Posts Tagged ‘the burning crusade’


Meet Stinker!

StinkerYou probably already sussed from my first post talking about the new Achievements feature Blizzard added prior to the launch of the last expansion ‘Wrath Of The Lich King’, that I had my eye on the vanity pet collection achievements. Giving them their own tab and taking them out of your backpacks and bank slots, thereby ridding you of the space requirement certainly allowed even the most ardent pack-rat to enjoy the thrill of being followed around everywhere in game by a variety of pets.

So ever since that day, I’ve kept an eye out for new vanity pets. An auction purchase here, a quick quest or two there and a few trips to previously overlooked vendors, slowly adding to my collection until Sunday night when I hit the magic number – 50 and gained the achievement ‘Shop Smart, Shop Pet…Smart‘. Moments later, a letter from Breanni, the NPC pet-store owner in Dalaran, arrived commending me on my pet care and asking me to look after… Stinker, the vanity pet skunk.

So here I am with my collection of 51 vanity pets and of course I felt the urge to brag share the news of my accomplishment. It’s not such a tough feat all told – especially considering there are apparently over a hundred pets in game. But I’m still pleased. In fact, I thought I’d share with you my favourite ten pets… listed after the ‘jump’.

Click to continue…


Step away from the Mechanostrider, lady!

Like a drunken adult trying to ride a child’s playground ‘springy’, I bring you this screenshot of my World of Warcraft character in full Frost Vrykul disguise sat on his (yes, the disguise changes your sex if you’re a fella) swift, green mechanostrider. Riding on mounts that are clearly waaaaay too small for you is one of the delights that await you in the new expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. The mount considered too tiny for anything but a Gnome or a Dwarf to ride is apparently strong enough to support the weight of a hulking, frozen warrior in full battle armour. It’s Gnome technology at it’s finest!
Frost Vrykul on a Swift Green Mechanostrider
You might be wondering, since WotLK came out almost a month ago, why beyond showing you this hilarious scene (seriously, my eyes were watering after seeing this giant zipping around on a tiny mechanostrider… but, hey, that’s just me) I’ve been strangely quiet on the expansion-related article front. The fact is, I’ve been playing WotLK during pretty much any free time I can muster. Work has been torture. Not the regular torture that it usually is but a special kind of torture you’d only wish upon your most successful friends.

Wrath of the Lich King is great fun. I’ve really been enjoying it. Of course, people are devouring the new content at a lightning speed and if that’s your thing, go at it. For everyone else, I’d recommend taking things at your own pace. Enjoy the sights, take in the lore and for God’s sake, read the damn quest instructions, you morons! Sorry… sorry. One of the returning plagues from the launch of The Burning Crusade (heck, even the start of World of Warcraft itself) is the dumbasses who think yelling out to everyone else in the area to give them a point-by-point breakdown of every step a quest entails is somehow quicker than simply reading four or so lines of text.

Still, before long you find yourself in the next area and well away from those knuckle-dragging bozos. People seem to be handling the change of scenery in WotLK a lot better than TBC and feel quite at home in the Dun Morogh-esque snowy landscapes it provides. The gap between end-game TBC player items and WotLK new greens seems to be less drastic than the first expansion, quietening some of the masses this time round though there are murmurs that Blizzard might have gone too far in the opposite direction – that people rarely find the quest rewards a worthwhile upgrade to anything they already had. What can I say – you can’t please everyone.

New game mechanics in the form of vehicles have been the occasional questing highlight while playing through the expansion and a new slew of recipes are sure to keep me and my alts busy (and financially secure) for a long time to come. I can’t say I’m too enthralled with the new Death Knight class. Some people are having a whale of a time, to be sure (and others are crying that they’re too over-powered), but for me the late 50s and very early 60s are a real drag for my alts so having a class dropped right at the foot of that particular mountain just doesn’t inspire. Maybe a month or two down the road I’ll have an itch for something different but in what roughly amounts to three levels of DK starter quests, I can’t muster the energy to put aside my main and embrace the traitorous DK lifestyle.

So WotLK is lovely and I’m looking forward to getting as much blood from this particular stone as I can, as is MMORPG tradition but looking ahead, I really think Blizzard have to step up their game and try to adhere to their statement of providing something close to one expansion a year. Two years is too long to wait, if you ask me. I have to wonder if the majority of WoW’s playerbase would wait another two years for the next one.

And of course, I can’t end an article mentioning drunken adults on a playground springy without linking to this webcomic from Cascade Failure.


The Albino Drake is mine!

Following on from last week’s ‘Achievapalooza 2008!‘ post, where I basically admitted defeat and realised that Blizzard had added yet another hook in my gullet with their Achievements system (not that they really needed more hooks in there – I’m considering starting my own tackle shop with the collection they’ve bestowed on me already), I thought it was worth rah-rah’ing about a recent and more ‘tangible’ reward I’ve collected.

Since the patch went live, I’ve quickly racked up the achievements related to various daily quests, a bunch of the event themed achievements (this last week or so being ‘Hallow’s End‘, WoW’s Halloween-esque celebration of the Forsaken breaking free of the Lich King) and the rather easy fishing and cooking achievements. Being an all-rounder pays off as one of the cooking profession quests (‘The Cake Is Not A Lie‘ – a cute reference to Valve’s excellent game, Portal) requires you to prepare a Delicious Chocolate Cake, the recipe for which is a random drop reward from a Fishing daily quest in Outland.

The new ability to track low-level quests on the mini-map means that my pre-TBC character now has ‘exalted’ reputation with all the old Azerothian home factions and sports the impressive sounding Ambassador title displayed in front of his name. Post-TBC chars pretty much get free rep for sneezing so it was a little more work than new characters would be expected to do but I wanted the title and sailing through level 10-20 quests while you’re a level 70 character isn’t exactly what you’d call brain surgery.

The achievement I’m happiest with is the one called ‘Leading the Cavalry‘ and requires the player to obtain 50 unique mounts (ground based or flying). It really should be called ‘How much gold can you spare?’ as it’s basically an exercise in purchasing power, visiting various vendors and snapping up their entire range of mounts. Of course, one of the first things you need to do is make sure you can purchase other race’s mounts – which is where being exalted with their faction pays off.

Long story short, I’m now riding about on a huge albino drake… behold!

Albino Drake rewardTo fill out the impressive effect, my character is also sporting the latest in Hallow’s End couture… the ninja costume courtesy of trick of treating an inn keeper.


Achievapalooza 2008!

“Just One More Achievement…”According to the rather disturbing countdown clock on WOW Insider, Blizzard’s second expansion for World Of Warcraft – Wrath Of The Lich King, is due in just under a month (okay, okay, 23 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes and 6 seconds at the time of writing. See, I told you it was rather disturbing… who needs to be that fixated on an expansion’s launch?). I have mixed feelings about the launch day. On the one hand, I’m excited by the prospect of exploring all new lands and running away from all new critters but I also remember the launch of The Burning Crusade, the last expansion. The starting areas were flooded with players just as excited and due to a tweak in respawn timers (to ensure people weren’t sat around waiting for mobs to reappear, or more likely, at each other’s throats for ‘kill stealing’), you could down a critter and before your attack animation had ceased, a replacement had spawned and already be kicking your ass. It was a little… um… hectic, those first few days.

One of the things that I was rather looking forward to and something I’d talked about in the past, was the achievements. Well, a few weeks (months?) ago they announced that they were rolling some things previously assumed to be part of WotLK forward (such as pet revamps/class revamps, vanity pet/mount interface shuffle and the incription profession). Well, in the Tue/Wed 3.0.2 patch last week, they all arrived along with the new achievements feature.

Achievements boil the game down to it’s most basic of tick-box orientated gameplay. Visited all the areas in Durotar? Well done, you earn some points. Beaten seven shades of shinola out of Edwin VanCleef? More points for you! These are just some of the easy-peasy achievements. They also combine into sets so your Durotar wanderings add to your overall Explorer achievement for East Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland and Northrend. Your dungeon boss killing spree counts towards your various ‘Dungeonmaster‘ achievements. Some of these achievements will even earn you some lightweight rewards like titles, tabards and vanity pets. There’s tougher achievements in the mix, some that require long-term commitments and some that acknowledge bouts of luck such as rare kills/drops. All in all, that’s one helluva list (750 achievements… currently) of boxes to tick.

Me, I’m going all OCD on the easy ones. I’ve decided that the rest are going to have to be happy accidents if I get them or I’ll end up driving myself batty like the dopes on the forums. I have to admit, it’s kinda nice going about your business, playing the game as usual then seeing the whoosh of an achievement occur. Even reviewing your ‘progress’ on some of the others tempts you into focusing your gameplay a little more.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to infiltrate an enemy faction city and spend countless hours trying to catch a rare fish, all the while getting my ass handed to me by players trying to earn that bizarre “kill-then-/hug-emote-the-corpse” achievement…