Category Archives: classic wow

Patchy Goodness

I have a confession to make, mainly, I haven’t done a whole lot on either of my 80s since the patch hit. Oh, I’ve played around, gotten some badges, probably enough to buy something actually, but I’m not sure what I want to buy yet so I’m holding out.

Still, I am very pleased with this patch overall. The other day I was hitting close to 3500 DPS in a Heroic, as Beast Mastery, with Gift of the Wild as my only buff, and that was before I realized that my pet’s focus dump move, Claw, had turned itself off. Which, FYI, is a huge DPS loss in and of itself, so the fact that I was doing so well without it made me very happy. (Don’t worry, I did promptly turn it back on >.>)

I also hit an end result of over 3900 DPS on Emalon in VoA, third on Recount behind only a mage, and a Marksman hunter who out-geared me to heck and back. Also I was getting about 2 frames per second, as is what happens to me in 25mans. I wonder if Claw was on that time or not. *stretches lazily*

Other than that though, I have just been playing around and having a blast. Lunapike is in that final stretch before 80 and I’m looking forward to being able to say I have two max-level hunters again, followed by going to work on a third.

Yesterday the boyfriend and I got to talking about old instances. Now the boyfriend has opted to go on extended WoW hiatus, for a variety of reasons; his account is not currently active. However, we both have this fanatical love for old, rambly, looooooong instances like BRD. And he said he thought he knew how to go from the entrance of BRD all the way to the last boss by memory, without looking. So I said “Oh really?” in a bit of an owlish tone; he said “Yeah really,” and we opted to test this by having him navigate BRD for me solely through voice chat. I decided to take my druid because of Stealth and Starfall, and ya know what… the boyfriend is good.

Also this sent me into fits of laughter:


It made me kind of want to run around and do old instances all day long.

But yeah, now that my addons are (mostly) fixed, I <3 this patch dearly! Oh, did I mention that my new guild is way too nice to me? First, they are inviting me to basically every raid ever. Secondly, upon informing them that I typically cannot make their raids because of my schedule, a couple of them hinted around at trying to set up a raid specifically tailored to a time that I can make it. Thirdly, they sent me Slime Stream Bands in the mail.

The warm fuzzies… they overwhelm me *sniff* x_x

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:


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.


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.


*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~

I've Been Everywhere: Kalimdor

I was totin’ my pack along the long dusty Winnemucca road,
When along came a semi with a high an’ canvas-covered load.
“If you’re goin’ to Winnemucca, Mack, with me you can ride.”
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside.
He asked me if I’d seen a road with so much dust and sand.
And I said, “Listen, I’ve traveled every road in this here land!”

I’m starting a little miniseries that will go over the course of a few days in which I talk about zones in the game and what I think of them. Mostly because I’ve sort of been wanting to write something like this for a while, and because it sounds fun. It’s not really huntery per se, but ya know what, that’s okay! =P

Teldrassil: A looooooong time ago I installed a little thing called “The World of Warcraft Free Trial”. I rolled up a Night Elf named Tawyn– why yes, my very first character is still my main– and soon found myself in this crazy world of purple trees and boars that I was supposed to kill.

Because of all this, I have one word to describe Teldrassil: Nostalgia. It may not be one of my favorite zones, but I can’t travel there without smelling the innocence in the air and remembering how floored I was the first time I wandered into Darnassus and was met with swelling music and giant tree guardians and tons of funny-looking buildings.

I secretly really like Darnassus. Don’t tell anyone.

Azuremyst Isles: Decent starting area but not my favorite, a fact which generally causes people to spaz out, but hey, I’m weird. In fact, Bloodmyst Isle is pretty much the one area in the game I’ve yet to fully explore because the only draenei I’ve played past level 10 opted to go directly to Westfall without collecting $200. In a way, I kind of like having an area of the game I’ve never seen before, to the point that I… keep sort of deliberately putting off exploring it, if that makes sense.

I never go into the Exodar unless my Hearthstone is firmly not-on-cooldown. That place is a black hole. /shudder

Darkshore: I like it. Has some quests I really enjoy. I sorta like the overall mood. It’s by the sea, but it’s a stormy sea. It reminds me of the Pacific Northwest coast where I spent my earliest childhood years. From an RP standpoint I sort of want to say this is where my druid grew up but I’m always wary about saying things like that because Kalimdor lore confuses me sometimes and you never know what was here five years ago and what wasn’t. >.>

Moonglade: The first time I went to Moonglade it was with a level 55ish Tawyn who wondered just what was in the little sideroute in the Timbermaw’s tunnel. I was surprised to find this whole zone I hadn’t known existed. That’s really about all I’ve got to say about this, other than my druids all teleport here ASAP upon dinging a new level. Can ya blame me? The trainer is right there!

Winterspring: Looooooooveeeeee this zone. I go here with all my characters and I’m never tired of it. I love exploring that crazy scary area at the bottom of the zone too; that unused instance portal with all the pretty Hyjal trees and greenery on the other side. Makes me really wish I could go through there. /whine

Felwood: There are aspects of this zone that I like a lot and others that I don’t like quite so much. In the end the scales tip towards “like” although I don’t go there on all my characters.

Azshara: Bestest most craziest zone ever. I love this place. I’d move here. Random NPCs with no purpose, elementals yelling at you, this airstrip on an island in the middle of nowhere where you get to call a dwarf down on an airplane, a crazy mage living in a tower, and unused battleground entrances for both Horde and Alliance? Sign me up! The only thing I don’t like about it is navigating, it does that whole thing where one second you’re on a huge cliff and the next thing you know you’re pretty much below sea level and there’s like, one place where you can get back up and I can never find it. Other than that, love this zone.

Ashenvale: Been here enough that I’m kiiiinda sick of it. Tend to avoid it. Though I have fond memories of doing the Astranaar quests the first time around, but I’ve never been able to get myself to do them again. The best part of this zone is the area by Blackfathom Deeps with all the naga, though I’m not a particularly big fan of BFD itself.

Stonetalon Mountains: Love! I don’t even know why I love this zone, I just do. It’s fun. I’m crazy. I know.

The Barrens: I’m fond of this place in some way that I can’t quite pin down. It really sort of makes you feel like a Hordie. You’re aren’t really Horde unless you’ve been through the baptism of fire that is the Barrens, almost.

My favorite quests in the zone are the ones down south of Camp Taurajo, though the travel is a pain (not so much anymore with mounts at 20… but the travel used to be a pain. Of course, that’s what paying the quillboar blood shards for a temporary speed boost was for!)

Pro tip: Turn off General chat.

Durotar: Nice enough zone if you can succeed in not being blinded by orange. Things I dislike: the cave in the orc/troll starter zone (I get lost every. friggin’. time), and the fact that there seem to be too many quests to do before you hit level ten. Of all the newbie zones, I only feel that way with this zone, really. It’s like, they kick you out of the starting zone and then you’ve got a troll town and then you’ve got Razor Hill and then you’ve got these goblins and it’s just like “aaaaaaaaaaaaaah quests.” But yeah, I don’t really mind the zone as a whole.

Desolace: Another zone that I like for some reason. I especially like the coastal area because it’s so… different from the rest of the zone but still seems to fit. It’s kind of relaxing to hang out at the Desolace coast.

I can never decide if I like Maraudon or not. Leaning towards liking it cause it’s pretty but it’s like Wailing Caverns-times-500 in the maze department so I don’t go without My-Boy-The-Wonder-Navigator.

Mulgore: Looooove it. Helps that it sorta looks like Mulgore where I live IRL. <3 Dustwallow Marsh: I really like Theramore a lot. I have memories of that huge giant Alliance questline culminating in this showdown where Jaina showed up and it was just epic. But the rest… eh… there are things I like and things I don’t but all and all I tend not to spend a lot of time here.

Feralas: Another zone that I really like. I think it’s more fun on Horde than on Alliance. Alliance kind of tosses you at these weird islands and stuff whereas Horde just has you wondering around home base at Camp Mojache, making nice ‘n easy experience by shooting gnolls and ogres. Plus, I have bad memories of waiting for the boat for what felt like 15 minutes at Feathermoon Stronghold.

I like Dire Maul in a “I’m going to get lost, but I like the aesthetics” kind of way, sort of like Maraudon, really. Best thing that ever happened there was jumping down a floor without dismissing my pet, followed by said pet pulling the entire instance onto the group’s face. It was funny afterwards…

Thousand Needles: Easily one of my favorite zones in the game and contains pretty much one of the best questlines ever. Seriously, you get to jump off a cliff and then you get whisked away when you are about five inches from the ground. TELL ME THAT’S NOT AWESOME.

Silithus: And this is the part where I’m stuffed into a straitjacket: I like Silithus. Because it’s absolutely nuts. Giant bugs. C’mon. It’s crazy, and awesome. The only downfall is that the quests suck, for the most part. I put up with them because it’s such a weird ethereal zone filled with floating obelisks and I just sorta like the overall atmosphere.

When I was a noobling I went down to southern Silithus where AQ was and I had no idea what those crazy buildings were for but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The end.

Un’goro Crater: I’ve had a couple characters spend a lot of time here farming Mountain Silversage to fund epic mounts back when they were expensive. So I sort of feel like I’ve spent more time here than I should have, and in that way, I’m in no big hurry to spend much more time there in the future.

On the other hand, dinosaurs. Plus, millions of little nooks and crannies all along the edges, if you look, and I’ve found some weird stuff in said nooks and crannies. So all and all it makes up for it. *nods*

Tanaris: I still remember the first time I took my first character and wandered south of the Shimmering Flats right into Tanaris and Gadgetzan. Pretty much instantly I went running to Mr. Pike, “OH MY GOSH I FOUND TATOOINE!!” I was really excited. I fell in love with it almost instantly and ya know what, I still like Tanaris. It has that weird alien-esque quality to it that Silithus has that makes me love it. The coast is gorgeous and has quests that involve pirates and giant turtles. And Zul’Farrak is one of the greatest instances of all time, and this shall not be debated. If there was an instance hall of fame and only five or ten instances in all of WoW could go in there, ZF would be a shoo-in. So yeah. Win-win situation.

Next time: Eastern Kingdoms, and we see if Pike continues her streak of liking everyone’s least-favorite zones and vice-versa! Stay tuned!

Solo Artist

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a necklace I wanted called Worgen Claw Necklace. It dropped off of Attumen, the first boss in Karazhan, and I wanted it because I was wearing one from Steamvaults or something.

Now I went to Karazhan a lot. Pretty much every week for several months. I loved that place, I never tired of it, not even long after I was Exalted with the Violet Eye. Still do love it, which I’m sure most of you know. But Worgen Claw Necklace never dropped. Not once.

Pretty soon, I didn’t need it anymore. I had a necklace from Heroic Slave Pens and eventually I had a badge necklace. (Never got the Shattered Sun necklace because I was Scryer and the Scryer version sucked.) Still, it became the principle of the thing. I saw Attumen drop everything else. I even saw the mount once. But never Worgen Claw Necklace.

I got my tree druid to 70 and started doing Kara when I could. You may be thinking, “Ha! It probably dropped when you were on your druid!” But you would be wrong. My druid never saw it either. She’s half way through Revered. I have never seen this thing drop.

And so a dream began to formulate in my head. Several months and an expansion later, Kill Bill-like, I knew what I had to do.

I must solo Attumen

I must get my necklace.

After several weeks of putting it off because I was attached to all my pets, I finally let my wolf go so I could obtain a tenacity pet. Because I was impatient, I got a worm, because there are some that are level 80 by default.

I got myself a pet-tanky spec, spec’d my pet a pet-tanky spec, and bought a shiny Glyph of Mending. Pretty soon my Mend Pet was healing for 2200 health a tick. Then I got into a raid group and headed off– just my worm and I– to Medivh’s tower.

The trash to Attumen is tricky. Pulls of two or three horses at a time, often with stable hands who heal and do fun things like that. So long as you know how to trap, pull and properly time your Feign Deaths, it’s not difficult, but it is time consuming and there were a couple of close calls.

Finally I was standing in front of Midnight. I braced myself and sent in my pet.

For about ten seconds, all was going well; Mend Pet was keeping Nachi the worm up. Then Attumen came out. Thunderstomp picked up aggro on him and I soon discovered that poor Nachi couldn’t dream of staving off both off with Mend Pet alone; Last Stand gave him a couple extra seconds but inevitably down he went.

I tried again and had a similar experience, and then trash began to respawn. See, let me tell you what the most frustrating thing about solo’ing Attumen is. It’s that it takes about twenty minutes to clear the trash, but thirty minutes to respawn. So you essentially have a ten minute window to make attempts on Attumen before they start respawning mid-boss-fight and coming to pwn you. Yeah, it sucks.

Anyways, feeling a bit miffed, I went and tried a few other solo’y things. I gave Onyxia a shot and managed to get her down to 40% three different times, but each time it wound up being not my pet who died, but me. Between whelps, random fireballs, and crap like that, and being limited to your one token potion, bandages, and Lifeblood, I couldn’t self-heal enough.

Then I went completely nuts and headed off to Molten Core. I quickly discovered that you can sneak past a good deal of the trash, and that which you can’t sneak past you can dispose of fairly easily. As such I made attempts on a few different bosses, and again, each time I was faced with the issue of the boss having some gimmick that would destroy me long before my pet was in any danger. (Why hello, Living Bomb, yes, I hate you too.)

Finally I went off to give Attumen one last shot, having tweaked my pet’s spec a little and having discovered some trick on YouTube where you could supposedly pull Midnight without pulling Attumen. Cleared the trash, made four unsuccessful attempts (maybe they hotfixed this?), and was more than willing to make more attempts but, you guessed it… trash respawns.

So I ended that little experiment and found myself wondering if it’s even possible for a hunter to solo Attumen without exploits or two pieces of T5.

Then I had another crazy thought. Turtles have a special move called Shell Shield. I found myself wondering if maybe, with a very well timed Shell Shield and Last Stand, and a “burn ’em down quick so they merge” technique… it might be possible.

And so, after bidding farewell to my worm… this is my new turtle (or as my inner pet store geek insists on calling him, tortoise). His name is Bourne which is short for Bourne Again Shell because I am a nerd.


Now I’ve just got to begin the process of leveling him up to 80 from 75.

I’ll be back, Attumen… you can’t sit on that necklace forever!

The Classics Never Die…

I had a few post ideas for today. I thought of writing about bad PuGs, I thought of writing about my thoughts on certain talent specs, and I really really wanted an excuse to post a screenshot I snagged of my new current DPS high score (yay Patchwerk!). But in the end I decided that today I am going to write about…


Yes. Deadmines.

You see, in my mind, there is very little else out there that will test a young hunter’s mettle like solo’ing Deadmines in your mid-30s. You may think I am joking, until you try it. It will force you to learn about things like aggro management (keeping multiple mobs on your pet, with limited means), rudimentary freeze trapping, and pulling off crazy techniques you won’t do in most “civilized” instances anymore, like tossing around Immolation Traps to get more damage going, or Mongoose Biting that pesky parrot nipping at your ankles. It even teaches you about mana management, for really, what hunter has mp5 or more than a shallow puddle of Intellect at level 36?


Ever been into the Goblin Foundry? If one of those goblins runs off you’re pretty much screwed by all the millions of mobs sitting at the bottom. You have to pull your mobs carefully and you have to be sure they don’t run away.

Ever taken on Mr. Smite and his nasty stun (“You landlubbers are tougher than I thought!”) and his rogue buddies that come out of nowhere? Lemme rephrase that; ever done it with only 1500 HP?

And how about Edwin VanCleef himself and his rogue buddies?


Way back in the day when I was leveling my first character, Tawyn, I was quite fanatical about solo’ing Deadmines. It started out when I was level 26 or 27 or so and I was tired of being in bad groups for the place, so Tux and I decided we’d solo it. I don’t think we could quite beat the first boss. But we kept going back every couple of levels. It became a regular routine. Every time, we would get a little closer. Finally it happened at level 41: Deadmines, solo’d. (I skipped trying at level 40, I was having too much fun running around Stranglethorn on my mount. This was back before that northern flight point and the mount was a godsend, lemme tell ya.)

Since then, it has become a little challenge for me to try to lower that “high score”. Lunapike solo’d the place at 38. Tamaryn, in temporary boomkin guise, did it at 40. And today…



Althalor did it at 36, with his level 35 moth Chakapas.

Now to be fair, it felt a little easier this time than it has for me in the past. I think it’s probably mostly due to having Aspect of the Viper, since there are really no other major spec or ability differences that I can think of at that level. Still– a new personal record. One to be challenged by whoever my next up’n’coming hunter is.

I often think that in this world of raiding and heroics where we’ve got someone else to tank for us and someone else to heal for us, and often someone else to do the crowd control for us, we get locked into one mode of playing. That’s why I believe it’s important sometimes to go back to the basics and get a little unconventional and experimental and hone your lesser used skills and really dig deep into your class in a way that a lot of others do not. Many people may say the lessons you learn from such a thing don’t help you much in an end-game situation, me, I think they do. You can never know too much about your chosen class. But the only way to decide for yourself is to try it… I think you just may be surprised.


Slash Cower

You know, Tawyn had to deal with a lot of scary stuff today.

A room full of dragon hatchlings in the name of a title…

And the big mother dragon, herself, just for the heck of it…

But nothing, apparently, is quite as scary as a talking tree.

/cower indeed.

(For the record, the guild name is a BIG inside joke; and Onyxia was done with a prot warrior, a resto druid, a warlock, our healadin-turned-retadin, and me. I FRAPS’d the thing and I’d be willing to try to get a video together with annotations about my usage of the new hunter talents and skills, if anybody is remotely interested!)

Old School

So while I’ve definitely been enjoying my alts (mostly of the hunter variety), I have also found myself logging into Tawyn a lot more often again, lately.

Why? Is it perhaps the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion that has me all excited? Is it getting into the current raids of Burning Crusade?


It’s cause Blackrock Mountain is basically the most epic thing Blizzard has ever done. True story.

I went to Molten Core the other week with a bunch of people. Unfortunately it was sort of a hastily put together group, people started leaving more and more as we went on, and we had to call it quits after wiping on… the fourth or fifth boss? Can’t remember.

But it was a really neat experience and inspired me to start looking seriously into old-world content. I am a “Burning Crusade Baby” as they say, who waltzed into Outlands at level 58, effectively skipping most of the old Level 60 stuff.

But doing LBRS the other day to get the UBRS key, and aaaaalll the billions of quests involved for that; and now currently doing the quests and the BRD runs for the Onyxia Key… this is when Epic was Epic and when adventuring meant going into a burning lair of fire of brimstone.

Oh, and guess who plays at 8:00pm in BRD?

Sheer coincidence that we happened to be in this room at 7:57pm. It was great.

The interesting thing about these old-world quests, to me anyway, is how memorable they are. So far I have had to take control of a dragon in order to blow fire on a quest object, take secret notes all over Eastern Kingdoms, and rescue a guy from prison and escort him out of BRD while he deadpans lines about his flying fists of fury (and runs into every mob he can without giving you a chance to drink >.>). I think my favorite, though, was when I was sent to a guy in Lakeshire, the same guy who gave me a bunch of quests when I was, oh, level 16 or 17 maybe. “Do I know you? You look familiar,” he said.


I can’t tell you how far this little old-world excursion is going to take me. In theory, I’d like to hit up all the old raids, in reality, I don’t know if that can happen. But the point is, Bear was right. There is a ton of content out there and I dunno about you guys, but I don’t raid for the loot. Loot’s a fun bonus, but it’s not why I still adore Karazhan and try to run it every chance I get even though Be Imba tells me I should be in SSC, and it’s not why I want to do the old school raids. It’s cause there’s adventuring and exploring out there that I haven’t done yet.

Oh, and Hunter Tier 3 looks awesome and I must have it.