Monday, June 10, 2013

What if I don't want to join Vol'jin?

Nacht made level 90 quite easily by Saturday, so six days of easy playing to get from 85-90 with the Pandaria XP nerf. Given that this was my fifth time through this content, the faster rate of leveling was much appreciated. Nacht made plenty of gold questing to purchase Pandaria flying, and is now camping the rare spawn Klaaxi two-handed sword in Soggy Bottom. Hopefully she'll be the first there after server restart tomorrow.

So now she's on the heroic train, but since I have no faith in RNG, her first goal was to get her 502 boots from the Darkspear Rebellion questline added in the latest patch. Her second goal is to purchase the 502 necklace from the Shado-Pan Assault with all of the Valor she accumulates running heroics and not winning any rolls. Grumpy death knight is grumpy!

Anyway, the Darkspear Rebellion. Since Nacht jumped into the fray without participating in the Dominance Offensive or the Sunreaver Onslaught, it felt awfully abrupt for her to throw her weight behind Vol'jin and his burgeoning rebellion against Garrosh. Just a week ago she was hanging out in Orgrimmar without a care in the world about Vol'jin. It had me wondering how difficult it would have been, development-wise, to add a parallel questline in which the player chooses to stay loyal to Garrosh. Because although I imagine Nacht as a tauren first and foremost, I think the choice to join an effort to overthrow Garrosh would have given her serious pause. I have to admit the story for Alliance to join Vol'jin in the overthrow attempt was much more plausible from a lore perspective, although it was still told through a linear questline at the end of which the player's choice is a foregone conclusion. In the end, just a little disappointing, although I can still see an epic ending on the horizon.

In other news, Wapsi finally got her Guardian of Cenarius title running the AQ raids, and made exalted with the August Celestials through farming and scenario rep. I think the contrasting deep blue of the Celestials tabard looks quite nice with her Tier 3 AQ armor, and the sha-touched fist weapons are pretty stunning as well. I haven't been too excited to run ToT LFR with her, but it's been a lot of fun doing the old raids. I'm already thinking about which one to run next, possibly Onyxia's Lair, although I haven't decided who to do it with. Whoever gets the coolest gear for transmog, most likely!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Testing the 85-89 leveling nerf

Oh my short attention span! After spending last week doing 115 quests in Dragonblight for Loremaster, I needed yet another change of pace. I can only take the dreariness of Northrend in small bites. I greatly enjoyed playing my feral druid, though, making me hopeful that she will eventually make it to level 90 some day! I also enjoyed meeting some celebrities at the Wyrmrest Temple, although I don't remember Krasus being such a giant in the books. He looks like he could just about palm little Chromie there in the background!

So yeah, something new. With 5.3 and the rise of dissent within the Horde, I finally felt like it was time to play the Horde storyline again. My tauren death knight seemed like a good choice, since I can imagine her being a warrior for the Horde but perhaps having some qualms with Garrosh's heavy handed leadership. So I did a little reading on Icy Veins, reorganized her action bars, and sent her to Pandaria to journey towards level 90.

First off: OMG death knights! Even being rusty on the rotation and having never really understood rune management, she is a killing machine (ha!). Nachtmystium is the first of my toons to be able to kill rares while leveling, which aside from the XP nerf for Pandaria leveling, as provided her with even more XP. So she got to level 86 before she finished the whole Riko and Kiryn storytelling questline, and to level 87 before she hit Halfhill. I was thinking of finishing all of the Kun Lai quests with her for Loremaster, but since she's already halfway to level 88 and hasn't finished the second quest hub yet, I think I'll just send her right into Townlong at 88. In summary, she's made about a level each day (2-3 hours playing each day), with questing and a couple of rares and dungeons each level. I would say that's a pretty significant acceleration of the leveling process, although we'll see about the last two levels.

Although I don't play the WoW TCG, I pick up a pack of cards every time I go to a discount store because I like the artwork. I got the above card the other day (picture from the WoWTCG Browser), and it really gave me the backstory for beginning to play my death knight again by helping me to make sense how the tauren culture and the history of a death knight could be combined. The flavor text says "I hear the cries of our ancestors, for I walk between worlds, between lives." I imagine Nacht, despite her killer death knight instincts, still having a strong allegiance to the tauren and their way of life. She'll eventually recoil at the treatment of her people and the other races of the Horde by Garrosh, and his destruction of the the world to fuel his war effort. Despite her transformation, her ties to the tauren are strong, and her allegiance lies with them and their ways. She'll be fighting for her people, and if it involves undermining Garrosh's Horde, so be it.