world of warcraft

Faffing to 90 – a plague upon thee

Does he got the booty? He dooo!

Does he got the booty? He dooo!

I blame one Blizzard game for not playing another Blizzard game more than I want to. Ironic how Blizzard is its own competition. Not that they care: I paid for both Reaper of Souls and a monthly subscription to World of Warcraft, so the guys in the financial department aren’t making sad faces as far as I know. Still, kicking all kinds of supernatural ass in Diablo 3 has kept me from my fabalicious Blood Elf, but there’s still some progress to report.

Monday evening I made the XP sprint to level 40, which is a nice milestone due to the fact my riding speed increases. Also, I finished one of the two Plaguelands, giving Lorellis some rest in Andorhal before moving to the other. While out there questing, I noticed two things about the quest design that came with Cataclysm: Blizzard made the quests either really serious in tone (though you miss most of that when you’re one of those guys who don’t read quest descriptions) or just plain silly (which you will also miss if you just follow the built-in GPS to the quest location). Personally, I don’t mind these two extremes, but I can understand when people say that questing feels like a fantasy comedy show with a dose of pop-cultural references. To me, that’s what makes the leveling process enjoyable. I’ve seen enough of WoW‘s attempts to be gritty, dark or even grimdark, and I feel like the game is suppossed to feel somewhat satirical. So, when a Forsaken researcher complains about the fact that the druids and paladins have been cleaning the Plaguelands too well, I get a smile on my face and happily help him with re-infecting the local population and wildlife.

HOW DARE THEY?!

HOW DARE THEY?!

So, here is my brave warrior at level 40, gathering some rested XP in the inn, waiting for me to make the push through the “old world” and into what used to be Draenor. Will he find spectacular looking armor in the demon-infested lands? Will my patience last me through the terrible quest design of Burning Crusade? You’ll read all about it right here!

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Faffing to 90 – Killing with style, killing in style

WoWScrnShot_031614_133635

Readers, I have to thank you.

In my previous Faffing to 90 post, I was somewhat cynical about the fact that you forced me to play a Blood Elf. I decided to make the best of it, made a blondie with one of those crazy hairstyles (only Varian has more wicked hair than those pointy-eared freaks) and named him Lorellis. The name is somewhat inspired by Loras Tyrell from A Song of Ice and Fire. For one because Loras is a badass warrior, but more importantly because the Knight of Flowers has that certain “fab factor” I’m going for. The result is the smashing elf you see above.

So, why do I have to thank you? First of all, because playing this Blood Elf has been a blast so far. Being the roleplayer that I am, I had to give Lorellis a personality. Being fabulous is sadly not enough to be an interesting character, so Lorellis had to be more. In my head, he’s a fashionista hedonist who has gotten in deep with some goblin loan sharks (who might be using actual sharks to enforce their will) to finance his extravagant lifestyle. In order to work his way out of debt, Lorellis has to do the only thing he is even better at than being the pinnacle of beauty, namely being the pinnacle of slaughter. And so, Lorellis’ adventure across Azeroth and beyond begins, always looking for beauty in all the bloody places. It’s killing with style, while killing in style!

Next to giving me the foundation of an enjoyable character to roleplay, rolling a Blood Elf also allows me to level through content I haven’t seen in ages or haven’t seen at all. The last time I played through Eversong and the Ghostlands was around the launch of The Burning Crusade, and I didn’t have a chance so far to even touch the reworked northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms. Imagine my joy when I noticed how much fun those zones are, with interesting mini-storylines and some fantastic quests. Always wanted to be a quest giver in the name of the Dark Lady? Make your way to Hillsbrad Foothills, and you can be one! Also, as with all the zones that received a facelift when Cataclysm hit, leveling in Hillsbrad, Arathi and the likes has so much…flow. Some might call it boring, but the fact that I can easily auto-pilot through these quests makes leveling so much more enjoyable. Kudos, Blizzard, kudos!

quest text

Finally, an honest quest giver!

By now, Lorellis is level 32 and starting his adventures in the Hinterlands. It’s been a blast playing him so far, and I think I have to thank you guys for making this decision. You are truly the best readers are blogger could wish for!

Faffing to 90 – you asked for it

Dear readers,

when I give you information regarding my opinion of things, I hoped that you would handle them with care. I hoped that you would respect them, maybe discuss them with me, but ultimately, respect them. I thought that you came to this place to enjoy my readings, enjoy my opinion…not to confront me with them and have me act contrary to them.

Alas, I have discovered that you, dear readers, like to watch me suffer. I don’t blame you for that though: I find happiness in the pain of others on a regular basis. If I were you, I had also forced me to go and play a Blood Elf, no matter how much that would dent my honor and respect for myself. No hard feelings, guys and gals. No hard feelings.

So yeah, I will be playing a Blood Elf, and this will be the last time I’ll bitch about it. Instead, I’ll embrace it. My Blood Elf will be the coolest there ever was. He will re-define what it means to be a Sin’dorei, bring coolness to a bland race and will, all in all, be the best damn thing that happened to Azeroth since Thrall became Warchief.

In order to get this show rolling, I decided to pick the class myself. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Lorellis, the Blood Elf Warrior:

lorellis…what have I gotten myself in to?

 

Releases, releases, releases

Malthael-ROS

Another year means a slew of new titles to be put on our plates, waiting to be devoured by our hunger for some good gaming. So far, 2014 looks interesting for people like me. And when I say “people like me”, I mean people who love some new massively multiplayer online games. Okay, almost everything is “massively multiplayer” these days, but you know what I’m talking about. I’m stoked for some of the games waiting on us, especially when it comes to the following three.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
Until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t care less about the upcoming expansion for Diablo 3. After binge-playing the day for two days after its release, I felt like Diablo 3 was nothing compared to its predecessor. The game started to gather dust on my PC, just to be uninstalled a few weeks after its launch, never to be installed again…until that fateful day.
Yes, that fateful day was the day the pre-expansion patch hit. Suddenly, Diablo 3 was fun. The loot was more fun, the game felt more fun and finally it started to step out of the shadow of its older sibling and other hack ‘n slay games. This patch alone has convinced me that Reaper of Souls will be worth my money, so I can’t wait until the end of this month to start my crusade of righteousness through Westmarch.

WildStar
Do you actually still believe so-called “leaks” about games are actual leaks? I don’t, and the “oops”-moment that revealed WildStar’s release date today feels more planned than accidentally. Anyway, knowing that early summer will bring this colorful space MMO cheers me up. The game has been on my radar for a while, but the lack of any release date to look forward to kinda bumped me. Knowing I’ll only have a few months to go  means that I can start making those tough choices, like: which class will I play? Are the Mechari worth joining the Dominion? Will I break the habit and not roll a support and / or healing character this time? We’ll know more on 3 June of this year!

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
As much as I love their games, I wouldn’t want to work at Blizzard. Imagine all the hate you get for a great announcement like the start of pre-orders for Warlords of Draenor. After taking some critical feedback about the price tag for the level 90 boosts (and for the actual existence of these boosts), the entire community goes apeshit about the possible release date of 20 December 2014. Sure, it’s far away and chopping your way through the Siege of Orgrimmar over and over again will make you hate that place even before the Dark Portal re-opens, but guys…come on. Spew your bile, unsubscribe and play something else until then. Hard to believe, but World of Warcraft is not the only game around.
My taste for Draenor isn’t spoiled though, and it won’t be long before I reserve my spot on the frontlines against the Iron Horde.

Well, that’s the releases I’m looking forward to. Feel like I’m longing for the wrong things or want to share your “I can’t wait any longer”-titles? Hit me up in the comments!

Turning the MMO daily grind into a daily adventure

“ZHPS- Daily Grind” by Meado

Ah, daily quests: the brave attempt of many MMO’s to hide an incentive to come back every day underneath a coat of in-game gold and distant rewards. Where some MMO’s (like Neverwinter and Warframe) just reward you for logging in every day, with growing rewards for consecutive days, many other online games find that a bit too simple. Those games beckon with series of daily tasks, waiting for your completion. Every day, the same people need your help with the same tasks, while your repetitive support makes them love you more, which they show by opening their collection of powerful items to you. Where game designers see an interesting scheme to call players back to their games every day, players often find boredom. A sad reality that should, and can be, alleviated.

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Re-reading page 394, or why character boosts in WoW are a good thing

I have a confession to make: I hate playing through the same game twice. It’s a real shame, though. While my gaming friends can enjoy a single-player epic like Mass Effect several times, my thirst is sated after seeing the end credits once and then never again. It’s no surprise, I’m also one of those persons who doesn’t get people who like reading the same book multiple times or watching the same movie over and over again (well, I have my exceptions when it comes to flicks, but that’s another story). Yeah, that even goes for awesome books and movies like Harry Potter. Come on, how often can you turn to page 394?

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Checking in with the trolls

monk troll wow pandariaIt’s been a while since my last post about my trolls in World of Warcraft, so I figured it’s time for a quick update. Last time, I formulated some achievable goals, so let’s so how I’m doing there, yes?

On my way to the siege
By now, Umaru is level 90 and preparing to kick down the gates of Orgrimmar. He’s halfway through LFR Throne of Thunder, and with an item level of 486 not that far away anymore from the final raid of this expansion. I marathoned a big part of the LFR raids over the past weekend, and even though the encounters were horribly easy (probably also because my raids were packed with overgeared characters farming points), I have to admit that I liked the mechanics of many of them. It’s good to see that Blizzard keeps toying around with the possibilities, even though some bosses have some annoying tricks up their monstrous sleeves. Does Ji-Kun really have to try that hard to blow us off the platform?

Anyway, I’m taking it easy now, slowly plowing my way through the item levels. With a bit of luck, I’ll have Garrosh underneath my boots by the end of my Christmas break.

Raising a hunter
Another goal is to have at least one other max-level character before the expansion hits. For that goal, I’m busy leveling a troll hunter named Jubaru. Jubaru is decked out in heirlooms (all he needs is the bow, but I can’t be arsed to get him that) and pew-pewing his way through his twenties now. I always wanted to have a hunter, mostly because I remember how fond my brother was of the class back in TBC and Wrath. So far, I like having a pet (Jubaru won’t leave the house without Shuffles, his trusty turtle) and steamrolling everything that comes in my way. Pandaria, prepare yourself for another troll!

Serpents & skinning
My final two goals are about professions and a faction grind. Umaru is busy training Skinning and Leatherworking. The former has hit 150 today, while the latter is barely at 75. Professions have always been the most boring part of the game to me, and so I find it hard to level them. It’s really just clicking a button and waiting while your character rubs his hands together. Can’t Blizzard make crafting somewhat more exciting?

Talking about exciting, the reputation grind for one of those sweet serpents is also not that special. I’m halfway through Honored and already looking forward to the racing dailies unlocking at Revered. However, I must give some credit to Blizzard for at least giving us some variety when it comes to dailies. You’re not repeating the same set of quests every day, and the fact that one of your dailies is about interacting with your chosen serpent hatchling at least tries to give you a connection with your future mount.

All in all, WoW is really scratching a certain itch right now. That itch needs a game that feels familiar and where I can do some things that don’t require too much of my attention. When slaying low-level mobs to level my Skinning feels relaxing, I know that WoW is what I need right now.

Damn, that rhymed nicely.