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I haven’t posted to this blog in a VERY long time.  It’s not that I haven’t been playing World of Warcraft.  My ability to post was more related to a tinge of OCD or what some consider perfectionism.  I could edit a post 20 times before I’d consider it good enough to live on the web forever and some times posting seems more like a daunting task.  What’s changed in a year?

I have six natural level 90 characters now – 5 Alliance, 1 Horde and two unnatural level 90 characters (boosted).  By natural I mean I actually spent the time to level all these characters up the hard way.  My main character, Shavai, now has iLvL 547 gear instead of struggling with quest gear (and the top level of gear has gone up twice).  The guild master from my old guild quit the game to focus on other things in life, but very kindly helped me transition into my own guild.  Most notably, my son and his girlfriend are now both playing World of Warcraft with me.

Playing a game for over a year gives you an amazing perspective on the game and the people who play it.  World of Warcraft has so much to offer in play types and places to play, yet many people want quick and instant gratification. In a game so rich with things to do and places to go, finding those who really appreciate all the game’s aspects is a rare and joyous occasion.  We’ve had a few people join the guild with alts, but none who are regular players.

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Currently, I own two Level 25 guilds – one Alliance on the Dalaran server and one Horde on the Gnomeregan server. My hope is to make our guilds learning guilds.  I look forward to getting all my characters up to Level 90 so I can concentrate more on creating guild resources and do guild recruiting. Our goal with the learning guilds will be to provide tools and tips to everyone who wants to explore the depth of the game and more casual, less regimented opportunities to try and learn some of the harder aspects of the game such as raids.

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At the end of this year, Blizzard will release a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft called “Warlords of Draenor.”  If bootleg videos of people flying over unfinished lands is any indication, there will be plenty to explore in addition to being able to create your own town.

If you are new to the game and interested in trying it Blizzard offers a free trial. As someone who went the trial route and ended up playing the game I recommend just jumping in as the trial route creates two different accounts which can get confusing to newer users.  You can usually find the game software on sale.  I recommend buying a 60-Day play time card from your local Wal-Mart and getting a link to special perks which gives you an opportunity to get triple experience and a special “Summon” ability from the person who gave the link to you regardless of which class you are.  These perks only last for a couple of months though so it’s best to make use of them immediately.  You can request a special link to these perks by e-mailing knightsoftwistedfate@gmail.com with the e-mail address you’ll be using for your World of Warcraft account.  It’s important you have this link available for use before creating your account.

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Chances are upon creating your first character you’ll be bombarded by requests to join a guild.  Make sure you choose a Level 25 guild to take advantage of all the perks (a list of these is available on the home page of our Alliance guild web page).  Don’t worry about being stuck with any one guild.  You can leave at any time and switch to a guild that better suits your play needs.

You may want to find a guild that caters to newer users so you don’t suffer the wrath of players who treat new users with contempt.  Unfortunately, abuse of new players has become the staple of today’s barely raised children looking for a way to feel better about themselves at the expense of others.  There are plenty of mature users in the game.  You just have to find them.

Playing World of Warcraft can be a fun way to keep in touch with family who are no longer physically near you.  It can also be a good way to teach your child to be a responsible internet user instead of an internet abuser.  It’s a great way to focus on something else when dealing with daily pain management and a great way to relax if you have smaller children who go to bed early.  It allows you to socialize and achieve things all in the safety of your own home.

Now is a great time to get ready for the Warlords of Draenor expansion whether you are a new player or coming back to the game after a long period of inactivity.  Hope to see you there! 🙂

 

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As a newbie to the world of graphic RPGs, I have so much to learn in so many different ways.  In the game, the instructions were very clear on how to get a ride to places far away.  In one of my earlier quests, it took me via gryphon to another city.  I learned the flight routes very easily from that quest.  Since I knew nothing about the game and started out without anyone to guide me on how to play, I picked up quests I didn’t know how to finish and they bugged me every day.

It might be my OCD tendencies.  I don’t like knowing there’s a quest out there I haven’t finished and two of the quests I managed to accept along different quest lines had no discernible way to get to them without going through a dungeon.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to do so.  I didn’t like the idea that I could get stuck in a dungeon group full of miscreants who just wanted to use foul language and be abusive.  Mind you, not ever having been in one with a group yet I don’t know that to be the norm, but based on the type of behavior you see on the general chat channels it did not inspire me to investigate going into a dungeon.

At level 38 now, having a bit more information and being told how low level the Gnomeregan dungeon was I figured it was time to set out and see if I could find Gnomeregan by myself.  I’ve seen maps of it and I was told it was west of Ironforge, but I could never find a map connecting the lines between Ironforge and Gnomeregan.  When you are in Ironforge, you get a map of Ironforge. Right-click on that map and you get a map with more areas in it, but few indicators of where towns are.  Now that I have been in WoW for a bit, I’ve figured out how to get mid-level maps showing an entire area (by finding the big continent map and clicking on the area labeled Dun Morogh or whatever area you are looking for – it’s like hovering over states on a United States map).

For those of you who may have worked so hard to level up your characters and not been to a dungeon with a group, I’ve taken several screen shots for you of what to expect.  I did forget to take a screen shot of the first level NPC Boss kill.  It’s a 20,000+ EXP  NPC and my nerves were a bit frazzled having died a couple times in the process of learning.  I will say my old CircleMUD skills came into play.  I was able to run all three levels of the dungeon by myself at level 38 (being a priest – you can probably do it at a lower level with a hardier class) through use of pulling the NPCs away from one another (since things die much quicker when you have a bunch of people beating on it and not so much by yourself).  One of the first things to know is how to get to a dungeon on foot.  Most people use the feature in the game (keybound to the letter “I”) that will put you in queue for a group to go run a dungeon with.  If you’ve forgotten to do a much lower level dungeon and you want to do it by yourself, you need to go by foot and look for the dungeon symbol (hot green above) to get inside.

Gnomeregan (and the Stormwind dungeon) is a little better prepared then some.  With Gnomeregan and Stormwind, you have the option of quiet rooms to rest and heal before you go back into the dungeon if you get killed.  My recent experience with the Shadowfang Keep dungeon was less friendly.  I saw no quiet rooms at the Keep and in fact, there is NO PLACE anywhere nearby where you won’t get mowed down instantly in which to get your armor repaired.  There is a small area at the base of Shadowfang Keep, but a mob with over 100K EXP roams there and if she catches you, it’s instant death.

Gnomeregan requires that you take an elevator down to the dungeon area. Upon exiting the elevator, you walk through a hall of machinery to the loading area/healing room.  You have the choice of either going straight into a practice area where you can work out the group dynamics with some smaller NPCs or turning left to head into the dungeon.  How do you distinguish where the dungeon is?  By the blue portal above.  When you step through that portal you’ll be greeted by a Quest Master (Murd Doc – linked through a quest in another non-dungeon area) and his friendly support team.  Once you accept his quest, you are ready to rock and roll.

The first dungeon level in Gnomeregan can only be reached by a parachute (which BTW, doesn’t always open – if it doesn’t you can plan on losing around 1,000+ Hit Points when you hit bottom).  Luckily there are parachute boxes on both level 1 and 2 in case you die and have to return.  Level 1 is full of oozing slime and baby Vicous Fallout roaming robots, but they are easy to pull and kill. A good level 38 priest can take Vicous Fallout himself out after killing all the roaming NPCs, but you need to be very focused on what you’re doing to ensure you are healing what was half my hit points every time my power shield faded out and needed to be recast.  Since this was such a low level dungeon I was a bit surprised that the item he dropped was better than the one I had.  The good thing about running the dungeon was I didn’t have to worry about sharing the armor and equipment drops.  It was sad there weren’t people to get the items I didn’t need (they immediately bind to you), but I sold them for a good amount of coin at the next vendor I visited.  When I finally killed Vicous Fallout, I was exhausted and completely forgot to get a screen shot of his carcass.  Having never killed a dungeon boss before, it was a relief when it was over.  There is a friendly NPC in a car almost halfway around level one who gives you the next quest for level 2.    The corridor behind him is where I pulled all the NPCs I killed to.

By the second level, I was a little more used to the killing frenzy.  There were the same requisite NPCs to kill, a little one bigger than the other and seemingly around 5,000 hit points.  Electrocutioner 6000 had more hit points to get rid of though.  In the end, Electrocutioner 6000 met his match.  Notice the white tipped staff on my back?  I got that from the first level NPC Boss.

When the third level came around it almost seemed impossible.  I won’t deny I died a couple of times from getting a little cocky with my second level success of pulling NPCs (i.e. I didn’t die on the second level).  I made sure when I parachuted down to this last level that I ran to the very outside of the area and made my way around the perimeter to the hall that took you to where the Boss NPC (Mekgineer Thermaplugg) was.  There was a helpful dwarven NPC with blue balls of electricity when I pulled the worker NPCs out to the perimeter of the main area to be killed (they all had “guardians”).  This level seemed to me to have the most aggressive NPC workers of the dungeon, which would make sense if it’s the last Boss NPC.  By the way, Mekgineer Thermaplugg had over 27,000 hit points and a bunch of little bombs to annoy you with some offensive spell while you were trying to kill him.

I want to make a note here for anyone who is going through the Gnomeregan dungeon…there is supposed to be a dormitory somewhere which contains a Sparklematic 5200 NPC.  The Sparklematic is supposed to process all the grimy encrusted things you received as you killed all the NPCs and turn some of them into pretty stones.  It is also supposed to be a quest, but I couldn’t find the “Dormitory” where the Sparklematic is supposed to live when I was outside in the “Loading Area.” I can only surmise he lives on one of the dungeon levels even though older instructions on the web says he is in the pre-dungeon area. I spent my time focused on killing the Boss NPCs and going to the next level as opposed to exploring so I suppose there could be a clean room on one of the dungeon levels, but I didn’t go looking for it.  Now I have a bunch of grimy encrusted items and have no idea how to get them transferred into gems at the moment.  If you figure it out, please feel free to leave a comment as I would love to figure out how to get them taken care of.

Also, in my travels through the non-dungeon areas of the Gnomeregan dungeon in search of the Sparklematic 5200, I came upon an area in the back of the practice zone with 5,000HP NPCs.  I don’t know if they lead to the major dungeon areas as I wasn’t really trying to run the dungeon again.  I was just looking for the “clean” area where people claimed the Sparklematic 5200 resided.  I don’t know if I couldn’t find him due to running the dungeon at such a high level instead of the level the dungeon was intended for, but Sparklematic 5200 was nowhere to be found.

If like me, you have hesitations about grouping with strangers wait until you feel more comfortable about it.  There are hundreds of discussions about dungeon runs on the internet, some include strategies.  Sooner or later you’ll wind up meeting people you want to run in a group with.  Dungeons are a great place to pick up good armor and challenge your strategy and gaming skills.  I liked Gnomeregan as a starter dungeon.  The graveyard is very easy to get to and it’s a quick trip to run outside and get armor repair before going back in (if you click on the guy near the transporter device at the elevator bay, he will automatically transport you up to the surface without waiting for an elevator).  I’ve read other people talking about how boring the Gnomeregan dungeon is, but I found it to be a good first dungeon to experience.  Just remember to make sure your hearthstone is in your bag (there is no other way out unless someone teleports you) and you stop at the Sparklematic 5200 before leaving the last dungeon level.

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