For those few of you who actually FOLLOW this blog you will have noticed I haven't posted in several days. It is not because I did not have things to talk about but more that it seemed that EVERYONE was talking about all the same things. In fact my last post I no more than finished but then went on to read four others about the same topic....sigh.
Since those others (in my opinion at least) seemed to do a much more creative job at it. I figured I would just crawl back into my bed and get some more rest to recover from this cold I have been fighting.
There are a few things coming up that I am REALLY excited about however.
First of all I am a AVID reader and Lore Junkie. I also read VERY fast (or so I have been told, I thought being able to devour 3 novels in a day was normal...) I had never really been introduced to the idea of "Graphic novels" until World of Craft. Oh I had seen them around. (One can't go into a gaming or book store and NOT stumble across them.) But I had never really taken the time to pick one up and READ it. My attitude had been one of the literary snob "Don't they have enough imagination to make their OWN mental pictures?" And "How much STORY can you REALLY have with "bubbles" over your character's heads?"
This past Christmas my husband asked for the "Sunwell Trilogy" (literary snob that I am) it of COURSE had to be the hard cover version and I can't have a book lying around the house that I haven't read. So I sat down and worked my way through it if for no other reason that I DESPERATELY wanted to understand WHY this girl was floating around in a bubble in the Sunwell. I wasn't impressed. HOWEVER I was assured that this wasn't the best effort so I should not give up.
Next came the Comic series telling the tale of King VarianWyrnn. This has been interesting but as they keep changing animators the "flow" isn't really there. Again, I got more into this as a "lore filler" than because of the actual execution of the product. I do plan to pick up the rest of the series (when it comes out in hard cover) but I was never so anxious to get it as to want it in the comic book form.
Now I have been eyeing the Warcraft Legends series. As of yet I haven't picked them up but I think they will get added to my collection at some point. I am just not sure if I want to pick them all up as individual novels or wait to see if a collector's edition comes out which will contain all five.
None of these past offerings has gotten me excited but this next one did. So much so that I was jumping up and down in my chair. Warcraft just announced they will be doing a series of comics staring Thassarian. Warcraft: Death Knight will supposedly tell HIS story. (The picture at the top is the proposed cover art.) For those of you who are NOT familiar with Thassarian, if you are a Death Knight he was a quest giver in your starting zone that just always seemed a little nobler than the others. If you are an Alliance player you stumble across his sister in the Borean Tundra and eventually that will lead you to him. Alliance players see him once again in Ice Crown aboard the Skybreaker. This will DEFINITELY be on the Christmas List as it is due out in December of this year.
Also coming out is suppose to be the Dragons of Outland trilogy. Again this series is suppose to pick up where the Sunwell series left off but seems somewhat out of place as they are only NOW touching on lore we expected them to deal with back in Burning Crusade. While I do think I will pick this up eventually. It won't be until all three books are released.
Enough about graphic novels, what about the good ole fashion, YOU imagine the pictures type books?
I have already completed the Archive books, both the original and the The War of the Ancients. I have also enjoyed Cycle of Hatred, Rise of the Horde and Tides of Darkness. One of the things I enjoyed MOST about these books is they gave me a good understanding of the lore of World of Warcraft but even more than that they allowed me to see the Orcs in particular in a more favorable light rather than a race that was victimized over and over again.
I haven't been able to get Beyond the Dark Portal yet. This is one in particular I want to get my hands on as I am hoping it will contain further information on Turalyon and Alleria in particular All I know is their SON wanders Honor Hold looking for further information about his Father. Of his mother he makes no mention though those he questions speak of her.
Night of the Dragon is another book I haven't had the chance to read yet but want to pick up. My hope is that it will give more insight into WHY Dalaran was moved to Northrend and how Rhonin came to lead the Kirin Tor.
NOW comes the new book that has me excited Arthas:Rise of the Lich King. Here we are suppose to get a look at Arthas' ENTIRE life from his childhood to his fall, including his eventual soul binding that made him into the LOVELY monster he is today. (I have never had a great deal of respect for Arthas. Those who run H CoS with me know I call him "Dingle Dork" every time we have to wait for the guy to catch up. It will be VERY interesting to see how they handle a story that we know going in is a tragedy. As it is due out April 2009, we won't have to wait long. Even better, you can get a taste of chapter 3 here. ENJOY!
It seems like every time a large content patch or expansion pack is due certain things happen.
It has become, to me a least, a predictable cycle.
People start to become "bored" with their mains and become "alt crazed" sometimes to the point that you seldom even SEE them on their mains unless dragged kicking and screaming. Or they are re specing their mains in an attempt to bring some "excitement" back into it.
Many guilds begin to fracture as the progression teamwork that once held them together is lost in the weekly grind of "easy clears". This often leads to poaching from other guilds, merging with other guilds in similar situations, dissolving altogether or having to change their focus in order to survive until the next patch hits.
None of this is new to those of us who have played this game for a while. They, (like I have already stated) have seen this pattern before and recognize it. We each just have to decided for ourselves how we are going to handle it this time around. And be honest with yourself, how you cope WILL be different each time if only slightly.
When BC was coming I discovered all gear I had worked so hard at collecting was soon going to be worthless so I began working on my alts and stockpiling my piggy bank in preparation. With LK I knew my gear was going to get me a WHOLE lot further so I worked on other things, the new achievements and again stockpiling cash for other items.
Now with this new patch I find myself doing similar things yet again. Lvling alts, maxing skills and stockpiling. But also making sure my gear is the best I can get it in preparation for the new content.
I have one advantage. In the 3+ years I have played World of Warcraft the first character I ever created was Daraia. I enjoy her just as much today as I did the day I made her. During BC I experienced a great deal of frustration, not because I didn't enjoy her, but because I was not able to play her as much as I wished due to other guild needs. I may not be happy with all of the changes they have made to the Rogue class but I STILL love the class. I STILL enjoy playing it and have YET to get bored with it.
So as we all wait and watch for the new content to become available, determine for yourself how you are going to handle this next incoming storm and where you are going to go from here. Because there is one thing to keep in mind: There IS no sitting still, you either move forward or you fall behind.
There are several things the average player should know going in that they can do to prepare for Ulduar.
First, get the Epic Achievement. We know that the vehicles in the The Siege of Ulduar portion of Ulduar look at your item lvl so having gear that is all item lvl 213 as you head in is a good place to start. Even better if that gear is all helpful and not just place holder.
Second, know that Ulduar is NOT going to be like Nax. Those who feel they will be able to able to walk into Ulduar like they did Nax and easily handle it will be in for a rude awakening. There is a reason that Nax is called the "Kara of LK". It is an entry lvl raid. Even on 25. Ulduar is going to be like NOTHING we have done before and it will NOT be for the casual gamer to just "pug" in their blues.
Third, be aware that all the information that you are reading on the boss fights from the PTR is STILL preliminary. While it is good to see what direction Blizz is thinking, until it is released they are STILL tweaking and taking feedback so things WILL change. You can watch the videos and the live feeds to get a heads up. But Blizz often Nerfs OR Buffs many times over depending on what they see happening in the game play.
Fourth, be flexible. Know that change is coming and while you are attempting to prepare until the patch actually hits you don't know how it will effect you. If you are thinking of getting a duel spec for example, start gathering the gear and the cash to pay for it. But you may want to hold off on buying any new glyphs until you get a chance to see the new ones that are coming.
Over all we have a lot of new information to discover. Some people embrace change others bemoan it. It is up to the individual player to decide which side they are going to be on and go from there. How you are going to prepare will say a lot about the type of player you are.
Going raiding when you are exhausted and ill is never a good idea. But when you are a raid leader and the Guild Leader, there are just some things you have to do. However it does lead to some funny mistakes and some great noob moves.
Last night we headed back onto Nax. Blizz has been doing SOMETHING with their in game calendar system so it was wonky, everyone was a paladin, a shammy, a Death knight depending on the time you opened it up. (IF you could GET it to open.) People were not getting invites at ALL. It was marking people as accepted who had declined or declined who had accepted. So we basically had no idea what our group make up was going to be before hand. This set us back from the get go and made planning for the evening a nightmare.
Finally about thirty minutes AFTER our regularly scheduled start time we got things organized and were able to get going. Our usual main tank and raid leader is ALSO ill and recovering from Pneumonia so decided to go Ret for the night and have three of his co-tanks run the show. This further threw things off as people were use to the flow and pace of his tanking style.
Over all we managed to get it done. Two wings, Military and Bugs, minimal wipes. (Most due to just silly errors brought on by a lot of the factors already mentioned. But I haven't mentioned MY great "Noob move" of the evening yet.
You see before running into Nax I decide to do a little Wintergrasp. So I had gotten all "PVP" and played with the Cannons and blown up some Horde. (I have to say I REALLY like that zone...A LOT.) Well if you haven't guess it already...I forgot to change. So several bosses later another one of the Rogues asked me about it. Just wondering if there was a REASON I was in PVP gear for Gothik...some Rogue strat secret I had neglected to share with him...Red faced and sputtering I went looking for a Boomkin to change in. (Thank goodness for Vanish.)
So we weren't able to get as far as we would have liked, but over all we managed to over come all the illnesses, poor decisions, to many chiefs, cranky attitudes, and STILL get some people some nice upgrades. Dar FINALLY got to see and even walk out with her Best in Slot bracers the Sinner's Bindings from Maexxna. I had begun to give up hope of EVER seeing them. So just a few more pieces to go and she will be looking pretty good for Ulduar.
MMO Champion has done it again and complied the complete collection of both the Ten and Twenty-Five man versions of the rogue sets... no they don't get any prettier. (Sorry I know some of the guys out there disagree with me but dead babies on my head just do not appeal to me in any way shape or form.)
But if you lose the helms and focus on the set bonuses these new sets are nice to say the least.
Of the two I do prefer the look of the Ten Man version but oh well. The Shoulders have that same strange "spider whip" from the old BC Brutal Gladiator shoulders which I never cared for either. While I would always prefer to be in black at least the sets themselves have a GREAT name "Terrorblade" and the stats and set bonuses are not shabby at all.
Lets look at each piece starting from the Top down
Set Bonus: (2) Your Deadly Poison causes you to gain 1 energy each time it deals damage. (4) The damage dealt by your Rupture can now be critical strikes.
Ok, these are HUGE and should have a massive impact on how rogues are using their poisons and finishers. At the moment the poisons of choice are Instant and Wound (depending on the spec you are sporting) with THIS set bonus we are looking at an increase in Energy regen which means an increase in our ability to do special attacks, JUST from changing out our poisons. Now put into the mix CRITS ON RUPTURE!?!
I will be honest here I do know a lot of Rogues that STILL don't use this move and it always floors me. Rupture is a NICE damage move. It is a steady part of my rotation on ANY boss fight, trash no, but boss fights? Yeah. To get CRITS on it like any other finisher makes me want to dance in my chair. Any time I get a rogue who isn't using it I challenge them to add it to their rotation and see what it does to their over all damage I will BET them it usually increases their over all damage output by a good 7-8%. There is a reason Blizz has Rupture as a set bonus on so much stuff. USE IT.
So this is how stuff is looking PTR as of right now. IF it goes live as is (one can always hope) it SURE looks tasty.
Patch 3.1 is going to be a BIG help to all the Mutilate Rogues out there. FINALLY they will have some Glyphs that will be "must haves" for them (providing of course we get to keep them, at least one has already been removed since yesterday.) For a long time that has been an issue that has plagued that spec. Frankly some of these glyphs I was surprised were not released at the beginning.
Patch 3.1 will bring Rogues a total of Seven new glyphs that I know of (since one yummy has been removed).
With duel specing being offered with this patch some rogues are also looking at the possibility of doing a "trash spec". Basically specs that focus on giving a lot of AoE. When looking at this they MIGHT want to look at things like Glyph of Fan of Knives and Glyph of Killing Spree. Of the two I think FoK is the more viable, (though your weapon usage is still going to be key with this move.) As fun as Killing Spree is for AoE FARMING, in a raid situation it really wouldn't be that worth it in my opinion. I know personally I like to pair it with Blade Flurry since they both share 2 min cool downs.
I really wish Blizz had given us something more in the way of Minor Glyphs or even something for the supposed "Meta" glyph slot that there were rumors of when the glyph system was first introduced. That empty circle in the middle just bothers me.
I mentioned once before that I picked up Inscription when it came out with Wrath. I have really enjoyed it. When I first created Daraia WAY back she was a Skinner/Leatherworker. But then my hunter Kessah was ALSO a Leatherworker/Skinner and since at the time Blizz hadn't introduced all the lovely BOP recipes I dropped Leatherworking and picked up Herbalism to help out my Husband on his Druid. (This was WAY back at about lvl 40 three years ago.) So for three years Dar was nothing more than a gatherer. Picking and Skinning.
Then Burning Crusade was introduced and with it Jewel Crafting. I was going to pick THAT up, it looked REALLY yummy. So, as always, I started stockpiling the Gems in anticipation of the expansion. But once it arrived we realized that it really made more sense for my Husband to pick it up on Therigwin (his Pally) who was a Miner than for me on Dar. So....all my stock pile of gems went off to him and off she went through all of BC gathering more herbs and skins. (I did SERIOUSLY look at picking Leatherworking again several times but never did.)
Finally Lich King was announced and with it Inscription. I have to say. It fits Dar perfectly. She was already an Herbalist so I had a huge stockpile of herbs waiting for the release. It took me about 3 hours to power level her (I will say this now this is the only time in my LIFE I have EVER power leveled a trade, before I have always done it as I leveled the toon.)
Going into this next patch I know every Glyph there is to my knowledge so I am now stockpiling in anticipation of discovering all the new ones. So what does Blizz have in store? These are the ones I have found:
So we now have some confirmation on the new loot we will be seeing in Patch 3.1 (Many thanks to Boubouille at MMO Champion for gathering up all this information. For a complete look check out his post here.) Remember this is not a FULL loot list just what has been discovered so far and be sure that some of these stats may change before it goes live.
You may have noticed that I have included Item numbers, Items with 213 will most likely come from 10 man Ulduar, 226, 25 man and/or the new Emblem of Conquest tokens from there. Items lvl 232 are believed to come from the bosses in 25 man Ulduar on "hard mode".
I am just going to concentrate on the items which are of interest to us as Rogues.
Over all I am rather pleased with what I am seeing so far. Lots of sockets for personalizing gear to better fit the needs of the specific player. Weapons seem to cover the bases at least, some even have sockets. Would like to see more variety in the Rings and Trinkets as for now those offerings are very limited. Hoping more will be discovered soon.
On a personal note I replaced my last blue last night (a ring) so Dar if FINALLY in all epics. Moving on to my next goal which is to get her into all her "best in Slot" gear (which with the exception of one trinket is all item 213 gear.) We will see how far I can get before patch 3.1 hits.
Still debating on how to spend some of my Valor tokens as I am looking at replacing some gear I have been wearing since shortly after hitting lvl 80. Part of me is just willing to sit on them and wait to see what I might be able to get with the patch and/or see drop rather than spend them now...the other part of me is just indecisive and can't prioritize items that are so far below my "best in slot" items. It is times like this I REALLY wish I could have Excel and the spread sheets rather than just my Napkin math....but can't convince the Plate wearer in the family that spending $200 to up my Dps is worth it. Now if it was for his PALLY.....
I have mentioned before that I am a planner. I have a list of gear, what I call my "best in slot". These are the pieces that I want to get my hands on. When they drop I will usually roll for them. I have been very fortunate in some aspects. I have managed to collect four of my five Valorous Bonescythe pieces (just missing the helm). All but one (my pants) were kind enough to drop for me off of bosses. Considering who I share tier tokens with (Deathknights, Mages and Druids) I can only count my self blessed to have managed this feat.
There was one area I was rather concerned about though as I worked on my little list planning to prepare for Ulduar. My Trinkets. DPS trinkets are in rather short supply, or at lest the ones that I am after. For my best in slot I had selected two. The Darkmoon Card: greatness and the Fury of the Five Flights.
I had an advantage on the Greatness card as an Inscriptionist I could MAKE my Nobels deck rather than fork out 10k gold to buy one. It only took me a week of flying in circles around Sholazar Basin picking herbs until I was literally dizzy. But I got it, and I REALLY like it. The proc rate on it is nice, 35% so I frequently have the buff.
Fury on the other hand was alluding me. It just never seemed to want to drop. Not only that, I was well aware that IF it ever dropped I would be rolling against A LOT of other people for it. (Hunters, Dps Death Knights, Feral Druids, other Rogues) we ALL want that trinket.
So my other option, and the one I have been using since just a few days after hitting lvl 80 has been the Heroism Badge Token Trinket Mirror of Truth. It to is a nice trinket, though its proc rate varies I usually got one every minute which made it worth it for me.
So we headed back into The Obsidian Sanctum for our weekly duel with the drakes. I have by this point given up all hope of seeing this trinket. Some of us are almost convinced it is a myth told by other players to spark false hope. It was a bumpy run, we were trying it with a new drake Shadron up and three of our top dps were not there. After a few attempts we determined that for this week we would just clear it and go on to Nax to get a start on the rest of the week.
Being one of the few dps who had managed to live through the flame walls and final adds I was busy doing clean up when my husband looted Satharion. I only heard him laughing about the drops. Then I saw it...Another Rogue who was with us whispered me "There is your trinket." My reply was "I will never win it, I roll lousy on guild runs." For some reason it was my night. A 97. I literally fell out of my chair.
As we went into Nax I kept looking at that Trinket as it proced, watched what it did to my dps and giggling to myself. I know in time I will get use to it. New upgrades soon become the old ones we are tired of and can't wait to replace. For now I will enjoy my new toy and hope it helps me to do better at my job. And I hope it drops again for all those others who desire it. Cus let me tell you, Facing that fury proc is a WONDERFUL thing.
Yes, it has finally happened, Blizz has given us slaves!
The last few days I have talked a lot about the new quests over in the Argent Tournament Grounds. I even talked bit about the new non combat pets you can buy, but I didn't mention the greatest non combat pet yet. The Argent Squire. You get this little guy when you have completed the Aspirant-Champion Quest chain and unlike OTHER non combat pets this one actually will CARRY stuff for you. (Granted they are just flags but still.) Depending on which faction you are Championing at the moment he will proudly tout out those colors for you and carry them around in your wake. For all of you who hate to give up your Orphan during Children's week, here is the answer to your prayers. Now I just have to come up with a name for him....
Strap on your fishing poles friends it is going to be a bumpy ride....
There are 5 new fishing daily quests that will be introduced in this up coming patch. You will be able to obtain them from the Grand Master fishing trainer Marcia Chase in Dalaran (the lady next to the fish fountain). While you will get goodies bag as a reward, unlike the daily fishing quests from Old Man Barlo in Outland these quests require more than just sticking your pole in the water in the right place and bringing the fish back.
"Any Northrend angler worth there salt knows about the pygmy suckerfish There is, however, a stealthy fish that hides among the sucker fish in the Rivers Heart of Sholazar Basin. The phantom ghostfish. They become increasingly translucent until they fade away completely. Some hypothesis they return to Sholazar while others are more...Superstitious. Catch this fish and discover its secret by any means!"
Quest objective - Discover the secret of the Ghostfish and report to Marcia Chase in Dalaran. (You do this by eating the fish after you catch it you only have about a minute before it will disappear.)
Jewel of the Sewers -
"Hard to believe most people fish in the sewers for giant rats and mutilated fish. Especially when those waters are filled with priceless jewelry discarded by broken hearted fools, thieves and careless drunks. The trick is to drag your hook along the bottom and don't pull up to hard when you get something. Try it out, (name). I'd be willing to trade whatever you find for a few trinkets of my own."
Quest objective - Bring Marcia Case a piece of Corroded Jewlrey. (Must be in the Underbelly of Dalaran to do this one.)
Dangerously Delicious -
"The fishing is often the most dangerous. Wintergrasp boasts a bountiful catch for the brazen. In fact it is the only place to catch the fabled Terrorfish - a fish both lethal and delicious. Bring me some and we will have something to discuss."
Quests objective - Bring Marcia Case 10 Terrorfish. (You don't have to be in control of Wintergrasp to complete this quest, but I wouldn't suggest doing near or during times of contention.)
Monsterbelly Appetite -
"It seems a recent deep sea fishing trip went very wrong. The boat capsized and one of the fisherman lost an arm to a huge Monsterbelly. Our First Aid Clinic promises they can reattach the arm if we can bring it back. You've fished long enough to know where monsterbellys are found, and I'd bet my favorite fishing pole our little monster belly will show his ugly face. Find that arm and bring it to Olisarra the Kind in Dalaran. She will know what to do.'
Quest objective - Return the severed arm to Olisarra the Kind in Dalaran.
Blood is Thicker -
"The Bloodtooth is a feisty little fish used in a recipe to cure infected wounds. We could use some if you are up to it. As the name suggests, they've a hunger for blood. The only way I know of to catch the little devils is by creating a pool of blood and fishing in it. Just get your self covered in blood - slaughter a beast in the Borean Tundra and jump in the water. It will create the perfect fishing spot."
Quest objective - Bring Marcia Case 5 Bloodtooth Frenzies (after you kill a beast in the Tundra you have the 3 min "Animal Blood" debuff. Run to open water and make sure you get in where it is deep enough for you to fish. You will now have a pool like you would any other fishing pool to fish. The pool should last long enough for you to get your fish.)
So what all will you be finding in that Bag of Fishing Treasures? (Many thanks to El's Extream Anglin for a lot of the following information, wish I had found this site earlier as it would have saved me a lot of leg work.)
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about "Do you play the spec that you enjoy or the spec that gets the job done?" The feeling seems to be in some quarters that if you can't play your preferred spec then that character is no longer "fun to play" and should be abandoned. It is a hard concept for me to understand. Personally if you were to ask what my favorite Rogue tree is I would with out hesitation reply Subtlety. However I have for almost two years now played predominately Combat.
The reason for this was that until Lich King was released if I wanted to do any raiding Combat was the only spec that could "get the job done" for me in the dps department. Let us be honest here, until recently I found my Combat spec rather boring. The reason being the spell rotations were extremely static. Yeah the numbers were great so I lived with it but it was still boring.
Rogues or at least the people who PLAY Rogues seem to have this theme, a hard core dedication to their class. They in general will do whatever it takes to play that class, no matter what spec is demanded, what weapon, gear etc needs to be farmed just so they can continue to be those sneaky sneak ambushers. Pre BC the Realms were full of rogues, the buzz was how they needed to be "thinned out a little" and this was done in a subtle way worthy of the class they were culling.
They put a lot of the Rogue gear DEEP in the dungeons and raids making it difficult to obtain. If you wanted to play a rogue and you didn't have certain trades such as Leather working getting gear was HARD work. Rogues I had known for years began to fall away, re rolling as shamans. In addition to this Blizz was at that time also working on the idea that all classes should be putting out similar amounts of damage so Rogues were seeing their spots in raiding guilds often filled by those aforementioned Shamans or Feral druids who could offer buffs. It was disheartening to say the least.
Then came Beta and the buzz in the Rogue community was Blizz was bringing back Mutilate in a BIG way. Apparently they were tired of the fact that when people envisioned a Rogue they thought "Daggers dripping in poisons" but when you did an armory search just about EVERY ROGUE was sporting duel swords and if they weren't it was considered a "fluke".
Now I will be honest here, of all the specs Mutilate is my weakest. That isn't to say it isn't a fun spec to play. I ran it leveling from 70-80 on Live to try to get a better understanding of it. One of the great things about it is the flow. It is a fluid spec, for Mutilate my finisher cycle would be something like 3-5s/5r or the more complex 3 finisher cycle which looks like 3-5s/4-5r/4-5e. The majority of Mutilate Rogues run the standard 3-5s/5r rotation and with the right talents and even fairly easy to obtain weapons you can put out a nice amount of dps with it.
The biggest problem with Mutilate is that it is a very unforgiving rotation. If you mess it up you have to start from square one all over again. So with bosses that require a lot of movement, stun, etc it can really hurt you. In addition to that out side of Fan of Knives you have no AoE moves available to you. I also discovered that I personally had a difficult time concentrating on my spell rotation along with maintaining my other duties while in a guild raid so I ended up going back to combat.
There is a spec thought that I would LOVE to try....it is spoke of on Rogue forums at present with great love. (Though at one time it was viewed with great suspicion.) High dps? In the SUBTLETY TREE? Yes, it CAN happen HOWEVER it isn't easy. This build is called HAT the title comes from the Subtlety 41 point talent Honor Among Thieves and at one time there was a bug that if you had 5 rogues with this build the numbers you could get could make ppl cry because they would each proc the other's Hat.
Hat's has two great weaknesses that I have been able to see.
First, how much damage you get out of the build is entirely dependent on who all you have in your raid or group. Ideally the Hat Rogue loves to see Raids with at good mix of classes that pack on the crit and crit often.
Another issue which some rogues have when switching to this build is learning how to manage their energy effectively. As a person who ran a Subtlety/Combat spec back in the day with Subtlety/Mutilate was all that you saw, this part of Hat really doesn't have me as concerned.
The biggest thing holding me back from trying this spec now is the lack of consistent group make up in our guild's raids to support it. Perhaps with the up coming patch and the promised Duel spec I can give it a try.
Yesterday (or early this morning if you want to be truthful) I left off with the question. "Is grinding this new rep really WORTH all the effort?
And the answer is: At this point, we really don't know. I have yet to find a "Silver Covenant" Vendor so they don't seem to have anything specifically CONNECTED to them. Like the Frostborn and the Explorers League they seem to be there more for the Achievers who are after their Exalted Title.
Now on the other hand, if you were to ask the question, "Are doing the daily quests PROVIDED by this faction worth it?" Then the answer in my opinion would clearly be YES. For several reasons.
One would be the funds it will put into your pocket. If you have yet to obtain you epic flying skill this will be just one more way to help you on your way. The quests are fairly straight forward, result in little to no damage to your gear and if you are willing to take the time to avoid the time saving flight paths, inexpensive to complete.
Some of the quests are actually quite enjoyable. Riding the various mounts around and participating in the long awaited mounted combat is a great deal of fun once you get the hang of it. While designed for pve it can also be done as pvp which opens up even more options for players.
For the achievement mongers out there, yes there are indeed achievements tied to these daily quest. There are also some quest chains that I have refrained from discussing yet. One of the best ones is leads to the achievement called "Just a Flesh Wound" .
Of course another reason would be the rewards you can obtain with the quest currency. There are a large variety of items available, from mounts and vanity pets, weapons and armor.
Now some of you might be complaining. WHAT?!!? Another currency? Why?! Mike Schramm of WoW Insider gives a GREAT explanation of why all these currencies are SO necessary for progression. Go check it out at WoW Insider.
In conclusion everyone is in for a treat with this new quest hub.
The plan was simple. Get on PTR. Complete the last few daily quests and get on to the next stage of the new quest Hub. However, plans seldom last past the first engagement as they say.
First it was Thursday. For those of you not familiar with PTR Thursdays are "maintenance day" so "world server is down" is the norm. Second, it seemed I was to have a house full of sick children today so play time was out of the question.
So instead, once again, we will focus on something else. Let me begin by describing the new quest hub. The Argent Tournament Grounds as I have mentioned before is located just north of Sindragoa's Fall. It is dominated by a large Construction site, the to be completed at a later date Coliseum. Flanked by three large tents, numerous fighting arenas, stables, booths, out houses, wagons and other paraphernalia it is a thriving hub of activity.
The Largest tent is of course the Argent Crusades' located on the west side of the Tournament Grounds and it is to this tent you will first wish to head when you come to this area. Here you will pick up a quest which sends you the your respective faction tents located on the East side of the Tournament Grounds.
Once there you are introduced to your new role as a Aspirant. You will now learn how to use all the new toys Blizz has given us and travel from Ice Crown, Crystal Song Forest, Dragonblight, Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills attempting to complete the new daily quests. Some of these quest are actually kind of funny (they seem to have a thing for the "Maiden in the lake") but annoyingly time consuming.
It will take you 3 days of doing these quests before you will be able to do the next level of quests (many of which are the exact same quests just with different rewards) called Valiant. Again it will take a week (7 days) of doing THESE quests before you will FINALLY be able to get to the Title that REALLY matters and get you the rewards you want. The CHAMPION tokens.
You will notice from the screen shots that the mounts and and flags change based upon your faction and your rank. The higher your rank the more "flags" you have. Aspirants have 1 flag, where Champions have 3. Also, once you go beyond Aspirant your mount is based on your faction. I am a human so I ride a horse. The Champion Gnome I am sitting next to is on a Mechanostrider.
Over all these quest levels go quickly and if you are the type of person who has other reps you are grinding you can easily fit them into your daily rotation. The question will more importantly be, will you WANT to? Other than the non combat pets and mounts what other things do these guys have to offer? That will be a discussion for another day.
These past few days have been interesting ones to say the least on Wow when it comes to player interactions.
I was in Storm Peaks working on good ole Son's of Hodir daily quests when someone asked in general how to start their chain. After the usual smart remarks at his expense that are the norm on our server had made the rounds and I saw no one was going to help him. I whispered him and gave him the name of the starting quest. He replied that he had done those and was somewhere mid chain but did not know WHERE.
It took us about five minutes but eventually we were able to figure out that he had to go find the eggs and help Thorim recapture his protodrake. It wasn't much, just a little bit of time and I made a new friend. All because I was willing to take the time to talk him through a quest chain I was familiar with since I had recently completed it. I didn't even have to stop what I was doing.
Another friend of mine and fellow guild member had an experience on his hunter in which he was in the process of taming Loque'nahak only to have another alliance player show up, inturpt his taming, and kill the rare Spirit Beast. Poetically the very next day that same friend had ANOTHER person see Loque'nahak, and hold him until he got there so that he could tame him.
Just today I was part of a 25 man VoA group only to have the raid leader (another rogue) kick me and all the other rogues in the raid because he didn't want to compete with us for loot. Sadly this is not the first time this has happened nor I am sure will it be the last. (In fact it happened just last week.) If they had bothered to ask I would have told them all I was after was the badges since I already HAVE all my Hateful Gladiator and Valorous Bonescythe pieces.
The PTR forums (as usual) are full of individuals who spend the majority of time complaining about any and all changes being made to their class, profession or the game rather than really TESTING and giving true feed back on how the game is really working or not working. I find it fascinating how people seem to think that everything needs to revolve around them and their wants. Add a little bit of a challenge and it is TO HARD you need to nerf it. Balance something out for some reason and it is "TO EASY" they dumbed it down.
Over all I have to say that Blizzard has done an excellent job with this game. They can't make EVERYONE happy and they know it. But they try to do what they can to keep as many people involved and engaged on as many lvls as they can. From the Heavy hard core raiders that make up just a small part of the Wow community to the casual player that logs on just a few hours a week that are the Biggest part of their consumer base.
That isn't to say I haven't had my moments of railing as well. Hey, I play a rogue....I wailed with the best of them about the vanish bug only to finally hear Vaneras of Blizz say: "In regards to Vanish, we do believe that there may still be some bugs with it, but we are having trouble replicating those bugs in in order to get to the core of the issue. Whenever we try, Vanish simply works perfectly. "
Some times you just have to enjoy the game enough deal with it and the other people who play it or walk away. For now I am here to say, Stupid people and all. Over all I have ment more good people playing this game that they counter all the bad ones. Turn the music up high enough and it will drowned out all the whining.
I was originally going to write about all the fun new daily quests up at the the Argent Tournament Grounds which will be coming with this next patch.
This new area is located just North of Sindrgosa's Fall in Ice Crown and can most easily be reached by taking the Flight path to Bouldercrag's Refuge in Storm Peaks and then flying West. Once there pick up the flight path at the under construction Coliseum, and you are set for all further visits.
The majority of the daily quests located in this area will be giving us the long awaited Silver Covenant rep that all those rep junkies have been anticipating. At one point this rep was tied into The Winds of the North Achievement and the fact that there was no way to gain rep with them was very distressing to people.
But a funny thing happened as I was wandering around scouting out the place. I stumbled across the various vendors. There I discovered something that I know will be more near and dear to many peoples hearts...That and I know it will motivate people to do more of those a for mentioned quests than any thing else Blizz has EVER devised for the casual gamer.
The Non combat pet.
Each race has it's own unique one and what is going to drive some pet fanatics nuts is how are they going to be able to get the ones that belong to the OPPOSING factions?
I first caught sight of this set back in WotLK Beta and the rumor mill was that this would be the T7 set for Rogues.
Now again the Ugly thing is back and MMOChampion is speculating that this is the T8 gear.
It has NOT gotten anymore attractive.
It will be interesting to see what the proposed stats on this set will be but I do know one thing for sure...That helm will NOT be showing.
As to why there are 4 color combos for it, again no one is certain. Pvp, Heroic, Normal? Well that is three, but why Four? Just because all the OTHER classes got different color options? That is just pure silly. Of the four color choices we see the Black and the Red will most likely win the most votes with the general rogue community no doubt.
I warned you all that I am obsessive. I am one of those people who reads Elitist Jerks to keep updated. (Though I know I will most likely never do OS+3 I want to understand it.) Recently I have been thinking a lot about guild and raid make up. This of course leads to me spending hours looking to see what the latest information is I can find on it.
Sebastian has does a series of EXCELLENT articles that cover this topic in great detail so I am not going bother re doing his work. I would encourage you to go check them out. For now I am just going to summarize.
First, what kind of GUILD should you be in? There are basically 3 types.
The Hard Core raiding guild. The Raiding Guild and The Casual Guild.
Despite what a lot of guilds claim There are really only a few TRUE Hard Core Raiding Guilds. They make up about 2% of the WoW population. These guys and gals are the BEST OF THE BEST. They are the RANKED guilds. The top in the WORLD. Their members LITERALLY have little to no life outside of WoW. 40-60 hours of game time is not only normal it is DEMANDED. It is a full time job and EVERYONE in the guild knows it.
The second most common guild make up in WoW is the Raiding Guild. These are made up of people who WANT to raid but in general HAVE lives, jobs, kids, school, etc so are unable to be a part of a Hard Core raiding guild. There are of course different levels of them, Some are more casual or hard core than others but these guilds tend to flux a lot more both in longevity and guild membership.
The third is the Casual guild sometimes called the Social guild. These are the MOST common guilds and are made for a variety of reasons. They can at times be so large that members are not even aware of who their Guild Master IS or so small as to be no more than real life friends.
After you have an idea of what type of guild you are either in or looking for then you have to think about your role IN that guild. I am not just talking about your ranks. Sure you need Guild masters, Officers and Members, but there is more to it than even that.
There is a gamer personality test that will tell you the type of gamer that you are called the Bartle Test. If you have never taken it before it is a lot of fun and will give you some insight into the type of gamer you are. This breaks you down into Four basic types.
Achievers are the type of people who like to gain points, lvls, equipment, or other concrete indicators of advancement.
Explorers prefer to discover, create maps or find hidden areas. Easter eggs, unrestricted movement, those types of things are enjoyable to this type of player.
Socialites - The name says it all, they have a friends list that is bursting at the seams. All they really want to do is chat. Everything else in secondary.
Killers - They want to be on EVERYONE'S most wanted list. They thrive on competition against others on a personal lvl.
Seldom are you just one type but you generally are dominate in at least one area.
The guild I am leading Eternity Matters started out as a Casual guild. However with the advent of the 10 man raids of Burning Crusade we BECAME a Raiding Guild. It was NOT an easy metamorphosis and it was one that was debated long and hard before we made the official transition.
Once you make that transition you notice the body of your guild will begin to change as will your member base to a certain degree.
Sebastian again gives a good description of the Four basic types you will see.
The Visitor Or as we like to call them "The Gear Ups". They are only there to get what they want or need so they can move on to that better place. Often they are braggarts. These are often the most hated of all your guild members. And feels can be mixed when and if they go.
The Loyal Soldier They are the stalwart member that have been there from the beginning and won't depart until the guild disbands. Need a run through an old world instance on an alt? These are the people most likely to help you. Looking for some kind of low lvl regent? They most likely have a stock pile on one of their MANY MANY alts.
The Troll Another term is "Griefer" or "Drama Queen" Basically these are high energy individuals that once they have reached a certain point become easily bored and then spend the majority of their time complaining, using Wow and the guild as their place to vent.
The Newbie Making up the rest of the guild are the New players. The inexperienced and/or under geared. They take time, guidance and you don't KNOW what you may find in there. Personally I generally enjoy working with these types of players. While it can be difficult when they finally emerge and reveal themselves to be Visitors or Even Trolls, The Loyal Soldiers make it worth it.