Grats! now L2Tank

It’s been an interesting few days in Dech’s world.

Most of the reasons I haven’t posted have nothing to do with Wow, and as such won’t be included here. One thing that has been occupying a good chunk of my time lately though is all about Wow.

More specifically about one of my characters.

 

Drupadi the Death Knugget had spent months doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, nothing but her daily jewelcrafting quest and crafting glyphs to help team Dechion with its overarching goal of owning more gold than they need. Somehow she dosen’t think she’ll ever see that though, Dechion simply is not ruthless enough.

Silly priest, always seeing the good in people, always trying to help others.

That way lies madness.

Oh well, at least he keeps the bar tab paid.

Months she sat in Dalaran, content to enjoy her 74’th season. Nearly retired, she even had thoughts of shipping off to Ironforge and taking up a new career as a banker. If it werent for the voices she would have found a nice tavern there to move into, hanging up her sword forever.

Then, rumors started to surface. Rumors coming out of the area near Icecrown.

Travelers through the tavern in Dalaran told of a flaw in Icecrown’s defenses. A small thing, not enough for an army, but for just a few perhaps.  One grizzled old Dwarf particularly deep in the cups even talked about putting together a strike team. A group slated to go deep in the bowels of the citadel and kill Arthas where he would least expect it.

Where he lives.

Diashan got up from her table, tossed a heavy pouch to the barkeep, and headed out the door.

The voices had been particularly nasty of late, she needed to tell someone to shut the hell up.

She had let herself get into miserable shape. Her gear was a random hodgpodge of things she had found on the bodies of those that had fallen to her blade. She had even cleaned most of their blood off before taking it as her own. She needed some exercise, and a new suit of armor.

After all, one does not simply walk into Icecrown.

Two weeks later…

Now as she has been training she began putting a few odds and ends into the bank towards the day she might be called upon  to do some tanking duties. A bit of armor here and a mace there, the occasional trinket or gem. All towards eventually heading into Icecrown and telling Arthas to shut the hell up to his face.

She will likely just get killed for her efforts, then again it’s not like it would be the first time.

The same, except completely different

There was a time, not so very long ago, that a young Draeni named Drupadi crawled from the wreckage of the Exodar. She was a cheerful young thing for the most part. She was excited and eager to go leave her mark upon the world.

Through the twisted wreckage of Bloodmyst isle, through the steaming jungles of Stranglethorn, through the burning sands of Tenaris and the frozen wastelands of the north she has fought long and hard to make a name for herself.

She was hoping for something more along the lines of “hero”, but I guess Brewmaster will serve while she works on it.

Besides, it sounds like a good way to have some fun with friends after a hard days adventuring.

After all, why else would one go to the tavern but to hoist a few and laugh with friends?

 

Then there was another.  Diashan, twisted by Arthas, was made into something both more and less than human. Every day she fights her own battles with the voices in her head. The same voices she has heard since her reawakening. 

Some say the Ebon Blade wants to hunt down Arthas to avenge what has happened to them. For some that may even be true.

Diashan just wants him the shut the hell up.

She has only found one way to do that so far. It may not make the voices go away, but they become muffled and indistinct. So do the memories of what she has done.

You can find her at one of the back tables of the Booty Bay inn, drinking alone. On a good night no one will get hurt.

She considers her title more a mark of her weakness than a thing to be celebrated.

It would do you well not to remind her that she has earned it, or why. 

 

And now for something completely different

I was talking with a good friend yesterday about things to do while we wait for the expansion to arrive. One thing she has mentioned more than a few times is broadening my horizons a bit. Trying different character classes on for size so to speak. I figured it couldn’t hurt to go play around a bit. If nothing else I would have a better handle on how the other classes worked when grouping with them.

My first character ever was a rogue. I managed to make it to level 6 or 8 before getting really frustrated with the combo points system. I remade a druid, making it to the mid 30’s (and not liking cat form much) before we moved servers. At this point I rolled my first hunter, he made it as far as Shade of Aran before my next reroll. Later we went alliance where I rolled and leveled both a priest and another hunter to 70. When I started leveling yet another hunter, she suggested I take a look at things from a different perspective.

So thinking back on my various failed and abandoned alts (they prefer to be called “higher level bank toons”) I realised the one class I had never tried to play was the warrior. I think I was simply worried that I would get forced into a tanking role if I did level the character, and I am not sure I would like that. Well, I was worried about getting pigeon holed as a healer with my priest too, but that another story. A stared at the character screen for a while, fussed with it, and then A shiny new warrior alt was born.

First impressions are good, I managed to make it to level 7 with no deaths, clearing the starter zone in a little under an hour. I then remembered the character my daughter was leveling on our linked accounts. At level 12 she had 5 free levels she could dump on me before I was to high for them to work. A quick friend summons to Darnassas later I was level 12, trained the new skills, picked up a pair of professions (Mining and Jewelcrafting) and headed back over to do me some questing in the area around bloodmyst isle.

I promptly realised that taking on equal level mobs while using gear meant for half my level led to several trips to the graveyard. I also found that if I got in over my head it was much harder to disengage than it was with either the hunter or the priest. Where I rarely used health pots on either of them, I found myself going through quite a few now. I find myself glad that I have Gift of the Naaru to put a HoT on myself when I pull more than one or two.

I suppose a trip to the auction house for some level 11 – 13 “of the bear” or “of the monkey” mail might be in order. I also just realised I have 3 talent points sitting there unspent, after I figure out where to put them those might help out as well. (leveling spec advice appreciated)

All in all I found that by doing something new without doing endless research first went a long way towards a fun evening. I ran around discovering new things without knowing what I was doing. It was an absolute riot, I spent my evening laughing at myself and shaking my head, looking once again through the eyes of a noob.

I wonder…

Why, oh why, do I keep doing this to myself.

I know that my playtime is limited. I know that time is short before the expansion.

Assuming I spend the majority of my time leveling and perhaps take one night out of the week to raid it will take me in the neighborhood of 4 months to level a new character to 70. That translates into roughly 9 1/2 days played. I know it is possible to do it faster, much faster in fact. I simply take a while.

My oldest main is Dekado, the 70 troll hunter. I leveled him in the blazing time of 25 days played. I had lots of fun with him but the group I run with decided to reroll Alliance.

Enter Morham (once Dechion) my Human priest. leveled in a bit over 13 days played he became (and still is) my raiding main. I enjoy healing, but I don’t really care for running him solo. I missed the soloing with my hunter so instead of going back Horde side I rolled another.

And then there was Drupadi. Draeni huntress and my most recent 70. Leveling her took almost 10 days played. Better by far then earlier but still a serious time commitment. She hit the level cap and finished up getting her epic flyer (a first on any of my toons) about 2 weeks before Dechion was mysteriously drawn to another server, being renamed Morham in the process. You see there was already a Dechion there…

So now I am working on yet another hunter. Yet again a Dreani, this time male. I am sitting at about 1day played and level 26 right now. Why not just ship over Drupadi you ask? Well you see my daughter played on my old server and I want to keep a toon there to help her out from time to time. So it looks like I am back in the leveling saddle again.

I wonder if Dechion will make the finish line before Wrath hits. I also wonder how many level 80’s I’ll end up when its all said and done.

Somebody done stole my macros!

Yesterdays transfer went remarkable well, Dechion the priest has been renamed Morham. He joined another Dechion (my up and coming Dreani hunter) on Draenor. He was welcomed in by several nice folks that already resided there. While I am glad to be there and ready to get going I have not actually had much time to play for the last few days. So since I can’t really come here and share any interesting stories (unless you enjoy reading about me doing home maintenance) I will make few observations about the transfer itself.

The first thing I noticed when logging in was the fact that my cast bars were all but empty. I do a lot of work with macros and apparently moving servers will remove all the character unique ones while leaving the ones in the shared area alone.

It was later pointed out to me by Jess that you can go back and retrieve them all from you old WTF file. I wish I would have realized that before rewriting all my stuff. At least I did scrimp on writing and eliminated down-ranked spells completely, figuring I might as well get used to healing that way now. That and I was kinda bored with the old “no sleeping on the job” comment in my rez macro, I changed it when rewriting to “The answers you seek are not written on the floor” (bonus points to anyone who catches the movie reference)

Anyhow back to looking around at anything else that might have changed, I found my gold and bank contents were fine. All my gear and enchants were fine. I did notice my buffs were gone, both of the cast and consumable variety. I assume they were stripped off during the transfer.

I checked my raid ID and found it to be cleared even though I had run Kara early in the week. This makes perfect sense since I was no longer in the realm with the Kara I had been to, but I was not sure how it would work out. I suppose it prevents people from “splitting” a raid over multiple servers at the same time.

Lastly I checked my primal mooncloth cooldown and found it reset as well. Before the transfer I had sold my cooldown about 2 days prior for some quick cash. Not a huge game breaking economic advantage but something to keep in mind if you are about to transfer servers.

All in all things went well and I look forward to settling into my new home.

Mirrior Mirrior

It was quiet in the Aldor rise inn. Late in the evening most of the few customers still coming through the door were more interested in finding a nice corner to curl up in after a hard day of adventuring than having a conversation. Talking quietly to the innkeeper Dechion asks for a cot for the night. He signs the ledger and is told which bunk will be his for the evening. 

Making his way to the back in the dim light he lets out an almost inaudible chuckle. Glancing at the bunk next to his he sees the familiar bulk of a certain Tauren warrior, sleeping soundly just a few feet away. Minalei must get a kick out of bunking us next to one another, he thought.

Somewhere deep under Shattrath in a hidden chamber carved from solid Rock a small cadre of Gnomish engineers can be seen climbing over a large piece of their “technology”

Leaning back on his bunk he thought about the events of the day. He had taken a trip through the weather beaten castle known Karazahn again. He had gone running around doing errands for the Shattered Sun representatives. There had been a while around midday that he had stopped and did a bit of fishing. It all sounded like just another day, he wonders why he has that odd feeling that something is wrong.

Deep underground two gnomes argue near a console covered in blinking lights and gauges. The conversation is indistinct with distance but as voices become louder the words “volunteer”, “consent”, “untested”, and “inter-dimensional” can be heard echoing through the cavern.

For the last few days the feeling has been there, slowly getting stronger. Like an itch he cannot scratch. He had checked everything he could think of. He had nothing in the auction house, nothing in the mail, all his debts were paid. The thought crosses his mind that in an effort to find out where the nagging feeling of wrong was coming from he had done a remarkable job of putting his affairs in order. Whatever was coming he would be ready. Putting his wand in its sheath and his mace by his side he laid down on his cot, glancing once more at the Tauren sleeping next to him.

Drifting off to sleep he still could not shake the feeling. The priest threw out a short prayer that things would be different tomorrow. In later times he may very well look back and wish he had been a bit more specific. Seemingly on its own a glowing shield of light appears around the slumbering priest.

The argument appears to be over. The smaller of the two gnomes leaves the console area and heading back out towards the pulsing piece of machinery. The smaller gnome places a cage containing a small animal onto a platform at the center of the creation, dons dark protective glasses, and gives the thumbs up to the one at the console. With a look of excitement on his face the gnome pulls a large lever.

They stare expectantly at the cage….nothing happens.

In the inn there is a moment where everything blurs, then a flash of light, then silence. Eyes snapping open the Tauren is just in time to see the sheets on the next bunk over hold the shape of a body for a split second before falling to the empty bunk.

The gnomes look disappointedly at on another and go back to fiddling with the machine.

Waking with a start Dechion sits bolt upright in his bunk. The Tauren is gone replaced by a young Draeni hunter with a white wolf sleeping under his cot. The wolf opens one eye, looks warily at the priest, and goes back to sleep. Glancing around he sees the innkeeper staring at him, as they meet eyes she beckons him over.

Looking him up and down the Minalei says “you may rest here stranger, but all who do must sign the ledger, Rules are rules. Now I must ask, what is your name?”

“Dechion, and you have known me for over a year” he replied, puzzled.

“I don’t know who you are friend, but you are no more Dechion than I am.” pointing to the young hunter she said “Dechion is but a youngling, but known to me. He is sleeping right there. Now who are you?”

He knew who he was, he knew Minalei, and he had been here hundreds of times before. Oddly exhausted he chose to humor her instead of pleading his case in the middle of the night. Picking up the quill he simply signed with his grandfathers name. Handing the ledger back he went back to get some sleep before the new day, he would figure all this out then.

As he was settling in he heard Minalei again. “Good night Morham, pleasant dreams”

The plan

It’s good to have a plan.

 

 

This past weekend I finally hit level 70 on my third character. There was much celebrating and dancing, adult beverages may have been present, I can’t really vouch for that. I flew off to the bank and gathered up the gear that had been sitting there waiting for me. Not doing too bad gear wise, many quest rewards, a few BOE’s and crafted pieces, and several pieces of “of the bandit” greens from the auction house. Oddly enough I am geared comparable to the other hunter I have raided with in the past and he is in 4/5 beastlords with a couple of low end epics as well.

That is the beauty of having a plan. I took the time to plan what to shop for, quest for, and grind mats for. All so that once I hit 70 I could focus on the next phase of the game. In this case that involves farming up epic mounts for both the hunter and the priest before the expansion. So why do I find myself looking over gear lists and the “who drops what” list I used to plan which instances I wanted to go through?

Am I just greedy? Am I a bit too fixated on gear? I have the gear right nowto solo some group quests. I can blow through my dailies and hold my own if I get adds while herbing. I am geared well enough to go into any 5 man in outlands and be able to do my job. I could likely hold my own for the first half of Kara as well. Although I never intended to raid with this character, I find myself looking at what drops “just around the next bend” and wondering weather I should be going there.

I can have my epic flier fro the hunter pretty quickly if I put my mind to it, within a few weeks at most. As a healer the priest is rarely outside of a city unless he is running an instance. For preplanned raids I usually gear him up and park him at the stone a few hours in advance, for quick pick up runs I can either head there on my basic flier or catch a summons. Not really and issue with speed there. Having the epic flier on my farming character will simply make farming faster. Perhaps I only really need the one….

I know that the gear will be replaced, gear always is. I know there is an expansion looming and most everything I gather other than mounts and pets will be replaced soon. That somehow does not matter, Drupadi has come a long way from the wreck of the Exodar all the way to the outlands. With Shadow by her side she has run the race that many start but few finish. She has made the level cap as someones favorite character.

I think somehow she has earned a peek inside a few of the dungeons of outlands, before she moves on to Northrend and new challenges. Perhaps today instead of just going out farming herbs and skins I will take an afternoon off and go find a nice dungeon to crawl through. It might not be in the plan, but it somehow feels right.

Epic failure

Blizzard, why do you torment me so?

I have been playing this game for years always following the rules. I have never botted, I have never bought gold, I have never exploited anything within the game. I actually read the EULA when I signed up. The gist of what could be considered “cheating” was amongst other things purchasing anything outside the game that gave an in game advantage.

They always start you off easy, the first time…

First it was trading cards with their exclusive tabards, nifty gizmo’s, and pretty trinkets. You were buying things outside the game that could effect you inside. Vanity items only, but a slippery slope.

Where does vanity end and unfair advantage begin?

It began the day that the new “recruit a friend” system went into place. Here are some highlights from the blue post. A good transcript of which can be found HERE at MMO-Champion.

Here I am just going to hit the high points I want to bring up.

What in-game benefits do we get while the accounts we play are linked?
1. Characters on both accounts can summon each other once per hour.
2. While adventuring with your linked friend/family member, you will each gain triple experience.
3. For every two levels the new player earns, the new player can grant one free level-up to a lower-level character played by the veteran player.

 

 

I am all for people playing Warcraft and I am all for helping people level up to endgame faster if they would like. No matter how I tilt my head I do not see this in a positive way. Like a pile of lima beans I am not interested in eating, no matter how many times I poke at this with a spoon it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

There are other advantages as well, the most visible being access to an exclusive epic riding mount. I won’t go into how Blizzard is “selling” these for real money, even though they are, because I can purchase something “in game” that performs the same function. It might not be as pretty *cough, elephant mount, cough* but I can still get one. What I have a problem with is giving unfair advantage to those who pay for it while denying it to those who do not.

Is there an in game quest that will allow me to summon one of my friends once an hour?  Say a level one starting zone quest that would last for 90 days or until I reach level 60? A purchasable trinket or do-dad?

I did not think so.

Is there a way to allow one of my alts (or two if both accounts are mine) to gain triple experience? Triple experience from both quests and kills, without consuming rested status. Why yes there is, but I have to pay real money to Blizzard for it. Now powerleveling is legal, but only they can sell you the service. Is there a way to gain this advantage in the game without paying extra for it?

No.

As much as selling the other advantages irks me the last one bothers me the most. Now you can simply level up an alt without even playing it. I am actually at a loss for words on this one. It baffles me so much it’s unreal. Is there any other way within the game to level a character without even playing it?

Absolutely not, last I heard leveling without actually playing would cost you your account.

Take this hypothetical scenario, I send myself an invite and start an account. I have to pay for the retail version and buy 2 months of service, for that I also get one month of service and a Zhevra mount on my main account.

I create two level one alts, one on each account.

I log in and party them together. Either on the same computer running windowed or separate machines multi-boxing.

I level them both together at triple speed.

At level 60 I use the 30 levels worth of “level a toon without playing it” on my level 29 alt.

Transfer the new accounts level 60 over to the main account and repeat until the 90 day limit is reached, then cancel the second account.

Even assuming I only did this once  I end up with a level 29 that I leveled “the old way” now sitting at 59 and ready for outlands. I have two more lave 60 alts also ready for outlands, all in less time than it should have taken me to level one. Assuming I was able to do this in less that 90 days I can keep repeating as often as I have character slots for. If that is not selling an in game advantage I have no idea what would be.

 

 

I wonder whats next? How about gold? I wonder when Blizzard start selling that as well?

How about just “buying” levels? Hell they are basically selling level 60 characters now, why not just sell them direct?

Whats coming next down the pipe I wonder, Badges of Justice for $2 apiece?

Invite a friend and they get free S-1 gear when they hit 70? (so they can be caught up faster, same reasoning they are already using)

No matter where the go with this from here they are accelerating down a very slippery slope, like a snowball rolling downhill. It will just keep getting bigger and bigger and harder to stop. Where will it stop? I wish I knew. What I do know is that like a kid finding out about the tooth fairy I lost a little of my faith in the game I love today.

Epic fail Blizzard, truly epic fail.

The view

I look like a rodeo clown, gotta love quest rewards.

Because sometimes you just have to stop grinding out experience and enjoy the view.

 

Bonus points for anyone who can tell me where in the world (of warcraft) this is.

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.