Category Archives: wrath of the lich king

My SECOND favorite raid is…

It’s no real secret that my favorite raid in the entire game is Karazhan. But what’s my second favorite?

latestThis guy right here.  Naxxramas, my friends.  Naxx is brilliant.  Just utterly brilliant.

Now, I never did do the level 60 version, so my experience with Naxx comes from Wrath of the Lich King.  And friends, I know it’s hard to believe now because years later I think most people consider WotLK to be one of the major high points of WoW (if not the high point), but I tell you what, at the time there was a LOT of griping about the expansion and this raid in particular.  See, Wrath launched with three raids.  Two of them could be done in like twenty minutes, and the third was Naxx.  So everyone spent months in Naxx and everyone got tired of it.

Except for me!

naxxLook at these bosses.  I just love them all.  Want one of the greatest boss encounters in the entire game?  Here’s Four Horsemen.  Want to test your DPS on a Patchwerk fight?  Well I’ve got some great news for you, this is where the term Patchwerk fight came from!  Want to Safety Dance?  Say hello to Heigan.  Want Warcraft 3 lore goodness?  Kel’Thuzad and Sapphiron are right here!

Everything about this raid is great.  I love the design in its simplicity and elegance.  And you know, I was never too big into the 2spooky Halloween aesthetic, but if you’re gonna do it, this is how you do it.

Oh, also, Mr. Bigglesworth.  The most important part of the raid, bar none.

So yes, Naxxramas.  Learn to love it if you don’t already, because it’s just fantastic.


P.S. I also did this raid on my druid and two-healing Patchwerk (on ten man) was the most intense fight of my life.

Well That Only Took Four Years

Tawyn, Hunter #1, has been making the rounds on and off for years and nothing.

Lunapike, Hunter #2, has been making the rounds on and off for years and nothing.

But today I was doing panda quests on Tawyn and I thought “Huh, Hunter #3 is my cat collector. I should send him up to Sholazar and see what happens.”

And so it came to pass that Althalor, Hunter #3, snagged Loque on his very first tiptoe into Sholazar Basin. Lucky SOB.

Congrats, belf boy. You’ve come a long way from posing with the Rake on

So I Said I Wasn't Going to the Midnight Release

Yeah, I lied.

The Results of Pike’s Unscientific Survey taken while standing in a very long line yielded the following results:

1.) Way more people in this town play WoW than I thought
2.) This town is very Horde-biased (the ones standing in line anyway)
3.) The guy behind me who said something like “Yeah my hunter is pretty boring” and then moved on to talking about his other characters for the rest of the time, clearly needs to Learn2Pike! =P

So I was going to finish this up by saying something like “Goes to bed while waiting for the install”, but the install is just zipping along, so… erm… uh… *shifty eyes*

Two Weeks Notice

It’s weird to think that in two weeks we’ll all be leveling up again.

For me, it raises a lot of questions, like the specifics of the spec I’m going to be using (still wavering on a lot of the talents), which characters I’m going to playing first, where I’m planning on heading to level first… I mean, Howling Fjord was so pretty in Beta, clearly prettier than Borean Tundra. But I worry that everybody agrees with that, and is gonna be headed there. =P We’ll see. In the long run I actually rather like some (though certainly not all) barren/desertish zones. I love Tanaris and Silithus. They remind me of Tatooine from Star Wars. >.>

As for who to give most of my initial attention to, it’s pretty obvious that Tawyn is my main and so I’ll be playing through the content Alliance-side first. Aside from Tawyn being my most-geared and favorite character, it also comes down to the social side of things. Lunapike has always been more of a solo/experimental character as opposed to Tawyn who did the heroics and the raiding. And now that she is in a guild of, well, Entelechy refugees for lack of a better term (Entelechy actually disbanded recently, from what I hear), there is some discussion about making a “comeback” guild in Wrath of the Lich King and at least tackling all the ten-mans. But, we’ll have to see.

Two more weeks!

[WotLK Beta] The Man, The Myth, The Legend

So I decided to do something completely crazy in Beta and see if I could tame one o’ them core hounds. From Molten Core. Solo. Hey, I’m a hunter, I can do that, right?

Got about halfway through Blackrock Mountain when I remembered I needed to be in a raid group to even get in the door.

Oh hey, some nice dwarf and his bear are gonna party with me! They even flew all the way over to help me out!

We had about a dozen different plans and they all failed to go through, thanks to evade glitches, threat glitches, and a variety of stuff refusing to work right. We were so close a couple of times that it was just frustrating. Lemme tell ya though, the bear is a beast. Never seen a hunter pet tank not just one, but two Molten Giants for so long. I am so gonna get one if I can tear myself away from my Rhino who I just solo’d most of Slave Pens with.

Anyways! The moral of the story is: If you are a Beta blogger you had better be on the lookout because I do periodic /whos and you might be the next person who gets roped into one of my crazy schemes, fo’shizzle.

Gettin' Philosophical

Recently, Bell over at 4 Haelz had a rather heartfelt post about why she can’t get too excited over Wrath of the Lich King… one of her quotes is:

Perhaps some of it is the impermanence. I can’t get interested in anything that I know might be gone or changed or revamped or whatever in days or hours or minutes. Perhaps some of it is that it is possible my class (whichever class at that time I happen to be) could be much less important to the raids, and it’s a little hard to imagine that your niche is no longer your niche.

Now I guess what I want to say here is: I understand perfectly where you’re coming from.

It’s really hard for me to really seriously play poor Tawyn and Lunapike and “the gang” because it feels like I’m dancing on a cloud or something, and it’s ready to dissolve at my feet.

But that last line there really hit home for me, “It’s a little hard to imagine that your niche is no longer your niche.

Blizzard is taking my shot rotations away. Let me explain that. Shot rotations are one of my favorite aspects of the hunter class and one of the things that really, at the time, sort of set me apart from a lot of other hunters. It was always this intuitive thing for me. I got Tawyn to level 62, got Steady Shot, went out and killed a mob and after I’d killed that one mob I knew what a shot rotation was. It has always been instinctive and natural and a matter of pride that I knew what it meant to weave my shots in the correct order and timing, and that a few other hunters actually came up to me in game and asked me to explain the concept to them.

Blizz is taking it away, and while I fully understand their reasons for doing so, and it will certainly mean an increase in hunter DPS– I sometimes feel like I’m sitting here clutching my security blanket tightly, knowing that any day now Blizz is gonna come and take it away for good.

But you can’t have your blanket forever, or you’ll wind up strung out on bedspreads.

So I decided that change was necessary, it happens and we gotta evolve with it. I’ve accepted it. Some stuff I like will be going away, it’s true. I was on Beta the other day and spent about a half hour battering away at those training dummies, trying to figure out a way to salvage the shot rotation playstyle, but it’s not there anymore, it’s button spamming from here on out.

But you know what? There are a ton of fun new abilities to play with. I am madly in love with the new Disengage. It puts you back at range instantly. I love it with a passion and have this little “aww man” moment when I try to use it in Burning Crusade now and it doesn’t do anything. I love the new pet stuff. I am digging the way the new Kill Command almost works like a backup Intimidation.

But most importantly… I still love “huntering”.

Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand… I don’t care, I’m still free, Blizz can’t take my class from me.

I went out into the wilds of Northrend and it was just us. Tux and I. We’ve been together since he was level eight and I was level ten. Tux patiently taught me what it meant to be a hunter. Even when I didn’t feed him at first because I didn’t know I was supposed to. Even when I didn’t teach him Growl because I didn’t know about it. Even when I ran around Raptor-Striking stuff and letting him die. He has been there the whole time. And in the Beta the other day, for those fleeting fifteen minutes before the server crashed, it was just us running around experiencing the wonder of an all new world and all new stuff to learn. Just like the old days.

Huntering is alive and well.

It is still a really scary thought in many ways. For a while now, I have been a hunter teacher, and knowing that I have to become a student again is sort of a scary proposition. It will feel out of place. But then Boozsha said something interesting. He said, “Well when WoTLK these 70 blogger hunter masters will have to start leveling(most likely). It is going to be great to read these post about them leveling again.

Now euphoria from being mentioned in the same breath as BRK and Drotara aside, he has a really good point. We have a lot that we can teach to each other and learn from each other and it’s exciting.

And that is why I am embracing Wrath of the Lich King. Is it gonna be scary? In many aspects, yes. Is it going to change a lot of things I was really comfortable with? Yes. I do admit that in a lot of ways these last few weeks before the 3.0 patch are gonna have me feeling like The Kiwi*, spent simply pewpew’ing stuff in casual Heroic and Karazhan jaunts and reveling in my last flight of the 2.0 hunterdom I finally feel like I have mastered after working on it for so long. But unlike the Kiwi, I have more flying left to do.

I’ll see you in Northrend.

* If you can get through that movie without tearing up, you are a stronger hunter than I. /reaches for box of Kleenex

[WotLK Beta] Tawyn & Tux's Excellent Adventure

So it took some sleuthing, geekery and hackery, but the WotLK beta runs as smooth as butter under Linux with Wine.

Took me a good five or ten minutes to figure out how to use mounts.

Took me another five or ten minutes to distribute talent points (55 points in Beast Mastery is okay, right?)

Ten minutes of running around Shatt trying stuff out and using The Beast Within (Sade, was that you in front of Aldor bank? ;o I wasn’t sure so I was kind of afraid to ask. I’m shy like that.)

Ten minutes of setting up my hotkeys again, training Tux, and pewpewing a couple things in Terokkar. Steady Shot feels… off. I’m sure I will adapt to it with more time.

Then I went to Stormwind, found the harbor, stood on a boat with a group of people, all of us asking “is this the boat to Northrend?”… realized the boat wasn’t going anywhere and hopped on another boat…

It’s huge you guys. I’m so excited. Too bad I have to go to work now >.>

Oh, what are some addons that work in Beta? Somebody in trade mentioned that X-Perl did so I will be looking into that. I hadn’t realized until now how much I rely on stuff like Scrolling Combat Text and RatingsBuster.

If you are also in Beta and wish to say hello, you can find me on the Northrend realm, both Alliance and Horde; Tawyn on the former and Lunapike on the latter. ^_^

Linux Users Do It With Wine

(Warning: Techie-ish Post mostly for the benefit of people who may reach this via Google. Read at your own risk!)

So the Wrath of the Lich King Beta installer worked fine on Wine at the beginning– no issues, nice smooth graphics on the pretty Installer screen… and then I had to read the EULA (where “read” is defined as “hit Page Down twenty times within a span of two seconds”) and hit “I Agree”. Pretty straightforward right?

Well no, because the Installer decided to keep the “I Agree” button grayed out and not let me click it. Bugger.

A quick Google search showed that this was indeed a Wine bug and could be fixed by one of two options; either updating Wine (which in all honesty is itself a bit of a chore simply because I am using an older version of my distro) or doing something crazy and hacky.

Obviously I chose the latter.

This is what I did:

1.) Installed “IEs4Linux”, which sticks a Wine-version of Internet Explorer on your computer. (Yes I installed IE. This is the type of sacrifice I make for this game.)

2.) An attempt to run the installer via IEs4Linux’s Wine told me I needed to have Burning Crusade installed. So, I went over to my Burning Crusade folder, opened the terminal inside the folder, and typed the following:

pikestaff@pintsize:~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft$ WINEPREFIX=~/.ies4linux/ie6 wine wow.exe

Which created the registry files for the original WoW/BC, then I hopped over to the WotLK folder and…

pikestaff@pintsize:~/Desktop/WotLK-Beta-3.0.1-enUS$ WINEPREFIX=~/.ies4linux/ie6 wine Installer.exe

And I was able to start up the installer, click the “I Agree” button, and…

All set!

Of course, now comes the dreaded patch downloads, and my computer tends to download patches at a horrifically slow rate, so I’m off to bed while it does that. My characters haven’t copied over yet anyway (I am copying both Tawyn, my level 70 Alliance hunter, and Lunapike, my level 68 Horde hunter, to Northrend, the PvE beta server. When I’m all set up you fellow beta-people can say hello!) so, I’m okay with waiting.

I will continue to bring you updates of a Linuxy nature and a huntery nature as they come. I will also continue to bring non-Beta news to those of you who would like to keep WotLK a surprise– in all honesty I don’t plan on spending as much time in Beta as a lot of other people are cause I’d sorta like to be mostly surprised too. I just gotta get in on the new hunteryness for a bit. Anyways, I think I might mark my Beta posts with [WotLK] or [Beta] or something in the title as a spoiler alert.

I figure, lotsa bloggers are showing you the nuts and bolts of Beta, I will give you vintage Pike thoughts on Beta =3


Wrath of the Lich King™ Beta Test

You have been selected to participate in the beta test of World of Warcraft®: Wrath of the Lich King™. Welcome!

In the beta test you’ll get an opportunity to test the first zones of the new Northrend continent, and the new levels above 70. We look forward to your feedback on the overall experience, including quests, monsters, zones, aesthetics, and more. We would also appreciate reports on any bugs you may encounter. These can be logged using the /bug command explained below.

I am off to work now, which is actually fine because the downloader tells me there are at least six hours remaining. I come to you all with a question, though. I know many of you frequent my site in part because I am one of the hunter blogs out there that is still dealing primarily with the non-WotLK content. I sort of don’t want to change that. Plus, so many other bloggers out there are already covering the Beta.

But is there anything in particular that you would like me to cover or not cover, aside from “How well this all runs in Linux with Wine” which is probably the first thing I will be reporting?

And which is “so far so good” by the way:

I honestly mostly just want to mess around and get some ideas of new huntering for myself I think– if current content is what you all want, then that is what you will get, because I still love the current stuff. And I don’t want to spoil WotLK too much for myself!