So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so far.
- Khadgar is a badass
- I like having a Draenei as a main character – both Maraad and Yrel are pretty cool
- I like that the elite attack force that goes through the portal is extremely diverse. There are elves, dwarves, etc. I don’t remember any gnomes, which makes Annie Mae sad, but still – it’s not all humans, which is a huge improvement.
- Going through the portal and seeing the huge Iron Horde army on the other side was nicely reminiscent of going through the portal into Hellfire Peninsula and seeing the demon army there. Nice touch.
- The music is great. Also, the music in the Blackrock Quarry quotes from the WCIII soundtrack Blackrock and Roll, which makes my little nerd heart happy.
- I really like that the intro quests are zoned, so I’m not doing them with 4 million of my closest friends. I know it’ll get crazy once we get into SMV, but for now it’s been fun just having it be SSH* and I.
- As usual, the first zone is quite pretty.
Fortunately, since I wasn’t in any of the actual populated zones yet, I ended up missing out on the worst of the server crashes, bugged quests, and overloaded zones. I expect that will get somewhat better with today’s maintenance, but this weekend may still be a bit of a clusterfuck.
It really sucks being an adult with a job and an early bedtime at times like this. (I had to take off work last weekend for my mom’s birthday (my parents live about 300 miles from me, so it’s a bit of a drive), so I couldn’t take off for the launch.) Still, I know other people will take things slow, and I should have plenty of people to quest and instance with over the weekend from my raid.
*SSH is Spaceship Husband. He doesn’t want me using his real or character names online, so I’ve had to come up with a new name for him. Since he’s a rocket scientist, he is Spaceship Husband, or SSH, around here.
November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm
The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger took the long way around Old Town, south through Tanner Circle and down Bulwarks, across Willum and then up Irandun’s way. Roger treed a squirrel at one corner, and read his dog-mail at every mailbox and fence post.
At Rose’s Lane they turned north, and the sounds of smithing rang out over the street. The Silver Shield sat on the corner with Irandun. Aely opened the shop door with a gentle ringing of small silver bells. Two wolfhounds looked up from their blankets in one corner, noticed Roger, and came to greet him. Monk and Lily and Roger were well acquainted, and Roger joined them on their blankets as Aely went and waited at the counter.
“Aely! It’s so good to see you.” Bess Cross’ round face beamed with delight at seeing her former tenant. “Do you want a biscuit? They’re still warm!”
“I’ll ne’er turn down one ay yir biscuits, Bess, an’ ye ken it well. How’s th’ new tenant?”
“Gilbert’s a good lad. He’s working with Bryan, training to become a smith himself. It’s good to have someone downstairs again. So what brings you here?” Bess produced a basket of biscuits and a small ceramic bell of butter.
Aely helped herself. “It’s… well, it’s na a fun errand. They’ve called us ta th’ front – they’re asking fir volunteers ta go through th’ portal.”
“Through the portal? Don’t they not know where the foul thing goes?”
“They dinna ken, no, but there’s no way we’ll win this war against these Orcs without closing it down, an’ that’s goin’ ta take bein’ on the other side of it. I’ve decided to go – with Arrens gone, and most of the Riders takin’ posts there, I figure I could be of good help.”
“Oh Aely, are you sure?”
“Yeh, I’m sure. I’ve been idle too long, an’ I dinna ken what will happen if those of us wi’ experience dinna go through and figure this mess out. Except, I need a big favor of ye, before I go.”
“Of course – if it’s in our power, we’ll do it. Is it your armor?”
“No, that’s in good repair. It’s… well, it’s Roger.” Roger looked up at the sound of his name, tail thumping on the wooden floor. “I dinna think I can take him with me.”
“He’s na as young as he used ta be, an’ I dinna want ta bring him inta th’ wilds ay some Light forsaken place where he’ll na be able ta get proper rest. If we manage ta stabilize this thing an’ get a forward base set up, I’ll try ta send fir him, but … I canna think it’s fair ta expect him ta be a fighter wi’ me anymore. Na when he canna even go runnin’ with me in th’ mornings.”
“Well, of course he’s welcome here. He gets on so well with Monk and Lily, and this place was his home too for so long. But are you sure? He’s been with you on the front for so many years.”
She bit her lip. “Aye, I’m sure.” She sat down on the floor next to the mass of dogs, ruffling Lily’s ears and offering all three of them bits of jerky. “I’d rather him be here safe, than lose him on th’ field. He deserves better than that.”
Aely opened her bag and produced a large sack of jerky treats, a tattered cotton rope knot, and an exceptionally shaggy looking stuffed rabbit. “These are his things. He dinna need much, an’ I ken he’ll enjoy walkies wi’ Monk an’ Lily. An’ I’d like ta pay a little fir his room an’ board. I’ve six months or so here fir ye an’ Bryan, so ye dinna have ta feed him on yir own.”
“You don’t have to…”
“… yeh I do. He’s mine, an’ I ought ta do what I can fir him,” Aely interrupted. “Please, let me do at least this much.” Aely stood up. “An’ thank ye, both, fir doin’ this fir us.”
“Of course, I’m happy to help, you know that. And if the buzzboxes work on the other side of that foul portal, I’ll keep you up to date on how we’re all doing. Maybe Rog can even say hello.”
“Yeh, maybe. I’d like that.” She called Roger over. He sniffed at her hands, looking for more jerky. “No, Rog, no more jerky for now. Ye need to be a good dog, an’ mind Bess an’ Bryan okay? Dinna torment Monk either – share yir toys. I’ll send fir ye as soon as I can.” She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he leaned in against her, almost toppling her over backwards. “Oof, an’ be careful about yir leanin’, ye big oaf!” She laughed, wiping away tears.
“Okay, I’ve got ta go before I lose my nerve. Thank ye again, Bess. An’ Roger, I’ll be back fir ye as soon as I can.”
What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be an integral part of the game at launch. (And really throughout the expansion.) It was, and is, gorgeous content – thematically beautiful, with good music and interesting zones. But that wasn’t keeping me interested really.
However, by the end of things, I’ve found I’m quite fond of this little pandaren island. A lot of cool stuff happened there.
- I finally accepted that Aely isn’t going to be my raiding main, and moved to a class whose gameplay I like a lot more (my hunter, Angoleth).
- I’ve relearned Paladin healing, though I’m still not as good at it as I once was.
- Flex raiding made me a regular raider for Siege, since I had only been a sub in TRI Hangover prior to the change to flex.
- RP happened, some of it fairly epic (Hand of Lothar), some of it small and personal (Elevation), some of it extremely funny (Dusksworn-Pennycut), and some of it ongoing (Wrath and Purity, not yet posted here)
As per the usual at the end of an expansion, I’ve gone on a bit of a leveling binge, bringing my total number of 90’s to 6 – Four Alliance (Aely, Annorah, Angoleth, Annie Mae) and Two Horde (Anryl and Ankona). Annorah and Anryl got my two level 90 account boosts, though I have since transferred them so all my 90’s are on the same account. Annalira is 87 and fully rested, but I’m not sure I’m going to binge on leveling for the next two days just to hit 90 before WOD drops.
Raiding wise, this was a weird expansion for me – I saw Mogushan and Heart of Fear, a little of TOES (with a raid that then fell apart due to scheduling issues), and then Siege with TRI Hangover- I did not raid Throne of Thunder at all, except in LFR. I made my first attempt to raid as a melee character, and that failed miserably – I’m much better with a bigger field of view. I’ll be sticking to healers and ranged DPS from now on… except maybe Annie Mae, but I don’t see myself doing any serious raiding with her.
RP wise, things are changing for all of my characters. Aely has interesting things going on with the Riders, and I intend to continue that (even as Tarquin retires). Angoleth had a little involvement with Hand of Lothar, but hasn’t seen much else – I’d like to develop some connections for her over the course of the next expansion. Annorah is currently one of my least favorite gameplay characters, but I have a feeling the lore in Warlords is going to make me want to drag her out of semi-retirement. And Anryl has a full time job working security for the Dusksworn compound, an ongoing RP set that is lighthearted and entertaining. Most of my RP happens on Feathermap, since I’m in bed by the time most of my friends are around, but that’s nothing new.
WoW’s 10th anniversary is coming up, and my 10 year anniversary in game will happen in April. As hard as it is to believe that I’ve spent a decade in this game, it’s been an amazing experience overall. I’ve had this blog as an outlet for the majority of that time, and I’m hoping that as Warlords releases, I’ll have more to say here. My first post on this blog was 4 February 2008, meaning I’m coming up on a 7 year bloggiversary. We’ll have to do something fun to celebrate.
So here’s to Pandaria, and here’s to Draenor, and here’s to whatever comes next. For the next two days I’ll be tidying things up and getting ready to charge through the portal – what are you guys up to while we wait for the portal gates to drop?
October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm
Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.
Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of being stuffy even with the windows open, and the walls and pews were lined with assorted paladins, clerics, priests, and a small gaggle of nervous-looking people, several of whom bore a striking resemblance to the young man standing in the middle of the room.
Aely had known for six months that he was ready for this. He knew pretty much everything she could teach him, and though she doubted he would follow in her footsteps as a healer, she knew he’d be one of the best front line fighters she’d ever seen, once he filled out a bit. Right now he was just a gangly blonde teenager on the edge of becoming a man, and if the expression on his face meant anything, she knew she’d done her job right. If she was being honest with herself, she was nervous today too – today was his spotlight, but it was she who bore the brunt of his training, and she who they’d look to if he went astray.
After waiting a few moments for quiet, Bishop Julian Ashburn began, his steady voice resonating in the small space: “In the light, we gather to empower our brother. In its grace, he will be made anew. In its power, he shall serve the masses. In its strength, he shall combat the shadow. And in its wisdom, he shall lead his people to the eternal rewards. Come forward, Squire Sullivan, and receive the blessings of your order.”
Ben walked towards the front of the church where Aely and the Bishop stood, surrounded by the various trappings of an Argent Crusade paladin. He stopped a few paces from them.
Aely stepped forward, a vial of balsalm oil in her hands. She carefully smudged the oil across his forehead, then across each of his palms. She draped him with a dark blue stole, and said “By the grace of the Light, may your people be healed”.
Six paladins of the Argent Crusade stepped forward then, each picking up pieces of ceremonial armor, white and gold and blue. Practiced hands buckled and fastened it around him – it fitted well – and Aely handed him a two-handed mace. “By the strength of the Light, may your enemies be undone”.
The paladins moved to stand behind him, and Aely stepped back to stand next to the Bishop, who spoke again:
“Benjamin William Sullivan, do you vow to uphold the honor and codes of the Order of the Argent Crusade?”
“Do you vow to walk in the grace of the Light and spread its wisdom to your people?”
“Do you vow to vanquish evil wherever it be found, to protect the innocent with your very life, and to serve always what is right, honorable, and good?”
He answered solemnly and clearly: “By my blood and my honor, I do.”
The Bishop spoke again. “Then, may this be the last blow you ever take unanswered.” There was a blinding flash of Light, and a loud crackle, like lightning, and Ben was knocked backward into the paladins behind him. The back of the chapel erupted in rustling and murmurs. Steadied by the paladins, Ben returned to his feet.
The Bishop’s voice rang out through the chapel. “Thus you have sworn, and thus may it ever be so. Turn, and greet your brothers and sisters in the Light, Knight Sullivan, Paladin of the Argent Crusade, and may you always be blessed.”
Aely let out a whoop, quickly followed by general uproar from the rest of the chapel. She let the swarm of congratulations sweep him up – she’d have time later to speak to him herself, to give him the gifts she had prepared. All rank and relationship aside, they were equals now, and that, she thought, was a very fine thing indeed.
November 14, 2014 – 7:32 am
So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so …
November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm
The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger …
November 11, 2014 – 3:09 pm
What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be …
October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm
Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.
Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …
June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm
So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …
November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm
Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.
The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.
Yva Darrows was their first target.
Tirith and Aely were their second and third.
They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …
November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am
The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …
November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm
(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)
The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …