Archive for Northrend

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Vault of Archavon. Free loot for everyone. You know the drill. Get 10 or 25 people together, go inside, spank down some trash, spank down some bosses who stand there and let you, loot, roll win.

Tonight, Stormshaper went into Vault of Archavon for the first time. In there, she took down the new boss, Toravon the Ice Watcher and Koralon the Flame Watcher. Two nice achievements to be had, all well and good.

But that isn’t what this post is about.

This post is about the remarkable reaction some people have to winning loot. You see, Toravon the Ice Watcher dropped these. Nice aren’t they?

Anyway, in the group of 25 there were 5 shamans. The raid leader and master looter said “Main spec roll” and with that, every shaman rolled. Stormshaper rolled 95, and Stormshaper won the boots.

Now, that is normally where it ends. Loot distributed, move to next boss.

No.

Not when you have a shaman in your group called Pamphilos. You see Pamphilos has thousands of PvP kills, therefore, Pamphilos believed that as he rolled the second highest roll, the loot should go to him.

I got an immediate whisper.

“If you were a nice person, you would give them to me.”
“Eh? But I won them fairly.”
“No. You ninja’d them. You have only 66 PvP kills. You don’t PvP, you should give them to me.”
“Umm, no. If I had 0 PvP kills, you could say I don’t PvP, but I have 66, so I have actually PvP’d on this character.”
“No. You should give them to me.”
“No I shouldn’t. I rolled fairly and won.”
“You ninja’d them. You should not roll on PvP gear.”

In the raid, people were arguing.
You should give them to Pamphilos.
You ninja’d that loot.
No she didn’t ninja the loot she rolled and won.
You have twenty people here who think you’re a ninja.
We’ll never group with you again.

“Fine.” Says I. “This is my care face. Can you see me caring?”

By now, Koralon is engaged.

“900G for the loot”
“No thanks.”
“You fucking prick”
“Excuse me?”
“You fucking ninja prick”
“I didn’t ninja anything. I won them fairly, deal with it.”
“You’ll never get invited to somerandomguildname
“But I don’t want to be invited to somerandomguildname
“Ha! You fucking noob. They’re ranked 3/4 on the realm.”
“Okay, good for them. I still don’t want to be invited to somerandomguildname.”
“You’ve made enemies here.”
“Eh? Enemies? Where? What are you talking about?”
“You’re a ninja and you’ve made enemies. I’m serious. I’ve got over 10,000 PvP kills. Those boots should be mine.”
“These 10,000 kills, did you QQ them to death?”
“Fuck off. Prick.”
“Nice.”
“You had no right to roll on that loot.”
“I had every right to roll on it. I was part of the raid that killed the boss. I did my share of damage, that gives me the right to roll.”
“No it doesn’t. You should not roll on PvP gear.”
“Says who?”
“Me.”
“Well, you’re not the raid leader or master looter, and you didn’t make the loot rules up.”
“STFU.”

By now we’d taken out Koralon. Another achievement. Yay.

I couldn’t tell you if any loot dropped off him that I could use, I was too staggered by what was on my screen. I found it hilarious. Such a devastating reaction.

Time passed and the raid ended. I was in Dalaran.

“Mate.”
“I’m not your mate.”
“Mate, give me the loot, I really need the upgrade.”
“No chance.”
“They’re PvP and you’re not going to use them.”
“How do you know? How do you know I’m not going to use them? You don’t know that.”
“You can’t use them in PvE.”
“Yes, I know. I’m not going to use them in PvE. I already have a full tier 9 set for PvE.”
“Noob.”
“Oh! Oh here it comes. Okay, lets get the nerd rage out of the way.”
“I’m going to kill you.”
“How exactly are you going to “kill” me?”
“I will duel you.”
“Okay, and then will you loot my still warm corpse for the footwear?”
“STFU Noob.”
“Ha! You’re hilarious.”
“You’re a prick. You fucking noob.”
“Ha! Ha! Got any more? How about ‘Your mother’ jokes? Got any of them?”
“Look, this is your last chance, seriously. Give me that loot.”
“Eh? Last chance to give you the loot that I won fairly and squarely? What will happen if I don’t take that last chance?”
“I’ll kill you. When I find you.”
“Well, I’m on the flight path in Dalaran.”
“I can’t kill you there.”
“Well, technically, you can’t kill me anywhere, but don’t let that stop you trying.”
“You’re dead. You’ve made loads of enemies today.”
“Hmm, cyber nerd rage enemies? I’ll live.”
“You prick.”
“Okay, you’re boring me now.”

With that, I flew off from Dalaran to hand in a daily in Argent Tournament.

“Yeah, go on, fly away.”
“I have.”
“You prick.”
“Okay, here’s a suggestion. If you really, really want the feet that dropped, go and round up all your buddies, and farm VoA, the same as everyone else does.”
“STFU noob.”
“Okay. Well, don’t cry too hard, they’re just pixels, and there’ll be more soon.”

And with that, I logged out.

So Stormshaper has made a whole slew of enemies now and will never be invited into somerandomguildname. I wonder what will become of her?

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Level 77

Stormshaper has reached level 77. She’s done this despite not yet visiting Sholozar Basin, or indeed completing many of the quests still available in Dragonblight.

At level 77, the game switches into overdrive. You are now into end game raiding and Icecrown is your destination.

On Krasus’ Landing in Dalaran, there is an NPC called Officer Van Rossum who will offer you a quest to fly you to the Skybreaker, the enormous alliance airship flying high above Icecrown. The Skybreaker serves as a quest hub to get you started in Icecrown. There are an astonishing number of quests here, all geared to telling you about Arthas and his legions of undead. Truly it is an astonishing storyline and immersion into the end game raiding quests that lead you ultimately to Icecrown Citadel is incredible.

But – to quest here you need, at the very least, cold weather flying. This will set you back 1000g. You cannot quest in Icecrown without it as everything is up on mountainsides. You should be able to get the money back soon enough doing quests, gathering materials for tradeskills, and of course, doing instances.

Also at level 77, you are eligible to fly to the Argent Tournament grounds and start to do the entry-level daily quests there, which, if you persist with them, will replenish your gold reserves in no time at all. Again, on Krasus’ Landing in Dalaran, there is an NPC from he Argent Dawn sat on an argent griffon who, if you speak to him offers you a flight to the Argent Tournament.

Stormshaper has completed all the early quests, learning to joust – these are easy – I’ve done it before on other characters who are all argent champions and all have city titles. You just have to stick at it. The gold is reward enough, and there are some really nice entry-level blue items that you can get from quartermasters at the Argent Tournament. Not to mention pets, mounts, and other assorted bits and bobs.

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Level 70!

Yay! Go Stormshaper, you’ve reached level 70. Woot!

Stormshaper reached the old, historical landmark level late last night, but she did it in a roundabout way. Basically, I really wanted to stay the Outlands route. I quested and quested moving out of zones only when the achievement was reached. Stormshaper was doing quests in and around Alerian Stronghold in Terokkar Forest, but the experience on offer from the starter quests in Northrend is massive in comparision to those she was doing in Outlands. The conundrum was this: Why quest for an hour in Outlands when you can receive the same amount of experience from doing two quests in Northrend?

I hadn’t realised it at the time, but the WoTLK expansion really did kill Outlands and all those amazing instances stone dead, and that saddens me so much.

Today, I went to Karazhan to start the quests to get the key to that fabled instance. I queued for Setthek Halls, for the first part of the key fragment and two hours later, I logged out, still waiting for a group. Basically there are no players doing Burning Crusade heroics any more. Everyone is frantically farming Emblems of Triumph and Emblems of Frost so that they can get to Ice Crown Citadel and defeat Arthas.

Brilliant.

Except I find the long, drawn-out demise of Arthas to be mind numbingly boring. I farmed ToTC to death on my hunter. In fact, it only took my old guild three visits to clear the place. Before that, we farmed Ulduar to death. Before that, we cleared Naxxramas. Over, and over and over.

When Ice Crown Citadel opened up and Blizzard introduced the Ashen Verdict reputation grind, my heart sank. I was bored beyond belief and for them to throw this out there didn’t inspire me at all, in fact, it made me want to give up. Which is why Stormshaper was created.

Okay, I could go and start on the hardmodes for various instances, but I’ve done them to death. They were fun and enjoyable and new, but I’m not a hardmode player. I don’t have the setup to do myself justice in hardmodes, I play WoW on a laptop that is four years old and I connect via wi-fi, and those two environmental issues are an instant performance inhibitor right off the bat.

Actually saying that about the hard modes, my old guild did Ulduar hardmode and I complained that Flame Leviathan with the towers up and all the crazy-assed AoE shit that was going on was made “hard mode” because of the random number generator. Random events, random missiles, random AoE damage….random, random, random. People who do it, fantastic reflexes, incredible spatial awareness, but throwing out more random stuff isn’t what I like. I already know the lore of the instance, the kind of mobs to face, my role in the raid, the tactics of the fights. I know this because I have researched it and I’ve learned to play it with my raiding party. Changing that by simply throwing out extra random AoE shit to make your progress harder doesn’t interest me.

I can be quite effective in raids. My hunter chucks out 5K-6K DPS, the Death Knight is about the same, perhaps a little more. But in hardmode instances, your DPS output is only part of the story. Faster responses are required. A solid, perferably hard-wired connection, a decent graphics card, a faster CPU. I could perform in the hard modes, certainly, but I don’t think I could do myself ultimate justice. For me, hard modes are like arenas. I know they’re part of the game, but I have zero interest in them. If I win the lottery, my interest may change, as I’d spoil myself with a system to die for, but until then….

So, it seems that my intention to turn off Stormshaper’s experience gain at 70 will be futile. She can remain 70 for a good, long time, but if no-one else is interested in the BC heroics, or Karazhan, Zul’Aman or Serpentshrine Cavern, then she’ll be a very lonely shaman, sat, looking for companions in some inn in Shattrath for a good long time.

With Cataclysm just around the corner, it looks like she’ll be doing the same as every other alt in the game, and staying in Northrend, waiting for someone to finally put Arthas out of his misery.

The one good thing about the Northrend quests – they are very, very difficult for Stormshaper. Each pull requires a bit of thought. Perhaps because she is quite undergeared. Remember she only got as far as Zangermarsh in Outlands, so, to go from there to Northrend is a mighty step up in terms of gear. In fact, that’s the one guarantee I can make, any quest reward item is going to be at least twice as powerful as what Stormshaper currently has equipped.

So far, she’s replaced a mace, her necklace, a cloak and her gemmed and enchanted leggings she won in Hellfire Ramparts with a basic Northrend green item that doubled every stat!

Another thing I have noticed is that as I have replaced her Outlands gear (she’s still in pre-Outlands bracers), her MP5 has dropped like a stone, so after a couple of fights, she’s out of mana completely regardless of mana spring totems or anything else. This, in a perverse way, means that while I’m sad for the demise of Outlands and all that amazing content, there is something for me to try and strategise in terms of questing in Northrend to get her gear that can bring her up to an acceptable performance level.

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68 Reached and I Take a Northrend Item to Outlands

As Stormshaper completed the quest that gave her the Mysteries of the Marsh achievement, she also reached level 68. There are still a few quests for her to do in Zangermarsh, for the sporelings of Sporregar. Some of those quests will send her into Underbog as well. At 68, she’s probably a bit too high for Underbog. Certainly there’s not much gear there for her. As a result, I am thinking seriously about inhibiting her experience gain so that I can at least try and do BC heroic dungeons.

However, it has to be said, I did take advantage of the fact that she can quest in Northrend. I sailed to Valance Keep, ran a few starter quests and received the Solidier’s Spiked Mace as a reward. I ran an item comparison between it and Storm’s other mace using Wowhead’s Item Comparison tool – and while it’s not a very fair comparision, it does show you just how overpowered the Northrend items where when they became available.

Now a part of me could quite happily exploit the fact that Northrend is available and I can complete quests around the starter areas and pick up gear that is massively greater than anything available in Outlands for Stormshaper’s level. At least until she starts running heroic or 10 man instances. I don’t know if that’s the moral thing to do – but then, saying that, Stormshaper has been in BoA gear from level 6, so morality hasn’t played that much of a role in her levelling as yet. I took the mace back to Outlands and used it to devastating effect in Terokkar Forest. It made something easy so much easier!

Levelling in Outlands has been an absolute blast truth be told. I’ve completed just two zones (I regard receiving the zone achievement as completion of the zone), and I’m about 10% of the way through Terokkar Forest and Stormshaper is already 69 and on her way to 70. I can recall just how long it took my hunter to move from 69 to 70 back in the day, questing hard in Area 52. With Storm and her XP gain, she’s just blasting through content.

I ran a few dungeons today, just to break up the levelling grind and was lucky enough to meet a nice group of people. Isn’t there a tragic irony that good groups don’t get a mention? Anyway, this group was fine. We had a paladin tank, a druid healer, a hunter, warrior and me as DPS. (No death knights – WIN!).

We ran through Setthek Halls twice and Auchenai Crypts without a single wipe and I think, only one death. Brilliant! Some quests were completed in each instance, gear was passed around fairly and we all received our bags of helpful goods. I got three rings from the three runs, each one miles worse than the rings already equipped. So much for “helpful”. Still, its a few gold from a vendor, so better than nothing I suppose.

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Northrend or Outlands? Turn off Experience Gain or Press On?

Stormshaper quested her hooves off last night and reached level 67, while still in Zangermarsh! She’s now five levels above the content she’s questing in, such is the increased reputation you can get from the BoA items. I didn’t run any further instances last night, I want to try and complete the whole Zangermarsh area and move to Nagrand, but I think she’ll hit 68 before leaving the beautiful, serene marshlands.

So the question is, do I immediately leave Outlands and follow the throng to Northrend? I can remember as The Burning Crusade was nearing the end of its life, and the Scourge Invasion envent was upon us, people talked about Northrend greens being better than Tier 4 gear available from Karazhan, Maggy and Gruul’s Lair.

Of course, the reality was somewhat different. My Hunter, decked out head to toe in Tier 4 gear (I never got further than SSC in BC on him) was able to progress to somewhere near level 76 before he finally replaced all his gear with stuff from Outlands, and even then, some of that was the entry-level crafted gear.

So I’m not sure what to do. I could turn off Stormshaper’s experience gain when she hits 70, which won’t be long at this rate, but then I’m at the mercy of “fun runs” to Karazhan and Gruul’s. No-one ever tries to go to Zul Aman any more because there’s no war bear mount to be had, and, well, its pretty damned difficult. I’ve never seen a fun run to SSC – do people even know it exists? Black Temple and Sunwell? People at 80 can’t do those raids, and I doubt Stormshaper would get an invite – I saw a level 80 Death Knight trade recently refusing to allow level 70 players join their raid to Gruul’s as they didn’t want too many “low levels” along.

If I turn off her experience gain, I could be a long time waiting for people to go to visit the BC raid instances, and I’m really not sure anyone would do BC heroic five man runs. Well, maybe Magister’s Terrace, but I can’t see anyone wanting to run heroic Hellfire Ramparts, for example.

I am torn. I could be stuck at 70 for a long, long time. It would give me a chance to perfect my rotation at 70 of course, but the second I turn the experience gain back on, I have to re-learn new talents…..At the moment, I’m really not sure what to do.

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