Garrison Architects

Today is a good day to build.

It’s also a good day to run around the overflowing wilderness of Draenor trying to earn the Draenor Pathfinder achievement. It’s an interesting achievement that is feasibly doable at Lvl 100 if you’ve got the gear for it, which only the daily reputation quests might prevent if you’re going solo. But only if you’re having trouble fighting the elites out in Tanaan Jungle. Otherwise it’s just a few daily quests. Moggie was fully geared during the pre-Legion invasion event so he’s pretty much able to kill anything and everything Draenor has to offer.

Even as far as being able to solo some of the dungeons out there.

I’ve managed to get through Bloodmaul Slag Mines, The Iron Docks, and Auchindoun with relative ease. I don’t really want to push much further than Auchindoun, though. They nearly managed to kill ol’ Moggie. The dungeons in Warlords of Draenor are smaller and less loot intensive than those I’ve experienced prior, but they’re still well made encounters. They’re diverse, too.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the steadily decreasing size of dungeons (and other instances) since Wrath of the Lich King, though I am pleased to see more story being put into them. Story that usually ties into the zone the instance is in or the quests available in the instance. By the way, if you’re wondering, this post isn’t particularly related to the ongoing series– I’m just reflecting on the joy that is Warlords of Draenor. Attempting to earn the Draenor Pathfinder achievement (and working towards adventures with Legion content) has reignited my interest in this expansion. It’s pretty good. I’m really enjoying how the garrison helps to not only develop your professions but also opens up new locations to visit. The shipyard is particularly neat to look at, too.

The Temple of Karabor.

It’s definitely a gamble as if you don’t enjoy the garrison you’re out of luck. Incredibly out of luck. You’re also going to have to deal with being on the ground for the majority of it, either until you earn flying or leave Draenor never to return. But I like it. I can’t really explain why but there’s something about it that’s refreshing. The crafting is incredibly simplified compared to other expansions (including Legion it would seem) but it’s enjoyable all the same. Especially if you’re planning to carry on to Lvl 110 and want to easily burn through 600-700.

The art direction is perhaps the best I’ve seen in World of Warcraft, too.

The halls of Auchindoun are ridiculously beautiful. The dark, charred, Fel scarred landscapes are gorgeously haunting. The music is deliciously fitting and helps tremendously to create an enchanting atmosphere, whether it’s holy or unholy, which helps to deliver key story elements. I still enjoy the core gameplay but a lot of my return is thanks to Warlords of Draenor.

I’m particularly fond of the Horde story as Thrall is a major part of it. For reasons I won’t explain (as not to spoil it) he’s a particularly notable inclusion in the events to come, which helps develop his character further. The Alliance story is pretty great, too. In fact- all of it is great. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve got numerous other characters to experience the content with. In any case, I just wanted to highlight this expansion as more than just a setting for my ongoing series. It really does deserve the praise. I’ve also got three out of the five requirements for Draenor Pathfinder met, with the last two being the quest lines for the zones and the daily reputation grinding. So I guess I’ve got some work to do.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Advertisements

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 10)

The elements are no longer silent.

Warlords of Draenor has certainly been a treat. I didn’t really expect that much from the expansion to begin with, but as I’ve experienced both the Alliance and Horde stories I’m convinced it’s one of the best expansions. Especially from the Horde perspective. While the Alliance perspective has some great stories, plot elements, and key battles- the Horde perspective is peerless. Fighting alongside Durotan in a campaign that mirrors what Thrall did for the Horde is awesome.

It’s also an expansion oozing with alternate history.

I’m a massive fan of the changes to questing, too. How you can find rare and powerful equipment from specific rare or elite mobs. How you can level up through exploration and completing tasks specific to the zone. How the way that you develop your garrison has an impact on how you interact with the world. It all works so well without you even realising it.

The pre-Legion patch changes to Enhancement Shamans have likely played a part in this as well. That said, I’ve always enjoyed the way that Shamans have played (even back in Cataclysm). Even if I am bummed out that they’ve lost their totems. Or, rather, that they’ve lost the ability to summon four. I think I’ve seen that for Elemental Shamans, though. I’ve met a few out in Draenor who seem to be able to summon totems like I used to. Those were the days. The days where you could die in the starting zone as they had waves of hostile mobs near that cave. They weren’t really the days- I’m just contractually obligated to say that as I’m older than the dirt in Orgrimmar. These days are better. Mostly.

Embrace the fury of the elements.

Embrace the fury of the elements.

I’ve also managed to get nearly every one of my Alliance characters outfitted with a set of four Frostweave Bags, with only my Rogue left unaccounted for. She’ll get them soon enough. Moggie and/or Flint will be going to either Icecrown Citadel or Naxxramas some time soon. Or maybe I’ll throw Voljaarn into the fray. It’ll be interesting to see how powerful he has become. Soul has actually run out of things to learn in both of her professions as a result of these bags, too. She needs to hit Lvl 75 to start learning more.

It’s not an impossible goal, either.

I’m actually incredibly pleased with how this subscription has played out. Despite playing less time than I usually would, I’ve managed to not only reach but exceed a number of the goals I’d set out at the start of the month. It’s promising. It shows me that I don’t need to be playing full time (as it were) to get value from the subscription at least.

It’s been fun talking about the different characters, too. It’s nice to think that there are many different participants in these Adventures in Azeroth, which isn’t even counting the characters you’ve not met/heard of yet. Or the ones that don’t exist yet. I’m looking at you future Demon Hunter who will likely be a tank/DPS. Not that it’s technically possible to be anything else. Unless you never activate a secondary specialisation. I think you’ll like my Druid. She turns into a cat. I actually surprised my friend with her bear form, once. She thought I was a random bear mob and wondered why it was following her despite not being hostile. The dance animation for bears is pretty neat, too.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 9)

The Frostweave is flowing and the going is good.

Flowing straight to my Priest that is. Who then cuts it, designs it, and sews it to the fashion of many a Frostweave Bag. One of the few interesting side projects I’ve started in the short time that I’ve been back. I’ve been doing a fair amount of soloing out in Northrend, too. So this project has nearly reached its conclusion. It wasn’t ever something I had planned to do as I was (and still am) happy with Netherweave Bags, but now that she has the capability to sew something a little larger it does seem appropriate.

It’s not like more space could ever be a bad thing.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do recently is to bring all of the characters together. Slowly building a profession here, gathering some materials there, getting the odd level every so often, and generally steadily pushing everyone forward. It’s working rather well. Many of my Alliance characters are on the cusp of actually starting their levelling runs.

I’ve finished the current levelling run for my Survival Hunter, too. He’s sitting comfortably at Lvl 90 and taking a short break before heading out to Draenor. My Death Knight has also been boosted as per my decision in the previous post, which means I’ll be taking a bit of time to acclimatise myself to how he works. Moggie has been working on building an even larger garrison than he currently has. Which, to be entirely honest, is actually becoming significantly more difficult than originally anticipated. Mostly due to needing to unlock various achievements to acquire some plans for Lvl 3 buildings. Annoying, but, with the way things work in Warlords of Draenor, not entirely unexpected.

Islands in the Fel Fire, that is what we are, no-one in between, how can we be wrong?

Islands in the Fel Fire, that is what we are, no-one in between, how can we be wrong?

I’ve been looking at my Warlock, too. I want to bring him to Lvl 70 so that (if nothing else) he is in line with the rest of the Horde characters. Destruction Warlocks are certainly interesting, perhaps even more interesting than Frost Mages are to me (at the moment). That said, Outland does present a levelling experience which is quite jarring nowadays. There doesn’t seem to be an efficient/easy way to clear content quickly out there. He doesn’t need much, though. So I’ll be trying to push in Shadowmoon Valley and finishing off in Northrend.

Then there’s the newest addition in the form of the Monk.

I’d like to put a little time towards her, too. At least to Lvl 40 or so. Just something to make sure she isn’t sitting stagnant and (more than likely) staying that way as a result of it. But, for now, the attention falls to my Enhancement Shaman. Who will get arguably the second most awesome weapon for the duration of Legion.

Depends on if you rate Doomhammer above Ashbringer or not. I’d like my Shaman to at least push for Lvl 100 during the time I’ve got left. I’m hoping to push for a similar if not equivalent level of garrison completion that Moggie has, which might not be a realistic expectation. But I’d like to have one developed garrison on each side. As the two of them represent what could be considered my main characters for each faction. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that the Death Knight is the primary moneymaker over there. It depends on the ability a Shaman has to solo similar content to what Moggie is capable of. Truly there’s a bit of everything going on at the moment.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Building an Abomination

The left leg is connected to the right shoulder blade.

That’s a pretty funny looking abomination. Then again- try to knock him down! See how he gets along just fine scuttling away like a malicious crab with his back legs? Who’s laughing now, huh? Probably not you. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. It’s okay, I don’t know either. You’re in for a treat, though. This is one of the rare times I’ll be able to throw together a traditional art work in progress post. Rare due to the fact that they’re cumbersome to create. All that scanning, cropping, and stopping.

Much easier to do with digital painting.

Pencil is one of the most forgiving materials for this sort of thing, though. It’s also been a while since we’ve had any exclusively pencil pieces here or on the site. So you’ll not only get to see progression, but you’ll also get an idea of where my pencil style could possibly be going. Honestly, I like leaning on the shading a little heavier than I probably should.

I’ve mentioned before that my pencil style is a great indicator of how much I’ve changed. I once had a very different idea of the style I wanted, I also had a different idea of how to achieve that style and how to bring materials together. To make sure they work together with the least resistance. However, we’ve seen great changes in the way I approach ink pieces. Ink used to be entirely consistent with pencil, too. Very light, crisp, empty lines. Developed into heavier, fluid, intricate lines. I’m still humouring the notion that ink may one day replace pencil as my primary choice of material. Not that the notion is very humorous these days. It’s actually very likely to happen.

An entirely malignant growth.

An entirely malignant growth.

This is a slightly different kind of paper than what I’d usually use, too. This is an older cartridge paper which is much heavier, much smoother, and more akin to bristol board than cartridge paper. As that is traditionally much lighter with a stronger texture. Or, at least, the cartridge paper I’ve used in the past was. I’m not entirely sure if I’m happier without the texture or whether the texture adds something to the piece. It’s easier to get smoother, fluid, consistent shading without the texture.

But textures are my jam.

I put them on bread late at night when I’m peckish and the pantry is empty. That said, the smoothness of the paper does allow me to transition to ink with little risk of damaging any of the nibs scratching against the texture. Especially that lil’ 0.05 nib. It’s so precious- I must protect it at all costs!

Those who are curious as to what this abomination actually is, well, that’s exactly what it is- an abomination. Those familiar with the Warcraft universe will most likely know of their existence. This is the famous named abomination Stitches. Referenced from his Heroes of the Storm standard skin. But still entirely relevant to the World of Warcraft incarnation. Abominations feature quite heavily around the frosty wastes of Icecrown (and pretty much everywhere the Scourge reside). They’re big, they’re tough, and they’ll hook you if you’re not careful. They only want to hug you, though. It gets cold out in Icecrown and they find little company amongst the legions of the Scourge. The hook just makes the hug happen that much quicker.

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, Abominations, Stitches, Disease Expulsion, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Blizzard Entertainment.

WoW: Adventures in Azeroth (Pt. 8)

The story of one Dwarf and his bear.

An oddly nostalgic character all things considered. Created long before Hunters were gifted with a pet appropriate to their race at creation, his bear, BeefMadras, is one of the very first creatures he tamed. It also started that whole naming convention. Probably not recent changes to Hunter pets have given every pet the ability to taunt. Tenacity pets are still the sturdiest of the available options, often with all of the required talents or abilities to make a great distraction or damage soak. But every pet now has Growl.

Mostly an annoying change given that Growl is toggled on by default.

I wish it wasn’t. As it would seem that every pet has an action bar per Hunter specialisation. Which means that every pet will have it activated twice, which also means I’ll need to deactivate it twice or run the risk of randomly taunting mobs. Which isn’t as much of a concern while soloing- but you can imagine the fun it would cause in dungeons.

I’d disable it on every pet that I have, it’s just that I enjoy being an old fashioned Hunter with Tenacity pets that tank and Ferocity/Cunning pets that DPS. Not that those conventions hold true with Survival Hunters. All of his pets are another source of DPS in that specialisation. That said, I truly adore and enjoy the Survival Hunter. I’m really glad that they went for a health regeneration buff per kill, too. It’s a nice way to balance out the fact that they are a little squishier than other close combat classes. I’m a little sad they don’t have any other healing abilities besides their cooldowns, though. Mostly because it seems that bandages are now near enough useless for actually recovering health.

They certainly have a fiery spirit.

They certainly have a fiery spirit.

But the Survival Hunter is now my preferred specialisation. I’m a little annoyed that they don’t have any way to access exotic pets (via a talent or the like), but that’s where the Beast Mastery Hunter steps in to allow me to throw out the gnarly pets. That said, I have a grand total of two exotic pets at the moment. So it’s not such a great loss. Still, I’ve been thinking about Flint as a worthy candidate for soloing older content. Perhaps more proficient than Moggie. At least while Moggie stays as a Retribution Paladin.

As good as the Survival Hunter is- I don’t think he could compare to a Protection Paladin.

While much of the time has been spent focusing on building up Flint, I’ve also been looking at my other characters and making gradual improvements to their specialisations and professions to keep everything moving forward. It’s likely I’ll be boosting the Death Knight to Lvl 90 once Flint is done in Pandaria, too.

I’ve decided that I’m going to create my own lore and say that the Tauren Protection Paladin I (nearly) levelled to Lvl 70 died. He was then resurrected as a stronger, blood thirsty, but also frosty Tauren Death Knight. Who has lost his ability to throw out radiant heals in exchange for the ability to make sure ice cream never melts. It works. It’s just like Arthas. If he were a Tauren. I was thinking of calling him Moothas, but I thought that would be a bit much. Feel free to credit me if you decide to use that character name, though. Along with Moggie, Flint, and Voljaarn that would be the fourth character to have access to Warlords of Draenor content. It’s a slow but steady improvement.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

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. 6)

Survival Hunters are awesome.

Of the many changes that occurred during the pre-expansion patch there are few more surprising than Survival Hunters. Unlike their Marksmanship or Beast Mastery counterparts they’re no longer ranged DPS, instead their pets will join them in glorious blood drenched close quarters combat. They’ve still got their traps, too. It’s an oddly satisfying way to play a Hunter and pretty good for soloing due to the health regeneration on kill. In fact, I managed to solo the entirety of both Auchindoun and Coilfang Reservoir (Heroic) with my Lvl 73-74 Hunter.

I wasn’t planning to do that- but it’s pretty cool, no?

Levelling is once again becoming a major consideration for how best to use my time. Naturally, I’d like all of my characters to hit Lvl 90+ as that would significantly reduce the amount of work left to progress each one. That’s not really a realistic short term goal, though. There’s probably a good couple of months of levelling left in those characters yet.

I’ve begun the process of levelling my latest Pandaren Monk, too. I’m fairly certain she’s going to last. Unlike the other two. Decided to try out the Mistweaver Monk this time, which will make this levelling experience quite interesting as I don’t believe I’ve ever levelled as a healer before. Then again, I don’t even know if that was possible back when I made my first characters. She might not have as many offensive abilities (or anywhere close to a similar DPS) as a Windwalker- but she can still fight. She’s got a few kicks, a taunt (for some reason), and a whole bunch of abilities I’ve never seen before. I’ve always been particularly fond of healing over time so I’m glad it looks like she’s going to be doing a lot of that.

Once more to Redridge Mountains.

Once more to Redridge Mountains.

Otherwise we’ve been winding down for closing time. I’ve done a final sweep of the banks, the inventories, and even the guild banks to make sure that I’m holding onto the correct materials. I also built a flying machine that I can’t use! My Gnomish Engineer requires Artisan Riding (which is incredibly expensive). But, hey- I built it. It’s in her inventory. I should also get started on the Flying Carpet for my Orc Warlock. Then again, have you seen the prices of Golden Draenite these days?

They’re almost as ridiculous as the prices of Khorium.

The birth of the new Monk also marks the end of this series. I originally planned to have six posts and I’ve tried to make sure each is about a specific topic, event, or character to keep things fresh and interesting for everyone reading. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any more posts, though. It really depends on whether I feel it’s appropriate to continue the series.

I think it’s one of my best series, too. One of the best I’ve written, one of the most enjoyable to write, and probably quite interesting if you’re a fan of World of Warcraft. Even better if you’ve been away for a while too. You’ll be just as confused about all of the new changes as I am. It’s been great getting to know all of the classes again, though. Seeing all of the recent changes, all of the updates, and participating in the questing experience present in Warlords of Draenor. I’m much more interested in Legion as a result of it. If I ever make it to the Broken Isles I might expand this series, but until such a time- thank you for being here! It’s been great! Glad to have had you along for the ride.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie