The Cub has been spending minimal time playing WoW since Pandaria released. He’s found the questing in Pandaria to be too crowded and dangerous to be fun.

He stops to read quest text, to read the quest description, and to check his location on a map a lot.

In most places in the early areas, that means you get jumped every time you try to get your bearings. He hates it, and so he stopped playing.

I’d watch him get a quest, open his map to look where to go, and get jumped immediately. So, he’d have to close the map, kill it, move a bit away where it looks clear, open the map… and respawns jump him again right away.

Frustrating as heck.

If you like to take a few minutes to get oriented before charging out into the world to do your next quest, it can be a huge pain… especially when you’re used to simply hopping on your mount and getting some elevation so you can check your map or read your quest text in relative safety.

It is what it is. The game isn’t aimed at challenging a nine year old, it’s aimed at challenging teens plus. As in the old line about the horse, we shouldn’t be dissapointed that the horse has a thick accent, we should just be grateful the horse can talk at all. I’m proud at how well Alex has learned to read, understand and develop his own strategies for playing the game. He’s getting better at typing replies if someone says ‘grats’ to him, and he’s even created a few macros to do the /chicken and /dance and such.

This little person was watching Maizy Mouse not that long ago. It’s amazing.

Since he doesn’t like the questing, he’s spent most of his time since the expansion playing during Sunday evening cross-server raids, and sometimes at night queuing his Death Knight for random Pandaria dungeons.

In the cross-server raids, we were finishing out Burning Crusade, and he’s been running on his Warlock. Just this last week he completed the Tier 5 Corrupter Warlock set, and I’ll grant you, it looks impressive on a male Worgen. Very cool, very “I will tear your soul apart” Warlocky. He loves it, and he’s happy to have completed such a great looking set. The helm actually looks decent on a big wolf snout.

In Pandaria, when he plays on his Death Knight he’s taken to avoiding the Jade Forest quest zones and just queues for random normal Dungeons to get XP.

He did Stormstout Brewery a few nights ago, and I watched over his shoulder without giving him any tips at all… until he got to the final boss.

At that point, I just gave him a few pointers, because that fight kinda blows. “Make sure you don’t stand still when you’ve got the brown stuff. When you see the lines of green waves coming at you, jump high to let them pass underneath. Kill the adds.”

Lots of stuff for a melee to deal with, but he did well.

Before the boss even died, I told him, “Whatever you do, don’t leave the instance.”

The boss died, loot was rolled on, and one by one the rest of the people left.

“Okay, now get back to the entrance, where the little old lady sells tea.”

He did that, and I had him get the ‘special’ brew that lets you see stuff, you can have up to five in your bags at a time.

I showed him that if you drink that tea, you get a buff that lets you see Golden Hoplings… and if you find all thirty in the instance, you get a Hopling pet mailed to you!

“Is the pet a Golden Hopling?!?”

“No, it’s a white-colored Hopling.”

“Oh.”

“Yes, I know, a Golden Hopling mailed to you like it was one of the ones you found, that would make too much sense. Just roll with it, and get your butt out there and find those Golden Hoplings!”

“How long do I have?”

“As long as you like. When the tea buff wears off, drink another. If you run out of tea, go to the beginning and buy more.”

The hunt for the Golden Hoplings is, I think, the most fun he’s had in the game in a long time. He found almost all of them the first time, only missing one. That actually made it cooler, because it wasn’t just some easy snooze to victory. When he realized that he’d missed one, he got that “I’m really concentrating now” look on his face, with the tip of his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth while he systematically tore that place apart looking for missing Hoplings.

He got ‘em all, too. Heck yes he did.

Once he won, he tore up the stairs to let mommy know that “I went through looking for all the Golden Hoplings, and I found them all so they mailed me a Hopling pet! Except it’s not gold, it’s white.”

Just an FYI. If you haven’t done that achievement yet, you can do it in Stormstout Brewery on normal, you can wait until the place is cleared and all your teammates have left the group, and you can take as long as you’d like. And your children may like to do it for you. :)

Alex having a Warlock at level 81, and the fun toys he got,  has had me itching to level one. There seem to be so many changes since I last tried one out. 

I have all the Heirlooms, even the pants, and with the WoW 8th Anniversary 8% XP (and Rep) buff, I put a lot of my gaming time into leveling one this weekend.

I had a level 30 female Worgen, the one I was leveling with Alex, but I had to delete it and start over Thursday. The Worgen casting animations I could deal with, but the transmog pieces? That snout had to go!

If I’m going to be evil, damn it, I’m going to look good doing it.

With that WoW 8th Anniversary 8% XP buff, the heirlooms… it’s been crazy. I reached level 40 last night, not really trying that hard. Most instances give me two levels. I barely have time to get through the starter quests in a zone while queueing before I move on to the next quest zone.

Let me tell you something about Warlocks.

They’re fun. They didn’t used to be this fun to level.

Part of it is, there has been a lot of attention to detail put into the fun extras. It’s not just a race to the end, where they suddenly turn cool. They get lots of fun, crazy stuff right off the bat that make them fun to level up.

Let me give you an example.

I’m leveling and playing Demonology. Much like my Hunter, I feel that if the core aspect that sets a class apart is a pet, then go for the gusto, really go full bore pet.

Demonology is all about a powerful demon pet, and about being a powerful demon yourself.

To transform into a demon, you need to build up some Demonic Power. As you do damage and use abilities, your Demonic Power increases. If you’re out of combat for a while it fades down to a minimum level.

Turning into a demon looks neat, and your abilities transform into slightly different versions, but there is more coolness than that.

If your Demonic Power builds but you don’t unleash it by metamorphosing into a demon, there are visual cues that show you’re bursting with power.

One of the earliest signs is that you grow two glowing purple horns out of your head. Still in normal form, you just suddenly have honking big purple horns.

Then your hands start to glow all the time with swirling purple energy.

Once your Demonic Power is maxed out, you’re veritably exploding with purple smoke trails, horns, and a big evil pattern on the floor like the opposite of a Priest sigil of power. It’s freaking cool.

Also, you seem to get an 8% passive damage buff when you’re full of Demonic Power but not actually in demon form. I haven’t really checked into it, I’m just going off the wording of the tooltip.

All the graphic changes don’t serve any actual utilitarian purpose, but it looks absolutely awesome, and it feels like a direct consequence of building up all of that power internally and not giving it a release.

There are plenty of other things too, small things like a Glyph that lets your special flaming demon horse run over water, leaving a flaming trail behind it. Or a Major Glyph that gives you, as far as I can tell, an almost-tanking form suitable for clearing old school raids all on your own. With taunt and everything. I haven’t tried it out, but talking with guildies about it last night makes it sound very interesting.

Think about that for a second. A Glyph that can give a spell caster an “I’m a tank!” button, with new abilities.

That is potentially a game changer, in a very real way. Taunts aren’t for PvP, so it must be to let Warlocks play in dungeons or raids as a tank, even if it’s not official and if it’s not current content.

What other possibilities are there then, if we can set Glyphs to be spec-specific, and add new forms and abilities that change a classes core functionality?

Could we have, as Baddmojo suggests, a Glyph of the Swashbuckler for Combat Rogues to let them actually tank with high Dodge and Parry, if they have Swords equipped? Because tanking with daggers would be just silly.

I say, if you’re going to be a Rogue Tank, you should have chainsaw fist weapons like Ash from Evil Dead. Just, go for the gusto. If you’re gonna be crazy, be BIG crazy.

That’s right, I’m bringing gusto back. It’s a great word, use it today!

Or what about a Glyph of the Mountain for Enhancement Shamans, letting them transform into a giant stone elemental granting immense durability/mitigation, whirlwind to act as a dodge/deflection/parry, with an avalanche for AoE threat?

So many possibilities, so much potential.

Blizzard adds something like this to the game, I remember all the excited furor about it when it was even more powerful in the Beta, but instead of speculating over future awesomeness, here we are, stuck talking about dailies and valor grinds and reputation.

Pbbhhht.

I fully intend to get Alex’s Warlock a Dual spec, get him all set to be a Demonology Tank, and let him lead me into Molten Core. Go for it!

Let’s take some of this stuff out for a spin, and do something NEW for a change! Screw the reputation grinds.

13 Responses to “The Cub Report: Because Evil is Cool, Mmkay?”
  1. Concord says:

    It’s funny you should bring this up today. Wow Insider just posted an article about Warrior off-spec tanking here: http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/11/26/the-care-and-feeding-of-warriors-my-ludicrous-experimentation-w/

    Wouldn’t it be great of the old-world dungeons were re-tuned into 3-man scenarios with no specific roles necessary? Or if all classes had a “Dungeon Tank” spec that was capable of running normal dungeons but not heroics or raids?

    Am I crazy?

    Con

  2. Kobay says:

    Welcome to the Evil League of Evil! Warlock was the first toon I leveled (Affliction) and has come back around to being my Main again.

  3. Kay says:

    The only thing I hate about those horns is that they don’t go away if you zoom in to first person. Say, if you’re zooming in and hiding your UI for a quick-and-nifty screenshot? Yeah. The insides of those horns are visible in the shot. Sadness. Otherwise, I’m enjoying my ‘lock!

  4. koalabear21 says:

    Destro warlocks become on fire when they have embers. The more embers you have, the more on fire you are. It is pretty awesome.

    I know Megan @ WoWInsider has tested the warlock tanking glyph and found her buffed voidwalker (voidlord) to be the better tank and you end up being the off-tank. The original excitement of warlock tanking got nerfed to the ground unfortunately in beta.

  5. Forthepie says:

    I deleted my gnome warrior Tillypink, and then rerolled her as a warlock. I’m looking forward to leveling her. The world will really be awesome when BBB and TinyBBB both become druid tanks.

  6. alburet says:

    Warlock tier 5 was always my fav set.

  7. Forthepie says:

    Was it me or was the imp OP at the beginning? I’d cast one bolt and the imp would destroy the mob before i could get the next bolt off.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      If you think that’s OP, yuo should see what happens once you get Wild Imps. I stroll along killing stuff so fast I barely get one Shadowbolt on it, and a Wild Imp pops up. And they last a long time if not used, or until they’ve fired off ten shots. So I’ll have a pack of five Wild imps following me and my blueberry, and as soon as i go to attack something, all five open fire. one shot, it’s dead, and I have a new Imp.

      Crazy.

  8. bigbearbutt says:

    One of the best parts of the weekend was when DeGei tanked a bunch of randoms for my Warlock. That man knows Blackfathom Deeps better than anyone I ever saw. holy crap.

    Also, Panda Warrior Tanks look very cool in their animations.

  9. Matty says:

    When I have logged on, I glance over at my warlock, level 80, who snubs me, and rightfullly so, for spending time punching mobs and dying deaths by a thousand pixel cuts. I’m with Alex on this on–warlock are awesome, pets are great, and reading quests is where it’s at. Thank you so much for the dungeon hint – I had no idea! And gosh, what we learn by reading! :)

  10. Theodoxus says:

    I pulled out my 40 ‘lock and plopped the tanking glyph on his demonology spec – then queued for dungeons. 500% threat is right, I was pulling off the tank no matter how much aggro lead I gave the poor guy. It was fun, and very tank worthy (I don’t know how badly it was nerfed, but at level 40, with talented aoe health beam, I was pretty much unkillable in Dire Maul).

    It was a lot of fun, and having constant wings was great.

    The other nice thing, it’s a toggle – if you’re running solo, go to town. Get into a group, turn it off and go standard metamorph.

    Nicely done Blizz, nicely done.

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