Archive for November, 2008

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Achieving the Achievements

Friday, November 21st, 2008

I realized I haven’t really talked about achievements much yet.  Well, here’s my deal.  I like ‘em, but I’ve found I’m not really going out of my way to get them like I thought I would.  I love the little *fa-shwing!* sound and the flash of light they come with, it gives me almost the same feeling that gaining a new level does.  But I have found that going back and running old dungeons I’ve run before, or grinding rep for reputations I don’t need anything from just isn’t as appealing to me as playing an alt or something.

Maybe this will change when I’m done school and have the time to spare to sit around and get [1000 Fish], but for now, I’m just enjoying the ones I get just by happening upon them.  Now that I’m leveling again, I am making sure I get the ones done I can while I’m working my way to 80, like the exploration ones and the loremaster ones, but these achievements are nothing more than an enchancement to the game.  I don’t feel I need to get them, but don’t mind putting in a little extra effort if I’m really close to getting one.

Speaking of achievements, a big congrats to Boostah, for getting [Realm First! Grand Master Skinning] and [Realm First! Level 80 Troll] and Ardena for getting [Realm First! Grand Master Fishing].  Great job :)   Boostah was so close to getting the level 80 Hunter one too.  He definitely got the [Guild First!  Level 80] achievement covered.

Brajana – Level 74 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 405
  • First Aid: 400
  • Fishing: 381
  • Cooking: 392
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“Gorilladin: I’ll just tank the d@mn thing myself.”

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

The title is a reference to some shirts BRK was recently vendoring.  I like it.  And I love my Gorilla, it has been amazing to level with him!

By the way… I FINALLY picked out a name.  My Gorilla is now called “Hanno“  (which means merciful), named for Hanno the Navigator, a Carthaginian explorer who noted what he observed as a tribe of very hairy women when he was traveling through Sierra Leone. He called them “Gorillai”, which is the origin of the name Gorilla.

<3 Wikipedia.

Now let me say, AoE grinding always scared me.  My mage does not like to take on more than one thing at a time.  It usually results in a dead Gnome.  And I was always the same way with my hunter.

But after so much time studying and practising my Huntering skills, my hunter has become like an extension of myself.  I’ve played her enough that I know exactly which keybindings do what, I know where my panic buttons are (AH! Feign! Feign! Feign!), I know what abilities are best used when.  I’m comfortable in my Troll skin!

When I’d first heard about the AoE tanking of the Gorillas, I was a little nervous, but excited.  I don’t want to be pulling aggro and getting myself killed, but I wanted to see what kind of stuff I could take on.

And it’s AMAZING!  It’s almost a chore to try to pull aggro from my gorilla.  I just send him in, bounce him around to a bunch of mobs within the area, pop a Mend Pet on him, and give those mobs an arrow shower!  It’s so nice to see 5 or 6 XP gains pop up at a time.  Wee!

It’s going to take a really great gear upgrade for me to break my T5 2-piece bonus.  I rarely really need to use Mend Pet, thanks to the healing caused by my Volley.

I haven’t really used other Tenacity pets since Wrath came out.  I did pick up Sparkle, my Rhino, and he is pretty decent at single target tanking… but so is Hanno, AND he can multitank.  So there.

Anyone else having a little love affair with their Gorilla?

Blog Announcement

With the coming of the end of my school term in the next couple of weeks, and with all the lovely content spewing forth, and with Unemployed having official sign ups again, it seems it is time to reinvigorate Mend Pet.  I am announcing the return of my weekend regular posts of This Week in Raiding and WoW Word of the Week!  I will also try to post daily during the week, but I still might miss a day or two here and there.  School isn’t over just quite yet.

Also, while I’m leveling, I’m going to end my posts with a little update on my skills and level, in case you are curious about where I’m at. :)

Brajana – Level 74 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 405
  • First Aid: 400
  • Fishing: 381
  • Cooking: 392
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Brajana’s Adventures in Wrath

Monday, November 17th, 2008

So things have been pretty busy for me, IRL.  Wrath came out midnight on Thursday, but unfortunately I had two very large and difficult exams on Thursday, so I didn’t make it out to the midnight launch.  Instead of getting only 2 hours of sleep because I’m busy working on a Death Knight, I only got 2 hours of sleep because I was busy studying relational database design and token ring network topologies.

My original plan was to head out to EB Games and pick up my preordered copy at 2:30PM, after my second exam.  Unfortunately, I also have an extremely large final project due on Tuesday, and my group partner decided Thursday afternoon/evening was the time to work on it.  So we worked til 6:30, I managed to convince her we needed to take a dinner break so I could go pick up my game, and finally I was able to play 10PM that night.

I didn’t ge to play much Friday because I had ANOTHER exam on Saturday morning.  But I got a bunch of Fjord quests done anyway. Saturday, I had my exam at 10AM and then a couple local guildies and I had an afternoon of board games.

So my real Wrath time didn’t start until about 7PM on Saturday.  But I had all of Sunday to play, even if I shouldn’t have.

I’m sitting about 75% through level 73, with all of Howling Fjord and most of Borean Tundra finished off.  Here’s my take so far.

Howling Fjord is amazing.  I loved it there, and enjoyed all of the quests.  From the first quest on, I felt really engaged and interested in the story, and found the atmosphere beautiful.  I felt like I was just flying through the content, and there was no time that I felt like I really wanted to stop.

Borean Tundra… well, my first impressions weren’t great.  After figuring out how to navigate Warsong Keep, I get outside and am surrounded on all sides by these Nerubian creepy crawlers and everything was all grey and burnt red.  As someone who never enjoyed places like Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge, I was not very pleased.  But once I got out of the initial area, I was a little more satisfied.  Borean Tundra has some fun quests, like the D.E.H.T.A. quests and the seige tank quest, but I got very sick of swimming very quickly.

“Go swim out to these ruins.”

“Go swim out to this rift.”

Come on.

The Tuskarr are my favourite thing in the expansion so far.  They’re so cute!  They are walruses riding turtles!  And their quests are fun!  And they have a little non-combat penguin pet at exalted.  hehe!

I did actually start a Death Knight, which I wasn’t planning to do for a long time.  But I’d come up with a good name (wish I could do that with my Gorilla…) so I started him up and did about 20 minutes worth of quests.  I like the starting area, even though I haven’t seen much of it yet.

I have also now tamed a Rhino!  I wasn’t sure what to replace, but I figured… I never really used my wind serpent, and I can always go back and get a new one if I feel it’s necessary.  So I said goodbye to Sparkle, and hello to… Sparkle!  Yes, I named my Rhino after my wind serpent.  He’s fun, and I can’t wait to get him out on the AV bridge and make him punt gnomes all over the place.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Next time I’ll talk a little bit about instancing and how that’s going.  When I leveled from 60-70 I only ran 2 instances.  Now that I have a guild to level with, I’m getting a lot more action in there.  It’s been pretty fun!

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I am NOT prepared!

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Okay, I know, wrong expansion… but whatevs.

I don’t want to be one of the people who cries about all the downtime we’ve been having lately, and how it ruins my life not being able to play.

I also don’t want to be one of those people who pats Blizzard on the back for being the saviours of the world and tells everyone to wait patiently.

But to be honest, I am probably leaning more on the QQ-side.

I understand that it takes a lot of work to prepare for the expansion, and they’re trying to make the expansion burst go as smoothly as possible, but both last Thursday, this Tuesday and it seems today as well have been periods of major downtime.  We’ve lost a couple of days worth of play time as they’ve been trying to quickly get things ready for the 13th.

IF the expansion is released, and everyone is able to play all weekend long without a hitch… I will maybe hop on the “let’s forgive Blizzard” bandwagon.  But I doubt it’s going to happen.  There will still be major server problems when the expansion hits, in spite of all this extra downtime.  The result?  We’ll have lost play time both before AND after release.

Losing these last couple days of game time has been a bit of a big deal to me, since I’ve been hoping to use them to finish off the last things I need to do before the expansion, and maybe get a last few quests done on my Mage before she’s temporarily abandoned for the 70-80 ride on both Brajana and Ferguson.

While I understand maintenance is necessary, unexpected downtime is not cool at all.  It is not the end of the world when I can’t play WoW, but when I’ve got a tight schedule and I’ve planned specific times I’d like to play, or when I’m hoping to get on and talk to a few guildies, it’s really a major inconvenience and disappointment.

I would also appreciate more updates and ETAs.  If there’s no update, I tend to wait around twiddling my thumbs hoping it’s just going to last a little longer.  Even if the ETAs are not entirely accurate, letting us know whether we should expect to wait 30 minutes extra, or in the case of yesterday, 12 hours extra, it would be a really nice gesture.

Enough QQ.

Here’s a list of things I’d like to finish off before tomorrow:

  • Clean up Brajana’s bags and bank, make her ready for questin’!
  • Try to finish a couple more cooking achievements that I won’t want to go back and do once I start leveling
  • Get Gorilla from level 68 to 70 (and maybe think of a name for him!)
  • Clear out my Blog drafts of posts I half wrote but didn’t finish and won’t be relevant post-Wrath.

This will likely be my last post before the expansion.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about when I first get out there, since unlike a lot of people I’ve actually got no idea where I’m going or what is going on, thanks to my lack of Beta experience and ingoring of all things Beta related!  It’ll be a whole new game for me.

*bounces like a Night Elf with excitement*

Err… please pretend you didn’t just see that.

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The Story of Gorilla

Monday, November 10th, 2008

This story is from back just after 3.0.2 hit, but I’ve just finally gotten around to finishing the post on it.

The second pet I’ve picked up is Gorilla.  Okay, he doesn’t have a name yet.  I’d picked out a name, but it is apparently a “reserved” name that can’t be used.  Fooey.  I liked that name so much for him that I am having trouble coming up with something else, so for now… he’s Gorilla.

Anyway, this gorilla is not just any gorilla.  He’s Unk’loc.  He’s blue and white.  I’ve always had a thing for white pets, I don’t know why.  But there is a story behind this guy.

See, back when I was around level 50, I decided to switch my Turtle tanking pet for a Gorilla, and this is the one I picked.  He was a rare, but darn pretty.  So I headed to Un’goro and… boom!  He was sitting RIGHT there waiting for me.  Well, that was easy.

I used the gorilla a bit, but I used my cat more.  When I got to 65-ish, I wanted to pick up a Warp Stalker, and I had a choice to make.  My gorilla was still sitting at level 60, and I hate leveling pets, so I waved goodbye to my gorilla and made room for Willy the Warp Stalker.

Little did I know that when 3.0.2 hit, Warp Stalkers would become relatively useless, and Gorillas would be the stars of the show.  So, I released Willy to make room for this new guy.  Little bit ironic.  Just a little.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as lucky this time with the spawn of Unk’loc.  I arrived at the cave, and found a good camping spot.

It started the day after patch day, 8AM.  I had a lot of school work to do that day, so I figured it was a good time to watch a camped mob while I worked.

2PM rolls around.  It’s been 6 hours, and this guy has a 6-8 hour respawn.  Some hunters have come and gone, most not willing to sit and wait it out, but we each promised to let each other know if we caught him, so we could time the respawn.  He should be there within the next two hours.  Unfortunately, I had a job interview at 3PM.  I had to go get out of my Pajamas and get downtown.  So I left for… two hours.

4PM, I returned to camping.  No news on whether he’s spawned.  I sit and wait, get my unarmed skill up to 347 on the gorillas, get the [25 Fish] achievement in the little pool.

9PM.  I just can’t do it.  I need to get out of this cave!  The new patch has hit and I’ve barely scratched the surface!  I take a 1 hour break to run some dailies.

10PM.  Back to the cave.  No news, no gorilla.

1AM.  Homework is done, I’m going to bed.  Stupid gorilla.

The next day, while I took a few minutes to check in when I woke up, I had class all morning.  I returned at 12PM to wait and watch.

I sit there until at least 5PM.  Talk to the other hunters, they are amazed at how few hours I’ve been out of the cave.  I want to play!  Come on!  But I can’t give up now, because then all of this will be wasted.  And he’s really pretty.

I take the evening off, starting to give up on the effort.

Day 3, 7:35AM.  I have mail!  It’s one of the hunters who was also camping for the gorilla.  She’s caught him, and it was only half an hour ago!  What does that mean?  Unk’loc WILL respawn sometime between 1PM and 3PM.  Luckily, it’s Friday, and I’ve got the day off.  I return to the cave around 12:45PM to wait.  And wait.

2:40PM.  I’m watching TV while keeping an eye on my screen.  A flash of white goes past my screen.  Wait!  Was that him?

OMG!

*plops down a Freezing Trap*

*tames*

Bing!  And he’s mine.  Within 10 seconds of taming him, a group of level 50 alliance walk in, and kill every gorilla in sight.  Talk about timing!