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WoW: Decisions, Decisions

September 29, 2016

I’ve spent my last three workdays in mandatory training classes taught by an instructor who I suspect to be a malevolent insect wearing an poorly-fitting skin suit.

It has not been a good time, for me or – presumably – for the instructor.  I can’t imagine that having your forelegs bound up against your thorax all day is particularly comfortable.

What has kept me sane is coming home and spending my evenings in, respectively, Norrath and Azeroth.  I can’t speak to any particularly outstanding accomplishments in EQ2, so I’ll do my typical rundown of Where I Am In My Whirlwind Tour Of Wow:

Today’s dungeons completed:



The Oculus was a weird one.  You start off in it on foot, then spend most of the instance flying around on drake-back.  This was an entirely new skill set for me to pick up, and I learned how to dismount from a vehicle pretty quickly.



And associated achievement:


I also completed the “Trial of the Champion” instance.  No achievement for this one, oddly.


Kind of a peculiar instance, starting with riding around on horses and jousting and then fighting multiple bosses at once on foot.  It definitely pushed my ability to pump out heals fast enough, but I got a very nice piece of gear from it and hit a new level milestone:


So, at this point I’ve unlocked two new Lich King dungeons that, when completed, allow me access to the final dungeon which actually has the Big Bad Guy in it.

My big decision is this:  Go straight for Mr. Dark & Broody, or start on the Cataclysm content.  I’m  tempted to dive into Cataclysm, but I really think I need to see WotLK through to its bitter end first.

I have now caught up with the Warlock I started back in 2004 and that got to level 80 by way of a “please try WoW again for a weekend!” promotion and character boost, so now I technically have TWO level 80 characters, but I suspect she will continue to warm the bench.  I joke with my wife that I occasionally need to wait TWO or even THREE minutes for a group on the Priest, and I don’t have the patience to try getting groups as a random DPS class.



WoW: I See Dead People

September 28, 2016

Got to level 77 tonight, running a few new instances along the way.

I think stuff is starting to have frontal AEs (“Cleaves” I think is the vernacular), because we’ll be zipping along through a dungeon with no worries and me wondering if the group even needed a healer, and then for some reason a single pack of trash mobs will knock the entire group to half life.

This was especially noticeable in Halls of Stone on the golem boss.  My first run through, it was a healing nightmare and I lost two people.  Next run, different tank, I just nuked for the 10 seconds it took the golem to die.

Anyway.  New dungeons:




And a random achievement for, well, for looting a lot of things and collecting their appearance for the transmogrification system.


I think Violet Hold may be my new favorite dungeon. It’s not anything special visually, but it doesn’t involve lots of running around and clearing through swarms of monsters, and the random nature of the bosses keeps it spicy.

Plus, you know, dragon.  Though since I haven’t done any of the story quests, I don’t know what her beef is, just that she’s upset.

3 levels to go until …Cataclysm, I think.  I just unlocked a bunch of new Lich King dungeons at 77, those should get me there nicely.

If it’s Monday, it must be Northrend?

September 26, 2016

My whirlwind tour of WoW’s old expansions continues, with another batch of Wrath of the Lich King dungeons finished and a couple of ancillary achievements knocked out.  Dungeon experience is notably a little sluggish where I’m at right now, but I still managed to get three levels in short order.





I’ve also managed to replace virtually every slot of gear in the course of three levels, with the exception of trinkets (which seem terribly rare in all content) and robe (I have one sitting in a bag for when I hit level 74)

Along the way, I’ve hit a couple of milestones:


This one surprised me a lot, since I pretty much stopped running quests at level 15.  Every dungeon has 3 to 5 quests in them, though, and those have been adding up.


Also I ground up my Stormwind faction for discounts on buying riding and flying skills.  Sadly does not appear to discount transmog fees.  Modern WoW makes it super easy to work up city factions and it barely felt like a chore, so kudos where due there.

At some point I know I’m going to have to break down and get on with the killing 10 rats thing to level, but I’m really trying to put it off for as long as possible.

Tomorrow – more dungeons, most likely.🙂



WoW: Tanks Are Morons Edition

September 25, 2016

OK, not ALL tanks.

Had a couple of groups in a row where the yahoo pulling the dungeon appeared to have no concept of casting times, heal ranges, or line-of-sight issues.   Made it through both eventually anyway, though at least one of them involved the group voting to kick the tank out and then one of the dps classes switching to a tanky spec to finish the instance up.

Once I hit level 67, I had a ton of new instances open up and realized that I was super close to leveling past the expansion without even having done all of its dungeons, so I started queuing for specific dungeons, forgoing the random dungeon bonuses, and wound up finishing up every non-heroic instance with a sliver of experience left in level 69.








One more pass through a Burning Crusade dungeon was enough to push me over the edge…


…and I immediately got to equip a ton of the gear I’d been hoovering along the way.


Check out those shoulder pads.  They bounce when I run, it’s quite hypnotic.

Anyway, it’s time to start the whole loot treadmill again with Wrath of the Lich King.  I’ll be running those dungeons to level 80, and I’m off to a good start with my first.


Ironically enough, this was a dungeon where the tank gave me this super condescending speech about how he was going to be Pulling Big and my Only Job was to spam heal and he didn’t want to see me casting anything else… and then he proceeded to pull through the dungeon 3 and 4 mobs at a time.  Per instructions, I cheerfully spammed my biggest heal constantly even with him at full health.

If he noticed, he didn’t say anything.

I’d like to go back and hit up the Heroic versions of the Burning Crusade dungeons, but that’s going to depend on whether or not people even queue for those anymore.  I may get a couple of levels under my belt before I do that, though.

WoW: Level 60, Time For Raids!

September 24, 2016

So, I had planned to try out WoW’s LFR tool to see if anyone still ran the old classic raids.

It turns out that, well, even if anyone DOES still run these at level, the LFR tool isn’t available until level 85.  So that was a plan squashed before it even got started.

Fortunately, my wife has a bunch of level 100+ characters and – being basically a saint – didn’t object too much to spending most of her afternoon dragging me through them.







I also cleared one or two new instances.  I haven’t started on WoW’s hard-mode “Heroic” dungeons yet, so these are pretty much just a matter of trying to keep up with the madman trying to pull half of the dungeon at once and tangentially trying not to die myself.

Usually I succeed!

Sometimes, not so much.

Nobody has threatened to kick me out yet, so either I’m managing to disguise my newbieness or nobody wants to wait for a replacement healer.  Probably mostly that second one.






Finally, I gave in to vanity and elected to spend Blizzard’s ridiculous fee to race-change my gnome priest into a space goat draenai. Normally in MMOs I pick the tiniest and cutest race, but I got more than a little tired of losing my character on the screen.

Also, this way when I get a new outfit I can actually SEE it.  Gnomes are just a little too tiny.

Ended the day at level 66, with basically all-new gear and about twice as tall as I’d started.  A pretty good day by any MMO standards.

WoW: Expansion Time!

September 22, 2016

Getting levels 55 through 58 by running classic WoW dungeons was, well, it was a little dull if I’m honest.  It was pretty much the same pair of dungeons and the groups I was in had the sort of attitude of being frustrated and wanting to clear them as fast as possible.

I did get the final classic dungeon completed, though:


At level 58, I had a hard choice to make, because my first Burning Crusade dungeon unlocked.  Logically, I should have stopped running dungeons entirely at that point and headed over to the first expansion zone in search of exclamation marks.

Logic got tossed out the window in favor of rolling the dice and praying that I got a beefy enough tank to heal without getting any gear upgrades, and fortunately that first expansion tank was a level 61 Death Knight decked out in all the trimmings.  He STILL nearly took a dirt nap on several occasions, but nobody said anything too pointed and we made it through.


After another three runs of the dungeon, I was getting the hang of it and I’d picked up a nice handful of upgrades.  Sadly, most of them I didn’t meet the level requirement for so they were just sort of sitting in my bags and taunting me.

After another run, though…


…things got a bunch easier, because I was able to equip like five new pieces of gear and my heals and wards went WAY up.  I ended the night at level 61 and feel pretty good about my chances of handling expansion zones.

Oh, and I also picked up a sweet ride.


Over the course of those first 61 levels, I’d managed to set aside nearly 800 gold, but buying all the needed riding and flying skills dropped that down to a smidge over 200.  Fortunately I have almost nothing to actually spend money on, so I can grit my teeth and grind the old bank balance back up.


Ultimate Pony Merch

September 21, 2016

If there was ever any doubt that Hasbro has fully embraced their unexpected market of full-grown men who love the ponies, this should put it to rest:


The “Nightmare Night” version of Derpy the Pony Who Shall Not Be Named.  And just in time for Halloween!

They also had single carded versions of Shadowbolt Rainbow Dash and Clown Wig Mayor Mare, but at four bucks each I figured I’d stick with everyone’s favorite inept mailpony.  Sadly, Starswirl-the-Bearded Twilight appears to be limited to a playset which is twenty bucks and decidedly out of my price range for a small plastic pony, even if it does come with Zecora.