A painting of me

Nerf Warlocks!

   11 April 2007, early morning

When reading World of Warcraft websites or forums, you may come across the word nerf, usually used in conjunction with a class name. I’m quite sure the most common example of the phrase is, “Nerf Warlocks.” (In fact, if we can trust Google, it is most definitely the most common example of the phrase.) The person asking for the nerf thinks the class in question is too powerful, and needs to have its abilities toned down so the game is more fair. The common response to such a request is usually, “LRN2PLY NOOB.” That said, in the case of Warlocks, the complainers are probably right. I’m hardly an avid gamer, and I certainly don’t have any phat loot, but my Warlock currently wanders around as some sort of unstoppable blight of nature, reigning down death on anything that happens to pass within reach of my corruption spell. In fact, Warlocks were nerfed, and they still belt out destruction like it was going out of fashion. It was Gary who suggested I play a Warlock to begin with. When I first started playing I would complain to Gary how quickly I would die, and his answer was always, more or less, “Patience Ram, patience.” And he was so right. So, now I’m telling you: play Warlocks, they are fun, and other classes will hate you.

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The Scarlet Monastery

   29 March 2007, early morning

Yesterday I finally finished all of the Scarlet Monastery dungeon, thereby earning my much sought after Sword of Omen. (And, for those of you, who like Shima, never spent your childhood watching Cartoons, the real Sword of Omens gives you sight beyond sight.) I normally run these instances in “pick-up” groups, since I don’t have any friends besides Gary that play World of Warcraft. Normally people complain pick-up groups are disastrous, but I have had good luck thus far with them. Usually there will be 4 players that know what they are doing — including myself — and someone not so hot. Yesterday the not so hot fellow was a Warlock, but since he was the highest level character his messing up wasn’t so bad. The rest of us could have done the run by ourselves it looked like, but he was certainly helpful killing the bosses. Last night also marked the first time I did nothing but heal during an instance: it wasn’t as horrible as I had thought it would be. I’m thinking about switching to being a Holy Paladin. The problem as I see it is that leveling a Holy paladin would be far too slow a process. I accidentally ninja’d Herod’s Shoulders, which is some nice armor for a paladin like myself. The worse part was that I had told everyone to pass on Bind on Pickup items earlier, and everyone followed the rule save myself. There were no hard feelings thankfully — no one in the group could use them save the warrior, but he was cool with my messing up. And I think I’ve run out of dorky things to say about my evening. This is what happens when I don’t go out on a weeknight, and Shima isn’t home.

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The Camineet Avengers

   27 March 2007, mid-morning

Gary invited me to join his guild, the Camineet Avengers, some time back. It was one of the bigger Horde guilds on our server. My Warlock was finally close enough to his characters in level that we could do stuff together. I think he thought I could go raiding with his guild if I kept leveling at a good pace — which I didn’t, by the way. I never did much with anyone in the guild since they were for the most part serious-ass raiders, myself not so much. Most of the the time the guild chat would be filled with people posting links to cool items they found. I usually tuned out of what was being said because, for the most part, talking about loot in World of Warcraft is pretty boring. Now I wish I had paid more attention. The drama I witnessed last night would have made more sense: yesterday the guild imploded in a flurry of /gkicks. I’m pretty sure you don’t need to kick people out one by one, but this is what the guild officers did. Maybe it was cathartic for them. After several minutes, I was one of the last 9 people in the Camineet Avengers, a guild I was never really a part of. I need to find a new guild.


Leaving the Ghostlands

   9 February 2007, early morning

Satyavati in Deatholme

My Blood Elf hit level 20 and change in the Ghostlands, the zone just south of the Blood Elf starting zone, Eversong Woods. Compared to the Undead starting zone, Eversong Woods and Ghostlands both feel like they have some history to them. (They both figure prominently in Warcraft III, so this may be why I liked them so much.) The quests are much better thought out in these two zones, compared to those in Trifal Glades and Silverpine. You end up traveling throughout the whole area, and the various quest-chains all relate to one another, and sort of push forward an overall story-arc forward. Things culminate in Deatholme, where you have to kill some evil archmage. Once this is done, you fly off to Undercity to start adventuring throughout the rest of Azeroth.

One of your last tasks in the Ghostlands is to return a necklace to Lady Sylvanas, who is the Queen of the Undead. She used to be an Elf, much like my character, but in Warcraft III, Arthas turns her into a wraith. When you give her back the necklace (the end of a quest), this cool Lord of the Rings sounding sequence begins. I haven’t encountered any other cut-scense like this one in the game.

This post is dedicated to my friend Cathy. She lives on a boat.

Satyvati and Sylvanas Windrunner


Level 60 - Woot!

   25 January 2007, mid-morning

There is a monster in the Outlands called the Fel Reaver, which will kill your ass if you stand around to let it. My Warlock ran as fast as he could.

Running from a Fel Reaver

As it is quite cold outside, I continue to spend my time in doors playing World of Warcraft. I have been dividing my time between my new Blood Elf Paladin, and my good old Warlock. When I got home from work, I was about half way to level 60 — the level I’ve been trying to reach for months and months; last night my character finally reached this milestone. I suppose calling it a milestone makes it sound more important than it actually is, but really, I’ve been doing so little else with my time I’ll take a virtual achievement when I get it. For a long while I didn’t think I’d play enough to ever get to this point in the game. It took me 13 days played to get to this point, which I played over the course of 9 months. To put that in the context of other people that play, some fellow did the same thing I did in 3 days played, over the course of less than 10 days. Playing the last 2 levels in the Outlands probably sped the process up a fair bit; the quests and monsters give a fair amount more XP then the quests and monsters in Azeroth. Also, since I was playing with Gary, it was easy to complete a lot of quests quickly. It’s a bit anti-climatic at this point in time. I have the expansion, so this isn’t the last level a character can reach anymore. That said, I don’t know if reaching level 70 will feel the same.

Rahmunan is level 60

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First Blood Elf on Eitrigg

   16 January 2007, the wee hours

My new WoW character.

I’m the first Blood Elf on Eitrigg — my new character is Satyavati. Me and Yemeria are the only two Blood Elves on Eitrigg so far. (It is a very trippy experience running around an empty starting area.) I’ve gotten tons of in game “whispers” asking me about what it’s like to be a Paladin and a Blood Elf. Having played for all of 15 minutes, I’m not sure I’m qualified to say. I suppose a Paladin feels like the exact opposite of a Warlock. I’m liking playing one so far, but I really haven’t done anything yet. Being the first Blood Elf Paladin isn’t much of an accomplishment. By tomorrow there are going to be hundreds and hundreds. This post exists to note that for a very brief moment in time, there was just one: me.

I sent my Warlock off into the Outlands. Lets just say it’s a bit mental on the other side of the Dark Portal. Infernals keep falling out of the sky. I’m now camped in Thrallmar, trying to decide if I should quest in the Outlands or not.

I’ll stop talking about WoW soon. I promise. You can see more screen shots from WoW over on my Flickr account.

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The Burning Crusade - January 12th?

   13 January 2007, late afternoon

The Burning Crusade box.

I picked up a copy of the first World of Warcraft expansion, the Burning Crusade, today at Wal-Mart. It was pretty pricey, at $55, but I thought it best to get it now before they all sell out. Buying an expansion for a video game isn’t exciting in and of itself, but today’s purchase is interesting because the game isn’t supposed to be out till January 16th. Maybe they aren’t strict about that? I’m guessing my Wal-Mart (at Dufferin Mall) got a bunch of copies early. I am going to try and install it now and see what happens. Lets see if I can make a Blood Elf Paladin. My Warlock is three levels away from 60 now, thanks to Gary’s help last night. I need to get to level 58 before I can cross the Dark Portal and enter the Outlands. It’s really not as nerdy as it sounds — well, no, it really is I suppose.

Update: The install went fine, and I just upgraded my account. However, I can’t make a Blood-Elf or Draenei. I guess I’ll have to wait till Tuesday.

Update: WoW Insider lament their inability to snag an early copy of the game. I think if you are looking to grab the expansion early, finding shops staffed by 40 years olds who have no interest in video games is key.

Update: I’m the first Blood Elf on Eitrigg.

What's in the Burning Crusade box.

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The Dark Portal

   12 January 2007, mid-morning

Rahmunan and his Void Walker in the Blasted Lands

I recall wandering into the Western Plaguelands by accident when I was level 10 or so, and getting killed by a random spider there. (The Western & Eastern Plaguelands are where the game Warcraft III begin.) Now I regularly venture into the area in order to complete quests and kill monsters. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for a long time now, and am finally close to reaching the maximum level of the game — sixty. (Of course, in a week the Warcraft expansion will be released and the level-cap will move to 70.) I can now travel to most areas in the game without dying outright — it usually takes a few moments for me to die. One area that I have finally been able to go to without dying really quick is the Blasted Lands, which is where the Dark Portal is located. The Dark Portal is pictured behind the login screen for World of Warcraft when you start the game up; it plays an important role in the previous Warcraft games. It’s funny how quiet the area was when I got there, as a week later it is now swarming with people trying to kill demons coming through the portal. So, half a year later, I’m still very much enjoying the World of Warcraft; I’m looking forward to the Burning Crusade expansion.


Level 50

   6 December 2006, late morning

My interest in World of Warcraft really seemed to peak when my Warlock reached level 40-something, and then started to decline sharply when I quickly discovered there wasn’t really anything interesting to do. Running around in the Hinterlands killing wolves and trolls is fun for a few minutes, but doing this for hours and hours gets tired fast. I slowly managed to inch my way up to level 49, and in fact was just a bar or two short of reaching level 50 when I sort of forgot about the game. I’ve been watching Smallville in my spare time at home, and as such couldn’t be bothered to grind through another level in World of Warcraft.

Yesterday Blizzard released their latest patch to the game, which included a revamped talent tree amongst other things. It was a huge patch, meant to be released with the next expansion. Since the expansion was delayed, they pushed the patch out early. The big changes are a new PvP Honour System, a new Arena Battle Ground, a new Looking for Group tool, and some new Talents. Since I like my demons too much, I picked up all the demon related talents for the Warlock. After re-specing I was off to kill monsters and try out my skills. I hit level 50 quite quickly. Then the server started crashing quite regularly and I decided that was enough World of Warcraft for the day.

I’m going to try and do some instances, since I haven’t really done many since I started playing the game months ago. My quest to reach level 60 continues.


The Burning Crusade expansion

   18 October 2006, mid-afternoon

The Burning Crusade special edition expansion is $100 in Canada (at least at Best Buy). $100? I couldn’t believe it myself. I mean, I like my World of Warcraft, but I don’t know if I like it that&nbs; much. That’s a lot of money to drop for the privilege of having the game on DVD and getting a Burning Crusade mouse pad. I’m not the only person who thinks it’s a bit much for an expansion:

“I’m still on the fence about this CE. I might make a half-hearted effort to get a pack o’ nerd-swag; I might not. If they were giving out something worthwhile for the $$ like a 24-slot bag, I’d kill my own mother to get ahold of one. Hell, she’s had a good run and she knows how important bag space is in this game.” — Foton over at AFK Gamer

The fancy box would look nice on my bookshelf I suppose. Amazon.ca isn’t selling it for some strange reason. The EB Games at Dufferin Mall won’t answer my calls. Update: The dude I finally got a hold of at the EB Games in Dufferin Mall sounded like a bit of a dumbass — he was totally clueless anyway. The game is supposed to be out at the end of November, though many people have their doubts.

Mind you, I’m still 16 levels away from level 60, which means I really don’t need to rush to get this expansion.

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Zealot Blade

   27 September 2006, late morning

While playing World of Warcraft, I stumbled upon a Zealot blade, which was hidden in a locked box I’ve had in my possession for ages and ages. I found a rogue who’d open the box, and the sword was what I found inside. Auctioneer told me I was going to be rich. I thought to myself, “I’m rich, beeyotch.” What I’ll do with my new found wealth, I’m not sure. I might help underprivileged trolls or something.

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Leaving Your Guild in World of Warcraft

   30 August 2006, lunch time

I’ve been trying to leave the guild I joined in World of Warcraft for a little while now. The one problem is I had no idea how. I kept meaning to ask Gary how you quit, but I’d forget whenever I saw him online (or in person). Apparently you just need to type /gquit into the console and you’re set. I’ll try that out tonight. I need to find a new guild now, one that isn’t full of little boys. It’s harder then you think. I learned how to leave a guild by reading about some other guilds drama. It’s a strange game that world of warcraft.

Update: I quit my guild with no fanfare whatsoever. I don’t think anyone noticed I was gone.

Update: I foolishly joined another guild. I need to wake up in the morning and quit.

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Too Much World of Warcraft?

   29 August 2006, lunch time

Any down time in my life is now spent playing World of Warcraft. This past week has been particularly bad since I don’t have Shima to keep my playing in check. Yesterday I must have played the game for something like 4 or 5 hours. I feel like I’ve become my 12 year old self, rushing home from school—now work—to play video games. Things are different now however. Final Fantasy you’d play to a conclusion. Super Mario you’d play to some conclusion. World of Warcraft has no end. The game keeps going even when you aren’t playing. It’s interesting and incredibly captivating, but also incredibly addictive. Still, I think it’s a better use of my time then surfing the Internet for 4 or 5 hours, which is probably how I spent much of my time before when I was home.

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Cross-Realm PvP

   23 August 2006, lunch time

Earlier this week, my Warlock reached level 36. This isn’t such a big deal in and of itself, but it does mean that I’m on the top half of the the 30-39 bracket in the Warsong Gulch battleground. This means I am going to start playing that PvP game within World of Warcraft again. Conveniently enough, yesterday Blizzard introduced the latest patch to the game. This patch introduced cross-realm battlegrounds. Normally you can only fight against people on the server you connect to. For me, this means I can only play against people on Eitrigg. This is fine and all, but since our server population is pretty low the wait times for games are fairly long. There are usually only enough people to get 1 game going in the brackets I have played in so far. Since the patch, servers now belong to battleground groups, and you can now fight with people on any of the servers within your group. This extra influx of people means that there are usually several instances of the battleground running at one time. Instead of 1 game going, there are usually 12 or so. The wait times are much shorter. Shima is out of town for 2 weeks, so I imagine i’ll be wasting a lot of time playing World of Warcraft. I need to get my ranking back.

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   21 July 2006, late morning

All my hard work and dedication have paid off: I’m finally ranked 1804th on my server when it comes to the player-vs-player part of World of Warcraft. This statistic would mean more to me if I knew how many people were on my server period, and how many were playing the PvP part of the game. I’ve been playing so much recently I am starting to recognize the punk players on the opposing side (the Alliance), as well as recognizing the players on my side that know how to play the game properly. It is very satisfying killing the twinks. (Note: I’m not sure if people used that term on purpose or not, or if people are even aware of the other meaning of the word.) The game is still fun (and addictive).


Warsong Gulch

   8 June 2006, lunch time

Yesterday I took part in a battleground instance in World of Warcraft. A battleground is an area in World of Warcraft where you can go and fight with other players (from the opposing faction). I am playing on a Player vs. Enemy server, so by default you can’t just go and kill random dudes if you feel like it. This particular instance is essentially a capture the flag game. It feels a bit strange playing such a game in what is essentially a fantasy role-playing game, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. The same things that make these sorts of games fun in a first-person shooter carry over into World of Warcraft. There is a little bit of strategy and a lot of teamwork involved in winning. I ended up staying up till one in the morning because I didn’t want to leave before my team won (or lost, as turned out to be the case). This was in part because it was a lot of fun playing, and in part because I didn’t want to leave and have my team end up a man short.

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Nerd Alert: Running from a Moonrage Whitescalp

   19 May 2006, lunch time

My adventures in the World of Warcraft continue. I’m in Silverpine Forest, which is the second area of the map you visit (most likely) if you are playing an undead Character. I actually stumbled into this area by accident when my character, a Warlock), was around level 8 or so. That wasn’t pretty. I was back there yesterday night; my character is level 12 now, and I wasn’t getting killed by the random monsters walking around, which was nice. Until I accidentally unsummoned my Imp. And then I started to get my ass kicked by these this Moonrage Whitescalp. So, I ran.

The Warlock has a spell called Fear, which is the only spell you can cast while moving (*update:* that’s not true). It makes monsters run away from you, which makes your escape a little easier. I ran for a good while along the road towards the Sepulcher, a town in the Silverpine Forest. I knew the monster I scared away would be coming back; fear only lasts a short time. Worse still, when other monsters see a monster you have scared with Fear, they come chasing after you as well.

I was running towards another player. I could see him off in the distance, sitting down, eating something. He looked very relaxed. My character continued his sprint down the road, towards this other player. As I got closer, he stood up. He must have seen I was being chased. I ran just past him and turned around to see what was up. It turns out there were 2 monsters chasing me. The two of us took care of them, and my character lived to see another day. I thanked the player, and was on my way. That’s the nice thing about these sorts of online games. There are other players there, ready to help you out.

This was funny to watch while I was playing the game. I’m not sure if it’s as funny to read.

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World of Warcraft

   10 May 2006, lunch time

I met two American kids playing in Bahrain while playing World of Warcraft yesterday. I bought the game a few days back. I never really understood the appeal of these massive multi-player RPG games till yesterday. My first two days in the game consisted of playing for a couple hours, playing through little quests and killing monsters—typical RPG fare, I suppose. Yesterday, I was doing much the same thing when some other player asked if I wanted to kill monsters with him. I thought, “Why the hell not?” Once you start playing with someone else the dynamic of the game changes. I actually put off having dinner for an hour because I was in the middle of a quest with this kid and his sister; I’d feel bad leaving them high and dry. We did our quest together, which was actually quite hard so it’s a good thing we grouped up, and then I decided to call it a night.

Shima was very disapproving when I told her my story. She thinks I am going to one of those boyfriends who neglects their girlfriend in order to play video games. Apparently the term for wives who disapprove of their husbands Warcraft habits is Wife Aggro.

Anyone else play World of Warcraft? Gary and I are on the same server, Eitrigg, but seeing as how he is level 60 we haven’t done much together.

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