Monday, January 23, 2012

Gotta Write More...

It's been too long. I've been dealing with illness, medication, and travel to see a doctor recently, and forgot to write all that time. Sigh.

I guess I was way off about foreshadowing in my last post. CLEARLY Azshara won't be around for a while. Though, I'm quite excited about Mists of Pandaria. The Pet Battle system seems...so-so for me. As a hardcore pet collector, I like the ides of a new way to obtain pets, and more ways to use pets. The thing I don't like is trading.

I admit, I'm totally confused on trading pets. Does that mean we LOSE a pet from our collection, and switch it with whichever pet we traded it for? Or, does that simply make a COPY of that pet to give away, while we keep one in our collection? Collecting pets simply means you add more. I don't want any lost, but there are plenty I want to share with friends and my roommate. He has plenty that I want too. I'm not going to lose any from my collection, though.

I do have an idea, however. It seems pets will be account-wide in MoP. which means, I could simply go on one of my ignored alts and trade pets with one of my roommate's ignored alts. That way, none would be missing from our mains' collections, and we'd have the pets from each other.

I guess I'll have to see when the Beta comes out how this new system works. It would probably even come out with the pre-MoP patch. They usually add all the class changes and world changes a bit before the expansion comes out. That's how I got the quest=related pets from Azeroth in Cata's launch. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

N'zoth and Foreshadowing

I want to know what's happening with the Zandalari and King Rastakhan. Was that a bit of foreshadowing? Will we see the island of Zandalar in the next expansion? And what about Neptulon? He got dragged away by Ozumat in a similar fashion to Erunak being dragged away by Mindbender Ghur'sha...twice! I guess I felt like this was going to lead to us fighting Ozumat to release the Naga's control on Neptulon, so the seas will be calm again, or some such. But, no, Blizzard feels this isn't the right time. When IS the right time, then? Literally every WoW player is saying "What about Neptulon!? What happened to the Abyssal Maw dungeon you mentioned!?" As I've said many times, I'm guessing they WILL add these things. Why mention it only to abandon it? Then again, I said the same about the other Sanctums in Wyrmrest Temple, and it seems we won't be seeing the other sanctums at all.

I'm curious as to the Emerald Dream. People feel it won't make a good expansion, as there's not enough content to it. The Emerald Dream is said to have no buildings, and the Nightmare is supposed to be in one corner of it, known as the Rift of Aln. Now, they COULD have structures that serve as inns and other buildings, but they would look like natural creations. Trees that serve as hubs, caves that could have dungeons in them. Or, they could simply make the Emerald Dream a Molten Front-like daily hub. It's known that N'zoth "sparked" the Emerald Nightmare, and that he's most likely inside the Rift of Aln. It's also speculated that the Rift of Aln is connected to the Rift of the Maelstrom. The Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron mentions seas, forests, a "black goat with seven eyes", a sleeping city named "Ny'alotha" among other things. Many people assume the puzzle box is hinting toward N'zoth. N'zoth could be in both the Emerald Dream and the Maelstrom, and he could be the force behind the Naga, as it seems likely.

It seems like this could have been an epic patch for Cataclysm, that would fit the theme of Old Gods, the Twilight's Hammer, the Naga, etc. But, I suppose (and hope) that Blizzard instead makes it MORE epic and makes an entire expansion out of this. I would have found it mind-blowing for Deathwing and Azshara to be in cahoots since they both seem to be powerful minions of the Old Gods, and somewhat allies. But, Blizzard is known for having little hints of what's to come next in major patches. For instance, we see Kil'jaeden and his powers of bringing people back to an undead state in the Sunwell, with Kael, and then the next expansion was about the Lich King. In Wrath, we saw some mentions of Twilight Drakes, and the Kvaldir's storyline was touched upon. We also see some Twilight's Hammer cultists working with Old Gods and Faceless Ones, and then the next expansion was about the Twilight's Hammer and the Twilight Dragons. The Kvaldir and their feud with the Naga is touched upon again in Vashj'ir.

What foreshadowing did we have this expansion? Well, we had N'zoth's presence in Vashj'ir, the aquatic Faceless Ones in cahoots with the Naga, Azshara's appearance in Darkshore, and the Emerald Nightmare's effects in several zones. When Azeroth was remade in Cataclysm, there were several little tidbits of the Nightmare's presence, such as, Stonetalon Peak, Wailing Caverns (again), the Southern Barrens, and even Mount Hyjal. Ysera is also outside the Dream now, and seems to have her eyes open for a reason. It was touched upon in the book Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, but I haven't had a chance to read the book yet.

We saw some other influence of Old Gods across all of WoW that was confusing, and then answered only recently. It seems Ahn'Qiraj and Azjol-Nerub were once Titan research stations, where Tol'vir were in charge of, well, researching. However, with the Old Gods' interventions, the Aqir turned into the Silithids/Qiraji under the influence of C'thun, and the Nerubians under the influence of Yogg-Saron. They then turned the Tol'vir living there into Obsidian Destroyers, which do indeed look like stone Tol'vir. There is also the presence of Anubisaths in Ahn'Qiraj, and they also seem to exist in the Halls of Origination. The buildings in both AQ and AN look very similar to Uldum, with a touch of Uldaman and Ulduar to them as well. This would make sense, considering they are all made by the Titans themselves.

Since Ulduar was made as a prison for Yogg-Saron, and Ahn'Qiraj was a prison for C'thun, as well as a research station for the Tol'vir, then what lies at the bottom of the Maelstrom? The Well of Eternity was there once, and while lore fans are not sure, it seems the Titans placed the Well there. Could there be an entire Titan-made complex inside the Maelstrom? I doubt the Titans imprisoned an Old God in the exact center of the then-Kalimdor, then placed a giant well of unfathomable power right on top of him for the fun of it.

It's speculated that the Highborne were turned into Naga when they breathed in the Well's waters under the intervention of N'zoth. In the War of the Ancients trilogy, the last we hear of Azshara is that she was falling into the black, swirling waters of the Well, and heard a voice that offered her power. As she breathed in the waters, she didn't drown. Then, 10,000 years later, the mortal races hear about Naga and how Azshara is their leader. Considering the Naga are working with aquatic Faceless Ones, and they're going to war with Neptulon, a former servant of the Old Gods, with assitance from the Old God N'zoth himself...it's safe to assume that we'll be seeing them in the same expansion. We even know that N'zoth helped Xavius, a former Highborne and Satyr, become the Nightmare Lord.

As stated at the beginning of this post, we see that King Rastakhan of Zandalar is starting some kind of war. His efforts were thwarted, but we know he's not done. We haven't seen Zandalar in-game, aside from the island on the map below the Maelstrom. We also have yet to see the state of Kezan, which Blizzard said they want to revisit when the time is right. Kul Tiras was mentioned to be drifting away from the mainland and come in a "future patch" but, it's assumed they mean a "future expansion" now. Kul Tiras is definitely still a part of the Alliance, though, since part of their forces are the Baradin Wardens.

While it's clear we won't be seeing any of this in Cataclysm, we have a lot to look forward to in the next expansion, along with the rumors about "Mists of Pandaria" floating around. There are definitely a lot of islands that were mentioned in Cataclysm that weren't seen, and a lot of forces that did something, then backed off. We have a new patch to look forward to with many new features, and we get to face Deathwing, but hopefully all these aquatic/island-themed glimpses won't go to waste.

Patch 4.3 and Beyond

So, all of a sudden, interviews across the world EXPLODED about patch 4.3, and a lot of hype has gone into a few key aspects of it.

It's been stated what the Transmogrifier and Void Storage are for. You can use the Transmogrifier to make your armor look like other armor of the same type. I assume this is because most classes can't wear certain types of armor. You also can't change looks into tier sets of another class. So, Warriors can't use t10 Death Knight armor, for instance. That aspect doesn't matter much atm, because most raid gear that drops in current raids for plate DPS is the DK models, but anyway. You can't use the Transmogrifier for weapons, but you CAN use them for guns, bows, and crossbows. Since those are really the best aspect of a hunter, I suppose that's a nice perk for them. Legendaries are not able to be changed, by the way.

I'm confused about a couple things. What about pieces that don't have an armor type? There are plenty of suits, dresses, helm pieces, etc, that are just labeled as "chest" or "helm". What if I want to go kick some butt in a Lovely Red Dress and Forever-Lovely Rose? It's not an armor type, and anyone can use it. I'll DEFINITELY be testing this once 4.3 hits the PTR.

The Void Storage is a bank for gear, basically. You can store 100-150 items in it, but they lose all gems and enchantments. This is fine by me. There are plenty of pieces of armor I collected that I worked hard for, but I'm not going to wear. Such as my tier 10 set. I like my piggie shoulders! I don't want to lose those! And there are such weapons I won't get rid of, ever, such as Bryntroll (which took me MONTHS to win the roll for) and the crossbow from my very first LK kill. It'll be nice to finally clear up some space in my bank to ACTUALLY be able to use it for things like feasts, instead of things like...Theldurin's Fist, and a mace that looks like a Frying Pan...I tend to collect worthless things.

The Abyssal Maw is going to be put off for a while, it seems. Blizzard feels it just doesn't fit in right now. I can't help but feel we'll see the end of Neptulon's story someday, though. The Naga are definitely going to be some big baddies eventually here. Azshara's going to be an end-game boss of her own expansion, we all know that. And we know that even though the Naga were working with Deathwing at the beginning of Cataclysm, they kind of seem to have their own plans now. It's not like we see Naga inside Grim Batol, helping out Deathwing more than they should. We also see glimpses of N'zoth in Vashj'ir, but we have yet to see his name mentioned inside WoW. The ONLY place we've heard the name was from one of the developers (Metzen, I believe?). It seems they'll put off the whole Naga-Neptulon-Ozumat-N'zoth storyline until a water-themed expansion.

The Darkmoon Faire will get its own island in 4.3. I assume this means they won't be going around to all kinds of places no one goes to, and staying put on one island to be visited anytime. I'm hoping we'll get pets from them, and that it will be easier to gain rep with them. With the inclusion of the Alliance and Horde balloon pets, there was a Darkmoon balloon as well...well, at least a model of it. Perhaps this will be a pet to purchase from the Faire itself? The only known thing is a minigame: Whack-a-Gnoll. Sounds like fun to me!

It was mentioned that 4.3 will be the Deathwing raid. Wait, what? The expansion hasn't even been out for one year yet, and we're already killing the dragon that's terrorized Azeroth for 10,000+ years? It seems really rushed for me, but, of course, I have a theory.

Development for Cataclysm started around the same time as Wrath of the Lich King. They worked on Wrath and made it awesome, but dragged it out a bit, putting the finishing touches on Cataclysm. Cata really is a huge expansion. They had to redo most old zones, re-write lore, redo models, make new quests, make new armor, redo talents, etc. They completely turned the game around. And while they've been working on it for years...we haven't. We, as players, have just started this expansion. We spent a month going "AMFG WOW. THE WORLD CHANGED." to a few weeks of going "AMFG WOW. THIS NEW CONTENT AND LORE IS AWESOME." We then spent some weeks doing the same dungeons over and over, the same raids over and over.

4.1 came, and for the hardcore raiders, it wasn't a good patch. There was nothing for them. The gear they got from raids was better than ZG/ZA. Though, for lore nuts and people who weren't hardcore raiders, it was a good patch...for a little while. We saw the Zandalari going all insane, we thwarted their plans, we got some pets and mounts...and then we got sick of doing the only two good dungeons pretty fast. Then 4.2 came out. Offered some great gear, hardcore raiders had fun with it, and it offered pets, mounts, titles, and a legendary staff. But, most guilds are only up to Ragnaros now, and only a couple people, at most, have the legendary staff now.

Personally, I think it would be better if they made 4.3 a patch with more dungeons, and then saved 4.4 for Deathwing, ending the expansion. Draw it out a little bit. Wrath seemed way too dragged out. We were doing ICC and Ruby Sanctum for a year until Cata was released. Now we're being rushed with odd patches. It kind of feels like we're in a car, and Blizzard's driving. Then they speed up, then slow down and creep along. THEN SPEED UP!! Then creep along. at least, that's how it feels to me. I hope blizzard makes 4.3 worthwhile for everyone, and makes it last a while without us being bored with the same things introduced at the beginning of the patch. Hopefully mini-patches will come out in the mean time, to hold us off.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pet Idea: Orphans

Orphan's Week provides a guaranteed pet for those who haven't completed them. The entire week is dedicated to obtaining pets, thus making it ideal for pet collectors of varying sizes of collections. We had a glimpse of adopting an orphan with the Northrend event quests, and we had a glimpse at having a kid follow us with the Argent Squire/Gruntling.

What if the Orphanages had more function? There are three orphanages that, other than Children's Week, serve no purpose. I, personally, would love it if we could "adopt" an orphan. Meaning, we could get pets that are children. The price to buy them could be ridiculous, to make it seem like adopting in the real world, and people would pay it too! Imagine having a little human girl follow you around that you adopted! Tons of people love their squires. I know that mine, Skippy, is around all the time. Though, I tend to talk to him more like Green Arrow talks to Speedy. ("Quick! Get my bow from that pit of alligators!" >.>;) And he still doesn't even have a mount. He's kind of forced to run around in the smoke of my Mekgineer's Chopper. But I digress.

It's not like there aren't models for kids. For the Alliance, there are several models of human children, boys and girls, and there are Draenei boys and girls. For the Horde, there are Orc children (I think there are even models for Mag'har kids, right?) and there are Blood Elf boys and girls. They could easily recolor the Blood Elf kids to be Night Elf kids (in fact, in the Leyara questline, they simply used a Blood Elf child model as a Night Elf child...) or they could recolor their eyes and clothes to be High Elf children. They could even go so far as to scale down some models, like Sporeggar or Arakkoa, and have those be orphans in the Shattrath orphanage, like they did for the Northrend Children's Week rewards.

I'm sure many players, especially pet collectors, would say ":D!!!!!!!!!!" if they could adopt some of the many orphans in the many orphanages. I don't see any reason why Blizzard wouldn't do this. People already have squires, and children of other intelligent races (murloc, gorloc, wolvar, moonkin, pandaren, elementals, dragons). We also get adult sentient beings (humans, orcs, tiny gnomes, mechagnomes, etc.) Can anyone give me a single reason why adopting kids as pets in WoW as a bad thing?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lore Talk: Goblins

Goblins have existed in Warcraft lore since ancient times. The earliest record of their existence was during the War of the Ancients. Neltharion (who would be later known as Deathwing) had enlisted many Goblins to help him create the Dragon Soul/Demon Soul. At the time, Goblins were thought of as little more than rodents. They were thought of as intelligent beings, but tricky and evil. Later in the war, Deathwing's body erupted in molten magma from using the Demon Soul, and he enlisted the Goblins to help him create Adamantium plates to hold his body together. After the war and the Sundering, Goblins spread to many places in Azeroth, but seemed to find a home on the island of Kezan.

Trolls occupied most of Kezan at the time, using Goblins to mine kaja'mite for their voodoo. The more the Goblins were exposed to the ore, the more intelligent they became. They sensed that the ore found in the tunnels of Mount Kajaro had some special enchantments to it, and kept much of it for themselves. Their increasing intelligence caused them to make armor and weapons that were more advanced than other races, and started developing technology. The Goblins then claimed the tunnels they dug out within Kajaro as their capital city, naming it the Undermine.

After the Undermine was established, Goblins created technology that was more advanced than technology today. They sold it in openly, and words of their numerous inventions spread. However, kaja'mite soon started to dwindle, and with it, the intelligence of the Goblin race. Soon enough, Goblin technology became more crude and other races didn't trust their technology, as it was likely to explode. Instead, Goblins started to become interested in trade, and made the first Trade Fleets, exploring the world. rumors have it they were also looking for more kaja'mite.

Goblins started to see that war was a good time to make lots of money, and built their trading empire during the first war. They established cartels run by Trade Princes. By the time of the second war, their empire was well-known around the world. Many Goblins remained neutral, but one Trade Prince and his cartel joined the Horde, feeling they would win. Other Goblins felt remaining neutral would gain them more money. Such activities have remained until now. The only real known cartels are the Steamwheedle Cartel and the Bilgewater Cartel. However,t here are many other Goblin factions, such as Smokywood Pastures, the Blackwater Raiders, the Trade Coalition, etc.

The Steamwheedle Cartel has remained slightly neutral in the war between the Horde and the Alliance. They seem to keep more toward Horde territory, but will openly trade with the Alliance as well. Any fighting within a Steamwheedle city is quickly ended by a Bruiser, who keeps the peace and neutrality within the city's walls. The Leader of Steamwheedle is Trade Prince Steamwheedle, and his lieutenants are Gazlowe, Baron Revilgaz, and Marin Noggenfogger, to name a few. This cartel is one of the largest.

The Bilgewater Cartel has had a more involved story in recent times. They owned the northern shore of Kezan, known as Bilgewater Port. In comparisson to other places int he world, perhaps in Gnomeregan, it is "futuristic", with technology that most other races could never imagine. Around the same time as the Cataclysm, a new leader for the Bilgewater Cartel was being considered, and during a game of footbomb, Deathwing appeared, yelling about the Hour of Twilight. Mount Kajaro started to erupt, and the Goblins left Kezan, spending their life savings for refuge on Trade Prince Gallywix's ship...Little did they know, it was a slave ship.

On their way off Kezan to Azshara, a naval battle between an Alliance fleet and a single Horde ship was discovered. The Alliance fired at the Goblin slave ship, and what remained of the Bilgewater Cartel was stranded on the Lost Isles. Through the events on the islands, they discovered kaja'mite, pygmies, the pygmy turtle god, the Alliance soldiers, and the Horde. They found a friend within the Horde by rescuing Thrall from the Alliance fleet. Trade Prince Gallywix was brought to justice for his actions by Thrall, who commanded him to join the Horde, and lead his people well. Gallywix agreed, but perhaps didn't keep up to his promise. The Bilgewater joined the Horde, establishing a new port on the shores of Azshara, and reshaping Azshara to look like the Horde symbol.

The fate of Kezan and the Undermine are unknown, but if anyone could figure out a way to keep the Undermine going, it's the Goblins.

Notable Goblins:
Trade Prince Steamwheedle - Leader of the Steamwheedle Cartel
Baron Revilgaz - Leader of Booty Bay and the Blackwater Raiders
Engineer Gazlowe - Leader of Ratchet
Marin Noggenfogger - Leader of Gadgetzan
The Great Pisani - Mayor of Fuselight-by-the-Sea
Trade Baron Silversnap - Leader of Bogpaddle
Trade Prince Jastor Gallywix - Leader of the Bilgewater Cartel
Trade Prince Donais - Associate of Gallywix
Boss Mida - Gallywix's Second-in-Command
Sassy Hardwrench - Leader of Hardwrench Hideaway
Kryll - Served Deathwing during the Second and Third wars
Landro Longshot - Trading Card Game reward vendor
Mogul Razdunk - Leader of the Venture company

Goblin-Owned Locations:
Booty Bay, Stranglethorn Vale
Gadgetzan, Tanaris
Ratchet, Northern Barrens
Everlook, Winterspring
Bogpaddle, Swamp of Sorrows
Mudsprocket, Dustwallow Marsh
Fuselight, Badlands
Fuselight-by-the-Sea, Badlands
Bilgewater Port, Kezan
Edj, Kezan
Undermine, Kezan
Town-in-a-Box, Lost Isles
Bilgewater Lumber Yard, Lost Isles
Bilgewater Harbor, Azshara
Gallywix's Pleasure Palace, Azshara
The Secret Lab, Azshara
Goblin Slums, Orgrimmar
Area 52, Netherstorm
K3, Storm Peaks

Goblin Organizations:
Steamwheedle Cartel
Bilgewater Cartel
Blackwater Raiders
Smokywood Pastures
Alchemists' Union
Tinkers' Union
Trade Coalition/Trade Fleets
Venture Trading Company
Kajaro Trading Company (KTC)
Braintrust of Orbital Operations and Mechanics (B.O.O.M.)

Notable Goblin Inventions:
Shredder
Hot Rod
Zepplin
Barbecue
Rockets
Rocketway
Footbomb
Exploding Sheep
Jumper Cables
Harvest Golem
Town-in-a-Box
Lab-in-a-Box
Clockwerk Goblin
Weather Machine
Kaja'Cola

For more information, please visit: http://www.wowpedia.org/Goblin

Vanity Item of the Month: Orb of the Sin'dorei

I've missed quite a few months of the Vanity Item of the Month...but let's just pretend I didn't. :D

This month is the Orb of the Sin'dorei. When Burning Crusade was near the end, Magister's Terrace was added to continue Kael's storyline, and it offered some nice epic gear, and nice vanity items. Kael drops the Phoenix hatchling pet on normal and heroic, and he drops a White Hawkstrider mount on heroic difficulty, making it possible for anyone of any faction to own a hawkstrider mount!

A vanity item that has a chance to drop from all bosses only on heroic is the Orb of the Sin'dorei. It's a level 70 item that transforms you into a Blood Elf for 5 minutes, with a 30 minute cooldown. You retain your gear you're wearing, and it's simply an item, not a trinket (both qualities are unlike the Orb of Deception). You also gain access to all of a Blood Elf's emotes, jokes, and dances, just as if you were playing a Blood Elf itself.

It's fun for some classes to play as a Blood Elf when it's not possible. Such as, Blood Elf druids, shamans, and pre-Cata, warriors. I, personally, enjoyed being a Blood Elf warrior in Wrath, when it wasn't possible. For girl characters that want their orb to turn them into a male Blood Elf, simply use the Iron Boot Flask, then the Orb of the Sin'dorei, and you'll be a male Blood Elf.

For those interested in who it drops off of for what percentage, as well as what others have to say of it, here's the wowhead link: http://www.wowhead.com/item=35275

Happy hunting!

Holiday Events, Ethereals




I'm looking forward to Brewfest and Hallow's End more and more, the closer they get. Blizzard hinted that Hallow's End would follow the story of the Forsaken and Gilneas more. I like that! The Forsaken have always had a bit of an edge, since the Holiday was about their freedom from the Lich King (though, in the book Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, the humans of Lordaeron celebrated the holiday before the time of the Scourge, but, whatever). It's nice to see the Worgen included in the Halloween event. Zombies and werewolves fit into the spooky nature of Halloween, and we need to see some meaty content around what is happening with Gilneas past the Worgen starting experience, and the Horde's Silverpine questline.

Also, a few Halloween-themed pets emerged some time ago through datamining. A model that has existed in the game for a long time is now going to be made into a pet, called the Creepy Crate. It's simply a crate that shuffles along as it follows you, and occasionally eyes or a tongue, eating a bug, will pop out. It seems to be from a quest that is level 10, which seems to be part of a quest chain. The fact it's level 10, and was added to the game - but hasn't been found on live servers - suggests it's a holiday quest. (http://www.wowhead.com/quest=29429)



Two other pets have emerged, but there is only one spell for it, called the Feline Familiar. The model is a cat with a witch hat on. One cat is an orange tabby cat, the other is a bombay cat. It's obviously Halloween-themed, so many are hoping it's a new vendor item, or that it'll be from a quest. (http://www.wowhead.com/item=70908)



I haven't had any luck in past years with the Brewfest Ram or Brewfest Kodo. As an Alliance player, the Kodo is more valuable to me. Hopefully - HOPEFULLY - this year will be my lucky break. Knowing my luck, I'll get the Kodo, and then get three more on the same character. ("Be optimistic!" I tell myself, as I'm writing this...)



There has been a lot of buzz over the past couple days about Ethereals...you know, those mummy dudes from Outland? The picture (at the top of the post) was posted on the Warcraft Facebook page with no clue as to the functions of these NPCs. Later, a blue post by Netheara had the same picture, with only the words "Curiouser and curiouser..." above it.




Now, a "transmogrifier", according to dictionary.com, is "someone or something that can change or transform its appearance to something else." This can mean many things. Are we able to have an appearance tab, now? As in, are we able to save certain pieces of gear to the transmogrifier, and look that way, but still be able to wear our REAL gear and use the stats from it? Or, is it that we can change the appearance of our models? I doubt it's the latter, though, it would be nice. It feels like we should be able to modify our characters more than their initial creation, and what the barber shops have to offer. We'll see what this NPC does no later than 4.3, I'd guess.




The Void Storage NPC is another hot topic among WoW fans the past couple days. some speculate it's more storage than your bank, and some feel it's an account-wide storage unit, so you can send things to characters of different factions or realms. This would be very handy for people to level their alts on another faction or server. Currently, the only way to transfer heirlooms and such to another realm is by transferring the entire character. And the only way to transfer BoP or BoE items to the other faction is by neutral AH, or race changing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this NPC to make it into live servers in the way it's speculated right now!