The canons of Wintergrasp Keep thundered.
From his vantage point, a short way east of the Sunken Ring, Commander Kel Firespring watched as the explosions from horde artillery walked in slow fiery steps down the valley and into the ragged line of Alliance siege vehicles.
The keep guns thundered again and not for the first time, the night elf commander questioned the sanity of the Alliance High Command. For weeks it had been like this. Too few soldiers, too few vehicles and no advantage of terrain or surprise. He was spending men and equipment like water and for what? To take and hold this ancient fortress – to deny the horde access to the relic, to deny them access to the mineral wealth held inside of this awful, frozen basin.
A crackling rip of explosions sounded from the south, Firespring frowned, but didn’t pull his gaze from the carnage being wrought on his men.
“They’re hitting Eastpark,” he said flatly. Behind him, the small knot of officers and specialists that made up his battle staff were already in action. Maps were unfolded, curses shared and words like “flanked” and “overrun” traded back and forth like coinage in a card game gone bad.
“Hold fast. Push to the keep. We must stay on target.” This offered from the steady block of plate armor and beard that was Siegemaster Stouthandle.
“Divert our reserve,” countered his executive officer, the perpetually scowling Knight Captain from Stormwind. “If we can turn their assault force we can follow up and push the walls from two different directions.”
With a violence that startled every living thing within a dozen leagues, new explosions, massive ones, suddenly filled the valley with fire and smoke. The concussion wave that followed billowed their cloaks and Firespring’s long ebon hair cascaded out and down like a falling ripple of night.
“Bloody hell,” Stouthandle breathed. “Those were goblin siegebreaker mines, big ones.”
Firespring raised his spyglass and quickly focused in on the eastern approach. At first he could see nothing, everything was black as night. Before he could curse, the darkness faded into a tempest of roiling black and grey smoke back lit by stabs of hungry flame. The next moment he could see figures moving amid the wreckage, the blue and gold of burning Alliance vehicles, the still forms of his infantry scattered amongst the debris. As the smoke began to clear, the elven commander could hear a roaring, a great wave of sound that seemed to build and build.
He lowered his glass – he knew what was coming.
From the false crest of the eastern approach a seemingly endless wall of heavy infantry in hammered black iron plate rose like a bloody black and red tide. In moments the rush of Horde soldiery filled the gaps of the clearing explosions, swallowed up his assault forces as if they were but flotsam in the middle of a raging river.
“Commander! Sir, scouts report that Eastpark has fallen. Horde forces are on the move. They’re headed to the towers sir!”
Flamespring looked toward his aide, young Lómëhtar. She was bleeding, her proud silver and green sentinal’s armor battered and rent. He nodded at her report and returned his gaze to the oncoming Horde forces before him.
“Such might, wasted here, when it could be turned on the Lich King,” he thought grimly.
Firespring stole a quick glance at his advisors and aides. The look of hopeless desperation and grim commitment that they each wore stabbed at his heart. Every one of them wanted to flee, but true to their commander’s example, they stood their ground, ready to stand and die on this hill.
Turning his gaze back out toward the onrushing forest of axe and pike, sword and spear, the elven commander let out a long breath that he didn’t even realize he’d been holding.
“Sound the withdrawal,” he said, “get our people out of here.”
Dedicated to the desperate handful of Moon Guard Alliance that throw themselves against the endless wall of Horde during prime-time Wintergrasp.
12-15 stacks of Tenacity every, single game is getting to be brutal.
Not sure what happened on MG, but over the past month or so, the Horde have been dominating Wintergrasp to the point that Horde guilds are starting to schedule Vault of Acheron runs like a regularly occurring raid.
The last few times I’ve zoned in, it’s to see an endless sweep of Horde players rushing past The Sunken Ring towards the Alliance spawn point. They pin us in place and destroy us in detail. Having spent a lot of years playing Horde on Moon Guard I have to say this…
“Where the hell did all of you guys come from?”
So – for some folks – playing the auction house is apparently a fun thing. There are a ton of websites suddenly dedicated to “hitting the gold cap” and even our beloved euripides is writing a “how-to” gold column for WoW.com.
And lets face it – pretty much everyone I know could use more gold.
I know I could. But when faced with the option of spending my time gold making, I tend to wander off and explore, level, rep grind. Pretty much anything but farm gold.
This hobbles me of course and my alts tend to lag behind when it comes time to buy things like cold weather flight, epic flight, dual talent specialization. I doubt I’ll ever have a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth. I’m not sad about this – it’s just the way I play.
But there are folks that look at the accumulation of virtual wealth as SRS BZNS. There are the gold farmers too – and for them – it *is* serious business.
On Moon Guard’s Alliance side there is one particular player – Ötto – who has seized upon a gold making tactic I’ve seen before, but to his credit (and my detriment) he has upped the game and taken it to an AH crushing level.
The method to his madness is this: he buys up useful gear on the auction house (pretty much anything “of the Monkey, of the Bear, of the Owl) and marks it up drastically. Sometimes as much as 500-900%. Now I’ve seen this done in small quantities back in the twinking days as smart AH players recognized specific pieces of green gear as best in slot for low level battleground campers. It was something that the twinks cursed, but pretty much everyone else ignored.
But like I said – Ötto takes it up a notch or three. He buys up damn near *everything*. Every level, every type of gear, nothing is safe from his keen eye and seemingly limitless pocketbook.
For someone like me who is careful with his gold – he’s made the AH pretty much useless. I nerd raged about this for a while when his pricing continued to thwart my hopes of upgrading Keladryn’s head gear, but after some reflection on the matter I decided he was probably doing me a favor.
The state of current leveling content does not require best in slot gear. In fact, it doesn’t require level appropriate gear in a lot of cases. Sure it makes things easier, but between my heirlooms, instance drops, and random sacks of goodies, I really don’t need to spend the gold.
But looking at Ötto’s prices it’s obvious that I’m in the minority. Not only have they remained fairly constant, (which means that folks *must* be buying some of his crap) – but all of the part time AH players running auctioneer are now seeing their prices skewed upward as they AH random greens for cash.
The last time I looked at a level 60ish “of the Champion” piece it was running around 200 Gold.
So thanks Ötto. I may hate what you’re doing, but I can’t hate you for making an honest buck off of the dumbasses overpaying so much for gear they’re going to outlevel in a couple hours of playing.
What I’d ask my readers though – (as I know some of you are packing serious in game cash) – is this:
Is it worth it? Have you used tactics like this to make gold? Did they work?
The staff struck like a falling mountain. Heads turned and warriors young and old watched as the she-tauren methodically dismantled a training dummy.
Stone Guard Tigerclaw spun the length of iron shod wood in a simple arc about her body and with an efficient, brutal grace borne from decades of practice, used hips and arms and shoulders to slam the weapon into the dummy again.
Wooden parts arced into the air, a puff of straw that had been the training targets proud coif of hair rained to the ground.
“Brutal victory, Stone Guard – your foe appears vanquished, will you show him mercy?”
Tigerclaw cast a glance at the Kor’kron commander standing at the edge of the training grounds. Wordlessly she completed the arc of her original movement, economical steps, a pivot, and the staff struck like thunder again.
One of the colts in the youth brigade whooped as the training dummies head sailed through the air, bisecting the warm summer sun as it trailed straw in lazy pinwheels.
Tigerclaw regarded the grinning Kor’kron as she strode over toward a hanging bucket of water. She ladled out two long drinks and saved a third to pour over her head.
“What do you want, Ironeyes?” She asked tonelessly. The orc barked a laugh in response.
“Want? What do I want? What gratitude is this? I spend six hours, six hours at the mercy of mad goblin air ship pilots just to get here. Just to see how my shield sister is healing!”
Tigerclaw paused for a moment as she ran a rough towel over her face and through her cobalt mane. She cocked an eyebrow at the orc.
The newly minted Kor’kron officer barked another laugh and regarded his tauren friend appraisingly. Tigerclaw was healing, the scars that ran in manic cross hatches across her ivory hide growing less and less evident. She was fit too, fit and obviously still dangerous with a weapon.
“I come here to see my shield sister and to wonder why, after the blood and the glory of the past six months that she has seen fit to retire from service to the Horde.”
Tigerclaw’s glare was poisonous.
“I still serve the Horde,” was all she said.
“Indeed, but not the army, and I have to wonder why?”
Yeah…Neg’s made me feel guilty. I haven’t been writing. It’s hard. I need to start again…little steps…
For you new people, I have one thing.
Everyone fights…no one quits…
Sorry – flashback.
For you new folks – you can see Stone Guard Tigerclaw’s earlier adventures HERE
Older fiction that’s buried in the site:
Knives in the Dark – (because she-tauren shaman rock…)
Abandon – (because hunters love their pets…)
Going Home – (written as I left Afghanistan)
It’s a wide world – (where Windpaw’s adventures started)
Rainchaser in STV – (and old story from back when Rain’ was a draenei)
Blood Elf Bandit Mask – (just some fun)
Rainchaser’s Rainy Day – (always liked this one…)
The Internets ate it.
I hate you Internets.
I’ll rewrite it eventually…until then…laugh at my scrub ass pvp gear and glory in the presence of my NEW BOW….
That’s right – I got my new bow. I’m very happy. Yes, it’s only the 10-man normal version, but for a 10-man normal kinda guy, this is about as good as it gets.
Yes…yes I know my PvP gear is awful. Please move on.
What? Yes, I’m a (male) Night Elf now. What’s it to you? This is my $14.95 friend and I’ll play what I want – when I want. Don’t like it? Think I’ve sold out? Just wait – I’ll find your ass in game and I’ll do like – a MILLION FLIPS – right there next to you. You’ll get male night elf motion sickness from all the flips I’ll do. Don’t make me do it. Don’t go there.
While I’m figuring out what WordPress did with my finely crafted and carefully worded post, head over to my favorite butterfly and congratulate her for breaking out of the iLevel 200 trinket club. While you’re at it – visit Rilgon and check out his Power Aura setup. Yeah – he’s one of those horned and tentacled draenei without the benefit of good WAGGLE – but his Power Auras are damn smart and I’m thinking about taking them to ICC tonight.
Until then…may the force be with you…
Man I miss my Tauren form….
[Evil Inner Monologue] says: Hey dummy, hate to spoil all your fun with the new dungeon finder, but aren’t you forgetting something?
[windpaw] says: I told her I’d carry out the trash in a minute okay – now shaddup – trying to tank here….96969696
[Evil Inner Monologue] says: Okay – fine – but you told me to bug you about this. It’s no fault but your own when time runs out.
[windpaw] says: 969696….wait…when time runs out?…::sigh::
[windpaw] says: Okay – fine – you have my full attention now, what is it you want? What am I forgetting?
[Evil Inner Monologue] says: Your resolutions – your New Years Resolutions.
[windpaw] says: Get in shape, lose weight, spend more time with the kids?
[Evil Inner Monologue] says: No dummy – your Warcraft Resolutions…you wrote a blog post about them a while back?
[windpaw] says: ::blinks:: oh yeah….
Okay folks – we’re into February now – how are we all doing on our WoW based New Years Resolutions? Me – I’m sliding *backwards* (as usual). Let’s take a look:
- Loremaster Title for Rainchaser
- Seeker Title for Rainchaser
- Njordnar Bone Bow (the 251 version even…I’m not greedy)
- Swift Zulian Tiger
So Where Am I?
The last time we visited, Rain’ was trudging her way to victory in regards to her Loremaster and Seeker initiatives. She managed to put Loremaster of Northrend in the bag and was happily past 2000 quests and headed toward 3000.
Well – then faction change jumped up and did a number on pretty much all of my previous work. Since the act of faction changing dumps anything faction specific you’ve ever done, I effectively set myself back by hundreds of quests. Where before I was around 2037 of 3000 towards Seeker, I’m now 1289 of 3000.
My Loremaster Numbers are equally buggered.
So I’m not calling this hopeless or a wash (far from it) – I’ve just set myself back a fair bit. On the plus side – I have a fantastic guild now. The cost was worth it.
What about that Njordnar Bone Bow ? Lady Deathwhisper has yet to cough it up. She will though. Remember that fantastic guild I mentioned? Yeah – like I said – totally worth it.
The Swift Zulian Tiger ? No luck so far. But to be honest – with Rainchaser on the bench (save raid nights) and so much of my effort focused on Keladryn, I haven’t been back to ZG very much lately. For a while I was hitting Zul’Gurub at least twice a week. Now I’m lucky to go back 2-3 times a month. I better get back to it.
So how about the rest of you? Did you make any in-game resolutions? How are you doing so far?
So I’ve been playing this game since early 2005. In all of that time, I have almost studiously ignored two of the most lore rich regions in vanilla WoW when leveling my characters.
To be specific – Western and Eastern Plaguelands.
Short of doing some of the initial quests at Chillwind Point or The Bulwark, most of my alts avoided these undead and slime filled regions of Azeroth in favor of questing and grinding in Kalimdor. Yeah – I’m one of those weirdos that actually likes Silithus and Felwood.
For the most part, I probably missed out on a lot of WPL and EPL because I spent so much time on ALTs when leveling during vanilla. Simply put – by the time I had a character ready to slap some undead around, I was off leveling another new character. By the time I was ready to spend some quality time in either location, Burning Crusade was out, and it was just too easy to ignore the vanilla world and jump straight to Outlands.
As soon as Keladryn hit the 50’s, I decided to break out of this particular rut and have camped myself in WPL with a vengeance. As Paladin – the quests found here are particularly poignant. Plus, having completed so few of them before, it’s like getting to play a whole new part of the game.
How about you? Are their parts of the game that you’ve never completed? Parts of the world you’ve just never quested through? If so – why?