Monday, 6 October 2014

Tell Me Why

I would like to thank the Grumpy Elf for giving me one suggestion at least. I think that the days of making money cross faction is gone or very soon to be going and that the only benefit is to view the content through new eyes. I have often complained about the Horde/Orc centric storylines and now I have the chance to see it with my own eyes.

Grumpy suggested that I should sample the storyline in the Wilds, (I assume that is Krasarang) and the Siege of Orgrimmar, which I have now had a chance to run around without people trying to kill me. I am getting too old to be learning the layout of a new city and this is just the first of four. One storyline I would like to see is the Scenario of the Mana Bomb dropping on Theramore. Blizzard did a terrible job conveying this storyline as precursor to the MoP expansion especially from the Alliance point of view.

The main reason I now have a Horde max level character is the need to tick off another achievement in this case 25 Points for Double Agent. In essence with the free level 90 the only effort involved was the click of a button. I think for now I will leave achievements and the relative value of them in game for another post, but it is safe to say I am now questioning my own sanity.

I have often stated that Blizzard is very poor at communicating changes and I am somebody who actively seeks out information, changes and news. I am convinced that the 1-90's where getting a special refresher area/training area to teach the skills that they will have missed by missing most of the games content. The official post from Blizzard is

What happens next

Your character will be moved to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in Pandaria and their action bar will be populated with the most essential skills for their class and spec. Your character's quest log will be cleared during the boost and any quest progress will be lost. When the boost is done processing, they will be ready to play immediately.
If you're a returning player, welcome back! We have guides available for new, returning, and veteran players alike who want to know more about World of Warcraft:

Now as a new Orc I just appeared at the Horde, Shrine of Two Moons in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Obviously my markers are a mass of yellow exclamation marks, blue question marks etc. There is nothing to say walk this way, and the problem is that this just creates sensory overload.

In one example I ended up in the Instance "End Time" from the Catclysm expansion with no way to return to Orgrimmar. My exit left me in the middle of the Caverns of Time.

The one thing I did manage to work out was the invite to the Timeless Isle from Chromie, but without any professions I feel slightly uncomfortable running passed, herbs, ores and skins, when I could be collecting them for money and just as important at this stage Timeless Coins.

Blizzard stated: Professions
If the character is at least level 60 before the boost, their primary professions and First Aid will be leveled up to rank 600. Other secondary professions will not be affected. If the character is at least level 60 and doesn't have primary professions, they'll be given class-appropriate professions according to the table on the right.
If the character you choose to boost is not at least level 60, their professions will not be leveled up.

In an attempt to level professions I attempted trips to Orgrimmar, Undercity and Thunder Bluff with the aim of finding the easiest city to navigate for a total noob, needing to find profession trainers, Banks and Auction Houses. I finally settled on the combination of Skinner and Miner, which basically means flying around for nodes and shooting any animals that I come into contact (I am starting sound like Sarah Palin). Even with this winning combination it took several hours playing (a couple of days realtime) to get to the start of Cataclysm above 450 Skill level. At this point I raised enough money through the Auction House to progress First Aid and Cooking.

First Aid is straight forward and I did it in Dalaran using the short walk between the Auction House and First Aid Trainer. There is always someone selling cloth, but that is not always the case with cooking. Thankfully Blizzard streamlined Blacksmithing and Cooking for the MoP expansion. The Cooking trainer is the Valley of the Four Winds and goes by the name of Sungshin Ironpaw. I have had the link in my resource kit for 2 years now so no excuses for not knowing about it. For those of you with an aversion to fishing there is a requirement for 42 Golden Carp. The fishing trainer nearby will give you 10 for minimum effort.

After completing this exercise to level 525, I decided to fly to Jade Forest to examine the Horde starting area and to take the portal back to Orgrimmar assuming that Alliance have one the Horde must have one too. What I did find was corrupt Tigers and Ghost Iron Ore that would allow skillups for both Mining and Skinning. My skill suggested that I should not be able to do for another 50-75 skill levels when I reach 500 as it always was between expansions. Did I miss the letter from Blizzard, have I stumbled on a coding problem. Google just throws up guides that are just ancient. Maybe I made a fool of myself and could have saved myself a trip down memory lane visiting Azeroth, Outlands and Northrend. I honestly don't know. My guess is that every one reading this will just say, "Of course you can mine from 1-600 in MoP you daft sod". They say that everyday you learn something new that means I can take the rest of the day off.

What I have discovered is that I like gaining XP, I like levelling my skills and professions, I even used to get a perverse sense of achievement levelling up weapon and pet skills. I am really showing my age now, but I don't miss pet food and Hunter ammo, Warlock Soul Shards or Rogue Poisons or any of the other stupid stacks of resources used in the casting of spells.

Levelling XP and professions really tick some boxes for people without them really knowing why. A bar or a number that you can keep heading upwards in the required direction is very gratifying especially when you start adding little meta games into the process. The exception to the rule is Fishing and Archaeology take far too long to achieve. There is no shortcuts, no way of buying your way to the top like I did with First Aid and Cooking. I enjoyed spending the money on those tasks, and I enjoyed flying around Winterspring looking for Thorium Ore.

A grind is only a grind if you don't like what you are doing. Doing multiple circuits, then killing wolves, dragons and crocodiles broke up the task into small chunks and in Northrend I was able to utilise the quest chain in Sholazar Basin which incorporates killing 60+ animals plus helping myself to the skins lying on the ground.

Fishing is terribly tedious when you need to cast and catch 10 times for a solitary Fishing skill. What I also found slightly annoying was the introduction of Fishing dailies that did not require any fishing, what is that about?

I will hopefully revisit the psychology of levelling and achievements later this week.


  1. Yes I meant krasarang, but being I always spell it wrong I figured just saying the wilds is good enough. ;)

    Did you do the domination quest line that was added in 5.1? There is lots of good story telling there. You can see the theramore part by doing the scenario, it is still around. There are some other minor changes in the world otherwise, but those are the largest ones with changes to difficulty. Did you do siege and notice any differences there? There are a few of them.

    I like being able to see both sides of the story. Not only does it give a fuller picture but, at the moment at least, it seems like the horde part is a bit richer in terms of story telling. The barrens quest line had a bit more meat to it horde side because you were actually assembling the rebellion instead of the alliance just lending an outside hands, but that was removed so you will not get to see it.

    If you take the time you will noticed a lot of little changes. Where the alliance and the jinyu found their own way to friendship lorewalker cho basically had to convince the horde to work with the hozen. Also cho seems to just give us a push in the right direction but he actively had to convince the horde to do the "right" thing and it is much more involved.

    From anyone looking from the outside in it was never more apparent than the lead in quest lines that the alliance are the good guys and the horde are the bad guys. Just from how lorewalker cho has to interact with them. It was interesting. The isle of thunder solo scenarios are not really all that different as I recall, but worth doing none the less. Enjoy living life on the other side. Soak it is, because then and only then will you realize that horde and alliance are really different entities. If you just do quests and do not pay attention to it you will never know the difference, it would just be the same old same old.

    1. Just doing the Starting zone, and it very different. I think you have picked up on the Cho storyline undercurrent that I am still working through.

      I am very surprised that during the earlier expansions how much of the content/quests/flight points are the same. I have never noticed any Horde in some the Alliance camps.

      I know it is obvious but it is kind of strange reading Guildchat and reading the same chat on the Alliance and Horde sides. I kind of expected the Horde to be full of Bloodlust and wanting to go out ganking, because that it is my experience of the Horde. The truth is that the people are basically the same just with different Avatars.

      I am enjoying the experience and it is a damn sight more appealing than spending the 90 minutes that it will take to finish off the last of my Legendary Cloak quests.

    2. People wise they are just the same. People that play horde are no different than alliance on a regular basis. I just find that people that actively want to PvP seem to be more likely to be horde. Funny part is that horde seem to say the same thing alliance say when it comes to battlegrounds. "we never win" Funny how that works. As I PvP on both sides I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that horde have it easy, they win way more than they lose. I think they get the feeling they always lose because of long wait times. If you wait 30 minutes to get in and lose it "feels" the same as alliance losing 4 times in that same time period. But in the end, horde PvP is way better than alliance. That is the one major difference. I also find it easier to get a decent pug horde side than alliance side. Not saying there are not a lot of failures there as well because they are, but the success rate horde side seems so much better.