29 December 2010

Who am I to ...

Did you ever get the feeling that you are but one small, yet significant part in the cycle of all things?
And I had to go out and kill some really big-bad-uglies for them?

28 December 2010

The View from Above

Cataclysym has brung a seemingly endless expanse of changes to our world. So many, that I would have doubts if any one player is able to experience all of them. Some are quite drastic and evident, even from a distance. Others are subtle, they kind of sneak up on you from the rear and tap your shoulder in one of those "I got you" shock waves.

One very grateful surprise, especially for an addicted explorer, is the newly trained old world and Cata flying ability. To roam about at will, to forge into the little or unknown nooks and crannys slightly hidden away from all the mainstay quest lines. To be able to see things from a totally different perspective, the "View from Above."

These are the thoughts Sol had during a recent Kilimdor zone jumping exercise in archeology exploration. What first caught his eye, was Southshore. It was a terrible quest hub for him back then, what with the constant ganking and daily shut-down, literally. Horde would totally wipe out everything including the NPC's. Now, Southshore lies in ruins. Enjoy this little Hillsbrad tour. Perhaps it'll bring back some memories for you as well.

12 December 2010

First Impressions: Cataclysm

It was two days after release when Sol began his new journeys into the new old world. All the usual preperations took place. Visits to his class trainer; various trade skill trainers and the addition of archeology. Packed his bags with food and drink, a quick stop by the flight trainer, then off to Mt. Hyjal. (it's a druid thing).

His original plan to just fill up the quest log and perhaps gather a few new herbs kinda got tossed out of balance a bit. Seeing that he did have a small amount of rested xp, he started the first of the breadcrumb quests. Those initial kill the attackers and gathering things. Sol chalked up a third of his level to 81 before he realized he had long passed his rested zone. It was time to rest and reflect.

There is something about being at the base of Nordrasill, communing with dragons, crushing those who wish to corrupt our world and maintaining the balance of nature...that affects the heart and mind of a druid. Our beliefs and ways of doing things are often questioned, and mis-understood. Of coarse, our share of corrupted and tainted arch-druids along the way certainly were not of any help either. None-the-less, we strive to exist as a race and culture no less than any other.

Having gained enough rest to continue his journeys through Mt. Hyjal, Sol found a fair bit of lore intertwined with his quests, very much to his pleasure. Successfully completing a chain, seeing an area phase into a more friendly zone is gold to the druids spirit. Although, not all is as simple as it seems at first glance. Several quests did involve making choices according to your nature and beliefs as a druid. Remembering two in particular; in the first, his choice not to kill a pawn during a fact-finding quest chain led to praise and several more quests. In another, despite being warned in the opening quest about not releasing the demon you were supposed to seek help from, several quests later, Sol did in fact complete one which released the demon. Big mistake, not good. One very un-happy Druid was wandering about, unsure of where to go next or what to do. Time to retreat and regroup, commonly called "Hearth."

Day three. The cooking and fishing dailies seemed to be bugged. 15 minutes in the water and not a lobster trap to be found. Another 10 in the canals, and only 1 crab. Time to abandon and move on. This meant Hero's call, second choice. a mercenary boat ride to Vashj'ir. When Sol had hearthed the previous day, he was slightly over 81. Seemed like a good time to explore and experience another, very different world.

So how did your first few days go? Questing and soaking up the lore? Or did you jump into the opening instances? Did you rush to level cap or are you taking your time? Oh, and how did it feel giving up those hard-earned epic purps for the new improved Cata greens?!?

04 December 2010

Final Days

A couple of days back, Sol decided to awaken from his druidic rest. It was finally time to go through the last of the changes necessary and activities necessary for Deathwings' coming. He wanted to get the fastest flying mount possible for use in the now shattered Azeroth. Determined not to let his short-comings deter him, the search/mission was on. The way became clear to him while looking through possible achievement mounts. 50 mounts = 1 Albino Drake. Now, Sol had some 15 mounts already even though he wasn't much of a mount collector. One from each of his exaulted home cities, a couple of early on griffons from Outland, and a few he added just for the sake of spending some gold on himself instead of the kids for a change. So he made the rounds of all his factions' stables and picked up everything they had to offer. After a couple of hours of travel and spending, that magickal letter from Mei Francis appeared, and the Drake mission was successful.

Next came a combination move of sorts. Doing a few argent and Hodir dailys, mixed with some herbing and fishing. This was really one of those relaxing, take his time and gather his thoughts ventures. Even though the new drake was available, Sol took advantage of the taxi services to sift through and organize his bags. Taking some last looks at Northrend from the air, and recalling many of adventures it held for him. There were some disappointments, goals not reached. But there were so many other things to celebrate and be quietly proud of. He was into his second day of dailys and stockpiling the much needed mats. Thoughts of attempting a few more of the hideous dungeon finder tool lurked in his mind as he flew about picking herbs. Hummmm? Where are we? Oh yeah, the Basin. May as well pick up some extra nettlefish. Bypass River's Heart and head out northwest to that other little lake not many people of either faction go to. Quiet area, good for thinking and fishing with no interuptions, short of a few crazy water monsters. And then out of nowhere.....the silence was shattered.

Sol had given up on farming this rare mount several months ago, having spent over a year bounceing around Northrend hunting for her. Now, with only a few days left before moving on, the loot gods finally provided their blessings.

There are still a few things left to do before all the new adventures and challenges hit home next week. Sol took a good look into the mirror and saw his gear for what it was. Far from top end raiding gear, it would have to suffice/endure what lay ahead. And though it wasn't the best, it was a decent mix of what he could aquire. A little pve, a little pvp and crafted for the topping. It'll do, he'll make it work. It has kept him alive all this time. Well, more alive than dead anyway. He may re-spec one more time, fine tuning so-to-speak. A little more re-forging perhaps, along with a final look at gems and enchants. With Cataclysm being so new for everybody, hopefully pugging through the random dungeon finder early on won't be so distasteful. Sol will just have to start straight off from the beginning this time instead of waiting so long. His first few days will be spent somewhat quietly. Building up some rested time, fishing and cooking dailys, and farming. He will fill up his quest log, but wait just a couple of days to start them. Hopefully avoiding the massive onslaught of day one. Of coarse, there is always something that can lay waste to the best laid plans.

30 November 2010

The Elder and the Newcomer

Since the world as we once knew it became 'shattered', Sol has been resting quite a bit with one of his druidic sleeping spells. He's adopted this sort of causal mind-set that things will be what they will be. So why worry about it now? He'll just deal with it as it comes, and he will survive just as he's been doing all these years. He does have two things in mind though for this last week before the Cataclysm. Simple stuff really, nothing special. He'll pay a few more visits to his buddy Baron Rivendare, as they seem to have developed some sort of odd relationship the past couple of months by having breakfast together. There really isn't any love lost between them, but Sol keeps hoping the Baron will show him a little anyway. The second thing is to aquire a drake.

The Eastwall Gate

Baron Rivendare

The newcomer to the family is a fast growing night elf mage named Alisym. I must admit that she has been having unusual growth splurts with the new quest lines and is now into her early 30's. Her adventures are, or seem to be, always exciting and fascinating to follow. Story-lines, simular to a good book that are difficult to just put down. One gets caught up in them and before you know it, you find yourself a quick 3-4 levels experienced. The stream-lineing of the quests Blizzard has done is great for leveling, nothing seems like a grind so far. Even the trash "kill 10 this and 10 that" hold little surprises. Unexpected knock-backs, fears, silences. She even ran into a kill quest where the mobs used these sort of backpack flame throwers! (does "don't stand in the fire" come to mind here?) So yes, even at these early levels the mobs are actually fun and I can easily see how these experiences would help a new player be better prepared for end game.

Alisym wanted to share a couple of her early memory pics, these were of her time in Darkshore. Mr. Withers was a delightful surprise reward at the end of a quest chain. When summoned, he starts out nearly as tall as her shoulders, but if you're away from water, he starts to shrink rather quickly! Go near some water, and he grows back to his normal size. This is like, OMGWOW!!! Mr. Chilly can't touch this.

Another great thing about the early quest lines is the new level of npc interaction. One such quest line led Alisym to work along side of the great Malfurion. And later on, Malfurion even made an appearance during another quest in which she also had the dubious pleasure of meeting Queen Azsura. One last note: the Darkshore quests were so enticing, before she realized it, Alisym picked up the achievement for doing 90 quests there. Perhaps there is a Loremaster in her future?

Enjoying the new, old world!

27 November 2010

Report from the Front

Report from the Front

To: Tyrande Whisperwind
From: Kaimara
May the Light be with you Priestess!

(My father, Solitudeone, is taking a much needed rest from his adventures and battles in Northrend. Before falling into one of his Druidic sleeps, he requested that I prepare this report for you.)

It is an honor to report that our small family is providing its' assistance and services across several battlefronts in these most world shattering of times. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any documented sightings of Deathwing at this time, encountering only the destruction and despair which was left in his wake. Whole towns and communities have been torn asunder across neary every world zone. The death toll rises, and all the elementals have become frenzied enemies towards civilazation. Old and new enemies have risen from the ruins. Azeroth is now is a state of world war, literally.

I am sure you are aware that our small family is of various bloodlines/backgrounds. As with many of the Alliance factions, we are tightly knit and committed towards common goals. Bubblegumtwo, (whom we fondly call Bub), is currently assisting the new settlements in Swamp of Sorrows. His shamanistic ways, understanding of the elements, along with his duel-wielding "get-in-their-face" battle courage is making headway in the Swamp. He also provides a strong Dranei presence there, committed to the Alliance cause.

Netherone, our resident warlock, was recently asked to enter the Burning Steppes. As with many other zones, things are in quite a bit of turmoil there also, according to his last letter home. He did not include many details since he only recently arrived there, other than some group was keeping certain young dragons in chains, which he promptly freed, eliminating most of their evil captors as he was doing so. He did promise a detailed update in his next letter.

Oneshadow, (our little independant rogue-child), well...his whereabouts are currently unknown. Quite typical for him though, we generally hear about his escapades after the fact. True to his nature, he remains very secretive. I did here talk between his brothers though that he has also joined the cause and is enroute to some undisclosed location as I write.

Begging your pardon Priestess, but I must include a short personal note here. Before father went off for his druidic sleep, he brung home a sister for me, (probably due to my incesstant complaints about being the only female in the family.) Alisym, she is called. A beautiful Night Elf child who has readily taken to the ways of the mage. *note the smile of pride on my face!* My knowledge of Night Elf history is limited to that which father has spoken of during quiet family nights together. As the current world state does not provide much time for childhood, Alisym has grown rather quickly. She has reached the tender age of 22 in such a short time. Alisym also sends me the most detailed letters of her current exploits, adventures and travels in Darkshore. I can only imagine the totality of destruction and carnage through her words. Father well recalls his travels through Darkshore so many moons ago and tells me Alisym certainly has her hands full in more ways than one. Alisym also speaks of Night Elf history during our sisterly times together. She has provided me with so much more, in detail, than I've ever heard from father. I think that this is due to her youth, and she definately aquired his adventurous traits. She speaks very highly of her meeting with you during her early years. She also carried on at some quite detailed length of her adventures with Malfurion in Darkshore. Alisym is obviously quite honored and proud to have served along side the great Malfurion. I am very sure she will carry the Night Elf traditions with her where ever she travels, and our common enemies will come to know and fear her.

As for myself Priestess, my good king has ordered me to Northern Stranglethorn. The devastion there is just mind-boggleing. The Vile Reef has nearly severed the zone into two. I have only just begun lending my magic to righting all the wrongs there. I did take some time to survey the zone though, in preperation for the challenges ahead. The stronger Alliance presence in Stranglethorn was greatly needed, and I for one, welcome the brave souls who have ventured here.

That is the extent of my report Priestess. My good King sends his regards and blessings to you and Malfurion.

04 November 2010

Elementals, Gnomes....and Worgen?

It has been a busy few days now since the elemental invasions started. What began as an unexplained oddity out in the middle of nowhere for Kaimara, has spread like a wildfire through her brothers, and even Sol. Things have pretty much calmed down for now, only a few stray elemental hunting trips pop up.

Sol has gone back to his familar routines, along with his daily visits to the not very generous Baron Rivendare. He only started soloing older instances a couple of months back, and is pretty much set on just a few for the pocket money.He does seem to be setteling into his new spell rotations and approach to mobs. For a time there, things were really up in the air so to speak.

With all the cloth everyone collects along the way, Kai's tailoring is way up for her age. In fact, she now has to wait another 6 ages to train her next skill level. She has plenty of patterns to make though for a little extra income, and she can usually get them easily sold since she don't charge very much. If not, well then there is always the fallback to her first profession, enchanting. Make it, then DE it. Works out just as well. Of coarse, all the boys have had their share of armor enchants along the way.

Let's see, the shaman and lock have been kind of quiet this week, only poking their heads in now and then with the elementals. Kia and the rogue child have enjoyed their busy time, taking full advantage of it. Oneshadow, (the rogue child), is extreamly happy with himself since he's now stalking about with heirloom chest, shoulders, and two unique daggers. (at the expense of daddy's tourney work)

What's really nice about this little 'family' thing is that everyone sorts out their various loot takes and sends whatever is useful to whoever needs it. And with all the different zone coverage around Azeroth, everyone keeps an eye open for various pattern vendors someone else may miss or pass by. It's all good, everyone profits in some way or another.

A couple of weeks ago Sol came home with a stray puppy for the kids, in the shape of a gnome DK. Not sure how well this will turn out though. The boys just kinda laughed at the old man, while Kai sat in a corner squinting with disapproval. She does that a lot though. When they were alone, she had her words with him.

"Seriously Dad. The covert midnight romps to Gilineas are one thing, but a gnome DK ??? The boys are just going to want to use him for a football, and I'd really rather have a sister.....if anything." Sol just leaned back in his easy recliner chair, allowing her to say her piece (as if he could stop her from doing so anyway). His half-hidden grin did not go un-noticed though.


"Did You?"

01 November 2010

Beginning of the End?

Kaimara was just finishing up some quests which dinged her to 42. Cutting across Mirage Flats in the Badlands she came across a very unusual scene. Four Rocky Elementals surrounding some sort of rift area in defensive behavior, while the local crag cayoties and buzzards were attacking them. She decided to take a couple of them down just to see what happened, easy enough kills she thought. No loot though, and they seemed to respawn almost instantly. Enough of that mess she thought, so off to see her trainer in SW instead.

Stormwind held a few more surprises when she came out of the Mage Tower. All kinds of people running about. It turns out that Blizz dropped the opening quests which lead up to The Shattering/Cataclysm. Doomsayers in Old Town, Twilight Hammer folks outside of town and wind elementals popping up here and there. All this was quite unexpected today, although welcomed, and an exciting change from the usual farming and questing just waiting for Cata.

Kai decided to take a few snapshots of things, she's like that. Always adding to the memory album. The first is from the Badlands rift. Second up is one of the strange devices which would spawn the Wind Elementals later on in the quest chain. The third is just plain Kia. She just had to have one with her and the SW King.
(click to...you know)

Notice that she did wear her best for this one. Isn't she just the cutest little mage?

31 October 2010

Speaking of "Shattering"...

Sol has been looking forward to The Shattering, and all those ramp up events leading to the arrival of Cataclysm. At this point the understanding is, that patch 4.0.3 will implement all the necessary changes, and patch 4.0.3a will be the actual events. The actual timeline is blurred somewhat, although that does not dampen the growing excitement. Some posts around the web have suggested that 4.0.3 will most likely come right after the Hallows End holiday, which seems plausable since that will only leave about a month until the actual xpac release. Yea!! I was actually tired of all the pumpkin heads running about anyway.

Apparently, a bunch of editors at WOWwiki jumped ship and went over to a new site called Wowpedia. It was here that I found a page discussing The Shattering events and the Elemental Invasions. The level of difficulty during these invasions sounds to be relatively high, but perhaps possible to attempt solo (not being in a raid group). There will be plenty of other players in the cities, and I'm sure some will be grouped up. So it won't be like you're taking on everything all by yourself. Now Sol can solo, with reasonable expectations of success, a level 80 elite between 150-200k life. During these particular invasions of elementals though, he will have to really think about what he's doing and manage his resources at optimum level. He does love to challenge himself in these ways though! That's the thing soloing so much has taught him though, how to plan out his attacks, keep his distance and survive the encounter. And since 4.0.1 landed, he's had to make some serious changes to maintain that surviveability. (that's another story all-together)

All in all though, the sounds of war and massive battles ahead ring out a bit louder each day. The earthquakes are lasting longer and becoming more violent. Kiamara was in Stormwind last week when the King and other leaders were discussing the events and possible reactions. It was quite a conversation to listen to and she dutifully passed it along to Sol. It's so nice when the kids (alts) share all these bits of info they come across. It's kind of like having spies all over the world! If you're a story-line and lore seeker, I would reccomend popping into the King's chamber and take the time to listen to (read) this conversation. I would think that there are some simular events going on with the Horde leaders as well.

Are you excited about all this?

30 October 2010

Of bugs and patches...

Not a whole lot of things going on lately, mostly just leveling the kids here and there, Sol getting himself together for The Shattering.
Around here, the 'about' page never really set that well, so it has undergone a bug-fix and patch of it's own making it now readable. Been a bit more tired than my considered norm, don't even have a pretty screen-shot to toss out today. Looking forward to a better week ahead.
Kiamara had quest reason to go visit the Stormwind King this week, which was quite interesting. Has anyone ever really listened (read) through the conversation he's having with those leaders in attendance? Everyones' concerns over the earthquakes? 

20 October 2010

Wow! What a week it has been...

since the 4.0.1 patch dropped on live. So many changes and things to address in game, that it about felt like the Cataclysm did start up. All those earthquakes really stirred up new difficulties to overcome. How I love a challenge. /grumblegrumble

What seemed to be the most pressing issues was getting Sol re-specced into the new talent tree. It also seemed like a good time to re-do the keybinds and rotation since some spells went MIA. First up, reset keybinds to default, then jump through a Dal portal to the trainer in SW. It wasn't exactly a free re-spec though, it did cost a few gold, not much really. I got my balance tree back working, grabbed up the training and checked out the new glyph processes. Not too bad at this point, seemed to go rather smoothly.

Then it was off to the local AH. More earthquakes shaking things up, including the sellers who were taking big advantage of the conditions. To say that price gougeing went into effect, is stating the condition rather mildly. Just about everything saw price hikes ranging from 200 to 400%. *tries to hold spinning head still* Fortunately, I already had most of the immediate glyphs I needed, only had to pick up one or two as I recall and they weren't that earth shattering. Took some time to sift through the gem market as well. Decided to wait a bit before adjusting mine as the cost was a bit outragous. This did spur my posting of gem transmutes though, a small collection I usually put up once a week or so. (Sol transmutes the gem mats that JC's need to cut their epics) The market for these was nearly tripled at the moment, but I just could not bring myself to act in the same manner. My thoughts here also followed the coarse that if I only mark up slightly, they will sell really quick, very quickly it turned out. I don't use any AH add-ons, everything is done with simple logic and common-sense. The weekly batch of transmuted gems which usually made me about 600 gold or so sold within the hour for about 1,000 gold. Not bad at all. Seeing how everything else was in the same condition, I dumped off some stuff which had been collecting dust for some time. Like batches of inks and pigments from a former scribe alt, some Iceweb Spider Silks and such. All in all, I probably made about 2k gold over 24 hours. Thankyou Deathwingl, for shaking things up a bit. This was a one-shot moment and I'm happy with it. I expect things will settle down fairly soon enough.

Moving on, I decided to skip the training dummies and put the new stuff straight to work on some tourney dailies. Hearthed back to Dal, then off to tourney grounds. Disaster struck! And not from where I would have expected it to come from. BLACK SCREEN! The graphics chipset stopped working with Wrath content. I found that I could play in the old world but not in Northrend. /GRRRRR! Rumaged around a bit and found a graphics card to drop in the comp and finally got things going again. Will have to work on a lag issue, but at least Sol is up and running again. What next!?! (btw-that new return to graveyard button sure works great!)

Sol had also been soloing some instances for a little extra gold before this mess occured. So, after a few dailies, it was off to see The Baron again. (Strat) The rotation felt odd and some things did not seem to be hitting as hard or doing as much damage as before the patch. He used to be able to gather small groups (3-5), pop a hurricane and take them down. Now it takes two pops. Hmmmm? Where Sol would normally spend about 2 gold in repair after a Strat run, this one cost him close to 20 gold. Talk about mark-ups being everywhere. I obviously need to make some healthy adjustments.

Off to Outland next. Several, about 5 instances there I normally would solo. I started with Settketh Halls. Major problems here, I kept dying in the first room! So I moved over to the Mana Tombs....same problems, death was ruling the day. Soooo not good! Is this a sign of times to come? I really wasn't having any mana issues, but my overall damage dealing seems to be nerfed quite a bit more than I expected. Even applying myself to a more strict rotation with the new eclipse factor did not seem to help. This is one really, really unhappy Moonkin for the moment. So much so, that I moved on to the alt kids to allow for a time of reflection. At least they seemed to be in much better shape overall.

I would imagine that Blizz may get things worked out a bit with balance druids, or at least I hope they do. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to work with what I got. I'm sure that skipping the target dummies and forgeting to keybind my spells again probably had something to do with the overall mess of things. Still, I cannot help feeling that some of my spells have been nerfed for the worse. Hopefully, Sol will be a viable asset again by the time Cataclysm does go live.

12 October 2010

OMG! - 17 hours of patch!!!

The wait wasn't all that bad until Blizz added that last 2 hr. extension, making it 8pm my local time. *grrrrr

Just like a gazillion other players I logged in the moment servers started to come up, anixous to see how much havoc was dumped on my main. Some of the usual sort of thing for this kind of patch, talents wiped out, another trip to the trainer for new and revised spells. Although, this time I had to spend some gold. Not all that much extra, but noticeable. Then there was the glyph issues and placements. *makes note to self to purchase more glyphs tomorrow* I breezed through the balance tree though. Being no stranger to re-speccing, I had earlier gone through my list of preferred theory-crafters to see who had the most recent and viable spec posted up. Yeah, sort of cookie cutter mode, but they have been great points to start out with when in doubt.

The new interfaces for character, spell book, professions and talents look really good. I like the way my alchemy can now be sorted to get through all the possibilities, going straight to the section I want to work with. I tried one of my gem transmutes just to see if the cd was gone yet. It wasn't, but only showed a little over 5 hours of cd instead of the 19hr+ norm. Maybe just because of patch day, but I hope it stays this short. I did return to default all my keybinds since I planned to refine them anyway. Ughhhh! Master Flight Training--5k gold!!! Oh well, back to gold grinding tomorrow. Maybe by weekend I'll be able to get it. I also tried out Reforgeing on one piece of gear since I found my new self comfortably over hit and haste cap. It works out pretty good I think, but it will cost you gold also. I paid 11.5g for the one I tried, exchanging out some massive crit stat for some mastery.

It was really funny though, to see the amount of alliance players on-line tonight. Very unusual. Someone in trade labeled this as 'The Day the Alliance returned to Spinebreaker.' I did notice some minor glitches so far, like not being able to de-select a NPC once you were done with them. I had to leave the area until distance finally de-selected by default. This did cause one unsuspecting NPC to gain a MotW he really didn't need.

All in all, it was an interesting and exciting 90 minutes for my main. Latency and fps were off, but workable. All my add-ons were listed as out of date, a simple check to load anyway fixed that for now. And enough done for tonight. Tomorrow will be the real test working with the new rotations and going through all my daily routines which I suspect will not be so routine.

How about you? What are your plans now that the patch is live? Did you notice the occassional shaking and rumbleing going on? I did, while I was in Ironforge. Hmmmmm?

02 October 2010

Info Overload-Press Any Key...

*Dazed and Confused* wearing off, I found myself staring into the double barreled scatter gun. A rather unique weapon obviously meant for major life-changing damage. Even the item color was unlike any I've ever seen. They called it...."Cataclysm".

Attempting to tread water in that turbulant sea of information, the stark reality of those nay-sayers who claim the world is ending suddenly held some truth. Rumors of patch 4.0 going live, (perhaps as early as this week) and the expansion perhaps only about a month away from that, are being broadcast from the highest peaks. Nerf hammers, if you wish to call them that, are already falling on balance druids in the PTR and Beta. What started out looking pretty good, even awesome, has become just more questionable in nature. (*my personal thoughts) Either way, I've become tired of treading water. Call it information overload.

Being what I guess to be an average player, I went from vanilla into TBC more or less blind. Just jumped in and began playing, exploring all the new quests, etc. The same was true for WotLK. No previous research, no lingering upon the words of master theorycrafters, just jump in with both feet and learn as I go. I thought, suppossedly with the wisdom of a now experienced player, that I would dive into that sea of information available pre-release Cataclysm. That I would go into the expansion a more knowledgeable, know your class and play it well Druid. I am beginning to question my thought processes now. As Netherones' little imp would say, "Is this really necessary?"

There is a constant ebb and flow nature swarming all around the changes which Cata will bring. One specific thing, be it a talent, spell or whatever, goes from being good- to being not so good- to having no synergy- to being just being there for ?? Ebb and Flow. Everyone going back and forth in their thoughts and opinions on the same item, so much so, that one may wish for it to just go away. (and I'M the *dazed and confused* one?)

Before everyone gets on their war mammoth and starts swinging their ban-hammers at me, let me state for the record that I am not attempting to deride or dismiss all the fine theorycrafters out there. They happen to be a fine bunch, quite knowledgeable and I'm sure useful for many players....including myself !

With that said, what can go so wrong for the average player who may just pop into their local retailer, grab up the shiney new expansion, and just play the game? Let's look at this for a moment.

You won't play as good as the hard-core and pros: So what? You share a boat with a few million other players just doing the same thing, playing the game.

It will take you longer to quest and level-cap: Duh! You just might enjoy more aspects of the game, taking the time to do more things other than rush to end-game raiding or whatever.

People will, with malice, call you "NooB" I promise you, at one time or another, they were just that as well. The only difference now is that their brains got swallowed up with their egos and in essence turned into the green goop you see on the dungeon floors. Just as in the dungeons where you avoid the "fires", you can easily avoid them.....it's called..../ignore. (Note-the more mature players will offer you a tip or two instead)

You might die...a lot! Simple process here, return to body-rez-live and learn. Anyone can do it, multiple times if necessary. And everyone has done it! Soon enough, you will learn how not to die as much.

Okay, you get the idea here. Nothing can go so wrong with going into the expansion blind and just play the game. Yes, it is really great that there are such proficient and knowledgeable players out there willing to dissect and share the anatomy of your race/class throughout the game. And double yes, I do advise finding yourself a small group to learn from. The wealth of information available though can be mind-boggeling, to say the least. Just don't let yourself slide into that state of "information overload" to such a point that you lose sight of playing the game for enjoyment. All the rest will come to you in time.

25 September 2010

Ghost Crawler at MMO

Although I generally do not get very serious or informative about technical game issues, dps standards or cookie cutter specs, I did read some very interesting posts by Ghost Crawler over at MMO this morning which I felt worthy of attention here.

Being a strong member of that 90% average player base, I found GC's posts to be both unique and informative from several standpoints. Perhaps the most noticeable one is that the read was class agnostic, often difficult especially when discussing the talent trees. Other interesting notes about his posts include his comments towards cookie-cutter builds...

"I have deviated from these sacred builds often on my own characters because I found that I don't rely on certain abilities or mechanics as much as the build assumes I should. Now maybe my dps (healing, etc.) would improve if I could manage to do that, but in the interim using a build that is bad for me just because it's the anointed one doesn't make sense. A- dps with the "bad" build is superior to C+ dps with the "good" build."

and dps maxing:

"Min-maxxing is fun. It's part of the game. Sometimes (more rarely than is claimed) it's even necessary for progression. Just keep it in perspective. It's probably not going to doom your attempt if you pick up a fun talent instead of a 1% dps increase. If the Saturday pug won't take you because you lack the anointed talent, you're probably better off not running with them."

All said and done, the post is worth the time to read.

23 September 2010

Weekly round-up: The Rogue Child

Oneshadow, a NE Rogue, is Sols' youngest child. Now, Sol has tried raiseing up rogues before, but they never seemed to quite bond with him. Several attempts actually, on both Ally and Horde factions. All met their demise by level ten. So, just what are the differences now where an intentional bank/ah alt child suddenly starts maturing with both vigor and relatively successful ease? I don't think that there is any single definitive answer, but if pressed for one I would have to say that starting to learn this class' playstyle and abilities has been nothing short of "fun".

I would also have to attribute Oneshadow's sudden claim to be noticed and reckoned with, as genetically influenced. With nearly three years of war (craft) play and more races and classes attempted than I can remember, perhaps the rogue childs' high level of independant nature just suddenly seemed to fill the mode and needs rather well. ( I have heard it said that rogues will hire out to just about anyone! )

As it stands at the moment, Oneshadow has in the past four days gained eight ages, currently sitting at level 18. He has traveled far and wide with various ups quests, (go talk to this or that person, deliver such and such), and quietly stealthed up on mobs 1-2 levels higher with ease (more successful than not). His latest flurry of excitement came from learning to sap, pick-pocket, then backstab. Followed quickly by gouge and another backstab. The extra loot from the pick-pocketing is small for now, but at the end of the day it turns out to be a nice tidy little sum of notice. Before this discovery, he used to stealth up and go straight for the backstab, which usually ended up as a miss. Perhaps due to the distance thing. So when he tried for the sap first instead and found he did'nt have to get quite as close, the backstab came off most every time. The inclusion of the pick-pocket followed quickly afterward. All this is "fun" stuff. Grab some extra loot and kill the target to boot for more loot.

Oneshadow is slightly going against the grain for now. Duel-wielding daggers along with speccing assassination. Yes, I have read that he really should be swinging about a pair of one-handed swords for greater dps. But since his dagger skills are already established, they remain his mainstay weapons of choice when questing against mobs his level and slightly higher. The dps issue/info did not go un-noticed though. When it came to my attention, Oneshadow quickly went and got weapons training in everything which was available to him, EVERYTHING! His bags now hold an assortment of weapons available for use. He could only find one fair 1H sword so far, but came up with an equally fair cross-bow and gun. (along with a better throwing knife). Still needs some maces and axes to round out his weapons training. All these need to be skilled up to level as yet, but he travels a lot so there are plenty of areas where he can take time to work on them. On this, his first day of becoming skilled in all weapons, he equipped the sword and used his gun to pull. Kind of like combo points, skill point for gun going off and several points for using the sword along side the off hand dagger. He'll start working in the crossbow as well, and eventually maces and axes as he comes into them. Hmmmm? A little something for whatever comes along weapon toolbox? Could (will) be interesting.

One other little surprise tactic he unexpectedly learned; when things get out of hand such as multiple mobs joining the fight in progress and death is staring him in the face, SHADOWMELD! He discovered that if he don't de-select his target, go shadowmeld, the extra mobs go their way while the original target maintains whatever combo points were on him at the time. It is a be patient move. Wait until health is up, go stealth again, and finish off the original target. Works like a charm! He just only needs to be mindful of not letting his health go to the point where the mobs kill him anyway. (alright, it took a couple of deaths to perfect this one!) Oh, and being able to stealth in to a quest target without wading through all the mobs first is another big happy advantage.

That's about it for this weekly round-up of goings on within Sol's family. Sol is still vacationing somewhere, even though the kids have found him quite helpful from his money bag for bringing their professions up to skill level. (spoiled brats!) Gotta love them though.

Out of curiousity, has anyone else tried skilling up all available weapons on their rogue? How did it work out for you? Did you find it advantagous while leveling to switch out weapons for different quests-bg's- or whatever? Don't be bashful! Let me know your experiences, or escapades!

21 September 2010

Times are Slow...

Sol got lazy, or tired perhaps. Lately he's only been showing up long enough to do a gem transmute, and maybe the two local dailys. Beyond that, he heads back to his perch at the inn and turns the reins over to the kids.

So for the past week or so, the kids have been enjoying their romp through the Eastern Kingdoms. All three have leveled several times and with the exception of the shaman, have brung their professons up to par for their level. Bubblegumtwo (ele shaman), is in that awkward period of mid-forties. Bouncing between the Hinterlands and Dustwallow Marsh while trying to decide where the next best zone of opportunity lies for him. His jewel crafting has also kind of stalled out, so he needs to make some serious decisions rather soon.

Netherone (aff lock), is fairing better. Having gained three levels (now 33), with his blacksmithing maxed untill he can reach 35 to go further. He only needs a handful of smithing points to also gain weapon-smith specialization. If he got off his butt and tried out the RDF, he could probably knock out those 2 levels fairly quickly. He should also be stocking up some honor points with BG's, but like most kids, he seldom listens to the voice of reasonable knowledge.

Kaimara (frost mage), has been surprizeingly nimble in her leveling, gaining four levels rather quickly and somewhat efficiently. Her enchanting is a little slow, although not seriously lacking, and her tailoring is up to level. Her sudden adeptness at taking out mobs is rather interesting and fun at the moment. She also recently learned how to escape from those ?? ganker/corpse-campers, a lesson which will be quite useful in her world. Kaimara did attempt her first battleground several weeks ago and should really spend a bit more time there. Like her brothers though, she has effectively avoided the RDF thus far, behaviour which could stand some correction. Her two older brothers haven't exactly been the best of role models in those two areas.

Then there's Oneshadow (the rogue child). Truely a rogue in every way, he does'nt follow in the footsteps of any of his elder siblings. Mostly just hangs out, supplying extra bank space and running auction house errands. Lately though, his boots have begun itching. He now travels about doing his gathering of ore, herbs and cloth. It's has not proven to be all that beneficial for his siblings though since he is so much younger, and he is happy with just gathering without the added stress of a crafting profession. So he's hit the questing trail and actually managed to grow a level or two of late. Daddy might just have to spot him some cash for AH ore stock so he can up his smelting and be a bit more useful. Having been so lazy and reluctant, he finds himself able to smelt ore a bit higher than he is able to gather at the moment. At level 14, he does need to grow up a bit. Even his cousins over on Mediev are older and more advanced.

Such is the way and goings on for Sol. He's just kinda kicked back and enjoying the sights of his kids romping about, leaving trails of death and destruction in their wake. He has found it quite interesting to re-visit many of those old world quests through the eyes of his kids, while the sudden memories of just how irritating those level grinds really were in his time give him heartburn. Just as in life though, his kids have things so much easier. They have his experience and knowledge to work with (along with his gold!), so getting around the zones and able to manuver the in's and out's more efficiently has greatly improved their quality of life.

How about your kids? Are they also enjoying the benefits of your labours? Or are they just collecting dust until their whole world erupts with change?

18 September 2010

Shattered Halls

During my usual nightly reading, I happened to wander over to the Armory to look through my achievements lists. I've been trying to solo many of the older dungeons and instances I didn't do way back when. There is an underlying method to this madness though. Only a small part involves just seeing game content I missed, the larger part has to do with beginning to learn my off-spec feral bear tank.

The over-all plan isn't really set in stone, since I am making efforts to learn as much as possible on my own, within my playstyle. Perhaps not the best approach since there really is a ton of information available across the nets on how to be a good/great tank. And yes, I have read much of it for it will have it's usefulness over time. But reading 'how to' and actually 'doing' whatever, remains two very different worlds.

My approach for now is to just let Sol jump into the instance with his main balance spec. After all, it is the stronger spec atm and he does handle it fairly well enough. Sol don't do any pre-fight research on these instances since he is level-capped and most likely able to just walk through them anyway. He takes his time in doing so though, making sure he does total clears, no missed trash or skipping about. Everything and every mob has it's value in knowledge gained. He always does multiple mob pulls and works the crowd for the experience. Getting to know who all comes along with the initial target pull and what is needed to keep the crowd in a decent AoE zone placement so he don't inadvertantly pull a bunch more. Which has happened a time or two :)

Then there's the learning part of how to bring the casters into the crowd so the AoE reaches them as well. This usually involves moving the crowd to them. Casters are so reluctant towards movement. ( I can't imagine why) Kind of a strange thing here...first he pulls the crowd towards him to seperate them from additional mobs. But then he may have to take the crowd back closer to the wayward casters. So additional care is needed in the decision of wheather or not to include all or part of the casters, maybe let one or two wait until the main crowd is down. Which means, he has to be able to take damage from them. Just something else to keep in mind when considering how his bear will deal with these situations.

I think my point here is, in having Sol boomkin the instance first, this is my way of researching the fight and developing some stratagies. He gets to know the layout of the instance and the trash progression towards each boss. He learns about zones which are safe to openly nuke in, and where he needs to be extra aware of possible adds. He gets a feel for each boss and their abilities. He also learns when his magic spells are about worthless. (thank Elune for shapeshift!)

All this brings Sol back to the post title, Shattered Halls. You may have been wondering how that fit in. Well, yesterday Sol did the quest line for the key to the Halls, and of coarse, jumped right in. What a mess that turned out to be! Very different from all the other instances he's solo'ed. Sol actually bit the dusty floor several times, ok, maybe 8 or 10 times, lost count. Stubborn though, kept at it until completed, and forked over the 50 gold for repairs. Sol did really enjoy the instance though. Lots of different trash abilities, mobs a bit closer knit to each other along with other surprise packages. Each death he endured brung about several minutes of comptemplation of how to proceed. It would seem to Sol that Shattered Halls required much more thought than any of the other instances he's done. This is all good. He will use this as a personal benchmark when he actually starts tanking for a group. It'll be a while yet, but as far as I can see, Outland isn't overly affected from the Cataclysm, rather stable. So when he's ready for groups, Shattered Halls will serve the purpose quite nicely.

16 September 2010

The Thinking Druid...seriously!?!

Although it does not appear to be so, Sol does have his moments of serious thought about the conditions of his world. For several months now, the impending cataclysmic events have found Sol drowning in a sea of information, while cussing the reality that he forgot to pack his water breathing potions for the trip. Should have even taken along a few water walking elixiers as well.

Even with the literal e-reams of information pages available, the waters about Sol are rather murky and visibility is limited. What's this again? Int being swapped for spell power? Hit on gear going bye-bye? Mana becoming an issue again? My rotation is going to be flashed in the action bars for me? How long before I proc eclipse...how many wraths you say?

You get the general idea here. A whole bunch of changes to soak up. And the ebb and flow of that sea of information just keeps doing just that...flowing back and forth with needing to do this or that just to maintain a portion of our nuke abilities and remain a viable unique asset within a group. To sum up one general thought swirling about in that sea...Sol will get a couple new toys to play with, and just have to deal with the balance of the mess.

For certain, the theory-crafters will come up with a viable, working rotation in spite of what comes out in the wash. Thank Elune for that. Also for certain, there'll be a wave of gear-gemming-enchanting info eventually available. These will become the life preservers tossed out to the massively average pool of players trying to become better in a world of war (craft).

As near as Sol can figure out, the balanced druid seems to be getting more nerfs and probmatic areas than anything else. Hopefully, the waters will clear and calm themselves before the tide comes in. Sol is going to miss those days of Wrath when he could nuke down just about anything, whenever he chose to with whatever spell he chose to use. Eclipse? What was that? When Sol pulled a target, it would be dead long before an eclipse would proc, well before it could even reach him. About the only time he saw eclipse was when he would pull multiple mobs (5+) and toss in a couple of AoE's to take the whole mess down at the same time. Let's get real here for a moment...the average balance druid leveling and questing will probably never proc an eclipse, no matter how fancy Blizz has made it out to be. And those new toys druids get, well they pretty much don't appear that quickly. Sol remembers reading about them somewhere around levels 82 and 85. Perhaps some of this has changed, hopefully. Sol has been a little slack in his reading of late due to the dazed and confused state of his world under Deathwings' assualt.

Is there hope out there, somewhere? Will Sol's delicate balance between arcane and nature be his survivable asset after all? One can but tread water, wait and see. And hope that those invaluable theory-crafters continue to keep those life-preservers coming.

12 September 2010

OMG! 4.0 already?

Note: For an in-depth posting about this patch, visit Ice over at Druid Main.

So, I open up google reader this night and Ice's post jumps out of the page at me. I feel so not ready for this. It seems like I've only barely gotten a grip on how to best play Sol, and now this. Don't get me quite wrong though, I am excited. But with having to learn how to do so many new things with playstyle, rotation and such, I am sure I'll be quite lost for several days. :)

Anyway, Ice did post some rather useful advice, well worth reading. Now then, just where did I put all my notes about those new talent trees???

09 September 2010

Sol's recent pics

(click pics to...you know)

I really enjoy going solo (or attempting to) on quest kill targets that are a significant challenge. You know the ones. The elites or bosses, or simply those who happen to have 5 times the HP (health) you are running around with. Take this little wicked lady for instance, Sirana Iceshirek. It actually took me several attempts on two different days to bring her down. Three attempts/deaths came the first day when Sol decided to back off and re-think his stratagy. Several days later Sol found himself in the area and went for her again. The first attempt did'nt last long before she stomped him. On the second go around though, Sol finally got his act together and she went down quick. What a difference it makes when you take time to plan a rotation/attack, making sure you utilize all or at least most of your available assets.

And as much as I generally don't care for battlegrounds, I do enjoy some time away in Wintergrasp. I was away from there for a bit of time when I no longer needed the honor points, but started back up again with the intention of putting together my off-spec tanking gear set. I've found that the usual 'crowd' has changed quite a bit, many new players whose names I don't recognise. I've also found that Wintergrasp is no longer owned by the Horde 95% of the time. I think this may be down to about 80%, and during those Alliance wins, there is also a smattering of wins for defending the fortress, maintaining control in the follow-up battle. All this makes battle deaths that much sweeter, and Sol does get his share of deaths :) Allies still remain out-numbered, though not quite as outrageous as before. Perhaps due to many players just waiting around for the next expansion to go live. Besides, no matter what the numbers or deaths endured, Sol always leaves behind a trail of damage done, even if he spent time on a tower cannon.

And from Blizzard's official community site, we have seen the pics of the new Worgen bear/cat forms. Finally, something that actually looks a bit sinister and mean! I really did like these for a change. There are also some pics of the trolls bear/cat forms at the site.

One last pic for today. I fell in love with the staff Murmer left behind after his sudden demise. Talk about huge! I just had to have a SS of it for memory sake.
See everyone later, and have fun making war!

06 September 2010

Cataclysm-and why I don't...

Eons have passed since I last crunched numbers. Although I was quite good at it back then, I discovered that I really did not enjoy doing it. (and I do mean 'way back then') This is perhaps one of the main reasons why you won't ever see me posting about the new dynamics for moonkins and the effects all the changes are having on our rotations and dps. (Oh, and that eons back thing, well I had changed my major into the arts)

Now, there are plenty of theorycrafters out there in cyber-space who are quite good and can offer you all the current information you might be seeking about Cataclysm and the changes to your class. Even I have come to rely upon several whom I think are quite knowledgeable, and reliable. I'll even provide a short listing at the end of this post for you.

Like it or not, Cataclysm is still in beta form and will most likely remain that way for at least another two months. Of everything I've read thus far, the expectations for release are about mid-November. That leaves a lot of game time for the majority of players to enjoy, perhaps doing many of the things which may cease to exist come the expansion. And that is what I've been doing for about the past month now. Sorta-kinda-like your average Druid just running around experianceing old content he missed along the way. Sure, Sol could be working on some better gear and perhaps a new staff, he could be working on improving his pvp abilities (which I'm sure are a disgrace to fellow boomkins), but with all the new changes coming why not just sit back and enjoy the game? No matter what, the inevitable will come.

Sol is not alone in this journey, so to speak. I've read a pretty fair number of blogs where players are doing very simular things with their mains and alts. More often now, I am coming across new 'bucket lists' of things to do before Cata arrives. Sol don't really have a list of things to do, he just sorta falls into anything that happens to pop up during his travels. This is a quite enjoyable method for Sol, usually filled with some unknown surprise here and there. In the back of his mind, he remembers along the way to consider his kids (alts), picking up some heirlooms/BoA gear here and there, stockpiling some mats for their professions (to a point), and trying to fill up his rather small money bag. The gear and pvp experience will come in time, but there is much of the old world which will cease to exist and Sol would really like to know some of it before then. Besides, he still has to work on a tanking set of gear as well, so there are plenty of things to do.

I do tend to ramble on sometimes, it just sort of happens. The point here though is that Sol is not experiencing any of those summertime blues or lack of interest in playing. He is not so elite or pompous to claim 'having done everything', just because of some kingslayer title. Eventually Sol will get to that point I guess, hopefully remaining as humble about things as he is now. So I guess Sol's thinking about Cataclysm falls somewhere in the 'wait and see' neighborhood. The rest of the game is here now, is live, and quite enjoyable to play.

Here's the list I mentioned earlier, just some of the regulars I rely on:

Lissanna      Relevart     Graylo     TMR
Enjoy the game now!

05 September 2010


Yeah, the game is filled with them, we all know that. Just about anyone who has /2 turned on most likely gets a large dose of it daily. It is even more prevelant within certain forums (the infamous WOW community forums). Still, one can occasionally find the rare bit of information or burning question answered within that community, so weeding through all the asshatery and hateful trolls becomes a necessay evil to endure.

For example, some occasional worthwhile tidbits can be found in the Guild Relations Forum (GRF). Even if you're not a guild leader, sometimes a guild member can come across a solution/answer to a question they have. The GRF really isn't as bad as most of the other forums, it is generally self-policeing and trolls/asshats are kept to a minimum.

Then there is what I consider 'pulse' reading. This is where you scan the individual realm forums (usually your own), to kind of keep an informed pulse on the community you play within. It actually does help in gaining a bit of background knowledge into the mentality and personality of the more out-spoken players in your realm. As I'm sure other players do, I have two different realms which I play, so I'll browze those two realms from time to time.

Within my main PVP realm, I came across a particular poster which caught my attention with his subject matter, "The Greatest Ganking Guide Ever". Not just one posting advocating daily sessions of ganking lowbies, but he also included (part 2 and part3) for ganking sessions. His general opinion is: "Look here lowbies, here's the deal.....if you can't stand to be ganked, camped, griefed, or otherwise have your questing inturrupted, move to a Carebear server (pve server)" He also advocated grief-ganking (corpse-camping) for some of his sessions. The whole point here, is that he selectively seeks out lowbies, players which are considerably lower level than himself. (welcome to WoW World PvP). One commenter, only one, had the guts to tell this poster that he was a disgrace to his faction and offered to pay for his server transfer.

The interesting part in all this for me, aside from all the foolish mentality to laugh about, was that the poster actually offered one bit of reasonable thought as to how his ganking sessions were a benefit for lowbies. Reasonable, I suppose, if you're into hard-core world PVP. Here is his thought:

"You will NEVER be of any use at higher levels if you can't stand to be ganked, you'll never learn every single skill, what it does, how it counters, and how to time it perfectly with something else to keep yourself alive and get yourself out of bad situations."

Somehow, after all the times and levels Sol has been ganked, corpse-camped and one-shotted, the above thought seems to have escaped me. Even though it does make some logical sense in a round-about way. There is one thing though that Sol did learn through all this, and that was the stubborn persistance to get even.

There really is a couple of other decent reads over there, even though I don't advocate posting in the community forums. I do like the info one can find in the Achievements Forum. It does help if you're trying to get something in particular done. Then there is Beta Forums. Always interesting to see what's going on and being said about the coming Cataclysm. You have to have beta to log-in for commenting, but you can read anything else there just for whatever.

04 September 2010

Death to the Moonkin

Everyone enjoys relating their adventures and accomplishments in World of Warcraft, including Sol. At times, these high points consumed either a great amount of play time and/or expertise in playstyle. Whatever the accomplishment, it should be proudly announced and even talked about from the successors perspective. After all, it's YOUR accomplishment, YOUR success. It don't matter if amidst the 11 million or so other characters perhaps 30 or 40% of them also succeeded in doing whatever. The fact remains that YOU succeeded. The glory now belongs to YOU! And if you happen to be within Sols' world at the time, even if he don't know you, (which he probably don't), you've recieved his whisper of "Gratz!" as well.

Today though, Sol desires to talk about another little discussed statistic amidst his achievements, the one called Deaths. Not the funny ones like falling off the ledge, inadvertantly running into mobs hiding around a corner, or that sneaky dragon-??-elite that suddenly appears and proceeds to chew you up for an appitizer. Nope, today belongs to those more common everyday type world deaths from the opposite faction.

From Sol's current stat listings we have the following: 1,138 total deaths. Let's see, subtract the BG's, dungeons, falling-drowning-fire-lava deaths-duels, that leaves 1,026 deaths. Now here is where the math gets a bit confusing. "Deaths from other players"--826. Hmmmm? 200 unaccounted for deaths? /shrugs

Sol does get killed a lot, a whole bunch of times actually, from the Horde. He recalls being consistantly ganked throughout his leveling to 80. And so, the 1,026 figure seems about right to him.

So, what is it about these particular deaths that is worth talking about? I mean, so what? Everybody goes through spells where the opposite faction is out for your blood. Right? Sol is no different I guess, he dies just the same and rezs just the same. Maybe a little more or less than others, who knows. At this point though, Sol is going to toss the preverbial monkey wrench into this mess, and the name of that monkey wrench is "Honor". We can now subtract another 1,024 deaths from the list of ganker joys. That leaves a mere two (2) honorable deaths. These deaths are noteable to Sol, he remembers them well, although sometimes the why escapes him.

We must make note here that the 1,024 deaths came from 30 or so yards behind Sol, unexpected, and generally multiple times by the same enemy. (Guess once just wasn't enough for them) Sol don't see any real Honor in those. If you wish to be honorable in your killing, you go against your enemy head on. That is the difference in Sol's two memorable deaths.

The first came from the familure ?? level player who dropped down in front of me, bowed graciously, then one-shot killed me. Patted me on the back and sobbed before I could release, then went about his/her business. My attacker probably did'nt get any official honor points, but gained my respect for at least coming at me from the front offering a slight chance for honorable battle.

Number two was a bit more ingenious. I was fishing (farming) a small creek in the Basin and this guy on his drake dropped down and hovered in front of me. No signs of aggression, so I gave him a wave, he waves back, and continues to just hover there and watch me. Then I notice some little orange text come up in the chat pane. *insert player name- "comptemplates your early demise". I no sooner got this read and boom! Sudden death. One-shot, quick and painless. Still a bit sneaky in his tacticsl, but I gave him a point for coming from the front side.

For whatever reasons may be, these two deaths stand out in my considerably less than normal memory banks. What odd deaths to you recall? What stands out in your memory of general world pvp deaths?

02 September 2010

Soloing Instances

Being level capped for the moment, I like back-tracking a bit and going into previous instances solo. Although I usually have some sort of reason to do so, sometimes it's just for the experience and maybe an achievement. Today was one of those days where I had sorta kinda had a plan. Kara. Never been there and wanted to give it a go. I needed a key though, so it was off to Shattrath to run the key fragments quest chain. No problem, could'nt be any worse than most quest lines.

The first two fragments were easy enough to get, even though I had to run a seperate instance to get a key for the instance to get the first fragment. Minor side-track, but easily done. The second fragment was even easier, did'nt have to kill a single thing til I opened the arcane jar. (good stealth kitty) So far...so good. The problem came with the third fragment though. Turns out it was hidden within Tempest Keep, raid group required for entrance. *insert unsavory words of choice here* I solo things. It is a personal accomplishment I look forward to. The last thing I want to do is to attempt getting a group together for one lousy key fragment. I don't need the boss kills, I can live without the achievement, I just want the damn key fragment.

This is where I have strong disagreement with Blizzard's ways. It is my belief that if a level capped player wishes to solo older instances, Blizzard should not stand in their way of doing or attempting to do so, by requiring them to be in a group. Sure, make them run quest lines for keys and such. Or even add some odd quest to the line-up to allow a solo player to enter. These are 'old world' instances, pre-Wrath. I fail to see why a level capped player should be stopped from attempting to solo such instances. Yes, I know that there are ways around this nuisance, but finding someone willing to group long enough just to get you in to solo is next to impossible, at least on my server. Perhaps this is just the price I have to pay for soloing 80 levels with Sol. Perhaps I'll just have to bite the bullet and come into the reality that there are just some things past that I will not be able to experience.

What do you think of this? Should a level capped player be able to enter instances pre-Wrath solo? These are all old content, not really useable at level cap, (unless you pass it on to an alt maybe), so does it really make any difference to require a group?

Oh well, that's my little rant for the week. With Kara out of the picture for now, I'm off to try something else. I really do need to spend some time practicing my off-spec tanking, solo at first of coarse. Wouldn't want to get anybody else killed in the process :) Still need to get back into WG also and build up some sort tanking gear set. Hmmmm...bag space for extra set of gear to carry. /shrugs That's another story for another time.

30 August 2010

Lil' Buddy abandons me!

So, there I am in the middle of the basin working some dailys for my oracle friends, in particular, killing off a bunch of the puppy people. My little oracle companion decides the heat is too much and abandons me, shouting as he heads for the hills, "that one hurt, I'll be back later!" It's ok lil' buddy, I understand. As I'm standing in the midst of about 30 of those puppy people tossing out AoE's and self-heals as quick as I can. Dang puppies are rezing faster than I can loot and get away. Must have been 50 at my feet when I finally decided to shadowmeld and pop flight (get me out of here) form. I had looted what I could just before that, and what pops up center screen.......

Just what I needed to know since I just got done spending 2900g! *hangs head in disgust Heck, I only today broke 5k gold on hand, once again. At least my little companion finally showed up, after the battle. I think he was the smart one.

* * * * *

Thought I'd toss in a recent SS of self today, been some time since I did this and much of the armor has changed since last time. Finally broke that 5k gs point, and not looking too shabby at that. And I actually did remember to add the extra belt buckle and gem!
Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
"Keep yer feet on the ground"-area flight master

29 August 2010


Mostly just a few pics this time around. Showing off that Winterspring Frostsaber that took soooo very long tedious hours to get. Then there's the Colbalt War Talbuk, many many warbeads worth of rep grind. Added in are a couple of rares found along the way. Just never know what is going to pop up in the middle of your path. :)

Enjoy! Have fun working those achievements. ~Sol

28 August 2010

Sometimes, Elune smiles

I made a stop over at the AH yesterday to gather up another batch of mats for my gem transmutes. In doing so, I also made the ususal browze of available armor just in case something good might have found it's way there. Low and behold! Sheer luck or more likely Elune smiled upon me. But there sat the Professor's Bloodied Smock! This is a rare find as not too many ilvl 264 items make their way to the AH on my server. And when they do, the price is....breathtaking to say the least. I think our AH prices are so inflated that they border on the outrageous. (I've seen basic herbs like silverleaf jump as high as 10g a pop for example) None the less, there was the Smock. An item I most likely would not be able to obtain through any random pugs, and the buy-out price was only a mere 2900g! After I caught my breath and gave this some pros and cons thought, I pryed open my wallet and gave up the gold. /ouch! Now I just have to remember to add the extra gem socket, and gem, and I'm good to go until the next item finds it's way to me.

* * * * *

I cannot stress enough to any newcomer to World of Warcraft, to get out in the internets world of game related blogs, websites and forums. Especially those pertaining to your particular class. There is just so much information available, and truly helpful people willing to answer your questions that you will discover many ways not only to make your character better, but find yourself enjoying so many more aspects of the game. A lot of which you could easily miss out on by not taking the time to read about it all. By far, I am not the best example of a well-played class, but even I have made great leaps and bounds simply by reading much of what is freely available. Just in the past day of reading, I've gained knowledge of two assets available to me which have gone un-noticed all this time. So, you just never know when or where Elune will be smiling upon you. Sometimes those small things can make a world of difference for you.

* * * * *

Well, Sol is still grinding out some faction reps and farming some instances for gold value. (have to make up the 2900g expenditure!) He is also still busy in the off-time formulating the ground work for his guild, slowly putting all the pieces together to ready for Cataclysm. Sol has many visions for his guild, hopefully Elune will keep on smiling. Sol will most likely stop by in the next few days to talk a bit about his guild and visions. So if you would like to see a little background about it before then, stop by the guild website, Elunes Chosen. Feel free to ask any questions about the guild here at Moonkin Journeys.
* * * * *
Until we meet again...

26 August 2010


Approximately 27 hours over 4 days, the same quests repeated again...and again...and again...Sol finally got that Winterspring Frostsaber mount.

This was the longest, most tedious grind I believe Sol ever attempted, and actually finished without spending weeks or months just poking around at one. To remain focused upon one thing only isn't exactly within my nature. I accepted long ago that Sol would most likely never possess any of those fancy flying mounts, the drakes, netherwings, etc. So, this beautifully colored frostsaber now ranks number one within his stable of 13. One good part of this grind, was that all the loot vendored and occasionally AH'd added up to enough gold for the 80g required to purchase the reins, plus about 20g left over.

* * * * *

What with everything I've been reading about Cataclysm (scores upon scores of webpages), keeping up with all the news and changes coming is another project all together. I find much of it confusing to say the least, even though I find myself generally excited about all the new experiences forth-coming. One comforting thought lately is that when it does arrive, it will most likely be easier for Sol to double back into WotLK, finish his gear upgrades and gain more PVE experience. The thought here is that the majority of the elitiests and jerk-butts will have moved on and there will be a new community of players available. For a short time, Sol might even have a small advantage, hopefully.

* * * * *

Sol gave up the thoughts about attempting the ZG tiger mount, simply cannot get into there without a group status. He does solo farm Strath and Scholomance enough that the rare mount gods in Strath might favour him, might, maybe? He also decided to take a run through Dire Maul late the other day. Interesting place, he'll have to visit again soon.

* * * * *

One last note on Winterspring and the mind-consuming grind. While turning in the three quests and picking up the next run worth, Sol got himself turned about somehow. Probable all those up and down trips on Frostsaber Rock. Anyway, he took a fall off the high point of the rock. About died, under 200 hit points of life left. He said that being mounted was probably the only thing that saved him from certain death. Un-expected achievement though, "Going Down". Fall 65 yards...and live to talk about it. After all the times he's tried jumping off various high points, including Wyrmrest Temple, he got this one quite by accident.

Until next we meet..."keep yer feet on the ground!"

22 August 2010

Weekly Recap

During the latter part of the past week, I woke up those sleepy kids of mine and ran them through their next level, including that lazy city camping banker rogue. They've mostly been waiting around for the Xpac and new quest lines, which I have read to understand, have been totally revamped for the better. Some even say they are more story-line in nature, and I happen to enjoy such things. Back to the rogue though.

Oneshadow is not only different from my preferred spell-casting kids, he also comes with two gathering professions which were originally meant to assist his elder siblings with keeping the lower end stock of mats supplied as they moved upward. Sol figured that this was a good plan of action for him to follow, but now he must progress and not let the age gap widen too awful much. Right now, his closest sibling he assists is probably three times older, a blacksmith by trade, and with not much use for the copper and tin ores anymore. Hence, Oneshadow is now charged with stock-pileing what he can for any siblings to come along, and move himself into higher zones of mining to keep up with Netherone.

Kaimara is the lone female sibling, and kind of stuck in the middle between Netherone and Oneshadow. She is also kinda-sorta out of the loop for gaining any real profession help from her brothers as she chose enchanting and tailoring trades. Now, it's easy enough for her brothers to send her low level greens and such for dis-enchanting, and even some of the various cloths they loot for her tailoring. Beyond that though, she depends upon daddy to keep her leveling experience financed. Kai is still very much a "glass-mage", it don't take much for her to break down as yet so daddy still needs to watch over her more than her brothers. Her eldest brother, Bubblegumtwo (the rebellious one), is usually close enough in zone distance to protect her during those ugly horde ganking sessions. (a common occurance on a horde-heavy server) Just like her daddy though, she is a survivor and will make it. She is also wiser in the ways of the world and has learned well from daddy's experiences, so she will be all that much stronger.

And, just where the heck is daddy? Well, Sol decided, (in his ways of ADD/OCD spasmatic occurances), to grind out all the kill quests for that Winterspring mount. Somewhere along the line he found out that this mounts' quest line will no longer be available in the Xpac, and since he has collected an array of mounts (one from each home city faction, etc.) this particular mount has become his current obsession. In six hours, Sol went from being nothing to the Winterspring Frostsaber Trainer to 1/3 friendly. Quite an accomplishment for the old one. Sol now knows why he don't see any of these mounts around even though he's sure they are, the grind is a long tedious one.

Sol is also working on putting back a bunch of extra mats and gold for the future. He will probably sell off most of the transmuted gems he makes as he goes, keeping a small stash for Bubblegums' use (jewel crafting). He's also gathering up tourney heirloom gear for the kids. The elder three already have the benefits of some gear he's aquired, now he'll need to send the baby rogue something.

That pretty much covers the events of the past few days, except that Sol feels that there must be some kind of horde bounty on his head lately. Don't know why, but it seems that every horde in whatever area he's in just has to come by and gank him, numerous times. /shrug Such is life on Spinebreaker.
Sooooo got to have!

20 August 2010

Road Map(s)

I read a lot of different blogs and WOW websites for just about as many different reasons. I'm not a theory-crafter/numbers cruncher, so I read up on what I can from those who are, and not just from my own class specifically. Sol has developed and evolved into a better druid this way, not particulary good or great, but better.

Then there's the social and game news to follow up on. Plenty of blogs and websites to read here also. Some are quite well-known, some aren't, and some are really enjoyable and fun to read. Even with the 'fun' reads, I usually still come across something informative or note-worthy to meld into Sols' world.

I've noticed a bit of a trend lately in my reading list. Besides all the Cataclysm news which normally floods my google reader list, there's been more postings about personal player experiences and what people are doing to prepare their mains for the Xpac. Without actually being consious of all the possibilities, in these readings I've found that Sol seems to be following a sort of natural road map in this direction.

Over at  Druid Main: A Rep Grinding Masochist  I read about rep grinding. Sol has been into this since he dinged 80, I guess because it's easier to do now, or or more likely I probably just didn't see it as all that important at earlier levels of questing. Either way, taking several days to grind a particular rep for one reason or another is kind of like a personal quest for Sol.

Then there's the gold issues. A lot is being written about how important it will be to have a fair amount of gold on hand going into the expansion. How the cost of everything usually sky-rockets during the early months, etc. Gold has always been an issue for Sol. It comes and goes rather easily, usually sent off in lots to the 'children' for their training or profession leveling. Only on rare occasion will Sol buy something for himself that isn't on his need-this list. (like that 600g armored bear he got a month ago) Sol's gold mostly comes from quest rewards along with some minor AH sales, so he don't have a whole bunch of it. Right now, it's at it's highest amount ever, slightly over 7k. A comfortable amount for Sol, although probably not really enough to handle all the coming changes I've read about.

So now, the great quest for shiny gold is about to begin. Along with the stock-piling of mats, not only for himself and the children, but for the expected arrival of adopted worgens and goblins. Sol will also set aside some BoE gear from the dungeons and instances he solo's for the kids. Anything to make the leveling life a bit easier for them.

These are all things I've read about lately, and all are worthy of consideration and trial runs. Who knows what will come of it. I do know that there's no harm in giving everything a tryout now and then, and if it works for you, all the better.

13 August 2010

Stalled-grinding rep-etc.

Kind of like when the engine stalls out in your car. I was crusin' along with focus on gear, acceptable gs, mixing pve and pvp along the way. Doing the 25 dailys allowed for the gold, tapping into the AH market and all the usual things lvl 80's do I guess. Then it hit...engine stalled out. Don't know why. Everything just started to fizzle out in chunks. Even my alts are on vacation since they are still on this side of Outland and Cata will dramatically change their 1-60 leveling. So I decided to take a break from it all.

I have been reading a bunch of lore lately and visiting the 'old world' quite a bit. That get-away from Northrends' fast pace. So I popped into the Plaguelands and decided to grind out the Argent Dawn rep I've been needing for that title. Several days of quests, soloing Strath and Scholomance (mostly the latter), and in general leaving everything else behind. Got the exalt and title today, adding to the growing list of achievements. It felt good to visually see a new acomplishment flash up on the screen for a change. Hopefully the other three I've been working on here and there will succeed before the Xpac comes out.

I found a listing of realm servers by timezone the other night. Not that I'm considering a server transfer in spite of my usual frustrations on Spinebreaker, but in looking to find one in my own eastern time zone that was also fairly equal in Ally/Horde population. I browsed through the PVP servers, not much of a shock that most were Horde favored, but found a few that were relatively close in numbers. I decided to try something off-beat for me though and chose a 'normal' server to try out. I'm sure most know that normal servers are fairly PVE orientated, and that you can choose when to flag your self as PVP when you desire to do so. (BG's and such) The other little nuance here is that you can create both an alliance and horde character on the server. This has its' plus side for me. The ability to create and level both my balance druid ally and his horde counterpart in the same place. Hmmm...the wheels are grinding away again. The best of both worlds? Not only a local server, but one I can have ally and horde on equally? This seems good.

I started with my druid of coarse, Solthesecond. Right off, I noticed the increased number of new level 1-6 druids in the starter area. By the time I reached Dolonar, there was also quite a few 80's moving about as well. The over-all atmosphere seemed much more relaxed and friendly. People were actually being helpful towards one another. All this is quite a change from my original server. I've invested a lot of time in Spinebreaker and still call it home along with all its' challenges and quirks, it'll always be that way. But for now, I'm thinking that this new server choice will be just the "get-away-from-it-all" place I need to balance my inner self out.

29 July 2010

One of those 'Rare' moments...

During the coarse of the day, I try to include a general flight pass over various spawn points of the Rare Elites needed to finish off the exploration achievement. (the "Explorer" title came some time back) Sometimes, the extra couple of minutes has it's rewards.