How Things Have Changed

Friday night, a level 70 guildie ran me through Sunken Temple because I had about 5 quests to take care of. When we were done, he got on guild chat and said,

I’m getting tired of this game. Nothing ever changes.

Most of the replies from similarly-geared guildies were in agreement with him. I was not, but I was too tired at that point to make my case.

Without consulting patch notes, I can think of quite a few changes since I joined Azeroth, and I’ve heard of the nightmares of beta and some of the first patches. We all know that they added instances with patches early on: Mauradon, Dire Maul, and Molten Core, but what has changed about the game?

I’ll get the ball rolling with the first comment.

Leveling With a Buddy

I have been lucky as of late. You see I have had the opportunity to level with a buddy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j2xEwEHbrE[/youtube]

So as I was saying; since about level 30 Protectr and I have been questing together. I usually like to play it solo and every once in a while, and only when necessary, I group up. Well I had no idea what I was missing. Grinding these last 17 levels or so have been some of the most fun that I have had in WoW to date.

There are many advantages to working in a pair; the obvious being that you can kill mobs much faster and complete quests at a very high rate. There are other advantages as well. For me it has provided the opportunity to get better at not pulling aggro from the tank. Protectr is a dang awesome tank, but I still have to be careful to not come in too soon.

Protectr is a Protection spec Draenei Paladin and Phrixus is a Demon spec Human Warlock (AKA awesome). We are a great team, though I had to learn not to go all out with my spells. I SS him and provide a healthstone and depending on the area I bring out which ever demon will be the best suited. He Buffs and heals me when needed. Protectr will go in a grab aggro on up to 5 mobs and I wait a bit, send in my Demon and start DOTing away. The only hiccup occurs when he says to run and I let my (over)confidence get the best of me. I generally don’t die, but that’s only because he runs back and saves my butt.

While I think that any combination of classes will make the game more enjoyable; for the best effect one should find a class that is symbiotic to your own (e.g., DPS finds a healer, healer finds DPS, and Rogues reroll). So for my money nothing can beat a Pally-Warlock duo… well except a Warlock-Warlock duo, but that would be like having two Supermans and that just wouldn’t be fair.

Gitr Visits the Isle of Quel’Danas

After the great patch download of March 25th, 2008 that is known as Patch 2.4, Gitr immediately flew from Stormwind to the Isle of Quel’Danas, which was conveniently already a flight point. After flying right up to Ironforge, the game went to the zone/instance loading screen and I was suddenly flying over the North Sea toward and island.

The flight path takes you around the south and west side all the way up to the very northern tip where you are dropped off at the familiar (if you’ve played a Blood Elf) area around Silvermoon City. I recognized the ship as being from near the partying belfs, the area to the south look exactly like the starting zone, and the area was hopping with people. There were at least 300 toons running around the immediate area on Silvermoon realm, taking my normal 55fps down to a crawling 20fps.
Isle of Quel\'Danas
The first thing I did was scream. Bloody murder! My UI was completely broken! Well, I did neglect to check the ‘load outdated addons’ from the character screen, but that’s beside the point. My WoWaceupdater refuses to work since I installed XP Service Pack 3 RC2. I know that was dangerous, but it solved my BSoD issue. I logged out to work on my research paper and slowly whittled away at downloading about 100 Ace addons.

When I logged back in later, I had most of my UI working and was able to complete 2 dailies for 9g each in about 10 minutes. As of this morning, Silvermoon is 47% done with the goal before Phase 2 opens up. I was very confused for some time until I researched what the heck was going on. I couldn’t figure out why people were killing things everywhere if there weren’t any more questgivers around.

I had a chance to run Magister’s Terrace, but it came a bit too late in the evening to due the trip justice. I’m probably a little better geared as dps now, but with good healing, I should be able to main tank it and enjoy playing it my way: toe to toe.

Did you get a chance to enter the Isle or Magister’s Terrace? How did you like it?

Trudging Along… in Life and WoW

The great Chinese flu of March 2008 hit my household 3 weeks ago, and its effects are still being felt. It was great to stay home for 4 days a couple of weeks ago, but the headache and coughing that ‘luxury’ required downright sucked.

There’s been a great need for gold in my account, so I’ve been playing Gitr for a few hours and getting through a bunch of level 68-70 quests. I’m still waiting to go back to Kara, but my school and work schedule seem to be making that impossible. All I can do is wait for Magister’s Terrace with the patch, I think.

I’m literally back in the saddle again, with Protectr climbing through level 41 with his practically free charger and jumping back and forth between Tanaris and STV for the next leap in mob leveling. Things get much better in Tanaris as level 43-44, but a protection pally does just fine as long as I don’t get overwhelmed. In fact, a level 40 prot pally can beat Caliph Serpentsting if he gets pulled away from his bodyguards. It only takes about 7 minutes to grind his level 46 butt down to dead.

Phil and I are enjoying leveling at the same pace and doing 5-mans with some semblance of sanity for ugly PUGs gone bad. At least we can /w each other nasty things about sucky players. We got into a group in SM Monday that turned stupid when the mage wouldn’t sheep the Monks or Abbots until they were the last mob standing. So I’m whacking it, Phil has curses on it, and I keep hearing a brief “baaahh!” with a flash of smoke.

How some people manage to tie their shoes, I’ll never know.

I’d like to take Phil into Uldaman with one healer for my butt and see how we can rock the joint with a real group. He still needs his silly warlock hat, though, so I think we’re going to be spending more time in SM for some more loot. I guess the silk won’t hurt my First Aid any, either. There’s no gear for a plate-wearer in there, so it’ll be a labor of love for later on when I need mad dps to join me somewhere.

Worst. Priest. Ever.

You would think that by the time you get through 27 levels of playing a class, you would have some clue about being in a group of two. Yes, the number 2. Let me set the stage for you.

I was running through Duskwood with Protectr (Level 27 Protection Pally) to go turn in a quest in Darkshire, and passed the path to Stalvan, when I Blessed a priest. He gave me a Fort buff and asked in the /s channel if I was questing. I said I was about to kill Stalvan. With that, I sent the invite and he accepted.

We went to the area and I immediately noticed that he was running out of mana on level 30 ghoul. Not a good sign, but I trusted that he knew that Stalvan would be an endurance fight for 2 lvl 27s.

Never trust a priest who uses /s chat, I suppose. I don’t know, but that’s the only thing that I can say could be a tip-off about what followed.

Twenty seconds into the fight (just after I told him to start using his wand), we got an add, because he wouldn’t follow me as I dragged Stalvan back to the area where we already killed the wandering mobs. Noooo. He stood there and aggroed on in the field, so I had to go rescue him and hope he could heal me. No such luck, as he was already out of mana.

By the way, his response to my:

[Protectr]: Wand him.
[Idiot]: Wand?

No, I’m not kidding.

After we died, I told him once again to use his wand to do damage to conserve mana to heal me, unless he wanted to tank and me heal him. He said he didn’t want to do that because then he couldn’t do as much damage.

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I fell short of yelling and calling him a stupid noob and ask him how old he was. I told him to just do it or we’d die again. We died again.

[Idiot]: What happnd that time? It wouldn’t let me cast any spells or heal you.

I logged off and went to watch TV.