It’s What I Do

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the motivation to post up two blog entries within 24 hours of each other, but I suppose that’s what happens when stricken with a mild-case of insomnia. Sucks for me, but it’s great for you. At the very least I do get to share my continuing derailment of my rogue leveling project caused by my draenei frost mage.

Solo'ng content intended for 3 people is addictive.

Tonight I discovered a new nuance that has made putting the mage down harder than ever, solo’ng elites for group quests. It’s not at all hard to pull off either with the incredible amount of control a frost mage has. Sure it may not be the most efficient method of gaining xp, but I’ve expressed numerous times before how addicting it is to feel like a demi-god. And with my mage having obtained invisibility even if things take a turn for the worse, I can play my get out of jail card.

What’s not to love?

My mage is having an absolute blast romping through Outlands, at least when she’s not gimped against frost resistant mobs. I’m contemplating spending more time on the broken planet of Draenor to experience more of the Alliance quests that I missed out on when leveling my human death knight. I’m wanting to finish up Blade’s Edge Mountains and then questing through the Netherstorm or Shadowmoon Valley before heading out to Northrend.

But why? Why would you delay the awesomeness of Northrend?

Sure the overall questing experience is better and the rewards far better in Northrend, but I’m encountering a lot of interesting quests in Outland. I’ve only truly leveled my main troll rogue through TBC content despite having three toons currently in WotLK content. By the time I bothered focusing on my priest, WotLK was already on the horizon and you could power through to 68 by only hitting Hellfire, Zangarmarsh and Nagrand.

That gun is as big as she is!

Needless to say, there’s still a lot of fresh content in Outland that I can experience especially from the Alliance perspective. I’m also enjoying the quests that break up the monotony where I get to control a fel cannon as a pet to destroy summoning gates or get to disguise myself to intercept enemy transmissions. I’m in no hurry to get to Northrend as I’ve actually experienced much of it with my human death knight prior to the faction/server change. So I don’t see anything wrong with a small delay while I enjoy myself in Outland.

Until next time, FOR THE ALLIANCE?!?

Trouble in Paradise

Perhaps I’ve been having rotten luck, but my experiences with the dungeon finder tool on Jubei’thos haven’t been all that pleasant. Besides the problem of disconnects by random party members, it seems I’m always running into your a-typical PUG player. You know the kind, the arrogant and impatient know-it-all that clearly can’t be bothered with the hint of any adversity. They’ll jump ship at the first sign of trouble even though we pull through in the end. Nope, they want to be carried and don’t want to take the time to explain fights, mechanics, etc to the greener players in the group.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to label the Vengeance battlegroup as horrifically awful when it comes to pugs, but I have had a string of painful dungeon runs with my troll rogue. It’s made finding the motivation to hop onto Jub Jub difficult. It’s becoming apparent that I may have to backtrack on the recent decision to level almost exclusively through the dungeon finder tool. Yet, it hasn’t been all that bad, just frustrating.

Countering the negativity, my troll rogue has been fairly lucky with drops and has successfully run Wailing Caverns a couple of times nearly completing the leather armor set. There’s just one little hiccup with the armor of the fang: my troll is not female. ^^;  Running around with my sides exposed in purple leather armor is not exactly … y’know … masculine. Sure if I were running around with a blood elf it would be perfect. (Note: I purposely didn’t specify gender, but now that I’ve spelled out the joke …)

Hi there level 20, I would love to be able to use a mount and poisons.

Another positive thing to come out of dungeon running is how quickly I burn through rested XP. Well I suppose that isn’t completely all that great since it usually only takes a dungeon or two to burn through it all, making dungeon running feel a bit grindy. So maybe in the end I will end up rethinking the exclusivity of leveling via dungeons. I’m particularly not looking forward to when my troll ends up having to run the graveyard wing of the Scarlet Monastery over and over and over …

But before I close out this entry, I just want to share a small piece of advice to all aspiring tanks out there: leave your dancing shoes at home. Since my troll rogue is leveling subtlety his damage is reliant on being positioned behind the enemy. If your tank decides he wants to try out his new dance moves you’re going to be in for a rough time. Yesterday I ran into Killurfamily from the Akama server and boy did he have happy feet.

I tried a couple of times to get him to cool his feet, but I suppose he just couldn’t contain his excitement for the Deadmines. I guess I can understand that. We did make it through the instance without a single wipe, and other than losing two healers to the disconnect monster (suspiciously I might add) the run was rather uneventful. My rogue happened to ding 21 during the run and picked up a nice OH dagger from Sneed’s Shredder.

So all in all, not too bad. Now if only I could speed up the leveling process to decrease the disparity between my dwarf and my troll.

Dun Gone Messed Up

I’ve barely logged into WoW this past week, so not only is this entry a week late, it also has absolutely nothing to do with my rogue leveling project. My continuing problem with staying focused on one project has reared its ugly head again and I’ve been derailed by a number of different projects. What projects? I’ll tell you …

Remember that poor little draenei mage that I had languishing away over on Whisperwind? Yah, I transferred her to Winterhoof to join the Ctrl Alt Wow guild and made the mistake of taking her out for a spin after obtaining the glyph to give  her a permanent water elemental pet. At the time she was only level 63, but before I realized that I had completely forgotten about my rogues, she was within spitting distance of 67.

What can I say? Frost mages are incredibly f’ng fun!

There’s something therapeutic about killing a mob before it gets to you, and the play-style of the frost mage fits me like a glove. Oh lookie! I’ve frozen you in place and after downing this slurpee I’m going to hit you with an instant-cast fireball thanks to the brainfreeze! In all seriousness though, I’ve been meaning to respec my mage away from improved blizzard since I’ve more or less abandoned AoE grinding with my mage; it’s safer to pull one (or two) at a time.

I haven’t installed the quartz addon yet to give me a visual clue as to when I can clip my casts and begin another, but I’ve found that I haven’t quite needed it. It’s pretty easy to do without the visual aid, you just anticipate the latency and begin casting when you’re approaching the end of the cast bar. As any caster would tell you, clipping spells allows you to get far more spells off and allows you to weave in some instant cast spells drastically improving your overall dps.

There’s only one question that remains, will my mage be my third 80? I do have my undead priest sitting at 78, but I’m in no hurry to pick her back up since I want to get back into pvp with her and healing dungeons doesn’t really appeal to me. So perhaps my mage will be my third 80, I just hope that I don’t completely neglect my pair of rogues in the process.

Well, I have spent some time on my dwarf, but not in the way one would expect. As I alluded to earlier, the time I have spent on my dwarf has been spent focusing on an objective other than leveling. No, instead of questing and leveling, he’s been running around desperately trying to skill up herbalism by picking lots and lots of flowers.

HERBALISM?!? Really?!?

While picking flowers doesn’t befit an ale-guzzling killing machine, the lifeblood ability will be invaluable for keeping my dwarf up off the ground. No one needs a tank for the floor, so why should my dwarf take it upon himself to admire it?

Anyhoo, I have spent part of this past week working on getting the Ctrl Alt WoW schwag up for public consumption again. If you’re a fan of the Ctrl Alt Wow podcast, I’d encourage you to pick up a shirt to show off your pride, everything is priced at cost. I wouldn’t feel comfortable about making a cent off the stuff, it’s just not the way I roll. I’m thinking about upgrading the store front to allow for more products considering that I can only have one design available per item type/style. I’ll be muling that one over for a little bit as Cafepress is somewhat pricey when it comes to that.

Other than that, there is one other project that is looming on the horizon that I’m not yet ready to publicly announce just yet. Fret not, I’ll be announcing it soon enough. This project should be very exciting, or at least I’m really excited about it. ^^;

For the frost-bolt?

215 Bottles of Dwarven Ale …

I try my best, but it seems even with a focused topic to blog about I’m still vulnerable to the gaps in posts that has always plagued my blog. Yadda, yadda, ya between work, miscellaneous projects and having a youngin’ that has started her academic career in Kindergarten, I haven’t quite had a balanced sense of energy to devote to each direction my fickle interests take me in.

Blame it on the “jack of all trades, master if none” trait of my astrological sign, or just the fact that I’ve been getting a little too much into roleplaying a dwarf outside of the game to remember to set aside some time to jot down some words for you to read. Sorry about that. At least here I am, sitting and typing words for ye. So let’s get on with it …

I remember when I first envisioned this grandiose plan to record my experiences with leveling two rogues of varying spec that I would do so with a decent amount of balance. As you might recall in my last entry my troll rogue was trailing behind and I had planned on ditching questing with him and focus on chain-running dungeons with the LFD tool. Yah, that was the plan but somehow when I logged in to the game, instinctually I’d hop on my dwarf.

Naturally my interest was higher in playing the dwarf as I’ve only ever quested through the Alliance quests once before with my draenei mage so everything still felt new to me. Fair enough you would think so as long as I didn’t complete neglect my troll right? Well that was back when the disparity between the two was only eight levels, now it is sixteen. Yikes! Once I left Redridge for Duskwood I was done for.

Despite many of the quests in Duskwood had me traversing the landscape over and over and over and … er, well you get the idea … I couldn’t stop myself from spending all of my time completing quests for the folks in Darkshire. It also helped tremendously that I had gotten over the rogue hump and had access to almost all of the abilities I’ve come to love and rely on. I was decimating stuff even running around with daggers, an ambush here, a rupture there and with vanish at my disposal I had everything I needed to stop dying.

You see, there’s this funny thing called godliness when you pull shit off that you shouldn’t otherwise be able to. It’s quite addictive and when you get a taste for it, it’s hard to stop craving it. Mind you that neither of my rogues are decked out in heirloom gear, though an occasional run through an instance to obtain blue quality gear does help. I almost was able to solo Gath’Ilzogg (level 26 elite) and his pet Singe (level 24 elite) at level 24 with every trick I had. Had my rogue had access to the heirloom daggers with crusader I would have surely been able to …

Anyhoo, like I said it’s hard for me to stop myself when I’m on a roll and this little boulder of a dwarf was a’rolling. There was no way I was going to stand in front of it in some vain attempt to stop it. No, I would have been squished … metaphorically you could say. No, I was aboard the USS Nevïk and the only way I was going to be able to get off was to wait for it come to a stop. Fortunately near the end of Duskwood things did slow down and as you might surmise, things have stopped at least temporarily as I work on catching up with herbalism after dropping mining.

HERBALISM?!?

Yes, really. Herbalism. It’s something that I initially overlooked since I’m so familiar with mining and for some reason thought that mining was the better way to go for income. I don’t know how I didn’t think of herbalism to begin with as it is also quite a money-maker and has the added benefit of Lifeblood, a heal-over-time ability which covers an inherit weakness in the early rogue leveling career. I can only reflect on what could have been when attempting to solo Gath’Ilzogg had my dwarf been able to lifeblood …

Okay, well with that it’s time for me to put my little one in bed and call it a wrap for this update. And oh yah, my dwarf is now level 32, running around Westfall … picking flowers. Good times.

It’s a Love/Hate Relationship

I’m horde through and through and even though I’m not an alliance-hater, it feels a little weird playing my dwarf rogue. Sure, I have a draenei mage still over on Whisperwind and even had a human death knight there for some time before a faction/server change, but those were toons I created to have on the server my sister played on. It felt alien to me to play as the other side and after my sister decided to stop playing, I found very little motivation to keep playing those toons.

Yet, this time around with my dwarf my horde-centric mindset is faltering and I’m finding myself embracing my dwarf. Perhaps it’s just the aspect of playing as a dwarf that has resonated with me, but I’ve actually found myself cursing hordies ganking and griefing my alliance brethren on Winterhoof. Those DIRTY blood elves!

*Gasp* Did I …? Yes, I did.

Well, come to think of it, I have never really been all that fond of blood elves if only because their introduction brought the kiddies to the horde. I kid, I kid. Sure they are pretty, even the males, and while I love my tankadin, there’s something off about having a blood elf amongst my trolls, orcs, tauren, and undead. But I digress …

My dwarf has been spending a lot of time among the human lands in an attempt to level through lands my draenei didn’t touch. As such he’s been questing through the Redridge Mountains and has made steady progress with the tasks asked of him from the folks of the sleepy town of Lakeshire. He’s gotten his fill of gnolls, orcs, and murlocs (oh my!) but there’s still much to be done.

Fortunately my dwarf’s skill with killing and not being killed has steadily increased with the addition of dismantle and rupture. Dismantle has given my dwarf another tool to deal with armed enemies, especially when adds are unavoidable and rupture has proven invaluable with runners when being unable to get the jump on them with a garrote. Ambushing green enemies for 70-90% of their health on a crit makes me cackle with glee every time.

There’s been a lot of back n’ forth between Lakeshire and Stormwind and even though it is a lot less painful with a mount, it’s still painful. Stormwind is a gorgeous capital city, but the layout of the city is excruciatingly frustrating. To think that I used to have a hard time getting around in Undercity is humorous to me compared against the difficulties I’ve had acclimating to Stormwind.

Talk to this dwarf for an aerial tour of Stormwind's harbor.

Despite Stormwind proving to be a labyrinth to me, I love the look of the city. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Fantasyland in Disneyland with all of the little nooks and paths it has. I’m really looking forward to being able to fly over the city as it’ll negate the annoyances of the canals, but for the time being you can get a glimpse of the harbor from the air by talking to a dwarf named Thargold Ironwing in the harbor.

Unfortunately the aerial tour is limited to the harbor, but it is definitely worth experiencing it as it’ll take you on a fly-by of the lighthouse. I never would have discovered this tour had it not been for Skolnick’s Warcraft Less Traveled segment on All Things Azeroth. I have yet to check out the other lesser known areas in Stormwind, mainly because I keep getting lost, but I’m making it a goal to see them as well as the other easter eggs scattered throughout Azeroth as highlighted by Skolknick. I need to get the music that he uses, it’s so serene.

Anyhoo, I’m going to have a lot of catching up to do with my troll rogue since he’s being neglected and has only hit level 16 whereas my dwarf dinged 22 just last night. Chain-running instances with my troll might just be on the docket for the next couple of days. That’ll surely give me plenty to blog about, or not. ^^;

For the stabby stab!