standing at the back in my sissy robe

July 27, 2009

And What Should I Do In Illyria?

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Real Men Wear Purple,Vainglory — Tamarind @ 3:38 pm

I must have had too much tea this morning because this post has gone on an epic emotional journey before even having been written.

It began in a melancholy fashion. “I confess,” I said, in a melancholy fashion, “I am slightly concerned.”

Flashback:

Things are pretty stagnant for M’Pocket Tank and I in WoW at the moment. Tam is 78, with 80 looming if only I’d put my head down, stop avoiding Northrend and get there, he’s wearing stuff he found lying on the ground in Sholazar Basin (mango leaves and animal furs, I suspect) and he’s waiting for the patch to come out so he can buy bargain basement flying.

In the short: the poor bastard is Waiting for Godot. Everything he does is subsumed into the act of waiting. And that’s taking a toll on our morale. There are only so many bowler hats we can pass around.

We’ve also pretty much run out of instances. This weekend we embarrassed ourselves in the Black Morass yet again. Poor Medivh, his heart must sink when we appear through the instance portal. I imagine it rather goes like this:

Medivh: Look guys, I really appreciate you trying to help and everything but, uh, I’m kind of sick of being torn apart by infinite whelps.”

Us: No, no, it’ll be fine, we have more DPS this time. Tam’s learned mind sear, it’s gonna be a cake walk.”

Medivh: You said that last time.

Us: That was an error of judgment, we admit it. But third time lucky, eh? Wait till you see that mind sear, it’s going to change the tide of battle.

Medivh: *bursts into tears*

Not really very much later…

Medivh: *torn apart by infinite whelps*

Us: Maybe we need more DPS…

Me: *shaking head sadly* I can’t believe mind sear didn’t make the difference…

(In case it isn’t obvious, guess who just got mind sear – his first proper AoE spell, since Holy Nothing doesn’t count. M’Pocket Tank scorned it and derided it: “The shadow effects look totally lame” “Are you kidding, that’s fel power that is!” “It looks like wee.” “It’s fel wee, dammit!” But it still makes me feel awesome.)

Tails between our legs, we slunk off to try our hand at The Steamvault and The Shattered Halls, both of which went down with a whimper. I really like The Steamvault – another genuinely huge and epic-feeling instance. Also it’s crazy full of mobs. We spent an awful lot of time yelling “HUG THE WALL!” at each other, like we were in a 1970s cop show. There are probably better strategies but it worked for us. None of the bosses gave us much trouble, but after Grand Master Void Fetishist everybody is a bit of a let down. He’s totally our nemesis. Screw this Arthas dude. The Shattered Halls are pretty funky too. Although I wouldn’t call them Shattered so much as Long and Straight and Quite Well Maintained. Talk about misplaced hyperbole.

And this, of course, brought us face to face with an impasse. “Tempest keep, yay!” we cried eagerly, only to find the way was barred.

Between trudging back to Northrend and doing something stupid, we naturally opted to do something stupid. Hellfire Ramps Heroic!

My first heroic, in fact. Well, technically my second heroic, since the last time we had this idea we poked our noses in the door, fought valiantly to the Beast Master and then died horribly and repeatedly at the teeth of his eighty million beasts. That gave me a bit of a fright, I can tell you. Heroics, I guess, are full of surprises. Surprising deaths, anyway.

But last time we tried the God of People Who Don’t Like Northrend And Will Do Anything To Avoid It was smiling on us. And, somehow, we got through Ramps heroic. Again, I know we’re 8 levels ahead of schedule so it’s not the kind of mighty deed WoW-aficionados down the ages are going to sing camp fire songs about. But it was something new and exciting to try and it was actually pretty challenging.

I’ve also got to the point of level progression in which my healing looks visually pathetic. I remember how stunned I was, that time I accidentally went on a Raid, when I’d be casting heal spells and it would make a trivial amount of different to the health bars. These days, flash heal on M’Pocket Tank is the equivalent of an elastoplast on a severed limb. The only reason I cast it at all is to proc Serendipity. Of course it might have something to do with the fact M’Pocket Tank is wearing, y’know, gear, whereas I am clad in crap the Nesginwary expedition didn’t want.

By the time we’d finished, we were rolling in stuff that would have been awesome 8 levels ago by the end of it. It was utterly tragic. In fact … God … another first … I disenchanted my first epic. It broke my heart to do it.

I’ve kept every other epic I’ve found, because I’m still enough of a sentimental noob to conceive of them as being incredibly rare and valuable.

Let me see, I have not one but two ardent custodians, both BOE, both random world-drops. I’m saving them for a character who could duel wield them. Mwahaha.

And I have a Glowing Brightwood Staff, which was a present from a dear friend. Again, it broke my heart to swap it out for some random Outland shite with infinitely better stats.

An Eye of Flame, for the Prettiest Elf, which I am NEVER NEVER NEVER replacing because it so utterly fabulous. A monocle. On fire. Oh God yes.

And, yep, that’s it. And there fell the Feltooth Eviscerator into my graceless hands and I crushed into a void crystal as if it was nothing.

We also pulled in a metric sack of epic gems. Gemming rarely seems worth it during leveling because you trade up gear so regularly but I guess waste not want not … oh wait … I’ve got nowhere to put the damn things because I’m dressed in Nesingwary’s hand-me down trousers.

“Woo hoo! What’s next?” I asked.

Flashforwards:

And it was at this moment that I succumbed to melancholy. It suddenly struck me: what on earth am I going to do when I hit endgame. No, seriously. What is someone like me meant to do? Run heroics over and over and over again until my eyes bleed? Grind daily quests? Raid? Achievement whore? I don’t think I’m interested in any of those things.

I ran UK about 10 times when I was the appropriate level (if you count all the times I FAILED to run UK) and I never want to see the damn thing again as long as I live and breathe. I just can’t see myself running the same heroics repeatedly. I can’t see myself rep-grinding. I’m really not sure WoW will have anything to offer me at that point.

I know I could start leveling alts but there’s an extent to which “80” serves as a set of goal posts. It’s not the end of the game, it’s not even a victory condition, but it’s something to aim at. If it’s just a mirage, then, why aim for it at all?

But there’s a saying in family: we’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it (yeah, we’re a cheery lot).

And I guess there’s about as much point in worrying about what I do when I hit 80 than there is in worrying that I might wake up one day with nothing to say on this blog (I do, as it happens, worry about both, pointless though it is).

Back to the present

And in the spirit of this: it is officially Fuck The Patch day.

I could afford artisan + cold weather flying maybe (big maybe) if I put all my gold together, bankrupted all my alts and deprived the Prettiest Elf of his vanity fund (he is my single biggest WoW expenditure, I’m embarrassed to say).

But the cost of that isn’t changing, so let’s not bother, and let’s not worry about it. Money accumulates in WoW. Unlike in real life where it seems to … just disappear.

What is changing, however, is the effectiveness of your Bog Standard Flying Mount but that’ll kick in when the patch happens regardless of when I purchase the damn thing. And, actually, when you get right down to it, although the costs for ground mounts, and the training to ride them, are going through the floor (was there a job lot of substandard chickens or what?), the difference in cost of Expert riding + Thing To Ride between now and the patch are in the region of 250 gold, not counting faction rep bonuses.

250 gold? That’s nothing, right?

So I’m resolved. Tonight, M’Pocket Tank and are going shopping.

We’re going to get our hands on a pair of crappy, geriatric flying mounts, fit them with thermal underwear and ride them in slowwwwwwww triumph over Ice Crown.

Azeroth is, once again, at our feet. The world is ours.

21 Comments »

  1. Hrm. Your purchase of crappy mounts on a Monday evening almost ensures that tomorrow the patch will arrive! (Murphy’s Law and all.)

    This question of “what then?” plagued me a great deal before I reached level 80. I was convinced that level 80 would be boring beyond words. I’ve done all the instances, now I can do them again, only harder? And raids seemed like a crazy, far-off dream worthy of some dehydrated castaway stuck on an island somewhere. No way I was ever going to get into one of those (networking!) or have fun doing it (pressure to heal properly!) Achievements are fine and dandy but they, like dailies, wear thin. So I figured once I hit 80 I’d putter around a bit until I eventually took my druid out back, turned into an appropriate form, and put her out of her misery quickly and with a minimum of fuss and muss.

    However, upon actually reaching 80, I discovered that even without running heroics, dailies or achievement-getting exercises all the time, I’ve found no end of things to do. Some achievements are actually fun to get and a challenge, especially if you are in a group of dear friends. Some dailies, I am informed, are not soul-sucking slogs towards eventual money/rep. On top of that, there are the wonderful little in-game goals you can give yourself which are now all the more possible since you have the many advantages of being level 80 at your disposal (you’re higher level than most things, you often have flight of some sort, etc, etc.) And raids are the bee’s knees – find a group of people you can stand and get involved in one, perhaps a more casual one at first, but at least something that will take you into Naxx to see M’Pocket Tank get tossed over pits of green sludge during the Thaddius encounter – I’m told it’s some of the best fun a tank can have.

    Don’t worry – hopefully when you and M’Pocket Tank hit 80, you’ll keep Tam+Co. occupied. And it’s a good thought to go to Icecrown. My own pally and I had a blast duo-ing Icecrown quests all the way to 80. I’m a particular fan of anything that involves my actions/quest-completions changing the environment, and Icecrown has several such areas. (I helped! Hooray!) Plus there’s a flying Horde ship of fun where you can pick up quests, etc. (At least I’m assuming that’s what you do on the Horde ship of fun. It’s what we do on the Alliance ship of fun.)

    When all else fails, log on to your dwarves for another epic hunting adventure…whatwhat!

    Comment by wildgrowth — July 27, 2009 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

    • It’s true. By purchasing full price mount skodas we are doing our bit for the WoW community in speeding up the patch. In fact, I expect it to arrive in the next hour or so.

      But thank you for the reassuring, err, assurance that I will not have to hang up my sissy robe and go back to playing Baldurs Gate (he’s a bit behind the times, as if it isn’t obvious). I suppose it’s just accepting the fact that you’re now playing a different game to the one you were playing previously. And actually, the more I think about it, being powerful enough to be able to leave the inn without my own personal bodyguard holding my hand, will be nice :)

      The idea of trying to PUG heroics or break into raiding does seem like a desert island fantasy at the moment, I have to admit. In fact, I’m sitting here right now with 24 individualised coconuts around me… the one with smiley face is going to Main Tank that banana tree.

      Labouring across Ice Crown on our crappy mounts TM is going to be, err, interesting.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

      • Oh, dear. I’m afraid the idea of the smiley-face coconut Main Tanking the banana tree has caused me to pretty much lose it. That coconut has NO IDEA what it’s in for!

        And yes, my coconut raid group and I were how I, too, once viewed the world of raiding. A word to the wise: don’t let the coconut with the slight crack in their husk be the Master Looter. It didn’t go well.

        (Little secret: I was well into 80 before I got elite flying. In fact, I completed most of Icecrown with my pally on a geriatric bird – and that was before thermal underwear! So it can be done and done enjoyably well.)

        Comment by wildgrowth — July 27, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

      • I shall choose my raiding fruit very carefully indeed. No dodgy coconuts, no smooshed bananas, no slightly pulpy papayas. Hand picked I assure you (god, the puns around here get worse).

        I am actually hopeless with Wow money, and let’s be fair, real money but at least WoW money is in infinite supply. I think there’s a fair degree of finance-related snobbery in WoW (alas Greedy Goblin, you have much to answer for) in the fact that because it’s relatively easy to make it you’re supposed to be surfing Scrooge McDuck style on piles of the stuff. Whereas actually at lot of the time when you’re leveling, and if you have an active post-80 life that isn’t dominated by grinding, you usually have enough to get by but not necessarily massive more. Playing the AH is just another mini-game. So I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of in not getting your epic flyer till after 80.

        I did actually sit down and total up frivolous expenditure on the vainest elf … and I could indeed have bought a round of epic flyers (well, not quite a round, but at least one and a few forepaws) for the bling he owns.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

  2. Isn’t it fitting Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot as well as Endgame? ;)

    Comment by Liadan — July 27, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

    • It never fails to satisfy me. I think I’ve made that reference in some form an another in this blog about sixty or seventy times and, let me tell you, it’s still not getting old :)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  3. ““It looks like wee.” “It’s fel wee, dammit!””

    Haha.

    Have you ever run The Arcatraz? There’s one room full of huge scary void reaver demon blob thingies that you used to have to pull one at a time. And they could have one of two different abilities. One of them sometimes did an AE fear, and the other sometimes produced a void zone where it was standing.

    A … black … void zone … where it was standing.

    Of course I said ‘it’s weed itself!’. Never been allowed to live that one down.

    Comment by spinks — July 27, 2009 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

    • I’m glad to know other people make such sage and necessary observations. Seriously, without us a group will founder.

      But I should definitely check out The Arcatraz for the incontinent void reavers, although how I’m expected to heal while giggling is another matter.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  4. “What’s next?” you ask, and I have to say you got me baffled. Here I’ve been at lvl 80 for what feels like ages, ages and then some more ages, and I can honestly say: I don’t know how the hell I spend my time. Seriously. With my hand at my heart, I swear, when you hit lvl 80, you enter a vacuum of time, that just forces time to go by. When I log onto WoW later tonight, I’m gonna try to put up a camera and record my gaming. Just to see when I do when I enter mindless-zombie-trance-state-of-lvl-80.

    I’m kinda curious.

    Comment by Naïve — July 27, 2009 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

    • Oh my God, you do realise that you’ve nailed it, don’t you? Blizzard is, in fact, a super-villain (that’s Dr Blizzard to you) and when players hit 80 they’re hooked into the soul-suck-omatic machine that will be used to HARNESS THE POWER OF 11 MILLION USERS in order to create a bomb powerful enough to destroy the sun. Or something. You’ll find out the truth tonight. But don’t worry Perpetually Late to the Party Boy, with his level 78 character, will save you!

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

  5. Still cracking up about the “Prettiest Elf of his vanity fund” because I think I might have a few accounts myself. You know, for those formal occasions one just can not afford to miss. For myself I just try to play WoW with no regrets, although your antics in Outland have inspired me to find a mage friend, the puntable kind, to go back and run some old instances. An if one is feeling daring there is always Molten Core.

    Comment by Raes — July 27, 2009 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

    • You may laugh but having a Pretty Elf, nay the Prettiest Elf, is an extremely expensive hobby. I could probably have bought a stable full of epic flyers if I didn’t have a weakness for useless items that sparkle. *shame*

      I think you’re dead right about playing with no regrets. It’s hard to manage sometimes because it’s very easy to fall into habits of tedious grinding or running stuff for the hell of it. WoW is, totally, a time sink so you have to make the time you sink into worthwhile. Gah! Must. Have. Fun. Now.

      Of all the Outland instances we’ve run, I particularly recommend The Shadow Labyrinth and The Steam Vault. At least they were really stand out. M’Pocket Tank likes the Crypts.

      Molten Core eh….sounds like fun :)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

  6. Hi, Tam! I’ve been following your blog for the past couple of weeks, and I pray the day never comes when you run out of things to write about here. I’m still quite new to WoW (started playing in May, and my mage main is currently in the high 60s), so I don’t have much to suggest with regard to endgame gameplay. Maybe give casual 10-man raiding a spin if you’re able to find a suitable guild (or a large enough group of friends) to do it with? I also noticed PvP isn’t on your list of potential things to do. Granted, going into BGs can be like throwing yourself into a FailPUG time and time again, but it might be more fun if you can enter with a group of friends.

    On a side note, I wanted to say that, thanks to your blog, I’ve gotten into running instances with my partner. I’d avoided them previously because I was terrified that other players would be annoyed with my lack of experience and my inevitable mistakes, but your posts made instance runs sound like so much fun (yes, even the FailPUGS!), I decided I had to try it out. Now I’m hooked. So thanks, Tam, for inspiring me to branch out in my gameplay — I’m having a blast.

    Baldur’s Gate was good times. I bet you kept Edwin in your party all the way through Throne of Bhaal, huh? ;)

    Comment by Roz — July 27, 2009 @ 11:33 pm | Reply

    • Hey Roz, thanks so much for the comment and your kind words; it made my evening :) I’m glad you’re enjoying WoW, it’s a lot fun, especially when played alongside with friends or a partner. Or maybe I’m just weirdly co-dependent =P And I’m chuffed to bits to have inspired you to try instancing. It’s definitely one of the aspects of WoW I enjoy the most, even, yes, even the fail PUGS, although obviously, at the moment M’Pocket Tank and I are concentrating on absurd attempts at 2-manning which does at least cut down the idiocy quotient. What’s been your favourite instance so far?

      I’ve never really seen the appeal of PVP but maybe I need to branch out as well?

      The Baldurs Gate games were great, and completely genre-shaping in their day. And, yes, Edwin and Virconia were the hightlights of any party, at least as far as I was concerned, although I had a softspot for Minsc as well (not that he appreciated traveling with Edwin).

      I’ve totally gone nostalgia trippin’ now :)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 27, 2009 @ 11:57 pm | Reply

  7. Minsc rocked great big brass bells! He was even the inspiration for my Wookiee Beast Tamer in Star Wars Galaxies, with Boo, the miniature giant space hamster, cunningly disguised as a Bantha. Go for the eyes, Boo!

    Er..

    But seriously, don’t panic about level 80. Look at the shits and giggles you’re having doing content Blizz doesn’t care about anymore, that doesn’t have to change just because you’re now doing content Blizz does give a crap about. There’s nothing to stop you running old content at 80, just make it old raid content. If you’ve never actually seen Ragnaros or Nefarian up close and personal you owe it to yourself to do Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. I know even mages can solo Onyxia these days, but regardless of how the “elite” scoff at Molten Core you can still walk in there with the best gear in the world and get your arse handed to you if you don’t do things right. And that’s on trash. And Blackwing Lair is just the best raid instance ever designed. End of argument.

    If all else fails I can always look forward to your ranting about naxx 10 pugs. ;)

    Comment by pewpewlazerz — July 28, 2009 @ 12:40 am | Reply

    • The idea of a bantha going for my eyes is actually terrifying…

      But, yes, Minsc was a great character, although as he got increasingly disconsolate as I insisted on having Edwin along for the ride too.

      Thanks for the reassurance about 80 though. Part of the advantage of doing stuff nobody gives a toss about is, well, the lack of pressure. It doesn’t matter if you screw up horribly because, well, it doesn’t matter full stop. Also, being Perpetually Late to the Party guys means I have never, literally never, been on current content. I might have some sort of heart attack if I finally got there.

      But we will definitely pay a visit to Molten Core, it sounds like one heck of an experience. We need to get through Onyxia first, though. The last we tried her it was … well … she kind of wiped the floor with us.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  8. Reaching the level cap is always great fun for my characters, because a whole new world opens up. It’s a world where the gear you get is not going to be outleveled, a world full of charts and spreadsheets where you get to plan out exactly how much each stat is worth to you, and, knowing that information, exactly which piece of gear is worth more than what other piece of gear, and which ones will be most time-efficient for you to get. A world full of planning and dreaming and wish lists.

    But then, we both know I’m a crazy person who loves spreadsheets and has someone who can put together groups for heroics at a moment’s notice.

    Comment by Kiryn — July 28, 2009 @ 5:49 am | Reply

    • So … you’re telling me to look forward to 80 because I can breakout Microsoft Excel?

      Errr. Thanks.
      ;)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  9. I’m totally bummed about this, I threw silly money at buying my expensive mounts 2 weeks before patch notes came out :(

    Ah well.

    At least i’ve earnt some of it back since. Roll on the money grind of randonly selling weed (i mean herbs) to those silly cows that like smoking (i mean creating potions) and profiting from their coffers.

    Comment by Joe — July 29, 2009 @ 11:46 am | Reply

    • Actually the main price differences are at lower levels, although once the patch comes out your flying mount will be less obviously utterly shite than your epic flying mount. Besides, waiting for the patch to come out so you can get cheap stuff is a mug’s game. It just ruins your enjoyment of, well, basically everything :)

      Yeah, I’ve done quite well out of the floral market. The Prettiest Elf is, of course, my flower picker but I have a friend who uses his most macho orc just for, y’know, the lulz.

      Welcome back, by the way, I thought you were in job/house moving limbo :)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  10. [...] Tamarind suffers a brief bout of level-80-phobia. Anyone else find themselves curiously reluctant to actually get to max level once it’s practically within reach? I know I often coast the last level or so, maybe a last ditch attempt to string the levelling game out for as long as possible. [...]

    Pingback by Links, and what I’ve been reading « Welcome to Spinksville! — August 1, 2009 @ 9:00 am | Reply


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