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.