Loremaster Raisa the Kingslayer?

November 15, 2010 at 11:40 am (Uncategorized)

Hello again, sadly-neglected blog. Guess what distracted me for a month?

Yeah, that’s right. By the way, Kalimdor is a pain in the ass for Loremaster, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. (I could write a post on poorly-designed zones. Desolace, I’m lookin’ at you.)

And, of course, there’s been adjusting to the changes of 4.0.1, more mount farming, and a bit of ICC.

wtb seat warmer

…the screenshot is a bit crap (I really need a decent image-editing program), but I believe you can get the gist of it.

So, what’s left for an achievement whore to do between now and Cata? Quite a lot, actually – for one thing, I still seem to be missing that silly Salty title. Then there’s rep grinding with Zandalar, Winterspring, and Timbermaw, trying to get another twenty (!) mounts, cooking anything and everything…and the hunter I’m bound and determined to get to 80 by December 7th. (Did someone say giant flaming turtle?)

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what to do with this blog. I could detail my hilarious adventures in random dungeon groups (or “how my hunter could never actually finish BRD”), but there’s only so much stupid before it starts becoming repetitive (mostly). I keep toying around with exploring the real-world myths behind some of the WoW creatures/lore – what do you think?


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Plot? What Plot?

October 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm (Uncategorized)

This post is a bit less about my life in Azeroth and a bit more…metatextual. Today, I’m taking off my angry shaman hat and putting on my pretentious English major hat. The two hats are not entirely incompatible; they both involve a whole lot of pretending to know what the hell I’m talking about. I’ve just had several more years of experience in blathering on in literary veins. This would probably explain why I like video games that have plots, not just random shoot ’em ups. (I’m also terrible at the latter and generally fail at anything that requires hand-eye coordination.) Characterisation, dialogue, plot, even (gasp!) character development – if we’re able to look at video games as works of art, then why can’t we look at them as a variant of literature, too?

However, one of the problems with this is that, as far as I can see, the first two games largely lack overarching plots. To explain what I mean, we’re going to look at Wrath of the Lich King, which does plot right (mostly). You have your clear-cut main antagonist, Arthas, and your ultimate goal is to defeat him, bringing down the armies of the Scourge in the process. Act I of the story has you finding your feet in Northrend – either via Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord. The first dungeon, Utgarde Keep, is tied directly into the Valiance Keep storyline, while Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahtet follow the Thassarian quest chain. Either way, you’re introduced to the threat of the Scourge, and you even bump into the Lich King himself once or twice.

Act Two of the storyline moves us onto Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills, and two powerful factions allied with Arthas: the Azure Dragonflight and the Drakkari trolls. (On the Grizzly Hills side, you also escalate the secondary plotline of the iron dwarves – and there’s a nice little side quest chain that involves some folks we’ll all be very familiar with shortly.) Both of these areas have endings that are nothing short of epic: Bolvar’s stand at the Wrathgate and Drakuru’s ultimate betrayal at Drak’Tharon. Obviously the Wrathgate is a lot more dramatic, right down to a brilliant cinematic, but Drak’Tharon brings Arthas’s focus directly on you, the person who has been single-handedly kicking ass throughout Northrend, killing a whole lot of his minions on the way. And Arthas’s attention is not something you want to have.

Next, we’ve got a bit of a plot intermission by way of Sholazar – no instances here, but you get to delve into backstory and hang out with the Oracles and Frenzyheart, both of whom I absolutely adore. Your other option is to go chill out in Zul’Drak (pun definitely intended) and have fun being Drakuru’s new BFF – and then desperately trying to save the trolls’ old gods, whom the Drakkari are trying to kill for their mojo. Yeah, that’s right, you’re helping actual gods. Weakened gods, but deities nonetheless.

And then Act Three extends into the Storm Peaks. This is a questing area that everybody I’ve talked to absolutely loves – you start out by helping rescue male goblins and end up trying to restore a god to his rightful place by defeating his brother, who is a follower of Yogg-Saron and determined to destroy life on Azeroth – leading directly into the storyline of Ulduar. You also finally stumble across Brann Bronzebeard, whose trail you’ve been following since Grizzly Hills, and discover what happened to his brother Muradin. Totally awesome.

It all ties together in Act Four, Icecrown. The war escalates, and you’re in the front lines, sent out to sabotage the army of Scourge and, ultimately, bring down their leaders. While you’re at it, you also attempt to save a paladin’s life and inadvertently touch Arthas’s heart – the latter leads to a fantastic quest line of flashbacks. And, of course, it all culminates in the ICC instances and the dungeon itself. In the battle against Arthas, you’re one of Tirion’s personal champions – and Arthas’s potential minion.

In the face of the unabashed fantasy epic that is WotLK’s plot, vanilla WoW and BC fall a little short. I’m still not even sure vanilla has a single plot, nor do I quite understand what’s going on in BC. (Something with the opening of the Dark Portal and Illidan and Kael’thas, I dunno. This might be due to the fact that I haven’t done the Black Temple raid yet, but you shouldn’t need one raid to tie together a storyline.) They lack strong, clear-cut antagonists and memorable characters on the player’s side. (About the only one I remember is that awesome half-elven guy in Hellfire. What happened to him?) Of course, half the main NPCs from Wrath are drawn from vanilla (and earlier Warcraft games), but they don’t have quite the same presence. If you don’t know anything about lore (like me), Tirion Fordring is just some random guy in the Plaguelands who hands out quests, and Jaina is some chick on an island who managed to lose the king.

Except – there’s actually an argument for the lack of general plot as related to the development of the silent protagonist – ie, your character. You start out as a humble adventurer, poking spiders with sticks and occasionally setting things on fire (depending on your profession). You help displaced farmers, kill a few more spiders and some murlocs (or gnolls), and suddenly you get to meet with the leader of your faction. People are beginning to take notice of you – you’ve got promise. As you venture farther from home, you begin to get involved in larger conflicts, helping a world that’s been ravaged by war and plague and murlocs gradually recover (as we’ll presumably be seeing in Cataclysm). Suddenly, forty levels in, you discover that there’s actually these crazy bug things tunneling underneath Kalimdor (and the rest of Azeroth). Yeah, that’s right, guess who didn’t kill enough of those spiders earlier. (They were obviously Silithid spies, okay?) Whoops, definitely not good. Almost as not good as that demonic incursion around the Dark Portal (and on Bloodmyst Isle, if you ever bothered to go there, and in Darkshore/Ashenvale).

Speaking of which, now that you’ve gained some notoriety as an adventurer, your services are suddenly required in Outland. (Or you could just hang around in Silithus, but does anybody really want to do that?) Set the bugs aside (you’ll be seeing them again later), it’s time to meet some orcs, demons, and naga. And since you’re well-known and recruited into the army now and all, you’re becoming aware that you’re fighting against some very distinct entities (and their minions). Ultimately, after wandering around Outland for awhile, you bring down Kael’thas and Illidan (hopefully), and you’re a big damn hero.

And that is what really brings us into the forefront as a protagonist in Wrath of the Lich King. Will we end up in the annals of legend when it’s time to bring down Deathwing? Only time will tell.

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Achievement Update!

October 12, 2010 at 11:48 am (Uncategorized)

I should, of course, be using the server downtime to write a real entry – but I suspect there may be plenty of time for that later on. And since this blog is partly to track my (totally awesome) achievements, particularly Loremaster, I figure an update is warranted. (Due to the maintenance, many of these numbers are off the top of my head, but they’re very close estimates.)

  • Salty: Snagged the Lurker with the help of Kurn, now I’ve only got One That Didn’t Get Away. Which…is getting away. A lot. Along with that sea turtle.
  • Mounts: 73/100. No Brewfest mount. DIREBREEEEW! /fistshake Doing Z’G runs on a regular basis, but, obviously, no sign of either mount. Still in search of a druid for heroic Sethekk.
  • Minis: 93/100. Still waiting on Cata to get lucky #100. Acquired this little beauty from my first completed Magister’s Terrace run.
  • Loremaster: 624/700 EK, 419/700 Kalimdor. A whole lot remaining in Outland. 116/140 Icecrown, which is my last remaining Northrend zone (!). All these multiplayer quests in IC are getting irritating – more irritating than the vehicle quests, and that’s saying quite a lot.
  • Other achievements in progress: Well Read, Glory of the Hero, Bloody Rare, Northern Exposure, Hero of the Zandalar. Technically Kingslayer, but that’s on hold with the patch (11/12 normal mode ICC 10!).
  • Things that need to be done: Grind up cooking like crazy. More Winterspring grind.

In other news, my boomkin dinged 80 this weekend, making her my second 80 – just in time for the patch. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with her, precisely, but I am intent on getting swift flying and t9 armor (preferably pre-Cata). If you’re wondering what other characters I might be levelling up, I currently have a 46 Beast Mastery hunter, 34 Disc/Holy (probably going to be only Disc post-patch) priest, and 26 Arcane mage. I, uh, sort of use them for levelling professions more than actually playing, but I quite like crafting, and I suspect that my mage might be able to make quite a bit of money with Inscription.

What am I doing with my downtime? Catching up on some writing, retouching my nails, mourning the loss of my beloved Cleansing Totem (and, consequently, vowing to never do any instances with extensive poisoning with PUGs every again). Perfectly normal things like that. Stay tuned for an update later today. Meanwhile, I leave you with this.


…please ignore the dorky paladin bubbling to the right. 😉

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Shamanistic Rage

October 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm (Uncategorized)

I was doing my daily heroic to rack up a few more Emblems of Frost before Cata’s release (or to buy another piece of t10 armor, which is more likely, as I am weak). It was Trial of the Champion, and, like all WotLK instances, it’s not that hard once you learn its tricks. For example, always kill the Argent Priestesses first. If you’re facing Confessor Paletress, you need a Tremor Totem for the Waking Nightmare. Things like that. I somehow managed to die to the Horde Champions first (while jumping out of the poison), but chalked this up to a minor mistake on my part.

Then the group pulled two Argent Priestesses at once, which I only discovered when I was Mind Controlled by the second just after taking out the first. Okay, sloppy pulling, could’ve been my Magma Totem, for all I know. And then there was the wipe. I’m not sure how it suddenly started going downhill, but next thing I knew, VanCleef was kicking my ass while I scrambled away and hit my ‘oh shit’ buttons.

‘Why didn’t you heal?’ the group demanded. ‘Heal myself or the group?’ was my response. ‘Uh…the tank?’

First of all, I had all of five seconds to react between ‘oh look, the healer’s dead’ and ‘oh, look, I’m dead’. This is not an ideal healing situation. On my priest and druid, I keep VuhDo panels up in instances in case I do have to suddenly start healing. (I can’t heal without an addon because, quite frankly, I can’t react quickly enough to click everything properly.) But I don’t have them up on my shaman.

The enhancement shaman is arguably the rarest of the three talent trees, and probably the one people know the least about. This is true even at level 80, because you just don’t run into them that often. Most shamans spec resto, and the rest go elemental, and then they combine the two for dual spec. I have a dual spec in resto, because it’s impossible to get into a PUG otherwise, and sometimes I just don’t feel like waiting in queues.

However, I’m enhancement 95% of the time. I don’t carry my healing gear with me unless I’m in a raid. I’m clearly melee DPS, not a caster. See me whacking things with an axe and a mace? That doesn’t involve casting spells (mostly), it requires hitting things. You know, like a rogue, warrior, or death knight DPS? You wouldn’t ask them to up and start healing you, so why would you ask a shaman?

(I’m sure feral druids have the exact same problem in instances. You lose a healer, and suddenly it’s ‘oh, hey, you’re a druid, you can heal! :D’)

It even happens to me if I join up with people to do a quest. They don’t bother to look at my spec, just my class. (This is sheer laziness, because the easiest way to identify an enhancement shaman on sight is by their characteristic dual wielding.) They just go ‘okay, keep me alive’, which is then typically followed immediately by aggroing whatever it is we’re fighting. (Hint: if you’re a caster, this is a bad idea, my squishy, squishy friend.)

Maybe some people might argue that I should always be ready to switch specs at any given moment, but, honestly, I don’t feel it should be necessary in random dungeons. I’m signed up as DPS, I want to DPS, I am not going to heal. I don’t have the stats to heal, and, really, it’s just a bad idea all around.

But, hey, you’re a druid who’s specced for tanking, so you can heal yourself, right?

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Baby’s first ICC

October 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve always been a bit apprehensive when it comes to raids. I think part of it is due to the fact that, back before I even started playing MMOs, many of my college friends ended up being ‘WoW-widows’. When your significant other would rather spend Friday night with thirty-nine other shut-ins and a giant fire elemental, well, it doesn’t make you feel like you’re particularly high on their list of priorities. In fact, I distinctly remember spending my best friend’s one-year anniversary with her – because it happened to fall on a Friday. These are the people who give raiders a bad name, the ones who can’t step back from the computer and realise that real life connections are ultimately more important than a bunch of pixels.

And, okay, the fact that they were all lazy bums didn’t really help their relationships, either.

The ‘raiding is srs bizness’ view is one that’s turned me off ever since I began playing WoW, simply because hardcore raiders have the sort of reputation I described above. As I’ve said before, I firmly believe in enjoying the 95% of the game outside of ICC. People who look down on all that other content because it isn’t ‘hardcore’ enough for them aren’t the people I want to hang out with online. Who wants to raid all the time, anyway? Okay, it’s challenging and fun, but sometimes I just want to be able to zone out and whack things with a mace while questing. Sit back and smell the goldclover, as it were.

My very first experiences with raiding date back to For the Alliance raids on Darrowmere. When I was there, it was a server newly-established as PvE, and fairly balanced between Horde and Alliance. Of course, FtA raids are inevitably full of the worst of PUG-ing, and I learned that any given raid was going to involve a few hours of downtime between bosses, between recruiting, strategy bickering, more recruiting, and whining about who to get next. Apparently, if you sit in Ratchet for an hour, the Horde will, in fact, figure out that you might be on your way to gank Thrall. (The one time we were successful, we actually gathered in Azshara and walked downriver to Orgrimmar.) Anyway, I finally got that black bear, and it was totally less awesome than I’d expected.

Except for one hours-long Tempest Keep battle that I had to heal with an exceptionally mismatched set of healing gear, that was my only raid experience till I transferred to Eldre’Thalas. My friend Apple got into a raiding guild that was planning on rebuilding for Cata, and she got me an invite, and lo, there I was, with people who’d been playing since Vanilla and who had multiple 80s. It was, to say the least, a little bit intimidating for my poor noobish self. But when one of the members started organising an ICC 10 run a little over a week ago, I convinced myself to speak up and volunteer.

The main problem with playing an enhancement shaman is that everybody and their fail!DK brother has a toon who does melee DPS. In general, a shaman is a jack of all trades, but a master of none – even more so when you aren’t fully geared and/or good enough at your rotation. So I accepted the fact that I probably couldn’t do enough sustained DPS for the raid and went on with my life. About an hour beforehand, the raid’s organiser whispered me and asked if I could heal. Now, I have a restoration offspec. Somehow, my gear score (haha) is higher than my main spec – probably because I have t10 elemental shaman leggings. Does this mean I’m good at healing? No, it means I keep Earth Shield on the tank and spam the hell out of Chain Heal. Sometimes I even try to use Riptide.

I gamely switched to my shaman, though, and geared up my offspec – and then I got invited to the raid and told I was going to DPS (thankfully, just before I left Dalaran). After changing specs again and encountering a brief snafu with Vent regarding my inability to read a password correctly, I was ready to go. After that, it’s all a bit of a nervous blur to me. Luckily, everybody was understanding of my lack of familiarity with the fights, and I got plenty of instruction over Vent. Of course, I was also told to hug the slimes on Professor Putricide, but you can’t take all the well-meaning advice you get, I suppose. Alas, after losing a couple of our original members and having to replace them with random people from the server, we only went 7/12, tripping up on the Blood Council (which was also the ICC weekly). But, all in all, it was a great first run, and I only died a few times (and didn’t directly cause any wipes).

So I’m totally ready to go again tonight – after I watch a few videos on the fights. You’d better watch out, Arthas.

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Pop quiz time!

September 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Re: Monday’s post:

You’re a level 24 Draenei shaman, specced in resto (presumably) and wielding an heirloom staff, assigned to the role of healer. Are you a tank?

  • a) yes
  • b) no
  • c) I don’t care, I’m going to aggro more than the warrior anyway!

Hint: The answer is not ‘But shammies were tanks in vanilla WoW!’

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Why did the warrior just need that staff?

September 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm (Uncategorized)

I’d like to say that my failure to blog is due to suddenly developing a life away from the computer, but it’s more because I’m too lazy to come up with topics.

However, leveling my mage has given me inspiration. You see, I’m a bit infamous amongst my friends for ending up in really, really bad PUGs. (Which makes sense, because all the instances I do are through the random dungeon finder.) My poor mage, who just dinged 20 earlier today, is the most recent victim of that.

‘But Megan,’ you say, ‘surely you can’t expect people running beginning instances to know anything about their class.’ Okay, you might be right on that one. Thing is, I figure that when you click the little checkbox next to the shield/cross/sword, you know what those mean and what those responsibilities entail. I was in Ragefire Chasm a week ago with a druid who decided they wanted to tank…but they were signed up as heals. This meant that the second druid in the group was pushed into healing. (Incidentally, I was the only one in the group who buffed anyone – one of my pet peeves. If there’s a pally and two druids, I’d damn well better have at least one buff.)

It seems like druids suffer from this a lot. I like druids, I really do. I have a level 75 boomkin. I love tree healers. But sometimes, their versatility means that they think they can get away with doing something entirely different. That wasn’t even the first bear-healer I’d seen. And night before last, my daily heroic had a druid who said ‘lol, don’t take any damage, I’m going to be in boomkin form for the mobs’. WHICH THEY WERE. Now, okay, it was Violet Hold, but it’s still completely ridiculous to do that. (I ended up healing myself that time around.) If it had been virtually any other heroic instance, things could’ve gone wrong and inadvertently led to a wipe in the blink of an eye, all because the healer wasn’t healing.

Look, I know that queues are a pain in the ass. I know it’s a lot easier to get into a group if you queue for heals instead of DPS. But, seriously, you’re just making it harder for the rest of us if you don’t do what you’re supposed to. Yes, many classes are versatile enough to heal and DPS, but does anybody want to? When I’m running enhancement (which is 95% of the time), my self-heals are limited to Maelstrom Weapon-fueled Healing Waves and Gift of the Naaru. (I’ve had people tell me to heal when the healer’s died before. It doesn’t work like that, guys. Melee DPS can not go ‘oh hey, I think I’ll cast now!’)

Speaking of shamans, my hunter ran Gnomer with a shaman who apparently couldn’t decide what she wanted to be, because she was signed up as a healer, but doing melee DPS, complete with Searing Totem (a horrible, horrible totem to use in Gnomer, and generally not the best fire totem for heals). At that level, you’ve got basically no tank buffs and a casting speed that’s slower than anything – not exactly good for multitasking. Resto shammies can be great healers; I’ve got an offspec in resto myself. (I would never, ever try to level as one, but that’s not the point.) But the thing is, enhancement and resto look for two different sets of stats. A resto mace isn’t going to have the crit or hit that an enhance mace would. (Once you’re dual-wielding, the split becomes even wider – casting maces tend to be fast, whereas mdps maces should be slow for offhand Flametongue procs.)

Back to the mage: I ran two dungeons today. The title comes from the first one, when a warrior and I both rolled need on a staff. ‘He must need the mana boost,’ I joked, but I was still miffed (as you probably would be if you were level 19 and still using a staff from a level 10 quest). Luckily, the rest of the group goaded him into giving it to me. The second dungeon was Wailing Caverns – we lost our tank just after a boss, and a dps shortly after that, so a rogue, a holy pally, and I were three-manning it for a bit. The rogue actually said, and I’m not joking, ‘Let’s requeue, and I’ll pick tank’. No. Bad rogue. You are not a tank. (I know, I know, this is quite common for rogues at low levels.) After that, I stupidly fell down and got lost, and the rogue and the new tank (who was absolutely wonderful) started arguing over waiting for me. The rogue made some comment about how he’d been tanking, and how this was his PvE gear, but his tanking gear had 1.6k health. Mmmhm. Look, guy, it’s not your badass rogue tanking that kept you alive, it’s the fact that the healer was 5 levels above everything else in the instance.

Basically, I feel like instances are where you develop the role awareness you need for raiding later on (or even for the more difficult heroics). If you don’t know what your job is and how to do it, you’re missing a whole chunk of the strategy involved in playing the game. It’s not just ‘hit things till they’re dead’.

Well, it is sometimes. But that’s not the point.

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Stupid Deaths for Dummies

August 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized)

The internet, as we all know, provides a medium for anybody and everybody to look like a complete moron at any given opportunity. I like to think that even Nobel Prize winners have managed to make fools of themselves online. It makes me feel better when I do it on a daily basis. This is especially true on WoW; I can shaman it up with the best of them when I’m alone (or so I like to think), but once I get into a group, I can only look like I’ve been playing the game for about two days.

(Not that I haven’t had my fair share of ridiculous deaths while soloing. According to my statistics on my main character, I’ve died from falling 21 times. Somehow, only one of these is due to accidentally dismounting in midair. I particularly like the time I was following a furbolg spirit on a low-level quest, thought that it would help me fly somehow, and jumped trustingly off a cliff. Or the time I jumped off the edge of Teldrassil as a night elf.)

Deaths are especially embarrassing (and painful) in instances you ought to be able to go through in your sleep. Today, for my first random dungeon, I was tossed into the Nexus. Not a tricky place, even in heroic mode (though the extra boss can be annoying if not pulled properly). So we went through the first three bosses and, after Anomalos, I jumped off the platform…and missed the floor entirely. To make matters worse, I somehow thought that popping my resurrect would magically stick me back up where I was meant to be – but no. I had to teleport out and back in, and then, while making my way back to the party…I died on the little crystal stalkers.

My favorite ridiculous dungeon death of all time involves my first time in the Oculus (and who hasn’t died plenty of times there?). I was tossed into a party that had wiped and had no idea where I was going or what I was supposed to do. I was worried the party would make fun of me if I asked, so…I jumped straight off the edge and died. (I then left out of shame.)

At least I’ve never died to Hogger.

Edit: I just spent a half-hour swimming around in lava as a ghost. Not a ridiculous death, but certainly an example of me being a bit…incompetent. (Blackrock Spire/Depths is my least favorite instance to die in, actually beating ICC.)

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Not Yet Salty

August 29, 2010 at 11:15 am (Uncategorized)

…but getting there! I fished up the last two coins for my Coin Master achievement yesterday. The only major achievement I have left for Salty is One That Didn’t Get Away. Hours of farming, here I come! I’m thinking I’ll hit up the fangtooth herring schools to try and farm for my sea turtle mount at the same time.

Incidentally, being guildless makes the two raid achievements rather more difficult to get, as you can probably guess. I have the lures for Gahr’zanka in Zul’Gurub, but I haven’t seen any PuGs lately – strange, because mount runs are always popular. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Serpentshrine raid forming. (Really, I just need an 80 tank to go to Zul’Gurub with me, probably.)

Some people say that Salty is one of the most difficult titles to get, right up there with Insane, and even more difficult than Loremaster. Personally, I think it all depends on how you choose to spend your time grinding.

(Yeah, I promise I’ll come up with some actual content sometime soon.)

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2227 quests down, a whole lot to go

August 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm (Uncategorized)

I was debating whether or not I really wanted to start blogging this morning. Would anybody read it? I wondered. Is anybody else out there really interested in solo PvE? Then I wandered onto the official WoW forums to check for any Cataclysm news, and a thread caught my eye: “Wait…People still quest?” As someone who’s actively working on Loremaster/Seeker, I have to say that the answer is yes. It seems like people view PvE – the main world, outside instances/dungeons/raids – as “easy mode”, and that the game only starts once you get to 80.

Now, if all you do is end-game raiding or battlegrounds, that’s all well and good, because we all enjoy different things. But it seems to me that it’s ridiculous to claim that the game lacks no content prior to maxing out your level. Maybe it’s not as challenging as running ICC or RS, but there’s really a wealth of content – probably the majority of content, in fact – devoted to lower levels. Cata, it’s said, will ship with over 3000 new quests – and, judging from the number of quests in Outland and Northrend, a good two-thirds of that ought to be pre-80 content. (Going from the numbers needed for Loremaster – obviously not all the quests, but a good chunk of them – Outland added 568 quests, Northrend 875.) Add in the fact that you need beginning questlines for two new races, plus rewriting two more of them (gnomes and trolls). Most of Kalimdor is being rezoned; Azshara is being entirely recreated as a 10-20 quest hub for Horde races. (And just think about all those Darkshore/Auberdine quests that are being changed.)

My point is, there’s a hell of a lot more to do in Azeroth than raid and PvP. What I hope to accomplish here is to not only introduce (or re-introduce) you to the world that Blizzard’s created, but maybe document a few of my own experiences along the way. 700-odd quests (plus critter-loving, minipet farming, faction-grinding, cooking, AND all those unread books) is a whole lot of stuff to do. See, there’s one more thing I forgot to mention: technically speaking, I’m still a bit of a noob. I don’t know much about lore, haven’t been around since Vanilla, etc., etc. (I’ve been playing for right around five months.) So I figure that maybe a fresh insight might be interesting to all you people out there. I might be in the silent majority of WoW players, but the thing about that is that it’s, well, silent. It’s time for one of us to speak up.

But first, I’ve got a Stratholme run to do.

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