My World of WarCraft page

I've been playing World of WarCraft since the day it came out (November 23, 2004), and have a good number of characters on the Alliance side on the Shattered Hand server.

I also recently formed a guild with 3 other friends so we could all keep in contact easily, named Unity Across Borders. I came up with the name to represent that two of us live in USA and the other two live in Canada.

Here we are in Loch Modan on our second hunting quest, handed out at the Hunting Lodge.

And a cropped picture of after the crocolisk hunting quest...

Time to stop and look at... something....

The first level 30 creature I fought intentionally (Nightbane Vile Fang in Duskwood). It would soon follow with a 31 and 32.

VanCleef - On January 1st, 2005, we finally officially (mostly) beat the VanCleef instance. Unfortunately, Shana got killed before she could loot VC's head, so we went through it again with Gapper my hunter leading the way...

Here we are fighting the foreman - he was dropped from an elite 20 to an elite 19, making him a much easier fight

A small action shot of the four of us

Here, Cyndere blows the doors leading to the underground docks.

At long last, we reach the official exit of the Deadmines instance.

Here I am on my warlock's succubus quest, trying to make my way through the Dustwallow Marsh to get to the Barrens. That is one big croc. I forgot to get a pic of the huge Thunderheads in the Barrens. Quite a sight.

And here we are on 1/7/2005, on the Burning Legion server, playing Horde characters for the first time

How NOT to escape from Tharil'zun's orcs...

What in the world is that...

Huge Horde raid in Stormwind. Shortly afterwards, my connection dumped.

Never mess with 3 mages. See how much mana we have left? And see the already two dead gnolls near us? Yeah. ok.

Perfect example of lame tactics. See the Horde on the roof in Darkshire? Just in range of the gryphon point, too.

I'm trying to kill a raptor here! Cripes, people!

1/25/2005 - My foray into Contested lands

Well, for the first time, I've moved a couple of my characters into hot zones for questing. Gapper went into the Arathi Highlands, and Myrdok is running to Stonetalon mountains for the pieces of his fire armor.

When Gapper made it into Arathi, he and his partner Tarcy were attacked by a Tauren druid and Undead mage. Fortunately we were close to the edge of Refuge Point and made it in. The Horde promptly backed off. However, Tarcy and Gapper ventured out a bit for some levelling up, and after a kill, the Tauren and Undead struck again. They were both level 45. Tarcy was rooted and dotted, so she couldn't move or stealth, and was quickly downed. Then I was rooted, and the mage moved too close for gun range but not close enough for my axe, so I was systematically taken out as well. After levelling, Gapper flew out to Ironforge to get his new skills. At least he has the flight point to Refuge Point now.

Myrdok explored Ashenvale, another hot zone, to find the entrance to Stonetalon. He was told that a tunnel would lead him there. He found the tunnel, after being killed once by a couple of high level Horde. It was very long and thin. Little opportunity to get through unseen by anyone coming the other way. He didn't encounter any Horde on his way through, but that didn't make the breeze sound in the tunnel any less ominous. He emerged at the Horde end of Stonetalon. He turned around and asked if there was another way in, and was told that a flight point does exist at Stonetalon Peak, but he has to run through the tunnel and make it across the zone first. So, tomorrow, that will be the first thing I do. I'm beginning to realize that getting flight points is the first big step to advancing your position in this game. At least then you have a base of operations from which to quest, somewhat at least. So Myrdok is currently camped in Ashenvale and will have to run the tunnel again tomorrow. It would also be a lot of trouble for anyone else to have to get that flight point first to help Myrdok. I hope this armor is worth it.

Next day - had to wait for the servers to come back up, I keep forgetting about the maintenance on Tuesdays. Anyway, Myrdok made it through the tunnel, but on the way north, he encountered a level 31 troll shaman. It was in wolf form and promptly assumed troll form and started the attack. I knew there was no way to win so my strategy was just to slow him down and get away. I did my slow taunt and got ahead of him, but he kept me slowed more with some frost spell. Even then, he would have caught up to me again with wolf form. Now that I think about it, I did have a fear ability that I could have used. That might have gotten rid of him enough for me to escape, but it wasn't in my main bar. Anyway, that was my only Horde encounter and death on that hike. I've made it to Stonetalon Peak - it's run by night elves. So nice to see green NPCs again. I got the flight point, so no more running there through the tunnel. Now I have to prepare for the long run south to find the chimerae I need for the armor parts.

Stockades - 1/25/2005, we finished up the Stockades. Dextren Ward was a hard fight. Cyndere got feared and ran into a room full of inmates and got slammed. Then we had to clear the room so she could be rezzed, and Shana got killed because Scrap's heals were getting interrupted. But, we finished out quests and did our turnins.

Flying to Darkshire for the Dextren Ward turn-in

While we were there, Shana and I had to introduce Scrap and Cyndere to a bud of ours, good 'ol Stitches. Hey I might be missing a lot, but that's MY Rupture on him! Shana kept the Night Watch guard healed, and he held agro, allowing the rest of us to pound away. our group got the kill credit, and Cyndere got to loot his femure.

1/31/2005 - I collected the chimera horns from Charred Vale, finally. I was expecting to get hunted and knocked down by high level Horde, out for some Alliance kicking, but I only encountered a single 24 hunter on the way there, and I just waved to him. When I made it to the Charred Vale, there was a night elf 26 rogue, european I think, questing to kill harpies. I had the same quest, so I helped him, and attacked chimerae as they showed up. We finished both quests at about the same time.

2/1/2005 - I ran Myrdok with Tarcy out to the Barrens this afternoon. We ran through Dustwallow Marsh and turned south when we reached the Barrens. Didn't see a single Horde at all. Inside Razorfen Kraul, we ran along a thorn branch, through a few casters, and found the NPC I needed for the final piece of the armor.

It's interesting that both times I was expecting to have a lot of trouble with Horde, but didn't even see any. I suppose it had to do with the fact that I did these quests before peak playing hours, and that most Horde now use flight points to get to where they are going. The one lucky break was that no other Horde were currently questing in the areas that I needed to hunt for these pieces in.

Stoneheart and Thela taking on the Vile Fangs in Duskwood

Snow, I'm tryin' ta eat here...

Elyrra soloing a chimera in the Charred Vale. She had to do a couple of quests out there to get caught up. Working up to the bosses in Duskwood and finishing the quests in Wetlands only got her to 28, instead of 30+ like the rest of my characters.

2/12/2005 - Hotzones

I've moved my top 5 characters past Duskwood and Wetlands into the hotzones Arathi Highlands, Desolace and Stranglethorn Vale. The experience has been mixed.

Desolace is very large and barren, although I occasionally see the the Worlddefense channel say that the Alliance base there is getting attacked.

Arathi Highlands is fairly active Horde-wise. I'm not allowing the difference between peak times and slow times to determine when I quest there. Although I will say that questing is much easier as a rogue, even though I still get taken out by Horde occasionally. Alliance has a small base there, but Horde has a small town with a flight point (I believe), so there is always a tug of war going on, and Horde and Alliance will sometimes quest in the same place!

Stranglethorn Vale is a different story. There is a hunter camp that is friendly to BOTH Horde and Alliance. And at one time or another, Horde or Alliance is standing around that camp as a group. Then someone from the other faction waltzes in and does a turnin. And they either get attacked immediately, or are left alone. Of course ganking and unprovoked attackes are common, which results in them attacking someone else as a result. Feels like I imagine things are in the Gaza Strip, quite frankly.

My base stance on PvP is that if they are leaving me alone, I leave them alone. I'll even help them with a kill. But if they are attacking an ally, an Alliance base, or myself, I will defend. I'm getting used to hotzone questing, and it isn't as bad as it seems. I did get attacked and killed tonite in Southshore by a shaman and rogue, but a couple of mounted Alliance responded to my Localdefense message and chased them off. I of course helped to down the rogue. And before that, I got killed by a hunter and rogue that were attacking the Rebel Camp in Stranglethorn. Two Alliance showed up to chase them off as well - I also helped to down THAT rogue. I would have had that shaman in the first fight, too if the rogue wasn't teamed with him... the shaman attacked me first, after I got done killing a murloc.

But these PvP encounters are really no more than 5% of my questing time. Still, there is a palpable difference between fighting environment and fighting people. The environment feels like a welcomed challenged. The players are a different story, because if you beat them, they either leave, or find a way to beat you back. So PvP encounters are much more intense. Defending towns isn't so bad because at least you feel you are sharing the risk, wins and losses with fellow players on your side.


Gapper finally dinged 40, paid for the skills I wanted, bought Ram Riding. Now I just need to raise 70 more gold for a ram.

Anyway... while completing a slough of quests available in Booty Bay, Gapper had to travel north to Dalaran. So he got a look at the purple globe from the other side.

Also, for purposes of PvP, I went to the Swamp of Sorrows and tamed a Swamp Jaguar (36-37) with a 1.2 attack speed, instead of 2.0 like most pets. It even seems to run faster than my bear. I did this after aquiring Rank 6 Bite and Claw from the same zone, so I can have a bear and cat at my disposal all the way to level 48, when I'll need to acquire the Rank 7 attacks.

2/20/2005 - Mount!

Well, at long last, after 2.5 levels farming many Dustwallow turtles for their parts and hides, selling a few stacks of turtles scales at the Auction House and making and selling a bunch of Nightscape Headbands, I finally accumulated enough gold to purchase my mount. I started with 5g at level 40, and it took that long to build up another 67g. Not something I want to repeat.

So let's see, time to choose a ram...

Hmm, gray is too dark

White is too light.

But brown goes with my hair!

Gimme the brown one!

Thank you!

Now I just need a sunset... and enough gold to get Growl 5 for my pets, my level 42 skills (which I neglected so I could build up enough gold for the mount), another bank bag slot and another pet stable slot. Oh, and get green faction with Booty Bay. And, uh, catch up on my Leatherworking recipes.

Is it just me, or is the brown ram now gone from the corral? Didn't notice that before...

2/26/2005 - Grinding for Gold, again

Moonwind has just reached 40, and now she gets to build up 72g for her mount. She is using the same strategy Gapper did, farming and skinning turtles in Dustwallow. As it stands, selling everything she loots (not many green items are coming off the turtles), putting stacks of turtles scales up for 1.5g-2g buyout at the Auction House, selling Heavy leather stacks, and sending Thick leathers to Gapper to make Headbands, she is netting slightly above 2 gold per experience bubble (about 24 turtles at level 40). So at this rate, she should have her mount somewhere in the latter half of level 41. That is, unless I take a break from the grind and do some questing.

Strangely, this grind doesn't feel so much like a grind. I'm thinking it's because with Gapper I would just send in my pet and shoot, and I was concerned about raising my weapon skills and levelling my pets. With Moon, I only have 3 weapon skills to keep up, and my primary attacks are melee anyway, so those skills will raise naturally. The rest is concentrating on using my melee abilities. With my mind on only one primary plan, the time is passing more smoothly. I just do a bubble at a time and sell, and keep going. With Gapper I always had to switch when a pet raised or a weapon skill maxed out. It didn't help that in melee, Gapper doesn't do nearly as much damage. With Gapper, I was also spending a lot of time analyzing how effective I am with ranged, melee, and each pet with Cosmos.

Update - Moon is now level 41, and it takes about 28 turtles for a bubble of XP, so she is earning a little bit more money per bubble. I hope to have enough for a mount about 2/3 of the way through 41. I don't know what Myrdok and Elyrra will do for money, since they can't skin, and I haven't found a better source of money farming than these turtles - over time, the average is 8-9 silver per turtle, half that from skinning alone. I checked these values against's figures for looting and skinning Mudrock Tortoises, and it came out to 8.6 silver, so the site is pretty reliable.

2/28/2005 - Moonwind's mount

I was going to wait until after maintenance for this, but I figured what the hey. I finished off the last few gold by sending some more from Gapper to Moonwind. The Auction house had some more turtle scales up and they were downbidding me, so I don't think I was going to get anything for what I had there. Plus, I was tired of waiting after killing and skinning, oh, maybe 850 turtles.

So, which tiger to choose...

I don't think the white or bright pink befits a rogue...

When in doubt, go with dark.

Gimme the dark one!

Thank you!

Myrdok will be next. I am not looking forward to farming with him, since he can't skin and wouldn't nearly make the kind of money Gapper and Moonwind did. I may need to seek profits from blacksmithing.


Yeah, THIS escort mission is about to fail!

3/12/2005 - Myrdok hits 40

Myrdok spent most of his late 30's in Southshore, Arathi and Desolace. he hasn't touched any of the Stranglethorn Vale quests. He did have to go down there to collect troll tusks for a warrior quest, but I'll get to that.

To raise money for his mount, he's been doing mining runs and sending stacks of 20 iron bars, 20 silk and 20 heavy stones to Stoneheart. Stoneheart can make Iron Grenades from them and profit an average of 3 gold after selling them to a vendor. At level 40, then, Myrdok has built up 37g towards his mount after paying for his level 40 skills and training Artisan Mining and Horse Riding. Since half the income from the Dustwallow Turtles is from skinning and leatherworking, Myrdok would have to kill around 850 turtles to raise another 36g - Gapper and Moonwind, being skinners, could raise the money in half that time. So, I'm still not sure how Myrdok is going to raise the money. Perhaps he can adventure normally and continue with his mining runs.

He also completed his Cyclonian quest, which required collecting Liferoot (Elyrra ran around Wetlands and collected it in one trip), Bloodscalp Troll tusks in Stranglethorn Vale, and a stack of Charms from the fire, air and water elementals in Arathi Highlands. Two other warriors, Peacebringer and Jondalen, were also there killing fire elementals. We all took turns helping each other down the elementals. Myrdok even managed to collect the elemental components for Moonwind to make Elyrra a Robe of Power - except for one is Bind on Pickup! Which means after Moon made it, it was soulbound to her! What a waste. Oh well, I made 47s at the vendor. I bet it would have looked good on Elyrra, too.

Anyway, after handing in all those pieces to the troll trainer in the Alterac Mountains, the Cyclonian was summoned for Myrdok to face. It was a larger air elemental, 40 elite. Myrdok almost had it, but he got killed. Peacebringer happened to be in the vicinity and offered to help. The Cyclonian went down much easier with two warriors on him. I chose the Whirlwind Sword as my reward. Peacebringer had done it already and chose the axe. I attached a speed-up counterweight to his weapon as thanks for helping me.

So, now I have to figure out how to raise 35g in a reasonable amount of time. Desolace seems to be a fairly good place to mine for iron and collect silk. There is very little Horde to deal with, most of the mining veins are iron, and the Kolkar centaurs can drop 1-2 silk. I can generally get 20 stacks of everything I need to send to Stone in about an hour. It's still slower timewise than killing the turtles as a skinner, though (Looting and skinning turtles nets 4 gold an hour, mining 3).

3/14/2005 - Myrdok's mount

It took a lot of mining of iron bars from veins, silk cloth from centaurs, and a small boost from Stoneheart at the end, but finally Myrdok built up what he needed for a mount. And he's only half way through 40, a new record! Of course you don't get much experience from iron veins. I actually had to tap into Myrdok's stash of Heavy stones at the bank, but only once. Mostly, enough stones came out of the veins to send stacks to Stoneheart. I've also acquired around 80 bars of Mithril in the process, so that should give me a good boost in blacksmithing. I've just specialized as a weaponsmith, since I've heard there are very few armorsmith specific recipes. I hope I don't regret it.

So, what do I want?

I'll definitely be getting that one at 60

That's a pretty color

Um, no

Well, now you look like you're waiting to be useful!

Gimme the brown one!

Thank you!

Elyrra is next. She'll likely get the Chestnut mare (I wanted to save the pretty one for her). Now that I have my mount, maybe I can help chase down that mage that sheeped and toyed with me this morning while I was looking for the last iron vein.

So far, with all of my main characters, I stop at the point where I would fight the boss orc in Wetlands and all four bosses in Duskwood. At that point, the characters are usually around level 30, having done most of the quests in Duskwood and Wetlands. Once I start up again, I usually move the character all the way to 40. Elyrra and Stoneheart are the only ones left. Stoneheart will be last, partly because he is monotonous to play solo (he was tearing things up pretty badly before Seal of the Crusader got toned down), and partly because his mount will be free. That will be a nice break.



I've been playing some characters on the Cenarius server (a friend from EQ is playing there so I am setting up some characters that might be able to group with her every now and then). Any characters I set up are basically copies of characters I have on Shattered Hand and Burning Legion.

I just got my druid (Rhenn) to 20. I didn't realize how much damage the cat form does against enemies. They are going down much faster than when I depended on spells and weapons or bear form. We'll see how effective the form is against higher level enemies as I raise. But right now, it almost seems to do too much damage.

Tomorrow is maintenance say, and possibly patch day, so maybe there will be some tweaks. This is the patch that has been on the test server and is supposed to help fix warrior rage generation problems. We'll see. I wish DPSPLUS was working on Cosmos so that I could really analyze if it makes a difference.

Update: Looks like the patch is indeed going live tomorrow. I'll need to try my warrior's rage generation on a 38-40 creature (I generate plenty on lower creatures), Gapper's cat's speed boost (which I hope they don't fix, it isn't listed in the patch notes), and the Arcane Missile cast bug (which also isn't listed).

Update 2: Haven't tested the Arcane bug, Myrdok's rage generation is slightly improved (many warriors are saying they are having a much easier time now), and alas, my cat now runs the same speed as my bear.


I levelled up a few Cenarius characters to 22 for VanCleef, although I'm realizing 24 would probably be better. It usually takes 1 hour to get to 5, 5 hours to 10, and a little more than 1 day to get to 22. A couple characters had a hard time in the level 17 area, so their played times are about 6 hours more.

Cenarius Gapper just hit 30 (played time 2d 3h). His quest progression is pretty much where I expected it to be, having done VanCleef (first time with a druid, mage, rogue and warlock, which didn't work out so well, the pets being the only real tanks - only 2 of us survived the end fight, and the second time escorted by a couple 40's - finished it in 30 minutes), Stockades (with a warrior, druid and mage - EXCELLENT group, even survived an accidental fight against 5 inmates. We usually only pulled 3 at most. One would get sheeped and Snow would offtank the extra), the Duskwood/Wetlands quests up to the bosses, The Attack up to the gnome, and the Diplomat quest up to Slim. He might actually be about a level ahead since there are a few more quests yet for him to finish (Ogre monocle, Cursed Crew, Dark Iron War).

In any case, this time he's an engineer, and he's at a standstill, because to progress, he needs leather which Moonwynd will have to take care of (she's the leatherworker this time instead of the tailor). So I'll probably work on Moon next. Myrdok needs leather for some of his recipes now, too, so that will help.


It turns out Gapper didn't need so much medium leather to advance his skill. He only used 15 pieces or so on bronze frameworks before advancing to later recipes.

Finally, I got Cenarius Elyrra's tailoring up to 125. It took buying a stack of wool from the auction house, but she finally got there. By that time she had 7 stacks of silk sent to her by Gapper (a few he used to make Iron Grenades to up his Engineering and give himself extra money). Making bolts got her up to 144. Her new robe put her at 145, and making 5 Silk Hoods put her at 150. Now she can make the 10 slot bags. But she needs heavy leather, which means, again, that it will be up to Moonwynd to provide leather for someone else in my set to up their tradeskill or make something useful. It seems that skinning is the best first profession to take, since engineering, blacksmithing and tailoring depend on it for recipes at some point. Then again, Elyrra is a skinner, but she is only level 22. Heavy leather doesn't come off anything less than level 27. The only other good profession then would be tailoring to make the first set of bags, since doing without them is troublesome.

The first stack of heavy leather I went ahead and bought from the auction house, since Moonwynd right now is only 24 and I'm saving her at this point for VanCleef.

Also, while shopping for new pets, Gapper tamed a Feral Mountain Lion in Hillsbrad, and it runs much faster than Snow (I just raced them both to the target after I told them to attack). I'm going to wait until level 36 and tame a Swamp Jaguar and see if it runs faster, too. If not, I may just go with a Feral, which would mean I'd have to level it from 28 to 36.


Gapper hit 36 today, so I ran out and tamed a Swamp Jaguar. Lo and behold, it ran much faster than Snow, so maybe pet speeds weren't fixed in the last patch like the resistances were. I noticed later, though, that sometimes it would just slow down to Snow's speed and stay that way until I relog. I think hunters have mentioned that bug with their pets - any kind of slow effect caluses them to be permanently that way until a relog.

I also soloed Mor'Ladim at 37, barely. It seems that elites function as monsters 5 above their level, so if you can take a creature three levels above you, you should be able to take an elite 2 levels below you. Stitches is still impossible though. I helped kill him after Mor'Ladim and I don't think there was any way I was going to keep Thrasher alive long enough before he came after me.

Also, I've heard a rumor of a named level 37 cat in the Badlands with a 1.0 attack speed. I'm not sure if I'm going to bother trying to nab that one.

4/8/2005 - Cenarius Gapper hits 40

4 days, 3 minutes of playing time. I think Shattered Hand Myrdok has 8 days at 40. Quite a difference.

Now he needs his mount. He started with 15g after buying Ram Riding and skills (a new record - making only Iron Grenades at eng 175 helped).

5 hours into 40, I've done two solo VanCleef runs (netting about 3.5g in about 70 minutes each) and one farming of the Scarlet Monastery undead courtyard (51 minutes, 2 deaths, 3g in coin, 3.2g in items). I think the Scarlet Monastery is the way to go. It makes money faster than the Dustwallow turtles (4g an hour as a skinner/leatherworker). I'm currently up to 30g. This should take too long.

Update: Another run into Scarlet Monastery, and after an hour I made 3.5g in coin, 2.8g in items (most items seemed to be dropping off the elite humans before the courtyard, although some items did come off the undead). 6 more hour runs and I should have my mount money. Not bad. Of course, being a PvE server helps. I don't know if the PvP deaths I would be sure to suffer on the way to SM would be worth it.

Update 2: 3.12g in coin, 4.61 in items. Full pack that time. Seems taking on the Unfettered Spirits in groups of 3 nets the most likely chance to get some green items. I was even interrupted by a GM for 5 minutes helping me solve a problem with Snow not coming out of the stables (he died in SM and I just warped back to town and got my cat out. To fix the problem, I had to make Snow my active pet, log all the way out of the game, come back in and Revive him).

Update 3: Looks like every hour-long SM run results in about 3-4g in coin and 3-4g in items. I don't even manage to clear the entire undead area. Two people duoing together could probably make close to that each if they spend an hour there together. After 6 SM runs, I've made about 42g. One more run should do it, or put me very close to the 72g I need.


Every SM run gave me 6-7g, sometimes more. Definitely the best way to collect gold. Gapper is riding the white ram this time.

I've also tried out the Test server, to see what the PvP Honor system is like. I copied Myrdok from Shattered Hand over and flew out to Southshore. I disconned when I landed, so I relogged. The next time, the screen froze for a few seconds. When the screen finally updated, I realized why it froze. It was loading models and textures. Oh well, I logged off with 2 honor kills. Some players reported 500+.

4/16/2005 - into Searing Gorge

Well, after many flybys on a griffon, I realized that level 45 is the right time to head into Searing Gorge. I just needed to find a way into it. I finally found the way near Kargath in the Badlands after getting misdirected into an ogre cave. I also found a gate that could be used to go into the Searing Gorge from Loch Modan, but it requires a key.

In any case, it seemed a lot smaller after I toured it. And the central area, the Cauldron, turned out to be nothing more than a large Dark Iron outpost. I was expecting orcs. I was also surprised to find an entrance into Blackrock Mountain. Nervously, I entered. All I found was a central lava chamber with a circular walkway around it, and a suspended rock in the center, held up by chains. I continued around and found an exit into the Burning Steppes. Everything in that zone was ?? to me, so I turned around.

I found the whole thing disappointing, really. Why were there no guards at the entrance at Blackrock, or any patrolling the walkway? Because it's a travel point between two zones? I don't know what quests are involved with the Cauldron. I hope to find a number of them, since the place is so large. Other than that, the sense of scope, so far, is very diminished. Part of what excited me about flying over these zones is wondering what is there and how they would be the largest expression of the war machine in Azeroth. Instead, they just seem like simple outposts, no different than fighting troggs in their caves. So the Dark Irons are the greatest enemies of peace?


Gapper is 47 now (6d 21h played time). I've been working on just about every available quest in the 40's, in any zone that has quests for my level. I did a couple of quest-completing Scarlet Monastery runs, and did a couple recently in Zul'Farrak. Other than that, I've just been questing solo, mostly. I can't imagine how hard it would be having to quest in the really hot areas on a PvP server. I could just grind to raise, but part of this is figuring out which areas I could possibly avoid next time I level up a character. At this point, it looks like I'll have to go just about everywhere in the 40's. That is, unless I spend time away from each character, allowing them to build up rested XP.

I'm also having a hard time keeping two pets maxed. I get Snow to my level, stable him, then work on Thrasher. At this point, Thrasher is a steady 1 level behind. But on a recent run into Zul'Farrak with a full group, Thrasher gained a lot more experience than me. Perhaps groups don't penalize on the amount of experience the pet gets? He was 2 levels below me at the time, but I still don't think that my 1 bubble should equate to his 4. Even solo, it would take 5 bubbles of my XP to get him 6 to raise, whether he was 1 or 2 levels behind me. So maybe grouping is the key to keeping multiple pets maxed more easily. It would be especially hard to keep two pets maxed if I have rested XP built up.

4/19/2005 - Honor system goes live

Much to everyone's surprise, he test realm patch went live today. There were some problems getting the realms up and keeping them that way (everyone's quest log had reverted to 7 days ago, even though the game remembered which quests you did. Equipment and experience was not changed).

Gapper is 48 now, closing in on 50. I'll post final stats on him for comparison to other classes that reach 50. I also went through and cleaned out everyone's mailbox, which creates a problem for some characters because their bank is mostly full, and they need to have good inventory space for the VC run. Elyrra was by far the worst. I had no idea I sent so much silk and mageweave to her. There were at least 2 full pages of silk and mageweave alone. With everything else, she had 4.5 pages to clear out! And she still has 1.5 pages of silk and wool to clean out yet.

I'll keep working on Gapper, since he seems to be doing ok without any component contribution from my other characters. I needed some thick leather to make a deadly scope, but I found that in an ogre's Solid Chest just today. He hasn't worked on his engineering much since level 40.

4/21/2005 - Cenarius Gapper hits 50

47g in his pocket after buying skills (he had 64g when he went to the trainer!). Played time 8 days (4 days to get from 40 to 50, no idea why it took so long, except for it being my very first time through). 2602 hp, 2070 mana. Ranged dps is 78.0 (unbuffed) with a 22.4 dps gun (level 43, +5 scope) and 13 dps slugs. Main weapons are 28.1 (found on an elder ape) and 30.0 (quest reward) dps blue swords, total melee dps 79.3.

I'm Honored in all 4 Alliance races, and Friendly to all Steemwheedle Port factions (Booty Bay, Gadgetzan, Ratchet). I'm haven't really tried to achieve any factions, I've just been adventuring normally.

The quests really have yet to amount to anything I would consider epic, although a mass battle releasing prisoners in Zul'Furruk came pretty close. It's still the occasional gnome or goblin asking for samples to collect, shamans asking for artifacts, etc. In fact I really have yet to find a quest that builds up the way VanCleef's does. I really felt like a part of the Militia when I was working on that. And I've done a few quests in Searing Gorge, but my only real tasks there now are to locate an expedition team for a dwarf in the Explorer's League and light some towers on fire for a lone warrior in the ash fields that wants vengeance.

We'll see what 50-60 has to offer. The instance runs through Zul'Furruk have been mostly fun, but they are starting to get old. Earlier today I was grouped with two warriors, a paladin and a druid. We had a hard time. Later I grouped with a warlock, hunter, druid and paladin, and we were tearing the place up. It might have had to do with the average 2-3 level difference between the groups, but still, massive difference performancewise. Maybe the warlock's weakness curse helped that much. The second group survived a fight with 7 trolls! The first group got wasted by a foursome with 3 casters (lave burst totems in quantity can decimate a group pretty quickly, and we didn't even kill any of them).


Holy... this is a Devilsaur in Un'Goro crater. By the way, they hit for 400-500, yet are only 55 elites. The 54 non-elites don't hit for nearly that much.

4/26/2005 - First Honor points tallied

It looks like they will tally Honor points and rankings every Tuesday during maintenance. Some players reported 17K+ contribution points and over 1k kills. The standing 1 player on one server only got rank 4. Apparently he has to work his way up the ranks from week to week. Other players were so low in the rankings that their honor points were discarded entirely. My figures were kept, but I still have a rank of 0. I was hoping to wear the Private tabard. Guess I'll have to try harder this week and see if I qualify next time. Those in the 600-700 standing range achieved rank of Private.

For the record, for week 1, I had 33 Honor Kills, 232 contribution points, and a standing of 1022. This was from 3 small skirmishes in Gadgetzan.


All this playing and I've only just hit level 53. It wouldn't be so bad if a single area kept me busy for a couple levels. But I have to go around all the time looking for new quests because the quests I work up to are out of my level range. I did a string of quests in Felwood, did a few more in Un'Goro. Now I might head out to Burning Steppes and see what I can find there.

Most of my gear is mail - I just need to replace my belt, pants and boots. I saw some pieces in the AH that might do me well (Ornate Greaves of hte Monkey, Crusader's Leggings of the Monkey, and Ornate Girdle of the Monkey), but they range in price from 1.5g to 8g. I guess I shouldn't complain, I have 40g right now. The quest rewards post 50 don't seem to give out much gold so far, so my gold is slowly running out from the 47g I started with when I hit 50. Maybe I just haven't gotten to the really meaty quests with the good rewards yet.

Update: I took the Redridge path into the Burning Steppes. I saw a few whelplings and a drake, and went up a path to a camp with some elves, humans and dwarves. one of them gave me a few hunting quests. NOW we're talking. A new zone, a camp near the entrance, and some quests to weaken forces, undoubtedly building up to a showdown with the leaders. Unfortunately, one of the quests requires fighting elites that are a bit tough for me. It should be easy enough to find a group. In any case...

My first drake kill! They don't look as big as they do from the sky. Then again, this might be one of the smaller ones.


I've been playing Chips, my warlock, on Cenerius. He got 22 in about 24 hours, as predicted (1 hour for 5, 5 hours for 10, 10 hours for 15, 20 hours for 20). In anticipation of tomorrow's tally of Honor Kills, however, I logged Gapper on to participate in a raid on Ogrimmar. They seem to like to fight just outside the gate. And if you die, you can wait for your flag to turn off before you rez. It's a nice way to regroup.

I tend to follow the force in towards the rear and cover with Multishot and stuns where I can. I don't dare get separated.

According to my calculations, I should have 83 Honor Kills for tomorrow's tally, 73 of those from tonite's raid alone. I'll have to do this more often!

Update: For week #2. I have 83 Honor Kills, 701 contribution points, Standing 613, and a rank of Private.


I've been levelling Bruddah up on Cenarius. He's level 17 right now. He was working on the quests in Silverpine, but ran out of options at level 14, so he went out to Crossroads (something I wanted to avoid). Now he's 17 and back in Silverpine, but the only two quests yellow to him are elites and in Pyrewood village. Looks like I'll be going back to Crossroads again. they really should have fleshed out more quests in Silverpine so the undead races wouldn't have to travel to the Barrens to level up. None of my non-elf Alliance characters ever needed to go to Darkshore to level (they stuck to the human and dwarf lands), so it only seems reasonable there should be at least 3 places for Horde to level up to 20 as well.

The shaman doesn't have a lot of mana to work with, so I have to be careful what I bring out in battle. I usually lightning shield myself, put fire on my weapon (causes more damage per hit than the rockbiter), put up a stoneskin totem to reduce the damage I take and a firebolt totem to crank out extra damage (cheaper than the fire nova totem). I start with a lightning bolt, then fire shock, and melee the rest of the way down. This worked well for targets 1-2 levels below me. I do less for targets lower than that (which I encountered a lot of doing quests in Crossroads at 14). Looks like int items are going to be a priority. Since I spend most of the fight meleeing after casting, spirit and stamina wouldn't be bad choices either.


Bruddah finally hit 20. When he went back to Silverpine, he hooked up with a few others trying to complete the Pyrewood quests. I discovered a fight quest in the town hall, and we also worked on The Weaver and Berin's Peril. Then the warlock and I headed into Fenris Isle to take care of a couple more quests. Not a bad haul. And the benefits of Ghost Wolf are not exaggerated. It's really nice to travel with a 40% speed boost, especially when you're adventuring in the Barrens.

I haven't done any PvPing at all this week. I got booted from a raid group last week when I mentioned my frame rate was bad. We'll see how much my rank degraded. Frankly, after getting booted, I haven't cared so much for PvP. If I'm that expendable, I'm not going to try very hard.

5/15/2005 - Tried out Battlegrounds

On 5/11 or so the Test servers went live again with the latest beta patch, including Battlegrounds. At first there were a lot of Alliance waiting at the BG portal in Alterac, but there weren't enough Horde on the other side to make a 40v40 contest. There ws even a GM there talking to us in character form.

After a little while, it finally opened up, and I think I got in with the first group. We rode around capturing points with no sign of Horde. Then, as we turned and looked at the scorched central battlefield, an entire stream of Horde was going across, straight for the graveyard we just captured. Then all chaos broke loose.

Battlegrounds is fun, but Alliance will have the frustration of long wait times. On Cenarius, there is a 3:1 ratio of Alliance to Horde, and at peak times, there are probably 150 level 60 Horde on. That means we would be lucky to see more than 2 BG instances going at Alterac, and about 300 Alliance could be waiting in line to play. So, we'll see.

Also, this patch has introduced a number of strange bugs. Of late, the patches have been breaking the niceties while attempting to balance the more important issues.

Who is making these changes?

If I was happier with the 50-60 game, I probably wouldn't mind it so much. Unfortunately, my interest in the game is beginning to wane. Part of me wonders if some of these inconvenient changes are intentional to keep the sheep herded and more open to "new" ideas. I know video game companies want to keep people addicted. I'd rather enjoy what I play instead of the frustration being engrained in me as I await the next live patch. This isn't such a big deal with single player games (I just work around the problems), but MMORPG's demand regular updates and bug fixes, and sheep herd mentality is much more common, since everyone has a voice that everyone else can hear, and it's hard to tell who the company is really listening to or who has the correct opinion. People are eager to see everything work and make the best of it. That can't happen when things keep breaking. But people keep coming back, hoping it will be fixed, and in the meantime enjoying what they can.

On a positive note, I handed in the Shadow Orb quest today, and it worked without a hitch instead of locking and requiring you to back up to apply it.

I wish I would have kept a log of how I felt about the game when I first played the stress test, just to compare how I feel now with how I felt then. I think the game mechanics are simple enough to be fun. It just isn't fulfilling getting to 60 at this point. A person should reach 60 feeling like they accomplished something instead of simply getting through the toil. The quests at the very least should get you pumped. Instead, they feel like a chore.

5/16/2005 - VC beat by a duo!

My 25th level druid and a 24th level warrior duoed most of the Deadmines and actually beat VanCleef! I wasn't expecting this, since my 28th level hunter and a 26th level rogue could not do it pre-2005.

When VC summoned his other two guards, the warrior did an Intimidating Shout to scare them away for a while. I had to drink a mana potion to cast some more heal spells on the warrior, and he downed a healing potion (I think).

Then I changed into bear form to take the hits best I could, and we actually took the remaining guards down!

Big surprise.

I guess it goes to show that the warrior/druid combo is a lot more potent than the hunter/rogue combo. That, or VC and his guards were made weaker since then.

It also shows how loading up on secondary buffs like potions and scrolls can give you an edge. We both ended the fight with very low health, and I was out of mana.

Our pattern with all the main bosses was: focus on a minion first, I would Faerie Fire to reduce its armor, then cast a couple heal over times on the warrior. Inevitably, the boss and the other minion would come after me, so I would assume bear form (it's important to do this with as high a hp bar as possible to preserve hp), keeping an eye on the warrior's health. The warrior would then taunt the boss off me then focus on the first minion again. I would allow myself to take the hits from the second minion until the first went down, all the while keeping the warrior healed and doing damage as I could. Then we would take down the other minion, then focus on the boss. It worked pretty well.

5/28/2005 - Playing more BG

Battlegrounds can get pretty overwhelming. It's easy to understand that at various minor points, enemy NPCs may help defend, giving us extra barriers to overcome. But as we make our way into the Horde base, there are so very many NPCs that assist, I don't know what needs to be done to keep them from coming back, or what causes them to spawn. Is it something constant, or are the Horde doing something to trigger them?

Sometimes a mass of warriors and pets come charging out, other times it's just a mass of warriors. Inside the Horde gate, archers defend from high above in a tower. And usually the Horde can rally themselves enough to force us out time and time again. I don't know which targets to really push against.

What I'm hoping for is a site that describes everything that can happen in Battlegrounds so that I know more how to help out.

5/29/2005 - Another Border Guild forms

We now have 3 guilds:

Shattered Hand - Unity Across Borders - PvP, Alliance
Burning Legion - Dissent Without Borders - PvP, Horde
Cenarius - Another Border Guild - Normal, Alliance

The first two guilds haven't seen much activity lately. The 30+ game is so PvP intensive in the hot zones, I'm not sure how much I would enjoy the 40+ there, so I haven't played much. Especially on Burning Legion, my undead warlock had no luck at all trying to travel through Hillsbrad. Even in the less hot zones, I spend my time looking over my shoulder so much, I'm worried I'll get ganked the moment I relax and start enjoying myself. But three of us are playing again on Cenarius, so I decided to form the third guild. It's interesting what has developed from me just trying to hook up with a friend from EQ.

I also helped a fellow warrior in the guild get his final piece for his Fire Hardened armor. We did good until the NPC fight. Roogug fled and got too close to more mobs, and 3 more mages joined the fray. I slapped a couple heal over times on the warrior, and he ran over and looted the piece off Roogug before he died. Then we just rezzed at a spirit healer and stoned home.

And for future reference: When entering Razorfen Kraul, turn left, follow the passage across the vine bridge, go around the corner to the left (watch out for wandering patrols that stop at the corner). Roogug will be in an alcove to the right. The higher your level, the better, to avoid a lot of adds when you pull. We did it at 28-29.

6/7/2005 - Battlegrounds goes live

I didn't have a chance to test anything out with other classes on the test realm. All I could copy over was two characters, so I copied my hunter and shaman.

What I don't like:

6/27/2005 - My first purple!

After finally getting up to mageweave bags (12 slotters) and sending a few out to Gapper, I decided to start him questing again (I hate questing with no inventory space). He was in the Burning Steppes today, fighting Broodlings and Dragonkin for the Dragonkin Menace quest, when a Freezing Band dropped (level 47, sometimes freezes those attacking wielder, increases damage of frost effects). I checked the auction house, and the buyout price for the two in the list were 120g and 300g!! Pretty high, considering its vendoring price is 45 silver. I think the auction house prices reflect not what the item is worth, but what people are willing to pay. Some players at level 60 have a lot of gold to throw around, and the auctioners are quite aware of that. So this item must be a potential for the 60's trying to gear themselves up. I don't see how a normal adventurer could or would spend 120g let alone 300g for an item before they reach 60. I think I'll hold on to it - it might be funny to be in Battlegrounds and have a rogue try to tear me up and get frozen instead.

Oh, and a 16 slot bag dropped there, too, from a Dragonkin.

I don't think Cenarius has seen more than 1 instance of Battlegrounds yet. I managed to join one while I was on a flight to Darnassus, but for some reason only 10 Horde were on the other side, so the instance ended. After that last Horde left, we all won and got 16 contribution points. Woo. So, I'm still at Private. I'd like to get to Corporal so I can get that effect-dispelling trinket.

The guild adventuring trio is up to 27 now. We've done a few VanCleef runs and had a wipe near the end of Shadowfang (which we would have completed if it hadn't reset on us).

6/30/2005 - Endgame shivers

Gapper is halfway through 56, having completed a few quests in Winterspring and Felwood, and a drawn out quest involving collecting UnGoro dirt and making Morrowind grain (I think that's what the gnome on the forums used to finally get her nightsaber, before the runecloth faction quest was put in). He still has a packed list of uncompleted quests, some involving the Sunken Temple in the Swamp of Sorrow, and a few for Blackrock Depths. I'm hesitant to call out in Ironforge for a BRD group, given my experience with the Planes crowd in Everquest. I'm expecting a lot of elitists and hunter haters. But, we'll see. I'll report my experiences here.

7/1/2005 - Approaching level 58, observations

Gapper has yet to join a full group for Blackrock Depths. He spent a couple hours killing Dark Irons near the entrance and collecting their fanny packs for The Good Stuff. In the meantime, I would call out for a group and the quests I want to work on over General. Curiously, there were NO messages from anyone else AT ALL in General. So I asked, "Is anyone there, General is awfully quiet" the two replies were - "no" ... "I'm just telling u" and "no, I'm not there, I'm here.". I just replied, "ok thanks", because I just wanted to make sure the channel was working and people could hear me. I did group up with a rogue and got farther than the first room (I can't even take two 49 elites), but we got beat up by all the stealth seeing dogs, especially the Dark Iron walking around with two of them. The rogue gave up and I wished him luck.

Sometimes I was the only one in Blackrock Mountain. Other times there were up to 35 others, mostly level 60, working on Molten Core or Blackrock Spire, I assume. A few groups went by me and gathered at the portal or went straight into the instance (a couple Horde, too), but I just walked over near the portal and sat down, waiting for the next Dark Iron to spawn. One of these times I'll directly ask them if they'd like me to join. I assume I probably can't help out much with the deeper bosses of the instance, so I don't want to bug them about it or be a liability to their group. I have that attitude even though some people enjoy hating hunters at this level. I don't know if their displike is founded, but sometimes I'm a little put off by how hard these mobs are hitting - a level 51 undead hits for 41, while an elite 49 hits for 150? That's a little extreme.

So I gave up on that and pulled out Thrasher since Snowflake is close to raising and I wanted to take advantage of the playing room in my XP bar. Thrasher is only level 52 right now - that's 5 levels behind me! That's what I get for doing a lot of fedex quests and hunting quests with rested XP with Snowflake. If Snowflake raises while I'm in Blackrock Depths with a group, then for the rest of my level, Thrasher should be advancing instead. So I'm levelling up Thrasher first, and when I get closer to 58, I'll pull Snowflake back out again and try for another BRD group. That way he'll raise to 57 about the same time I raise to 58, and I can keep pumping XP into him. This is the first level in the 50's where I'm doing some actual grinding, probably about half a level's worth right now.

I just achieved Friendly with the Argent Dawn, but all I can get at Chillwind Camp is some expensive health and mana bread. I'd like to see what kind of enchantments they sell. I'll purchase them with Gapper and send them off to Chips. It will be a while before I get Honored, and likely MUCH longer before I get Revered or Exalted. I guess that's one thing to do when you're 60 - keep raising your factions with the various groups so you can buy some good stuff from them. There is a Thorium Brotherhood camp in Searing Gorge that needs a bunch of Coal, Kingsblood and Incendicite Scales to get to Friendly. After that, I have a lot of Dark Irons powder that will hopefully get me to Honored. I'll stockpile it as I hunt for the fanny packs.

While I was working in East Plaguelands, someone asked where the City if Andorhal was. I explained where and he said that was the ruins, he needs the city (they are one and the same). Someone else said it was in Stranglethorn, just to misdirect him or make him feel foolish. Obviously, the near 60's crowd isn't much better than the Planes crowd in EQ. Not like my expectations weren't set already. The journey here, as in most places by far, has been more fulfilling than the people. I won't bother hoping for much more than that, regardless.

7/3/2005 - Gapper hits 58

It cost me 18g for 4 skills. It will cost me 25g or so for all the skills at 60. That's ok, I have the money.

What I don't have is the idea that the journey up to this point has been worth it. I feel like I'm missing out on something, sitting there at level 58, in Blackrock Mountain, looking for a BRD group with no reply. I asked over General if Ironforge was a better place to get a pickup group. I few seconds later, all I get from one person is... "yes".

So I go to Ironforge, restate my request, and I quickly see two other requests for a group from other adventurers, less than level 60 so I assume they are green. I'd rather join an existing party, maybe with one or two vets, so I didn't respond. The inn at Ironforge also has a connection to a meeting stone for BRD, so I joined that with no effect. It would be nicer if people could enter a queue that others could view and pick from, instead of just getting placed into a group that they don't want to be a part of.

I suppose I could just grin and bear it and just join a group and get it over with, but if it's going to be that way for BRD, what's it going to be like for Scholomance, Diremaul, Stratholm, Blackrock Spire and Molten Core?

There just isn't a sense of payoff for what I've done. I could go out to Eastern Plaguelands and keep working on those quests, but I'd rather do Blackrock Depths, which I heard so much about in Ironforge. And now when I get up to that point, not only to I not see a single word over General in that zone, I get no replies for a pickup group. It certainly isn't what I thought it would be.

7/12/2005 - 1.6 goes live

Crowning bugs I've heard of so far (unconfirmed), and one I thought was strange:

Regarding the sheep bug, after 10 pages of a thread with people trolling each other about it (calling it dimishing returns for CC is a stupid response, if sheeping does nothing more than sheep the target, then at that point it's a disguise - they should just be immune if it isn't going to do anything), Caydiem finally responded with this: "So you're aware, this is currently being investigated. We'll keep you up to date as things progress." It should have been fixed before release, most certainly.

Apparently there is anotehr bug with warlocks:

7/18/2005 - My first BRD run

Finally, I got into a BRD group. I called out in IF and a mage said a group was looking for DPS. So I told him it was my first time there and he joined me up. It was just me and him. Then the warrior and rogue joined, and the druid joined.

Most of the pulls consisted of 5 Dark Irons, one of which gets sapped, and one of which gets sheeped. I laid down a frost trap to slow then down so the druid could get away. With as hard of a time as I had with just 2 of the lower level ones (meaning I always died or had to run), I can say these are the most intense fights yet. And when things got bad, they got bad fast. If the druid died, most of the time we all did, so it was important to keep everything off him or deal with threats to him quickly. He would cast a heal over time on the rogue and start drinking as the rogue moved up to sap. Then the rogue would have 3 on him on his way back to the group. Quite a tricky way to pull with as hard as they hit at this level, but it worked, mostly.

We made our way to Bael'Rur and Incendius, so I managed to complete those two quests. We almost made it to Darkvire but pulled a lot more than we were expecting to (3 golems and 4 non elite dwarves I think), so we quickly wiped. After that the wandering guards respawned, so I knew I wasn't going to be part of the group much longer. And this instance is HUGE. WIth all the time I spent there, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface, there was so much more map to explore. If BRD is like this, what will Core, Spire and Scholomance and Stratholme be like??

I did make a few mistakes in the session: multishotting and pulling a dwarf out of sheep, and keeping my bear attacking a potential sheep target instead of turning back towards another one that the warrior was fighting. It's especially important in these instances, apparently, to make the very best use of your resources.

7/19/2005 - Dupe exploit?

Now that the servers are down for maintenance, I check the forums and a lot of the threads are about level 30's using the Maraudon instance portal to dupe items and gold, causing instance server crashes with all the activity. People are talking about rollbacks (who knows how far), account bans, etc. I haven't seen any blue comments on the issue, so maybe some people are just getting together to ignite everyone else while they wait for the servers to come back up.

The only thing I would appreciate about a rollback at this point is getting my mithril back so I can craft the right items to raise my blacksmithing skill (I tried crafting a yellow with mithril that I farmed and it didn't raise at all, so I have to farm more and make something more difficult).

Update: Someone posted a photshopped picture of 8 epic Krol blades being sold at the AH by the same person. This led some to believe the dupe bug is a hoax. Others are saying that the buggy and unstable nature of the Maraudon instance since 1.6 has allowed many level 30's to successfully dupe. I did a /who for Maraudon on my server, and it's completely empty. So I frankly don't know who to believe.

7/20/2005 - Pawn Captures Queen at 58

This quest isn't listed as elite, and it was green in my list. I placed the lure and two insects appeared and started attacking. I took them out, then immediately three more appeared. There was no way to win the fight, even though I was 6 levels above them. The quest warned me that the queen wouldn't be alone (I never saw her), but I wasn't expecting that level of a challenge. Either the hunter class just isn't that strong, or I should have played it safe and got a party together (which seems silly to do against non elites).

7/21/2005 - 2 more BRD runs, and Gapper gets 59

In this run we managed to get to Marshal Windsor. the group was me, another hunter, a druid, a mage, and a warrior. The hunters would each lay a trap, and the mage would pull with sheep. Two more would get frozen and we would take the rest out. then the traps would break and we would fight those, finishing up with the sheep. It worked pretty well. We almost made it to Mighthammer but our healer disconned, and we couldn't get another in a half hour so we disbanded.

Later that evening, another group took me in (pally, rogue, druid, hunter), but this group had two leetists that were used to farming high end gear. I really regretted that. They moved fast around mobs and I was lucky not to pull agro on the group. I did get agro once (noone making sure I was ok, starting fights before the rest of the group got there), but I feigned death to avoid them. They were making comments like, "this place is so gimp lol" - yeah speak for yourself. The place would murder me. One laughed about me trying to get around mobs, too. Apparently, going around and not fighting your way through is the leetist way. Whatever. They moved so fast I could barely keep up, and I couldn't keep track of where we were going, hopping all the way of course. I barely had a chance to take anything in. It's very clear to me the difference between 59's and 60's that have been 60's for a LONG time. At least the druid would make sure I was keeping up.

Anyway, afterwards, I took a break for about an hour and came back on to do a little questing outside of the instances. After that I went to the Hinterlands to farm some mithril and found some people wanting help with a chicken escort and a quest I had in my list for a long time. It ended up being 7 people tearing through the elite troll temple, and I completed two quests. No leetists either, a much more fun time. I'm glad that happened.

7/22/2005 - BRD run number 4

This time the group was me, a warrior, mage, priest and rogue. Rogue saps, mage sheeps, my trap disables one for 15 seconds and we go at it. The group worked incredibly well, battles were well paced, and the mage was leading us around and knew what he was doing. He didn't try to trivialize the content by bypassing it laughingly like two leetists in the last group did. The only problem was the warrior l-hander was broken so he refused to use a shield, and according to the priest, he wasn't taunting much. Still, we had no wipes and the priest only died once because he got too close to a trio of Elemental Destroyers (they shoot multiple fireballs and hit HARD - the fights near the Molten Core portal, my bear died before half the fights were over. Not sure what I did differently, maybe the priest forgot to give him a STA buff). I completed 3 more quests, got the key for the shortcuts, and got flagged for Molten Core.

According to the group (which I appreciated for being willing to answer my questions instead of showing off that they knew more than I did), the other Blackrock instances are much smaller. We'll see just how much smaller. If the groups are more like this one, I would be happy to do instances more often. I don't know if my interest will last much past finishing quests and then helping others. If rare drops offer something interesting (particulary a drop that starts a hunter epic quest in Molten Core from what I've read), that might be another goal.

I'm now 3 bubbles from 60, but it feels more circumstantial, a byproduct of the questing. Getting 60 won't feel like a big accomplishment, I'm betting, but it will be nice to know that my skills and abilities will be the best they can be.

I also still have a few more quests to finish in BRD, one of them continuing the Onyxia line.

7/22/2005 - Gapper hits 60

It's been a long road... gettin' from there to here...

I only had a few bubbles left after the last BRD run, so I went out to the Burning Steppes and did a medallion collection quest. I had half a bubble left when I returned, and I boofed 60 when I did the turn-in.

My armor is 2002 (26.7% mitigation). My ranged is now a bow, Thornflinger (26.6 dps and a +5 scope), which was a quest reward from Darnassus. My melee weapons are a 32.7 axe (drop) and a 34.5 sword (quest reward from Argent Dawn in W. Plaguelands for the Cauldron quests). My overall ranged dps is 86.7 with level 40 arrows, and my melee dps is 58.3 plus 30.0. My reputations are mostly unchanged, just increased a little. Stormwind is very close to Revered. I have 3397 hp and 3660 mana. Played time: 13 days, 21 hours. Probably around 6 months real life time (I made him in January).

I visited the trainer with about 65g and am now down to 38g or so. Snowflake is 59 (been with me since 11 when I tamed Mangeclaw), and Thrasher is 6 levels behind at 54 (got him at 36). Next time I make a hunter, I'll just stick with one pet.

It should be interesting to see how all these stats change as I find better equipment.

Too bad my helmet makes me look like a Tootsie Roll. I also have a lot of spare equipment that might might my stats better overall if I can find the right combination, but probably not so much to matter enough to care.

I've completed a few BRD quests, but I have yet to step into Stratholme, Scholomance, LBRS, UBRS, Dire Maul or Molten Core.

7/30/2005 - Chips' run through Zul'Furrak

The party was 2 hunters, a mage, paladin, and my warlock (level 46). We did pretty well considering the paladin was our only healer. Mage would sheep, I'd weaken meleers or slow down casters, dot up the main target, and try to wand totems. I loaded everyone up on healthstones and jept replenishing the paladin's supply. I used up all my mana pretty quickly on the ziggaraut battle, but I did manage to get one drinking session in before rejoining. My fast minion summon came in handy when a 5 pull near Gahz's pool went bad (I used an imp for the whole instance). I also screwed up and allowed my imp to stay in agro range of an approaching patrol while we were fighting Gahz, but I soulstoned the priest that joined us later for it, and she rezzed the ones who died. The paladin still had to loot his piece from Gahz (things went bad and we wiped), so the mage and I rode forward from the instance to agro everything in front of us (the instance had reset by then) so he could loot. Then every mob in the area converged on me and I died instantly. No problem with that, I completed every quest on that run and gained a whole rested level with turnins. Too bad I didn't record the number of kills on the kill counter. It must have been at least 200.

I'm also noticing that Myrdok at level 45 is having a hard time keeping agro and generating rage in groups. It's ok as long as I have an offtanker like a paladin getting agro, at least I can jsut focus on doing as much damage as I can. It's even better if we are fighting maybe 3 enemies and I am getting hit and generating agro for my whirlwind. But if I need to snag agro a lot, I'm usually depending on Taunt in defensive mode and not generating much rage at all. I also can't hold agro all that well. I'll have to experiment and figure out which weapon configuration I need.

8/8/2005 - Observations on levelling a single character only

I started a warrior and made him an enchanter/tailor, with no other alts to depend on. I'm noticing a few things:

I wanted to make an enchanter warrior so that I could buff any armor or weapons I find or get from quest rewards. My armor suffered badly from it (not being a blacksmith, went into VC at level 20 with 33% mitigation with a shield, ew, it's usually around 40%, 50% once my 46 warrior on Cenarius got fully plated with a shield), but decent groups have taken care of that by keeping me alive. Recent armor I've found is bringing it more on par. I'm also avoiding all 2h weapons until I get to the level 40 quests. I may need to go with 2h sooner if I want to farm quantities of mobs for my mount (using whirlwind). Also, at level 30, my enchanting and tailoring should be around 175, but they are at 128/137 respectively, so they are behind. I also have to think about getting into Uldaman for master enchanting, but that is a ways off (level 42 at least, and 200 skill required I think).

I've also discovered the value of a Defensive warrior in an instance group. I've done VC, Stockades and Blackfathom Deeps so far. My most common abilities used are taunt (of course - but I now try to save that for emergencies), revenge (not often) and sunder armor (which I was told helps me hold agro, and it does). I ended up dying to the main boss in Blackfathom. He hits VERY hard, and for some reason the druid wanted to attack more than watch my health and heal, so I died with him having a 2/3 mana bar and the boss being down to 20% health.

Group experiences have been mixed. Some good groups, some bad with the typical problems of elitists, amoralists or problems of disjointed thought and communication. Attitude and language barriers don't help much either - connections are hard to want. The beginning levels were fun, but the higher levels are starting to feel isolated.

Update: After Tuesday's maintenance, I had 69 Honor Kills from my participation in Warsong Gulch, 85 honor points and a standing of 218 (top 10% of server, not bad I guess). My rank is now barely into Private.

8/13/2005 - enchanting makes money at 170

After getting 170 in enchanting and getting the bracer +5 sta and boots +3 sta recipes, I finally started making some money. Unfortunately, in my tailoring, I can still only make some leggings that provide maybe 1 or 2 soul dust per disenchant, when the recipes require 6 and 4 respectively. Still, I can charge 50s and 25s for the service, so I finally got up to 4g.

During most of the 30's I've had to do without many of the latest warrior abilities, but the quests finally started giving out some decent money rewards, so I have all my latest skills. I'll need 13g to buy all of the 38 and 40 abilities. Being 36 now, hopefully that won't be too much of a problem. I'm still blasting all the greens and quest rewards I won't use. I sell gems, recipes and animal parts on AH occasionally and have made some money, but not a lot.

I finally broke down and bought an offhand axe from the AH for 1g (been using Thornblade - 10 dps dagger - since 18, so I'm glad I finally got an upgrade - both melee weapons are now 17.7 with some stats). I have my eye on that 30 dps sword from the SM quest, but I spent much of yesterday calling out for an SM group with no luck. In the meantime I farmed the lone elites in there and looted 1g of coin off them and got quite a few silk (some drop 4). I'll try again later.

My first aid is still stuck on heavy wool - 20 more points to silk. In 4 more levels, to be caught up, I'll have to be making mageweave bandage and get up to 225 for the triage quest. That isn't going to happen.

My damage mitigation with a shield is around 38% - good enough for me. Equipping with plate in the 40's is going to be very costly from the AH - I can't hope to farm any since you usually don't find a green for your level until you fight a mob maybe 6-8 levels higher. Having Gapper send greens to Myrdok on Cenarius made that a lot easier and cheaper.

Tailoring is 162, Enchanting 173. In 20 or so more enchanting points I can get the better weapon buffs (1h +3, 2h +5). And one of these times I still need to try for that Fire Hardened Mail, and get my whirlwind axe. At 37 I can farm the elementals for the charms. Fighting the Cylconian will be a chore - hopefully I can find someone to help.

I haven't really made any connections yet. There is a young hunter that has asked me for advice and help since he asked me about my Private tag, but other than that, noone I really wanted to keep a connection with. I seem to enjoy knowing the game enough to help others, as long as their questions are asked with the right spirit. Many times that's why I will explore and accomplish what I can, so I can answer questions later.

All in all, playing a lone tailor/enchanter protection warrior has been mixed. The damage output is certainly low, but I still do well enough with dual wield. And the protection abilities keep me alive and keep agro on me while the rest of the group cuts loose on them.

Update: I joined a Warsong Gulch game today, and even though we outnumbered the Horde slightly, we still played a very good game and won. I accrued 112 honor Kills, so that should secure my Private ranking for next week. Who knows, I might even make Corporal. My specialty is intercepting people who are trying to catch the flag carrier. It's funny watching players hobble after the flag after I hamstring them :) - the next day, the honor tally for my kills and flag captures was 809, and 8 more kills were added to my tally. Maybe I'll get Corporal?

Also, I managed to get into a SM group tonite. The rogue and paladin were higher level than me, so my tanking really didn't do much for them - I offtanked when needed (not often), and my hamstring was usually overridden by the rogue's poison. All I have left now is the Cathedral, and if I'm going to tank, I can see why I'd need to be no less than 38. My agro radius wouldn't be as large, and my ability to hold agro against the group would improve (most of the other players are 38+). I did get a 20 dps offhand sword and the crit helmet off Herod, so it wasn't a bad run. The 26.8 dps dagger did drop from the library, but the mage got that one.

8/14/2005 - a few milestones reached

I happened to join a RFK group and got my armor. Glad that part's over, since I likely won't find any plate chest pieces until level 46 or so. I'm 38 now, so it will be good for a little while.

I farmed up the charms and got help from a 36 mage to defeat the Cyclonian, so I now have my axe. I purchased a Lupine Axe (2.3 delay, fastest I ever saw for a 2h axe) from the AH to practice it up.

I also joined another SM group and finished up that quest. The paladin in the group kept stunning the mobs as I got agro, and sometimes he would start hopping up and down when I was holding agro - I wouldn't put it past some people to know exactly when to aggravate you just to keep you from shining. Noone died, so apparently I did a good job, but I enjoyed it a lot more when I had agro all to myself and could Shield and Revenge repeatedly. At least with the new 1h sword from the quest I got, rage should come more easily. I also found some boots with good stamina and armor, a very nice shield off a boss, and the high dps dagger I had my eye on, too. All in all, a good run. I just wish I felt more like a tank instead of emergency agro grabber. When I am primarily a higher level in the group, that should come much more easily.

Tomorrow I'll likely join up in a few more Warsong games to help contribute towards getting Corporal after maintenance on Tuesday. Other than that, I need to get 39 so I can equip that shield (1300 armor instead of my current 670!) and start farming up some money for my mount.

8/16/2005 - So close to Corporal

I had 306 kills and 1733 honor for this week, which put me at Standing 19! Not bad for only 7 or so games of Warsong. Alas, I am a mere sliver from Corporal. A few more games should seal that for me, but there is a problem. I'm almost 40 and will likely be 41 before next Tuesday, and right now there are only half as many 41-50's as there are 31-40's. That means not many Warsong games will form, so if I'm going to get Corporal, I'll have to play those games very soon.

Update: I just dinged 40 with 5 days and 15 hours of playing. My tailoring is at 181, enchanting at 200 (could easily be higher with Bracer - Strength only requiring 1 Vision Dust), and 169 First Aid. All those skills should be 225 right now to stay on par. I've also up to this point found 29 mageweave cloth on mobs. I'll find a lot more once I get to 45, so I'll need to get my tailoring up to 205 at least by then.

I also joined another Warsong game tonite and got 176 kills, no honor tallied for it yet (we didn't do so well tonite so I assume I won't nearly get as much honor for it).

It will take 9 or 10 SM undead courtyard runs to get my mount, too.

8/17/2005 - Warsong Gulch losing its fun value

I played a few matches today, some with a few people I speech chat with through Ventrilo. Speech chat is great, I let them know what I'm doing ("watching for our flag") and what we need to do ("cover east" means our carrier is coming up the east side, "flag shaman west!" means a shaman has our flag on the west side). But when we lost earlier today, the head of the guild that plays called everyone else kindergardners, to which the other speech chatter said "lol". So I'm not sure if I want to play with him anymore, if he's going to try to leave people with those thoughts when he doesn't get what he wants.

Tonite there were no voice players, so I tried to rally them together and tell them to hold the middle and advance. Another player, who criticized me (or rather, "you guys") in the previous game for chasing the flag carrier when I couldn't catch up to him, said "yeah <my name> whatever." So I replied, "Ok, <his name>, what's your strategy, accumulate kills?" His response: "Pfft noone listens anyway." Then we advance, I charge ahead, and his immediate response was, "See we're splitting up already." I should have told him to shut up and help.

Well, we did a little better although they still won. Noone was reporting flag positions or anything. I know they are mostly new to the game, but players like the one above who discourage people from trying are part of what keep a group from becoming cohesive. It didn't take much a few days ago for that hunter to rally everyone into two groups and lead us to victory. After tonite's match, I left. I wasn't interested in having the same experience. Noone else was chatting tactically. So I'm not sure how much I want to try anymore if it's just going to be like Day of Defeat where I have some good matches and some bad, and never see the good, fun players again. There is no chance for connection that way.

I should have enough honor to get Corporal next week, but I was really hoping to make a partial career out of Warsong.

I guess part of my waning interest is also that I'm not really learning any of this for anyone anymore. I was excited for a little while at the prospect of grouping with those guys regulary for PvP, but if they are going to have that attitude about losing, then I'm not so sure about it.

8/21/2005 - Level 43, and warsong

I've been having a lot of fun in Warsong. The best strategy really is to group up and keep attacking them so they become fragmented and hesitate. I was worried that no 41-50 games would start for a while, but to my surprise, one started tonite while I was in the queue (a Saturday night).

Also, I found a recipe for an Iron Counterweight. It didn't sell in the AH the first time. The second time I put it up for 3g without a buyout and it sold for 9g! That made it a little easier to get my mount.

Tailoring is 213, enchanting 234. First aid around 191.

I guess my focus is turning to warfare tactics with groups, learning what I can and why Horde does so well. Our side had some whiners complaining about class imbalance when they started turning the battle on us again. I was fighting a bearform druid who was healing himself then had full mana when he came into human form. He must have been using his rage. Still, all you can do is group up and try again.

First week of honor: 69 kills/85 honor/218 standing - got Private, 7% bar
Second week: 306 kills/1733 honor/19 standing - still Private, 99% bar *grumble*
So far this week: 422 kills, 1710 honor, 91 kills still left to tabulate
(see below)

This week I don't have as much honor but more kills, because I've only won a couple Warsongs. At first I thought maybe I was leeching off from the other fellow's successful strategy, but I've been contributing pretty well to the fights. I even capped the flag a couple times. So many times it seems like who I'm fighting is more powerful, but some of them I take out pretty easily. Overall it fells pretty balanced, except for figuring out how to deal with a bunch of shamans and those totems. Maybe that's why Alliance hesitates - all those totems on the ground.

I also took a census late tonite. There were 1560 Alliance and 800 Horde. Alliance population peaks at around 22, where horde is very erratic. It looks like the lower level horde population is tapering off (no peaks there like with Alliance). I hope not. The ratio when I first started here was 1.6 (with popluations of 2000 and 1250). Now it's closer to 1.9.

Update: this morning I looked at my kills for yesterday (3 Warsong matches at level 43), and I got 96 honor kills and 1142 honor! That's 10 points per kill! In the 20's I only got 1.2 per kill, in the 30's 6 pts per kill (with a few Warsong wins). Without wins in the 30's and at 40 I was getting 4 pts per kill. Next Tuesday should be interesting.

I'm also trying to plate up where I can. I'll probably throw a speed enchant on my boots to give myself an edge in Warsong.

8/23/2005 - Level 45, awaiting maintenance

I tend to play 3-4 Warsong games at a time and stop, even if I'm winning. Sometimes the matches just get exhausting. After a few hours I might come back and try again.

I accumulated a very large number of kills this week, probably around 800. I'm thinking I might have a shot at the #1 spot. I don't think many of the players right now in the 51-60 bracket are heavily focussed on PvP. There just aren't many of them. Maybe 40 60's on each side, and I'm sure they are gear farming and what not. I don't know, we'll see. I hope I at least get Sergeant. Then I can see what kind of discount I would get on a mount.

I'm all plated up except for shoulders. The decent ones I'd like cost around 5g so far at the AH. If they drop to around 3g, I wouldn't mind getting them.

I'd also really like to get that attack power sword from the Bring the Light quest, since it will still be a few levels before green items measure up to the weapons I am wielding. Either that, or I could get the Dreadblade dagger from the AH with stamina and strength on it. I should also try to get a ranged item with stamina, although I doubt I'll find a fast one with +6 stamina like I found on Cenarius.

I finished and Hand, Eye and Heart quest and got a nice little item that lets me run at mount speed for 10 seconds, but damages me in the meantime. It might help me return the flag one of these times. Both times I've tried to use it, I've ended up dead. Also, I need to remember to go into Defensive stance when I am carrying the flag!

Update: maintenance finished:

First week of honor: 69 kills/85 honor/218 standing - got Private, 7% bar - level 26?
Second week: 306 kills/1733 honor/19 standing - still Private, 99% bar *grumble* - level 38?
Third week: 983 kills/6163 honor/3 standing! - 25% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 45

So I bought my trinket, a nice stamina cloak, and realized that my Stormwind discount is now 20% instead of 10% - sweet! If I play this week the way I did last week, I should have Master Sergeant next Tuesday, since I have an extra 25% in my bar to play with.

I also bought some cheap plate shoulders just to upgrade and get me by.

8/29/2005 - Level 50

I've made it to level 50 now. Enchanting is at 256, Tailoring 235, First Aid 240. I haven't used any of the higher up enchants yet (all but one of the orange recipes call for large radiant shards, and I'm not wasting those on items I don't plan to keep for a while).

I went through Zul Farrak and got some nice shoulders, and through Maraudon to get a two handed mace (which I mislooted, sorry - although the other warrior did get a nice fist weapon I would have used). I'm also collecting the Imperial Plate pieces from the AH, as long as they are upgrades.

Armor is at 3479 (40.7%), 4831 (51%) with shield.

I'm honored with most, revered with Stormwind, Friendly with Steamwheedle Cartel.

This took about 11 days played time, a little longer than my hunter. Then again, when I am levelling multiple characters, I tend to build up rested XP. Since this is my only real main on this server, I'm limited to normal XP.

I'll be playing a lot of Warsong tonite in hopes of getting Master Sergeant tomorrow. And I'm ambivalent about them releasing the 1.7 paatch, but since they have supposedly taken care of the crashes, perhaps it wouldn't be so bad.


Rank tally, week 4:

First week of honor: 69 kills/85 honor/218 standing - got Private, 7% bar - level 26?
Second week: 306 kills/1733 honor/19 standing - still Private, 99% bar *grumble* - level 38?
Third week: 983 kills/6163 honor/3 standing! - 25% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 45

Fourth week: 901 kills/9906 honor/35 standing - 85% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 50

I was hoping for Master Sergeant. I should certainly get it next week. With all the work I did, it's disappointing that I didn't rank up. Then again, my standing is lower because of all the 60's playing Warsong this week. It's hard to compete with players that get 42 honor points per kill.

9/2/2005 - level 53 and still going

I tried Sunken Temple last night, but I wasn't impressed with the lack of communication in the regular group I was adventuring with, plus they started the instance 1 day early without discussing it and didn't really consider if everyone was prepared. So I don't know if I'll go there tonite - besides, I'd rather do some Warsong.

Warsong is another problem. It's mostly 60's playing now, and some don't seem to like it when a less than 60 joins. I only played one game so far this week, and wasn't impressed with their playing ability, either. I'm hoping a good portion of the regulars from the 41-50 bracket are 51+ tonite and sign in. This won't be an issue once 1.7 goes live, and if that's the way the 60's are going to behave, I'd much rather not have to put up with them. At least all of us from the 21-50 levels got to know each other a little in-game and on the forums. I hope to see them there. There is a real disparity in attitude between the people that PvPed on their way to 60, and the people that grinded straight to 60 to PvP - At least, from the way the most vocal ones talk. I was lucky to get in with a generally sporting crowd.

I'm also realizing that I really need a third bag in my bank just like Gapper, because I'm getting a lot of junk to carry around. It's strange that at 15-24 you spend your time defeating the Defias, and at level 50 you're collecting dirt, snapping pictures and retrieving lost artifacts. The end quests seem to focus more on endgame grinding than really completing a story.

I also have a lot less money than Gapper. I rarely have 10g in my pocket now (blasting every green I find doesn't help much). I do have a lot of enchantment components in the bank and could make maybe 12g that way, but the prices for the enchants range from 1.5g-3g, and I'm not selling many.

9/5/2005 - Level 55, still going

(Labor Day)

Level 55, 14 days playing time. My tanker stats are 5400 armor (51.6% mitigation) and 4129 hp unbuffed. Dual wield stats are 3546 armor (41.1% mitigation), 3890 hp and 75.3/40.1 dps. I'm still using the Sword of Serenity (30.0 dps, +9 stamina) that I got from the Scarlet Monastery quest at level 40. I'm also using the Thrash Blade (37.9 dps, chance to get extra swing) from a Maraudon quest. I'm using shoulders I found off a boss in ZF, a quest reward necklace from Uldaman, a 2H mace drop off the Princess, and a quest reward mace from Sharpbeak. Everything else was purchased. I have yet to find any weapons in the AH worth putting +4 on yet. Looks like my best upgrades will be from boss drops and quest rewards. There is a 37 dps +11 stamina dagger from the Egg quest in Sunken Temple that I certainly wouldn't mind having.

First Aid is 244, Tailoring 262 (thanks to a small farming run on the Woodpaws in Feralas), and enchanting is 272 (I'm getting into the expensive recipes now, but I collect the selling ones as I can afford them from the AH - still no Fiery within my price range).

Warsong is a mixed bag. 60's afk out or talk about us like we aren't even there, although not in the latest games, maybe because there aren't enough of the WSG farmer troop there at one time to make the circle feel closed. Actual quotes my first game: "Go level to 60, wtf", "No heals for under 60's", "o u invited him to raid lol". After match "You're worthless" - this from Synister, highest ranked player and WSG farmer extraordinare. They also afk out if they are losing, and blame the 1 or 2 59-'s on the team for the loss. I can't say I'm looking forward to getting 60 to have to play alongside them in the 60 only Warsong coming out in 1.7. At least Doomstriker brought them into focus last night by saying, "Shut up and play".

9/6/2005 - New rank

Rank tally, week 4:

First week of honor: 69 kills/85 honor/218 standing - got Private, 7% bar - level 26?
Second week: 306 kills/1733 honor/19 standing - still Private, 99% bar *grumble* - level 38?
Third week: 983 kills/6163 honor/3 standing! - 25% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 45

Fourth week: 901 kills/9906 honor/35 standing - 85% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 50, #31 on server (new PvP ranking page)
Fifth week: 690 kills/7909 honor/32 standing - 63% into Master Sergeant (rank 4) - level 55 (place not tallied yet)

Alterac Valley opened up last night, so I got on and accrued some kills. Horde won after summoning their boss on us, but I enjoyed it. I even killed Minus 9probably the only time that will ever happen) and hunted Spade down with an Execute.

I installed Cosmos 2 and got CombatStats working, so I'm examining weapon dps. I seem to do better with swords overall, although a sword in my main hand and a dagger in my offhand do ok too. I'll have to keep a close eye on how much dps I do in defensive during the next instance. I'd really like to maximize my damage and rage generation as much as I can, but the dps measured is so erratic, it's hard to figure out the best combination. Even doing things in the wrong order in a solo battle contributes to it (not sundering for higher damage later, for example).

9/13/2005 - new rank again

First week of honor: 69 kills/85 honor/218 standing - got Private, 7% bar - level 26?
Second week: 306 kills/1733 honor/19 standing - still Private, 99% bar *grumble* - level 38?
Third week: 983 kills/6163 honor/3 standing! - 25% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 45
Fourth week: 901 kills/9906 honor/35 standing - 85% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 50, #31 on server (new PvP ranking page), #6 for kills
Fifth week: 690 kills/7909 honor/32 standing - 63% into Master Sergeant (rank 4) - level 55, #36 on server, #4 for kills
Sixth week: 386 kills/12875 honor/39 standing - 50% into Sergeant Major (rank 5) - level 59, #27 on server, #10 for kills

I can't help but notice how heavily weighted the honor system is toward higher levels. I got 12000 honor for 350 kills last week. the wizard I adventure with got much less for 900 and he didn't rank up. And he's 57. I did get into a few winning Gulches last night, though. I'm hoping for Knight next week.

9/14/2005 - losing interest

Even though I'm getting close to 60, yet again, and on this pass have participated in one 10-man raid in Startholme and am close to continuing the Onyxia line farther than I have before, and have a regular grouping relationship with a few people that might allow me to do some serious raiding at a later time, I'm starting to lose interest.

I don't feel like I have contact anymore with the regular PvP crowd. Wenry, Gto, Dumbledoree and Falazure are jerks in the 60's crowd and they seem to think they have control of it (I didn't PvP with them, they were 60 long before I got to the 50's), and noone else is stepping up to refute them. What used to be "sure let's get together for this instance" is now "come on, we really need to get to 60 and raid". It's just not fun anymore. And getting to 60 feels like a non event, even though I'm within 3 bubbles. When I comment to one of my regular partiers about how long it takes to grind out bubbles to 60, he questioned its necessity with all the quests and instances, which he is obviously more willing to dive into. Another was a real jerk yesterday when we tried out Basin. He sounded a lot like Wenry.

In Western Plaguelands, I was talking to an NPC and Wenry ran by me, mounted, backed up on to me for just a few seconds, and rode off. Since then, I've logged off. I'm not sure what I'm doing next. Knowing what lies ahead for this character (a bunch of disjointed periodic relationships yet again, and a forum that is slowly taken over by the 60's pissing on the posts), I have no reason to build up another character to pursue the kind of hopes I had for this one.

9/15/2005 - Level 60, now what?

17 days and 23 hours. That's more than 4 days longer than it took Gapper on Cenarius, but then again he had periodic rest XP built up. I've finished just about every non-instance quest there was in the 40-60 range. I still have a few in the Plaguelands and a couple in some other places. I ended up grinding that last few bubbles collecting Un Goro soil for a Darnassus quest.

Stats: Dual Wield AC 3619 (39.7%), 90.2/46.2 dps, 4729 hp. Tanking AC 5474 (49.9%), 4859 hp.

My weapons are the Intrepid Shortsword (+11 stamina, 34.5 dps) from the Cauldron quests in the Plaguelands, and the Lifeforce Dirk (+11 stamina, 35.9 dps) from The God Hakkar quest in Sunken Temple. They both have +4 enchants.

Most of my equipment was bought. On my neck, back and a trinket slot are items from the PvP merchant. My shoulders are the only drop I'm wearing (Big Bad Pauldrons from the boss near the Ziggaraut in Zul'farrak). I believe one of my two str/sta rings are quest reward from Sunken Temple. My gauntlets were a lucky upgrade, acquired from handing in The Good Stuff.

My Str bonus is +119, Agi +3, Sta +202, and Spi +16. Defense +10 from talents.

I'm 50% through Sergeant Major (rank 5) with 3244 kills. Almost friendly with Silverwing, Revered in Stormwind, Honored in the other 3 cities, Friendly with all of Steamwheedle Cartel.

First Aid is 300, 278 tailoring, 287 enchanting (the bracer and boot spirit enchants DO NOT SELL).

Quest-wise, I still have a few BRD quests to do, including Jail Break after two failed attempts (one because of adds, and we weren't ready for it anyway, and the second because I didn't have the stupid quest activated even though it was in my log). I participated in a boss run in Stratholme but didn't complete any quests. I haven't been in any of the others.

I've since advanced a little from what's above, but these were my stats at the point I reached 60. It will be interesting to see how these stats improve as I collect more equipment. Since acquiring Shield Slam, I'm partially wishing I would have had it sooner. Some of the quests from 55-60 were tough to solo. I'm not certain it ups my dps from dual wield, but a free 350 pts of damage every 30 rage is rather nice.

The level 60 game leaves some things to be desired socially. One of my regular partiers has been raid heavy with his new guild and is just turning into a prick. I hope more of the regular PvP crowd advances to 60 to thin the leet crowd a bit. Gto, Wenry and Dumbledoree are more cautious about their harassment, but I'm hoping they make enough of a mistake to warrant getting suspended like Synister. He, by the way, appears to have fallen out of the PvP game entirely. Last week he got 0 kills and lost 50% of his bar.

9/20/2005 - Knight!

First week of honor: 69 kills/85 honor/218 standing - got Private, 7% bar - level 26?
Second week: 306 kills/1733 honor/19 standing - still Private, 99% bar *grumble* - level 38?
Third week: 983 kills/6163 honor/3 standing! - 25% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 45
Fourth week: 901 kills/9906 honor/35 standing - 85% into Sergeant (rank 3) - level 50, #31 on server (new PvP ranking page), #6 for kills
Fifth week: 690 kills/7909 honor/32 standing - 63% into Master Sergeant (rank 4) - level 55, #36 on server, #4 for kills
Sixth week: 386 kills/12875 honor/39 standing - 50% into Sergeant Major (rank 5) - level 59, #27 on server, #10 for kills
Seventh week: 200 kills/13685 honor/29 standing - 35% into Knight (rank 6) - level 60, #14 on server, #10 for kills

Most PvPing this week was in Arathi Basin. I got into a few games last night, and a few more a few days ago. 29 standing for only 200 kills? PvP must be winding down. I also saw some very nice equipment in the Knight's Hall for the next 3 ranks, well within my reach. Anything past rank 9 though probably isn't very reasonable.

Last night some people said if you wanted PvP to go to Southshore. But there were barely any 60's there. It wasn't much fun. Alliance seemed to have just as much fun bantering at each other as they were trying to tempt Horde to bring the fight outside Tarren Mill - and even that was much more likely just to have everyone else hear it, to feel intimidated or whatever other effect they think it has. It was just for kills anyway, there was no sport. I didn't have any fun, so I left. We didn't do very well in Arathi either. Somehow Horde was able to keep everything very covered - hiding in buildings, leaving rogues to guard, etc.

Update: I'm #14 on the server? With only 200 kills and 13k honor? Maybe rank 11 is within my grasp. I noticed for the past few weeks that I've taken on the ranking of the #15 or so slot from the week before. I don't know what's going to happen next week at all. I just wish it felt more sporting instead of having to contend with the people who enjoy forcing others to contend with their attitude instead of rallying people into some real focus.

9/25/2005 - I guess I'm done with PvP

Last night I was in another losing group of Alliance in Arathi Basin. Horde was keeping us boxed in and were about to get all 5 resources. We were all told to /afk out so they wouldn't get any honor or a win. I planned to stay in but the comments just started blasting out - "they aren't listening" - this after I saw that a number of Alliance had already left. Then I got a direct tell from Ailin - "afk out". So I did. And I don't ever plan to go back. It's a shame, really. My experiences from 30-50 were so much better. But, if I'm not impresed with the company, there's no point in fighting for the team.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do in WoW, now. Pretty much nothign seemed to work out. In all cases, people ended up being worse than what I hoped. So, there really is no point. In any game, really.

11/5/2005 - I'm back, for now

One of my adventuring partners started up in PvP, so I took a slight interest again. As such, there are so many 60's PvPing now that I haven't even yet been in one with any of the A-team aholes. If that keeps up, I might just want to see how far 300 kills a week gets me. The other 60's are playing constantly, though, so I doubt I'll be able to compare much with them (I've accumulated 24k honor from 290 kills, not bad compared to above). I also started a mage and druid to see what they are like. The druid is fun as a combat medic (I'm also good at rooting pursuers and runners, and hibernating pets, druids in beast form and shamans in wolf form), and the mage gets a lot of kills. Typically the druid goes for 400 kills a week (about 4600 honor) and places around 540 standing.

I've basically learned not to get so mental about a team effort. I won't laugh at anyone trying to rally the troops. In fact, I love a team effort when it comes together. But for the most part if I hear bickering I immediately detach and just play my own game best I can.

11/17/2005 - Trying for rank 8

My 60 warrior accumulated 33k honor and got Knight rank again. So, I'll see how far up I can go. I'm predicting I'll get at best rank 8 in a few weeks. I got 50k last week and only advanced .85 of a bar, and I'm at 90% Knight. So 50k this week will definitely get me into rank 7, maybe halfway across. One or two more weeks after that and I may have rank 8, I'm not sure.

There is a large thread now in the General forums about how ridiculously time consuming it is to get up through the ranks to 14. There is also a consensus about how those who reach rank 14 end up quitting PvP or the game altogether. A fine example of how a misdesign can actually go against the game, but these are players in the .01 percentile, I'd say. The rest are still chasing that carrot, deceived that they may actually get farther than they actually will. I've done my own sampling and have come up with the following:

Now there are a group of people trying to shove the top player into rank 14, just like the cooperative effort of the player above required. That may make my advancement more difficult. But if I can get rank 8 at least, I'll get the Tier 1 PvP armor set, which should do me. It's certainly better than what I have now.

11/23/2005 - 1 year and counting

Last week I got 52k, and placed 57 on the server (no holidays, no noone was playing extra it seems). I advanced .82 to make it 72% into rank 7. Not bad. Next week I'll be rank 8. I'll need to decide if getting rank 9 is worth it. Even last night, palying AB for my first time this week, it was quite a chore getting kills. I just stood guard while everyone fought on the road, content with 2 flags. Perhaps I should do that myself. 20 kills = a win in 60 AB, but we don't win anyway.

I didn't bother trying to lead, since the top A-teamers were there in their own little raid, not saying anything.


My warrior got his rank 8. I think I'll be bowing out of that PvP.

Now I'm playing an undead priest. I did pretty well in the 10-19 bracket of PvP. Usually I would heal, a couple would come after me, I'd fear them, keep healing, then who I was healing would take out who was after me. This works especially well in the 20-29 bracket. We are just wasting Alliance a lot. And there are a few benefits to this. Because there are fewer of us, we get in every game. Because we win most, our rep goes up faster. And sometimes, we win after only 10 minutes. So I could easily get into 40 games tomorrow and win them all and be honored within about, well it would take 8 hours of play. Maybe I won't do that. But still, the progression is going REALLY well. Horde BG is much more satisfying.


I played my warrior for one WSG match this weekend (holiday), but by far most of it was spent with my undead priest. He accumulated 9000 rep points and got Honored. He got 1000 more after that, so he needs 11000 more for Revered. We wone with at least a 15:1 ratio. It's interesting to see Alliance suggesting that we let them with one occasionally. Maybe we could be sports about it, but I'd prefer that they know that's what we are doing.

In any case, I think my priest actually accumulated around 46k honor, at 29th level! That's as much as I hoped my 60 warrior would get in a week! Simply amazing. And I spent most of my time healing, so I think the rumors are fully false about missing out on honor being a healer. In a few hours, the servers will be back up. But I felt like I was just going to go into WSG again. I shouldn't, I need to level up and do some instances, and make some money. I don't even have enough to buy the Honored rewards. Maybe the blue leggings I found sold last night. I'll be 30 this week, when AB becomes mostly the only BG to run - and this weekend is the AB holiday - go figure.

Update: My priest's tally for this week: 2197 kills/50714 honor/standing 243. I'm now 30% into Sergeant, same place my druid is at 29 and has been for a few weeks, no matter how he tries to PvP. Also note the standing. My warrior got 50k a couple of times and ranged from standing 110 to 55. Standing 243? Goes to show how much Horde PvPs. Which will make ranking up harder, I'm sure. Place #243 is Knight in the rankings table! Would that be my peak??


Been a while! I stopped playing WoW in late December of 2005, shortly after my 42 undead priest was trying ot acquire the headpiece from Scarlet Monastery. The pick up group attitudes were just gettin gme down, and I hated not having any real connections with anyone (or having those connections go sour when people get too comfortable and show their bad side). Reading through this log, it shows how it was sometimes affecting my attitude.

Anyway, I tried EvE online for about a year, then played a little LotRO for a few months, but I got bored with that (no regular groups). So I would have stopped playing LotRO in... June of 2007 I think. Afterwards I started looking into collecting DnD 3.5 adventures since 4e was slated to come out. I eventually discovered Dungeon magazine and their Adventure Paths and found a chat room I could hang out at that doesn't have a regular stream of asshats. Lilith admins the chat room well, and we don't get many trolls there. And I get to talk with Paizo folk on Tuesdays there! It's a nice place to hang out and is currently my primary source of social connection, except for the occasional light conversation I might have with the people who work at the places I get lunch at.

I started up on DnD again and play some online sessions on Saturdays with the people in the chat room. Mostly, that has been working out well. However, someone recently mentioned playing WoW and that low level play has been trivialized. So I downloaded the trial and have been raising a new Myrdok warrior. After about 4 hours of play, he's 10th level. I can't remember how long that usually took before. But I'm pretty sure it's around 24 hours to get to level 20.

The levelling rate doesn't feel any different speedwise. He'd probably tell me I'm just playing it wrong. But thankfully, no real big changes. In order for the low level play to be significantly changed, you'd have to outlevel the quests before you get them. That wasn't happening. Drop rates would have to be increased as well to lower the levelling rate (less creatures to kill to get quest items) if Blizzard wanted to keep the quests close to the current level.

I've set my mind to play these 4 days until the trial runs out. I won't be playing for pay unless a decent guild on a Normal server is formed.

For future refence though, with all the 70's running around, you can easily get rich selling copper bars, and you can get a mount at 30. It's probably best to get to level 20 then run around and mine, to make it easier to deal with all the creatures. At level 10 you'd just be fighting everything, and you really don't need great equipment at level 20 anyway (but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the special drop now and again). Bags and cloth don't sell so well.

For the low levels, always make sure you have a good supply of healing potions and food/liquid. The lowest quality food and liquid are fine even up into the low 10's. Healing potions can be the lowest ones or next one up (advisable for tank classes). There is always that occasional quest or situation that requires you to have a little more umph to avoid running and having to start the fight all over again. Of course, if you get to level 60 and start a new alt, you can just mail them money and they will have everything they need. But even if you're just starting out, these things are good to have.

Mounts are available at level 30 now. Training is 32g and the mount is 9g. Very fast mounts are available at level 60. The training is 540g and the mount is 90g.

Update: After around 15 hours of play time, I've gotten Myrdok up to level 17. Looks like I'm ahead of the curve somewhat to beat 24 hours for level 20. I sat for 30 minutes waiting for the Defias Messenger, and I was beginning to think someone was keeping him agroed. As I ran up the road, I saw a 39 hunter marking him. I'm not sure if he was keeping him agroed or what, but I would suspect something was going on because the Messenger was walking away from the town and I had been watching that spot for that long. I should have ran the road looking for him immediately.

Another note: If you do start a new PC on a server, loot and sell EVERYTHING. I acquired 200 linen cloths on my way towards 20th level. And there were plenty of times when I could loot because my bags were full, and I almost ran out of money at level 18 when I bought my skills. Almost to level 19, I have 60% of my money back, and I know level 20 will be expensive. This is without any craft skills or gathering skills. Get as many bags as you can as soon as you can! Perhaps even start a cloth crafter at the start so you can make bags for your other PCs.

Stuff to keep for quests as you find them: Goretusk livers, Crisp Spider Meat, Spider Ichor, Hops, Boar Intestines.

I finally got Myrdok to level 20 after about 23 hours of playtime (would have been 22 if I hadn't waited for a nonexistent boat, and even less if I had better gear from other alts). So ultimately, it appears 1-20 hasn't changed much. Again, this could be because I was playing on a trial. Other players have said I could make level 30 in 16 more hours (I can't try since a trial won't let me advance past 20, plus I just really can't spend that much time on a game again. I enjoyed my small return, I need to put it away).


I decided to start up another trial last night. Gipper the hunter got his Snowflake, as usual. I reached 15th level in 7:15 hours. This was without any Halloween candy help. Drastically faster than the warrior. But, I'll try a warrior again before this 10 days is up just to confirm.


Level 20 in 12:47. MUCH faster than warrior (24 hours on my last attempt). But, I could try a 2H warrior and see how much faster that is.


A warrior makes it to level 18.6 in 12:47. I was playing better this time, although I could have done ith a better 2-hander at level 12 or so. I bought one at level 8 that did only 3.6 per second, when the 1-hander did 8.3. I finally got the Westfall reward 2-hander at level 16 and was doing much better, then replaced it with a slow but strong Trogg Slayer from the Lost Idols quest in Loch Modan.

Level 20: 15 hours. Not bad. I saved some spider pieces from another quest, so I didn't have to hunt so much to complete a later one. This might have put me behind the hunter. Also, the hunter occasionally had a good chunk of rested XP, since pretty oftrn I would forget to play him.

Still, I think the hunter levels a lot faster, since you can so easily take on multiple enemies - and use your pet as a sacrifice so you can get to an item to loot (cough... Bingle).

I went with Protection on the warrior (3 Rage, 5 shield, 2 Incite). It was surprisingly effective. I was critting more than usual with my Trogg Slicer. I was also surprised to find some level 16 shoulder pads. They helped.


In about 13 hours, I got to level 18 with a mage. Mostly talented Frost so that creatures would freeze in place when they hit me. It helped a little. Fights against casters were always tough (Gnoll Mystics and Black Dragon Whelps) - I usually had to open with Arcane Missiles, then Fireball, hop forward with a Fire Blast and pipe out Frost Bolts. The Blue Recluse quest got REALLY hard. 3 level 17's always came after me. Maybe I was supposed to go deeper in and find one by itself.

16:06 to 20 for a mage. And save your gold, you get a crapload of spells at level 20. (Unless I missed some at 18, but I doubt it).

I'd guess a priest would take 18-20 hours to get to 20. They are hard to solo.




So here we go again. Cataclysm will change every zone in some profound way (like a river of lava flowing through Northshire). So it caught my interest. I signed up for a trial (again) and decided to order the digital download from Blizzard, which includes Burning Crusade, Lich King, and Cataclysm. With my broadband connection, the entire download took maybe 10-12 hours. Not bad at all.

The levelling is definitely faster. Check this screenshot.

It only took me 12 hours to reach level 20, and mounts are available at level 20. I'm on my way to the higher level content (although quests started getting harder at around 17 or so, because everyone is in the higher level zones - not a lot of people to help out).

As for other changes, I haven't had to visit the dwarf lands or Wetlands to help get me to 20. There aren't as many spells to buy anymore either (you buy fireball once at low level and its damage scales). At 10th level you can specialize in arcane, frost or fire - if you specialize in frost, you get a water elemental as a pet. Quite handy, although it's very weak and doesn't hold agro well, but it's something.


I got in with a very fast Deadmines group, but after we TPKd on the boat, the group disbanded. We would have been done in another 10 minutes, I dont' see why they left. Maybe they didn't think we deserved to finish the quest. Or maybe some of them just like to TPK there for the heck of it.

That's the way I think in games with all these groups. Apparently the Blizzkid thought process is infectious. It's all coming back to me now, why I left... and why I wish I had a mild-mannered guild to join.


I managed to get through Deadmines with a Level 60 leading the way. I also got in on some Stockade runners, but I still have 1 quest for there remaining.

I just reached level 30 in about a total of 25 hours, which in the past would have gotten me to level 20.


To my surprise, the Cataclysm changes went in today.

Stormwind got a real auction house, the Wetlands town flooded, Undead took over Southshore, Barrens has a huge chasm running through it, Desolace has an area of greenery (with no quests in the Alliance town...), Northshire's garden is burning.

Interesting changes. Sadly a couple of my spells got nerfed (I was enjoying the Lance spell against frozen targets, but now they are freed on one hit. It almost seemed like Blizzard WANTED me to have fun right up to the expansion, then yanked it away. Just like selling the 3 base expansions for $25 after I bought the big digital download for $100. Classy.)

So far, the expansion is a solid meh. And now I have to look for different places to level at 35-40 - I had quests in Arathi and Southshore. Arathi dropped 5 levels and Southshore quests are gone.


I finished off Scarlet Monastery (although I missed a couple quests inside), got level 40, and picked up my swift mount.

I also have a massive headache.

I did go through a mild-sized arc in Booty Bay involving pirates that resulted in a ship attack on Booty Bay. I even swung on a rope to get to the attacking deck! That was one of the more interesting things I've ever done in the game.

I continue to see evidence of over-powered low level characters. Even characters 10 levels below me are far outdamaging me in instances, due to enchanted items and heirloom items that they twinked their toons with from their higher level characters.

Oh well - at least I haven't been booted for being untwinked. Still, how can a mage possibly benefit from heirlooms? They don't power up spells, do they? The high damage output I see comes from melee attacks. The dungeon party builder doesn't even categorize anyone as crowd control anymore. Parties just tear through the baddies rather than control the battlefield. That may explain why I don't see a lot of mages in instances.


Ah, holiday weekends, and wanton leveling.

I ran into a level 80 snagging kills for a quest I was on. Guess he didn't think I was worth sharing with. Or maybe he was just wanting to make things difficult for the undead warlock doing the same quest. I guess I shouldn't complain - I was having trouble with a story quest where I needed to kill an elite dragon and 10 of her children. I had 3 dwarf NPCs helping me, but the dragon would cast this fear effect that would send us into more children, drawing more agro. I got killed once and ran back to try again. Things weren't going too well the second time around either until the dragon suddenly died. A level 80 rode by. I forgot to thank him.

The Plaguelands quests were a lot more interesting this time around. I learned about zone "phasing", where the world aroudn you changes depending on which quests you've completed, and you can only see other players that are on the same phase. The battle for Andorhal was somewhat riveting. The caravan in Eastern Plaguelands was a nice touch, too.

In any case, level 50!

I'll need 240 gold total or so for the flying mount. I'm told they are worth it. Maybe I can get it before Cataclysm comes out. But I'll need to buy a license that allows me to fly in the Eastern Kingdoms. I dont' know how much that will cost.


Well, it took some relentless grinding, but my curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what a flying mount was like.


This is me flying my new Ebon Gryphon in The Outland, which the Blasted Lands sent me to for 60+ leveling.

As I recall, it took 13 days of playing to get Gapper to 60. Just over 3 days for Kessandra here. Leveling is definitely faster. Most fights are very easy though too. Very rarely was I in any real danger, although I did die a few times.

I'm not currently able to pull out this mount in the normal leveling areas. I hear that license will be 250gp or so. I'm already 95gp over at level 60 (which translates to about 13gp an hour), so grinding for the gold to have that much by 12/7 shouldn't be too hard. 12 more hours of grinding will do it (probably even less - the rewards at 60+ are ridiculous). This is also spending my entire level 59 in Battlegrounds which makes no money unless your Honor points are capped at 4000.


I'm limiting my playing to 1 level per day now.

First impressions of level 60: The grind is back. Also, I've been getting quest rewards that provide massive buffs to stats. Unfortuantely, they don't include things like Haste which might give me an edge in BG. Also, I found some stitched trousers that have excellent stats but should have been called Butt Thong of Butt. I hope to find something different soon, they make me look fat, and only my Knight's Tabard covers me up in decent fashion. Levelling to 61 took a lot longer - 2.5 hours, compared to at worst 1.5 hours to get from 59 to 60 by questing.

The Outland is interesting, but there are a LOT of quests here and they just feel like picking away at the enemy instead of making a difference. It would have been nice for Blizzard to revamp these quests as well so they have a better composition. Unfortunately the "real" game at 60+ is right back to the old Blizzard formula of grinding. At least the mounts are cheaper. And fighting on a huge slanted service was making my head tilt.

It's an odd design making the game so enjoyable up to 60 and then leaving you to grind. Almost like a betrayal.

Also, I got 43 gold this level. Which means at level 64 I'll likely have enough to buy the 250gp Master License. However, I'll need 400gp to buy the license for Northrend. So there might be some decision making involved... I don't really need to fly around the Eastern Kingdoms at all.


Another 2.5 hours and I'm level 62.

I'm also only 20 gold shy of the Master License. At this rate I should have enough to fly in Northrend (another 400gp) at level 68.

I assume I'll need an epic mount if I hope to fly to where I want as fast or faster than with a paid gryphon. That will be interesting to experiment with. Plus I want to land on that Ironforge landing strip.

It's a different feeling, leveling so easily to 60 and suddenly feeling the grind. Quest drops don't happen so frequently now. The storylines in Outland aren't so composed. The game isn't as much fun, which doesn't make me want to level and discover new things so much. Right now all I really want is enough gold to fly wherever I like, and then when they are within reach, the epic flying mounts.

The only dungeons I went through were Deadmines and the Scarlet Monastery. And I didn't even get decent drops there ("I'm needing on the whistle, no offense lol"). So why would anyone do the dungeons anymore? There isn't much reason. There certainly isn't any reason to raid for purple items in the regular pre-60 dungeons. But the unique mounts, etc. might be worth it.


Two more days of playing, and I'm 63. The grind in Outland is rather boring. Warsong Gulch isn't giving bonus honor for winning or playing, in fact one powerful Horde group spent their time farming kills from us in the graveyard. I was farming silk kast night to raise my Tailoring.

In short, the quests in Outland don't inspire me to keep playing the way quests did prior to level 60.

People on the forums agree, althought he usual lack of understanding takes the precedent view that Outland seems boring because it isn't new. Well, it's new to me. I've never been there. And it's boring.

I asked a player if he wanted to do an escort mission before I take it. He didn't answer. He ran up, took the quest, and left with the NPC on the escort. Usual lack of communication.

So, not a lot of play value right now. Why am I so excited to get the flight license for the normal leveling areas? Who am I going to share it with? Oh right, the imaginary group of people out there worth sharing it with, hidden somewhere beneath all the people willing to punish you for not satisfying their expectations.

Yeah, I'm definitely playing WoW again.

If the quests were more interesting, I wouldn't care about all that, really. I would enjoy the game and be open to share it with the people I want to share it with, and make that apparent.


So I signed on again, did a little questing in the marsh of Outland, still 63. Then I warped to Stormwind, checked the auction house, and played some Battlegrounds. Very meager honor earned - I'm at about 260 honor. However, for around 560 honor I can purchase an entire set of armor that might be kinda styling with decent set buffs. I'll see.

Anyway, not a lot of goals. I enjoyed the new quests from 1-60 I think partially because I knew it was new to everyone. Outland felt stale very fast. And I'm surprised people accepted it as the new content for Burning Crusade for as long Blizzard had to work on it.

I'm hoping even more changes when Cataclysm finally goes live.

I hear there will be an underwater questing area. And even swimming mounts.

I was told that flying mounts have 150% speed. Does that mean they are faster than ground mounts? Because when I tried my flying mount and timed it against my running mount, they both covered the same distance is the same amount of time.

I'm pretty sure I'll ahve enough gold at 68 for the Nothrend flight training AND the normal leveling area flight training. So not much concern there. I have the money for the Master License, so now I jsut have to wait until 12/7.


I made level 64, about half way through, and almost 400gp. I'm really not concerned about getting enough gold for the Northrend flying. If I need gold, I'll grind and quest a little with what's available.

I was disappointed with the meager honor I've been getting from Battlegrounds, but I realized I can get bonus honor by joining random Battlegrounds. So I've been trying that. I'm a little happier with it.

That said, I look back on the old honor system. It was a ranking system, and you had to get a certain rank to qualify to purchase certain items from the quartermasters. With so many people playing, that meant getting Rank 1 ultimately meant hours upon hours of grinding, and you ONLY got Rank 1 if others WANTED you to get Rank 1. Like moths to the flame, players tried to make the best of what Blizzard put in place, and the result was a lot of frustration, extreme elite cliques of teams that would only accept certain players, and a deeper amount of addicition than I've ever experienced.

Good riddens to that system.

Now you just gain honor for kills and other elements in Battlegrounds, and you simple spend the honor points as currency on the quartermaster rewards (the only prereqs are class and level now).

I'll hold on to my points (I have around 300 now, I'd like 600 to get the full BG armor set) until Cataclysm releases and see if there are any tweaks to rewards. I expect that a few weeks after they will tweak some more, maybe to make things harder, maybe easier.

Also, just made 65 today (actually 66, hmm, how did I lose track?), and got all the points I needed for the full PvP suit. (Yeah, probably should have waited for Cataclysm, but it isn't something I can't just do again. 600 points may take a while to collect, but it's not that bad. Collecting 2500 for the level 80 set, that's a different matter.)

So here I am with my Field Marshal's outfit.

The Purple Porcupine Princess.

I also did some time trials with mounts. What the fast horse takes 26 seconds to do, the gryphon can do in 21 seconds. The attributes on the gryphon are 150% flight speed. I don't know what normal flight speed is, but 150% of fast mount speed would only take 17 seconds. So the 150% is a little misleading. I also took a paid flight that took 2 minutes. I flew my gryphon back the same way and it took 3 minutes. That means the 310% mounts go even faster than the paid gryphons. So will the 280% mounts. That's the 4000gp training and 80gp mount. If Battlegrounds allow these, it will be quite interesting (and weighted toward twinks).


What does it mean when I'm convinced I know what I'm going to do when I log on to WoW, but I just stand there, and then log off?

The four things I do in WoW are:

1. Grind levels and gold by questing
2. Grind honor points in Battlegrounds (which also levels me without gold, so I can't do that much while I save up for both flight licenses now)
3. Check the auction house for cheap tailoring components (which I can't spend much on because of the licenses)
4. Experiment with time trials on mounts (which I'm not doing anymore)

Occasionally, I'll chat a little with someone who friended me. But it's not a regular social thing.

I didn't really know what I was going to do when I logged on. It's almost like I just said to myself, "I'll figure it out when I log on". And when I logged on, I didn't figure it out, so I left.

The mind makes excuses. You shouldn't act without knowing what you're going to do, unless it's just a fun situation and you want to dive in and let come what may. But that didn't happen.

Anyway, I'd grind levels today but I am playing DnD today. So that will have to wait.


On 12/7, Cataclysm officialy went live. I waited around for the trainer to offer old world flying. I thought it would be 250gp, but it was only 200gp. Seems like everyone has a drake but me. Oh well.

So, I'm level 70 now. And I have around 500gp. This is without special grinding of any kind. I need 4000gp for the fast flying mounts, and another 4000gp still for 310% flying speed. I won't be grinding too hard for that, but I'm interested to find out how long it will take to collect that much through normal questing. We'll see.

Northrend isn't bad, but it isn't great. The walrus people are silly and the quests don't have a lot of scope yet. I wonder if I'll encounter that lich dragon.

Also, I was pretty happy with my PvP set that was available at 60. I'm only just now around level 70 finding quest rewards worth replacing some pieces.

Finally, I flew from Booty Bay to Eastern Plaguelands - once by paying, once by mount. Same as my time trial before - the mounted flight took 1.5 times longer (13 minutes paid, 18 minutes mount).


I started up a worgen hunter. I was hoping I could change between human and worgen at will. But apparently you start as human and end up worgen. Quite an interesting origin. Once a worgen, I'm given my will back and am sent to rescue drowning townsmen, tell children to find their mothers, etc. so it forces a sense of goodness.

The Cataclysm occurs in the starting area, too. Maybe I'll catch a glimpse of Deathwing.

Kessandra is level 74 and has 2000gp. The thing is, once I have enough money for a swift mount, it probably won't matter a lot. I'll want the money for the faster mount training which will be yet anohter 4000gp, and I won't have that until it doesn't matter either. Once I'm 85, all I have to do is raise up my tailoring which hasn't done me any good since I got my mageweave bags. So... what's the point? Story I guess. I'll experience the content first and go from there.


Almost level 76 and I have 2400gp. I may get 4000gp for the fast flight just as I reach 80. Then it's another 4000gp to get the fastest flight training. It almost seems a waste, though. Once I reach 85 I'll just be maxing out my tailoring. I don't see a lot of point in trying to get the best equipment I can, nor will a get a lot of chance to really enjoy the benefits of fast flight (unless I get it AT 80 then I can use it for leveling to 85). I'm not part of a guild so joining a raid in a dungeon isn't exactly in the equation.

I'm at least collecting hit items instead of crit items now (apparently getting that hit number up is important for the dungeons to fight the bosses). But I'd like to keep crit items handy for PvP.


I grinded through the Storm Peaks quests and finally accumulated the 4080gp I needed for the fast flight training and the swift mount. Strangely, my slow gryphon flies at the same speed as my swift mount now. I don't notice any speed difference.

Don't let the math fool you though. 280% increase vs. 150% increase is not a 280/150 ratio in speed. The correct ratio is 380/250. That's about a 52% speed increase, not 86%. And the next 4000gp for the 310% increase bumps it up to around 64%. Doesn't seem worth it to me, but it might be required for the nicer mounts, I don't know.

Anyway, I wanted to get the fast mount before I hit level 80. And I did. On a quest turnin, I finally got the 4080gp and was a mere 144xp away from level 80. So I portaled to Stormwind, got my fast flight training and mount, and headed off to Booty Bay to do another time trial from there to Eastern Plaguelands. The paid gryphon took 13 minutes. The slow gryphon, 18 minutes. My swift flier took only 12 minutes. Not bad at all. I'll take it.

Oh, and on the way there, I accidentally flew over a couple of Cataclysm zones and dinged 80. I now have only 3 gold. And it took 7 days to get here, 2.5 days from level 70.

Before I go too far into the Cataclysm zones, I should take a snapshot of my stats (Solo/PvP and Dungeon builds).


I'm now level 82. I finished off Mount Hyjal and just moved on to Deepholm.

I have to say I was in for a number of shocks when I went into the Cataclysm zones.

The first was that the critters have a boatload of hit points.

The second was how powerful the quest rewards are. I mean, I know that Cataclysm is supposed to give all the heavy raiders from Lich King something to hope for, but yeesh. Look at the following table to get an idea how things changed as I leveled and got normal quest gear (and the occasional green drop):

85 - Honor gear
Hit points
Spell power
Crit chance

Ok, so my crit chance wavers a little. But the hit points, mana and spell power are just through the roof. I'm killing things faster now, certainly, thanks to the increased spell power, and the mastery I bought from my trainer (which increases my damage against frozen targets. My frost mage now heavily depends on that to do decent dps.)

I'm already up to 1580gp at level 82. Well, I was. I spent around 200gp at the auction house to get my tailoring up to netherweave. I made myself a flying carpet. Now I'm taking a break from that and will work on frostweave next. Frankly, I'm not seeing anything in the tailoring tree that I really want that high. Except of course, bags.

My next big goal is to grind faction with the Wyrmrest Accord so I can get to Exalted and buy a drake mount for 1600gp. My only options for htat are to run 3 daily quests that give me about 1000 rep total (I need 31000 more to get Exalted, and the quests don't take that long at all). I can also run level 80 dungeons with the dragon tabard I'm wearing to get rep with them. Someone else offered to run me through an instance (Heroic Culling of Stratholme) which almost always drops a drake in some fight. So I might get one even sooner. We'll see.

I didn't even bother with the final zones in Northrend. The moment I hit 80, I went to Cataclysm. I imagine the rest of Northrend will be a cakewalk at this point.

EDIT: Ok, sooner than I thought. First run!

Merry Xmas to me!


I just leveled to 83. I updated the grid above with my new values.

By the way, once youhit level 83, you ONLY qualify for Cataclysm dungeons in the dungeon finder. So if you want that drake from Culling of Stratholme Heroic, get it up to level 82. At 83, the dungeon no longer appears in your Dungeon Finder list!

Also, if you're wearing a tabard that gains you rep in level 80 dungeons, I imagine it won't work in dungeons that are listed at 81+.

You can still go into the dungeon by running into the instance, but that requires a group made up entirely of players on your server.

I'd stay this is a step back from the freedoms that Blizzard offers for players. Players were locked at the 80 cap with Lich King and could grind to their hearts content. Now they have to be wary what they do when they hit 80 because eventually the options will go away.

I also just arrived at Uldum. Not exactly a heroic start, but it's looking interesting.


Leveled to 84. Table above updated.

I'm disillusioned at the fact that the massive list of dungeons in my dungeon finder list disappeared after I leveled to 83. And now, two of the Cataclysm dungeons disappeared after I leveled to 84 (although the Heroic versions will be back after I get enough faction with the appropriate group).

In any case, WoW is more desirable if after you reach the level cap, you have a lot of things you can do. At level 80 (Lich King's cap), you have dozens of dungeons you could repeat. Granted, if I wanted those dungeons to be available, I wouldn't get any worthwhile gear, but still, I've barely done any of them and now I won't get nearly as much of the chance (the dungeon finder assembles groups across servers. Once the dungeons aren't available there, your only choice is to assemble a group on your own server).

So, once I hit level 85, I'm not sure I like what the game will be like. I can keep working on tailoring and grind factions to get better gear from the quartermasters, but other than that, I won't be able to get any of the vanity items from dungeons (like help other people get the bronze drake from Culling of Stratholm Heroic, like they helped me), which is a bit of a drag.

As for my stat items, most players I see at level 85 have 100k hit points or more. So I'm going to focus on getting more stamina items to get my total up there. I'm sacrificing a little critical strike percentage along the way. We'll see what kind of a sacrifice that is.


Finally, after 8 days and 20 hours of playing, I'm level 85.

I dinged in the middle of Crucible of Carnage, or something, in the Twilight Highlands.

I started the Cataclysm content the moment I hit level 80. I finshed off Mount Hyjal, skipped the water world (although there is a faction vendor there I hear I may need), finished Deepholm and Uldum, and am probably about halfway through Twilight Highlands (which suffers occasional lag problems).

9 Heroic and 5 Cataclysm dungeons are available in Dungeon Finder. One of the Heroics is Deadmines - that's odd. The Heroics require an average of level 329 gear. I currently have level 319 gear. But that doesn't mean 329 gear is good enough to do Heroics. I hear they are very tough.

Anyway, 4700gp gained since I was near broke at level 80. Not bad at all. I can get the faster flight training, but I'm not sure I will. I could save my gold and get some better gear so I can competently assist in Heroic dungeons, which I hear is very necessary.

Was it a worthwhile journey? I'd call it fun. I was thinking about starting a druid, but I hear they have problems keeping mana up in dungeons because they have to spam their heals so hard.

As for Kessandra, I still have a red drake to get and Justice, PvP and Deepholm gear to grind for. I wouldn't mind getting that rare dragon spawn in Deepholm and snagging the purple crystal drake, either.

Oh, and I had to update my table above, too. I haven't gotten the great items that push my hit points to 100k yet. Maybe I'll get more of those in Highlands.

Also, I noticed that random Battlegrounds now offer 45 honor for victories and 15 for loss, and their returns don't diminish. So being level 85 has some perks... looks like it's time to grind PvP for PvP gear, dungeons for dungeon gear, and factions for faction gear.


So, what have I been doing since I reached level 85?

There are nice bonuses to Battlegrounds at level 85, so I've been grinding for gear. I got my 5th piece today and should have my sixth piece sometime tomorrow. I haven't bothered trying for the higher rewards that come with conquest points. I'm also not certain just hown much of a difference the gear is making. I may need to load up on my solo gear just to compare sometime (I'm carrying all 3 sets in my packs - dungeon, solo, PvP).

I'm also grinding Therazane and Wyrmrest Accord dailes to get Exalted. I'll have Exalted with Therazane probably in 6 days, and Wyrmrest in 12. I'll be buying the 1600gp red drake from Wyrmrest, assuming I don't instead go for the 8000gp 3 man mammoth mount from the frost giants...

I'm not making a lot of money at the dailies I run (3 for Wyrmrest, 8 or so for Therzane). I probably make 100-120gp each run. So I really don't know what I want to spend my money on. I could also buy socket gems for my PvP armor and beef up my intellect, mastery and stamina. I'm just not sure yet.

I've been camping Aeonaxx in the hopes of getting that purple stone drake. It appeared once while I was in a Battleground. Maybe I'll get lucky.

I'll probably try a level 85 dungeon tomorrow too. If a do a random, I'll get 70 Justice points. Maybe I should do a random every day and grind for some gear that will get me into a Heroic run (I could cheat and use my PvP gear for that, but I'd rather not).


After running Stonecore, I'm a bit disllusioned (again). I waited 34 minutes in queue for a 25 minute dungeon run that didn't provide me with any upgrades or justice points. It looks like I'll have to queue up for a random dungon run every day and buy upgrades from the quartermaster to get true dungeon Heroic gear. PvP is MUCH more productive in that aspect (although according to my statistics, I've played in 155 Battlegrounds to get 6 pieces of PvP gear - note that the first 5 pieces were back at level 60. I'm not sure how many Battlegrounds those took to collect).

I'm close to the end of Twilight Highlands, which leaves only the underwater zone to complete. Quests are the best way to make gold, and I'm now doing daily quests for the Sons of Torid - I might buy the 8000gp 3 man mount. Maybe.


After 6599 honorable kills, 1024 deaths to other players, 1689 killing blows, 247 Battlegrounds played (only 65 won. I'm Alliance, what can I say), I finally completed my Honor gear set. I've updated the table above to reflect what I look like with Honor gear on. I can still collect Conquest points to get even better gear. I'm not sure how much I will. I have about 600 Conquest points now from winning a random battleground each day. It will take 3000 just to get the nice staff. I would have to join Arena fights etc to hope to get any of those points. I may try it some time, we'll see.

I still have around 6400gp, after buying the red drake. I haven't grinded dailies at all since. I did join the Blackguards, a guild with 3 other members. I was given a bunch of glyphs to make my mage more fun to play. Getting some gem upgrades is also an option. We haven't done much dungeon running yet.

I've been playing level 85 for 4 days and 16 hours now. Not all of it has been playing in Battlegrounds, although that has been my favorite activity (especially the weekend of Call to Arms Alterac Valley. Sweet, sweet honor). Tailoring is up to 404.


I've been raising up a gnome priest in anticipation of being able to more effectively run level 85 dungeons. With only about 7 hours of playtime, Fipple is level 22. That's 4 hours faster than Kessandra, which I find very strange. Then again, she was 39 when the Cataclysm changes fully hit.

Kessandra has been farming Deadmines, Shadowfang, Razorfen Kraul, Scarlet Monastery (silk!), Stratholme (mageweave and large radiant shards!), and Blackrock Spire (Runecloth and large brilliant shards!) for enchanting supplies. Her score is currently 303 and she can finally exclusively farm Outlands, starting with the Hellfire Citadel. Once she reaches 350, she can disenchant up to level 200 items and provide herself with Infinite Dist to make Frostweave bags.

Battlegrounds were rough over the last couple days. Not a single win. Then again, I'm only playing a couple at a time now since I have all my PvP gear.


Fipple is now level 30 with only 12 hours of play time. Kess took 1 day to get here before the Cata changes.

I also noticed an odd bump in power in Fipple around level 24. He used to have to use Mind Flay at least 3 times on an enemy before they were down low enough to finish off with a Mind Blast. Now he can usually do it within two uses.


After only 19 hours of play time, Fipple is level 40 with 71 gold. Well, 5 now since I bought dual spec and a swift mount. Still. That's some fast leveling.

I'm not in a rush to try BG at all with him yet. I dual specced into Discipline but I don't really know what's good to take.


Fipple reached level 50 after 1 day, 6 hours, with 139gp.
also reached level 60 after 1 day, 18 hours, with 129gp left over after buying the 212gp flight training and 42gp white gryphon.

Note that this is without any professions of any kind. He also has a lot of cloth in the bank that he hasn't bothered to sell.


Fipple is now level 70.

The level grinding from 60-70 took about 2-3 hours per level. The levelling to 67 and 68 was 3 hours or a little more, then dropped back to 2 hours to get to level 69 because I started in Northrend.

I have 799 gold at level 70. That's not bad.

Play time 2 days, 19 hours.


Fipple went to ZulDurak at level 74. He got to level 75 and went to the eastern half of the zone and ran out of quests. So don't go there unless you're at least half way through 74, because some quests won't unlock there until you're 76. Best to finish off a good portion of Grizzly Hills before going there at all.

Fipple is currently in the middle of level 78 in Icecrown. There are a LOT of quests there. Many dailies get unlocked as you go, too.

Most levels in the 70 range will take 3 hours or more. Icecrown may take a bit longer because there is a lot of flying back and forth as you complete 2 or 3 quests at a time and return to the quest giver. (Then again, it's a new zone for me so some of the time is spent figuring out how to complete the quests).


Fipple finally reached level 80 and headed straight into Cataclysm. While adventuring in Northrend, he collected about 20 stacks of Frostweave.

Here is my progress table for Fipple, from levels 80 to 85:

Spell Power
Combat regen
4d 9h
4d 12h
4d 16h
4d 21h
5d 4h