Destruction

It has been awhile since I’ve blogged specifically about my in-game exploits in Azeroth so it is about time I did so. Even after close to 5 years with WoW I still find enjoyment out of the game, and it has been incredible to share that experience with my wife. Specifically I’ve taken a step back from the usual “daily” grind at max-level and gone back to the roots of the game with leveling alts.

Back when TBC came out I was certain that I was going to level a paladin to 70 and tank with her but as time passed she gathered more and more dust to the point where I didn’t give a second thought to picking back up my tankadin. Having a consistent partner to quest with has made it very desirable to dust my tankadin off, especially when that partner can pick up the slack in DPS when you’re focusing specifically on being a tank. It’s a blast to tell my wife “get ready to rain down fire” while I mount up and gather up a pack of 6-8 mobs and then watch as they keel over.

As this blog title may suggest, my wife is a warlock and recently we decided that she should try out switching from affliction to destruction. Affliction just wasn’t giving her the big numbers that she was desiring, and since I’m the tank, there really wasn’t a reason for her to not switch over to the bursty damage of destruction. Conflagrate is freaking awesome, and it’ll be even more awesome once one of my guildies gets the glyph sent to my wife’s ‘lock.

Originally my tankadin was all-out protection spec’d, but while we were questing through Stranglethorn Vale I decided I needed a little more oomph and tossed 11 points into retribution for Seal of Command. While this has delayed my Avenger’s shield, it has helped out immensely with the play-style that we occasionally exercise in burning down large groups of mobs. There was one occurrence where we were “joined” by a draenei shadowpriest riding away from the pirate cove in Tanaris and collected a large group running after us. As we approached the cave tunnel I decided “what the hell” and dropped a consecrate and tanked about 8 pirates while my wife rained fire down from the heavens on them. There’s nothing more fun than doing silly stuff like that and living to tell the tale.

Currently we’re sitting just shy of level 46 and hoping to hit at least 58 before our RaF runs out. We haven’t made the most out of the RaF program as our playtime can be quite limited and considering how long it has been since I’ve actually leveled a character in our level range questing hasn’t been silky smooth. I have tried to make sure that we’ve quested through zones that will be substantially changing in Cataclysm so that my wife will be able to reflect on how Azeroth used to be.

Tanking the Rag.

Speaking off old world Azeroth, the bug to level my own ‘lock sent me on a journey to pick up the +22 INT enchant to toss on the heirloom staff. My rogue is an enchanter but he had never reached revered with the Thorium Brotherhood in order to pick up that particular enchant. Fortunately he was honored with them, but had long dropped skinning & mining so it was up to my DK to venture into Molten Core for TB farming.

In a large coincidence two of my guildies were already farming MC but were having a difficult time of it so I got an invite to come join them on my DK who happens to be a mining and skinning expert. We ended up clearing most of MC as a trio which was extremely fun. At first I was DPS’ng on my DK, but considering that I do have tanking gear on my DK, I ended up tanking the entire raid. By the time we were closing in on Ragnaros, we were joined by 6 other guildies which sped things up considerably. I’m sure we could have cleared all of MC as a trio, but it was great to get more friends in on the action and not have it drag on for hours.

By the end of the run we had acquired enough lava cores, fiery cores, dark iron ore, and core leather that even after splitting it with one of my guildmates whom was also working on TB rep I had enough to get my rogue revered with the Thorium Brotherhood. Success! I’ll be heading back into MC with my DK to continue helping my guildmate grind out TB rep although I think we’ll leave Magmadar up for lots and lots of core leather.

As an aside, leveling a lock with the heirloom shoulders, chest, and staff with +22 INT on it made leveling smooth as butter: level 10 in 2 hours!

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Rehabilitation

It was only a matter of time, after a month off that itch became too troublesome to ignore any further. Granted things went smoothly at first, but after watching wow-related machima a few of the right strings were pulled and quickly I found myself wanting to return. Almost a month after the day of my account deactivation I reup’d. Patch 2.1 was released and for some strange reason I actually felt like grinding rep for the Sha’tari Skyguard and Ogri’la Ogres.

Ironic I know, but this time around Blizzard has done something good with the tired reputation grind formula. Implimenting daily quests was a brilliant move not only in that it encouraged short spurts of grinding, but the gold yielded is extremely worth it. In one stroke they’ve given the more casual player an oppurtunity to obtain their epic flying mount without hours upon hours of mindless grinding and the raider an easy alternative to recoup repair bills and raiding supplies.

Small progression has been made with my rogue. Mostly from hitting exalted with the Scryers and the Skyguard. This weekend he’ll also be exalted with the Ogri’la ogres and will receive yet another small upgrade if I can wrangle some awryians to kill more dragons in BEM.

In the meantime I’ve decided to grind ogres in Nagrand for beads to turn into the Consortium while slowly earning Mag’har rep. Although neither faction will offer much for me at exalted, I figure I might as well. ^^; Now to find motivation to get my priest to 70 for arena action …

Solemn

There are times when habits become tiresome and although you know it’s a good thing to break it, you still desire to cling to it. This is mostly about my recent decision to try to put WoW behind me, however what Blizzard is doing made that decision a lot easier. I think they’re just trying to please too many people and failing horribly on all fronts. At first I had wondered how I would ever get over WoW, but now I can clearly see that it’s easy.

Well maybe I should quantify that statement by acknowledging that at this moment, I have plans to return to Azeroth, but not for awhile. I’ve just had zero desire to login and “work” at grinding reps for progression in WoW. Progression is now pretty much all rep driven and that really hurts those of us who rarely get an uninterrupted session. One may argue that it works in favor of this in that you can pretty much guarantee a steady progression. While that maybe true, you’d be overlooking one thing … the feeling of being left behind.

Rep-driven progression means you can’t just log in and be a filler slot for a raid. Now you have to make sure you’re attuned via reptuation and quests. Which also means that you’ll have to rely more on PUGs than your own guild to get attuned. And guess what, by the time you get attuned, your guild has already moved on to the “next” thing.

Maybe it’s the overwhelming content in TBC which leads to this massive feeling of being left behind. Yet there’s no relief in sight from Blizzard considering that v2.1 is adding 3 more factions to grind rep with. With as many reputations there are in TBC it only spotlights how WoW is more work than game, than fun even.

As such I’ve decided to seek shelter in console games and the single-player experience. There I can make progress towards an end goal that is fully attainable. With WoW I only see that goal get further and further away.

Wark!

It’s finally over, well at least the hard part is. Tonight Nevik finally hit exalted with Silvermoon. A lot of grinding, and lot of purchasing runecloth, but it is over. In all I think I dumped about 400g in runecloth. If the starting blood elf quests were not nerfed for high levels I still would have had to fall back onto runecloth. Fortunately some of my guild mates helped out by donating their extra stacks.


It’s fun running around atop my chocobo yelling “Need GYSHAL GREENS!” wherever I go.

Their kindness helped me achieve my goal quicker and cheaper, even though gold is a lot easier to come by. Which should mean I’ll have riding 150 in no time now that I can actually save for it. Providing that I don’t become too tempted with picking up an off-hand upgrade. ^^; Eventually I think I’ll get Schmelz a chocobo, but only after the trivial rep gain is removed from those early BE quests.

Changes

Almost all of my pre-TBC gear has been replaced for my rogue. I’ve also respec’d again this time favoring a combat daggers build; at 70 my spread will be 15/41/5. At first I was regretting the decision to leave mutilate and its CP production behind, but then I discovered the joys of being able to CS > SnD (and if I time my ticks right or get a Potency proc) BS before CS wears off. SnD is key for Combat Potency to be at its most effective and now that the procs show up in the combat log/SCT it’s a lot easier to see just how effective this build can be.

Main issue that is holding my rogue back is that my daggers are starting to show their age. There are some pretty cool daggers availabe through rep-grinds but the realization that by the time I grind out the rep I’ll likely have even better daggers. That is of course dependant on my actually running some instaces in Outland. So far I’ve been far too distracted with questing to fit that in. Sometime soon, I hope, that’ll be remedied.

My quest for a chocobo has hit a snag in that the starting BE quests are subject to diminishing returns based upon level. Regardless my progression on this project has been going along pretty smoothly. Been receiving a decent amount of spillover from old world main faction rep gains, and when I’ve seen runecloth below 1g50s I usually snatch it up. As of last night I’m sitting at 7461/12000. Only just over 25k rep to go ^^;

Threshold

Here we are at the dawning of a new year which means that there’s only 15 days until the Burning Crusade destroys work productivity, relationships, and a sense of the outside world. I mean, who needs to deal with high gas prices, traffic, and political bullshit when you can be pwn’ng mobs in the World of Warcraft?!

Okay, so I’m being a tad sarcastic, but in all honesty I’m really looking forward to this expansion. The renewed focus on smaller “efficient” groupings to progress as opposed to resource hogging 40 man encounters should make the new end-game far more enjoyable. Along with the expansion comes a new project that my rogue Nevik has already started; exalted with Silvermoon. Why? Because riding a chocobo is cool!


It’s been a long time coming, but finally Nevik has a wolf.

It’s almost ironic that as soon as I hit exalted with Orgrimmar, I decide I want a different mount to ride upon ^^; But at least the expansion will also mean a cheaper training cost for riding 150. The final grind for my wolf mainly had me loot-whoring in AV since the increased Org rep from 5 blood. Spillover rep for Silvermoon already has me sitting at friendly with Silvermoon, now I just need to hunt down all of the BE quest givers that 2.0.1 added.