Friday, June 27, 2008

Death Knight Rumors

I've seen a couple sites that have perpetuated the rumor that Blizzard will allow people to roll a Death Knight before the expansion is released. With the breaking ice pictures that have been on the main Wow web site and the anticipated announcement this weekend, I can see how there is even more "evidence" for this rumor. Since a Death Knight starts at level 55, the few months (or whatever) of playing them before the expansion comes out would allow people, those that pre-order the expansion, to catch up to 70 and then level to 80 with their friends.

I think it sounds neat. It might actually get me interested in having a 4th 70 before the expansion. (Double post today, for those that might have missed it.) I've always thought I should have one of each role (DPS, healer, and tank)... I just haven't gotten around to having them all on one account.

At the very least, at some point in time, I will play a Death Knight for a bit. Mainly because I've done that with all toons. It helps me better understand the class and what I can do with them as a raid leader. Now, I don't have a 70 of each class, so I don't know all the ins and outs, but I still have a basic understanding of how each class is played. (Rogue and Druid mid-40's, Hunter through 30ish, and Warlock, Warrior, and Paladin through mid-20's.) Depending on how I like the play style, I may level him (or her) all the way. We'll see. I got tired of the Rogue play style, but yet I play my druid almost the same way and I enjoy playing him. (I think it's that I have different options that don't have cooldowns like Vanish does. /shrug)

At any rate, we'll see what Super Announcement comes from our favorite gaming company from Paris this weekend.

EDIT: After the first post, I realized that I didn't make my position very clear. I think I got side tracked with my own writing.

I actually agree with the first post, that I don't see this happening. I think it would be neat, but yes, it's one way to split apart the masses. (I actually didn't think of this reason.) Another issue I see is the logistics of it. I'm guessing that it would only be the pre-orders coming from Blizzard themselves. Do I really think that my local game store is going to be sophisticated enough to give me a pre-order number AND make sure that I get an actual copy the day it comes out? I just see so many issues there.

Then again, thinking a little bit more. What if Blizzard got rid of the middle man? I believe you can install the original Wow discs and let the updater take care of the rest, including The Burning Crusade. The only real reason to buy TBC is to get a code to unlock your account. Hmm... interesting.

There's also the consideration that current encounters might have to be completely reworked because there's now this magical resist tank. Can you imagine Hydross with just one tank?

But yeah, I don't think it will happen. Just kinda fun to think about the possibility of playing with a Death Knight sooner rather than later.

Final Dings

Last night, I finally got my priest to level 70. So, that makes 3 70's on my current account. And I found myself thinking, "What do I do now?" Oh sure, every piece of gear that he has can be upgraded, with some of them probably being simple quests. But I'm not sure how much grinding I want to do.

I've been through the whole grinding process once with Leiandra. She's exalted with all the 5-man instances and also Violet Eye and Aldor. I do need to work on some Sporegar rep for the new herbalism bag. I could always farm mats, but that seems rather boring. If I were to do dailies, I suppose I'd want to do them with one of my more recent 70's for the SSO rep, but then it will take me longer to do most of them since Leiandra is such a killing machine. I'm looking forward to instancing with my priest, but not really looking forward to pugging anything. And most of my guild is way beyond the recent 70 gear level.

So, what do I do? I logged on to EQ2 to check out the new content there. lol.

But I'm doing that for more of a distraction. My plan of action is to get these other two geared... I just hope to do it with the minmal amount of grinding. Instance crawling with a good group would be fun... just not sure where to find a good group. lol.

On the side note of EQ2: I totally don't remember how to play any of my toons. I even have to ask people where I should be leveling, so I started a new toon. And this is going to sound gay, but I started a female Fae (think fairy with wings and all). But the reason I did it was (A) I wanted to see new content, and I'd seen that starting Isle (is that still there?) too many times, and (B) I thought my daughter would really love it. I tried to show her this morning, but there servers were down or something. Oh yeah... that's one of the things I hated about EQ2.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Death of Outbrain

So, I had the little star-rating system on each post. I thought it was a cool idea, but you guys didn't use it much. "Oh well," I thought, "it's kinda fun sometimes, so I'll leave it." Then this morning, my wife asks why I have some links to some inappropriate sites on my blog.

I don't remember if the Outbrain widget did that when I first installed it, but I kind of don't think so. I don't think I would have been too thrilled about having random links enter my site. I also don't think that I signed up for an account there, where it appears you can manage those.

But bottom line... it wasn't being used much, so now it's gone. There. Are you happy now? You guys made me kill that Widget.

How horrible am I? A Wow blog post that has nothing to do with Wow. I'm going to lunch. Maybe I can think of something better in the meantime.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Double Ding

I think the majority of my friends that play Wow have multiple lvl 70's. I'm generally focused on my mage, Leiandra, but my shaman (who's the namesake of this blog) just hit level 70 last night. And as the post title implies, somebody else hit 70 as well. And that special somebody is my wife, who now has a level 70 Shadow Priest.

It's funny how the game changes so much for me once I hit 70. From the beginning of my toon's existence at level 1, it's all about quests and leveling to get to level 70. I've been quite diligent at following the leveling guide and TourGuide to maximize experience per game session played. Once I hit 70 though, it's almost all out the window.

True to form, as soon as we turned in the last quest for us to ding 70, we went and did "level 70 stuff". Down to Shadowmoon Valley to pick up our flying mounts. Since we were in the area, had my wife create more Shadowcloth so she could create her first epic. (She's now more geared than my Shaman. lol.) Then back to Shatt to catch a portal back to the Old World so that we could get our new training. (Oh, and since I neglected it, we had to get trained for level 69 spells as well.)

Granted these are all things that needed to be done, but I still have an entirely different focus. Where as at level 69, the focus was experience. At 70, the focus is now on gear and how to be suffeciently geared to make a true contribution in instances. (She started running Karazhan at 68, but it was more just to hang out with friends.)

Speaking of Karazhan. I brought Leiandra in to my more "casual" friends' run on Friday, and we downed all of lower Kara, and even got up and killed Curator for the first time. For one night, and with that group, it was a great accomplishment. Furthermore, all of the members were at one time or another part of Cracked Anvil Trading Co. (basically the only other guild I played in (which I'm also a founding member of)).

Back to subject... now I'm really grateful for all those WowInsider posts of "How to gear x class for Kara." And the Shaman one just got completed last week. lol.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Supremus - First Looks

It must be contagious, because we seem to be having various people have either computer issues or Internet issues in the guild. Sounds like one of our dependable mages will be back tonight (even though we don't raid tonight), and we'll get one of our paly healers back as soon as her husband can figure out why her system keeps freezing up.

All of that said, we still got through Naj and got to poke a stick at Supremus last night. (I'll try to remember to upload the cool picture tonight.) Once you've cleared through Naj, there's this huge courtyard where you can see the "moon" of Azeroth, and there's a ton of Orcs and Netherdrakes. And down the way and to the right stands Supremus. Getting through the Orcs is kind of fun, but maybe it was just the excitement of actually being there.

And my first look at Supremus? He's huge. There's a lot of big bosses in the game, but for some reason, I was kind of in awe by the sight of Supremus.

The fight itself isn't too hard. He hits like a truck on the off tanks. The fire he shoots out in phase 1 is easily avoidable. It's phase 2 that was giving us some issues. He changes targets frequently, but does a Big Bad Wolf focused run towards that random target. That's not too much of an issue, but he also makes these volcanoes come up and people have to avoid him. I think on the second wipe, people understood the fight and what we needed to do, but it was already pretty late, so we had to call it. We'll kill next week.

(Note to self: post picture.. will make this post so much more enjoyable.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It has always been my opinion that team sports have a huge impact on how people work together whether it is working at a place of employment or battling demons in World of Warcraft. Generally somebody that's been on an organized team can see the benefit of what's good for the whole. They also better understand the various roles that each person plays (maybe the difference between a forward and a center), and how things mesh together (think plays).

To further illustrate my point: back in High School, I played water polo. Towards the end of my high school career, things generally went smoothly among the players. We had essentially played with each other for 3 years. We knew who would make the shots from half-tank, who would lose sprints, and who would generally make great defensive plays. We didn't go undefeated or anything, but the games just felt good.

I think Primogeniture has really warped into a smooth guild. Sure, we have our off nights of low attendance or poor performance. But we generally seem to be pretty good at this point at absorbing new people into our culture and getting them to fit with our play style.

Last night was a perfect example of that. It wasn't really the fact of what we did, but how we did it. We went to go collect our weekly gems in Mount Hyjal, and the raid really felt smooth. A couple mistakes led to a wipe or two, but it didn't feel as much of a let down as it used to. We just picked ourselves up, and tried it again, knowing full well that we were going to be successful. We even got a late start, but ended Mount Hyjal way before our anticipated end time. We had a good mix of people, we had the right roles/classes... It just felt good. Even though this has only been the 3rd week we've done this, it felt like a Kara run. We were just running through, joking around, and we got the job done. It was great.

This will also free up tonight meaning that we should be able to take down the first two bosses in Black Temple. Hopefully this trend will continue. This is what guilds should be all about. It's just me hanging out with 24 friends to take down bad guys.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fast Track Through Level 69

My wife and I burned through a ton of quests on Sunday night and got half way through level 69. We've been questing in Netherstorm, so that's where I'm going to focus today.

I've spent a good deal of time out in Kirin'Var Village. That's the area East by South-East of Manaforge Coruu. Most of my time there has been to farm the Mana Seekers and Mageslayers for Motes of Mana on Wizard Row. It's a great place to farm because they are the object of A Fate Worse Than Death, so that means that the more people there farming/questing, the faster the respawn rate. I don't think I've ever had to wait for another mob to kill like I have for other farm spots. But the better questing spots start South and East of there.

There are 4 named mobs in the area. They are: Abjurist Belmara (South of Wizard Row), Battle-Mage Dathric, Cohlien Frostweaver, and Conjurer Luminrath (all East of Wizard Row). So, the easy part is that you kill each of them, loot the quest items, place them back in their proper spots in Wizard Row (preferably as you're doing the other quests in the area, like the one I mentioned above or The Unending Invasion), and then turn them in to Custodian Dieworth. BAM! 12k experience each. That's 48k just for killing 4 mobs. If you do A Fate Worse Than Death as well, that's another 12k, so a total of 60k that can easily be done in about 15-20 minutes.

We started just barely having dinged 69 (oh that's right.. we need to go to trainers), and ended the session in just a couple hours half way to 70. So, if you're looking to quest for experience or gold (at 70 you get 7g each), I'd make sure you do these relatively easy quests.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Internet Up and a Couple Bosses Down

As anticipated, the Installer came out on Tuesday, and he replaced the cable to my house. Apparently "up in the hills" where we live, a lot of people pass on having the cable grounded because it weakens their signal (so that's why he didn't ground it before). But the signal from the main box (or whatever) was still too weak, so they had to have another person come out to boost the signal. And yesterday, the cable company finally fixed my signal and brought me "within the acceptable range", so I once again have dependable Internet service. Yeah!

On Monday night, I decided to head over to a guildies house (he's just a couple miles away) so that I could raid. We had a couple hardware issues (my laptop couldn't connect to his network for some reason, so I used his laptop which ended up having issues with the screen, so we plugged in a spare monitor), but once those were out of the way, everything was fine. The raid itself was a success as we took down both Rage Wintherchill and Anetheron.

Just a side note: part of our strategy for taking down Anetheron involved having some dps (namely our mages) stand outside of the Carrion Swarm and focus entirely on the Towering Infernals. It really let everybody else spread out so they wouldn't get hit for the damage, and let us down the Infernals pretty quick too.

Tuesday night, I thought I would have Internet, so I didn't plan on going anywhere. When I figured out I didn't have it, I felt it was kind of too late to set something up again. I know my guild mate wouldn't have minded, but I just have that sense of security of being at home physically just in case something happens. (Yes, I'm well aware that I'm not there mentally.) So, it was off to Civ4 to destroy the Aztecs (Mongols were already dead) and set up a Defensive Pact with the Americans. There's now only peaceful-minded rulers, so I shouldn't have to fight anymore... unless I want to. :) And that might help when I'm trying to figure out where I was in that game when I pick it up again months/years down the road.

Then I was finally able to raid again last night. And what a night. We ventured in to Black Temple for the first time. We were a bit sad that there were exactly zero Hearts of Darkness, but oh well. Our focus was more to go take down High Warlord Naj'entus. And it actually wasn't too bad of a fight. I think we got him down to 30% the first attempt, 10% the next, and we completely destroyed him on the last attempt. Due to the Tidal Shield and the inevitable 8500 damage the entire raid takes when you break it with a Naj'entus Spine, we wanted everyone to be with at least 11k health. That apparently wasn't a problem for a lot of our guild. We had a few clothies (mage, warlock and priest) at 13k. But obviously, the more stam/pvp gear we used, the lower our dps was. The first attempt was learning. The second attempt was focused. And the last attempt, most of us changed out a lot of gear (shot for around 10.5k instead of as much as possible), and that was where the pwnage began. He's got an 8-minute enrage timer, and that was where we died on the previous two attempts. On the last attempt, I think we had about 2 minutes left before the enrage timer. Yeah... we destroyed him.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Civilization 4

So, the guy came out on Friday to let me know that my modem is fine (that's actually kinda what I figured), but that the problem is with the connection outside and the Installer didn't ground the wire or something. Still not sure how the connection lasts a solid week, and then now is all haywire, but whatever. Maybe one of the wild bunnies in the area knocked it loose or something. /sigh. So, the Installer is scheduled to come out tomorrow.

You know, if I was at the point of possibly burning out on Wow, now might be the perfect opportunity to make my break. lol.

To fill my gaming time, I was going to play Sid Meier's Pirates, but since we only 1/2 unpacked stuff in the new house (since we'll move again in about 2 months), I'm not sure where all of my computer boxes are. (I may have found the last one this morning as I was frantically looking for a usb cable to hook up the computer before leaving for work.) And so I didn't find Pirates. I did find discs to Civilization 4 though, so I've been playing that.

The one thing that I really appreciate about Wow is the built-in clock. I even live in and play on a PST server, so I don't have to get a mod that will alter the time for me. But Civ 4 is the ultimate "just one more move" game, and being without a clock, I find myself sucked in and losing pretty much all concept of time. I just need to build this one improvement, or take out this one city, or discover this one technology. Things like that happen and I find myself thinking, "hmm... maybe I'm a bit tired, I guess I'll go to bed," at 2:30 in the morning when I was just going to play a few turns. lol.

Yep, I'm a video game addict/junkie. But honestly, I generally don't lose track of time like that in Wow. So, I'm actually very grateful that I've got my addiction in check... sorta. lol.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Break From WoW because of New Phones?

Since I didn't really plan on having the Internet last night, I basically mentally planned my evening without that source of entertainment. But when I got home, I had to unexpected surprises. (1) Our Internet was back up and running, and (2) our new WiFi Cell phones had arrived.

(1) I figured that there might still be an issue with the Internet, so I wasn't 100% relying on it. I used it enough to check out the WiFi part of my new phone, and that's about it. Come this morning, the Cable connection light was blinking on my modem like it has the past 3 nights, so hopefully the cable guy can get everything fixed this morning when he comes by.

(2) I'm going to rant a bit about T-Mobile here. So, if you're sensitive to that for whatever reason, you might want to just come back and visit me another day.

With our new house, we get horrible cell phone reception with our current carrier, T-Mobile. And when I say horrible I mean that if we're lucky, there's about 2 spots in the house where we get reception, but we usually have to go outside to get 1 bar (again, if we're lucky) to make phone calls. We'll be moving again in just over 2 months, where the T-mobile map again shows that their signal is pretty weak. We'd change carriers, but my wife's contract isn't up until the end of the month. At any rate, when I called them to inquire about canceling, they suggested the WiFi option. They see it as a permanent solution, I see it as something to get me by until the end of the month when I can cancel for good.

WiFi won't work for our house. We've been lucky enough that friends of friends are letting us stay in a huge house for an outstanding price. We have a acre. There no way that a WiFi signal is going to be able to reach everywhere. Even in the house itself, which is gigantic, I'm not sure it'll reach everywhere.

At any rate, when I got the two packages yesterday, they didn't send the router like they said they were going to. Also, they didn't send the SIM cards like they said they were going to. When I inquired about it, they didn't even order those things, when they had told me on the initial order that they would. I suppose it's not a big deal since I can use my old router and SIM cards, but that's not really my point. They said they were going to send new ones, they should have sent new ones.

So, while I was basically using them to get one month of a new phone, I don't feel guilty about it since they lied to me about what they were going to send. In less than 30 days from my order date (15 outside of California), I'll call them up, cancel my account for good, and then get on a carrier that can actually put a signal in my house.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Soapbox: ISP Failure

Last night, I had 3 guildies come over to my house, and we had a little LAN party for the raid. The raid itself was craptastic, but I won't bore you with those details. About 10 minutes after we ended the horrible raid, my Internet connection died... again.

So, now that's Monday night it failed and mysteriously came back on Tuesday morning when I called them. A failure on Tuesday night which I reset my modem to fix. And a failure on Wednesday night, which they're sending a tech out to look at it. Oh, did I mention that they didn't restore service last night? grrrr.

I was a bit upset, and probably a little rude when the tech told me they could get somebody out on Saturday. I called again this morning and got the appointment moved up to tomorrow. And if they get time, they'll stop by today. But that still means most likely no Wow tonight.

That's the suck. And I don't even have my surround sound hooked up to enjoy Rock Band. I suppose I could dig out some old PC game or something. Anyone have any that I can download? Oh, oops.. nevermind. Well, we do have National Treasure 2 from Netflix that I haven't seen yet. So, I guess there are other things that I can do. But... but... I'm so addicted. What will I do. lol.

I am a little disappointed because I was looking forward to questing with my wife tonight. Hey, it's our quality time. But since we do have other interests (quick, what are they again?), I'm sure we'll figure out something to do.

Oh, and the party? It was a lot of fun. After the connection died, we went swimming (well, 3 of us), and talked for a long time. I think I got to bed somewhere around 2 or so.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mount Hyjal: Rage Winterchill

I'm a bit behind in my posts because I keep forgetting to bring my screen shot in to work. What a flimsy excuse, huh? So since I came to this realization this morning, I figured I should write about our first night in Mount Hyjal on Monday evening. And come to think of it, my screen shot really isn't that exciting, just me using Arcane Explosion around a mass of bodies during about the 8th wave of trash before Rage Winterchill.

For those that don't know, Mount Hyjal can be a very fast instance. Before each of the first four bosses, there are 8 waves of trash that spawn about every 2 minutes. So, in 26 minutes (16 for the trash and roughly 10 for the boss), you can have a boss dead. And if you were to one shot bosses, that's about 2 hours for 4/5 of the bosses. Not too shabby.

Being our first time in there, we, of course, didn't expect to clear the whole instance. In fact, we were planning on killing the first two bosses and that's it. That said, we killed Rage Winterchill in one shot, but didn't quite get Anetheron down. Our Aoe'ing for the trash mobs was suffecient to clear the trash with enough time to eat/drink back to full before the next pull.

The biggest thing about Winterchill is that everyone needs to pay close attention to his Icebolt ability. Mages can Blink or Iceblock out of it, and Pallies can bubble out, but everyone else needs the pvp trinkets equipped so they can get out of the DoT that occurs after the initial impact. The other thing is an ability called Death and Decay. (Which looks like the picture I stole from Wowhead.)

Let me make stop here to explain a little bit about my Hot Key setup. Since I starte playing Wow many years ago, I've always had my less used spells right above my Hot Keyed ones. So, for example, all of my Aoe spells (except for Cone of Cold for some reason) were just above, because I didn't use them as much. A couple nights back I realized that I'm using Arcane Explosion more and more, and that since moving to Arcane Spec, I really hadn't taken the time to properly configure the Hot Keys optimally. Furthermore, I have some silly things like my push to talk is the ` key, while my "oh crap" hot key of Ice Block is the 1 key. I can't tell you how many times I've been talking on Vent and accidently Ice Blocked.

So, Monday night before the raid, I decided to reconfigure my keys. Scorch and Fireball - Out. Arcane Explosion and other often used keys - In. At the time, I thought it might not be a good idea to do this right before a new content raid; in hind sight, it was a terrible idea. Long story short, pretty early on I got hit with an Icebolt. No problem, I'll just blink. Oh crap, that's Icy Veins. Then there was a small blurr where I was flustered, and then I think I even tried to hit other spells... none of which were Blink or Ice Block. And then I was dead. I think there was also a grunt over Vent, that I got made fun of later. I felt like such a noob, that I didn't even suggest Battle Rezzing me. I was dead. I deserved it.

After awhile, the officer running the raid asked for a Battle Rez on me. "Okay," I thought to myself, "I can do this, no problem." Lucky for me, I didn't get hit with another Icebolt, so that wasn't a problem.

Another side note here: There was a really cool article on WowInsider on a macro that I use to boost all of the graphics. It makes the flora and fauna look spectacular. It also increases the distance you can see. Most systems bought in the past year, can probably support most (if not all) of these graphics. They really do look great.

The issue is that because of all of these plants, I couldn't see the Death and Decay on the ground. So... you guessed it, I died again. But we killed Rage, so it wasn't a big deal.

Our attempts on Anetheron were mostly choppy due to the unfamiliarity with the fight. We got through the waves of trash alright. But on our 3rd attempt through the waves, we were having a bit of trouble. And then... my Internet connection went out. And it didn't return until the morning.

So, we killed Rage. That's the good news. And I'll have about a week to get used to my buttons. That's good as well. Everything besides that... well... you already read it; no need to restate.

Monday, June 2, 2008

TourGuide Mod

When leveling a toon and coming to a new quest hub, my general rule is to get all of the quests, and then start at the top of my quest log and work down. I may even make a special trip back to the quest hub if the reward is particularly attractive. In doing this method, I've noticed mistakes many times as in: "Dang... I could have killed these mobs that were just 2 steps over instead of traveling to the other side of the map to complete that other quest." For the efficiency reason along, I started looking at leveling guides.

For those that have not seen it yet, TourGuide is an excellent add-on for those that are leveling toons. The latest version seems complete for the Alliance, and I believe it's mostly complete for the Horde.

What is TourGuide?
It is an in-game mod that guides you to be more efficient in your leveling process. The creator has loaded a leveling guide that will tell you when to get quests, when to turn them in, and when to go the next area. It automatically brings up kill/collection quest status for you for the next quest you should be working on, and there's generally coordinates of where you should go to complete the next step.

Do I have to do everything TourGuide says?
Of course not. There's things I skip, but I generally try to stick with it so that I don't miss any first quests to those important chain quests that I'll want later.

Why don't you just use one of the Leveling Guides from some web site out there?
Well, this is from a web site. :) But I found that this in-game mod that automatically tracks my quests and locations makes knowing the next step so much faster. No more having to alt-tab out to a pdf or web site to know where to go next... no more losing your spot in said pdf or web site. And multiple toons in those external things? Forget about it. But with TourGuide, it's all taken care of for you.

So, if you're leveling toons and you want to be efficient in your quests, head on over and check out this mod.