpicking ability.

I’m level 36, so I can wander through the place at will, barely having to kill anyone, except the occasional group of 3 around my box.

I’m making circuits of the place, upstairs and down, looking for new boxes to pick.  It seems that whenever I’ve cleared an area, more are waiting to be found in short order.  Joy.  And then I see that yellow glint.

Gold?  You think I’m getting gold in those boxes I’m picking?  Copper, the poor man’s gold, maybe.  No.  It’s some gosh darned Paladin.  Alliance, Hewman.  (Ptew.)  And he’s flagged.  And he’s level 35.  He’s got no business in Durnholde Keep.  Except, he’s aching for a fight.

Oh, I’ve got your number Hewman Pallyman.  Come into my territory, into my place of business, coming in all flagged and just begging for attention.  You got it.  Happy to oblige.

To be honest, this is the part of any game where my adrenaline really ratchets up.  It’s been like that since the first days of Doom, chasing friends around hellish zones, machine guns blazing, rockets launching, and hiding in wait, waiting, fragging.  I was on a PvP server through halfway into Blackwing Lair.  It’s heady, but it’s not something I enjoy on a constant basis.  To be honest I like winning.  Alterac Valley has desenstized it for me for some.  It’s just a video game in there, unlike the up close and personal fights in AB and Warsong Gulch and the Eye of the Storm.  Which means I don’t mind dying in a fight when it’s all impersonal and such.  But one on one, I’d better win, or figure out how to do so.

Anyway, back to Durnholde.  I approach the Pally and go into stealth mode.  Now, if it were *me* and I knew *I* was flagged, and I was in the opposing faction’s territory, my radar would be up and spinning, I’d be tracking all four corners, tracking all enemy targets, all the time.  Habits of growing up on two PvP servers.  (Once to 40-something, once to 60, when 60 was the cap.)  I am very aware that I’m vulnerable, and tend to minimize threat to my heartbeat.  (My 40-something was a Nelf Rogue.  My 60 was a Tauren Shaman, as big as a barn, and unable to hide in the largest of shadows.  Walk tall, and carry a huge, windfury buffed, mace.)

This Paladin is not reacting.  Me, as I said, I’d be doing something.  I’d move away, move to a ledge, move on.  Unless, as I said, he must have been aching for a fight.

(Knock, knock.)  “Who’s there?” “FTD.”  “Ah, hello.” “These are for you.” (Box of cigars, a fifth of bourbon.  Guy FTD.)  Card reads: “Come try and gank me.”  Well, okay then.

I walk up to him, he consecrates, I chase him around and kill him.

Well, man.  I feel bad.  Maybe he accidently flagged himself.  You know, healing someone who’d just attacked Tarren Mill.  And then he got lost and wandered into Durnholde Keep, and just started killing Humans in his confusion.  Between Darwin and Nietzche, however, all the arguments were in my favor.

I go back to looking for boxes to lock pick.  And then he’s back.  His name is red now, since I’m flagged as well.  And, well, red is dead.  Consecrate, runs around, chase him down, kill him.  That was less fun than before.

He could have HoJ’d me.  He could have bubbled and healed himself.  He could have bubbled and hearthed.

Later, curious, checking out his armory profile, I see he was using a blue axe out of Razor Fen downs, one-hander, enchanted with Fiery.

And, and here’s the kicker, he had a PvP tabard on. 

I look forward to meeting you again, Mr. Hewman Pallyman Run around like a Girlyman.  Alterac Valley perhaps, Northrend?  You flag yourself, I’ll come look for you.  Until then, thanks for the cigars and bourbon.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2008 in Musings

 

First time.

And it feels like the first time
Like it never did before
Feels like the first time
Like weve opened up the door
Feels like the first time
Like it never will again, never again

-Foreigner

Dag, was that like high school?  No, earlier.  Classic stuff anyway.

And it’s what we did tonight, Msaker, that is.  Going into Blackwing Lair with the guild on a lark.  We started with 10 to get the attunement (20 minutes UBRS run), and wound up with 12 killing Razorgore and 14 killing Vael in BWL.  In the old days of the 60′s it took 40.  Who says gear doesn’t matter?  And you can go back and visit places like this.

Amusing.  Have fun with it.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2008 in Instances, Screenshots

 

Last Orc.

Last Orc, that is, to get a Netherwing Dragon Mount.  Onyxien of course.

It was a nice feeling to finally get the mount everyone else has.

And it was good money at the time, those Netherwing dailies.  But, oh, how unfriendly the quest chain was for soloists.  And the quest chain for Ogri’la’s dailies was unfriendly as well.  Quel’Danas has the easiest dailies for earning money.  (Pretty much at some point I expect Blizzard will simply be putting 250g in cash in your mailbox everyday.)

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

DK Wow.

The other night, late, I was on WoW Insider where I saw some links to some Death Knight videos.  Those videos got pulled and the mention to those videos was deleted.  They were deleted on the sponsoring site as well.

But what I saw:  Wow.  The Death Knight gameplay video featured a Blood Elf female tearing through Andorhol, pulling with these strikes of brilliant fire, making sweeping sword strikes, and just going to town on the place.  I want one.

I also want the Death Knights to get facial tattoos just like the students in Scholomance, and Whitemane, and that.  I want them to look … touched.  I understand the lore is taking them into conflict with the Lich King now, but let’s not forget their roots.  Put a Death Knight into Imperial Plate and they’re going to look the same as any Average Joe?  I hope not!

The last expansion brought us 2 new races, and 2 new starting areas.  That was pretty good.  And the fact that the Alliance got Shamans, and the Horde Paladins, that was pretty good too.  (Well, it made the factions identical and was that truly, 100%, something “good?”)  But most of the luster wore off about level 25 and things got right back to being the same.  New clothes, but the same old ball.

This next expansion, it’ll be 1 new class, which, frankly, might be better for the game than 2 new races.  It’ll feature a new starting area as well.  And, the over the top part, these new Death Knights look like they’ll reach the “end game” more quickly.  Going from level 20 to 70 for someone with a few 60′s isn’t as good as 55-80 for someone with a few 70′s.

I am really looking forward to the Expansion.

Sad news, Hammer of Grammer looks like it’s gone.  Either completely or for an extended haitus.  I understand there was some personal stuff going on and I wish them well and will miss their most excellent humor and artwork.

Bad news, WoWAce got too big, will be going the way of the Dodo, and Curse is going to be getting involved.  I don’t know about you but if I don’t get a WoWAceUpdate every day I’m missing something.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2008 in Musings

 

Wootz. I is featured.

Well, not me, not here, sigh, but my old blog was, the retired home I had over on Blogspot.  (Work didn’t like Blogspot, they accepted WordPress, so I migrated.)

Check out WoW Insider’s article about starting up a blog.

There’s my old page header in the back.  (I liked that header.  A little dark, but really highlighting the feel of Druids swimming the dark waters of Azeroth.)

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Waiting, or not. The Race.

So there I am.  Reflecting the sorry state of my Warrior’s gearing.  He’s not my raider any more, the guild’s full of DPS warriors, and he can’t tank where they’re at now.  He get’s by on his own, and his past, for the most part.  He’s an Axesmith, since he’s an Orc, and has carried that Planar Edge for the longest time now.  Time to upgrade.  8 Primal Nethers.  A month or so ago a Primal Nether sold for 20g each.  Now they’re 120g each.  Easy enough to get one if you’re running Kara or Heroics.  But he’s not.  Now my Shaman is.  And that Shaman is sitting on 100 Badges of Justice.  That’s 10 Primal Nethers.  That’s enough to upgrade the Primal Edge to the Black Primal Edge.  Add some Nether Vortexes, 5, and he’ll get to upgrade to Wicked Edge of the Planes.  He’s got 8 badges himself, so a few dailies might score him the missing 2 that’ll get him a Primal Nether.  Then 70 badges for 7 Primal Nether’s from Stormsoul, leaving Stormsoul with 30 and that’ll get 2 Nether Vortexes.  3 more vortexes, or 45 badges, and I can craft a really nice one-hander.  Rinse and repeat for a second (blowing significant quanities of gold if I went that route).  But I then read the off-hand for warriors is only important for the stats, not the dps.  The Fool’s Bane will remain a good off-hand for a bit.

OR do I just pass on that though and wait for the expansion and go Titan’s Grip and dual-wield two-handers?  I’ve already got Gorehowl.  Maybe I should spend all those nether’s on a crafting the axesmith’s epic two hander.  Decisions decisions.  :)

Speaking of waiting, Greenclaw returned to Alterac Valley.  On the prowl for earning the honor to get those shoulders with plants growing out of them.  Standing there at the gate I’m surrounded by folks wearing the Season 2 Arena gear.  A lot of it.  All of a sudden.  I guess they waited too.

Yeah, yeah, Greenclaw’s only level 63.  Last match of the night I see in bg chat “Level 63 Druid?”  I reply in bg chat “Yep, and in the win.”  Hey, hey, turned out I was the Battleground Leader.  ;)  It’s the match we win too.  Nice.

And it seems the AV Race is back on.  You know the one.  Race to the other team’s general, cap the two towers on the way, kill the Captain, win the match.  It feels guilty to win, or lose, and get 350+ honor in 20 or so minutes regardless.

The lovely Droonda is enjoying her life in Middle Earth, when she’s not playing an Orc in Azeroth.  The graphics are stunning, to say the least.  If I were looking for an MMORPG, I’d certainly give that a try.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2008 in Musings

 

Driving thoughts

So there I am.  Driving home.  Listening the cd in the player, a compilation my wife’s sister put together for her.  Old timey rock and roll.  Stuff like Scorpions and Iron Maiden and AC/DC.

And then I’m picturing a new header graphics for the blog here.  Huge Tauren, Shaman, with those glowing Voodoo Shoulders, arms extended to the front, lightning leaping from his fingers and smashing into an enemy.

So fine
Thunderstruck, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Thunderstruck, thunderstruck, thunderstruck
Whoa baby, baby, thunderstruck
You’ve been thunderstruck, thunderstruck
Thunderstruck, thunderstruck, thunderstruck
You’ve been thunderstruck

-Thunderstruck, by AC/DC

I’m not a role-player type, though I do roll on a role-playing server.  I do want to get lost sometimes.  And even though it’s AC/DC, and a bit dated, can you think of better music for a rumble royale down Alterac Valley way?

Next track, Going to California by Led Zeppelin.

To find a queen without a king;
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.
La la la la
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin to find a woman whos never, never, never been born.
Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams,
Telling myself its not as hard, hard, hard as it seems.

Oh yeah, there I was.  Standing on some cliff’s edge, high above the crashing waves, in-character, on my Paladin’s charger, thinking of Effilda and Itarilde, an angel.  Trying to find a woman who’s never been born.

And for a guild name <In the Footsteps of Dawn>.   If you’re in armor plate, and completely badass, and the utter Scourge of the Scourge, can’t you picture the heights of nobility to belong to something associated with the Dawn, and forward movement?

We were watching the Warcraft cinematics the other night.  The ones you get access to when you load the program.  The dwarf and his bear, both hairy and shaking the falling snow off.  Or the night elf running through the woods, and changing into a panther and splashing into a pool of water before jumping off a cliff.  (Druid in me thinking “Why are you running, use travel form you noob!”)  Or the second cinematic for the Burning Crusade, and the graphics are just stunning.

Can you imagine the depth of immersion if your in-game looked like that?  You know what would really ruin it?  And you know they’d ruin it so fast for you your head would swim, and they’d do it to spite you, and your ancestors and descendants all at once if they could.  Because that’s their game.  Griefers I’m talking about.  The ones who’ll create a character on a Role-Play server, name him “IDONTHEALZ” and get ten like minded tucks to create guilds like <NINJA LoOt Whorz>.

Your world may be made perfect around you, and you’d have visions of fantasy in your mind, and these clowns show up aiming to ruin it for you.

I can’t imagine there being any griefers in LARP (Live action (i.e. in real life) role-play) events.  And while I think the idea of the Furries in their costumes running around in the woods behind their subdivision living out a story found only in their own minds highly odd, hey, at least they aren’t griefers out to ruin things for me.  There is a difference.  We can use the same mountains.  They in their world, me in mine, looking for, and finding, a queen who’s never, never, never been born.

That got me to thinking about how lost I got in those stories I’d read as a kid.  Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone adventuring, caught in the everlasting battle between Law and Chaos.  One scene, they’re in some jungles somewhere, and he’s examining an artifact, and I don’t know the details, but I remember it as if I’d seen it on t.v. (which I didn’t), and that’s just wild.  The ability of stories, or story worlds, to draw you in and capture your imagination.  The falling threads that McCaffrey’s dragonriders of Pern hoped to stop.  The crazy world of Melville’s New Crobuzon.  I don’t want to be alone there.  I want to rock, and be noble, and live, in a populated world that delights the mind.

And then I turned into the driveway and parked.  :)

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2008 in Musings

 

Down to Chinatown

“I will be watching you and if I find that you are trying to corrupt my first born child, I will bring you down, baby. I will bring you down to Chinatown.” – Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) in Meet the Parents

Either we’ve gotten good, or the game’s gotten easy.  Either case, Mor’Ladim’s dead and we did it.  How many times did he jump me questing outside of Ravenshill?  Too many.

P.S. This was just a test to see how WordPress handles thumbnails now.  (Nicely.)

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Random thoughts.

Just a few things that I’m thinking about.

Arcarius, my Night Elf Hunter, farmed up a copy of the Crusader Enchant for the lovely Effilda in the Western Plaguelands.  It took him two sessions, probably clearing the tower and the little encampment of Spellbinders 6 or 8 times each session, before the enchant dropped.

Msaker, my Orc Warrior, farmed up a copy of the Crusader Enchant for the grim Zauber in the Western Plaguelands.  It took him two Spellbinders before the enchant dropped.

Random drops are that.  Random.  Greenclaw took it upon himself, to accompany the shoes, shoulders, chest, and crown, of the Summer Fires festival, and the brazier of dancing flames, a firefly from Zangarmarsh.  Sixty Bogflare Needlers later, by the count of bug parts in my bags, a new pet joined the family.  Next patch, I’m told, the firefly will actually fly again.

Stormsoul’s back at Lady Vashj.  He spent a month with the first guild before they downed her.  Last night was the new (but old) guild’s first attempt.  Deja vu.  :)

Msaker’s back in Protection mode.  But this time he’s got this 5/15/41 “Ripper” build.  Supposedly decent DPS with solid off-tank capability.  I do think the Protection experience, and looking for gear to better it, will serve me well come the day we each can have access to two talent builds at once.  (An idea supposedly being bandied about up at Blizzard and/or the rumor boards.)  No Warrior will not choose Protection as anything less than a secondary spec.  (Well, I suppose the PvP Legends would be Arms for Arenas and Fury for farming.)  Doing a few dailies on the Isle of Quel’Danas showed this Ripper build wasn’t bad.  A little slow.  Doing a spell reflect on a Summoner was very amusing.

“Hey, there.  Glad to meet you.”  I think it’s great when folks who read my blog here bump into me on Kirin Tor.  Last night in Zangarmarsh the wife and I met a Paladin who’s visited here before.  And I’ve got one or two other readers who occasionally walk the same paths as me and the wife.  Makes this blog a little more than just a “links to resources” collection for me.  I’m glad to make your acquaintenances.

Till later.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2008 in Musings

 

Happy 4th of July!

And a big Thanks! to all the service members keeping our country free, preserving and protecting the nation created on the 4th of July back in 1776.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2008 in Screenshots

 
 
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