Not shaken, not stirred – scrambled.

My Rogue on Alliance side reached level 62 a few days ago.

This was cause for some giggling, as I equipped my Engineering Goggles, the Deathblow X11. Which really should be the name of a sports car that footballers would drive too fast in Europe.

You see, I equipped the new epic goggles… removing the previous epic Gnomish Battle Goggles.

The leetness is making me giggle whenever I log in.

On most alts, I mess around a bit, but rarely do I care what gear I’ve got as I level. I haven’t cared about leveling gear progression planning since I leveled my second ever character, my Hunter, ages and ages ago in Vanilla WoW.

Back then, I spent hours planning out the progression of Blue (Rare) quality weapon upgrades, bouncing from Bows to Guns and back again depending on the level range, all the way to 60.

Lil Timmy’s Peashooter, the Hi-tech Supergun, debating the merits of Ironweaver vs Glass Shooter, all the wonderful BoE possibilities in each leveling range I wanted to choose from. I did my best to plan out a new weapon to hunt down to changeover to about each 5 to 7 levels.

What, armor? I was a Hunter, what did I care about armor? Slap any silly old thing on, I don’t need armor, that’s what traps and my kitty were for!

Ahhh, don’t bullshit me, sometimes you get more fun out of thinking and planning what you intend to do, and what gear you intend to look for, and where it drops from, than you do from playing the game. It’s okay, you can admit it.

I prowled the Auction House like a fiend for those shiny new upgrades, but my true lust was reserved for scoring the ultimate BoE prize, the perfect weapon for my gun toting Hunter badass… the Dwarven Hand Cannon.

It was big. It was bad. It was EPIC.

Well, it wasn’t that big, really. Kinda small. When they said it was Dwarven, you thought they meant that’s who made it. Nope. It’s an itty bitty little gun.

And it wasn’t that badass, either. Sometimes you had a chance to get flaming balls. Whoo. Hell, Jong has those every weekend. I hear he has a big problem when he eats while he dances, too.

But did I mention it was, like, EPIC? It was a PURPLE, man! WOOOOOO!!!!!!

No, this post is not going to descend into any more “back in the day” nostalgia stuff. That’ll do for now.

The point is, it’s been years since I’ve gone really hog wild over gear planning for alts at any time before max level.

Until, that is, my Rogue.

My Rogue is one of those alts that never seemed destined for playtime.

She had a great name I didn’t want to lose, she looked like a hot Buffy the Vampire Slayer in tight leather, I’d leveled her AND her Engineering up high enough that I felt it’d be stupid to delete her, but I’d lost interest in playing what was, and let’s be honest, a Feral Druid that can’t self heal or tank.

Stealth, check, good melee DPS, check, fun abilities like stuns and stuff, check.

Tanking an instance in the future for friends…. not so much. Healing someday for fast queue times? Ummm… no.

Hell, I already HAD a max level stealthy melee DPS. If I wanted to go ninja some bastard, I could go kitty form and eat peoples. Right?

But then… a few weeks ago, I had an epiphany (type 2).

There was a reason to level my Rogue… Rogue armor sets look cool.

Well, that’s all it took. I had a mission in life. To level my Rogue to the point she could solo level 60 instances, and begin to collect the Shadowcraft pieces in order to build what is, for me, the absolute best looking armor set in the entire game; the Darkmantle set.

I’d never attempted it before. To build a complete class appropriate Dungeon Set 1, then upgrade ALL of it to the Dungeon Set 2 by following the insane quest chains, instance procedures, and hoop jumping.

After all, as I mentioned before, my Hunter’s attitutude to armor was ‘piffle’, and my Druid… ahh, my Druid.

My Druid collected the Dungeon Set 1 Shadowcraft set. I was Feral. It was the perfect Feral Druid set.

But those bastards at Blizzard… did they admit Druids were allowed to do anything other than heal? HELL no! No, our set that WE got to upgrade to Dungeon Set 2 was the Feralheart Raiment.

Sure, there is a mix of stats there now (and I sure as heck don’t remember them being that nice to hybrid specs; I think it got tweaked) but it didn’t come close to being yummy for a dedicated kitty/bear. Not like Shadowcraft did.

So. Feralheart? Bah.

But my Rogue… hmmm. I could actually DO it. I could fill out Shadowcraft and get Darkmantle. MmmmMMMmmmm.

So, my Rogue went from 43 to 62 pretty darn fast, thanks to chain quests and a friends’ sudden interest in getting Argent Dawn rep on their level 80 main.

“Want to run Scholomance and Stratholme Undead a few times?”

Who, me? Want multiple fast runs through Scholo? Whyever would I want that?

I dinged 60, and I thought I was pretty badass.

I had three pieces of Shadowcraft already, the Bracers, Boots and Belt. Those Gloves never seem to show up on our AH.

I had my epic Gnomish Battle Goggles.

I had the inevitable Heirloom Shoulders, Chest, dual trinkets, dual daggers (with +15 Agi enchant), and a bad attitude.

I felt pretty righteous.

Hell, I even had my Engineering leveled to 375 max already. Sure, I couldn’t actually train to the ultimate level until I hit level 65, but here I am at 60 able to use the Dalaran engineering Auction House, able to make my own Deathblow X11 Goggles, use the Gnomish Army Knife to rez people… yep. Badass.

Then I dropped into my bank to offload some stuff.

There, in my bank, lying there for God only knows how many months, was a pair of Bracers.

The Nightslayer Bracelets.

oooh! i can has moar epics!

I think I picked them up from a Molton Core run eons ago, and just tucked them away for “someday”.

Someday has come at last… but wait! What other goodies are just lying out there to be picked up?

I rooted around, and remembered another of my ancient goals for my Rogue.

I wanted my Human Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rogue ninja to ride a special mount. The Black PvP Kitty mount.

Don’t I recall in a recent patch that you could now buy PvP mounts with straight honor?

Why, yes I do!

Hold on there a second… furthermore, they changed things so that Stone Keeper’s Shards could be sold, 30 a batch, in exchange for a Wintergrasp Commendation. And Wintergrasp Commendations, when used, grant the user 2000 Honor a pop!

And they’re Bind on Account faction transferrable.

I know they did this, I traded some Stone Keeper’s Shards in for Commendations just a little while back to buy some PvP rings and necklaces for my super lowbie Orc Warrior alt.

Do I… Do I have any of those left?

Omigod… I have a shitload.

Which, for those in the audience that might not be familiar with the term, is ranked accordingly in terms of counting enemy targets; one, a couple, a few, several, a bunch, lots, a shitload, THAT’S IT WE’RE SCREWED. (For those of you truly salty, you know the word ‘screwed’ gets replaced with something else if ever actually used.)

Quick, send those Commendations to my Rogue, STAT!

Five minutes later, instant mount gratification. The Reins of the Black War Tiger are mine, for a measly 50,000 honor.

Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Lewis!

But wait, there’s more.

As I stand there in Stormwind, in front of the PvP mount vendor, I glance over at that rarely used door that leads to all the PvP vendors.

Mayhap there might be something else inside upon which I can spend all this honor that’s burning a hole in my pocket?

I peek inside, and see right there by the door two vendors, listed as ‘Legacy Armor Quartermaster’ and ‘Legacy Weapon Quartermaster’.

Now what might THAT be?

Why, lookie lookie thar. That be the old PvP level 60 Field Marshal set of gear.

Holy shit… it’s dirt cheap, too.

I had enough Honor left on me to buy the Marshal’s Leather Footguards, Marshal’s Leather Handgrips and Marshal’s Leather Leggings.

And on Alliance side, I had more than enough Stone Keeper’s Shards to easily buy enough Commendations to get all three other pieces as well! Wow! How cool! I might even get the two big ugly swords!

How awesome would that look for my “cruising Ironforge shopping in the AH” set?

So, all that was left was to wait for Alliance to win Wintergrasp, and off I’d go to get those Commendations.

Yep. Just gotta wait for Wintergrasp.

Yep.

All I gotta do.

Pretty cool.

Just gotta get that win.

Yep.

Okay, for the love of God, since when did the Horde on Kael’thas declare the Alliance to be their bitches and just flat out decided to OWN Wintergrasp?

Un-be-f’ing-lievable.

Everything I have related happened, mostly, on Friday.

I have since waited, oh so patiently, checking nearly hourly except when sleeping or at work, for Alliance to, miracle of miracles, have Wintergrasp.

Ain’t happening.

All I wanted was to be able to cap this post with a wicked evil-looking screenshot.

Instead, my fascination with the utter hegemony of Horde Wintergrasp mastery grows by the hour.

How do they do it? How in the world have the Horde on Kael’thas set themselves up as the supreme rulers of those frozen wintry reaches?

At what point will the Alliance finally say, “Hey, we’d like free epics from VoA too… this is bullshit, let’s get ‘em!”

It’s awe inspiring.

It’s a pain in the ass is what it is, but applause where applause is due, the Horde PvPers on Kael’thas are badass by the only definition that has meaning in the game… they have denied the Alliance a chance at raiding for epics for 5 days straight.

Hat’s off to you, folks, that’s amazing.

I’m certainly not going to complain about it… I am far more interested in playing my Rogue than in fighting in Wintergrasp for an Alliance victory every two hours. I’ll take the hit; I’ve done nothing to help make a victory happen.

It’s not like I want to USE that Field Marshal gear to PvP, either. It represents a pretty set that you don’t see very much anymore, and that I would wear in honor of my wife’s cousin Jason, the best and baddest assed PvPer I know, a man who actually EARNED the Horde side High Warlord title back when 60 was the cap, and it was the hardest possible PvP challenge in the existence of the game. And the most grueling.

I already look at the pieces I have, and think back to my own attempts at PvP in Vanilla WoW in the old days with the honor/kill rules with the ranks, the sliding scale, and the individual player ranking charts broken down on the Worldofwarcraft.com website updated weekly.

That’s right. This post went from a nostalgic look at alts and gear progression, to current alts and a rediscovery of gear sets and progression, and back to nostalgia.

Cosidering the server is still down, and I can’t check to see if Wintergrasp is up so I can buy the rest of my set…

DEAL WITH IT!

18 Responses to “Oh, What a Knight”
  1. Ngita says:

    You had me thing evil thoughts for a minute, I have literally thousands of wg shards and my rogue has been 56 for 4 years. But alas cross-faction mail for BoA not cross-server, I have one single precious slot left on my mains server and while the goblin/worgen mage/rogue that will fill it has not quite settled I must resist the urge.

  2. Minos says:

    Something curious happened to the Wintergrasp balance on Fenris. Used to be, the Alliance dominated it heavily. Since 3.3, it’s much more even. Horde holds it for most of Tuesday and Wednesday, then it goes back and forth until the weekend where Alliance tends to control it. I think it’s mostly because the rank changes in 3.3.0 finally prevented them from exploiting their way to full siege engines at the start of battle. It’s always puzzled me why the Alliance exploited that so consistently but I never saw the Horde do it. I read trade chat; I know the Horde has its share of unsavory personalities.

    Meanwhile, since the Horde has effectively been fighting Wintergrasp at a disadvantage for a year we tend to have the upper hand now when the odds are more even. The Alliance have just begun to learn how to mount a proper offense.

  3. scotth says:

    As someone that actually participates in Wintergrasp, the horde isn’t winning because the horde they are badass, but apathy on the part of the alliance. When you have ten tenacity in Wintergrasp, you are going to lose because you are heavily outnumbered.

    When the raid ID’s reset on Tuesday, alliance wins Wintergrasp. As the week progress and more people are saved there is less participation by alliance, and the horde wins consistantly.

    I am looking forward to when the proposed changes. Losing all the time, and winning all the time, are not any fun. It would be nice to have some close games for a change.

  4. Matojo says:

    … Late December back in ’63, what a very special time for me, as I remember, what a night~

    Dammit.

  5. Chawa says:

    It’s Murphy’s fault. Anytime you actually need to go to the WG vendor, you’ll find WG in the enemy’s hands. Happened to me last week! Which was a hell of a surprise considering I play Horde on Kael’thas and I’ve have witnessed the lack of Alliance participation in WG, leading to Horde usually winning.

  6. Naturalregis says:

    It’s Chawa’s fault. She’s bad ass. :)

  7. bigbearbutt says:

    ScottH, that is a very plausible answer, except for one thing… the reset was last night, and I’ve checked almost hourly, including before leaving for work this morning, and still no Alliance victory.

    Now, maybe Ahune the big Kahuna is the problem, or addons being destroyed by the patch, or whatever. Maybe tonight, the first full night after the patch, when things should be quiet and Wintergrasp and it’s VoA epics lies ripe for the plucking, maybe tonight is when Kael’thas Alliance will pull up their pants and put their game faces on, and take over Wintergrasp from the Horde.
    Stay tuned, because your intrepid reporter, BBB, will be embedded in the fight. News at 11!

  8. bigbearbutt says:

    I’ll be embedded in the fight the same way reporters embed themselves in fights overseas in the sandbox… I’ll watch the results of the REAL warriors and let you know how they did.

  9. bigbearbutt says:

    I know it’s not Chawa’s fault, Regis, because she would never deny me pretty pretty purples.

    YOU, on the other hand….

  10. Drew says:

    A wonderful post, to be sure. :) LFD and heirlooms have cut out much of the planning, but there are still pieces along the leveling path from quest rewards that are enticing enough to make an effort for, though sadly, they’re mostly confined to Outlands and Northrend.

    Sometimes I wish that I could have experienced Vanilla to know what it was like. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have succeeded in getting the JD if that were the case. :)

  11. Fangtastic says:

    Awesome post BBB!

    My rogue too is making her way through Outland at the moment and is getting progressively more fun to play and new tools become available.

    My inspiration for leveling a rogue was how awesome they look in tier gear too. In particular this video -> http://vimeo.com/5241163

    I wish rogues handled like that, but then they’d be way too OP. :D

  12. Elegantdeath says:

    Nice timing on the article. I’m leveling an alt and completely forgot about the “BOA” Wintergrasp Commendations.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. How was the remainder of your trip?

  13. UTDewd says:

    @Drew – Actually, no, you don’t want to go back to the pre-BC 1-60 grind. Quest rewards were, at best, puzzling. Shields with strength and spirit? A complete lack of proper itemization for all but the most standardized specs? Spirit on everyone’s dungeon set 1, including Rogues and Warriors? Much better to re-experience it when Cataclysm comes out with its promise of proper itemization and the ability to level, say, as Balance.

    I wish you the best of luck, BBB. As a Resto Druid at 60, I leveled a cute little stabby female Gnome Rogue as the counterpart to my Druid. Once BC came out, I went Feral and haven’t looked back. I just can’t get my head around playing a Rogue. It seems needlessly foreign and complicated. As you mentioned, not being able to heal myself or tank frustrated me. As annoying as it is, the feral cat rotation is, at least, familiar to me. I leveled my Rogue to 70 just before BC ended. I leveled her to 80 and have done a bit of stuff in Wrath but not much. My Shaman is now my Leatherworker and my Rogue will probably retire come Cataclysm, perhaps to be rerolled as a Gnome Priest when I reroll my abandoned Balance Druid (now a bank alt/AH mule) as a Worgen Druid and see the caster side of life.

  14. Qwicksylver says:

    I totally know the feeling. When my druid hit 80 I quickly got a hold of some Stone Keeper Shards and then after a few weeks of not getting the drops I needed to upgrade my gear I decided man I will just cash these in get some honor and buy the PvP stuff. Surely the pvp epics have to be better than my level 74-76 blues and what not. So First I looked i was at like 180 SKS and I was like “Woot”! I hearth to Dal only to find out we don’t have WG. Okay no biggie I keep playing 240 SKS. Ok hearth to Dal same thing. Finally I checked and we had WG and I had over 650 sks. But by that time I had gotten those epics and now I had nothing to buy with honor so I bought the darn Mammoth, “which cant get through SW” WTF???!!!!!????? and idek what I spent the rest on. Long story to say yeah Alliance = fail at WG on my server, yet some how I still kept getting more. Weird I guess I just looked at all the wrong times. BTW never a problem on my horde server go figure.

  15. Shane says:

    I will say this as a hordie on Shu’halo: Im positively livid when the alliance has control of WG. Thats not their place its ours. I actively participate in WG as often as i can on a rotation of my alts. Then every so often the alliance storms the fortress and defeats us… lol, but then us hordies are usually still in the fortress fighting until we are overwhelmed even after the loss.

    PS. What happened to tales of the trip iii? I was expecting you to put another post up. As a non-american its always interesting to find out what you guys have int he backwaters of your country… :D

  16. Dabien says:

    Just wanted to recommend something for your rogues shiny new headpiece.

    At 62, thats the lowest you can possibly get a headpiece with a meta socket, that specific headpiece. If you place Thundering Skyflare Diamond (http://www.wowhead.com/item=41400) in it, along with a Nightmare Tear (http://www.wowhead.com/item=49110) to activate it, it should give you around 40% haste when it procs. Might cost you a couple of hundred gold, but you should be able to breeze through elites with it.

  17. bigbearbutt says:

    Dabien, not only do I thank you for your advice, but I am now going to go scurry off and do just that. Thanks!

    Shane… there was no tales from the trip 3, because there was only one thing that really happened after TotT2 that would have been amusing and relevant, and that was our trip to Bear Country,USA. And all that would have consisted of was lots of pics of big bear butts au naturale. And even then, I didn’t have a laptop powerful enough to crop/modify all the bear photos at the time. By the time we were back at home and I had the computer power to do the photos… well, we were home.

  18. dorgol says:

    I abused the BoA honor tokens on my (at the time 44, I think) Shaman – instead of gear, though, I bought all 5 PvP mounts:

    50,000 honor per mount * 5 mounts = 250,000 honor
    250,000 honor / 2,000 honor per token = 125 Honor Tokens
    125 Honor Tokens * 30 Stonekeeper Shards each = 3,750 Stonekeeper Shards

    All that Honor could have been turned into Epic Gems at 10,000 honor per @ 100g gem or around 2,500 gold.

    But it was totally worth it to be able to ride around on a Kodo, Hawkstrider, Skeletal Horse, and Raptor.

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