Friday, December 17, 2010

Real Life > Cataclysm

Mondays are usually a good day for me. After all, many of the podcasts I listen to are uploaded to iTunes before I leave for work, I keep up-to-date on the latest WoW-related tweets via my iPod Touch, and then I come home from a long night's work to a good hour or so of quality WoW time. Well, that's how it use to be...instead, I was moved to first shift this week and was reminded why I use to not like Mondays. It's more or less the opposite of the scenario I just mentioned. I'm days behind on tweets, trying to catch up on DMs and mentions, and listening to the podcasts is like being the last guy to laugh at a joke; everyone's already gotten the punchline, busted a gut and I'm just starting in. The inaugural week of first shift is now over and as I brace for the start of winter semester, I'm reminded that I still have this tiny little blog that is gaining more attention from random people and guildies. So, I have three rogues in different parts of the "world" in completely different scenarios.

Role Call!
Somehow in all the chaos that real life brings, my Night Elf rogue just hit 84 today. Slowly, like a deadly poison DoT, I've chipped away at the leveling experience and am one step closer to our new level cap and some heroic dungeons. I've purposely saved the instances for two reasons: 1) Rogues are a DPS class, queue times are INSANE, so my limited game time is better spent questing and 2) I'm a bit of a lore nerd. The lore I've come across while questing is like reading a Christie Golden novel with time in between the pages to jam a couple of daggers in someones back...and it's OK, 'cuz those were honorable kills. I'm a pre-Burning Crusade player; questing use to be a virtual version of the Chinese water torture, slow and painful, but now it's actually a pretty enjoyable aspect of the game. The quest rewards scale well with the content and don't have that "clown costume" look we're use to; unfortunately though, the leather gear still looks horrendous at this point, just not multicolored.

The Worgen rogue is now fully rested at level 10. He has no heirlooms, no 16+ slot bags, no 100 gold allowance like I normally give my alts. Just quest rewards and a couple of gathering professions (mining & herbalism) are what I have to work with on him. After publishing this post, I'm going to jump on him for a bit and see how the questing goes with some rested experience. I haven't played him in a week, which was typical of my experience when I first started playing WoW. It took me to around level 20 on my first toon before I caught the WoW "bug" and I think that's more the norm than the all-out addiction from level 1 that we occasionally hear about or that the media portrays. I'd love to go on about the media portrayal of WoW, but I'll save that for another post as I have one more rogue to talk about.

Brutaldemise is my level 30 Forsaken rogue, also on Windrunner. He was the first toon I leveled with the new zones and I really loved seeing the Horde side of things. Granted, I have a level 80 Blood Elf hunter, but I stuck to the "Belf" storyline as long as I could before going to Tarren Mill. He's parked in Stranglethorn right now until I have the desire to continue on with him, which likely won't be until my Worgen is up to that point.

Next Time
Next post will be on the post-level 10 content for the Worgen and hopefully a little "What to do at level 85" information too. I'm not going to blog about something I know nothing about, so I'll post it here after I have some experience with it. My next post will also be up in less time than this one took. There was some MAJOR adjustment that had to happen this week between work, preparation for school, and my other  full-time job of being a husband to my wife and father to three young boys. I can log in any day at any time and all of my rogues are going to be right where I left them, children and spouses don't work that way. Those are the reasons why Taivor will never be the top rogue in WoW or in a really aggressive progression guild. Raiders of the Dawn has been good to me. The people are kind, helpful, and mildly dysfunctional (in a good way), and they're kind of like my digital family. A quick shoutout to my good buddy Kazzar, I hope all is well with you my friend. You're keeping your priorities straight and I admire you for that! Remember everyone: "War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, the lawyrer's jest, and the hired assassin's trade."
~Percy Bysshe Shelley


Thursday, December 9, 2010

And Taivor the Worgen Rogue Was Born!

While mulling over whether or not to change my Nelf rogue into a Worgen, my wife had a great suggestion. She mentioned that, with all the questing and leveling changes, why not make a Worgen rogue on a different server. He would then be completely unaided and guildless, no starting money, no bags, mats, etc... Really the only advantage I have over a new player is my previous experience with the rogue class and my general knowledge of how to get around the world. Since Blizzard's new thing is bringing new people to the game AND keeping more than 30% of them past level 10, I thought I'd try seeing it through their eyes and maybe recapture some of the low-level awe that I had when I first started playing. After all, the zones are revamped and leveling is amazingly fast right now.

A Little Inspiration
I was listening to the Rawrcast podcast last night and Haf leveled his paladin in something like three days...not that I have that kind of time to invest into a new toon, but my wife has casually leveled her mage to 40 in under a month. Bear in mind too that my wife is not a veteran of the game, no level 80 toons...not even a 60. No battlegrounds for her, no instances, just straight up questing. So, I hit the looming "Change Realm" button and thus, Taivor the Worgen rogue was born. In human form, he was beat with the ugly, he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. But in Worgen form, he looks like a ferocious beast, lurking in the shadows.

What About That "Other" Taivor?
My response is this: Have you tried questing in the new zones right now? I've tried playing all times of the day and can hardly get anything done. At least on Windrunner anyways, it's way too crowded. Now, if waiting for respawns is your thing, then you're probably on "cloud nine". I on the other hand am very limited in my playtime, so I want to make the most of it and still contribute to this blog. He will get his time and as a matter of fact, the amount of people in Hyjal last night was significantly fewer than daytime yesterday. UPDATE: I got home from work last night and decided to play the Nelf rogue and much to my chagrin, Hyjal had about three people questing where I was! I sat down and cranked out the quests and hit level 81. Combat Readiness should reduce a lot of the melee damage I've been taking, but doesn't appear to do anything for spell damage given the "enemy weapon strikes" part of the ability description.

What a Difference a Few Hours Makes
Reading back through this post that's been written across 24 hours, I can see my initial frustration with overcrowding, the joy that starting a new toon is, and the rekindling of my fire for my now level 81 rogue. I'm curious to see what the weekend brings as far as overcrowding in the new zones and even the starting zones. Check back later today, I should have a brief overview of the level 1-10 experience with the Worgen! As always, you can leave comments and feedback on here or hit me up on Twitter @The_Dirty_Rogue.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Behold, the Cataclysm...well kind of anyways.

Epic Debate is Epic
So, here I am, listening to the installer music, flipping a coin whether or not to change my Nelf rogue into a Worgen. I'm a bit of a min/maxer so I'm trying to look at this from a strategic standpoint, specifically for PvP. On the Nelf side, I have Nature Resistance which is kinda meh; Quickness which we like...rather we LOVE; Wisp Spirit is kind of a consolation prize like "Hey, you failed but you can beat the other dead people back to the fight"; and lastly Shadowmeld. Shadowmeld use to be fail, but now is a substantial ability. It removes you from "combat" so you can go back into your Stealth ability (assuming you have no DoTs on you). Bottom line: I love the Nelf racials right now.

Lets look at the Worgen. Aberration which is yet another meh racial; Darkflight, another gap closer like Sprint; Flayer is OK, but really no PvP benefit but good for farming and leveling a profession that is already easy to level. Finally, we have Viciousness, that increases our crit chance by 1%. Sadly, I did not have a beta key this time around so I wasn't able to try these out and see some actual numbers on this crit increase. Hence, my dilemma.

Survivability VS Damage
We face this scale in all aspects of the game (unless you roll a paladin), of survivability VS damage. In PvP anyways, you want to take down your target fast, but you want to be able to take a hit as well. That being said, I think this is exactly what Blizz wants: homogenization. We've heard them say it about classes, but races too? I think so, and now my ears perk up to hear the trade chat trolls and whiners come in about Horde racials VS Alliance racials and frankly I don't care. Pay your $25 and faction change if you don't like it. Done.

I Said All That to Say This
I'm still torn on this decision, so Taivor will remain a Nelf rogue for now. It's 1:30am here and I still have some final touches to make on my toons before I "hit the hay". Good night and good luck, see you on the other side of the Cataclysm!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Coming to you from Ravenholdt Manor...
So, as promised in MANY tweets, here's the BLOG. Things are going to be kind of slow for the next few days while we all wait for Cataclysm. In the meantime, a little info about myself: I was introduced to WoW by a coworker who talked about it non-stop. I was more of a FPS and RTS gamer, but thought I'd give it a try. I've had a total of about 3 weeks off since then LOL. I've been playing WoW since about a month before Burning Crusade launched and my first toon was actually a Night Elf druid. At launch day though, I rolled a Draenei shammy and stuck with him until he became my first level 60, then 70 toon. I loved playing enhancement, but something wasn't quite there, I still felt like too much of a "nice guy" even while throwing down some good windfury procs and what not. I started talking to the aforementioned coworker some more and he suggested leveling a rogue. So was born Taivor, the Night Elf rogue. It was like a breath of fresh air. I began with a cookie cutter subtlety spec and spent a lot of my pre-level 40 time in the battlegrounds. Shadowstep/ambush was more or less all it took to take down the mail wearing warriors and paladins and I loved it! Fast forward through some good times at level 70 and the best looking gear ever (Merciless), and we're up to Wrath of the Lich King...ugh. Subtlety specs are a joke and let's face it, you're rolling some form of a Mutilate build because said so. Combat made a comeback with "Hack and Slash" towards the end, but I'm not a big fan of stealthy assassins with axes...a bit messy in my opinion. I still played Taivor a lot and had fun exploring the assassination tree, but I needed a break. So, the shammy got more love, and I added a DK, warlock, priest, and hunter to the list of level 80 toons with a pally tank currently at 76. OK, maybe there's a few others scattered around...I'm a bit of an altoholic.

Epic World Pwnage
Now there's a big angry aspect of death a.k.a. Deathwing that wants to nuke us all down, regardless of faction, and I can't help but want to jam a couple of poisonous daggers in his back. But first, there's a great obstacle in my way. The level 80-85 Changing that Nelf to a bloodthirsty Worgen...nope. Keeping gear up-to-date for the resurrection of the Gearscore nazis...not even close. My greatest hurdle that I need to overcome for raiding is three children with a combined age of 10 and a wife who is slowly realizing that this isn't just a run-of-the-mill console game that she's seen before. She leveled a holy-spec priest to around 50 WITHOUT heirloom gear, doing nothing but questing and that was a year or so ago. Painfully slow...but a major accomplishment for anyone. She took a bit of a break from the game and I took over the priest, we'll call it a Christmas gift. Now, she's back in the game with three pieces of heirloom gear, the new questing changes, and an OP mage class...not to mention a certain sugar daddy rogue to fund all this :D So yes, I'm a family guy. My kids, and my wife come before the game and this is very apparent by my sad armory profile lol

So You're Saying There's a Chance...
Like the rebirth of areas including Eastern Plaguelands and Desolace, Cataclysm should be resurrecting my raiding with the promise of shorter raid times. I'm in a great guild who is casually progressing content and have given me plenty of opportunities to get into raids. That being said, big shout out to Raiders of the Dawn on Windrunner!!!

I hope this post wasn't too miserably long and there will be some actual worthwhile material to come like PvE and PvP video with some screenshots, and even podcast recommendations. Stay tuned and remember: A visible rogue is a dead rogue...