Monthly Archives: February 2013

#188 Finally 90! AGAIN

I did it! last night I achieved something that I have not properly accomplished in my entire life time in playing all of WoW’s life. I have leveled another character to level 90.

Dynamic Duo is now my favorite achievement

Dynamic Duo is now my favorite achievement

 

Thus ends a leveling adventure that took place over three years and three expansion. I started this Night Elf druid during the end of Wrath of the Lich King, after Patch 3.3.o gave the players the wonderful LFG system, from there I only played on my druid when I was experiencing burnout between every content patch in Wrath and Cataclysm which was one of the reasons my druid reached 80 in the summer before Mists released.

Then at the start of this expansion, on this every blog, I made a bet with my Canadian Warcraft friend  that I could get this feral now guardian druid to the new max level before the six month anniversary of Mists of Pandaria (March 25th)

 

You have to understand I can not STAND the leveling process.

You have to understand I can not STAND the leveling process.

 

As I saw that last powerful golden bloom that surrounded my druid that a warranted a celebratory first pump into the air a question that popped into my mind, “Now what?” I now have another max level class that can do all the end game content in this expansion and I have no idea what to do with this one.

I could get her denim jeans and get grinding to own another full farm to supply my mage with the materials for feasts, I could make her a Pet Battle master, I could try my hand at the Battlegrounds since now I can play a class that does not get two shotted by every other class, or she can follow my mage’s footsteps and be a face the dangers of Mogushan Vaults.

I honestly don’t know what to do with this druid, I never thought that I would ever have two max level characters so I never put that much thought in to that idea. One things for sure I am not going to leave this druid in the dust again.

 

 

P.S: To follow-up on my Pokemon post, I worked my way through the top ten fan picked Pokemon started from #10(Mudkip) and reached level 90 half way through the 6th favorite  Pokemon (Eevee) with a total of 14 episodes under my belt with still 16 more that needs to be watched. Maybe I’ll save those for my next alt adventure…..

 

WoWScrnShot_022713_014538

 


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#187 Best and Worst boss fights of 5.0

Patch 5.2 should -hopefully- be arriving on the live servers tomorrow and as we all look forward to act of challenging the Thunder King in his throne room and hunting down dinosaurs to the point of extinction for their Giant Dinosaur Bones to exchange for prizes from Ku’ma, the bone collector. Before we travel to the two new islands,  I want to dedicate this post to continue a tradition I have of looking back on the ending PvE tier award the best and worst boss fights in patch 5.0.

Because I entered the Mist’s raiding world just these two past months I have not had spent enough time with the bosses in MSV, HoF, and T(o)ES boss fights to properly appreciate or loath the encounters. So for patch 5.0 I am just focusing on the 5-man heroic bosses, and hopefully this will not be the case when I write about the best and worst encounters at the end of Patch 5.2

The Best 5-man boss

This award goes to Yan-Zhu the Uncasked, the last Alemental you fight in the Stormstout Brewery.

Thanks to WoWhead for these screenshots

Thanks to WoWhead for these screenshots

I chose him because he teaches the group of players about basic to some-what advance raid mechanics while always changing the fight each time you see him.

Yan-Zhu’s gimick is that he will randomly have one of two types of abilities from the each of his three categories. One from his AoE spells (wall of Suds or his Fizzy attack), One that helps aids the boss (spawning adds that heals him or creates a shield of bubbles that protects him from all damage) , and one that delivers a debuff to the players (the Bloat debuff that causes damage to players standing on either side of the infected player or the Blackout Brew debuff).

What makes him really shine is that all of his abilities are taught separately by the adds leading up to the boss and then a combination of those are combined for the last fight.   It’s not just good training for raiding, but it is also an excellent example of teaching the players about gameplay, giving the players a bit of time practice with the debuffs and mechanics asking them to master them. I tip my hat to the group of Blizzard game developers that created that whole encounter.

The Worst 5-man boss

This one begrudgingly has to go to the Lilian Voss encounter.

It was a shame giving her this award because of her story arc that streched over two expansions and two instances

It was a shame giving her this award because of her story arc that stretched over two expansions and two instances

This was the only encounter where that I resented doing with the group in Scholomance, the only reason I do not like it as much as the other bosses is because the encounter is just uncomfortably too long.

The boss encounter has three phases, the first phase is where you fight her body, the second phase is where her soul separates from her body and you have to whittle down her soul’s health, and the last phase is when her body is re-resurrected and the players have to DPS the last of Voss’s health while having to deal with her soul that is wreaking havoc on the rest of the group.

The problem I have with this is that it, in my opinion, asks the players to master too many concepts in a short of a time, and if the group wipes at the last burn phase (which at the beginning a lot of the pugs I were in were) you had to jump through all the hoops all over again.

I can justify that sort of frustration on proper raid bosses because that is a part of the whole ‘raid experience’ but that entire fight seems just a tad out-of-place for the instance.

If it seemed like I was grasping at straws for justifying Lilian Voss’s fight you would be right, all of Pandaria’s Heroic fights were well designed and there was not one boss or instance that I actually hated seeing when I zoned in, and I hope that pattern continues in all future content patch.

If you have your own best/worst pick, leave a comment below with your reason why, I’m interested in seeing what other people thought of the boss fights.

 


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#186 Canary Nelf, I choose you!

This week was one of my calmer weeks, allowing me to play a bit more World of Warcraft than usual, the result was that I was able to pick up my druid, run a few more dungeons and get her to level 88.

Apparently there’s an unexpected jump in ilvl requirement between the 85-87 dungeons and the 88-90 dungeons that, despite getting all my gear from dungeons, I did not meet. A quick jump into the Valley of the Four Winds killing virmen and chasing pigs got me to the proper gear which opened up the much-longer-than-I-remembered Mogu’shan Palace and Shado-Pan Monastery.

It is only the second play through where you notice the little things

It is only the second play through where you notice the little things

Recently I started to feel a bit of a dungeon burn-out, always the same couple of instances, with the same boss fights and the same type of DPS who are just doing the minimum requirements, but I was determined to get over this slump while not giving up tanking and the perk of jumping to the front of the queue and I was not going to start healing any time soon.

To save myself from the madness of LFG  I decided to use to a distraction technique that I used to get this same druid to 80 in preparation of the Mists expansionwatching videos and movies from my childhood to keep my mind off the of the repetition of grinding dungeons.

Over the summer I watched all of the Batman movies (from 1989′s Batman to The Dark Knight) during the druid-dungeon grind with great success and I would gladly go back to those movies if I did not just finished a huge Batman binge that started with the Batman Animated Series and ended with the wonderful two-parter movie The Dark Knight Returns.

If you consider yourself a Batman fan you need to see this epic story. It has literaly changed how Batman was perceived from in the public eye

If you consider yourself a Batman fan you need to see this epic story. It single-handedly changed how Batman was perceived from in the public eye

That left me all batman-out so instead I have to go back deeper into my childhood, something that caught my young geeky interest way before Batman, something that has inspired me ….to be the best. Like no one ever was….

That’s right this time around I’m using Pokemon, to help me get over the last two level hump and it just so happens to I have recently received this beauty:

Sweet Arceus....

Sweet Arceus….

This is the result of a survey where the Pokemon asked their fans for their top ten favorite Pokemon and then retrieved the best episodes that starred the fan’s favorites and put them into one (pocket) monstrous collection.

It boasts that it has eleven hours of episodes which -I Hope- will be enough to get my little canary nelf to max level…again.

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#185 Screenshots of Pandaria Part V

Today I’m feeling a bit under the weather, so instead of a regular blog post I have compiled a lovely gallery of screenshots that I have taken while I was playing. Enjoy!

There was a bug in the cut screen script that made my mage look like he had absolutely no interest in the escalating war

There was a bug in the cut screen script that made my mage look like he had absolutely no interest in the escalating war

It took me a sha infestation in the Shrine of Seven Stars to truly see how beautiful the city is

It took me a sha infestation in the Shrine of Seven Stars to truly see how beautiful the city is

One day I was greeted with a new Character select screen of the Stromwind city. It was then changed back to the racial background and I have no idea how to change it back

One day I was greeted with a new Character select screen of the Stromwind city. It was then changed back to the racial background and I have no idea how to change it back

This was the result of a random invite to a Uld 25 HM run. I believe we had ten people and I grabbed seven achivements from just doing that one boss

This was the result of a random invite to a Uld 25 HM run. I believe we had ten people and I grabbed seven achievements from just doing that one boss

We have such a low Horde Population on our server that I could take this picture without any worry about being ganked

We have such a low Horde Population on our server that I could take this picture without any worry about being ganked

This was taken back in the beta when the pink boxed invaded every part of Azeroth

This was taken back in the beta when the pink boxed invaded every part of Azeroth

Here's a picture of one of my long forgotten Death Knight alt. maybe one day he'll reach level 65....

Here’s a picture of one of my long forgotten Death Knight alt. maybe one day he’ll reach level 65….

 

I don’t intend to have a screenshot post every month or so, it just works out that way.

 

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#184 Shared Topic: Favorites of the collection

This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared topic comes from me with the question:

World of Warcraft has added many different items for players to collect, whether it be collecting pets, mounts, transmog gear or knickknacks about the lore. This week’s topic asks what you do collect in the game and what is your prized item from that collection?

My personal collection obsessions has, is, and always will be about collecting the various mounts in the game. Over the years of hunting down those mighty steeds I have amassed quiet a full stable. Many of my mounts have stories attached to them, there are some where I spent months trying to get and others  that costed me countless gold to obtain.

Most of the mounts do not have any stories at all, but I am grateful for all of them. To quote Strongbad, these mounts “are like my childens. I love them all! But if I had to play favorites…..” 

I would have to pick two mount, one from my flying mount collection and one land mount collection.

For my flying mount I will always choose the SandStone Drake. It was my only Stonedrake that I could get in Cataclysms and is one of my favorite reskin  of one of Blizzard’s oldest dragon model.

WoWScrnShot_021813_112546

Talk about bling

Not to mention I bought this mount for this mount at the start of Cata back when all the materials were still ridiculously expensive thanks to the expansion launch market bubble, not to mention that it transform me into a dragon and I can offer free rides to my friends and take them anywhere in the world.

For the land mount, my favorite has to be the Deathcharger’s Reins, this choice was highly influenced by nostalgia.

When first played the game I rolled a Forsaken and the Red Skeletal Horse was my first mount I bought when I reached level 40 (back when the 60% riding skill requires you to be level 40). When I was level 60 with some more gold in my pocket I went back and bought the Purple Skeletal Warhorse.

Since I switched the Alliance those two Skeletal Horses left my collection, all I have is Baron Rivendare‘s mount to remind me of my earlier years.

 

That and it beyond awesome.

That, and it looks beyond awesome.

 


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#183 Can there be peace on Azeroth?

It is Valentine’s Day weekend and as tradition instead of spending the three days alone, locked in my room eating chocolates in my sweatpants. I head down to Boston in my political clothes and participate in Harvard National Model United Nations  (HNMUN) conference.

HNMUN is a huge four-day event that invites Model United Nations clubs from colleges all over the world to professionally dress up and peacefully address the current world problems on the behalf of the country that they were assigned.

 

hnmun2013logo

 

This year I get to represent the nation of Dominica and I am in the committee to find a solution to the issue of aging population in Third World Nations.

As I see people from different parts of the world, coming together to discuss their opinions and concerns of their nation while trying to find a solution that everyone can agree on. I tend to think about the age-old question that everyone has thought about at least one point in their life.

“Can there ever be world peace…on Azeroth?” Yes this question has been pondered -I assume- by most of the player’s  while playing and now that we have an expansion all about the conflict I think now is the appropriate time to talk about it.

I am going to discuss at World of Warcraft’s world peace because this is a World of Warcraft blog and Azerothian politics is much easier to talk about since it only has two factions and both sides admit that they are at war with each other.

Before I begin I would like to say that the short answer is of course, No. This is a videogame that Blizzard wants to people to continue playing and because of that there must always be conflict for the players to be apart of.

I have written before about Warcraft and politics and I also asked what type of war the Horde and Alliance are in, which you can read here in Be MOP #87. In that post I proposed that the current Warcraft conflict can best be compared to our first World War, with the two sides fighting each other for pride and to prevent the other from gathering and resources to gain to upper hand.

There are two common ways to end a war and try to find World Peace after the last cannon was fired. The first solution to end the war and finding world peace is the utter destruction and humiliation of the enemy. I wouldn’t be surprising anyone if I said that this is the option that I see the Horde is trying to achieve.

This was how the Allies of World War I (Britain, France, United States) acted after defeating Germany in the first World War. In the post-war treaties the Allies forced Germany to admit that they were defeated, that they were the bad guys in the war, and forced them to pay for the entire cost of the war for both sides. The treaty completely destroyed Germany’ sending the entire nation into an economical and emotional depression.

The Horde would most likely to use this method after winning the war (with Garrosh’s current outlook on life and the Alliance) They could achieve this type of victory by having Garrosh completely disreguard any bit of conscience he has and utilize another controversial method of getting the upper hand, like finding another Destiny Bell.

 

Garrosh won't be happy until he as Stromwind as his personal summer castle.

Garrosh won’t be happy until he as Stromwind as his personal summer castle.

 

The other, more civil, option that Warcraft’s war could end is to have one side win the war and immediately try to work about a military and economical deal for the future.

The Allies used this method after WWI with invading Berlin, nullifying the threat, and then went straight to work  to get Germany back on its feet and have a propose a trade deal with France. That Coal and Steel trade agreement eventually evolved into the famous, Noble Peace prize-winning, European Union that has successfully prevented any wars to erupt on European soil.

The question of how this would work in Warcraft is by having the Alliance initiate this deal. The best possible time for an economic trade deal to form between the two factions would be right after we invade the Horde capital. Ideally, once the Alliance/raiders defeat Garrosh just like the  Earth’s Allies, the Alliance will need to replace the current leader for someone who is more forgiving more open-minded to the Alliance, that isn’t Thrall.

or atleast serve Garrosh a huge slice of Humble Pie.

or at least serve Garrosh a huge slice of Humble Pie.

Now that the Alliance have knocked down the Horde member’s ego down a peg the important thing to do is to offer a hand to help them back up again. If Blizzard wanted to go down this road they would need to introduce an other greater, absolute, evil that both sides will have to work together to overcome. like another demon based expansion.

 

Just like how the Allies reluctantly worked with West Germany to fight against the invading Communist threat during the Cold War.

 

Will Blizzard’s game developers go with this option? I doubt it, as stated before that taking the WAR out of World of Warcraft would be a terrible option, shooting their cash cow with a critical hit

And Blizzard has stressed that fact that they want to get the game’s focus back on the Human and Orc conflict that the first three Warcraft games. Blizzard also seem to have heard the complaints of the past expansions where the last content patch constantly asked both sides to put their differences aside and join together to defeat Illidan, Arthus or DeathWing.

I don’t think that Blizzard will go back to the big baddie expansion model just after one expansion of forging a new path for the game. But if the Alliance and Horde War ends and peace does emerge you will know that I will be writing about the political importance of the event and drawing more parallel to Earth’s history.

 


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#182 Trying to fall back in love with the Love in the Air event

The Darkmoon Faire carnies have brought down their tents, closed the portal to  Darkmoon Island and the Lunar Elders have decided to go back home after their day in the sun  moonlight. And mimicking the commercialism trends here  in the states the next major Warcraft event is following on the heels of the Elders, that’s right! The Love is in the Air event has swept the two factions cities in clouds of perfume and cologne.

If you read my Lunar Festival post last week you know my disinterest that holiday for this year since I have done all of the achievements, visited all the Elders, and collected all of the collectibles and pets that I could get. The same goes for The Love is in the Air event as well  I earned all of the achievements back in 2010 and last year I was lucky enough to get the two epic mounts from the boss’s chocolate boxes and from saving up all those love tokens.  

My priest got so jealous when he found out that I won this mount

My priest friend got so jealous when he found out that I won this mount

I was going to let this event also pass me by with absolutely no interaction with the event, but then I heard a little voice in my head, “But Spencer, you seem to have forgotten that oh so famous saying, ‘always enjoy the little things in life’.” The more I thought about it, the more that voice was right! I spent too much time during the Lunar Festival looking at the big picture, only looking at  the achievements and what event can do for me.

Which is a terrible outlook on the game and on life in general. Which resulted in this time to take time out of my day to appreciate the little things about the Valentine Day event instead of focusing on the achievements that I have already done or the daily quests grinds that I have no interest in doing again. 

Instead, this time I am going to play the game that I would normally would and appreciate the little things. Like how the game developers placed the code into the game to have the holiday decoration show up in Pandaria, not just placing the hearts and banners at the Alliance settlements and the new capital city, but the in the other race’s towns too, including the Pandarens and Klaxxi.

It's a nice touch

It’s a nice touch

I also will be using one of the favorite lesser known treasures of this holiday, the two seating boats.

I don’t remember reading anywhere that Blizzard added these love boats on the news sites, but one day while I was running around in Undercity on my mage -back when I in wrath when I was a horde- I stumbled upon these wooden boats that were magically propelling themselves through the green goo.

This has to be one of my favorite little treasures of any of the holiday Easter Eggs, even better than the AV’s snowballIt is very hard to be surprised in a mmo now a days.  

I really wish that I could find a screenshot of me as an undead.

Since then every love is in the air event I was always make sure to visit these boats and just relax for just a little bit.

I’m also on Twitter

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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