Nagrand: One Rotten Apple Spoils The Bunch

The last zone that I haven’t reviewed yet is Nagrand.

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After tense, dark Spires of Arak – Nagrand is soothing right from your entrance here. Even if the first thing you do is come across a ruined caravan and a dying pesron from your army. Well, you come across this a lot: when they send you to find someone, he’s most probably already dead or dying.

Nagrand is all about lush valleys and slopes. You rarely come off the grasses, and even those “grind-me-twenty-bear-asses” quests seem like a rest. You just enjoy the ride!

Oh, by the way, the ride. Nagrand presents you an opportunity to either saddle a tank and just burn away the quest areas until it’s broken (and its capacity is usually enough for entire quest hub, no less!) or be The Cavalry and fight on the mount’s back! Needless to say, that the latter is the best option for Warriors, Paladins and Warlocks. I’m a REAL KNIGHT, mom! But NOT MONKS. Roundhouse and other kicks are just not animated, so it’s like *swoosh* *swoosh* – nothing happened, but enemy’s dead.

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Mounted hunting and skinning is a mere pleasure anyways. Woof-woof!

The quests are diverse and epic. You fight at the Ogre arena – a sneak peak into Highmaul raid, you penetrate into Burning Blade orc clan.

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There are some very nice side quests including goblins and podlings, all being a comic relief. And Goblin Porn exists, you got your proof here!

Then there’s Warsong clan and these excellent wolf riders! They roam the roads and even attack your base! It really gives an impression of the most lively zone ever. You fight through their camps and eventually storm the citadel – being Alliance, it’s your beloved Yrel by your side (=^_^=) (=^_^=) (=^_^=)

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– I’ll bryng you to justice, MONSTYRRR!

And then it’s aaaaaaall spoilt. By Throne of Elements, no less. These blobs send you on the most brutal grinding mission with lowest drop in Draenor. And sneaky bastards Nobundo and Drek’Thar gladly help them.

With thousands of elementals and pale orcs and orcs and void demons attacking you, you are SO relieved when this leg of Lore achievement is over. And you DON’T want to replay it with alts, but you have to – at least for the gear.

So, exactly this whole questline of Throne of Elements and roundabouts of Oshu’gun is the ROTTEN APPLE.

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Well, at least I like the part in the cave and inside Oshu’gun
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Actually this story is peaceful and nice too.

But when you’re done with the questing, you are happy to return to Nagrand again. My hearthstones are bound here, and the sole reason is:

HUNT

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Patch 6.1: Hilarious Video And My Thoughts

I was laughing like hell all day for this – please do and check it out.

Speaking seriously, I think these are nice little tweaks for the game. And we will get Blood Elves at last, Ilmari all happy.

The major mistake Blizzard made is releasing the new raid dungeon apart from this. If they came together, all the whining would be moderate. New raid, and new BE models, and Twitter, and selfies, and jukebox, and a new legendary follower – sounds much better.

I;m a bit dissappointed that Tanaan is nowhere to be seen and no new storylines are presented (I’m a lore maniac, you know!). But with my army of alts I still have Highmaul to LFR and then Blackrock Foundry, save legendary ring chains. So I have plenty to do, and won’t be bored.

Still the video is VERY good and makes its point xD

Garrisons: Next Expansion?

I know, I know: it’s probably not the best time to talk of next expansion, as it was not even announced yet. But I want to meditate a bit about the “personal place” issue – what it will be like in the future.

Warmill

The Aspect of Emotion 

Before Pandaria, you were a seasoned adventurer who saved the world, but when you entered some cozy house or posh decorated hall while doing quests – you may have told yourself: I want to call this place home. You were a hobo. You had to carry all your belongings with you.

So, the whole story started in the Valley of Four Winds. Blizzard gives you this farm which doesn’t only require doing household CHORES but which is more, it becomes actually YOURS. You fill it up with domestic life and decorate it with trees and furniture, and suddenly you know that it’s your place with no one running over your crops. You know that you can do some wash up and let your clothes dry here in the Four Winds while cooking something at your personal steamer and reading a book in YOUR OWN bed :=)

At Frostwall or Lunarfall Garrisons, it’s both more and less homely feeling. You definitely feel more protected behind these walls, you know that each and every person here knows who you are and reveres you, you run around the grounds while bossing everyone and giving away orders, but… if you think twice, there’s no personal corner for you. You either sleep in Barracks or in a Tavern. Again, you’re a hobo, though a respected one.

  • The future of “Farm – Garrison” in the next expansion as I see it from emotional point of view: it is very important to have your own place where you return every day. But it’s gotta be PERSONAL and HOMELY. You must have your own bunk bed in your own hut (and a customizable one too – mind the races not factions!).
  • And it shoudln’t be overcrowded: after all, you’re the lone wolf type of adventurer. When you go further, what will all these followers and workers do without no one to give them orders? Probably become drunks and form gangs, pillaging Draenei and Frostwolf Orc villages. 

The Aspect of Customization

Farm lacked it – like at all. Whatever you did, you got the same orange tree, the same furniture, the same animals in the yard.

In Garrison, you can choose what and where to build and which guards will there be. But you’re obliged to have a Herb Garden and a Mine. You’re obliged to run a full base of many buildings. You want something personal, but you end up in a traditional Alliance or Horde city. Like the guys who came from portal carefully listened to what you told them and then did like the were used to anyways.

- “Listen, I’m a Tailor, so could we please put here a Tailoring Emporium?”
– “Okay, a Tailoring Emporium – 1 piece. Mine – 1 piece. Herb Garden – 1 piece…”
– “Wait, wait, wait! What Mine?”
– “Oh, but you can’t do a base without a mine and a herb garden. We never built one without a mine and a barracks and a townhall!”
– “I – don’t – need – it. Got it?”
– “Aye, Commander. So, Mine – 1 piece, Herb Garden – 1 piece…”
– “*sigh* Mine it is…”
– “1500 gold please for your Mine”
– “What?!”

  • So, as I see it: the next expansion’s “Garrison” consists of:
  • My own shack (Gnomish or Trollish or Elvish – depends on my race). A place to crush at. A totem and skins for Tauren, a shack with gadgets for Gnome etc. No one there: no followers, no thralls and varians, no aide-de-camps. 
  • A pair of grounds for my Professions – like Profession shacks. If I’m Herbalist or Miner – ONLY then there should be Herbs or Ores income. Slaughterhouse for skins – only if I’m Skinner. And no more extra stuff. The good example maybe the Outposts: there’s only 2 buildings, a Tavern and a building YOU chose.
  • In other words, this place shouldn’t mix up the functions of a big city and your home. At your home, you get busy with your professions and have a rest. In a big city, you trade, meet people, get quests, and well, go adventurous.

What do you think? Would you like to have your own special place in the next expansion and how do you see it? Or you better return to good old hangout in capital, go rampaging somewhere else?

Skins And Furs: Filling The Barn

One of the most frustrating things about Garrison that I was complaining about is the skins/furs income. The problem is: as long as you can gather herb/ore literally from under your feet, it’s unfair for Leatherworkers and Tailors that collecting THEIR resources is harder.

Now I changed my mind.

Last week I had to go out of town for a couple of days, and I spent the last hour in the game to charge all my workshops with orders before leaving.

It’s All About Time

So, as clearing up a full Lv 3 Mine takes you approximately 4 minutes, it appeared that capturing beasts at Nagrand doesn’t take you much longer, however it may seem.

When I set off with my leatherworker Chitsuro to get beasts for Lv 3 Barn, I prepared for like 15-20 minutes of running around. Actually it took me 5 minutes to pile up the stock of 26 cages (maximum Barn capacity). That is 13 beasts to aggro (you know that you can capture one beast twice, right?). If not for the trap cooldown, it would be even faster.

When I came home after 2 days, I found that my leather stock is so full that I may not worry about leathers for like a long time. And suddenly my one and only disasterous profession (Leatherwork) looks very good and I manage to do some gear for my toons.

Mind you, it’s without severe grinding. 5 minutes, and you’re good for 3 days.

Isn’t that nice?

Now For Something Completely Unrelated: 

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My best shot of clash with Garrosh ^_^

Gear Up: Getting Ready For Next LFRs!

Let the charts speak for themselves:

January 20

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February 11

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Few comments to comment: 

  • Obviously only Chitsuro has to reach Highmaul LFR yet.
  • Need to finish the main Nagrand questline for everyone – it will give some nice replacements for previous green items.
  • I look forward to finishing them asap, cause then I’ll be busy with next level of Khadgars rings – 680.
  • Obviously my next goal is Blackrock Foundry LFR – got yet a week before it :=)
  • Trying to do Alchemist Dungeon daily for everyone (it means: 10 tries daily at best!) – still no Love Rocket
  • I’ve broken my Lone Wolf attitude and joined with friendly and cool Alliance and Horde guilds, who don’t give a shite about if I join serious raiding or not (and I’m good with LFR, really). WoW suddenly became social after all these years, and I like it ^_^
  • News of the day: Gnomecore doesnt use ANY ADDONS, like never, like at all. I LIKE the original interface and I don’t feel I need any extra info or modifications for it.
  • I feel there will be a Love/Hate post about Nagrand and Highmaul.

Smells of Warcraft Project: Horde Races And Cities of Kalimdor

ORCS

OrcOoh, that’s a rough race. Orcs are always in motion, and, also being both hulky and carnivorous creatures, smell very strong. We will again draw some parallels with animal world. Like their companion wolves, they hunted in parties since long ago, so they may have evolved this perk rather to give away their presence by smell than hide it.

Their smell is sharp, strong, and we may say that it is not very pleasant for a human nose. At Orgrimmar where the Orc presence is most concentrated it literally hangs in the air. Best compared to the overcrowded public transport with no conditioning on a hot day.

Oomph.

TROLLS

TrollStrange enough, Troll smell is not unlike a Gnome one. Previously we compared Gnome smell with lemon juice – well, Trolls share some ideas with the comparison. But it is definitely much sharper and with acidic, poisonous vibe. The smell is not overwhelming like an Orc’s one, but you always know a Troll is sitting nearby.

What defines a Troll for your nose is even not their natural body smell. It’s their mad hairstyles which obviously don’t naturally grow this way. To craft such mohawks and dye them Trolls always used ointments made of animal and plant extracts. Imagine some oily exotic fruit mixed with animal or fish fat and what not.

Troll villages though are a pleasant place to be at. Voodoo shamans burning leaves, vines and grass fill the air with these sweetish – yes, exotic – jungle vapors which you want to inhale. Only make sure you don’t get your sleep near a brazier intended for going into trance!

TAUREN

TaurenNow that’s easy. Bull-men Shu’halo origin from cows – and well, cows they smell. It depends on whether you find the smell of barn comforting and homely or not.

Thunder Bluff is good. It’s not the closed area and winds constantly drive away both the smell of many Tauren accumulated here and nice meadow herb smokes which they also burn for shamanic sakes.

An amusing fact must be unveiled though. At a mesa top you can’t easily find a suitable way to arrange a bathroom – especially for the type of poop that a normal Tauren produces. So, the way to ease the bowels of Thunder Bluff inhabitants is the one that sailors and pirates use at the ships. You come to the edge of plateau – behind a special leather windshield. You grab some stick well fixed in the ground for security. And then you raise your tail to the wind and do your toilet business right from the cliff to the ground!

It results in few issues. First. DON’T randomly walk around Tauren mesas and follow the roads. Imagine a cow poop falling off THIS height and how far it goes around after landing. Second: the area around mesas receiving this much of fertilizer is VERY green and flourishing.

GOBLINS

GoblinDescendants of Southern Exotic Isles, Goblins, despite their size, smell very distinctively. It’s somewhat moderately metallic, enhanced by their love to powder, mechanisms and oil. So this industrial mix rather adds up to their own natural smell than covers it.

Meanwhile Goblins are widely using perfumes and constantly inventing something new. Add up exotic cocktails (made of GOOD alcohol), and you can’t object chatting with a Goblin of opposite sex at a party. If you come over your dislike of green skins it may even end up in something frivolous.

And of course trade princes and bank workers do smell the dry dusty odor of papers and gold – in other words, wealth.

SMELLS OF WARCRAFT PROJECT

 

Surprise Your Raid Members: Amazing Lvl 100 Talents You Didn’t Know About

Trivia: on Saturday I was running my LFR for Imperator when our tank burst off with some really nasty and foul language at one of our raiders. We didn’t even start killing ogres, so you may wonder: what was the point?

The answer is: he saw a Warrior raider equipped with shield and in Protection spec who signed up as DPS. Fasten your seatbelts, because what I say may be news to you too: this raider DIDN’T make a mistake.

Why You Don’t Yell At Protection DPS Warrior
(because you missed the point)

When I put the puzzle items into appropriate slots in my mind, you can’t express enough how I was shocked, awed and happy. Gladiator’s Resolve is a 100 Talent which turns your Protection Warrior into an effective DPS.

WUT? 

More trivia:

  • I’m always a devoted DPS and I never, ever tank cause I hate it.
  • I have two warriors – the only repeatable class among my toons. Arms spec was bad for Backston due to weird blow animation and dissynchronized movements/sounds. So I changed her to Fury too – not really cool.
  • I always wanted to fight wielding a shield, but what are the options: Paladin – you must tank, Warrior – you must tank, Elemental Shaman – it’s decoration only.
  • NOW I CAN OFFICIALLY MELEE DPS WITH A SHIELD!

I couldn’t wait to finish the raid encounter to logout with hunter – jump ecstatically 10 minutes around my room – login with warrior and rush to Class Trainer at Orgrimmar. Obviously it’s Rottenshield, not Backston, who gets her brand new Protection DPS spec: it’s already in her name, and it adds up some solid feet-on-the-ground vibe to agile skinny Undead.

We brought hate back to hardcore
We brought shields back to Rottenshield

What was it like? 

  1. So, I find myself with a solid 2 dozens of abilities that I’ve never seen before. First I put them onto the panel randomly and tried it with a Training Dummy. Then I learned that it’s silly cause it learns you nothing except floating yellow numbers – not killing effective rotation, not defensive cooldowns.
  2. I rushed into the fields of Nagrand and while doing quests I shuffled my panel until I was happy with it. Took me half of Nagrand to grip the idea.
  3. It’s not unlike Arms, as you have a non-offensive ability which grants you buff (also is a small-Rush useful to shorten distance in a melee with multiple targets), then you use as many blows of 3 types as you can under this short buff.
  4. There are no delays, as you constantly have some ability not-on-cooldown. So it’s press this, press that, and you don’t choose between 2 abilities, the rotation when you learn it is simple and straightforward.
  5. Being a Protection, it also provides many defensive cooldowns, which makes its survival very solid and cool.

I can’t state how happy I am. It was a gulp of fresh air, and it’s one of my favourite playing styles now. Also my Warriors are different again! Being totally enthralled with this, Rottenshield ilvl-ed from 595 to 626, finished Nagrand for quest achievement and ran her first LFR. Oh, by the way! At LFR, some boss dropped her a shield for this spec – and it’s for DPS stats, not tanking. Now I feel very confident about delivering good DPS with her.

- Meow.
– Meow.

The only drawback is that you can get this spec only at 100, so you can’t learn to play it from the start. Maybe Blizzard will make this spec a 4th one later, but for now you need to be 100 to take it.

One More Class Not To Yell At In Raids
(because you miss the point)

There’s a secret for Hunter class too. At 100, if you’re tired of pets, you can take your Lonely Wolf talent. It allows you NOT to summon your pet while adding +30% damage to your shooting performance and grants a possibility to add ANY missing buff of 9 for the raid group.

Salash, a Marksmanship Hunter, obviously got rid of pet immediately after reaching 100. She’s a sniper, so a sniffing creature doesn’t help much. And there are too many pets for other classes: Warlock, Mage, Shaman (totems) – bah.

A choice of whether to use pet or not is still possible. But don’t get surprised if your hunter doesn’t have a pet.

Check the Talents grid.