31 January 2011

Things you can do in: Vashj'ir

A Vashj'ir checklist of things that interest me and might interest you too!



Explore Vashj'ir - See the locations listed from the three different mini zones. This comment has a Tom Tom-friendly list of locations and coordinates. Contributes to the meta-achievements Explore Cataclysm and World Explorer.

From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee - Not sure why this is under exploration, but you kill the Whale Shark.

* The trick is to stay between 6-20 yards of the whale shark; any farther and it will evade, any closer and you get one-shot. There are some good strategies in the comments on Wowhead (mostly involving kiting while maintaining max threat on the kiter) and plenty of videos on youtube.


Sinking into Vashj'ir - the zone quest achievement. The text says 150 quests, but people are getting their completion anywhere between 135 and 150. Contributes to the meta-achievement Loremaster of Cataclysm.

Visions of Vashj'ir Past - do all three of the Battlemaiden quest chains. Quest summaries are here (wowhead comments) and here (wowpedia list).

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - complete all of the Neptulon related quests up to Defending the Rift. You should definitely get this on the way to completing the zone quest achievement.


[Heroic] Throne of the Tides - completed upon killing Ozumat. The heroic counts towards the metas Cataclysm Dungeon Hero and Defender of a Shattered World, and a guild group will earn credit for the Guild Cataclysm Dungeon Hero.

Old Faithful - During the Lady Naz'jar encounter, kill one of her minions using the geyser ability. This counts for the meta Glory of the Cataclysm Hero.

* There are 2 caster adds and 1 melee add. It's recommended to kill the melee and one caster, then DPS the other caster to 50% health. At that point, wait for a geyser to become available, and deathgrip/silence and kite the mob into the blue circle on the ground. Then, root, stun, or precariously tank it in the circle until the geyser erupts. A priest can Mind Control the add to walk it into the geyser as well. You will get the achievement upon the mob's death.

Prince of Tides - During the Ozumat encounter, kill an Unyielding Behemoth while having Tidal Surge. This counts for the meta Glory of the Cataclysm Hero.

* Only one add spawns throughout the fight, and the buff doesn't come until Phase 2, so you will need the tank to get aggro on the add and kite it while the DPS take care of the other adds. Look out for the conal Blight Spray! Then, once buffed, burn down the add before moving on to Ozumat.


To All the Squirrels Who Cared for Me - Rockchewer Whelk can be found in the Shimmering Expanse, Sea Cucumber can be found in either the Shimmering Expanse or Abyssal Depths.


The Earthen Ring - you can only get to 870 Friendly via quests (beginning at 0 Neutral and earning 3870 rep unbuffed). Provisioner Arok can be found at 49.1, 42.1 in Silver Tide Hollow in Shimmering Expanse.


There are no obtainable non-combat pets from this zone.


Abyssal Seahorse - acquired via the quest The Abyssal Ride, which you get in culmination of this quest chain. Although it can only be summoned in Vashj'ir, it counts towards the mount meta achievements.

* Be sure to dismiss any non-combat pets and disable any auto-summons for said pets, as the bait you put out for the seahorse is considered a pet.



You can catch a high percentage Murglesnout in Vashj'ir. There is also the chance of catching Algaefin Rockfish, Fathom Eel and Deepsea Sagefish in the "Unnamed" Shimmering Expanse. You can also loot Abyssal Clams from mobs in this zone, along with other fish. These will count towards the meta achievement The Oceanographer. There are no pools.

* My recommendation is to quest normally in the zone and loot your mobs. This should satisfy all of these fish. If not, they can all be fished elsewhere (namely Twilight Highlands and Uldum).


You can acquire the following fish/meat for their accompanying recipe to get credit towards The Cataclysmic Gourmet. The number in parentheses is the total amount you will need to cook one of each recipe.

Algaefin Rockfish (1) - Baked Rockfish,
Toughened Flesh (1) - Blackened Surprise
Deepsea Sagefish (2) - Delicious Sagefish Tail, Severed Sagefish Head
Blood Shrimp (from Abyssal Clams) (2) -  Hearty Seafood Soup, Whitecrest Gumbo
Fathom Eel (5) - Skewered Eel, (one component of) Seafood Magnifique
Monstrous Claw (1) - Seasoned Crab
Giant Turtle Tongue (1) - Tender Baked Turtle

28 January 2011

Reactions to resto druid healing

I'm being more aggressive about jumping into heroics what with the desire to get phat lewts and raid. I've respecced a million times (and imagine I will again when the talent changes go through) and my spec looks like so nowadays:

It was not as hard as I anticipated to relearn 3 stacks of Lifebloom, and I quickly got used to refreshing it with Nourish - I practice by trying to keep one stack on a tank for the entire dungeon. As you can imagine, it gets rather frustrating when people go AFK or do lengthy strat discussions :P

I even got used to the bonus triage of Clearcasting procs, with Healing Touch or Regrowth on hurting party members, or to refresh the tank's LB if nothing else. What I am still struggling with is Rejuvenation - it's all I have when on the run and in need of single target heals! When Efflorescence and Wild Growth are on cooldown I often find myself spamming it in addition to Nourish, but hopefully the coming talent change will make that less punitive. At least I no longer accidentally use LB and screw up my tank hots.

WG is useful now that I let myself use it when necessary. Efflorescence, on the other hand, remains a colossal disappointment. I hate using it on DPS and seeing them all kindly cluster in it, only to get some pathetic ticks that still require more attention from me. I want to like it, and I want to use it, but it's just so disappointing right now.

Cleansing is good and bad - I love having a magic cleanse but get annoyed when I waste it on a debuff that's already cleansed or fallen off. And especially in fights like Asaad it's a huge mana drain. The first time I see a debuff I let it tick and read the description to see if I can get away with healing through or ignoring it.

Tranquility I'm trying to remember more often - I always feel a little embarrassed when a boomkin pops it in a crisis situation and I remember I have it. Tree form, on the other hand, I remember I have but neglect to use because when the shit hits the fan, I'm too OOM to handle all the mana-use of insta-regrowths and LBs galore. Speaking of ToL, I'm a little relieved that they are making it so you can't maintain multiple LB stacks via Nourish rotation. To be frank, I was disappointed that the method was so effective, because I didn't want to have to adopt a 2-spell rotation in order to be competitive.

I'm trying to tweak my addons to be more informative - I recently discovered that there is a new GridStatusRaidDebuff for Cataclysm raids, and if you check Detect New Debuff it will show any debuffs you come across (before checking that I could not get it to display as either a center icon or border indicator). Watching my party's debuffs makes me want to micromanage them... I also added some new power auras (or tried to - it won't recognize my "ToL active" icon and duration, and I even tried Beru's export with no luck. Tips?) for Barkskin use and CD, Thorns CD, and procs like Heartsong, my +Int glove tinker, and my trinkets. I don't want those last ones to be visible all the time, but I am curious as to how and when they are proccing at the moment. Will get some exports for you soon!

25 January 2011

Commenting on Controversy

Although I often participate in discussions about WoW on the internet, it always amazes me how many of the comments seek to shut down the conversation rather than participate in it. It's not even that I necessarily love each and every one of the conversations that go on, but if I can't clearly agree or disagree I won't barge in to call it all off. My problems with this are twofold:

1) commenters presume to tell the blog owner how to use their own webspace, and
2) commenters enforce their own opinion of what merits discussion.

Get out of my internet

Self-hosted or not, a blog is a space where one or multiple contributors produce original content to be published on the web. They have control over what is published (assuming that the host or ad contributors don't limit or direct the content, which I think applies to a great many WoW bloggers). When a blogger makes a post, they are making it public to the internet, and assuming that they have left comments open (even if moderated), they are open to a dialogue about said content. Some posts generate a lot of discussion, particularly if they are about topics that aren't able to be summed up in a few simple factual statements. Obviously, the most recent one is equal gender representation of raid bosses in WoW, and before that there have been other interesting topics like behavior in pugs or sparkle pony sales.

If a blogger makes a post and leaves comments open to discussion, it's perfectly all right to voice agreement or disagreement and explain why. If I come out with "All Worgen are ugly as sin," I won't be troubled if you say "You're wrong; they have adorable snarling faces." We may disagree about it, but we are having a discussion. However, if your response is, "Stop talking about Worgen, I don't care about this," well...no. Don't come in to a blogger's slice of internet and tell them how to use their space. If you don't want to talk about the topic, then skip the post and refrain from wasting time commenting. Tangentially related to this is screening comments which personally attack the blogger rather than their ideas - no one has to use their own space to host personal attacks. Unless they are breaking the law, it's no one but the blogger's business who and what gets a space on their website.

Let me tell you what's important

There are two layers to a commenter telling a blogger that their chosen topic is not as important as another. The first is WoW specific, where discussions about gear or strategy get a free pass as de facto important information, but criticism of the game is less important, particularly if it's about things like respect or equality. The interesting thing is that the argument often used is "it's just a game." In which case, why are we wasting all this RL time calculating our best stat, QQing to Blizz about class balance or heroic difficulty, fleshing out RP backstory, hell, why are we even wasting our RL time playing just a game? If it's not this argument, it's that more popular topics like PVE or PVP information are the most important and always merit post space, with discussion about lore, RP, achievements, companion pets, and of course criticism of the game reflecting society's *isms being devalued as not worth time or effort to discuss. Commenters don't get to tell a blogger what is the most important thing for them to discuss. If it's not important to you, don't spend your important time commenting.

The second layer is something that occurs a lot in social justice discussions - a concern troll advises us against wasting keystrokes on unimportant things and suggests other topics they consider to be worthy of discussion. This is basic derailing, a silencing tactic that says "stop having the conversation you want to have and talk about what I want you to." When it comes to, say, feminist topics, people love to rank causes on their worthiness of discussion: why waste time talking about unequal pay when we should talk about gendered violence, don't talk about violence when we should talk about Haiti, forget Haiti when we need to talk about the intersectionality of poverty and accessibility of healthful foods. Holistically, all are feminist issues, and when a blogger chooses to talk about one, that is the focus of the discussion and if you'd like to talk about another one, find another platform. So if a blogger makes a post about a topic near and dear to them, don't derail it by demanding they change the subject.

Suggestion for commenters who consider current controversy a waste of time:

Say you take your own advice, and don't waste time reading or commenting on any blog posts you find unimportant or unnecessary. (I'm assuming the reason you describe them as such is because you actually believe that, rather than secretly disagree but don't want to come off as a silencing concern troll.) So you stop entirely reading about gender equality in WoW and keep playing the game you love, and the discussion continues without bothering you. Then, one patch releases a 6-boss raid with 3 female bosses and 3 male bosses, and a 4-boss raid focusing on some matriarchal baddies, so 4 female bosses. [For the record, I'm not saying that every raid from now till WoW's demise should be female-dominated, since that would be the same problem, just that this one, acknowledging earlier imbalances, attempts to give the flipside.] Would you throw up your hands and say, "No! I can't play this game with all these female NPCs running around! How can I have fun now?!" If you're like any of the raiders I know, you'll hardly notice, and instead throw yourself into the boss tactics and sweet loot. Assuming Blizz continues to create challenging and exciting encounters, you lost nothing with regards to your playtime, and those having the discussion gain what they requested.


I do appreciate the posts examining *isms in WoW, although participating in them is often a double-edged sword. It's a very personal topic, and as one of my favorite writers puts it: "[...] they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that's so much fun for them is the stuff of my life." If I don't engage much, it's likely for this reason.

To summarize, should you comment on a post, only do so if you are willing to address the actual topic, rather than silencing, derailing, or dismissing the discussion. Furthermore, limit any attacks to the idea itself and not the person, and we can continue to create an interesting and respectful WoW blogging community.

22 January 2011

Me update

I've been writing some guides for my own use, so I figured I'd clean them up and share with you folk. They can get kind of boring, however, so how about an update?

I finally got heroic-ready on Aka. Thanks to R&R's wonderful gear list (of all the ones I've seen this one was the most visually appealing and therefore helpful :B) I had some goals to shoot for and mostly accomplished them. I started doing regulars with manfriend's prot pally - we've even been toying with the idea of switching places but that's a way off - after I've got resto gear taken care of. My first heroic was Vortex Pinnacle, followed by Throne of Tides which was...quite an experience. To start with, manfriend and I were taking a quiet weekend at home, so we decided to get outrageously drunk and play WoW. Backed by 3 indulgent guildies, we queued for a random Heroic.

Don't ask me how, but we got through Vortex Pinnacle without a hitch. Then we zoned into ToT... The first boss I understood fine, but I couldn't seem to make my mana last the fight. We wiped and wiped, and even in my drunken haze I was so frustrated - how could I possibly save any mana just to get to the end? After one wipe, as we were buffing up, I realized my mana had mysteriously plummeted. Actually, come to think of it, it was halved - from 80k to 40k buffed! I looked at Titan Panel - 40% durability. I opened my character tab suspiciously.

Everything that could be broken, was! Since the wiping began we hadn't come across a repair, obviously, so I hadn't auto-repaired as I am wont to do. Plus, Titan Panel's durability foolishly averages everything, counting items without durability as permanently 100%. I switched in fubar's durability plugin and got a much more accurate percentage. (Incidentally, I like that it tells you 0% even if only 1 piece is broken. It may not be the actual average, but it's a good incentive to repair) One Jeeves later and we were sailing through just fine.

I'm being good and doing my dailies. Sadly, Therazane is the only faction I'm exalted with, but I'm buckling down on Dragonmaw now and wearing the tabard in addition to doing the dailies. I'm doing cooking and fishing dailies - cooking to buy recipes and fishing to get some skillups, seeing as I've had no time to sit down and fish! (Also, I got the strand crawler pet! Hooray!!) I've also started leveling engineering again (finally, groan) due to picking up mining - a big change that will probably merit reflection later.

The guild has been raiding - they have already downed Magmaw, Omnitron, Chimaeron, and Maliorak in the three weeks they have been working. Not being ready to raid means that I missed being even a candidate for the groups - this leads to all sorts of natural worries like setting myself up to be perpetually sat, or at worst carried, but I hope that as the guild progresses we can run 2 groups a week instead of the same every night. I want to contribute - I want to be part of our progression - but at least I'm catching up.

**On a happy note, I won a roll for a BOE epic cloak in a SFK run and was able to trade it and a discounted 4k to the gbank in exchange for my shoulders! Now I have more money to blow on the LW crafted chestpiece and my engineering helm!

Alts...well, I have a lot of them. They are usually neglected. The paladin is about to become a JC; hopefully I'll start to level her before the next expansion. The lock is working the AH (mostly selling leftover enchanting mats and DKMN cards from my turnins) but will need level 75 to keep sending me enchants. And of course there's my goblin mage - the guilty pleasure of this expansion, who will hopefully get some playtime and become and alchemist.

19 January 2011

Review: Mount Hyjal

This is my review for the quests in Mount Hyjal. Note: contains spoilers for the zone.

Mount Hyjal



It's me, Akabekodamus!
The infiltrating the cult quest chain was pretty amazing. It tied together all of the demigods you had helped out previously, and has both fun and serious moments. I know a lot of people talked about having trouble completing the graduation speech, but to be honest I didn't really notice any difficulties. Well, except for the part where their "insanity" looks like dancing. I figured it out from the quotes, but that visual was not what I was expecting!

It got stuck here for the rest of the scene.

Naturally, the one at the end where you help Cenarius get summoned to Hyjal. The frustrating thing is that my cutscene somehow managed to bug out, and after seeing the demigods arrive I was left stuck at Aviana watching the empty lake and doing idle animation backflips. After a few awkward seconds of this I realized it had bugged out and had to go watch it on youtube. Highly disappointing!


Would you mind hanging out a little longer?
Kristoff Manheim. I'm so sorry, dude. Of the many things I like about this guy, the one that I noticed first is how his exclamation mark rotates as he spins on the chain.


Turtle down!
Tortolla's revenge! You get a little buddy to help you kill Nemesis because it pissed off Tortolla. These are the same little guys that you rescue from their eggs - when they emerge some say "Mama!" Gaaahh baby turtles!!!

I also thought the critter saving quest text was pretty cute (despite myself). The quest itself, however, was a huge pain, what with all the frenzied hopping about and generally running away from my help!


My time is done.
Poor Nordu! When you come across him he's standing alone on a hill with baddies rushing in and flinging fire at him! You complete his quest, and he's like, "Good job; I'm going to die now." Can't...can't we just put out the fires??


Jousting! Ugghhh. I spent the entire quest flopping helplessly off the side of cliffs in the area while manfriend zipped around actually killing the mobs. I think I contributed a total of 3 kills. On the one hand, I feel like it' such a PITA that it should come with a reward, and on the other hand I don't want anyone to have to suffer through it for the reward.


Wink wink, nudge nudge
How's it going?
Can I have a refund?

Does it feel soft?
I'm flooaaaatiiiing.

16 January 2011

Review: Twilight Highlands

My review of the Twilight Highlands. Note: contains spoilers for this zone.

Twilight Highlands

The visual design of this zone was so-so, and overall the quests were mostly Just Okay, with the dragon-related sequence being Totally Great. Not sure how I feel about working with the Dragonmaw (although Zaela really impressed me) and I do feel bad for killing Wildhammer!



Epic battle
The whole sequence with Alexstraza and Deathwing. Epic. So epic!!!


Look out!
Although I loved the scenes in the dragon quest chain, since I already mentioned it I`ll say that my second favorite was the scene to get into the zone! Seeing all the aircrafts in formation and fighting off the dragons attacking was really fun!


I am looking forward to a long and prosperous life.
The Horde emissary`s quotes as you take him to meet the Dragonmaw. First, the obvious setup that he would die was already funny enough, but by the time it got to "THIS IS DRAGONMAW" I was cracking up.
Those things are deathtraps!


This is perhaps not the...sweetest thing, but to me it was very charming (and amusing) to enjoy the pre-flight safety instructions from Hobart Grapplehammer and Assistant Greely in Azshara. I was pleased to recognize them from my many goblin lowbies and highly entertained by the 5 minute spiel.
Hey little guys!


The baby gryphons! Did anyone else find them in the destroyed dwarf homes? Someone has to save them!!!


The Wildhammer hobbit-houses are the scene for a continuing battle between Dragonmaw and Wildhammer forces, which sucks because I want to hang out there!!

Also, the daily quest Hook `em High is super buggy, giving me Invalid Target more often than actually hooking a mob.


The Horde fleet
I can hit my house from here!
Tentacle monster...
What a nightmare
He's back!

13 January 2011

What is gear worth?

Boop boop boop boop-boop boop boop boop!!

We interrupt this series of Cataclysm zone reviews to bring you breaking news!


I'm still gearing up for raiding, but last night some very nice BOE leather caster shoulders dropped. As per guild policy, they will be available for guildies to purchase at half price, or will be sold for full price on the AH to fund the gbank.

As the resident druid healer, I get slight priority in buying them. In fact, I feel rather pressured to do so. The estimate given was 15k, and I've got double that in the bank, with 20k or so spread out across other alts. Strangely enough, although I would (and will) spend that much when I finally scrape together my chopper, I'm balking at the price. Fifteen thousand gold? For a BOE purple? That's ridiculous!

What's the difference, though? The same amount of gold for a ground mount or epic shoulders. Sure, the mount will never be replaced or upgraded, but it is a vanity item. It won't buff my, and by extension, my raid's gear. And it would give me one less slot to worry about filling. It should be a no-brainer to grab the piece, equip it, and never look back.

And yet! Fifteen thousand gold for one single piece of gear!! Oddly enough, my first reaction is that it's somehow not earned if you buy it. But here I am grinding rep to buy epic necklaces and trinkets. And I'll probably buy mats to craft the LW chest. As far as working for gear, for every piece I win off a boss in a heroic, I'm earning points to spend on more pieces.

So it comes down to price - assuming I expend no effort to earn a piece, how much gold am I willing to pay for it? Like I said, I can afford it. And aside from the big ticket mounts I plan to buy and the various chants and gems I will always need, what is the gold for? It's mine to use as I please - I could hoard it like a dragon, sitting gleefully on my glittering gbank. I could (and am!!) expend it on materials for profession or reputation grinds (/lick Darkmoon). I could even throw it down on these sweet new shoulders and get a head start on my sick purpz.

I mailed the bank manager to indicate interest. I decided to try to grind out at least 10k by whenever the due date is to buy. It's off to a good start - cleaning out my enchanter's bank netted me about 2k, and I'm slowly selling +10 stats to chest scrolls from her leveling (note to self: save one for myself). From there, I'll work for the gold - doing dailies in addition to selling whatever I can farm up. If the other druid beats me to it, so be it. If not, well, guild repairs are on me!

11 January 2011

Review: Uldum

My review of questing in Uldum Note: contains spoilers for the zone.


The name of this zone might as well be Harrison Jones and the Elaborate Movie Reference. Most of the quests in this zone are a massive extended reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not that I mind, because it`s a great zone and an interesting series of quests, and Harrison Ford is a major hottie Indiana Jones is cool. The Tol`vir are similarly a very neat race - is it creepy that I kind of want one as a mount??



Gnomebliteration KATAMARI GNOMACY. When you get to this quest, promise me you will tab out and put on this song to listen to while you do the quest. Promise me.

Katamari Gnomacy

Behind you!!
There are a shitload in this zone, mostly to drive home the strong Indiana Jones reference and cinematic effects - it`s like you`re in a movie! I know that the excessive cutscenes annoy a lot of people, and there were some moments where I was already preemptively trying to move my character and was frustrated when I got sucked up into another cutscene instead. Still, for whatever reason, I appreciated this touch in making the whole zone more reminiscent of a movie. Although I know there are a lot of complaints about the fact that it so heavily relies on a movie to create its story. (For those playing at home, see if you can guess which of my screenshots were taken during cutscenes!)


What do adolescent gnomes fantasize about?
I`m a manataur! (Sadly, I had to have this particular pun explained to me. I was asking manfriend if there were manataurs in game, or if it was supposed to be a strange reference to a minotaur, and he pointed out that it`s the man- version of a centaur. Sigh, me)

Also, Hacking the Wibson made me laugh when I realized what I was supposed to do.


Being Harrison`s buddy! Whatever, I`m a fangirl, but being his assistant was great in part because he treats the player character with such affection - even saving you when it seems all hope is lost!

Harrison, I...I love you...

How many?
I don`t know if sad is the right word, but at the end of the Schnottz chain you help all the Generic Celebrities escape what turns out to be their prison (this is actually where I dinged). Because of the Nazi overtones, I remember feeling scared on their behalf - escape before Schnottz discovers you! He`s pure evil! The whole questline was really rather awkward - although I figured that we were ostensibly infiltrating the bad guy in order to take down the operation from the inside, the fact that quests didn`t really emphasize that, and particularly the presence of the Horde archaeology trainer Belloc made me feel like I was actually foolishly going along with the plan without realizing who and what I was working for. I guess where I am willing to see a forsaken poison-innocents quest and say "Neither I nor my character would do that, but I need it for Loremaster", I am less eager to say "I am opposed to me or my unwitting character aiding an allusion to monstrous people who existed in my reality."


No female Tol`vir? Would it really be so hard to shrink their biceps, strap some watermelons to their chest, and bring it all together with a tastefully tattered leather bikini?


Beat it, Schnottz!
Run awaaaaay!
I wanna whirl you up into my life~

07 January 2011

Review: Deepholm

My thoughts on questing in Deepholm. Note: contains spoilers for the zone.


Deepholm is a unique place - it`s the center of the earth, after all. After Vashj`ir it felt rather small, but it`s gorgeous in it`s own special way and has its own host of interesting characters. My new favorite is probably Stormcaller Myrla (after the Stonemother herself), both because Wildhammer dwarves are super cool and because her questline is nonstop awesome.



Battling a baddie while on the back of a drake. Although I don`t think you can be unseated and the fight is the same as any other (except where you`re on a drake instead of the ground), it was still so fun to see the ground whizzing past below! (Also, note that if you have any sort of minipet summoned, or an autosummon macro, it will screw up the dragon summon for this quest!)

Drake ridin'

Here we gooooooooo!
Were there any cutscenes in Deepholm? The only one I can recall is the one where you actually pass through the Maelstrom to dive into Deepholm, which is certainly worthy of being the best for the zone anyway! (Come to think of it, isn't that more of a taxi anyway?) My favorite part was where Aggra was yelling as you got closer and closer to the whirling mass of doom..."Hope you`ve got a strong stomach!"

Don't drop me!
"Stop it, you tiny, angry woman!" Not only this quote, but the whole series had me laughing, mostly in giggling fear of Myrla's wrath.


Pebble! How cute can things get?? He even makes puppy-dog eyes at you and ineffectually tries to help you fight! I don`t care how obviously intentional all of the cuteness is presented as - Pebble is The Cutest Pet and I can`t wait to get my very own!


Therazane mentioning her daughter`s death made me sad (mostly because I was partially responsible for it!), but her quest to kill her son made me sad as well. It implies that she has many other children, but having already lost one and then having to destroy another was heartbreaking to me.


At one point, a named mob you go to kill shouts "Deathwing will have his way with your Stonemother!" I was pretty disgusted by this threat to rape a female character. Especially because this is explicitly a threat of gendered violence - had it been, say, Thrall who was referenced, it wouldn`t even occur to use the language "have his way with your Warchief" because the cultural narrative states that rape is something that happens to women. This quote was definitely a shock of cold water in what was otherwise an enjoyable zone.

ALSO, they made up a super cool new earth elemental-type mob and made it some two-bit assistant to the old BC rock dude models? Whose bright idea was that??


Thrall's balls!
Troggzor was a man. I mean, he was a trogg-man. Or maybe he was just a trogg.
Cultist gate

04 January 2011

Review: Vashj`ir

I`m currently working on some massive zone guide-ish posts but until those are ready I have some thoughts on the Cataclysm 80-85 zones. Note: contains spoilers for the zone!


Now this was an interesting zone. The design was really amazing: bright colors, exciting creatures, terrifying elite pats, and a very solid questline. As I`ve said before, the concept of quests has really improved, so even the less-exciting quests were still fun to do.



Definitely the Battlemaiden sequences. It`s awesome to play as a naga - both because the Battlemaiden is obviously badass and therefore enjoyable to fight things with, but also because it humanizes the naga and allows you to see into some of their politics and drama. For instance, there`s a point when you`re hanging with some higher ups, and Lady Naz`jar mentions that Lady Vashj is very different from her mother and left to pursue her own project. I had a weird fangirl moment of "OMG I found her in SSC!!!" Also, it was epic to hear Lady Naz`jar call out, "Battlemaiden!"while I`m out and about being rad.


The final cutscene with Lady Naz`jar confronting Neptulon. I mean, it makes sense that this and Battlemaiden get achievements. They are truly epic. Having followed the story to this final confrontation was amazing, and it`s great that you get to fight alongside the NPCs (with no chance of dying, fortunately).


Shark! The biggest one I ever...!
This is a toss-up between Budd and another quest. Budd has always provided fantastic comic relief, not to mention allusions to my favorite ride of all time. Then again, thanks to my perverse sense of humor, I also found the quest where you put a mind-controlling octopus on your head hilarious.


Come closer, little fishie
Helping the hunter reunite with his wolf. You even get to be an angler fish. Too cute!


L`ghorek! Unlike Nespirah, you are too late to save L`ghorek. At the end of that chain L`ghorek even says "I DIE NOW..." Nooooo!!!


The Z-axis! One day I`ll master moving in all 3 dimensions, but it`s not yet that day. I`m constantly spinning my camera to line myself up with the things I want to loot, get quests from, throw snowballs at...


I need to see that octopus again...
This makes perfect sense
Smooth moves! Way to go!
What have you got there, Akabeko?