Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Level 85 baby, yeah!

Where do I even begin?

Cataclysm hit us on the 7th December and as of 10.30pm on the 12th December I dinged 85:

Now I can release a sigh of relief and breathe...finally since I started playing in October 2010, I have finally reached the level cap...and what a journey it has been! Highs, lows, laughter and even tears...and now the hard work truly begins...getting myself at a high enough standard to do raids and enjoy them. 

So the round up of the first week of Cataclysm week is as follows:

First dungeon I completed was the Blackrock Caverns, found it difficult at first, but on my subsequent runs managed to prevent anyone from dying. Of course, the very nice trinket Witching Hourglass drops on our first run and I roll need, and a mage rolls need, and I lost, but I got it on our third run which made me a very happy Priestess indeed.

Second dungeon we did was Throne of the Tides, I think its not only the prettiest instance, but one of the prettiest places in the game, in fact the whole of Vashj'ir is beautiful. I've done it a couple of times now and find it to be very hectic healing wise, and quite draining on of the old mana...but its so stunning, I forgive it.
(and yep I got the needy achievement whilst in there too) 

Third dungeon I did was Vortex Pinnacle, and goodness me...damage taken was shocking...Unfortunately I hadn't got my 85 ability leap of faith (which I adore...and I'm annoying the husband very muchly by constantly pulling him towards me...I try and time it just so he's doing something like choosing a quest reward...such a bad wife! ) and so we lost a death knight when we have to run into the grounding field. However, jumping into the whirlwinds to get from one platform to another was super fun:

Fourth dungeon was Stonecore, strangely enough, I can barely remember the instance and its probably because I don't think there was anything particular special about it unlike the vortex pinnacle with the whirlwinds, or the beauty of Throne of the Tides, the only thing I remember about it is thousands upon thousands of mobs, in fact the quest was to kill 101 of them...but they didn't hit hard. The dungeon went without any problems and I think, the reason I don't remember it is because it was so uneventful, and so I'm unsure as to whether or not this a good thing?

Finally this week we did our first run in Grim Batol....my least favourite dungeon so far. We wiped 5 or 6 times, and this is on normal mode...I cant imagine how hard it would be on heroic. It didn't help much that one of our guildies on the run with us, has very low DPS. He was originally specced as a tank and he is now in the process of respeccing to damage, he's also had a long break from the game and so is learning the new rotations etc, but it does make my life harder as he takes so much damage, and it makes life harder for the other DPS, who get annoyed, try and kick him out and then quit when the vote fails. Forgive me, but wasn't everyone new once? How are you supposed to learn how to play if more experienced players have no patience...why is it that dungeons are such a rush, why cant I take in what is going on? What gives a person the right to be so conceited and arrogant...are we not all on the same playing field now that cataclysm is here? It's the one thing that annoys the hell out of me, and lessens my enjoyment of the game (rant over, phew!) I'm sure on my second run through the instance it will go much better because I will know what to expect, and so will the tank and everyone else.

I tried as much as possible whilst levelling to visit the new areas, Vashjir is a lot of fun, Uldum is definitely my favourite. Deepholm has some interesting graphics but I find it a bit bleak, and we also saw the Twilight Highlands, at first I found it my least favourite of all the areas, and then somewhere in the middle is the cut scenes with Deathwing and that made up for it completely! That is one thing I'm loving with cataclysm - the cut scenes, they are really enjoyable to watch and give you a reason for doing the things you are doing, if like me, you are not fully aware of the lore and of course, the references to pop culture always make me smile...

and of course, I had to complete the Crucible of Carnage...its terribly bugged and wiped a fair few times, and I was fairly disappointed with the reward, but never mind - we did it!

and so to conclude...I leave you with a few of my favourite shots of cataclysm so far - spoiler alert...they contain a big dragon like thing...

No doubt I'll be seeing you again Deathy...

Monday, 6 December 2010

Ding...Level 80! (and my addiction to achievements)

Well, it's been such a busy weekend in real life that I thought that my goal to become level 80 before Cataclysm wouldn't happen...but, thanks to the 20% reduction of XP required to get to the level cap...I've done it! Woohoo!

and I'm really pleased I've got to the level cap...even if i do only have 24 hours to enjoy it before the levelling begins again. In order to celebrate reaching 80, the first thing I did...wasn't killing the 'Fel Reaver' like I promised, but was in fact doing the Heroic version of the Violet Hold. We wiped once, but got it the second time, and manged to earn the achievement Defenseless.

I've realised that my favourite part of WoW so far, is gaining achievements, I think it will be 'my thing,' and as I was scrolling through the achievements I came across the Northrend Dungeonmaster achievement and discovered I only had 4 dungeons left in order to gain the achievement, they were The Oculus, Utgarde Pinnacle, Halls of Lightning and Culling of Stratholme. Out of the 4, I would say that 'Culling of Stratholme' was the easiest with 'Halls of Lightning' being the hardest and I have nothing but hatred for 'The Oculus'. I think 'The Oculus' would be easier with a guild group who knew exactly what to do, but as a pug it was awful. We wiped 3 times, but got it eventually. We wiped once in Utgarde and in Hall of Lightning but we persevered and got the achievement!

and then once I had achieved that, I went a bit achievement happy and completed these during the week and weekend... after all, every achievement point counts :)

'250 Fish'

'The Snows of Northrend' and 'Hemet Nesingwary: The Collected Quests'

'Armored Brown Bear'

'Captain Rumsey's Lager'

'Sous Chef'

'Dual Talent Specialization' (yes I went all shadowy, but prefer being a Holy Priestess)

'Second that Emotion'

'50 Daily Quests Complete'

'The Northrend Gourmet' (15 Recipes)

Friday, 26 November 2010

Why I play WoW

It's been a month and a bit since I started playing WoW and I have asked myself why I play.

No doubt that in the beginning the reason I started playing was because of my husband and the feeling that I needed a new hobby. I clicked with the game straight away. It's so accessible and can be played individually or socially, it can be taken to any level and extreme...from just being happy questing to revising tactics for a raid. It can be played religiously, taking over lives, filling holes in lives or played once a week or less. It can be a laugh, a place to escape or it can feel like work. Why do you play wow?

I've always had a competitive nature and I find most of the time when I've been playing has been about wanting to impress my husband. I want him to turn around and say that I'm good - from never having played a game like this, never touching an Xbox or PlayStation - I've got the hang of the game. Now as I progress through the levels, I feel like I have proven that I can play...but now I want to play efficiently. Is any one way better than another? It's my aim that I be the best way I can. I feel good if no-one dies in a dungeon run, I feel empowered that I can keep them alive or let them die - and that is what makes me want to log in everyday. The thrill and rush when the game goes well, when I perform well. Maybe I'm addicted to WoW or maybe I lead a sad life...I don't think so, I have priorities and WoW isn't near the top of the list, so what's the pull? The answer for me is simple. It's fun!

So why do I play wow? I enjoy it, I can escape into Azeroth and not think about the real world for an hour...I can fight against evil and work with friends to accomplish tasks, I can make playing the game a skill that has to be studied and adapted when necessary. I can laugh, and feel frustrated and work hard to attain something. I can fuel my need for competition, I can wonder as to how an online game has captured so much of my imagination and time, I can question myself as to why I didn't play wow sooner than I did and I can enjoy the fact that everyday I become a little more nerdier!

"we do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing."

Bilgewater Cartel Rocketway

I went on a mission last night to find the Rocketway just outside Orgrimmar. I hadn't heard about it until I was reading a blog post from Lady Erinia. She recommended that players should "do it in first person! It’s a like a roller coaster and fully awesome." So I did what she suggested...

and it was awesome! I must have spent a good 20 minutes just zipping back and forth, although I find it strange that you don't get dropped off at the station, but somewhere nearby rather randomly, it's either a quirk or a bug - I'm not sure which, but either way, it's a really cool addition to the game.

I'm going to go back to it later to get the 'Joy Ride' achievement!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bye-bye old world, hello 'The Shattering'

The 4.0.3a patch that has brought 'The Shattering' to Azeroth happened yesterday on the European servers. For a few days prior to 4.0.3a people were talking about saying good bye to Azeroth and how, after spending many years in the game - highlights and low points, they would miss it. I found it difficult to be moved in any way, for me the world was brand new as it was and although I've seen a lot of the zones in the month its taken me to get to level 73, they were just areas, just places to quest for the ultimate goal which was to level up. Perhaps I didn't take in the world that surrounded me.

Last night however, I logged in, with great anticipation and excitement. The new log in screen, loading screen, and music all helped build my anticipation of what was coming, and as the new world loaded, I was not disappointed.

It looks amazing, with so much attention to detail. Orgrimmar is simply mind blowing. I spent the whole of my time in the game last night just going from place to place to take in the new changes. Brill just outside Undercity has also had a major make over and I couldn't believe Thousand Needles and what is left of the great lift. One change that caught my eye was in Stanglethorn Vale, little swinging signposts directed me to Hardwrench Hideaway, a new Horde area with fairy lights strung against the backdrop of the sea and a barbeque on the go!

There are still lots of places left to explore, and one thing I was looking forward to was the arrival of the new companion pet the Singling Sunflower. I've spent many hours completing the Plants vs. Zombies game on my iPhone and so heading to Hillsbrad seemed very appealing. After completing the quest 'Peacebloom vs. Ghouls' I finally got my sunflower pet:

and yet, despite loving all the new changes and thinking they are all definitely for the better, when I watched this video for the second time (the first after the Shattering) I did have a tear in my eye, because I suddenly realised that the places I had obtained certain achievements that I'm proud of, and have spent hours questing in, will never, ever look the same again.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Phantom Council

The 'Phantom Council' is a brand new EU-Blade's Edge Guild created yesterday by my husband and I.

Why was it created? 

Well, since starting to play the game I've been in two different guilds, both of which were deathly silent despite having lots of members online. One of the guilds I joined, I did so because it was big and thought that chat would be social, but despite 96 members being online...still no-one talked, or replied.

Ian my husband, has had a lot of experience with guilds, being an ex-officer of a guild which is still one of the best today, and we thought between us, we could do better than what I have experienced so far in-game.

Our guild is built on the foundations of community, we want our members to feel involved and needed and we plan...with lots of hard work and dedication to eventually become a raiding guild in Cataclysm.

We've tentatively made live our new guild website, but it still needs some tweaking, before we are entirely happy with it. Check us out here: Phantom Council

Friday, 19 November 2010

Ding...Level 70 :)

Well, its been just over a month since I started playing my Priestess and last night I dinged 70. (with 150 hours of playtime in the game) I feel like its taken no time at all, and I'm already feeling powerful! I'm not looking at 80 as being the level cap, I'm thinking of it as 85 because I know that realistically there is no way that I'll reach 80 before Cataclysm is released...and part of me doesn't want to try and make that push because I feel like I've levelled so quickly the world has gone by in a blur, and I would like to sit back and just enjoy the ride to the level cap before all the end game fun starts.

I headed to Northrend at 68, and I must say a 'thank you' to those of you on Twitter who confirmed that since patch 4.0.1 Cold Weather Flying is available at 68 for first time people. I think I would have struggled to enjoy northrend without the ability to fly after only learning it a few levels before and feeling the freedom that comes with it.

I was so excited to reach Dalaran...it was as if that had been my aim in the game so far. I remember watching my husband run round dalaran on his level 80 even before I started playing the game, and I remember thinking it looked so amazing...and I finally did it...think I must have spent an hour or more just exploring the city and the shops...my favourite being the toy shop!

I also did my first Northrend dungeon - Utgarde Keep (twice) I died on 3 occasions once when I got thrown into another mob in the Dragonflayer Pens which was just too much to handle all at once. Another when mines were exploding but the group wasn't moving away and I died trying to heal them and the third time was when an ice tomb got the tank in Reaver's Hall and none of the dps made any attempt to break the tomb, I got the aggro and died within seconds...but we got through it and i enjoyed it overall. On both occasions no nice cloth loot dropped but the rewards for the quests were all significant upgrades.

Was there a real point to this blog post? No. I'm just so excited to reach Northrend and 70 that I just had to share!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Weekend Round-Up

It's been another busy weekend in game for my Undead Priestess, really feel like I'm flying at the moment and making good in-game progress...I also dinged 68 last night so next time I log in I'll be heading to Northrend! :)

I had a couple of 'funky' quests this weekend, most notably being turned into a crate:

and controlling a mini Fel Reaver (which definitely helped me on my phobia of the big one)

I also got the achievement 'Tripping the Rifts' and even though I've got the achievement now, I still find enjoyment in killing the elementals popping up - although that is mostly because the quest giver I'm trying to find is usually fighting in the middle of it all.

I'm disappointed that I'm not high enough level to take part in the city invasions but I was in Orgrimmar when an invasion started and I followed everyone around and chucked out a few heals now and then.. What shocked me the most was the sheer amount of players in the city and I literally couldn't see for all the players moving around:

and so, I think this weekend was probably one of the most fun for me, and I'm looking forward to moving on to Northrend as soon as possible. 

I can't however, leave this post without my favourite screenshot of the weekend. Nuad and I happened to be in Shattrath City in the World's End Tavern when the Tauren Chieftains were gigging, so treating it like a true gig I got suitably drunk (which is why my photo is blurry) and rocked out:

Friday, 12 November 2010

Red Shirt Guy

Ok, so we all know about Red Shirt Guy at Blizzcon and (for the minority of you who read this blog and don't play WoW - I'll explain later) I simply love the new autotune video doing the rounds on youtube, and I have actually watched it at least three times now!

So here it is, once again...

Now for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about well....

Every year there is a massive conference in America about the games that Blizzard makes, called Blizzcon. One of those games is World of Warcraft and during the conference they have a question and answer session with the designers of WoW where people can ask questions.

This guy (aka Red Shirt Guy) asked a question about a character called Falstad Wildhammer. In the recent WoW book The Shattering, this character was on the Council of Three Hammers but the designers had accidentally missed the character out when making the new Cataclysm game that is due out very soon (eek excited muchly!) and this random guy wearing a red shirt, discovered the discrepancy and pointed it out at the conference. One of the designers of the game replied that Falstad was dead, but once again red shirt guy corrected the designer as the character is still alive.

So Blizzard corrected the problem in the game and in addition, as homage to the red shirt guy, they have in fact created a new character for the game called the 'Wildhammer Fact Checker' who wears a red shirt:

Here is the original question he asked:

simply awesome, that is all.   :)

"What a strange power there is in clothing"

"What a strange power there is in clothing," said Isaac Bashevis Singer, but in my new robe I know exactly what power lies within it and it's:

242 Armour
+36 Stamina
+21 Intellect
+18 Spirit

thanks to a red, blue and yellow gem it also contains:

+6 Intellect
+12 Haste rating
+16 Spirit

and +6 Stamina as a Socket Bonus.

It is by far the best item of clothing I have got so far in WoW and it dropped from a boss (Keli'dan the Breaker) in the Blood Furnace dungeon. In fact all the good stuff that dropped was Cloth and with no other Cloth classes in the group...it was perfect for me! 

It's called the Raiments of Divine Authority and I think it's simply divine...