Tag Archives: classic wow

Flashback Friday: Do You Recall When Leveling Took Forever?

I leveled my first character to max before any of the many assorted nerfs to leveling that inevitably followed.  Do you know how long it took?  Well, let’s just say that I started playing that character in May and I hit the then level-cap of 70 in December.  That’s uh… that’s seven months.  And I was playing quite a bit.

These days, however, leveling is astoundingly easy.  Not only have there been multiple nerfs to the leveling process, but heirlooms and various other things exist to make your grind as quick and painless as possible.  As someone who has been playing this game for years, I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty good.  But sometimes I look back on spending a month just to gain ten levels and I… oh no, who am I kidding, there is basically nothing I miss about that.

"You... you mean I have to spend HOW LONG in Stranglethorn Vale?  And on a PvP server??"
“You… you mean I have to spend HOW LONG in Stranglethorn Vale? And on a PvP server??”

BONUS NOSTALGIA: Remembering the days after Blizzard started to nerf player leveling requirements but didn’t re-tune pet leveling so if you wanted to level more than one pet at once as a hunter you had to sleep outside and forego rested experience.  …what, I can’t possibly be the only person who did that, right?

So yeah.  Old school leveling.  How long did it take YOU to do it?

The Interesting Thing With Exploration In (Old) Azeroth

I recently found myself talking about this in a forum I go to – namely, the really unique sense of exploration that was to be found in this game all those years ago when I was new and the world was young.

Back then, a lot of stuff was blocked off, gated behind walls or doors or what-have-you.  I’m talking about the Timbermaw Fortress in Azshara.  Or old Grim Batol guarded by dragons.  Or the gate to Uldum down in the bottom of Tanaris.  Or the Greymane Wall in Silverpine Forest.  Or Mount Hyjal, which you could barely glimpse through an instance portal in Winterspring.

There was something about all of this stuff that you couldn’t get to.  Something compelling.  Despite the fact that I knew that this stuff wasn’t programmed into the game, it almost felt like it was.  Almost felt like if you could just squeeze through a hole in the wall, you could break in, and discover an amazing new unexplored world ahead of you.  Did anyone else ever get that feeling?  I got it a lot.

Although we went on to get most of those locations actually in game, we did lose the mystery.  Not saying that’s a bad thing, but I kinda like a little mystery sometimes.  And sometimes I kind of miss it.

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It’s Happening: The return of TBC and Wrath DUNGEONS!

Are you a big turbonerdy nostalgia nut like me?  Miss the good ol’ dungeons of TBC and WotLK?

HAS BLIZZARD GOT A PRESENT FOR YOU

HABBEDING
LOOK AT THIS

DO YOU GUYS SEE THIS

look at this listlook at this list

LOOK AT THIS GORRAM LIST

NOW YOU CAN GO BACK AND DO THEM ALL WITHOUT NEEDING AN ALT

Ahem.  Sorry.  Got a little excited there for a minute.

To be fair this entire system isn’t without what I think could possibly be issues:

First of all, apparently this system only exists during “holiday weekends”, like the old Call to Arms PvP quests.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because they want it to be a special thing?  Either way I want my retro dungeons ALL THE TIME, Blizz!

Second, I hope the above list isn’t ALL the dungeons we’re getting.  Basically all of my favorite retro dungeons are missing.  Chief among these are:

  • Mech
  • Underbog
  • Ramparts
  • Sethekk
  • Shadow Labs (yes I went there)
  • Violet Hold
  • Drak’theron
  • Utgarde Keep
  • Culling of Strat

So yeah.  Don’t stop with the ones you’re testing, Blizzard!

Thirdly, I hope they don’t just scale down gear and leave it at that.  Due to the many and often very drastic class mechanics changes that have occurred since TBC and WotLK, I feel like doing that would still overpower most of these instances at level.  Tune them to how they were when they were Heroics, Blizz.  Yes, even Shadow Labs.

But yeah, other than that?

spidey

Shaking the Ol’ Talent Tree

Hey guys, let’s go back.

wotlk talents

Let’s go back even further:

tbc talents]Let’s go waaaaaay the heck back:

vanilla talentsAhh, remember these?  Love ’em or hate ’em, the old talent trees were a true part of our Warcraft experience if you’ve been playing for any substantial length of time.

I got thinking of these thanks to a conversation I was having on Twitter.  There are a lot of memories that come with these old talent trees – both good and bad.  I remember how excited I was to make myself or my pet just that much more powerful every level.  I remember devising specific leveling specs, PvP specs, and raiding specs.

I also remember how innately “tied” to your spec these really made you feel.  One of my earlier blog posts to make a real splash in the community, written a whopping seven and a half years ago, details how the symbiotic hunter/pet nature of the BM talents was why it was my favorite spec.

These days, though, I’m BM not because I like the talents so much as because, hey, I’ve been playing it for years and years and I know how to play it, and I do pretty well with it, so why switch?  It’s not the most inspiring reason in the world, I know.

I dunno, I’m not exactly pining for the old talents or anything.  But it is kind of a fun thing to look back on.

Wanna go back in time and play around?  Have fun!

Well Ain’t That Something?

Hunter/mage vs. Sunwell? You betcha.

I FRAPS’d the whole fight but I figure I won’t toss the video up unless someone asks because it’s fairly uneventful. Honestly Felmyst was the most difficult fight in the entire raid for us to do. Huge props to Mister Adequate for mage’ing it up and finishing her off after I bit the dirt on that encounter.

Now we just need Hyjal and Black Temple and then it’s on to WotLK stuff!

Push it to the Limit

Random blog title has nothing to do with anything!

SSC and Tempest Keep are both down as we continue our two-man runs. My new main is starting to look pretty snazzy now, thanks to transmog.

Tier 5? Tier 5! Just need to get the chestpiece to drop now.

In other news I find it amusing that I now have to tag posts with Burning Crusade content as “classic WoW,” seeing as I invented that tag during Burning Crusade for vanilla stuff.

A Duo

Lately, myself and my other half, one Mister Adequate, have taken to going back to old content and duo’ing it. The twist is that we’re both pure DPS classes (hunter and mage) so we have to make do without heals and that sort of thing.

Some stuff we’ve done so far!

  • Everything left from Vanilla (Molten Core, AQ20/40, and BWL.  That gimmicky first boss of BWL can go step on a lego.)
  • Karazhan; a full clear took like thirty minutes. (Did I mention that Attumen FINALLY dropped that stupid necklace I’ve been wanting since TBC?)
  • Gruuls
  • Mags
  • 10-man Obsidian Sanctum, with all three drakes up.  Juuust barely.
Yes, that’s everyone dead. Boss included.

Things We’ve Tried But Haven’t Cleared Yet:

  • Sunwell Plateau, because the first boss is trolling us

We’re looking forward to doing the other 70 raids as well as giving 10man Naxx a shot.  I’m not sure if that one can be cleared with our hunter/mage setup, due to various gimmicky fights (Razuvious, I’m looking at YOU), but it’s worth a shot, at least.

We’re getting all sorts of fun transmog stuff, anyway, plus mmmm, all that delicious nostalgia.

Anyone else having fun with old content?

Meet My New Friend

That’s Magmadar. Yes, as in that Magmadar.

Solo-tamed him. And yes, I know, he turns into just your average core hound pet once the tame is complete, but there’s something awesome about knowing what he used to be:

A 40-man raid boss.

Can you get much cooler?

…what’s that you say? Taming druids would be cooler?

Way ahead of ya:

Did I mention I’m running Karazhan once a week now? The necklace I’ve wanted from Attumen since Burning Crusade has yet to drop. This and other earth-shattering announcements at eleven.

I've Been Everywhere: Outland & Northrend

And so we dive into my final entry in this little miniseries of mine: my personal thoughts on Outland and Northrend. Unlike the other two entries in which the zones were sorted North to South geographically, I’m going to go roughly by level on this one; I think it’ll read smoother.

So here we go~!

Hellfire Peninsula: I’m not even gonna beat around the bush on this one: my main goal with this zone is to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Yeah, I’m not a fan. I just don’t like it. Don’t like the scenery, don’t like the quests… and when on a PvP server, don’t like the fact that it is filled with Death Knights who out-gear you in every way imaginable and love to remind you of this fact. Hellfire Peninsula does have one (major) thing going for it though, namely that walking through the Dark Portal and being faced with this huge war between level ?? demons going on is one of the most epic things in the game, period.

And I gotta admit, I do like Ramps. Classic Outlands instance, really.

Other than that, it’s get to Zangarmarsh as fast as possible because this is a zone that is hard to skip– you’ve pretty much gotta spend at least some time here unless you’ve maxed out your leveling as much as you can in Old World.

Zangarmarsh: Easily my favorite zone in Outlands. There’s really no contest. It’s so serene and relaxing, the glowy sporebats and fireflies contrasting against the blue landscape, and I really like the quests, all 54 or so of them– yeah, there’s not many, and I’ve maxed ’em out on basically every toon I’ve leveled. Plus I love each and every one of the Coilfang Reservoir instances– Underbog is my favorite. I love it so much that I’ve farmed that place to death for Sanguine Hibiscus and Sporeggar rep on two characters now and I’m still not sick of it.

Also, a hunter in there tamed a druid. Awesome, no?

Terokkar Forest: Sort of an overlooked zone that I think tends to be skipped over by people who are able to do a couple quests here and then bounce right on to Nagrand. Even I’m guilty of that; I’ve probably spent less time here than any other Outlands zone with the possible exception of Shadowmoon Valley. There are some really unique and interesting quests in Terokkar though, and I think I’ve probably done most of them across the spread of my three characters who have gone through here.

The Auchindoun instances I’m iffy about. I like Shadow Labs. Who can forget “TIME FOR FUN”? or, ya know… this:

WoW_SonicSpear

The others… eeeehhh… I can never remember which is which anyway. Sethekk is okay I guess.

Nagrand: It’s pretty. It’s relaxing to kill millions of Clefthoof/Talbuk/etc. in an odd sort of way. The Kurenai rub me the wrong way for some reason that I can’t put my finger on so I much prefer this zone on my Horde characters, because the Mag’har > all.

I’ve gone through random Halaa obsession periods and I’ll be the first to admit it. Hey, when you can get snazzy arrows and bullets in there, you’ll do crazy things for them.

Killed more ogres than I care to count in the name of a pretty Talbuk on my Hordie (my poor Allies will never get one, as I mentioned earlier… weird distaste for the Kurenai so I sorta don’t want to grind rep for them.)

All in all though, I never understood the massive “omg BEST ZONE EVARRRRR RLLRLLRLLRMRGLRMRGL” stuff, I think I’d place it… third or fourth or so in my list of Favorite Outlands Zones. It’s a nice zone, I just think it’s overrated. Don’t kill me. x_x

Blade’s Edge Mountains: Pretty much the most underraed zone ever. I love this place. Yeah it’s a pain to navigate, that’s why you save the more annoying bits for 70 (oh hey, you can get flyers at 60 now. No more excuses, guys! Quest here!) I found the quests to be fun and interesting and the scenery is just oddball-ish and thus lovely. Also, there’s a gnome town called Toshley’s Station.

A gnome town called Toshley’s Station. And that whole place is nothing but sci-fi references.

Instant win.

Shadowmoon Valley
: I never really liked this place. Like, I went here to get my flying mount, to go mote farming (because that stupid Elemental Plateau in Nagrand was always being camped even at 4-freakin-AM) and occasionally to go Scryer rep farming by killing the blood elves that wandered around. That was it. I attempted to do some quests here a couple times but I didn’t really like them. …am I nuts?

Netherstorm: Ah, Netherstorm, clearly the superior level 67-70 zone. Crazy purple landscape? Check. Goblins? Check. Biodomes (Pauly Shore not included)? Check. I am proud to say that Tawyn and Lunapike both dinged 70 here. Tamaryn dinged 70 doing the Karazhan key questline, which was an acceptable substitute. *nods*

Also: Awesome memories of doing Heroic Mech in the name of the Sun Eater for our tank. POSITIVE STAND BY THE BOXES, NEGATIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE, GUYS.

Borean Tundra & Howling Fjord: Doing these two together because I liked them both about the same. Howling Fjord was prettier and had the nice music, but Borean Tundra had the whole alienesque landscape going on that I have a huge soft spot for. Also some pretty nice quests.

I really don’t understand the Borean Tundra hate that gets flung around. I liked it. Yes, I even liked Coldarra. (Actually I liked Coldarra a lot.)

Dragonblight: Tied with Zul’drak for my favorite Northrend zone. I pretty much do every quest here, on every character. Wrathgate questline is obviously a must, but I like it all, really.

…what else is there to say? I just like it >.>

Grizzly Hills
: I really like the scenery and the music but I have a hard time getting into the quests (Outhouse quest aside). The Drakuru questline that leads you into Drak’tharon Keep is epic, though, largely because it continues to amazing effect in…

Zul’Drak which IS THE MOST UNDERRATED AND AWESOME ZONE IN THE GAME, scratch what I said earlier about Blade’s Edge being the most underrated, Zul’Drak takes the cake. I just finished up spending a lot of time here with Lunapike and loved it even more the second time around than the first. Whole questline with the old Troll gods: awesome. Questline that has you wearing a Scourge disguise and uncovering the rest of Drakuru’s storyline: awesome. AWESOME AND WIN ALL AROUND. The only bad part is that the Gundrak instance brings back painful memories of either a.) Sunken Temple *eyetwitch*, or b.) this brief period of time where WoW crashed anytime the last boss turned into a Rhino. Fortunately that last problem has since resolved itself >.>

Sholazar Basin:
Number of Oracle eggs opened: None, because I’ve never finished the questline
Number of times I’ve circled this place, going herb-farming and idly keeping a lazy eye out for Loque: Far too many
Number of times I’ve declared Sholazar general chat the new Barrens Chat because everyone and their mom is also doing the above: Far too many
Making a sincere, honest attempt to get into the quests here anytime I have the appropriately leveled character, and then promptly running to Zul’drak 30 minutes later: Priceless
There are some things gold can’t buy, for everything else there’s ZUL’DRAK I’M SERIOUS YOU GUYS, YOU’RE MISSING OUT

Crystalsong Forest: It’s so prettyful, there needs to be more stuff here. *sage nod*

Storm Peaks: I fell madly in love with this zone the first time I did it, the whole questline where you get to turn into that blue chick was very memorable. Too bad it had to culminate in the most painful rep grind of all time (Yes, Sons of Hodir pre-Relics-of-Ulduar, I’m looking at you.)

Because of this, there was a time when I ranked this zone up there with Dragonblight and Zul’drak, unfortunately, the Sons of Hodir sort of soured it for me, I’m afraid. I still do like K3 (Much love for goblins and goblin towns), and I do still like that blue-chick-questline.

I got a Polar Bear mount on literally my second or third day of doing the Brunnhildar dailies. I feel kind of bad because I don’t use it nearly as often as I use my army of Mechanostriders… o_o

Icecrown: My initial thoughts were that it didn’t live up to Storm Peaks at all, however, it has sort of grown on me. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never been one of those people who was into spooky-undead-stuff, but the Knights of the Ebon Blade alternate between making it pretty cool and really, well… cute in a bizarre sort of way (who wouldn’t love an abomination telling you you’re their favorite person in the world?) so I’ve come to appreciate the grotesque in a way I never really did pre-WoW, if that makes sense.

Also, I like the Argent Tournament, and jousting is awesome and fun and apparently I’m one of approximately three people in the world that think so, but hey.

WELP, that’ll do it. Sorry to crit you all with the giant wall of text. I hope you enjoyed Pike’s thoughts on the world… of… Warcraft… huh. That wasn’t even supposed to come out like that. It just did. Kudos Blizz on the name of your game being handy to use in a sentence? XD

Really though, as you can see, the number of zones I have liked or loved really outweighs the number of zones I have disliked, and of those few zones that I dislike they can usually be passed over in favor of a nicer zone, so perhaps that explains why I enjoy leveling so much and revisiting all those zones. It’s like meeting up with old friends.

<3 Azeroth. (And Outlands).

I've Been Everywhere: Eastern Kingdoms

Continuing my series from yesterday: Pike’s opinions of the zones of World of Warcraft.

Ah, Eastern Kingdoms. I tend to avoid it while leveling, primarily because despite my soft spot for Alliance and for normal PvE servers, the vast majority of my alts have somehow wound up being Horde on a PvP server (irony much?) and as such, you are considerably less likely to be ganked in Kalimdor (Ashenvale being the big exception). Eastern Kingdoms, on the other hand, is filled with more places to avoid. Anyways, let’s take a look.

Isle of Quel’danas: I pretty much lived here in Burning Crusade for a good month or two. It’s how I saved up money for my epic flyer. Once I had it, I vowed to never go back. >.> I did go back for a brief moment with Lunapike, my second 70, unfortunately that was on my PvP server and it was pretty much the Revenge of the Wrath of Gankzilla so I wound up doing the Shatt dailies instead. I did like that one daily where you flung bombs at people, though…

Eversong Woods: It’s pretty and there are magical brooms like from Fantasia, and there’s a fun quest where you get to polymorph this guy. I only really quested here once, though. I went back later with a troll, but promptly encountered the Ammo Vendor NPC who refused to sell me ammo because I was a smelly troll. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not, I swear to heck I couldn’t buy ammo. So, being a proud troll, I left. Hmph, I say.

Ghostlands: I quested about half of this place once before growing extremely bored and scrapping that character entirely. Since then my Ghostlands experience has pretty much been narrowed down to two things: Zul’Aman meeting stone, and exploring the crazy undead stuff in the southern end of the zone when I was curious to see what it was.

Everybody tells me this is the place to quest so I may end up giving it a second try. Maybe. We’ll see…

Tirisfal Glades: Was always a little too creepy and dark for me personally, although the Eastern edge by the plaguelands grows randomly pretty for a moment or two. No, seriously, it does. Anyways, my fondness for this zone depends greatly on my mood and if the character I’m playing has a good reason to be there or not.

Oh wait, I just remembered Scarlet Monastery, aka Second Best Thing in the Game After Karazhan. Yeah, Tirisfal can stay. *nod*

Western Plaguelands: I like all the “kill the skeletons” quests cause they’re short n’ sweet but I typically don’t do much here beyond that. Scholo is a brilliant instance though, but I’m not quite as obsessed with it as my significant other is (he has been farming that place for Headmaster’s Charge for years and has never seen it. Also, once he drew me a detailed map of that whole instance from memory. This was promptly followed by maps of Naxx and Stratholme. But I digress.)

Eastern Plaguelands: Crazy zone that I’d love to do more in but I always get distracted by Winterspring. *cough* I love the little dialogue that goes on in Light’s Hope Chapel. One time they gave me a quest to go to Naxx and kill stuff. It was a level 60 quest. I completed it in level 80 Naxx. I got 40 silver for it. It was great.

Gosh, I will never forget the day before patch 3.0. I got keyed for old Naxx and then me and some friends went inside. I’d never been in before.

WoWScrnShot_101308_220509

Bigglesworth never gets a break, does he?

There was also a random Night Elf NPC sitting by the wall who I seem to recall having some really suggestive dialogue though I can’t remember the specifics. (It’s also possible I was just really tired at the time.) We– hunter, warlock, paladin– attempted to three-man a couple pulls, one of them was the spiders in Spider Wing (lolwipe) and one of them was a gargoyle which we eventually aalllllmost DPS’d down and healed my pet through, at which point the gargoyle promptly healed himself. /facepalm @ us.

The boyfriend and paladin friend decided to log out in Naxx. The night before it was deleted. The next day they couldn’t log in because the whole game would crash and they had to contact GMs. I giggled.

Silverpine Forest: GO HERE IF YOU WANT TO FARM BRIARTHORN. I’m serious.

Also, Shadowfang Keep is awesome.

Alterac Mountains: This zone is fun. And it used to be hard. Remember when that ogre town was all elites? Good times.

Hillsbrad Foothills: I really liked this zone on my RP server. Then I made the mistake of going there on my RP-PvP server. Hillsbrad… I will quest no more forever.

Arathi Highlands: Probably one of my favorite zones period; it’s so pretty and Stromgarde is a lot of fun. You used to have to go there to get First Aid training as an Alliance. I don’t think you do anymore, which is sort of sad, because it was fun that it was out in the middle of freakin’ nowhere.

The Hinterlands: Tragic tale with this zone. I loved this zone. I loved it a lot. I loved it so much that I did millions of quests there and then… I got sick of it. I can hardly stand the place now. I go there, do the Jintha’alor quests (another place that used to be crazy challening and fun but it was nerfed… it’s still pretty fun though), and then leave once those are finished.

Also: getting to the Horde town in this zone is a royal pain in the rear. WTB a better map so I stop hurtling to my death off of the cliff. >.>

Wetlands: I have a soft spot for this zone. I spent a lot of time there on my first character and so it’s pretty nostalgic. When I was level six and being run to Stormwind, though, those crocodiles? *shudder*

Dun Morogh: It’s no Winterspring, but it’s not bad. By the way, I like Gnomeregan. *is shunned*

Loch Modan: It’s so pretty! But I have a hard time getting into the quests here. And some of the quests here are hard. Those troggs, eesh.

I remember the first time I did the Children’s Week quests. I was level 16 or so and my orphan kid wanted to go to the big dam here. I went there for the first time and was just as awed as my orphan. I always think of that when I think of this zone. <3 Searing Gorge: I maintain my stance that Blackrock Mountain is basically the most epic thing Blizzard has ever done. As such, I like Searing Gorge by default, even though the quests there tend to be a pain in the butt.

Burning Steppes: See above. I think I might actually like Burning Steppes a little more than Searing Gorge. Mostly because of the whole Ruins of Thaurissan which has this whole creepy and epic feel to it.

Badlands: I remember the first time I went here as a Hordie. It was like “FINALLY AT LONG LAST I CAN FLY FROM UNDERCITY TO BOOTY BAY!” And gosh, getting there as a Hordie was a pain, too.

Anyways, this is an okay zone that I’ll usually do a quest or two in before moving on. The random-mob-who-likes-to-aggro-on-you population density seems to be unusually high here, though, so I typically don’t spend much time here because I get annoyed.

Elwynn Forest: Love it, it’s Nostalgia Central. All we need is for Goldshire and its vampire RP conclave to be taken off the face of Azeroth and we’ll be good to go.

Redridge Mountains: Full of fun quests although said quests said to be a notch high in the difficulty level, I’ve noticed. I die here a lot as a lowbie. >.> I still enjoy this zone overall.

Westfall: Say what you will, this zone is awesome. The Defias questline is made of three parts win and two parts fun, and Deadmines is one of the bestest instances ever. <3 Westfall. Darkshire: The last time I seriously quested here was on my first character, Tawyn. This was back when Mor’ladim would show up behind you and OMGPWN you in about two hits, and back when Stitches was the scariest thing known to mankind. The quests here were really great; I have no idea why I haven’t quested here since my first toon. I should do that again. *puts on “To do” list*

Gosh… those questlines… some of the best in the game, really, at least until you get to Zul’drak. Good stuff.

WoWScrnShot_070707_213025

*giggles at level 29 Wash*

Deadwind Pass: The first time I went in here out of curiosity, I was owned by these level ?? carrion birds. Then I saw a level 70 brazenly run into those birds. I was like, “Noooooo!!!!!!!” but on he went, completely unfazed. I was astounded.

Anyways, Karazhan is my favorite thing ever so by extension, I love me some Deadwind Pass. It could really use some more love.

Swamp of Sorrows: Horde has some decent quests. Alliance has some annoying quests. Sunken Temple is my LEAST favorite instance of all time to the point that even Gundrak is painful because it’s all too familiar. Final Verdict: B- , but extra credit because Stonard is a nifty lil’ lore town.

Blasted Lands: You know those quests where you kill millions of different animals to make these elixirs and stuff for you? Pretty sure those quests have the worst drop rate in the entire game. Just sayin’.

Used to be the awesome place for leveling weapon skill because of those mobs that never die but I think they nerfed that. >.>

This one time, I tried to solo one of the demons in the Tainted Scar. Yeah, that didn’t work…

Stranglethorn Vale: “And back in my day, we walked up and down Stranglethorn Vale– no mounts, no extra flight points– uphill both ways!” *waves cane*

Ahem, I actually enjoyed this zone on my first character. I felt like I was there for fifteen-bloomin’-levels, but I liked it nonetheless.

Then pretty much all my alts after that were on a PvP server aaaaaaaand yeah. I’ll wake up really early in the morning to do the Nesingwary quests cause they have good loot, then I run far, far away…

Next time: Outlands and Northrend! STAY TUNED~