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.

Vicissitude

A month and 4 days after the release of the Burning Crusade and finally one of my toons hit level 70. I’ve almost completely abandoned my blood elf paladin and my facemelter is now a non-priority. Many times I uttered “after I do so-n-so I’ll focus on my paladin” yet it never really came to be. I’ve been pretty single-minded in my drive, at first to get exalted with silvermoon, then to save up to finally get my epic chocobo, and finally to hit 70.

Now I’ve decided upon a new project for my rogue to undertake and continue the neglect of my paladin and priest; become a miner and a master hammersmith. Why would I drop leatherworking and skinning (@ 348 and 375 respectfully) after putting so much time in? [Drakefist Hammer]

An amazing weapon to say-the-least and fairly easy to smith. I just don’t have the time to dedicate to a lot of the end-game content, and what time I will have will more likely go towards upgrading my armor. Weapons are always more sought after anyways, and this will give me the ability to obtain something incredible on my own terms without worry of losing a roll. Furthermore the mace can be upgraded 2 tiers with end-game boss drops. Once I finally obtain my drakefist I’ll more than likely respec to 0/31/30 for some incredible dps output.

Along with this change for my rogue I’ve rethought my profession distribution for the rest of my alts. Schmelzen (priest) will keep enchanting, but may drop engineering for tailoring depending on what Blizz decides to do with engineering. Aiom (paladin) will drop both blacksmithing and mining in favor of alchemy and herbalism. Mohkri (druid) will drop jewelcrafting to once again become skinning/mining. Finally my long forgotten shaman Myo will drop alchemy/herbalism for leatherworking and blacksmithing.

With so many changes I have my work cut out for me. Yet, I have a sneaking suspicion that these plans may change as well.

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 ^^;

Insomnia

Possibly TBC induced, but recently I’ve been finding myself having a hard time sleeping. At least I’m not the only one in this boat. Hell, even others have mentioned having similar experiences in having warcraft’esque dreams. It’s a surreal experience to say the least.

Anyways, in my insomnia I’ve reflected on some of previous entries relating to my plotting for TBC. Amazingly enough I’ve held fairly true to my plans. However I did finally decide that having my paladin take both blacksmithing and jewelcrafting would be overwhelming. I had her sitting at level 14 with both BS and JC at 1.

Definitely something I needed to remedy, and the solution was a simple one; have Aiom drop jewelcrafting in favor of mining and Mohkri drop skinning in favor of jewelcrafting. This has given me all the desire I needed to dust off my druid and powerlevel as much as possible.

As for my main characters it only took a couple of days before the lure of outland pulled my rogue away from Azeroth. Hellfire Peninsula feels like a meaner Durotar, but the quests are far more interesting, as are the rewards. Although my rogue wasn’t a raider, he was pretty well equipped and even has found a couple of upgrades from quest rewards.

I think I’ve respec’d my rogue twice already, once for shadowstep and most recently for mutilate. Shadowstep was really nifty and useful for pvp if used properly, but overall I felt like my dps suffered as hemorage sucks with daggers. I found myself spending too much time per battle and bandaging far too frequently. I did however enjoy stunning for backstabs, but again … I just felt like my dps was suffering too much.

That’s when I decided to try out mutilate …

Mutilate absolutely rocks. Opening with cheap shot usually gives enough time for a deadly poison proc to maximize mutilate. Often ending up with 5cps a mere 3 secs into a fight needless to say gives my rogue a lot of flexibility. Either a 5cp eviscerate (or envenom against a high armor target) or kidney shot for more control. Most importantly I can grind a lot faster without the need to bandage as frequently.

Actually no, most importantly I’m finding the game fun again. Almost too fun …

Rejuvenation

I underestimated the Burning Crusade and Blizzard in general. TBC has securely rejuvenated my interest in the game just by the shear amount of new content there is. It’ll be a few months before either of my two 60s hit 70. Not to mention the time I’m spending leveling up my blood elf paladin. In fact, that has pretty much all I’ve done so far. But before I elaborate on my TBC exploits I have to give respect to Blizzard.


Ouch! It took over an hour to log in Tuesday night

Blizzard has surprised me with the uptime Cenarius has been enjoying. Sure the queues the first 2 nights were insane, but I didn’t imagine that there’d be a queue at all on account of the server being completely down. The initial reaction to the queues were met with irritation amongst most of the server, but I embraced it. It shows just how far Blizzard has come in terms of understanding their 800lb gorrilla and the ravenous hordes that’d be clamoring to play.

In response to the excessive queues Blizzard has opened transfers from Cenarius and it seemingly is having an effect on the queues. Tonight when logging in at 6pm PST I was met only with a queue of 330. ~15 mins later I was back in Azeroth with my blood elf paladin.


My netherwhelp will go everywhere my paladin does.

I picked up my collector’s edition at my local EB around 12:12am or so Tuesday morning. There was actually a much larger turnout for the midnight release than I anticipated. As I drove into the parking lot I was amazed that a substantial line had formed along the storefronts next to EB. Fortunately though I made it back home around 12:20 and by 1am had TBC installed, patched, and my account upgraded.

Sunstrider Isle floored me with just how beautiful the zone was. Even with the expansion being a mere 3 hours old in the states by the time I zoned in, there were elves just about everywhere. Unfortunately a lot of noobish stupidly named elves dominated most of the zone, but this much I anticipated. Around level 8 I decided that even withstanding the beauty and freshness of the zone that I had enough. I made my way into Silvermoon and took the Orb of Translocation to Undercity.

Why would I subject myself to the dullness of the UC starting zone? I have an undead steed to earn afterall! At level 13, Aiom is sitting just a mere 31k rep away from being exalted. Still a very tall order even with the unnerfed rep gains. I imagine a lot of cloth turn-ins will be required as I near 40, and that there’s a very good chance I’ll have to wait until 60 to get an undead steed. At least getting a headstart on this project means less competition for quest mobs ^^;

And that sums my TBC experiences as limited as they’ve been. I haven’t even stepped foot into Outland yet. Maybe this weekend I’ll make it a point to do so, but I’ve got a lot of work to do with my paladin. Both blacksmithing and jewelcrafting are sitting at 1, and I haven’t touched my mining druid in quite some time.

But I’m not concerned with getting everything done at once. I want to soak things in and truly enjoy the experience. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

Stability

With the expansion less than a week away, it’s with growing anxiety that I begin to wonder how many of us will be able to enjoy the expansion a week from now. Blizzard’s track record with stability with major content patches has been shoddy at best, so one can only expect more of the same come Tuesday.

In a way, it won’t really matter for me. I have so little time to play, I probably won’t notice too much. Hopefully by the weekend things will have settled and I might get a chance to dig my teeth into the expansion content.

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.