Archive for August, 2010

A Word: On Lore

Posted in A Word, Lore on August 31, 2010 by Kor

Lok’tar friends.

I’ve been reading wow.com for quite some time now, and while I don’t read every article they publish, there are some columns that I follow with great interest. One of those columns is the Know Your Lore column, written by both Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney. I’m not sure when the column started, but over the last few months I’ve read every single one of them. They’ve covered lots of stuff, from the current politics of the races of both factions and the upcoming changes in the next expansion; they’ve looked at some of the Old Gods, the Titans and some of the new race/class combos coming in Cataclysm. They’ve even done a few Tin Foil Hat editions of the column where they speculate on specific lore topics and conceive massive conspiracy theories surrounding them.

The Lore of the game is one of the main draws for keeping me interested in the game. The phat loots and internet dragons are cool and all, but without the Lore behind them, they are really just ones and zeros. The Lore isn’t just the reason why of the game however, its intricate stories that can be completely unrelated to each other (aside from being part of the Warcraft universe) or they can be intricately interwoven stories. These stories bring the game world to life, make them more than just pixels. As someone who’s levelled countless alts through the game, roleplaying my characters as part of the story is what keeps it fresh and interesting to me. While that in and of itself doesn’t actually change whether or not I have to kill 10 boars, it gives meaning to the mindless grind. Some of my characters may take pleasure from causing the boars pain while they are cooking them alive or chopping them to bits, while other characters may realize that the sacrifice of these animals is necessary to feed their people and may kill no more than is absolutely required.

This type of roleplay isn’t the renfair kind, and it doesn’t even have to include other people, its just my way of weaving my own characters into the greater stories that make up the Lore. Some of my characters have spent most of their careers as soldiers on the frontlines battling the other faction, while other characters have never raised arms against them, focusing instead on ridding the world of the evils that plague it, or plotting their own supreme domination of that same world. It’s this kind of living story that keeps me so interested in the game and makes me want to roll alts so that I can approach the stories from new and unique directions.

If you’re not interested in the Lore of the game, I’m sure there is something equally as compelling that keeps you playing or coming back, but I would recommend looking a bit closer at the Lore as it can open up a completely new aspect of the game. One of my fondest memories of the game was exploring the Plaguelands shortly after having read the book about Tirion Fordring, and then finding him in game. There are so many ‘cool’ moments like that out there just waiting for you to discover them, and I’m guessing there are going to be a metric crapton more come Cataclysm.

Stay Hordecore,

Fikkle

PS. If you didn’t get the hint, go and read the Know Your Lore columns at wow.com, they’re well written, interesting and provide so much more meaning to the game.

PPS. I’ve been blogging from my iPhone lately, which is great and all, but linking is harder than from my laptop so I apologize for the lack of links.

Wrath Retrospective from an Altaholic

Posted in Alts, Discussion, Leveling, Lowbies on August 31, 2010 by Kor

Lok’tar friends.

Despite my absence from the blogging world, I’ve still been around the world (of Warcraft) for most of Wrath. I took two breaks from the game for a few months when I’d gotten burned out or bored, but I’m back for now, for the foreseeable future and I’ve missed blogging.

When Wrath hit I had planned on making my shaman my new main. He had just hit 80 prior to the Scourge invasion event and I was having a lot of fun as enhancement. After the expansion was released, he levelled quickly to 80 and then he was all alone. Most of my guildmates were taking their time or at least weren’t able to level as quickly to 80, so I had nothing to do. I tried to get into a few heroics and do some Naxx raids, but I didn’t have great gear, couldn’t craft myself any and all in all felt bored. Since the dungeon finder didn’t exist at the time, I had nothing really to keep me occupied and so I went and did something I hadn’t done before, levelled Alliance.

At the time I had some recruit a friend time left, so I rolled Dwarf and Human paladins and started dual boxing on the Alliance side to experience their levelling. That lasted for a while and then I just got bored. That was when the first break from the game came for me. When I got back, everyone else had finally hit 80 and our guild had done some recruiting. I finished levelling my Horde Paladin to 80 so that I had a second 80, and he became a tank. The guild had become quite vibrant and wanted to start raiding, so we scheduled some Naxxramas runs and downed the first wing up to the big spider thing. As we could never really kill her and due to the RL commitments of most of our guild, our raids eventually died out and people slowly left the guild for other activities.

After that, I went back to some alts. I levelled a Death Knight to 80 and had a lot of fun pvp’ing with him as unholy, back before the great DK nerf and the circumcising of Unholy Blight. My mage, Druid and Rogue got played on and off, all ending up around 74. I also took some time and levelled my hunter to 80, after which I never played him again. I have come to find the hunter class doesn’t interest me at all anymore, and while I know there are avid hunters out there, it just isn’t for me anymore. At this point, I had four separate 80s, the DK, Shaman, Paladin and Hunter.

From there, I started a warrior. I had been spending all of my badges at the time to purchase heirloom gear (instead of epics) and I had a full set of the plate gear and the 2-handed axe. I started doing battlegrounds with WSG and found that I was pretty powerful as a warrior. I took to defending the flag some games, running the flag in others and just fighting in mid in others. All in all, I got quite good at it and found that I really enjoyed it. From there, I continued to level almost exclusively through pvp, hitting 80 just in time to pick up the Brewmaster title last year. After that, I did some character shuffling. My BElfadin became a Draenei so that I would have an 80 on the Alliance side and I made my human paladin a Belf so that I would still have a Horde paladin if the mood struck me. I finished levelling him to 80 next, while running the Argent Tournament dailies every day on several characters and I burned out again.

Thus came about my second break from the game during Wrath. I was out of the game for four or five months with that break, but when I came back, the dungeon finder had been implemented and things were getting easier to gear up characters at 80. I started back up with my new BElfadin, figuring I was going to make him my new main, but quickly found that I gravitated back to the warrior. Over the last five months, I’ve gotten my warrior’s prot gear up to 5k GS and his pvp gear up to 5.4k GS. I joined a raiding guild for a while (back when I had time) and got to do a bit of ICC and TOC (10 mans). I made it up to Rotface / Festergut and took down one of them (not the slimes one) and then had one attempt at Putricide before I had to leave the guild due to time constraints and RL commitments.

Since then, I went back and finished levelling my poor Dwarf Paladin that got left in the lurch for most of the expansion and he hit 80 about a month ago, which brings the total count up to seven level 80s, three of which are Paladins. Lately, I’ve been doing a number of things to keep busy, including a 2v2 arena team with the only other regular member of my guild (at the moment), Karag. I also started some new characters, a Dwarf Warrior, who hit 30 the other day and a Tauren Warrior, who is about level 22 right now. I have a Human DK at level 60, who’s only being levelled to 65 so she can be used as a Tailoring and Enchanting bot for my alliance-side server. So the current list of characters that I have on the go is:

1. Kor, level 80 Orc Warrior, Prot/Arms. He is my best geared character, most progressed and for all intents and purposes my main at the moment.
2. Jurithas, level 80 Blood Elf Paladin, Ret. He is my next best geared character and while I have some Holy and Prot gear for him, I really only play him as Ret.
3. Brak, level 80 Orc Shaman, Resto/Enh. Brak’s enhance gear is very, very near to what he has had since he hit 80, meaning its crap nowadays. I don’t have the patience to gear him out, and I find the dual-wield mechanics annoying. He’s got some T9 level Resto gear, but its still a work in progress when he does get played.
4. Martog, level 80 Orc Death Knight, UH(dps)/Blood(tank). My DK is wearing mostly Deadly Gladiator gear as he hasn’t really been played in a long time. He’s a miner/herbalist so I use him as a farming toon mostly. I enjoyed playing him as unholy, but I find what Blizz has done to that tree just doesn’t make it fun anymore, so he almost never gets played aside from farming.
5. Antos, level 80 Draenei Paladin, Prot. This was my first (Blood Elf) Paladin to 80 who has tanked some of Naxx and Sarth. Once he moved over to the Alliance he basically stopped getting played, and he’s still sitting idle with no plans for the near future.
6. Grimshot, level 80 Orc Hunter. This was my main for the second half of BC, but as I mentioned above, he isn’t getting played, nor is there any plan to play him in the future. He’s currently on an inactive account and will stay there for now.
7. Bannock, level 80 Dwarf Paladin, Ret/Prot. This is my newest 80 and he’s not on the same server as my other 80 alliance. He’s running dungeons as ret at the moment but I’m purchasing prot gear for him as I intend to make him a tank when he can put together enough of a set to start.
8. Fikkle, level 75 Blood Elf Mage, Frost. This is my first character I ever truly levelled, and my first toon to 70 back in BC. I haven’t seriously played him since the SSO came out, but he might get bumped up to 80 so I can see if any of the changes to the class interest me. So far, I’m enjoying what Frost has to offer, and I might check out the other specs after I hit 80 to see if they interest me.
9. Dwos, level 74 Forsaken Rogue. This is my rogue. I have no idea what I want to do with this character. I don’t really like the playstyle of the Rogue, but I don’t want to up-and-delete him. If I get really bored before Cataclysm, I might hurry him to 80, but even then, I don’t know that I’ll ever play him again.
10. Zaels, level 74 Tauren Druid, Resto/Feral. This is my druid, who was a pvp server toon while levelling. I don’t really know what to do with him as I put him aside for long periods and then come back to him, each time deciding I want to play as a different spec. As a result, his gear is a hodgepodge of greens that make his dps horrible and his heals mediocre. I have wanted to try tanking as a Bear, but I can’t seem to get the hang of feral.
11. Achran, level 30 Dwarf Warrior, Arms. This is my new baby Dwarf Warrior who’s up and coming. As I currently enjoy the warrior class the most, he’s getting levelled to be my de facto main on the Alliance side.
12. Caugruk, level 22 Tauren Warrior, Arms. This is my baby Tauren who I have no need of and am only levelling because its fun to play lower level warriors and own stuff. I log him in when I get bored with higher level content and I just want to feel overpowered and kill things.

All in all, I’ve experience much more of the classes in Wrath than I ever did in Burning Crusade, although I found that some of the changes Blizz has made haven’t been that interesting to me. I like playing as a BM hunter, but I don’t find anything about hunters compelling in Wrath. The same thing goes for Death Knights. I liked the playstyle that I had back when I first started playing him, and now I’ve found that it isn’t fun anymore. On the other hand, I really enjoy playing Ret Paladins and Arms Warriors. Ret is probably one of the few specs I enjoy that is really strong. Arms is great for pvp, which is what I use it for, however its weak for pve, which bothers me. Come to think about it, I think I like playing all of the ‘weak’ specs of every class I play, except for Paladins. Arms Warrior (weak PvE), Subtlety Rogue (weak PvE), Frost Mage (weak PvE), Enh Shaman (not necessarily weak, but has issues), BM Hunter (weak for everything except levelling), UH Death Knight (not necessarily weak, but not as strong as the other trees). I wonder why that is. Am I that much of a masochist or have all those specs just been scaled back because they were really popular at one time? I don’t know, but I’m guessing it’s the self-destructive explanation.

As far as the future of what I plan to do for the rest of the expansion, I’m not really sure. I may decide to level characters, get achievements or simply take another break. The problem with being Fikkle is that what I chose to do today, may change tomorrow.

Stay Hordecore,

Fikkle

Fikkle found being dps by moths for his balls?

Posted in Alts, Guild, Leveling, Mage, PvP on August 31, 2010 by Kor

Lok’tar friends. Well I doubt anyone still has us in their feed readers at this point, after months of defunct blog status, but I think I might make a reappearance to the blogosphere soon. For a while I didn’t think I had much to say. Now, I still don’t think I do, but I miss writing, so there it is. Today I’m going to talk about my mage. I’ll probably do a post about what I’ve been up to over the wrath expansion soon.

So I got back to playing my mage last night for the first time in I don’t know how long. The toon, Fikkle, hasn’t been my main since mid-BC and hasn’t received any kind of serious playtime since the Shattered Sun Offensive began.

I levelled him a bit sometime since Wrath was released, as he’s level 74 (now 75), but the only reason he got any playtime at all was so that he could learn to port to Dal, which is useless for my other 9 characters on that server / account, but was done for my friends.

Lately, however, I’ve grown nostalgic a bit about him. He has just under 10k lifetime honor kills and is a bag making and gear chanting machine. But I’ve never had any desire to play him after I started to seriously level alts and discover the other classes. For whatever reason, last night I decided to pull him out of mothballs (Merciless Gladiator mothballs, no less) get him into some heirloom gear and go start levelling. I did a bunch of quests and some Arathi Basin pvp, as well as a random DTK run.

When I logged him in, I realized he was Fire spec’d, which is odd, since I haven’t played him as fire since he was level 50. I decided to go back to Frost for pvp and survivability and oh man was it ever a great choice.

During the DTK run the tank and the other two dps died to black bad on the ground and the three mobs turned toward me. Blizzard and the other roots in frost saved me and allowed me to survive and kill the mobs. The healer tossed a few heals, but that was about it. The same thing happened again later and once again I solo’d them, with a few heals.

Now I’m not saying that Gnomer said was wrong about the whole fire/frost/arcane arguement, but I do know for a fact that if I had tried that as fire I would have been the proverbial bug on the proverbial windshield. Frost’s survivability and control is wickedly powerful and so I think I’ll stick with it, at least for now.

That being said, there was that one Rogue in AB that really wanted roasted steak on a stick for dinner, but was forced to settle for tenderized mage on two daggers instead. I still contend that rogues are far too powerful. Nerf rogues. Make them dps with chopsticks… Toothpicks… Dental floss! Yep, we have a winner. Rogues dual wielding dental floss in the next patch. Blizz make it happen, and don’t worry, you can claim the idea was yours, I totally don’t mind.

Stay Hordecore,

– Fikkle

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