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Diablo’s 20th Anniversary

**UPDATE: I just noticed that Diablo III and Reaper of Souls are indeed on sale in the Blizzard store, but the digital deluxe version (the one I want, because WoW pet) is not. Crap.**

 

I’m a huge fan of Diablo III. I got it for free back when Blizzard was offering it as incentive to sign up for a year of WoW, and I loved it the moment I started playing. Even so, it’s rare that I pick it up anymore, and I never actually did defeat the final boss. I don’t even own Reaper of Souls, but once in a long while I get the urge to slaughter massive amounts of demons, and there’s no better game for such a craving.

So I was excited to hear that Blizzard was doing a multi-game event to celebrate 20 years of Diablo. Twenty years of any video game franchise is a feat to be admired, honestly.

But I guess I was expecting a bit…more? This might be my own fault: though I own all Blizzard titles except Overwatch and StarCraft, I don’t really play anything but WoW except once in a blue moon. I love Diablo, Heroes of the Storm is a blast, and Hearthstone held my attention for a week or two, but my main squeeze is and always will be World of Warcraft. I think Blizzard intended the event to be cumulative across all titles, and since I don’t play all titles, I’m only seeing a small part of it.

The Diablo anniversary event in Warcraft feels lackluster to me. Kill a couple of treasure goblins, kill the Cow King, the end. For 20 years of a successful franchise, I expected a lot more. Demonic invasions (it fits in so well with the Legion theme!), Diablo himself, the angels popping up occasionally to help out, maybe a mount or a pet exclusive to the event.

Instead, I spent a few hours in the Underbelly of Dalaran, killed 5 or 6 treasure goblins to collect the scroll thingies to make the toy, killed the Cow King once, and…now I’m done. End of event. It’s a little bit of a let down.

I was also hoping to see Reaper of Souls go on sale to celebrate so I could justify buying it with my Christmas money. I don’t think it even went on sale for the holidays, so I was doubly disappointed when it did not get marked down for its own anniversary.

The only true saving grace is going to the secret cow level and hearing the cows yell MOO! in a very angry human voice.

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BlizzCon!

I broke down and bought a BlizzCon virtual ticket the day BlizzCon began, so I could binge watch the panels over the weekend.

Of course I’m still sifting through all the videos in the archive, but I’m pretty happy overall with the convention this year. They managed to bring us some awesome stuff despite no new expansion announcement. Number one on my list of cool stuff I can’t wait for is the new bear form coming at some point in the future. I mean look at this thing!

That’s amazing! WEREBEAR! This is gonna get Sylv back into the tanking game, which he hasn’t touched since the end of Warlords. The ghostly cat form looks amazing, too, but it’s really just a spectral variant of the forms we already have. The werebear is totally new and totally wicked and you can bet I’m gonna put in the time and effort to get it. I’m glad it has been announced as a solo adventure for druids – I’m less and less interested in grouping with people these days.

The announcement of Argus in a future Legion patch is really intriguing to me. We have zero information about it other that it’s Argus and it will be an outdoor questing zone. I assume it will follow along the same lines of the Timeless Isle and Tanaan Jungle, with a large zone devoted to questing, reputation grinding, and storytelling. I really can’t wait to hear more about it.

It was a great BlizzCon, but I did feel that Chris Metzen’s presence was sorely missed. His personal brand of hype and excitement was definitely lacking during the opening ceremony. None of the other developers have quite his energy or genuine enthusiasm, or his ability to fire up a crowd. I hope his retirement has treated him well; he has certainly earned it.

I hope you’re all enjoying the post-BlizzCon lull. We have a lot of neat stuff coming soon to the game!

 

 

 

Loving It

I fully intended a much more robust update schedule for the past month, and then got totally, utterly and completely absorbed in Legion.

I am really just stunned at how beautiful and emotional this whole expansion story line has been, and we’ve only just begun. The writing team has outdone themselves creating the story lines for each zone, and the art team ought to win some sort of award for Suramar City alone. Have you seen that place yet? The amount of detail is staggering.

I played through every zone in its entirety on my druid, and I’m loving feral spec so much more than ever before – especially with all the new models and skins for cat form. I am close to getting my hidden artifact appearance, owlcat form, and I am going to be so heartbroken when I have to leave behind all my beautiful new druid forms after this expansion has played out. How can I ever go back to boring old night elf cat form?

And once I unlocked World Quests, well, that pretty much did in my free time. I really love this new system of ever-changing quest options out in the world. I even enjoy grouping up for the harder ones.

The only drawback I can see – and it really isn’t a drawback at all to be honest – is that there is so much to do on my druid that I haven’t really touched my army of alts yet. Several of them have gone through the Broken Shore scenario, watched Dalaran blink across the continent, and established their class halls. But they’re all just sitting there, fiddling with their shiny new artifacts, waiting patiently for me to grow bored of my druid.

Except I don’t think I will.

Hope you all have been enjoying this new expansion as much as I have. When I finally get my hands on owlcat form, I will be posting a guide with the details of my experience. Happy demon killing, guys 🙂

Shamany Things

I just did the Shaman intro quests up to and including getting my hands on my very own Doomhammer.

It’s pretty amazing being handed the most iconic hammer in the game, by one of the most iconic lore figures, and asked to lead something as important as the Earthen Ring.

Even so, I really wish Thrall wouldn’t pass the reins off to me with his blessing…the last time he did that, the person he left in charged caused an issue.

Val’Sharah

It’s a beautiful new world out there, guys. I managed to get some play time last night after I got home, between my doctor’s appointment and the DDoS crap that happened later in the evening. I am absolutely floored by how gorgeous Val’Sharah is, and it was the perfect choice to begin my adventure as a druid. I took a smattering of screenshots as Sylv traipsed around smelling the flowers, so this post will be a photographic journey through the druid artifact quest (for the Feral daggers) and into Val’Sharah. I do not believe any of the screenshots offer spoilers, but the captions might.

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The moment I set foot in Dalaran, I was asked by Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem to pretty please fly my ass over to Moonglade because reasons. Like, I know demons are attacking and the world is being threatened and all but, druid things are more important. So I went to Moonglade, gathered my posse, and pounced whiskers first into the Emerald Dream.

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It. Was. STUNNING.

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Okay but seriously look at the flowers. There are a ton of varieties and they’re all so freaking detailed and pretty and they move when I walk through them and I spent like 10 minutes just running around eyeballing the flowers and loudly exclaiming to an empty room how awesome the art team was and you can tell I’m excited because of the run on sentence! FLOWERS!

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LOOK AT THEM.

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I finally focused long enough to kill the Big Bad and make it to my class hall, which I think is in Val’Sharah? I’m not sure. I was too distracted by flowers to pay that close of attention.

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The druid class hall is really just a big open space full of flowers and nature and dryads and all things green and druidy.

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Sylv stops to sniff the milkweed.

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I spent too much time trying to climb up those huge roots to see what was up there. I don’t think anything is.

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So green!

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There are a lot of little houses in the druid class hall and if you go inside you can see druids hard at work. Doing something. Druids are book nerds, apparently.

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Shiiiny.

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This one looked to be where druids go to sleep and enter the Dream. It had some comfy looking beds off to one side. I would definitely stay a night or two here.

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This proud papa moonkin is teaching his little fluff ball chicks how to dance. It’s so cute I might die.

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After exploring the druid hall, I got down to business. There was an artifact weapon to be procured, and no time to waste! The Nightmare is encroaching on Val’Sharah, and features prominently in the Feral quest line.

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I picked Feral because I have been enjoying it since the pre-patch. Sylv has not been a kitty druid since his creation, back in 2005. He became a resto druid in the Burning Crusade and dual spec’d to bear sometime thereafter, and has not done a stint as feral in a very long time. He was a moonkin once for all of a week but we don’t speak about that. I will go back and get all of the artifacts when I’m able, and Sylv will continue to be a tank/healer, but I thought Feral would best serve me as I level up.

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This place is so serene. I plopped my fishing line in the water here for a bit.

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The Feral quest line asks you to retrieve the weapons from a deranged druid who stole them to keep them safe. He does such a poor job of it that you have to kick his ass to get them back.

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We sneaked our way into a series of caves below ground, which of course were infested with spiders. Why did it have to be spiders?

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And finally, we wrested the blades from the idiot who took them, smacked some sense into his furry little head, and wen’t back topside to gloat and continue on our journey.

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After we got the artifact, we were sent into Val’Sharah proper to begin questing. Of course I picked the druidy zone to start in!

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And this is why.

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We spent some time lurking around caves where druids like to hibernate.

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And gorgeous lakeside forests teeming with harpies. Which, of course, Sylv shredded into feathery piles of goo.

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Ah, paradise.

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Time for a nap! Sylv and his ever-present corgi Augustus have a well-deserved rest after saving a bunch of druids from the Nightmare.

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This is why we have to fight. If the Nightmare takes over, all of Val’Sharah will look like this. And personally, I prefer the greenery.

That’s it for this time! I’ll update randomly with more adventures of Sylv and his flaming corgi pal. Enjoy the expansion!

Expansionmas Eve

Merry Expansionmas, everyone!

I work the standard 8-5pm shift Monday through Friday, so unfortunately I will not be joining in on the midnight launch festivities. BUT! I am off at 2pm tomorrow, even though I have a Dr’s appointment which will likely put me home about my usual time anyway…

My husband will also be working, and he works odd hours, so the likelihood of us playing together at launch is pretty much nil. We have leveled together since the Cataclysm release, so not venturing into the Broken Isles with him tomorrow feels oddly lonely.

Still, I cannot wait to get home tomorrow, whip up a meal, and go to town in the Broken Isles! I am spending tonight getting a few last minute items from invasions before they vanish for good. I need a few more weapons to round out my transmog collection, and last night I spent some time getting access to the toys Horde-side by leveling up my Blood elf paladin. Tonight is all about getting my mage to 100 through invasions, grabbing a few weapons, and then getting my affairs in order for tomorrow.

Enjoy your last evening before the big expansion!

One Moose, Two Meese

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Fiiiiinally.

I want to give a very sincere thank-you to the folks at <Convert to Raid> on Aerie Peak US for allowing me to tag along during raid night. I hope I was not too much of a detriment to your raid team.

I also want to send along my gratitude to Zelse, the driving force behind the Friendship Moose project. Although I did not manage to get into one of Zelse’s carry runs, I am deeply grateful and humbled by just how selflessly he is helping the community. He and his carriers have donated hundreds of hours of their own time towards coordinating moose runs for people and ask for nothing in return. So if you’re still trying to get the mount before Legion, check out friendshipmoose.com for details.

I can finally say I am entirely ready for this expansion. Bring on the demons!

BlizzCon

I have been buying myself a virtual BlizzCon ticket every year for a few years now. It’s so much fun! I can’t watch in real time, so I come home and watch the panels after work, but that’s fine. It’s still a great experience to plop on the couch with food and flip through the panels at my leisure.

No joke, the big reason I order the tickets is for the little in-game pet. Some day I would love to attend the con in person – I live in California, and not horribly far from the convention center. I think it’s about a 5 hour drive. It’s just cost prohibitive to rent a hotel and pay for the tickets. Some day, though. It’s a goal.

But with Legion launching before BlizzCon this year, I’m not sure what WoW news will be revealed. A BlizzCon without WoW news leaves me…almost nothing to watch.

I love Diablo but I haven’t played in years. I don’t even own the expansion. I liked Hearthstone well enough but I stopped playing after I got the WoW mount. I’m just no good at it. And I have a blast playing Heroes, but…again, it’s one of those things I don’t put a lot of time into. WoW is my main squeeze – what’s going to draw my attention at BlizzCon if the major WoW event of the year has already passed?

So do I plunk down $40 on a virtual ticket for the pet, knowing that the panels this year will be less than interesting to me, or do I skip it and feel left out and petless?

What if they DO announce something WoW-related and amazing? What if they drop a big WoW-sized bomb on us? With the new Legion expansion and the (kind of) successful WoW movie that recently released, they’d be nuts not to have something WoW-related lined up to reveal at the con.

I’m hoping for something cool, like patch info or some big reveal we haven’t sniffed out yet from datamining. But I’m not super hopeful. What is going to be the draw this year? The movie is already out, Legion will already be out…how will they get our attention?

I’m still debating buying the ticket and finding out for myself.

7.0

Well guys, here we are. On the eve of the expansion pre-patch once more.

It has been a long, tumultuous couple of years since Warlords launched. Some of it was beyond fun, some of it I could stand to have done without. And now it’s all over.

Of all the things coming tomorrow, I think I am most excited for the wardrobe feature. At the very least it will clear out a ton of bag space across the board, and make transmog more accessible to those who aren’t able to hoard massive amounts of gear.

Unfortunately as of right now my poor old computer just can’t handle the pre-patch download. I am officially out of space on my hard drive. My lovely husband is working on remedying that as I type, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to download and play 7.0 tomorrow.

The good news is that the parts for my new computer have arrived, minus the motherboard which is still shipping, and we’ll be getting down to business on the build sometime this week.

The first thing I’m going to do when I log in during 7.0 is clear out my void storage, bank, and bags on every alt. I’ve been stockpiling gear ever since they announced the wardrobe and I’m full to bursting with armor sets and weapons. I think the next thing I’ll do is make sure my druid’s spec is tweaked accordingly and then take him through some Timewalking to get the hang of the new resto/guardian features. I don’t think resto has changed much, but I’m not sure about guardian. We’ll find out.

Of course I’m going to have to try out the new demon hunter class! I know almost nothing about them except for the preview we got at Blizzcon, so I’m really excited to poke around and learn. In the meantime, I have a laundry list of stuff I’m working on to kill time in-game.

I’ve been working on killing the bosses needed to get the Pepe whistle, collecting a few random pets that evaded me all this time, finishing up some archaeology achievements, working on gathering Lunkers for Nat, you know what I mean. Random stuff I never did during the expansion.

And of course I’m still crossing my fingers in hope of the Grove Warden mount from Heroic HFC. The RNG gods have not been kind to me when it comes to the Friendship Moose random draw, so if anyone out there is willing to take a resto druid along for an Archimonde kill, don’t be shy. 🙂

 

Public Service Announcement

If you didn’t hear the news about all the stuff that will vanish with the Legion pre-patch, you might want to get out there and do some research. This helpful guide over at WoWhead can help you figure out what to prioritize during these last few weeks. The Legion pre-patch is due any week now, so don’t delay.

Among those items that will no longer be available after the patch are the mount awarded by defeating Heroic Archimonde, the challenge mode mount, and the guild pet rewarded from earning challenge mode gold as a guild.

If, like me, you are completely pet-crazy and cannot pass up an opportunity to collect a pet but your guild sucks and has been dead for a year, don’t despair. You can get the pet fairly easy before Legion.

The Deathwatch Hatchling is a reward for the guild’s superior efforts in challenge mode dungeons, so not every guild will obtain this fine pet before Legion hits. Thankfully, a lot of great folks have opened up their guilds to the pet collecting community.

Step one is to find a guild that has the pet unlocked. This thread over at Warcraftpets has a lot of good information in it on guilds that are currently accepting new players for the sole purpose of nabbing the pet. Find a guild and get yourself an invite.

You’ll likely have to create a new character on the guild’s server, which probably means you’ll start off with no gold. A fairly easy way to remedy this is to buy a pet off the auction house (or obtain one from its source if you’re patient enough) and then learn it so it is added to your collection. Log onto your new alt, cage the pet, and re-sell it on the auction house. If you aren’t able to do so, I recommend leveling your new character with two gathering professions and selling the materials. Also, if you have any pieces of Timeless or Baleful gear laying around collecting dust, the BoA pieces can be mailed to your new character and sold for decent gold. The hatchling only costs 300 gold, which is easy enough to make with a little effort.

The hatchling also requires revered reputation with your new guild. On your main character, purchase a guild tabard from a guild vendor (the kind that boosts your guild reputation gains) then mail it cross-server (or even cross-faction!) to your new alt. Bonus: you can sell that tabard when you’re done for more money.

There is also a guild raid achievement mount, but I have not seen any guilds offering it up without a hefty gold tag attached.

And lastly, if you’re still hoping to get the moose mount before it vanishes forever, check out Friendship Moose and give it a shot.

Best of luck to you guys!