Northrend and beyond

28 06 2010

I wrote a quick update a while ago mentioning that I had just hit level 70 with my (not so) new Ret Paladin in WOW. Well time has moved on since then and so have Curadane and I.

I have now said good bye to outland and have ventured off bravely into the freezing wastes of Northrend.

7 levels later and I feel like I have seen enough of the continent to put my two pennies in.

Overall I am really impressed; there is a sense of scale to the continent that makes it seem as if a mere ten levels of questing and grinding just isn’t enough to see it all. I know some people like to rag on sandbox games and MMO’s because there is just too much scope for going off and doing basically not very much in order to explore huge sections of map but I like it.

If I am going to go to the bother of controlling a virtual person in a made up world I at least want that world to seem like a place worth visiting, both in terms of places to go and things to do.

There is no point putting a serious investment of time (and wow is a serious timesink) into a game if you can trot across the whole map in five minutes and keep revisiting the sae half dozen or so locations to speak to the same couple of dozen protagonists.

Another thing which pleased me about WOTLK in general and Northrend in particular is the graphics, now granted as a long time LOTRO player they aren’t really anything to write home about however I do think they are a big step up from Vanilla WOW or The Burning Crusade. One of the main reasons that I prefer the graphics in WOTLK is that they are less cartoony than many of the graphics in TBC. I know the reasoning behind it and agree that it suited that particular expansion but personally they just weren’t my cup of tea.

The quests and dungeons all seem well thought through and there are some interesting new tweaks that help to keep things fresh, even if some of them are a little gimmicky (I’m thinking of the harpoon guns in Utgarde Pinnacle) but there is definitely something fun about driving round in a siege engine as part of Wintergrasp PvP or  flying a war dragon around as part of the Occulus instance.

So the not so good things….

I’m not sure on Death Knights, I wrote at some length before about my issues with DKs and I’m sorry ot say that having now spent a few more weeks grouping with them my initial opinions haven’t changed.

I think that a big part of the DK problem is that even by the time you are playing through Halls of Stone, The Nexus etc etc they just don’t seem to have really learnt their class….at all.

There is a long list of issues that I have regularly come across and it seems I am not alone a lot of other players are also complaining about these and others:

Tanking in all DPS gear – Just because it is plate it doesn’t mean you should tank with it!!

Hoping that DPS alone will generate enough threat for you to be able to hold a room full of mobs – fail in anyone’s language

Not using Frost presence when tanking….seriously wtf?

Oh yeah and my favourite the shitty fairy at the top of the Death Knoob tree, the cherry on top of the liquishit cake you so freely share around…..

After a wipe on halls of lightning, Utgarde Pinnacle etc “Soz guys my 1st time tanking roflol”….Well thanks a lot, thanks for fucking up the one instance run a night that I might get on an instance I actually need to do, thanks for the half the group (usually including a pissed off healer) dropping as soon as this utterance leaves your lips and lets not forget the 10g minimum that you have just cost me in having to go repair my sorry plate wearing ass.

Ok calm, down deep breaths, DK rant over.

I also dislike the 1k gold it costs for cold weather flying, just seems like a money sink but hey thats life. Personally I never rock less than 4/5k gold at any given time so dont mind paying it, but there are a lot of players who will spend whole weeks farming just to hit that 1k or alternately will decide to contact their friendly neighbourhood Chinese gold farmer in order to puke up some of their hard earned cash.





DING 70!

10 06 2010

Well I am surprisingly tardy in reporting this but I hit 70 on Tuesday evening.

Obviously it’s not the big deal it used to be but it still gives me a sense of achievement, there are now only 10 measly levels between me and the Lich King.

Because I actually really like the Burning Crusade content I have decided against jumping ship to Northrend straight away, I really want to work my way through some of the greatraids that there are in TBC, in particular Sunwell Plateau and Mount Hyjal.

I only ever got to complete Sunwell once before I took my gaming hiatus and would really like to give it another whirl.

Being a few years further on as a gamer and having been a bit more patient and focused on making some gold I am really enjoying the benefits of having good gear.

Ret Pallys are really gear dependant and I see some of my compatriots really struggling in comparisson to other classes for two simple reasons; either their gear sucks balls or they aren’t bothering with  can’t afford the little things that make all the difference like decent gems and enchants.

Sure I might have taken a week  or so longer in order to get here but good god the time spent farming has sure payed off!

So if you happen to be hanging around Boulderfist (not likely) and want to run some TBC raids then hit me up 🙂





Lord of the rings online…for FREE?!?!?!

8 06 2010

Well it turns out that the rumours  that have been rumbling away for a while now were true, Lord of the rings online (LOTRO) is going free to play (F2P).

Turbine dropped this not so unexpected bombshell on Friday and it would seem on the face of things that this is going to work out pretty much the same way that things did with Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO).

So why has this happened, well the population in LOTRO has never really hit the heights that it might of and on my recent visits to Middle Earth I have even found that it has dropped off a bit.

If DDO is anything to go by and it probably is, we can expect to see a big spike in the number of “subscribers” when F2P goes live and then for things to settle down a bit but still be a lot higher than current population levels in LOTRO.

Whilst I can see the big plus sides to going F2P I do remain a little bit skeptical of how it is going to work out in the long run. I worry that with the game suddenly being free there will be a vast influx of new players and the chat channels etc will suddenly be full of the sort of idiocy that you see so regularly in WOW etc, the reasonably mature standard of players in LOTRO has always been one of the big attractions for me (other than the hobbits of course) and I know it is a big factor for a lot of other players as well.

The biggest worry for me is that the standard of content that is released for the game is going to suffer as a result. Already we have seen Siege of Mirkwood released even though it wasn’t a patch on the original game or Mines of Moria and I can envisage a time down the line when we will look back fondly on SoM and long for the good old days.

Whilst I can see that from a numbers point of view F2P makes sense I jsut can’t see how it makes sense in the life of the game, this isn’t some tired old MMO that has been kicking around for far too long and needs to be put out to stud, Turbine have only taken us into a very small part of Middle Earth so far and there is plenty of scope not only for future expansions but even to give the game a bit of a mid-life overhaul.

One things for sure at least I won’t have to worry about having too many subscriptions now!





Where have all the raiders gone?

2 06 2010

Well I’ve been back in the World of Warcraft for a little while now and have managed to reach level 67 so far, some people might call this rate of progress almost casual but I really don’t mind, I’m just enjoying the ride!

I knew before I even set foot back into the game that things would have changed and moved on, some for the better for the worse, in particular I expected to see a lot of changing as a result of Wrath of the Lich King and the new level cap being that much higher.

Well I wasn’t wrong, most of the new features serve to make the game better and even more accesible than it previously was, especially as the dungeon finder now means that some people that never would have had a chance to run some of the instances can now pug up and run them to their hearts content.

Their are a coupleof negatives though, the aforementioned dungeon finder has given rise to far more of the also aforementioned pugs (pick up groups) anyone who has read any of my previous diatribes will be familiar with my dislike for pugs so I will not go into it again here suffice to say that if you have only ever grouped with pugs then you are missing out.

The other big problem is one that probably will not bother the vast majority of people but certainly manges to irritate me.

Very few if any people are running the classic raids anymore.

Now I realise that whenever there is a new expansion it’s all about the new end game content and that maybe you see the point of running raids to get gear that can be replaced from random world drops in a mere 2 or 3 levels time.

But you miss out on so much of the game if you ignore the older raids, not only is the content great, the gear (if obtained at the level it’s intended for) is very good and they are just fun!

Not to mention the fact that if you leave out the raids then you miss out on big hits of xp points which are certainly a refreshing change to grinding mobs or running the same dungeons time and again.

That’s why I have decided to twink my mage, I am going to take him through to 60 and leave him there, maybe not forever but certainly for long enough that I get to experience all of the original end game content as it was meant to be played, not as some level 80 DK that’s been summoned into an instance for a laugh.

When I have done 60 I will move on to 70 and do exactly the same all over agai.

Now all I need to do is find 24 friends with similar ideas….





Death Noobs

1 06 2010

I am noticing a little bit of a trend starting to emerge.

Anytime I am using the dungeon finder I am winding up in groups that are literally rammed full of Death Knights or as I have taken to thinking of them Death Noobs or maybe Knoobs, either way they still blow.

Now let me just start by stating that I don’t have an agenda against DKs as a class, I think the idea is actually quite appealing (I have a DK myself).

The problem comes from the fact that they can quite literally ruin a group if played poorly; I need to clarify on this:

A lot of new DK players assume that just because they wear plate and can tank that this is what they should be doing, it doesn’t matter if they have only ever played a mage or hunter or anything else for that matter there are a huge number of new DK players who think lets go tank.

This would be fine if they weren’t thrown into tanking instances such as Blood Furnace or Hellfire Ramparts. Whilst these aren’t difficult instances to tank (I am ret specced but have been able to tank both of these easily several times) they do require that you have some idea about what you are doing

I have been subject to far more deaths and wipes when it is a DK that is tanking than I have in all other dungeons and instances combined!

There are a number of common faults that I have noticed; pulling mobs when healers are mana burnt, grabbing large numbers of mobs and not holding them and of course my favourite: failnig to hold aggro and then blaming me and everyone else for having DPS that is too high.

Until this point I honestly hadn’t realised that it was possible for a DPS class to have too much DPS

It honestly seems like all of the fools who were previously giving hunters and rogues a bad name have migrated over to the DK class. I think one od the best examples I have seen was just yesterday evening, we were running Mana Tombs for what must be my 15th time now, there was a nice rare shield that dropped and the DK rolled need on it.

He won it and when asked why he rolled need on it he replied because he is a tank, normally an argument that holds a lot of water, but DKs CAN’T USE SHIELDS!?!?!

It would be exactly the same as if I rolled on a bow, wand, dagger etc it’s not even that they aren’t the best I just cannot use them and would look like a fool for rolling on them. I’m level 67 at the moment and by now it is expected (indeed I hold the same expectation) that you at least know the basics of how to play your class.
So please if you are a Death Knoob and happen to be reading this (assuming you can read!) then please please please learn how to play your class before chucking yourself into higher level content for which you aren’t ready. Look at it this way would you take a level 40 hunter that you had never played as before and think hey I know what would be the best thing for me to try first Zul Farrak…of course you wouldnt, but then again maybe you would!





Ding 60 – Outlands here I come

21 05 2010

I dinged 60 last night.

Now I know that other than sentimentality there isn’t really any milestone attached to 60 anymore but hey I’m nothing if not sentimental!

I remember the first time I ever hit 60, it was back in the vanilla days of  WOW and it was just a real sense of achievement, it really did feel like you had accomplished something. Luckily enough there was plenty to keep me grounded and stop me feeling like king of Azeroth.

Reaching the level cap or end game or whatever else you might choose to call it isn’t the ned, not by a long shot, if anything it is actually more of a beginning, everything else starts to feel like you were just training in order to reach this point.

I  got to experience that same feeling all over again when The Burning Crusade was launched and if anything hitting 70 was even more epic then 60, more or less the first drop that I got in outland was better than most of my gear that I had picked up in Azeroth and everything was just more polished.

Going back into Outland again probably isn’t going to convey that same buzz as it did last time but in a meagre ten levels time I will be ready to experience it all over again when I finally set foot in Northrend.

For those of you sad enough to care here is how things currently look in my armoury, I was stupidly pleased to get both Light Touched Breastplate and Bloodstained Ravager Gauntlets drop to me in just one run of hellfire ramparts.

Yeah I know the gauntlets are mail but the stats are better than my previous plate ones and besides I have been able to chuck a bunch of gems into everything and effectively give myself  a bit of a boost to my strength, crit and stamina.

Now to get that flying mount training 🙂





A quick WOW update

19 05 2010

Yesterday I had one of those days that leaves me with a smile on my face. Why the smile you ask well there are two reasons.

Firstly I finally got my hands on one of the weapons I have been after; Ice Barbed Spear. Even though it is only a rare (all be it quite a nice one) it has been a real pain in the arse to get hold of, mostly due to the fact that on my server the Horde suck donkey balls when it comes to Alterac Valley.

Still I have it now and I’m not giving it up easilly as it is a great weapon for Ret Pallys; the only time I won’t be using it is when I end up in some awful pug from the dungeon finder and end up having to play tank for a while, hate doing it though as I love seeing those pretty numbers lol.

Secondly I managed to go from 53 to 58 in one evening, that probably isn’t a lot for some people but I was damn pleased with myself. I plan on getting to 60 this evening or tomorrow and then chillaxing for a couple of days in order to give the Death Knight a whirl.

If you have been reading my ramblings for a while then you might remember that I moved away from WOW prior to WOTLK and have only just made it back, as such DKs,  Northrend, ICC etc are all refreshingly new to me and I am enjoying seeing what was changed since the Burning Crusade days.








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