215 Bottles of Dwarven Ale …

I try my best, but it seems even with a focused topic to blog about I’m still vulnerable to the gaps in posts that has always plagued my blog. Yadda, yadda, ya between work, miscellaneous projects and having a youngin’ that has started her academic career in Kindergarten, I haven’t quite had a balanced sense of energy to devote to each direction my fickle interests take me in.

Blame it on the “jack of all trades, master if none” trait of my astrological sign, or just the fact that I’ve been getting a little too much into roleplaying a dwarf outside of the game to remember to set aside some time to jot down some words for you to read. Sorry about that. At least here I am, sitting and typing words for ye. So let’s get on with it …

I remember when I first envisioned this grandiose plan to record my experiences with leveling two rogues of varying spec that I would do so with a decent amount of balance. As you might recall in my last entry my troll rogue was trailing behind and I had planned on ditching questing with him and focus on chain-running dungeons with the LFD tool. Yah, that was the plan but somehow when I logged in to the game, instinctually I’d hop on my dwarf.

Naturally my interest was higher in playing the dwarf as I’ve only ever quested through the Alliance quests once before with my draenei mage so everything still felt new to me. Fair enough you would think so as long as I didn’t complete neglect my troll right? Well that was back when the disparity between the two was only eight levels, now it is sixteen. Yikes! Once I left Redridge for Duskwood I was done for.

Despite many of the quests in Duskwood had me traversing the landscape over and over and over and … er, well you get the idea … I couldn’t stop myself from spending all of my time completing quests for the folks in Darkshire. It also helped tremendously that I had gotten over the rogue hump and had access to almost all of the abilities I’ve come to love and rely on. I was decimating stuff even running around with daggers, an ambush here, a rupture there and with vanish at my disposal I had everything I needed to stop dying.

You see, there’s this funny thing called godliness when you pull shit off that you shouldn’t otherwise be able to. It’s quite addictive and when you get a taste for it, it’s hard to stop craving it. Mind you that neither of my rogues are decked out in heirloom gear, though an occasional run through an instance to obtain blue quality gear does help. I almost was able to solo Gath’Ilzogg (level 26 elite) and his pet Singe (level 24 elite) at level 24 with every trick I had. Had my rogue had access to the heirloom daggers with crusader I would have surely been able to …

Anyhoo, like I said it’s hard for me to stop myself when I’m on a roll and this little boulder of a dwarf was a’rolling. There was no way I was going to stand in front of it in some vain attempt to stop it. No, I would have been squished … metaphorically you could say. No, I was aboard the USS Nevïk and the only way I was going to be able to get off was to wait for it come to a stop. Fortunately near the end of Duskwood things did slow down and as you might surmise, things have stopped at least temporarily as I work on catching up with herbalism after dropping mining.

HERBALISM?!?

Yes, really. Herbalism. It’s something that I initially overlooked since I’m so familiar with mining and for some reason thought that mining was the better way to go for income. I don’t know how I didn’t think of herbalism to begin with as it is also quite a money-maker and has the added benefit of Lifeblood, a heal-over-time ability which covers an inherit weakness in the early rogue leveling career. I can only reflect on what could have been when attempting to solo Gath’Ilzogg had my dwarf been able to lifeblood …

Okay, well with that it’s time for me to put my little one in bed and call it a wrap for this update. And oh yah, my dwarf is now level 32, running around Westfall … picking flowers. Good times.

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/die

The week leading up to the Blizzard WWI’08 was excruciating with the daily Blizzard.com splash page “updates.” Or as many would refer to back as “toying with loyal fans and whipping them into a frenzy.” It’s been a long time coming, too long imo, but finally Blizz is getting back to the Diablo franchise. Diablo II consumed me far more than any game should have, and probably ever will, (WoW comes very close I suppose) and now I get to traverse that thin line of obsession again.

Hell, even my wife – the non-gamer – is midly looking forward to this game being released … late next year?! … maybe?! I only hope that Blizz is a little further along with the game than they’re leading on and we’ll receive regular updates on the game to keep us from going mad. Yet, given Blizz’s track record with releases … we’ll be lucky if D3 ships before summer’09.

So far very little has been revealed about the game, but it looks absolutely stunning. I expected Blizz to transform Diablo into a WoW’esque game, but am very pleased that the isometric perspective is returning. I do hope that D3 will gain the benefits of the modern MMO with guild support, etc … as my WoW guild will definitely be forming a Diablo 3 chapter.

Speaking of WoW, I wonder if I’ll drop it completely when D3 finally arrives. Only time will tell I suppose. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into WoW, especially if you consider the profession changes I’ve gone through; dropped enchanting from Schmelzen and picked up tailoring (tailor 300 atm) and dropped mining from Nevik and picked up enchanting (enchanting 295 atm ;_; PAIN) But I’ll save a WoW-specific update for another day … Diablo owns this entry … and my soul.

Discontinuity

This may come as no surprise, but I haven’t updated my LJ in over a month. A multitude of things endeavored to prolonge the gap, many of which were simply a matter of being preoccupied. Occupied with family life, gaming projects, work, stress, and hermitism. I’ve broken though these things now to tend to the clamoring of the masses anxiously awaiting an update. Vast numbers which could only be counted on one hand.


The enjoyment of finally getting a flying mount lasted about … 3 seconds.

When I last left you I had decided to take upon the massive project of grinding blacksmithing to 350. It was pretty painful, but after 2 weeks I achieved my goal and crafted my pwnstick. Having such a spectacular weapon has given my rogue bundles of joy, only sullied by the fact that the rest of my gear sucks. Questing in the Netherstorm has improved my AP by a decent amount, but there’s still much work to be done. My pwnstick yearns demands to deal more damage.

I haven’t had much time for my alts, but I managed to get my tankadin up to 22. ^^; This can attributed to the fact that my insatiable appetite for WoW has slowly been diminishing. Perhaps the accomplishment of my major goals, or maybe the daunting task of saving for my epic flying mount has caused me to fall into a small slump. Or it could be related to my long list of projects not yet finished for my rogue. Regardless I’ve found myself logging less time in Azeroth.

I’ve found some solace in playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on my GBAsp after finding my cartridge. Playing FFTA brings me back to when I first played FFT on PSX. Fond memories I have of FFT horrible localization withstanding. It might not be quite FFT, but FFTA is definitely an enjoyable distraction, especially when I have downtime on my route. It’s like hearing a song you haven’t heard in ages on the radio taking you back in time.

I also managed to see 300 at the Sacramento Esquire IMAX theatre. After long anticipating this movie finally seeing it not only at a theatre, but in IMAX I was completely blown away. Just about everything impressed me, from the overexposures to the dialogue. Hands down this movie will forever notch itself in my all-time favorite movie list. If you haven’t seen 300 yet, go now. You can thank me later.

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.

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 …

Gameplan

Although it’s still very early, I’d figure I’d transpose my plans for the Burning Crusade so that I can later compare them to what I actually end up doing. So what will be the first thing I do after installing BC? Will it to be take Nevik to Outland, or Schmelzen? I’d imagine that Outland is going to be lag-city with everyone and their mom (well at least in one case within my guild this will hold true) trample over each other to get through the Dark Portal. (I wonder what Medivh will have to say about this strange turn-of-events.)

I would also imagine that Quel’thalas will be overrun and considering that I hate crowds I think I pretty much only have one option; begin my BE paladin Aiom’s career elsewhere. Fortunately I am planning on having my paladin ride an undead steed as opposed to a warhorse or cockatrice. Nothing says badass more than a paladin on an undead horse, right?

As for jewelcrafting I once planned on Nevik dropping skinning for it, but now I’ve nixxed that idea. Instead Aiom will take up both jewelcrafting and blacksmithing which means I also need to get off my ass and level up my druid for mining. The main reasoning for not picking up mining to compliment jewelcrafting is the fact that maybe the BoP armor that a Master Armorsmith can make in the expansion will be worthwhile, especially since they’re supposed to have sockets.

Now obviously at some point my urge to see Outland and its vastness will creep up and I’ll trudge through the lag and fight tooth n’ nail with the millions of alliance punks to kill quest mobs and whatnot. It’ll be hard to not fight this urge, so I’ll have to concede that probably within a week or two my paladin will take a back seat while I bounce between Nevik and Schmelzen as rest XP allows.

So that’s my plan at the moment, it’ll be interesting to see how many times I change my mind before the expansion hits.

Wait … 2 in a row?

I’ll preface this entry by giving a fair bit of warning on my mental state; I am exhausted. If I end up rambling, please excuse me and I’ll hope for the best. Anyways, I think I’ll geek-out and try to update my WoW hijinks.

With 1.11 around the corner I finally provided my rogue (he’s the leatherworker) with a salt shaker so that I may partake in the fleecing of those needing cured rugged hides for their tier 3 sets. My best friend was able to sell a stack for 149g so it should be pretty profitable before EVERYONE starts pumping out the hides. I mean, there’s only going to be a small population that will actually be ready to get tier 3, so the bottom of the market could fall out very quickly.

But either way this preperation has caused me to pick up skinning again on my rogue as my druid won’t be 60 anytime soon. Once my rogue was a 300 skinner, but when I decided to start farming BRD for DI ore I dropped skinning in favor of mining. Now that months have gone by without my running BRD and having horrible luck with obtaining arcane crystals, I’ve decided to go back to skinning, at least temporarily.


Potentially the only game to shake my WoW addiction?

My longterm plan is to drop skinning (again) for jewelcrafting once the expansion hits later this year. Although this is all hinging on whether or not Phantasy Star Universe completely usurps WoW as my gaming addiction. I’m hoping I’ll be able to give both their due time, but let’s be real. PSO decimated the time I spent with other games and considering how much Sega improved on that formula … well let’s just say that it will enter my hall-of-fame (or infamy to the wife ^^) of gaming addictions.

But let’s get back to WoW for now. As I previously stated I’m in the process of leveling up a druid for skinning and mining. At first playing a druid felt like weaker shaman, but once I hit 20 and was able to shift into catform I have completely fallen in love with the class. Druid is a schmorgesborgh (sp?) of class-types: rogue, warrior, priest, magician. They’re a blast to play and I am looking forward to being able to solo mobs that my rogue could never hope to.


My brother-in-law doing his thing … Slow shutter speeds kickass

Okay, I think I’ve geeked out enough for this entry. Now onto something else that I’m really looking forward to. My brother-in-law is the drummer for a band called Soul Census and they’re playing at a local lounge/bar. I absolutely love these guys and am hoping that sometime in the near future they get some more studio time and lay down some more tracks. If you’ve heard Incubus’ older stuff and like it I think you’ll dig them.

Well look at that, it seems so far I’ve been able to remain coherent, but I can feel the exhaustion creeping back. So before my entry does dribble into a mess I’ll wrap it up with a couple random thoughts …

  • I really need to get a new car.
  • My daughter is on the verge of walking.
  • 6 year wedding anniversary is coming up.
  • Also coming up on my last year of my twenties.
  • Need to hop on Xbox Live and play some Halo 2.