PBeM: Lauchlin Section 2 Part 1

Something Old, Something New

For a time, she is unsure of who she is, or was, or of where she now drifted. She had no sense of body, of focus, but rather seemed to be a presence, observing everything around her without consideration for direction or gravity. She only rested, unquestioning and barely aware of the passing of time, in a place of shadows. She experienced brief, intense flashes of varying shades of light around her, and a warm feeling of camaraderie, as though the light were somehow friendly and welcoming.

And then she awoke with a gasp, bolting upright in brief terror as the weight of her grief and anger came crashing back down upon her.

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The Ghost Pet Posse

Ghost Pet Posse

I’ve been feeling the love for my Hunter lately, and I’ve been playing her quite often.

And yes, all the new Hunter news does excite me. Can I help it? I like playing with my pet! New pet Talents? Nothing but joy!

Of course, I don’t know that I’ll ever actually get a different pet. I’ve had Moonclaw since the first time I tamed him, and aside from the necessary taming of a new pet to learn a new skill, which was just to help make Moonclaw more powerful anyway, we’ve been a team ever since. 

BRK’s assessment of Cats as losers in WotLK saddens me, but I don’t play my Hunter or have my Pet to provide MQoSRDPS, I play my hunter and have my Pet for fun! And I could never be disloyal to Moonclaw. Plus, Stealth for normal pets may not be considered great, but have you ever tried to see a stealthed Ghost Saber in a furious scrum? Yeah, good luck with that.

I do care about Moonclaw’s feelings, though.

For example, it can’t be easy being the only ghost kitty surrounded by all those living beasts the other Hunters have when we are in Ironforge.

But things have changed! Thanks to a few runs (or five) in Heroic Old Hillsbrad,  I have my hat, and thanks to Doodlebug I have the complete Haliscan outfit… and I even hunted down the Dress Shoes pattern for Windburn so I’d have shoes to match!

My sartorial splendor aside, now Moonclaw has a new friend! A friend that won’t look down on him for being breathing-challenged, and more to the point, a friend that won’t need to be taken for walks to the Ironforge Fire Hydrant.

Ghost Pets mean never having to carry a pooper scooper or clean a litter box. Just sayin’. 

I love having my own Ghost Pet Posse to follow me around… a ghost coyote is the perfect companion for a level 70 Ghost Saber.

And last night really was full of Hunter and Pet love. Graimerin was gushing about his new addon that brought life and fun to his pet, and thanks to his talking it up (and answering my questions) in guild chat, I finally downloaded and installed the PetEmote addon.

I had read about PetEmote on BRKs site before, of course… many times. But somehow, from the description, I had the erroneous idea that I had to trigger the emotes manually. I just didn’t reallize that it really does, at random, spontaneously add life to your pet’s personality. And lets you add your own emotes to it’s list, I think. Haven’t had time to try that yet. I know the first time I saw something like “Moonclaw stretches and begins vigorously licking himself”, I fell in love with the addon.

So there you have it folks. Windstar and the Ghost Pet Posse.

We be haunting up Ironforge in style!

Edit/Addition abuot PetEmote and it’s explosion in the blog community:

Okay, now that I wrote my post and sent it out into the world, I took the time over a break to read some blogs, and check out WoW Insider… and I found that over the last few days WoW Insider and Mania both decided that Great Green Hunter’s Pet Emote tips and fun were well worth posting about. And I bet that Graimerin saw one of those posts and that sparked his sudden use of the Addon. Or at least his talking about it. And then that made me go get it. And then since I was already writing about ghost pets and hunter fun and such, I added the PetEmote bit to my post…

So all this PetEmote stuff has run around just like a snake eating it’s own… oh, sorry, still thinking about Great Green Hunter’s blog. But yeah, looks like he started it. It’s Great Green Hunter’s world, we just blog in it.

You know, Ouroboros might be a fun name for a Wind Serpent pet. 

By the way, DO check out Snake in the Grass (Great Green Hunter’s blog) if you haven’t already, it’s just awesome. VERY well written, fun, informative, and did I mention it’s very well written? Yeah, it’s worth saying twice.

Oh, and of course if you love Hunters you already read Mania’s Arcania. Right? I mean, like, isn’t there a law or something? 

Anyway… damn, now I have TONS of PetEmote customizations to imagine and implement… this is gonna be AWESOME.

A Raiders thoughts on the pre-WotLK patch

Knurd at Death from a Distance  wrote about the upcoming patch in a post titled “The End of the World or Not“.

In it, he takes a look at the idea of new Talents and game balance changes going live prior to the actual expansion release, from the point of view of raiders like himself.

He breaks down very nicely his thoughts on how changing the game before releasing new content, without making corresponding changes to existing raid content, will in his opinion spell the end of raiding until such time as the rest of the expansion comes out.

I thought it was a very good article, and he’s got a lot of great points there.  

I don’t really raid, obviously, and I play fairly casually. If one type of gameplay isn’t available at the time, whether from a lack of other players online, or a lack of a particular class, or simply because it is a quiet day (or even week), I have no problem shifting to doing daily quests, or doing some small thing related to reputation, or level a Profession, or go try to farm a particular drop or recipe, or play an alt. I can always play an alt.

So for me, the prospect of a couple of weeks, even a month, of no raiding after a massive revamp of the gameplay wouldn’t be the end of my gaming fun.

But Knurd makes a damn good point. For some folks, taking on the raiding challenge IS what is fun for them in the game, and all else that they do in the game goes to support that endeavor. And a week or two or four with no raiding to be done is a very, very long time in that kind of focused commitment.

For other folks, PvP is the lifeblood of fun, and I would think massive changes or unfinished skills for one class while another would be released in the patch more polished, or any other type of real class imbalance, would also be a big pain in the butt. (Intentionally Understated to annoy Megan.)

I’ll offer my sympathy now to folks that really do enjoy raiding or PvP for the challenge, and are worried that when the patch comes they will find the heart of what makes WoW fun put on hold for them until the rest of the expansion is released.

I may not be in your position, but I do know how I would feel if someone told me that PvP content was being released in the expansion, but the leveling and new quests and the entire new area would not be ready for a while. I’d feel glad that they were getting all new stuff… but I was promised my stuff would be ready too, and now I want it. And I don’t really like PvP, so doing their thing while I wait really isn’t all that appealing to me. But thanks for the suggestion.

I know that for some folks, the idea of raiding is silly when an expansion is so close and there will be ten new levels of correspondingly more powerful loot drops available… but it really isn’t about the gear for a lot of people. It’s about the fun and the challenge and conquering the obstacles before you. And if the core gameplay is going to be changed, and the class balance issues in Talent trees might not be quite finished and all polished up like a shiny new apple yet, then sure. I’m gonna be worried.

MAYBE there is no cause whatsoever for concern. Every week it seems brings new, massive changes in the builds. Who knows what awesomeness Hunters will get tomorrow?

Not that I would ever suggest Hunters are getting ALL the brand new awesome toys.

By the way, did you see the SIZE of the new Rhino pet? Didja? If anything in the world could ever bring my buddy Manny back into the game, it would be seenig that freaking huge awesome baddass Rhino pet for Hunters. After all, Manny does have a level 60 Hunter he could come back and play. Sorry, I digress.

Anyway, as I was saying, just because things may turn out all right, that doesn’t stop people from fretting. Are you kidding? Few things drive people nuts with worry quite like fear of the unknown and change.

Historically, and I’m sure I’ll be corrected, but I think I remember that when the new Talent changes went live in the pre-BC patch, similar concerns were raised… except, I think classes at that time found the new Talent tree changes made them MORE powerful than before, not less, so the existing content was a bit easier to handle before the expansion itself came out.

Or maybe I just remember my feral Druid OP-ness with a warm, rosy glow.

Either way, the concern and worry felt is quite real, and I hope that when the patch comes, you are not disappointed by the end result. I really do.

New content patch Pre-WotLK is coming

Eyonix posted in the Official WoW Forums yesterday that they intend to release a lot of new content in a patch prior to the WotLK going live.

We’ve speculated about this before, since before Burning Crusade went live we got to play with new stuffs also.

Here is the quote from Eyonix;

With the release of Wrath of the Lich King approaching, we wanted to provide you with some important information. In preparation for the expansion, we will be issuing a new content patch in the coming weeks. Much like the patch made available shortly before The Burning Crusade’s release, this content patch is designed to bridge current game content with that of the expansion and will contain some exciting changes and additions.

We have outlined some of the larger features scheduled to release with the patch below:

New class spells and talents
Stormwind Harbor
Barbershops in capital cities
Zeppelin towers outside of Orgrimmar and Tirisfal Glades
Two brand-new Arenas featuring challenging new layouts, terrain hazards, and moving obstacles
Guild calendar
Hunter pet skill revamp
New profession: Inscription

As mentioned above, this is not a comprehensive list, just some of the major highlights.

We’ll post the full patch notes as soon as they’re available.

Regarding Inscription, please note that all Burning Crusade players will be able to select Inscription as one of their two professions and level up to a skill level of 375 with it. Upon the release of Wrath of the Lich King, players who purchase and install the expansion will be able to continue leveling in Inscription and the other professions beyond 375.

I think, of course, that the biggest thing here is that he says “In the coming weeks”… which could easily mean October, so don’t go be getting your panties all in a wad just yet. Could be earlier, sure, just don’t go planning on leveling Inscription to 375 next week.

I personally am hoping that there will be some new quests or playable content thrown in, just as a teaser. Not the Northrend stuff, no, not new areas. Just some of the cute fun stuff like the quest they added in Heroic Old Hillsbrad to fight an optional boss to get a new hat, for example…. we have Brewfest coming, and Halloween, so there will be seasonal fun stuff to do soon, but I can hope. I love these special little things they add. I really do.

Still, good news to everyone that it won’t all be one crazy rush to simultaneously try out new Talents for a respec at the same time as you go out to level. We’ll get some time to adjust to our new gameplay balance.

And we can play and level Inscription to 375 if we want to. Very cool. As I remember, you couldn’t even GET Jewelcrafting without buying the BC expansion, so this marks a new direction I appreciate.

Woot!

By the way, I should have known that WoW Insider was all over this, they posted about it late last night. Well, in my defense, at the time this was hitting the forums, all the way through when WoW Insider posted about it, I was in BRD… these attunements are kicking my butt.

I hate Marshall Windsor. That boy needs to wear roller skates. Pick up the pace, damnit!

Holy screenshots, bearman!

You don’t even want to know what titles I rejected before I went with that one.

Hey, a recap of the weekend post! I feel so original!

What the heck, a lot happened that was fun, so let’s go for it.

Wow, what a weekend. I’ve been playing so minimally lately, just really logging on long enough to do some Kara and then gone again, that I forgot what it was like to have the time to go do stuffs.

Cassie and I have been doing all sorts of stuff, so I’ll start there. Her Paladin, whom she fully intends to play as a healer at level 70, has been leveling Retribution, and dinged 54 last Thursday. She has been working at Mining, and recently switched from Blacksmithing to Engineering.

Likewise, my Hunter Windstar has taken Engineering (again).

So I spent a GREAT deal of time farming Ore in Badlands to get us to the point we needed Thorium, and then many hours circling Silithis and delving deep into Hives in search of the precious Ooze Encrusted Thorium nodes.

I’m proud to say that both Cassie and I hit 300 Engineering yesterday, with not a dime spent on insane AH Thorium prices. I dno’t know what the prices are like on your server, but the AH seems to have Thorium at 50 gold a stack. Um, heck no.

So it’s to Fel Iron we both go now, thankfully. Farming while flying for the win!

I HATE farming in Azeroth, and seeing an Ore node in someplace like Azshara where it turns out to be 2 feet away… up a 50′ tall inaccessible cliff. Crap! 

I can now use Goblin Jumper Cables XL, and I spent some time farming the mats for the Gadgetzan Teleporter (still need 4 Core of Earth… plus 4 more Core of Earth for Cassie’s Teleporter)… and then I thought, “But wait… Windshadow has Jumper Cables XL, and  I don’t think they’re BoP… I can mail them to Windstar.”

Yes, I did have Jumper Cables XL on Windshadow… that said “Made by Windstar”.

Oh yeah… this is the second time I’ll be leveling Engineering to 375 on Windstar… and last time I was Goblin. And when I wanted to go Gnome, I ended up having to go read the book in Tanaris to change my spec.

So now I have Goblin Jumper cables XL that I made, but I’m a Gnomish Engineer.

I swear, it’s embarassing how many times I change professions. I guess it keeps the Auction House in fees, though. I’m doing my part to support the economy!

Now everyone on Kael’thas, mail Windstar your Core of Earth, and no one will get hurt. Or at least put them on the AH! (Waiting to take a screenshot of 50 Core of Earth on AH with Buyout prices of 1000g each…)

On the topic of the Auction House… does anyone else ever get the urge to take a common item, and keep putting it up on the AH at like 1300g Buyout, or 1274g, or some other ridiculous amount, day after day, every day, just to drive those people with Auctioneer that do frequent scans INSANE?

Just pick an item, like Giant Eggs or Heart of Fire, something that is a white quality Trade Good that newer players might not know what they’re for, and just jack that price over a long time to skew the scans?

Or is that just me?

Anyway, sorry… moving on *whistles*

On Saturday, we had a planned event – The Big Dragon Beatdown, where we were going to go in and take down Onyxia as a guild.

I mentioned early in the week how I kind of… blew the Jailbreak escort quest on Windburn. Twice.

Well, I still had Windshadow attuned, but heck, we have plenty of folks that can kick butt as a tank. I really wanted to take Windburn in to throw down the DoTs.

So starting at about 2:30 on Saturday, we went into BRD with a team to get more folks attuned. We had Padrad and Elysse, the alts of Graimerin and Shrinnpoof, Cassie’s Paladin, and my Priestie Windburn all needing various stages of the Windsor quest.

However, Elysse the 61 feral Druid was still at work when we went in… but we figured she ought to be online by 3:00. So while we waited, we cleared trash. Then, since Cassie had every bloody quest in the place, we killed Bael’gar and Incendious and the Bar dudes. And then we got drunk in the bar and killed Plugger Spazzring, and that pissed off the bar patrons so we killed them too.

Then we went and cleared even more trash.

When Elysse came online, we had an easy stroll to kill both the General and the Mech-dude… but we had taken so long that the trash started to respawn on Windsor’s path.

Okay, no problem. We started clearing it again… and then Elysse started the Jailbreak quest before the others had completed their turn ins. Oops!

Now, let this be a lesson to you folks. Someone else might have been mean. But when you’ve ruined the Jailbreak not just once but twice less than a week before… you feel a lot more understanding. You HAVE to, God only knows what I’m going to screw up next that I’M going to need understanding for.

But the point is, we ran out, reset the instance, went in and cleared trash again and completed Jailbreak. But now we were running really late. Onyxia was set for 7:00 server, and we were cutting it mighty close, and still had to escort Windsor around Stormwind, get the turn in done in Winterspring, and then do an UBRS clear.

marshall-confronted.jpg

While we were running around, I asked Nasirah to organize the UBRS run… and it turned out 8 people needed Drakkisath’s blood to finish Onyxia attunement. And Windshadow was the only one on with an UBRS key. It wasn’t looking very good for Windburn’s attunement, since I do not know if it’s possible for a group to open the door to UBRS, and then have the only person with the key log out and bring in someone else.

We postponed the Onyxia start until 8 “ish”, and went running around to finish our attunement, we got our teaser peek at Onyxia when we escorted Windsor to confront her in Stormwind, and generally had fun, but the time pressure was brutal. Here we have a bunch of people all waiting to go, some for Onyxia, some needing UBRS, and we’re already late for the start. All waiting on us. Eeek!

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We ended up having ten people in the UBRS group, and lo and behold, Doodlebug had his Forged Seal of Ascension, he just needed to turn it in within LBRS, and he’d have the key.

Once we all got to the Blackrock Spire entrance, we had a bit of confusion. Did you know that, first, you need to be in a normal group and not a raid to turn in that quest? And did you know the bug is STILL in place where you need to have an unforged seal of ascension in your inventory to get the quest giver to talk to you, so you can turn in your Forged Seal?

There went another half hour, just figuring out why the damn guy wouldn’t talk to Doodle after he stealthed in… and Nasirah ended up going with him since she had an unforged seal.

But heck with it, we’re in! Time to clear UBRS in record time!

Which was a shame, since that instance is a lot of fun, and folks were seeing it for the first time, and we took no time to enjoy it. Bleagh.

Cassie’s Paladin went with us, just for drops. At level 54 she might not have been the most help to the run, but somehow, a LOT of drops made their way into her hands that would have been tossed otherwise. And it’s not like she slowed down the horde of 70s that stormed UBRS. Poor Drak.

We took down Drakkisath, got his blood like the thirsty little vampires we are, and ran like hell for Winterspring to get the attunement finished.

By the time all was said and done, and summons to Onyxia began, it was 9:30, two and a half hours past the scheduled start time. DAMN IT!!!

There were twelve of us that went in, and Nasirah has posted about the actual fight very nicely, so I won’t go into it much. All I think that needs to be said here is, we went into Onyxia’s Lair twelve strong, and about 15 minutes later we were victorious!

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Yay for hours and hours and hours of attunement for a 15 minute fight.

On the one hand, I resent the heck out of spending so bloody much time on ancient attunements to run content that does not scale to the levels of the challengers. On the other hand, the very effort required to get in makes the fight feel so much more fun, it gave me a nice sense of satisfaction to have completed the chain, and the quest chain has so many fun steps, like the Stormwind march, and mounting the dragon head on the city arch, that it truly has an epic feel to the whole thing.

So while I am glad it is still present in it’s complete, unaltered version, ugh! It is still a pain. Although now that it’s done, I can help other guildies on Windshadow to clear the BRD parts and UBRS. Trying to do it with a Shadow Priest is just not fun. I want AoE!

Amusingly enough, one of the few items that can drop from Onyxia that people at level 70 would like, the Ancient Cornerstone Grimoire, dropped. I love the armored skeleton, to my eyes he looks JUST like Mor’ladim from Duskwood… and after having been ganked by that fast-respawning undead bastard, who WOULDN’T like to have him as your servant?

Ah, if only you could make the little bastard /dance to your tune.

Still! Tons of fun was had, screenshots were taken, and I have to say it was awesome watching the frantic scurrying around.

You’ll be happy to know that there was only one death during the Onyxia fight… me. Yep!

Boy, that deep breath still hurts, especially when it nails everyone. No worries, we had some awesome healing. And Elystia got her Tier 2 helm! Woots for phat lewt!

Is that enough fun for one night? Oh, heck no!

Nope, after that Cassie and Windshadow went into BRD again, and cleared that sucker!

My Druid and Cassie’s Paladin went into BRD and killed everything she hadn’t already done. We killed the bar people again, we completed the Vault in it’s entirety (even the small vault that has the Tome items in it), we killed Ambassador Flamelash, we killed Fineous and got Cassie the Shadowforge Key, we did the seven dwarfs and Cassie had the mats to turn in first to learn to smelt Dark Iron Ore, and then we did something that I have never, ever done before… we actually cleared to and killed the Emperor, and freed the Princess.

And I got an awesome screenshot of Windshadow seated on the Emperor’s throne. I think it’s very cool. It has a strong ‘Emperor Conan’ feel to it, from the first movie.

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All in all, over the course of the day, we had done every single thing there is to do in BRD, except be in there to watch Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain play.

Cassie ended up level 56 and then some, just from doing BRD.

So, is that enough for a weekend?

Not quite. We had just one more fun thing to do… but I’ll talk about that another time. This sucker is long enough as it is!

Take care, and have fun… time for me to go rest… I mean work. Yes, that’s what I mean. Work.

Ugh.

Presenting a fine artistic vision by Tuketi

I have revealed in the past that I’m horrible at replying to emails.

I love you all, I just have a hard time replying to email right away. Bad bear! Bad!

But I DO read them all, I really do. I just have good intentions to get around to replying… soon! And we all know where I’m going with my good intentions, yes?

I received a lovely email from Tuketi, who wanted to share with me a nice artistic vision that showcased not one but two druids in forms!

Now, Tuketi just sent it in to me because they thought I’d get a kick out of it, but I felt it was perfect for sharing with everyone.

You know, Phaelia has been much more supportive of Druidic artists, but I have tried to do my part to show my love of Andrige and Cynra and Neo and Kody and other artists when I can.

When I saw this one, I just knew it had to be seen.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have!

Thanks, Tuki!

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