Monthly Archives: November 2012

#150 Patch 5.1 made me love Scenarios

As I mentioned in my last post that I am thoroughly enjoying in the new daily zones with the chance to rekindle my aggression towards the Horde in the same way I felt in the Jade Forest.

While I was on the ground fighting my way through the Horde NPCs and capturing the nodes in the land. I decided to queue up for one of the three new scenarios that were recently added.

 

The loading screen artwork can be over looked by so many, nobody really appreciate it

The loading screen artwork can be over looked by so many, nobody really appreciate it

 

Before this patch I never really used the scenario finder, once I hit level 90 I jumped right into the dungeon finder to get my gear and story.

The few scenarios I did participate in left me feeling…indifferent. Maybe it was because it told a story that I already knew the ending to or because I knew that it was the same scenarios that the Horde was doing, so there was not much advancements in the faction conflict.

With patch 5.1, Blizzard introduced one shared scenario and two separate faction exclusive scenarios for the Horde and Alliance.

As a player with only (one) high level alliance character, I can only speak about what I experienced. From this one patch, it has made me love scenarios. I first experienced “A little patience” that told the story of you and King Varian Wrynn try to take back the Temple of the Red Crane from the invading orcs.

Scenario was simple enough, after gathering materials that made me remember that I haven’t touched Starcraft II in a while, the group was able to kill the main orc and called it a day.

What’s amazing is that the scenarios delivers two different stories. The first is that the Alliance continues on the trend of pushing the Horde forces back from their settlements, which is a much-needed change from the Alliance’s war tactics.

 

Alliance war tactics in cata can best be described in this video

Alliance war tactics in cata can best be described in this video

 

What’s even more important in ‘A little patience scenario’ is something we do not really see a lot of MMO’s, we saw character development of King Varian.

In Wrath of the Lich King King Varian was written as a very angry and vengeful leader. His anger, which was rightly so from his mistreatment he received from the orcs (you can read his story here)

With Cataclysm Blizzard released the book Wolfheart that changed King Varian’s image as a violently angry king into a calmer king that is in control of his anger and can channel his emotions for not just brutal attacks but more calculated planning tactics.

The character advancement in the book is portrayed in the new content, by having Varian order his troops to set up traps and reinforce their defenses before advancing despite the protests from Tyrande Whisperwind.

With the focus on the heated war between the Horde and Alliance and the faction leader’s character development, it made me actively go out and finish the other scenarios and I am now looking forward to more faction specific scenarios that continues on the trend of character development.

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I also wanted to add this here, the people at Humble Bundle has teamed up with THQ to sell the Humble THQ Bundle. The video game bundle includes: Darksiders, Metro 2033, Red Faction Armageddon, and Company of Heroes, with Saints Row the Third if you pay above the average. You can set your own price and choose where your money is going to either the game developers or charity.

 

Sadly this is only for gamers with Windows and you need a Steam Account to download the games.

 

Click the picture to go directly to their website

Click the picture to go directly to their website

 

 


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#149 The lead up from the Landfall

Anyone worth a lick of salt knows that the Horde and Alliance ships has arrived on the shores of Pandaria with the Patch 5.1: Landfall appearing the live servers yesterday.

I will say after spending two months running around, farming and being calm and at peace with myself on behalf of the Pandarians, I was more than happy to go down to Krasarang Shore and run errands for the King of Stromwind and for Operation: Shieldwall.

 

Operation: Shieldwall sounds like the title to the next James Bond movie

 

 

What I find interesting is that this patch is focusing on the setup of the long-term story of the expansion, but does not have closure in patch.

In previous content patches, like in patch 3.2 and 4.2, if Blizzard wanted to tell the story of the activities of a group of resistance they ended  the story with a victory, with defeating the major boss in the newest raid.

 

We don’t get a big bad boss this time

 

In this content patch there is no payoff, your faction does not succeed in their goal of stopping the enemy from setting up a base and driving them off the shore. The fact the enemy is on site with the full military force just increased the anticipation for the major outbreak of the war.

This plan to build up of the tension between the factions only works if Blizzard continues on their promised to create and produce smaller patches.

 

 


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#148 What I did over my Prilgrim’s Bounty Break

While I was back home enjoying the family, home cooked food, the high-speed internet, and the family’s thanksgiving annual watching of the Fellowship of the Rings.

 

A family tradition going on three years

 

When I was home I also played a copious amount of World of Warcraft between eating turkey, stuffing and leftovers of turkey and stuffing.

In my time in Azeroth I visited the Tillers and finished my reputation grind with them, and was rewarded with a full farm land and three new mounts to add to my collection (Currently I’m at 147).

 

I love the quests you have to do to get more farming land

 

With most of the Tiller grind out of the way, I then set my focus on my next reputation target, with the Order of the Cloud Serpent, and as I mentioned in the last post, I am loving how I am improving my fishing and archaeology while I am completing their dailies.

I mentioned in a wish list that I made a few days ago how I wanted to go out in the Azeroth world and collect some achievements well I was not disappointed. Along with the Tillers achievement, I leveled up both of my primary profession to 600, and I finally earned Mystically Superior.

With that achievement under my belt I signed up for a website called OpenRaid, a website that pairs raiders with RealID from different servers for a night of raiding current or old content. As my college life calming down a bit I plan join this community to get back into raiding again and the other aspects of PvE, like the Heroic dungeon achievements and challenge modes.

 


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#147 How to train my Dragon

Yesterday, after having my fill of turkey and pumpkin pies,  I went to the Jade Forest and started my epic journey to start raising my Cloud Dragon Mount with the Order of the Cloud Serpent.

After doing the introduction quest chain I was able to choose one of the three different colored eggs and as a reward I got to see a cut scene of my egg hatching in front of my eyes.

When this cut scene was going, I was hearing the Pokemon egg hatching theme in my head

 

With the hatching, it opened up some new dailies to help with raising my hatching and helping with the order. I am not exaggerating when I say that these are the best dailies in the game. These quests helps you level your Archaeology and Fishing skills in such a way where you do not get board of the redundant grinding.

Along with the standard killing and fetch quests there are NPCs who want you to dig up pieces of their lost history (Fragment of the Past) and fish up food to feed your hatching (Snack Time), that increase your archaeology and fishing skills.

 

These quests reminds me of the Netherwing dailies that was available for skinners Nethermine Flayer Hide. A little quest that acts as a little bonus to some players and gives them a chance to exercise their skill professions.

 

Oh Netherwing drake, I would kill a thousand Nethermine Flayers for you.

 

While -if I remember correctly- the Nethermine skinning quest asked you for 35 pieces of special leather with less than desirable drop rates, Blizzard drastically improved the Cloud Reps dailies by having every Archaeology dig sites are guaranteed to give you a Serpentrider Relic and every time you cast your fishing rod you would get  a Sugar Minnow, limiting the amount of busy work I have to do to complete the quests.

 

Those dailies does not only let me gain reputation with the Order of the Cloud Serpents but it subtly rewards you with archaeology and fishing materials that you can use for handing in Restored Artifacts and cooking materials, which is brilliant. I hope that Blizzard continues to create dailies that gives you secondary rewards for your secondary professions in later content patches.

 

 


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#146 The Video Game kickoff

It’s done, I have completed and handed in my history term paper! With that I have gone in full-blown vacation mode and as promised myself last week, I am going to partake in the THE GREAT THANKSGIVING VIDEO GAME BINGE OF TWENTY TWELVE!

I started last night with some celebratory League of Legends matches with my college friends and followed that with a great run of the game, Binding of Isaac.

 

Nothing like a good old-fashioned top down dungeon explorer game

 

My plan is to play some much put off Warcraft during my break, with keeping my WoW list in mind, and I also have some special games that I bought awhile back that I have put on the back burner.

 

All these games and so much more

 

I would also like to take this time to wish my American readers a happy Thanksgiving and I offer you a  Youtube link of the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. (CLICK HERE)

To my one Canadian reader and the rest of the world, have a happy Pilgrims’ Bounty!

 

 


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#145 Celebrations all around

When I logged on today I was greeted with two surprises, one was another achievement under my belt for logging in for Blizzard’s celebration of World of Warcraft’s anniversary attached with this very nice letter they sent everybody:

 

“return of a certain very large dragon” “A shattered world”? rehashing an old letter or foreshadowing for the patch 5.2 the breaking of Pandaria with the return of Ysera?

 

Just like last year the letter was attached with a tabard that gives an 8% experience and reputation bonus.  Which is very useful since because my little canary nelf is still in the uncorrupted Jade Temple.

 

That place is so beautiful, it truly is a shame that you help destroy the place.

 

Enough about Pandaria, lets head back to Azeroth for the Pilgrim’s Bounty holiday event.

With Blizzard adding no new items for my mage to collect, it means that I can log on to my night elf druid to enjoy the festivities with eating food and completing quests.

 

I love the attention to detail the developers added to these tables

 

One of the best thing about completing the holiday achievement in precious years and the sharing achievement is that I no long have to run around by hunting those damn turkey’s in such a stressful and unforgiving time limit, so I can just worry about leveling her cooking.

 

The funny thing is that I got the recipe for Spice Bread Stuffing from last year, I just didn’t sit down and power leveled her cooking skill

 

 

 


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#144 There is still so much to do

I am still working on my big term paper which is due next Tuesday. As a result of this paper, I have been fueling myself with caffeine that comes in the form of Red Bull and Mountain Dew’s Game Fuel.

 

The amazing thing is I don’t even have Halo or an Xbox. I’m just buying it because of the drink itself.

 

The saddest thing is that I even though I have enough energy to give Electro a run for his money, I’m too busy to dedicate any spare time for Warcraft or another games for that matter.

While I am preparing for my must  anticipated of THE GREAT THANKSGIVING VIDEO GAME BINGE OF TWENTY TWELVE I have created a list of all the aspects in Mists of Pandaria that I have not even touched yet. I have the full intention of experiencing everything on this list during my college break:

 

  • Pet Battles
  • Raiding
  • Challenge Mode in Dungeons
  • Golden Lotus and Shado-Pan reputation grind
  • Dungeon Heroic Achievements
  • Regular Achievement hunting
  • The Pandarian starting quest and the monk class

 

With all of that and the fact that I have still have a druid that is still half way through the Jade Forrest quest chain, the game has shown me that there is still a lot more to take away from this game even before the  next patch goes live.

 

 


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#143 Screenshots of Pandaria Part II

In continuing in my effort to complete my History Term Paper on time I have been avoiding Warcraft and any other games as the potential procrastination devices that they could be.

To keep me sane until next week, or what I am calling it THE GREAT THANKSGIVING VIDEO GAME BINGE OF TWENTY TWELVE, I have been looking through old screenshots and I thought I would share some of my favorites photos from my past.

Starting the screenshots gallery with an old one (2008) with what my mage looked like after leveling through the Burning Crusade

Ahhh who could forget the Mr T promotion in WoW? Thanks to him I was able to sneak into the alliance’s side of Dalaran unnoticed.

Did You ever notice that a bird eye’s view of a proto-drakes looks like the Batman logo?

What? it’s time for a random puppy break? Well who am I to object.

It took me a second play through of Deepholm to realize that the drakes had a sitting pose

This one is my favorite screenshot. This was when the Alliance attacked Undercity and I was lucky enough to get a picture of Sylvanas with the perfect amount of particle effects in the background

I’ll see you guys back here for Friday’s post.


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#142 It’s been a long time

The last few weeks before the Thanksgiving break has always been a bit busy for me school wise. With term papers due dates approaching before the vacation it has been increasingly difficult to find play time for Warcraft or any other game.

With all that I was extremely lucky that last Friday I was able to log in to unwind and I did what any reasonable Warcraft player would do after an extremely stressful week, I queued up for the Mists of Pandaria Raid Finder for the first time.

I entered the Raid Finder because I am -what’s the phrase?- currently in between raiding guilds and with these due dates weekend raiding is currently out of the picture .

This must be what it feels like to be broken up via text message

While I was in queue and completed some Tillers and Angler dailies to kill some time I was waiting the the cross server raid to be built.

So I jumped into the first party of Mogushan Vaults part one alone and with no knowledge of the boss fights before entering, somehow I was able to keep my sanity in check.

The whole Raid Finder experience was a gentle reminder why I prefer to be in a ten man raid instead of the twenty-five groups.

Holy particle effects batman!

After three boss fights where I more or less Pew Pewed the big guy, I gathered more support for my theory of a big troll content patch and I got three bags of gold.

I will say the Raid Finder did do it’s job by letting me experience the content when I did not have the time for the full group and it also gave me a taste of the content and motivation to complete it on a more difficult setting when I can get into a raid group


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#141 Trolls on the Horizon

Back in December 2011 my first real post examined the love that Blizzard had with the troll race. I pointed out how every expansion had at least one troll instance that was related to the mighty Zandalari empire. (Be MOP #2)

 

The circles represented the troll instances, color refer to which expansion it was released in.

 

Despite what I think of the idea of another trolls instance, I realized that there is one in production in Mists. It was already unofficially announced when Blizzard relieved the concept art of Pandaria at Blizzcon.

 

With my own little comment on how it would be in patch 5.1

 

While it turned out that Blizzard is using patch 5.1 to focus on the continuation of the conflict between the Horde and Alliance in the Krasarang Wilds. Like an old man with a bad knee, I can feel the troll content patch coming coming our way.

There’s a metaphor in theater called Chekhov’s gun that states, “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.”

We see Blizzard hanging this gun from in Pandaria with the troll attack in Kun-Lai Summit. In an expansion that takes place on an island that has been cut off from the rest of the world why would trolls be, not only introduced in the area but, establish the fact that they have their home on a nearby island if Blizzard was not going to have another Zandalari raid.

I believe we also see Blizzard start polishing the pistol with the new model of Voljin datamined from the PTR patch and new Blizzard book that focuses on the Horde troll leader that is projected to come out next year. I have no doubt that we will get a Zandalari raid by the end of the expansion.

 

When we do get another -and hopefully last- troll event I would like to remind people what I want out it,

I want the game designers to go all out with the area and the encounters. I want to see the trolliest of the  trolls hanging out in there, I want to see skulls and serpents littering the ground we stand on, and when we fight our way to the grand-supreme emperor of all the trolls, I want him to make a huge monologue to the raiders, recapping every blow that we dealt to him and his kind.

And when we fight all of the priests and headhunters and get to the last big bad troll , I want to be done with the trolls. Forever. No more troll instances after this raid, and no more quests about them regrouping to take the world back. If you haven’t noticed I do not like trolls and the sooner we finish this 7 year long legacy, the better.

Side-note: If his name does not have at-least two apostrophes I will be extremely disappointed.
The moment that Blizzard officially announces the troll raid you will guarantee that I will be talking about the raid and my experience through that raid. Who knows I might even enjoy this troll raid.


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