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Warlord Zaela

I took a brief fly-by of the Dark Portal on the way to Kara on the beta .. and take a look at this, I ran into an old friend! After the Seige of Ogrimmar I was wondering what would happen to the four Orcs I thought may have had a shot at being Warchief .. its good to know that we will see a bit more storyline for at least two of them (Zaela and Ariok), and can hope for more on the others.

What I wanted to really talk about today was the changes in classes – spells, talents, abilities.  I’ve had a week now to play around with the main class (druid) and a few alts – like Warlocks, Warriors, Hunters etc. I can’t complain about the amount of damage I’ve been doing in dps, or the fact that I had no problems healing Bloodmaul Slag Mines, overall in that respect I have no concerns .. but, I’ve been looking at what has been removed, and what has been given, what has been changed, and the one thing that keeps coming to mind is .. was it or is it necessary?

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You know I have always had my ups and downs with druid gear looks and some sets eventually grow on me .. like the blue winged bird-suit from the first tier of Cataclysm, but apart from Tier Six, I will admit I have never seen a druid set and just said to myself “that looks awesome”, until today .. the Season 14 Druid set looks awesome, and for the most part I have really liked the upcoming armour. There are a few exceptions but I will mention that later.

druid s14
Avoiding class changes, upcoming raids, scenarios etc .. I can’t help but look at two new features and say thank you Blizzard. What am I talking about? Virtual Realms and Proving Grounds. I think both will in the end prove beneficial .. at least to my way of thinking.

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So after my 5th year of killing Ahune, I can tell you with absolute certainty .. I hate him with every bone in my body. No other boss makes me as irritable or angry. Why you ask, its because I can’t get what i want from him. Its that simple, and having a limited window each year to try and get it really frustrates me. I will state here, I am a little obsessive when it comes to collecting pets, and a 2 away from 200 missing one or two aggravates me.

Now originally he dropped the little fire elemental pet, which was nice, not that it dropped for me.That is where my anger started. Not because he didn’t drop the pet after 1 kill, or after 14 .. but rather he didn’t drop it after too many to count, some days I killed the bugger 15 to 20 times depending how many guildies I could rope in. But no. during the entire time he dropped the scorchling my luck was bad. Even when the scorchling moved into a random bag drop from Molten Front dailies it took months of farming for me to get it, but I did eventually.

In any event from there they swapped out the scorchling with ice Chip and made it so that you could only get one shot a day at the pet through the bag. The same system that now exists for all he loot you really want from any of the holiday bosses. Year 1 of this system rolls around, no Ice Chip on the druid .. so no drop in 14 attempts I can’t complain 2 much, wait a year .. and so the story goes. This year though I have 4 toons ready at 85, ready to shave ice and get me a pet. Now admittedly I didn’t get all 4 toons through daily .. there were 3 or 4 days where I only got 2 through, but still after 48 attempts still no Ice Chip. Am I done with Ahune, no I am in guild cursing my luck , decrying fate on the Guilds Facebook page and plotting all sorts of intricate revenge on the Icelord.

I am sure most of you have similar tales out there. Which brings me to wonder about when is random too random. I mean you would have figured that one of my toons would have got a pet off ahune after killing him for 5 years. Apart from Ice Chip (curse you) the only other Holiday prize I could want that I haven’t been able to get my hands on is the Love Rocket from Love is in the Air, and I can’t recall having seen many at all with that on my little backward realm. I mean at worst we get 14 shots a year at getting this pet, 14 .. compared to say 52 shots you would get at Attumens pretty horse, or 365 at something like the Blue Proto Drake from Utgarde Pinnacle or millions of you decide to go farm for a drop like the disgusting oozeling. 14. Sure that number increases with the amount of toons you have .. especially with account wide mounts & pets coming. But still lets assume I have 1 level 85 .. 14 attempts. After 5 years I can tell you exactly how I feel about 14 attempts though i think by now you would know how. In the end I am fine with running Kara, Utgarde Keep weekly/daily and farming endlessly for rare world drops that are available all the time. But this. well I can tell you I do not look forward to the Midsummer Fire Festival, and haven’t in 2 years, no I approach it with dread and despondency because I figure that it ain’t gonna happen this time either, yet still I drag the druid (and now the Hunter, mage and Shammy as well) through daily torture for something that just isn’t appearing.

Enough is enough I say, make all the holiday stuff purchasable – I don’t care if I have to grind out every quest every day .. just give me Ice chip and stop making me curse in game events rather then enjoying them.

Well I said why I  am unhappy with some of the changes to the old zones, nwo let me take a look at what does make me happy as a player who had completed all the quests for loremaster before Cataclysm shook things up.

First off there are some areas where the story hasn’t progressed and seems at a standstill which is dissapointing (i.e Dustwallow is pretty much what it was) but in other areas the story has progressed incredibly well. In a Thousand Needles we finally see what the Grimtotem had planned. In Desolace we see the results of our interferance with the Gelkis and Magram Centaurs years before .. and then proceed to meddle further. Makrik, who can forget him! After years of telling him where his wifes body was and extracting minimal vengence we get a peak into what it did to him. In the Plaguelands (both East and West) we get a chance to see what occurs as we drive the scourge out finally. Its these sort of quest .. threads, that truly make a difference to those that have been playing a while. For new players its a good story, for older players its literally returning for a new chapter.

Secondly some of these quests, either those above or totally new chains do leave you wondering whats going to happen next. I am not talking about the chains that sort of fade out with no idea of what is going on but of those chains where you are caught up in the middle of somthing and literally left hanging, or when you complete something and are left with cryptic clues. Like when you help Magatha in the Thousand Needles,she threatens that the next meeting won’t go as well .. which always leaves you asking whats next. Perhaps a better example is in Swamp of Sorrows where as a Horde player you barley manage to push back the Alliance assult, from quest text you know that Stonard is ready to topple if they don’t get support but for the moment the threat has passed and then you are sort of asked to go see what the scouts are up to or what can be done in Blasted Lands while they wait to see whats happening.

That you do have an effect on the world is at the same time great because you can see the changes .. anyone else worried by united centaur tribes in desolace? .. but with the amount of phasing it does make the levelling world very empty. I really can’t decide if this is good or bad. I miss seeing people, I miss group quests and class quests but I really do like seeing the progression you make in zones.

Also there are so fewer quests where the questgiver asks you to go out and get 1 item and 100 kills later you are still looking for it (praise be, if I ever had to go after gorilla sinew again I wouldn’t be happy) which makes questing easier. The quests themselves are more relevant to the areas you are doing and the flow leading you from 1 spot to another is much better in classic. In fact I haven’t seen as many new players these days ask “where do I quest at X Level?”. While it does feel like you are more on a scenic railroad then exploring it does allow for a smooth storytelling, which to me is important.

So lets recap this thread and the last:

– Smoother more relevant questing
– Some Incredible new story lines
– zone phasing
– hints of future possibilities
– Generally better drops and quest mechanics, including some vehicle quest and new shapeshifting quests

– Zone phasing can lead to isolation
– some Zones / Quest chains feel incompleted
– Less exploration and freedom in choices

Overall I think that the new zones are balanced, even if they do leave me a little wanting. I still mourn the loss of class quest and epic quest chains (like the sceptre of sands, parts were boring but it did have its truly epic moments) but in general the new zones have a much better feel to them quest wise then the old did and fit better with the world at large. In my opinion anyway.

Ok folks I am not talking here primarily about gear, I am here talking about other items you pick up as you quest, level and grind your way through Azeroth. What items do you think could be changed for greater benefit for everyone that won’t overtly effect gameplay. I am sure you have some, I know I do. To get things rolling here is my list of things I would like to see changed:

  1. Guild Herald / Guild Page: I would love to see these guys running around more, not just mine but any guilds, clogging up Orgrimmar or flooding zones with a disturbing mass of extra bodies that don’t do anything except serve to distract. How would I do this? Make the vendor ability like the Argent Squire/Gruntling, give that a cooldown but let us use the Herald/Page whenever.
  2. Amulet of Draconic Subversion: OK this may no longer be obtainable .. but neither are the Amani Warbear or the Black Proto-Drake. If they can show of theirs I want to as well! Just let us use this anywhere, its all I ask .. I don’t want to have to fly to a cave in Dustwallow to use it and say to myself “ahh that’s what it does!”
  3. Abyssal Seahorse: Yes it is a nice free mount, but I never see it. As a druid I used aquatic form more in Vashj but occasionally you get stuck in water and have to travel some distance. Would be a bonus if this were simply made usable in “Aquatic Environments” rather then just Vashjir
  4. River Boat: Turn this into a mount and let us use in in any Aquatic Environment just like I want the seahorse to be. We don’t see enough of these choking Azeroths waterways and restricting them to a Thousand Needles is needlessly cruel. Plus turning it into a mount will save some bagspace. Would also be cool if you could fish from it and carry passangers but that would be pushing my luck!
  5. Qiraj Battle Tanks: Some people will hate me for this but the legendary one is no longer the only one usable outside AQ40, the Archeology one is as well. I say recolour the Archeology one and let us use the rest of them outside AQ as well. (A long shot I know but I like the red bug .. I want to see more of it)
  6. Delicate Music Box: I would love to see this item upgraded to a 1 use white item that randomly plays a WoW Soundtrack from any zone. That is all
  7. Defender of the Timbermaw & Barov Peasent Caller: I would love to see these two scale with level like the Argent War Horn and Commanders Badge do. I don’t use any regularly but sometimes its fun to use them and if they don’t keel over from a mob just looking at them even better!
  8. Underbelly Elixer: Since most people avoid Dalaran these days I would love to see these usable anywhere. Or maybe even just in any city.
  9. Cloak that will teleport you to Orgrimmar or Stormwind: This one is more a matter for their art department then anything ground breaking, but the cloak is supposed to show your guilds crest. As a Tauren Druid the crest is all under my hair and the rest of the cloak is black … it looks ugly. Maybe they can take a look and fix it so that it shows appropriately on each race.
  10. Winterfin Horn Of Distress: I would love to see this turned into a permanent item rather then a 1 use item. So long as it is like the Argent War Horn and levels with you unlike the Defender of the Timbermaw.

So those are my 10 preferences, what are yours?

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