Archive for the ‘Everything Azeroth’ Category

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Achievements of Love

24.02.2011

Love is in the air – no more. The event has ended, and it’s time to see what’s on the scoreboard. I decided to try to get a few achievements for my low-level Worgen while questing through Duskwood.

Let’s see what I have to show for the last two weeks:

Perma Peddle
Expensive, but at least not luck dependent. I really don’t like the look of the pet though.

Charming

Comes naturally when trying for the other achievements.

Nation of Adoration

Initially victim of the Cataclysm, Blizzard fixed it just in time.

Sweet Tooth

I love chocolate.

Dangerous Love

It took a while for the mission to spawn in Duskwood, for a while I thought I was out of luck and had to travel to Hillsbrad.

The Rocket’s Pink Glare

Fun, but lag inducing. Fortunately most people got theirs early on so the rocket launching was pretty light later on.

Shafted!

Also fun, even if maybe a bit annoying.

Be Mine!

You won’t believe how many boxes I had to buy for that last missing candy…

 

However, there were two achievements I didn’t get:

Lovely Luck Is On Your Side

I ran out of lucky charms, out of time and out of energy to farm more. Plus I didn’t have any luck with the two dress boxes I bought, so this will have to wait until next year.

Flirt With Disaster

Alright, I was just too lazy to travel to Ironforge and get all the requisites.

 

So only two not achieved out of the ones I can reasonably get at level 32 – 36. Was it fun, overall, though? I still think that the world events are a bit annoying. But this one is alright. Most of the achievements are fairly easy to do, you get Lucky Charms while soloing anyway and need to get back to Stormwind for the dailies. Next up is Noblegarden, which will require a bit more work but was a lot of fun last year.

 

At any rate, I’m quite happy with how this years Valentine Day turned out, both in-game and in real-life.

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Bugged Love

07.02.2011

I’m sure you’re all aware of this, but in case you’re not: There are a few bugs with ‘love is in the air’.

I find it kind of hilarious – I’m usually not one to participate in world events (save for Noblegarden), but the one time I think to myself “well, nothing better to do, let’s go hunt some achievements” – they’re bugged. It started with not being able to buy anything from the vendors. Okay, so maybe there’s something weird going on and Worgen can’t buy these thing in Darnassus. But the same happens in Stormwind.

Never mind, let’s go and do the Nation of Adoration dailies. High Priestess? Check. Prophet? Check. King Wrynn? Check. King Bronzebeard? Uhh… no, not really.

 

The reason I find this pretty funny instead of annoying: There are certain achievements that I couldn’t complete with this character anyway, so the meta is out of reach no matter what. Still, it surprises me how many bugs there are in the world events year after year. I think that they actually do fix all these bugs – but until the next iteration comes around, so many other details in the world have changed (if you can call the Shattering a ‘detail’) that their fixes just aren’t up to date any more.

 

Anyway, the event runs almost two more weeks, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that Blizzard fixes it in time. Even if not – it’ll be there next year.

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A casual 2010 in Azeroth

04.01.2011

Each year (apparently, as I can’t tell you much about previous years), WordPress.com sends out a report on how your blog did. Everybody around seems to be posting some sort of yearly recap, so I figured, why not, let’s try this.

 

Blog Health

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

 

Truth be told, I have no clue what they’re measuring. Consistent posting and visitors, presumably. From what my stats tell me, there indeed seem to be regulars, feedreaders and a surprising amount of linkage coming to this little blog, so while ‘Wow’ may be exaggerated, I’m pleasantly surprised.

 

I’d like to thank all of my readers at this point, as well as my favourite commenter, Saga – it’s been a pleasure so far and I’m hoping all of you will stick around a while longer.

More stats and a quick review of my year in Azeroth after the break.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Save a ground mount!

31.12.2010

Cataclysm has a few by-names. I’m about to add another one: Death of the ground mount.

Actually, it was this post over at Art of Soloing WoW that added that title. And I find it kind of sad. After all, from level 20 to 60, our ground mounts got us everywhere we wanted. The wide flats of the old Barrens. The sheer endless trek up and down Stonetalon Mountains. The gauntlet that is the Redridge Highway. The scarred landscape of the Badlands and Searing Gorge. And of course, up to and through the Dark Portal.

Yes, I agree completely, flying is a lot more convenient. And faster. But I also feel a lot of missing out. The view is sometimes spectacular, but every zone seems to shrink, now that you don’t have to care about the safest or quickest route. You just fly up a bit and then straight towards the quest goal. Look down, think about the poor map designer who painstakingly laid out everything in such a way that someone on a horse would be able to get where he wants. The mobs finetuned so that the roads are relatively safe while the wilderness holds all the dangers.

Flying in cities is another thing. The view of the rooftops of Stormwind is spectacular. Okay, so my FPS drop to abysmal levels, but still. Flying from the mage tower to the auction house or the cathedral, the city seems to have lost the frantic spark of life that you got down on the streets.

So, as the new year approaches, I call out to everyone to celebrate one day of old school riding. Next Thursday (06.01.2011, also a holiday), no flying mounts if possible. Break out your old warlock Dreadsteeds, your rare drops, your hard-earned foreign racial mounts. Pass the word – on RP servers, make up something about dangerous crosswinds that make flying impossible for the day. For one day, let Azeroth tremble not with the fury of Deathwing, but the thunder of our hooves!

Also applicable to mount that don’t have hooves, just so our Gnomish and Elven friends don’t feel left out.

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Fort Livingston, I presume

01.12.2010

A week has passed since the Shattering, and coincidentally, I’m back from a week of much-needed vacation. So instead of blogging about every single change that I noticed, here is a collection of impressions from my shattered Azeroth.

 

Phased Zones

They said that they wanted to make heavy use of phasing, and they didn’t disappoint. I’ve only seen it now in the Plaguelands, but it is simply epic. Actually seeing a difference you make in the Battle for Andorhal, later the recapture of Tyr’s Hand – that is truly fantastic. The journey along Fiona’s Caravan isn’t too bad either, and serves quite well to keep the quests flowing.

It’s not quite on the level of interaction you get from single player game like the Fallouts, but it really keeps you immersed in the game.

 

Bugged Quests

Sadly, the new, phased zones seem to be plagued with a few bugs. Actually, the first quest bugs I’ve encountered so far.

One, the Battle for Darrowshire, seems to be now hotfixed – though I’ll have to try for myself later today.

Two, Into the Flames can be completed but not turned in – I’ve already opened a ticket and am awaiting a response.

Other than that, NPC’s in phased quests seem to behave strangely sometimes, especially when multiple players are doing the same quest.

 

Stormwind rebuilt

Deathwing almost destroyed Stormwind. But that’s okay, they rebuilt it, bigger and better than ever. Did you notice the subtly applied new textures? How the pavement changes between districts? The old park may be gone, but the new outskirts area is so much more open, and in my eye, even more beautiful than the old park.

Also,  the castle. It’s like the completely tore down the old one and build a new one instead. With a proper entrance and everything.

And if you were complaining about the lag in the marketplace and auction house – head on over to the Dwarven district – I like the bank and auction house there. Ideal for smelting and blacksmiths, and with almost nobody else there (yet).

 

Worgen now in!

Of course, with Worgen PCs coming in just a few short days, there are already Worgen NPCs around. And the nice touch: You can already gain Gilneas reputation! And don’t you just love the accent? Granted it’s a bit exaggerated, but which of the accents in the voice acting of WoW isn’t…

 

New music is kind of meh

Entering Stormwind the first thing you’ll notice is the changed music. But, sadly, like the old one, it gets annoying rather quickly. So listen to it once, then turn of in-game music and switch back to your favourite iTunes mix. But points for effort.

 

New flightpaths are sometimes overkill

In some zones, like the Wetlands, it’s nice to have a few more flightpaths scattered around. In other zones, it seems like overkill. If you can’t stomach a short 40 second ride (or shorter depending on your riding skill), maybe questing isn’t for you? But then, I probably shouldn’t talk – I’m lazy as hell myself and yes, if there is a flightpath, I take it. I may immediately smack my forehead for wasting 20 copper (25 years of living in Swabia will do that to you), but I ride the taxi nevertheless.

 

Zone specific quest achievements

Not much of a change for those of you coming from Northrend, but the new achievements mean a lot less bookkeeping for potential loremasters. They also provide some sort of progress bar when questing through a zone. I’m German. I like statistics and forecasts and whatnot. So yay for a more detailed breakdown of questing achievements.

 

New questlines – epic!

Really. I don’t think anything else needs to be said. The new, remade questlines are well written, gripping and generally much more involved and character driven than the old ones. Instead of the old “Kill ten Defias thugs”, followed inevitably by “You’re back? Oh well… go and kill ten Defias muggers, then.” you get to know the questgivers, the reference you to others who then have already heard of your exploits and maybe you can help with this much more pressing problem they’ve got.

 

A new leveling experience

This is a combination of the phased zones and redone questlines, really. But leveling feels much smoother, much less grindy, much more story-oriented than previously. It also feels a lot faster, which in some ways I regret. I’m a big fan of the “there are much more powerful enemies and dangerous areas out there” feeling. The smaller zones mean that in many cases the mobs are more tailored to your level – changing it up sometimes with a couple of rare but powerful mobs would be nice.

Of course, most of the time you’re so deep in the storylines that it doesn’t matter. Questing through the Plaguelands was the first time that I didn’t want to stop playing not because of “just a couple more mobs and maybe I get a cool quest reward” but “I won’t stop playing until I know what happens to this character”.

I just hope that when I outlevel Azeroth and move on to Outland and later Northrend that the quests there hold up to the new standard.

 

 

The world lies in shambles. But what a world it is!

Well done, Blizzard!

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The world will break!

22.11.2010

Got any plans for Tuesday night? Or, presumably, Wednesday if you’re on an EU server like me? No?

Well, get ready. All signs point to The Shattering happening this week.

And I’m running out of time. Seriously. Just yesterday I leveled my warrior through Swamps of Sorrows. And then I realised – it won’t be a good place to hang out at level 40 any more. It’s going to be a level 52-54 zone. Stranglethorn will be, well, broken in half. Auberdine, gone. Menethil Harbor, flooded.

And of course, my careful leveling plan completely wrecked. Will I still be able to follow my chosen path? The wiki page on that matter has become quite confusing – a byproduct of breaking larger zones into multiple smaller ones.

So, yeah, I’m in frantic “gotta see it all before it changes forever” mode. Funny, we all knew that Cataclysm was coming. But now that it’s here, it still manages to catch us by surprise.

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Last call for heroes

16.11.2010

Been to Stormwind recently? Or Ogrimmar for that matter? No? You should.

See, that’s what I really like about Blizzard. Instead of just dumping their newest expansion on us, they actually involve us in the transition. We actually get to witness how the city changes – if not physically, but the whole atmosphere is charged up with petitioners around every guard, the line of citizens outside the gate, the cultists inside the city and at the lake and now, the finale, the elemental attack.

Of course the quests are mindbogglingly easy. Because everyone is expected to have a chance to be more than just a passive bystander. Everyone is a hero. Everyone is actively participating in a desperate last ditch effort to defend the capital city – only to see it all swept aside in a great fiery apocalypse come December.

If that’s not the definition of cool, I don’t know what is.