Category Archives: World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft – Gone and back again!

I have a love and hate relationship with World of Warcraft. Twice I’ve quit and returned to the world of Azeroth. First time I quit was in Cataclysm, out of boredom of grinding dailies but not having much else to do. I was not raiding actively back then, and logging in and out for a few heroics and dailies, especially with a few close friends having quit, stopped being fun. More than a year later, I got back in the game, when Mist of Pandaria released two years ago, due to a promise of a fun expansion. And it was! I loved that expansion, but had to quit last year due to work stress and declining health.

I kept away from world of warcraft after that until now, but the latest expansion Warlords of Draenor and my friends enticed me in coming back. I renewed my subscription and I played the game, pretty much all of last week. While there are many things in this expansion that deserve to be praised, the mini-game in garrison with followers and sending them on missions is very well done. It is very reminiscent of the follower game-play from Star Wars – The Old Republic MMO, when it had released, but unfortunately it didn’t do as well as I had initially hoped.

My initial post, when I started blogging, had listed my paladin and priest as my primary characters. But Mists of Pandaria changed that. I created a Monk character, and loved playing Windwalker monk and occasionally healing throughout the expansion, replacing both of the previous characters as my primary character. I’ve already leveled Rollingpin to level 100 and looking forward to raiding with the guild this week.

Having learned from my previous wow experiences, my goal this time around, is to not spent all of my time playing the game. I’ve experienced burn out, which ruins the game for me. Also, after having quit wow twice, I’ve realized that when I’m playing WoW, I focus on it completely, and I ignore all of my other hobbies and even forget to play other games. My to-play list on steam has grown immensely, since most of the last year, has also gone in playing Diablo – another one of Blizzard’s addictive games. This time, however, the goal is to take WoW in strides, having fun playing the expansion and raiding, while enjoying all the other hobbies. With the new flexible raiding feature, I’ve been told that the game now makes it easy to join and leave a raid group anytime, so I’m hoping that it will not stress me out by conforming to raid times and preparation day after day.

Here’s to another exciting expansion…

RollingPin’s new look – Shado-pan transmog

I feel like I have finally completed my shado pan transmog for my monk RollingPin. I was inspired to do a shado pan transmog after reading a post by wreckage88 on reddit a few months ago. Even though I started out with this recommendations, I eventually used only the chest and the leggings from his list.

Here are the items I have used for the transmog to get this look:

Most of the items, namely the chest, gloves, boots and leggings, are acquired from doing low-level quests in Azeroth and require very little time, except for the Booty Bay Pantaloons which are acquired as a quest reward from a rather long quest for Bloodsail Pirates. These quest can be completed in an hour, especially for high level characters, however, the remaining items may take much longer.

The helmet can be bought from Shado pan quartermaster after becoming exalted with them, and this took weeks in patch 5.1, however, now that 5.2 is live and allows you to gain reputations towards 5.1 factions from doing heroics, this may be much easier to get. The shoulders and the belt are a random drop from doing Ulduar 25 man (shoulders from Steelbreaker and belt from Mimiron), and I got them both in my recent run, a couple of weeks ago. Getting these might take some time, since you can do Ulduar only once a week and drops may not drop the first time around. If you have some friends, running 25 man Ulduar can give additional drops from the bosses, increasing the chance of getting them.

Since drops from Ulduar can take quite some time, you can use the following items from wreckage88’s original recommendations to complete the transmog:

Puncture-Binding Spaulder – I sported the look of these one-sided shoulders for a while, until I got the drop from Ulduar and they look great.

Mud’s Crushers – These gloves share the same model as Gloves of Fanatical Zealotry, used in my set. However, I had already finished the quest for mud’s crushers, so I chose to go for gloves of fanatical zealtory.

Black Featherlight Boots

Green Belt of Quiet Understanding – I liked the look of Brown Belt of Humbling Gravity better and wore that instead for a while until I got the Waistguard of the Creator from Ulduar a few weeks ago.

There is unfortunately no alternative for the shado pan helmet, but even without it the transmog looks amazing.

Now I need to find a good looking transmog set for my healing gear. Until then, here’s another picture of RollingPin looking awesome:

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Horridon kill at 492 iLevel after hotfix on 3/11

Blizzard announced on Monday 3/11 that they had reduced the health of the Gurubashi, Amani, Drakkari, and Farraki adds on the Horridon encounter.

We’ve been attempting Horridon, for 2 nights now, and we didn’t have a clean transition from Gate 2 to Gate 3. We still had 3-4 mobs alive when gate 3 opened, and it would soon overwhelm us and wipe us. At 25 wipes in the first week of 10 Normal, we were about to give up and wait until we get more gear upgrades.

However, Monday’s hotfix, brought new hope and we decided to raid and give this more attempts, even though it is usually an off night for the group. The reduced health of the adds makes the transitions really smooth, and we had the boss down in a couple of attempts. Woo hoo !

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For those wondering, our group has an average ilevel of 492-494 – and no heroic gear from tier 14. So this boss is now possible to kill without having an ilevel of 502, as was previously required.

Next up, Council of Elders, but before that it is time to hit LFR today evening and get some upgrades.

Mists of Pandaria – feeling burned out

I have been avidly playing Mists of Pandaria, since it came out, and I must say I am liking it so far, however, I am slowly starting to feel burned out. I rolled a new character this expansion, a windwalker monk, since I already had a healer priest and a pally tank, thinking that I would have one of each role at max level, however, there is just so much to do that I haven’t been able to level any of my alts since I got RollingPin (my monk), to level 90.

I  got to level 90 in the last week of October (I was on a trip to India for 3 weeks when I didn’t have much chance to play), and since then I’ve only been trying to keep up with the gear requirements for raiding. Since I got to 90 I’ve been doing daily quests of various factions for valor points and faction gear, leveling professions, doing each LFR (Looking For Raid) every week, and raiding for 3 hours twice a week in addition to LFRs. This coupled with a hectic time at work these days, I am feeling a burn out from long hours at work and the long daily grind in wow.

I haven’t had a chance to seriously try out pvp in this expansion yet, since PvE takes up way too much of my time. I will be done with factions very soon, at least the ones from whom I can buy the gear that I need, and the fun ones like, cloud serpent for mounts, I can do later when I don’t have too many raid/gear related things to do.

Next two weeks are most likely going to be raid free weeks (and hopefully less stressful weeks at works as well), since a lot of my raid members are going to be on vacation, I think I will have enough time to recuperate, get revered with most factions (don’t have too many to complete), finish important faction storylines (eg: domination point) and also blog a bit about my activities in wow.  Until then, for those interested, here is my new monk on blizzard armory, usually logged out in windwalker spec, however, I have recently taken up healing as an off spec, so you may see me logged out in my crappy healing gear as well from time to time.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/nordrassil/Rollingpin/simple

Love is in the air

I got this achievement on the last day of the festival on Viconia – my discipline priest. I had completed all the world festivals achievements required for the 310% mount and master riding, on my paladin last year before I took a reprieve from wow and had decided that my focus for PvE achievements would be my paladin, and I would focus pvp achievements on my priest. However, now that my priest is my main character I thought i’d do the achievements anyways. Unfortunately, I decided this late in the afternoon on the last day of the festival, and thought that I wouldn’t get this achievement with less than 8 hours left before it ends. However, this achievement is very easy to get in a single day without having to do dailies everyday. Getting love tokens is easy if you had a couple of hours to spare for grinding love charms in one the level 80 dungeons (doesn’t have to be heroic). I spent about two and a half hours to get 680 love charms to make all the bracelets I needed and traded them for the love tokens. From my calculations you need exactly 520 love charms, if you are lucky to get all 4 types of chocolates from the same box of chocolates for the achievement sweet tooth. Unfortunately, I had to buy 3 boxes for 10 tokens each to get the Sweet Tooth achievement :(. Even though it looks like the Be Mine achievement requires a lot more chocolates, it is easier than the sweet tooth achievement, since the box of heart candies sells only 2 tokens and on an average you need 3-4 boxes to complete the Be Mine achievement.

The best place that I could find to farm the love charms was Halls of Lightning dungeon in Ulduar, Storm Peaks. Since this place is instanced, you don’t have to deal with any competition and trying to tag the mob first. If you are level 85 you can skip most of the trash and skip the first boss to come to the room where slags will continuously spawn every few seconds. It would be very easy to just collect all of them and AoE them down, but after a while I got lazy of running around in circles in the area and asked a friend who was going to go afk for a bit to come and stand at the point where the slags spawn. He also summoned his pet and made the pet stand on the opposite spawn point. This way as soon as the slags spawned, I could just do a cheap heal on my friend’s dk and pull aggro from him and his pet to aoe them down without having to move much. After two and a half hours I had all the charms that I needed after which it was pretty easy to get all the achievements. The following image shows the positions that I, my friend and his friendly pet RootGobbler were standing in to minimize movement, while getting all the slags except one to come attack me.

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The rest was just finishing the meta-achievements and performing quests. You will get some more love tokens from completing quests required for Nation of Adoration, which will also be needed for getting the Love Fool title. Wow wiki and overachiever have excellent guides to look up what exactly needs to be done for each of the festival achievements.

The most difficult thing was finding an alliance warlock. I did battlegrounds for hours and I didn’t find any alliance players playing warlocks, let alone a gnome warlock. Lots of gnomes running around but no warlocks. It seems like warlocks are not really a popular class in alliance anymore, which seems odd, since we have a lot of warlocks in horde. Finally I had a friend who created a gnome warlock and I flew to Dun Morogh to shower him with a handful of rose petals. If you do this, be careful of level 85 NPC flying above Ironforge and level 85 players in general roaming around the area.

Finally, you can roam around the world proudly displaying your newly received title announcing yourself as a love fool.

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Disgracin’ The Basin

Got this achievement day before just in the nick of time. I had assaulted two bases during the game, one – the gold mine – at the start when all the bases were neutral and black smith when the alliance had already controlled it for a while. We were doing pretty good with defending our bases and horde had about a minute left to win when I realized that I needed one more capture to get this achievement. Standing at black smith I could see that there was only one Alliance player defending the stables. Seeing a silver lining I ceased the opportunity and a friend and I ran up to stables. Lokregar attacked the alliance player and I cast psychic scream when I got near him. When he was distant enough I started capturing the base. As soon as  alliance player was  out of the incapacitating effects of my fear came running back but my friend death gripped him just in time to keep him from interrupting me. He also further interrupted his run towards me by chaining him in chains of ice giving me enough time to finish the capture. All this while, I was slowly capping the base, while the timer for horde winning the battle kept going. With one second to spare, I finished the capture, and the achievement popped up along with the notification that our team had won. It was a great feeling to not have missed this achievement after coming so close to getting it. Woooot!!!

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Thank you Lokregar for helping me get this achievement in the nick of time. Amazing work at keeping the alliance defender away from me while I took away the glory Smile

WoW Come Back ?

Am I going to be one of those who could not escape the clutches of world of warcraft ?

I unsubscribed from WoW almost a year ago, after I was unimpressed by cataclysm expansion. Due to a vacation which coincided with the release of the expansion, I could not get my character to level 85 in time for the raid groups to be decided, making it very difficult to find raid spots in the guild. At the beginning of the expansion, with the newly added guild bonuses during raids and guild achievements, pugs were hardly taking off and even then it meant wiping for hours only to finally give up without any success. So, finally I bid goodbye to all my friends and guild mates – some of whom I had come to know very well, and quit.

After spending a few days contemplating on my decision and replying to emails and chats requesting me to come back, I soon realized that this was the best thing that I had done in a while. I had so much free time on my hands again that I could do a lot of things that I had planned for over year but hadn’t gotten around to just because I was busy playing world of warcraft. I could finish the pile of books in my bookshelf which had been gathering dust since the day they had been bought. I could play and actually finish some of the games that I had been buying during Steam sales (I’ve got to learn some self-restraint during Steam sales!). I also got back to writing as a hobby and on a whim, participated in the National Novel Writing Month the goal of which is to complete 50K words in the month of November averaging about 1667 words per day. I was stoked when I actually finished NaNoWriMo with 65K words. It was an amazing feeling and even though till date my novel stands incomplete, I can say that I am a budding author and a novelist, something that wouldn’t have been possible if I were still busy running around in circles around the town of Orgrimmar in WoW and checking the auction house for the umpteenth time. When the year 2011 finally came to a close, I could actually say that I had “accomplished” something in my personal life.

So why am I now contemplating going back to world of warcraft ? Because I miss interacting with my friends and playing with them. While the game had become slightly mundane and I wasn’t doing much towards the end of it, I still saw (online of course) friends who are are in distant parts of the country. These were good times and it has been months since I have talked with some of them. They also in turn have mentioned and contacted me saying that they would like to have me back, if not for hardcore raiding and regular game time hours, but instead just for casual gaming. This is the only appeal the game has for me now, being able to play with friends and have a good time. The story and gameplay became unimpressive with Blizzard resurrecting old vanilla bosses and dungeons and I am tired of raiding regularly which added more stress to an already stressful job.

I hadn’t washed my hands off of MMOs when I quit wow, so I started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic when it released. it is an excellent game and the questing is done very well as compared to WoW. It is not as good as Dragon Age quest line, but as an  MMO it is very well done and is quite engrossing. however, the game lacks in end game content and PvP is sub par, especially without any deserter penalty in place, people leave the group as soon as the opposing team scores even in Hutt Ball. There are times when the scoreboard shows 16 allies throughout a game which has a max of 8 players and  lasts 15 minutes in total. Also, with no friends interested in playing the game, since they are still quite occupied with wow,  I might unsubscribe from the game very soon after my current character – a Jedi knight – gets to level 50.

What I still need to decide is, should I re-subscribe to wow even after quitting the game has helped me accomplish so much ?