Archive for the ‘An Epic Journey’ Category


Back to the future!


Right. So I’ve joined the millions of players in 2007. That is, I’ve finally moved to Outland – with one character. There are quite a few pictures attached, so I’ll ask you to join me after the break – your feed reader will thank you for it later.

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Stranglethorn Blues


Cataclysm hits in just over a month. With it, most, if not all, Old World zones change. So far, so good – we knew that a while ago.

Yesterday, it became a bit more personal. My mage is progressing through Stranglethorn at the moment. What better moment to get the Green Hills achievement? Especially since it might not be around in its current form come December. Only it seems I’m not alone with that idea.

A working night, close to midnight. And the place is more crowded than any of the starter zones I’ve been to. Sure, Stranglethorn is a lot bigger, but it looked like there were at least two guilds organising parties to complete the exact quest lines needed for the achievement.

It does take the magic out of things a little, seeing a bored level 80 AoE’ing hordes of raptors down so the three level 30-somethings don’t have to do it themselves. I’ve never been a fan of booster-runs, but instances are a fair game. This, however, was disheartening. Especially together with the usual obnoxiousness. Happily AoE’ing the mob I just attacked. Skinning the mob under my feet as soon as I’m finished looting. Not that my mage is a skinner, but come on! I could just be checking inventory for free space!

I understand the desire to get the achievement and quests done before Cataclysm. Hell, that’s what I’m doing myself. But you can still respect other people doing the same thing.




Yesterday – well, technically today – I dinged 40 on my warlock. She’s the first alt to reach that level, so it was an occasion for much celebration. You may smile or laugh, but that is actually a huge step for me.

  • Level 40 achievement
  • New mounts, including the Dreadsteed
  • Dual Spec, not that I need it, but what the hell, gold isn’t worth anything if you don’t spend it

And, most importantly: It took me essentially one weekend and a bit to level my warlock from 30 to 40. Compare that to the time it took for me druid to get from 20 to 30, it’s a world apart. And it was a blast. The Felguard I got from the new talent trees helped a lot, sometimes I was amazed at the masses of mobs that we survived when a pull went wrong.

Seriously, I think I’ll keep playing my druid, just so my other characters will be even more fun when I get back to them.


In sickness and in health


Just my usual luck: The week the big 4.0.1 hits, I’m completely ill with a high fever. Nevertheless, I managed to get about an hour of playtime in with my Druid yesterday, and here are the cliff-notes:

30 is the new 20

Yes, I finally did it. My druid took a whole month to get from 20 to 30, but I think he’s starting to be more fun now so that future levels will be a bit more, well, fun to play. It also means I switch characters again, but that’s more than okay, as I need to adjust to the new talents in the patch anyway. Probably my warlock will go first, since she now also got a new demon (Felguard) to play with.

Crash and burn

Not all, not even most but a few critical addons. QuestGuru was broken, but got fixed pretty fast. For a few other addons I’m still holding my breath, but in general there were fewer errors than I thought. Auctioneer seems broken, though, which is a major setback.


Gorgeous. And still pretty easy on the hardware. On my five year old PC, I still turn everything up to ‘ultra’ except shadows – and that only because I like the graphics on ‘high’ better. The additional ground-clutter alone makes a huge difference. Add to that a bit more view-distance and you got a whole new game, right now. Also fantastic are the water reflections. I urge you, turn liquids up to ‘ultra’ and go to, say, Ru’theran Village when it’s raining. It is simply beautiful.


Well, Talented doesn’t work, but the new talent trees are just as good – my main complaint was that I couldn’t see all of it at one glance. Now I can. They seem to read my blog, because the Druid changes are exactly what I wanted to make it more fun playing one. The tree themselves seem a bit more condensed, but I’ll wait and see how it works out in the long run. So far, though, I’m quite happy.

The verdict

If this patch is any indication for Cataclysm performance on your hardware (and I think it is), you can all relax. My ancient rig still manages 60 FPS in most scenes – and with ENBseries doing it’s magic, I’m still well over 30 FTP. That is enough for an MMO. In fact, I’d say performance has increased after the patch.

Visuals are good, I can’t wait to see what the actual Cataclysm will bring. Talent and class changes so far also seem to hit the spot, although I can only speak for the solo and questing faction.

Ready for Cataclysm? I think we are!


A short and strange journey


My paladin just finished his Test of Righteousness. What a strange journey. I can only hope that other class quests are just as fun and lead me to interesting places.

At first, it seemed a bit daunting, with QuestGuru giving the “dungeon” tag behind three of the four required steps. So I tackled them in a slightly different order. First stop was the ogre camp in Loch Modan, which gave me the chance to also complete a few other quests, mainly Chok’sul’s bounty. At level 25, the ogres don’t pose much of a threat and it is quite fun blazing through the camp. The Ore Shipment lies out in the open, no challenge there.

Then I ventured into the Deadmines. Having already been through most of it with my hunter, I knew what to expect. In the entrance area, I finished a few Westfall quests – where my paladin could get his holies going against the undead miners. In the Deadmines proper, everything went smoothly. Once a pull got out of hand, but after a frantic minute of scrambling for all available cooldowns I counted eight dead trash mobs including two elites. Hooray for mail armour. The first boss went down without much problem, although it was quite close in the end. Just before the second boss, the goblins with the Oak Lumber in question were found, and subsequently slain.

Feeling lucky, on I went into the Blackfathom Deeps. Or rather, the entrance, where a helpful Naga dropped the Kor Gem.

The last step was the most complicated one. I had to get to Shadowfang Keep in order to obtain Jordan’s Hammer. So I took a flight to Loch Modan, crossed the Arathi Highlands without dying, stopped at Southshore in the Hillsbrad Foothills and then dove into Silverpine Forest. Although technically Horde territory, I didn’t encounter a single hostile NPC. Until I set foot in the keep, that is. Shadowfang Keep starts out quite strong, with an assortment of all-elite trash mobs that took me down to critical levels before I adjusted. The hammer was also in the open, in a stable of Felsteeds. They are neutral, which is nice. And quite apologetically stampeded me into the ground as I hit Consecration to clear the single stable keeper.

Still – that crowning moment of facepalm was my only death on this quest. And I went from freshly dinged 25 to almost level 26, thanks to Shadowfang Keep mobs.

And my dwarf has a nice, shiny new hammer!


An epic journey: Zero Twenty



Of the eight base classes available for starting characters, I now have six on level 20 or higher. My rogue is a bit lagging behind, simply because I started that class very late – never was a rogue fan in other games. I haven’t yet started a priest, and most likely never will.

So, with all starter zones behind me, and abilities starting to get interesting, I thought it would be nice to do a comparison how the gameplay varies between the classes. As a casual soloist, I look for three things:

Ease of play – how easy is the character to play solo? Are the abilities intuitive? How did I do on group quests (i.e. Hogger)?

Style points – does the character have a certain flair to it? Are the class quests fleshed out and interesting? Does class membership offer some additional benefits?

Fun factor – does the class occasionally make me go ‘Woah!’? Is it fun fighting enemies as this class? Can I pull off feats that I originally deemed impossible?

Since I like statistics, I’ll rate each class out of 10 points, with the hypothetical average, somewhat bland, not quite entertaining class rated 6.0 each.

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