March 2009

So Elizà the rogue is about to hit lvl 79. Almost ready to jump into heroics, and then onto some raiding again. About time, after all most of us have always found questing a horrible grind. That is, up until I wandered into Northrend. The questing has been absolutely fantastic, a wonderful improvement on what has been done before. The first thing I noticed when I zoomed into the Borean Tundra was the lack of the quest Christmas tree effect. Remember when you got into a new zone Like Booty Bay? It was a sea of exclamation marks. You ran around gathering as many as you could, walked out of the safe zone and started running around killing everything that you saw, safe in the knowledge that it would be needed for at least one of those twenty odd quests that you just picked up. After a while they all blended into one another. There was no real story, no true progression. You were killing things, collecting stuff, and often traipsing from one end of the map to the other.

So back in Borean Tundra and I remember jumping off the ship, running up to the harbor and seeing something like two exclamation marks. It might have been three, but I think it was two. That’s it. ‘Not much to do here,’ I thought. So I did those quests. Came back out into the open air from the belly of a castle or a ship and there was another exclamation mark. Got that, did that one, went back. There were another two. I ended up questing all through the zone in this way until I had mostly run out of quests. Then I figured that I’d give Howling Fjord a go. First of all, the ship journey with the music into that zone is incredible. I don’t know what the Horde get, but that Alliance ship ride from Menethil Harbor is awesomeness. Got off the boat and there were about three exclamation marks if I recall. And each one lead onto another different aspect of a well told story. I was thinking that they had done a good job with these quest-lines in Northrend. I hadn’t seen anything yet.

Without spoiling anything for those who haven’t experienced it yet, around level 75 I stumbled upon a quest-line in the Dragonblight that led to a major battle and an epic journey through the streets of a city that I had never been to before, all the while fighting alongside some fairly well known Warcraft NPC’s. Very cool indeed. And a great deal has been written about this quest-line, and I love it. But the events that so far have impressed me the most came later.

In Icecrown I was sent to raid a place called the Shadow Vault. I had to find out some stuff, I had to kill some dudes, I then had to kill three really tough dudes, which I did. At the completion of this task my contact there hailed me as a true hero and informed me that I had saved the day and gained the Shadow Vault for the fight against the Lich King. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. I mean, as he was telling me this I could see one of the big nasty dudes that I had just killed come back to life on a ledge above my head. Same old story – we do the business but then we need to suspend some in-game disbelief. My contact sent me back to my original contact, so I hauled butt to him. All he told me then was to go back to the contact that I had just left. What the hell? Why are you guys getting me to fly all over the place like this for? Do you know how inconvenient this is??

So I go back to my contact at the Shadow Vault. I fly in there and, Oh My God. The whole place has changed into a friendly zone. The three bad dudes that I had defeated were now working with me. There was a flight path, a mailbox, repairers, NPC’s selling stuff. I really had made a difference. I had done this. Wow. This was very cool.

A little while later and I did a similar feat for the Argent Crusade, securing another zone after a big battle where I wailed away on an epic machine gun. An all-round awesome experience.

I am close to hitting level 80, which is most important seeing as we have just set up a new raiding guild and I am the GM. But I’m going to miss questing in Northrend. It has been one of my best WoW experiences so far.

So hats off to the devs on this one.

So for my third post I’ll do a little technical entry to balance things out a bit, and to give some of you perhaps some cool info that you hadn’t thought about before. Your action bar is that thing along the bottom of your screen where you put all your spells and abilities, of which us rogues have a lot. There are three possible solutions for players to do.

1. Leave the bar as it is, put spells there, hope for the best.

Not really a great idea for a rogue. Maybe if you’re some simple class, like say, oh I don’t know, a hunter? Yeah, a hunter would be fine with that as they do nothing, their pet does. But for rogues, not so good.

2. Download an actionbar application addon and use that.

Very valid, a lot of rogues do this. Most of the top rogues that I know and whose blogs I read do this as well. I don’t do this. Why not? Simply put, I don’t like addon’s on which my game becomes dependent, and by game I mean my game-play. What happens if the addon becomes unavailable in the future? You’ll probably have to relearn all your moves all over again, and I don’t want that hassle. Anyway, why download some addon when you have the perfect solution right at your fingertips ….

3. Keybind your most important abilities to your mouse.

Ta-dah! Brilliant eh? I’d like to take a bow, but alas, I didn’t come up with this idea. Some other very nice rogue pointed it out to me. Which is why I’m pointing it out to you now. Lets look at how it works.

Your mouse has a little scroll wheel on it. That scroll wheel is your friend. Simply put, it can move forward, it can move back, or you can click down on it. So that is 3 abilities/spells that you can bind to your mouse. How you bind them is easy.

Go to the Game Menu button at the bottom of your screen, (or press escape), and the game menu comes up. Select Key Bindings. Scroll down until you come to the Action Bar functions. Select the first key, and press “Unbind Key”, (located at the bottom). The key is now unbound and ready to have a new key selected for it. If for instance you pressed the space bar now, the space bar would bind to that first key on your action bar. We’re not going to do that, we’re going to use the mouse. Simply scroll up on your mouse scroller. Now that key is bound to your mouse scroller. On that first open scroll I have Sinister Strike bound. To do a Sinister Strike, all I have to do is scroll up on my mouse scroller. If I scroll downwards I have Eviscerate bound there. And a simple click on my mouse scroll button will set off my Rupture ability.

Now, I know that some of you are now thinking, “So what. That’s only three abilities, I have plenty more than that. Three abilities is nothing.”

Here’s where we get to the good bit … The Good Bit!!

If when binding your key you Shift+Scroll up on the mouse, then this is a totally seperate binding. So now we have doubled the number of bound keys to the mouse. Lets now use Alt+Scroll up. Now we are up to nine. Getting the drift?

Actually, I only have nine abilities bound to my mouse. That’s all I need. The rest are grouped around my keyboard near my left hand. Here are my commands listed:

On the mouse;

Mouse scroll up; Sinister Strike, Mouse scroll down; Eviscerate, Mouse Scroll button click; Rupture.

Shift+MSU; Kick, Shift+MSD; Kidney Shot, Shift+SBC; Killing Spree

Alt+MSU; Blade Flurry, Alt+MSD; Adrenaline Rush, Alt+SBC; Evasion.

These three combinations give me my ket attacks, my key stuns, and my key top attacks which I use together. To hit Blade Flurry, Adrenaline Rush and Evasion all at the same time I just hit Alt and then scroll up, down and click. It takes about 1.5 seconds.

The rest of my key abilties are grouped as follows:

Button 1: Trinket

Button 2: Slice and Dice

Button 3: Tricks of the Trade

Button 4: Deadly Throw

Button 5: Feint

Button 6: Disarm

Button V: Sprint

Button C: Potion

Button R: Blind

Button V: Vanish

In this way all my major abilties are grouped around my left hand and my mouse. I never have to lift my hand from these positions, and neither should you. Obviously I am a combat rogue, so if you are specced mutilate your abilities will differ from mine. Use the ones that you need. Oh, and for stealthed mode you get to do it all over again fresh. I hoped this has helped, and remember, you can obviously use this method for any class, not just a rogue.

If you point and click, then you’re dead.

If starting a blog about rogues, roguing and other words that probably don’t exist, I think it pertinent to consider the reasons why I play a rogue. First of all, I consider the rogue to be the outsider class in Warcraft. We’re not the ones that get along with everybody. Which is normal when you consider we do stuff like pick pockets, pick locks and pick noses. We are the individuals that do not fit into nice society. The outsiders, the ones that don’t follow the normal 9 to 5 grind of the instance office. A priest, particularly a holy priest for example, has to have some friends to help him out. Otherwise he will become a clothy smear on the underbelly of a gnoll. Rogues are sneaky – we sneak in and sneak out and when things aren’t going our way we up and vanish. We’re not trying to be your friend, your buddy or your pal. We don’t care if you like us or not. We are independent of other peoples good opinions. Rogues are free.

Although we might not get invited to instance runs much due to this. Still, I have that covered, just refer back to the first post in this blog.

I like doing DPS. I’ve tried tanking. It’s fun up to a point, but it’s pretty limiting. You stand at the front and get hit a lot and pray that the priest isn’t watching Lost while he’s supposed to be healing. Healers. I tried those as well. You stand at the back and heal a lot and prey that the tank isn’t watching Lost while he’s supposed to be tanking. DPS is the fun stuff for me. You go in and hit things really hard, and prey that the tanks and healers are watching lost so you get more time to hit things.

So I like DPS. Well, there are other DPS classes. Hunters get to stand back and get cool pets and fling arrows and stuff. Warlocks get to be all evil and dark and misunderstood. Mages get to throw fireballs around with really crap graphic effects. And then there are all the hybrid classes. I’ve never liked hybrid classes. They’re like the people that played an Elven Fighter/Mage/Thief in Dungeons and Dragons. They were so, so versatile, and so, so boring. They could do everything, so they ended up doing lots of stuff in a fairly meh way. Don’t get me wrong hybrid classes, I love your buffs. And that’s about it.

But a rogue can stealth and be sneaky. A rogue can get the hell out of Dodge when things are going the shape of a very large pear. A rogue knows that he’s always going to be the last to be rezzed so he does his best not to die in the first place. A rogue can take on a bunch of opponents at the same time and leave them begging for mercy. A rogue gets to pick and choose on their own terms, and that suits me just fine. It’s how I am in real life, and no matter what we say otherwise, in WoW we gravitate to characters and roles that we feel comfortable with in real life.

Which is why all these Death Knights running around is really freaking me out.

Fair enough, I completely agree. There’s probably nothing that I can add, you might as well stop reading now. Why read this when ‘Parry Dodge Spin!’ is being updated so regularly… oh wait…

Let me introduce myself; I am a thirty something male who plays a hot female night elf on the European World of Warcraft servers .  Good, I’ve just aliented most of my audience and am left with the drooling sixteen year olds wishing that they’d be so lucky to get molested. Let me explain the reasoning behind my selection of a hawt female night elf. When I first started playing WoW, back in the beginning of 2008, I rolled a human male rogue. I chose Alliance simply because I am an old D&D player and the Horde just feels all wrong to me. So anyway, I rolled my human and ran around the starting zone collecting wolf skins and boffing poor kobolds, and everything was going swimmingly until I bumped into …


Yeah, that bastard really started to ruin my day. When I had finally figured out what that elite title meant, I soon understood that I would need some help on this group quest. And here was where the problems began: nobody wanted to help out some sorry looking nobody human rogue. Oh, eventually I got some help, but not after a long series of begging moments in Goldshire. With the evil Hogger finally defeated I was legging it back to that little hamlet to hand in my quest when I noticed that someone else was asking for help with Hogger in chat. Feeling magnimonius, I decided to lend my services as I was only a few paces away from Goldshire. Boy was I in for a shock.

Apparently, if you are a hawt female night elf you barely have to open your mouth for help before a whole tribe of gawping mutton-heads are clustering around you begging for the chance to give you a hand.  “She” was off with a small army in tow before I had a chance to put up my hand to help. Which I wanted to do. Because she was hawt. Her bottom looked nice bouncing down the road. I thought of what my human male’s behind looked like while I was watching him chawdle along the highway of life …

… Reason number 2 for making the switch.

So I rolled a hawt female night elf. I made her as hot as possible – the face tattoo’s, the hair colour, the hair design, everything, it had to be super hawt. And then I entered the night elf starting zone.

Within a few minutes I had endured my first interaction with another night elf. He ran up to me and said; “Hubba hubba hubba.”

I kid you not. I gave him a hawt night elf look of disdain and flounced off. They came from everywhere. Wolf-whistling and carrying on like a bunch of 16 year olds who had to use their imagination as nothing else was really available. After a moment I located another hawt female night elf. This was where it got weird – we started to talk about the males as if we really were hawt girls pissed off at all the attention. I was beginning to understand how a hawt girl thought about these situations! It was weird, and strange, yet enticing. I could enter the world of girls …

Needless to say, I didn’t. But I did get help on my quests. And I’m still getting help to this day. Boy was my guild shocked the first time we used ventrillo though.