Friday, July 8, 2011

Random 4.2 Thoughts

Now, all can quiver with jealousy at my Cenarion Hatchling in the WoW Armory

Ugh!  Malfurion Stormrage and Thrall being BFFs on the slopes of Mt. Hyjal.

Mal:  Oh, young Thrall. I sense a great change in you! You have accomplished much since last we met!
Thrall:  Master Stormrage, it is good to have you in the waking world again.

Here's how that conversation should have really gone:

Mal:  Oh, young Thrall. WTF are all your #$%@ing orcs doing in Ashenvale. Why, I oughta ...
Thrall: Master Stormrage, I'm not sure what you mean, I've been kinda busy at the Maelstrom for a few months now, y'know, holding up the world and all.
Mal:  Real men don't make excuses, you green-skin punk. Have you been to Ashenvale at all recently?
Thrall: Well, no ...
Mal: Didn't you know your boy Garrosh was going ape$%#t all over the place there?
Thrall: Um...
Mal: [calls down some moonfire on Thrall's head] Did you even stop to think about what happened the last time you left a Hellscream in charge of something?  He killed Cenarius!  And by the way, i wouldn''t go down to the Shrine of Malorne, Cenarius is there now and really isn't into the whole "forgive and forget" thing. You may be the "World-Shaman" or whatever, but even that tosser Fandral is going to kick your ass here in another minute. Cenarius, he'll kill you, and then he'll go to work on you.
Thrall: Yeah, about that... you know, it wasn't really Grom who did that it was the vile demon Mano...
Mal: [drops more moonfire on Thralls' head] What did I just say about excuses?
Thrall: ...

Honestly, I get that Mal, more than most, is into that whole "we must unite to combat the greater enemy" thing, but he's one of the principal leaders of the Night Elves. He really shouldn't feel it's OK to just hang out with the "true warchief of the Horde" without taking Thrall to task for the atrocities happening to his people and his lands.

Sometimes, the need to make gameplay content accessible to both factions in this game leads to just grievous oversights in the development of good story. I appreciate that Mal and Thrall are war buddies from fighting Archimonde at Mt. Hyjal in the Third War, but, they only barely could manage to look at each other then and the situations between these two peoples have deteriorated much further since that time.


I took Eridar through the "World-Shaman" event and thus got to see the the wedding (life-bonding?) of Thrall and Aggra again and I'm further puzzled by the attendees of the event.  There are three dragon aspects and Kalec-- no surprises there. And then there is Malfurion Stormrage, Tyrande Whisperwind, and Jaina Proudmoore. Noting my precious entry about what the Night Elves must be thinking of Orcs these days, it seems like a massive, massive stretch for Tyrande to be here for this event, even if her man Mal is pussy-footing around with the world-shaman.  Back on the other side of the clearing, I never really supported the Thrall/Jaina tryst theories, but she does look rather forlorn standing there by herself.

But there are no Horde leaders present at all.  None.  And certainly not Garrosh Hellscream.  What's up with that? I think the last two attendees are Farseer Nobundo of the Draenei and another Tauren shaman. Alliance are severely outnumbering the Horde at this gathering.


Turning towards that messy goo they call Troll politics:

I got to thinking about why the Alliance and even the rest of the Horde might ought not pile in on the Zandalari machinations. It's like this:

Back in Vanilla, the Gurubashi trolls were up to no-good. And it was very no-good. So the Zandalari trolls appeared, proclaimed that they were the good trolls and had us clean house on the Gurubashi. The Zandalari said it was a threat, so we removed it.

Next, up at Zul'Aman, a number of things were going on, but standing in front of the place was another Zandalari tribe member come to "witness" the fall of the Amani who had gotten too dangerous to go on.  Players destroyed the Amani tribe and moved on.

Sure enough, as players made the trek through Northrend into the Drakkari troll lands of Zul'Drak, there was the Zandalari tribesman at Honor Stand, "concerned" about how the Drakkari were destroying their loa. Once again, the players sacked the two major troll strongholds in the region and scattered yet another troll tribe to the winds.

So finally, in patch 4.1, "Rise of the Zandalari,"  the "good" trolls, move into the power vacuum we created. In other words, the Zandalari have taken over the majority of the troll world... and we were their army.  The Zandalari don't need to be warriors when they could manipulate us into doing their dirty work for them.

So, if nothing else, when Vol'jin's people rowed into Stormwind Harbor in their outrigger canoes there, saying, "Hailp mon! It's dem odder trolls! You hafta stop them!" somebody should have taken a moment to stop and realize that we've heard this before.

Vol'jin's people have returned to voodoo in the Echo Isles.  Vol'jin is isolated from the power centers of the Horde. In all the recent discussion of potential Horde civil war, here is one aspect that I hadn't heard much considered before.

Though, still, I'm sorta looking forward to Vol'jin making good on his promise that the arrow to slay Garrosh Hellscream will be his own.


New Armory Feature:  the ability to view 3D models of all your companions and mounts, and then switch tabs to take in all the ones you don't have yet.

I think this is fairly utterly cool because, in truth, I don't really get to appreciate the variety of those things I have collected. I use the Guppet add-on which randomizes whichever pet or mount pops out when I smack the macro.  And, especially since your companion pet no longer disappears when you go through an instance gate or log-off, I have a tendency to let just that one pet lurk out long past the point that I enjoy having him there.

But, the web browser is a pretty excellent way to view my list of more than 100 companion pets now. And the tab to see which critters elude me yet would be a neat tool once I start grubbing the collection achievements.


And thinking of achievements. Let us stop to consider Cataclysmically Delicious.

This is one of those achievements you don't think much of until the day comes that you realize you want to knock off some moderately easy achievement points. So, you look in your book and this one pops up. "Sample the following delicacies" indeed...

Most of these things are no problem at all. They are just lurking about at different vendors. The full range of cooking profession recipes is in here too, but you don't have to cook them, just gobble them down. So, a guildmate can get you over that hump.

But then, there is the Oily Giblets and Unidentifiable Meat Dish.  There is but one vendor in the entire World of Warcraft offering these delicacies, and that is Edric Downing  ... "Butcher" for the Twilight Hammer membership of Mt. Hyjal.

Edric is part of the enemy, but he is also in a heavily phased area. If you just go looking for him, 99% of the time, he just won't be there. In fact, he only appears and becomes somebody you could talk to during the stretch of quests while you are infiltrating the Hammer that lead to the rescue of Jarod Shadowsong.  Before you start that quests, his spot on the map is an unoccupied tent. After you blow your cover and spring Jarod, the vendor disappears again.

The moral of this story, of course, is that if you want to do this quest, be sure to check this guy out and buy his goods. If you missed it (like Merinna), it is time to bring your fleet of alts to Hyjal and have them run the WHOLE DAMN ZONE until they can buy some gnarly meat for your main character who cruised on past Edric Downing without stopping for lunch.

But, grrrr, so much for some easy achievement points.


So um...

Here I am, a raider who can't raid, and I'm peeking around wondering where I'm going to get some gear upgrades, so that like... the second I have time and can leap with both feet into a raid, I don't have gear that utterly sucks. 

There are a lot of goodies to be had from the Molten Front, and you can easily add badge gear to the mix and be happy.  But um... I um... can't find shoulders, helmet or wrist upgrades outside of raiding for them.  

For your average casty shaman, there are shoulders and a helmet in one Zul or another, but at i353, that is hardly an upgrade and wouldn't even help you towards your Cataclysmically Epic achievement. There are no wrists that don't involve downing Chimaeron.

I appreciate that the tier shoulders and helmet for all classes is tied to raids for that prestige factor, and I respect that. But it seems like an oversight for me to be donning pieces of i365 gear while still wearing gnarly blue shoulders and helmet. And... I just don't see any other source for upgrades here. 

I'm not certain if this is mostly the same for other gear variations or not. I must confess that my head spins, trying to figure out how the crafting patterns are to be obtained and built for the Tier 12 gear. I do know that there are absolutely zero embers, living or eternal, available anyway so it hardly matters about those patterns anyway.

I'm guessing that patch 4.3, whatever it is, will have a new 5 man encounter that might help in this regard, though after the horrors of pugging Zuls I have seen, I'm not sure I would want to go there. But I'm getting a little tired of looking at this blue stuff.   

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