Tag Archives: old school

In My Life

I said in a recent post that, unlike many MMO players, I’m here for the characters more than I’m here for the social aspect of things.  And I definitely wasn’t exaggerating when I said that.  I love me some characters, and I don’t mind spending much of my MMO experience alone or maybe with one friend.

As an aside, this is one of the greatest films of all time.
As an aside, this is one of the greatest films of all time.

But I would be very remiss not to talk about the friends I’ve made through World of Warcraft.  No matter how much of a loner you are, MMOs are at their core about a social experience, and eventually you will befriend people.  And if you do any sort of endgame, then chances are at least some of those people will become important to you.

For me, it was a group of people who I fell in step with during a Zul’Farrak run in our early-40s back in The Burning Crusade.  We stuck together and eventually formed a guild, and moved on up through the instancing ranks doing first dungeons, and then eventually heroics and a couple of raids.  We were all friends; we talked to each other frequently both in guild chat and in Ventrilo and I’m pretty sure in some cases we probably spent more time with each other than we did with our “real life” co-workers.

This is some of us in Dire Maul.
This is some of us in Dire Maul.

We stuck together through the first third or so of Wrath of the Lich King before slowly the little group began to drift apart.  People were logging in less and less or were playing on other servers.  For a while we kept in touch outside of the game, but then that petered out as well.  And so, we all went our separate ways.

Sometimes I think about those people who I once counted as good friends.   I still look back fondly on most of these people.  Theoretically, I could get back in touch with them, too, if I wanted.  I have most of them added on Steam.  And yet we never talk to each other – I feel like it would be awkward.  “Hey, remember me from eight years ago?”

I suppose in these ways the game kind of mirrors life.  How many old classmates or co-workers of yours have been reduced down to people you occasionally wish Happy Birthday to on Facebook?  Quite a few, I’d imagine.  That’s just the way life goes.  Time goes on and old faces are replaced by new ones.

The memories will always be positive ones, though.  And hopefully, if my old friends ever need me, they’ll know where to find me.


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.


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!

No need to fear, Underbog is here!

So, ladies and gentlemen. Underbog. Let’s talk about it.

Superfun Coilfang instance for level 63ish. Was great fun as a heroic back-in-the-day. Is still great fun as a level 63ish instance now.

And guys, if you’re like me, and a.) dailies got old and b.) playing the Auction House isn’t really your thing, then Underbog is the instance for you.

Here’s why:

  • Half of the mobs are skinnable. They give you Knothide Leather. Which you can sell.
  • The other half of the mobs are herb-able. Half of the time they give you junk, but there’s a ton of Ancient Lichen laying around to make up for it. Which you can sell.
  • The place is a loot pinata. Greens are all over the place. Which you can sell. (or DE, or what-have-you.)
  • Regardless of your professions, everybody can pick Sanguine Hibiscus. Sanguine Hibiscus is a Sporeggar rep item. Sporeggar rep gets you a minipet and is part of the “the Diplomat” title achievement. Depending on your server and how much of this tends to be on the AH, you can sell this stuff for 5g a piece, at least. Oh, did I mention that you can scoop up about 30 in 20 minutes?
My Mechanopeep brings all the flowers to the yard
My Mechanopeep brings all the flowers to the yard

How to do it

Run in. Kill everything, including all trash. The trash has a good chance to drop aforementioned Sanguine Hibiscus. Not to mention, skinning/herb frenzy if you have one or both of those professions. Kill the first boss. Keep going until you get to that ramp with the Naga*. Twenty minutes tops. This is with a character that isn’t particularly geared; it would probably go even faster still on my main (I plan on trying it later today.)

This is the Naga Ramp.  19 minutes, 43 seconds.
This is the Naga Ramp. 19 minutes, 43 seconds.

Run back to the beginning. A bunch of the Sanguine Hibiscus has respawned; scoop it up on your way out. Then, reset the instance and do it again!

The best part is that this instance is easy. Thus, you don’t need to pull out a special solo-y spec or anything. I just pull out my crab and do it spec’d as Beast Master Raid. You could probably do it just as easily with Marksmanship or Survival, so long as you’ve got a Misdirect macro handy.

The other best part is that if you like solo’ing old stuff, this is super fun, and if you don’t like solo’ing old stuff, then it’s easy enough that you can do it while you have a movie on in the background or something.

The other, other best part is that I am pretty convinced this is a higher gold-per-minute ratio than dailies. If I run around and do all my Argent Tourney dailies, that’s 200ish gold in an hour. Meanwhile, 20 minutes in this instance will get you 200ish gold at least in stuff you can sell, assuming you have skinning and/or herbalism and are on a server that is into achievements. Compare an hour to 20 minutes. Hmm. (Sure, the Argent Tourney probably pulls ahead in the long run cause you can buy and sell minipets, but come on, do you really want to go do the Argent Tourney stuff again?)

Now you have to be careful, of course, because you don’t want to oversaturate the market, but if you’re patient, you can always find someone who will pay top dollar for this stuff.

So yeah. Underbog. Burning Crusade’s Best Kept Secret. Much love. <3 (Or, you can go nuts and solo EVERYTHING like Rilgon, but not all of us have the T5 bonus *grumbles*)

* Note: the reason why I advocate stopping at the Naga Ramp is it means for the next little while of the instance, there are no Sanguine Hibiscus, no herbs, and nothing to skin. You start getting some again towards the end of the instance, but I think it’s quicker just to do the first half and then reset.

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!)