Archive for March, 2010

Skinny-Dipping in Frostfire Springs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by Razorstorm

Last night my wife and I were running around doing some good ole questing in Felwood on Rayzorstorm and Lahruna.  We really hadn’t gone to Felwood before, except when we were so low that we had no business being there (you know… when everything is ?? level).  At that point we boldy ran away.  We were drawn there by the first leg of Lahruna’s quest to get her Felguard (which she is very excited for, by the way).  I have to say, Felwood is pretty cool!  It’s like the dark reflection of the beautiful Darkshore and Ashenvale.  It actually reminds me a lot of Darkshire over in Eastern Kingdoms, which is another one of my favorite zones.  I also love that, as Alliance characters, we get to walk into a village peopled almost entirely with Tauren, due to it being a Druid village.  This was significant for Rayzorstorm, due to a character story idea that I have brewing (more on this later).  I’m so glad I now have a flight path here, because I plan on coming back. 

As you run through the Firbolg tunnel, you can either go to Moonglade, or Winterspring.  We ran to Moonglade  and turned in the Seed of Life that had been sitting in our bags from the first time we finished Maraudon Pristine Waters.  I could have gotten to Moonglade anytime, since I’m a druid, but Lahruna couldn’t, and frankly, we hadn’t quite realized how to get there on foot.  That quest was a sweet XP reward, which was quite welcome.  

Okay, at this point you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this post.  Well, after Moonglade, we decided to take the other arm of the Firbolg tunnel, to talk to a guy on the other end.   When we got there, we noticed that there was a lovely pool in a gulley off of the road.  Then we saw the name on the map… Frostfire Springs.  My wife said, “Hey look, it’s a hot spring!”  Then we stopped, looked at each other, and smiled.  

/skinnydip

/sigh

"Come on in, the water's fine!"

-Razorstorm

Obeying the Muse

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2010 by Razorstorm

Recently I accepted an offer from Windsoar over at JadedAlt where she is playing Muse to any of her blogging friends.  She gave each of us a different subject/question to address. What I thought was so cool was how she kept managing to come up with good questions that were all so specific to each blogger.  Here was my mission, should I choose to accept it (which, obviously, I do, though perhaps not as promptly as I should have).

/cast Muse

So, I know you play several toons, and they’re in the around the 40-60 range (if nothing’s changed ) How did you NOT get hit with the leveling bug? How do you choose which toon to play, and what makes you trade them in for the next alt? Do you and the missus have a specific duo? What do you enjoy doing in-game together?

Ok, that was mean–answer the ones you want and ignore the rest! I got a little carried away ^^

 

I am, indeed, an altaholic.  Here I am, playing for over a year, and still, I have no 80’s.  In fact, I have several characters all stuck right around the same point.  Two points, actually.  Looking through my alts on various servers it would appear that I tend to get stuck right around either level 12 and level 40.  Let’s look at the notables from my roster

Rayzorstorm- Argent Dawn- Feral Druid 50 (yay!)

Desdeamona- Lightninghoof- Holy Paladin 45

Morgaunt- Uldaman- Protection Warrior 40 (yay!)

Mykale- Cenarius- Frost Mage 45

After these guys I have a ton of toons that are all right about level 10-12, though I think there are two that managed to make it into the 20’s.  Among them are two hunters, two warlocks, a rogue, 2 priests, another paladin, another warrior, and 3 shamans.

I understand the phenomenon of bailing on toons in the teens.  It makes sense.  You decide to roll a new race/class combo just to see how you like it, and then you go back to your main.  But why do I consistently get stuck around the 40’s?  There are a couple of reasons for this, I think.

First, my four higher toons were each the first that I rolled on each of those four servers.  I originally started on Dawnbringer with my wife because we really didn’t know what the hell we were doing.  Rayzorstorm is dedicated to leveling with her warlock, Lahruna.  He is restricted to staying within two levels of her, or I get in trouble.  We really love questing as a duo.  Each time I’ve started on a new server, it’s been to play with different friends from real life, except the change from Dawnbringer to Argent Dawn with Rayzorstorm, which was to join SAN.  The problem with this plan is that I still don’t get to play with any of these RL friends because they’re all raiding.  So I go on leveling.  First I rolled Mykale on Cenarius, then Morgaunt on Uldaman, and then most recently Desdeamona on Lightninghoof.  I’ve been most involved with Des and Rayzor lately, though Morgaunt saw some good action this last week.  I haven’t touched Mykale in a while, mostly due to a conscious effort to be a little more focused.   

I think I tend to get stuck around the 40’s because leveling really starts to slow down around there.  Previous to this you stay in a zone for about 8 levels, and the content naturally leads you on to the next step.  Once you hit this point, though, the world starts feeling very big, and quests seem to involve more and more running around, which takes forever.  I think there’s also a tendency to start feeling lost around this point because there isn’t a place that you’re supposed to be, because the world is supposed to start feeling wide and open.  Add to this that professions really start to get harder at this point and you really start to slow down.  It makes it really easy, for me at least, to get distracted by the idea of trying something new.

Windsoar asked if I get the leveling bug.  I live for the leveling bug.  When the story is clear and driven, I dive in.  But as things get more diffused, and especially if they get grindy, I get bored and switch over to another toon for a few levels. I don’t believe in power-leveling with the aid of higher level friends, because I actually want to see and experience the world.  If I could stay focused on any of these characters longer, I’d be a lot further along.  I’ve sort of decided to leave Mykale in the dust for a while, partially because it’s so much easier leveling with my tanks, or my holy pally, due to the quick LFD queues and survivability.  And more importantly, I get much more social interaction on all of my other realms than I do on Cenarius.  I’ve recently begun to understand how important an active g-chat is to my enjoyment of the game.

Well, I think I’ve rambled on this subject for long enough.  I hope you were a-muse-d!

-Razorstorm

The Fall of the Baroness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 26, 2010 by Razorstorm

I made a post recently about Desdeamona’s attempt to be the Silk Baroness of Lightninghoof. I realized that I hadn’t followed through on my promise to report my results. 

Result: Failure. 

It turned out that despite how many stacks of silk I bought, and I bought a lot of silk, as soon as I left the AH someone would put up some more.  It wasn’t long before there was enough lower priced silk to push my stacks a long ways down the roster.  While I may have had the money to take over the market, I simply didn’t have the time.   I would’ve had to sit  there checking in every 15 minutes to keep buying up the new stacks.  I left it alone and went adventuring. 

When I came back 48 hours later, my mailbox was full of expired silk.  When I say full I mean full, as in so full the system couldn’t deliver all of it because my mailbox was completely jammed with stacks of silk.  Sure, I made some gold from a few stacks that did sell, but I was swamped in stacks of silk that hadn’t sold.  I guess I could’ve turned right around and put them back on the auction house, but I just didn’t have the will after sifting through all that silk. 

Lesson learned: Don’t tangle with a monstrous market like silk.  this strategy would probably work fine on a smaller market, and one person might succeed in controlling the price, but it would take steady dedication.

-Razorstorm

We Hit Level 50 & Lahruna’s leveling guide!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by Razorstorm

It finally happened!  Lahruna and Rayzorstorm finally hit level 50 together in a Blackrock Depths PUG the other night.  And there was much rejoicing!  (Dour Monty Python voice: “Yay.”) 

Here is the quick leveling guide, according to my wife, Lahruna. 

  1. Get sick.  Preferably sick enough that you are stuck sitting on the couch and can’t do chores around the house. 
  2. Put on a good movie that you’ve already seen several times so you don’t really need to pay close attention to it.  (She recommends Finding Nemo and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.)
  3. Get your hot hubby (or wifey) on the couch beside you doing something that keeps them busy, like applying for new jobs.
  4. Wrap yourself up in warm blanket or Snuggie.
  5. THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Have cake beside you as you:
  6. Run dungeon, after dungeon, after dungeon, after dungeon….

Until you finally reach half-way through lvl 49 so you and that hot hubby/wifey of yours can finally go run one more final dungeon for the day, which will be Sunken Temple.  Which will then take an agonizing hour, which by the way is NOT refundable,  as the paladin in your group insists on doing things in the most agonizingly careful and risk-free (i.e. boring) way possible.  You will acquiesce because Sunken Temple is a friggin maze and you have no idea where you’re going. 

But at the end you will have a pretty awesome fight against several green dragons.  Somewhere along the way, you will both ding 50.  When all is done, you can retire to Stormwind, eat cake, and be merry.  I recommend having a dance party.

Lahruna, Rayzorstorm, and Graklos have a lvl 50 dance party!

-Razorstorm

Blog Azeroth Shared topic, and lonely Dwarves

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by Razorstorm

I thought I’d actually get on the wagon and respond to the weekly shared topic from Blog Azeroth for the first time.  This topic was suggested by Pieces:

 ___________________________________________________________________________

If you had the chance to start all over again in WoW, but your char is already level 80, or level 1 depending on if you like to level or not :>. What class would you pick? What race? What faction?
Why would you pick that class/race/faction?

And most of all what would you plan to do with it? Raid, PvP or just hang out in Dalaran?

It just fascinates me what people would do if they would be given the option to start all over again on the highest level, would you pick the same class you play now or would you make your secret wish of playing (say) a mage come true?

____________________________________________________________________________

Considering that I still don’t have any level 80’s, I would LOVE to have a raid-ready toon handed to me.  I read so much, and I listen to so many podcasts that all talk about this and that in the end-game and it drives me nuts not having an 80 to experience it.  I WANT TO RAID!  I think most of all, I probably would love to have a Level 80 Hunter, dual specced as BM and Survival, that I could raid on, and then run around the world and train new exotic pets.  I don’t know why, but I have total hunter envy (I think it has something to do with the ability to train beasts you find in the world, that is just so cool to me.)  Maybe it’s because I listen to two class-specific podcasts, and they’re both based on hunters!  (OutDps and THL, I blame you!)  What race, you ask?  Hmmm, good question.  I’m inclined to say Orc… or Dwarf… probably Orc.  I just think Orc hunters look badass.   Yes, let’s go with an Orc Hunter.

When I’m not raiding I want to go running around and tame the coolest beasts I can.  Here I come Spirit Beasts!  Here I come Devilsaur!  Here I come… I don’t know what else I’ll tame, but I know there are cool beasts out there, and I want to tame them!  So if someone could magically hand me a character of any class, any level, that’s what I want. 

Now, you might be asking, if I like hunters so much, why haven’t I rolled one?  Well, actually, I have.  His name is Khazad, and he’s on Dawnbringer-US.  He’s stuck somewhere in the 20’s, running around with a white wolf named Loki.  He’s an engineer.  I quite like him.  There’s one small problem.  He’s ON MY WIFE’S ACCOUNT!  Yep, you heard me right.  He’s on my wife’s account. Now the next obvious question is, “Why, Razor?  Why is poor Khazad languishing, lonely and un-played, on your wife’s account?” 

Well, here’s the answer, silly as it is.  I play on the laptop.  My wife plays on the PC.  I started playing Khazad very shortly after we began, and I realized that I was not allowed to play Rayzorstorm, my main Druid, without my wife’s Warlock, Lahruna.  Since I was playing without her, I decided to play him on the PC.  About the time that he hit those mid 20’s, I got offers to play with some RL friends on other servers, and since I already had a hunter, I rolled other classes, such as my mage, Mykale, or my Paladin, Desdaemona, and my warrior, Morgaunt.  Note that all of these toons are on different servers, created to allow me to play with different friends, but that’s a discussion for another day.

In fact, when Cata hits, I am highly considering rolling a Goblin Hunter that will do engineering.  I’m thinking about naming him after something to do with Squigs, which is a Warhammer reference.  If any of you reading this know what I’m talking about, give me suggestions for this idea.

-Razorstorm

Transparency of Mechanics

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2010 by Razorstorm

I was listening to The Hunting Lodge Podcast #27 today and found Brigwyn and Daewin talking about upcoming gear changes, and it sparked a train of thought that I’ve been wrestling with for some time:  Transparency of WoW mechanics.  To make a long story short, there isn’t much, and it bugs me.      

To give some context, I have only been playing WoW for a little over a year and I came to it, not from a background of playing other MMO’s, or console games, but rather from D&D and other table top games.  Tabletop RPG’s have total rule transparency because the players have to do the math, the rolls, everything.  I am used to being able to read a class’s description and know, at least in a basic sense, how my class works.  I have found it frustrating that WoW provides little to no guidance about the basic mechanics of how the game works.  If I roll a new class that I know nothing about, say a warrior (which I do actually have, this is just an example), where do I go to learn the basics about what stats are important to me?  If you go to the official World of Warcraft site, there is indeed a Getting Started section where you might expect these things to be explained.  I go here to learn about the basics of my class, and then to here.  Hmm, not much there telling me about what type of gear I should be looking for, or how to judge gear that I come across.  The only official place that I see attributes explained is here.   If I roll a warrior, I can guess that Strength is a good stat for me to work because it says this:

Strength (STR)

  • Increases your Attack Power with melee weapons.
  • Increases the amount of damage you can block with a shield.

What about Agility?  It says this:

Agility (AGI)

  • Increases your Attack Power with ranged weapons.
  • Increases your Armor.
  • Increases your chance to score a critical hit with a weapon.
  • Increases your chance to dodge attacks.
  • Increases your Attack Power with melee weapons (rogue, hunter, and druids in cat form only).

This sounds pretty good for a warrior, in a general sense.  But how much does it increase my armor, critical hit chance, and dodge?  Is Agility more valuable than Stamina which only says this:

Stamina (STA)

  • Increases Health.
  • Increases your pet’s Stamina.

If don’t know how much health Stamina gives me, and how much armor/dodge Agility gives me, and how Str affects my block, how do I know which stat improves my survivability better?  I don’t.  If I don’t know how much Strength increases my AP, and how much critical chance I get from Agility, how do I know which one has the greater impact on my dps?  I don’t.  I’m not even going to get into the obscure mechanics of Defense Rating, Spell Power differing on slower/faster spells, or proc rates (I just love powers/items that say, “you have a chance on a hit to do XXX thing.”  What chance?  How much?).  And people wonder why we have mages asking to have their cloak enchanted with Agility so that they will get hit less? 

Now this is the point at which someone points the helpless noob to the WoW forums, or WoWHead, or Elitist Jerks, etc.  However, where is the official statement of how this stuff works?  The information is available on these wonderful forums because people figured it out.  Should I really have to go to unofficial, uncontrolled sources to understand even the most basic mechanics of my class?  I don’t think I should. 

I personally do go these places to read a lot, because I like doing that.  I did the same thing when I was playing D&D.  But my wife has no interest in doing this research, though she likes to play the game.  I know that Blizzards desire is to have this game be easy to learn and difficult to master, which I totally support.  However, it seems like it’s easy to learn, but then very easy to learn wrong if you don’t have an interest in exploring external forums, particularly as you get in the mid levels where you actually start making choices.  I believe a major cause of this is the lack of transparency about how the mechanics work. 

What do people think? 

-Razorstorm

The 10th Layer of Hell: Grinding for mats that won’t drop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Razorstorm

I finally ventured into Searing Gorge with Rayzorstorm (previously Darrien), my Feral Druid level 48, in search of Sarah Tanner to begin delving into Elemental Leatherworking.  I had never been into Searing Gorge before with any toon.  Previous to this it was only a place that I dared see from the back of a griffon, a scary place where big fiery mobs with ?? for their level are everywhere.  It was a little spooky to walk in there and realize, “wait a second, I’m the right level to be here!”  I proceeded to find Sarah and embark on a quest to gather Hearts of Fire, Globes of Water, Cores of Earth, and Breaths of Wind.  Actually, I already had Cores of Earth sitting in the bank from some random questing, so I was 3 out of 4.  I started with Hearts of Fire, since they could be found on Magma and Inferno Elementals right nearby.  I looked them up on www.Wowhead.com and saw that the drop rates were low, 5-7%, but that anything else with higher drop rates was well out of my range.  So I went to work as a kitty tearing up countless elementals, making endless loops around Searing Gorge (I even got the achievement for exploring it!).  This began a grinding process that went for hours and hours and hours, just to get 2 Hearts of Fire.

My poor guildies on Single Abstract Noun were so nice to me, giving me sympathy as I moaned about the cruelty of getting Elemental Fires instead of Hearts of Fire.  Luckily the gchat is so entertaining and active that it kept me in good spirits.  I whooped and cheered and did the happy bear dance when I finally got the second Heart of Fire to drop.  This joy was quickly dampened by the realization that I needed to do it again for the Globes of Water.  I then flew to Feralas (crazy long commute!) to gather the Globes from Sea Sprays and Sea Elementals.  This became another few hours of grinding elementals just to get 2 Globes.  This was made more dangerous by the involvement of large Sea Giants that invariably can be found near these water elementals, and happen to love squishing druid kitties by ganging up them 2-on-1.  No one said mobs were fair.  I died a few times to these giants, but that wasn’t much of a problem.  The problem was the hours upon endless hours that I spent grinding my way through elementals for the quest mats.  If it hadn’t been for the saving grace of SAN guild chat, I think I would’ve lost it.  Again, when it finally dropped the second Globe, I whooped and hollered and did the happy bear dance.  Now to get the Breaths of Wind from some air elementals in Tanaris!  I’m almost done!

The Happy Bear Dance

Something that struck me as very ironic was that I actually got some decent drops during this process.  I found  some very sellable greens, along with some elemental fire and water, which tend to sell quite well in the auction house.  However, I didn’t give a damn, because they weren’t Hearts of Fire or Globes of Water

I have conceived of a new layer of Hell.  Enter the 10th Layer, where the poor lost souls are damned to wander the world grinding endless waves of mobs, only needing one more item to finish their quest, but never actually finding it.  What a terrible fate that would be.  /shudder

-Razorstorm