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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! 🙂

 

There are so many things you have to learn when you’re involved in a game that relies on other people.  I’ve been pretty much winging it on my own, with the exception of the dungeon runs I’ve done with my guild leader.  He’s a great guy who explains things to me and has the patience to put up with the horrible mis-steps my old computer frequently causes.  In one dungeon, I had the hideous luck to keep falling into molten lava on the way in because at the time I did not have a winged beast to fly over it (or to be more exact, wasn’t at a high enough level to use my winged beast for flight).  He’s also been great at helping me collect armor for my priest and bags with enough slots to actually carry and store things in.  He’s generously found both cloth and leather whenever I’ve asked (from what he has left over) and informed me those hard to find dusts and essences can be found by disenchanting the things I have to make to move my tailoring skill up.  I can say as men go he’s probably treated me better than most of the real men in my life.

Sooner or later though, you have to start stepping out on your own just to prove you are capable of learning things that may seem easy to others, but are weaving new neural pathways in a much older brain.  When I hit level 60 and was finally able to upgrade my riding ability to fly I was feeling pretty good.  While other quests had taken forever to get to some of the places via the road (often stopped by aggressive NPCs on the way to get where I was going), I now fly over their heads.  Quest lines are much easier to finish as I no longer have to follow the roads to where I want to go.  I simply take a direct line and drop down right in the middle of everything.  This is especially handy when you have to go some place on the other side of Horde territory.

Feeling good about my new found freedom I thought I would trip the light fantastic and take a stab at joining a group through the dungeon finder.  BAD IDEA.  I had THE WORST dungeon experience in my life!  I’ve read you should go in as a DPS (only there to cause damage) person if you don’t know how to run a dungeon, but if you get put into an experienced group it doesn’t hold true.  I indicated on the dungeon finder that I would not be using my priestly skills, mostly due to the age of my computer and the buffer lag I have to deal with due to an inadequate graphics card and low processor speed.

Unfortunately, if you get into a group of experienced players they are off and running before you even have time to start the quests in the dungeon.  Before I even found out who the tank in my group was, he was barking instructions and criticism my way.  I had no idea what he was talking about though, since it was clear the words coming out of his mouth were foreign to me.

I brought this to the WoW forums and was blessed with some great responses. While it took a couple of explanations to get all the information I needed, I found out that priests who wish to be both healers and damage creators need to sign up for dual specialization.  I suppose this is true for all the other classes as well.  Each class comes with three different types of skills or spells, dependent upon what they wish to do.  I chose the Discipline Priest specialty when I created my character (even though most guides said to create a Shadow Priest), because at the time I wanted an equal balance between healer and fighter.  Being a Holy Priest would have taken too long to level and being a Shadow Priest made me a damage character, not a healer. The whole time the leader of this dungeon group was screaming SHADOW, SHADOW, SHADOW at me, he wanted me to switch over to a Shadow Priest.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but later I found out how easy it is to go to your class trainer and request dual specialization (having two bright tabs on your specialization as shown above indicates you can switch back and forth between the two).  Something else I also found interesting was the other priest in the group was using his Shadow skills and was also being targeted by the NPCs run amok, while I as a Discipline Priest was being left alone by random aggressive NPCs.

You really can find any piece of information you need on the Wow forum.  I post all my inquiries to the Newbie area since I know so little about the game. I received links to some GREAT class guides, was helped by being given a list of spells people would expect me to use in a dungeon run, had the loot system explained to me in a way that made sense and was given insight on what experienced people DO expect.  One person replying told me that her dungeon experiences yielded a one in five rate of having a leader who flew like the wind trying to take the course at his own pace – lucky me!  Of course, there is always the other extreme, which was pointed out to me by another poster, where people go through the dungeon slowly as they consider it more of a social opportunity than a speed drill.

In between my last blog entry and this one, I also went to some pretty interesting quests.  The Un’Goro Crater quest line seemed to take FOREVER.  I was never so thankful to receive an increase in movement speed.  In addition, it seemed to have the highest amount of aggressive NPCs that were always in the way of getting from here to there.  It would have been much easier to get through that area with a flying mount.  By the time I was through with all the quests in that area, all I wanted to do was get out of it.

Then there was the exorcism of Colonel Jules.  I had been running quest lines that were pretty self explanatory for so long, I forgot about the ones where you just stand there and observe.  I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do when I got to this quest (buffer lag played a part in my confusion waiting for the NPC to speak), but I finally stood still for a while and realized the NPC I interacted with was beginning an exorcism complete with green goo and flying skulls.

The most ANNOYING quest came from Silithus on the continent of Kalimdor. This was the first time I was ever tricked into PvP play by a quest.  I’m sure I spent hours trying to figure out why, when I clicked on the geyser, I couldn’t get to the apparatus which sucked the geyser energy I was carrying out of me as the quest required.  After a lot of frustration and wasted time, I finally found a web page with comments about the quest.  It appeared that you must not only have your PvP indicator turned on when starting the quest (right click on your face in the upper left corner where it shows how many hit points you have left and you’ll see the Player vs. Player options), but you CANNOT ride any mount after interacting with the Silithyst Geyser; i.e. you better run fast to get to the machine that sucks the geyser energy back out of you.  Sometimes it was a VERY long run hoping no one would spot me.

Part of the quest was the Alliance/Horde challenge you see above.  I suppose you win some type of honor points if your faction gets to 200.  I never saw the score indicator get close to 200 on either side.  To move the numbers (and they reset every day I believe), you have to complete the geyser run.  There are several geysers in Silithus, but I found them to not respawn all that fast.  I think you do better going into Silithus as a group and trying to get as many as you can that way.

I had my second chance to go to the Darkmoon Faire this month.  The games were much easier to play this time having learned more about the user interface and my mouse.  The cannon game is still a bit iffy due to the age of my computer and poor graphics card.  The lag is horrible when I play, which doesn’t bode well for hitting a button when you get over a certain area in the ocean.  I still found myself distracted enough by trying to complete quests to not make it to the Faire every day to gather more tickets.  I suppose the special quests benefit people who are at their highest level already.

I am thrilled to be able to say I can now make my own 16 slot bags!  I made a bunch of them with the tons of Netherweave Cloth I had gathered from all the quests.  I’ve had the misfortune to be very far behind in Tailoring from the level I’m at.  Here’s a good tip for anyone winding up in the same situation.  If you are predominantly behind in Tailoring (i.e. the cloth you’re getting from kills is a few levels above what you can create), try to keep in mind that if you find a good area to farm cloth during your quests, spend some time there and get as many as you can while you’re at that level (and don’t think for a minute that having 140 pieces is enough – the higher you get, the more pieces it takes to make a bolt of cloth)!  I am finding that once I pass the player level of the area where certain cloth spawns, I can’t farm ANYTHING to save my soul!  I’m sure they put that stopgap in the game to keep people from making millions farming different types of cloth, but I would hope one day they would re-code the ability to pick up cloth based on your Tailoring level, NOT your player level.  The last seven levels of Tailoring were incredibly painful for me.  I was too big to farm any more runecloth, but I didn’t have enough to make items that would raise my level (grayed out items don’t raise your Tailoring level, green does sometimes, but not always).  The prices for cloth through the auction house (for those of us who were too impatient to wait until our non-tailoring characters got up to that cloth level) were HORRIBLE.  At a time when I should be saving up for flying lessons, I’m spending my gold on cloth I should have spent the time to farm.  Oh well, at least now I know.

If you’re having any problems as a newbie or have questions about things that aren’t working well for you, please visit the battle.net WoW forum.  The people there are full of all kinds of information.  You just have to be specific about what you want to know and they will happily share their experience and expertise.  It’s always been a positive experience for me. 🙂

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