Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh, Hai There!

It has been a very blah week for me. I think I was trying to come down with a cold, but I seem to have beaten it back. Thank God! I hate colds. Anyways, Rusty has been slamming through the levels.

Here's a recap:

Matt and I stopped grouping together almost as soon as we hit Hellfire Penn, mainly because he's a greedy little cracker, but also because our schedules never really did mesh that well. After hitting 64 and clearing HFP, I went to Zangar and started questing. Here is where our paths really diverted, Matt skipped Zangar entirely while I got the quest achievement, but he did hit Terrokar which I skipped. After finishing Zangar I was 66.5. Damn, I needed a good bit of xp to hit 67 but I really didn't want to go to Nagrand, it has always been one of my fav zones, but the kill quests have been murdering my xp/hour on the past few toons I've taken through there. So, I ran into Blade's Edge Mountains and did a hand-full of quests there until I hit 67. At 67 I moved into Netherstorm and quested there.

Now, this is where things got a little interesting. After I spent some time leveling my Deathknight, Coffinnaylz (there is a pattern developing here), I noticed that if I moved from Outlands to Northrend at 68 that several quests would not be available to me, their minimum level requirement was 69, and that, while the Over-Powered Deathknight could breeze through mobs and quests 2-3 levels higher than her (yes, a be-chick deal with it), theses quests would be too much for the warrior to handle. I decided to stay in Outlands until fully 70.

I finished Jame's amazing leveling guide just after 68, crap. I had, basicly, two full levels to go before Howling Fjord, and I was without the advise of my leveling guru. I forged ahead in Netherstorm, doing quests the best way I could until I had nothing but group quests left. At that point I had had enough of Netherstorm so I hopped a bird to Shattrath and ran down to Shadowmoon Valley. Oh. My. God. I blasted through 69 in a little over 3 hours. Not only where the mobs all 67-68, so they died at an alarming rate, but the first quests at Shadowmoon Village were all in a very compact area and extremely easy to do. I dinged 70 almost by accident, I wasn't aware that I was that close to leveling until I saw the golden swirly and heard the double 'Ding' sound (one from leveling, the other from getting the level 70 achievement).

Hell yeah!! 70!! woot! /happy dance

Since then, the leveling has been... a grind, to be honest. But, that's to be expected. Right now I'm getting about 1 level per day, which really is pretty impressive, to me at least, in Northrend. Right now, I'm 73 and 72/150 quests for Borean Tundra which is a good sign that I will hit 74 around the time that I finish off the zone and move into Dragonblight. Matt, unfortunately has to work today and spend quality time with his girlie tonight, so he won't see much leveling time at all today.

The new hotness: Deep Wounds.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

And, we're back! Back in HFP, back to gaining over 100k xp per hour (unrestesd tyvm), and back with 300+ herbing under my belt. Oh yeah, sexy man. That's me.

As I predicted, Firebloom was a bit of a cockblock. Thank God for Purple Lotus, that's what really helped me get through Tanaris and into Feralas where I found a plethara of Sungrass. After that it was a quick trip to Felwood and the skill points just rolled in. I'd say it took me a good 2 hours of running around to go from 209 to 300, but in the big scheme of things that's a blink of the eye, so I'll take that and put a mark under the 'W' collumn.

Back in Hellfire I picked up right where I left off. At the end of the night I had hit 63 and I'm up to 44/90 quests complete for the zone, so I know I'm going to hit 64, and maybe even 65, before I start questing in Zangarmarsh.

Matt, on the other hand, has just left me behind. So much for 'dedicated questing buddy', but it's all good, I totally understand what's driving him. In the end, though, I think I'm a better leveler, so we will have to see how this leveling race of ours goes. =)

Plan for tonight: Be done with both Hellfire and Zangar before I go to bed! Yeeeeehaaaaww!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crow for Breakfast

So, yeah... Apparently I can't take my own advise. Last night sucked. It was awful, and it was all my own fault. Around level 10 I chose Mining/Blacksmithing for my professions. This turned out to be a bad idea. So, I dropped Blacksmithing and picked up Herbalism basically for Lifeblood (I linked the rank of Lifeblood that matches the level of herbs that I should be picking, 300+ skill) which, when combined with Cannibalize, means that I will hardly ever have to stop and eat, or bandage, ever. That's great in theory, but since I'm a screw up, things did not go as planned.

Screwup number one: I tried to level both Herbalism and Mining at the same time. BIG mistake!! Herbing and Mining have completely different skill-up ranges. Every 10-20 skill points the herbs can go from orange difficulty to green and this is true almost all the way through the progression of herbs. This forces Herbalists to continuously move from zone to zone in quick succession, since herbs are inherently more plentiful than mining nodes. Mining, on the other hand, is, in essence, the opposite of Herbalism. There are only 10-15 different kinds of minerals in vanilla wow, but each one has a much much wider range of skill ups, 50-75 skill points to go from orange to green and each type is spread through out many different zones. To do this while leveling at a normal pace is great, it's awesome! Trying to power level both at the same time, though, is fucking awful!

Solution number one: Focus on one skill at a time. Since I picked up Herbalism for Lifeblood, and since is such a cool spell, I have chosen to level it first. I am up to 209 skill points (Firebloom) and well on my way to 300.

Screwup number two:
Before I logged on last night I went to the offical WoW forums and looked up the power leveling guide for all professions. Where I failed was when I read that there were some Kingblood, I was at 120-something skill points at the time, in Swamp of Sorrows so I bebopped on down there... and was sorely disappointed. After 30 mins of riding around I had grabbed a grand total of 4 Kingblood spawns. This was bullshit. So, I stormed out of SoS and rode north to Burning Steppes, through Blackrock Mountain, over to Thorium Point, and finally to Kargath in the Bad Lands (Flight Point gathering) where I hopped a bird headed for Arathi. After landing in Arathi I headed south to Wetlands. 30 minutes later I was back in Arathi and had hit my 190 skill points. It was glorious. Thanks to some lucky picks off of Liferoot and Goldthorn I hit 205. Time for Firebloom. Which is where things start slowing down again. Firebloom is found in only two zones, one of which is Tanaris, but it's such a big zone and so spread out that it will just take some time to get the skill points. After that the progression is pretty easy: Firebloom til 230, Sungrass (Feralas) til 250-260, then hit Felwood and just farm that place out til i hit 300 since there are a lot of different herbs there of a lot of different levels.

Solution number two: Don't be a 'smart guy' and try to jump too far ahead, it will only waste a lot of time and cause mountains of frustration. Also, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and go with my own gut feeling. If I think to myself that I should just go ahead and go to Wetlands and farm there, then FUCKING DO IT. Jez.. what a noob.

So, yeah. Last night was a complete and total bust, and it was my own damned fault. -sigh- Oh, well. I will just have to suck it up, and forge ahead with a new plan, one that doesn't involve power leveling two professions at once.

The plan for tonight: Level Herbalism with my new game plan, then once I hit 300 head back to HFP and get back to doing what I do best, leveling. Rawr!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Friends in Low Places

I had two different conversations with two unrelated friends of mine, Moondaisey and Thorren, and all of us have come to the same conclusion regarding the new Achievement system. It seems, to us, that the Achievement system has become a double edged sword. While it is rewarding people, in a very real way, for their accomplishments, it is also a bit of a conflict between the two camps of wow players: the serious and the casual. (Note: I did NOT use the term 'hardcore'. I think that term is vastly overused and it doesn't describe that kind of behavior properly at all, so I refuse.)

Basically, the two conversations boiled down to this statement, which both Moon and Thorren said, "If it doesn't involve an achievement, or an instant reward of any kind, then some people will flat out refuse to lend a hand." Moon and Thorren had different experiences with this attitude, but it affected them both the same way. I've had to deal with this myself, several times. It seems to us that people are either too driven by achievements that they push everyone around them to do things that are too difficult for them, or are just flat-out not fun, or they scoff at the idea of doing anything that doesn't involve an achievement credit in some form or another. Moon's situation is the former of these two. Her guild is advertised as a casual guild with a friendly family based mindset, the guild leader is a mother of two herself, but there is an element inside of their raiders (only enough to fill a 10 man raid) that have been pushing for content and demanding performances from the raid that Moon and her counterparts aren't comfortable with. There is a lot of guild drama being brewed up by this 'serious' group, and it makes Moon very depressed that she is being called useless and a bad player raid-in and raid-out. That isn't fair to her or any of the other casual players that just wanted a place to hang out with parents like themselves and do some raiding, see some content, get some shinys, and have a good time while doing it. Is this situation brought up solely from the achievement system? No. But, it sure isn't helping calm the 'serious' people down, instead it's feeding their drive to push forward. My simple solution: the 'serious' raiders need to leave. They aren't in the right place, and that will only serve to make them, and everyone else around them, miserable.

Thorren's situation is a bit different. We are guildmates but he only joined about 3 weeks ago, so he's still adjusting to the personalities within the guild. Given that, he still fits our guild. He's driven, he's a cut-up, he's a good player all-around (a little undergeared maybe, but that will be solved soon enough), and he's been long-time friends with several of our members so that is always a plus. A couple of days ago he wanted to screw around in Storm Peaks by ganking the Alliance that were harassing the Horde there(on Mal'ganis the ally are all bloodthirsty little bastards), but when he asked in guild all he got were crickets. He asked again and got told, point-blank, that counter-ganking was a waste of time. The guy who said that was grinding Sporggar rep for the achievement at the time... A waste of time? And grinding an old content rep for 10 achievement points isn't? Having fun teaching the vicious ally of our server a lesson and having some cheap laughs is wasting time? Since when?! Now, that is sad.

I personally love the achievement system. It's fun, it's silly, and it give me something to do when I'm bored, like grinding Sporrgar rep, but I won't refuse to help a guildie, or join in for some good ole' fashioned juvenile fun, because of one. That's taking the mini-game too far. That is when someone takes things too serious.

There just isn't enough silly, laugh out loud, 'laugh so hard you cry' kind of fun being had in wow atm, at least for me and my friends. Which is why I love playing Rusty so much. I frog-hop around Hellfire Peninsula charging, rending, whirlwinding, bloodthirtsting, and (as of last night, woot 62!!) Victory Rushing my merry way along. Everyone I know is so focused in on goal after goal, achievement after achievement that they have forgotten how to ... just be a fucking goofball. And, at times I'm the same way. Mostly, that's when I play the Hunter. I think it has something to do with trying to keep a certain reputation for being pro. I have to ask myself, though, "Why?" Why can't I be the goofball that has done a lot of amazing things instead of the stony serious dude whose pro and don't know how to laugh? To hell with that, I'm way too much of a tard to be that guy.

There must be more fun in wow!
This is my call to the rest of the World (of Warcraft)!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I had two Milestones pass me by in these past couple of days. Naylz finally finished off the Fool For Love achievement(that's four down and three to go until this is done), which was one of the major roadblocks over the weekend between Matt and my plans for leveling. Which brings me to the other milestone: Ding 60, baby!! Yeah! Woot woot! Whew, that was a whirlwind experience. In 10 real world days we went from 1 to 60. Our /played, I didn't look or take a screen shot when I dinged sorry, is somewhere around 1 day 15-20 hours. That's unreal. Matt put it best, "How the fuck does anyone level without R-a-F?", and he's right. I saw a multitude of people leveling on their own, most had Heirloom Items, much like Rusty, but most were still leveling solo.

If you have never tried the amazing Recruit-a-Friend service, please go find a friend, one of your recruit the other, go start some lowbies, and experience this for yourself. I sound like a car commercial announcer...

But, yeah, Recruit-a-Friend is awesome. 'Ya know what else is awesome? TITANS GRIP! rawr!! Especially when there are 2 Bloodied Arcanite Reapers involved.

The handful of Guildmates that were on when I announced my choice in weapons lol'd at me. I was a bit confused, why would they laugh. Then one of them pointed out that I now had two bind-on-account axes and that I had basically wasted 65 Emblems of Heroism. I didn't respond immediately, instead I sat and thought about what he was saying for a moment. Yes, it is true that Rusty will only have full use of his Duel Reapers for 20 levels, but my guildmate was missing the point entirely. My choice to buy the second Reaper was not based off the idea of being able to use it for 80 full levels. I did it because it's fucking FUN. It's a gas to just look at those two bad boys criss-crossed over my back. I laugh every time I charge a mob and before I can finish getting a rend up and switch to berzerker stance I have 80 rage and the mob is at 30%. It is ridiculously overpowered, it's silly, and it might even be truly wasteful, but it's fucking FUN. If we aren't playing this game for fun, then what the fuck are we here for? That is why I've been staying up to 2 or 3 am every night for the past week and a half, why Matt and I have each others AIM, Yahoo, cell phone numbers, and work schedules, why I have been reading 10 and 15 levels ahead in Jame's Horde Leveling Guide so that I know, ahead of time, where we will be going very very soon, and why I've been dreading raiding nights because I'd much rather be on Rusty having fun.

The Warrior is an amazing class, the Heirloom Items are overpowered, sure, but they are loads of fun, and the Recruit-a-Friend service makes leveling from 1 a minor inconvenience as opposed to the soul crushing grind that it used to be. I'm having a blast and I can not wait to hit 80! =D

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Wrinkle In Time

Well, Healdizzle/Matt and I did hit 50 this past weekend, 54 actually, but that's very lackluster compared to our goals. We wanted to hit 60, Matt wanted to be able to transfer the priest to his regular account, and I wanted to get Titan's Grip!!, but that didn't happen. :(

The Reasons: Saturdays are always hectic for me and I got home late, also Saturday was Valentines Day and Matt has some "quality time" scheduled for him and his main squeeze, so that cut things off a little short. Then, on Sunday, Matt had to work til after 1 and I wasn't feeling all that great because I had desided to try out a little pvp with Rusty, seeing as 49 is a perfect level to pvp at for a while, and had stayed up way too late the night before. We finally got all of our ducks in a row and started questing in Un'goro, amazing place for questing in general and it was made even better with R-a-F, when my real life best bud and his fiance called and wanted to hang out. They wouldn't take no for an answer.

I had a mental timetable for this 'loss of leveling time' set up in my head:
1 - Go have dinner at Huddle House
2 - Drink a cup of coffee and shoot the bull for a bit.
3 - Go back to their appartment and chill for 30-45 mins
4 - Dip out, go back home, and continue leveling with Matt
2 hours tops.

Yeah... It didn't go quite like I planned. As it turned out my buddy and his fiance weren't wanting to hang out with me just for my witty banter, insightfull outlook on life, or winning personality. No. What they needed me for was manual labor. The fiance had brought one of her fathers old tv's down and they wanted to set it up in my buddys bedroom. This was not just a simple 'grab the other end and let's go' operation either. No, of course not. We had to move large heavy peices of furniture, clean the room, have 3 arguements (one of which left me alone in the house while they screamed at each other in the front lawn), push, pull, lift, carry, and strain before we could even touch the tv. I was not happy. I had been used. This will not happen again.

I am currently two-fold pissed off. I got used by my best friend and in doing so he, and his girl, cost me valuable levleing time with my buddy Matt (who is a spazz at times but he is just as dedicated as I am to get these toons leveled). So when I am next asked, "Would you rather spend time with us, or play with your nerd friends in that damn game?" my answer will be a resounding and definative, "Yes."

The goal for tonight: depending on Matt's schedule we will hopefull be able to buckle down, finish off the 50-60 run in Western Plaugelands/Eastern Plaugelands and then hit Outlands.

Sidebar: I wonder how long it will take for his priest to get transfered over to his regular account? He will have to do that before we can hit Outlands because he was the recruitee and he did not buy Burning Crusade for the Priest account (I can't blame him).

Titan's Grip, here I come!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Bump in the Road

I tried an experiment a couple of days ago. I speced Rusty Mortal Strike, grabbed my Bloodied Arcanite Reaper, pushed Healdizzle through the Org gates, and started questing in STV. We ran around smashing things for about an hour and a half and dinged twice, which, for us, isn't that great. After logging off I did a mental post-mortum. I realy liked the synergy between Improved Charge and Tactical Mastery, but even with all that instant rage and burst it doesn't really compare to the overall superior dps I get from duel-weild Fury. Which is what I switched to yesterday when we went questing. Matt, that's what I call Healdizzle, even noticed the difference right off the bat, and he's a bit dense.

I'm sure that we will hit 50 today, 55 if we really push it. I'm just hopeing that a lot of the quests for Western Plaugelands are availible, because if they are we will rip and tear our way through the 50's in no time. 60 here we come!! Shake and Bake, baby!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A History of Violence

This is my second time leveling a warrior. The first was on Gorgonnash(us) - Alliance. Sadly, I had to abandon that character at 62, but the experience of playing a warrior never left me. Now, it is quite possible that I am a victim of nostalgia and that my memories of playing that character are vastly overexagerated, but I don't care. I had a blast playing that Dwarven warrior and I am having just as much fun now playing my Undead Warrior. There is a very real sense of ... peace that I get when I am playing my warrior. As contradictory as that may sound it's still very true. There is something calming to me when I Charge a mob, switch to Berserker Stance, and begin ripping its skin off. Perhaps that is a sign of mental imbalance... Oh, well.

There are some differences, very noticeable ones, between Rustynaylz, my current warrior incarnation, and Naylz, retired Dwarf warrior.

One: Thanks to the implementation of Heirloom items Rusty is much better geared than the Dwarf ever thought of being at these lower levels. As seen here.

Second: A friend of mine and I are using the Recruit-a-Friend service to level our toons. He's playing a priest, so as the levels are coming fast and furious he is also keeping me topped off at all times which means zero downtime. This does raise an interesting question, but i'll get into that later.

Third: Everything I know about being a warrior, which admittedly isn't all that much, I learned while leveling my dwarf, so there is very little guess-work as to how to play my class. This is all 'old hat' to me. Example: As soon as Rusty hit 20 I went duel-weild fury and never looked back. Where as when I was leveling the Dwarf I tried leveling as 2 handed arms for quite a few levels. These are the kinds of experiments and mistakes that I have avoided on Rusty, and it shows. While it's true that a R-a-F team could, literally, auto-walk and aut0-attack their way through levels at an alarming rate, we are currently gaining an average of 10 levels a day, give or take a few, depending on time allowed and knowledge of good questing circuits.

All in all, I have to say: I'm glad to be a warrior again!