Sunday, October 19

Over Achieving and Solo in Scholo

I wasn't terribly thrilled with the achievement system when it was in the works pre-3.0. Not that it's not a good idea, I was just kinda meh about the whole thing.


The last few days I've been checking my Achievements log pretty frequently. There weren't many that got retro'd. And the stats pages are seriously messed up. So I'm looking at, say, my gold per day (and then peeking at my currency tab) and thinking "Damn, I gotta run dailies."

I also looked at how lame my rep is with most factions. It's a great "hey, you never did this even though you said you'd go back and do it" reminder/nag. Plus all the stuff I actually did do, but never got credit for. My dungeon boss kills only go up to Cleefy??? Oh, c'mon. What am I? Level 20 again? :P

The neat part is, most of it can be done while doing other stuff. For example, I need to farm up lower level gear for Dark Clan's guild bank and my alts. Well, I can solo all those dungeons now, and yah, I'll be making a point of smacking the crap out of any bosses on the Achievements list. Twice.

Lately, I've been doing the three-things-at-once thing in Scholomance. Early in your Level 70 career, this is a good place to go to guage your progress. As you improve your gear, this instance gets slightly easier each time. At some point, it stops being a good measure. But for awhile, if you can solo Scholo in under two hours, without dying, you're doing pretty good.

One of the things on my list is finishing my Argent Dawn rep. I love the Argent Dawn and I'm thrilled silly they'll be appearing, as the Argent Crusade, in Northrend. But I still want that Exalted with the original. Scholo is a great place to grind out the rep. (Do Strath if you've got a couple of friends along.)

It's also a great place to pick up the odd gear piece for Neveron, my holy Priest at Level 55. Sure, she'll have to go in ST, DM, BRD, and Strath herself to finish up the BoP bits. But she'll go in pretty well geared up to start. And she'll probably level high enough to completely skip Assfire Penninsula. Blah!

I get rep, gear for an alt (and plenty to drop in the GB), and a step toward another Achievement!

Now all I fear is grinding out the VC and Gnomer runs for cloth to turn in for that Abassador title... gah!

Maybe I'll turn on the new low level quest option and run around naked with the lowbies doing quests... at least there's a story to go with the grind. :P And another step toward World Explorer!

Achievements. Genius or Evil Blizzard Plot to keep us playing?



PS Bored and Wasting Time Idea: Strip naked (no armor, no weapons, no nothin') and start the low level quests in an area you've never played. You can only wear gear you pick up from loot while questing and you can not spend any gold. Blast from the past! Call it Retro Rep Leveling. :P

Note to Blizz: Better underwear options. Sheesh!

Saturday, October 18

Finally! Warriors Get An "I Win Button!"

Actually, they get two... and half. But more on that in a moment.

The patch is pretty awesomesauce. Now that we're several days into it, I'm still having fun playing with the new stuff. Just seeing that many bank slots open up was pure joy! Sure, it won't last. I'll fill 'em up with junk pretty quick. But it's a win for pack rats.

After the long load, I ran straight to Stormwind Harbor. Fantastic. Lots of space. But not terribly useful at the moment. There's cannons and big war boats, but nothing you can play with. Hopefully they'll slowly add a few things here and there to give a reason to go down there more often. I'm thinkin' a market or bizaar place where players could rent stalls to sell their made wares. Wouldn't that fun and chaotic? :)

Then, of course, I trotted over to the barbershop. (They couldn't have picked "stylist?") After spending 45 minutes in there, I ended up with the "Tomboy" short hair that looks really cute. That lasted a few days and then back to the frizzy/layered look I've always had. It's gonna be fun to be able to change occasionally, specially since there hasn't been a lot of clothing options lately.

We need more like stuffs like this. I'd like to see a wardrobe similar to the vanity pet thingie. You could stick all your non-stat clothing in there (preferably with a way to convert stat havin' items to non-stat items cause some of the leather and cloth armor looks awesome). Tailors would get a big boost being able to create "civvies." Jem crafters could make jewelry. Why can't I have a belly button piercing? Ya know? Inscribers could do (temporary) body tattoos. Can you say Tramp Stamp of the Month Club? All that, of course, ties in the marketplace idea, as well. And all of it could be stored in a wardrobe you access from any inn. Fun!

My Holy Priest, Neveron,) took up Inscribing. This works out great with all the low level herbs I've been stockpiling. She's not up there yet, but she definitely is going to have an easy time of it. Herbs are easy to get. And Inscribing is all kinds of fun. She made scrolls that teleport the user to Shat and several armor scrolls to stick in the guild back. Win win win!

I also got the nice little Human surprise of Every Man (Woman) For Himself (Herself). Bye bye PvP trinket. Humans get to load an extra stat boosting trinket in that slot now. And as an Herbalist, I got a free heal. It's not terribly useful because it's not a big heal, but it has already come in handy a couple of times. And when you use it, pretty flowers grow all around you.

Then I went to the trainer, trained up and put in all my talent points. I didn't pay much attention, just stayed in Arms mostly and spec'd straight to Bladestorm first. Then I went back in and filled in anything that looked fun. Can get serious about specs later. It's boring and time consuming. Over all, though, there's not really anything bad for Armsie-types.

The only horrible things I've encounter so far: Shield Block is on a one minute timer now. Suck. Find the asshat who did that and beat them. In the picture there, I'm waiting for our team to knock out the horde FC. I'm in defense mode. Shield Block may run for ten seconds and be instant/no rage, but when the horde came for me, I last about 4 seconds. No way it was up for ten seconds. Really need the old Shield Block. I might have last 5 seconds. :P

The other thing is that it feels like I'm taking damage faster in PvP. Whether this is the lack of having Toughness, or because other classes are hitting harder, I dunno. In PvE stuff, it doesn't "feel" as bad, but then again I'm definitely killing 'em faster. So that could easily be that they just aren't getting the chance to hit me. Dunno. Have to wait and see.

So, let's get to the goodies for Arms Warriors. :) This is all VERY first impressions kinda stuff. I' don't even have a threat or damage meter installed. This is just how stuff "feels."

First off, all Warriors can now pop thier big cool down abilities - Retaliation, Shield Wall, and Recklessness - every 5 minutes. That's our half-a-I-win-button. Most Warriors rarely used these. You always had the "save-it-till-you-need-it" nag in the back of your head, so you never pressed the button. I rarely used any of them except Shield Wall. Maybe Recklessness in an end-boss fight if the AoE attack wasn't going to be bad. All three got a nerf bat to the noggin, but it's not too bad and it's definitely worth relearning to use them. Five minutes ain't nothin'.

Second, is Execute. OMG. Before, this was kinda an I-Win-Button, but you really had to work at it to get there. Just getting the enemy down to 20% wouldn't do the trick. You had to time it out so you had enough Rage to make it worth it. Or wait until Rage built up. In a boss fight that was fine. Coupla white hits and you're there. PvP it was a lotta pure chance. If you had to wait two hits, swinging at 2.8 seconds, before you smashed Execute... well... you aren't gonna make it.

Now? It's on a proc. Thanks to Sudden Death, you get a change to proc this any time during a fight. And believe me, when it lights, you hit it! Like the Fist of Angry Tauren! It's gonna be one of the primary Arms Warrior attacks from now on, I'm thinkin. When this and Wrecking Crew proc at the same time: Big fat piles of Ouchie! Arms Warriors are still way too proc dependant, but stuff like this makes it worth waiting for them.

And the big lotso win?


This is so much freakin' fun it's sick. Sick sick sick! "You die, she dies, eeeevvvveryone dies." (Name that reference. Ha!) After getting all spec'd out, I went up to the Western Plaguelands and popped into Scholo for a test run. Where before I had to time and pull pretty carefully, now it's saunter on in, aggro, kill 'em all, wash, rinse, repeat. It's brilliant.

In fact, Arms Warriors are now full fledge multi-mob killers. AoE in a can. Pop a can a whoop-ass on 'em delicious. You've got Cleave, Whirlwind, Sweeping Strikes, Retaliation, and Bladestorm. Chain 'em all together and the body piles quickly grow enormous. I watched three horde warriors gang up, run into a crowd of Allis at Stables in AB, and unload a Bladestorm blender at the same time. It was amazing how fast everyone around them just fell over! Wicked!

The downside, if there is one, is that most players are putting Arms Warriors back on their kill 'em first list. Throughout Burning Crusade, most ranged classes got buff after buff, to the point that they could safely ignore an Arms warrior for a few seconds because of the slow swing time and being buffed up with various shields, stam enhancers, escapes or self healing. They were getting a bit uppity. :P

Not so much now. Most casters figured out fast that Arms Warriors are a much bigger threat to them now and focus your ass fast. The first time they get hit with a Charge, Mortal Strike, Execute combo and eat it before they can even cast, they get a little trigger happy when they see you coming.

Which reminds me, the only Glyph I like so far is the Charge one. Surprises the hell out of Hunters and Frost Mages who have gotten Charge/Intercept range down to a science. Then suddenly you're in their face from way farther out than normal and it's panick time. Unload Bladestorm on them and it's all kinds of havoc. Yup, they're gonna focus ya. Hard.

While I'm thinking about it... Shammy's got a new blow-back ability all melee fighters will want to watch out for. It sucks. It's sneaky. It's a cheap shot. It's highly effective. (And probably highly amusing for the Shammy.) The trick is, they'll stand with their back to a cliff or the edge of a tower. They know that melee fighters are going to try to run through them and get into their backs. Then they simply toss you off the cliff. Ya, I discovered that the hard way. :P

The counter to it is to keep the Shammy between you and the cliff. When they panic and use the ability, Intercept and unload on 'em. It's a gimmick that won't last long as people get more experience with it (kinda like Priests using mind control to run you off a bridge). In the meantime, let 'em try it. You get to hurt 'em while they stand there and wait for the opportunity.

Blizzard has gone a long way toward doing what they intended to do, IMHO, at least as far as Arms Warriors go. Playing and popping your abilities is now a lot more situational. You can get by just fine on your old rotations. Yah, MS doesn't come up as fast, but it does have much nicer damage. Overpower is not only better because of procs, but still an absolute necessity. Even more so now. And good ol' Whirlwind is still quite effective. All will continue to be staples of the spec. But to play really well, and to counter all the other class's abilities, ya gotta use the new stuff to good effect when it's proper to do so. Imagine the fights Blizz can design now for Wrath and beyond.

Fun stuff!


Saturday, October 11

I Love Noobs!

Do you remember signing on to World of Warcraft for the first time? That sense of wonder? That sense of "I have no idea what I'm doing, but I love it?"

I do.

I think that's why new people to the game don't bother me at all. Who cares if they don't know what's going on? They're having a blast and they're experiencing WoW for the first time. What an amazing feeling! The sense of adventure and the unknown, playing a warrior because it's fun, and not caring if you're "doing it right." Just doing it. I love that.

I'm feeling a little bit of that as we get closer to Wrath of the Lich King. I can't wait to get to Northrend and have no clue again. I can't wait to explore areas that I don't know backwards and forwards. I can't wait to be creeping through the forrest at night, sword ready in anticipation, and get wigged out at the sight of a Level 8 bear. :D

For all the crap they take, being a noob sure is fun. I wanna be a noob again.

On release night, I'll go through the horrible load time and jump the on the boat with the rest of the entire server population. I'll put up with the disconnects, sluggish realm response, and I suspect, realm queues. But I won't be that one that power levels to 80 as fast as possible.

I'll be the noob that runs around to every NPC to check them out before taking my first quest. I'll be dressed in grays and greens and my quest log will be completely empty. I'll be the dummy that carries two swords and specs Arms, and stands in the auction house constantly to get a matching armor set, regardless of whether the stats work or not. I'll PuG the first dungeon and it'll take forever. I'll ride directly into a Horde base. Oops. I'll fall off something. Probably twice. I'll spend a ton of gold on crap I don't need. I'll level herbs/alchemy/fishing/cooking/first-aid the hard way by trying to figure it out for myself. I get lost a lot. I'll spend a lot of time in black and white.

And I'll love every moment of all of it. :)