WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 7)

An extended vacation.

I decided to bring back the Adventures in Azeroth series for another four-six part extension! This is for two reasons, the first is to see whether there is enough content for it to continue and the second is to see how people feel about hearing about levelling characters. There’s a lot of levelling left to do. I won’t be talking about all of it, though. There is a fair amount of repetition involved, as, while the character will change, the process won’t. Thereby making it less enjoyable to experience a second or third time.

It’s also the perfect time to return as Hallow’s End has begun again.

I’m currently working on unlocking the (newly added) spooky garrison decorations for Moggie. But there’s a lot of different things to participate in from eating candy, to fighting the Headless Horseman, to putting out (literal) fires, and there’s even a chance to snag an awesome mount. There’s even a seasonal dungeon (likely tuned for Lvl 110 characters).

I’m hoping the garrison decorations will be permanent or at least permanently active during the seasonal event. Still, it’s only four daily quests for five days if I want to unlock them all. So it’s not like it’s all that much work. I’d like to mirror these with Voljaarn, having his garrison displaying the Feast of Winter Veil decorations all year ’round. Which works oddly well given that the Horde garrison is in a naturally snowy location. But we’ll see how it goes. I’m still enjoying the seasonal events even if I’ve already finished a great deal of them already, while being ineligible for the remainder as Moggie is still Lvl 100. Which is better for me in the long run, so, again- not too concerned about the situation.

"This is my Pinnacle and ya can't have it!"

“This is my Pinnacle and ya can’t have it!”

I’ve wasted no time in throwing Flintbeard (the Survival Hunter) into the icy wastes of Northrend. His levelling process is going about as well as expected, as there really aren’t too many challenges he won’t be able to meet with his newly acquired Survival specialisation. Especially with his pet being a secondary source of damage or tanking. The soloing strategy is still viable, too. It’s just that I know he’ll need to go through most (if not all) of the Cataclysm zones. So I’d like him to be better prepared for when that happens.

I’d rather he didn’t do it with equipment trailing by several levels.

Otherwise, I’ve been thinking about the free Lvl 90 boost that I received. Considering throwing that at the Death Knight. Which isn’t something I’d normally do, but I’ve always been in a weird place with Death Knights (from as far back as when they were first implemented). It does offer other benefits besides the levels to be gained, too.

I’ve also been thinking about Legion. It’s a purchase I could see myself making, if for no reason other than the fact that it looks like it’s going to be one of the best story orientated expansions in quite some time. That said, I think I’ll hold off until the end of this year or the start of the next. That should give me enough time to finish the remaining questing content in Warlords of Draenor on Moggie, to level a couple more characters, and to get everything settled before we embark on yet another adventure. Might even be able to earn the ability to fly out in Draenor, too. Should be a considerable boon for anyone who happens to be passing through there any time soon.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 3)

The end of an era.

Wrath of the Lich King was one of my favourite expansions for World of Warcraft. While that might be an unpopular opinion with some, I’ve always wanted to conclude the story of the Lich King and participate in the siege of Icecrown Citadel. It’s a pretty epic event. It’s also huge. I’m actually surprised as to how deep and complex both The Black Temple and Icecrown Citadel have been. That said, Moggie was nowhere near ready to face off against the Lich King when the raid was still relevant.

It’s been one of my regrets over the last few years.

During Cataclysm I reckon it would have been nearly impossible to solo that encounter. In fact, when I came back for the week earlier in the year I attempted to siege the gates as a test to see how possible it would have been. I didn’t have too much faith in my ability to defeat the bosses, though. It was evident I’d need to be more powerful. Significantly more powerful.

It’s likely that if I was active during Mists of Pandaria that a Lvl 90 Moggie might have been able to do it. But that’s irrelevant now. Yesterday I spent some time out in Northrend completing dungeons and I’ve finally got a complete set of all classic dungeons, all Outland dungeons (and Heroics), and now all Northrend dungeons (and Heroics). I’m slowly working through the various raids as I have a few left from classic, a few more from Outland, and a few in Northrend. Icecrown Citadel was amongst the raids I soloed yesterday, too. Moggie was finally able to witness the fall of the Lich King in person. Delivering the final (and every other) blow to Arthas to conclude their stories.

"No king rules forever."

“No king rules forever.”

Moggie has nearly completed every piece of content available when he was first created. He’s also seen some things. Like the fall of the Theramore, the retaking of Gnomeregan, the events of the Broken Shore, the second invasion of the Legion, and experienced many classic raid stories. Notably those of Molten Core, The Black Temple, Icecrown Citadel, and Karazhan. It’s hard to believe that all of that could have been possible when I made him six years ago. Admittedly, few of these things were done when the content was relevant- but the memories are just as precious.

It’s far from over, though.

In the last couple of years there has been a steadily increasing amount of content introduced to World of Warcraft. But will Moggie be there to experience it? Good question. I’m currently looking towards all of the Cataclysm dungeons (and Heroics), then I’ll likely move onto the Mists of Pandaria dungeons (and Heroics). Not sure where I’ll fit the raids into this.

Even if he isn’t there to experience it… I’m glad he was there to experience this. The end of a story six years in the making, across several continents, over several expansions, through quests and dungeons, collecting accomplishments, honouring old content, and taking the fight to them as a Retribution Paladin. Or as Protection Paladin. But Moggie has always been and will always be a Retribution Paladin. While he was never intended to be my main (in the most literal sense)- he certainly has become that. That said, Moggie has funded a great many things over the years and has supported many of my other characters. So, really, in the end, while he is the most played the others certainly have a place and a purpose in all of this.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 2)

It’s a fishin’ day.

Probably the least developed of all of Moggie’s professions for the reason that I only do it when I absolutely need to. I don’t particular enjoy it, nor does it have much of a purpose outside of a few quests and a few achievements. That said, Warlords of Draenor introduced a new Cooking system which was made much easier by being able to fish in my garrison. So it was about time to take out that rod I never use, attach some baubles to it, and fish for a couple of hours. The good news is that Moggie has now mastered Cooking (again).

The bad news is that Fishing is still trailing by a considerable margin.

On the topic of garrisons- they’re awesome! They remind me of the days of building settlements in Warcraft III. I’m particularly enjoying how organic the growth process is, how easy they are to manage, and how much use they have. I love the idea of things like the mine (where you can harvest Mining nodes every day). I also love that they’re fully customisable.

I did make a slight mistake and build a Forge believing that was for a smelting the ore I’ve found. But the Mine and the associated work orders are for that. That said, the Forge does allow me to craft equipment which Moggie can use. So all is not lost. Especially if I’m missing a very particular piece of equipment that I can easily craft myself. I’ve still got the ability to upgrade Moggie’s garrison one final time, so I’m sure that will give me the opportunity to fill in another building or two to cover what I would have built in place of the Forge. Probably somewhere I can access my bank or perhaps an auctioneer (if that’s an option). I’m really enjoying the garrison concept, though.

I have no idea what I'm standing in...

I have no idea what I’m standing in…

Mists of Pandaria was quite an enjoyable experience, too. I cleared through the Lvl 85 to Lvl 90 levelling experience in two zones (and a few straggler quests elsewhere). That said, I don’t actually mind that so much as I can experience other zones on other characters with a fresh perspective. Unlike, say, Cataclysm, where Moggie finished most of the quests in pretty much every one of the areas while levelling from Lvl 80 to Lvl 85. Could also throw Voljaarn (Troll Enhancement Shaman) out there as well. Get the Horde perspective.

Warlords of Draenor has been pretty awesome as well.

I’ve always liked alternate history/universe stories, though. The visuals, the quests, and pretty much everything has been fantastic so far. I’m quite excited about going for the achievement which unlocks flying, not only to be able to fly but to be able to explore more of the world. There’s a myriad of hidden goodies scattered across this world. Some are pretty powerful, too.

I’m not entirely sure where Moggie will be going after he reaches Lvl 100, either. I want to do the other pre-release events if possible. I’ve already had some fun pushing back the various invasions across Azeroth. I wasn’t particularly good at it- but I was there. Which is probably a twofold problem of both my current level and the quality of my equipment. Neither are probably at the level they need to be to do pre-release events. But, they will be later. There’s also a whole list of places to explore, dungeons to solo, raids to attempt, and various other things to see out in the world. So I don’t think I’ll get bored. I might go for a few lava baths with ol’ Ragnaros (Molten Core) for some nostalgic dips down memory lane.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 1)

Wherein countless adventures and endless wonder awaits.

I thought this would be a fun silly series where I could talk about recent World of Warcraft adventures. I’m not planning to make this a full length series, but that is subject to change depending on how much I enjoy the pre-expansion and post-expansion experience. I won’t be taking part in Legion, though. At least not at release. But I might get into it later in the year if I’m really enjoying the recent changes and new content. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do over both Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor, too. So we’ll be here for a while.

Needless to say I’m quite confused at the moment.

I’ve heard tell that they were focusing on rebuilding the character classes in Legion. I’m glad they’re taking another look at character classes as I feel that Cataclysm changed them quite drastically, often just repeating similar (or the same) abilities from one character class to another. Of the little I’ve seen of the Paladin (Protection and Retribution) I’m liking the changes.

I’m mostly thrown off by the fact that Protection Paladins don’t seem to have Blessings any more. Or Greater Blessings as they’re now known. Also, that they’re missing the Righteous Fury threat buff that was prominent for a while. That said, the former is more of a curiosity and the latter is probably handled elsewhere. Retribution feels a lot more versatile and some of the talents are really versatile. I’m particularly enjoying being able to customise my abilities as to how I’d prefer to play. Often with many abilities being altered to do damage over time, or direct damage, or even a damage ability that heals the Paladin. Somewhat reminiscent of the ability that Blood Death Knights have had for a while.

"Put your faith in the light and all is possible."

“Put your faith in the Light and all is possible.”

It certainly leads to some interesting decisions. I’m particularly fond of the idea of Justicar’s Vengeance. Despite being more expensive than Word of Glory and lacking the multiple target healing, it probably suits levelling/soloing better. As that’s not only a good chunk of healing but it carries a nice chunk of damage along with it, too. Doubled if you hit a stunned target with it. Which actually plays into another talent that reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Justice. Of course, all of my decisions will be based on levelling/soloing rather than dungeons/raiding.

I’m actually feeling really good about Retribution Paladins again.

Transmogrification seems to have been improved greatly, too. You can create outfits, unlock account wide appearances (besides Alliance/Horde specific), have a gallery of unlocked appearances, and even filter the appearances to certain types or acquisition locations. I also unlocked a couple of unique appearances in celebration of the recent film.

After I’ve become accustomed to the changes that have been made across the board (and there are many) it’ll be time to develop Moggie some more. While the primary focus will be raising Moggie to Lvl 100, there are plenty of secondary objectives and I do have other characters along with the prospect of getting my newly made Monk to Lvl 60. I’ve also got another slot available on my realm now. So I might even get that Tauren Death Knight train-a-rollin’. Never really had a Death Knight before (nor were fond of them), but I’ve got the opportunity to create one now and worry about the Demon Hunter slot if/when I get around to Legion. In any case, I hope you all have fun with this series!

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Draenei Paladin – 2016 – Digital – click for full view on site!

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

Draenei Paladins are a weird bunch. How do they fit those hooves into sabatons? How do they wear conventional trousers? Why are they so tall? Why do the male models have disproportionate shoulder armour placement? Why do they (and Pandaren) get mysterious tail holes in their armour? There are so many unanswered questions surrounding our Burning Crusade brothers.

There was apparently an amount of controversy surrounding them when they were first introduced, too. I wasn’t aware of that. But, as the wiki says, there were people who considered them to not fit the overall fantasy theme as they were (believed to be) from space. Hence, the space goats moniker they adopted. However, I always got the impression they were well liked in the community. So maybe that was like every other controversy and fizzled out in time? Still, while my Draenei is a Priest, Draenei Paladins do hold a sort of significance for me.

Moggie wouldn’t be what he is without them.

Originally I’d played a lot of Horde over on Terenas but I felt it was time for a change. That change came in the form of a freshly rolled, tall, tentacled Draenei Paladin alt who was a lot of fun to play. Complex, too. Or, at least, back then they were. When I decided to make the switch to Kul Tiras I rolled Moggie and (thanks to that Paladin) he saw the Light. It’s funny in hindsight. When you look back on the things that inspired later decisions, they often seem insignificant at the time. Yet the repercussions are usually felt for some time to come afterwards. I would have actually rolled Moggie as a Draenei if not for the fact that the shoulder armour floats on the upper arm. Or, at least, it did. It may not now.

Draenei Paladin – 2016 – DigitalThis piece was originally intended to follow in line with other ink pieces I’ve done recently. However, after tinkering with a work in progress scan, I decided I would maybe throw a little digital paint on it instead. I was also considering changing the shoulders for a brief period of time. (They’re based on the Paladin raid tier Lightsworn Shoulderguards.)

There were a lot of questions surrounding the style, too. I opted for three colours as opposed to the two I used in the test. I also worked with the full sized original scan for the final piece, which allowed me to employ the use of fine detail. Colours were mostly chosen from a selection of less than ten and everything was brought together to look similar. The Lightsworn Shoulderguards are not that shiny (or their model isn’t), but I thought it looked nice and worked with the style.

I’ve had a lot of fun working on this one.

I also feel like I’m coming closer to deciding on what my default choice of materials will be for new pieces. I feel like ink is a good way to go. I was originally thinking watercolour for all things gorgeous and colourful, but digital painting might be overtaking that. Oddly enough, pencil is falling quite far down the ranks of the default choice. Though, to be honest, using the 0.1 Copic Multiliner, I’m able to add so much detail to the piece that it’s kind of the obvious choice. Given how much I love detailing. In any case, we may (or may not) see another piece like this in the future. However, I think it’s a rather fitting addition to the site which feels very much like World of Warcraft should.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

World of Warcraft, Draenei, Space Goat Paladins, The Light and How to Swing It, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard Entertainment.

Nostalgic (Pt. 2)

How many kegs can a Brewmaster brew?

I figured I’d carry this post over to a second part as I feel World of Warcraft deserves it. I know it’s not something I talk about much any more, nor am I likely to return to playing it full time (as it were), but it’s always had a special nostalgic place in my heart. I know I’ll never get the old days back. But there’s nothing wrong with highlighting something that once meant a lot to me.

Why did I leave? Many reasons. I knew a lot of people back then who no longer play now. I also felt some of the pre-Mists of Pandaria changes affected the class identity of some classes more than others. I’ve also been feeling like MMOs aren’t really my thing any more. For the most part, it wasn’t even about World of Warcraft as a whole. I just felt the need to move on and so I did. I know this’ll confuse some people as I’m actively playing Guild Wars 2- but I can’t promise that will last, either.

It’s odd how the community hasn’t really changed that much, though.

There’s always a dividing line in every Blizzard community over some issue or another. World of Warcraft has them, Diablo III has them, and I would bet good money that even Overwatch will have them at some point. Still, as a whole, it’s a funny little community all the same. There’s still a whole bunch of players in starting zones, questing, exploring, and generally never saying a word to anyone else. There’s still a hub of activity in every major city. It’s still very much the game it always was at the heart of it all. Which, when I think about it that way- I want to return. I want to see what’s lying in wait for Moggie as he ascends to the new level cap.

"You were quite right. I wasn't prepared."

“You were quite right. I wasn’t prepared.”

Playing a new Pandaren Monk and seeing the world through fresh eyes once more is always an exhilarating experience in MMOs. Too often, once you reach level cap, you fall into a routine of doing the same five or six things over and over again. But with a new character there’s so much to see and do before returning to that drudgery.

That said, I barely know anyone on EU let alone anyone that plays. I don’t really mind the financial investment but would prefer not to. I’m also not entirely sure I want to set aside that much time, as I would, as I would be paying for it, when I’ve been without it for so long. It’s interesting to say the least. Especially considering I’ve felt a dip in my gaming experiences of late. Still, all of that aside, I did want to make space for a little bit of World of Warcraft on Moggie @ WordPress. I’ve never really had the chance to before.

I’ve had fun in the last seven days of revisiting Azeroth (perhaps for the last time).

It’s nice to know I now have the Starter Edition at the very least. I could always start over in a little corner of another realm with a ragtag group of Lvl 20s, doing low level things, exploring the world, and all that stuff. I don’t know how much appeal that would have. But it’s nice to know I could stop in and see the ol’ Kul Tiras folks now and then. Funny how you get attached to and nostalgic over things, I guess. Then again I have invested a good three-four years into World of Warcraft at this point. Natural to assume I would be sad to see it go. In any case, I hope you liked this two part series where I got all nostalgic and dreamy eyed.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Nostalgic (Pt. 1)

Once more to Azeroth we go.

I got a rather interesting e-mail from Blizzard the other day. They were offering me seven days game time for World of Wacraft (as they do) but had included an extra incentive- an upgrade to Warlords of Draenor. I last played World of Warcraft a few years ago, I think Mists of Pandaria had been released, and I had remained in Cataclysm as I wasn’t going to be playing any further. However, recent developments show I may be completely confused about that sequence of events.

I’m not entirely sure if the upgrade to Warlords of Draenor is a permanent activation on my account, either. If it is I’ve just saved a good £40-50 in expansion costs right there. I’m also way behind the expansion curve with only two Lvl 85s- so I have a lot of ground to cover before the sixth expansion launches later this year.

That said, I don’t know if I could ever return to World of Warcraft as I once would have.

It also turns out that any account which was once fully subscribed reverts to a Starter Edition when the subscription ends. Which means absolutely nothing to any of my characters, as many of them fall outside of the restrictions of a Starter Edition account- but it’s nice to know. As I expected there have been many changes, too. Moggie (my Paladin main) seems to have lost a few skills and class specific mechanics. There’s also a new Reagent Bank and bigger stack sizes for crafting materials. The character statistics have been tuned heavily (along with enemy statistics). The character models (and general textures) have been updated, too. There’s a whole heap of new things to fiddle with and get to know once again.

Just pick up a soldier and carry him home.

Just pick up a soldier and carry him home.

I took Moggie out to solo some Lvl 65-75 Outland/Northrend dungeons to get used to it all again. Turns out there are rewards for completing dungeons (even if you solo them) now, and they seem to be quicker/more streamlined than before. I wasn’t entirely sure if this was going to be a thing that I could do any more as his health had dropped to 44k from 141k, his damage was (supposedly) lower, and everything had been balanced to a different standard. However, all went as well as could be expected and a fair bit of money was made.

I was expecting that I’d need to redo my keybinds, update my characters, sift through mail, collect special pets, and do all sorts of other things when I got back in. It’s been so long now that I can’t even remember what hardware I was using back then. It’s also definitely tugging ever so gently on my heart strings, too. Being all nostalgic.

I’ll admit I’ve been curious about the newer content for a while.

Especially the updated character models which I’ve been curious to see how my folks look. I also had a Lvl 20 Pandaren Monk who I don’t even remember making nor have any screenshots of. I’ve since deleted said Monk and remade them as a Horde Pandaren. Again, I don’t really know why he was ever an Alliance Pandaren as I would’ve wanted to keep both my Alliance and Horde characters fairly balanced. Naturally, as I always do, I decided to go to Thunder Bluff instead of Orgrimmar to begin the short process of levelling this Pandaren Monk. Not sure how far I’ll get due to general unfamiliarity with new systems, the time limit, and general interest in the game- but I’m hoping Lvl 20 (at least).

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie