Sunday, July 26, 2009

A letter for home.

I was happily questing on my Rogue Jadedfury today. Started working on the quests from Stars Rest in Dragonblight and was really having fun stealthing from target to target assassinating them before they could even mutter a sound! I received the quest The focus on the beach and made my way to the beach to find the captain.

(From Jadedfury's perspective)

I found Captain Emmy Malin outside of the Focusing Ring. With flashing blades she quickly met her end and I rifled through her corpse for the quest items I needed. That is when I found a
letter. The letter had dried tear stains on it, and you can tell from the handwriting that it was written in a hurry. I opened the letter and as I read the words written on the parchment, my stomach tightened and my knees felt weak. The words forever ingrained in my memory went like this;

I'm sorry for disappearing on you. If you're reading this letter, then I'm dead.

I've been forced to work for Malygos's armies under threat that our family would be killed if I didn't. I feel so ashamed.

If there's anything that you can do to fight them, don't worry about me. I have them fooled and I'm sabotaging them from the inside.

I love you, Daddy!

I took the ring and used it on the focus as I was instructed to do. I then brought the ring, and the letter back to Commander Saia Azuresteel. Upon reading the letter she tried to console me... telling me that I wouldn't be implicated. Implicated? I had just murdered an Archmage's daughter. If that wasn't enough, she had been trying to help us. Sabotaging Malygos's plans at her own peril. She wasn't found out by him, no. Instead I ended her life in search of information. I sure hope it was worth the cost.

As if my guilt wasn't deep enough. Archmage Malin sent me a letter thanking me. THANKING ME for retrieving the letter. This is what the letter he sent said;
Dear Jadedfury,

Commander Azuresteel's personal courier saw to it that I received my daughter's letter. The courier also told me it was you who found it.

I just want to thank you for seeing to it that the letter got to me. I know that times must be tough for all of you brave souls who are daring to fight in Northrend.

Rest assured that I will avenge Emmy. The Blue Dragonflight will suffer for what they did to my little girl!

With the utmost respect and gratitude,

Archmage Malin

Would he think differently if he knew that it was I who killed her?


The sad thing is... this isn't the first time I've done the quest... but this was the first time I read the quest text. There are many quests out there that play on your heartstrings. There are some that make you question morality. This quest was different. I was doing what I was told to do, and without questioning I murdered an ally. This wasn't throwing off the balance by working for a satyr, or accidentally eating an amberseed. There was no question in my mind that I was doing the right thing by killing this servant of Malygos. One letter later... and I'm questioning all my actions.

I know that it is just a game, but it makes me wonder how many more double agents were killed by my hand? How many would be heroes were just in the wrong place at the wrong time? How many daughters and sons had I killed? Many times I skip through the quest texts and objectives just focusing on finishing the objectives as quick as possible. Every once in awhile... a quest like this will stop me in my tracks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"You're right."

I've been hearing those words from my wife a lot lately since she has started playing WoW. The funny thing though she is very stubborn about everything I tell her. She resists my advice most of the time and tries to counter with her own arguments. I try not to force my advice on her or tell her "ur doin it wrong", instead I try to put my ideas in such a way that I don't come off judgmental.

Being married this is a trick every guy needs to pick up and master. Anyway despite the fact that she will beat me if she reads this I'm going to post my top 5 instances of "You're right" since my wife has started playing WoW.

  1. Getting the level 30 mount! Shortly before hitting 30 I was telling my wife that things will get a lot easier with the mount because you don't have to run everywhere. She told me that she liked walking everywhere and didn't need a mount because walking was fine. It wasn't long after hitting 30 that she admitted that having a mount was sooo much better then walking and she didn't know how she traveled without one.

  2. AoE is fun! This took awhile to sink in. Once I got her to hotkey rain of fire though she was looking for things to AoE and we did quite a bit of leveling with my warrior and her warlock.

  3. Epic mounts are too fast! Yes she actually told me this when she first got her dreadsteed. Once she got out of the city and into the country side with no lag she quickly understand why I was pushing for her to get it. Her DK is speced unholy specifically for the On a Pale Horse talent.

  4. Fireball does more damage. She has been leveling a mage lately and was complaining that she was having to eat after every fight. I asked her what spell she was using and she said Fireball because... well it does more damage. I told her to put what talent points she had into frost and start spamming frostbolt. I'll let you guess what she said after that.

  5. I like my cast sequence. My wife plays a destruction warlock and for the longest time I could not find the glyph of Conflagate on the auction house. When I did finally find it I told her she should lead off with immolate then conflag, followed by chaos bolt and incinerate. She had been using immolate, chaos bolt, incinerate and conflag when immolate was about to expire... which was fine without the glyph. Once she got the new rotation down she was so excited! She had been having trouble pulling aggro off her voidwalker and the daze effect following conflag along with the haste meant she could kill things before they got to her.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A good week

It has been a week since I last wrote anything which I kind of feel bad about... but I've been busy in WoW. As you can see from the left I pushed hard this past week and got my warrior to 80... and if you look closely in the backround you can see my wife on her warlock hitting 80! Big grats to her on her first level 80! And grats to me on my 6th... and apparently having no life...

But I digress. We both hit 80 on Friday turning in argent tournament dailies (ok it was planned a bit) but before I could do so much as put a talent point in I had to switch over to Saravid for Ulduar 25.

Our Rogue Behindya (nicknamed B2) had already run VoA in order to get enough conquest badges to pick up his helm and complete the 4piece bonus. So we were one dps short for VoA but had everyone we needed for Ulduar.... so I suggested to bring my wife in!

That's why I love this group. As serious as we are when it comes to raiding, they can be laid back enough to literally take a warlock who just hit 80 not 10 minutes prior into VoA. She did manage to dps above the tank and also did really good at switching targets during Emalon. We had a good time and she thanked everyone and left the group.

We then killed everything in Uld 25 up to the watchers including a first kill of Iron Council. That fight lasted 13 minutes! The most exciting thing for me... is that I had enough conquest badges to pick up the tier 8.5 chest! Which means NO MORE FUGLY PANTS. Ok well they are still fugly... but I can't see them under the 8.5 robe!

Saturday I took my warrior, along with my wife and some other friends and we headed into Naxx 10. I was up late after raid Friday night gemming and enchanting my crafted gear in order to hit the defense cap and have a respectable amount of HP's for Naxx. I weighed in at just under 25k HPs. We cleared spider wing with a little difficulty starting out. We wiped a few times on Anub'rekan but one shotted the next 2 bosses. We headed to Military next and had a little trouble on Instructor. We were a little low on heals and dps but managed by switching some people around. Gothik was a one shot but by the time we got to 4H a few people had to go and we called it there.

Was really different tanking on my Warrior then tanking on my Paladin. I have to say I felt like I had to work much harder to keep threat especially in trash pulls. I'm using a 15/3/53 build but am glyphed for cd's with blocking/sheildwall/last stand. Perhaps its mainly a gear issue at this point and things will get easier... I certainly liked having all of the cd's though and they saved me a few times on trash (I was solo tanking the trash).

After Naxx, the family went out to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was a pretty good movie but I have to say I don't like where they deviated from the book at some points.... I don't want to talk about it too much because I'm sure many people haven't seen it yet. After the movie we grabbed some grub and got home with enough time for me to log on and head back into Uld25.

With just the watchers left we headed for Hodir. There are so many more NPC's on 25 man then 10! Ok I guess its just double the amount... but still. I think it took us 3 or 4 attempts including one that went right up to the enrage. I'm glad I can say that when I died... it was because the Hodir smacked me in the face because either the MT would die... or bubble out of an flash freeze and I happened to be next on threat. Damn you pure dps and your threat dumps!

Anyway he died and I'm both sad and glad that I purchased the chest the day before. I was sad because the Tier Token for Shamans dropped... but was glad because half the raid needed the token. We had 6 shamans, 3 hunters, and 2 warriors... I'm going to hold out on Thorim on 10 man giving me my shoulder piece to complete my 4 piece bonus. The stats don't really make a huge difference but OMG that 4 piece bonus is awesome. Awesomeness covered in awesome. Maybe then I can beat B2 in dps!

Nerf Rogues.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sign of a Good Player, Taking Criticism.

The difference between being a good player or a bad player is knowing when you are right or wrong. What I mean by this is that to become a good player, you need to accept that you won't always be right. On your realm, there is a player that is better geared, more skilled, and more advanced then you are. Its a fact. On any realm there can only be 10 people that are the best of their class and chances are you aren't one of those people.

So occasionally you are going to run into people that are better players then yourself. Depending on how good you are determines the frequency of this occurring. The other factor is of course, your exposure to the community as a whole. If you never do anything in WoW but play by yourself.... you probably won't be reading this blog. Also if you are playing solo then your performance really doesn't matter and so you can ignore this post.

This post is about taking criticism. I don't mean the criticism from the "leet" players who just tell you that you suck and kick you from the group. What I'm talking about is when an experienced player pulls you aside and points out that you could be doing things differently. I've had this happen to me and I have done this with players that I encounter on my realm. The difference between a good player or a bad player is how you take this criticism.

The bad player will simply ignore this advice or get upset that this person is "judging" them. Perhaps he will reason or justify his choices in playing the way that he does. Often times they will attack the integrity of the person who is criticizing them. So they will continue to do whatever it was they were doing and perform subpar in groups. Other times it will push them away from raids or group content, or they will only do so in the confines of the guild they are in. Since the guild they are in caters to their poor performance and are often full of bad players, no one will call them out and they will never improve. Good players who happen to be in this guild will get shunned for giving criticism till they either quit the guild or sit in silence.

The good player listens to the criticism. Takes the other players words into consideration and then does research, either on his own, or on a community site to verify the advice. Based on this the good player decides to accept the advice and make the change, or reject the advice based on the evidence found in his research.

Very few people take criticism well. I for one, do not take it well. The difference between me and a bad player though, is that I do everything I can to not be wrong in the first place. I do my research on community sites and blogs as well as in game testing. I do this so that I can be beyond reproach. Am I perfect? No. But I want the person who criticizes me, to be one of the best players in the game.

So when someone comes to you with advice. Listen to them. Take what they say into consideration (make sure it makes sense). Go onto the community sites and blogs to see if the advice is valid for you. Back this research up with a little of your own, whether that is playing with spreadsheets or the target dummy. Finally make an educated choice to accept or reject the advice, and if you choose to accept, act upon the good criticism.

Learning and growing can improve your character just as much as that shiny new piece of gear.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Character Updates!

Well enough time has passed that my old list of my characters needs a bit of updating. So lets see whats changed in that time shall we?

Durotan Server US

Ardarin - 68 Human Death Knight. Currently Blood DPS Currently level 70 and Blood Tank spec. Mostly to prove that you don't need to be "Frost Spec" to tank.

Artorin - 70 Night Elf Druid. Spec undecided Is now level 73 and running around as Feral. I got the drive to level my old main and have been having good fun being totally and completely overpowered.

Arravis - 80 Night Elf Hunter. Survival Spec Survival never really suited my playstyle well... so I switched to Marksman and have been having a blast with it. Leveling one of the red demonic wolf things from Zuldrak to replace my boring gray wolf.

Gandreolf - 78 Human Mage. Arcane Spec Well I've posted on him before and he is now level 80 woot! He is still Arcane spec and finally got his enchanting up to 450!

Jadedfury - 71 Human Rogue. Subtelty Spec I switched to Mutilate again... but I just hate that I have 0 aoe in groups where every other DPS can... so I am back to Combat again. Combat Daggers/fists to be precise.

Lanora - 80 Draenei Priest. Discipline Spec I love discipline... I really do but I switched to holy to heal a Naxx 10 group hoping that would get me back into my priest.... well it just made me realize how much more I like Discipline. I'm still holy but before I do anything else she will be back to discipline.

Llina - 80 Human Paladin. Protection Spec Yep... still Protection... not much has changed except for some Naxx 10 raiding here and there... I swear that place will never drop tier gear any of my characters need...

Saravid - 80 Draenei Shaman. Elemental Main / Restoration Secondary Well obviously the toon I've been raiding Ulduar with... but aside from that I switched my second spec to Enhancement to mess around with. I have quite a bit of gear that gets passed on to me so I decided why not? Enhancement is a lot of fun but I don't see it becoming my main spec anytime soon.

Skillet - 14 Gnome Warlock. Affliction Spec Well leveling with my wife and RAF my lock is up to 34 (I think) still affliction spec, though I'm considering picking a different one when they start getting new toys.

Skyru - 69 Draenei Warrior. Protection Main / Arms Secondary Currently level 75... but will soon be 80. Most certainly will be my next character to 80 and am considering making him my raiding main. The group that I run with has a ret pally, rogue, and 2 hunters... thats a ton of physical dps and we don't have a single warrior for Sunder Armor. I have consider the pros and cons... losing 280 spell power and 5% haste along with heroism may not be worth the boost to our physical damage group.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ooooo pretty

I'm not the greatest at taking screenshots in the world. This weekend though I finally saw something I've been looking forward too since I saw the release video for Ulduar. The train. When I saw the moving train in the video I knew that I had to see it first hand. Well Sunday saw our first attempts on Mimiron 10 man (after we wiped on the trash a few times) and I got to ride the train!
Our best attempt saw him into the last phase which I was pretty happy about. I have to say right now our biggest problem was getting our tank to survive the Plasma Blasts. Monday night they went back in (wife said no raiding for me QQ) but couldn't get past phase 2. People kept dying to the rockets... they were saying the ground effect wasn't showing up. Anyone else know if that is a typical bug? Anyway.... after the raid on Sunday I rode back and forth on the train a few times and took some pics.
I love the architecture in Ulduar especially like the pic below which is of the ceiling at the end of the platform. Its like all of Ulduar is one giant breathing living machine.So yeah... when you get to the end of the track, the train lifts up and rotates around which is pretty freaking awesome... only no one in our group knew that. We had a few people who were slow getting off the train miss the jump and fall to their deaths. Since the portal there isn't up till you engage Mimiron I volunteered to kill myself "in the name of science" and proceeded to chain lightning mimiron.
After thinking about it though I should have ran around and pushed the button to put him into hardmode... oh well maybe next time!
This last one you can see where the tunnel is kind of broken apart. I jumped off the train to see if the hole was really there... but alas it was just an invisible ground. I didn't die instantly but when I was repositioning I must have triggered something because I fell over dead. Still I thought this view was pretty cool looking.