Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gurubashi Arena

My very first time in the Gurubashi Arena - last night, at lv32, solo - I got the chest. Well, mostly.
First of all let me say that it was 0600 server time, so not likely to be the busiest time for a US-based server.
I ran up from Booty Bay and just made it in time as the goblin was putting out the chest. The arena looked empty, but I was paranoid (luckily). I circled the chest warily and all of a sudden a lv40 undead rogue popped out of stealth and started opening the chest.
Heart in mouth, I hit him with a cheapshot and started wailing on him. He didn't know what hit him initially, but he recovered quickly and started jumping all around me trying for backstabs I guess. I hit him with a 5-dot rupture and left him bleeding with a 3-stack DOT poison as I vanished to catch my breath and recover energy.
I don't know why, but he went straight back to the box and started opening again. By this time I was pretty low on health, but I figured "who dares wins" and ambushed him for a big critical. I thumbed evasion and just kept hitting until he went down. I had about 15 health left when he did.
I have no idea why he didn't beat me. Well, I know why - no poisons, no vanish, no evasion - but why didn't he use those? A 40 vs 32 rogue-on-rogue should not end like that.
Anyways, I looked around and to my horror saw a couple of lv60 warriors in the stands, obviously in a group and waiting for me to make a move on the chest. My vanish was on a cooldown, I was totally outclassed.
What can you do? I faced away from the chest and stealthed to try to give the impression I was going to try to fight them, then turned around and moved in for the chest. As I opened it, coming out of stealth, I saw them leap off the stands and run for me.
As the loot window opened, I frantically stuffed loot into my pockets as they bore down on me. Just as I got to the arena master badge, the charge arrived and I went down like a cheap tent. I was literally clicking on the "yes" confirmation button for the soulbind as I died.
I would have loved to have seen the expressions on their faces when they realised that a lv32 rogue had cheated them out of all but one items in the chest :) About 15G worth if my auctions sell.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Grinding in Stranglethorn Vale. What fun. It's a skinner's paradise though - I reckon I picked up over 1G worth of skins just lying around, following other people as they grind the multitude of STV quests.
Up to about 7G and have a long way to go if I'm going to get a mount at 40. I think I'll just hit the battlegrounds at 38-39 and avoid XP while leatherworking and AH trading my way to 100G.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I got a fortune from Sayge at the Darkmoon Faire in Goldshire a while ago. I had to go to Wailing Caverns (deep in Horde territory) and enter the instance for a mystery chest. So tonight, after much procrastination, I did it.

I got all the way there, after sneaking around Horde guards, raptors and alligators the size of small trucks, saw the chest, opened it...

... and realised I didn't bring the fortune with me.


It took me about an hour. How pissed was I.

In other news, I lost a naked duel with a lv60 rogue. We were both naked, except I had my swords. I got her down to about half health, which was pretty good going. I wasn't a total pushover.

Oh, and someone gave me 3g to open a 125-skill lockbox. Inside was a pouch worth 1g. And he didn't want a refund! Sweet.

Monday, November 13, 2006


31 last night after a weekend of new things.

I now have an AH mule called Shpanda - that's an abbreviated form of Sexual Harassment Panda, for the South Park fans. I've embraced the name - if you see a near-naked dwarf running around the IF AH, it's probably me. At least, I haven't seen many other near-naked dwarves around. Guess I don't go to the right bars.

I'm still getting used to dealing with the mule, but it is very handy when, say, doing some leatherworking and needing to check if, say, Elemental Earth is available at the AH. I can quickly switch to SHP and get a price. I also gain his backpack and bank account, so I've almost doubled my storage spots which is useful for those rare patterns, gear and mats that I can't use yet but don't want to sell.

I won my first duel! I've totally sucked at PvP until now, but I pwned the guy good. Even better - he was also a rogue. Even even better, he was 2 levels above me! However, he either wasn't trying too hard or he was a bit of a gimp, because he didn't have poisons on and didn't use evasion at all. It started badly, he SS'd me before I could get into stealth, but a quick vanish and cheapshot had him on the ropes. He vanished but my DoT poison broke him out, so he missed his chance at a cheapshot - and I thumbed evasion and gouged, SS'd and eviscerated until he begged for mercy. It was gold. Favourite onlooker comment: "That was wrong". Representing the KoT, w3rd.

I finally took the big step and tried the Arathi Basin Battleground. Of course, the 39 twinks totally pwned me, but it was good fun. The XP from that and a bit of grinding raptors took me to 31. Out of 6 battles, the Alliance only won 1, which I am led to believe is fairly good going :) Why do the Alliance get crushed in the BGs? My theory is that the majority of people start with Alliance, whereas the majority of Horde players have played at least one Alliance character before. Thus they are more experienced.

My final pondering is regarding grinding; or more specifically, grinding for the purposes of levelling a skill (e.g. leatherworking). If I want to get my leatherworking from, say, 180 to 225, and the best patterns I have require heavy leather, would you say I would be better off:

a) grinding lv30-31 raptors which drop mostly medium leather (5 of which can be turned into a heavy leather), but sometimes heavy leather, until I have enough; or
b) running instances (e.g. Deadmines or Gnomeragan), selling the items I gain and using the proceeds to buy heavy leather (roughly 50s-60s at the AH per 20-stack).

I'm not high enough to solo the bosses in DM/Gnomer yet, so the greens would have to come from peons. Obviously doing SM with a buddy would be better for loot, but I'm looking for solo strategies here. Which would get me leather faster? Skin or buy?

Friday, November 10, 2006

30 - and picking of the pockets

I dinged 30 last night. Had quite a fun time running around with a guildie plus a couple of pickup pallies doing The Dark Iron War and other quests in that area. Gained about 25000 XP in one shortish night, though as most of the targets were humanoid didn't really get to level my leatherworking as I'd hoped.
Of course, I didn't leave myself enough cash to get the five - count them, five - new skills I'd have available from the class trainer. What we really need is a plugin that analyses your trained skills and tells you how much you're going to need at that next even level to stay fully trained. Sounds like a good exercise for the bus home. Not that I've done any WoW plugin work before.
On another topic, what do people feel about Rogues pickpocketing? Here's the approach I take. If the group is in a comfortable fight (i.e. no more than one mob each if quivalent level & non-elite or equivalent) and I'm un-engaged, I'll stealth and pick a pocket before cheapshotting and getting in the fight. If the group is hard-pressed or even if they're evenly matched, I'll get straight in there and forget about the pockets. The loot comes off a different table, and by only pickpocketing during comfortable scraps, I'm not disadvantaging anybody (other than, perhaps, the tank - whose armour might take one extra blow from the delay thus cost slightly more to repair).
So, non-rogues and rogues alike: what do you think about this?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

my first asshat

Well, I made it to level 28 before I encountered my first WoW asshat.

So there I am in the Arathi Highlands, grinding level 30-32 raptors for leather and XP (if only raptors had pockets, they'd be perfect!). I see off in the distance a level 32 pally doing the same thing, but not taking the skins. Awesome, free leather.

The pally is taking on the level 34 raptors, which are a bit scary for me at 28. So he pulls one and starts wailing on it. But he gets an add - another 34 - and suddenly he's in trouble. There are big hairy spiders around and if he pulls another add he's dead.

So, in the spirit of cooperation, I run in and aggro the add. Having not has the time to stealth and cheapshot, he starts tearing me to bits; but the pally, with the add off him, is able to finish his raptor off. At which point, with me struggling with a raptor 6 levels above me after saving his life, he...

... loots his kill and strolls off.

I mean - seriously.

Not a word. Not a "thanks dude" or a single blow on the gnashy-teeth monster that's eating me for breakfast. Walked off, sat down, had some lunch. Watched me almost die and have to vanish, losing my kill.

Who does that?


Monday, November 06, 2006

you see?

This is what I really like about WoW. I'm standing in Menethil Harbour, all by myself, with a real epic quest ahead of me. And not of the canned "kill 20 crocolisks and report back here, by crikey!" sort, but one I invented for myself. I will cross the ocean to the unknown far continent, set forth on foot through strange and dangerous territory, by myself, and seek out the one person in the world (of Warcraft) that can sell me...
... a cookbook.
Yes, I want to get my cooking skill up over 150 and there's only one person that can help me.
Now I could spend the time grinding raptors for leather, or knocking off the 16 or so quests I have queued up, but this one really interests me. Exploring. By myself. The great unknown.
Wait, here comes the ship. More later.
OK, that was great. Ran across two territories, found my cookbook and - get this - also found a skinning trainer who could train me to Artisan level. What a great night.

thoughts after 2 months of playing

Following on from the last post, I've obviously stuck with it. Did it get less stupid? No, but it got more enjoyable.
There are some things I really think should be done to the AI. There is far too much standing around in circles and the mobs are far too predictable. More on this later.
I solved the login problems with a switch to the Tanaris server, which is US based. This means that at the times I'm playing (AU east coast) a lot of US players are snuggled in their beddy byes and there's no wait.
The exploring is the thing that gets me. New places, new towns, new interesting dungeons. I'm turning out not to be a real power-player; I spent way too much on a Siamese Cat yesterday and as a result didn't have the cash for my skills upgrades when I hit 28. And I didn't care too much.

where it all began

About 2 months ago I installed WoW and had a play with it. I wasn't impressed. Here are my initial thoughts from another blog:

WoW is stupid

I finally caved to the pressure and installed World of Warcraft from a demo CD. I've got 14 days to decide if I want to pour money into this game. Well, it's not looking good, Blizzard.

Firstly, I'm admittedly a city boy but I'm still pretty sure wild boars don't roam around carrying 2 copper pieces and a battered shield. So why do they drop them when you kill one? I don't remember foxes dropping iPods when I used to go shooting in northern NSW.

Along the same lines - if a monster is carrying a +5 magical hammer of head-smiting, why do they attack you with a pointed stick and bad breath? Surely they'd attack you with the damn hammer. Oh, they don't have the skill for hammers? Well, I personally don't have any skills or training in whacking people in the neck with a broadsword, but I bet I could have a good aussie go at it if they were doing the same to me and my only other option was a bit off a tree.

Now of course I'm not a paying subscriber yet, but trying to log on to an oceanic server last night I was placed 206th in a queue. Presumably many of those people were paying subscribers. Call me stupid, but if I've paid sixty-odd bucks for a game, then a monthly subscription fee, I sure as hell don't want to be stuck in a 200-person queue to be able to log on and play. EvE doesn't have queues, Blizzard. For that matter, EvE doesn't have separate realms either - everyone is in the same realm. Sort it out.

No, I understand there is a need to train new players on easy monsters, but there certainly is a fertility boom for wolves, boars etc around cities. There's hundreds of them, thirty seconds' trot from the pub. And these aren't your typical slavering, starving, hunting-in-packs, sweet-jesus-get-it-off-me wild animals, no. These ones just kinda wander around in circles, apparently without any need for food, shelter or entertainment. They do get a bit narky when you inexpertly lob an arrow in their general direction, but of course the others around just keep plodding around in circles waiting for their turn to drop 2 copper pieces and a bit of wolf jerky. I mean, seriously. A troll cave? Are the trolls sitting around the campfire swapping tall stories, learning a trade, making little troll babies? No, they're standing still. Just... standing. "Oh, someone shot me! Grr! You will die soon! Come on Bruce! Bruce? Stop staring at the wall Bruce, someone just shot me! Bruce?"

So, it didn't start well. It had better get WAY less stupid.


Being a rogue in W0W is cool. I can't imagine why you'd want to play anything else.
I've got a human rogue called Catheryna on the Tanaris Realm. She's currently at lv28. This blog is for rogue and general WoW-related stuff as I think of it.