Sunday, December 27, 2009

Of Screwed Schedule and Forgotten Alts

It's Christmas (or a few days after) - so "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" to everyone! Hope all you got what you've always wanted from Santa, be it that brand new toy or that brand new epic loot =)

As for me, though, Christmas is a mixed-up affair. I don't really know the technical aspect of it, but every time I log in from Christmas Eve until last Sunday Hydraxis was hit by an unexplainable lag, ranging from 1.5k up to 4k latency which made it almost impossible to do anything I planned. I could still manage most of the dailies, but jousting and most importantly randoms are out of the question. Last Sunday was a different matter - I have just finished the last of Aenur's dailies when I DC'ed and was unable to log in... got the message "Error retrieving character list" at the character selection.

Weird thing is - I can still log on to my alts in Durotan US and Nagrand EU and play them without any problem. So I figured, meh, I'll get those alts up to speed then.

Therefore, a summary of my mains will have to suffice - Aenur, while missing out on a whole weekend full of emblems, is now only 10 Champion's Seal away from her Argent mount. I hope to get that and start working on the Argent Hippogriff next (which costs a whopping 150 Seals!). Aelyra managed to squeeze in one random on Thursday evening - it's a mostly guild run, so they understand when I die during one hectic boss fight - and got enough Emblem of Triumph to get the Windrunner's Spaulders of Triumph, her first Tier gear. She's still 4k rep away from Exalted with Undercity, the last faction she need for Crusader. And Aerhandor is still slugging away at all that faction rep as usual.

Aergor will not be making it to Outland as scheduled due to the lag problem - I had hoped to do an intense leveling session last Saturday for him. Managed to get him only to level 55 currently. And I did a quick leveling with Aeyrin the Rogue, got a level out of her - she's now level 33.

Since the lag affected my play so much, I decided to hop over to Nagrand EU and load up my old Paladin main, Aerander. With the time I have available, I managed level him up a lot and do what I initially had hoped - getting him to Northrend. Granted, he's only level 68, but the few early Northrend quest gear rewards vastly outshone his old Outland gear and did bump his stats up good. Having been to Borean Tundra primarily as Horde before has spoilt me when I came here as Alliance - twice I made my way halfway to Warsong Hold before I realized I'm Alliance now =D

Too bad Aerander's Blacksmithing skills are still too low to let him capitalize on Northrend craftable armor and weapons. He's at 326/375, and the lowest item a Northrend Master Blacksmith offers for training is at 350. So reluctantly I trucked him back to Shadowmoon Valley in Outland to try and squeeze a couple level and more Blacksmithing skills out of him.

And as a side note, something crossed my mind when going over my adventurers last Friday - I discovered that I lack the drive to continue playing the Side Project, and that I have one too many Hunter and too few Paladins in my line-up. I may end up deleting the Side Project to make way for that Tauren Paladin come Cataclysm next year... but we'll see.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh Yeah...


Now I can finally sleep at night in peace. =D

The darn thing doesn't come cheap though... the first group splintered, first when the tank bailed without a word, then when the other two DPS followed suit. Me and the healer re-queued (him as DPS this time) and got another group within a couple of minutes. The letdown?

A Hunter among the newcomers (o_o") I checked him out - he's sporting the True-Aim Long Rifle. Hmm... maybe he's a gun-user and won't roll on the bow, I thought.

The run went quite ok, and RNG was kind - Crypt Fiend Slayer dropped. I asked if I could roll Need on the bow...

...just as the other Hunter hit the Need button. The others were silent - either oblivious or they don't give a damn. I was breathless - if my Need roll fails, I'm going to have to face the possibility of re-running HoR again and again! But... I steel myself and press Need. And hope.

I won the roll. And the other Hunter drop group without a word.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Of Rotten Luck and Bad Drops

A slight rant is incoming. Are you prepared?

Yesterday evening, after finishing dinner and cuddling with my baby son, I fired up my PC and logged in to WoW for the daily dailies - and maybe a random or two. The dailies took longer than usual because I had to split my attention from the game to my boy who just couldn't bear to let me out of his sight =D

Anyways, by the time I finished all of Aenur's, Aelyra's and Aerhandor's dailies it's almost 10.00 p.m and according to schedule I only have another one and a half hour to go. Enough to squeeze in at least two randoms while doing a mining circuit around Icecrown, I was thinking. So I popped open the Dungeon Finder and registers Aenur for her first run - a random reg (for the pair of Emblem of Triumphs). In a few minutes, as she was mining a Saronite node - out pop the confirmation window. I press Enter Instance.

And watched in amusement as Hall of Reflection's loading screen came up.

The group assembled were professionals - all of them (except me) have done the place at least twice, and have nailed the encounters every time. Even so, I piped up in party chat saying I haven't done this fight, might die yadda yadda - but they said it was fine since it's the reg version. And then off we go. The fights were furious but under control: I noticed that no one had their health below 80% most of the time, the mobs are downed as per the tank's instructions (Priests first, then Mages, Mercenary and Footman last) and boss fights are a delightful event. Loot time - Ghoulslicer dropped, a nice 1h sword that I figured would be great on Aelyra... but I passed since she's far, far away. Little that I know the loot table is against me this evening.

And then, after a short skirmish with the bone commander guy we came up to see Arthas vs. Sylvanas in an amazing display of bladeworks. The tank spoke up - chase time: blast anything that has rotting flesh pronto.

And then onto the chase.

Boy, that was one fun pursuit episode - we were AoE-ing mobs right and left, Aenur was laying down Consecrates and DS-ing like crazy, flashes of flying ghouls passed before my eyes just to fall prey to our Mage's bolts of frost/fire/? and most of all, the Lich King in the background, slowly gaining ground. We made it pass the last barrier intact, got to see the short scripted event at the end, and Ding - I got the achievement, the emblems, and loot, and...

...What in the name of Darnassus - Crypt Fiend Slayer in my bag??

I took another look at the chat log - there. Apparently I won the Greed roll for the item (since there's no Hunter or enchanter in the group, everyone Greeded). I was stumped - I had planned to make Aelyra come and get the weapon this weekend ever since I learned about it... and Aenur got it on her FIRST run?? That bugger had an 18% drop rate according to Wowhead, for crying out loud. Why wouldn't Mourning Malice drop - that had a 24% drop rate! >_>

With that experience fresh on my mind, I logged off Aenur and switched over to Aelyra. Queued her up for PoS and hoped to be able to finish it so she can finally enter HoR and get that bow. With an awesome piece of luck, the group she was in decided to take on HoR after the PoS run for the extra emblem and loot. The HoR run went less smooth than Aenur's (we had one wipe due to a runaway Ghostly Mage who nuked the hell out of our healer) but eventually we got to the end of HoR intact.

And as far as loot goes - you know the saying, when you really want it, you won't get it? I can vouch for the truthfullness of that saying. No bow. I would definitely weep with frustration...

...if I hadn't, during the PoS run, won Scabrous Zombie Leather Belt from Ick.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day, eh?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Little Bit of Nostalgia

You may remember I mentioned something about being nostalgic in my previous post, right? You mean, you don't realize I mentioned it? But... I did ment- Oh well...


I was out adventuring with Aenur when it happened, and it all began with the simplest action... and that action turns out to be a reminder and ultimately a revival of my past adventure. The action? Mining a Small Thorium node in Un'Goro Crater. The consequence?

Read on for that bit of nostalgia.

My very first toon in WoW is a Human Paladin over in Nagrand EU. He's the toon I committed a lot of noobish mistakes on - failing to buff during fights, using the wrong equipment on, pursuing an unprofessional interest at the expense of other, more valuable objectives... you know, that kinda stuff.

At about that time, my former guild was recruiting - they were a social, friendly guild looking for a few good people to play with. I applied, and was accepted. Thus began my short (but life-shaping) journey with Chronicle. Tyoril, the Druid tank GM, is a respectable goofball - he'd organize instance run and rope a few guildies in, and then proceeded to have fun with all of them during the run. I still remember one of the few runs I had - this was Uldaman, and we were about to face Archadeus (I think that's his name, the last boss of that place). We finished discussing about strategy, and was about to pull when he somehow botched the initial assault... as a result, the entire group ran helter-skelter as Archadeus aggros each and every one of us and poor Tyoril was running after him trying to establish aggro. It wasn't a wipe however, and we managed to complete the run alive.

Chronicle didn't last long. It wasn't dissention or progression that broke it, it was RL. Tyoril was leaving for a long time in order to pursue his education, and was unwilling to make us wait for him, so he told us about his decision and let everyone leave. Despite that, I was reluctant to leave this guild that I've grown to love - and eventually, on his last day online Tyoril had to kick me out (he sends a mail just before doing it, informing me of what he's about to do).

At that time, my Paladin was about to step through the Dark Portal at level 59. Although I've several other alts, none of them was remotely near him in any aspect. So since Chronicle was 'disbanded', I took the step through the Portal alone. The experience I had on Outland at that time was different - being without companionship (no gchat, no friendly banter, etc) made it like I was actually alone in this world. After only 2 levels in Outland, I broke down and left.

(This was the time I found out about my current guild, Ten Ton Hammer on Hydraxis US. I've been on TTH official forum for almost 3 months then, and have received an unofficial invitation from Ztormy - who will be later known fondly as Guild Mom - to come over to the guild. After much deliberation, I made the switch... and until today I am glad I did.)

Fast forward a few years...

I have been on and off the Paladin, usually after a patch, to update his talent points (out of sentimentality reason) and checking out for old friends. Over the years he managed to gain another 3 levels, but his equipment, skills and professions are untouched. One of the most heart-breaking aspect of him (to me) is his low Blacksmithing skills, which is 288/375. The main reason I couldn't level that up is the insane price on Thorium during his leveling days and how overfarmed the metal is - you cannot spot a Thorium node without it being ninjaed one way or another.

Last Saturday, on Hydraxis, Aenur was wading through swamp and mud to get herself poisoned by Venomhide Ravasaurs when I notice a couple of yellow dots on my minimap. Turns out those were Thorium nodes - ignored, no less - and she mined them. My curiosity was aroused, and I made Aenur do one full circuit of Un'Goro. By the time she's done, I had 4 stacks of Thorium ore, a couple of Arcane Crystals and a lot of Dense Stone. Realization dawned.

I hopped back to Nagrand once all my mains had done their dailies - my Paladin was still there, parked at Telaar. I quickly took him back all the way to Un'Goro. Sure enough, the place is deserted except for one level 48 Night Elf Hunter. My Paladin went on a mining craze - in about one hour, he has 210 Thorium ores and bagfuls of other items. By carefully making some Imperial Plate items, he has managed to hit 305/375 that day. Elated, I took him on a leveling trip - by the time I had to leave, he's 80% to 66.

I wonder though, if I could take him to 80 - and then it would be a grand achievement on it's own... a tale of one adventure, lost and was found again, and made anew...

"This is my first Alliance toon to make it to 80, and he is also my very first toon."

Of Gains and Losses

Last week saw plenty of improvements on my mains - either gear-wise, achievement-wise or level-wise. The changes made by Blizzard over the year (since WotLK came out), culminating with Patch 3.3 only a few weeks ago, has got to be one of the best changes to happen to me and my toons.

However, behind all the elation and celebration of my toons during the weekend, something else happened that made me stop and look back - waaay back - at my first few baby steps in WoW. Specifically - my very first toon. I'll explain more on this after the usual updates.

Aenur - Has run more heroics and is now only one heroic away from netting the Northrend Heroic Dungeonmaster-thingie achievement. Her dedication to gearing up saw her trading more emblems for a pair of Tier gear - the Liadrin's Shoulderplates of Triumph and the Liadrin's Battleplate of Triumph. So, now she has 3/5 Tier 9 and got one of her set bonuses ^_^

And that's not all too - on one occasion, she got into regular PoS with a capable PuG and managed to snag Garfrost's Two-Ton Hammer to replace the Titansteel Destroyer she's been wielding since forever =P Also, in an amazing display of luck she finally managed to trade her one and only green item - Band of the Bloodletter - for the Band of Frosted Thorns from one of her heroic Nexus runs. Overall, this has improved her AP from 3900-ish to 4.3k (buffed). With further improvement in this week, I'm guessing she may hit 5k AP (buffed).

Also, out of sheer curiosity, I made her trek all the way back to Un'Goro to check out this new raptor mount some of my guildies was so keen about. I got her started on the daily and is now about 3/20 done. If this works, and the new mount is cool enough, I'm making Aelyra do it next.

Aelyra - Has finally hit Exalted with the Argent Crusade, and will soon be hitting Exalted with Thunder Bluff. One thing I've noticed is that her Leatherworking is still stuck at 446/450, and I will need to craft some purps to level that up and get a couple of final LW recipes off the trainers.

Aerhandor - Not much changes - he's still doggedly pursuing the Crusader title (not that he's ever going to use it). I have to say though, jousting with a Tauren toon and jousting with a Blood Elf toon is like heaven and earth: You get a big hairy lump of beef on a big leathery lump of kodo on your screen, and jousting pains will increase a hundredfold...

Aergor - Has been questing a bit, and is now level 55. I may have to amend his schedule since I'm a bit doubtful he'll make it to Outland on time. Honestly speaking, I wanted him to step through the Portal when he's level 60, not 58 - but at his current rate of leveling, I may have no choice but to go for it at 58. But we'll wait and see how things go.

As for the rest of the adventurers, no changes over the last week. This schedule thing is wonderful is keeping progress centered on select toons =P

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Of Running Random Instances, PuGs and More Dailies

The world will never be the same again... at least it won't for me.

Why, you might ask. Well, the answer is simple.

I have been PuG-ging through Dungeon Finder this last weekend, and I'm finding to my great horror (and hidden delight) that I'm actually enjoying it.

Wait! Wait, lemme 'splain...

After finishing up on the dailies on Saturday, I decided to give the Dungeon Finder a spin, to check out this 'nifty little feature', as someone put it. I queued up Aenur for a random LK instance, and while waiting for a hit took her on a mining route. Pretty soon, the confirmation window came up, and I hit the Enter Dungeon button...

...and was transported to this place called Occulus. And there, my enjoyment with PuGs began.


Aenur - Had a blast running instances after instances, be them with PuG or on-the-spur guild runs. She netted a number of achievements for completing those runs (Occulus, Nexus, VH, Hall of Stone etc.) being unable to run them in the first place due to me hesitating to PuG it before. It was such a blast that before I even know it, it was 3.00 am in the morning and I had enough Emblem of Triumph to finally purchase Aenur her first tier piece - the Liadrin's Gauntlet of Triumph, and socketed it with a +20 Strength and +20 Crit rating gem (she's an accomplished Blacksmith ^_^ ). Based on what I see, she may end up doing one random LK instance per day after her dailies so she can get enough emblems to get the whole T9 set (I want the chestpiece next! Or the shoulder - they're cheaper!).

Aelyra - Had a blast running instances after instances, be them with... well, you know the drill. Although, she hasn't done as much instances as Aenur did, she did have one she can boast that the Pally can't - Aelyra's been to the Forge of Soul, completed it, and got Heartshiver out of it as a souvenir. Equipping it against her current weapon will lose her some +Hit, so I'm keeping it as an option for now... besides, the other guys were a Prot Pally, a DK, a Shaman and a Priest =P. However, I'm not making her do random instances for now since her rep grind is not even decently done - I may change my mind depending on day to day situation, though.

Aerhandor - Is now only one day of dailies away from Exalted with the Ebon Blade. I already started him on the Argent Tourney qualification quests - the one leading up to you choosing the faction you're Championing - and will make him follow Aelyra's footsteps once he got that rep faction maxed. He also won the guild roll for a Nimble Climber's Belt - I may have Aenur make him an Eternal Belt Buckle so he can jam a gem in that. And I'm hoping once I get him to Exalted I can get him the Darkheart Chestguard from the Ebon Blade quartermaster to replace his aging Eviscerator Chestguard.

Aerdread - Had the fortune to run one LK instance (actually being the second of my toon to use the Dungeon Finder feature, after Aenur). The difference between them is that while Aenur use the 'random' option, I had Aerdread choose a specific instance - one I planned to make him do a long time ago: The Culling of Stratholme. With luck, he joined a group of excellent PuG-gers who are actually looking to get emblems and not gears. With even greater luck, both the items I'm after dropped - the Spiked Metal Cilice off Salramm and the coveted Dreadlord's Blade from the final boss. So now he only need the upgrade for the chest, legs and gauntlets (I still need to make him grind rep get that shoulder from SoH).

Aergor - I leveled him to 52 and managed to get to Honored with the Timbermaw furbolgs. Then stopped and switched back to my mains for moar instance fun. I do feel pity for him though - my mains had my full attention once again thanks to Patch 3.3 and now he's been relegated as filler alt. I still need to get him to Outland, hopefully before January.

Aeyrin - Aenur has bought her the second piece of her Heirloom gear, the Stained Shadowcraft Tunic and I had my secondary bank alt Aezurin put a +3 All Stats on it. She looks a bit cuter now... and a lot more deadly if Aelyra would only finish her darn rep grind and start getting Champion's Seal to buy her the Heirloom sword and dagger!

Like I mentioned, it was quite an enjoyable experience I had this weekend. Yes, to be honest, I encountered a number of fail PuGs but they were so few you can count them on one hand (I actually had two fail PuGs out of nearly a dozen overall). One group wiped at wave 7 on reg CoS and promptly disbanded - because only me and the healer had ever been there before and the rest got lost inside the Caverns of Time - and the other group disbanded after a fatal 'accident' with the first boss of Occ.

I'm hoping to do at least one random heroic and one random LK instance (for a total of at least 5 Emblem of Triumph and 2 Emblem of Frost per day) to be able to afford Aenur, and later Aelyra, their Tier pieces. Here's to hoping this plan works.

P/S:- It's been decided that I'm running Aenur, Aelyra and Aerhandor daily for my schedule. All of them are more or less capable of fast grinds and even faster gear progression thanks to maxed out Blacksmithing, almost-maxed out Leatherworking, and strokes of luck with equipment upgrades. So there - 3 circuits on 3 toons in 3 hours every day. Bada-dum-tish!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Impression of 3.3, Part 1

It's kinda hard for me to put into words how Patch 3.3 has affected me - I don't PuG very much, my adventurers are not yet sufficiently geared for Icecrown instances, and the changes to the UI, although very useful, are merely cosmetic IMO. I can do without the flashing words telling me I'm entering/leaving combat, what buffs/debuffs I'm having and when it's faded and the amount of damage/healing I'm getting... although to a new player, this may all be informative information that he/she might want to know.

I've taken a little time to detach Aenur to Dalaran to take up the cookie trail quest to ICC - you know, the one that points you to the Forge of Souls to meet Dark Lady Sylvanas - and I toured the place a bit. The looks are cool and stuff, but I've not gotten the urge to whip up a group (never did =P ) and thrash the place. On the other hand, Grey, Krae and Dharr apparently has run the place over and over and they've managed to snag their own Quel'Delar in the process (lucky b*stards... I envy them =D ).

Honestly, the change that I'm very much liking is the reputation tweaks. Aerhandor have started again on the Ebon Blade - he's halfway through Revered now - and getting 325 rep per daily instead of the 250 rep is very helpful. The original schedule estimates that it would take him 5 days to get to Exalted, but with the new estimate it would shave a day off. That means I can move him to Tourney dailies slightly faster, and would make Aenur's attempt at Exalted with the Wyrmrest Accord and Sons of Hodir more bearable.

I'll leave my opinion on the patch on 'Pause' right now, since I have an entire weekend coming up where I can finally test the ICC instances and maybe try the Dungeon Finder feature.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Of a Hectic Weekend

Since this is my first weekend back in Azeroth, naturally I switched over to every single adventurer just so I can get a feel of where they were and where they're going later. Checking up on their professions, skills, talents, gears and so on. Apparently I was so engrossed in the "getting-the-feel" thing that a few levels popped up =D

So, here goes the weekly report:

Aenur - At last count, she has 34 Champion's Seal in her inventory. Another week and she'll be all set to buy the last Heirloom for the lowbie Rogue... then, I'm going to set her out to finally get that Argent Charger she so covets. Aside from doing the usual dailies though, I did not take her anywhere else - looks like she's glued to the Tournament.

Aelyra - I will spare the rep details, but in short the amount of grinding needed for her to get "Crusader" is hellish. She's halfway through TB now, and still need to acquire rep with two more cities (I think it was Org and UC). That's not all though - she's also halfway through Argent Crusade and still need the rep for The Sunreavers. The redeeming point? The dailies circuit she's doing now rewards rep for all those faction, and there's that gold, too.

On the weekends Iily started a run for some Heroics and I volunteered to bring Aelyra with them. Also with us is Tomori, Krae and Vev. We did Nexus (which was the daily) and then VH. Staff of Trickery dropped off Cyannie, and Krae wanted me to have it - but I surprised him when I refused (I DW'ed my Hunter out of preference). Vev took the staff for DE-ing. Both runs helps a lot with Argent Crusade's rep, but I wish there was another run so it can go much higher =(

Aerhandor - In a daring move that defies expectation, Aerhandor soloes Setthek Halls for the achievement, the Shadow Lab key, the Lower City rep (to Honored) and the Terokk's Legacy quest! Well... the only reason I pushed him to do all that is that so he can get the Heroic key to SH and finally attempt to get his Swift Flight Form done.

Then, elated by his achievement and his awesome Druid prowess, in a daring move that defies expectation Aerhandor soloes Hellfire Rampart for the achievement, Thrallmar rep (to Honored) and so that he can get the Heroic key to Hellfire Citadel.

Aside from that, he's been mining Adamantite ore for Aerdread for the whole of Sunday =P

Aerdread - In daring move that defies expectation, Aerdread soloes Setthek Hall... or at least soloes the place up until his demise at Darkweaver Syth's hands/paws/claws?/whatever. Lacking any manner of multiple mob handling (aside from DnD) his death at that arakkoa's minions was swift and painful. Learning his lesson, he went back quietly to Nagrand to contemplate his slow-growing hoofnails. And his slow-growing JC skills.

Aergor - After finishing Tanaris, Aergor flew to Felwood to establish some kind of diplomatic relationship with the Timbermaw furbolgs. He managed to get to Neutral, and to level 51, from sheer grinding. You go, Orc!

Aeyrin - Did some leveling with Aeyrin the Rogue in Stranglegank Vale. Managed to hit level 32. Managed to hit a brick wall, too - I'm parking her in UC until that Heirloom chest item comes through. >.<

One thing that bothered me - how come the Druid can muscle his way through SH without much pain, yet the (OP) DK is stuck during the first boss? Is it because of the gear? Hmm... this calls for an analytical post!

Stay tuned for the Druid versus DK analysis, coming soon to HDWT!

Note: I got the details, I got the general posting idea, but apparently I don't have the time to make the Druid vs DK post for the time being. I'm putting it on hold and maybe do it after Christmas, when there is a lot less demand on my time.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

State of BD

No, the title does not mean I own a state - it's about my current predicament over my adventurers.

At the moment, I'm having four level 80, one level 49, one level 31, one level 27 and two bank alts (at level 39 and level 10 respectively). Out of those toons, only three of them are actually active - the level 80 Hunter, level 80 Paladin and the level 49 Hunter. The rest are either in flux (which means I don't know what to do with them yet), or unable to adventure due to time limitation, or are permanently assigned in the case of the bank alts.

I've compiled a list of what I actually wanted for each of my toons, as well as fix a time period that I'll be playing for each day. Going over these things, I can actually visualize what I need to do and set a realistic objective over a certain period for achievements.

I'll go over the "Wanted" stuffs for my toons first:

Right now Aelyra's primary concern is to get the 'Crusader' title. Don't get me wrong, it's not really the title I'm after, but getting all those factions to Exalted and the chance to get Champion's Seal on a daily basis. I'm planning to have her collect enough Seals so she can purchase Heirlooms for my other alts and mounts that she'd like. Her secondary goal would be to finally corner and tame the elusive Spirit Beast Loque'nahak.

Aenur has two things on her head right now - the Argent Charger and the Red Drake. Unfortunately, since she's the only toon capable of grinding dailies for the Champion's Seal at this moment, she's stuck having to spend those Heirlooms on the other alts. Yeah, yeah, I know - "BD, you should buy that Charger first, then concentrate on your alts!". So sue me =P And to think that her rep with the Wyrmrest Accord is still somewhere around Honored... /shudder

So I gotta get Aelyra up there pronto and let Aenur run back to Dragonblight for more grinding...

When Aerhandor was a young Druid, he aspires to become well-known in the Cenarion's inner circle. To this end, he works hard to gain the Exalted status with the Cenarion Circle and the Cenarion Expedition. He managed to achieve the former, but alas the latter proves slightly harder than he anticipated. Short of soloing some BC instances, there is nothing he can do to improve his standing with them. Also, for reasons that cannot be disclosed, he still has not managed to finish his Swift Flight Form quest, hesitating to initiate that encounter with the Raven Lord even though he is now a full-fledged level 80 Feral Druid. Alas...

Leveling Jewelcrafting. You know how hard it is, right? So stop bugging me about it =P

Aergor (Hunter) / Aeyrin (Rogue)
I'm planning to at least get one of them into Outland before Cataclysm hit - so far, it definitely looks like Aergor will manage that. He should be 51 by this weekend, and maybe with a bit of luck hit the Dark Portal just after Christmas. Aeyrin still has a long way to go, but at least she's making progress in Inscription and Alchemy, thanks to herbs mailed to her by Aergor. Anyway, I'm guessing it wouldn't be too hard for Aeyrin to catch up with the rest of the gang once she has the full set of Heirlooms on her (weapons, armor and trinkets).

What to do once they're 80 then, you might wonder? I honestly don't know yet... I'm weird that way. Or an uncurable altaholic.

The main reason for the Side-Project is not to actually have a Shadow Priest, but to have a high-level potential healer in my arsenal. Hence the "Side-Project" designation. As for tanking, Aenur already has Protection as her secondary spec, which leaves the healer side of things uncovered. I'm planning to level Aerdanil as Shadow all the way to 80, then get him Dual-Spec and procure a viable healing spec for him. Then I'm going to take the 'healer' out for some test runs and see how I like healing. I probably won't like it, but nothing wrong with giving it a shot, right?

The schedule:

After giving it some consideration, I decided that I have exactly three hours every week day to play - 8.30 p.m. until 11.30 p.m. Weekends are a different matter - I'm thinking of doing some Heroics/raiding only on them since I can't actually fix weekend play time in line with family demands... I'll play when I have the opportunity and time.

So that's it, three hours a day. Anything less and I won't have enough time to finish two circuit of dailies plus some leveling/questing/key activities, and anything more would impact my family time.

Now, the predicament.

With only three hours available daily, I will not be able to squeeze every toon into the schedule. At the very most, only four toons will make it. Two of them are vital - Aelyra and Aenur, my mains - but the rest is still open to debate. I wanted to level my lowbies just as much as I want my other high-end toons to finish their rep grinds. Even with the promise of better leveling experience coming in with Cataclysm, I still want another level 80 toon before the expac hits.

On the other hand, the expac is still some time in coming, and I may end up fulfilling everything I wrote on this post before the release date is announced (I sure do hope so). But realistically, I want to give 100% focus on the final selected toons. No more switching here and there in the middle of the week like previously.

So now I'm considering which of my other toons I should really focus on...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Of Return of the Kin- I mean Adventurers...

Yesterday, I went and bought the game card intending to reload my WoW account - and found out that Blizzard has offered me a 7 days free game time. So I registered for the free days and kept the game card for afterwards =D

The new PC and new 'Net connection are superb (at least for now). I had no DC at all during my 6-hours refresher, and the latency stayed at an average of 700 ms. Although the sound is a bit muffled in my opinion, the overall experience is a good one.

Anyways, on to the adventurers!

Aenur did some Argent Tourney dailies just for warm-ups - I had a slightly hard time accustoming myself to playing WoW again. No death though, just some silly mistakes: Not having a Blessing of Might up until about 3 dailies in, not using the Art of War procs to throw an Exorcism... things like that. Managed to clean the circuit in about an hour though - I still recall where to go and how to do the dailies, at least.

I had intended to take Aelyra out for her dailies, but decided to test Aeyrin the Rogue first. Got hooked playing her and went to take her from level 28 to level 30 in Ashenvale. I decided that the next heirloom would be one for her =p

Next up is Aergor. I was planning to take him to Tanaris to finish some quests and maybe move him into Un'goro, but a sudden insight hit me - maybe I can try Feralas? And that's how I managed to snag ten quests and a level (from 47 to 48). Still a lot to do, so I may let him stay here and finish the zone.

Oh - and I did let all my toons get their Onyxia Whelping and Chilly the Penguin from their mail. Managed to get the WoW 5th Anniversary achievement too - I thought I'd have to miss out on those. Lucky me ^_^

I will need to do a proper schedule after this - I'm not going to have so much free time as before, as I'll need to look after my son Adam too. Maybe a 3-hours a day schedule, where I'm going to focus on dailies and maybe one Heroic run, and the weekends will be leveling and farming. I'll be sure to note it down so I'll have a point of reference (and to avoid WoW becoming out of control =p ). But two things are for certain.

One, I'm attempting to go into regular Heroic/Raiding business. Two, I'm BACK! =D

Monday, November 23, 2009

...umm, hello again?

I can't believe it's been almost three months since I last logged in - my, how time flies!

I have a very cute and quite healthy son now in my life, and my wife is doing fine after the delivery surgery (yes, it was a Caesarean). Work is piling up, but that's to be expected come year end - budgets to be looked into, rates to be reviewed, contracts to be renewed... On the other hand, I did manage to grab a brand new PC tailor-made to my request. Unfortunately, due to budget constraint at the time (coupled with the 'no WoW at the moment' thinking) I opted to not install the WiFi network card. She'll cook, but she'll not surf >.<

I was impressed with the stark difference in performance, to be honest. My old PC took almost 5 minutes to start (from switch on to Windows) and could not run some of my games at default video settings - I always have to turn them to Low.

With the new PC, it goes from switch on to Vista in less than a minute. I got to finally play Company of Heroes at home, I can play NFS Most Wanted with the graphic settings cranked to Very High, the older games were almost 'instant-start-up' and hassle free...

...okay, enough gloating, methinks =p

I'm planning to re-activate my WoW account some time in December, subject to situational changes in the house. My wife has no objection to it - with the compromise that I stay up during the night for diaper sessions - so it's a matter of getting a reload card and installing that WiFi network card.

So... here's to hoping that Aelyra, Aenur, Aerhandor, Aeyrin, Aerdread and the rest of the gang will be able to continue adventuring in Azeroth (and beyond) in a few weeks' time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Important Notice!

Due to some technical issues, I'm temporarily halting my WoW play with immediate effect.

...well, actually, I was forced to halt my play =P

The long version:- I have a seasoned PC of my own, from way back in 2004, that I used to play all manner of games that I bought (including WoW). However, as time passes the PC was unable to cope with the more modern game requirements, so I upgraded it in 2006 with additional RAM and a secondary hard disk. In June 2009, the power supply blew and I was forced to borrow my mother's laptop. I installed WoW on a portable hard disk and used it to play WoW on the laptop.

Last week, however, the laptop died - of a corrupted Windows. My mother, being slightly less than knowledgable of matters such as corrupted systems and such, blamed me and the game and decided that once the laptop is repaired (cost borne by me), I will have no more access to it.

Oh, and I forgot to mention - after my own PC died, I was planning to buy a new PC to replace it but my mother thinks it's a waste of money and rants about me not choosing the cheaper option (i.e: repair it). The old PC was an Intel P4 with 516MB RAM and a 250MB primary hard disk... post-upgrade. You would not want to know the spec pre-upgrade, trust me.

Sigh. And to make things worse, my gamecard subscription ends this month.

I had a quick chat with Mommy Ztormcloud (one of the guild officers, and the one I knew since day one in TTH) and planned to shift whatever resources/mats I have on all alts into the guild vault, so anyone can use them. Why? Well, I'm still positive that I can solve the PC-less situation, but with the baby coming soon I forecast that the PC will be arriving on the same time as the baby - which means BABY FIRST WOW LATER moments =)

TL: DR version:- RL stuff has hit the fan, so I'm taking a break from WoW effective today. BBL!

Oh, and sorry I could not make the story like I promised. >.<

Monday, September 7, 2009

Of Dailies, Tanaris and the Side-Project

It was a long weekend - Monday was a public holiday here in my state - and I've had ample time to do everything that needed to be done. A story will be incoming (I'm still working on the draft, so hang in there) but as usual, let's see what further improvements have been made, shall we?

Aenur - I've decided to hold off on further spending of Champion Seals on Heirlooms, and instead focus her effort on getting the Argent Charger (the Paladin-exclusive mount from the Tourney). I estimate it would take her another two weeks to get it since she's only at the 27 Seal count as of yesterday. And no, no Heroics - it's Labour Day weekend in the US and most of my guildies are spending time with their families =)

Aelyra - As a note: Yes, I have nailed down the Champion jousting encounter with an unorthodox tactic suggested to me by a friend, and Aelyra is now Champion of Silvermoon and Sen'jin. She's already Exalted with the Trolls since before Wrath, so it's just a matter of accumulating enough Valiant Seals to unlock the Champion challenge. With the Argent Crusade Tourney dailies unlocked, she's a quarter into Revered with them now, and I expect her to be Exalted with Sunreavers, Warsong Offensive and Argent Crusade by end of the month. The faction cities would take slighly longer, though.

Aerhandor - Still moving through the Ebon Blade dailies. I did divert him to Tanaris for some farming expedition, but aside from that, no stories to tell. =(

Aerdread - Shelved for the time being. I did take him to help out Wong with a quest in Grizzly Hills (the one where you bash down the corrupted Bear God or something) but then got tired of doing the filler dailies. That, plus no time to actually finish the entire circuit with Aenur, Aelyra and Aerhandor in the same day.

Aergor - Leveled him from 45 to 47, increased his professions (especially First Aid and Cooking) and with Aerhandor's farming and Aelyra's Leatherworking, he's now fully decked in Tough Scorpid gear. I bought him a Guttbuster as an upgrade to his weapon, and maybe in a few days upgrade his axes. Most of the quests left for him in Tanaris is oranged, so I'm planning to take him to Feralas where he can get a level or two before returning to Tanaris and mopping it up.

Aerdanil - Here's where things got interesting: I took the Side-Project for an initial Heirloom testing foray and ended up so taken in by the Priest's skills and playstyle that I seriously leveled him from 23 to 27. I don't know the exact rotation a lowbie Shadow Priest would actually use, but mine went - MB, SW:P, Devouring Plague then PW:Shield when mob is meleeing then wand him to death. If the mob flees I use Mind Flay. Sure, the drain on mana is intensive, but I have the Rogue churning out mana pots like a factory so no trouble there. Aerdanil is now in Ashenvale, finishing up the Warsong Supplies and The Lost Pages quests and hopefully dinging 28 in the process. Afterwards, I'm making him head back into Hillsbrad to finish the Battle of Hillsbrad quest chain then further onwards to Arathi. I think I'm liking this Side-Project already =P

Aeyrin - The Rogue is now on hold pending Heirloom items delivery (which will be done by Aelyra). I'm making her craft up mana and health pots for Aerdanil - she has quite a large herb stockpile in the bank courtesy of Aergor.

I think that's about it. Oh - and don't forget about the story! I'm planning to finish the draft by tomorrow and posting it by this Friday, so keep an eye out for it. /wink

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jousting - Oh, How I Hate You So

As expected, Aelyra dinged Exalted with Silvermoon City last night after handing in her dailies. So now it's time to take the jousting test again. I wasn't apprehensive at that point - I had done the Grand Melee quest over and over before, and I know how the Argent Champion NPC fights. And even though the comp's saying 1k latency and 11 fps, I wasn't daunted - I've done jousts under worst conditions, so I figured, "Meh, let's get this over with."

Equipped the lance, mounted the Hawkstrider, and away to Squire Danny I go.

And got my butt handed to me in all three matches (the first attempt, plus two subsequent attempts).

At first I was amazed - how could this be? Since when did the Argent Champion became godlike at jousting? Or had my own skills atrophied? But on the fourth attempt, when I closely observe the fight, it became crystal clear. He was CHEATING!! There was no other way to explain it - He was charging and throwing Shield-Breakers at point-blank range, while my Shield-Breakers were screeching 'Target was too close'. His skill cooldowns were non-existant, he can basically use Charge, Shield-Breaker and Shield within half a second from one another. He had me down to half-health and no shields while he's barely scratched! I was incensed - time to call in the cavalry! A guildie, Roywen, answered my distress call and came in all ready to Shadowbolt and take names - but when the fight started, the Argent Champion automatically ended the match. Wha...?

Turns out Blizzard had re-tooled the fight so that any outside interference would disqualify the attempt.

I would hereby state my official stand on the matter - This quest should be rated poorly. Whoever implemented this is doing so without taking into account the lag on the player's side, the difference between NPC skill CDs and the player's, as well as being buggy enough (NPC ran all the way out of the ring during the fight and claim auto-victory) that you cannot find the 'fun' in it. Heck, you can't even use any of the innate strength of your class to win - you are fully limited to 3 basic skills on your mount.

As of now, Aelyra is stuck on The Valiant's Challenge... at least until I find out that the latency has dropped and the connection is stable enough for me to at least stand on equal lag ground with the blasted cheating Champion. Until then, I would have no choice but to lose every against him and hear his mocking voice saying:

"You are not good enough to become Champion. Come back after you have more training."

Hah - easy for you to say, cheater.

EDIT: Finally nailed the encounter with an unorthodox but highly effective tactic - which took almost 5 minutes for a single joust >.< I would not mention the tactic here, because it gives me more dishonor points than being AFK during a BG.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Apologies for the Late Updates

First of all, I would like to apologise for not updating the blog recently. My time was taken by several RL matters that cannot be avoided - the baby's coming, and preparations had to be made. It's also the fasting month here, so I'd be away from the PC during the night for fast-breaking and also for tarawih prayers. My young sister and her husband is moving into a new condo and I'd be pitching in to help with some furniture moving, and my wife still needs me to send her to or pick her up from the workplace. So there =)

But I still managed to complete most of what I planned for my travelers ^_^ So, like before, I'll summarize what they'd done during the week:

Aenur - She has diligently done her dailies day in and day out, collecting Champion Seals and sending every 100G she made off to the bank. She's helped purchase some Heirlooms for the Side-Project (more on that later) and... well, has not managed to run further Heroics due to my time constraint /sadpanda

Aelyra - Is working hard to try to get where Aenur is now, so she can help with the Champion Seal hoarding. Almost Exalted with Silvermoon though - may just ding it tonight, then start to work on the next faction (will probably be the Darkspears). She's also raking in Sunreavers, Argent Crusade and Warsong Offensive rep at the same time, which definitely helps in reducing the overall time needed to get the Crusader title. Also, no Heroics due to time constraint /sadderpanda

Aerhandor - The Druid is currently on a "if I can make the time" status. He's just hit Revered now with the Knights of the Ebon Blade, but since I'm focusing my efforts on both my mains, I only take him on dailies if I can make the time. He's still got a long way to go, though.

Aerdread - Doing the filler dailies, as mentioned previously. Revered with the Kalu'ak, halfway through Honored with Wyrmrest if I recalled correctly. Aside from that, not doing anything else. I may have to plan something for him, though... just to shake off the doldrums.

As for the rest of the posse, I did a lot of leveling and re-equipping and what-nots on the weekends during any available time. Gotta love low-level toons - you can work wonders with them in 30 minutes than with a full-blown level 80 =P

Aergor - Leveled him from 42 to 45, moved him out of Stranglegank Vale into Tanaris. Not much improvement in gear, since I can't find the time to farm the necessary mats to make him the Tough Scorpid set. I'll see if I can make the time this weekend.

Aerdanil - Leveled his Tailoring a bit. Received his second BoA - the Tattered Dreadmist Robe - and took him for a spin. Got him to level 23 before I ran out of time and had to park him again.

Aeyrin - Leveled her to 28, almost fallen in love again with the Rogue. Almost - almost - bought the BoA shoulder for her instead of the robe for the Side-Project. Maxed out her Alchemy at 200/200, continued leveling her Inscription with the Minor Glyph Research, and currently thinking whether to seriously level her or the Priest >.<

I think that's it for the updates. Since I have no additional plans for the weekends, I suppose I should start thinking what else to post besides updates and the occasional RL stuff, eh?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

So, the new WoW expansion has caught everyone by surprise - not to say that people are not expecting it, but the content has definitely blindsided everyone. And that includes me.

In my opinion, Blizzard once again has done a marvelous job. New races, new classes combination, new professions, and most of all the cataclysmic disaster that changed the face of Azeroth as we know it forever. No more empty Old World, no more deserted Azshara/Barrens/Desolace jokes, no more peaceful and tranquil old starter zones. It does bring out the nostalgic part in me. But the opportunity to explore contents that was once familiar does bring forth an excitement - what will we find? How has the land changed?

On one part though, I'm deeply saddened from a lore point of view. Previously, when Neltharion went missing after his defeat at the hand of the combined Dragon Aspects, speculations were abound about what he was up to, where is he and such. A part of me was secretly hoping that, like the Saronite Mine Slaves, he was merely tormented by the ancient whispers of the Old Gods and now that he has failed, they will discard him and move on to the next victim (like Loken). Freed from the grips of the Old Gods, he would be ashamed of what he has done and would seek redemption by returning to offer assistance to the war against the Lich King.

Sad to see that Neltharion has indeed return - but not as a redeemer, but as a destroyer inflamed by thoughts of vengeance.

More thoughts on the expansion later - I wasn't at Blizzcon, and so had to formulate my opinions based on information obtained from, the Ten Ton Hammer forums and other bloggers.

Oh, and just for the record - Yes, my toons are active this past weekend, and yes, Aenur did get some good drops. No, I'm not posting anything about them, because I need to go through mountainful of stuff about the new expansion. Maybe in a couple of days I'll post something new. =)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My First Heirloom... the Tattered Dreadmist Mantle I bought off the Argent Crusade's quartermaster for 60 Champion Seals.

Aerdanil the Side-Project now looks cool wearing dead goat skulls on his shoulders - I may wait until I can get him the 'Skull on a Stick' before taking him on a spin to level 30!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Of Exalted, Transfers, and Blackouts

Last weekend went pretty much as planned, except for the unexpected power loss to the housing area where I am when I was doing a PuGged normal Trial of the Champions - that 45-minutes of no power pretty much doomed Aerhandor's chance of getting in a group with those 4 people ever again.

This incident would've only annoy me... if it wasn't for the fact that on the previous Sunday the same housing area was left without power for 3 hours, right when I was in a guild run in a Heroic. What is it with the useless energy company? The blackouts are coming more regularly this year - I think there's been half a dozen incident on this area alone. Maybe I should start marking the incident and then write a public complaint =P

Anyway, rants aside - here's the updates. As I mentioned, it's pretty much what I've planned previously, with only a little adjustment.

Aenur's almost done maxing out the Oracles rep, which I estimate will take another two days at most, and her first Oracles egg yielded a Cobra Hatchling, which promptly went to Aerdanil the Side-Project (netted him an achievement in the process). Her Champion Seals' cache is growing, and she should be able to buy something in the following week. I made her run some Heroics with the guildies (we got Heroic version of Trial of the Champions, Utgarde Keep and Pinnacle, and Violet Hold down in one go) and that made her some Emblems of Conquests. She also got the Majestic Silversmith Shoulderplates and Gauntlets of Capture for her efforts.

Aelyra is now Exalted with SoH - got her Ice Mammoth too - and has begun training as an Argent Aspirant at the Tournament. She'll make it to Valiant this evening if all goes well. At the same time, she's following the daily circuit previously done by Aenur: Doing this dailies will net her rep with The Sunreavers, Warsong Offensive and Argent Crusade. Hopefully, by the time she's a Crusader she'll max out rep with all these factions.

Aerhandor has obtained the penguin pet after getting Exalted with the Kalu'ak, and is now officially in Icecrown, and has started on the Knights of the Ebon Blade's rep. I thought about upgrading his gear, which is uninspiring, which led me to join the afore-mentioned PuG... and which as you know, ended in disaster for me. Bleargh... I hate you, local energy company. Please record that for future reference.

The little adjustment in the setup came with Aerdread. With so much dailies among the four of them to cramp into an average schedule of less than 3 hours, I decided to make Aerdread do the filler circuit... and results immediately shows - he's now Honored with Wyrmrest and got the Fang of Truth for an option to dual-wield it with the Reaper of Dark Souls.

As for the rest of the gang - Aergor dinged 42 after some high-octane caffeine-filled quest running in Dustwallow Marsh. Aeyrin the Rogue and Aerdanil the Side-Project has no level advancement, but made up for that with steady increases in their professions. Oh, and Aerander the bank alt reports the accumulated level of money in the bank has now reached 12k. Booyah!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I've been thinking about re-positioning my major toons, who are currently dispersed throughout Northrend trying to bring the forces of the Lich King to their knees. At the moment, this is the setup:

Aenur - Now parked at Sholazar Basin, doing the Oracles dailies for the achievement and immediately afterwards heading to Icecrown to do Argent Tourney dailies for the Champion Seals. Her purpose? To get enough seals to buy Aerdanil the Side-Project and Aeyrin the Rogue their Heirloom items. I'm thinking of making her dive into Heroics whenever possible, to accumulate enough Emblems and buy a Tier-class armor... which she still has none, poor girl. Aside from that, no changes.

Aelyra - She's hanging around K3 in The Storm Peaks, just a flight point away from her SoH dailies. She's about halfway through Revered right now - probably will make it to Exalted in about a week. I'm keen to finish it as soon as possible, since after that I will be sending her to join Aenur in my quest to accumulate enough Champion Seals for my nefarious purposes. And like Aenur, I'm thinking of making her do Heroics and get her Tier-class armor before the end of August.

Aerhandor - He's now doing what I call 'filler dailies circuit' - Kalu'ak and Wyrmrest - named so because of the relative ease of the circuit and the short amount of time in order to do it (4 dailies in 2 separate zones in under 25 minutes). He's about to get Exalted with the Kalu'ak, and once he does (and gets the baby penguin hehe...) I'm sending him to Icecrown to open up the Ebon Blade dailies and make him grind the rep all the way to Exalted. At the same time, I need to assemble the gear requirement for him because he's still in mostly Eviscerator PvP, which is not good enough for me. I'll need to get mats to make him his own Titansteel Destroyer, but at least with Aelyra's help he's now sporting a cool Trollwoven Spaulders and Trollwoven Girdle.

Aerdread - Now in Argent Tournament ground. Recently he hit 440 in Engineering. And that's it. Well... in truth he has been grinding Thunder Bluff and The Sunreavers rep, but being a DK he has a bit of a handicap with major city reps (not having done enough lowbie quests, hence most faction standing at Honored or below). So instead of making him slough through that, I'm deploying him to The Storm Peaks to replace Aelyra once she's transferred to Icecrown. Hopefully by the time he hits Exalted with SoH (and get that Mammoth) I will have new assignments for him.

In other news, levelling for all alts (including Aergor) will have to be suspended until the mains have their Tier-class armor (noticed how much I want them, yet? =D ).

3.2: The Weekend after da Patch

Honestly, I was expecting the weekend to be a standard 'try-the-patch-experience' and then it would be back to levelling my alts.

I was wrong.

Saturday noon (would be around midnight in the US), Aergor was in Orgrimmar getting his 100% mount and riding skill after dinging 40 a few minutes before. We were inspecting the fierce Swift Brown Wolf Aergor had taken a liking to when something in Trade channel caught my eyes - "LF Tank & 2 DPS for ToC"

Interesting - I had wondered about seeing the new instance, but slightly apprehensive about the quality of the PuG (after reading so much about 'em anyway). But fate always favored the bold, no? So I whispered back, saying that I can bring my other Hunter in, and was promptly met with agreement. So I switched to Aelyra (by this time Aergor's whine had reached record level) and flew from Storm Peaks to the Tournament ground. The original advertiser is a Blood Elf Hunter, epicly geared, and they had a Undead DK tanking. Soon after, we're joined by a Tauren Shaman and Druid, which is our DPS and healer respectively. All were geared in epic, with the exception of the DK, who incidently has 80% epics and the rest in blues.

Only then did a few facts emerged - this is everyone's first time doing the Trial of Champion, and this is the DK's first time tanking. Apprehension turned into something colder in my stomach... even though the group leader announced that they'll be trying this in normal mode. Well, Aelyra and I are going to see first-hand whether fate really favors the bold.

Long story cut short - we wiped. On the encounter where we were automatically dismounted after the last Alliance Champion was felled. Aelyra got 3-shotted by the nasty Gnome mage and our healer by the nasty Human Paladin/Warrior. But since they reset afterwards, the following happened - we lined up for payback and wiped the floor with them. The following encounter - Argent Confessor Blondie and her posse - was a lot easier, even when she summoned the Memory. But on the Black Knight, again we wipe to his Ghoul Explosion (arrr, I r asploded). We managed to down him finally with the DK's DnD and some Volleys.

It was an exhilirating experience - a PuG that just wouldn't give up. We agreed to give the Trial another run (since most of the drops were healer materiel, our healer wants none of it and so it was rolled for vendoring) and this one goes smooth as... well, not as smooth as a perfect run, there were a few deaths, but we didn't wipe. And after that, finally getting the feel of the encounters, we did it a third time. Aelyra managed to grab the Belt of Merciless Cruelty, so her thirst for epic for the day was sated =D

On other fronts, Aerdanil the Side-Project Priest and Aeyrin the Rogue got their Riding skill and mount, Aenur the Paladin ran Heroic AN with fellow guildies Jalkatra, Rage, Oat and Kragg (although sadly that was cut short by a local power failure), some Seals and Emblems were collected and overall, it was a hectic yet productive weekend. I'm looking forward to the following weekend - I wanna try and trample the next Champion in the upcoming Trial muahahaha!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Patch 3.2's Arrival

Honestly, I wasn't expecting Patch 3.2 to hit this early - I was speculating that the earliest the patch would hit was on next Tuesday. Heh... that shows how much I'm unfit to be a weatherman or stock broker, hehehe...

Anyways, back to Patch thingie.

The changes to the mount system has got to be the one improvement that I'm looking forward to. Now that the level requirement has been lowered to level 20, I can now manage to get both Aeyrin the Rogue and Aerdanil the Priest their mount and the skill to ride it. It was a great improvement, seeing the land zip by as you move from one area to the other. This will definitely make levelling a lot faster, and get those delivery quests done sooner. I'm appreciative of what Blizzard has done with this - GOOD JOB! ^_^

After that, I took Aenur out to see the completed Coliseum - which is quite astounding, IMHO - and tried out the new dailies that were implemented. The theory was simple, the execution was not. There's about half a dozen people already there at the quest location, swarming over the quest mob as soon as the bugger spawned. So I took a few minutes to scout the entire area, getting the overall picture into my head, and once most of the peeps are gone, I managed to snag the quest mob without opposition. Got Aenur the new Argent Crusade tabard (now with hearth options!) which definitely looks good on her - the gold borders add a royalty feel to the otherwise standard Argent colors.

Next - Aerhandor the Druid. The new Bear form looks awesome - I can almost touch the new shiny fur... but his Cat form borders on disaster. True, the form is cooler than the old model, but the coloration? Uugh... Guess I may have to get used to it, or if I can't, I'm gonna drag him to the Barber's Shop and dye him in something else.

Aerdread's talent points have been reset - luckily, I did wrote down his spec before the Patch hits, so I just assign points as per. Otherwise, I don't think I should change his spec without further testing.

The Coliseum new instances calls out to me - I know it. But being busy with work and preparation for the baby (shopping, etc.), I may have to postpone any run to the weekends. I hear there's jousting (/shudder), which I'm bad at. Oh, sure, the Valiants are pushovers when you get the rotation down, but the darn Champions cheat, and cheat a lot. So... if everything is alright tonight, I may just move Aenur and Aerdread to the Tournament ground and let them run the instances first (with guildies' help, of course).

Oh, by the way - I need to get as much Champion Seals as possible, those new Heirloom chests will do wonders for my levelling alts...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Of Moar Leveling

After much deliberation, I finally decided that it's time to get Aergor out of the 'small league' and move him into the big boys' field. So last Saturday, I kept dailies on a bare minimum and focused on leveling the Orc.

I started off at Hammerfall, in Arathi Highlands - Aergor massacred boatloads of Syndicate mens, Witherbark Trolls (I think that's the tribe anyways) and Ogres. Then he massacred some Stromgarde defenders and some wild raptors and spiders before saying good-bye and headed off back towards Stranglegank.

In Stranglegank, the bloodthirsty Hunter finished off the Nesingwary circus quests, dinging 37 in the process. A visit to Booty Bay to pick up some quests (I got a maxed-out quest log, which surprised me since I have never gotten THAT message before) and then it's back to killing more stuff that moves, breathes or actually stand on it's own feet. I'm starting to wonder if Aergor has a personality of a psychopath in him...

After his ???? kills later - Ding 38! Off to Grom'gol to get some small, almost insignificant skills from the Hunter trainer and then it's back to more killing and questing...

...but honestly, all those bloodshed has made me a bit green in the face, so I parked him at the nearest inn and switched to Aerdanil the Priest. I goofed around Ghostlands a bit with him and before I know it, Ding 20!

Dear Blizzard, I know some people hated your guts for all those nerfs you made to their favorite class. I know some wicked souls have cursed you due to failure on your part to make Druid forms more lovable. God knows I sometimes threw flak at you for some perceived error I think originated from you. But know this - I'm grateful that you see fit to have double XP for all my rested toons.

Next time, I'm buying you a drink 8-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Of Progress (or lack of it)

Last week was given entirely to family matters, so I haven't managed to make any progress either in levelling or rep gains. Ah well, RL priorities should come first ^_^

I compensated on the weekends though - Aergor the lowbie Hunter dinged 36 and should be able to move to Tanaris next weekend. I also was thinking of having Aelyra craft some equipment for him before he hits 40. And Aerdanil the side-project apparently had a field day: he's 18 now, and has maxed out Tailoring for his level (the Expert rank needs him to be level 20 >.< ).

Which reminds me - how is it that wanding can be such a powerful tool? Aerdanil has discovered about wanding when he's level 12, and blasted through the next 6 levels using nothing but Shadow Word: Pain and his wand. What are the Mind Blast for - filler? o_O

Today it's gonna be back to rep grindings - but since time constraint is a factor, I'll be concentrating more on getting Aenur's and Aelyra's current faction maxed out. Once that's done, I should be able to focus on Aerdread and Aerhandor. Aside from that, I still have not formulate any long-term plan for the future.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Of Potter, Leveling, and Dailies

In a rare turn of event, my wife got her off day on Saturday - unusual, since normally her off days falls on weekdays. But rather than dwell on the "why", I take full advantage of it and suggested we enjoy ourselves by going to see Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. For your information, I have read the book but my wife has not (she has poor English), so before the movie I thought to give her a few pointers - who is Harry Potter, the background of the story and what-nots. Armed with what scant knowledge of Hogwarts that I've given her, we went in.

An hour into the screening, and she's fast asleep.

But it was not something I'd be faulting her - there were times when I myself would wonder, "Why did I come here in the first place?". Honestly, in my personal opinion, the movie lacked the 'Potter' effect - where's the magic? The atmosphere? The enviroment of the movie was so stale and lackluster that I have a hard time relating it to the book. All I see was the Ron-Hermione thing and not enough Potter. The next installment better have TRIPLE the magic or I'm giving Rowling a piece of my mind (and maybe Grey would join in too - he's been disappointed about Peeves not making it into the movies).

On the other hand, progress in Azeroth has been exceptionally well (I sound like an evil mastermind planning world domination lol).

* Aergor the lowbie Hunter has arrived in Stranglegank - I mean Stranglethorn Vale, and has dinged 34.

* A totally side-project, Aerdanil the Shadow Priest, has dinged 15 after 3 wipes at the hand of the level 11 Elite Anok'suten.

* Aelyra has managed to get Revered with the Sons of Hodir after much spy hunting, horn blowing, helm polishing and scrap collecting.

* Aerdread is now working with the Argent Crusade and the Horde faction cities in order to get the Ambassador title - he's only just started, so it's a long road down.

* Aerhandor is back in Kalimdor (Silithus to be exact) and is working with his fellow Druids to get Exalted with the Cenarion Circle (which is his destiny :P )

I guess that would do for today... hopefully I'll have an even more comprehensive tale next post.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lich? Which Lic---aaAARGG!!

A couple of days ago, Aenur finally hit Exalted with Thunder Bluff, and thus completing the last Exalted Champion achievement. And because of that, now she has no faction to grind rep with for the time being.

I was considering getting her to The Storm Peaks to try and make friends with the Storm Giants, but at the same time I hate to leave my Champion Seal count at 30-ish (I wanted to get the Hippogryph, after all). So I took another look at the Northrend map - and finally it hit me. The Oracles. Aenur had stopped grinding rep with the fish-people since level 78 due to her inability to solo the elite Lich Artruis the Heartless. Well, that was post Dual-Spec, and since Aenur's secondary spec is Protection, and she's level 80 now, I decided to pay a little visit. And maybe bring a houseload of divine vengeance on the guy. I thought about getting a guildie to tag along, but it was a tad too early and the only people available was Beefythighs (level 32 Feral Druid) and Deadnlovinit (level 67 Combat Rogue).

When I got to the cave, latency was at about 800+ ms... a bit on the high side, but still not enough to cause me worry. Aenur swaggered into the cave full of confidence, easily disposing the few undead skellies between the entrance and Artruis. Finally - the moment of truth. Aenur swapped her trusty Titansteel Destroyer for Reaper of Dark Souls and Titansteel Shield Wall, switched her spec over to Protection, and put on her Frost Resistance Aura. Now - to pull with Shield of the Righteous...

And all hell broke loose.

My latency choose the moment just before the pull to spike to 1.9k ms, and as a result Aenur got a faceful of Frostbolts before she can even register she's under attack O_O

I quickly try to get Aenur's acts together - Judgement of the Wise, Exorcism, Consecrate, and began to systematically solo-tank the darn Lich. But the lag continued to get worse - I found that Aenur was swinging at an empty spot while Artruis had already frozen her in place and moved away to Frostbolt her, her health drops at an alarming rate, I was panicking, her rotation went south, and all the while the actions on the screen was coming in sporadic bursts. I had Aenur blew a Lay on Hand to compensate and to try to regain the advantage, but Artruis was having none of it. A couple of Freezes and some Frostbolts later, Aenur's down to quarter health.

Curses, I thought, I should've brought a Priest. But still, Aenur still haven't even touched half her skills. Maybe we can still drag a win outta this.

I had Aenur bubble, then threw on some heals. Latency choose this moment to plateau, and we quickly go on the offensive - Artruis was hit with everything that wasn't on cooldowns... Exorcism, Judgements, Hammer of Righteousness, Shields, Consecrate... mana's low, chug a mana pot, moar Judgements, Exorcism... and before we know it he's barely clinging to life and summoning his assistants. Aenur quickly mow down the crazy wolvar and switches back to the now freaking Lich, ignoring the fish-guy's word of thanks and assistance. A minute later, and Artruis is nothing but a black dot on the floor.

Aenur was a bit miffed, though. "If it wasn't for that lag spike, Lich, you wouldn't even be able to scream when we jumped you." She bit out as she bandages herself.

As for me, though, I'm glad I got that Lich out of the way. I definitely can use less lag-spiked-during-elite-encounter in my adventures.

Exalted with The Oracles (and Green Proto-Drake), here we come!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Exalted with The Wyrmrest Accord!

Months of doing nothing but Wyrmrest Accord dailies has finally come to this moment...

I kan haz mount !!

It was a relief knowing that after all those hard work, I can finally let Aelyra soar to the skies in her very own Drake. And it was a wonderful feeling too knowing that she now earned for herself the 'Have Dragon Will Travel' achievement /wink

But at the tail of the excitement comes a new thought...

...which should be the next to attempt the dailies? The Druid or the Death Knight?

The Travelers: The Support behind the Scene

Note: This is the next installment ot my characters' background post.

What would a performer be without proper logistical support? Her make-up artist, her performing band, the manager, the slightly-trussled intendant? Hence, what would your main character be without his/her bank alt, his/her mule etc.? /wink


Aezurin is a level 39 Blood Elf Hunter who's made Thunder Bluff her permanent home. Stripped of almost all her basic provisions (pots, quest items, spare gear) she is now playing the role of being my mid-level Enchanter who DE stuffs and my other characters' link to the Guild Vault - in case I need to deposit or withdraw anything.

She wasn't always an assigned Gvault mule though... I remembered getting her the epic Bow of Searing Arrow and thinking "Imma make her a BG twink alt!!" But somewhere along the way the idea just kinda fizzled and Aezurin now just sat there in TB as a glorified bank alt :P

Oh, and she still has that bow o_O


Aerander is a bank alt.

THE bank alt.

A level 10 Blood Elf Paladin who has a 4-tab Guild Vault to store the wealth (and junk) of every other character I have. For the record, I'm still amazed by the amount of junk - they outnumber the usable stuff by almost double >.<

Anyway - Aerander stores stuffs, AH stuffs, browse the Silvermoon City AH for stuffs, and generally buys stuffs to mail to other characters. He also stores gold mailed to him from other characters in the Gvault. (It's an obsession of mine to not have more than 100G on any character at any given time.)


Aergor is not really part of the support crew. I made him (an Orc Hunter) because of the need to have a high-level Gatherer/Enchanter in the end-game.

So why not level Aezurin instead, you might wonder? Well, truth be told - my computer cannot handle the enviroment of Dalaran. Everytime any of my main step foot in Dal, I get 0 fps and have nightmares about moving from the Flight Master to the city portals, let alone the banks. So I need an alt to play the link between them and the Gvault. I haven't used the mains' bank slots since Wrath came out! Hence, Aezurin is my lifeline (for Gvault access).

So I leveled a new alt. Having played a couple of Hunters, I know the tricks to get them to max level, what I can or cannot handle, stuff like that. Aergor is level 32 now - I hope to be able to get him to 80 slowly but surely. ^_^

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Travelers: My Mains

Note: I've been trying to get some pictures of my characters in, but unfortunately my lack of experience with blog picture editor has made it not possible this time. Ah well, maybe when I'm more of a super blogger /wink

Previously I mentioned about doing a post about the identity of my characters that adventured through Azeroth - so, guess what? Now I get to introduce them! I considered only my Paladin as my main character, but the 'Mains' in the blog title is actually referring to my 4 most active characters, those that I play and tweak and adventure with the most.

So, without further delay, let me introduce to you:

Aenur the Argent Champion

This female Blood Elf Paladin is my main character. Being 80 now, she's currently tied with the Argent Crusade dailies in Icecrown, working on getting the last faction to Exalted and getting the Hippogryph mount. Her main mounts are the PvP Black War Wolf and the Bronze Drake, which my guildies help me get (much love to them!).

She's equipped for Heroics and entry-level raiding, but sadly since there's a big gap between the time zone here and my guildies (most which are Americans), I seldom got to run anything with them. Tried PuGs - didn't work so well most of the time. So aside from the dailies, I take her to go sight-seeing to places I never could before - Alliance cities, entrance of Kara, beat up Hogger, run some lowbie dungeons for fun, and generally enjoying myself.

Aelyra of the Shattered Suns

This female Blood Elf Hunter was originally made to be a support prop for Aenur - I would grind equipments, gold, mats, anything - and mail them to the Paladin for her use. But she grew so fast and so strong that eventually she became a stand-alone character deserving of her own achievements. Now at 80, she's currently on the last few rep points of Wyrmrest Accord - once she gets to Exalted and got her own Red Drake, I'm going to switch her over to Sons of Hodir. She's using the PvP Black War Raptor and the Violet Netherdrake at the moment.

Her equipment is a bit lackluster - mostly the PvP Swiftarrow set, but my guildies have been kind enough to take me and her to some Heroics so she has one or two epics adorning her. Since I don't really do much raiding with Aelyra, I usually have her farm leathers to help craft some equipment for my next character.


This level 80 male Tauren Druid started out poorly - during BC, way before he hits level 20, I decided I hated the way Druids play, and shelves him. When Aenur and Aelyra had nothing better to do than doing Quel'Danas dailies, I tried leveling him again - with help from Aelyra's crafted items and generous support of my guildies. Finally, after much perseverance, I got him to 70... and found that once the initial leveling is done, Aerhandor isn't that bad. In fact, I've gotten better at playing a Druid that he now sports a Veridian Netherdrake after only two and a half week of Netherwing rep grinding/dailies. I'm still trying to schedule him into some PvP matches so he can get his PvP Black War Kodo, but for now he's stuck with the Swift Gray Kodo.

Aerhandor is dressed in almost full PvP crafted gear - the Eviscerator, since I don't usually utilize him for instances or raiding. And since he has Skinning and Mining, the only time I use him is for gathering raw mats for Aenur and Aelyra (who has Blacksmithing and Leatherworking, respectively). He's now just starting the Wyrmrest/Kalu'ak rep circuit, hopefully getting the Penguin pet and Red Drake afterwards.


Level 80 male Tauren Death Knight, originally made because of the Lich King Hero-class hype. I found that the ease of leveling him as well as the head start in level that he had, made a perfect opportunity to mould him into an adventurer for any purpose I want. Unfortunately once he got to 80, I forgot what that purpose was, so he's stuck doing dailies for the Ebon Blade and leveling his Jewelcrafting skills. Heh. He had the usual Archerus Steed as his land mount, but being an Engineer he uses the Turbo-Charged Flying Machine to travel.

The plan with Aerdread right now is to get him Exalted with the Knights of the Ebon Blade first, and later on maybe to try and get him better equipment - he's only using the PvP Savage Saronite Battlegear for now. Which entails getting into a few Northrend instances /shudder.

Next post:- The Travelers: The Support behind the Scenes

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Post: Introduction

I've always wanted to post about my everyday adventures in WoW - be it about my characters' first baby steps in Azeroth, their first "Ding!", the first time they stepped through the Dark Portals... and after much contemplation, I decided to start a blog about it.

Mind you, this will not be a blog about min-maxing your characters. This will not be a blog telling you how to play your Death Knight or Hunter. No - this will be MY blog, telling you WHAT I did. So none of that "u r doin it wrong" nonsense. You want min-maxing, go to Elitist Jerks - they have enough to feed you and your ego.

Right - a little about myself. My name - as I would like to be known here - is Black Dragon, but you can call me Dragon for short. I'm from Southeast Asia and I would rather not name the country for fear of being stalked by paparazzi and anime fan-girls. I usually spend about 3 hours daily on the game, since the rest of my time is taken by work and my lovely wife... and soon, by a third member of the family ^_^

So... what can I tell about my style? I'm what you might call a casual player. I don't do much raiding (well, none since BC), Heroics are few and far between chunks of dailies, I fuss more on my characters' choices of mount and titles than their best-in-slot... oh, and I'm a terrible PvPer. I still remember how my level 70 Retribution Paladin got pawned by a level 70 Discipline Priest in AV...

I currently have 5 active characters - a level 80 Retribution Paladin (the same one mentioned above), a level 80 BM Hunter, a level 80 Feral Cat Druid, a level 80 Blood DK and a level 24 BM Hunter. My other characters are either bank alts or on cold storage at the moment.

You might have noticed that all my characters are DPS-oriented. That's correct - I play no tanks or healers, and the choice is actually taken away from my hand. Where I am, the 'Net connection is horrendous, and I get DC-ed at least once every 45 minutes. Imagine me tanking a Heroic boss, and DC-ing in the middle of the fight - guaranteed wipe. So, in order not to let that happen, I spec DPS... well, the Paladin does have Protection as his secondary spec, but I rather not test my 'Net reliability with 4 other persons' time investment.

I guess that would do for a first post - I'll do a dossier for each of my characters before going to the meat of the blog - my adventures in WoW.

Until then - Have Dragon, will travel.