April 2009

Tis the season for Noblegarden. Here’s me being honest with you – I don’t do holiday events. I don’t care about them, I think they’re dumb, and for me the azure proto-drake will be cause for laughing at someone for wasting so much time on a stupid enterprise. If you want to talk one of your male friends into playing WoW, whatever you do, don’t try and do this during Noblegarden week. Bunny rabbits, kissing girls in dresses, mating bunnies, finding eggs … need I say more? Although if you’re trying to talk your girlfriend into playing WoW, this would be the perfect time. For me, the only holiday event that has any coolness at all is the Brewfest week. Drinking beer! Ohla!

But I would partake in Noblegarden if it was cool. If it was risque. If it wasn’t a whole heap of lameness. Here’s some ideas to make Noblegarden awesome. Assume that these new achievements are in addition to those already set for this holiday event.

New Noblegarden Achievements.

1. Fuming Bride.

For this achievement you must smear a chocolate egg all over the lovely dress of a noblegarden bride whilst wearing a tuxedo. The dress will be ruined for 30 minutes and the player wearing the dress will not be able to un-equip it for that time.

2. Laughing Bride.

Wear a lovely wedding dress for 30 minutes without having some loser in a tuxedo smear chocolate all over it. In addition, if you manage during this time to smear chocolate over someone wearing a tuxedo, then all your stats will be buffed by 50 for one day. This effect stacks

3. We’re hunting rabbits.

Travel to the enemy factions level 5 areas and kill as many players in bunny form as you can within a 20 minute period. Number of rabbits killed awards different achievements.

10 enemy rabbits killed
20 enemy rabbits killed
50 enemy rabbits killed
100 enemy rabbits killed (awards title Elmer Fudd)

4. Killer rabbits.

A random buff from opening an egg. Changes you into what seems to be a harmless and defenseless bunny rabbit. In actual fact each of your stats have been boosted by 500. Turn on those enemy players scything through your rabbit friends and take revenge in horrible ways. Buff lasts 60 minutes.

Hey groovers,

To start off with, this is the first of what will be a regular Friday post. I am also going to attempt to set down another day for definite posting pleasure, which day that will be remains to be seen. Slackness has no bounds.

Except when you’re attempting to scrounge together 5000 smackers for your epic mount. I achieved this feat a few weeks ago without talking to any nasty gold sellers. Off topic a bit, but when you get whispered in-game by one of these low-lives, do you automatically report them as a spammer? I do, but I’m wondering if this actually achieves anything. I would like to imagine that this action on my part results in their computer spontaneously combusting before their very eyes, but I’m doubting its veracity.

Anyway, 5000 gold. It’s a lot. The thought of getting 5000 gold when I rejoined WoW after my little hiatus seemed formidable. And it’s not only 5000. There’s also the 1000 for cold weather flying. My previous gold making attempts had been miserable. So I was pleasantly surprised at how the gold stacked up when I began questing in Northrend. And questing is the key. Apart from the gold you get for handing quests in, the big money earner is from the green and blue items from the quest rewards. My two professions are Enchanting and Mining. Enchanting was hovering around 360 when I blew into Northrend, with Mining being maxed out. Enchanting is a great profession for a rogue. You get to enchant all your own gear, obviously, but you also benefit from the awesome ring enchants. And you also get to disenchant stuff. After a few quests I had a stack of infinite dust and some cosmic essence. I popped into Stormwind to check out what they fetched on the Auction House.

They fetched a lot.

A stack of Infinite Dust was going for between 100-120 gold. Cosmic Essences had similar jaw-dropping prices. Suddenly I knew where the bulk of my epic mount moulah was going to come from. Leveling my enchanting was going to have to wait. Mining brought in a fair bit of gold as well. Not huge amounts, but enough to plod along. Cobalt bars were selling for around 34g a stack, while a stack of saronite ore fetched around 25g. There were a few other items that helped my path towards the magic 6000 number.

Raw meat. Be it chilled meat, worg bits, mammoth steaks, or whatever, I could get on average around 35g for a stack of this stuff. I just killed everything I saw and then stuck it on the Auction House.

Mithril, Truesilver and Thorium Bars. At the time I wasn’t aware of the Death Knight profession situation, but I did notice that these were going for obscene prices on the Auction House.

The other thing I did was to change my Auction House strategy a little. Namely, I put everything on the AH on Friday night for a 48 hour period. This resulted in a big sell rate. Sometimes I would do this, go away for the weekend and then drop online on Sunday evening to some staggering amounts of gold waiting for me. It would be fair to say that I got my epic mount in this way in about three weeks of casual playing and leveling.

And epic mounts are sensational.

But now that I’ve got my epic mount and I’m slowly leveling my enchanting, (395 at this point in time), I’m beginning to wonder if mining is superfluous to my needs. As I’m doing a fair number of dailies, gold just isn’t much of a problem. And mining doesn’t do anything for me as a rogue. The 500hp buff is the ultimate in meh for us backstabbers. So I’m thinking of dropping mining for something else, and I’ve narrowed it down to two choices; Jewelcrafting or Engineering.

Engineering gets me the awesome headpiece and plus haste to gloves.
Jewelcrafting gets me the three awesome gem upgrades and perfect cuts.

The clincher is that I can use Mining to level either one of them. So I can run around and gather all the mats needed before I start, then drop Mining and power level whichever one I choose. At this point I am leaning towards Jewelcrafting, but I’m going to do a little bit more research into it before i decide.

On a raiding note, last Tuesday we cleared three quarters of Naxx normal and I got the T7 chest drop. Add that to Lillehoff’s Winged Blades badge thrown weapon and my gear is starting to look semi-reasonable. Then on Wednesday a bunch of our guildies joined a 25 man Sarth run. This was my first time ever in this raid, so I really didn’t have much idea what was going on. Luckily my fellow guildies Thoff and Vel were coaching me on ventrillo, so I was okay for the most part. Although I did have a major panic moment when we hit the first fight and I went to use adrenalin rush and discovered that it wasn’t on my action bar anymore. WTF?? Oh, new patch. And they gave us back our talents once again. Cue Elizà spending the first fight tucked away in a corner clicking slowly on talent points. Sheesh.

When we got to the big boss himself, I did have a few problems. Namely that I couldn’t see the lava walls. I purchased a new graphics card on Wednesday, (Yey! No more 7fps in Naxx), but I hadn’t had time to reconfigure my graphic settings. So I basically just stood between the dragons legs and hit him as hard as I could while a fellow guildie, (thanks Stu), spam healed me whenever the lava walls came in. Which resulted in this awesome dps, which isn’t bad for a first ever run, even if I was a heal sucker. That’s me, Elizà, third on the damage chart. Yey.

Mind you the damage bill was a bit out there. Luckily I still have enchanting.

Oh thank the Gods, oh praise the maidens, oh rub thy body with things that make thy body feel rubbed. Combat rogues have been loved again. Kind of. Sort of. Well hey, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Which is how I’ve felt for most of level 80 so far.

In Burning Crusade, combat rogues, and more specifically combat sword rogues, were the hot biscuit. We were the build of builds if you were a raider. A rogue is his weapons, and the swords were awesome. It was all awesome. I was awesome. DPS chart topper extreme.

Cut to Wrath of the Moron King. Cut to me hitting level 80. Now, I planned my way to level 80. I checked out all the factions, mostly due to this awesome post from my favorite rogue blog over at “One rogues Journey”. First up for me was weapons, which meant swords. At this point I had no idea of the suck factor of combat sword rogues in Wrath of the Suck me off King. So I got Honored with the Wyrmrest Accord for the Fang of Truth off hand, (I had this by level 77), and I got Revered with The Knights of the Ebon Blade so as to pick up The Reaper of Dark Souls for my main hand. I had both of these in my pack by the time level 80 went Ding! I got the Exalted Ebon Blade chestpiece fairly quickly, picked up the crafted epics for shoulders, back and waist, and used my emblems for the lovely Mirror of Truth trinket. The rest of my gear was all high level blues, from quests, crafted and drops which I had specifically sort out. When I went into Naxx I had prepared myself as best as best could be.

And that’s when the grand level of suck began. It doesn’t help that trash mobs in Naxx are AoE fests. There really is no point in melee dps from going in there. By the time you get there and spam a couple of Fan of Knives, they’re not only already dead but they’ve been looted and had a nice burial with a warm service by the priest. Then we get to the Bosses. I’ve noticed that ranged dps seems to be doing a lot of damage in these fights. Now Hunters spamming auto-shot have always been a pain, but it truly seems now that they can hit auto-shot, go away and get a cup of coffee, come back and the boss is dead, they’re alive and they’ve hit 2300 dps. But us melee dps? What do we have to do? We have to run around. A lot. I can’t hit any boss for longer than 30 seconds before I’m having to run here to doge this and get out of the way of that and then run back and have to do it all over again. Add to that my dodgy graphic card which is about to be ripped out and hurled against the wall, and my dps has been hovering around 1500. It doesn’t help that I’ve ran Naxx twice and all I’ve got for my efforts is a necklace. Whoop-ti-do.

But the real problem is my weapons. They’re not up to the job. There is a combat sword that is an emblem reward, The Grasscutter offhand. But it costs 50 badges and the dps upgrade after plugging it into my dps spreadsheet is a measly pathetic 5 dps. Not really worth 50 badges that.

So what has happened in the new patch for combat rogues to make me feel better? Adrenaline Rush cooldown has plummeted to 3 minutes from the previous 5 minute eternity. This means I will be able to hit this sucker at least twice during most boss fights. It almost makes the Glyph for this worth thinking about. Killing Spree, Savage Combat and Lightning Reflexes have all been buffed as well. An awesome change is that Tricks of the Trade now procs when you do first damage. No more thinking that the Tank is charging, hitting Tricks with its 25 second timer and then watching the Tank decide that he wasn’t ready to go after all. The stupid steel wearing dumbo. I’m going to hit this talent build and see what Naxx brings me this weekend.

Hopefully a sword. Or a Fist. Or a sharp stick.

Update after a quick VoA raid last night where we tried to down the new second boss and failed miserably. Tricks of the Trade still has its 25 second countdown, so I misunderstood that one completely. After reading on a few different sites, mainly the wowhead and Elitist jerks forums that eviscerate was working better than rupture, I gave that a try. I also switched to Deadly poison on offhand instead of wound and kept wound on main hand. The result was a jump in average dps from 1500 to 2000. Nice.

It’s been about a week since my last post, mostly due to the fact that a few of us have set up a new raiding guild and I have been hard at work on the new guild website. That plus skipping through the mountain daffodils as Spring has arrived.

Anyway, today I thought I would meander on a bit about my computer game playing history. You see, I’ve been around for a while boys and girls, oh yes indeed…

So here is a list of the games that I played that brought me to my present condition of WoW gamer.

1. Gauntlet was the first D&D style game that I played, and only thanks to the fact that one of my school friends had an awesome Commodore 64. You could play an Elf or a Wizard, you ran around killing stuff and you inevitably died of starvation, a recurring theme in many early games. Wizard needs food badly!

2. Bards Tale Things stepped up a bit when my parents bought me an Amiga 500. Back in 1986 this was the game computer to have. And this game was a revelation. This game gave us different classes, experience points, and the classic dungeon crawl which entailed players having to map out the dungeon  with a pen and paper. Game combat was scripted without graphics, and the game was hard, I mean it took you ages to get to the end. But this baby whetted our appetites at the possibilities out there.

3.The Faery Tale Adventure was the first fantasy role-playing game that we found that really utilized the Amiga 500’s awesome graphics potential for its time. This game had a huge game world, and NPC’s were friendly or unfriendly based on a players previous behavior. You began the game as the elder of three brothers. He usually died in horrible ways within a few minutes. You then moved on to the second brother who wasn’t much better. You then had to do your best to keep the third brother alive until he became super-mega-powerful.

4. Nethack was so good that I still play it occasionally today. The graphics are mostly pathetic but the gameplay is second to none. This game has everything. No matter what action you can think up, the devs thought of it before you. Want to eat your own sword? You can try, but a message will come up such as, “You find that particularly indigestible.” I really recommend that you download and play this game. Start as a Valkyrie as you will have the best chance of surviving. Trust me on this, NetHack is awesome even 20 years later.

5. Warcraft 1 This was our first introduction to what would become a huge enterprise ten years later. It was orcs versus humans. I have to be honest, I always played the humans. My friend always wanted to play the Orcs. Years later in WoW, I play a Night Elf and he plays a Tauran. Go figure, nothing changes much.

6.Diablo set the scene for much of the future game-play of WoW. A flat-mate of mine bought the game and sat in his room for three or four days straight until he finished it. Then it was my turn. Happy times. Although, I have to say that once I finished it, that was it. I never looked at it again.

7. Baldurs Gate had the best graphics for its time. Add to that the fact that it was based on the Forgotten Realms D&D setting, and had sensational game-play, this game consumed me for quite some time.

So there you have it. Although the list is incomplete, due to the fact that I have without doubt forgotten some titles that I played, these were the games that I played the most up to WoW. And I would say that WoW owes something to each and every one of these titles. And my favorite? Nethack, without a doubt. In fact, I just might go and play a game now.