Archive | June, 2010

Only Outland Remains…

30 Jun

Late last night I waved farewell to Sharpbeak as he and his parents winged gracefully past Elune and out over the Hinterlands.  It was a good feeling – work well done and a long time coming.  A glance at my quest counter told me that I only needed 3 more quests for Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms to be complete.  As much as I’ve enjoyed my time in old Azeroth, hunting down quests in the far corners of the globe for the past couple months has started to wear on me a bit.  I’m ready to go somewhere else – ready to enjoy the violet proto-drake I earned some months ago and have barely ridden.

Three quests.  Where to finish up?  My quest log was frightfully free of non-dungeon quests and I was tired – so nugging through Scholomance or Strat’ just didn’t seem to be on the agenda.  Instead I took a quick trip to Gnomeregan and killed off two quick jobs that didn’t even require me to enter the instance.  After that – a ride back to Ironforge for turn ins and a griffin to Arathi.  Sitting pretty at 699/700 I mounted up on my Winterspring Frostsaber and made for Faldir’s Cove.  It’s funny – when I started this Loremaster trudge, I often wondered if I’d try to finish the old world with a raid quest or something magnificent.  Instead – I chose to end somewhere I’d never been before.  As amazing as it might seem, in all the years I’ve played WoW – I have never visited the Blackwater Raiders dock tucked into the mountainous coast of Arathi.  Rainchaser had been the first of my toons to swim out to the dock and I can remember the relief that I felt as this newly discovered bit of the Eastern Kingdoms brought with it a wealth of easy quests that helped get me into the single digits for completion.  I’d saved the near last piece of the chain to finish my night – swimming back out to the dock and turning in my last quest.  As always – once the flourish and flash from the achievement are gone and the guild chat full of congratulations finally stilled – a little bit of emptiness set in.  It was truly good to be done – but kind of sad too.

In truth, these last few months immersed in old Azeroth are likely to be my last before Cataclysm breaks.  Part of me would like to take my original druid back through that part of the world again, but with 350 quests left in Outland still to do and the Lich King still up and kicking for my guild I might not make the time.  That too would be a bit sad as Windpaws (once known as Sequoia) has seen so much of the old world first hand and still remembers walking in triumph through Stormwind to unmask Onyxia and fight beside Marshal Windsor and Bolvar Fordragon.  It would be a shame if Wind’ couldn’t close that chapter out before the sundering as well, but we’ll see.  Only Outland remains – and I’ve axes to sharpen and arrows to fletch before this trip is done.

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Loremaster Update

28 Jun

So – some free advice:

If thou dost plan to Loremaster – DONT FACTION CHANGE.

Verily.

Okay – to recap:

  • Loremaster of Northrend (done while Horde)
  • Loremaster of Kalimdor ( was about 556 of 585 as horde before faction change – completed 700/700 as alliance)
  • Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms (666 of 700 … spooky)
  • Loremaster of Outlands ( Oi….)

So – Loremaster of Kalimdor as Alliance is a breeze.  Seriously.  When I finally made turn in #700 I still had several nice short chains available to me outside of Theramore and the loOOOOooong chain from Fallen Hero of the Horde left for padding.  After my faction change I went from being about 30 quests shy of the achievement to something like 250 quests short.  It was devastating.  But thanks to the ample number of quests in the Night Elf and Draenei starting areas I was able to make those quests up in record time.  Blizzard quest designers have a thing about creating these great conversations between two NPCs that are standing right next to one another and including quests for every part of the conversation.   I can remember cackling with delight as carbonite updated my completed quest count for the zone with the rapidity of a pinball machine as I blazed through the dialog boxes.  Seriously – not sure why they don’t seem to do this on the Horde side as well.

Now – Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms seems to be a completely different animal.  I’ve read in the official forums that some folks believe the following:

  • LM of Kalimdor requires the Horde to complete EVERY QUEST you can find – including a lot of dungeon quests.  Alliance really doesn’t.
  • LM of EK requires little effort as Horde – but requires Alliance players to do all the dungeon quests up through about Stratholme.

Others of course disagree.

For myself I’m not sure.  I’ve been going through EK with a quickness right up until 600 quests or so.  At the magic 600 number the little yellow exclamation marks have just about vanished.  I nugged my way to 666 by really stopping and looking at each of the zones I’d assumed were completed and found the following:

  • A handful of quests I’d forgotten about in the far south of Loch Modan (including the whole Key to Searing Gorge chain)
  • Tons of quests in the Badlands I’d skipped over – (including a lot of stuff that sends me to Uldaman…a mixed blessing, that)

The Uldaman based quests are a major pain in the ass.  A lot of them just don’t count. Yet in some cases – the quests that thread off of them do count…or at least some of them do. Now running Rainchaser through Uldaman takes almost no time at all – but after completing 5-6 different quests and only seeing my Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms quest totals go up by “1” was disheartening.

At 666 and sweating – I keep thinking that there’s some magic cache of quests that I’ve just forgotten about.  Everyquest seems to agree – but isn’t anywhere near as accurate as I’d like (thanks in part to some database confusion from my multiple faction changes.)  My plan for the night is to hit the remaining quests in my log and hopefully make some serious headway.  I’d *love* to be done with EK tonight – but when you’re this far along, all that’s left are dribs and drabs of quests scattered across the map or contained in items that will (eventually) drop from mobs.  Reality says that I should be fairly happy if I can kill this part of the achievement by Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

Now – that leaves Loremaster of Outland for me to spend the rest of July mopping up.  I missed a great deal of Burning Crusade content thanks to an Altitis problem and repeated military deployments, so getting back to BC is going to be something of a treat for me.  I’ll get to spend a lot of quality time on my Violet Proto-Drake and enjoy a change of scenery for a while.  I’m hoping the questing will go a fair bit faster in Outlands thanks to the Hub concept that Blizzard started focusing on during BC which makes each quest zone it’s own contained achievement.  Plus – if my numbers in any particular area start to get dicey I can always run in and solo the dungeon content which for the most part *always* counts.  I am bummed out that I’m going to have to relive Terrokar Forrest again – but hey – if I’ve done it once – I’ve done it a million times…(seriously – I’ve done Terror of Terrokar a million times….)  Nothing for it but to grin and sick my bear on things.

Wish me luck.

The (new) Orgrimmar

14 Jun

** Fair warning folks – this is an old article that will not jive with just how frakking AWESOME the new Orgimmar actually is.  If you’d like to read about my fears of what Org’ could have become back before the beta started – by all means – plod on.  Otherwise – nothing to see here 😉

Yeah – I’ve been really quiet since summer started.  Sorry – sun is shining – the rivers are running and I’m enjoying them.  There are plenty of other sites out that are full of pre-Cataclysm speculation and frenzied theory crafting – so feel free to hit a link to one of them over on the right.

Nah  – I haven’t been moved to write about much as there just hasn’t been all that much to write about.  Rain’ continues her slow and methodical march toward Loremaster / Seeker – putting down Kalimdor finally and about halfway through Eastern Kingdoms.  The faction change has made this particular quest much harder, gutting quest totals for Outlands and pretty much guaranteeing that Rain’ will have to revisit every Burning Crusade zone in its entirety.

We’ll get there.  We’ll get there.

No – what really caught me up was the recent flyover video that Wowhead and WoW.com have been flying from Blizzard’s recent Cataclysm press event.  It’s brief of course – just some glances at the goblin city in Azshara complete with its own Wave Motion Gun, some great shots of 1k Needles, Stormwind’s new scar – oh and the rape of Orgrimmar.

That’s right you heard me.

No – don’t get me wrong – they’ve done Org’ proud as far as attending to the detail of its looks and the attending martial pride of the Orc people.  But where Thrall’s Orgimmar was all sunbaked rock and open blue sky, Garrosh’s Orgimmar is a grim place of war.  Spears and glaives jut from every structure, no matter how small or insignificant.  The seat of the Warchief’s power has been moved from the Valley of Wisdom to the front gates.  I don’t know if the bank or auction house still survive there, if they do it’s a stark change for the horde that their leader would take leave of wisdom for commerce.  I suppose it will make it easier for Alliance “For the Alliance” raids to actually made it to Garrosh – and from what I’ve seen of Alliance pvp capability thus far – they still need all the help they can get.

Orgrimmar was one of my favorite Horde cities.  Running within its walls always gave me a lift that running through Stormwind never has.  We’ll see for certain when the Cataclysm truly breaks – but I have a feeling it will never quite feel like home again.