Saturday, September 29, 2012

PANDARIA IS NOT PREPARED!

First of all I'll say sorry for not posting anything for days! You know, this thing called Mists of Pandaria was released and it's not like awesome or anything like that... Yeah... Woaahaowou!
I could talk about the expansion itself endlessly, but I'll spare you for now and do that later sometimes. Instead, this post focuses on RP things. To me it's obvious who are the first of my characters to take on the war in Pandaria. Nicasia (who was the first one to get to 90), Raleigh and Vladan alike all travel to the long lost continent, but with different ambitions. I think I can pretty much promise we'll hear from each one as the expansion progresses. Here's a taste of where they started and are starting.

Nicasia, although not sure about her loyalty to the Alliance, joins the war, but most of all out of curiosity. Looking to expand her knowledge and power, she comes to the conclusion that the Alliance is her best bet at setting foot on Pandaria. It hasn't yet struck her that her endless curiosity and recklessness might cost her her life one day, so the Hex Machine continues to adventure alongside her loyal companion Reth'rek.

The ginger is taking Pandaria - in a retributive state of mind! Resulting from the attack on Theramore, Raleigh has experienced increasing rage and revulsion towards the Horde. Despite swearing he'd never pick up heavy weaponry again since he returned from the cold north, the ever so silent and calm paladin has decided to grab his emerald swo-- mace once more, and storm Pandaria. Known mostly for staying in the back rows, taking care of the injured and supporting the battle; how is the pissed medic going to make it in the unforgiving outback and jungles of Pandaria?
(P.S. He did get an actual, long desired emerald sword, too! More about that later.)

Vladan never fully "joined" the Alliance; his presence, like most death knights', is merely tolerated around Stormwind, and he remains aligned with the Knights of the Ebon Blade. However, due to his blacksmith background and therefore, his wide and deep knowledge of weaponry, combined with his unusually perfected combat skills, he was hired as a mercenary to aid the Alliance in the war in Pandaria.

My other characters will make their way to Pandaria later, too, but I'll be focusing on this trio intensively for the first months. As I get into my panda routines with Nicasia, I'll get to leveling the other two. See you in Pandaria!


Friday, September 21, 2012

A what now?

Scenarios sound like a fun thing, but they carry a despicable taint - Scenaterdist. That title makes me want to puke. It's by far the worst title in the game so far, and I can't see a single reason why anyone would want to use it. It's not even to show off a great accomplishment, it's just plain ugly and doesn't make any sense. To me it doesn't seem to have any depth to it what so ever. It's not even a real word! ("You're not a real word!" Yes, yes, that's true.)

It's better to not have a title than have one that carries no meaning to it. Scenarios are a new thing, sure, but the title doesn't need to speak of them. It could have been something more adventurous, something in the style of the Explorer. After all, the characters aren't really doing anything known as 'completing scenarios' in Azeroth, and I think titles should reflect the characters' adventures - even though they are sort of on the edge. A character also wouldn't know they have the title 'Light of Dawn' or whatever. All in all, I simply find the title Scenaterdist a stupid and unnecessary stain in an awesome-looking expansion! Urgh.

We are getting awesome titles in Mists of Pandaria, too, though. I like the sound of the Fearless, the Relic Hunter, Seeker of Knowledge, the Tranquil Master and the Undaunted. Farmer can be quite nice for roleplaying purposes! I immediately though of Blue Overalls and a pitchfork.

No title can ever match Slayer of Stupid, Incompetent and Disappointing Minions, though.

Oh, what is this? Activity!
On another note: I am just simply loving cross-realm zones! I hadn't paid much attention to the feature until I noticed that Dalaran looked a bit more like an actual city again, with more than a maximum of two people around. Some people stood at the auctioneers, RP'd in the streets, fished from the fountain and just made the place look less dead. I was very happy to notice this. It appears that Moonglade was "merged" with at least three other RP realms: Steamwheedle Cartel, Darkmoon Faire and Earthen Ring. I have no negative feelings towards this what so ever.

While leveling my baby warrior (gosh that sounds wrong!) in Westfall, I encountered multiple people of the same level - that's a completely new experience for me, since I've never really played on a high population realm. My main realm, Moonglade EU, is medium populated, but often quite empty. Sharing the place with others didn't disturb my leveling in any way, as mobs also spawn at a faster speed - that seems to be something certain people worry about.

I think cross-realm zones are a grand thing.

P.S. I noticed that Molten Core core hounds are back to their normal size!

Pups no more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Battle for Theramore

I've been really busy recently and only got to do the Theramore event the evening of the day it came out in Europe. Here are some screenshots of my first visit there, on the Alliance side of course, since I don't have a single level 85 Horde character, my highest one being level 80 since Wrath of the Lich King.

We started out as three DPS, but Kidney decided to go bear and the pugged paladin went holy. I have done the scenario a whole of three times now, and the only non-regular firework reward (excluding the tabard) that I've got is Everlasting Alliance Firework. I don't mind having it, actually, but I'd like some of the items for transmogging reasons - although I think they share models with some vanilla items that might still be in the game, I haven't really looked into that. I personally like the tabard, although a more epic and unique pre-expansion event would have been nice. But as Blizzard said, we'd rather have an epic expansion rather than an epic event before it. The question is whether we must choose between those.





And for nostalgic reasons... /sob



Monday, September 17, 2012

How nothing else matters

I'm ditching work again just to write about something that's on my heart right at this moment.

Some time ago I mentioned how I feel about Northrend generally. I'd like to share a particular memory, probably my dearest pure WoW memory in history. It's one that I really treasure and cherish.

Today I've spent a lot of time mining with Vlad and just recently I went back to Northrend, Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord in particular, to ease his shortage of cobalt. I was, as usual, reminded of when I did the Explore Northrend achievement that awards Tabard of the Explorer with Nicasia. I only had the slowest flying skill, so I made slow progress, but dear Naaru how I enjoyed that. Similarly to how some people say that vanilla was the best time of WoW - they don't miss the server crashes, endless grinds, unpractical mechanics, severely unbalanced class performance or buffing a 40 man raid every 5 minutes. They miss the feeling they had when they were doing it, and the truth is they're never getting it back, just like I'm never getting back my Wrath of the Lich King. For me it was the golden age of WoW, and this song is my memento of it:


It's not exactly the version that I listened to, but similar enough.

Back then I couldn't play with the graphics I do these days; in fact I couldn't even dream of it. I played with custom graphics that were lower than low, to make fight situations as tolerable as possible. I knew much less of the game than I do these days, both lore- and mechanics-wise. Dalaran lagged like hell, but that music still gives me positive vibes, no matter what.

The elemental unrest world event awakens similar feelings in me, although it was already on the edge of the modern era of my WoW life; not quite like that hazy part, such as your childhood that you're not quite sure about, it just makes you feel a certain way for what it is. I don't know if I'd go back to those times if I could. Probably. Maybe. I don't know. After all it's good that time traveling isn't (yet) possible. It would make things like 'moving on' very, very hard. The cost of living in the past is the present.

Why I wanted to write about this now is not just because I got reminded of it once again, but because it's one of those things that make the future seem light and hopeful. It represents how nothing else matters except the way you feel about it and what you can get out of it. Even though it's been long since my Northrend exploration, I'm still able to feel the exact same feelings I did back then. I sincerely hope that people take things as they come. Forget about the preconceptions and drop the prejudice attitude. Because you never know, it might just turn out to be something great, you only need to let it be that.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Life-threatening bugs detected

How could I have missed this??!?!? I am forever disappointed and sad.

On another note, there was a bug that I certainly didn't miss out on. In last night's Dragon Soul, at Ultraxion, I experienced a random death that apparently didn't have a cause. Basically, what happened was I got Fading Light. A second or two after getting it, I died. Since it was so soon, it couldn't have been Fading Light that killed me, but I'll get back to that in a bit. I wasn't smart enough to screencap my combat log, but basically what it reported was Nicasia first taking damage from Ultraxion's instability, then that Nicasia died. We were all at a high health and I received no 'low health!' warnings during the encounter. After my death my DBM count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 for Fading Light going off - yet another proof it wasn't the debuff that killed me. And you can be sure I cleared that out, since I, officially again, lead the no fails list of Ultraxion. /cheer

Bright things are that with 5.0.5 some existing bugs, such as Karazhan chess speed and Halion's post-pull disappearances, were fixed. It seemed to bring some new ones to light our paths, though. I'm not complaining, certain bugs make the game more fun and unpredictable. Well, sometimes. I can also see how they would be extremely non-beneficial.

A rather short post this one, but I'm still busy with work and I'll have more time to write about things when it's done. All in time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another shot at the W that isn't warlock

The story of the warrior and I isn't very glorious. Once upon a time I made one, a night elf warrior whom I levelled up to 48 as protection, tanking dungeons for Lanfranco, who healed on his holy paladin that in fact made his way to level 85. I, however, got very bored of my elven warrior called Uma, who serves as my banker today. Not the most glamorous job in the world, should I say.

For long, the only class of the 'classy' guild achievement for human that Menagerie needs has been warrior. That until 5.0.4, when monk was also introduced to the list. Since I have a hard time just doing things with max level characters, I usually need to have a leveling project going on at the same time. It could very well be a part of my Cataclysm burnout, too. Anyway, with those thoughts in my mind I welcomed Aleksej to my personal menagerie.

Aleksej ['ah-lek-say] Bosko (yeah Lan, it's Bosko with a k, not with a c!) may as well be an incarnation of Vladan from when he was still alive. The two share an aggressive, short-tempered warriorish nature, and even hair colour (back when Vlad was alive, again). Ever since Vladan I've felt drawn to Slavic names, and Aleksej - that's ['ah-lek-say] - Bosko is no exception. According to behindthename.com, my number one source of character names, the history behind the name Aleksej ['ah-lek-say], the Slovene form of Alexis, is the following:
"From the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis), which meant "helper" or "defender", derived from Greek αλεξω (alexo) "to defend, to help". This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Greek comic poet, and also of several saints. It is used somewhat interchangeably with the related name Αλεξιος or Alexius, borne by five Byzantine emperors."

I have no idea whether I will like the class any better now than I did before. I certainly hope I do, because I've really began to like the name! Since the character is still so low level, there's no cool gear available, I refuse to use model viewer things to introduce my characters, and items such as shirts that don't require a certain level to equip don't really represent the character so well, I'll post a picture of Alek ['ah-lek... oh wait] later on.

Monday, September 10, 2012

And I said heeeeeeeyeeeeeeeyeeeeeeeeyeeeheeh

I said hey, what's going on? This post is going to cover a bit of stuff that has happened recently that aren't quite important enough to have individual posts, but should be mentioned anyhow.

1. I've been sick. I am sick. Stupid, stupid flu. Stuck to my bed and unable to stay up more than two hours a day, and even that is a struggle. Work lagging behind, school lagging behind and WoW life shut down, since I am unable to do anything else but lie down and/or sleep. Luckily the worst seems to be over now.

2. Menagerie, our guild, completed Dragon Soul on heroic mode, ranking 11th on the server, 7th on Alliance side. With a sudden sprint of progressing through the last two encounters during the same evening, I'm quite happy that we made it to 8/8 heroic by the end of the expansion. That also got me thinking the definition of casual. I've always considered us a casual raiding guild. It's quite obvious to all that Dragon Soul is the easiest raid for the designated level so far, also the most nerfed. But on our server, Moonglade EU, there are guilds that also call themselves casual with a progression that barely reaches the end of normal mode.
I thought some of our most important casual features were flexible raids, that we could have a couple of breaks during the raid time and we didn't have any super important progression schedule. Surely, every time we down a new boss, I set the goal to learning the next one (as I am the main raid leader and one out of three guild leaders).
I think on a very global scale, as a raid team, we're mediocore at our best. But I'm constantly looking to optimise the team for the best possible progression plan.

Commercial time! Do you want to be a part of Menagerie? We're a growing guild on the European RP realm Moonglade. We currently have about two raid groups, including the core group that raids Friday and Saturday evenings, and a less progression oriented bunch of people and alts that raid on Thursdays and Tuesdays, or one of those days. Let me know of your interest, or whisper Nicasia, Lanfranco or Kinsey, or alternatively an officer, in-game. This Menagerie is NOT for guests only!

3. I defeated my archnemesis. Vladan has struggled with Instructor Razuvious of Naxxramas for a long time, always getting slain by his abilities obliterating half of his health at once. Apparently the class changes of 5.0.4 buffed him so much that I was able to one-shot him (as in not dying to him before killing) last time I visited Naxxramas, and was finally able to finish the Military Quarter. Against all odds, the Four Horsemen were a surprisingly easy encounter.

Currently I have the most issues with Gluth, and it's because of lack of damage. I'm unable to damage through all his zombie-devouring heals before berserk. Due to not getting past the dog, I haven't had a shot at Thaddius, or the two mini-bosses before him. The two bosses mentioned are the only ones I can't kill alone in Naxxramas.

I'm very eager to try the Lich King, but according to my common sense, it's probably impossible to get through the gunship battle alone. Therefore I'll have to grab at least a couple of people with me. I did try to duo the gunship with Lanfranco, but we either wiped to the Skybreaker taking too much damage, or me dying because of the stacking debuff of the Horde boss that he does when I go out of his melee range to get rid of the mage.

I guess that was pretty much all the important stuff for now. I'll try to see you more when I get better and I'm done with my current work task. Take care, have fun and remember: 2 weeks till Pandaria!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Story of Vlad: Chapter V, The Return to New Avalon

Chapter I, The Assault
Chapter II, He who resists
Chapter III, Rotten to the core
Chapter IV, The Resurrection

Booyah! Last time I posted a chapter of this was in June. I realise that was long ago, but I really needed a creative break. It's my goal to finish this story before Pandaria lauches, and I intend to write one more chapter. And as there is now a general disclaimer on the bottom of the site, I won't be putting them on each individual story post.
Writing soundtrack: Rhapsody - Power of Thy Sword, The 69 Eyes - Wasting the Dawn

A being of darkness stood on the balcony, quietly staring into the fields of Havenshire below. Upon Vladan's arrival the figure turned to look at the death knight over his shoulder. From the shadow of his helmet, his eyes pierced those of Vlad's, for they were the coldest he had seen, ones with no pity or remorse. And as the figure gazed towards Vladan like death itself, something coursed through his body. The sudden unholy wave was unstoppable. Whispering of chaos and perdition, it silenced the last cries for help within Vladan; those driven by hope and dreams. He was cleansed of humanity.


As restlessly as he walked, he seemed focused. He was seemingly human, yet the height of an elf. A set of reins were sealed in his right fist guarded by a rugged leather glove. Muttering angrily, the man ignored Vladan arriving at the scene.
- A waste! Waste of flesh and bone!
Vlad took a few steps closer towards the man, who noted his presence with a sour, almost disgusted stare.
- Who the hell are you?!
- Vladan Jel-
- I don't even care! You're the only creature here with a brain not entirely rotten! And that is the best I've got.
He rapidly turned away from Vlad, swinging his arms irritatedly.
- There's a whole battalion of Scourge ready to rip the living to shreds, yet Mograine is telling me to wait! I'm not waiting for anyone anymore! We have to make our final move, with or without him. That's where you come in.
The tall man turned towards Vlad.
- The Crusade was able to take out one of the commanders just before they were to charge in. Why? Because he was stupid! Stupid as a molded ghoul. You don't seem much smarter, but at least you're alive... more so than he is now. You will take his place.
The man's lips rose to a mild smile. Vladan watched him walk up to a horse, a fairly small deathcharger that was tied loosely to a booth with a chain. As the man approached the horse, it flinched and took a step back, making the chain clang loudly.
- Perhaps you and this runt will benefit from one another.
Saga, it said on the rusted tag hanging from the horse's reins. The animal was gaunt. Judging by the looks of it, it would have probably ended up dead soon even without the Scourge's help. Vladan eyed the horse, and the horse eyed him back. With careful motions he moved closer to it, step by step as the equine kept a constant eye on him. He saddled the horse just as carefully, finally untieing the reins from the booth.
- The King's Harbor. Bloodbath, the tall man hinted. - See that hill in the distance? They're waiting for you behind it.
Vladan nodded at the man, who nodded back at him with a smile rather twisted. The death knight mounted his newly found steed that instinctively took off towards the town of Havenshire, as if escaping together with the knight.


- Kill me. Please, kill me!
Leaning against the burnt tree was a man, a Scarlet soldier. His tabard and armour were covered in blood, both dried and fresh. With knees twisted like his it was sure he wasn't going to walk again. His right arm appeared to have been vigorously torn off; it was nearly detached. His eye of the same side was missing with only a bleeding hole left, leaving most of his face red with blood.
- You've killed my family, my friends, my faith and my dignity. Now do me a final favour and put an end to my suffering.
After a moment of silence Vladan dismounted at the man's feet. His eyes remained glued to the reins he held loosely on his palm, fiddling them between his fingers.
- You're a fool to ask for salvation. Can't you see that your fate is sealed? We will all serve him in the end.
- Just bloody do it, you son of a demon!
- Very well! I will free your body of the pain... But your soul will never be free.
Vladan took a firm grip from the man's shoulder and raised his runeblade in the air. The dying Scarlet soldier let out a final cry of agony as the glowing sword cut through his chest, colouring the death knight's armour with droplets of blood.

Vladan examined the body from a distance. Eyeing it up and down, the look in his eyes suddenly became what was once grim to him, now determined. He felt the life energy escape the dead man's body and siphoned it with a touch. Harnessing the energy for his own use, he gave the deceased soldier a focused gaze. As the death knight placed his palms close to the body, slowly moving them upwards, the bones, cartilage and remnants of flesh slowly began to take a shape of their own.

Finally, a creature of somewhat human features arose, leaving behind a bloody pile of decaying flesh. Vladan's eyes glimmered with what was nearly impossible to identify. Whether it was pride, pity or disappointment was even unsure to him. Nevertheless, he turned towards the deathcharger that still faithfully stood beside him. Touching the horse's neck gently, he whispered something to the majestic animal plagued by undeath. Soon after he rose to the saddle, signaling the cursed horse to move onward with a soft jab of spur.


A number of deathchargers stood in a line with death knights on their backs. Before the Scourge cavalry another ambassador of darkness slowly rode back and forth, yelling to the mounted men.
- Tear them to pieces, burn them to cinder! Ensure that no one rises from the ashes.
Upon dawning the Scourge armies marched upon New Avalon. Undead masses filled the roads. Household after household the town was purged of life. With each clattering step tearing the remains of humanity to pieces, New Avalon transformed into a ghost town. Under the orders of the former prince, the once peaceful residence succumbed into what Lordaeron had become in a matter of days, a kingdom of dust.
The final warning was given as the clash of metallic hooves slamming against the paving echoed through the grove. Countless huffing horses carried heavily armoured men down the pathway leading to the King's Harbor. The steeds were armoured similarly to the riders, with horns attached to their heads and saronite guarding their bodies. As the winding road finally exposed them to the civilian crowd, panic took over the atmosphere. Vladan charged in, his runeblade tearing bodies, throats and limbs apart, leaving behind only troubled cries of agony. Those attempting to escape were slain before they could even reach the waterline. The blood of innocents mixed with the blood of sinners on the metallic surface, as countless civilians fell to the unforgiving runeblade in the baptism of blood.

Mere moments later silence descended upon the King's Harbor. On the ground lay bodies of men, women and children with their flesh cut like paper, their entrails exposed in the open wounds. With only the sound of hooves and a silent clash of metal from swords rubbing against armour breaking the silence, Vladan dismounted. He held tight to the reins of his steed as he slowly walked towards the bushes, peering around as if he were the hunted. He approached the small trees carefully and moved the leaves aside with deliberate motions. He raised his sword to rest on his shoulder for a moment before striking.
- I draw nigh to thee with a contrire and humble heart...
The words paralysed Vladan. He let the runed blade fall down from his shoulder, loosening his grip on it.
- ...to thee I recommend the last hour of my life, and that judgment which awaits me afterwards...
Silently looking at the kneeled woman, who hadn't yet given a gaze to Vladan, he lowered himself down to bended knee.
- Oh Holy Light...
She turned her muddy face towards Vladan. With eyes expressing readiness she peered at the armoured man. Vladan slowly raised his hands, carefully choosing each move to look as unthreatening as possible, and removed his helmet.
- Vladan..., she whispered nearly voicelessly, turning fully towards him. Embracing his face with her hands, she was in a shocked state. - What... what have they done to you?
- What they've done to me is insignificant. What I've done, can't be undone. This bloodshed was only the beginning.
- But you can stop this madness!
- I don't expect you to understand, but you must do as I tell you. Listen to me, Isa... There isn't much time. Go south; go south and I will lead them west, to Tyr's Hand and Light's Hope. Seek out Aerie Peak, they will provide you with shelter.
Finally she broke into tears. Hissing in panic, she grabbed onto his arms:
- You will not leave me again!
- Do as I tell you! Trust me, Isa, as I promise we will meet again. Now go and do not look back.

- What's going on there? a piercing voice requested an answer.
The question reached far from the docks. An elven death knight, along with two other Scourge soldiers, rode towards Vlad, who stood up. Their curious eyes soon found their way from Vladan to Isa, who Vladan covered by placing his runeblade between her and the death knights.
- Commander Jelen has found a survivor, I see. You do have the potential to be at least half of what the elder Aldenkamp was, isn't that right?
- Soldiers of the Scourge, I command you to abort the mission!
The command received the attention of the death knights at the harbor. The undead high elven soldier stared at Vlad in disbelief, soon bursting into laughter. Inspiring one another, the death knights showed their disrespect towards the man in the lead.
- Did the living smack you upside the head, or what?
- By my right of quorum, I order you to leave this place at once! Turn your backs to New Avalon, Havenshire and Acherus, and never return.
- Have you lost your mind?! the elf with a long, silvery hair took steps towards Vladan and stopped inches away from him. - You seek to undo the master's work, and for what? For this wench?
The elf knight rapidly pointed his sword towards Isa, which caused Vladan to instinctively step on the way.
- Don't you realise that we're only tools in the hands of the Lich King? He's sent us here to kill these people, but he doesn't care whether we die with them or not! I don't even want to look at the death and destruction we've caused, with nothing to fight for.
- In that case I offer you quick relief.
He took a swing at Vlad with his sword. The sharp tip shredded its way through his left eye, leaving a deep blade marking that momentarily coloured half of his vision red. Vladan swayed back and let go of Saga's reins. Holding his palm against the wounded eye, he sealed the hilt of his runeblade within the fist of his right hand.
- Feeling better already, commander?
The elf swung his sword at him again, this time aiming for the right side, but found his blade slamming against another. With resistance, Vladan pushed the elf's sword back. Upon what seemed like defeat, the silvery-haired death knight calmly stated his taunt.
- Has one man ever beaten a dozen?
Death knights worth a small battalion gathered around the elven man with their swords at the ready. With a simple nod from the elf, they unleashed their fury upon Vladan. As runeblades clashed against one another, Vladan fell easily before the predominance, hitting the ground with his saronite armour.
Laying on the cold sand of the shore, all he could spot were dark silhouettes standing out against the different shades of grey.
- Vladan Jelen, your death wish will be fulfilled.
The silvery-haired elf placed his other foot on top of the Scourge commander's conquered body and held a bloodied runeblade above his head. Dripping blood - his own blood - coloured Vladan's forehead. The elven death knight took a firm grip of the hilt with both hands and raised the sword.

- NO!

. . .

Within the ruins, a breath of wind sprung from the cellar. It made its way through the keyhole and into the house, blowing the curtains to cover the broken window. Moving effortlessly on the table and past the bookshelf, it settled in the broken cradle lying next to a burnt bed.
A bloody red morning dawned for the day, which was to some the longest they had ever lived. There, in the heart of silence, a life begun and a life ended. It was the cradle for the tortured souls to be rocked in for all eternity; in the shadow of the jailor of the damned.

How a maid could look the way she did, he never understood. To him her bright blue eyes were the brightest in the world, shining with a glint of hope during the darkest hours. Their infinite blue ocean would put out the flames of hell, soothe the charred land for a new beginning. Cleanse its wounds and lull it to the sweetest dreams.
And her hair, it was soft as silk. Fair as a foggy sunrise, the flaxen braid could have born the weight of a kingdom's sorrow. Golden silk, from root to tip.

Now lying in his arms, her bruised face against his chest, violated and abused, the ocean had bled dry. Cold and lifeless, her dress torn apart, she was but a shadow in the sunrise.

And as her sun set, he laid her to rest.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Patchfever

I only just realised that the only thing I've mentioned regarding 5.0.4 is a bug. A bug! Before the patch was released, I complained about my Cataclysm burnout, Pandaria not being released yet, guild worries... And not one positive word now that the game is actually fun again. In fact it's fairly logical, since I really want to play it now - that leaves no time for writing, right?

Anyways, I thought I'd go through the start of the patch and how it has worked out for me. The most notable difference in gameplay are obviously the new talents and abilities, so I'll start with those. For Nicasia the elemental shaman, my main, I chose the following talents for heroic Dragon Soul raiding purposes: Astral Shift, Frozen Power, Totemic Restoration, Echo of the Elements, and despite the fairly overpowered totem, Ancestral Guidance.

After testing in multiple encounters, I came up with the result of Echo being better than the other two options. It was particularly strong in encounters with steady DPS maintenance, such as Ultraxion. Her major glyphs are Telluric Currents, Flame Shock, Spiritwalker's Grace, and for minor ones I went with Far Sight, Totemic Encirclement and Lakestrider, which has nearly got me killed already! I was really jaded raiding with Nica. I kept thinking about swapping for my death knight for the remains of Dragon Soul... Until 5.0.4 came out. Then BAM! It all got fun again!

Vladan received Boiling Blood, Purgatory, Asphyxiate, Death Pact and Blood Tap talents for his blood spec, and Unholy Blight, Anti-Magic Zone, Asphyxiate, Death Siphon and Runic Empowerment for his frost spec. His blood glyphs are Unholy Command, Icy Touch, Anti-Magic Shell, Horn of Winter, Resilient Grip and the oh-so-essential Corpse Explosion. His frost glyphs are Shifting Presences, Death Coil and Icebound Fortitude, which I thought I'd find useful in some situations. The minor glyphs are the same, apart from Tranquil Grip replacing Resilient Grip.
I wonder if Chilblains is actually meant to be spelled with only one L?

Purgatory is, to my mind, a very cool talent mainly because of the feel of it. It suits the death knight playfeel perfectly. I think it's useful for raid tanking. And because I was bored, I bound various insults to Vlad's Dark Command taunt. It's not common for people to share my sense of humour, but we'll see!

Raleigh, who is a holy paladin, has got a bit less attention post-patch. He did make my jaw drop after doing 20k DPS on a dummy, though. Sadly I don't find protection very interesting at the moment, so I will more than likely make his offspec retribution - again. This is also because holy pretty much lost Exorcism, and I think that spell has the sexiest sound effect in the whole game. That sound is no doubt one of the best things about paladins.

Despite Nica's raiding getting a lot more fun, I still think Vlad is on top of the gameplay chart, bursting 60k DPS on a raid boss with relative ease, and with an item level lower than Nicasia's. This doesn't mean that Nica isn't still my main, and most loved character.
The remaining three Dragon Soul runs in fact seem a bit saddening now that we had a really fun raid last Saturday. It's been a long time since we've had that much fun as a group - at least I felt that was the case. Otherwise, too, I think the recent rough times are over for now. The timing of 5.0.4 couldn't have been better, since the new stuff is really refreshing, and it shows. Thank you, Blizzard, for this patch!

P.S. I'm going to be studying Mon-Thur evenings now and I'm not sure about how much that affects my WoW playing and blogging, but in case I seem a bit inactive, it's most likely because of that.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Through Your Interface: 15 Days of Screenshots #9

See Saz's blog for more information regarding the challenge!

9. Your character's hometown
We all have the same starting zones where we begin our various quests, but where does your character actually hail from?

Nicasia from Lower City of Shattrath.

Vladan from Strahnbrad.

Raleigh from Southshore.

Milka from New Avalon.

Brothers A.D. from Strom.

Lower City, which isn't particularly fancy to begin with, appears to be the only one of them that doesn't lie in ruins these days. Also, happy September to all! I'm particularly excited about the month change, because Pandaria will be released this month.