Monthly Archives: August 2014

Rare Pet Watch: Scorpling

It has been a while since my last RPW! Let’s talk about another pet that gives folks a little trouble: the scorpling.

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Most Azerothian battle pets are quite common. They’re numerous and scattered all over their zone, ready to be plucked up by eager pet battlers. Some pets, though, are annoyingly uncommon. Like the minfernal and scourged whelpling, the scorpling can be a pain in the ass to find. It’s not as rare as either of those, but neither is it as common as the glut of rabbits and beetles found in other zones. If you want it, be prepared to put in a bit of an effort, and doubly so if you want a rare. Its scarcity might lead you to believe it’s a superior pet in battle. You’d be sadly mistaken. The scorpling is mediocre at best. It’s no different than any other scorpid battle pet, but to a dedicated pet collector that makes little difference. If you want one, here’s what information I’ve collected in my hunt for a rare Scorpling.

Where?

Scorplings are found only in the Blasted Lands. They spawn in the hills south-east of the Dark Portal. If you run a coordinate add-on, they spawn around 60, 58. In my time camping and farming them, I have never seen one spawn to the sourth-west of the portal. I have only ever seen them on the plateaus of the hills to the south-east. You won’t find these as secondary battle pets anywhere in the zone. If you want one, you gotta catch it here.

When?

Time of day makes no difference here. I have seen them up mid day and in the middle of the night. The only impact time makes is on server population. If you want to catch one on a high population server, I would suggest camping out late at night or early in the morning to avoid competition.

How?

There’s nothing to it. No tricks to get them to spawn, no gimmicks, no events, no rare spawns. They’re either up or they’re not, it’s that simple.

Conventional internet forum wisdom states that killing other battle pets in the zone will force these to spawn. The theory is that battle pets work a lot like fishing nodes in a zone: only a set number can be up at any given time. To make more spawn, you have to kill (or fish) others. That’s all nice and dandy, but in all my time pet hunting, I have never seen anything to back that up. My theory is that people like to assert control over things that are out of their control. Pet spawns are not under their control, so they try to find ways around that. A lot of people state that after they flew around the Blasted Lands killing battle pets, a few scorplings spawned. That’s great. But correlation does not prove causation. I think the more likely explanation is that a few scorplings spawned while they were gone. The end. So if you have a lot of time on yours hands, go fly around killing battle pets in the Blasted Lands and let me know how that goes for you. But here’s my counter: I’m on a next-to-nothing population realm in a completely empty zone where no one (myself included) is killing battle pets…and the scorplings keep spawning.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to rare battle pets. One person asserts that they spawn one at a time every ten minutes. Refuted: I watched them spawn 5-6 at a time. My very best advice to you is just to be patient. Plant an alt in the area and check back every hour or so. Best of luck!

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Iron Man Challenge: Silithus Edition

After hitting level 60 in Un’Goro I decided to head directly into Silithus and get another level under my belt before heading to Outland. Lo and behold, another level became another few bars of experience, since apparently once you hit level 60 you stop earning any significant experience in old Azeroth. Bummer. I did Silithus anyway.

It’s not a very pretty zone, but it has been left unchanged since Cataclysm. Definitely a place to go if you want to wax nostalgic.

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I tried to stay out of the various Silithid hives scattered across the desert, even going so far as to ignore rare spawns that happened to be down there. Those big twisty turny burrows just don’t fill me with warm fuzzy feelings, and the last thing I wanted was to get lost and overrun and end up dead like I used to back in the old days.

So we stuck to the surface world, though it wasn’t much prettier, and had just as many insects as any Silithid hive.

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By the time we were done here I was sick of killing bugs. Spiders, scorpions, silithid, worms…no more. I’m done.

We changed things up by killing some cultists for good measure. I remember grinding these things for weeks back when the achievement and title systems were first introduced. I switched specs on my druid from resto to balance so I could run around and moonfire/hurricane large groups of cultists, because any self-respecting druid has to have the Guardian of Cenarius title.

The cave-dwelling cultists escaped most of my wrath, thanks to some unnamed player who ran in just before me and cleared the whole thing. I had to stand and wait for the named quest mob I was after to respawn, which took about 20 minutes longer than it should have. Seriously, they need to fix that.

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After spelunking for cultists, we smashed more bugs.

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And then we killed more bugs.

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And finally we were rewarded with a quest to kill elementals, which was a nice change of pace. And scenery, because the whole northern part of the zone was much different than the rest.

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Then we went back to killing more bugs.

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Are you tired of bugs yet? I am. That’s all Silithus is about. That, and some random world PvP that I didn’t participate in for fear of being smushed like a bug myself by higher level Horde folk.

Aside from sand and bugs, there were these neat crystally thingies that I would like to know more about. Chiefly, what are they made of? If anyone says “bugs” I will scream.

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Silithus must have, at some point, been a bit more biodiverse than its current incarnation. I found the remains of a massive serpent, but never the remains of a massive serpent’s den. The zone its self is too small to support more than one of these snakes. Where did they come from? Are the skeletons I mistook for “dragons” in Un’Goro the remains of a similar species? Was Silithus a jungle at some point? It’s possible that the zones we know as Un’Goro, Silithus and Feralas were all one zone at some point, years ago. Maybe the reason there are so damn many bugs is because the snakes that naturally preyed on them died out.

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Mass extinction makes for a great photo op!

I took Iarann south so we could poke at the ruins of Ahn’Qiraj.

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Even if standing in the shadow of the old gods made me a wee bit nervous for my health and safety. I was sure not to touch anything while we were so close to such a large gathering of murderous insectoids.

In my experience, touching anything that looks even remotely gong-like is a bad idea.

In my experience, touching anything that looks even remotely gong-like is a bad idea.

 

Whatever is going on in Silithus, I was glad to leave it behind. Thanks for joining me on this photographic tour of Kalimdor on my way to level 60, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what sort of trouble I get in to in Outland!

 

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

This is an old topic, but I only just now spotted it so it’s new to me! I think it’s an interesting one, because depending on where you live in the world your answer could be vastly different from someone else’s. The topic is:

“What in WoW reminds you of home?”

And I would have to say that Westfall, in all its dried up glory, reminds me very much of home.

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I come from California’s San Joaquin Valley, which is one of the richest agricultural valleys on earth and certainly in the United States. Our warm climate and fertile soil allow us to produce a massive amount of fruits and vegetables. Locally, our biggest crop is grapes (and wine!). My alma mater is famous internationally for its enology program and I have only to cross the street from my apartment to trade the city for a vineyard. We’re spoiled here because we can produce almost anything within this valley. No need to import fruits and vegetables: you can buy almost anything at a local farm stand or grocery store. And the price of produce is delightfully low…

…at least, that’s how things used to be. Like Westfall, the San Joaquin Valley has fallen on hard times. First we got hit by the recession, which was bad enough. Now we’re being withered away by a record breaking drought that is turning valuable farm land into fallow ground. People are losing their jobs and their livelihoods as farms and groves alike dry up and die.

Thankfully we haven't been hit by one of these yet.

Thankfully we haven’t been hit by one of these yet.

My commute to work used to take me through about a mile of orange groves. Now, it’s about a mile of dirt indistinguishable from any other mile of dirt in the county.

Westfall's crops are actually doing better than ours!

Westfall’s crops are actually doing better than ours!

In the winter time we usually get enough rain fall to turn the foothills a beautiful green. From about November through May the hills outside of town are wonderfully lush. But as soon as the rain stops and the heat begins, they turn a boring yellow-brown, just like the rolling hills of Westfall.

This is literally all the fresh water I could find in Westfall, and it's still more water than the Valley has.

This is literally all the fresh water I could find in Westfall, and it’s still more water than the Valley has.

There’s social and political unrest as people struggle with losing their jobs, their income, and their farms. Sound familiar? That describes Westfall, too.

And don’t even get me started on the homeless issue. My county is one of the poorest in the state (and also one of the largest) and our homeless population could overrun Stormwind city, if somehow they all got into the game. There are dozens of homeless folk in Westfall right now, beating down the defenses at Sentinel Hill, desperate for food and shelter. It’s almost shockingly familiar.

If this is what Sentinel Hill's politicians consider a "homeless problem", then they would faint if they came to my city.

If this is what Sentinel Hill’s politicians consider a “homeless problem”, then they would faint if they came to my city.

Unlike Westfall, the Valley isn’t adjacent to the sea. I’d be willing to bet that because it’s coastal, Westfall doesn’t experience the temperature spikes that the Valley does. It has been well over 100 degrees here for two months. Westfall, I imagine, is probably a bit more comfortable in 80+ degree weather.

Just to add to the splendor that is the Valley right now, a couple of massive wildfires have been raging just to the north of where I live. The smoke in the air is really no more pollution than we’re already breathing in (valleys in general tend to trap air pollution, making the air quality plummet, and with no rain or storms to wash it all away, the air in my town is more smog than O2). Due to the smoke, our sunsets literally look like this:

It's pretty, but bad for your lungs nonetheless.

It’s pretty, but bad for your lungs nonetheless.

So we have dry farmland overrun by the destitute, joblessness and homelessness abundant, and lots of rolling golden hills useful to nobody. Yep, sounds like home to me.

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Here’s a photo (courtesy of the Fresno Bee) of a lake about 20+ minutes from where I live. It used to be a huge recreational spot, but this is all that’s left of it, and it’s almost entirely unusable. You can see towards the top of the photo where the water line used to be. Due to the drought, the lake has been emptied to provide water to other, more necessary things. The foothills in the background are pretty standard for the area: dull golden brown, dry as hell, dotted with a few oaks and not much else. Looks a lot like a real life Westfall, doesn’t it?

Iron Man Challenge: Un’Goro Crater Edition

Welcome back to my Iron Man Challenge series, where I blather randomly about the crap I do to survive my way to level 90 with no gear, no talents, and no deaths. I’ve been busy lately and that has meant little time to chug my way to 90, but I’m back this week with some screenshots of my exploits in Un’Goro Crater! Sit back, relax, and let’s get going.

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Un’Goro is an iconic zone to me. I spent a lot of time here back when I first started playing, though I don’t remember anymore why that was. My little level 50-ish warlock ran around here doing Elune only knows what, dying repeatedly to the devilsaurs, harassing random Alliance folk, killing dinosaurs…it was a fun zone, and it still is.

Some things never change, like the silithid incursion. We slaughtered a bunch of icky bugs.

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We climbed insurmountable volcanic peaks to poke fire elementals in the face and take temperature readings of things that should have melted our skin right the hell off. Of course that’s a goblin quest; who else needs to take volcanic temperature readings for no apparent reason?

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We bravely ran away from anything resembling a gigantic devilsaur on a rampage.

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That is, until we met this guy:

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Maximillian of Northshire may not be the brightest bulb ever lit, but he’s got charisma. He convinced us, against our better judgement, to join him in his crusade to rid the world (or Un’Goro, really) of “dragons” and rescue a few fair “maidens” in distress. So they weren’t really dragons, and the damsels in distress were neither damsels nor in distress, but whatever.

Pro tip: Maximillian’s entire quest chain is amusing and kind of fun, and worth doing at least once so you know what the fool is yelling about all over the zone. However, the final stage of the quest chain, where you ride on the back of Max’s steed and throw rocks at the Devilsaur Queen, appears to be either bugged or simply very poorly put together. It takes forever, and that is not an exaggeration. If you are doing the Iron Man Challenge and have no great burning desire to finish the chain, then I would recommend skipping the final quest. I was able to finish it only after about 15 minutes or so of throwing rocks and running in a big circle, but the devilsaur bites hard and if you’re squeamish about risking your life, then don’t do it. Be safe, not sorry!

Thankfully, much of the zone was green to us as we worked our way towards level 60. We stomped on some flowers, just for fun.

They were EVIL flowers, okay?

They were EVIL flowers, okay?

And we hiked into the wilds beyond the crater to discover some ancient skeletal remains of what must have been the biggest damn dragon Max has ever not seen.

Seriously, do not tell Max about this.

Seriously, do not tell Max about this.

At one point we found ourselves embroiled in some sort of titan-lady’s questing hullabaloo, and took the time to snap a few pics of things people don’t see unless they randomly point their camera up. No one looks up. I think it was WoW Insider that did an article on the epic ceilings of WoW, and it’s worth a read if you can find it.

If you turn your camera to the ceiling in this little alcove in Un’Goro, you’ll find painted murals of what appear to be standard Christian angels or cherubim. Kinda odd in a world that doesn’t have Christianity. What are they? Some sort of Titan symbolism? They appear on the ceilings of the Halls of Stone, too. Look up some time.

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It was a rather peaceful place to quest, if you don’t count Max’s constant bellowing about Dragons and his beloved Doloria (who probably left him long ago for a quieter, less insane lover). And nothing beats massive trees and lush foliage for screen shots!

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Trees!

Have another. On me.

MOAR TREES!

MOAR TREES!

Add a few sweeping vistas with moody, emo fog…

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And you pretty much have the majority of the screenshots I took. It was a fun run, but by the time I was done I was really ready for a change of scenery.

We do have one thing to celebrate, though.

Ding!

Ding!

Sixty levels without a single death. Onward to Silithus!

That Time I Drooled Over an Orc

I’m watchin’ the new Warlords of Draenor cinematic (it’s pretty awesome, btw) and my internal commentary is going something like this:

First I was all like: hey this is really awesome but daaaamn Grom is FUGLY dude what happened to your face?

Then I was all like: who dat orc in the hood.

Then i was like: hey that hooded orc is kinda hot!

Then I was all: OMFG That’s Garrosh EW WTF I HATE HIM SO MUCH DIE

And then I was like: …still hot tho.

 

And this concludes today’s epic, amazing post about what depravity goes on inside my head.