Monday, November 29, 2010

I didn't want to stop!

I logged on today to fiddle around on the rogue, maybe use up her rested xp.  4 hours and 4 levels later, it took way too much willpower to log off so I could a) write this post, and b) go to bed.  All I did was quest, and it was SO MUCH FUN!

First, there was running through the rather long questline in Darkshore to get...
my very own not-so-little pet treant. His name is Withers, and he's taller than a gnome atm, but will shrink.  The questline for the Alliance starts with the beginning quests in Darkshore, and is detailed here on wowhead.  Horde can just buy him, I think. I think I'll be picking him up on a lot of my toons, he's cute.

Then there was massive questing through Ashenvale. I've done over half the quests in the zone at this point, and have outleveled a few already. I'm still going to go back and do them, since this zone is pretty epic. For example...
that's me in a wind elemental fighting the fire guy who set Ashenvale on fire. There's also a great quest that made me want to slaughter all the orcs I could find.  They're killing Laughing Sisters while a good chunk of the forest they want is on FIRE and you have to go recover these corpses. It just made me really angry that orcs would be stupid enough to slaughter these dryads while there's this huge volcano thing going on. Hopefully the horde side of things has some quests to deal with that too.

So the new Ashenvale gets a pretty enthusiastic thumbs up from me. If you're Alliance, it's well worth the questing, even if you did it before Cat. Garetia did every single quest in the zone, and while some of them are familiar, Blizz has managed to make even the familiar ones fresh and new.

Plus... who doesn't love random tentacles?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, there are two other pets I'm aware of that are new since the Sundering and available via questing...
Brezie's Sunflower which is available through the Plants vs Zombies quests.
Tiny Flamefly which is available in Burning Stepps. Link goes to Alliance version, though I'd guess there's a horde version too.
I'll eventually be picking both of these up, if I can ever manage to stop questing on the rogue.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I love this brave new world!

I've been having a blast playing around on lowbie alts since the world broke. My mage is just the right level for the plaguelands, and it's been so much fun seeing how everything got changed. My rogue's wandering through Darkshore and Ashenvale, and it was fun to see a quest I remember being the "obscure guy in middle of nowhere quest" now living at a quest hub. Speaking of hubs, there's many more than there used to be, and most of them have flight points. Yay!

If you haven't hit the redesigned Azshara yet, you totally should. Heehee rockets!

The only problems I've run into are....
1. The doorway is an illusion bug. This has happened to me in the Stockades room (I couldn't go through the doorway, there was an invisible wall), and to a guildie in Gundrak. Very annoying, but easily fixed.

2. You move, you dc. Happened in Howling Fjord, and had something to do with the water in the bay. Hearthing worked like a charm to get out of it.

3. The portals are gone. Yes, I know this was intentional on Blizz's part, but I miss them! Could the Alliance get a portal to Tanaris in Darnassus or something? Having two cities up in the north of the continent makes flying to the south a pita. Or maybe they could give the Horde a portal to Tanaris in Orginmmar and a portal to Booty Bay in Undercity, and the Alliance gets a portal to Tanaris in Darnassus and a portal to Booty Bay in SW. That way there's still no portal hub per say, but the time spent flying factor is greatly decreased. Especially since we'll be spending time in Uldum, and man that flying's going to be a massive pita.

Honestly, I'm having way more fun on my lowbies now. I'm hopeful that when Cat hits, Lyllea will again be the center of my attention, but until then she's mostly neglected. I did go work on Glory of the Hero with her (and some of my wonderful guildies and it was a BLAST), and I have all the Occulus achieves but Amber Void now. Still have 14 or so to go, but I'm not in a hurry. It's really just something to do.

Oh, and
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I'm happy

So, Deathwing has awoken, the world is shattered and I've got a huge smile on my face.

Important/Nifty Things:
1. The notice board in the capital cities gives breadcrumb quests appropriate to level. My rogue was sent to Ashenvale, for example.
2. The city quartermasters are near the flightmasters.
3. No, you can't fly in azeroth yet, that's coming with the patch.
4. Yes, you can roll a Tauren Pally, or dwarf shaman, but not a worgen or goblin anything.
5. The Explorer achievements seem to be bugged atm. My priest now has everything in Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms explored except the starting zones. This varies by level, if you are 60 or higher you may now have these achieves.
6. Loremaster counts have been wiped. I personally am hoping it's a bug.
7. Yes, the portals are gone from Shat and Dal.
8. You can now fly to the Exodar. FINALLY!
9. The quest panel now shows you a picture of the particular quest mob you're going after for some quests, plus gives you a skull on the minimap.
10. The cursor has now changed when you're fishing. It's an awesome touch.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

There's not been much going on WoW wise over here. In fact, I don't think I've logged in since last Wed's raid. I believe I may have hit the dreaded Bored-and-waiting-for-Cat slump, exacerbated by a) the shinynewness of Lotro, and b) the oh crap why did no one tell me you get cold really easy after you lose 115 pounds and I must knit sweaters. gloves, and socks now! (They also neglected to tell me that both my shoe and ring sizes would also change, but oddly enough my breasts have not. Go figure)

Sadly, the elemental invasion was cool once, but none of the bosses drop anything I want, and even if they did, the possible corpse run to Maraudon or Blackrock something-or-other just kills any desire I have to run them again. I did them once, they were rather hard to heal, and none of the gear they drop is worth the trouble to me. Blizz, pets and mounts. Seriously, you wanna motivate me? Pets and mounts. Why isn't there a pet, Blizz, WHY? Grumble, zombie invasion had cool bat, we get zip, grumble.

Anyway, this song has been stuck in my head for two days straight, and if I didn't have strep throat right now I'd record a version just to get it out of my head. So, enjoy the earworm of doom.

Friday, November 12, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, not completely different, just sort of. I've been dealing with WoW boredom, and that combined with rewatching the LotR trilogy inspired me to try LotRO again. I have played it before, and enjoyed it, but then I started WoW and it ate my brain and yeah, it's been years. Like 3 of them.

First off, I had to remember what server my toons were on. Since, unlike WoW, Lotro is not so nice with the switching servers bit, it took a while. I finally found them on Gladden, and figured my hunter would be the easiest to jump into. Boy, was I wrong. Hunters in lotro are more like mages in WoW, glass cannons who depend on CC and really fast dps.  No pets, just traps and nerves of steel.  Also, a really pretty world and ooh, I can make my own bows! (I love being able to do that). Here we see my hunter wandering through Erid Luin, with her crafted bow clearly visible. See, very pretty!
There's a lot of stuff I miss when I play lotro. For one, all my buttons are different! I am slowly remapping them, but it's a bit of a pain. I also miss addons, and um, actually having enough cash to train skills. I am broke. Really broke. Like, can you spare me 50 silver so I can go train a skill I got access to 5 levels ago broke. I'm attempting to try the AH there, which just made me miss Auctioneer. Also, I don't have much of a clue what my various toons (hunter, minstrel, and captain) need profession-wise so I'm never sure what to sell and what to keep.

Is LotRO going to replace WoW for me? History says probably not. I played LotRO last time for about 7 months and got bored. WoW's held my attention more or less for almost 3 years now. But there are things in LotRO I loved, like the crafting and the customization and the achievements with titles and possibly the housing. Due to the lack of cash, I've never actually had a house, but I suspect I'd enjoy it.  And with LotRO now free to play, I see no reason not to wander into Middle Earth now and again, even if it's just to chop some logs and remind myself why WoW priests trump LotRO minstrels any day of the week.

Making your UI work for you: What I'm Starting With

This is the start of a series of UI design posts. I figured before I start talking about how to design your UI and make it functional for you, I should discuss my own.
First, we have the DPS UI. This is Lyllea's.

The most important thing (other than not standing in BAD) is MFClip, which lives just above my bars. This keeps track of my dots for me, in a nice visual package. Next to it is Decursive, which is fairly central so I notice and remember to dispel and cleanse people. Omen lives in that blank space to the left of my bars, just below Vuhdo. Vuhdo itself is off to the side so I don't forget I'm dpsing and start healing. I have what I consider to be a nice clear field of view. My minimap's faded out so it doesn't distract me, and skada would be faded out if I weren't dead.

Then we have the healing UI. Same basic principles, emphasize the important stuff, that sort of thing, just much more going on.
Vuhdo's taken pride of place here. My hud's telling me all about my target (the tank). This time I'm not dead, so Omen is clearly visible. Decursive's in the same spot in both specs, as I really try not to move stuff around unless I need to. Skada's displaying (which I need to fix), since I don't care about HPS. Scrolling combat text is telling me important stuff like penance is ready. Again, most important stuff is right underfoot.

Now, my UIs could both be improved. Just looking at it, I need to figure out a better place to stick the casting bars in disc, trim down the amount of info my HUD (heads up display, the stuff right around my character) is showing me, trim down what battle text I'm seeing, convince Skada not to show in combat, and maybe look into a neater buff solution. Also, it'd be really nice if I didn't have to display both the blizzard buff frames and my addon ones just to click off a buff.

But any UI is a work in progress, and I am quite happy with what I've come up with thus far. And both screencaps are just decent shots from my screencaps folder. First one is a rather epic heroic bloodqueen kill, and the second's from a fun run of Sunwell.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I have internet again, finally. Now if I just had something to talk about...

My router decided it didn't like my DSL modem, so I've been without access for a bit. Finally got it fixed, yay, but haven't been on WoW for more than a few minutes all week. Thus, I have nothing to talk about.

Instead I wish to point you at something funny. There's a blogger/comic guy named Shamus Young. His blog lives here and has some great stuff. I'd particularly recommend DM of the Rings and Let's Play.  He also writes over at the Escapist, and just started a WoW series. It's an Imp's Life is the first one. It's very funny, and reminds me of Terry Pratchett's work. If you are not familiar with Terry Pratchett, well, go become familiar.  Seriously, you'll thank me later.

I promise to have something vaguely useful to talk about tomorrow, like making gold in the early game, or how to design a ui. Something.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Planning for Cat: We've only got a month!

Since we've got about a month to go, I figured I'd discuss what I'm doing to prepare for the coming Cataclysm.  After all, we should be prepared, right?

Figuring out what I'll be doing first is the challenge.

I'm not going for a server first of any kind, but I do want to get my mining up to max as quickly as possible so I can make a tidy profit selling ore. To that end, I'm scouting out the two starting areas, trying to get a sense for which has more ore, and which I might want to start in. I like Hyjal because well, I like nelf areas, so I'm leaning that way.  I'll probably go with the organic quest and ooh ore strategy, because I have little patience for farming. I'm also going to leapfrog ahead to the next zone asap, since the starting zones will probably be swamped.

To further this strategy of ooh ore profit, I'm going to try to get my DK to 80 before Cat. She's also a miner, so even if I end up leveling Lyllea healing in instances with my guild, I can still go out there and profit!  I figure I can always farm the mats to raise my JCing later on, there's not a rush there.

I'm going to try to do the same thing with Garetia and Monera and herbalism. I'll also need to look at both inscription and alchemy, decide which one is going to be more helpful/profitable, and level that one first.

I'm also trying to get my tailor/leatherworker to 65ish, and get her profs maxed. She's at 58, not too far to go. As a bonus, I'll finally be able to use the flying carpet she's had in her bags for several months. 

Basically, I'm trying to make sure I can level whatever profession's going to be the most profitable. In the meantime, I'm slowly liquidating Wraith stuff, for the most part. I am hanging onto some ore, just in case.

And I finally settled on a look for my worgen lock.... I like this in both her human and worgen forms, so I'm going to try to replicate it.  Also, the music in the beta is great, just thought I'd mention it.
I do have some other goals, like knocking out Loremaster of Kalimdor on Garetia (only 120 quests to go), but if I don't make it, it's not a big deal. I'm also cleaning out my warrior and rogue's inventories, since at least one of them must go to make room for the lock. And I need to get my pally her robot chicken and a sprite darter for the druid. I should get on that...