Good afternoon, everyone.
We’re back at home, safe and sound, and just in time!
I heard there was some news about WoW or something released, but screw all that… time for a new Cub Report!
We arrived back in town late Thursday night, and celebrated our trip to Walt Disney World resorts with some Death Knight leveling.
Alex and I were level 78 in Sholozar Basin Friday morning, and today we’re level 80. While that doesn’t sound very impressive, we’ve covered a lot of ground.
We only did about half of Sholozar when it occured to me that we could easily hit 80 without ever having seen Icecrown. That just wouldn’t do!
Off we went to report for duty at Argent Vanguard, and I proved I know my cub well.
He quickly grasped the concept of attacking the undead spiders, and loved how rescuing web wrapped people could cause a spider to erupt, sending you flying.
He instantly adapted to the situation as any true role playing group leader would… by sending the least suspecting, or most trusting, person in to ‘test’ for traps for him. “Look, if I attack them and a spider pops up, I go flying! But if I send my ghoul in for me, he gets blown up instead of me! That’s so cool!”
Ah yes, a future 1st lieutenant in the making if I ever saw one. All he was missing was a 10′ staff to give the ghoul to use to poke the webs.
Alex loved the phased aspect of the Argent Vanguard and Argent Pinnacle. The idea of the world changing through our actions is a powerful one, and he loved it. The final aspect of it, holding off waves of undead as the pinnacle is claimed, was very exciting for him. He threw me for a moment as the battle was won, expecting an immediate change in the area. I took him back to turn in the quest, and then made the special trip to the Pinnacle, and he loved the fact it was now ours, that we had made that happen. A more positive version of phasing than the Death Knight starter area, and it captured his imagination much better.
The next step was to train level 80 skills, and fulfill on a promise I had made.
Alex loves mounts. He loves mounts and pets.
Ahem. ALEX LOVES MOUNTS AND PETS.
When the golden dragon mount was released, for the first time I saw my son with lust in his heart. He wanted a dragon mount.
I promised my son he could HAVE a dragon mount… that once he reached level 80, we could get him a dragon.
He had hit level 80. The time had come.
So off I went on my Druid to the Caverns of Time.
What, you didn’t think I was going to drop that kind of REAL money on a golden dragon, did you?
Well, I almost did, but that’s why Cassie is in charge of the Bear household. She set us straight, and I improvised.
I did Bearcat through the Culling of Stratholme, Cassie blasted mobs on her Rogue, and Alex did his best to pull aggro. Damn, that boy likes to Death Grip stuff.
As an aside, the Feral Druid/Rogue combo was able to clear the timed instance with 9 minutes to spare, in case you were thinking of doing it yourself. Everyone should have at least one dragon in the stables.
One run through Culling of Stratholme heroic, one dragonoid dead, one Bronze Drake won and delivered to Alex the Death Knight, 4000 gold coughed up by Cassie so he could train epic flying and learn the mount.
The moment when Alex stood in Stormwind at the trainer, mounted his bronze dragon for the very first time, and took to the air with a whispered “awesome”?
I asked him, now that we were level 80, where did he want to go next. Mount Hyjal, mountain of fire and reclaiming the earth, or Vash’jir, sunken undersea world of mystery and seahorse mounts.
Off to Vash’jir we went!
I was glad of one thing. On the Alliance side, I’ve never understood the whole “Budd” thing, with him seeing a shiny and diving overboard. I thought it was childish and stupid.
When Alex was with me, sound on and seeing everything for the first time? He was wondering wtf right along with me.
I guess it wasn’t childish after all. Just stupid.
Have you taken the time recently to stop and look at Vash’jir? The damn place is gorgeous. For a child that had just spent time at Epcot doing Turtle Talk with Crush from Finding Nemo, the Nemo ride, seeing all those vibrant colors… they nailed that feel.
You get a seahorse to tame and ride, there are slowly swimming sea turtles, sharks, large claw dudes, crabs, colors and activity everywhere.
Yes, I know the actual gameplay in Vash’jir is kinda sucky.
One thing right off the bat, you do a LOT of quests before ever seeing your first gear upgrade. In Mount Hyjal, the gear is thrown at you right from the beginning. In Vash’jir, we died multiple times against the crabs and naga and gilbin, basically whenever one of us was on our own and got swarmed by two opponents.
One thing Alex asked was, how come Death Knights can drown and need an air bubble? Aren’t they already dead? Umm…… oh, look at that sea turtle!
I may be a Bear and can’t parry, but apparently I can still cast distracting shot. So… why the hell DO Death Knights drown? Are they only mostly dead?
What about Undead players? Are they not really quite dead dead? What does that mean when they cannibalize others?
Let’s not go there.
Stepping away from the game for a moment and taking stock of why we were dying so much, I realised we had leveled so fast that we still had mostly crafted level 72 gear on. When I checked Alex, I saw that he had somehow acquired a set of leather bracers, epic SPELLPOWER bracers, equipped on his character.
Another thing Alex loves are gear sets. So, I sent Alex off to bed for the night, and then built an entire set of level 80 blacksmithing crafted tank plate for him, along with the level 81 two handed sword. I farmed ore for a few hours, Lierthes gave me a lot of Obsidian Bars, but we got it done. A full and complete set. I made some Redsteel pieces for myself too, but he got a full set, and that was the goal. When we got up on Saturday, I sent him off to check his bank, and helped him equip it all.
I warned him there was a tradeoff. Gear is either optimized for damage, or for defense. If it does one, then it’s gonna be weak on the other. I did the whole “hands leveling” thing to show him that if something is high on the one side, it’s low on the other, and he went “oooh” and nodded his head just like he knew what I was talking about. I thought that was promising, after all how many Druids over the years have failed to understand the difference between Stam stacking and Agility/Dodge?
I’ve noticed that with the tanking gear, his damage output is about the same as mine… but he’s got 12k more health than I do now. He’s over 30k while I’m still in the 22k range.
Needless to say, we don’t get eaten by crabs anymore. We didn’t even need the special lotion!
There is so much in the game right now that is fun.
I know that there is a ton of info, clarification, and confirmation that got released today about mists of Pandaria. I’m glad to see it, and I enjoyed reading through some of it. Most of it was just a confirmation of what we were already told, along with a billion screenshots.
As an experienced player, I walked away from the big fancy info dump saying, “A new character slot, female pandaren look GREAT, and pet battles will be really real and really released and pets will be shared on account. Freaking awesome.”
Yep, that was all I really cared about in the info dump.
But as cool as the next expansion will be… this one was pretty damn good. There is still a lot of fun left on the table. Alex needs to get his Druid to 60 and see what Flight Form is all about. I’ve never finished getting Archeaology pets and mounts. I haven’t played PvP with Gnomer, although that might be corrected soon. He’s putting together a ‘who would I like to see die’ team, and my name came up. Or something like that.
Yes, I’ve heard what the final patch of the new expansion will be about… and why they felt the need to announce that plot twist a year and a half before it would drop is beyond my understanding, but okay.
For now, the Cub and I are happily playing the game, he’s got his own dragon to ride, and we can sing along as we kill fishies, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, what do we do, we swim, swim….”