Monthly Archives: September 2012

#123 The change of the Alliance in Pandaria

One of the best thing of this expansion, so far, is the introduction quest chain in the Jade Forest on the Alliance side.

 

 

Back when I played the beta for the first time (what was it, spring of this year? Whoa….) the Alliance story was completely different.

In the original quest chain, the Alliance sea ship that holds your character gets shipwrecked and from there you go out to scout the terrain, befriending the Jinyu, train them in the art of war against the Hozen. It was only half way through the Jinyu quest chain you finally see any presence of the horde.

 

In the beta this was the the Alliance’s first camp, and we were being attacked by the Hozen. Kind of underwhelming huh?

 

It was a very slow build up to the Horde and Alliance conflict, and it took even longer to introduce the Sha.

 

If I remember correctly, the sha were first seen just before the Horde and Alliance armies fight each other in the climax of the story arc.

 

But now, oh boy! At the start of the Jade Forest, the Alliance enter the island on a Skyship and once they get seen by a Horde camp the Alliance launch a full-scale assault to destroy -not to pushback, not to defend against the attacking force- but actually go on the offensive and not leave until the base is in ruins.

 

It was totally worth releasing a few shas for this one quest

It feels so good mowing down dozens of horde troops

Not only is the change in the introduction is great to the Alliance’s attitude of this expansion (transforming from a defensive/recovery force to showing some backbone and fighting back against the problem of the Horde)

But it also better sets up the tone of the expansion. As most of the reader will find out, the overall situation of Pandaria is that the Horde and Alliance escalated the troubles that starts in the Jade Forest.

What happens in the Jade Forest creates ripples throughout all of the continent and your job after the Jade Forest adventures is to address  the problems that occurs from all around the island.

In the beta, the build up to the conflict did not feel big enough to justify the disasters that follows elsewhere let alone convinced me that this was the major theme of the expansion.

But after going through the quests on the live servers I can completely believe that the actions that I made in the first zone did affect the rest of the world, which is a tough feeling to convey in an MMO when literally everyone else is doing the exact same thing as you.

 

 


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#122 The chaos of the new expansion

After getting my hands on the expansion and joining in the race to experience the every new things in Pandaria, I realized how fun the first few days of an expansion can be.

It’s pandemonium!

Unlike other players who will gladly complain about how there are fifty people trying to blow up five wagons via the buggy general chat, I will happily sit through the servers difficulties while I participate in exploring Pandaria.

I love the craziness of the next few days because this is something you only see at the beginning of expansions, you can never experience this type of crazy in the content patches, only here where people are picking up their Warcraft accounts again and try to get the best gear again.

For that incredible rush of players it is worth the problem that occurs with servers suffer from overpopulation. I enjoy the chaos because, just like the elections, it is special sort of crazy that only comes around once every few years.


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Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft  with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#121 Saying goodbye to an old friend

Coming off of my 40 week celebration that sounded more like a midlife crisis post. We need to take care of one more loose end on this blog, before the expansion hits.

It has been something that I have used at the end of every post as long as I can remember. I am, of course,  talking about the closing paragraph.

 

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 

 

I have done a lot of writing for this blog and I am pretty sure that paragraph is one of the best thing I have ever written.

It told you everything you ever needed to know about this site after every blog post; What this blog is, what does it focus on, and when it updates, all within a few condensed sentences with a clever bit of word play. It was perfect.

But come tomorrow it’s going to be outdated and I am going to have to retire it for a new, more permanent closing paragraph.

But today, on the eve of Mists I want to reflect on not only this paragraph, but all things this paragraph was attached to, the time when I got my first look at the beta, when Blizzard announced the release date for this expansion, and we got our hands on patch 5.0.4.

Because come tomorrow we will be racing into Pandaria,  towards new quests, new content and new aspect of the war.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#120 What’s next?

We are now less than five days away from the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Being this close to the next chapter of WoW I have to ask, “What’s next for this blog?”

When I  started this blog, back in December, it was with a focus on this upcoming expansion and the developments of the game throughout the months, and during those posts I made sure that almost all of them tied back to Pandaria in some way or another.

 

Anybody when I had this picture in as the tiled background?

 

I have written posts that depicted how Warcraft is like Star Wars in regards of them bringing back old content, and drawing similarities between the interactions between the Horde and the Alliance with US and Global politics and I had I had a  weeks dedicated to showing Blizzard  lessons they can learn from Doctor Who and Pokemon when making an expansion.

 

I need to get going on another Star Wars post.

 

Over the past forty weeks of constantly creating posts three times a week,  I have built this little site on the web as a Mists of Pandaria blog, but come Tuesday when the beta closes and the switches from Cataclysm content to Mists of Pandaria, I making the switch from  a Mists of Pandaria lead up and preparation blog to a general World of Warcraft blog. And it’s a little scary not having to constantly write about the new expansion when we already have it in our hands, but I will continue.

With any luck I’ll be still around when the next Warcraft expansion is announced.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#119 My take on Theramore’s Fall

This week starts the pre-Mists of Pandaria event with Blizzard introducing to the scenario system, and I was every interested on how

I did everything to prepare for this, I read the Jaina Proudmoore book, I let my rage cool down for the minimum of 4 weeks (Read Be MOP #110 for my rant about this event), and I grabbed two other guild-mates to skip the extremely long queue times

With all that out of the way, let’s dive head first into this scenario, and see what’s all the hubbub is about.

One Theramore event later….

Huh. I can definitely say it surpassed my expectations, but that might be because I had them at such a low standard to begin with.

The scenario dropped me and my friends into an instanced zone with enemies that were mostly non-eleites, all caused no problem to me and one of my friends who are decked in heroic gear. The entire event when smoothly and quickly with no hiccups from the game mechanics or player side.

My compliments to Blizzard, they did the most they could with the limited space of the area without phasing or making it too crowded.

Plus this event gave me a Theramore tabard and an epic wizard transmog hat, I give them points for that. Not receiving any collectible items was one of the qualms I had with the Pre Catalysm event.

That being said having one scenario is not enough to get players excited for the next chapter of a game.

I could go into the lack of lore leading up and following the event, the continuity problems in the scenario, and the problems that always occurs when you take a book’s story and try to adapt it into another from of media but I don’t have all day.

I played the Alliance version of the event where the alliance force are reacting to the Horde’s bombing, where you are asked to clean out the Horde scavengers from the ruins of Theramore. (actually, come to think about it, having an event where the alliance have to clean up the Horde’s mess might be a perfect send off the this expansion….)

 

Goodbye sweet city

 

It might seem ridiculous but I would much rather see the Alliance scenario take place during the last fight prebombing/ during the bombing, just like the Horde’s scenario.

The Mana Bomb wiped out the entire population of Theramore. It was the big event in the book, a turning point for how we are supposed to feel about the war for the rest of the game it seems unfair to only let half of the player population to see it take place. Personally I would love to be one of the elite troops that were called upon to defend Theramore against the ever increasing Horde forces, fighting to the last possible second before the bomb was deployed.

But the idea of going into an event where you and your teammates are forced to die the end of an encounter is a deep philosophical question for another time.


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#118 The tale of two mains

Last week I did the impossible, I got my druid to level 85.

now to do it all again next week

After two expansions I am finally able to say that I have two max level characters.

Now a question emerges that I have never asked myself before, “What am I going to do with another toons that can experience the end game content?”

(After all of this you can bet that I am going to get her to level 90 sooner rather than later)

I’m going to use her for her herbalism and alchemy professions that’s for sure,  but what else?

For the past two expansion I have done everything on my mage completing the quests of every zone, every dungeon and raid, and even dabbling in battlegrounds.

 

almost everything

 

It’ll be odd having two charters that can divvy up the endgame objectives. I was thinking of make my druid my PvP player with the druid’s four different specs it would offer a change of play style that I have grown to love in League of Legends matches.

Or I could follow in my main’s footstep and make her out to be a raider used for alt runs or when a tank or a healer calls in sick.

I don’t know what to do with her yet, currently my druid is just waiting in Stormwind for Pandaria waiting for her time to shine.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#117 Preparing for Pandaria: My game plan for leveling

As of right now, Pandaria is only eleven days away from being available to the public, I talked before about my plan for selling all of my leather and other level eighty-five materials (Be MOP #97) and I talked about what I might be doing for the Raid Finder when I get to max level (Be MOP #111)  but I have not really given any thought about how I am going to get from level eight-five to ninety.

In Warth I tried to dabble in dungeon runs before I reached max level (this was before the implication of the LFG feature) I ended up losing more playing time because  we were constantly looking for members who would leave mid-dungeon runs. Needless to say I soon got frustrated with the whole dungeon experience until the glorious 3.3.0 patch.

So many runs here simply because it was the instance that everyone had no problem getting to.

In Cataclysm I leveled exclusively on the quests, focusing on the advancements in the lore and in the questing game mechanics rather than the repetitive dungeon runs that I experienced in the 5 mans.

As a result I completed most of the quests achievements before moving to the next area.

 

I hit level 85 on 12/15

 

For leveling in Pandaria , I think I have recovered from the horrible Warth’s dungeon experience that I might allow myself a few runs of the new dungeons, but my primary focus on this leveling adventure is to experience the quests and story that unfolds.

I only have a few weeks to properly consume the quests that depicts the escalated war and the new island at the appropriate level. I have the rest of the expansion’s life span to run through the dungeons to get the best gear.

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#116 Officially done with Cataclysm

Last Sunday night and into the wee hours of Monday morning I experienced something amazing.

I got to partake in killing the Madness of Deathwing encounter on Heroic Difficulty for the first time along with my guild.

Just one more achievement to add to my collection

 

I after the post raid-cheers and celebrations I was asked by my old raid buddy, who I have stuck with for the past year and a half, if I saw myself completing the last boss of the expansions on the hardest difficulty when I joined his raid group back when Cataclysm started.

To that I answered with a truthful No. I mentioned in a previous post that this expansion I was happy that I was able to experience just the normal boss encounters with a constant group of friends every week.

I never imagined seeing myself being in a raid that would engage in current tier heroic encounters, experiencing the extremely tense moments at the end of a boss fight that would end in victory  or another 5% wipe.

Now I am officially done with the expansion’s PvE content and with less than two weeks until Mists of Pandaria I am ready, now more than ever, to move on to new content.

 

Compare this picture (the gear I wore to the H-Deathwing fight) to the screenshot I took for #31‘s picture that I took the first time I killed Normal Deathwing

 


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#115 Shared Topic: 7 Deadly Sins

This week’s Blog Azeroth’s Shared Post comes from me.

“We all know of the Seven deadly sins (Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy and Gluttony) and we all succumb to aspects of them at one time or another, but is there one particular sin that affects you more than the others when you play World of Warcraft?
Are you a bit too prideful about your armor set? or Do you look upon someone with envy when they have a piece of armor that you don’t have yet?”

If I was to pick a deadly sin that affected my gameplay the most, it would Gluttony.

Hmmm got to love me some Diablo themed sins

I chose this sin because of my relationship I have with the achievement system.

I have always been a fan of the achievement system in World of Warcraft ever since they were first introduced back in Wrath. Since then a good part of my WoW time since then has be fulfilling those pointless tasks.

I have Loremaster,  World Explorer, and More Skills to Pay the Bills, you name it there’s a good chance I have done it. I even completed the sillier achievements like Pests Control, My Sack is “Gigantique” and Ring of the Kirin Tor (an achievement I got on my mage in Cataclysm, the only reason I  paid about 8.5K gold was because I wanted the achievement sound to go off)

I do these tasks not to show off to anybody and not because I want to beat someone else has a higher achievement score than me.

Although those people aren’t in the guild I’m in

I complete  these achievements for myself. I just do them simply because there’s always one more waiting to be completed.

It’s the same reason why I can’t stop at one Lindt chocolate

Fun fact! Lindt's US factory is stationed in my home state, so there's Lindt chocolate outlet stores EVERYWHERE

Oh I’ll just have one more


I’m also on Twitter

Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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#114 Political Lessons from World of Warcraft

This week we saw the ending of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the week before this we saw the Republican National Convention.

 

 Talking about Politics on the Internet? What’s the worst that happen?

 

What type of Political Science college student blogger would I be if I did not incorporating these two events into Warcraft some how?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, here are the three lessons WoW can teach you about US politics.

 

  • Lesson #1: Both ways are right, to a point.

The Horde and Alliance both have very different ways to solves the problem, either s acting on the situation before considering the consequences or trying diplomacy on the problem before engaging in conflict.

You soon find out that both have their merits when tackling a problem and both are good….until you stop balancing out with the other side and start to follow those ways to the extremes. That is where the problem occurs.

Those extremes usually ends in the ruins of nations.

 

  • Lesson #2: Despite what you think, there is honor among thieves.

Following the previous lesson of there is no correct party, not everyone on the opposite party are cut throat war-hawks that only hunts for blood.

There are good, educated, and qualified people on the other side. It just as time those good people are overshadowed by their more avid members.

(If I was clever enough I would try to find the World of Warcraft equivalent of the twenty-four hour cable news networks)

 

and last of all….

  • Lesson #3: In every battle there must be a winner.

Every political must have a victor, if we never have a definite winning and losing side then our elections would never end.

 

We all have to deal with victory and defeat with every encounter, but  we also have to learn what to do after the fight.

We need to learn how to work with your team in the rush of victory and just an importantly we have to learn how to rally your rally your recently defeated troop from the next fight.

 

 

I would also like to remind my New Hampshire readers that I am still running for State Representative for Hillsborough county #21.

While I won’t go into my stances in this post, I will promise you that I will keep these lessons in mind if I win the election.

 


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Be MOP focuses on the lead up to the next World of Warcraft expansion with my own reflections about the last dying moments of the Catalysm’s Twilight Hour as we look into the Mists of the new day. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

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