Archive for the “Warlords of Draenor” Category

This looks really cute, so I wanted to share it with you.

I am playing and submitting bug reports for the Warlords of Draenor Beta, playing my hunter Horde side.

The follower and mission interface is available in your Garrison, and I was browsing through the possible followers currently listed in the Follower tab when I noticed this and it made me laugh.

First, here is Fiona.

In the Follower tab, at least the one I have on Horde side, there are many Fionas available, each with different traits or classes, but all female Worgen with the same appearance.

This particular one has the Engineering trait, meaning she can be a permanently assigned Follower in your Garrison.

Fiona-Garrison

So Fiona can be assigned to your Engineerings Works, if you place that building in your Garrison.

Cool, right?

Then I noticed this particular Follower, Goldmane the Skinner.

GoldmanetheSkinner2

Goldmane the Skinner has the Skinning trait, and can be permanently assigned to your Barn structure.

And Goldmane… is clearly a cat person. He’s a fricken’ mountain lion, just standing there, all being a feline version of the Worgen and stuffs.

Dogs and cats… living together.

There, I said it.

Garrison-MassHysteria

I just… this is so cute.

I don’t know the circumstances in which we can unlock these Followers yet, or what the cultural significance of Goldmane and his people might be in game, and even if I did I wouldn’t spoil it here.

That being said, am I the only one hoping that we can look forward to some hilarious interaction between the two of these in our Garrison once the expansion goes live?

The only thing that could possibly improve this would be a BigBearButt pandaren Follower with a small bacon stand set up between the two, always sighing and trying to convince the both of them to chill out, and asking them, “Why do you fight? Slow down, and enjoy some of this delicious bacon instead.”

I can see Fiona doing one of the Worgen patented “Sniff Sniff Sniff” emotes, and Goldmane replying with a little paw scratching in the sand… as if pretending to be burying something. Something which we shall not name, nor question overmuch as we try to run a classy blog. Stay classy, Bear!

Ah, the potential of all this.

Of course, I’m not speculating on where Goldmane comes from. I hope this will be a pleasant surprise in game. I’m afraid to look on WoWhead to see if there is a full lore explanation. Let me build my cathouse in the sky while I can. :)

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mountup

A Hunter ain’t a beastmaster unless you can tame yourself a big ol’ dino!

Just look at the size of him. Look at that nose, the snout, she’s a real goer, you can tell.

Thanks to my habit of Warbringer farming, I MIGHT have a matching mount. Riding around on the ground for an expansion holds no fears for me, because I’ll be looking good, baby.

Looking good, Billy Ray? Feeling good, Lewis!

Feeling good, indeed.

Let’s talk about being locked to the land for an expansion.

Flying, not flying, no flying at start, maybe later? maybe never? Everyone has an opinion, of that one thing you can be sure.

Flying is a lot of fun. It causes problems for developers when it comes to controlling players and the rate or ease with which they devour/and/or avoid content, sure, but bottom line it.

You can’t take the sky from me.

I love to fly. I love to fly as a Druid in flight form especially, but no matter what the method, I love to fly in the game. The controls are smooth and responsive, and the graphics slide by with ease. A sense of soaring through the wind is attained.

For me, cloudbusting is one of the key things I love in the game.

Oh hell, why not. I love this song, and I love Kate Bush. Enjoy this brief interlude.

Okay, back?

Damn, I love that song and video. Almost thirty years old, and you still feel the power of Terry Gilliam, Kate Bush and Donald Sutherland sticking the landing.

That first line of the song, “I still dream of Algernon, I wake up crying.” That makes me want to cry as well. I also remember Algernon, and I always will.

Cloudbusting.

Let’s put aside all the cynical reasons why a developer would want to keep you bound to the earth for an expansion. Let’s look at the game as a game.

There was a time not so very long ago where there was no free flight in the game. If you went somewhere, you went on foot or took a flight from a dedicated flight master. And before you could fly to the flight master, you had to go out and discover him for yourself. For the fifteenth alt, a pain in the ass, but that first time?

Ah, that first time. Everyone remembers their first time.

Sometimes, flight masters were killed and you’d land only to be stranded until they reappeared.

Sometimes you went walkabout, trying to find the edges of the world. Jumping and climbing, working your way up slopes to the boundaries to see what lay beyond.

I made it once, you know. Dun Morogh, up near Mo’grosh Stronghold, out east where the Night Elves have their hunting lodge. I went climbing with a few random people I met killing ogres one day, and we fell off the world into an empty, grey void.

I saw the other side, and only I am returned to tell thee.

The world was a place of mystery, where the far corners might not have been mapped yet, where you didn’t really know what was on the other side or near the top.

A place where dwarves operated airstrips in the mountains that you couldn’t quite reach, but legend spoke of those who did, and were banished by Blizzard to silence the tales they might tell.

I love my flying, and I do not wish to lose it. I have the game open even now as I write, with my hunter hovering over Golden Terrace, and even now the sound of the wind soars through my speakers, mixed with a sweeping refrain of violins.

Bring in the horn section. Ah, there we are.

There was an undeniable thrill to seeing the world at sea level, to pushing through vines and fronds of leaves, of hacking my way through deepest jungle and breaking trail over high peaks. Yes, and of knowing that if you got in deep shit, you were way out in the woods and far from home, and my what big eyes you have granny.

I still remember the death run I made from Stormwind to Booty Bay, to visit every flight master along the way, at the ripe old level of 25 or 35 or whatever the heck it was. Low enough level to be a bite sized aggro magnet morsel. Every step, would I aggro some unseen panther from the other side of that hill? Would I be able to run? Would I make it, and if not, how much further would I get next time?

As large as the world truly is, being able to fly makes everything that much smaller.

The challenges, like the people, seem so small when viewed from above.

You can’t take the sky from me.

But you can borrow it for a little while.

There are other games, and I can tell you now that there will be times that I will play those other games when I would normally be playing World of Warcraft, just so I can feel the thrill of speed, faster and faster until the rush of the stoop outweighs the fear of death.

Is it a good design decision if it sends players to a different game? Short term yes as long as it isn’t long term permanent, I think.

For the short term, I think I will enjoy the expansion more knowing that wherever I go, I will have to contest my right to go where I will with those that think themselves the lands masters.

I will contest with them, and they will make way, or their bones will litter the ground behind me. It’s all the same to me.

I will not slink like a coward through the Dark Portal to stab the minions of the warlords in their sleep.

Nay, I will ride through the Dark Portal with my massive dinosaur Bloodtusk like the conquering champion that I am, fearing nothing.

Mastersofdraenor

Why should I fear? I have trod the wings of dragons beneath my mailed feet. I have taken the crown from the head of the prince of death, and anointed a successor by my will.

I have killed death itself and sent the elder gods fleeing in panic, seeking to escape my wrath in vain.

I, fear the Warlords of Draenor?

Right. Pull the other one, it’s got mail on, it tinkles like a bell.

Go ahead, give it a few really good tugs. Don’t be shy.

I will not fear, but it will be good to feel once more the sensations of wonder, curiosity, the rousing spirit of adventuring through unknown lands eager to see what lies over the next rise. And yes, the thrill of wondering if it will be big enough to eat me like a Fel Reaver eatng noobs on the first day of the Burning Crusade launch.

Once I’ve traveled the length and breadth of New Draenor and mastered all it has for me, well, at that point there had best be some soaring symphony is all I’m saying.

For a while though, a very little while, all will be well. And all will be well. And all manner of things will be well.

I live for the unchained melody of the wind playing beneath my wings.

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For those wondering if I were dead, I’ve been away on vacation. If you are friends with me on Twitter, you know full well where I’ve been, as I spammed you pictures of touristy locations coupled with pithy sayings all week.

I regret nothing.

While I was AFK, the Warcraft world went bugnuts with not one but TWO big things, the live release of the Hearthsteed and the pre-release sale of Warlords of Draenor with it’s included boost to level 90.

I guess y’all should take up a collection, send me off to vacation so Blizzard moves on it’s release schedule, right? Because it’s all about me, right?

Oh, probably just a coincidence then.

Anyway.

The Altmother talked about her trials and tribulations along the way to the Hearthsteed, so I won’t rehash all that. By now, you’ve either got your own or are well on your way.

I logged into Hearthstone, fired up the Hunter deck, and knocked out two wins out of four to get my mount achievement.

Yes, I got my mount after only two earned wins.

See, I don’t know WTF happened on that third win.

Started up, other player passed their turn, I dropped a dino card and on the next turn, they passed. And passed again. I steadily dealt damage unopposed as my opponent fielded no cards whatsoever, until I got the win.

No, I don’t know why. Did they recognize my player name and want to throw me a win? Were they a brand new player with nothing but 9 star cards in their hand? No bloody idea, but I felt really bad about winning a match feeling like either my opponent threw the game for me, or they didn’t know what they were doing and got crushed.

Without a chat function between players in Hearthstone, no way for me to ever know. I really hope I wasn’t playing someone like my son, trying to figure out what to do and excited to maybe get a WoW mount while some jerkoff dumps a horde of beasts on the field and swarms them.

Moving on. I played, I got the achievement and I felt no desire to continue. Hearthstone still feels like a good card game that does not entice me to drop real money trying to buy cards to win with. If I could buy specific cards I were missing to achieve a goal, like building a dedicated Murloc deck for grins and giggles (the lighter side of shits and grins), then it would hold me more… but have less potential for them to get money as folks flirt with the random odds. Once I had the cards I wanted, why worry about buying cards?

World of Warcraft, and the pre-order of Warlords.

Sometimes, I hate being right, as regards the wait for the expansion.

I assume everyone will now finally stop talking like we’ll be playing the expansion this summer? Fall to Winter time frame, and I still refuse to count Beta time as game time.

I don’t care if the Beta is released for everyone tomorrow, if what I do in the game is NOT persistent into live, it doesn’t count, and that goes double for when other people play and gush and post videos about how awesome this will be for the lesser mortals when it goes live but I still don’t have access.

It’s like the champagne room of your local nightclub, I guess. You’re supposed to watch as the special people go in, and envy what you think they’re doing and dream about the day you get in there too…. but in the end, it’s just a different room with the same people and products, only bigger egos.

Huh, that comparison was more accurate than I expected.

I have a confession; every time I get beta access to anything, I use it for maybe two days. As in, a half hour a day over two days. Then I don’t log in again until live. The first time I had Beta access I tested, really tried to find and report bugs. That was back when Beta was intended to have people find and report bugs, not when it was a reward for money received.

This all is coming out cynical. Funny, I didn’t know that was my mood when I started writing today. The things you discover about yourself when writing off the top of your head.

So why am I feeling so cynical and cranky?

Allow me to introduce you to my brand new level 90, courtesy of the boost to 90 from the Warlords of Draenor pre-order; EBONSOUL.

Ebonsoul the Huntard

I’m still working on the transmog.

Ebonsoul is my Blood Elf Hunter than I wanted to play as one of Sylvanas’ hunter patrols that are frequently seen in the Southshore region.

I think Ebonsoul is the perfect name for a Blood Elf Hunter devoted to Sylvanas. It is just so incredibly kitsch. Really, going for a name that is similar to Blackheart using pretentious synonyms, it doesn’t get more Blood Elf than that.

I think the Stylin’ Adventure Hat and Ebonhold set with a spiky crossbow says it all.

The character is great, I love playing Hunters and being able to use pets to reinforce a theme. Big black widow spider named Sweetbite? Kitsch factor 7, can do better, but good start.

I’d quested to level 15 before being boosted, had a full set of 496 gear from the timeless Isle waiting to send over, and by having two paid accounts mailing stuff across the neutral Auction House in Tanaris is a breeze.

I even moved over a full set of Glyphs. It’s nice to be able to move resources where needed for a new alt.

Cassie and I have a teeny level 1 Horde guild called Bacon on a Stick, so I don’t even have to worry about invite spam.

Everything is great. Wonderful. Freaking beautiful.

NOW I can play with my Horde friends, right?

Well, no.

No, see, the point of being able to play with Horde friends is that you’re having fun together, and being a burden ain’t fun for anyone. Before I could actually PLAY with someone, I need some damn gear upgrades.

Even with Timeless Isles gear, best I can do is queue for the Celestials, Ordos (no gear from either), and Throne of Thunder LFR.

I did Throne of Thunder.

At least, I tried to do ToT. A few times, now.

It turns out, my 77k DPS going all out as hard as I can is near the top of what is currently in Throne of Thunder LFR.

Seems that everyone ELSE in LFR is on a brand new level 90 with Isles gear as well.

But fun alert, the majority seem to be playing as if we’re all doing 200k DPS with mad heals and mechanics don’t count.

Horridon… I should record video of Horridon. It’s so bad it’s shocking. People really seem to be watching for when the majority stop working on adds at the gates, so as to be able to join the rush to abandon the gates and focus on Horridon… which works never.

I’m grateful that I was able to get a complete clear on my run in the first wing today, because I never want to see Horridon again.

I don’t feel real warm and fuzzy about having a cross-faction level 90 Horde anymore. I still need gear before I could be an asset to friends in their groups, but to get that gear will require pain. So much pain.

Oh, so much pain.

Fortunately, I have plenty of time to work on it, what with another 8 months before the expansion comes out. That’s a lot of time to run LFR for upgrades, so I should be able to get tooled up with no problems.

Or… my Diablo 3 Hunter is level 54. Not too far from level 60 and Torment modes, maybe I should give that a go some more today.

Perhaps I should hold off on Diablo 3. Is it a bad sign I dream of dual-wielding pistol crossbows? Or is it a worse sign that it’s a pretty good dream?

Ah, well. Ebonsoul the Hunter. Style over substance, scouring the land for those filthy warmbloods.

A fine way to spend an afternoon.

Any Horde groups in the US need a Hunter with no gear whatsoever? No? But with a resume like that, how could you resist?

On the positive side, any Ulduar or ICC groups will be right up my quarrel!

Comments 2 Comments »

TheWhiteNinja

Garrison Minions are going to be the sleeper hit of Warlords, mark my words.

Oh, that picture? Doesn’t have anything to do with the post, but it’s my dwarf monk that I’m having fun playing, and any post with dwarf monks init is like music with rocks in. It sings.

I don’t know if you’ve really thought about it yet, but in Warlords of Draenor, we are getting a new collectible, the Minion.

This collectible will work JUST LIKE PETS, with two key differences.

First, these minions will not challenge the masculinity of the average overly-sensitive prepubescent that isn’t sure if they should have something to prove in the trousers department or not, so they err on the safe side with a chip on their shoulder the size of the local lumber yard.

I like the word prepubescent, as it so accurately describes boys that are too young to have grown a thatch of pubic hair thick enough to weave a rug out of yet.

Minions will not challenge a boy’s image of manliness. They’re not collecting plush dolls to display on the bed, they don’t have to worry we’ll think they actually hold feelings for cute, cuddly little critters, even digital representations.

Oh no, far from it. These aren’t pets, these are your MINIONS, to command, to dominate, to send on tasks for you, to order into battle, to throw as grist for the mill. To task with a mission. “Minions, your orders are as follows; go out, raid, burn shit down, kill baddies and BRING ME BACK THEIR LOOT.”

This collectible will be far safer for the teen boy psyche to get into.

Second, I refer you to my last point, these minions can be sent out to bring you back shit from their raids. There will be a tangible use to them in gear or loot, and a new way to get your rear-area general dreams fulfilled.

You think rare pets sell for a lot on the auction house? You think the raid drops sell for ludicrous sums?

I swear to you, when minions drop with Warlords it will be a whole new level of amazeballs.

Right now, the pet collector market is only a portion of the total playerbase.

But Minions, OMG, this will make pets look like an untapped market RIPE for exploitation.

Auction House Mavericks and Gold Making Masters, START YOUR ENGINES.

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