Thoughts on Icecrown


Zone spoilers ahead: Icecrown is obviously designed for flying mounts, with the dramatic geography and quest hubs huddled way up in the mountain ranges, a fairly new concept seeing as flying wasn’t available until level 70 in the previous expansion. I don’t imagine hoofing it being all that practical or even possible…

Out of all the new areas this zone has been one of my favorites to quest in so far. It has a lot of fun quests packed with story. The Matthias quests in particular are swank for reasons that I won’t state because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I also really liked Bridenbrad’s story; It was a simple but touching quest line that tied into the lore nicely.

One of the main lore gripes that folks seem to have is that continuity has in the past, only been seen within the instances. You down a boss, stuff happens within the instance and then it resets next week as if nothing at all had happened. Icecrown more than any other zone that I have quested in so far makes use of the phasing system for story progression.

The actual game world changes as you complete certain tasks. The Shadow Vault for example is hostile until you win it back for the Ebon Blade, in which case it turns into a neutral quest hub. The zone unfolds in a way that makes you feel as if it is being progressively won back, I really like that.

Yay Heroics

I hit level 80 at around 5pm on Saturday and then started running heroics an hour later when more level 80 guild members logged on. I might have rushed through 79 for the sake of catching up with everyone >_<. Instance completion is retroactive in the sense that, if you run heroic before you run normal mode for a particular dungeon, credit for both achievements will be given.

Don’t forget to pickup a reputation tabard before you start doing the high level dungeons. I want my Red Drake Mount, which requires exalted Wymrest Accord (I am 5929 into revered at the moment). There are three daily quests for that faction: One at the Wyrmrest Temple and two in Coldarra, each giving 250 reputation a pop (275 for humans).

I intend on farming HUK every damn night until those DPS pants drop. Oh, I’m still retribution spec by the way. I don’t plan on specing back to protection until there is a need.

  • Heroic Utgarde Keep is the easiest of all the heroic 5-man dungeons. The difficulty is about the same as a standard level 80 instance, easily doable in entry level 80 gear. I don’t think that there was anything different about the encounters in comparison to normal mode.
  • Heroic Nexus: A little harder. We ran into a few problems with Keristrasza and her enrage eating the tank (most of us had pretty much, just hit 80 and were in half-assed gear). There is an additional boss in heroic mode, just about where the quest book is found. Kill or control the adds, stay out of whirlwind.
  • Heroic Violet Hold: Fairly easy. If you get Xevozz, remember that if the orbs touch him, he gets a mega buff and will start one shotting people. Just kite him in circles around the room (up the ramp and down the other, repeat). Casters and healers might want to pre-position themselves, to make sure that they won’t go out of LoS, since the tank will be continuously moving. I’m not sure if the teleport is random or line of sight related.
  • Heroic Drak’tharon: We couldn’t do King Dred. We are either missing something strategy wise (the bleed eww) or just hit a gear wall.

My very first level 80 epic!

Looking to the Sky to Save Me

77I CAN FLY AGAIN. Umm anyway, this site needed a logo so here you go: Two minute Photoshop job for the win!

Despite the fact that I have been gaining a level a day, I have been taking my time and thoroughly enjoying the new content. I am very pleased with the new quests so far, many of which break the standard kill x gather y formula. The vehicle missions are fun and as are the shit quests lol. Shit as in quests related to poop or pooping. There is also a fair amount of quest continuity; If you have paid attention to certain NPCs, quests and events from the previous content, you might see a few familiar faces out and about Northrend!

On the other hand, there are also plenty annoying event trigger quests which must be done one group or person at a time. The Amphitheater of Anguish events (WotLK version of the Ring of Blood in Nagrand) was a massive cluster-fuck on Tuesday. We had the misfortune of grouping for the event at the start of Australian Prime time, and ultimately gave up in favor of doing it another day.

Monday: Ding 75.

Ding 75

I spent most of my time hammering out the quests that I skipped in Borean Tundra for the sake of obtaining the achievement, which I guess is a reasonable zone completion marker (I know that the zone achievements don’t include 100% of all quests, but I’m not that anal). Since the starter zones aren’t crowded anymore it’s pretty fast XP. Ran: Azjol, Drak’tharon Keep and Gun’drak. I got a nice breastplate in one of those instances.

Tuesday: Ding 76.


I quested in Grizzly Hills for the entire evening, which is a fun area with a few fun quests (I really liked the horse ones), even though the entire zone was irritating to navigate. There were way too many hills to navigate up, over and around (I am bitter because I AFKeiya ran off a cliff and died).

Wednesday: Ding 77.


I finished off the Grizzly Hills achievement early in the evening and then did Gun’drak, Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning. Yay my very first level 80 instance! Pro-tip: A level 76 retribution paladin isn’t all that useful in a level 80 instance. I forgot to repurchase the Wyrmrest tabard before start HoL, so all of the rep that I gained went towards Valiance Expedition, which is fairly useless given that exalted is easily reachable via questing.

I started the Shalizar Basin quests, leveld, trained Cold Weather Flying, and then logged off for bed at a reasonable time for once! I am glad that Blizzard chose to disallow initial use of the flying mounts in Northrend, it would have ruined so much of the immersion. But that said, I am glad that I have my flying sperm mount back. Running is annoying.

I need to start thinking about my tanking gear set one of these days. These are the “decent” new world items that I have so far:

Guide: Unlocking the Wrathgate Quest

Dragonblight has several neat lore related quests, but there is
one really neat one that you will most definitely want to do. I don’t
want to spoil the story, but there are a crapton of quests that you
must complete in order to unlock it and I had a hard time finding an
exact guide. I think you need to be level 72 or 73 (I am alliance by the way, I don’t know what the horde equivalent quest chain is).

In a nutshell: Complete all of the non-group quests from Wintergarde Keep (WGK) as well as any subsequent quests. There are four separate quest lines. Once you unlock the quests at WGK, Quest Lines 1 & 2 can be completed simultaneously. Quest Lines 3 & 4 however are sequential.

Quest Line 1:
There are two ways to start this quest. “Of Traitors and Treason” will
send you to WGK, which will unlock the quest chains leading to the
Wrathgate Quest. This chain is fun and fairly easy to complete since
all of the quests occur in the areas down the hill from the Keep.

  1. There are two ways to start this quest, depending on what starting zone you chose:
  2. High Commander Halford Wyrmbane
  3. Naxxramas and the Fall of Wintergarde
  4. Flight of the Wintergarde Defender
  5. Return to the High Commander
  6. Rescue from Town Square
  7. Find Durkon!The Noble’s Crypt
Quest Line 2:
This chain should become available from High Commander Halford Wyrmbane after completing 1.1 or 1.2. This whole quest line occurs in the mine down the ramp from WGK. The first step is a little annoying because you are competing with other players for the ore nodes.

Quest Line 3:
This quest line unlocks after both one and two have been completed. Roughly half of this chain occurs in the Wintergarde Mausoleum, the other half in northern central Dragonblight.

  1. Into Hostile Territory
  2. Steamtank Surprise
  3. Plunderbeard’s Journal
  4. Chasing Icestorm: The 7th Legion Front

Quest Line 4:
Completing Quest Line 4 will unlock this quest line. I guess this is technically a continuation of Quest Line 3?

  1. An End And A Beginning
  2. Alliance: To Fordragon Hold!
    Horde: The Kor’kron Vanguard!
  3. Alliance: Audience With The Dragon Queen
    Horde: Audience With The Dragon Queen

Return To Angrathar should now be available. Enjoy!

A Weekend in the Bitter Cold

74.previewSo yeah, guess what I did this weekend? Hint: Lots of WoW and not much else lol. I hit level 72 on Saturday morning, level 73 on Saturday evening and level 74 early last night in Dragonblight. At the moment I am approximately 40% into my current level. My “goal” is 75 tonight, but I doubt I will reach it; Since the weekend is over I can’t play all day and night.

The queues on Proudmoore are horrible. During our peak, it is at around 2,000. On Friday when I logged on it was at 700, which is a 20 to 30 minute wait. When the queue was down to less than a minute left, my cable went out for 5 minutes. By the time I was able to log back in, the queue was over 1,500. Goddamm it. If the queue is horrid when I get off work tonight, I guess I will have a 1 to 2 hour chance to attend to a few hobbies that I have been neglecting…

So Dragonblight: This is a large zone with a crapton of quests. Many of the quests are very cool from a lore standpoint. Make sure to complete all of the non-group chains starting at Wintergarde Keep, otherwise the awesome chain won’t unlock. The zone itself though is kind of annoying because there are about 20 quest hubs, spread out all over the map. Each with maybe 3 quests. I am at 109/115 quests completed in Dragonblight. 6 more then I can move on to Grizzly Hills.

So far I’ve run Utgarde Keep, The Nexus and Azjol’Nerub. Hopefully I’ll get to try out a few more new instances tonight. I’ve replaced a couple of my Burning Crusade retribution items with quest and instance blues. Any quest greens or green drops get disenchanted for the sake of profession skilling. I am noticing that many of the items have Haste and Armor Penetration, I need to catch up on my theory crafting one of these days. New items that I have added to my DPS set:

  1. Chiseled Stalagmite Pauldrons
  2. Shroud of Fluid Strikes
  3. Wrynn’s Legplates of Carnage
  4. Greaves of the Traitor
  5. Executioner’s Band
  6. Medallion of Heroism
  7. First Mate’s Pocketwatch
I miss being a protection spec tank, but I don’t think that I’m going to spec back until I am 80 and needed for tanking heroics. These are a little out of order:
Arrow surfin’ Howlin Fjord. I like this zone, it’s very dramatic looking. Quite a sight when you first hop off of the boat!

Azjol Nerub

That burning patch of forest outside one of the alliance towns in HF

Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. The aurora borealis is purdy

The Nexus

Northrend: Day One

Ding-71Ding 71!I hope everyone is having fun in Northrend, I know I am! :). I’ll sort through my screenshots from release day and post a couple below a cut, picture blog style after work.

The sever queue was at around 700 as of 6:30pm last night. It took a half hour to log on. Other than that bit, I was honestly impressed: In contrast to what was posted earlier, neither the world nor the instance server crashed at all. Hell, the game wasn’t even laggy at any point during prime time which is just astounding for Proudmoore. So my hats off to you Blizzard: Whatever it is that you did to the servers during the long ass maintenance on Tuesday obviously did good.

The new areas look really nice. WoW is almost exactly four years old and it still looks good, that is quite an achievement. The graphical improvement isn’t a huge jump, it’s more subtle and it’s for the most part, in the new areas. For example: Compare, the textures and shadowing from Valiance Keep to the old world cities like Stormwind; Particularly the difference in the wood and stone detailing at different zoom ranges.

Coriel’s has a great idea, I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing this last night: I am going to turn Instant Quest Text off to force myself to actually read everything. I tried doing that last night but still ended up skimming most everything, it’s really hard to not rush. I want to get to 80 as fast as possible, but I also want to enjoy questing.

Anyway, leveling takes quite a bit longer, naturally. I hit level 71 at 12:30am last night (technically this morning). Dinging 71 was my goal for the evening; I was pretty sure that I wasn’t to make it because it was already late but ummm…chose to stay up a little longer. Just one more quest! Sleeping is overrated.

I should have paid more attention to the new item models instead of disenchanting them immediately without at least an armory preview. I already chanted two pieces of gear using the new recipes. I shouldn’t have done that. Tonight I am going to skill whatever I can off of my Burning Crusade shard stash. Leveling Blacksmithing will have to wait until I get ore from my hunter.

(Pictures below)

Fresh off the boat :). Well sort of, I think I’m actually running out of the keep.

Flight from Amber Point. /shrug I like dragons 😛

Inside of Talramas, the crashed necropolis dead north in BT

Did an Uthgrade Keep run with guildmates. I should have  taken a better screenshot. I kind of got a pic of the ass end of the neat looking fire thing.

Howling Fjord just outside of the Utgarde Keep entrance. Sad story: I was summoned to UK so I had no clue where hell I was. Rather than finding the turtles I hearthed back to Shatt, ported to SW, then took the boat back to BT because I am a noob.

Status: Out For Delivery


Expect many WoW posts and very little of anything else for the next couple of months for obvious reasons. I need to remember to turn the music back on while leveling the new content. I’ve had it off for a long ass time and don’t want to miss the new soundtrack.

I cleared out Keiya’s inventory space, fixed her addons, added in the experience bar and parked her at Stormwind Harbor. If anyone else is looking for a good customizable experience bar mod, XPBarNone works very well (pic). Curse all of you people who got their game early and have no work/school. QQ me.

I finally respec’d both my hunter and my cat. I went with the cookie cutter 51/10/0 BM build. I am really liking the pet talent trees because it makes so much sense versus having to wander around taming random animals. I took the Beast Mastery talent after all for the extra skill points. I might tame a Core Hound or aDevilsaur at some point; I really want one but I honestly cannot stand the stomping sound.

One of the reasons why I am looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King is because of the Lore. The Burning Crusade was an absolute blast, but aside from Illidan and a few other things, it was a little out there in terms of the Warcraft continuum (spacegoats!). Anyway, I am going to take my time reading all of the quest text (especially since I wasn’t in beta and thus haven’t done any of them). I have a bad TL;DR habit.

Preparing for the Expansion


Yay, happy birthday to me :D. Two days to go until Wrath of the Lich King arrives, so excited! I need to re-enable the experience bar on my UI and redownload questing mods. I spent so much time focusing on the grouping and raiding aspect of my interface that I completely forgot that I would be leveling to 80.

The incremental world events leading up to the expansion release date are fun. I logged on after work yesterday and there were a crap ton of people waiting next to the King in Stormwind Harbor. The scourge invasion began sometime during my raid; I did manage to catch it later in the evening while I was putzing around on my banker and on my lowbie horde alt.


Oh hey you know what? I haven’t actually logged on my poor hunter Doombeard in several weeks. I haven’t even finished up the last inch of mining, researched a new talent spec, fixed his user interface or anything. I guess I should do that this weekend (after I beat Fallout 3). I really do intend on leveling him to 80 sooner than two months before the third WoW expansion pack hits…

We did the Black Temple for our last Burning Crusade guild raid. There was sufficient tankage so I stayed Retribution (I don’t plan on specing back to prot until 80. Being melee apparently means that you die a lot lol. Four bosses down that event, fun!


Also did a Molten Core achievement run last night. Seeing Ragnaros for the very first time way back in the vanilla WoW days will always be one of my favorite WoW memories. I mean he’s huge…and he’s on fire. It was still early so we ran over to AQ40 and zerged it up to Twin Emperors. If there’s interest tonight, we’ll do BWL.

Shared Topic: “What I Will be Doing…”

Oh heyo, I like shared blog topics; They are fun to participate in and read. So this week’s topic over at Blog Azeroth is "What will I be doing (when WotLK goes live)" We should all have a better idea about what to expect on expansion day from the BC release. I wonder how my experience will differ this time around. Specifically, how it will differ not being in the expansion beta. 

I will be refreshing the UPS shipping page every 5-minutes all day at work unless I decide to attend a midnight launch event. I doubt that I will do that though unless I took a day off work. I’m not that obsessed to the point where I would use one of my holy vacation days to play WoW. Well, yet. Oh, unless the expansion pack is delayed until 2009, and I really hope that it is, I will probably be letting Fallout 3 collect dust for a while lol.

I will most likely be trying to get my user interface to work. Something important will break. Something important always breaks no matter how hard I prepare. The goal is to redo it completely when the next patch hits, or at least streamline it to reduce all of the junk I keep installing.

Once I actually set foot in Northrend, I will be getting a guild group together to start running the bujesus out of all entry level instances. During the first few days that the Burning Crusade was released, Hellfire Peninsula was so congested that it was nearly impossible to get any questing done. We ran instances constantly and started questing over in Zangarmarsh, where it wasn’t as crowded. I also expect Proudmoore to frequently die…

I will be achievement whoring. I should so make a list of achievements that I have and achievements that I can do the second WotLK goes live.