Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Castle Nathria

Castle Nathria is the first raid in Shadowlands. It's Revendreth, so classic Victorian Gothic with gargoyles and vampires.

The first raid night was pretty rough. All of us were really undergeared, and we were going in more for fun than anything else. We got the first boss in Normal, Shriekwing after a couple of attempts. Then we wiped on Huntsman for the rest of the night.

The next raid night we killed Huntsman, put a couple of pulls in on Hungering Destroyer, then wandered off to find Sun King (it was merely a setback!) and wiped on him for a bit.

This week we were a lot more prepared. We actually had a lot of people show up, a full raid of 30 people, with possibly a couple people on the sidelines. We might have to split into two raids to accommodate everyone who wants to raid. The best thing about having so many raiders is that there are lots of people doing stuff on off-nights. Before we might only have one guild five-man running, but lately it's more like three or four. I've been able to avoid pickup groups almost entirely!

In any case, we killed Shriekwing and Huntsman again. We then got Hungering Destroyer and Artificer Xy'Mox down. Hungering Destroyer is pretty simple once everyone understands the fight and knows when they need to run out. 

Artificer is a more complicated fight, especially the third phase. There's a sword which pulls everyone to the center of the room and then blows up. You have to drop a portal at the sword, and another at the edge of the room. Then you have to time it right so that you go through the center portal to the edge just before the explosion. Too early, and you get sucked back into the explosion radius. Too late, and you just get blown up. I kind of think that in Normal at least, going through the portal should make you immune to the pull. Though maybe that would be too easy.

In any case, Castle Nathria is a really good raid so far, with very interesting fights.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020


Torghast is an interesting experience, especially as I've been playing Hades lately.

Torghast consists of multiple wings, each wing with multiple layers, and each layer with 6 floors. Two wings are open each week. You unlock layers by completing the previous layer (though once you've unlocked, say, Layer 3, you can access Layer 3 on any wing). Torghast's main reward is Soul Ash, which you need to craft Legendary equipment.

Each run of Torghast involves you going through the six floors in a layer. The layout of each floor is more or less random, with a vendor on the 3rd floor and a boss on the 6th floor. You have to beat the boss to complete the run and get the reward. As you progress you get random "anima powers" which boost or alter your abilities, or give you buffs. Most of the time, you get to select a power from up to 3 choices.

Torghast scales from solo to a group of five players. I've done runs solo, in a duo, and in a group of five. Elites and bosses have stacking buff which increases their damage, so there is a DPS check which you have to meet. So you have to balance anima powers between offense and defense.

It's pretty interesting because different builds can focus you on different powers. But so far, the boons don't do anything too drastic. You still play your basic rotation.

I recommend always choosing anima powers which will help you with the end boss. In my experience, the end boss is the most difficult part of a run. The closest I've come to failing was a run where I took too much defensive powers, and had real trouble meeting the damage check.

Another tip is, that at least when you are solo, it's possible to pull carefully and only get a small number of enemies at a time. For example, if two elites appear to be sparring, you can pull one of the elites without getting the other.

There's one wing where an assassin spawns when you are out of combat. I kept a mawrat in combat with me most of the time, and that stopped the assassin from spawning. Blizzard did nerf the assassins later in the week, though, so it might be easier to kill them.

Torghast is a pretty fun experience, and Blizzard has done a nice job of allowing you to farm or progress. If you just want to farm, you only have to do two layers each week to get the maximum rewards. The anima powers allow you to construct weird, broken, or amusing combinations, without breaking the rest of the game.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Night Fae Covenant, The Maw

Night Fae Covenant

In the end, I turned my back on Holy Paladin theorycraft and joined the Night Fae Covenant. The abilities are mediocre, but the covenant itself is really enjoyable. 

The initial quests were amazing! The Fae put on a play explaining the events of the last two expansions, complete with audience reactions. It was hilarious! If you've played through the last two expansions, especially if you're a steady player, you have to take a character through this Covenant.

Otherwise it's pretty much been steadily unlocking facets of the covenant. I like the new adventure table. It's much more of a real game with strategy. I think it's based off "auto-chess", which is a genre I really haven't looked into.

The Maw

The Maw is okay. There are a couple of weekly quests, a couple of daily quests, and some rares and bosses. Not being able to mount is unusual, but you get used to it pretty fast.

The daily cap mechanic is interesting. Every major thing you do in the Maw (bosses, quests) increases the Jailor's Eye on you and adds more and more annoying mechanics. Level 1 makes some wandering monsters hostile. Level 2 periodically bombards your location, forcing you to move. Level 3 has assassins appear when you fight new mobs. Level 4 has Mawsworn swoop down and pick you up. I think you have to kill them before they drop you to your death. Level 5 is an auto-kill I think. I try to stay below Level 3, as I find the assassins very annoying.

It's a really interesting way of doing a soft cap on your activities (with a hard cap at Level 5).

The Maw is okay, I guess. It's not particularly interesting, but the game encourages you to limit your time inside the Maw, meaning that it doesn't become overly tiresome. It's pretty comfortable moving it down the list of priorities, but slowly working on the story.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Ardenweald and Revendreth

This post contains spoilers for Ardenweald and Revendreth,


I loved Ardenweald. I've always liked the fae in fiction, and I think Blizzard did a great job with their version. The NPCs are great and likeable. The Winter Queen is appropriately powerful and mysterious. The story itself is excellent, especially if you played through Legion.

The quests with Ysera were very well done. I especially liked that, when you replay her death, your character shows up to attack, labeled as 'Hero'. I made sure to breathe fire on my character.

I really enjoyed playing through Ardenweald. It was my favorite zone this expansion. I'm probably going to go Night Fae for my covenant.


Revendreth is Victorian Gothic, with an interesting spin on punishment and redemption. It had a lot of interesting concepts, especially the idea of "sinstones" acting like true names and giving power over a character. It was also interesting that all the Venthyr NPCs, even the friendly ones, were once terrible people. The main villain was also quite good.

I liked Revendreth a lot. I'd rank it the second-best zone. Whatever alt I play next will probably go with Revendreth as a covenant.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Bastion and Maldraxxus

This post contains spoilers for Bastion and Maldraxxus.


I didn't like Bastion all that much. You'd think I would like it, it being the obvious paladin covenant. But really, they came across as more cult-like than anything, with the whole erasure of memories bit and everyone being transformed into a blue human.

There's also a curiously chill and low-energy vibe, which is odd. I actually liked the bad guys a lot more, except that they sided with the obviously evil big bad.

It's really annoying that all the paladin theorycrafters say that the Kyrian Covenant is far and away the best covenant, especially for Holy Paladins. I don't really want to join that Covenant.


Maldraxxus was more interesting. I liked the different Houses, especially the House of Plagues. Lady Vashj showing up as a major player was quite fun.

The only problem was that ending was quite disjointed. I think one of my addons may have forced-canceled an important cutscene, because suddenly people were talking about being betrayed as if everyone knew it had happened. I disabled all my addons after Maldraxxus just to be safe.

The side-quest with the library was also quite fun. I missed a book on the very bottom floor, and had to go all the way back down and up, evading all the traps again.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Shadowlands: Intro to the Maw

This post contains spoilers for the intro to Shadowlands.

The introductory sequence to Shadowlands involves you and the Ebon Blade going to the Maw to rescue Thrall, Jaina, Baine and Anduin. It's a pretty good questing sequence, with some nice moments for all the cast members. Especially Thrall's search for a weapon.

The Maw has some very weird bridges too, with rows of pop-up spikes running length-wise along the bridge. That architecture doesn't make a lot of sense, but the AI programmers did a nice job of having the NPCs line up behind you as you run down the channel, and then spreading out again once you're off the bridge.

In any case, you escape the Maw, while the NPCs cover your retreat and are captured again. I guess rescuing them is going to be the main task at max level.

The one concern I have about the Maw is that it isn't very visually appealing. In the intro it was all rocks and grey metal, all browns and grays. If that's the palette, it might grow old fast if we do repeatable content at max level. Argus had a similar problem (though with added green for fel).

Friday, November 20, 2020

Shadowlands Pre-Patch Event, Week 2

The second week of the Shadowlands pre-patch event brought a continuation of the Icecrown scourge quest line, some additional dailies, the Scourge plague, and the reduction of rare spawn timers from 20 minutes to 10 minutes.

I liked the scourge quest line. It had some infiltration bits revealing the bad guy, some aerial bombardment from a gryphon, and a final fight against one of the new Shadowland enemies (I assume). Then back to Stormwind for turn-in and a Feat of Strength.

The Scourge plague is pretty fun. People become zombies and then attack other players. If you die to a zombie, you become one and can continue spreading the plague. There are lots of outbreaks in Stormwind and Goldshire. I went to Westfall to spread the plague there. I'm sure many people are unhappy about "interruptions" in their standard game-play, but I'm a fan of shaking things up for a week or so.

Regarding the new rare spawn timer, I think cutting the timer from 20 minutes to 10 minutes was a mistake. The servers have become noticeably less stable, especially around when Bronjahm (who can drop a 34-slot bag) spawns. 10 minutes has made it much easier to farm rares, and I think more people are staying online to do so, rather than going and doing something else when the next spawn is in 20 minutes.

I've collected the sets on my Paladin and Rogue, and have almost finished my Mage and Shaman. I think that will be enough for me.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Reroll Guild in Classic

On the weekend I joined a re-roll guild in WoW Classic. Basically, everyone in the guild started a new character on one of the low-population PvP servers. I joined in, figuring that maybe it would be easier to get groups or level with.

The guild was Horde, so I made an Undead Warlock.

I have to admit that it was very nice to be in a leveling guild with lots of people. There was a lot of chatter, which was nice.

However, I think I just level too slowly for the main wave of people. I got to level 13 or so by Sunday, and attempted to find a Ragefire Chasm group. However, the main wave of people were already past that point, and doing Wailing Caverns and Shadowfang Keep. 

And because the server is low population, it was impossible to fill the group with outsiders.

So in the end, I gave up and deleted that character. If I play Classic, I'll just stick with the characters I have on the PvE server.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Shadowlands Pre-patch Event

The Shadowlands pre-patch event launched yesterday. Since Sylvanas broke the Helm of Domination, the Scourge are running rampant. The Argent Crusade and the Ebon Blade make another appearance. I broke out the "Argent Champion" title for this event.

The event is fairly short. A quick loop around the home territories and then you're sent to Icecrown in Northrend, where there are a few quests and a couple dailies. There's also a side-quest to go kill Nathanos Blightcaller in Eastern Plaguelands.

Also, a couple of the NPCs near Genn Greymane, Taelia and Shaw, have "Stay a while and listen" dialogues that are easy to miss. I also found a dialogue between Turalyon and Alleria at Alleria's statue on my paladin, but I haven't seen those two there on my other characters.

There are also about 20 rares in Icecrown, bosses from the raid and dungeons there, summoned outside. The implementation of these rares is pretty interesting. A rare spawns every 20 minutes, at 00, 20, and 40 of the clock. Once they spawn, there's a 2 minute grace period before they go active. So you have a bit of time to get to the current spawn marked on your map.

The 20 minute period is interesting. The people who are trying to farm rares are unhappy with it, because there's a lot of waiting around.

However, if you're not explicitly farming rares, it's actually a very good cadence. You get to Icecrown and pick up the dailies. You start on the dailies, and timer comes up for rare. You go and kill the rare, then back to the quests. You usually finish or just have a little bit more when the second rare comes up. Go and kill that, then finish up.

I rather like that half-hour mixture of rares and dailies. I find it also very alt-friendly, as it's better to switch to an alt for the next 2 rares and set of dailies rather than wait around on a single character.

But we'll see what the community thinks. I think the vocal farmers are going to drown out anyone who is happy with the system as is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

New Addon: MapPinAnnounce

I made a second small WoW AddOn: MapPinAnnounce.

It's pretty trivial. Mostly to make creating the new Waypoints faster when you want to signal your current location.

Typing "/pin" will send "Target Name - WaypointLink - (x,y)" to general chat. Typing "/pin text" will send "text - WaypointLink - (x,y)". Where the Waypoint is your current coordinates.

I haven't added it to Curse yet. If you use WoWUp, I think you can point directly to Github.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Legion Rogue Class Mount Quest

The Legion Rogue class mount quest is crazy!

All the other classes I've done were basically, "here's a random PvE solo scenario". Easy enough.

The rogue quest was "sneak into the Horde capital cities and assassinate an NPC". Not instanced, the regular cities with other players wandering about. And you're flagged for PvP since it's an enemy city.

I suppose it is rather appropriate for rogues, and genuinely gets the blood pumping. And honestly, it's not too hard to avoid players in Silvermoon, Undercity and Thunder Bluff.

But the final assignment was to assassinate one of the auctioneers in the middle of the Orgrimmar Auction House!

That was nerve-wracking, especially as there were so many players in that area. I did get the kill, but failed to escape cleanly. My Vanish didn't work or something interfered, and I was chased down and killed by guards and players. One newbie orc hunter got his first honor kill that day.

Oh well, hopefully my death contributed to an interesting story for him.

Friday, November 06, 2020

Got My Name Back!

When I transferred to Doomhammer last year, my one regret was that my paladin's name, Coriel, was taken. A Blood Elf paladin, last active in Mists of Pandaria, had it. I ended up naming my paladin "Corie".

With 9.0, though, it looks like Blizzard has freed up more names. I was able to snag Coriel, and name-changed my paladin back to it.

Pretty minor thing, all in all, but I am quite happy!

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Gaming Log - November 5

World of Warcraft

I've been working through the Broken Shore quests to get the Rogue class mount. I'm on the last step at the moment, so I'll probably finish it shortly.

I also took the rogue through 4 regular Mythics with some guildmates in order to finish the weekly quest. A couple upgrades, and a nice trinket from the quest. No weapons though. My current weapons are definitely dragging down my item level.

I'm not sure what to do next. I could create another alt, but I'm not sure what race/class combo I really want to play.

World of Warcraft Classic

I haven't played Classic in a couple weeks. I think it feels like I'm just too far behind the curve now.


I escaped for the fourth time with the Heart-Seeking Bow, and then failed with the Stygian Blade. Honestly, that Stygian Blade build was very weird. I had a boon which boosted my attack by 5% of my coins, so I tried to get coins and not spend them. It worked decently up to Styx, but then kind of fell apart there.

I have a lot of Ambrosia, 9 in total, but haven't gotten to the point where I can use it. I'm debating trading some in for Titan's Blood, and upgrading some weapons.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Rogue Legion Class Order

This post contains spoilers for the Legion Rogue Class Order story.

Once my rogue got to 50, I took her to Legion and started doing the Rogue Class Order quests. The rogue story line is quite good and seems very unique compared to the other classes that I've played. There's a lot of sneaking around, and making good use of the unique rogue skills. Many of the other classes seemed to reuse sections of their quests.

Though, the story has a crazy body-count! A pretty big shock to anyone who doesn't play a rogue. The entire town of Darkshire got killed, as well as Amber Kearnan. They did bring Vanessa VanCleef back, though.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience, unique even among the other classes in Legion.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Hades: Escape at Last!

I finally beat the last boss of Hades and escaped from the Underworld! 

After 40 attempts, I turned on God Mode. God Mode in Hades gives you 20% damage reduction + 2% per failed attempt with God Mode. I failed the next couple of attempts, but then finally I was able to beat the last boss with the Adamant Rail. I think the key for me was getting past Thesus and Asterius the Minotaur with all of my Death's Defiance (extra lives). I forget exactly what boons I had, I think I had the Posideon dash and I loaded up on Boons dealing damage when I got hit or just missed.

Escaping, though, doesn't end the game. It essentially unlocks the next chapter in the story, raising more questions than it answers. It also unlocks Pacts of Punishment, which are disadvantages which you can choose, but which adds rewards when you defeat end bosses with them active. Each Pact you take gives you 1 Heat, and you get the reward when you clear with an amount of Heat for the first time (with each weapon).

I failed my next attempt, but then got through with the Eternal Spear with 0 Heat. This time it was a Zeus/Athena build with lots of boons that improved the Lighting Damage.

In any case, I'm still going through the story. I'm not sure how many total escapes are needed to see the full ending.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

The New Leveling Experience

I finished leveling my new Rogue. I used Chromie Time and went through Mists of Pandaria. In total, I think it took about 20 hours to get to level 50.

I was able to do four zones of Pandaria: Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, Krasarang Wilds, and Kun-Lai Summit. I was actually just into 49 when I finished Kun-Lai Summit, so I did a few quests in Townlong Steppes. If I remember correctly, this roughly matches the original leveling in Mists. Four zones leveling, and then two zones of questing at max level.

I'd actually forgotten a lot of the details of Pandaria, and it was very enjoyable to see it again. For the most part, the scaling worked fine and felt correct. About the only issue I noticed is that some enemy bleeds did an excessive amount of damage. I didn't use any heirlooms, relying instead of quest gear. I did one dungeon, Stormstout Brewery.

Automatically teleporting back to Chromie when you hit 50 was a bit weird. I don't think it's a huge deal, because you can just hearth back to wherever you were questing and continue on if you want. But it is weird that Blizzard did that instead of the standard automatic quest with a teleport item. Especially since Chromie Time is only for alts.

In any case, leveling the rogue was a lot of fun. Things proceeded at a good pace. I got to enjoy several older zones that I haven't seen in years. Your character gains a new ability or passive at almost every level. The level squish and new leveling is an unambiguous win for Blizzard, something that they really needed after Battle of Azeroth.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Equipment in Battle For Azeroth

I think Blizzard went into Battle For Azeroth with the goal of making equipment "more interesting". I think a secondary goal was for a player to be able to get to 80% power fairly quickly, but have it take much longer to go from 80% to 100%. To that end, Blizzard came up with Azerite armor and Corruption.

My evaluation of Azerite armor is colored by the fact that I play a Holy Paladin. Of all the specializations in the game, we probably benefited the most from Azerite armor. It gave us a completely new play-style, Glimmer, that worked really well with the Holy paladin archetype. Alternating Crusader Strike and Holy Shock melded both melee combat and large single-target heals. It was a very enjoyable play-style.

It was also a good high-end play-style. You played like a traditional healer while accumulating 3x Glimmer, and then got to switch to the new style, making it something to look forward too. So I think that in a lot of ways, Holy paladins got the best of the new equipment systems.

Playing Hades has also given me some insight into what Blizzard was trying to do. In Hades, each run plays out differently depending on what gods show up and what boons you get. You can influence things here and there, but at the end of the day you have to "roll with the punches". You get what you get and you try and make the best of it. Every experience is a bit unique that way.

I think Blizzard was attempting something similar with Azerite and Corruption. You get what you get, and you try to make the best of it. The problem of course, is that MMO players really do not like this. Especially when someone else is lucky enough to get the elements that the community has deemed the "best". We saw a similar issue with Legendaries in Legion.

With Corruption, Blizzard gave up on it quite quickly and turned the system into something to grind until you got 8x of whatever the best Corruption was. To be honest, I kind of liked Corruption before you could buy them. You got what you got, and erased worse Corruptions while keeping better Corruptions, all the while juggling your net Corruption.

I do wonder if there were things that Blizzard could have done to make Azerite/Corruption better, and reconcile players to "rolling with the punches". I think one major improvement would have been to not allow Azerite/Corruption to stack. With stacking, 3x of the best Azerite is much more powerful than a random selection of lesser Azerite powers. Same thing with Corruption.

But I don't know. I think that mixed secondary stats are the limits of what players will accept as "interesting equipment". Perhaps Blizzard would be better off just going with that, and then a stingier drop rate closer to Classic WoW. It would mean that character improvement would be steadier, with slower increases in item level, but no chasing of random powers.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Exile's Reach

I created a Human Rogue to test out Exile's Reach, the new starting experience.

Oddly enough, what it most reminded me of is TERA, and the starting island in that game. A very similar experience of doing small quests in a short linear story on an island that ends with a dungeon/boss fight.

I should note that I did Exile's Reach without addons or heirlooms, and with the basic stock UI. As a result, I didn't see any bugs. Pretty much everything worked smoothly for me, much as expect Blizzard intended.

I thought Exile's Reach was a good starting zone, introducing the basic elements nicely. The story was simple, but fun. There were lots of nice touches, especially introducing emotes like /wave and /dance. The dungeon at the end was pretty good. Some trash, a couple bosses, and a dragon.

I really liked the class-specific quest. For the rogue, it was about sneaking around an elite bear and then using poisons to kill an ogre. I kind of want to see the other class quests, but I'm not sure it's worth doing so many times over.

About the only criticism I have is that the first enemy should not have been murlocs. The point of murlocs is to instill fear and terror into new players. Attacking a single murloc should cause the entire camp to come chasing you. That is the true murloc experience.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Hades: Defeated Last Boss ... Or Not

I'm pretty bad at Hades. Everywhere I see people defeating it for the first time on attempt 17 or 18. Here I am at attempt 35 and I still haven't beaten the last boss yet. 

I've beaten the third boss about three times now. On my last run, I was doing really well. I had the Athena deflect dash and was slowly killing the last boss. Then I screwed up and lost a lot of my health quickly. With a sliver of health left, I managed to deal the final points of damage, reducing the boss' health bar to zero. I was so excited!

Then Phase 2 started.

It was chaos, with spinning beams of fire everywhere. I panicked and died a couple seconds into the new phase. 

Oh well, on to the next attempt.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Exile's Reach and Chromie Time

Here's a heads up if you are having issues accessing Chromie Time after you do the new introductory zone of Exile's Reach.

After you finish Exile's reach, you go to Stormwind. There you have the option of either taking a tour of Stormwind, or saying that you "already know your way around Stormwind".

If you take the tour option, you will be locked into the Battle for Azeroth starting quests. Chromie will not allow you to switch to a different expansion, saying that you have your hands full with Kul Tiras.

You will have to do the Battle for Azeroth starting quests until you get to Boralus. At that point, you can go back to Stormwind and talk to Chromie to switch expansions. I followed the BfA starting quests until the portal to Stormwind was unlocked, and then took that back.

To sum up, there are two paths if you want to access Chromie Time after Exile's Reach.

Path #1:

  1. Do Exile's Reach
  2. Take the tour of Stormwind
  3. Do the BfA intro quests until you get to Boralus
  4. Go back to Stormwind and talk to Chromie.

Path #2:

  1. Do Exile's Reach
  2. Decline the tour of Stormwind
  3. Talk to Chromie
I imagine there will be a similar situation on the Horde-side.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Gaming Log - October 11

This post contains spoilers for Hades.

World of Warcraft

We did some of the Throne of Thunder achivements. Ji-Kun took us a long while, mostly because it was difficult to kill ourselves when we failed the achievement. We failed to get the Durumu achievement, but got all the others. Heh, it's been so long since I've been to Throne of Thunder that I completely forgot how to get there.

Otherwise it's just waiting for the Pre-Patch.

World of Warcraft Classic

I broke down and got the Questie add-on. It makes a huge difference being able to see where all the quests you can get are. Especially post-35 where they start to be scattered all over the world. It also shows you the quest item locations like modern WoW, but in some ways that is overkill. I rather think the sweet spot would be showing you where all the quests you can pick up are, but needing to rely on the quest text to actually finish them.

My rogue also hit 43 and I bought my mount. I had about 60g total at 40, and it took two levels to get the remaining 30g. I've also finished the Scarlet Monastery quests and even got the Scarlet Crusade tabard. The quest also gave a very nice sword, so my Combat Swords rogue finally has 2 swords for the first time.


I managed to beat the boss of the third zone, Elysium! I made it to the end of the fourth zone, Styx, who turns out to be Hades himself. I was actually doing quite well, until I called upon the aid of Zeus (basically your ultimate, can get different ones from different gods). Hades did not appreciate me invoking Zeus, and made short work of me. I wonder if he reacts to all gods, or if Zeus is special due to their history.

That's the only time I've been able to get past the third boss though. I did respec, to make my build stronger. I completely forgot there was an expensive ability to get a Defy Death once per chamber instead of once per run. I think that will make future runs easier, and allow me to use a different accessory other than Skelly's Tooth (+1 Defy Death).

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Gaming Log - October 4

Haven't written one of these in a while. Here's what I've been up to recently.

World of Warcraft

We've been doing various achievements. Just waiting for Shadowlands really.

I've been doing some of the Brawler's Guild. The BfA questline for the Brawler's Guild was very enjoyable. And you get a crocodile mount at the end. If you haven't done it yet, I strongly recommend doing it in the next week. At current gear levels, you can power through a lot of the fights. You still have to do mechanics, but you don't need to worry about DPS checks. Wowhead and Icy Veins have decent guides.

World of Warcraft Classic

I've been trying and failing to get a group to do the Stromgarde elite quests with my rogue. I think I'm just going to have to give up on them (and elite quests in general), and do normal quests instead.

My rogue did get to level 40. I have about 70 gold total, and I need 90 for the mount and training.


Thoroughly enjoying this game. I've done about 30 runs, and can get to the third zone regularly. On my last run I got to the boss of the third zone, but got killed there.

I am debating turning on God Mode though. I think I'm behind the curve, and the third zone is difficult for me. I just take too much incidental damage. The main reason I even got to the boss in the last run was that I got a boon from Aphrodite which gave me +2 health on each regular attack (at the cost of 60% lower max health). I can't really count on that boon all the time, though.

Friday, September 25, 2020

First Impressions of Hades

Supergiant Games has released their latest game, Hades. I am a huge fan of their previous games: Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre. Hades has finally come out of Early Access, so I snapped it up.

I'm barely into it, but it's really good so far. In both Pyre and Hades, Supergiant is trying to weave defeat into the narrative, and it's really interesting to see their approach.

Hades is a "rogue-like" game. It's an isometric RPG like Diablo. You play Zagreus, Prince of the Underworld, son of Hades, as he attempts to escape to Mount Olympus. The basic game-play is you moving from room to room in a randomly-generated map. In each room you kill the monsters and get a reward. You keep going until you die.

When you die, you go back to Hades' palace where you pet Cerberus, talk to various NPCs, uncover more of the story, and spend resources on improving your character for your next attempt. Dying is part of the story, as various NPCs will comment on your last attempt. I got mocked for stepping in a spike trap.

Some resources exist only for the attempt, like gold and boons from the other Olympian gods. Other resources allow you to improve your character or unlock weapons or upgrade the underworld with new rooms. The gods' boons improves or alters one of your attacks, so each run plays slightly differently as you get boons from different gods.

That cycle of "attempt, death, conversation, improvement, repeat" is very well done. It makes dying become just part of the game. It also makes for nice stopping points for the individual play session.

There are multiple weapons. So far, I've unlocked a sword, a bow, and a shield. I'm not very good with the bow because it requires aiming, but I like the shield. It has a small knock-back which does extra damage if the enemy is slammed against a wall.

You also have a "Cast" ability which throws a projectile at an enemy. By default, the projectile debuffs the enemy and you can't use Cast again until you kill the enemy and pick up the projectile. It's an elegant way of allowing you a powerful ranged option, but keeping you from just kiting all the time.

So far, Hades is just superb. I'm playing on PC with a controller, but I hear that the Switch version is extremely well done.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Shadowlands Afterlives: Revendreth

There sure were a lot of jokes about Garrosh getting milked.

This video is very well done. It's always fun to get a video from the point of view of the bad guy being deliciously evil.

Revendreth seems interesting as well. It looks like the equivalent of a Hell, where evil souls are tormented until they repent. It is amusing that WoW cannot use demons for this traditional role, because demons occupy a completely different place in WoW's cosmology. Instead we have anima-drinking vampires (or possibly elves).

The only concern is that this story seems a bit like the Suramar storyline in Legion. Nobility hoarding a resource that everyone needs to live. There's probably going to be a revolution as well.

I just hope it doesn't end with Garrosh yelling "Revendreth is free!" at the end.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Shadowlands Afterlives: Ardenweald

Now this was excellent!

Apparently the WoW community is very fond of Ursoc, so they were saddened by this video. Despite (or maybe because) of killing him twice in qame. The video does an excellent job laying out the faction, and making them sympathetic.

I quite like the fae in urban fantasy, like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series, and Seanan McGuire's October Daye series. I am looking forward to seeing Blizzard's take on the fae. Though from this video, the Winter Queen is certainly nothing like Butcher's Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness.

Honestly, I rather think this will be my covenant of choice for my paladin. Perhaps a bit of an usual choice, as it seems more for nature classes like druids, hunters and shaman. But I've always felt that the heart of the paladin archetype is sacrifice, and this video embodies that well.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Shadowlands Afterlives: Maldraxxus

The next covenant featured is Maldraxxus. This looks to be a martial realm, with several warrior houses.

The main character featured is Draka, mother of Thrall. Which brings up an interesting point. In most Western, Christian-inspired versions of the afterlife, it's a place to be reunited with your loved ones. Draka's husband is Durotan, who died alongside her. There's not even a mention of him. Instead, WoW's afterlife appears to be closer to the Norse Valhalla, where the dead have a job to do.

One really weird decision was to have Draka train as a rogue. There's already a famous female orc (or half-orc) rogue: Garona. It seems overly repetitive to have Draka become a discount Garona. I think it would have been better to leave Draka as a warrior.

Otherwise, I don't know. This video seems like you're supposed to go, "OMG, Draka is sooo cool!" But if you don't, there's really nothing else there. Kind of honestly, the most interesting bit was the mention of the House of Plagues. That seems like a pretty unusual martial House.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Shadowlands Afterlives: Bastion

This is the first intro video for Shadowlands. I guess there will be four, introducing the main factions.

I've been trying to avoid spoilers, or indeed any information about the expansion. But it feels like Shadowlands is making it harder than normal. Maybe it's just the extensive beta, but when this video dropped, all the discussion online was full of spoilers.

In any case, the video is decent. I'm a little tired of Uther and Arthas, though, so I was not particularly thrilled to see them again. In my opinion, that story ended, and it ended well, so let it rest.

This covenant, Bastion, seems like pretty typical angels. Paint-by-numbers, really. The standard "stay on the path" and ignore warning signs hierarchy that these sorts of quasi-religious factions usually end up being, followed by one going rogue and over-zealous.

I don't know, I hope Bastion is more interesting in the actual expansion. The thing is that we're supposed to be joining these Covenants, so I think these introductory videos should show what makes the Covenant attractive. I can't see anyone actually wanting to join Bastion after this video.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Horrific Visions - Mad World

 I've been working on the Horrific Visions over the last week or so. Today I got the [Mad World] Feat of Strength for successfully completing both the Horrific Vision of Stormwind and Horrific Vision of Ogrimmar solo with 5 Masks!

Mount and Title Rewards above Silithus

5-Masking both Visions (in a group or solo) awards a mount, the Black Serpent of N'Zoth. 5-Masking both visions solo gives a title, the Faceless One.

I actually did Stormwind last week, adding one mask a day until I did all 5 masks on Monday. Today I tackled Ogrimmar and went straight for all 5 masks. I did both visions as Retribution with 470 average item level, though it was my Holy Gear and corruptions (Ineffable Truth!) aside from my weapon.

Some tips if you want to tackle it in the next week or two:

  • Adding one mask a run was good to get used to the vision and the path you want to run in.
  • Add the 50% less Sanity mask early. It was the third mask I tackled. Adjusting for lower Sanity is the biggest thing you need to learn, as a couple of other mechanics don't happen until low sanity, so it's good to get used to the reduced Sanity early.
  • I did it with zero net corruption. Having to deal with slows and extra circles is extra hassle.
  • Use a flask and food. I used the food which increases movement speed in Stormwind and health regen in Org. In hindsight, I probably should have used health regen in both. I wasn't used to moving so quickly in SW. Also have a stack of K'babs and use them often.
  • In Stormwind, I used the Sanity Orb before Mathias and Magister Umbric, and then before Alleria.
  • In Orgrimmar, I used the Sanity Orb before the last elites before the Lost area bosses. Pull the elites into the Sanity Orb and start damaging them before it disappears. With the extra sanity from defeating the elite, you get to the boss at max or fairly high Sanity.
  • Find the dead body near the start and identify the bad potion color. Drink all the good potions you can.
  • Find the enemy that gives a buff in the first area early, then continue to the other zones.

I found Ogrimmar harder than Stormwind, though part of it might just be unfamiliarity. I found it a lot harder to dodge or avoid a lot of the Sanity-drain mechanics in Org, and ended up having to burn my last Orb early. My guild says you can avoid a lot of them, like the Void Torrent, by stepping into the bosses hitbox, but they only told me this after the run.

In any case, I feel like I've completed all my personal goals for Battle for Azeroth with this achievement. Looking forward to Shadowlands!

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Problems With the Battle for Azeroth Story, Part II

In the last post, we discussed the Burning of Teldrassil and Sylvanas Windrunner. In this post, I'm going to look at two more philosophical problems that the writers are having.

Fool Me Once, Shame On You

There is an old aphorism, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

In a nutshell, that sums up the problems with the Alliance side of the BfA story. This is the second time the Horde has attacked the Alliance out of the blue. And yet the Alliance cannot seem to learn any lessons. Thus they come across as foolish when they try to make peace, especially a peace without terms.

The story tries to portray (early) Jaina and Tyrande as wrong with their uncompromising stance against the Horde. But Jaina and Tyrande are right and sensible! Jaina's reversion in 8.3.5 to her previous stance is a huge mistake and erases all development for her character.

As for Tyrande, it feels like she's going to learn a "valuable lesson" about the dangers of vengeance in Shadowlands, completely ignoring that sometimes anger is justified.

 Battle for Azeroth turned out to be Garrosh 2.0, only this time the Alliance comes across as foolish. Not even a nod to Varian's declaration that "if your Horde fails to uphold honor as Garrosh did, we will end you." Nothing but paper tigers.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Perhaps the biggest problem with Battle for Azeroth, which ties into the previous point, is that characters' actions don't seem to matter. What matters is the words they say.

Take Sylvanas. The entire resolution of the story hinges on her saying, "The Horde is nothing". If she simply doesn't say that, the ending falls apart. All the actions she took, good or bad, none of them matter in the end.

As for Saurfang, he happily invades Ashenvale and Darkshore. Then he's sad and sorry, so obviously he's in the right.

There is a great disconnect between the actions taken and the words spoken. And the story comes down on the side that the words spoken are true and correct, and the actions are not. This is a major source of dissonance.

Maybe the WoW writers feel these aphorisms are old and outdated. But they're common wisdom for a reason, ingrained in how most people view the world. In my opinion, a writer ignores these and similar proverbs at their peril. It usually turns out badly, as Battle of Azeroth shows.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Problems With the Battle for Azeroth Story, Part I

Unlike a lot of forum posters, I actually think WoW's writers are pretty good. There are a lot really well done small stories and small moments in BfA. For example, I loved the work they did with Jaina, at least until the aftermath of attack on Ogrimmar. However, the writers also have a tendency to make really big, bone-headed mistakes. These mistakes are so huge, that they wipe out all the good that has been done, has been built up. This series of posts is a discussion of what I see as the major mistakes in Battle for Azeroth.

The Burning of Teldrassil

I actually liked the Burning of Teldrassil as the initial move in the story. I thought to myself, "Well, the writers promised that this wouldn't be Garrosh 2.0, and now they certainly can't do a Garrosh 2.0 story." The joke was on me, I guess, as BfA soon became Garrosh 2.0.

The Burning of Teldrassil would have been an excellent opener for a story where the war between Horde and Alliance becomes hot, and stays hot for several expansions.

For the type of story BfA wanted to be, it actually would have worked much better without burning Teldrassil. The Horde pre-emptively sweeps through and conquers Ashenvale and Darkshore. The Alliance retaliates by attacking Undercity. After Undercity gets destroyed, both sides pull back and look for allies. Then the Horde attacks Brennadan. Next the Alliance escalates with the raid on Daz'alor and killing Rastakhan. Sylvanas then starts looking to weaponize Derek Proudmoore, and Baine intervenes.

In that story, you actually have an escalating cycle of violence, where breaking it makes sense. However, by starting with Teldrassil, there is no escalation. Everything the Alliance does pales in comparison. The story starts too big, and there's no place for it to go.

Sylvanas Windrunner

The writers clearly want to have Sylvanas to have a plan. To be a mastermind working towards some hidden goal. Unfortunately none of this is coming across. Instead, Sylvanas seems to whiplashing between good and evil, and it is really hurting both her character and the story.

Back when I played D&D, it was really common for me as a DM to construct this intricate plot and world in my head. It took me a long while to truly understand that the players couldn't see that plot. The channel between the DM and player is "lossy". If you're lucky, maybe 25% of what you want to convey will actually make it to the players. In this situation, you're better off being blunt and explicit, and repeating yourself several times. Especially when your story takes place over a long period of time, as players will forget the fine details of events which happened several months ago.

FFXIV is really good at this. If they want the players to know something about a villain or a villain's plans, they'll start hinting at it a couple patches in advance. Then they'll end up explicitly saying it in a few different ways. Maybe they'll show you the villain discussing things with a subordinate. And maybe you and your allies will discuss the villain. Sometimes it can feel like they're being overly blunt, but better too blunt than too subtle.

To Be Continued...

Friday, August 28, 2020

Gaming Log - August 28

World of Warcraft

We're continuing to try and get old raid achievements. We got the meta for Hellfire Citadel. Gorefiend was a huge pain because it requires at least one person to die during Feast of Souls. At max level it is very hard to die! We ended up removing all gear, and even then only one person died in the phase. Luckily she was able to do her part and spawned the achievement mob just as the phase ended.

We then returned to our nemesis, Thok. This time around we knew how to do the achievement so things went somewhat smoothly. Except two of our druids forgot they had the Resto affinity talent which automatically heals them. But we got past that, thanks to the stacking damage buff, and unlocked the snail and killed Thok. Sadly, someone was wearing a trinket which procced and killed the snail!

I guess we'll try again next week.

World of Warcraft Classic

I've been playing my Human Paladin and Warrior. I tried playing with the Horde Priest, but there was a lot of Alliance running around and I wasn't able to get anything done. I did manage to run away before being killed, though, so I'll count it as a moral victory.

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

I set the difficulty down to Peasant (Easy). At this point, I really just want to finish the main story of the game.

I then finished sacking the Imperium Romana's port. The final boss fight was neat. Instead of a boss, it was a gauntlet where you had to run around and set ships on fire.

Now back to the underworld to steal a crystal from the dark elves so my blacksmith can make better weapons and armor.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Gaming Log - August 24

Been a while since my last post. Haven't really been up to a lot.

World of Warcraft

We did some more raid and dungeon achievements. We've been trying to get all the achievements in Siege of Ogrimmar, but we keep accidentally killing things we shouldn't. Garrosh and Thok were our banes, especially as it was so hard to wipe. We did get Garrosh, but Thok eluded us. We almost had it, but our paladin's Avenger's Shield killed Thok and bounced and killed the snail. So we'll have to do it again some time.

I also finished the Horde story with my Blood Elf paladin. My regular Blood Elf Warrior is a Sylvanas loyalist, so I made this one to see the story from the Saurfang side. There wasn't a lot of difference, mostly you defend Saurfang from assassins, and then you don't keep talking to Nathanos who directs you to pretend to be a traitor.

World of Warcraft Classic

I'm still playing the Horde priest. Up to level 32 now. I find that one of the problems with Classic is that whenever I get "blocked" on a quest, I tend to lose the desire to continue with that character. For example, I have an elite quest, The Den, in Stonetalon Mountains, and I just cannot get a group for it. Soloing it is pretty painful, as it is one of those twisty night elf barrows, but all the mobs are elites.

Retired Games and Services

I uninstalled and unsubscribed from Final Fantasy XIV and The Old Republic. I'm not really enthusiastic about the non-story gameplay and activities in both of them. Maybe I'll check in on them in a year or so.

I also deleted my Reddit account, and removed all bookmarks from my browser. I think I've spent an excessive amount of time on that site over the last few years, for little gain. Though I do wonder how hard it will be to keep up to date with the various fandoms.

I am leaning to the view that any social site where you accumulate "internet points" in some manner leads to undesirable outcomes. That perhaps the best sites are just old-fashioned forums and blogs.

Monday, August 17, 2020

FFXIV: Patch 5.3

This post contains spoilers for Patch 5.3 for Final Fantasy XIV.

FFXIV's latest patch came out last week. The MSQ was the finale of the Shadowbringers story.

Truthfully, I am not the biggest fan of Shadowbringers. It was quite good, but I didn't love it. And honestly, this patch was for the people who loved it. There were long goodbyes, as you go around to all the new zones and say farewells, having many of the story NPCs show up again.

The final fight was quite good, though, with a superb unexpected cameo. The only issue I have with the fight is that there is one of those active time events where you have to rapidly press a button. The problem is that all eight members of the party have to pass the event. I think it should have been 6 of 8 or so, to allow a little carrying of people who might have trouble with that.

The Nier 24-man raid story also continued. There were so many deaths during that raid. I think we had one healer healing and the other constantly ressing. Several times our group got wiped out and the other groups had to come save us. Heh, one time, our healer managed to use Limit Break 3, ressing everyone in the group, right into a mechanic which killed most of us. He was very upset.

However, it is one of those raids where it will be much better when people get used to the new mechanics.

The final bit of the patch is the Sapphire Weapon story. Here the game went full Gundam with piloting a giant robot and everything. I think the entire thing, including a lot of the dialogue, was a Gundam reference, but I'm not very familar with the franchise.

 There was also a season summer event which was pretty weird. There was a FATE where you had to dance to encourage a bomb to blow up and defeat a giant shark with arms and legs.

The problem I'm having with FFXIV is that there doesn't seem to be much to work on. Too much story, not enough grind, if that makes sense. This expansion is really missing something like Eureka, where you can just log in and work on something at a light pace. Admittedly, though, it's been very crafter-centric, and I haven't really leveled any crafting jobs. And unfortunately, I'm really not fond of max-level dungeon gameplay, wall-to-wall AOE, which is the main gearing grind.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Ganking on an RP-PvP Server

Grobbulus is an Role-Playing Player-vs-Player server. That means it's a little bit weird.

On a normal PvP server, a Horde lowbie gets ganked while trying to quest in Hillsbrad Farms by max-level Alliance players.

On a Role-Playing PvP server, a Horde lowbie gets ganked while trying to quest in Hillsbrad Farms by max-level Alliance players pretending to be farmers.

Seriously, there were four of them, dressed up in overalls and plaid shirts and carrying shovels.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Gaming Log - August 10

 World of Warcraft Classic

I did a couple of quests in Stonetalon Mountains and Ashenvale with the Horde Priest. Then I foolishly went to Hillsbrad Foothills and got ganked twice by a 34 gnome rogue. 

The priest is up to level 27. I took Tailoring as a profession, and surprisingly it's turned out to be very useful. I think I'm wearing four crafted pieces at the moment. Retail WoW is much better about giving you a complete set of gear as basic quest rewards, so the crafting professions are much less useful while gearing up.

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

I did the next map in Vikings. This time I was attempting to make an alliance with Simul, but she refused and forced me to fight Guarm, guardian of the portal to Hel, so that she could enter Hel. Not sure what Simul is after, but I have been side-tracked to sack the home port of the Imperium Romana's northern navy.


Here's a list of goals or games that I want to play in the next few weeks:

  • Vikings: Wolves of Midgard - I haven't played much in the last week or so, but I really should focus on finishing this game.
  • Final Fantasy XIV - Patch 5.3 comes out today. I want to play through the story, and try the next Nier raid.
  • World of Warcraft Classic - Try to get the Horde Priest to 60.
  • Control - There's an DLC coming out at the end of August.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn - One of my friends loved this game and enthusiastically recommended it when it came out on console. It's just been released on PC, but there seem to be a lot of people complaining about crashes. Maybe I'll wait for the first patch, or clear up some of the other goals before getting it.
  • Crowfall - Beta is starting. I backed it so long ago. I tried to look at some things in early Alpha, but I couldn't really figure anything out. I really should take a look at what they've built.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Gaming Log - August 8

World of Warcraft

We went after the raid achievements for Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold. We did some of them in Mythic, but then dropped back to Heroic when it turned out that the Botanist achievement requires 10 people in Heroic, but 20 in Mythic.

The only difficult one was Xavius, and that was because it requires a Demon Hunter or a Warlock, two classes that we don't normally have in raids, to find creatures hidden in the darkness. A bit annoying because we have a lot of Hunters, but Flare doesn't show you the hidden creatures. The guildmate who switched to Warlock was very excited to use Eye of Kilrogg, though.

World of Warcraft Classic

I found out that a guildmate plays on Grobbulus, an RP-PvP realm. So I made an Undead Priest on that server and have been focusing solely on it. It's actually kind of surprising how fast one can level without distractions. I'm currently level 27.

It's kind of interesting playing on an PvP realm again. I'll probably regret it though. So far, my PvP experience has been:

  • Chased into Tarren Mill by a skull gnome warrior
  • One-shot by a skull night elf hunter after landing at Tarren Mill
  • Killed twice by a skull human rogue while questing near Tarren Mill
  • Killed by a 31 gnome warrior while questing near Tarren Mill
  • Killed a 31 human rogue while in a group of 4 (28 druid, 27 priest, 23 warlock, 23 priest) in Stonetalon Mountains 

Not really sure if the last was fair or not. The rogue didn't Vanish though, so maybe he thought he had a chance at taking out the warlock.

In any case, there's mostly been a common theme in PvP, and that's being ganked at Tarren Mill.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

When did the Forsaken Change?

I'm leveling a Forsaken priest in WoW Class at the moment. It's been a long time since I played Horde or did the early Forsaken quests. But there's a really big difference in how the Forsaken are treated in Classic versus Battle For Azeroth.

Classic makes it really clear that the Forsaken are different after being raised from the dead. They're the same person, but warmer, positive emotions are greatly muted, and the more negative emotions dominate. For example, Clarice Feldman was the wife of a paladin who went off to fight the Scourge. In life she both loved him and resented him for leaving her. In death, the love is muted, and the resentment magnified. There's another quest about a husband who's wife was killed by his best friend. He sends you to kill that friend, and keeps his hands to remind him of his revenge, but gives you his only momento of his wife, her ring.

Classic is pretty clear that this is normal for Forsaken, that it's just how they are. 

In D&D terms, it's like their alignment takes one step towards Evil after being raised. Someone who was Lawful Good in life is Lawful Neutral in death. Neutral in life becomes Neutral Evil in death.

In Battle For Azeroth, on the other hand, this doesn't happen in most cases. There are 3 new Forsaken raised during the story: Amelia Stone, Thomas Zelling, and Derek Proudmoore. All three of them seem like the same person after being raised, and don't exhibit the change in emotions. Zelling in particular is deeply concerned about his family, and hurt when they reject him. A Classic-style Zelling would care about his family in an intellectual sense, and insist that the Horde carry out their agreement to take care of them. But he wouldn't seek to see them or bond with them.

There is one case where the newly-raised Forsaken behaves in the Classic-style: the Night Elf Wardens. They come back angry at the world and Elune. Ironically, I've seen more player complaints about the change in personality for the Wardens than for Zelling or Proudmoore.

It makes me wonder if I missed something in the story. A plot point where Forsaken resurrection was "fixed", and newly-made Forsaken started coming back with an unchanged personality.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

AQ Drama in WoW Classic

The Ahn'Quiraj phase started in WoW Classic recently. This phase starts with the War Effort to unlock the gates in Silithus. It also has the race to be the person who unlocks the gates and gets the title of Scarab Lord.

And so we have drama. So much drama.

Check out the WoW Classic forums and reddit. Horde and Ally guilds colluding. Guilds interfering with each other. People being forced to farm so their GM gets Scarab Lord. People mass-reporting each other. Guilds acting like a mafia and controlling the pace of the opening. Half the guilds want to delay the opening so they can have more Scarab Lords, and the other half insists the gates open early so that there are more chances to get loot from AQ40.

You can see why Blizzard took steps to reduce all this drama. 

And yet, the drama is what makes it fun and entertaining, even for those of us not participating. You have actual server communities with guilds who know each other and are fighting and cooperating with each other. There are known personalities on each sides. Check out this video from Grobbulus:

In some ways, there is more "life" in this one event in a replica of a 15-year-old game than there has been in the last five years of Retail WoW.

Perhaps drama is the most attractive point of the MMO genre, what makes it special. And in removing anything which can cause drama, MMOs become just another game.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Legion Antorus Raid Achievments Done!

We only had six people show up for raid this week, so we went and did the achievements in the Antorus raid from Legion. We started trying them on Mythic difficulty, which wasn't too bad, until we got to Eonar. Mythic Eonar requires a bit more coordination than we were expecting, with having to send a team to the ship and everything. So we dialed it back to Heroic.

The only difficult achievement was Aggramar, and that was mostly because we didn't have a second tank who knew how to tank swap during the combo while keeping the boss from moving. We made our DPS warrior learn to tank. It took us a few tries, but we got the tank to combo one of the adds twice, and got the achievement.

We also accidentally killed the last boss on Heroic. The achievement requires you to be in phase 4. So we unloaded on the boss in phase 1 to speed things up. Unfortunately we sped things up a little bit too much, and killed the boss as he was transitioning from P1 to P2. So we had to go to Normal difficulty and slowly whittle him down and make sure all the phases transitioned properly.

We did get all of the boss achievements this week, giving most of us the meta-achievement for that instance, and some sort of mount. Kind of interesting to go back to it after all this time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Gaming Log - July 27

I was out of town for most of the weekend, so not much happened gaming-wise.

World of Warcraft Classic
  • Priest - I did the Dun Modr elite quests. It was a small group, just me, a hunter and a rogue. We died a few times trying to get Balagaras without pulling many adds. But we were successful in the end, and my Priest is up to level 30.
  • Rogue - finished off a couple more quests in Stranglethorn Vale. The run from either Booty Bay or Darkshire is so long that it makes me avoid the Rogue.
Final Fantasy XIV

I dropped into FFXIV just to see what was going on. My guild, never active at the best of times, seems pretty dead. Oh well, I guess I'm contributing to that as well. 

I did some Beast Tribe quests, a leveling dungeon as a Dancer, and a couple of FATES.

The Old Republic

Dropped into this one to see what happening as well. I did the Onderon Weekly on my Jedi Sentinel and surprisingly hit Legend reputation with the Onderon faction. I had no idea I was that close, or that I had done Onderon that much with the Sentinel.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ny'alotha Achievements, Part III

We finished all the Ny'alotha raid achivements and got the mount! Sadly, I don't have a picture, but it's one of those worms which fly through the sky. We actually attempted both of these achievements on a previous raid night, but failed to do them correctly.

Carapace of N'Zoth

This time around we made everyone take off essences and corruptions which do automatic damage. We also were more specific about assigning people to blobs on the side. We also settled on a system where DPS got them down to 30%, then a tank took them down to 10%. Then we all used the cloak, got back to full sanity, got into position, and burst them down after the shield buff expired.

The first time through we took too long in P2. We had a couple people go insane, then we had to kill them and res them. We did kill all the blobs in 10s, but the boss actually enraged and wiped us in P3. We then had a couple of tries where we flubbed it and had to wipe.

The fourth try was the charm, and we killed the blobs after the first cloak in P2, then finished off the boss.


This time around we didn't do anything special in the first two phases. We did the fight like normal, and went into P3 with high sanity for everyone in the group. Then we got the boss down to 15% and everyone's sanity below 50%. Everyone stepped out of the Harvester's circle, and we all went insane at the same time and then killed the boss.

I imagine we'll do these achievements a few more times in the next couple of weeks. A few of the raiders missed some of the bosses, so hopefully we'll be able to get them their mount as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Gaming Log - June 22

World of Warcraft Classic

I managed to find an group going to Shadowfang Keep on my paladin. I even got to DPS instead of tanking or healing. The run went fairly smoothly with the exception of two parts. There was one point where we seemed to get a large number of worgen at once, like we pulled extra packs somehow. We wiped twice there until we managed to pull just one group by itself. The other difficult part was the end boss, Archmage Arugal and his crazy shadowbolts. We wiped there a couple of times.

But we got through, and I got my [Verigan's Fist]! The paladin is up to level 24.

I also did some Loch Modan quests on priest, which is up to 29. Finally, I finished a few quests in Stranglethorn Vale on my rogue, which is level 35. For Alliance, the run just to get to the questing areas in STV is so long. I really miss the flight point at the rebel camp in Retail. I also really need new weapons on the rogue. I think I'm using a level 20 sword and a level 13 dagger.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Ny'alotha Achievements, Part II

A couple more raid nights, more achievements down.


This one is pretty easy. Near the entrance to each of the three wings there's a friendly critter that you can pick up. You'll have to clear a little of the trash to find them. Three people pick up the critter. Then when you start the fight with Hivemend, the critters will appear and 'evolve'. Kill the evolved critters, kill the boss, done.


There are two obelisks on the sides of the room. The black projectile that a single person soaks bounces in the direction that you face. You have to bounce the projection on top of the obelisk to destroy it. The achievement is to break both obelisks, which you can do in two black phases.

The big danger here is that everyone goes to help with the achievement mechanic, and forgets about the other mechanics. On our first try we had several people die because no one was near the boss to soak the other mechanic which requires you to split damage.


Here everyone needs to pet the dog. You need to pet him one at a time, so we just had one person call someone every few seconds. Here's a simple macro for healers (who may not be targeting the boss):

/tar Shad

Pretty easy, about the only issue is that you might kill him too fast for everyone to pet him. There's always someone who doesn't hear their name and you have to call them again, which slows everything down. Also, try to do all the petting in the first two phases. Extending the last phase is a pain.


Here you need to get two tantrum phases within 60 seconds. Drest'agar does a tantrum at 100 energy. Each tentacle you kill gives him 20 energy. Kill 4 tentacles, wait for a second set of tentacles to spawn so that there are at least 6 active. Then burn down all the tentacles. Pretty easy.


This one was a little difficult. You need to kill 10 bloods within 3 seconds. What we did was during the first intermission phase we just let all the bloods come out. People being targeted just ran in circles around the center. We had to wait until 15 bloods were released, before everyone ran into the center and unleashed AoE. Healers popped their big cooldowns to survive. We had all the DPS use the AoE laser Azerite essence.

We ended up waiting for 15 bloods because you have wait for them to actually reach the center. So with 15 out, we had 12 dragged to the center. We still lost half the DPS in the resulting explosion, but the remaining raid was enough to finish the fight on Normal.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Gaming Log - June 19

World of Warcraft

Not a lot happened here. Mostly emissaries and N'Zoth invasions on the paladin.

I also bought 6x Ineffable Truth I corruptions. The sad part is that it reduces the cooldowns of my abilities, but does not reduced the cooldown of trinkets. I had a trinket which perfectly lined up with Avenging Wrath, but no longer does. I ended up swapping it out for a different trinket with an equip proc.

World of Warcraft Classic

Been playing my paladin in Classic. I've been working on the Verigan's Fist questline. I did Deadmines again, found a group for the ogres in Loch Modan, and managed to solo a couple of the elite Naga outside Blackfathom Deeps. Luckily, the second Naga dropped the Kor Gem. Now all I have to do is Shadowfang Keep. Not sure how difficult it will be to find a group for it, though.

Vikings - Wolves of Midgard

I attacked the Imperium Romana's northernmost holdings, but they hunkered down in their impenetrable fortress, Castrum Ignis. I had to bargain with the troll-witch Grindill (mother of my skald, you may recall). In return for the hero Sigurd's ring, she would provide me a path into Castrum Ignis.

So I raided Sigurd's barrow, killed his shade (and a lot of other undead), and took his ring. The troll-witch kept her side of the bargain and showed me a portal from Utgard that led to the mines below Castrum Ignis. I took the portal, sacked Castrum Ignis and killed their leader, the Bishop of the Sea, thus ending the Imperium Romana's northern ambitions.

Now I have to try and forge that alliance with the giantess Simul again.

This game is just great when you recount what happens in the story. They throw in all the twists and turns of a Norse saga. And really, it's just an ARPG where you go and kill everything on the map. But they have the presentation done quite nicely.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ny'alotha Achievements, Part I

My guild has decided to go after the Ny'alotha raid achievements over the next few weeks. We did the first five yesterday. We had about 12 raiders in the group (2 tanks, 2 healers, 8 dps) and we did it on Normal.

An invaluable tool for this is the Instance Achievement Tracker addon.  I strongly recommend this addon if you are trying for achievements.

Here are some thoughts on the achievements we did:


Every single person in the raid already had the achievement to destroy 10 spikes in 3 seconds. Judging by the dates of the achievements, we actually meet the requirements are every week in the regular raid.


This was fairly easy. Just clear the trash before the boss. Have a tank run out and get the Disciple and drag it to the boss. Make sure everyone is in the raid is inside, pull the boss, and wait for the Disciple to split into 3 before attacking it.


We had our second tank hold an add in one of pools until the stoneskin phase. Then the tank got an orb to hit the add, we killed the add, and then finished attacking the boss. 

This one took us two tries. The first time, the orb accidentally hit the tank instead, and the add did some sort of self-sacrifice move before we could get it to hit a second orb.


This one was the hardest of the ones we did. You have to knock the ball into the goal in the last 3 seconds before the debuff expires, and do this 3 times in one fight. We had two people bounce the ball back and forth in front of the goal, and then they or the third person knocked it in at the 4-5 second mark.

The biggest problem here is that there is no feedback if you are successful or not. Blizzard should have had a chat line on a success or maybe have the fireworks that go off if you score be a different colour.

The one saving grace is the enrage timer on Xanesh is really long. We ended up doing about 6 ball phases, just to make sure we got three successes. There was a whole bunch of "Did that go in on time? I think it did, but I'm not sure." After the second ball phase, we had to stop dps entirely. The tank did get one-shot at some point, but I think we could have avoided that with better tank swaps.


Everyone in the raid needs to get hit with 30 stacks of the beam debuff. A lot of the guides emphasize stacking and using raid cooldowns. I think it's easier to just take your time, and hit everyone with a few stacks every beam, while doing other mechanics properly and avoiding death. 

IAT is a lifesaver here, as it notifies you when people reach the limit and who still needs stacks.

The plan is to do a few more achievements tomorrow and finish up over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Decisions in Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

Every so often in Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, the game presents you with a couple of dialogue options. For some reason, I thought these were just for flavor. But it turns out they actually change the story slightly!

For example, the crone Vala was urging my character to forge an alliance with the giant Simul, the enemy of my enemy. There was an option to say "Alliance? Doesn't she have any treasure?" I took the option on a whim. Then the next map turned out to be attacking Simul and stealing her ring Draupnir.

Once I stole the ring, Vala asked that I give it to her, so that she could return Draupnir to Odin. I chose the "No, I stole it. It is mine!" option. Vala informed me that I had succumbed to curse of the ring. The game then announced that I would get an extra 3000 gold per map, but could not sacrifice to Odin to level up anymore. This would last until I gave up the ring to my soothsayer.

The next quest text, narrated by Vala, then talked about how the "rapacious greed of the Ulfung she-wolf might doom us all." I was greatly amused!

I don't think the story greatly changes, I think we're still on track for an alliance of necessity with Simul. But I really like how the developers have woven a little bit of choice into the game.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Novel RPG Resolution Mechanic

I came across a homebrewed tabletop RPG based on Magic: the Gathering. In particular, it has a really neat resolution mechanic.

As background, there are five colours in Magic: White, Blue, Black, Red, Green. Each represents parts of the world. For example, among other elements, White is order, Blue is knowledge, Black is death, Red is raw emotion, and Green is nature. If you arrange the colours in a circle, adjacent colours are considered allies, and opposite colors are enemies. For example, White is allied with Blue and Green, and is enemies with Red and Black.

This RPG uses a Fate deck composed of 2 land cards of each colour, and 1 Wastes (colorless). If you attempt something difficult, the Game Master first chooses the color your challenge belongs to. You then draw a card from the Fate deck. If it matches the color of the challenge, it's a success. If it matches an allied color, it's a partial success. If the character you are playing belongs to the same color, you get an extra draw and you take the best result.

For example, if your character is attempting to research something, that's Blue. Drawing a Blue land is success. Drawing White or Black is a partial success. Red, Green, or the Wastes is a failure. If your character is Blue, you get two draws, making it likely you'll get a partial success at least.

This is a very clever mechanic. It matches Magic: the Gathering intuitively, especially the color wheel which all players know well. As well, it's an 18% change of full success, and 36% chance of partial success. I find the clean use of partial successes particularly interesting, because partial success often lead the players to solve additional problems and makes the story more memorable.

Of course, this mechanic isn't really suitable to a numbers-heavy type of game. It looks to be more appropriate for a lighter, story-telling game.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Heirloom Changes

Yesterday, it was announced that heirlooms in Shadowlands won't provide XP bonuses.

I think this is a great change. I am not a fan of heirlooms. One of the elements of leveling that I really enjoy is upgrading gear and watching your character's visuals change. But the XP bonus made heirlooms too advantageous.

This way, the people who don't want to upgrade gear can use heirlooms, while others can avoid them. Or maybe only use them for trinkets or weapons, if that's important enough.

I hope Blizzard does not add any other bonuses, and just makes them very optional.

Blizzard should also take the opportunity to simplify the heirloom system. Right now there's a complex series of upgrades with different prices and different sources in order to increase the maximum level of the heirloom item. It would be best if the concept of upgrading heirlooms was just removed entirely. All heirlooms simply scale to the max level before the expansion. When a new expansion is released, all heirlooms have their caps increased simultaneously.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Stealthed Enemies

In the last post I complained about a Classic quest where you have to kill some monsters who are in stealth.

The thing that makes these quests particularly annoying in Classic is that you can't even be sure that you are in the right area. If you can't find any mobs, it might be because:
  • You are in the wrong area. Classic directions are often somewhat vague.
  • You might not get close enough to the mob to detect it. This is especially true if you are under-leveled.
  • Someone else may have come through just before you and killed the mobs, so you're waiting for them to respawn, but you don't know that.
In retail, the minimap displays the area where you can find the mobs. So at the very least, you know where to search.

In Classic, there's just too little information, and that makes the whole thing a frustrating exercise. These sort of quests really need something to offset that loss of information. For example, a tracker that told you if you were hot or cold.

Or possibly if the geography was constrained to make finding the mobs easier. For example, stealthed mobs in an underground mine or complex. Here you can traverse the corridors, and be reasonably certain that you've found or not found any mobs in the paths that you've already taken.

But stealthed mobs out in the Classic open world are just overly frustrating.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Gaming Log - July 7

World of Warcraft

I did the first part of Heroic Nya'lotha with my Paladin. Also did a couple of Emissaries. Nothing really new happened.

I would like to finish up BfA Archeology, though. Perhaps I'll dedicate some play time to that goal.

World of Warcraft Classic

I've been doing quests in Wetlands with my Priest. This Fen Creeper quest is terribly annoying. I've been wandering up and down the waterways trying to catch a glimpse of these stealthed mobs. Actually, stealth mobs in Vanilla are really terrible quests.


I've been writing these Gaming Logs for about a month. I'm not sure what to think about them. On the one hand, I actually wrote more posts last month than I have in a couple years. On the other hand, I'm not sure if these posts are actually interesting or worthwhile.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Gaming Log - July 5

World of Warcraft

Did Heroic Nya'lotha on my Paladin again. We did Mythic Jaina afterwards. One of mounts went to a hunter in our guild. Oddly, of the five Mythic Jaina mounts our guild has, four of them have been won by hunters. Now we do have a lot of hunters--3 of 12 in the raid were hunters--but we also have a lot of mages--3 of 12 were mages--and none of them have won it. Makes me want to roll a hunter.

We also got a new tank who joined the guild/raid, but I don't think he's going to last. He's a good guy and a good tank, but he didn't realize the server/guild was PST. Unfortunately he's on the East Coast, so I think the raid times are just not going to match, and he's going to have to move on. 

My advice when looking for a guild is to determine what times you want to play, and make sure the prospective guild matches. It should be your first consideration, before anything else. There's not much point in being in a guild if you can't play with other guild members.

World of Warcraft Classic

In the constant rotation of Classic characters, I've been focusing on my Warlock lately. On this one, I made an effort to go to Loch Modan early. Bouncing between the Human and Dwarf zones has made questing a lot easier.

Warlock is an interesting class in Classic. Between Life Tap, DoTs, Demons, and Drains, it's a little more intricate than most of the others at low level. It's a real pity it devolves into Shadowbolt spam at max level.

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

I did a second map fighting the Roman Imperium, this time killing a Bishop with a funny hat. The game made a big deal about the hat. Now my character is off to Utgard, to forge an Alliance with a rival Frost Giant. Or possibly to kill her and steal her treasure, the ring Draupnir. To be fair, the Frost Giant stole Draupnir from Odin first.

In any case, I loaded in the new zone at level 10, and the enemies were level 13 and higher. I'm reaching the point where gear and talents makes up for level, but I decided to do a side map to gain another level first.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

My installation is doing something weird, where the game believes that it is not installed and you can only play on the starter planets with a new character. I looked online, and the fix is to disable the Bitraider streaming client, and basically download and reinstall the game again. I'll probably end up doing that, but maybe Bioware will issue a fix this week.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Swoop Racing

The Old Republic's latest patch introduced Swoop Racing! There are courses set up on Dantooine, Onderon, and Tatooine. It's pretty neat.

There are three team, each focused on a different aspect. One likes explosions, one likes flair and jumps, and one is about speed. Though they all use the same course, it changes slightly for each team.

Basically you're on a vehicle that is always moving faster. You can slow down or speed up a bit, but it isn't very hard to maneuver. Bioware made good use of SWTOR's optional mission directives. The base mission just requires you to complete the course and do a few of the team's specials. A timed run is optional.

You also aren't racing against anyone, but everyone else is all on the same track and going in the same direction. So it feels active and a bit like an actual race.

Apparently Bioware has tied some story to the faction reputation, and it is supposed to advance as you gain reputation. I think this is the first time Bioware has done this, so we'll see how it works out. Reputation is shared between your characters, though there is a cap on how much can be earned each week. Bioware also puts the bulk of the reward into weekly quests, further reducing the grind.

All in all, I found it pretty fun. It's a nice change of pace.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Gaming Log - June 29

World of Warcraft

I did some Emissaries on my Paladin. I also did a few digsites for archaeology. I do want to max it out before Shadowlands.

I also did the Nazjatar introductory quests on my Mage. I really like the way the base Fire mage plays.

World of Warcraft Classic

I decided to play my Warlock for a bit. I trekked to Loch Modan and started doing quests there. Eventually I came back to Westfall. My Warlock got to level 17.

I think I'm going to give up on dungeons in Classic. Now everyone is selling boosts, and the whole scene is weird, in addition to being difficult to find groups. Maybe I'll see how far I get with just questing.

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

The Roman Imperium showed up! These Romans appear to be from after the conversion to Christianity, though they also worship the Vanir as well. Or possibly the Vanir substitute for Christianity in this mythology. In any case, they have catapults and paladins in addition to legionnaires.

So far, the Romans appear to be side enemies, and not directly involved in the main quest with the Jotun. But I've only done one mission with them so far, and maybe they will play a greater role.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Gaming Log - June 26

This post contains minor spoilers for the early part of Vikings: Wolves of Midgard.

World of Warcraft

I finished the Broken Shore questline on my Priest, and got the class mount. The Priest mount, the Seeker, is a bit weird looking. It's like a gryphon, but with an owl's head instead.

[Edit: Not really sure what went wrong with the picture here. I've removed it for now.]

I think I'm going to shelve the Priest for now. I'm not really enjoying healing with it for some reason.

On my Paladin, we finished Heroic Nya'lotha like normal. We did Mythic Jaina again. This time it only took us two tries, and two guildies won the mount.

Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

This game is pretty fun. So far, my character, jarl of the Ulfung tribe, has subjugated two neighboring tribes, which pay tribute in gold and iron. She's discovered that her skald is really the daughter of a troll witch and a human runeseeker, and accidentally killed the skald's brother, a full troll. (To be fair, he attacked first.) And finally she led a raid on a Jotun fortress in retaliation for the Jotun's razing of her village. And she's only level 8.

The names the NPCs use for your character are also greatly amusing. Other games go with "hero", "champion", or "Outlander". This game uses "she-wolf". At least the friendly NPCs do. Enemies are more likely to call her "Ulfung bitch".

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

First Impressions of Vikings: Wolves of Midgard

On a whim I picked up Vikings: Wolves of Midgard from Steam. It's an ARPG like Diablo where you play a Viking. It's set in a Norse mythology setting with Frost Giants trying to bring about Ragnarok.

It's not a AAA game, but it's pretty decent. The developers put a lot of effort into the Norse setting and themed the mechanics of the game to match.

There are no classes, but weapon-styles are tied to the Norse gods. For example, 2H is Thor, 1H+Shield is Tyr, Dual-Wield is Loki, etc. As you kill things you gain Blood (basically XP). Once you have enough Blood, you can sacrifice at an altar, level up and gain Gift points. Each God has a skill tree where you spend your Gift points for abilities and bonuses. The important part here is that each tree is only active while you wield a weapon of the matching type. You have two weapon sets, and can switch sets with X. For now, I'm just putting all my points in Tyr's tree, 1H + Shield.

There are 3 resource types: Gold, Iron, and Wood. You collect resources to upgrade your village. One interesting thing is that each map has 3 secondary objects (kill X goblins, break 10 flags, etc) that reward a large amount of materials and encourage you to explore the map.

For gear, you can wear all armor types, but different type have different properties. Cloth gear has less armor, but faster cooldowns. For healing you have a totem (which is an item like the others), which acts like a potion. It has three charges, but can be refilled at cauldrons on the map. There's also a dedicated 'relic' item which has a special effect, but only a few charges and a minute cooldown. For example, my current relic freezes enemies and deals damage, and started with 9 charges.

Another mechanic is that in the wilderness maps, you are exposed to the cold and can only survive for so long before you freeze to death. This is shown as an icy-blue bar under your health. You can warm up at campfires across the map. The locations of the fires are shown. As you get colder, your character starts commenting on the cold and screen takes on a frosty tint. So the map plays in an interesting fashion where you move from campfire to campfire, and you have to judge if you will make it to the next fire in time, or if you should go back to the previous fire.

The best thing about the game is that it leans heavily into the Viking mythos. For example, in the first main quest you rescue a shipwright. He builds you a longship, and you promptly set out to raid a neighboring village. No reason other than the fact that it is there. Your character even yells out, "Time to bathe in the blood of fisherfolk!"

I was quite taken aback at that. It is certainly very Viking.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Mythic Jaina

Apparently there was a quasi-exploit Horde-side where you could skip to the end of Mythic Daz'alor and only fight Jaina Proudmoore. Surprisingly, instead of removing the skip, Blizzard added an NPC for both sides that takes you directly to Jaina. This is unlocked if one character in the raid has beaten Mythic Jaina previously. This has become the newest activity in organized raiding, farming Mythic Jaina for the Mythic-only mounts.

Jaina drops two mounts for the raid, distributed via Personal Loot to people who don't have the mount yet.

The factor that makes this really viable is that there is a "cheese" strategy where you only have to do Phase 1 on the boat. You then run to Jaina, and do not interrupt her cast. Instead you just dps as hard as you can and you kill her before the cast ends. Now, at the end of expansion, a geared raid can do enough damage to make this viable.

The hard part, though, is having everyone in the raid avoid interrupting. Somewhat ironic, given all the trouble it takes to get people to interrupt when necessary.

Our guild decided to try this out after our alt raid. We only had about 10 guild members online, so we had to PuG 10 others through Party Finder. Our first couple of attempts went somewhat badly, as we had to learn Phase 1.

Then we got through to the second phase. But halfway through a PuG hunter accidently fired Countershot, interrupting Jaina's cast and putting us into the next phase where she promptly wiped us. Everyone was very unhappy. Our raid lead started insisting that people remove their interrupts from their bars, to eliminate even the possibility of interrupts.

The next attempts went pretty badly, wiping on the boat, and half the PuGs left. We replaced the PuGs and tried again. This time everything went cleanly and we got to Jaina. Everything was going smoothly, until one of the new people accidentally interrupted the cast!

After more insisting on removing the abilities on the bars, we tried again. This time was a great attempt, everyone got to Jaina alive, and we just grouped up and cleaved down people who got frozen. We beat the timer, defeating Jaina on that attempt!

Two of the PuGs got the mount.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Gaming Log - June 21

World of Warcraft

Been playing my Paladin mostly. Not doing anything special, just invasions and emissaries.

World of Warcraft Classic

I took my Rogue to Stranglethorn Vale and started working on the quests there. Mostly the Kurzen and early Nessingwary quests.


I booted up Control for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'm at the last boss of the Foundation DLC, but I'm a little stuck. The problem, of course, is that I'm out of practice now, so I die even quicker than normal. I lasted about four attempts before I gave up.

This boss is also a little different in that the boss fight is in an open room without a lot of hiding spots. Normally Control (or at least how I play) involves a lot of ducking behind walls to avoid attacks. This fight, I think is going be more about using Levitate and Shield to avoid damage.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Gaming Log - June 17

World of Warcraft Classic

I played a fair bit with the Shaman. I grouped with someone to do the troll quests on Echo Island, then finished a lot of the remaining Durotar quests.

I also did the Shaman Fire Totem quests. It took me forever to find the main NPC, because I was looking up and down the main road from Crossroads to Ashenvale. I really enjoy class quests, even simple ones like this one.

In the end the Shaman got to level 11.

World of Warcraft

I decided to play my Paladin today, doing the Pandaria invasion. I realised that I enjoy playing the Paladin much more than the Priest. Maybe it's long familiarity, but it just "flows" better than the priest. I think I don't really care for dropping in and out of Void Form. I'll probably leave the priest on the backburner for now.

As well, it turned out that the Holy Paladin Best-in-Slot Corruption, Ineffable Truth I, was up for sale. I picked up 2 of those. Unfortunately, I haven't been playing the Paladin very much since Echos were introduced, so I couldn't afford more.

Surprisingly, I'm still at negative corruption on the Paladin. I haven't had a lot of luck with corruption drops.