Category Archives: World of Warcraft

Flying Unlocked in Legion

That actually went more smoothly/quickly than I thought it would.

When I came back to WoW in late October I was wandering around in search of a goal to get me back into the game and, naturally enough, flying was my choice.  I still had to unlock world quests, do the Suramar quest chains, and get myself revered with a series of factions.  But that seems like a decent mid-to-longer term goal.

A side goal in the whole thing was not to burn myself out on the game in trying to unlock flying as soon as possible.  I could have gone after world quests in a big way, running them down constantly, and have gotten tired of the whole affair pretty quickly.

Instead I mostly just rolled with the emissary quests, the daily set of world quests for a specified faction.  You do four of them and you get a nice bonus boost of faction.  I would do those, then move on to something else, like pet battles or working on an alt.

Soon enough I had a few factions at revered, and most of the rest close.  The exception was The Wardens, which seemed to be lagging behind.  They were only just honored when I had another faction already at revered.  So I made a point of hitting a world quest or two for them every day as well.

I also used the anniversary event to boost my faction yield.  Likewise, with Darkmoon Faire up this past week I made sure to ride the merry-go-round for the one hour faction/exp gain boost before I went off to do my quests.

Riding for a faction boost!

By Friday I had the Legionfall Commander achievement wrapped up, having done enough on the Broken Shore for that and the exploration achievement.

That meant the Broken Isles Pathfinder Part Two achievement was set, save for the fact that you need Part One as well.

It was then just The Wardens left, about 2,000 faction points shy of revered.  So I decided to binge a bit, sprint to the finish, using the last day of Darkmoon Faire to boost me a bit.  That got me close, a couple hundred shy of my goal. I would have kept going, but world quests for The Wardens dried up for me.

This morning however, there were two waiting for me.  I flew off and did one that left me just 45 points shy.  The second one was in an awkward corner of Suramar, and as I was planning how to best ride out there I realized that I had my daily Vanguard of the Silver Hand token to pick up.

Get One World Quest Free!

That lets you send out an NPC squad to run one non-elite world quest every 18 hours, which is effectively daily.  I headed back to the Paladin order hall, picked that up, stood over in a likely spot for a screen shot, and sent them on their way to pick up that final run for The Wardens.

The moment

It was actually a bit too dark where I stood.  My shoulders do stand out though!  That gave me a short cascade of achievements.

The Achievements of the Day

Now I wondered if I had to do anything else.  So I went back out into Dalaran to see if I could simply fly at that point.  Sure enough, off I went into the skies of the Broken Isles.

First Flight in Legion

And of course, that also means that flying is unlocked in WoW Legion for all of my characters.  I have been working my hunter up to 110 as one of my side tasks.  Now he will be able to fly to his quests as well.

Tistann over the Broken Shore zone

Now I have to figure out what to do next.  I will carry on with pet battles and alts.  I have Argus still to finish up. (And no flying there!)  And then I have to see if it is worth getting exalted with any of these factions.  At revered they all seem to have a battle pet for sale, and I like that, but I haven’t explored what exalted might get me.  Mounts?  Are there mounts?

Anyway, I’ve walked my last mandated mile in the main part of the expansion.  Now to fly free where I can, collect those remaining hidden treasures, and probably haul my daughter around to help her get flying unlocked as well.

Why My Alts Can Fish

Okay, a past post may have explained my odd attraction to fishing in MMORPGs.  Or maybe it didn’t.  But if there is fishing in a game, I’ll be there.

On the Shadowmoon Valley shore

But fishing really only needs one character.    I generally pick somebody to be my fisherman and send them out to fish around the world, following whatever plans the game happens to have for the vocation.

Something on the hook

In World of Warcraft though my alts end up fishing as well.

Maybe not all of them.  I draw the line at different servers and there are a couple of low level characters I rolled up for a specific reason that I have since ignored.  But alts I actually play tend to have their fishing skill raised up past 75.

The reason is Darkmoone Faire.

Behold, Darkmoon Faire

Darkmoon Faire rolls around once a month in Azeroth, starting on the first Sunday of each month and running for a week.  And every month it comes by I am there in Elwynn Forest to join in on the fun… or whatever it is that one calls the activities at the faire.

The faire has been around forever, at least in the reckoning of the years of Azeroth.  It used to pop up in different locations and its portal even made appearances outside of Shattrath in Outland, back when people used to be there.  But I was never really much for the faire back then.  It wasn’t until Cataclysm that I started visiting regularly.

It was during that time frame that the faire adopted its more regular monthly schedule, with portals outside of Stormwind and Thunder Bluff, so it was much easier to find.  And, of course, Cataclysm was also a dark time in WoW for the instance group.  We found the expansion unsatisfying and the rework of the old world distressing, so left for other pastures before too long.

Well, most of us did.  I went in on that deal where I subscribed to WoW for a year to get my copy of Diablo III, so I was stuck with paid time on the game (and Blizz wouldn’t even let me turn off auto-renewal despite having paid in advance).

I wasn’t playing a lot during that time, but every month I would roll into Darkmoon Faire with my main and then a growing number of alts.  It started as a way to slowly advance the trade skills I was otherwise not using.  With every fair there is a quest for each profession that you can run once which advances you 5 skill points.  That is not a lot, but it is something… and it is often something that can get you past a dry spot in the profession progress curve.

Of course, fishing is a profession, but I wasn’t all in on that quite yet.

Once I had made the faire a regular stop I started looking at the prize tickets that were piling up.  Each quest gives you a few and you can earn a few more by playing the carnival games.  Soon the prize tickets became as important, then even more important, than the profession skills.

Through the parallel progress of a pile of alts, each earning some tickets with every passing faire, I have been able to accumulate almost all of the heirloom armor available (as well as upgrading all I have from level 60 to 90), all of the pets, and most of the mounts.  I am currently saving up for the Darkmoon dirigible mount, which came in with patch 7.3, and which costs 1,000 prize tickets.  That might take me a while.

Since the acquisition of prize tickets became a goal, I expanded to get fishing going on my alts, since that was one of the professions for which a quest was available.  It did require me to get each alt up past the skill level of 75, into the second tier of the profession, which you have to do to be able to take the quest.  But once there each alt that visits the faire spends a few minutes down at the dock fishing up the required catch to add some additional tickets to their monthly take.

My hunter down at the end of the faire

Of course, the faire has other attractions.  Knowing the faire was coming I saved up some of my WoW Legion faction upgrade tokens.  If you ride the merry-go-round at the fair it boosts experience and faction gains by 10%.

Riding for a faction boost!

That isn’t a huge boost, but when you are sitting on a bunch of tokens it can make a difference.

Anyway, I mention this because Darkmoon Faire is here again this week and I and my alts will be showing up to visit, to boost our professional training a bit, to collect more prize tickets, to do the pet battles, and to fish.

All In on Pet Battles

As I noted in an earlier WoW post, with my return to Azeroth I have also gone back to pet battles as part of my play time.  I enjoy it and it is different enough to be something of an alternative activity to prevent burn-out… as long as I don’t go too crazy playing.  Maybe I should think about the title of this post again.

While I still haven’t managed to acquire that Arctic Fox Kit from Northrend yet, I did try a new addon.  BKS recommend Rematch for pet battles in a comment on that linked post and, after giving it a spin, I must agree that it is something special.

It is the sort of addon that makes me worry about addons and how authors wander off an abandon them, because now that I have this I am not sure how I will do without it.

The main Rematch UI

It isn’t a matter of the UI being magic or anything.  It won’t catch pets for you or auto-create teams.  What it does do is make a lot of information available to you easily and and sensibly.  Need something strong against a certain type of pet, there is a tab for that search.  Need it also to be able to survive against that type, you can add that to the search criteria.

It also lets you create and save teams, which was the only thing I really felt I needed.  And it also generates reports about your pet collection, which is a super extra bonus feature.

Some of my stats from earlier in the week

That has helped keep my pet battle enthusiasm going.  Accessible data… data we already have access to but presented in an organized and searchable fashion… is important to me.

I have been working on a couple of fronts.

I have an alt out in Pandaria every day doing the pet dailies and trying to get the spirit pets out there.

Taking on the burning Pandarian Spirit

That has had the side effect of leveling up the alt.  So far only one of the spirit pets has dropped, the air spirit.  So far as I can tell, the water spirit is the one to have.  It gets mentioned in a number of lineup recommendations.

My teams are not perfect.  I have managed to build up an effective set against most of the battles, though some are near run things.  My team for Dos-Ryga for example works most times, unless he rolls a crit or something else comes out against me.  On a good night I beat him on the first attempt.  On my worst night I needed eight runs at him to win and move on.

I have also been hunting for additional pets, both to fill out my collection and to build teams to take on the various NPC pet trainers.

Big additions to my lineup include the Anubisath Idol I mentioned last time.  I just kept running the raid with high level alts until he dropped.  The Emerald Proto-Drake and the Unborn Vykrul are also now in my collection.

Anubisath Idol up front in Pandaria

Getting those meant leveling them up as well, something else I have been working on.  This week has been good for that since Blizz has been having a bonus pet experience event.

Time to take advantage of that

All of which has led me back to Timeless Isle in Pandaria.  It has been kind of fun revisiting the place now that I can pretty much one-shot everything with my main.  Of course, that can be a pain as well.  One of the pets I wanted to catch on Timeless Isle only spawns on top of high spots there, and the only way to get up to them… flying being restricted… is to get an albatross to carry you up.  But to get them to carry you, you have to attack them.  And if you one-shot everything… well, that doesn’t work out so well.

Fortunately my daughter walked by and said I should just use my taunt ability, which worked just fine.

Riding the albatross at last

Of course, the real reason I ended up back on Timeless Isle is the Celestial Tournament, the rewards for which include, of course, more pets.  But the tournament itself is a step up from any of the battles I have faced so far and will be a topic for a future blog post.  I am just getting started there and have quite a ways to go before I can report any real success.

Lost My Sunglasses Again…

This time I didn’t leave them behind somewhere, Blizzard took them.

For the WoW anniversary event Blizzard gave us a pair of Bronze Tinted Sunglasses to buy from the anniversary vendor.  I bought them and put them on right away, replacing my engineer goggles look.

A vision in Bronze

They have a sparkle animation.  But now they’re gone.  As soon as I logged in after the anniversary event ended I was back to the helm I had been wearing.

Of course, they weren’t really gone.  They are still there in my list of transmogs.  They just only work during the anniversary event.

There, next to my alpine hat

I guess holiday restricted items were a thing already, and Blizz warned us they would be gone with the end of the event, but the sunglasses were so not tied to the anniversary in any meaningful way that I thought they might relent.

Ah well, I guess I’ll have to wait another year for that look again.

November in Review

The Site

I got a couple of boosts to traffic this month.  The first came with the BlizzCon announcement about WoW Classic.  That got the WoW Reddit group to go looking to link bits of WoW nostalgia, which included my post that attempted to recreate the Alamo druid post.  The WoW subreddit is a popular place and for a few days Alamo was the top destination on my site, beating the main page handily, while Reddit eclipsed Google as a source of traffic for about 48 hours.

That died down as BlizzCon receded in the rear view mirror and people began to bicker about what “Vanilla” WoW really means.

And then I got linked on BuzzFeed.

That sounds a lot more impressive that it actually was.

What happened is that somebody on BuzzFeed needed a picture for a Christmas quiz and grabbed the picture of the Elf soundtrack I included as part of a bad joke for my 11th anniversary post.

My URL on BuzzFeed… there… I highlighted it…

Honestly not very many people clicked on that link… why would they… so it wasn’t like a BuzzFeed landslide on my site, just a noticeable bump in traffic for a day or so.  And, of course, it isn’t exactly like I was liked for something *I* actually did, I just happened to have that picture handy.

Still, it is nice that BuzzFeed is one of the sites that is diligent about linking to sources and I cannot complain about a little bit of additional exposure this month.  So it is all good.

And, finally, Raph Koster showed up in a comment thread, answered a bunch of questions, then consolidated it all in a post on his site with a link back here to note the origin which added a bit more traffic. (Also, seeing him take on all comers with a pleasant tone and without direct confrontation in the comment thread about his post over at Massively OP was good fun.   I admire his skill in that and his ability to stay on point and not get distracted. The Reddit thread seemed more challenging.)

All in all not a bad month for traffic in light of the long term decline in page views here.  Not as good as April, but it looks like overall page views for 2017 will exceed 2008, though will still be less than half of 2012, the peak year for the blog.

One Year Ago

I got back from EVE Vegas and reviewed a bit of what I saw including SKIN changes.  I also borrowed CCP Rise’s Vegas Alpha fit for a trial run.  Of course the Ascension expansion and Alpha Clones were the big deal.  Logging in when the expansion hit wasn’t always easy, but the PCU passed the long distant 50K user mark.

Then suddenly it was election night.  I was in a fleet during which the winner projections turned on their head.  At least we got a tower kill.

Meanwhile back in our old home in the north, the war in Tribute started to come alive.  Sort of.  A bit.  Well, there was some propaganda.

BlizzCon was underway a week after EVE Vegas, and I first projected what I wanted to see/thought I might see and then reconciled that with what I actually saw.  It took a while for me to see Weird Al though.

Project: Gorgon was back to crowd funding.

Pokemon Sun & Moon were coming and I got ready by wrapping up Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.  I took Pokemon Sun while my daughter went with Pokemon Moon.

In Minecraft Aaron was using the in-game maps to create art to hang on his walls.  Then there was the update with forest mansions… and llamas!  That meant going on an expedition to find my own mansion.  And once you have your own mansion, you have to do something with it.  Like burn it down.

Daybreak, in looking after Norrath new and old, launched the Kunark expansion twins, with Empires of Kunark going live for EverQuest and Kunark Ascending going live for EverQuest II.

And, finally, in a bullet points post on Black Friday it was death to The Mittani, a new Google widget in my side bar, and some Pokemon news.

Five Years Ago

We said farewell to City of Heroes.

Pong turned 40.

Star Wars: The Old Republic made their free to play transition.  Hot bars were for sale.

dipped a toe into GuildWars 2.

I was feeling in the doldrums about computer hardware.

The Register was wondering if Second Life was a failure.

SOE was on their usual autumnal roll.  They introduced Krono, their PLEX-like currency.

PlanetSide 2 went live.  I even patched up and tried it.  Pity about it becoming aim hack central so quickly.

EverQuest II Chains of Eternity went live, leading to some EQII reflection on my part.

The EverQuest expansion Rain of Fear launched, leading to one of my occasional ponderings about how long the game will go on.  Meanwhile, on the Fippy Darkpaw server, the Dragons of Norrath expansion was unlocked.  That marked the potential end of my coverage of the server as SOE seemed uninterested in promoting it or anything about it.  I was only getting updates when they went wrong.

Over in Rift we were patching up as Storm Legion went live.

The British tank tree showed up for the first time in World of Tanks.

We were running movie ops in EVE Online while I was wondering how the Retribution expansion might change events like Burn Jita.  As it turned out, it did not change things one whit.

Time Magazine wrote up their 100 Best Video Games of All Time while Complex Gaming gave us a list of 50 with EVE Online at the top.

And I was rambling on about motivation and what makes a good story in an MMO.

Ten Years Ago

I was going on about MMOs on a single server again, focusing on EVE Online and why its unique set of circumstances allows CCP to get away with everybody on one shard.

CCP also changed the name of player groups from gangs to fleets, befitting a game about ships.  Player usage of the terms took a while to catch up.  I think I still heard people talking about “gang links” at least five years later.  CCP also announced that their Power of Two campaign boosted subscriptions past 300,000 and broke a record when the game passed 50K players online at once.

I was still mining away in New Eden, trying to optimize my yields.  I also hit 10 million skill points in EVE and bought my first Drake.

I found an old parody screen shot from the early days of Air Warrior.

I was thinking about all that vendor trash that just disappears.

I was moaning about EverQuest and accessibility again.

Also it was time for the Rise of Kunark expansion, if I could find a copy.  You had to buy that stuff at retail stores back then.  But I eventually found a copy and took the boat out to Kunark.  I hit 58, 59, and then level 60 for the first time in EverQuest II.  I was also claiming my four year veteran rewards.

SOE was still working on fixing Vanguard.

My daughter and I were playing LEGO Star Wars: The Compelete Saga on the Wii.  I even put together a review of it.  Still one of my favorite games on the Wii.

And in World of Warcraft the instance group was finally all level 50 and taking on the remains of Maraudon. Then we were off to up Sunken Temple in a way that gave us a before and after snapshot of the WoW 2.3 patch. (Which took forever to download back then.)  I was also trying ride on the outside of a boat.  I hate missing the boat.

Tabula Rasa launched, beginning its short run before being shut down by NCsoft.  The cover shown in the Wikipedia article still makes me want to say, “Multipass.”

Also launching a decade back was Rock Band.  You could now play the drums.  Take that Guitar Hero!

Finally, Perpetual announced that Star Trek Online would be delayed leading to another headline contest.

Twenty Years Ago

Bungie put out their RTS Myth: The Fallen Lords, which I remember being pretty excited about after seeing a demo.  And then I went off and played Total Annihilation and forgot about it, while Bungie eventually went off to create Halo and mostly forgot about it as well.  Now I suddenly want to play that RTS again.

Also, the last episode of Beavis & Butt-head aired and the bladder testing epic Titanic opened in theaters. (I had a large soda and the last hour of the movie is constant water moving and flowing…)

Most Viewed Posts in November

The list this month was mostly driven by WoW Classic nostalgia and the ongoing search for why there is no National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun & Moon… and now Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon, though EA’s woes pitched in and helped a bit.

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. From Alola Pokedex to National Pokedex in Pokemon Sun
  3. Where the Hell is that EverQuest Successor Already?
  4. Elf
  5. What Other Pains will WoW Classic Bring?
  6. Blizzard Announces Battle for Azeroth and WoW Classic
  7. Disney Checks EA Over Battlefront Microtransactions and Other Hilarity
  8. Feature Creep – On The Cost of Making Video Games
  9. VR Development Dead and Layoffs at CCP
  10. WoW Legion Sales Numbers Stacked Up Against Past Launches
  11. Delta Force – A Memory of Voxels
  12. Monday Morning BlizzCon Thoughts

Search Terms of the Month

world of warships polish tree
[Looking for a screen door on a submarine joke?]

download gay porn games for free
[They have to be free now?]

eve online all time high concurrent users
[65,303 on May 5, 2013]

eve online how long does it take to fly a marauder
[I think the real question is how long does it take to lose one?]

EVE Online

It has been something of a quiet month for me in New Eden.  I went on a few ops during a deployment up north to drop on ratters and miners, but have not really had the blocks of time that such things demand.  House guests and holiday activities kept me distracted.

Of course, I write that knowing that a couple of sections down I’ll mention how much time I spent playing WoW, often in large chunks of time.  I might just be a bit worn out on New Eden at the moment.

Still, I think I hit the mandatory minimum of participation links to not get kicked from my corp.  We’ll see what happens next month.

Pokemon UltraMoon

Despite no huge urge to get back into Pokemon at the moment, I did have enough credit on my Nintendo Shop account to pick up Pokemon UltraMoon, so it has been downloaded to my 3DS XL.  I’ve played a little bit, enough to see the story is both the same yet different, but haven’t jumped in with both feet yet.

Pokemon Go

I keep on going in Pokemon Go, though I never play while driving.  Instead I can have my teenage daughter drive me around to Pokestops now that she has her learner’s permit.  That is safer, right?

  • Level: 30 (+0)
  • Pokedex status: 210 (+6) caught, 237 (+1) seen
  • Pokemon I want: Slowbro
  • Current buddy: Slowpoke to earn candies to evolve him

World of Warcraft

I have been binging a lot on Azeroth.  There was a discussion somewhere recently about MMOs being hard to get back into when you’ve been away for a bit.  I’ve bitched about that myself more than a few times.   But I will say that WoW, while not perfect in that regard, is still pretty good.  I managed to get myself back up to speed with my ret pally, found a goal to pursue (flying), and side tasks to keep the main goal from getting stale (events, pet battles, trade skills, and alts) that I really look forward to spending some time in WoW every evening.

Coming Up

It is the end of the year which means I have a bunch of standard posts to do, things like reviewing my predictions from January (looking bad, as usual), checking to see if I played any of the games I said I might play (always doubtful), and trying to sum up the year in a series of highs and lows.  Expect them to show up over the course of the month.  I have already started them all, now to finish them.

We have the Winter Movie League and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to look forward to.

Then there is an EverQuest expansion coming along with one for EVE Online.

There is the inevitable Steam Winter Sale.  Maybe we can bring back the argument over whether Steam sales cater to price sensitivity, yielding sales that otherwise might not have happened, or literally steal food from the mouths of starving developers because nobody will buy anything ever now due to the inevitability of it going on sale on Steam.

And posts about games, games I am playing… which is mostly WoW and Pokemon UltraMoon with occasional forays into TorilMUD now and again.  So expect another long, dull month I suppose.  It is cold out, what else have you got to do?

SuperData Shows PUBG Continuing its Meteoric Rise

SuperData Research is out with their digital market sales numbers a bit late this month.  They have been busy writing editorials about the Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco and what comes next.  But, finally, we have the numbers for October here on the last day of November.

SuperData Research Top 10 – October 2017

On the PC side of things PlayerUnknown’s Battleground continues its ascent.  Last month it was in 4th place, now it has risen to 2nd position, with only League of Legends ahead of it.

Destiny 2, new to the PC chart, hit 4th spot, injecting itself in the midst of the perennial top performers in the Chinese market, Crossfire, Dungeon Fighter Online, and Fantasy Westward Journey Online IIMiddle-Earth: Shadow of War also gained a spot on the list while ROBLOX returned to the top ten as well.

This left World of Warcraft and World of Tanks in 7th and 8th position and knocked DOTA 2 and Overwatch off the list.

On the console side FIFA 18, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, and Destiny 2 grabbed the top three spots.  Last month it was Destiny 2, FIFA 18, and NBA2K18.

And on the mobile side Candy Crush Saga stayed on the list hanging on in 9th position.

Other bullet points from SuperData’s monthly update:

  • PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds sells another 5 million units.
  • PUBG vs Fortnite. While Fortnite has seen a higher out-of-the-gate active user base thanks to its F2P status, the game’s long-term success vs. its major and earlier-released rival is uncertain.
  • PUBG comes to XBox One as an exclusive and leaves Steam Early Access in December.
  • Destiny 2 has a solid release on PC. Destiny 2’s much-anticipated Blizzard Battle.net PC launch proves very successful.
  • Super Mario Odyssey launches on Switch. Mario sold 191,000 digital units in October, making it the biggest digital launch on Switch to date. However, digital download rates continue to lag compared to those found on the Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
  • Single player games still have legs. While multiplayer-centric genres (FPS, MOBA, and Battle Royale) are in the spotlight, there is still room on the stage for single-player focused games. In October, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, and Assassin’s Creed: Origins collectively generated over $160M through digital full game sales. However, we don’t expect these games to have as much success in the long run, compared to the multiplayer genres, as it is generally harder to monetize through microtransactions in a single-player focused title.

Thirteen Years of This in Azeroth

I stood there in the rain amongst the looted corpses and burning huts.

The scene, repeated over and over…

As I surveyed the grisly scene, the reasoning behind the task seemed less and less plausible.  Did I really have to kill them all and burn down their huts?  Was there some other way where both sides could have gotten what they wanted?

Well, at least that guy promised me some gold for this… and guys like that always pay… always about the same amount too… like there was some sort of industry standard price for this sort of thing.  Hrmm…

Maybe the next task will be different.

Happy Birthday World of Warcraft.