One and Only?

I thought I’d write a small piece about transmogs and character looks in general.

All my constant readers know that transmog collections are a thing – maybe one of the core things – in my gameplay. Achievements and goals are nice, but they in turn serve the ultimate goal: Character.

My toons from day one have never been “I want a class to play”. I never care about simulations, care about specs or which provides more damage/healing etc. – in two words, any practical reasons. My toons are – first and foremost – Characters.

This is why I’m an altoholic, and swap races a lot. I’m writing a character story in WoW through gaming, and once I feel that a character stopped fitting feel well with me, I would invent a new transmog/barbershop image to play a different role, race swap, or even delete a toon if nothing else works. In that particular order.

And that is why I collect mounts and transmogs. Out of hundreds of options your character’s new persona may have the only option if any.

Latest example: my Jagda the Shaman, swapped from a Dark Iron, wears the mountaineer, bright and shiny armor which shouts abouts Bronzebeard pride and valor:

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Scraping my list of 325+ mounts yesterday, I couldn’t pick a single air mount for her! Of course I have all types of firebirds, including ashes of Al’ar and what not which could fit an Elemental Shaman, but I don’t like riding the living fire :) Dragons are too bulky to my taste. The only option that could fit would be a gryphon – older smaller type, but my collection lacks the only mount armor color I see fit here: yellow or gold. For now I’m settled with a red version, but it’s not exactly that. Alas.

As for transmogs, I could have never thought of using those slippers from Dazar’alor sets. Well, what do you know, once Schlitzchen came into Nazjatar, she was urged to take off her full body armor – I felt that it should be beach-type, sea ocean floor, moist and what not. She went with bright colors reminding of her Kezan adventures, and voila:

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It appeared to be the only shoes that fit these looks :)

Transmogs and mounts are never enough.

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Queen Azshara: Until Next Time!

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Well, almost :) There is one more kill scheduled for Pins’ quest, but we now need nothing from her! On the very first run during this cooldown Jagda the Dwarf Shaman has won the long anticipated caster staff.

The relief is huge, because it dismisses 6 of my toons from Eternal Palace duties – hence 1,5×6 hours in queues and the dungeon wing itself every week can be dedicated to other stuff. What’s left now?

  • Either Za’qul or Sivara may drop a 1H axe to either Anibell, Gorgul or Fearella.
  • Nikkeli and Paitsu are both stuggling for an agility trident from Gorgonzola.
  • On their private missions, Pins is trying to win 2 daggers, and Melaris wants an awesome glaive from Za’qul.

And yet, I feel like the major job is done now, and these are only leftovers.

I would actually miss the encounter. It was quite brutal in the beginning, but during farm it has transformed into a quite exciting time spent in raid environment. Fewer people now come unprepared, and, while it’s not a sure kill in 100% cases, it is quite balanced and interesting to play through, more than possible to beat without determination stacks.

I take my words back: she’s not an eredar boss :) Probably she’s the best balanced final boss so far in the expansion: G’huun was a chaotic mess by the end, and Jaina is basically tank-and-spank if raiders remember about the ice wall thingie. Azshara requires precision and execution, while not turning battlefield into a lava pool or offering an insane gear/dps check. And that’s what makes her great.

Next time we will probably see her as a mid- or penultimate boss of 8.3. – a lot more dangerous and enhanced by the Void. What will it look like? We shall see.

Meanwhile, it’s time to clear Nazjatar and Eternal Palace from the remaining valuables. The storm has come and gone, and it left us united and ready for the Horde revolution. Now – down with Sylvanas!

Look at All the Secrecy!

With less than 2 months before Blizzcon, I can’t help but wonder about the lack of datamined information about WoW. Blizzard is definitely trying to keep the intrigue, encrypting all the files and hiding them from the community.

There is an interesting datamined Saurfang model:

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It bears his son’s medallion from the cinematic – the one he took off because he didn’t think of himself as worthy. Apparently he will put it on again and lead the revolution.

Sylvanas was chosen to represent WoW in a Blizzcon poster, so that opens a field for speculation too.

We know almost for sure that 8.2.5. is going to be an anniversary and cosmetic patch more than anything else. Timewalking raids with a Deathwing mount as a reward, worgen/goblin models and other small things which are definitely not enough to sustain the player interest until 8.3.

The best that could happen in 8.2.5. lorewise is a deep dive into the Horde civil war theme, Alliance and Horde combined and working together. If I were Blizzard, I would implement a great batch of lore here. Dailies, warfront, reworked zones like Durotar and Mulgore. A long storyline, time-gated as in Suramar, for building a Horde resistance, and preparing the new figures to lead the faction – enter Calia Menethil for the Undead, Saurfang stepping in to lead the Orcs, signing Baine as the new Horde’s warchief. A climactic raid or scenario with a boss or two to dethrone Sylvanas. And in 8.3., with a peace treaty, we have our hands untied to destroy N’Zoth and solve Azeroth wound/corruption problem.

With N’Zoth released and Blizzard hinting that we’ll know the big bad in the end of Eternal Palace, this seems to be the only option possible. N’Zoth is also a must big bad because he’s tied to Azeroth storyline, and this in return is tied to our necklace which is due to go before 9.0.

Surely this is quite cramped, and Sylvanas’ story is climactic enough to wrap up the whole expansion, but Blizzard cannot risk 8.4. in current conditions. Sylvanas won’t be dead anyways, and she will most certainly survive and serve as a link into 9.0. She may not even be a boss these days, this could be resolved in a cinematic too.

Frankly what I’m writing here is quite transparent, and the whole secrecy is about not making people mad in advance (Sylvanas loyalists and everything), cause when you see the name of the raid, story, patch, or warfront, it will be all too clear. Blizzard wants a tribune for a big announcement and following explanations from the stage.

I’d say Blizzcon 2019 considering Warcraft franchise is gonna be as follows:

  • Release of 8.2.5. – worgen/goblin models, anniversary events, war campaign sequel (hopefullly wrapped up)
  • Release of Warcraft III Reforged as a part of anniversary event
  • Announcement of 8.3. and the big bad: release date ~February 2020

I doubt about the announcement of 9.0. very much. Sylvanas, as a link between expansions (new Northrend? Shadowlands?), is yet to be exiled in the game, and we haven’t even touched N’Zoth. It’s a great deal of information coming to be digested, so I’d say we’ll get an announcement in Spring after the final patch release. And we cannot get a cinematic or an idea when we don’t know how the current story could possibly end!

Speculations or not, I hope that the WoW panels will be big, and with lots of information. It just has to be. I’m thinking of buying a virtual ticket this year.

IRL: Travel

I’m not kidding when I’m saying that travel is my second major hobby after WoW :)

In this completely game unrelated post I’d like to share the list of places I’ve already been to, because last month I’ve crossed the threshold of 70 cities and 20 countries :) Some of them were visited once, and some of them were visited so often that I stopped counting, especially in Finland, Sweden, Baltic countries and Russia. Here goes:

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In a couple of weeks Tampere, Finland will be added to the list.

Me and my wife are not fans of hiking or beach vacations – we prefer vibrant cities, where you can gaze at awesome architecture (our legs normally hurt by the end of the day… see Rome in one day? Check!), see the lifestyles, meet many people, but also sleep in beds and have wi-fi :) Our ideal vacation is walking and exploring an unknown city until our legs fall off, getting acquainted with local people and cultures and sample local cuisines.

Our top priority plans for the nearest years are Lithuania, Georgia, South Korea and Hong Kong. It’s a must for us to visit US (New Orleans and New York), Mexico and Rio some day, but so far it’s way too expensive for us – not with our apartment loan running anyways :)

Travel is awesome, go for it not only in WoW :)

Classic: How Long Will It Take?

So… Classic has been an overwhelming success so far. From all media and social networks there are signals that people like it a lot, playing it eagerly – and in favor of retail too, and it reanimates players who have quited WoW for the time-being of BfA or even several expansions.

Question is: how long will it last?

No doubt that Classic bears a strong sense of nostalgy, and the processTM of becoming stronger is quite appealing – myself included. My rogue is in awe from Loch Modan which is still a loch, and once she learned dual-wielding and acquired two 13-damage and green quest daggers instead of one 1-3 damage, things became way better in her camp.

The problem is: everything ends. No matter how slowly you level up, in several weeks or months you’ll be there at level cap. You’ll get a mount, even an upgraded one, you’ll get bags, and gold, and all abilities, and start running raid(s), leaving dungeons behind… Here we go, endgame. And unlike retail, there will be no other duties and goals than a raid farming night once a week (probably PvP, if you’re into one). What’s it in Classic for you then?

I know I’d level a Horde toon too to see the capitals and cities of the opposite faction. I know I want a level cap and try to see most old quest stories, albeit they’re anti-climactic unlike Cataclysm and on. I know I will park my toon somewhere to be able to login and travel the Azeroth unharmed by Deathwing. But this is where it ends to me.

How do you see yourself playing Classic after hitting 60?

Manta Mount: Check

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250 manapearls and Exalted to get this pretty.

The mount appeared to be quite cool: it’s not that floppy, it’s small, agile and flies smoothly, while at the same time I feel its remarkable speed. I could imagine myself riding it if environment fits!

My Alliance from now on stops bothering about manapearls, and will just stack them. I’m not saving Horde’s manapearls yet, maybe I should for a recolor. Anyways I’m crawling to Exalted through Unshackled emissary, so why not.

Another cross out from Nazjatar duties.

  • I’m two days from wrapping up Nazjatar lore questline on all toons.
  • Three toons have not killed Azshara yet for a quest.
  • 6 weapons to farm – no tries this week yet.
  • 25 follower levels – 25 days to complete Aqua Team Murder Force
  • 3 weeks for 3 elementals in Mardivas lab.
  • And we’re done in 8.2.

October is so gonna be a lull time :)

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Classic: My First Baby Steps

While I’m surely busy with alts in Nazjatar and Eternal Palace, it surely leaves me exhausted on the N-th run, and I need a change of scenery. So Classic serves as a nice distraction (as planned).

Saturday’s late evening allowed me to login on my character (The Character, how cool is that), and off I went.

I finally managed to scrape myself out of the starting Coldridge Valley area, and Dun Morogh was at my service. There are basically three questing areas – Gol’Bolar Quarry, Kharanos and Brewnall camp by Gnomeregan. I was ready for quests being different from post-Cataclysm version, I was ready for legwork and absense of flight points. What I was not ready for that quest number would be so scarce.

As far as I remember, there should have been at least a couple of hubs more – namely the ram ranch with a yeti boss, and something to do with dark iron spies by Loch Modan border. Nah, did not happen. Maybe I should look better, but no questgiver was available on my way. They just sent me to Loch Modan, and this is it. Where, by the way, quests are too high for my level now.

Loch Modan! This is why I play Classic in the first place:

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On the bright side of Classic, I am also excited to develop my character in many ways. Learning new spells and perks, and acquiring gear. Right now I’m all in white and grey stuff, not a single green item. This is a natural excitement of any new MMORPG and every fresh character, and Classic is definitely a new one. It was cool to buy and equip throwing daggers (200 in a slot!) for distance aggroing.

On the downside, the gaming process is grim, dark, and full of terrors. Mind you, I’m ok with the given inconveniences – like bag space, gold, walking marathons and all else. What I strongly detest are the quests’ execution and combat system.

Quests are a pain to do. Mob tagging, respawn and drop rates and ridiculous mob level range are pain. I was sent for 8 wendigo hides nextdoor, and it took me an hour to complete. I’m still struggling with the trauma of acquiring 6 shimmerweeds – it took me an hour break before I gritted my teeth and decided to proceed with them. You are struggling to tag at least one mob, and desperately run in circles, but then three will spawn on the top of your head -> cemetery run. It literally takes forever! You, as a level 6, are killing a 6-level mob, no sweat, but then a 7-level one will arrive and stomp you into the ground. And you can’t do anything about it: just helplessly watch. You can’t outdamage the mob – even potions and bandages won’t do the trick. Running away will get you dazed and killed even faster than face-to-face combat. 

Speaking of combat: it’s clumsy, uninspiring, and ridiculous. I’m a rogue, so I’m supposed to open up from stealth with a backstab, which will give me some advantage. Lol. Mobs ignore your stealth. I’ve tried so hard to sneak from the back – but mobs are walking and changing direction all the time, so this is all in vain. It will say “Urrgh?” and then attack you from at least 15 feet – stealthed! Yes, mobs of your own level. The only way you can use stealth is sneaking at neutral mobs – which would not pay attention to you if you walked openly anyways.

Needless to say, this is pain. Those 9 levels are looking at you all traumatized and with tears and horror in her blue eyes:

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Journey, my ass :)

Btw, in the first six days people not only reached level 60, but also already killed Ragnaros. 5 of them were not even level 60, because access to the raid is given at 55. So much for Classic being hard, and required gear with fire resistance, and what not :) The only hard thing about it is developers being new to MMORPG and introducing a clunky gameplay. How long people will be engaged there? We shall see.

P.S. I’ve met the best nickname for a long time:

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