Saturday, July 02, 2011

Helping the Super Friends!

Me, some druids and a goblin on a flying mammoth. Go figure.

Having had some time to get my head around the Firelands 'experience' it's clear that Blizzard are doing their best to learn the lessons from previous 'quest hubs'. The Molten Front is a well-choreographed exercise in action, where you can really feel immersed in a decent representation of combat. However I suspect for anyone with an older computer it's going to get frustrating and laggy after a while, plus at 'peak times' finding all the mobs you need for the quests can get tedious. Add to this those who want to do their achievements (The Fiery Lords of Sethria's Roost is gonna get really frustrating if you have to tag those mobs yourself) and there is potential for much grumbling and muttering. On the massive plus side however, if you're off to Sethria's Roost you're not alone. You get a bunch of fabulous NPC's to accompany you, who are now known in this household at least as the Super Friends. No, that's nothing to do with this lot, rather an homage to this lot...

Needless to say I can't keep the smile off my face when I'm fighting with my group of super dudes. It's great to spot which other of Azeroth's greatest heroes are helping out in this assault to boot, and I give much kudos to whoever thought up this quest and bought in this special collection of ex-questgivers and notables to help with the cause. Of my favourites thus far are Linken (with plenty of sword references) and Budd who appears to be throwing a frying pan and passing it off as a ranged attack. Checking Wowhead there are (unconfirmed) over forty possible NPC's listed who can help you, and I'm surprised the achievement Have... Have We Met? only asks you to track down six... Needless to say I'd pay far more than 16,000g if I could get my hands on Gurgthock's Flying Mammoth!

P's currently on 39 Marks of the World Tree, with four other alts on various stages of the questlines. It may be a grind, but the Super Friends in tow it will at least be an enjoyable one... :D

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Impressions

Loading Screen, May not contain actual Firelands...

Raid impressions to follow this evening, but until then let's take our first look at the 4.2 Newness...

I had this hairdo IRL. TRUFACT!

OMG NEW HAIRCUTS11!!!!!1!!. Forget for a moment all the other bits that jumped out at me and concentrate for a moment, as me and many, many others did on a feature that, it transpires, isn't even fully implemented yet. I think that says something as well about how, after six years, the new stuff perhaps isn't why some people keep playing. I also had a pile of retro-awarded Achievements drop in my lap. I know this would frustrate some people (as the visual 'ding' is sometimes more important than the achievement itself) but I'm happy:

It appears there is also a Feat of Strength for getting Exalted with 'your Guild': I wonder, do you get another one when you've done the same with Five Guilds? ^^ Going back to pets, as many people did yesterday (it's the same as haircuts and you don't need nine/twenty-five mates) I had to go visit the wee Draenai lass in the Cathedral District in SW (I am assuming there's a Blood Elf child some where in Orgrimmar with same as I saw one at the Firelands Portal in the hands of a Goblin) to get my new toy:

As the reality dawns on me that I will need to do a phenomenal number of Dungeons across the summer to upgrade my gear, and that allowing me to cap by doing all that work in one hit if I wish and not making it one a day may actually be more of a curse than a blessing, I find my balloon a strange comfort...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4.2 : Not Fade Away...

Rule #321: Never mess with Elemental Lords. It will be bad.

4.2 is upon us (or it will be once the servers come up) and I find myself preparing to spend the Summer on a grind. Again. Blizzard have refined the 'reputation grind' over six years in so many ways: I don't miss having to do things Winterspring or Old Style Timbermaw, after all. Netherwing is still actually enjoyable (am doing it on the Lock in odd moments, I suspect it would be more profitable with a gatherer but the quests still turn up enough greens and trash to sell and to make it worthwhile) and part of me is thinking I might run someone who's not done them through Ogri'la and/or the Skyguard (mounts!!!) for the same reason.

When we were presented with the Argent Tournament 'grind' in Wrath it was clear Blizzard were trying to learn from the lessons that preceded them. Granted it was the same basic quest structure, but the rewards made it worth the effort, plus there were ways to max out Alliance/Horde rep and Achievements to boot. It's still a really profitable grind if you're looking to make money with pets on the AH or work towards Mountain of Mounts but the jousting... meh. Just MEH. Gimmicks are all very well but unless you get them they can become really rather annoying

I've deliberately not spoiled myself for any of the Firelands Dailies. I thought about it long and hard and part of me would like to see what goes down this time around without knowing what to expect: if I want to know I know there's already a slew of guides 'out here' anyway. With the introduction of the phasing technology Blizzard have (I suppose) re-invented the gimmick with a twist: you quest and the World 'evolves' around you. The fact remains however: once you get what you want/need from this particular 'zone' there's no need/desire to be doing it any more and you'll want something else, so it's really no different than any of the other reputation/zones you've ever completed. Will I remember this as the best grind I've ever done?

Thinking about it, what has been the best reputation grind to date? Ironically I'd say it's the one where I never got to finish 'as intended'. The quest for the Scepter of the Shifting Sands (and the Brood of Nozdormu rep that came with it) took me over a year to complete but the range and diversity of what I had to undertake to get there was huge. It harked back to the 'glory days' of Onyxia, Blackwing Lair and Molten Core raiding and frankly it is as Epic as I've ever seen or experienced in game. I sense with Firelands that Blizzard are attempting to capture at least some of that 'classic' feel, and if they succeed in even a small way I reckon 4.2 will be declared an unmitigated triumph.

The only way to find out, of course, is to get in there and play it...

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Calm Before The Firestorm...

Still working on getting everyone ready for Firelands, two more 85 alts to go before I'm done.

Let's see how many Justice Points I can pile on before midnight Tuesday, shall we?