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Tuesday Downtime Update

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by Mark Pannell

So, I’ve barely been writing lately. Real life has a tendency of doing that. I’ve had ideas for posts running through my mind for the last couple weeks, but every time I sit down to write, something else takes precedence. I quickly realized that this bad boy ran the risk of disappearing into obscurity. Not gonna happen, people!

When the servers finally come back up sometime this month, Patch 3.0.8 will be live. My first official act as a 3.0.8 World of Warcrafter will be to buy Devv’s Mechanostriders, eeking closer to the Leading the Calvary achievement. That will take all of five minutes. Then, she’ll be nestled cozily in Ironforge yet again as her big brother Predatore continues his journey to 80. I’m not sure when the paradigm shift occurred, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love with playing a Death Knight.

Poor old Devv is still 72 as Predatore inches closer to endgame, sitting at 78 as of this writing. The levels really started dinging once all of my toons were successfully transferred to Garrosh. P.S. – all of the links on the Armory page are now updated to reflect my new realm. Anyhow, now that I’m on a lower population server, I’m able to accomplish a lot more in a couple hours than I used to. On Silvermoon, I could usually expect an hour+ queue time only to be thrown into a mosh pit of mob ninjas, hoping to miraculously tap one or six to complete a couple quests before calling it a night. Ahh, serenity.

Making the jump to Garrosh was a lot smoother in the company of friends. Although I never officially joined Creative Anarchy, I know a lot of the guys in real life. So when Darkasm, Horgath, and Lotusdark announced that they were making the jump, I knew the time was right. Initially named The D Bags, our newly-created guild apparently received a complaint about the name very early in our existence. So, we are currently without a name as we wait on Blizzard to approve one of five names that we had to submit to them for their approval. Yeah.

I went through a brief period when I really wasn’t enjoying the game anymore. But now that I’m in the company of talented players around the same level as my main, it’s getting fun again. Despite the fact that Predatore is sitting on 80’s doorstep, I’m sure it will be Devv who sees the most endgame content eventually. Last night, Deathfright and Devv ran Torgath through Hellfire Ramparts and Blood Furnace. Believe it or not, I actually died once. Anyhow, it was exhilarating to be back in an instance with the old girl, even if it was little more than a footrace. What surprised me is how quickly I forgot how to play my class. When my spells grayed out, it took me a moment to realize that I was out of mana. Mana?!? What’s that?

Another thing that’s adding enjoyment to the game for me is leveling professions. I always enjoyed it on my way to 70 and this time is no different. Predatore quickly leveled Herbalism to 450 and Inscription isn’t far behind at 443. Whenever he picks up Frostweave, it’s promptly mailed to Devv. Her Tailoring is only at 393 with Mining just beyond that at 401. But that’s not too bad considering she still hasn’t left the Northrend starting zones. I’m getting kinda pumped to make 20-slot bags and Flying Carpets, so I’ll probably head out and grind some humanoids with her before too long. Professions have always added another dimension to the game for me. Some people see it as a grind. For me, it adds more value for my money.

That’s all for now, kiddos. I’ll be back again soon. I promise. Well, sooner than last time. Maybe next time around, I’ll have a guild name to share. I have a feeling Blizzard will shoot down “First Name Banned” and “Offensive Guild Name,” deferring to one of our three less controversial offerings. We’ll see.

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How to Level to 80 Quickly in World of Warcraft

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Don’t do what I’m doing. Seriously. OK, I’ll admit it. The title was a cheap trick to see how much search engine traffic I could grab from people too lazy to download QuestHelper or Carbonite, which is technically lazy to begin with. By now, I’m sure most of those poor misled individuals have stopped reading, so back to my small group of dedicated readers.

Devv is only halfway through level 71. Predatore is still stuck at 58. And Arpeggio is up to level 10 now. Wait. Who? Yeah. I know. Of all the things I could have done to make best use of the forty bucks I dropped on Wrath, I’m leveling a new alt; a Dwarf Hunter, to be exact. Arpeggio has been stuck at level 5 ever since Kaddisfly prompted me to create a Hunter to level. I knocked out the quick quests to get from level 1 to 5, then let him sit in Coldridge Valley for several weeks.

The Hunter class is at its most boring from levels 5 to 10. Up to level 5, you almost level just from walking into a new zone. After level 10, you have a pet to keep you company and to do most of the grunt work for you. But the grind from 5 to 10 is unbearably slow and boring. For starters, you’re knee-deep in melee combat. Beyond level 10, a Hunter should never be getting involved in melee combat unless they’re getting themselves out of a bad situation. Oh sure, you can open with a Viper Sting, throw in an Arcane Shot and try to kite Auto-Shot until the mob drops. But the sad reality is that at some point, you’ll be face-to-face with any mob that’s within a level or two of your own. Even Raptor Strike seems to be more about Blizzard showcasing a cool little animation than the damage it actually deals. It’s not until you acquire Concussive Shot that you can finish an entire one-on-one fight ranged. But the key words here are “one-on-one” If you get adds, you’re still playing Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with the cuddly critters and humanoids of *Insert Starting Zone Name Here*.

But I digress. Actually, this entire blog is a digression. Never mind the man behind the curtain. The point to be made here is that I’m really not getting my money’s worth out of the expansion. If I spent a lot of time with Devv out in Northrend, my investment would be justified. Death Knights can’t be created without purchasing the add-on. Leveling Predatore would make sense. What am I doing? Leveling a character who I could be playing even if I didn’t own Burning Crusade. That makes sense. So what started this whole mess? I decided that I was… wait! It seems like I should start a new paragraph.

Cool. I decided that I wanted to level Ellyza so I could get her Enchanting up to the point where I could disenchant the drops that Devv was picking up right before Northrend. Enchantress (bank alt #2) is sitting on full bank tab and two 16-slot bags full of goodies that require Enchanting level 275 to DE. When I logged into the old girl, she had 11 talent points free and a clean slate. I decided to ditch my Disc leveling idea and throw all of the points into Shadow. I took her out to Redridge Mountains to finish up the quests that she still had open before sending her off to Auberdine. It took me all of about five minutes for me to realize that leveling a Priest sucks. Sure, they can melt faces later on in life. And if you manage your health and mana accordingly, you can survive long fights. But at level 20, Priests just seem like underpowered Mages with the ability to Rez and Heal. I really hope I didn’t offend any Priests out there. It’s not that the class sucks. It’s that I suck at playing the class. I think I’m gonna need some advice from Pugnacious Priest on this one.

So, back to Arpeggio. I quickly got frustrated with Ellyza, had no interest in enduring low framerates in Northrend, and wanted nothing to do with jockeying for position for my turn to kill mobs in Eastern Plaguelands. So I logged out to the character select screen and noticed my old pal Arpeggio chillin’ at cinco. It took me just shy of two hours to get to level 10. After the pet taming questline, I decided to pick my first pet. I made the conscious decision to pick a pet that appealed to me personally. At the highest levels, pet selection can make a massive difference. In PvP, your pet can make or break you. But as a “just for fun” leveling alt, I decided to bypass the Petopia research and just go with something fun. With that in mind, I tamed a wolf just north of Kharanos. Sticking with the musical theme, I named him Allegro. OK, OK. Here’s the story. Shot rotation is half the fun of being a Hunter. The distinction between the different flavors of shots is much like an arpeggiated chord. Allegro, on the other hand, likes to go rushing in to whup some ace.

When I went to bed last night, Arpeggio and Allegro were nestled snugly in their beds in Ironforge. The former learned a little Mining and Engineering before calling it a night. His pet made it clear that he is notgonna eat bread before getting some shuteye himself. So, yet another distraction enters the fold. If I can stay focused enough to actually level Arpeggio beyond 20, I’m sure I’ll become even more addicted to reading Pike‘s thoughts than I already am. Even if you’re not a Hunter, her blog is one of the better ones out there. Do yourself a favor and check it out. As for me, I’ll get the Armory listings for Arpeggio and Predatore added when I get home later tonight. If anybody on my roster makes it to 80, it’s gonna be a frickin’ miracle!