23 April 2011

Blogging egg hunts...

Before I go rambling on about my own little world, you should know that the "Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt - round 2" is just about to get underway!

Kamaila, over at kamaliaetalia, has inherited and taken up the reins for this great blog holiday adventure. It all sounds like great fun for both bloggers and non-bloggers to enjoy. Have I mentioned that it's "Great?" So okay bloggers, head on over to Kamaila's post for info to enter your blog and other such things. Time is short, must do by midnight UTC Saturday.

As for myself? Well, I've spent the past week on one of the 'alt' servers playing around with a young dwarf hunter who was SV specced. He was a bit lonely, untill a younger cousin showed up in the form of a female gnome mage, who happens to favor engineering/mining over his skinning/leatherworking. Both are into their 20's now and romping through the same zones back to back. There really is quite a difference in how each of them approach the same quests, and I've found it interesting to watch this comparison play out. I might try to document their respective experiences on one of their future quests, but no promises on that. Although, it might be interesting in some ways.

Both of these young ones are on their own so to speak. No sugar-daddy to support them, no heirlooms, no gold or even decent bag space. I did hope to keep it this way, but I found it necessary to find them at least a little help from above. Enter the unknown Nelf DK. At lvl 58, she does nothing more than mine and herb the lowbie EK zones. The mining is meant to help out both dwarf and gnome alike. Obviously for the gnomes' engineering, and the dwarf since he'll be needing deep rock salt which can only be mined now. The herb gathering is strickly for additional income off the AH. There is a particulary good market for them on this server, even for the beginning Silverleaf's and Peaceblooms. So, hopefully, metal bars, various salts and decent bags will be coming in soon.

So that's where I'm at for this moment in time. Enjoy your holiday weekend, and happy gaming!

19 April 2011

After The Storm

The calm after the storm:

So, my last couple of posts were pretty much agitated rants, more or less. My only consolation in hindsight, is that they were about myself. Not about other players, game mechanics or the 'dumb*** blizzard' posts so frequently found around the blogsphere. It still doesn't justify the posts or make them any better in my mind.

It's maintenance day once again, and some speculate that 4.1 just may hit live this week since I understand it was marked as a release candidate on the PTR some time last week. Some pretty interesting stuff coming from what I've read out and about.

Anyway, I've spent the past several days playing around on one of my "alt" servers. I remembered having a young dwarf hunter on one, which was the original inspiration for Khrox on the home server. Slightly different though as his beginning spec was in SV. I just left that as it was thinking about comparing the differences of leveling the two since Khrox is BM and without a second spec atm. (although he is long over-due on making the choice) Since this young, lone hunter has no companions or sugar daddy to help out, it reminds me of those long past times when Sol was alone in the world. So, I gave him a cousin in the form of a female gnome mage to follow in his tracks, keep him company. She is leveling quite fast as expected, only one level less than him now and they are working the same zone.

One would think that this would produce a boring, repetitive questing experience. Two characters close to same level working the same zone. Quite the opposite though. Even with the same quests before them, each one does see the terrain and monsters in a different light. Each one has to approach the objective and fight from the stand point of their respective abilities and the capabilities of their pets. It's rather interesting to see these differences play out together within the same game time playing period. Whereas the hunter will send in his fairly reliable tanking bear and not worry about the possibility of an occasional add or two, the mage has to plan on fighting for herself since her water elemental is nothing more than a little extra dps at this stage. The hunter can work his way out of a pull suddenly gone bad with several mobs aggro'd. The mage...well...she's learning to master blink, freeze...and corpse run.

It's been an enjoyable few days away from the home server. The change of mindset, and gameplay altogether has also shed some knowledgeable light on a number of things. I don't think this will actually be of any help to Sol's issues, but I highly reccomend this sort of change up in game play for anyone looking to "take a break". And as a special treat, you'll get personal bonus points for experiencing two different classes in the same situations. Try it, you'll like it!

16 April 2011

Out to pasture?

Please Note! This is not a QQ post, just a hard look at the reality side of game preformance.

After Sol's rock-bottom, and I'm sure quite embarassing preformance the other night, I'm taking another long hard look at putting him out to pasture. Just let him concentrate on farming and supplying the kids with all their needs.

Things have changed over the past three months. Sol used to be a viable force to be reckoned with. Not ubers or even great, but viable. The last couple of months of Wrath found him to be at the top of the damage meters in Wintergrasp, while holding down the second, sometimes third dps positions. When ganked by a horde, he had a fair chance of walking away, or at least giving them a run for their money. And, he could nuke down the monsters and beasts long before they even had a chance to touch him. His preformance in the few random dungeons he ran in was fair, usually near the top side numbers wise.

Cataclysm changed many things. Although he finished solo leveling to 85 with ease, learned his eclipse and spell abilities fairly well, and actually geared himself properly with the availability of loot-quest-faction rep pve stuff, things are just different now. Taking TBP for example here; Sol can't even get through a few dailys without getting ganked a dozen times. And those lurker spiders he used to nuke in a few seconds? Well, even with the same rotation, they now reach him with 80% health and he has to push them back just to start the rotation over again. They get to him a second time; he casts barkskin and hopefully finishes them off at his own loss of 30% health and mana. So much for nuking beasts anymore :(

Last month at the target dummies in IF, Sol was averaging 6.5k, single target dps. Here's what Grim Batol looked like for him the other night: (Yeah I know, *Fail Druid is Fail*. I can hear it resounding in my head) *Edit* ok, I forgot to upload the screen shot--trust me though-dps barely broke 4k.

I spent yesterday quietly thinking of all this while leveling up Kaimara's enchanting. And will continue comptemplating the situation over the weekend. If I play at all, it will be on one of the several alt servers I keep hidden away for such times. In fact, there happens to be a very young dwarf hunter and gnome mage tucked away that could use some love. I know many people considered or even went ahead and switched their mains with Cataclysm. I think Sol's preformance the other night just really hit home and opened my eyes. I think I need to stop procrastinateing over this, and bring the hunter and mage to the fore-front. If you want to toss your thoughts into all this, by all means feel welcome to.

14 April 2011

LFD: Terribad? Let me tell you...

about my night!!!

Some of you may remember a while back when I mentioned my first Cata dungeon run. It went well, I did ok-middle-of-the-charts and I didn't get the group wiped. I was actually kind of pleased with it, and felt that I may do better than my Wrath experiences.

Fast forward to this late afternoon/early evening.

I had spent the day with my second spec of bear tanking, trying to teach myself the basics. Then I notice near the end of it all, my guild leader had logged in. Because of the many time-zone differences amidst the members, this is the first time I've actually met her and conversed a bit. (except for the nice in-game mail she sent me about my promotion out of the newbies rank) Lo and behold, there were three of us logged in and she decided to run some dungeons, asking for preferance to heroic or regs. She even whispered me and asked if I was geared for heroics, which of coarse I'm not, and know it. Anyway, I accepted her invitation, and warned both that I had only done one so far. A quick look at my bags said I was low on pots and flasks, but had enough mats with me to make some on the fly. Off I went to who knows where.

First to pop up was the Lost City of the Tol'vir. Unbeknownst to me, my slow and painful downfall was just around the first corner. What seemed like an ordinary pack of trash proved to be fatal. Somehow, I got feared or something of that nature, and was sent running. Instinct kicked in and I quickly shape-shifted to break it, turn and run back towards the group. (3 guildies-two pugs) So I ran around this corner to reach them, and guess what was around the corner waiting? Some boss-type thing I didn't see of coarse, which proceeded to follow me a couple of steps to the group. Which he promptly and efficently decided to totally wipe. The pugs are screaming for me to get kicked! Even I whispered my GL and said sorry, I'm not ready good enough for this. She promptly whispered back, "No! you stay." And then told the pugs if they weren't happy with us, they could go. A little bit later we get to this "crocky" thing, or so they called it.

Now, I'm a ranged caster for a reason. I like to stand back out of reach and just nuke away the best I can. Bad position choice though, I wound up with three other crocs nibbleing at my heels while I'm trying to dps the big guy down. *cast Barkskin* To no avail though. Half-way to kill, the internet gods decide it's time to dc me. What's a little add injury to insult at this point anyway? It took awhile, but we finally finished it and I was ready to run and hide out for a bit. No such luck.

My GL caught up to me and insisted I join in for another, and in spite of my better judgement, I was off for another try.

Enter: Grim Batol.....need I say more?

Two new pugs with us, actually quite friendly from the start. This time around both the GL and guild mate were sending me whispers. Letting me know things I should be doing, like get the adds first, then boss. That sort of thing. This was helpful, which I followed with all good intentions of being better this time.

It's kind of dark in that place, at least for me and these old eyes. I eventually relied on making sure I was facing the right direction, and tab-targeting. Then the internet gods paid another visit with a welcome back to DC time. Worked my way back into the dungeon, apologetic all the way. Had to ride a dragon back up to group and the guild mate met me there to make sure I found them. So, down the so called pavement I ran. Turned onto the bridge to cross it. Half-way across there's a big chunck of bridge missing on one side. Yep'pers! I found that hole and prompty fell to a horribly embarassing death.

*F-A-I-L* Yes, it was the worst preformance Sol ever provided. All the things I ever hoped to avoid while in a dungeon group, came true this night. Every single one of them! Sol has had a dream for quite some time, of becoming good enough to be a part of a raid team. After tonight though, I strongly suspect that this is really a pipe-dream. A wisp of smoke which just wanders the air currents into nothingness.

On the bright side, have I mentioned how much I love the guild I'm in? If it were'nt for the patience and encouragement from my GL and guild mate, this was the kind of night I would just have walked away from the game altogether. At one point, my GL whispered me and said, "Everybody makes mistakes. It's just a game, it's not real life." I love this guild. Actually though, I love the people I'm getting to know in this guild.

Now, if I can only get better at this Druid thing.

11 April 2011

Maintenance + Professions = Break Time!

Sooooooo...it's once again coming up on that Tuesday maintenance day, and I'll say this, I REALLY need the break this time! I've been totally obsessed and tunnel-visioned with Kaimara and Khrox's professions beyond control. To such an extent, Kai has forgotton how to quest in her fire spec, and Khrox spends all his time with just some dailys and farming. Not a pretty sight for either of them.

It's hard to say which has been more obsessed than the other. Khrox with his leatherworking, or Kaimara with her enchanting. Both have been going through their respective problem areas, although I think Khrox has faired better so far. Although he's had skinning since like day one and stuffed his bank to over-flowing with various leathers along the way, he didn't enter the leatherworking profession until he dinged 65 (might have been a little later than that). Easy-peasy, he thought. Bank full of leather, back-up supplies with one of the bank alt brothers. No prob. Khrox didn't read any of the profession guides, he just jumped right in the thick of it, and thick leather became the first casuality where he had to go back and farm, farm and farm some more. In spite of his stock piles, each progression of leather meant even more farming. Yesterday, he was 3 skill pts. short of 350, and spent most of today farming mats and checking the AH for other supplies needed to make those stinking 3 points. Now, the concentration and focus is on Northrend. /shudder! He's 74 now. Has been skill capped for some time in skinning, but has to wait for that magical level of 75 to start skilling that up again. And yes, Arctic Fur is high on his list. (not to mention the rare/exotic pets he's still camping)

Kaimara's enchanting. It was so bad for such a long time that she was on the edge of abandoning this profession. This sorry state of affairs came to an end fairly recently though, since daddy Sol had joined a guild. He enjoys his membership there so much, and the Moral Officer is such a great person, that both Khrox and Kaimara have been invited to join as well. Our Moral Officer took it upon herself to send along bunches of cloth and DE fodder for Kaimara to work with. This has proven to be the medicine Kai needed, and she is now well into bringing her enchanting skills up to level. Her other profession is tailoring, and she has always excelled there. Able to craft many speciality bags that are seldom seen in the AH, and keeping everyone else supplied with the stock Netherweave Bag. Tailoring is great. It provides her with a modest and steady income from the AH.

So, what is daddy Sol up to lately? Pretty much nothing. He's farming herbs for flasks, fishing and cooking to help the guild out with several achievements. Still comptemplating his caster abilities and strongly considering switching over to his feral bear side. It has nothing to do with the recent "Call to Arms" dungeon thingy and all the hull-a-balou going on about it. Sol is just of age now and is looking for that special spark to set him on fire again. Joining the guild is perhaps the best thing to happen to him since Cata became live. He really enjoys helping people out, and there are lots of other friendly and helpful members.

Well, this little misfit family batch certainly hopes your own maintenance day break is a good one. Have fun everyone!

Don't forget to check out this weeks' Shared Topic at Blog Azeroth! "Weird gaming habits?" Suggested by Akabeko, you can find his post over at Red Cow Rise.

09 April 2011

Where to go - What to Do?

Ahhhh! Another Saturday morning. The usual thoughts are swirling around those floating fragments of my mind, much like those floating rocks in Netherstorm Khrox keeps reminding me of. He has a couple of dailys in his list that keep him visiting the nether reaches, plus his on-going hunt for some rare chimera. Sol just leans back in his comfy chair and shrugs off the innocent travels of his kids. At times, it certainly seems like they have no concerns over the conditions of Azeroth these days.

As he sips his morning coffee and settles a bit deeper into his chair, a knowing "hrummpph" becomes audible. Those kids are in for a rude awakening when the full force of the Cataclysm rears it's life-altering head. Regaining his original thoughts, he wonders about where to go and what to do in Azeroth today.

The world has been buzzing for a few days now over the dungeon finder changes the game gods have tossed out recently. Sol's second spec happens to be centered around tanking bear, although he hasn't really developed that side of himself to any extent. Is it really worth all the efforts and work to do so? Is the dungeon group finder really any better than the times of Wrath? And as the Azeroth community at large goes, well, according to BBB, the offerings (bribes) of the game gods just don't cut it. And then there's Lodur over at World of Matticus speculating about this Call to Arms: Dungeon Finder.

Such is life these days in Azeroth. Sol has been comtemplating his standing in Azeroth of late. Well, actually a couple of months now. Just can't make up his mind what to do. Vidyala, (Manalicious), has tossed another log into the fire of his thoughts though with this interesting and colorful post: "Who's the Boss?" *colorful*, as in Screenies! Rounding out this morning's wake-up coffee, someone new in Sol's magical travels of mind reminds him that there seems to be a bit of RP'er in everyone. Admitted or not. Akabeko, over at Red Cow Rise shares thoughts about his alts knowing each other.

Well, the coffee mug is empty and Sol thinks it's about time for a refill as he works his way towards the Azeroth portal.

Enjoy your journeys today!

06 April 2011

Shared Topic Time!

Kamalia suggests: "do your alts know each other?" "I've always considered that my various characters know each other. Each one of them may not personally know every single one of the others, but they are all connected in a web of family and friend relationships...If your characters do know each other, what kind of relationships do they have, and how did those relationships come into being? If they don't, what functions do your different alts serve?"

I love this week's suggested topic, and will have difficulty trying to keep it from becoming a wall of text. Not that I'm an RP'er, which I'm not. More because, all my characters in game have their distinct personalities, habits and 'family' traits. In past posts, I've spoken of the many alts as "Sol's Kids." Perhaps a bit of background here will help, so join me after the jump and get to know a bit about the family.

02 April 2011

Shared Topic: Blog Azeroth

Recently, I decided to join up over at the Blog Azeroth community. I've been going there as a visitor for some time now, and really like their approach to shared topics, so took the plunge and joined.

The past weeks' topic was "What is your favourite race in WoW?" Suggested by PVE Rogues.

I've been playing WoW for some 4-1/2 years now, probably gone through most of the races. Certainly all of the alliance ones, and a few horde side. It is difficult now to choose one particular favourite race. Back in the beginning though, it was the Night Elves that captured my attention right off. What little lore and story I read about them, the magic and shapeshifting druids got me hook-line-and sinker.

My first character, and only one to level cap to this day, is a night elf druid. In spite of all the alts to follow during those years afterwards, Sol remained, still is and always will be, my "first love." He certainly aged through all the muck and mire of this ol' noobish gamer. :)

The array of alts to follow Sol the first couple of years grew in numbers to a point where they were completely un-manageable and out of control. The quest of sifting and sorting slowly came into being. Those that I just couldn't seem to play with any form of agreeable nature found their way to the infamous D-E-L-E-T-E button. It seemed that ranged casters held a better surviveability rate than most others.

With the coming of the Shattering and eventual Cataclysm, things have become much more refined. Although I certainly don't consider myself any sort of loremaster, I do really enjoy much of the lore and history of the different races and this plays a fair part in my alt selections now, as well as their class. The somewhat recent addition of Khrox, a dwarf BM hunter, has led me down that dwarven road of lore and I've taken quite a liking for them since. Sol had previously gone through all the Twilight Highlands quests, which probably sparked the initial interest. He just loved doing the wedding chain between the two clans, and their personalities can be quite humorous at times.

Then their is the human mage, Kaimara. Now, as humans go, there is nothing overly special about them beyond fast leveling and the usual human natures. I never took much of a liking to their King Varian, and have forever prefered Ironforge over Stormwind. Mage-dom was on my mind at the time though and human seemed the quickest way to go. There since came along with Cata, the Nelf mage. Both have survived the paring knife though and it's really Kai's abilities and personality which keep her hanging around. In contrast for the humans though, there is a priest which has since been relagated to banking alt. (that would be "priest", as in "Mana-Hog!")

If I really had to put my races into some sort of favourite listing, I guess it would kinda sorta go like this, ATM: Night Elf >Dwarf >Human. With me though, all things are subject to change at any moment. (Orc lore has been rather interesting of late :) )