Managing Alts in Battle for Azeroth

As in Draenor, I’m entering the new expansion with the same scary amount of alts – 17. It is high time to determine my alt priorities for the upcoming expansion.

The alt system was very simple in Legion: I had to shorten my roster to 12 toons of every class – to see every storyline, class order hall campaigns, artifact weapons, collect every raid set, and later – mounts. Which was a great success, and it totally paid off. This time it will be a lot different.

While my alts cover the played and enjoyed specs nowadays, I’m still going to put a huge bunch of them for later. There will be no class-specific content in BfA, and more – there won’t be class-related raid sets as well. While I probably plan to level them all someday (probably at expansion lull days), I need to pick the priority toons for the initiate days and the first expansion raid.

ALLIANCE

Micromantica

Micromantica

Micromantica the Frost Mage is my main and flagship of the whole game, the first and the ultimate character. She’ll be mastering Frost – whatever Blizzard do to the spec again. She’ll be the first to earn reputations and see every new bit of content during the expansion. No questions.

Aurinko

Aurinko

Aurinko is the major healing toon, so she’s bound to be in the first rows for the first raid. I’ll have to struggle with leveling as Holy (Shadow’s awful nowadays), yet she’s to level up fast and nice.

Paitsu

Paitsu

Paitsu enjoys both tanking and healing – she’s ready to accept both roles in BfA. She’s one of my ultimate tanks, so she’s ready to be there in the first row.

*As soon as it’s gonna be possible – I will roll and level a Dark Iron. She’ll be a casting shaman, and I want to main her among other toons.

HORDE

Schlitzchen

Schlitzchen

I tend to think of Schlitzchen as my Horde main. She’s the only toon of all others that kept her identity (race) apart from Micromantica, so she’s important to me. As I’m leveling my Dark Iron as a caster, she will go as Enancement like she initially started. as a tropical goblin, she’s so ready for the jungles of Zandalar and will happily return to Kezan in one of the dungeons.

Helu

Helu

Helu is my casting druid. She’ll be the one to bombard the bosses and everything as Balance, but she can switch to Restoration in a blink if needed.

Jammu

Jammu

The playful cat may be this very guy for the initiate Zandalar experience. Rotation built-in sneaking makes her perfect to learn the roudabouts of the new continent and where the enemies and the shortcuts are.

So, it appears to be a Gnome party for the Alliance, and a shaman/double Tauren druid combo for the Horde side.

Fun Gameplay

The toons below are quite enjoyable for me, I like their specs very much, but I will pick them not earlier that I feel like playing them. When I’m tired of rotations of my major roster and when I want something new – I pick one of them. They will be saved for lull times. This includes pretty much every toon left:

Baisa

Baisa

Baisa will sport Marksmanship like she always did, with no intention to change specs. A pleasure of leveling with a pet tank and a relaxed raiding experience is what I always enjoyed in my hunter.

Faari

Faari

Faari is the Fire Mage, and it’s purely a fun character. Her personality fits the spec so well, so she’s my roleplay toon. Fire is a very fun spec to play too – I had one deleted in Draenor, I now have a new one from December 2017 which will stay.

Myde

Myde

Myde is an Arcane Mage. The spec is not that fun to level, although it’s absolutely bombastic when geared at endgame. She’s sea-theme clad now, and I may bring her forward for Azshara raiding if we have something later. As a void elf, she’s also interested in Void/Light themes which will drop sooner or later.

Backston

Backston

Backston sports Frost and Frost only. Until they completely change the Blood spec from mortar slow blows to rapid vampiric style. She’s a sort of an evil character, and she waits for Bolvar to make his move.

Anibell

Anibell

Anibell is my another ultimate tanking character, so it’s very likely she will step in very soon. Protection Paladin is one of my best tanking toons, and being Alliance-clad human, she fits so well into the expansion.

Kalaari

Kalaari

Kalaari is a Retribution Paladin. Upon 110, the dim Lightforged zealot will have a long rest. She’s important for roleplay: there are many hints that Naaru and the Light are not as good as it seems. When the Light becomes the new evil, I’m bringing her up from hiatus. She’s my evil character.

Oulu

Oulu

Oulu is a bloody rangari. She stays in hiatus for now.

Melaris

Melaris

Melaris is a Havoc fighter. She stormed Antorus, she had extreme fun and satisfaction, but now she’s off for Night Elven woods to reconnect with her elven past. She wants to remember and recover, and she needs a rest from the scorched fel lands.

Berringer

Berringer

Berringer is currently on a faraway secret mission from SI:7. The Stormwind intelligence has her, and in the wake of war her skills are most needed – whether she wants it or not. It’ll be a while since she will be able to bring her poisonous daggers into the fray.

Faerella

Faerella

Faerella will eagerly explore Affliction and Destruction ways… later. But she’s a very probable candidate to catch up with her Horde allies soon – for schemes and profits, not for the faction pride of course.

Arkeona

Arkeona

The subtle Nightborne political assassin is currently investigating the Sylvanas reign… She’s seen the atrocities in Hillsbrad and in Dragonblight, and she’s not a fan of her. She’ll be plotting and scheming. She will wait. When the throne of Sylvanas will shake, she’ll be there to help overthrow the ‘warchief’. Not yet. Not now.

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Summing it up, I’ll be good with a smaller amount of toons rushing forward in the coming expansion. I would not feel overwhelmed as I frankly was in Legion. And I will always have another toon for the exciting new class/profession experience or roleplay at the ready.

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Battle For Azeroth Beta: First Impressions

So, yesterday was my first ever beta evening. I haven’t participated in beta yet, so everything was quite new to me. And here’s what I saw.

Interface

As you know, I don’t use a single addon, and I’m playing with basic UI. Blizzard has implemented some grand changes to our panels, which I consider a huge improvement.

Bags and auxiliary system buttons (like character, specs, lfg etc.) went from the central panel to the right bottom corner ghetto. While they are surely not that convenient to press nowadays, I can live with that. And at the same time they gave space to major action buttons.

Now we have what I believe four action panels in the center and one extra auxiliary side panel. This is really huge – now all my action buttons are clustered in one place in a convenient way, and operating them would be awesome. Side panel will sill be saved for professions and mounts.

Starting Scenario – Battle for Lordaeron

The scenario is really fierce, and you could find yourself dying quite often. The AoE and mobs’ attacks are massive sometimes, and it takes you a deal of experience to avoid. No trouble for alts though.

Almost every cutscene is not voiced or not even present. I think it’s very good because we will see this upon expansion release. From what I get, it will be one of the most epic experiences so far. Even the castrated version is quite nice.

A+ for bringing Gnomes into the fray and making their contribution not only big, but also vital for success.

The story is almost the same for Alliance and Horde, but shows it from different angle. You don’t miss much if you play one side only, all the cutscenes are the same. It just gives you more insights about faction camps.

Strange enough, I were more comfortable playing Horde side – somehow it felt exactly like the cinematic sequel, with troll shaman doing their job and a better look at the battlefield. We shall see upon release.

Landing in Allied Continent and Initiate Questing

I’ve completed Kul Tiras entrance scenario. It is very unsettling to enter your new faction capital which is initially hostile to you :)

After a brief set of quests you are introduced to Boralus haven – people show you where the bank, the tavern and flightmasters are. Then you start communicating with more or less friendly Kul Tiran faction, Magni pops up to give you your artifact necklace, and you’re sent to quest in a zone of choice.

The most awesome thing is that Kul Tiras has a system of ferries! A couple of natives will row the boat around the coast – which works exactly like flightmasters. It adds so much ambience to the area. I wonder if Zandalar has the same stuff.

The first place I went to was of course Drustvar, and it exceeded my expectations beyond imagined. I think we never saw a proper victorian/witch horror in WoW (save the starting worgen questline). It was so creepy and so awesome that I immediately dropped the questline after a couple of quests. I really need to see it all ready on live servers!

Probably no questing for me for that reason. We have this: a witch horror, a corrupt/fascist society, and an old gods cthulhu thing in Kul Tiras, while Zandalar offers some indiana jones jungle, a tatooine desert and a blood god cult. I already love all of them.

There’s nothing to say about zones – since WoD, they’re an eye candy with lots of detail.

Artifact Necklace 

Didn’t get much from it – the interface has a placeholder. But once I put it on, my chest piece was lighted, and I got an option to assign an upgrade of choice to it. I think it’ll be pretty easy to work out – like with talents.

Character Power and Abilities

I’ve tried three classes: a Warrior in Arms/Protection, a Shaman in Enhancement / Elemental, and a Mage in Fire.

Whilst I had no artifact weapon, I didn’t feel underpowered. The abilities pace and damage with basic gear is quite decent, and remember you will have your awesome Antorus gear to start with. It was a bit harder in the scenario, but absolutely no worries in questing. I killed a random elite mob quite easily solo.

Talents seem sensible yet, and I liked the choice they provide. All in all, the combat doesn’t differ much from Legion, but it may be a bit more tuned. I felt that I liked the minor changes, making specs easier to play, yet having much depth and tuning options in them.

Allied Races

Finally, it’s the new Allied Races that I want to talk about. Beta allows to try Mag’har Orcs and Dark Iron Dwarfs, so I tried a Fire Mage orc and shaman/warrior of Dark Irons.

The character creation options are awesome, I found lots of likeable options for both races. With Mag’har skin tones you could easily create the one from every clan, from dark grey skinned Blackrocks (think Draenor’s Blackhand) to rich brown colors of Warsongs.

Dark Irons are simply badass. It’s the only Alliance race that allows totally bald girls, and this is awesome. Facial tattoos are very cool as well, and all their hair is a bit singed at the ends, creating a unique look.

Warrior thing doesn’t feel flashy and mighty enough with a dwarf girl… so I may stick to a Shaman. As Enhancement is surely all about lightnings and thus a Wildhammer thing, it didn’t feel fit with my Dark Iron. So I think Schlitzchen the Goblin will go Enhancement like she started, and my Dark Iron will be an Elemental Shaman.

What’s Next?

In beta, I’m planning to see a Horde Zandalar introduction questline, and I guess this is gonna be it. I’ll learn class changes when they are final, and I don’t want to spoil the questlines. Besides, there are no maps present yet, and maps are vital for me when exploring the new lands and cities.

Maybe I could try some island expedition, some dungeon, and some warfront.

Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs: Class Choice

Blizzard’s official announcement about new Allies – Dark Irons and Mag’har Orcs – is up! Most importantly, the list of classes and racial abilities is published too. And it is high time to think about our new alts.

Dark Iron Dwarves

Dark-Iron-Allied

The Dark Irons can boast this set of classes:

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Shaman
  • Warlock
  • Warrior

The variety of classes is really stunning. Of course you could expect the darker and brutal options like Hunters (with bombastic guns), Mages (notably Fire), scheming Warlocks, Shaman (no race is THAT bound to Earth and Fire element), of course Warriors and Rogues. It is surprising to see Paladins… and Priests!

It’ll be really hard to choose the one class and spec from all.

Hunter – no option, it’s Marksmanship with my Gnome Baisa, and I’m not currently happy with the other specs.

Mage – I have toons for every mage spec: Frost – Gnome main, Arcane – Void Elf and Fire – lol, a Dwarf girl. Fire fits so well – but I prefer my Fire Mage to be a cheerful and adventurous ginger girl. Her lighter skin tone contrasts with the coal singed colors.

Monk – sorry, but I still think the idea of giving away monks to every next race is quite silly. Frankly I’d cut the class from most of them, dwarfs and dark irons too.

Paladin and Priest – mmm… nope. The Light thing doesn’t ring a bell with Dark Irons, although it could be justified with them joining Ironforge and learning these paths. Well, it just doesn’t. And as I’ve renounced shadow priesthood with my Gnome priest, shadow is not an option too.

Rogue – is just what we’ve seen the Dark Irons throughout questing in Khaz Modan lands. It fits so well, but I have two Rogues already which cover both specs I like – a highly competent elite criminal human Berringer currently in service of SI:7 (assassination), and a shadow blade political assassin nightborne Arkeona.

Shaman – both Elemental and Enhancement fit so good. As long as my Schlitzchen the Goblin drifts now into restoration, I would consider giving it a try. Most probably it will be Agility’s Enhancement, as Schlitzchen will share Intellect in Restoration/Elemental.

Warlock – probably no chance for me, spawning more pet classes :) I just don’t like pets. Although all the three specs are perfect options for a Drak Iron in my opinion.

Finally, Warrior. This is an awesome and solid option equal to Shaman. My warrior today is Oulu the Draenei girl, which I roleplay as a swift-blade rangari from alternate Draenor. She dual-wields twin axes, so Arms and Protection are opened options for my brand new Dark Iron Dwarf.

To sum it up, a Dark Iron toon is:

  • A must for me, I want this alt for roleplay sakes
  • It will be a brutal melee girl, just what it says on the picture above
  • I will choose between an Enhancement Shaman or Arms/Protection Warrior
  • If other class/specs weren’t already covered, my second best choice would be all kinds of rogues, all kinds of warlocks, or a fire mage.

Mag’har Orcs

Maghar

Them, and Zandalari are not what I’m excited to play. Still let’s see what Blizzard offers us:

  • Hunter
  • Mage
  • Monk
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Shaman
  • Warrior

In short, Mag’har orcs are alternate timeline orcs which come under Grommash Hellscream’s command, and they obviously lack the hated fel option: Warlocks. The list of classes is as pure and close to nature as possible.

Every option has a strong bond with elements and/or is about good honest steel. Priest option is highly surprising though… I really need a lore explanation for this. Holy Light and Orcs are like… strawberry and fish. You can eat them together, but it’s not natural or tasty.

I’m not planning to roll a mag’har toon yet, but if I were, I would go for the honest Shaman, Warrior or Hunter. The basics.

What are your thoughts?

Battle for Azeroth Release Date

This just in: Battle for Azeroth will be released on August 14!

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Pre-patch would likely be out a month before expansion, so prepare your checklists and get ready to grind them until July 14. Then we will have Teldrassil burning, Siege of Lordaeron and artifact power cancelled on our hands. Most probably well run repeatable quests to earn new faction mounts and probably transmog/toys.

I’d say it’s just in time. Covering Legion loose ends and rushing right into the fray.

And yes, For the Alliance!

My Toon Roster Revision: Before and After Legion

The major result of the expansion is that I successfully mastered all 36 specs. I may not like playing some of them, but if any situation requires it, I could easily fill any role – be it tanking, healing or dps.

I had an interesting idea to revise my alts list before Legion – and what changes were made to my roster? Specs and even races were changed!

Here I’ll go class by class, revising my toons’ ways throughout expansion and making plans for the next one.

Mage

Micromantica still mains Frost, like it has always been. She had some very tough time in Suramar, and it wasn’t a walk in the park while leveling, but by the end of expansion she’s right at her place. A howling blizzard of raging ice, feeling quite powerful and confident.

I also mastered Fire and Arcane – now I have two more mages for the specs, the fun-leveled dwarf Faari and currently leveling void elf Myde respectively :)

Warlock

Microfury was a Gnome, mastering Destruction when Legion dropped from the sky. She got tired of the warlock order hall, the mess, the brutality, and she retired to being a peaceful jeweller in Stormwind.

Faerella the Goblin picked up the banner, and she went as Affliction in the open world and raided Antorus in Destruction, because mana issues in Affliction is not fun in raids. Yes, there’s no trouble restoring mana in seconds, but it’s just not the thing I want to even think of. I’m eager to see Affliction changes in BfA, it’s my favorite spec nevertheless.

Priest

Aurinko the Gnome started in Legion as Shadow, and quickly got sick of it. She mastered both Holy and the tricky Discipline, opting for Discipline in the open world and Holy in raids. She will stick to the Light side in BfA.

Warrior

Bons the Gnome started as Fury, and in mere weeks changed to the Arms/Protection for leveling. I could say she was the tanking toon throughout expansion, up to and through Tomb of Sargeras. She retired after killing Kil’Jaeden, and Antorus was stormed by my bloody rangari, Oulu the Draenei – in Fury spec only.

I like every warrior spec in Legion, so I’m thinking of making a warrior or two for the upcoming allied races.

Death Knight

Mindebad the Gnome started as Frost and mastered Unholy and Blood for fun, Unholy to perfection and Blood not so much. She abandoned these specs, DK = Frost to me.

No one knows what happened – she probably choked on a cookie on Argus, but Antorus is raided by Backston the Human – Frost, of course.

Paladin

The vengeful Blood Elf Gardell disappeared in Suramar – they only found her corpse with sword wounds. Her replacement is Anibell the Human, who is a master of sword and shield. She’s bored to the bone being a vindicator, and healing doesn’t ring a bell with her. She’s a bastion against demons in The Nighthold, Tomb and Antorus – and she will protect the Alliance troops in BfA.

Kalaari the Lightforged is a Holy Paladin healer. She’s quite dim, but good-hearted, which is essential for a medic in the field of battle. So she’ll be in BfA.

Shaman

Schlitzchen the Goblin entered the Broken Isles as Elemental, and she’s still pretty powerful and ready to travel to Zandalar as such. Yet since Tomb and through Antorus she tends to support her allies in Restoration. Most likely, I’m keeping this casting spec pair for open world/raids in BfA.

Hunter

Lizgun the Goblin started as Survival and enjoyed it while leveling and attacking Emerald Nightmare and Helya’s domain. She retired from adventures, marrying a rich goblin in Orgrimmar – her loot is quite enough for a careless and rich life.

Enter Baisa, the skilled Gnome Sniper, which raids Tomb and Antorus, and doesn’t even think of changing specs in BfA. Marksmanship it is.

Monk

Paitsu started the Legion journey as a Windwalker, but quickly discovered the joys of tanking and healing. Her twin knuckles are collecting dust, and she’s mostly a Drunken Dodging Master now (although Tomb was healed through). She’ll enter BfA proudly wielding a staff and a keg.

Demon Hunter

Melaris the Night Elf started as Havoc, and she still sports her glaives as such. Needless to say, she easily mastered the Vengeance tanking spec as well, but she finds it pretty boring (fun fact: sickly yellow icons of Vengeance abilities are an argument cons playing a tank too). I plan to be a pure DPS in BfA, raids too.

Druid

Mayluna the Night Elf started as Feral, and she found her home in Dreamgrove. Helu the Tauen picked up, and she is equally skillful both in Balance and Restoration, ready to lend a hand in any of these roles in raids.

My new allied druid is a playful cat Jammu. She still keeps admiring the wondes of the world. She will join the Horde fight against Alliance… but she takes nothing seriously. You know, the type that stands in ranks and mocks the warchief’s battle speech in whisper.

Rogue

Hexen the Goblin started as Assassination, and she retired after she stayed to collect heaps of ancient goods from the Tomb. She also lives in Orgrimmar with her sister Lizgun, but unlike her, she’s not into monogamy and prefers many admirers around her, being a lady of class.

Berringer the Human is now raiding Antorus in Assassination, being a quiet, stern and super effective criminal currently employed by SI:7.

My next rogue is also Arkeona the Nightborne, who is a political assassin and a shadow blade of Subtlety. Previously working for Elisande, she’s eager to receive orders from her new warchief, ready to infiltrate Alliance ranks and kill officers and people of power.