Fishing Over & Another Mount!

fish

So, all the fishermen are now done :) Raids and groups have not appeared to be vital, it’s quite soloable in 3-4 hours each.

All the toys and things are now mine. What I liked most are two things. The first one is a duckling bobber, which I consider to be both fun and playful, and at the same time it’s very distinctive yellow color against any darker pools you’ll be fishing at.

*Small IRL trivia: a yellow rubber duck is a symbol of anti-corruption protests in Russia today. The reason is that unofficial investigation spotted, among everything else, a rich house for a pet duck at the summer palace of the current prime minister and ex-president Medvedev, built on stolen money. So I can’t help smiling when applying the duckling bobber toy.

The other thing is a fish mount which will make tedious underwater quests less tedious (although still not perfect). But anyways, your common “collect 10 items underwater killing 15 underwater creatures” is gonna be much better today. Another must mount at the action panels for every toon but druids.

Valsharah-Unicorn-Mount

This. The Val’sharah paragon unicorn is just gorgeous! It’s only drawback is that it has a skeleton of a Nightmare riddle mount – which means it’s not uncommon for it to lean 45 degrees at slopes. Quite unnatural.

And have you noticed who is at the top? I was laughing hysterically. Yes, it’s Aurinko the Priest. She was the one to get 2 Highmountain mooses, a Stormheim dragon, a Farondis hippogriff, and now Val’sharah unicorn. The other toons were trying for it for almost a year… and nothing. It is her first paragon chest with Dreamweavers, her first week of assignment to Val’sharah reputation, and she’s the one to get the mount immediately.

From now on, I’m assigning ALL of my toons for every Nightborne and Army of Light emissary days. But considering statistics… should it be just Aurinko trying? :) We shall see who will get the remaining mounts.

I’m on fire leveling my allied toons, bringing Kalaari the Paladin to 80 and Pandaria on weekend, and Arkeona the Rogue rapidly catching up from 61 to 67. I need to be at 110 as fast as I can with them all.

The last thing to report is my birthday present:

Chronicles

Me and my wife don’t actually buy presents to each other for holidays, as we just go and buy what we need as soon as we need it. But New Year/birthdays sometimes serve as a catalyst for a long delayed purchase. So now I have got the only books that are worth reading in WoW franchise. Not that I didn’t read them before – I had e-versions – but it’s nice to have these artifacts at home – as a sign of my major hobby. I’m buying the 3rd tome as soon as it’s available in Russian to make the collection complete (although I’ve already read the English e-version).

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Trivia

It’s the middle of May, and it’s time to revise my goals :)

10k World Quest achievement

It’s 9901! And it’s just 99 to go. Considering I’m still trying for paragon mounts, it’s 16+ each time when Nightfallen, Army of Light or Dreamweaver emissaries pop up. I’ll be there in no time.

Paragon Mounts

Other than Farondis luck last week, not yet. Every week I’m receiveing at least 3-4 paragon chests via emissaries and 12 toons sending each other tokens.

Other Grinds

Haven’t worked towards more Underbelly eyes, more archaeology or obtaining Broken Isles pets yet.

Fishing

I’m at the last bar with both Azsuna and Val’sharah fishermen, and this weekend I’m ending them all. Having all reps, toys, shirts and whatevers acquired, I’ll be done with Legion fishing for good.

Getting Allied Toons to 110

I’ve propelled Jammu the Highmountain Feral to 80 and Pandaria, and switched to Kalaari the Lightforged Paladin to do the same. Kalaari is at 77 now, which will bring her to the next step of content this weekend. Then I plan to get busy with Arkeona the Nightborne Subtlety which is at 63.

I really need to finish Outland/Northrend leveling – I know Northrend by heart, and Outland is insane, requiring 12-15 mobs grind per quest as a common thing. It’s very tedious to replay nowadays.

Icecrown

Besides, Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley questing still requires to kill elites and band up to 2-3 people at the very least. Kalaari as a paladin (plate armor+self-healing+multiple defence options) was able to pull it off solo, but your random mage would just drop it for good.

And one more thing: speaking of spec choices, I’ve realised that I still don’t like paladin healing. I totally get how it works, I’m quite effective in leveling dungeons, and I don’t feel good about it nevertheless. Kalaari just switched to Retribution in Outland, and OMG, that was a relief. Like in that wise story: let a goat, a cow, a big dog, and a donkey live in your apartment for a while, and then drive them all out at once. The relief of abandoning Holy spec was something compared to that. Even longer queues are worth it.

Considering paladin specs, Anibell, my major paladin, will be the tanking bastion for the allies, and Kalaari will be a zealous vindicator. There are booming hints that pure Light could be our next big bad guy very soon, so a Lightforged fanatic is a great roleplay toon for that cause.

Getting Allied Toons to 915 ilvl

Myde the Void Arcane is lost somewhere on Argus, and she finds herself at 882 ilvl with no other options but grinding the said Argus. She has all her items at ~880 which makes gearing through world quests useless, and Tomb of Sargeras LFR gear useless as well. I think I will just have fun with her until I get some veiled argunite to buy the gears and get her to 890, the Antorus entrance level. No legendary gears for her yet, so emissary chests are my auxiliary option.

My priority today is getting my allied toons through leveling and to Argus asap – as my last expansion month before pre-patch, June that is, should be fully dedicated to this fel playground. From what we know, we won’t see Fel any time soon, so you may begin to miss it :)

Roleplay: Older Content Lore and Leveling Your Character

I hope you’re ready to have your mind blown, cause it’s the craziest idea I’ve had recently, and it explains everything.

lich

While leveling my new toons, I can’t help but asking myself: how does it really work with the lore?

See for yourself: for example, a Nightborne character could have entered Azeroth only after Elisande’s fall – a rehabilitated Elisande follower or a cured Nightfallen. He or she could only participate in Tomb of Sargeras onslaught and Argus campaign. Your Lightforged Draenei’s experience is even smaller: basically it’s Argus/Antorus where your toon could have participated, and that’s it.

Your Zandalar could have participated in Mists of Pandaria events (on the wrong side), and your Mag’har orc was probably fighting in Draenor – again, if not a Frostwolf, on the wrong side.

How could they repel gnoll attacks in Elwynn woods? How could they be struggling in Stonetalon mountains towards the destruction of the night elf druid enclave? How could they help the Undead working on the blight strain for the Wrathgate disaster? And how could they heal the fires of Hyjal during Cataclysm events? Chasing Anduin during Pandaria events? Placing a final blow upon Archimonde?

The answer is so simple that it’s overwhelming: they did not. 

There are two simple things you should understand.

First, your toon could be mentioned as “hero” in the chapter of Warcraft Chronicles if he/she really did took part in the corresponding expansion. Doing dailies, struggling with talent trees and rotations, making its way to the final villain in raids.

Take my mage Micromantica, my first toon on the current account. She started in Cataclysm, and while she surely worked her way healing Hyjal via multiple dailies in the endgame content, she didn’t have a chance to raid. So she wasn’t the one to be present at Al’Akir, Cho’gall or Deathwing defeat (even if she visited the raids later). But! She surely was there in Siege of Orgrimmar, and she witnessed the fall of Garrosh with her own eyes. She was called commander and admiral in Draenor, and she witnessed how Sargeras plunged his sword deep in our planet.

In other words – your character is a hero of a legend that was current for him/her. If you start an alt today, it cannot be a veteran of Wrathgate or Draenor campaign.

Second – how does it work with the lore? As your Highmountain or Dark Iron, or a common Gnome, Worgen or Troll has to play through the old content.

The answer is also simple: this is a retrospective – an illusion, a history book that went live. You do not actually participate in the said events – you’re given a chance to relive the adventures of Azeroth heroes of the past. You get acquainted with the epic battles, making yourself proud of your faction, knowing what this all is about, and how did we get to where we are now.

And that explains how a demon hunter is able to defeat Illidan, or a Pandaren striking down the Lich King, or a Nightborne cracking open the Deathwing’s spine. It is not your journey. It’s a thing of the past.

The concept may resemble Caverns of Time, but with a significant difference. In Caverns of Time you’re actually participating in the events, trying to keep the timelines intact. Remember how you’re transformed into a dwarf, a human or a gnome if you’re Horde and you’re culling Stratholme?

During your leveling, you still can be a Pandaren killing the Lich King. The events… are not real for you. You just relive the memories and the stories of the past.

Understanding this, I’m finally at peace with having my Void Elf in vrykul fortresses, and my Lightforged in Zangarmarsh :) I’m finally at peace with leveling through broken timelines (like you level in Cataclysm events 1-60, then you go back to Outland, etc.). I’m at peace with getting an errand from Varian or Vol’jin. You’re not committing hero acts. You’re actually sitting in the library – and use your imagination, potions, or both to see the events of the past.

All your leveling until current content is nothing but a quality hallucination.

Deal with it! :)

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.

Trivia: Grinds, Leveling and Beta Invite!

Lots of stuff is happening simultaneoulsly now.

First of all, one of my grind goals is complete: Faari the Dwarf Mage is the first and only toon to get 75 artifact traits and get her achievement:

Dcam5C_W0AAnH4A

This is the last thing I do with artifacts this expansion. Frankly, it was not even a grind. AP went naturally, and she was just stationed in order hall, completing AP quests in one click daily (mage halls can do that).

Sceond, my persistence did pay off to an extent: I’ve got the Farondis paragon hippogriff!

DcaQTN0W4AEaeXH

As you can see, it’s Aurinko again, who is the only toon to get paragon mounts… Valar’jar dragon and Highmountain moose (x3) dropped to her as well. So may be I just stop bothering with other toons lol? :) No way, now that I’m free from Azsuna, I have 4 toons assigned per remaining emissaries: Army of Light, Suramar and Val’sharah. Four mounts to go *sigh*

Actually I’m very happy to get rid of Azsuna. This is the most hated location in Legion for me – these ghost freaks of Farondis, this disgusting music – everything.

Third, I’m two more fishermen reputation towards the achievement. I need the ones from Azsuna and Val’sharah now, and I’ll be done with the grind!

Fourth, it’s alt leveling. Guess what? Myde has got the achivement!

Dci2LpaX4AUcr0V

Dci275ZW4AYWUFE

My void girl is currently 834, ready for initiate raid runs and leveling her gear. Yet I think I’m driving the three remaining Allied toons to 110 first.

She didn’t even complete Highmountain – Legion assaults are a great help leveling. Frankly I don’t feel obliged to play any of the questlines in Legion including Argus. I need my allied toons at ~915, and that will be it.

Fifth, I’ve got my first ever beta invitation from Blizzard!

1

I’m not sure if I actually want to be a beta-tester, but it is worth trying – for the sake of trying new things in life. We shall see how it rolls.

Frankly I prefer dealing with a ready product upon release, but it will be interesting to check and provide some error feedbacks if I find any. Yet I have so much to do in game apart from beta that I don’t know if I have any time for this :)

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?

Leveling Allied Races

Myde-Aluneth

That’s right: my first Allied Race toon is now in Legion!

Myde the Void Arcane Mage skyrocketed to 101 just in few sits. After landing in Pandaria she just did the Valley of Four Winds, slowly progressing up to Tillers’ Exalted all the way 80-90. I think she wants herself a summer house, which means doing stuff till besties with Tina – she provides furniture :)

She also did almost every dungeon in Cataclysm and Pandaria. Again, it was a wide range of groups there. Just fascinating asshole tank and healer which managed to run past a couple of mob packs, leaving dps to die and blaming it all on them. Moreover, they wanted dps to manage the packs themselves afterwards even if it were a room behind! All dps including yours truly left the ‘group’ for good. Vice versa, just an amazing group in Blackrock Caverns which discussed tactics before pulls, trying bosses, wiping at first, and then killing them as smooth as possible when we got the strategy idea.

Needless to say, the groups like the second one come to the higher levels well prepared, sturdy, and experienced. Their time spent pays off.

Draenor was as swift as possible. I did some initiate quests in Shadowmoon Valley to get acccess for profession upgrades, and the rest was just doing extra quests (marked with crossed swords fill-the-bars) and continent exploration. I think it’s the best time to replay Draenor nowadays on your way to the top. The whole trip 90-100 took me like 3-4 hours, no dungeons.

Now Myde got her Aluneth weapon, did Legion assault quests in Highmountain (which brought her a whole level up), and worked through the Heart of Light questline, killing Velen’s son :) Ready for proper questlines now.

It’s high chance that this week she’ll be 110, and ready for Legion raids to start raising her ilvl up to planned 910-915. I don’t feel obliged to complete any of the questlines with her, be it main zones, Suramar, Broken Shore or Argus. My class champions have already defeated Legion! So allied races just explore Broken Isles and get ready for the Battle for Azeroth,

This strategy of taking one toon at a moment gives so much progress in no time. I think I’m sticking with it. My goal for May is leveling as much as possible – and the last month before pre-patch will be devoted to grind achievements. My timing seems perfect.