Friday, 28 November 2008

(Over) Half way there

The questing continues and having blitzed through Grizzly Hills and heading into Zul'Drak, Crash finds himself at level 76 with some new abilities to try out and Cold Weather flying within stabbing distance.

I am going to be hitting up an instance with my guild so Tricks of the Trade is going to get some testing (and may be a life saver given I'm a few levels above the tank) so a macro is going to be required. Most people have recommended setting the tank as the focus target and then having a macro like this:
#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [target=focus] Tricks of the Trade

However if I'm going to be sapping things, I tend to set the Sap target as the focus target so that Class Timers can show me how long is remaining on the crowd control. In this situation the following macro may be more useful:
#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/target "Tank"
/cast Tricks of the Trade

The only disadvantage here is that there will be some loss of white damage whilst I'm not targetting the mob, and will need to be careful about how combo points are preserved when switching targets.

Finally I'm planning to switch back to mutilate, a blacksmith in guild has agreed to make me two Saronite Shivs which appear to be awesome for PvE so it'll be fun to go back and see how the changes in the Assassination tree pan out.

(Thanks to One Rogue's Journey for the details on the macros)

Monday, 24 November 2008

Catch up time

Wow, where does the time go. I've been busy working on a project in Poughkeepsie for the last two weeks and totally forgot to update this blog with what's been happening in game.

The cunning plan for getting me into the expansion kinda worked, it turns out you can't hack a US install to talk to the EU servers, but having already updated my account with the CE key I was able to download the expansion overnight on the hotel wireless. Finding that my hard drive didn't have enough space did cause a slight panic but the game runs just fine from a USB hard drive.

Anyways having logged in to find Shattrath deserted I retrieved Frosty from the mail box and headed to the Undercity ready to catch the blimp to Howling Fjord.

Having arrived in Northrend I was struck by just how different the landscape was. The buildings were more details and the zones seem more alive. Watching the wildlife fight each other as you run past makes a massive difference to just having everything wander along it's patrol routes. The detail in things like burning forests and snow capped mountains is a huge step up from what we've previously had.

The quests are also a lot more interesting, Crash is currently level 74 and been through most of Howling Fjord and Dragonblight and there's only been one or two quests that I've been frustrated by. I do like the way that quests become available once others have been completed, it feels a lot more story like and much more development. Also they're nicely grouped for you, so you don't have to spend huge amounts of time working out the best way around the zone to avoid retracing your steps unnecessarily.

One of the things I was looking forward to was running instances at the right level, unfortunately time zone differences mean that this isn't really possible at the moment, but I am pugging a lot of the group quests when someone asks in General chat and so far I haven't had a single problem.

My deathknight has escaped and is currently sat in Ogrimmar, not sure when or if he'll get levelled but I was very impressed with the starter zone and the quest chains that you go through.

So I'll carry on with the levelling, trying to keep a few professions up at the right level whilst getting my sneaky backside up 80 and enjoying the quests and lore involved with the zones.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The cake really isn't a lie

Again the achievements have driven me to get some more completion in things. This time it's cooking and the possibilty of being an 'Outland Gourmet'. I discovered I had most of the recipes already, and a quick trip to Worlds End Tavern and the Sporregar got me the last of the ones that could be bought. Switching my quest reward from the crate of meat to the barrel of fish picked up two of the extra recipes from there, leaving me with just the delicious chocolate cake recipe to get.

Well having picked Mana Berries again for the Rokk the crate of meat the final recipe dropped which meant I could complete two cooking achievements. Bring on the expansion which means I should be able to get a third title to go along with the Shattered Sun and Hallowed ones I've already picked up.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

It's all in the timing

Nearly everyone who hasn't been hiding under a rock for the last few months will have spotted that the new expansion comes out this week. I decided to pre-order the collectors edition, mostly for the free pet, but it nicely ramps up my playing of wow. Original game got as a free giveaway with a newspaper, TBC bought quickly and as a normal edition so I could play an elf on horde with friends up to where we are today.

So the plan was sorted and ready to go, when work gave me the opportunity to do a residency for four weeks in the United States. This wasn't an opportunity to pass up so I'm currently blogging this from my suite in Fishkill, NY with plans afoot on how I can get hold of the game key from my collectors edition and some installation media ready to make the journey to Northrend (even if it's a few hours different to the rest of the guild).

So far playing from the US to European servers over the hotel wireless doesn't seem too awful but my plan of being able to do instances whilst levelling at the right level may have to be slightly delayed due to time differences.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Another feral armor change

After the change to feral armor and the removal of the big green numbers from things like the clefthoof set other items such as rings, trinkets and weapons still kept them and still provided a huge boost when shifting into Dire Bear Form.

It appears now that while these items will still have the large armor values it won't be multiplied by the shift into bear form, giving the same benefits as to the other tanking classes. Obviously the lack of shields means that a bear needs some other way of staying alive rather than just mitigating the damage through massive amounts of armor.

My personal guess is that it will be through dodging (as opposed to Death Knights which will parry, or dodge as well) especially with the change that gives rage everytime we dodge. I'm not too worried about this change given the developers wish that all tanking classes are able to tank end game content but it does mean that it appears that rogues and feral druids are going to be rolling on the same armor items almost constantly.