Warbears and Stormsplitter

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We will lead off with the accomplishment of the night.  I knew I was pretty close to the ARR Warrior “Raid” mount but I had lost sight of actually going after it specifically.  I never really did anything to purposefully grind for this, and for the most part got my 200 “high-level duties” organically by running various raids with the free company. It was at some point during our Omega runs that I happened to notice I got the achievement, and that prompted a trip to the guy near the waterfall in Gridania… who also apparently had the Maelstrom themed mammet waiting for me as well.  The way I ride this mount is sort of insane, with me reaching down and trying to hold onto the fur and it runs around insanely.  It is funny how animation cycles affect how we feel about the speed of a mount, because while this is technically the same speed as everything else I own…  the feels so much faster because of the dynamic run loop.  Grizzled warbear is probably the most Bel mount in existence…  and it is only slightly sad that it doesn’t fly.  There is however a newer bear that supposedly does have the ability to fly… and at the moment I am 49 of some silly number of 70+ content needed for that achievement.  I doubt I will purposefully grind for it, but instead someday also be surprised when I see its achievement scrolling by after tanking a dungeon for someone.

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Once upon a time in a small town far far away…  I was a little skater punk kid.  Technically I only grew up an hour away but we are going to call it far away for sake of the narrative.  I was lucky enough that I had a half pipe in my yard, that we bought second hand and moved to our location and reassembled.  Now this was too small to have a roll in, so it was functionally a “drop in” style ramp.  For those unindoctrinated… most ramps have a bit of metal coping at the top of the lip that is there to protect the wood of the ramp from the “trucks” aka axles of the skateboard as you come up to the top and grind.  Getting onto the ramp involved danging your board out over the edge of the ramp, with your back trucks butted up against the metal coping and then shifting your weight from the tail of the board to the front causing you to “drop in” to the ramp.  I found this process completely terrifying, and each time I went out to skate the first few runs involved me not being willing to give myself over to gravity… and ultimately sliding down the ramp on my ass.  Eventually I would loosen up and get comfortable and be able to drop in just fine for awhile and be able to ride the ramp legitimately for the rest of the day.

The reason why I have related this analogy is that for the most part… doing new organized content in an MMO is like dropping in for me.  I am super hesitant for awhile and unwilling to venture off on my own and give it a shot.  I didn’t do a whole lot of solo grinding of Alexander because I felt like I needed that safety net there in case something went wrong.  Similarly this expansion I have thusfar been unwilling to join a party finder group to do Susano Extreme or Lakshmi Extreme, and last night…  was the moment I dropped in for the first time.  My friends Mor and Grace decided that we were going to do the encounters, and we recruited Muspel as well…  and the four of us…  two tanks and two heals set forth to build a party finder group.  Susano was for the most part a learning experience, but very quickly it became a situation of having to work the kinks out and get our dps up high enough to be able to beat the enrage.  With about 20 minutes to spare we manage to do it and I got my first kill under my belt.  Lakshmi did not go so well, and not only was it much harder to pull together the group…  but it also was pretty clear early on that we had nowhere near enough dps to be able to finish the job.  After some wipes… having someone drop… refilling the group and re-queuing…  only to wipe again due to not enough damage…  we opted to call it for the evening.  That said I now feel significantly more comfortable in either fight as a tank, and in theory I would probably be willing to solo queue from now on.  I got over the coping…  and got my weight shifted in the right way and now am more or less fine.  However it is only because I went into the content with some people that I trusted… that I was eased over the edge, so I appreciate it when someone is willing to just hang out with me and answer my questions while I do new harder content.

On Wings of Nether

Low Graphical Fidelity

Since this is a patch day that happened to start super early… aka 5 am my time… and I don’t wake up until 5:30 I will not be having any screenshots that are not recycled or otherwise blatantly borrowed.  Since I was off yesterday I simply did not think ahead.  For me at least it feels like Monday… even though it really is legitimately Tuesday.  Maybe this is the way my Aussie friends feel since they perpetually live in the future.  Today’s post is going to involve a whole lot of faffitude, so be prepared.

For those who have not been following the news of all that is faffing about…  you have potentially mentioned that @AlternativeChat has declared that 2014 is the “Year of Faff”.  Tales of the Aggronaut is one of the many blogs that now proudly sport the badge on our sidebars.  While I am proudly participating, for me at least 2013 will be the year of Faff in that it was the year that the Godmother of Faff brought the term front and center in the collective consciousness that is the “blogosphere”. 

Faff is a term that has been in my vocabulary for some time, and not always in an extremely positive context.  When my friends and I had to jump through a whole bunch of meaningless hoops to accomplish something it would often be described as a “whole lot of faffing about”.  What has changed during 2013 and the start of 2014 is that “Faff” has become a proper destination for the evening.  Realizing this has added greatly to the overall enjoyment of games like World of Warcraft that are so chock full of fluff that you cannot go more than a few in game feet without encountering something that could be worth achievement points or something that you have yet to collect.  If for no other reason, I salute @AlternativeChat for realigning our vocabulary and taking what used to be a negative and turning it very much into a positive.

On Wings of Nether

Netherdrake_choice_noPCOver the last few weeks I have been working feverishly each night on completing my Netherwing Dailies.  As I have said before for whatever reason, during the Burning Crusade this is a grind I never participated in.  In truth more than anything it is likely thanks to the fact that during Burning Crusade I lived in a perpetual state of broke.  As a raid tank, pretty much every spare gold I had went to my volumes of repair bills.  These repair bills have decreased greatly over the last few expansions, but back then it was not unheard of that I would rack up 100-200g in repairs a night, and in BC money that was quite the little fortune.  As a result I never really had the money to get my epic flight training, which was required to start the Netherwing quests in the first place.

To be truthful, I likely never would have gotten it were not for a contrived scheme to get me my epic training.  A friend of mine started a guild lottery, where we would send him raw materials and he would turn around and auction house the materials and pool it up to fund epic flying mounts for people.  The first one apparently was universally rigged, as everyone colluded behind the scenes to give it to me.  Thankfully through this welfare flying program we managed to buy at least a half dozen epic flying mounts, and I believe the final number was a bit closer to ten.  However this was pretty late in the expansion and I never ended up going out and starting this grind.  In part I was a bit slowed by the fact that my main at the time had no harvesting skill, and as such had no daily quest for turning in that.

War Bear Time

amani-war-bear Needless to say yesterday mid evening I managed to finish out exalted and got the On Wings of Nether achievement.  You get one mount free for completing the achievement, but I quickly flew out to Shadowmoon Valley and snatched up the other 5 for what now seems like the extremely cheap price of 180g.  This puts me I think a a half dozen mounts away from We’re Going to Need More Saddles.  There are so many farmed mounts that I am lacking, that I need to just buckle down and start farming away. Over the course of the weekend however I did manage to get one of these mounts that have elluded me.

Back in Burning Crusade we farmed more Karazhan than I really care to think about, but after we had used up all of the Medivh goodness, we set our sites on the newly released Zul’Aman.  Over the course of the expansion we got better and better at this dungeon, but never quite had the gear and strategy needed to get through a successful bear mount run.  We got really close a few times… I remember one time we were less than a minute away from the mount.  Something would always go wrong and fate conspired to keep me from my prize.  During Wrath of the Lich King, I really have no clue why but I never went back and attempted getting the mount.

When they redid the dungeon during Cataclysm, I was unfortunately not playing the game… so I completely missed my chance to get the mount legitimately again.  For fear that they might eventually simply do away with the mount I decided that I needed to set my sights on this mount and just get it over with.  I realize there are subtle differences between the mount you earned at 70 and the mount you can get today… but I don’t really care.  It is a big freaking bear with horns and spikey bits.  I will likely be proudly riding this mount around for awhile, as it has officially offset my Spectral Tiger as my normal mount of choice.  Now I just need to pick a new victim, and start working towards farming up that mount.  Starting to thing the Barons Charger is a likely candidate.