Category Archives: thoughts

Gnome Hunters: The Good, The Bad, and the Short

So someone brought up gnome hunters in the comments on my last post, so are you ready to talk about it?  I am READY to talk about it.

In case you hadn’t heard, Blizzard has been dropping hints about gnome hunters on Twitter for about a week now.  Mechanical chicken pet included:

What do I think about this? Well obviously I am


about this, because I love gnomes and I love hunters.    Let’s talk a little bit more about it:


  • Gnome hunters will now exist.  That’s awesome.
  • Even people who don’t like gnomes will be happy, because this gives them more chances to kill gnomes in PvP (although why would you ever do that??)
  • MECHANICAL CHICKEN PET (assuming it’s not temporary, at least)
  • This gives me hope for the idea of MORE mechanical pets in the future.
  • Every race in the game can now be a hunter, which is good for diversity/player choice.
  • Roleplaying opportunities, anyone?


  • Like, nothing.  There are no negatives to this.



Let’s talk about faction stuff a little bit.  Long-time readers probably remember that I mostly played Alliance back in the day, and these days I mostly play Horde.  The fact is that, as time has gone on, Blizzard has managed to make the Horde more and more appealing to me.  I’ve always loved Tauren a great deal, but Blizzard later graced the Horde with blood elves and goblins (basically just green gnomes), both of whom I really love.  They also made Orgrimmar a heck of a lot cooler than it used to be.

Meanwhile, Alliance got worgen, whose movements and animations are weird and jarring to me (sorry worgen fans) and a Stormwind revamp that I’m not a huge fan of.   (I just miss old Stormwind, okay?)

Throw in the expansive vanity guild bank I have Horde-side and I’m pretty much playing that faction exclusively.

So on a personal level, there are pluses and minuses to gnome hunters.  The plus is that I can drop a level boost on a gnome hunter and then play with my friends, since I feel like approximately 99% of the people I want to play WoW with are Alliance.

But on the negative side, any gnome hunter I make probably won’t end up being a “main”, because a gnome hunter wouldn’t be Horde, and I’d prefer to stay Horde.

Oh well.  GNOMES!

I Figured Out Why the Warcraft Movie is Weirding Me Out

Yep.  I’ve figured it out.  Why the Warcraft movie trailer bugs me a lil’ bit.

And no, it’s not because there’s too much CGI.  On the contrary: I don’t think there’s enough!

Warcraft has always been very silly and cartoony to me– in a good way, mind you.  But the movie trailer is super serious and there are people in it.  Real people!  Not, like, cartoon people.  It’s giving off a weird reverse-uncanny-valley effect to me.

I feel like the movie would have been more palatable to me had it been done Pixar-style.  Yes, it definitely would’ve been a lot more silly… and honestly it probably would’ve felt (and looked) a lot more like Warcraft to me.

Alternatively we can just put me in charge of Warcraft art and everything will look like cute little critters with cat faces.
Alternatively we can just put me in charge of Warcraft art and everything will look like cute little critters with cat faces.

Anyways, I don’t mean to be a debbie downer or anything.  I mean, overall the movie looks really great on a technical level.  Granted, we’ve got Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants as Rend Blackhand, so now I’m not sure how seriously I can take that character, but YOU know…

My Poor Authenticator Is Giving Up The Ghost

CSV_l5-UcAA98VxI got one of these babies back in… 2009?  I think?  It was during Wrath of the Lich King, I’m pretty sure.  Anyways, since then it has accompanied me through moves to another state and back, to different houses and apartments, faithfully spitting numbers out at me whenever asks.

It even got me a tiny Core Hound pet.

These days it doesn’t seem to be doing so well, though.  You can see weirdness on the screen (if you look closely enough at the picture) and you have to mash the button a couple of times before it actually does anything.  I’m assuming that at some point soon I’ll have to join the future and get one of the smartphone authenticators or whatever everyone uses these days.

But I’ll wear this puppy out first.

That’ll do, tiny physical authenticator.  That’ll do.

My Favorite WoW Leveling Experience Isn’t Even All That Retro

Greetings, reader!  You’ve probably noticed by now that I love to wax nostalgic about the World of Warcraft of 5+ years ago.  And, I mean, I do.  I can’t really deny that.  But I was thinking about leveling experiences by expansion, and realized that I think the one that is the most fun to level through isn’t even all that retro.

World_of_Warcraft_-_Mists_of_Pandaria_Box_ArtMists of Pandaria, friends, has, for my money, the best leveling experience.  It’s just an absolute joy to level from 85 to 90.  I don’t know if it’s the quests themselves or just how relaxed everything is.  But it’s so nice to sit back with some pandas and have a little fun.  It’s a shame that the experience needed to do it these days was nerfed so hard that I feel like I just zip through a zone and a half and then rush away.  I mean, I’m 100% fine with a leveling nerf in regards to old content, but when I mess around on other alts in Outland or Northrend and then compare it to Pandaria, it just feels like Pandaria was tuned too sharply.  When you can dash right through a level in an hour, without flight, that’s just weird.

But yeah.  Thinking back on it it’s funny that MoP had a lot of stuff I liked in it (the 85-90 leveling experience, the music, the 5.1 storyline, etc.) and yet I played it the least out of all the expansions thus far.  Honestly, I think what kicked me out was the lack of normal dungeons at max level and the resulting huge congregations of jerkoffs in Heroic pugs who didn’t want to deal with a freshly-dinged 90.  But that, my friends, is all a story for another day and another post!

Why, Tank You!

So I’ve been leveling a ret paladin and it’s a lot of fun.  Recently, however, I decided to try something different, so I gave myself a prot double-spec.

For the record, I have never played a tank before.  I’ve DPS’d (a lot) and I healed on my druid, but I’ve never played a tank.  So, I figured some practicing was in order.

My first attempt involved Proving Grounds, where I learned that the Proving Grounds dummies really, REALLY love ignoring me and smacking the healer around.

My second attempt involved solo’ing at-level dungeons, which is apparently not only very possible but pretty trivial as a prot pally with heirlooms.

Finally, once I decided I had the Captain America shield move down, it was time to try an actual group.  It was Utgarde Keep, one of my old faves, and we smacked that thing apart, lemme tell ya.  I had a lot of fun.  I kind of like it.  I think I can get behind it.

…but man, melee in a group is weird.  It’s a whole new ballgame, that’s for sure!

A Bucket List For WoD

So now that we presumably have a new expansion coming within a year, it’s time to start thinking about what I want to finish up before it hits.  Honestly, there’s not a whole lot on my list overall… but still enough to keep me busy.

Get a Couple More Characters To Max Level

Probably my druid, mage, and paladin, all of whom I have been slowly but surely leveling for a few months now.  Assuming I succeed, it’ll be the first time since Wrath of the Lich King that I’ll have more than one character at max level.

Hit 250,000 Gold

This seems very do-able seeing as very recently I was at 200,000 doing nothing but garrison stuff.  Then I spent it all and I’m broke again.  But I don’t think working back up will take that long, especially if I can get multiple garrisons going.  I kind of want to aim for 500,000 but I’ll stick with a lower goal for now.


At some point I decided to become a mount collector, so I’ve been working on things like reputation grinds and weekly raid runs.  Obviously since the dropped mounts are dependent on RNG I can’t really set a goal for these but “working on them” sounds good for now.

And that’s about where I’m sitting right now.  Like I said, not a big list, but it’ll keep me busy for a while.

Do you guys have any pre-expansion plans?

It’s Lonely Up Here

There have been a lot of tough things about coming back to WoW after a long layoff.  Adjusting to all the class and mechanics changes, trying to figure out where old instances/raids I never did are located, and just playing the catch-up game, in general.

But recently I feel like probably the toughest part is that the community I once knew, and was once a part of, has largely disappeared.  No one plays the game anymore; it’s passé at best or “for kids” at worst.  People are moving on; either with “life” or to other games.  So here she is: Pike, still pluggin’ away at the same old eleven-year-old video game.  Look at her and marvel!

Now, I’m no stranger to pouring tons of time into old video games, as one glance through my Good Games That Are Good series can probably attest.

But WoW is, somehow, different.  Perhaps because it’s an MMO, which is social by definition, or perhaps because I really threw myself into the community via things like blogging and Twitter.  It was a little island that I became a part of.  And now I get to watch, one by one, as more and more people leave the island.  It’s a really weird feeling.

Ultimately, I will continue to do what I find fun and play what I want to play, of course.  Because ultimately, that’s the point of games.  But that doesn’t stop the weirdness that sets in every time yet another person says goodbye.  Is this what I am doomed to, stubbornly playing an aging MMO?  Is this all a part of the cycle?  Maybe so.  Maybe it’s what I signed up for.

In that case, I guess I’ll be over here on my island.  Dreaming dreams like the one I dreamed last night– about old guildmates long gone.


The One Class I Never Figured Out

I’ve played a lot of classes in WoW fairly extensively.  Hunter, of course, and druid.  Recently I’ve been putting a lot of time into my mage and paladin.  In the past I’ve leveled a warlock up to the 60s, a rogue up to the 40s, and a warrior into the 30s or so.

But you know what class I never did figure out?


Nothing against them, mind.

But anytime I’ve ever tried to play one, I get confused.  They have totems, I think?  And… thundering and lightning (very very frighting)?  Do they even do the totems and lightning thing anymore?  Who knows!

Very peculiar.  Very peculiar indeed.

Granted, there’s a very good chance that they’ve changed considerably since the last time I tried to play one (which would’ve been like, eight years ago or something.)  But the fact remains: I’ve never gotten a shaman past level ten.  I’ve gotten everything else past level ten.  I’ve even gotten a monk past level ten.

Shamans?  Nope.

(I might be more inspired if blood elves could be shamans.  I mean, uh, just saying.)

(Also it has occurred to me now that I’ve never gotten a Death Knight past, like, level 60.  So, I guess there’s at least one more class out there that I don’t understand!)

I’m Fine With a Lull

So now we have a little while to wait until the next expansion.  How long?  Not sure yet.  But, I can’t lie, I’m fine with a bit of a lull.

I know many people will probably disagree with me, but for a while I actually felt like WoD was going kind of fast.  Oh here’s Highmaul!  Oh here’s Blackrock Foundry!  Oh here’s Hellfire Citadel and a whole new zone!  I kind of felt like every time I got caught up on something, a new thing opened up before I could finish whatever previous thing I was working on.  And you know, that was fine back when I was raiding and doing hardcore stuff back in TBC and WotLK.

But these days, I’m playing a lot more casually.  As such, I enjoy lulls between content.  It gives me time to do casual things (like play alts), or even better, play other video games for a bit.

So yeah.  So long as we don’t get eleven months or whatever the last lull was, I think I’m good. :)

(Granted, I am excited for Legion.  Elves!  Elves everywhere!)