With so much to do in WOW and a few more hours than usual put in at real life work, I haven’t written much on the blog in the last couple of days. So I thought I’d write a round up of what I’ve been up to, before publishing some further battle of the pets, hunter spec, and shot rotation posts in the next couple of days.
1. Zombie Invasion
If you logged into WOW in the last few days you couldn’t miss this one. Did you love it or did you hate it? I think that rather depends upon your gamer personality. Gamer personality? Gamers are often divided into killers, explorers, achievers and socializers. To see which you are take the Bartle Test here.
My guildies had very strong reactions to the event. Some (mainly the killer personalities) embraced their inner zombies and went out to get zombified and infect as many other people and NPCs as possible. Some enjoyed mounting the defenses of the towns and cities, killing zombies. Others, (mainly the more achiever and socializer types) were upset by the whole event, as it stopped them getting their quests done, visiting the towns, using the auction house, or going about their routines. Me? I’m an explorer. I visited the towns to stock up on supplies (including tinder and wood) and went off into the wilds with my trusty gorilla tolived off the land, away from most zombies. When I did have to venture to civilization for supplies or travel routes, I killed any zombies in my way to stop them infecting me or others. In fact, I RP’d it, behaving very much as I would in RL if ever there were an attack of the zombies, lol. But love it, hate it, or avoid it, everyone reacted strongly to it, and I think it was a brilliant and memorable move by Blizzard. It will probably have the psychologists analyzing our behavior patterns, much as the original ZG plague did.
Oh and if, like me, you wondered how it was all over so quickly and neatly, see the gallery screen shots of some of the end quest texts (which I didn’t have time to do) here. It seems the all-powerful Naaru actually got off their shiny behinds and did something for once, creating a super weapon for the returned King of Stormwind to zap the zombies and plague to oblivion with.
2. Scourge Invasion
The zombies have gone. But the other big thing, the scourge Necropolises (Necropoles, Necropoleis, Necropoli, or whatever the plural of Necropolis is, I have seen so many different versions) are still popping up over several zones around Azeroth. Argent Dawn out at Light Hope Chapel in Eastern Plaguelands are running the resistance to this invasion, giving higher level players quests to kill the mobs spawning at summoning points under the Necropolises. According to Tigole this event will be around for another couple of days. It’s quite fun to do with a couple of friends, although the rewards (besides the tabard which is great) are a bit meh if you have decent gear. If you look on your world map (need to turn off map addons like cartographer for this to work) you can see a purple skull marking the zone under attack. (You can also ask one of the NPCs at LHC, who gives you a clue as to where to go next).
Race to the zone and find the summoning circle. Kill mobs and collect 10 necrotic runes for your first quest. When the summoning crystal in the middle of the circle gets to zero health summoners and wraths appear. You need to tag and kill one of the shadow of doom thingies for your Shadow of Doom quest. This can be hard as a lot of other people are trying to do the same thing. These guys also drop 30 necrotic runes. You can use 8 necrotic runes and talk to a summoner to summon another one, but unless you tag it, you will lose your runes and someone else will get the loot.
Hand in your quests, and use any spare runes with the quartermaster back at LHC in EPL to buy items. The tabard costs only 8 runes. There is also a fun though fairly useless trinket, which summons a level 60 paladin to fight with you for a minute or so. He gets on his charger when not fighting, and bubble hearths when his timer expires! There is are some epic armor set items, which are nice in that they are purple and have haste on them, but are not as good as Merciless gladiator or T4 raid gear. However, if you are a level 70 in greens and blues it’s an easy way to score some good upgrades. When you are at the summoning circles look out for the silver elite mob, he drops part of the set. We got some leather legs off one, and a leather breastplate off another, though its pretty random.
For lower levels there is a necropolis outside Ironforge and I think Orgimmar. There is a quest giver outside the gates of Ironforge who asks you to collect 3 runes and investigate the circle. The mobs here are only level 10. You don’t get much for it, but it’s nice to be able to take part.
As well as the necropolises, there are also some scourge bosses in various instances see here for a WOW insider link. The big guy – Tendris Mirkblood – is in Kara – up the stairs behind the huntsman. He drops an axe that can be uses as a guitar (go figure!), as well as some BOJs and a bat pet for everyone in the raid. You can pick up a quest to kill him from the commoners in the major cities. The quest rewards is a Monster Slaying Kit – which is kinda like the 6 demon bag. Fun but pretty useless at 70. Strategy to kill him here. But he is not the only boss. There are bosses in Shadowfang Keep, Scarlet Monestary, Razofen Down, Dire Maul, Scholo and Strat. See the link above and Wow Wiki for more details. Anelf and I have killed a couple of these so far, we have been running the other one’s lower level alt thru, that way the alt gets the loot, and Anelf or Tin gets the achievement for completing the instance (many of which haven’t shown up as being complete on the achievements system, even though I have lost count of the number of times I have been in some of them).
3. Hallow’s End
Amongst all the excitement of the zombies and scourge, the Hallow’s End seasonal event continues. Tinuviel now has her Hallow’s Helm and Squashling, and just need to do the GNERDS bg achievement to get the Hallows End achievements all sewn up. I don’t have 20 masks, but that’s OK, as they are dropping that as a requirement to get the overall achievement for the seasonal event. The hardest thing was finding a troll without a pumpkin already on it’s head, in order to ram on on there. Troll’s are a rare breed on our server!
4. Achievements and pets
I love the achievements system. It opened up a whole new game for people like me. My guild master and friend, Ent, is a real completist and is getting really into completing as many achievements as he possibly can. I am not quite as obsessed with them as Ent, but they are taking up a lot of my game time at the moment. When I took Anelf’s alt through SM last night, I found several books to read in the library, which ticked off part of the Well Read achievement. Did I actually read them? No. I flicked through the pages, in order to get a tick in the achievement box. But did I obsessively run around looking for books? Yes. And I enjoyed it. They are really tapping into our base psychology again here.
I collected my 50 mini pets to get my Skunk. He’s cute 🙂 It too me ages to get mini pet number 50 (I will write a post on the easiest way to get 50 mini pets). But shortly after I got my squashling and bat, so with skunk I now have 53. I’m trying to keep going and get some of the rarer drops like the whelpings, oozling or firefly, but not having any luck so far. Having a level 70 gorilla makes these kind of grinds a lot easier now. Like a lot of people I tried out a gorilla and loved him. I didn’t really want to like him. I don’t like being one of the crowd, and BRK had made them too popular with the Gorilladin Movie. But then I guess they are popular for a reason. I’m probably not going to level through Northrend with a gorilla (I trained Ol’ Sooty, the black bear, for that – remember when he was elite and used to kill all your low levels in Loch Modan? It was a real rite of passage to get his head?), but the gorilla is really useful for clearing out low level instances quickly and for grinding for rep and items.
I am also collecting mounts, I almost have 25, I am debating whether to go for 50 and the albino drake reward. my guildmate, Kzin, has a drake, and it does look nice. It’s a lot of money to get to 50, and I am don’t have much rep at all with the Netherwing or Skyguard. But the albino drake is cool. To level up my gorilla I worked on the ogres in Nagrand. I was half way through revered with the Kurenai and that got me to exalted, so now I have all my talbuks 🙂 Leveling the gorilla from 65 to 70 didn’t take that long at all (I wish I had made a note of how long it took but it seemed something like about 40mins per level). Obviously, it will take much longer to level a pet from 75 to 80 in Northrend, when more experience is needed per level, and when you don’t get the accelerated leveling speed, you now get from 60-70.
We got our Jenkins title fairly early on (I think I was the only person in the guild with the key for UBRS). I hope more people have it now, I felt a bit guilty about not offering to take anyone in there whenever they wanted to go, but I didn’t want to spend the next couple of weeks standing holding the door of UBRS open. When we did go (as a spur of the moment thing) we did at least take a full raid of 10 guildies with us, so they could get their title. I am not actually using the Jenkins title (not really my thing), and anyway I have The Ambassador title (for being exalted with the 5 alliance cities), I like the introduction of these kind of titles, so I am working on the Diplomat (I wonder if you can get round chocolate balls covered in gold foil in game with titles like these?) and Guardian of Cenariaus. I think I should also work on my Argent Dawn rep which isn’t.
5. Next up – more battle of the pets, specs, mana regen and shot rotations
So what’s next for Tinuviel and the blog? I want to test out some more pets and get some more battle of the pets info up on the blog. Stuff I have been reading seems to support the findings from battle of the pets so far. Cat’s rake is getting a nerf to bring cats dps in line with other pets. Some of the exotic pets (although not it seems devilsaurs) are getting buffs soon. It may be that all exotic pets get some more love in future. Blizzards seem to be debating how much more powerful and attractive they want to make the exotics over non-exotics. Other people’s testing of wasps seems to show them as being underpowered at the moment (thanks to the commentator on the blog who pointed me in the direction of the post on Mania’s forums about this). Gorilla thunderstomp might also be getting a bit of a nerf, seems it can be a bit too good, when scaled with hunters gear.
I am also be continuing to test some specs and shot rotations and the beta. I especially want to look at the most effective way to regenerate mana while maintaining high dps. I have been playing with the marksman spec, and I wanted to prefer it, as I thought it might take more skill to play (with Chimera shot). But it doesn’t really, you are just refreshing chimera instead of the appropriate sting. And it does not seem to be producing more damage than the BM spec (a lot more comparable than previously), but not so much more that a hardened BM like myself will jump ship, even though I quite fancy a change.
6. Something amusing to end on
I didn’t take many screenshots this week (had to steal some for this post). But I did take these two of a rather over sized devilsaur. Something seemed to be going wrong with the pet sizes (I think there is a similar picture on Around Azeroth). First I saw a full sized King Mukla as a hunter pet (didn’t get a screen shot), and then this guy…
When he and his owner walked into Light Hope Chapel, he was so tall his head stuck out of the roof…