OMG Blizz Giefs Stable Slotz!!!

First brought to my attention yesterday by BRK and further reinforced by this mornings article at MMO Champion in a post referenced HERE.

It appears that hunters are finally getting more space in the stable. Two more slots to be exact. That coupled with the fact that hunters will no longer have to keep one of their original three slots open for “training” pets means that a hunter just went from 2 viable pets and one training slot to 5 viable, usable pets!

I have to go have a drink and towel off now.

The blue post in question can be located HERE

Things really do go faster

Those of you that stop by often know that my current project is leveling Drupadi to level 70. I have not been instancing with her or doing any battlegrounds, just questing my way up. This morning I was a bit curious about how quickly she was coming along compared to the other two characters I have leveled to 70.

 

 

I did a /played on Drupadi and came up with 8 days, 12 hours, and 53 minutes. She is currently sitting right at halfway between 66 and 67 and coming along nicely.

Then I pulled up Dechion, my second level 70 and current “raiding main”. Now that does not mean much to someone who has not even instanced in weeks, but I digress. After doing a bit of number crunching I figured out Dechion was at 14 days, 20 hours, and 52 minutes when he hit level 70. Unless it somehow takes me six and a half days played to get Drupadi from 66 to 70 I would easily beat that time.

Thinking maybe it was just the fact that I solo faster with a hunter than with a priest I figured I would look at my original Troll hunter, Dekado. I pulled him up, crunched some numbers, and was shocked. Dekado took 26 days, 15 hours, and 13 minutes to reach 70. Yes that’s right a full 12 days slower than the priest. Assuming I can keep the pace up on Drupadi something like 16 days slower than my new hunter.

I understand I was still learning the game, but having already done the quests horde side did not really help that much redoing them all alliance side. Yes, I know about the leveling improvements from 20 to 60 and I am sure those helped. It probably did not hurt to have a high level character that could funnel gold and goods to my lowbies either. I used leveling guides for all three so I don’t think that’s a huge factor, although I used different guides for each leveling project the questing patterns were pretty similar.

I am quite honestly shocked. If I can manage to hit 70 on Drupadi within a played time of  *pokes vigorusly at a calculator* 11 days, 18 hours, and 21 minutes, I will actually have managed to level both my Alliance characters to 70 in less time than it took just to get Dekado there. That gives me over 3 days to get those last 3 and a half levels.

 

 

I am still not quite sure what to think about this. Is it just me or have things really sped up that much? Could Drupadi’s success be a combination of things? Probably. It is likely a combination of having already leveled my priest through the same Alliance quest lines, having already leveled a hunter to 70 and understanding the class mechanics, the leveling speed increases from 20 to 40, and having a “sugar daddy” character that can funnel down cash and supplies. It might even have something to do with me being a better player than I was then.

I am not totaly sure of all the reasons it is going so much faster. One thing I am sure of however, things really do go faster the second (and third) time around.

Wrath of the List King

I understand that the game will still be there after Wrath hits. What is it about the coming expansion that makes me want to make lists of things to do? I am not the only one either, my list is just different than yours or anyone elses. You have a list too, even if it’s not on paper.

Some folks want to get to a certain arena rating. Not really my thing, but I can see the season 4 gear helping out in the leveling process.

Some want to see the end of the Sunwell, Black temple, Karazan, whatever raid is the one that they have not quite conquered yet. Once again not really my thing. I have been forced away from raiding long enough to start not missing it anymore.

Some are desperately trying to get the titles that will no longer be available once Wrath launches. I can see the draw here. It is actually something you could carry with you to Northrend and something you can’t go back and do later.

One person I talked to decided he wanted to get exalted with every outlands faction. Once again, not for me. Rep grinds are called grinds for a reason. I will get the rep I need for things I need but once that’s done if I get rep it will be an accident.

Many people are talking about stockpiling crafting supplies, gold,  and other such things. To some extent I will do some of this as well (Gaah, I just started another list!) but it will be mostly in passing. Perhaps save a few stacks of netherweave I would normally have dropped in the AH to level first aid a bit. Maybe save a few scrolls I would have sold as well, that kind of thing.

A couple of people I talk to are trying repeatedly for the Bear mount from Zul’Aman. Not really my thing, personally I think they are ugly and bulky. I despise my Draeni’s elephant for just that reason.

One friend of mine has even said she would like to try to hit the gold cap on one of her characters. I honestly don’t know if she was serious, but if she sets her mind to it I know it will happen. Now I won’t say having a pile of gold would not be nice, but I will say I don’t have the time to earn it before Wrath hits.

My list is short, kind of like the amount of time I have to play on a given day.

  1. Finish leveling Drupadi to 70. (She should hit 67 today)
  2. Get Drupadi’s rep with Cenerion Expedition and Shattered Sun Offensive to revered.
  3. Gather enough gold to purchase epic flyers for both Drupadi and Dechion.
  4. If Wrath has not hit at this point start grinding rep with the Wintersaber Trainers to replace Drupadi’s elephant with something I like.
  5. If I accomplish all this and Wrath has not hit, Pug till it does.

I think that pretty much covers my plans for the next couple of months till Wrath goes live.

It may be a short list, but it’s still a list.

Drupadi needs a new pair of shoes

Drupadi has been working hard, questing away hither and yon, helping those in need and such.

Well I think she deserves something nice for all her effort so I decided to take her shopping for some new threads. Now I don’t ask too many questions ‘cuse she tends to get riled up when she does not have a snappy answer, so I don’t actually know why she is so interested in shoes. What with her having hooves and all, but hey whatever. I’ll just go find some for her to try on, and we will see what comes of it.

After a bit of poking around here is what I am looking at that fits the bill, questables first.

Boots of the skybreaker

  • 404 armor
  • 22 stamina
  • 16 agility
  • 15 intellect
  • 48 ranged attack power

These are awarded from the quest Enraged spirits of air in Shadowmoon Valley. The quest is solo-able, but it is also part 4 in a series. Besides the fact that the quest is not available until level 68 I am kind of leaning away from these because there are better boots availible earlier.

 

Duro Footgear

  • 394 armor
  • 23 agility
  • 15 intellect
  • 46 ranged attack power
  • 9 Mana per 5

Awarded from the quest Rightful repossession in Netherstorm these boots provide more agility than the skybreaker boots and also some mana regen which is always nice to have around. They do lose a bit of stamina to get there however. Available at level 67 these come from a short series of 3 quests that are easily solo-able. An overall good choice for adventuring, however they do lose a few points for looking like rodeo clown boots.

 

Protectors Boots

  • 363 armor
  • 15 agility
  • 10 intellect
  • 52 ranged attack power

Awarded from the quest Protecting our own in Blades edge mountains these boots provide the most raw ranged attack power of all the boots I am looking at. However they also provide the least agility and really don’t bring much more to the table. Available as low as 65 these are also on part 3 of an easily solo-able quest series. I think I will pass on these, although I might grab the shoulders from the quest just for leveling purposes (they are leather, but the stats are decent)

 

Fleet refugee’s boots

  • 353 armor
  • 18 agility
  • 17 hit rating
  • 36 ranged attack power

Awarded from the quest Helping the lost find thier way in Terokkar these are the only pre-raiding mail boots to have hit rating on them. that coupled with the fact that the 2 part quest line for these opens up at level 63 tells me I will have a pair of these in the bank. My second choice after the Duro footgear, but available much earlier.

 

Now for the few available bind on equip boots I will be on the lookout for. Both are randomly enchanted drops that may or may not show up in the auction house. While maybe not the best choice in footwear they will get the job done, and look good doing it.

Abyssal mail greaves (usable at level 68 )

of the bandit

  • 426 armor
  • 24 agility
  • 36 stamina
  • 48 attack power

of the falcon

  • 426 armor
  • 30 agility
  • 30 intellect

of the monkey

  • 426 armor
  • 30 agility
  • 46 stamina

 

Netherstorm greaves (usable at level 70)

of the bandit

  • 424 armor
  • 22 agility
  • 33 stamina
  • 44 ranged attack power

of the falcon

  • 424 armor
  • 27 agility
  • 27 intellect

of the monkey

  • 424 armor
  • 27 agility
  • 42 stamina

 

Overall I think I will pick up the Fleet refugees boots while leveling and grab the Duro footgear when I get to 68 or so. At least I know there are some boots out there if I am just willing to do some shopping.

Just Wrong

There was a time not so very long ago that I was sure I would be leveling my priest forever. I was not looking forward to which raid I would be able to complete before the expansion, I was still wondering if I would ever see 70.

Two years ago a friend introduced me to Wow. After looking over the class descriptions I decided to roll a druid. My friends were level 60′s and back then that was more than a bump in the road. I learned a lot, but wondered how long it would take me to catch up. It turns out that with that character I never did.

We chose to re-roll on a new server, starting over yet staying Horde. It made no real sense to pay to transfer a mid 30′s druid over, so I just rerolled. My first hunter was born. It seemed like forever while I played catch up. I listened in on raids, lurking in vent. I was sure I would never see the inside of Zul’Gerub much less places like Molten core or Blackwing lair.

I was wrong.

We cleared Zul’Gerub, Molten core, Onixya, and worked on Blackwing lair. We worked Karazan into the mix and were having a grand old time. Places I never thought I would get to see the inside of I was running nearly every week. It was great.

After a time the group I had run with for over a year decided to see things from the other side. We rerolled alliance. I decided this time on a priest thinking to myself “you can never have too many healers”. As usual with my somewhat limited playtime I ended up playing catch up. I once again listened in as my friends dove deeper into Kara than we ever had before. Finally getting their first full clear about a week before I hit 70 for the second time.

After nearly a year I thought to myself “Wow, I hope to finaly see the end of Kara for myself”. I never had any thoughts of getting further. 25 man raids were something I read about in blogs not something I would ever do.

I was wrong.

First High king Mulgar, then the mighty Gruul himself went down before our team. Magtheridon fared a bit better but soon met his demise as well. The bosses went down before us, the epics dropped like shiny purple candy from the mighty loot pinatas we were breaking open. Heady with our successes we decided to venture into SSC and have a go at the next challenge. we started off as strong as ever, Lurker down, working on Hydross and Tidewalker. I knew it was only a matter of time before we cleared this place out as well.

I was wrong.

Over a period of a few weeks the guild that had fared so well simply disintegrated before my eyes. We went from working on SSC to working to try and put a 10 man together. The guild coughed, sputtered, and died. Cast adrift I fell back to the small group of friends that had run together with for so long. Then the leader of our little group of refugees (she will never admit it but she is a leader by nature, she just can’t help it) found us a new home.

I am still settling into the new guild. Running a bit on my priest when a spot of healing is needed, but mostly working on leveling a new hunter. I found I really missed it when we came over from Horde side and wanted to have one again. Now once again I am playing catch up, listening in encounters I am not yet ready for and thinking I will likely never see them.

Will I see them before Wrath of the Litch King hits? Will I go back to them after? Will I see the last 10 man in Wrath? The final boss of the final 25 man go down? Will I even finish leveling both the priest and hunter to 80?

Where do I see myself in 6 months? 6 months, I don’t even know for sure whats for lunch today! I could try to predict where I would be and what I would be doing, but you know something?

I would be wrong.

A cop out post.

After seeing how much traffic the post I made several months ago about gearing a fresh 70 hunter continues to get I decided to start a project to revamp the list. I wanted it to be more flexible and more inclusive of the easy to get gear. None is “best in slot” by any means but it should get the job done.

The project is just getting off the ground at the moment, so bear with me it will get updated further.

I tabbed it as a new section on the header or you can follow the link here. So if you have a minute wander over, take a look, and let me know what you think.

A good, bad, good day

I was planning a post today about how I think the new spellpower stat may effect my priest. That post however has gone to the back burner for today (perhaps I will revisit it later this week). I decided today to share an experience of mine from yesterday afternoon.

Ever heard of killing someone with kindness?

Well, contrary to what my son said it does not mean being beaten up by kittens and puppies (kids say the darnedest things). In this case it involved people (my kids) doing something really really nice for me, but with potentialy dire consequences.

You see, out of the blue, with no prior warning, the sneaky buggers jumped into action. They recognized a mess when they saw one. (they should, look at their rooms. but I digress) While I was busy out trying in vain to avoid work while still getting paid it happened. They cleaned. Living room, dining room, dishes, even that place behind the garage where the garbage cans go was cleaned. That’s when it happened.

They cleaned the computer room.

Something was out of place, but I just could not put my finger on what. They were not fools though, not by a long shot. They knew that the bin full of mail and bills and such was off limits. They put all the manuals and disks that seemed to have no home in a plastic tote for my later organising pleasure. they dusted and swept. The place looked great and I told them so.

A few minutes later I grabbed a bottle of dew and headed over to the computer to sign in and scan the auction house while getting some lunch together. That’s when it hit me. I knew what was out of place.

my authenticator was missing!

An hour of more and more frantic searching later it was just as gone as when we started. I had gone out of my way to secure my account and it turns out the one locked out of it was me. After making sure in a proper fatherly way that the kids knew I was not mad at them, I proceeded to bite the bullet and call Blizzards customer service. You see I have only dealt indirectly with them once (When my brothers account was hacked) and It was about as pleasant as shaving with sandpaper.

Preparing myself for a long drawn out process in getting my account unlocked so I could access it again, I thought to myself “well, at least I parked in the inn. I’ll have lots of rest xp” And then I called.

I waded through several layers of phone menu’s nothing really seemed to apply. They really need an “I’m a noob, just let me talk to a person” button in the beginning. There is one, it just took a little waiting to find. I believe it actually said “to speak to a customer service agent press 3″ or some such, but it meant the same thing.

After spending about 14 minutes on hold A rather pleasant gentleman came on the line. He told me his name was Gilbert and asked mine. He asked what was going on, I told him about the missing authenticator. My questions for him were what it would now take to remove it from the account in question, and in the event I found it later (there is always hope it did not end up in the trash) if it could be reinstated onto the account or was that serial number listed as “lost” or some-such.

After a minute or so on hold while he checked on this particular problem he came back on, we checked my name, billing address, secret question, and after some scrounging through the manuals and cd’s looking for it my cd key. You know the one you need to prove the disks are yours? The one you put “someplace safe” so it would not get lost? Yea, you know what I mean, but I digress again.

Where were we? CD key? right. well after giving my info and proving I was me he informed me that it was taken care of. No waiting like I had thought it was done while we were still on the phone. Start to finish I think I was one the phone about 20 minutes. I have spent that long on hold waiting to talk to someone at other places.

He was also kind enough to let me know that should I find the authenticator in the future buried in a couch cushion or something I could simply go back to account management and set it back up the same way I had when I first got it. Further he informed  me that there was in fact a procedure to remove one even if you cannot find your original CD key (there was a time when I thought I might not find it). This involves having E-paperwork sent to the registered email on the account and working it through that way, however it would by necessity take longer than doing it over the phone.

Overall It was a surprisingly painless experience considering what my only prior exposure to them had been A bad one. Although having an account issue is never fun, I really appreciated them getting me back in the game so quickly. The odds of Gilbert or anyone at Blizz that knows him reading this are pretty slim. If you do stumble across this, thanks. You took a good chunk of the “bad” out of my day.

A fundamental lack of loyalty

Yes its early,

Its both early in the morning and very early in the beta testing. As was so eloquently pointed out we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 months before WotLK finds its way into live servers and until then (indeed even after) everything is subject to change without notice.

The proposed changes to hunter pets are for the most part welcome. I think the whole Talent tree thing is a particularly great idea, but I sincerely hope that the respeccing cost of a pet is either free or nearly so. Am I being greedy? Wanting it all? Hardly, read on.

One of the other proposed changes is removing pet loyalty. Pet loyalty was always a bit of a nuisance, especially at higher levels it would take forever to get to be “best friend” to your pet. It really did need to be reworked, however I would have liked it to stay in the game in some form.

While I think both of these are good changes in their own way, I think I may see a bit of a issue in how they would interact both with each other together with minimal stable slots open to hunters. I think can already see the dawn of the “disposable pet”. Not a temporary pet you grab to go learn a skill but a full fledged throwaway pet.

Lets assume that there is available in the game a level 80 cat of some sort. I would say that is a safe assumption, but that’s all it is. Why tie up a stable slot with one? Why pay to re-spec?  If you need a cat go grab a cat. Tame complete *bam* instant best friend. Spec for what you want to do and throw it away when you are done. There is even the possibility with a little planning of using “Tame beast” as a form of crowd control in instances, similar to the way enslave or mind control is used to pull one enemy from a group and have it fight for you. The difference would be that It won’t wear off.

Everything I see can in fact be used as an advantage. I am not really complaining just thinking out loud. I am pondering weather taking away pet loyalty to the hunter coupled with a lack of stable slots serves to take away the hunters loyalty to the pet, and if so how I feel about that.

I suppose I can keep two pets that I actually needed to put a few levels on in the stables and keep one slot open for the pet of the day. I could but I don’t think I will. My pets are not throw aways to be used up and discarded. I am not a Warlock.

Something to ponder as I watch the calendar slide past towards release day.

Epiphany

Friday night I was running my normal weekly Kara pug on my priest. Things were going relatively well the occasional wipe, but nothing to write home about. We managed several good drops that I ended up with including the Nightstaff of the Everliving and Talisman of Nightbane as no one else wanted either.

It was an average run, neither great nor horrible. As I was going through the motions of move, pull, heal, drink, repeat, I started thinking back on all the times I had been In Kara. I am still rolling with my group, but I am seeing the place in a new light. Kara is without a doubt my favorite instance in the game.  It may not be a challenging as some places, nor require 25 players to accomplish it. The loot may not be the absolute best, but it was more than enough to make the next run easier.

I thought of the guild first kills. I thought of the times I had spent on evening long wipefests. I thought of the chatter in vent, not always happy but always there. I thought of the times I was not even in the raid that evening and yet sat up listening in vent anyway to my friends and guildies having fun.

Friday night we were like a machine. We wiped a time or two but we just kept plowing through the place. Making it as far as Shade before calling it a night due to being down to one healer and not being able to find a replacement. There was no chatter, there was no vent, there were no friends there. I had been after the Nightstaff of the Everliving ever since I started running Kara. I think when it finaly dropped with no one there was when it actually happened.

A hollow feeling, an Epiphany.

Yes we plowed through the place, yes I got my drops, yes I got my badges. It was a victory, but it was a hollow one. I don’t look at Kara the same way I did before I logged in Friday night. Like a kid finding out about the tooth fairy I will never look at it the same way again.

I had taken the most fun instance in the game and turned it into a cheerless badge farm. In the company of strangers I went about trying to gather more badges like a squirrel gathering nuts. I kept going back because I somehow had it in my head that running that place was great. I realised Friday that it was not the instance I enjoyed so much as the friends I once ran it with. By the time Shade rolled around and the group called it due to the missing healer it was actually a relief. I no longer wanted to be there, but I try to never leave a group hanging.

In a rare moment of complete clarity I decided that I was done pugging Kara. I will go back with friends. I will go back with guildies. I might even try to solo Attumen at 80 just for kicks, But I would never again run without a friend in the group.

Wrath of the Litch King Beta starts today

Woot! let the panic begin!

Beta is starting and the end of the world (of  warcraft) is neigh!

Unfortunately I have not received a Beta key (at least as of yet) and I don’t need to bore you by re-writing what others already have done. Good information can be found in the following places (that I know of so far)

New talent trees

MMO Champion

Beta patch notes hosted on WowWiki.com

There is a lot more out there, I’ll be doing a lot of reading myself when I get off work.

Random opinions to follow when I get a chance to digest some of this info.

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