Didn’t mean to publish here! Back to pandariaest.blogspot.com!
The GoDaddy-stole-my-blog issues that I had earlier totally killed this blog.
Pandaria is coming and so I thought I’d start things up somewhere else, away from WordPress.
To that extent, I invite you to stop following this one (those that still found it after the theft) and get your behinds over to http://pandariaest.blogspot.com where I will renew my WoW postings now that the next expansion is upon us.
The first post explains the title and the address, the second one resumes my tone of blog instantly.
See you there!
As the handful of remaining readers have noticed, my heart’s not been in this since the blog got hijacked by Godaddy. Prior to this I was “regularly sporadic” in my posts, now, nothing going! Oh well, such it is! So to the few of you who still found and subscribed to my blog after I regained a semblance of ownership, here’s a bit of info.
I’ve bitched and complained about pandas being stupid, and everyone assumed I was just part of the crowd that likes to complain for no reason but will still pay and play.
Hah! No. Well, yes, I’ll still play it (which I’ve always said) but my interest in it is virtually non-existent aside from just wanting to see the new zones and then not playing again until the next expansion. Hopefully THAT will be something I can get excited about. Sargeras? Anyone? C’mon! It’s time!
In the meantime, I’ve leveled a Shaman to full (and then gotten her raid-ready in about 4-5 hours, oh difficulty level, you’re so high!).
Meet Kumia, FINALLY giving me a character who is able to sport a full set of the Scarlet items! Ever since Latus saw those pieces back in 1805 or whenever I started playing WoW, I’ve desired them on a toon, and having a clothie, leather..ie, and a DK… they either couldn’t wear them or it really didn’t feel right. But now, a mail-wearing Shaman, oh man! Even the mace is from there, just missing a chest piece which is apparently harder to get then the tabard… but I’m pretty happy to just run around with my Scarlet Priestess With a Shield and stare at her and smile!
Sad thing is that once I got her geared out (seriously, 4-5 hours total from hitting 85 to buying a few pieces with justice points across my toons to running at most 5 dungeons and then being able to join LFR and getting more pieces), I’ve mostly lost interest in playing again. I guess the next step is getting my 71 Paladin up to 85 and repeating the same… with a pure dps spec and no healing/tanking offspec, it might take a bit longer!
Level 85 tally stands at 4, with a Paladin at 71, a Warrior at 70 or 71, and then a hunter at 60 on Alliance side. I suppose in theory I could have 7 classes at 85 if I had a few days off work and the will to push through! Who knows…
Lord of the Rings Online
And then the inevitable happened… to this day I don’t understand why my absolute undying love of Tolkien’s works and of gaming never combined properly, LOTRO has been out for 5 years after all. I even TRIED IT! TWICE! And to no avail, I guess I was just that much into WoW.
I recently found amateur (very loosely used term) productions of Tolkien lore. The movies are officially shown on IMDB’s lists, and they’re amazing for any fan of the stories. The two I’ve seen so far (there might be more, I don’t know) are Born of Hope and Hunt for Gollum. Now, when I say amateur, I mean that a group of people has made movies using stuff that is copyrighted to whoever owns the Tolkien stuff now and have released it entirely for free, not getting a penny of profit, and have been careful in how they prepared the material so that they could not get sued and their movies could see the light of day. In essence, imagine that fans of the lore made movies to explain the lore. It’s AWESOME LIKE WOAH! So far, everyone who is a Tolkien fan among my friends has loved it, and each of us has said that we pretty much sat through the hour-long movie with a huge grin on our faces, just way too happy at being thrown back to Middle Earth. Naturally, these are mostly focused on the dialogues between people, but to any fan, that’s just beautiful.
I thought I would have issue with seeing Gandalf and Aragorn and other characters played by people other than the LOTR cast, but it was such a joy and pleasure going back to this world after all the other fantasy I’ve read and watched that I found myself not caring at all and even liking the current actors here.
Great, awesome, I can’t get enough of this. I’m waiting for the Hobbit like a hungry hippo waiting for a marble… yeah. Hmm.
In any case, after watching these, I thought “ah you know what, why don’t I try LOrd of the Rings Online again?” so I did. I downloaded it, installed it, it took about 4 or 5 hours total, and then was told the file was corrupt and I had to restart from scratch. YAY. But I did.
And I’ve really, really, REALLY gotten to like LOTRO.
I had to get over some of my WoW habits and accept this as a new game but damn, it’s really growing on me. It isn’t difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but it is much more complex than WoW has become, and since that’s something I have complained about non-stop with every expansion… well, it feels great! It really feels like WoW did around the time of late TBC and early Wrath, before every single thing was nerfed to no end to make it as easy as possible. I’m enjoying the limits on progression (want to level this or that up, well too bad, you’ve hit your limit for the day, suck it Phaneuf!), I’m enjoying the fact that I’m apparently able to get quests way lower than my level and way higher than my level. My quest log is a clusterfuck of epic proportions and I never have any bloody clue as to where I’m going next, and when I finally get somewhere, I get so distracted by everything else that I don’t do my original intent for a few days… seriously, c’mon, you get to Bree and see the Prancing Pony and you’re telling me you’re not going to spend hours exploring the place?
On exploring, the land is gorgeous. Simply stunning. I adore running around Middle Earth, and it’s just so pretty! I ran into the fireworks at Bree yesterday… look it! LOOK IT!
And then the Shire itself….
And then if that wasn’t enough to captivate me, there are tons of little things to do that are a fun “immersive” bonus. Like music! Your toons can play music, other toons can play music, many instruments, any songs, play in groups, play solo… it’s pretty cool, I spent all of my free time yesterday looking this up and practicing! I don’t record my own gameplay, but here’s one that I enjoyed:
So there you go! I’m still around, still enjoying the same games we’ve all enjoyed, and still kicking!
Something wonderful has happened to WoW. In fact, it happened quite some time ago, but it has taken me this long to realize and understand the change. A lot of words are thrown around like “casuals”, “easy”, “dying”… in regards to the state of WoW, but that’s just from those of us who struggle with change in something we’re used to.
Admit it, no matter how open and relaxed you are to change, when anything deviates from what you’ve spent thousands of hours doing, a certain level of discomfort sets in. It’s up to the individual players to cope with that discomfort, but it’s there. Personally, I rage a bit if it affects me and I move on and play with what is now at my disposal. Some people, however, can’t do that and rage, rage and rage some more. The detached players that rage will end up quitting, but those that really like the game will rage and keep playing, all the while raging.
Very few bloggers do this. It seems if you’re into blogging about WoW, you’re somehow above raging too much on a given issue. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many blogs have raged without end about changes. Most of the blogosphere will respond to major developments with varying levels of outrage of support and then over the next week or two they’ll all accept it and end up posting guides on how to cope.
Some (many? Look at your readers…) players who were heavily into the game have simply moved on out of boredom and frustration. That’s ok. That’s understandable and healthy.
Others have semi-moved on. Like myself. They still play, just not anywhere near what they used to play. And this is the realization that finally sunk in: WoW has finally become a game instead of a lifestyle.
This is wonderful, absolutely wonderful!
I don’t play all week. I don’t log on to check auctions, I don’t log on to do dailies. I don’t grind reputation or gear sets or attunement quest chains. I don’t log on to farm consumables.
I just log on and raid.
The other people do the same. Some may play more than others, but overall, the toons that raid simply log on to raid.
This raid group is at 1/8 Heroic on 10 man, so not anything mindblowing but not too shabby either.
The beauty of Dragon Soul’s design is that it is self-sustaining:
-kill a boss, get some loot, get a token
-trade token for gem bag
-sell gems on AH (regardless of quality)
-have gold for raid consumables and for repairs
I’ve made about 25k in gold from gem drops so far. That far outweighs anything I spent on blue quality gems and on raid enchants for new gear, not to mention the occasional mats for fish feasts or a couple volcanic potions and draconic flasks.
Granted, this takes a bit of setup. Players still have to level to 85 and get some semblance of gear + reputation for things like shoulder items, but once you’re past that setup, you don’t have to devote 5 hours a day to remain competitive. This is great, this is awesome, and I love you Blizz.