A fundamental lack of loyalty

Yes its early,

Its both early in the morning and very early in the beta testing. As was so eloquently pointed out we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 months before WotLK finds its way into live servers and until then (indeed even after) everything is subject to change without notice.

The proposed changes to hunter pets are for the most part welcome. I think the whole Talent tree thing is a particularly great idea, but I sincerely hope that the respeccing cost of a pet is either free or nearly so. Am I being greedy? Wanting it all? Hardly, read on.

One of the other proposed changes is removing pet loyalty. Pet loyalty was always a bit of a nuisance, especially at higher levels it would take forever to get to be “best friend” to your pet. It really did need to be reworked, however I would have liked it to stay in the game in some form.

While I think both of these are good changes in their own way, I think I may see a bit of a issue in how they would interact both with each other together with minimal stable slots open to hunters. I think can already see the dawn of the “disposable pet”. Not a temporary pet you grab to go learn a skill but a full fledged throwaway pet.

Lets assume that there is available in the game a level 80 cat of some sort. I would say that is a safe assumption, but that’s all it is. Why tie up a stable slot with one? Why pay to re-spec?  If you need a cat go grab a cat. Tame complete *bam* instant best friend. Spec for what you want to do and throw it away when you are done. There is even the possibility with a little planning of using “Tame beast” as a form of crowd control in instances, similar to the way enslave or mind control is used to pull one enemy from a group and have it fight for you. The difference would be that It won’t wear off.

Everything I see can in fact be used as an advantage. I am not really complaining just thinking out loud. I am pondering weather taking away pet loyalty to the hunter coupled with a lack of stable slots serves to take away the hunters loyalty to the pet, and if so how I feel about that.

I suppose I can keep two pets that I actually needed to put a few levels on in the stables and keep one slot open for the pet of the day. I could but I don’t think I will. My pets are not throw aways to be used up and discarded. I am not a Warlock.

Something to ponder as I watch the calendar slide past towards release day.

Epiphany

Friday night I was running my normal weekly Kara pug on my priest. Things were going relatively well the occasional wipe, but nothing to write home about. We managed several good drops that I ended up with including the Nightstaff of the Everliving and Talisman of Nightbane as no one else wanted either.

It was an average run, neither great nor horrible. As I was going through the motions of move, pull, heal, drink, repeat, I started thinking back on all the times I had been In Kara. I am still rolling with my group, but I am seeing the place in a new light. Kara is without a doubt my favorite instance in the game.  It may not be a challenging as some places, nor require 25 players to accomplish it. The loot may not be the absolute best, but it was more than enough to make the next run easier.

I thought of the guild first kills. I thought of the times I had spent on evening long wipefests. I thought of the chatter in vent, not always happy but always there. I thought of the times I was not even in the raid that evening and yet sat up listening in vent anyway to my friends and guildies having fun.

Friday night we were like a machine. We wiped a time or two but we just kept plowing through the place. Making it as far as Shade before calling it a night due to being down to one healer and not being able to find a replacement. There was no chatter, there was no vent, there were no friends there. I had been after the Nightstaff of the Everliving ever since I started running Kara. I think when it finaly dropped with no one there was when it actually happened.

A hollow feeling, an Epiphany.

Yes we plowed through the place, yes I got my drops, yes I got my badges. It was a victory, but it was a hollow one. I don’t look at Kara the same way I did before I logged in Friday night. Like a kid finding out about the tooth fairy I will never look at it the same way again.

I had taken the most fun instance in the game and turned it into a cheerless badge farm. In the company of strangers I went about trying to gather more badges like a squirrel gathering nuts. I kept going back because I somehow had it in my head that running that place was great. I realised Friday that it was not the instance I enjoyed so much as the friends I once ran it with. By the time Shade rolled around and the group called it due to the missing healer it was actually a relief. I no longer wanted to be there, but I try to never leave a group hanging.

In a rare moment of complete clarity I decided that I was done pugging Kara. I will go back with friends. I will go back with guildies. I might even try to solo Attumen at 80 just for kicks, But I would never again run without a friend in the group.

Wrath of the Litch King Beta starts today

Woot! let the panic begin!

Beta is starting and the end of the world (of  warcraft) is neigh!

Unfortunately I have not received a Beta key (at least as of yet) and I don’t need to bore you by re-writing what others already have done. Good information can be found in the following places (that I know of so far)

New talent trees

MMO Champion

Beta patch notes hosted on WowWiki.com

There is a lot more out there, I’ll be doing a lot of reading myself when I get off work.

Random opinions to follow when I get a chance to digest some of this info.

In the end

I was listening to this cool new device called a radio today and heard a song from a few years ago. A song that kind of sums up the feelings I sense in some folks about Wow just prior to an expansion. The song was “In the end” by Linkin Park.  The line that actually caught me was this.

 

I worked so hard, and got so far, but in the end it doesn’t even matter.

 

That’s the whole point right?

Work at leveling.

Work to gear up. 

work to grind rep for better gear, or better enchants, more crafting patterns.

Work on your PVP skills.

Work to learn the early boss fights.

Work at gearing up for the 25 mans.

Work at the higher and higher tiered encounters.

Work at  getting more gold to pay for it all.

 

We all to one degree or another have done these things, that’s what a goal oriented game is all about. When an expansion comes however, some folks look back on what they have done and think it was all a waste, that it doesn’t even matter.

I disagree.

Yes, I will end up throwing away a good chunk of my gear on the way to 80. Yes, with all new talents and abilities I will have to relearn parts of how to play my toons. Yes I will go back to the beginnings of raid progression instead of pugging Kara once a week. Yes, I have to start over.

For me it’s not “the end”, It’s a new beginning.

We interupt this grind to bring you the following announcement

Huh, morning. Stupid alarm clock, how can it be morning already…


afk, 2 min……

kk, back…… MMMmmmmm…. Coffee good….Brain booting up now….

Ok, that’s better

Well, I was playing Wow (yea, go figure, me online, playing Wow) last night and I was pushing towards the goal I talked about in my last post. I wanted to get my cenerion expedition rep all the way to revered without ever setting foot in an instance. Ya, I know just go run steamvaults a time or two right? well, I wanted to be difficult. So I decided to farm up unidentified plant parts for the repeatable rep quest, getting enough to get all the way to honored before I ever did a quest. Well, its done now and I figured I would share the results.

After about 6 hours spread over 2 days I managed to get the following out of my grind session:

Almost a whole level of XP (I am 62 now)

Skinning and Herbalisim both maxed at 375 (while still level 61)

Honored with Cenerion expedition

A bit over half way from friendly to honored with Sporregar just from Bog lord kills at 15 rep each

360 Unidentified plant parts

98 Bog lord tentacles

14 random green drops

19 primal life (with 8 motes left over)

3 stacks of knothide leather

400 – 500g worth of various herbs, depending on how they go in the AH

and enough grey vendor junk to pay for food, repairs, training, and leave me with about 50g more than I started with.

It was really incredible how good a money maker herbing is, if I would have known I would have taken it on other characters and made my mount money this way. As it is I am kind of excited that I have most of my 1000g for my basic flyer already in the bank. At the rate I am going by the time I hit 70 I may even have the full 6000g to go straight to epic flight, if not I will likely be close to it.

Let the grinding begin!

Once again I caught myself planning. I really try to avoid it but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

 

 

Drupadi hit 61 this weekend. She is growing up fast so I need to have a sense of whee she needs to go from here. I finished up Hellfire already and started into Zangermarsh. If I want my Cenerion Expedition rep to be as painless as possible it seems the best way to do that is to grind out (or purchase) 360 unidentified plant parts for the repeatable turn in quest “Identify plant parts“. This will get me to honored before ever starting the quest lines.  Since I am only looking at revered as my goal I should be able to finish that off through quests long before I hit 70.

Since I am also planning on getting the epic flier for this character and the drop rate seems to be about 25% for just about any mob in Zanger I decided to farm in the dead mire. I chose this for several reasons, each kill gives 15 rep with sporregar, each one gives 550 xp at my current level, I am a skinner and an herbalist so every mob there can be looted twice. I should have to farm my way through about 1450 mobs to get all the rep items I need. Also with about a 20% drop rate on motes of life I should in theory farm up about 29 primal life in this time also.

All in all it should be a pleasant diversion from running around questing. I will likely take another break from questing to grind out marks of seragras later on as well, but that is a problem for another day. At least I already know what I will be doing today when I get home, and for a few days after as well.

 

Let the grinding begin…….

New lessons

It has been a long while since the first days of my Wow career. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5 to 3 years, I could go do the math but it’s close enough for the moment.

You see, when I first started I ran a pug, before I even new what a pug was I already knew I did not like them. I won’t rehash the whole thing today, if you missed it the first time you can check it out Here.

Well, over the last couple of months my raid schedule has been a bit off. The guild I had been in folded and I found myself briefly without a raiding guild. I moved to a new guild with a group of friends I have been gaming with for quite some time. Once again I digress, you can read all about the guild coming apart Here, and Altoholic Mom has written about where we found ourselves Here.

The last several weeks I have been coming online on Dechion, my priest, on Friday evenings looking to run Kara for fun, badges, and loot. Friday is my guilds off night, but ironically the one night I am actually free to do something. Against all my better judgements I decided to start pugging.

I expected asshats, and while I did find a few they were by far the exception, not the rule.

I expected to find ninja’s and loot problems galore without a dkp system to divide up the loot. Did I run into it? yes I did. Was it common? No. Out of about 8 weeks of pugging there has been 1 and only 1 time where something came up that was not solved with a quick /roll.

I expected it to be painful, instead it has been one of the most fun times I have had. It is amazing how much different it feels when you are more interested in having a good time than seeing what drops.

Last nights pug was an interesting set up. We started with 2 priests, 2 hunters, 2 druids, a mage, a warlock, a rogue, and a warrior. Everyone knew their class and played it well. We got into vent, started going, and just hammered through the place. Morose went down faster than I have ever seen. 2 adds shackled, 1 add chain trapped by the two hunters, everyone else just burning the boss down. The fight lasted under 2 minutes.

Did we wipe? Yes we did. 5 or 6 times total as I recall. Did we finish? Almost. We left the place after 3 and a half hours with nothing but netherspite and nightbane standing. We could likely have gotten them too but one of our priests (me, oddly enough) had to log.

Overall it was a really enjoyable evening. Wipes or not, badges or not, weather the loot was with you or not. We had fun, and that’s what its all about.

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