Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bronzeman the Undying

As they say in Japanese, 久しぶり (hisashiburi). It means "long time, no see", or "it's been a while". And it has been a while. The last blog entry I posted here was for the release of patch 4.3: Cataclysm's last major patch, which brought the final raid for that expansion along with the final heroic instances. Since then, I have barely played. I did roll a Pandaren warrior last year with the intention of checking out the starting area for the latest race added to the game, and ended up getting him all the way to Outland. I also rolled a human monk and got him to around level 36; and I created a Night Elf priest on my brother's account, which I got to level 83 and Uldum.

I never did manage to get the right transmogrification pieces for Gaiwyn. I don't think I ever will — just as there are dozens of things in the game that I would like to do or achieve but likely never will. So why am I back after such a long hiatus? The hype around Warlords of Draenor, the fifth and upcoming expansion got to me and sucked me back through the Twisting Nether to land firmly on the shores of Pandaria. For the last week and a half I have been playing through the Jade Forest with Gaiwyn. I must be at the tail end of it, because I'm already level 88, and I have only done two and a half dungeons.

By the time I reach level 90, I would like to familiarise myself with all of the Mists of Pandaria instances. One of the biggest problems these days if you can't play with guild members is the lack of communication. I have done Stormstout Brewery twice now and I still don't "get" the boss fights. One of them is this monkey guy and there are all these barrels rolling around the room. I'm not even sure if you have to dodge the barrels as you fight him or what their purpose is! It just goes to show that mechanics are not immediately obvious, as I still don't know how that fight is supposed to go, or what the hammers are that appear for the giant rabbit boss. But I do want to try and find the time to look up every fight and really see how I can potentially maximise myself as a DPS member of the party. Things are not exactly clear when by all accounts you may as well be playing with NPCs. Where did the MMO part of the game go?

Coming late to the party aside, let's get into the real guts of this post. Recently, Celestalon tweeted about changes in WoD affecting Ironman play. So I asked myself, "What is ironman, in WoW terms?" You may be asking yourself the same thing. Well, first of all, if you don't know what an ironman challenge is, go check it out (challengers | rules) and then come back. I must say that it intrigued me that people would challenge themselves so much. And it sounds like 90-100 is going to be nigh on impossible for some classes. But there will always be people who are up for the challenge, and I can respect that.

I've never even tried to level a toon with zero deaths. Even that sounds like quite a challenge. But it is definitely something that piques my interest. And so I propose my own levelling challenge. I don't want to attempt the impossibility of ironman, but I do love levelling new toons and want to make it somewhat more challenging than simply loading a new toon up with gold, bags, heirloom gear and whatever other goodies an alt might benefit from. No, I want to level a new toon with some rules I will set down that should make it much more interesting — and challenging — than the typical pampered alt.

Rules for Gaiwyn's Zero Deaths Bronzeman Challenge
  1. No deaths — if you die, you must delete the character and start over
  2. No transfer of items or gold — this includes bags, heirloom items and food
  3. No class specialisation or glyphs — this means only base class skills can be used
  4. No dungeons, battlegrounds or arenas — why would you penalise others in this way?
  5. No guild perks — simply not joining a guild may be best
  6. No grouping with others or accepting help from other players
  7. You may choose any class and race on any server
  8. You may wear any gear found or bought
  9. You may enhance gear with enchants, gems etc
  10. You may use any buffs — food, scrolls, class buffs etc
  11. You may have any gathering and secondary professions
  12. You may do any world/zone quests
What I hope to achieve: I simply want to see if I am up to the challenge. If I can only level by killing stuff and through questing, I will get to see more of each zone. If I limit myself in that I can't die, I will be more cautious, but I will also push my survival skills and be more aware of my environment. If I don't waste time on talents, glyphs, and so on, I can spend more time playing and less time mucking around with what works. I also intend to minimise time spent in the AH with whatever character I end up rolling. I still haven't decided on the three most important things: server, class, and name! My next blog entry will document my travels through Azeroth with my first attempt at the Bronzeman (or Untalented Zero Deaths) Challenge.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

4.3: Dragon Soul and Transmogrification

With 4.3 on the PTR, it isn't long until we get the final heroics, raid and features for the current iteration of the game.

With the patch comes three heroics: End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight.

The final of the three instances segues directly into the last raid of Cataclysm, Dragon Soul. But how will Deathwing meet his demise? Even with the Dragon Soul to weaken his armour, help of the Dragon Aspects and Thrall, and the might of a cadre of heroes, he who was once Neltharion the Earth-Warder is nigh on immortal, having transformed into something far greater than a black dragon. Now consumed by the hatred and even the powers of the old gods of Azeroth, Deathwing and his sprouting tentacles will have to be weakened to the point of defeat and then permanently imprisoned far beneath the world, much as the Titans once imprisoned the old gods.

I speculate that Alexstrasza, because of her history with Neltharion and more recently his incarnation as Deathwing, will land the final, incapacitating blow, allowing the other aspects to deal with Catacylsm's big bad guy once and for all. However that will be.

Along with the new instances and the final raid come various features: a cross-realm raid finder, void storage, and transmogrification being the most prominent of additions and changes to the game. There are some very cool weapons and pieces of armour out there to discover. Some will take a bit of work to acquire, while others will be nigh on impossible to attain.

I put together a set for my mage. It will take a bit of work to gather all of the necessary pieces. Following is just one option:

Items used:
Chief Architect's Monocle - Fineous Darkvire, Blackrock Depths [Acquired]
Mantle of the Elven Kings - Trash drop, The Eye
Shadow of Dread - Nefarian, Blackwing Descent
Firehawk Robes - 2,200 Valor Points.
Firehawk Gloves - 1,650 Valor Points.
Embereye Belt - Naresir Stormfury, Firelands and Mount Hyjal
Boots of the Black Flame - Tailoring
Red Sword of Courage - King Ymiron, Utgarde Pinnacle
Igniter Rod - Ignis the Furnace Master, Ulduar


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ding! Gaiwyn the Exalted

Congratulations to me. Not only did I hit 40 Exalted factions, thus gaining me the title I have coveted for oh, so long; but the faction I hit exalted with was none other than my guild! So I also got Time Flies When You're Having Fun, and shot over to the vendor in Stormwind to get both my Dark Phoenix Hatchling and my Reins of the Golden King!!

This happened last week but I have simply been too busy till now to put up a blog entry to commemorate this accomplishment. We moved to a new house on the weekend, and don't have internet yet, unfortunately; which also means I haven't played for about a week now. :(

Missing out on all that neat Molten Front stuff. But what can ya do, eh. :/

I'm just hoping that my Truegold stockpile doesn't go to waste and that supply will be very dry and demand very high when I am able to play again. XD


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Monday, July 11, 2011

Achievements: Titles

It's time to pick up my series again. This post's topic is, of course, titles.

Table of Contents

There should be an unlockable title for having collected a certain number of titles. Ironic? Maybe, but what would you call being granted a mount for reaching a certain number of mounts; or being given a tabard for reaching a certain number of tabards? I'd call it well-deserved.

But what title? <*Name*, the Entitled>? <*Name*, the Titleholder>? Perhaps this is something they will add in future? But if not, I'm simply cool with collecting titles. It makes you feel like you have achieved something when you can put it against your name for all to see.

Titles I have gained
You can see my titles here (although the Wowhead information does need to be updated). Some of them I am quite proud of: Ambassador; Champion of the Frozen Wastes; the Diplomat; the Explorer; Guardian of Cenarius; Knight-Captain; Loremaster; the Seeker; and Twilight Vanquisher.

Others are pretty plain, such as the city and world event ones.

Titles I missed out on
Feats of strength or past raiding requirements — these are titles that I would have liked to have earned:
the Celestial Defender — the limitations of not being in the top raiding guild at the time — or anywhere close.
Champion of the Naaru — this was just bad timing on the part of Christmas holidays near the end of TBC.
Conqueror of Naxxramas — see the Celestial Defender above.
Death's Demise — never even done Ulduar — see the Celestial Defender above.
Grand Marshal — this took way more dedication than I could afford; vanilla PvP is nostalgic, though.
Hand of A'dal — see Champion of the Naaru above; they are two of my biggest regrets.
Herald of the Titans — not raiding really limited me.
the Magic Seeker — see the Celestial Defender above.
Obsidian Slayer — see the Celestial Defender above.
Scarab Lord — would have been absolutely amazing to have done the questline — but alas, no one from our guild at the time was able to get close.

Titles I wanted but will likely never get
The following have pretty heft requirements, either from past raids or from current raiding. I will most likely never get any of them:
of the Alliance — too many kills!
the Argent Defender — too insane!
of the Ashen Verdict — those days are gone; my rep is still neutral. :/
the Astral Walker / Starcaller — very doubtful, but doing Ulduar these days sure would be cool.
Avenger of Hyjal — not raiding prevents me from getting anywhere close.
Bane of the Fallen King / the Light of Dawn — doable these days, but doubtful I will ever go and do it.
Battlemaster — too much PvP.
Blackwing's Bane — yeah, not likely.
Champion of Ulduar / Conqueror of Ulduar — never even done Ulduar, and I doubt I'll go back and do this.
Defender of a Shattered World — would be great, but not raiding means this is a no-go.
Dragonslayer — not likely.
Firelord — would love to kill Ragnaros on heroic — two expansions from now...
of the Four Winds — highly unlikely, ever.
the Immortal / the Undying — actually got close to getting the 10-man one; doubt I will go back one day just to get this.
the Insane — I'm not insane.
Justicar — this is also pretty insane; rep for the two remaining PvP factions would take months (and months) of dedicated battlegrounds.
The Kingslayer / The Kingslayer — would be really neat to have, but unlikely I'll go back to clear up to and kill the Lich King.
Veteran of the Alliance — highly unlikely that I will even do one rated battleground...
Warbound — see Veteran of the Alliance above

Titles I want
This last section covers titles I have yet to get. I want these titles and will try to eventually get them:
Associate Professor — on my way to getting this, but archaeology is a pastime I seldom engage in.
the Camel-Hoarder — one can dream! I actually prefer the achievement name as a title...
the Exalted — more or less within my reach; as covered in my reputations post.
the Flamebreaker — this is what I am currently working on with the new stuff in patch 4.2; very cool because I actually think I can do it!*
the Pilgrim — I'm actually more interested in the turkey pet; might try again this year.
Professor — my ultimate archaeology aim; a long way off!

* I have been doing achievements while I do my Regrowth / Molten Front Dailies. There are still quite a few to get through, but since you have to unlock areas to be able to do some of them, I'm just taking my time. However, last night I manged to kill 3 of the 4 mini-bosses for The Fiery Lords of Sethria's Roost. I tried soloing Searris, but got owned pretty hard. A DK came along just as it reset and proceeded to kill it with help from his own NPCs (BTW, I had Chromie with me last night! She casts Time Warp, which is awesome!). I then called in a couple of guildies when I saw Andrazor flying around. We got that and the next two. So, one to go!

Edit: at lunchtime, I partied up with some randoms and killed Searris! Achievement complete. ;)

On another note, has been updated with a Companions & Mounts tab (split into Companions and Mounts). Now you can see the companions and mounts that anyone has collected — complete with 3D models — as well as information on how to acquire ones that you want to get. Neat!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Header

I redesigned the header. Hopefully, it is only temporary, as my image editing skills are fairly limited. I find it hard to get the font and layout right — they just don't look professional. But I love this picture. It's very current and powerful!

That's all for now. Will try and work out the last of my intended posts in the next couple of weeks!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4.2 is Live

And boy is there a lot of stuff.

Of course, as usual I am writing this from the office. Which means I can't log in and check out any of the new content (and server crashes, no doubt). There is a lot of stuff in this patch, as has been talked about around the community for the last couple of months.

The biggest question is: what ninja "fixes" did Blizzard slip in under the radar?

The most exciting addition is (for me, at least): the Molten Front daily quest hub. I simply cannot wait to head to Hyjal and start that epic journey.

Yesterday, our little one was sick. My wife looked after her in the morning and I went home just before lunchtime to look after her for the afternoon. Once she was asleep for her afternoon nap, it was a great opportunity to do a heroic. :)

The random heroic it gave me was Halls of Origination. Aside from a mouthy healer (obviously emboldened by the presence of two guildies), it was a good run. I just felt sorry for the two tanks we went through who got the short end of a temperamental treehugger's branch.

Surprisingly, I got Faster Than the Speed of Light, my first HoO achievement. I have hardly any achievements towards the meta, but so far I haven't actually tried to get any. It sure would be nice to be able to coincide with guildies to knock off a whole lot of those heroic achievements towards getting my drake!

Just before getting into the heroic, I finished Uldum, getting Brann's quest to meet him inside the very instance I later had selected for me. Which meant that I was also able to complete that quest chain too!

To top it all off, the 70 Valor Points that I got from the random pushed me to 1,000. Exactly 1,000. My Justice Points also shot up to about 3,400. Since with 4.2 they converted Valor to Justice to a cap of 4,000, before the end of the day I had to decide what to do with an extra 400 points. At first I considered getting the 346 caster helm, but then realised it was a complete waste of points. Then, I considered getting the PvP wand through conversion. But that too seemed like a bit of a waste since I don't currently PvP.

I actually settled for a Conquest Points conversion twice over, swapping out 500 VP for 500 CP, which in turn would have been converted to mere HP overnight. 500 "free" Honor Points is better than nothing. And when I can finally log into the game I will have 3,900 JP waiting for me to spend on my first 359 pieces (I'm thinking Melodious Slippers and Firelord's Robes)!

All in all, the time I had yesterday to play felt both very timely and very rewarding.

Next stop: continued Tol Barad dailies for the grind to Exalted, continued Vashj'ir questing to complete that zone (or those three zones, really), and a slow drive into the brand-spanking new and seriously awesome Molten Front to unlock all that new content and experience the whole Firelord and fire elemental plane storyline (minus the awesome-looking raid).

Who knows: perhaps I will have the chance to experience the original Cataclysm raid content a bit more, now that it has been nerfed. Not that it's such a big deal for me to see it, but if the opportunity arises, why not?

Here's to enjoying new content!


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Collectibles: Tabards

Fingers crossed that one day tabards will have their very own tab, complete with visuals — much like mounts and companions — or are assigned to a dropdown/slideout box like titles. I vote for the former!

In either case, until that day we are stuck either destroying replaceable tabards to save space or simply hanging onto them and allowing them to take up precious bank and bag space.

There is a 25 tabards achievement but with so many tabards in the game these days, it shouldn't be too long before they introduce a 50 unique tabards achievement (probably next expansion). But which will come first: an achievement for collecting 50 tabards or a dedicated tabards tab?

In this post, I'm going to divide tabards into two sections: tabards that I have; and tabards that I want. As with my Vanity Pet lists, this will show which tabards are fairly easy to get and which ones take extra effort, luck or are just plain no longer obtainable.

My Tabard Collection

Tabards that I have
The following is a list of tabards that I actually have right now, either in my bags or in the bank:

Gilneas Tabard — purchased from a vendor; I plan to use it for reputation gain in dungeons
Green Trophy Tabard of the Illidari — a TBC quest; can be destroyed and the alternative chosen
Knight's Colors — originally available from at least PvP rank 6, now a mere 100 honor points
Loremaster's Colors — reward for completing The Loremaster
Private's Tabard — 50 honor points
Renowned Guild Tabard — guild rep is still a long, tedious grind, even with this equipped
Sporeggar Tabard — costs 10 Glowcaps
Tabard of Ramkahen — this will get my to exalted
Tabard of Summer Skies — the second tabard that can be destroyed and the alternative chosen
Tabard of the Achiever — all you need are 25 tabards!
Tabard of the Argent Dawn — I have a feeling I missed it the first time around, but Wrath changed that!
Tabard of the Earthen Ring — more Cata rep
Tabard of the Explorer — was Northrend really so big as to warrant an epic quality tabard?
Tabard of the Guardians of Hyjal — Cata rep
Tabard of Therazane — probably the trickiest Cata rep tabard to get
Tabard of the Wildhammer Clan

I also had the following TBC tabards, but destroyed them because they are easily purchasable for 70s each — if I was so inclined to buy them back:
Aldor Tabard
Cenarian Expedition Tabard
Consortium Tabard
Keepers of Time Tabard
Kurenai Tabard
Lower City Tabard
Ogri'la Tabard
Sha'tar Tabard
Skyguard Tabard
Tabard of the Shattered Sun — one of my favourite looking tabards

Tabards that I want
Mostly for the sake of completion to the extent that I am able, but especially if they introduce a 50 tabards achievement in future. Even if I am unable to get a handful of these (because a few are tricky to get hold of), next expansion there should be six or seven new reputation tabards to make up for what I don't end up getting.

For now, I don't intend to get any of these tabards, since they only take up space. But when we get that much anticipated tabards tab I will definitely add as many as I can to my collection. :)

Arathor Battle Tabard — requires exalted with League of Arathor followed by five captured bases — should be epic
Argent Crusader's Tabard — 50 Champion's Seals
Baradin's Wardens Tabard — doesn't grant reputation, unfortunately — costs 40 Tol Barad Commendations
Darnassus Tabard — 70s from Darnassus
Exodar Tabard — 7s from Exodar
Gnomeregan Tabard — 7s from Ironforge
Ironforge Tabard — 7s from Ironforge
Silver Covenant Tabard — 50 Champion's Seals
Silverwing Battle Tabard — costs 2,059 honor points
Stormpike Battle Tabard — costs 2,679 honor points
Stormwind Tabard — 7s from Stormwind
Tabard of Conquest — reward from a difficult achievement, but a very cool tabard
Tabard of the Scarlet Crusade — drops from Scarlet Trainees in Scarlet Monastery — might have had this in the past, but will have to go farm it again if I want it (and it is cool, so maybe one day I will — again)

With 31 tabards under my belt (or over my robe), two more easily swappable (destroy and get the alternative from the vendor), and a handful more easily purchasable; I'm well on the way towards that future 50 tabards achievement and nicely padding out my tabards tab — when it shows up.


Gaiwyn of Proudmoore