Monday, December 28, 2009

Around Azeroth: Anoxia of the Netherwing Flight

Talk about grinding.

For those not in the know, Anoxia has been burning hard and bright attempting to get her wings. Netherwing-wings, with those dragons out in Shadowmoon Valley of Draenor. It involves a series of up-ranking quests via reputation to rise up among the ranks of the fel orcs of the Dragonmaw clan.

To put it short: she has her dragon.

The quests start by the netherwing dragons giving a disguise so that you can visit their island without being detected. In Anoxia’s case she became a rather wide, red orc male with a huge netherwing dragon to ride on. Of course, when she arrived with papers they smacked her down to peon.

The quests are interesting and start at the fel orc peon level, requiring that Anoxia run around and collect dust from bushes, and cut down animals for their nethercite crystals (if she was a miner this would come from mining nodes.) All of the other orcs also treat you like a peon.

Then came Overseer and with that rank came the booterang. BOOTERANG. A weapon that I had to fashion myself from a bunch of leather (provided by Spearmint) and the hide of a beast which was found in an Ecodome. A huge tyrannosaur who went down under the not-so-gentle blades of our dearest rogue. The booterang worked pretty much as expected: it’s a pair of boots strung together that boomerang at a disobedient peon’s head, wack him (sending him back to work) and then return. Quite funny.

The next rank is a commander. With each new rank the orcs treat you differently, with more respect, they stop requesting and start asking. Eventually you’re giving commands to take down portals, to fight giant demons, and to lead attacks—one of which Anoxia tipped off the target and assisted in the defense of said target.

The final stage felt so much fun after turning in 40 netherwing eggs. To explain eggs. They’re worth 250 reputation (about as much as a standard mission) and they spawn all over the Dragonmaw fortress and island. They do have specific places they appear so pretty quickly you end up with a patrol route to find them. As you can guess, collecting 40 eggs took some time (a week) and a lot of patrolling.

Being a rogue came in very handy since most people don’t like to brave the mines to extract eggs. However, being invisible things became a great deal easier.

It’s a beautiful black winged netherdrake who ferries her place to place wherever is flyable.

Fun times.

Of course, that dragon isn’t the only goal here. Anoxia wants her albino drake for its 310% flight speed and that’s only available via an achievement—namely the achievement for having 50 mounts.

Mag’har, here we come!

Ogres, watch out, I need War Beads.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Around Azeroth: Getting your ‘lock on

“Hi, I’m Kyt… And I am an altoholic.”

To an extent, I don’t even have an 80 yet and the alts that I’m working towards that point happen to not be my main… However, this goes even further than that, since I have friends trying to experience WoW and level on other servers, I have been going to the great over there and experiencing all that I can.

Foremost the title of this post is about warlocks. The demon-wrangling, chaos-casting firestarters that everyone loves to hate.

Since I have a friend who joined up on a random server, I ran over there and made a new undead warlock—Blume. People might know about my blood elf warlock on Thunderhorn (Sybrwyd) who happens to be a Demonlogy ‘lock, so I am taking Blume into the depths of the Destruction tree. I’ve already played the hell out of the new LFG system with her, and she’s run a few dungeons every night to meet and greet people to have fun.

To list what dungeons I’ve seen with LFG so far, and generally see at least three a night:

The Deadmines (x2)

Wailing Caverns (x3)

Shadowfang Keep (x2)

Stormwind Stockades (x1)

An interesting fact here is that two of these instances, Deadmines and Stockades happen to be Alliance controlled. This means that under normal circumstances I’d never want to brave the Allied lands in order to even try to reach them (point in fact, the Stockades is in Stormwind Castle!) So seeing that instance did happen to be fun and interesting, and Anoxia is going there at some point on her lonesome.

My friend, Ryan, is rocking a rogue (making Anoxia proud) and Blue is supplying fire support. I will have some instancing adventures to write up at some point, I am sure. These cross-shard groups sometimes go well, something bad, sometimes VERY bad. My experience so far has been exceptionally good.

Four levels in two days doing instances and quests in them.

What a way to experience content.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Around Azeroth: The alt money grind, and Netherwing misadventures

Gold grinding and altaholism

So, as anyone has discovered by the time they hit Northrend: flittermounts cost a femur and an ulna. That is to say, I need 4,000 gold just to learn to fly my quick flittermount; and then 1,000 more to make it fly in the icy steppes of the north. That doesn’t include the 200-ish to buy it.

Well, thanks to Trichoderma and Spearmint, Anoxia is 3,000 gold closer to getting her riding skill for the quick flittermount. This through daily grinding of words and shoveltusk by Spearmint across the freezing climes. If it weren’t for Winter Fur drops (which make almost 75g a pop) this would take forever.

I’m not exactly one of those who knows too much about how to make money in WoW, so here I am making it in chunks of 200g a day or so trying to reach that infamous 5,000 gold just so that one of my characters can ride in style.

Also sadly, one part of the winter event cannot be run without a flying mount.

Netherwing Distractions

On what’s left of Draenor, Shadowmoon Valley to be exact, there’s some see-through dragons called the Netherwing. Basically they’re a clusterbomb of quests and reputation that give you (eventually) a dragon mount. They’re also a good way to make a little money while trying to get to the point you can ride one. (Remember that 4,000 gold?)

I don’t know if I even want one, but I do want to try out the experience at least once.

So Anoxia leapt to their aid. First, she had to go kill some critters that eat the crystals that grow in the ground. The critters aren’t all that tough, they just come in packs of two or three—and it takes five small ones or one big one to get the items we need. Namely: carcasses of size enough to feed a netherwing dragon. After getting a carcass, one can be placed on the ground so a dragon can come down and om nom nom; after which they say something cryptic in Draconic and leave.

Next, I she got a quest to go visit a floating island upon which draenite crystals are being mined. There’s peons everywhere, and also some sort of nightmare vine that has crystals on it—probably nethervine with nether crystals. (See a naming convention arising?) These, she took back to the big dragon in the sky who enchanted them up.

With these crystals she went to the Dragonmaw orc clan and tried to free the baby dragons they’d enslaved. However, the baby dragons are terrible at escaping—they feel the need to attack whomever happens to be standing around. So, after freeing one from the mind control, she had to take down everyone nearby in several cases. Be careful only to free netherwings that have handlers, otherwise they charge into the nearest (largest!) group of foes and aggro all of them.

Finally, after freeing a bunch of these dragon kids, the big dragon gave her the quest equivalent of a smack-down: go kill this clan leader, oh, and by the by, bring four of your friends. Well, that’s not happening today. Hopefully there’ll be some very bored 80s on tomorrow to help out with that and we’ll see how it goes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Around Azeroth: There and back again, a tale of more shards

Monday again and it’s time for another issue of Around Azeroth, at least that’s what I’m going to call my little semi-daily updates about my adventures in the World of Warcraft.

BLUME of Sentinels

So I’ve started playing a baby warlock with a friend on an RP server. She’s going destruction—unlike Sybrwyd, my primary warlock, who is all-the-way demonic, right down to her demon socks. The new undead warlock, Blume, rocks a beehive haircut and bondage-tape X across her face. She just picked up her blueberry (read: Voidwalker) and is now hassling the elves about their own deadite problem.
Scything through the Dead Scar with my friend—playing a rogue, Anoxia would be proud—his brother chimes in about the strange affair of the Auction House. Seems that people are selling extremely low level items at extremely exorbitant prices. Wandering around town, watching the RPers do their thing, a glimmer of a thought came to mind. I know why people are selling piddly level 17 items for 3g and higher…
I’ve seen people wearing the most aesthetically bizarre mismatches of sets wandering around town. RP servers often suffer from a sort of anesthetic of the mind effect when it comes to came play and livable socialization; but they take extreme advantage of the social and “let’s play pretend” effect of being in an existential virtual realm. Having outfits that match personality would certainly be a boon. Perhaps some of these really low level items just look particularly exotic.

ANOXIA of Thunderhorn

The little rogue is rising in the ranks! She’s made level 69 and doesn’t show any sign of stopping before 70.
I’ve been using the new PUG interface that Blizzard added in patch 3.3. Abusing is probably a better term for it. I love this thing, it’s been rather a fun ride. Some drama, some yelling and infighting, but overall I’ve liked it.
The last experience, though, put me into a Wrath of the Lich King dungeon where we had to go up against Prince Keleseth. For those not-in-the-know, he’s a night elf who visits Vengence Landing, picks a fight with the executor there; the executor commands his archers to light off—they fire a hellstorm of arrows at him, but Keleseth teleports behind his own Vrykul troops and lets them take the arrows for him; then he “drinks the souls” of all the archers. Not fun.
As it happens, he’s a pretty vicious fight that requires some sort of attention to detail. Keleseth throws an ice-tomb over people in the party, this takes them out of combat for a short time while the DPS break through the ice. If he happens to hit the tank or the healer the raid wipes. Both of these events happened on my visit.
Mind, everyone, I’ve never seen this boss before and I don’t know how to fight him. Also: I’m a rogue! I’m DPS so it was my job to get the tank/healer out, and I did, however, not before Keleseth went on and massacred two other people each time.
Long story short, our tank /ragequit, “You guys really suck!” Of course, I am cleaning up his grammar and spelling, but that’s basically what he said before he vanished.
Never did down the guy.
Moonsweet mentions how our guild <Moving Targets> act as a well oiled raid-murder-machine and that every time he’s encountered a single boss with them, they go down with ease. And no kidding, together with the Targets in instances we act with extreme tactical precision, and excellent leadership. If anything, PUGs show me repeatedly how haphazard discipline among players can end in defeat against even lower level content; while well planned strikes can take apart even higher level content.
Go Targets.
Keleseth, I am still for you. I’ll be back. FOR THE DARK LADY!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Lord High Extinctioner to the xp rescue

Oh, a hunter by any other name would not be Hemet Nesingwary.

Anyone who has actually leveled a character into their 30s has probably made their way into the dreaded Stranglethorn Vale. Dreaded why? Mostly because it is literally unavoidable, large, and full of quests that send you to all corners of the entire zone. Oh yes, it also has Nesingwary.

Everyone’s favorite Azerothian reincarnation of Hemmingway—right down to the book he wrote (excuse me: books.) Anoxia and Spreamint have already had their fun with him in Stranglethorn, but of course, he went to Outlands and Northrend as well. So now Anoxia is meeting him again, for the first time.

And just like the quests from the Stranglethorn, Nesingwary and his safari … expedition … or whatever he might be doing has a million small, fuzzy forest creatures for me to kill. Kill them until not a single one stands. Killing in the morning. Killing in the evening. Killing all night long!

I am surprised there’s a single species left on the planet for us to hunt—or on Draenor for that matter.

So. Anoxia hits Nagrand, fishing pole in hand (I’ll talk about this later) and talks to Nesingwary and his safari. Kill clefthoof! Kill birds! Kill elk things! If it moves make it die, die, die, dead, die!

And so, now here we go scything through the wildlife like a hot orc through scantily clad elves.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ambassador this!

Have I mentioned that reputation is my most-hated aspect of all Azerothian endeavors?

Perhaps I didn’t mention that the good Lady of Venom, Anoxia, has just gotten her first big rep reward: “Ambassador to the Horde.” An achievement gained by getting Exalted reputation with each of the major Horde racial factions.

She now wears it proudly.

Ambassador Anoxia.

The story starts humbly, Anoxia wanted a raptor mount from the Darkspear Trolls, but being a blood elf she couldn’t have one until she Exalted with them. Unwilling to wait, she threw herself with wild abandon into the battlegrounds—Alterac Valley, Warsong Gulch, and Arathi Basin. After cutting down hundreds of scores of Alliance she earned enough marks to buy herself a raptor.

Next thing she knew, while wandering aimlessly through Zangarmarsh, she noticed she had Exalted with two factions—and nearly there with the other three. Well, everyone except the cows; Thunder Bluff couldn’t be bothered and had its reputation bar half-way while the rest were nearly on the red line.

So, after gaining Exaulted with her own city and the undead, Anoxia went on a grand world-trotting quest to get the cows to like her. It ended with turn-ins on the Hunter Rise of Thunder Bluff after hunting and killing a zeppelin-load of rare and endangered animals.


Cows like you now, Miss Ambassador.

Friday, December 04, 2009

It came from the crumbling lagoon, tales of Sporeggar

Those who have spent enough time in the Zangarmarsh know about the fungus-men of Sporeggar. No, I am not making a reference to some obscure H.P. Lovecraft text, it’s all about Warcraft again. This time, I saw a nice little reputation reward dagger in the hands of the fungus critters and Anoxia wanted one for herself.

The problem? It requires Revered reputation with the spore people.

Reputation in Warcraft is perhaps one of the most time consuming and job-like aspects of the game. Many quests deliver it like coin, allowing users to slowly become more favored with particular factions. Some factions are utterly worthless, some have become obsolescent (see Old World factions like the Argent Crusade) while others are most beloved by level 80 characters because they have upgrade gear.

So I went out farming for rep.

Basically, I just grabbed Spearmint and took her on a massacre of anything made of fungus: Bog Lords and sporebats. Since I wanted as many [Bog Lord Tendril]s and [Fertile Spores] as I could get my little rogue hands on. Little did I know that the tendrils would only end up working once (I was left holding a huge bag of them) and that it would take forever with spores.

So I went the next best route: I grabbed Trichoderma.

Being the near-goddess she is at almost level cap, she teleported into Zangarmarsh in the North West—an area that if Zangar happened to be a map of the US would have been the west coast of Washington and Oregon—and proceeded to beat down anything fungus-similar with the shadowy power.

I spent over two hours burning Greater Spore Bats into the cracked grey rocks and distilling them for spores. I received almost 96 fertile spores and almost 100+ [Unidentified Plant Parts] (all of which went to Spearmint—I almost want that hippogryph for her. Yes, another grind-for-rep reward!)


I hate rep.

Oh, but check out my shiny new dagger: [Hardened Stone Shard].

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The furriest escapist and more stories from Azeroth

The rogue cat

It's a lost/found story with a good ending for an evening of darkness and freezing rain in the cold, wet north.

I get a call at about 9pm AZ (midnight MI) from my roommates who have lost their Internet connexion because Comcast made a mistake. My roommate, Djenna, who got a cat to keep me company while I'm indoors during the day without anybody to spend time with tells me that Pullo – the rogue cat – has been missing all day. Nowhere to be seen in the house, and he hasn't eaten. And he eats like a horse.

TV weather warns that it's going to be a heavy snow.

About 1am MI her husband calls me to tell me that while casing our neighborhood for likely bushes, a cat-shaped shadow detached itself from some foliage and followed him home.

Pullo arrived wet, shivering, covered in mud, and not at all upset by his experience out in the icy-cold. Fortunately for me his time missing amounted to about an hour or so, my roommates, though, had to suffer through not knowing where he was for about a day.

This is the same cat who likes to try to chase squirrels and once got herded, cornered, and pinned against the house and a stand of firewood by a small troop of the fuzzy buggers and had to be carried out (by me) to get him back inside because he didn't want to go anywhere near them.


Fear and Loathing in Outlands

This morning, flying across the cracked and parched wasteland of the Hellfire Peninsula I realized that I am having bag space problems. Both my rogue and my hunter constantly run out of space to keep their flowers and pelts – this is discounting things like the skulls of the fallen and other bling.

So, I started looking around for some of the larger bags. Mine are all 16s right now, good ole Netherweave; however, with the introduction of Northrend there’s new cloth! Frostweave. And Frostweave Bags are 20s. So I now am the proud owner of eight new Frostweave Bags. Although, it would be nice to get a Glacial Bag or two (if they didn’t cost 1,000g a piece for those 2 extra slots.)

Spearmint went back to Hellfire and Zangarmarsh after a brief stay in Terokkar Forest. Mostly because she felt like painting the steppes red with the blood of brown fel orcs; and she’d left some big game in Zangarmarsh un-hunted. Positively fun, this one, looking for a giant hydra in Serpent Lake; and then she had to cut down a gargantuan crab-man waiting with his parking brake on in the middle of an island north of Zubra’Jin.

Oh, and Boglash.

Fun and games with Boglash. ‘Mint and her red-bug-of-death took him on and did the usual hunter song-and-dance with the flabby, pale menace, downed him and went home; but when it came tie for Anoxia to take him on…everything went a little differently…

She snuck up behind the thing, holding her breath against the marsh gases. Her fingers twitched, daggers rising and falling with the soft sigh of the water as the tripod’s legs slashed wakes from the otherwise somulent murk. She opened up with an ambush, both blades poised into the thing’s Achilles tendon—or at least what she expected was—it wobbled dangerously, spinning to face her. She twirled, blood, blade, and venom leading the way, slicing and dicing tentacle and tendril alike. It struck out with lightning, she kicked it in what she hoped might have been a kidney.

It seemed mere moments later, cool downs all burning, ‘Nox stood over the fallen blubber of the pale monstrosity.

“Oh, glowing spores. Gee,” she said. And then trekked home for the reward.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

As Azeroth Turns

…and other snide comments about daytime soap operas.

So, I got back into World of Warcraft again. I’ve been playing up my rogue and hunter up to higher and higher levels—read: level 63. Both are drumming away in Outlands at the strange landscapes of Hellfire Peninsula and the Zangarmarsh.

Hunter grrl, Spearmint, has been slumming it in Zangarmasrh mostly. This is where she got herself her first pretty bug—a pretty bug who happens to be named “Blacksting.” (Something about trolls and their ever growing hunger for strange and unsettling aphrodisiacs.) I renamed it Dahlia, just to see if anyone would get the reference. I then got the quest to kill Blacksting and killed him with himself for some poetic Hunter style justice.

Rogue chickidee, Anoxia, has been wandering Zangarmarsh also but just recently trotted out into Terokkar Forest instead. She needed some fresh forest air and spiders and less mushrooms.

Both of them just got their normal flying mounts. Mounts which are way less expensive than I expected. I saved up 1,200g between them (600g each) and then discovered that the riding skill sells for only like 250g right now. Although, looking at it. Artisan riding (to get the swift mounts) costs like 4,000g so I still have one hell of a grind ahead of me for both of them.

Anyone ever gone for a Nether drake? I mean, wow. How long does that take for someone who has < 2 hr a day to burn?