Monthly Archives: December 2008

My path to 80. And the other paths that I’ll take to 80.

So, with the holiday break, I’ve gotten Stormsoul to the exalted level of 80.

What was my path?  I did all the available quests in Borean Tundra.  All that I could find and handle solo.  I did a lot of the Howling Fjord quests, but not as many.  I was not to get the achievements for “completing” either until I’d gotten level 77 and flying brought them in closer.  I did all of 5 quests in the Grizzly Hills and then thought better of this route.  In hindsight I could have skipped doing any quests in the Grizzly Hills.  (Bear with me.)  I then went to the Dragonblight and had a good time.  After getting the quests done there, that were immediately available to me without any searching, I then went into Sholazar Basin and found Hemet Nesingwary.  I did the quests to get the achievement of having completed all his quests in all the lands.  A few mammoths more and I dinged 77.  After I trained in Cold Weather Flying in Dalaran a guildie whispered me.  “Now that you’re 77 go to Storm Peaks and do the quests.  That’ll get you xp and lead you into the Sons of Hodir dailies.”  Most excellent advice.  So, after getting Flight, I did all my remaining questing in Storm Peaks.  I did the dailies there religiously.  I also did the Wyrmrest daily (defending it), the three Kulak dailies (pups, food, and walrus love), and the drake hunt quest in the Coldarra.  Without worrying about selling anything, just the darn useless quest rewards (for me at least), I still managed to get the money back, 1000g, that I spent on flying.

And now that I’m 80 what have I got left to do? Why all the Heroics, raiding, and the rest of the instances.  And, of course, if I’m of the mind, return to Grizzly Hills, and check out Icecrown.  Maybe pick sides in the Frenzyheart vs. Oracles war there in Sholazar.  Oh, and can’t forget the Troll place.

My plan for Msaker and my wife Droonda is to follow in Stormsoul’s footsteps.  I.e. Borean Tundra+Howling Fjord->Sholazar Basin->Storm Peaks-> 80.

“But,” you might be saying at this point, “you’re missing out on all the content”.

Not at all.  Greenclaw and Itarilde will do the same Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord quests.  But then, for them, it’ll be off to the Grizzly Hills.  I think Druids will do better in the woods.  And then on to Zul’Drak, another zone I’ve only flown over, and not even stopped in yet.

The old expansion, the Burning Crusade.  You pretty much counted on 2 levels per zone.  Five to Seven zones, depending on how you quest, 10 levels, 60 to ding 70.  Hellfire to Zangarmarsh to Terrorkar or Blades Edge.  Then to Nagrand, then Shadowmoon Valley and/or Netherstorm.

But this time I was able to reach 80 and leave myself over half the content that someone else can level through and have it truly be all new for them.

Oh, yeah, PvP?  I haven’t done 1 honor point of it yet.  Except the small matter of the raid on some Alliance cities coming up soon.  Wish me luck! :)  (Result being me in back in the group photo below.  On my own War Bear.)

P.S. Have you noticed the Howling Fjord music?  It’s so beautiful and sad.  And have you noticed the Grizzly Hills music?  The same style, but a happy tune.  (At least I think so.)  I don’t know thing one about music composition, but there’s bits and pieces in the Grizzly Hills music that has me flying more slowly through, and detouring more deeply into, the Grizzly Hills so I can enjoy it more.  There’s bit and pieces in the music that are downright childlike and full of wonder.  The music is as amazing as everything else here.



It’s been a good day.


Posted by on December 27, 2008 in Dings


So this is what a Gnome feels like. Hmmm.


Yep, that’s me, the little rag doll in Snorri’s hand.

Oh, it got better when I did a few jobs here and there for them.


Yeehaw!  That’s me on the kings back.

Again and again I’m blown away by what I’m seeing.  The King’s beard swayed back and forth as we ran out to meet Thorim, who flew in on his proto-dragon.  The Halls of Lightning in Ulduar… Nice.  The planets are pretty interesting conversation pieces.  And I’ve not even set foot on terra firma in Icecrown, and from what I’ve read about it I haven’t seeing nothing yet.

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Posted by on December 27, 2008 in Screenshots


The Horde got Wrathgate.

If you’re Horde, and you’ve made your way well into Dragonblight, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  And it doesn’t end with the big scene at the Wrathgate.  Oh, no.  The story that ends there at the gate is literally mind blowing.  You’ll be shocked and asking yourself “The WHO?  How is that possible?  We all kind of knew, but this changes everything!”


But you follow up on things, join in on the action, help recover the situation, and bring it to the true conclusion of the quest chain.

If you’re Alliance, you’ll get bupkis.  (Uh, my bad.  See the edit note below!)

Which has me wondering:  Will the Alliance get their Wrathgate later on in the WotLK?  Or the Expansion perhaps?  Something to do with the Emerald Dream?  Will they have a “Dream Portal” quest chain that Horde are denied?  Something centered on and/or revolving around Night Elves, Druids, and the Emerald Dream?  Will it involve Azshara and her Naga and the Maelstrom?  Will the greener side of the Stormrage family come back into play?

Time will tell.  (And our level 80 (level 80 by that time) Night Elf Druids will have something to look forward to.)

Edit: I might do need to take that back.  It would seem the Alliance have their share in this event as well.  That’s good to know.  So, maybe, maybe not, there’ll be an Alliance-centric version of something like this next Expansion, available, of course, to both side!  :)


Posted by on December 26, 2008 in Musings


Merry Christmas everyone.

Christmas 2008


From us, to you, Merry Christmas.

Keep the Turkey achievement to a reasonable one or two.

And don’t worry about eating all your Graccu’s Mince Meat Fruitcake.  It’ll last.

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Posted by on December 24, 2008 in Uncategorized


If I were 80, I’d be lacking.

Stormsoul, Elemental Shaman, ain’t missing anything apparently, by not being level 80.  If I were level 80, folks would be pointing fingers and saying “You call that DPS?”

First, there’s no gear.  Read the “Dear Scott” letter over on WoW Insider.

While I have had no problem with this, we are running into a problem where there is very little spell mail armor, and so our shamans are feeling a little left out when leather Boomkin gear drops and the lone druid in the raid automatically gets it even though there is very little gear for themselves.

I’m feeling that very thing now.  I’m level 77, doing level 78 quests in Storm Peaks, started the Sons of Hodir quest line, and I’m *still* taking plate quest rewards to sell.  The stuff they’re offering that I could wear still hasn’t managed to provide +Spell Crit or +Spell Power to this mail wearer.  And if I were instancing, I could do with leather maybe, but soloing I need the protection of mail.  My Tier 5 gear is still looking better then what’s coming available to me.  Unless I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.  But the comment from a raider, who’s seeing drops, kind of confirms what I suspected.  Now I do have my eye on some Faction related gear.  There’s 2 maces, for example, with the Wyrmrest mace actually better in every way to my current mace.  (Requires Exalted and Lvl 80 though.)  That and gloves, helm, legs, and shield are out there to kind of shoot for (the mace being the only complete upgrade, everything else upgrading certain stats, lowering others).

Second, the developers recognize the Shaman Elemental DPS is too low.  Ghostcrawler, in a post dated 19 Dec, said

Q u o t e:
I was wondering, if you could, either confirm or deny that the developers feel that
1.current(live) elemental shaman are doing dps that is too low. And
2. afther the PTR buffs that elemental shaman will be doing intended dps – (and if that intended dps is on par with other dps classes.

1. Yes, it is too low on live.

2. I can’t speak towards the PTR specifically. It takes awhile to create a build, so they are often a few days (or longer) behind our changes. I can say that in our internal testing all of the changes together gave Elemental something like a 10 to 12% dps increase for Naxx 25 geared characters in full raid buffs. Elemental dps should be very close to Balance druid dps, which we used as the standard we wanted to reach.

Sweet.  I’ll be nearly as good as a Balance Druid.  Once I’m in my Naxx 25 gear.  Until then…  And except the current raiding program is about DPSing down Trash Mobs, and a Magma Totem probably can’t hold a candle to Hurricane.  (Yes, the totem I drop and then continue my single target DPS while Hurricane is channeled.)

Now if Santa was bringing 3.0.8 today, though I doubt it, I’d be feeling better about things.  A little.


Posted by on December 23, 2008 in Musings


Joining the Mile High Club.

Oh, it’s not what you think.


But kind of an ecstatic moment nonetheless.


And, yes, I did mount up on each of my 3 flying mounts and take them out for a ride.  They’ve been in need of a little exercise.

The next headrush will be 80, and the next after that will be seeing the gear Windhunter talked about in his comment earlier.  :)

P.S. Now,flying about, I’m blown away by all the beauty and wonder I’m seeing!  Like Roy Batty put it:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain…

At that point I’ll make my departure with Roy and say, “Time to live.”

P.P.S. Stunning.



Posted by on December 22, 2008 in Screenshots


My Future Self mocks me.

My future self mocked me this evening.  Made fun of the gear I was wearing.


Funny part if it all, the irony, he was wearing what I was wearing.


“Look who’s talking, Noob.  You’re still wearing it.”

So far I’ve gone through Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, and a lot of Dragonblight now, and not a drop or quest reward that I can use.  I’m still taking Plate blue rewards to sell since plate sells for more than mail. I’ve held on to one or two trinkets and that’s been it.  Judging my Future Me, things aren’t going to improve any.


P.S. “This is the hour of the Forsaken!”  ?  Wrathgate.  Oh.  Wow.  Zomg.

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Posted by on December 20, 2008 in Musings


Thanks for the memeories.

Lassira tagged me for the latest meme.

Here’s the idea: Go back to your first few posts. Who was the first person to EVER comment on your blog? Call them out, link that post and thank them! Then tag a few folks to see who they call out.

That’s easier said than done though.  My first commenter, on my 8 Dec 05 post, was a spammer.

The next commenter on the 14th of December was Josh, and he invited me to check out his blog.  His angle was that he and his girlfriend both played.  The link he gave me, Stealth Penguin, is actually about penguins now.  ;)  But, hey, we’ve got Penguin’s in Northrend, so it’s kind of timely actually.

Next up came Psyae, who on the 21st of December, a day shy of three years ago (3!), asked a ui question about Recap.  I was raiding Molten Core back then and did a fair job healing.  Psyae had a blog, but no longer blogs as far as I can tell, and along with Tomas Rofkahr’s blog, were the inspirations to take up blogging myself.

I’ll tag Tomas.  Time to get that internet in shape, feed the laptop some quarters, and post something again!  :)


Posted by on December 20, 2008 in Memes


Fire sale on WoW content.

I don’t remember feeling this far behind when the Burning Crusade was released.  Now, just a little over a month past the latest expansion’s release, the trade channel is filled with folks seeking members for Heroic marathons.  The 10-mans are being conquered, and wasn’t it like 3-days after release that the game was beaten by some achievers?  I didn’t feel pressure to win-win-win, push-push-push rather, the last release.  I simply did my thing, got to 70, on several characters, and then found a great group and we went and knocked on some serious doors, busting down most of them.  But not until we’d gone through the content, yes, sometimes a couple of times, ;), but we got to where we needed to be, nearly, in time before the next expansion.

Yeah, it sucked having to get Exalted with a faction to get the key to open the heroic version of their sponsored dungeons.  It was work.  Like walking uphill, in the snow, with bare feet, both ways, to go to school.  We hated it, but we did it, and we reaped the rewards.  And do that grind to exalted five times total for each of the factions.  Then Blizzard dropped the Heroic Key requirement to simply Honored to let the “casuals” have easy access.  Now they’ve just done away with it altogether up in Northrend.

Literally a month after release, and the bleeding edge players are left with nothing to do but farm content.

Whatever happened to hard work before you got to enjoy your golden years?  “Welcome to the old folks home, here’s the remote, watch whatever.”

This expansion’s content was HUGE.  But they gave it all away up front.  Now what?  Is the next expansion commiseratingly closer now?  There will (could) be a large content increase when they offer the Undermine to adventurers.  (Anyone notice the Tabard of the Explorer?  Northrend is clearly on top.  There is a chunk of land down south.  That should be the island of Kezan which houses the goblin’s home of Undermine.)  There is another large content increase possible, theoretically planet sized, with The Emerald Dream.

I don’t know.  It just seems like everything has been turned over to the players at once.  Why?

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Posted by on December 20, 2008 in Musings


Greatfather Winter made me do it.

The old codger wants cookies and milk.  Cookies and flippin’ milk.

So he sends me out to kill endless Moonkin.

It’s not like I can swing by Kroger’s and pick up a dozen, is it Old Man?  You’ve sent me on an errand of death.


Oh, I remember those Moonkin.  Often enough I found myself running from them.  This time around it was painless.  They never knew what hit them.

Cookies and milk.  Dead Moonkin.  Is this world mad??

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Posted by on December 15, 2008 in Musings


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