Thursday, December 23, 2010

Norman Finally Gets It!

is apparently almost ready to become a quest designer for Blizzard.

"Oh," he realizes. "That. Fine. How much for the potion?"

"Well, I'll need some crystal kelp fronds," Pestle says.
"I don't want to know what goes in it. I have a weak stomach. Just make it up and I'll run it back to her," Norman says.

"No, I'm saying I need you to go and get crystal kelp fronds for me."

"Oh right," Norman says bitterly. "I wouldn't expect an apothecary to have exotic things like ingredients. Let me guess, I have to run to Stormwind and buy it, only that guy won't have a bag to put it in, so I'll have to run to Ironforge to get a Dwarven paper sack. But they're out of paper, so I'll have to sail to Darnassus, where I'll find out that the paper-maker is out of wood pulp, so I'll have to venture through the Dark Portal and find the special tree of--"
While the entire series is good, the picture of Bolivar at the start of this particular installment is... particularly worthy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

85's Calling

Back later. Level 85 is calling.

In the meantime, entertain yourself as The Pogues and Joe Strummer perform "London's Calling".

Me? I'll be down by the river...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cataclysmic Thoughts

There's a ton of folks out there commenting on the Cataclysm leveling experience. I've got my own thoughts on the subject (some good, some bad - what else did you expect?), but I'll save those for later.

Right now, I want to play.

I've managed to level Aretae, my Worgen rogue, to level 13 just by completing the Worgen starting areas. After that, I've spent most of my time on Aeth, leveling her to just shy of 83 through Mount Hyjal and part of Vas'jir. I keep forgetting that I have Flame Orb, which doesn't really seem to be impacting how I level much at all. No dungeons yet - just haven't had the time to dedicate to that - but soon, soon...

Some random thoughts:

Yes, you will replace your T9/T10 gear fairly quickly. Halfway through leveling, Aeth has gone from 20k health to 35k health, and she really does need that to survive. Squishy, squishy mage!

The guild leveling experience needs some serious work. The XP cap stinks like rotten fish; not because it limits how fast you can level a guild, but because it makes it difficult to gain guild rep. I'm not positive, but I'm fairly sure that Aeth hasn't gained any guild rep in the past couple of days, because our (small) guild capped guild XP gains for the week, and - guess what! - you only gain guild rep when you earn guild XP. Yay.

The guild achievements interface is way cool. Especially when you get a random guild achievement popping up while running around, and realize that it's a milestone documenting how your band of merry men and women have been accomplishing things in-game. We got Making History (500 archaeology projects complete) last night, and it was definitely a little rush.

I play on a PvE server. Which suits me fine, until someone swoops in and steals my node while I'm killing mobs around it. Bleah. Bad enough when it's Belf pally scum, but when you're Alliance? Dude, just ask if you can have the node. Or at least help clear the mobs. Fail.

On the plus side, I have nothing but praise for Malfurion's Raiders on Kirin Tor. I've had encounters with a couple of folks while leveling in Mount Hyjal, and they are - to a person - some of the nicest, most gracious folks I've ever encountered outside of my own guild. Two thumbs up, and I hope I get the chance to run some random dungeons with their folks.

Being a mage - with the ability to teleport in a world without portals - is fantastic. I'm sorely going to miss the ability to pop around the world like an insane magical gopher when I turn to leveling Aeven and Laenshield.

Oh, yeah. It's Monday - time for some music! I went searching for a live version of "Queen of all Argyle" by Silly Wizard, but wasn't able to find just what I wanted. So instead, here's a "video" of the studio recording of one of my (and my family's) favorite songs.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Woke up, got out of bed...

... got my Flight Master's License. Then I flew Aetherna around Stormwind in a frenzy, finding Illustrious Grand Master trainers and learning the new Archaeology seconday skill.

Maybe it's just me, but from the air, Stormwind is... impressive. I look at it and think, "Wow, this is a huge city." From the ground, it's just a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. From the air? It's a sprawling urban center, and it gives me a little shiver because it's all new. Someday it will be mundane, but right now, it's magical.

After a few minutes of oohing and aahing, I picked up the fishing and cooking dailies. This netted me not only my first experience in months, but my first new skill points in cooking and fishing, as well. A short flight later to talk to the Earthen Ring representative in Stormwind, I got a pre-recorded pep talk from Thrall. One mystical portal and dragon flight later, and I had (a) seen Deathwing, (b) witnessed him releasing Ragnaros, and (c) seen the devastation in Mount Hyjal.


Not bad for a morning's work.

At this point, I only had one more "must do" task remaining before I quit and headed for the mundane job.

Aetherna and Aeristal, in particular, are going to be surprised when they find out that they have family behind the Greymane Wall. I'm sure that they'll get along fine with their new cousin Aretae, though. He may look scary, but really - he's just a great big puppy dog at heart.

Then again, so's a worg...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winner: Most Amusing and Pointless Quest Chain Evar

The Day Deathwing Came - you can find it in the Badlands.

And yes, one the the hot "chicks" in the final quest is a Belf male.

Friday, December 3, 2010

You Are Not Prepared!

Larisa isn't prepared for Cataclysm, and you know what?

Neither am I.

And it's intentional.

Well, kind of intentional. I've been stockpiling bolts of netherweave with an eye towards cranking out some bags to help equip the new wave of alts post-Cata. That's about it, though.

Believe it or not, I play this game for pleasure and enjoyment. I've spent the last week or so banging out code and knocking out bugs at work, and when I want to relax, the last thing I want to do it follow a checklist. I've been having a blast exploring the changes in Azeroth, doing the new quest chains, and generally just wandering where I will and doing what I want.

I'm not going to change that when Cataclysm comes out.

I don't know what the vast majority of the quests are until I find them myself.

I don't know what the new zones will be like, except in the most abstract sense.

I don't know what the new dungeons will be like, again, except in the most general terms.

Yeah, when I go to run a Cata dungeon for the first time, I'll read up on it so I won't be a burden to my fellow players. That's about it, though. I'll decide when to run the dungeon based on when it will be fun for me to do so, not when it's the optimal leveling choice in terms of XP and gear.

I'm not going to rush through the content to get to level 85. I'll get there, but it won't be because I've ground out XP the most efficient leveling mobs for 8 hours. It will be because I've done enough fun and interesting stuff that happens to give me enough XP to hit 85.

Also... while I don't really RP in-game, I do have some sense of who my characters are. In game terms, they're looking around, wondering what in the name of the Light is happening right now. They're out doing what they've always done, as heroes: they're exploring, they're investigating, they're helping others. There's no reason any of them would be stockpiling potions or mats or heavy frostweave bandages, for crying out loud. None of them have even so much as seen Deathwing.

The scope of the Cataclysm is not yet apparent to them.

Which is, in all honesty, probably just a convenient excuse for me to be a slacker (though not one of Gevlon's slackers, thank you very much) and do what I want to do instead of what someone else says I should do. I'll hit 85 eventually. I'll run dungeons eventually. I'll be raiding, and even PvPing in the new battlegrounds.


Right now, though, there's too much fun to be had it not knowing what's around the next corner.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You Can't Have Everything

ObOOTS: Elan's father explains the rationale behind being evil.