This last weekend saw a lot of movement, mostly in an upward direction.

Alex and I spent a bit of time on our Death Knights questing, and saw the 100% completion of Deepholm.

Alex has achieved level 84, and thanks to some of his Archaeology adventuring my DK only reached 83.

So, we’re in Uldum. We did the first two sets of Harrison Jones quests, and then he had me turn off his XP gain, because he wanted to get more experience learning PvP before hitting the “big time”.

I now have the opportunity to catch up so we are both 84 before continuing on together. I think we’ll ding at about the same time, I’ve had experience leveling with Cassie before, where we both dinged at exactly the same time on the same quest. it just takes careful timing. Queue ‘The Gambler” soundtrack. :)

We both played our Death Knights as Unholy two handed the entire way… without any research. No guidance, and I’ll be honest, without really caring what all the buttons did. We spammed whatever lit up, put everything new on our bars, and hey, stuff died so it’s all good, right?

We were having too much fun chatting side by side while exploring the mysteries.

Oh, and fathers, just in time for Fathers Day, don’t ever forget the awesome power we wield. It’s not just the finesse of choosing the perfect age to watch Star Wars, Transformers or Indiana Jones together. (Note: It is not yet time for Raiders of the Lost Arc. I give it another year or so for the spiders, dead bodies impaled by spears, and snakes).

As an aside, I think nine is the perfect age to first introduce Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Galaxyquest.

No, but beside that, just think… if you time it just right, YOU will be the one to pass on the rites of manhood.

Such as the Beans song.

Teaching the Beans song to my son has elicited hoots of laughter.

For those of you whose fathers did not accomplish their mission;

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
the more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel,
so hey let’s have beans for EVERY meal!

These are sacred mysteries. You must not be derelict in your solemn duty.

What the heck was I? Oh, right.

You only think I’m joking when I lose my train of thought. At this point, it ain’t really a train, it’s more of a wind-up tonka truck.

Hey, did you know Tonka Trucks originally came from here where I live in Minnesota? They were built in a factory in Minnetonka, Minnesota, hence “Tonka Trucks”. I think they’re made in China now or something, but hey, fun facts, right?

What?

Oh, right. playing Death Knights like whack-a-mole.

I finally went and visited Elitist Jerks forums to see what they suggested for specs and ability synergy and all that. And Glyphs.

After that, I went to the Training Dummy, and did it my way. I got about 3800 DPS. I had Alex go for it. He pulled in about 5200 DPS. Pretty good, pretty good.

Then I respecced myself, optimized the abilities, moved stuff around so I could hit what they said were the best ones, and tried again.

I got about 8000 DPS.

Alex is now rocking about 10,500 DPS. Sustained.

I’ve been in LFR with people sporting lower DPS. Not that he’s gonna be in LFR any time soon, but still. I think that’s good for going on into the level 81-84 PvP bracket for a week.

Alex really likes the Harrison Jones quests, although I’m curious what he’s going to think of Schnottz.

Oh, who am I kidding. As soon as Gobbles burst into flames, he went into a giggle fit. Did anyone fail to see that coming?

The biggest hit of leveling so far, I think, was Deepholm. As a self-professed fan of “Rock Guys”, exploring and questing in a world devoted to all things Rock Guy was the bestest thing ever.

I’ll admit to a twinge or two along the way.

He doesn’t quite get the philosophical design reasons behind mindless grinds and repetitive, miserable questing to get something cool. He just doesn’t have the same beaten in, fundamental grasp that some things you think are neat and cool have been intentionally designed so that items most people who will want them won’t ever get them.

The idea that someone would want to intentionally exclude players from having something neat just hasn’t occurred to him. As experienced players, we all know that Blizzard intentionally designs some super cool, neat things so that most people won’t ever get one. Won’t ever even SEE one.

They are always things that do not affect or hinder progression in PvE or PvP. Things that nobody in the game is stuck without. I’ve seen them called vanity items before, but they’re really just… cool, neat stuff.

They’re items that are neat and cool, that you don’t have to have in order to play and succeed in raiding or PvP, that are kept rare either by making them super-rare drops, or requiring extensive research to know how you get them through questing, or through Rep or Honor grinding.

We’re used to it, right? It seems normal.

You see something and think, “Oh, sweet! That rocks! I’d love to have that!”

Then you research it to see how you get it, and find out that if you farm this one remote critter for about 48 hours straight, you might get one. Each kill only has about a 0.01% chance of having the pet Whelp or Firefly or whatever drop, though, so you might just be the exception that blows the curve. Good luck on that Baron Mount!

So it’s kept rare, only those folks that are willing to suffer enough, invest time enough, or pay money enough will get it.

I know that I’ve read that the rares are thus more desirable from a certain point of view.

I know I’m freaking weird. I accept that. I might be the outlier on this one. No offense, but as far as I can tell it’s the point of view of “Nyah nyah, I’ve got one and you doooooon’t”, but what the hey. I’m more than willing to admit that I might be the idiot that doesn’t get it. I mean, I love the Creepy Crate, and it’s not rare at all. Anyone that wanted to do the quests last hallows End can have it, and it rocks. Likewise, I love, love, love the Red Drake you got for running timed Culling of Stratholme.

What I love isn’t having stuff other people don’t have, it’s having a complete collection. God help me, if I let myself, I will try and collect an entire set of… well, anything I think is cool. I hope Alex doesn’t have it as bad as I do.

Anyway, we get all of that about neat rare stuffs. We get that, if you really want something, you have to prove your commitment through sacrifice. Kinda like, if you really want to get the opposite number to go on that date with you, you have to cut your ear off and mail it to them to prove you’re serious. Right?

Oh, wait, wrong support group.

Alex doesn’t really get that part of games, not so much. The first twinge I had along these lines in Deepholm, of course, came the very moment the cute wittle Pebble appeared and offered us quests.

What was the very next sentence uttered by Alex? Oh c’mon, you know what it was.

“Oh, he’s so awesome and cute! Do we get to keep him later as a pet? He’s the greatest!”

Aw… just, crappity crap crap.

Thus follows a fun teaching moment.

“You don’t get him as your pet at the conclusion of these quests, son. You feed him and help him and spend time with him, yes, but he is not a permanent pet just yet. If you want him for a permanent pet, you have to complete all the quests in Deepholm until the daily quest givers are unlocked at the Throne of Therazane, and then you have to check every single day to see if there is one particular quest available, called Lost in the Deeps, and then you have to do that quest a total of ten times. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get the Rock Lover achievement, and you’ll get Pebble mailed to you for your very own pet.”

“Oh. Okay! So I have to do the daily quests for ten days? No problem! It’s just like when we did daily quests to earn our Wintersaber mounts and it took a month!”

Sigh. Yes, that would be the logical thing to expect, wouldn’t it? To simply invest ten solid days of daily questing to get one cute little non-combat pet that you want because you love “Rock Guys”.

“Actually, son, it will probably take more than ten days. In fact, when we finish questing we’ll want to check back every day. You see, the quest doesn’t show up every day. There are all sorts of quests that can appear, a different selection ever day. And if we’re really unlucky, why, we might never see that quest at all.  So, it’s actually something you have to devote a little time to checking every single day for the long haul. So the question you have to ask yourself is, just how badly do you want that pet Pebble?”

“If I get Pebble, will he fight with me?”

Sigh. Oh, do you mean will there be more of a reward for your time and effort other than a standard pet? No, no there won’t. But of course I won’t say that. He just has an honest question. he knows what it takes to get normal pets, and he knows there are pets he has gotten from quest chains, and even pets from the Darkmoon faire dailies. So, if he has to go to what seem unusual lengths, it seems fair to him that there be unusual rewards.

Ah, the innocence of youth, when you still think the game developers LIKE you and just want you to be happy. Giggle.

This is more the area of Tish Tosh Tesh, but the Pebble pet seems to me to be a perfect example of this particular design concept. You don’t have to have that pet. It doesn’t affect raiding proficiency, running instances, PvP capability, it won’t even harm future pet battles.

There are no buffs, debuffs, escapes, evades, achievements coming FROM the pet. The pet is the result of getting an achievement, just like other pets like the little fawn and the skunk. It is a reward for doing stuff that you do not have to do to advance by what is considered progression in the game.

It is 100% entirely optional. It is just one of many potential time sinks.

And thus, there is no requirement on the part of Blizzard to make it easy to obtain in any way. It can even be bugged and never appear ten times as the daily quest, and it doesn’t matter. There is no need to fix it. Random is random, better luck next time, it’ll be even better then. And the more rare it is, in some lights, the better it must be, right?

So. It’s gonna be very interesting to see how badly Alex decides he really wants that Pebble pet.

I’m betting, based on how he handles things, that he’ll log in and check Deepholm a few times over a week this summer, and if he doesn’t see the quest for a few days straight, he’ll never even think about it again. He’ll move on to some other fun thing, either in game or out.

Time will tell.

From what I’ve seen of how he handles goals, he prefers taking on a task where he can see progress, even if it’s just a little at a time. He doesn’t like random blind grinds, he likes being able to see that there was some movement, even if it’s only a little bit, rather than just whack and whack and never know if you’re ever gonna see that one drop.

Like what he’s doing right now, which is playing a couple of Eye of the Storm and Arathi Basin matches each couple of days with XP locked, gathering Honor points for the Death Knight set he thinks looks the best, the Brutal Gladiator’s Dreadplate.

It’s interesting he likes that one so much. And after I went ahead and developed a set I thought would indulge his love of crystals!

FYI, if you’re interested in what went into this set, let me know. I can break it down. I know I haven’t seen it on any of the normal Transmog sites, but I love it. Alex, however, has more Brutal tastes. With spikes.

Well, that’s not really what he’s doing RIGHT NOW. That would playing be on his new level 2 Undead Warrior alt, murdering innocent people and eating their brains and stuff.

Okay, now I’m intentionally taunting the silly peoples. Bad Bear! Bad! Sometimes, I can’t help myself.

/sarcasm off

20 Responses to “The Cub Report – Rock Guys Rock!”
  1. Ben says:

    Im enjoying the cub reports !

    “and then he had me turn off his XP gain,” how do you do this ?

    • bigbearbutt says:

      In capital cities there is a PvP chamber with the generals and stuff, and an NPC that you can talk to who will shut off XP gain so if you want to twink at level 19 forever, you can. Or 84, or whatever your favorite level is.

      On Alliance side, the one I have always gone to is in Stormwind castle, the room of PvP generals just off Varian Wrynn’s throne room. He is a stealthed Rogue, and I think he is called the XP Destroyer or something like that.

  2. Rades says:

    Bear, I’d be quite interested to hear about Alex’s experiences with the undead zone (and Silverpine), given how existential and actually kind of sad it is at times. I wonder if he’ll get curious/attached to the characters? And what he’ll think when things get a little nasty with the Worgen. Keep us updated!

    Also, teach him soon – the phrase is POWER AND GLORY TO THE FORSAKEN. Yess. Yesss little one.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Well, so far he’s finding it very strange that an undead can die… and run back from the graveyard angel. And that an undead can kill a skeleton… and then eat it to gain health.

      • Tesh says:

        Stuff like that breaks logic, as do so many other questions of life and death in the game. They really did go to odd lengths to make the Forsaken playable. There are interesting questions to be asked there from a storytelling perspective, but there’s only so much you can do within the game’s framework. :(

      • Kemonojin says:

        Heh. Wait till he discovers that you can set a being of elemental water on fire… while underwater.

        I’ve always loved that axe. My paladin, happily, had never done the quest that rewards it, so I didn’t sell it two expansions ago, and now have it shinying up her back… as she stands around in Stormwind waiting for someone in the guild to want a glyph. :P

  3. Well to keep from crushing his hopes and dreams, you can always remind him he can use it to battle come Mists of Pandaria. There’s also that odd green thing you can get as a pet in one of the dailies. Jade rock spider thing if I recall correctly? (been so long since I’ve logged in x.x) Anyway, yay adorable midget post.

    • Yuscha says:

      The Jade Rock Spider is “Jadefang”

      (www.wowhead.com/npc=49822)

      He is a rare spawn, and always drops the tiny shale spider pet.

      If you’re on a high-population realm there is usually some competition. Some hunters are looking to get this unique-colored pet.

      Getting up to his cave using the bombs from the daily quest was interesting, though.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        Thank you for that. I knew about the pet, but never tried for him. I think I’ll give it a shot this week.

        • bigbearbutt says:

          Spent all last night camping the Jadefang spawn. Woke up this morning, there he is!

          If not for you and your comment here, I wouldn’t have gotten the pet. Thank you.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      In related news, today is day two of two in a row that Lost in the Deeps is available since he can do it.

      I’m doing them along with on my Priest.

  4. Mannyac says:

    And here I thought Pet Rocks went out of style in the 70’s

  5. Nina says:

    That’s funny – the beans song that I learned from my dad started, “beans, beans, they’re good for your heart…”

  6. Torcthaim says:

    When I decided to push for collecting pets, I ended up leaving an alt in Deepholm (I had a couple who had quested enough to get the dailies). Then I could just log in and check every day for the Pebble quest. That way you can be sure to get Pebble, but not waste time every day running to Deepholm.

  7. Dave C says:

    I’m going to need to know details about that shiny transmog set, I wanna be shiny too

  8. ursiheil says:

    In pvp I still need to fulfill my goal of using carrion feeder on a forsaken I’ve just killed. The ultimate in revenge!!!

  9. BlackDragon says:

    Dear BBB,

    I regret to inform you of your error in mistaking dragon mounts in game, being an avid WoW dragon-rider myself.

    The BRONZE drake mount is the one that drops from the Heroic Culling of Stratholme’s timed run. The RED drake mount is purchasable from the Wyrmrest Accord quartermaster at Exalted for (IIRC) 1.6k gold.

    Any inconvenience caused is deeply intende- err, I mean regretted o_O

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Meh

      • bigbearbutt says:

        I figure these days, close enough is close enough if something is mentioned in passing. If I’m writing something as a guide, it damn well better be right though.

        You’re correct, they’re two different mounts… I think folks knew what I meant this time. :-)

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