Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Blood Elves and Level 100 (a while ago)

     I'd been watching for it, but before I thought to check yesterday morning a friend who knows me very well excitedly told me to go look. Sure enough, a preview for the new Blood Elf models: Blood Elf Artcraft. I've been waiting more than a little uneasily for them. Looking at the still pictures has me a bit more optimistic, but only cautiously so. I liked the stills for a lot of things that I've been less impressed with when I see them live. And the previews are limited to one face and a few hairstyles so I really have no idea how mine will look. I'm afraid they'll get a really silly run like the male night elves. But the stills look good. It doesn't seem like they gave them the flat, dead, bulgy eyes that ruined my enjoyment of my lady draenei. So I'm hoping that when I see them live I'll love them as much as I love the current models.
I went afk for something and when I came back I found that Tai had taken a seat and settled in to discuss garrison matters with Rokhan,
      In other news Tai did manage to hit level 100 last Saturday. That night he tried the proving grounds and I was pleasantly surprised that it only took three tries to get silver despite the fact that for that he has to heal in serpent stance when in the field with Os he's played almost entirely in Spirited Crane.
     So of course the next day the first thing we decided to do was go make an attempt at two-manning a dungeon. Looking to see what we should try we found out our brand new 90 gear only made us barely eligible to queue for normal Skyreach if we had been going to queue. that seemed a pretty good indication that it would be the best place to start.
     It was our first time setting foot into any of the dungeons this expansion, so we had no idea what to expect. Skyreach is a pretty dungeon I'd have nabbed more screenshots but only had time for this one when Os went afk for a moment. The trash wasn't too bad, though rather slow going with only mistweaver and prot pally damage.
     Then we got to the first boss. The sensible thing probably would have been to look at a guide for the strategies or at least crack open a dungeon journal, but we like trial and error. There were lots of errors. An accidental bubble on Os' part got Tai stomped by Ranjit. Moments later an ill timed chi torpedo showed me that no... there is NO invisible wall on that platform after all. We rather thought we wouldn't manage it. I couldn't really help with the dps, the damage was too heavy on our new armor. But somehow after a lot of tries this happened:
     He dropped mail that Tai and Os looked at, shrugged, and DEed. The second boss got one attempt before we decided to leave it for another day. Still it was fun, far more challenging than Mist Heroics we were easily able to complete with roughly the same gear. We'll be going back to try again with a few more pieces of gear.
     It took a few more days of resource gathering but Tai has finally managed to upgrade his garrison to level three and put in a salvage yard, lumber mill and stable. Eventually the mill will be replaced, probably with an inn, but for now it's helping upgrade the rest.
    Ailuuya's almost 97. She's got plenty of resources, thanks to some downtime and to having been smart enough to start with a lumber mill. But I still can't decide what spec to try to gear up, for the moment she's continuing to level in prot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Leveling all over the place.

     I don't have anybody at 100 yet. I play a lot of my characters with different people, so since the Azerothian flu seems to have been epidemic I've been leveling all sorts of different things. So here's a rundown of what the main ones are up to:
     Since he keeps trying to steal Seish's job it probably shouldn't surprise me that circumstances too have ensured that Tai is my highest level character at the moment. Here are he and Os in Gorgrond, though they've since moved on to Talador and level 97. These two are one of the teams that makes it hard for me when I go on to quest alone on other characters. A prot paladin and a mistweaver monk are a nearly unstoppable team and they tear through quests at an insane rate of speed. (And look awesome doing it, even without new models.)
     Tai's garrison is level two and most of the buildings have been upgraded to two as well. I have to say the barn's a disappointment. I was looking forward to supplementing the skinning he does questing, but turns out that either the iron traps are the glitchiest things ever, or there's some trick to trapping things that actually provide leather. I can catch the wolves that provide cloth/fur and the boars/riverbeasts for meat all day long, But have not managed a single clefthoof. Tai glares at the barn and growls at the workers every time he walks by it.
     Rim's the next highest. He and Syri have reached level 94. His garrison's also level two and he's worked on most of the buildings. They're currently in Gorgrond and ready to move on to Talador. He's not having the issues with building disappointment that Tai is. And apparently Rim's one of my luckiest characters. Not only did he win himself a Garn Nighthowl on one of his first days out questing, but he's managed to get four of his follower to go epic for him. With the right composition he can get them to churn out a ten hour mission in two and a half hours.
     Laen was originally supposed to go solo but the hubby finally ended up using his boost on a Brewmaster, so Laen and a rather cute little Pandaren poked their heads into Frostfire when the queues on Rim and Syri's server were too high. They've reached level 91, though mostly Laen's garrison is serving for loaning his enchanting study to Os in exchange for mats.
     Ailuuya's planning on being my raiding main for WoD but she's still a bit behind, mostly because I'd been so busy playing with others that I've had little chance for playing alone. She's 93, though and has just finished Shadowmoon. And I don't know what spec she'll be. Right now she's leveling in prot and collecting ret gear but has her eye on holy if it's needed. She's versatile. And playing through Shadowmoon with her had started a story in my head that might need to find its way onto paper.
     Tyl's also leveling solo but he's letting Ailuuya have the spotlight for solo play for now. Still he's 92 and has a garrison to take care of.
    Poor Seish has been waiting on his leveling buddy and with the luck I always seem to have with the character I consider my main it looks like he's going to be the last one to get anywhere. He's currently sitting in Frostfire ready to do the quests to start his garrison whenever SprYte gets a chance to log in. There are other 90s waiting in the wings, but there's a pretty long line already.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First new mount of WoD

     I was so incredibly lucky today. While Rim and Syri were questing in Frostfire Ridge today I saw somebody putting together a group for Nok'Karosh. I knew he drops a mount, but just one mount for the entire raid.  Still Syri was game so we went over to see. Nok'Karosh is level 100 so even a forty man raid of people closer to 90 has a tough time. Rim spent a good deal of the fight dead since he's a tank. But the group got it down, the mount dropped. Everybody rolled, and I won!
     I squealed at my computer, ridiculously happy. And then because karma is important I stuck around for a couple more kills just to help out. Or to help out as much as a shiny gold beacon of light that keeps getting bitten to death does. It's a lovely mount. I like the new wolf models a lot.
     What a fun start to the new expansion. It's not Rim's usual style of mount, but I think they'll get along.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Running Around in Warlords

     The last several days before the expansion were spent getting ready for a Launch Party hosted here at my place. So when the portal opened we had five people sitting here in my living room with WoW open and all ready to go... and a sixth friend on Vent to join in on the fun. The majority voted Alliance for starting so a rather worried looking Ailuuya climbed down from her perch in the shrine to go and see what she could do for the past, or the alternate past as the case may be.
     Unfortunately her part in the night's adventure was short lived. She started the party and got a short way into Tanaan jungle before repeated disconnects kept having the lot of them stuck waiting on me. If I'd been powering through alone I might have kept at it but when other people were waiting I decided to pick someone on a different (and apparently less populated) server to sub in instead. Tyl took Ailuuya's place and though there was lag (oh so very much lag) later, he at least mostly managed to stay connected.
     I'd tried to keep myself as mostly unspoiled as possible so though I'd seen a few screenshots Shadowmoon Valley has me oohing and aaahing and screencapping at every turn. It's just beautiful. I think WoW gets more beautiful with every expansion.

 
     Tyl couldn't resist making a new friend or two, though Snowthorn will never be replaced. But the new hydras are too adorable to pass up. I didn't go tame a hydra when it became available last patch because I was waiting for one of these. It was well worth the wait. Now can we please have them as mounts too? Pretty please?
     Yesterday morning Tai's paladin had some time free so I -finally- got to go see a little of the Horde experience. It was fun. And Frostfire Ridge is beautiful too. And entirely different kind of beauty than Shadowmoon but still definitely beautiful.
     Tai feels right at home in his orcish style outpost, though he's the only one of my Blood Elves who will. He's quite happy, though and wandered around telling goblins what to build in between punching ogres and making friends with the locals.
     He got to meet Draka, briefly, but long enough to be impressed. Tai's got a soft spot for fierce orc women and thinks Thrall's mother's a lovely one. Durotan's a lucky guy.
     Poor Ailuuya's still dealing with queues to try to get on and level so when Tai's paladin needed a break it was Tyl who got to log back in an play. He had a queue too, but 50 is shorter than 1500+. Overall, despite the garrison issues (Tyl spent half an hour sitting on a parked flight path gryphon just inside the border) and the getting booted a few times yesterday I'm really impressed so far. I think the garrisons will be a lot of fun though I don't have any plan for them and am just deciding spur of the moment what to make. And I can't wait to keep leveling and see what the rest of these zones look like.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Quick thoughts on the patch

     Well, he may have to entirely relearn how to do that monk healing thing, but at least he got this sweet bike?

     I've got mixed feelings about the patch, the way I probably would about just about any major patch really, but here's a quick rundown of the good and the bad or at least my perceptions of good and bad.

Good:
-Storage. So much more storage. Between the reagent tab, the toy box and a new tab of void storage Seish is looking at far more bag space than he's had in months and with a bit of juggling around later I can clear even more.

-The Chopper. It's a free mount. It sounds really good. Tai looks like a badass biker riding it. What's to complain about?

-New hunter pets. Went right out with Tyndellan and tamed a stag! He'll get a prettier one later but he needs more levels first. And there are hydras and all sorts of new beasts waiting in Draenor. That's thrilling.



-New things to do. Haven't tried the new 90 UBRS yet, but I've done the horde side quests a couple times (and plan to do them many more.)

Bad:
Ability pruning. Some I'm okay with: Inquisition can stay gone, even if it's hard getting used to not putting it up. But I really miss a lot of the missing abilities. Serpent Sting for Beast Masters, Renew for priests. Guardian for my ret and holy paladins. I feel like they went a little overboard with the weeding in a few cases.

-The new group finder is terrible.

Mixed:
-New models. I love the new trolls, the new orcs, the new male tauren, the dwarves, the male humans. I'm okay with a few of the others. I'm pretty disappointed with the new male night elves and female draenei. And even the ones I like the changes are enough that it'll take some getting used to. Big changes. Tyl had to get a new face because his old okay one became terrible.
At least Snowthorn is still familiar.

-Stat Squish. It needed to happen without a doubt but it's still disconcerting to see numbers change so much and leaves me unable to tell if I'm doing my new rotation wrong now, or if I'm just squished. I have no frame of reference for the numbers. It also doesn't seem like some of the content is tuned quite right any more.

     Overall I think I'm still getting used to it and I've got a lot of getting used to it to do. At least there's a month to adjust.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Some general rambling

     My screenshotting mojo crapped out on me midway through September. My brain took a blogging sabbatical, though partly that's because I've been stewing over a post I want to make. This post is a bit of a catch up in the meantime. I've been playing, doing my raids which are so much fun and a bit with the Old Ladies too. Been playing some of the alts. Saelindir is 84 and Falsyr is level 70 as of today. That's two classes I don't have at 90 that are slowly making their way there.
     It seems Blizzard's made itself another stir: Does anybody read over these first? Which I think honestly bothers me less because of the sort of sexist way it comes across than because how could anybody read that and not think about how it might come across when they've already had people annoyed at them over the same thing several times this year?And about this time I had a very interesting encounter one evening in the Ghostlands.
     Leveling an alt with SprYte that evening just because we both wanted something quiet and relaxing to do.  Someone started chatting up the zone in general chat, saying hi and so I whispered them a hello back, started a little conversation because they seemed friendly enough. Bit of random chatting about RP and characters as SprYte and I leveled and somehow the subject of gender came up. Starting with the person (which intuition pegged as younger and female) telling me they assumed I was a guy(I was playing yet another male blood elf.) I replied with a simple. "You assume incorrectly."
     What followed was the first time I've ever actually had anyone react badly to me playing something other than my real life gender. I'm still a bit flummoxed.  She (I was right) told me that she hated people who played the wrong gender. She thought it was horrible. I was taken aback and asked why, assuming perhaps someone had lied to her in some way with it. But no, when I got an answer it was simply that she assumed everybody who played something other than their real life gender did so for and I quote: "Perverted reasons."
     I've written an entire post on why I prefer male characters for the most part and I don't really consider any of those reasons to be perverted. I don't consider any of my other female friends who play male characters to be perverted or any of my male friends who play female characters for that matter. I don't find people strange for playing only their real life gender either. The entire point of a fantasy game where you make your own character is to make the character that you want. The gender of our avatars is for gameplay purposes a 100% aesthetic choice. It might have other meaning for a player beyond that but as far as the game world is concerned it's all aesthetics. I like the option of playing whatever I want. I don't think I'd want to play a game where I was restricted to playing only my own gender. I like the freedom to make my characters whoever I want them to be.
     So I still can't help feeling taken aback by that hate over something that to me was largely a choice based on preferring that my armor look like armor. Then again I guess there are people who hate others for their choice of race too. Probably two strikes against me in that one because I'm unabashedly fond of my blood elves. I think the real point of this ramble is a question that bugs me every time something like sexism rears it's ugly head. And that is... will we ever as a people get over being stupid about how we treat each other?

*That other post I mentioned is still coming. It's also opinionated.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Too happy for words


     Of all the things I'd wanted to do this expansion that I thought I wouldn't be able to this was one of the biggest. It's my birthday tomorrow, which is kind of irrelevant, because none of the incredibly wonderful people that helped me get the achievement and the growly wolf mount that I desperately wanted knew that. But that makes this all the more awesome for me.
     I cried. And since I'm not actually the big tough male nelf that Tyl is I don't even have to pretend that they were manly tears of joy. And they weren't all because of the achievement and the mount, but mostly because of the people that helped me get it, and who have also been letting me try something that I've always wanted to try in WoW. Raiding.
     So thanks all of you: MattyShaman and Breige for introducing me to the wonderful group to run with in the first place and Hawt and Koor and everybody else in the raid for bringing most of the firepower. All I can really credit myself with was that I was still standing at the end.