Tobold's Blog
Monday, November 19, 2007
WoW Journal - 19-November-2007

I finished the Ghostlands with my blood elf mage, and I'm level 22 now. While wondering where to go next, and finding that I knew all the available locations far too well, I felt my motivation slipping away. So I ended up not doing much more with my mage this weekend. I only walked to Light Hope Chapel in the Plaguelands, dying several times, to get the flight point. Since they added another flight point at Zul'Aman you can now fly from Undercity to Silvermoon if you have the LHC flight point. Then I went by zeppelin to Orgrimmar, ran to take the flight points in the Crossroads, Camp Taurajo, and Thunder Bluff, to finally log off at the inn in Crossroads. I still plan to play the mage, but preferably with accumulated rest xp. I won't see any new quests before level 35 (the new Dustwallow Marsh), so I have to play reruns for the next 13 levels.

So I played my level 70 characters some more. I log on my priest every morning for the egg bombing daily quest. And my priest is also the one I would take on the harder type of guild events, as he is better equipped and useful as a healer. I tried to get into a Gruul raid, but we were 26 players, and I volunteered to not go. After all, the others earned their place in the Gruul raid by having gone to Karazhan with the guild, and I just recently rejoined and have never been to Karazhan with them. So I certainly don't want to impose myself, I'll see Gruul another day. I'd love to go to Karazhan once in a while, but I don't want to sign up as a regular raider and end up feeling obligated to raid several nights a week. Understandably regular raiders get preferred slots in the raids, so I'm somewhat out of the raid circuit. I still think the game would be better if it had a pre-Kara "casual raid" instance, where a guild could go for more spontaneous fun raids without worrying too much about class mix and gear. But the way things are, the preference for regular raiders is built into the game, it is not a matter of choice for raid leaders.

The character I ended up playing the most this weekend was my level 70 warrior. He didn't do much yet after reaching level 70, so I have bad gear, barely any reputation, and only few dungeons ever visited with him. Ideal for playing him some more. Saturday some guild mates were looking for a tank to start the Ogri'la quest series, and I was happy to join. The series starts with a fat ogre named Grok sitting in the lower city of Shattrath, who sends you to another ogre near the Circle of Blood in Blade's Edge. He gives you three quests to kill three gronn, the cyclops-like giants. Two of them are in Blade's Edge, one static, one wandering, the third is in the Barrier Hills near Shattrath. You need a decent group of level 70s to beat them, especially the Barrier Hills gronn is nasty. After that your group has to do two events, one to find a grimoire, the other to summon and defeat a final gronn. In every of these quests the quest item spawns behind the dead gronn, and everyone in the group can pick one copy up. The quest series is very profitable, giving around 100 gold altogether, and opening up the possibility to speak with the ogres of Ogri'la and the skyguard rangers next to them for a bunch of new daily quests.

Up to now I really like the daily quests. My warrior is now doing at least 5 of them every day: The Skettis egg bombing run, the daily cooking quest, the Ogri'la "Simon says", the aether ray capture, and the demon bombing run. The two bombing runs are easy for him, because he has the epic flying mount (my priest doesn't). The Skettis bombing is trivial, except that you shouldn't do it at prime time where everyone is trying it and eggs are hard to find. The demon bombing run is much harder, but I found that if I keep moving while throwing the bombs I can often hit the cannon ball stacks without that the flak is hitting me. The flaks are nasty, as they throw you off your mount, but I don't mind the challenge, it makes the run more interesting. Wrangling the aether rays also is more a problem of finding them. As protection warrior I have no problems of getting them down to 20% life to capture them, without needing to fear actually killing them. The "Simon says" game is a bit annoying, but I installed an addon named Ogri'lazy, which helps you note down the sequence, so you can replay it. But my favorite daily quest is the cooking one, because it isn't the same every day. I already had one day collecting mana berries in Netherstorm, another cooking soul soup in Nagrand. And the reward is also random, besides the gold you get a crate of meat or barrel of fish, which might or might not contain one of several unique cooking recipes. Very, very nice.

Besides the daily quests my warrior also went to Mechanar once, non-heroic. I don't feel ready for the heroic dungeons yet. If the opportunity presents itself I'd love to do the daily quest for the non-heroic dungeon of the day, but up to now the groups that were forming in guild chat were for other places or not looking for a tank. Maybe I'll try to organize a pickup group, if you organize them yourself you can at least make sure the class balance is right. I was in a nice pickup group for Shadow Labyrinth, but we only got to the first boss before Blizzard decided to restart the server.

I ended the weekend helping two guild mates doing Jinta'Alor in the Hinterlands. They asked me for help because that place used to be elite, and impossible to do with just 2 people of the level. But it turned out that the patch had turned all the trolls there into non-elite. I stayed anyway, so it went fast. As an added bonus I got quite a good amount of mageweave cloth there, for my mage's tailoring. And I finally found the Hinterlands robot chicken distress beacon, having done the Feralas and Tanaris one years ago. So I escorted the chicken to safety, flew to Booty Bay, and was rewarded with my very own robot chicken non-combat pet. :)
"Since they added another flight point at Zul'Aman you can now fly from Undercity to Silvermoon if you have the LHC flight point."

You are aware that there is a teleporter from Undercity to Silvermoon and back, right? No need to fly.
Of course I know, I've even mentioned using it in my journal last week. Nevertheless the flight path might come in handy if for example you want to go from Silvermoon to LHC, or from Ghostlands directly to Undercity. Previously the Silvermoon - Ghostlands flight path was unconnected to the rest of the flight path network.
To help inspire you with your mage, I decided to revisit an alt in her 20's, and once I got out of ghostlands, questng and leveling is indeed much faster. So you don't have to long of a wait to get the dustwallow stuff.
"I still think the game would be better if it had a pre-Kara "casual raid" instance, where a guild could go for more spontaneous fun raids without worrying too much about class mix and gear."

Today Kara is such a raid IMHO. When it was new, guilds struggled with it. People learned the fights and how to deal with them even without the optimal mix. Yes, some fights require a priest (shackle undead) and in some fights (curator) a warlock is welcome, -but not really required. I've even been in a few PUG Kara raids. One of them was actually quite succesful.

Remember Scholomance and Stratholme were 10 mans before. Today 5 level 60 players can run these instances.

So I wonder, what would a "casual raid" instance be like then? What is so bad in Karazhan that it is too hardcore for the casual? The required classes? You'll need 2 tanks: Druid, Warrior, Paladin. - not too demanding for a 10 man raid. You'll need some healing to cater 10 man. Three healers in 10 man: Druid, Paladin, Priest, Shaman all work- not too odd either. One of them a priest, very doable. Mage, Warlock, Hunter,Shaman, Rogue all work as DPS.
So I'm very curious what that "casual raid instance" would look like.
I'll echo the last poster: Kara IS the casual raid instance on my server these days - every weekend there are PUGs forming if one hangs around the major cities.
Actually, patch 2.3 changed the amount of health you have to get the aether rays to, to 40%. So it's a bit faster now. When you get your Ogri'la rep to honored, another daily quest will open up to you, but it's a pain for holy priests and prot warriors. I (as a holy priest) only do it with a partner. But that particular quest also gives you items needed for another quest up there, a very long, complicated fight that entails too much to describe in here!
Btw, if you don't want to get the mod for the Simon Says game, simply open a chat window and type the sequence as it happens (I use the first letters: "bbgryy"). Then play out the sequence looking at your chat log.
I received the Delicious Chocolate Cake recipe as a cooking quest reward last night. The cake is a lie. There's no chocolate in it at all.
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