BFA – Alliance levelling

Zee’s journey to 120 was pretty fractured because Talarial hitting 120 first meant  she had all the playtime running dgns and doing world quests for rep most nights leaving little time to level but Zee finally got there.

While the Alliance story was quite enjoyable, overall it certainly didn’t have the impact on me that the Horde side did and felt almost underwhelming in comparison.

On Horde side the events were on a global scale with threats of Old Gods and sneaky dangerous deals on the side with powerful forces. The final cut scene for Horde had me on the edge of my seat impatient for the patches to roll out so I could see the effect that the events would have on the world. In contrast the  Alliance side flet like it wss very small scale and localised.. There were references to Azshara and her interference which could have been presented as a major event but it seemed to just be brushed over and was quite subtle.

Onto the actual levelling though. I started with Tiragarde Sound as I figured it would be a good  place to start helping the people of Kul Tiras and gain their trust for the Alliance.  I kept warmode off because there was way too many Horde running around doing their world quests by the time I started questing. Between being very rested and the extra exp for picking flowers along the way, I was levelling way faster than my priest anyway.

I went to Drustvar next, solely because I love the  dark witchy zone and I didn’t want to hit 120 during it and interrupt the levelling questing flow. This zone was amazingly good and pretty dark for a WoW zone.

Witches popping around the place were the stereotypical old hags mostly.

But I really loved the Wicker constructs.  I was overjoyed to find I could assemble a wicker pup of my very own.

Abby Lewis is one creepy little human. She genuinely seemed worried for her cat’s wellbeing until she sacrificed him for a nasty tea party.

I also found this really cool portrait in Drustvar. If you stay and look at it long enough, a skull appears under the face, and then vanishes again. Things like that being added into WoW are really quite cool.

Around the 117 mark the scaling started to take effect and in  feral I was getting my butt kicked. I found it faster to go into tank spec around this level. A neat trick I found that lasted right up to 120 was to attack a mob a level 110-112 had started on as it seemed to stay scaled to their level not mine.

I went to Stormsong last, and reached 120 on the second story chapter. This zone was the most fragmented for me because I did take a break to go farm world quests for a few nights after hitting 120 and then came back to levelling once I’d done enough quests to get better gear. I was pretty unimpressed with the Brendam village quest hub where the Horde attacks. Horde had nothing in their quest line to suggest we invaded Ally lands and its feels like an artificial “lets keep the Alliance hating the Horde” interjection than actually really necessary to the story line.

Stormsong was a mix of folksy helpful neighbour quests, collect the wood, gather the flour and eat the cookies!

And right at the end a teaser that Azshara is out and about meddling with the sailors and fleet of the Kul Tiran.

Overall, while I enjoyed levelling Alliance to see the story, it really didn’t leave the impression on me that the Horde side did. The zones are gorgeous with the little houses and farming hamlets in the hills but I don’t feel that’s enough to make up for the relatively bland narrative.

Looking in from both sides, it feels like two completely different world views is at play. Horde are facing threats that are going to rock Azeroth to her very core and Alliance are milking goats and shearing sheep.

I went onto finish the final scenario to find and reunite Jaina with her mother. I’m glad she wasnt fully forgotten about because after coming to Boralus and the inital scenario with her she’s pretty much not mentioned again. Out of sight out of mind I guess.

I’m sounding incredibly negative about the whole Alliance side I know, and the Jaina ending didn’t do much to change my mind. It was touching and well done seeing Jaina finally face  her demons and her mother forgive her, but come on, this is the woman that’s touted as one of the strongest mages in history. It feels lacking to relegate her to the role of poor damsel that needs rescuing. I would personally have like to see us rescue her earlier and get her out and kicking butt with us similar to how Princess Talanji plays a large role for the Horde.

All up though, the Alliance lands are gorgeous and the questing was fun. I’m glad I could see both sides and now its time to wait for the next patch to bring out more story!

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Tucker’s Toys in Boralus

Tucker’s Toys in Boralus is a tiny little gem of a toy store with 2 little details that make it a great place to visit and explore.

The first reason is on the top floor where a little Clockwork Rocket Bot is wandering around. If you bring out your pet Rocket Bot, you can spark a Bot war.

Most of the time, the shop Rocket Bot won the fight, but a few times both Bots knocked themselves out at the same time.

The second reason is to watch a really cute scene play out. I noticed a Kul Tiran lady come in and load up her arms with a couple of soft toys and head out of the shop.  

I decided to walk with her for a bit to see where she was taking her new toys, though I was fully expecting her to probably despawn not too far from the shop.

I was really surprised when instead of vanishing, she entered a house and climbed the stairs to the next level.

Walking over to the bed, she paused by the edge, and then really quickly her arms emptied…

And the toys appeared on the bed!

This was a really fun to watch play out and it’s sparked my curiosity about the other citizens of Boralus. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any other NPCs that are out and about with a purpose.

Cranky Chickens of Stormsong Valley

I was out questing for the citizens of Stormsong Valley last night and I accidentally managed to click on one of the Cranky Chickens in the farmyard.

They’re called cranky for a good reason, after the chicken flew across the yard, she squawked and roused the entire flock against me in revenge.

That is one flock of Cranky Chickens all right.

Stromgarde rebuilt

I was directed to head up to Arathi Highlands last night to go help out our forces. Once there, I was sent by a little goblin to go scout a few places, but to be honest I wasn’t paying him much attention at all as I was completely captivated by a rebuilt Stromgarde.

I’ve read Before the Storm which has a few major parts take place in the area and noticed all the pets and toys in my journal that come from Arathi, so I knew that it would become a major hub of this expansion but I still wasn’t prepared for the scale of the rebuild.

Before

After

I spent a long time on my Blood Elf exploring around the place. The aggro radius on the guards and civilians was very low so I could get quite close. Not sure if that was intended as Blizz knew there’d be lots of curious Horde tourists or just luck, but it meant I could poke around quite well.

 

I was really pleased to see the one guard that I got a bit too close to, was decked out in the traditional red of Stromgarde rather than Stormwind colours.

However, I wasn’t quite expecting the mixed feelings I had about the rebuild. Arathi is one of my favourite zones and Stromgarde is so imposing and beautiful even in ruins  that I’ve longed to see it rebuilt.  But  it actually happening with very little in-game participation feels like the history has just been wiped over.

When I was reading Before the Storm where there is a great deal of interaction with the Keep and surrounding area, the first reference to Stromgarde is when Stormwind forces stroll in to a fully functional intact fortress.There’s no mention of the ruins it is in game; broken down and filled with Syndicate members and enemies and no mention it was rebuilt, it was just there intact again.

I was sort of hoping there might be some in-game reference to Stormwind forces heading up and rebuilding, not just log into a fully re-built keep in place. I am coming from a Horde perspective so maybe I’m overlooking some Alliance quests, but I checked with a couple of Ally friends and they didn’t mention any quests or references to Stromgarde being rebuilt in game? On Horde side, apart from a few mission table quests that reference the zone in their title, there was nothing about the new Horde encampment right out the front either.

It really feels like so much of the lore/story is placed outside the game into books or not referenced at all before the world is changed without comment or a nod to what needed to happen to get to where we are now.

I’m thinking Zidormi will have to be placed in the area, or the people trying to farm Syndicate rep for the Insane title are going to have a difficult time.

Even with my mixed feelings, i am really looking forward to taking my ally toon up there for a really good look around without the risk of cranky guards.

Kermit and Miss Piggy

Well actually it’s Kremit and Miggy but we know who it really is meant to be.

I was out doing world quests last night when Hip called me down to Nazmir to come see the rainbow he had found. When you click the guitar next to Kremit, it triggers the rainbow to show. I spent a ridiculous amount of time clicking the guitar each time the rainbow faded to bring it back.

I don’t like the muppets in general but I do really like Kermit and Miss Piggy. I have a Kermit the Frog t-shirt that gets worn to death and I had the cutest Miss Piggy doll when I was little, I wonder what happened to that?

I’m guessing this is a reference to Kermit’s “Rainbow Connection” song.

I didn’t have my map open at the time to pull out the coordinates but if you fly into Gloom Hollow and run south you should be able to come across them.

Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge Topic 37: First Impressions of BFA in pictures

Cinder and I have opened up our shared blog topic challenge for everyone to join in on. The more the merrier! To celebrate exploring a brand new expansion our topic this time is to share the screenshots we’ve taken in BFA so far. We said 5, but to be honest sticking to just 5 is near impossible, so I’ve gone over a bit a lot.

I’ve been playing as both Horde and Alliance and both zones are just so gorgeous. I think I’ve got a small bias towards the scenery and zones in Kul Tiras over Zandalar, but pretty much every step I take no matter what zone I’m in is just simply gorgeous and picture worthy.

Zuldazar is a gorgeous ancient golden city full of tropical rainforest and waterfalls. I adore waterfalls in real life, so this city just feels like a tropical haven.

Deserted beaches in Nazmir are beautiful and spooky.

Moving from the tropics of Zandalar up into Kul Tiras makes me feel like I should be transmogging into winter clothes.

Next to waterfalls, rainbows are one of my favourite natural phenomena and Tiragarde Sound gives me both.

The skies are simply stunning in every zone.

This was the cutest reference to come across.

The details are so well done, the spoons in a little house in a fishing village are fish-shaped!

I’ve collected Honey Bee battle pets and I’ve seen Hunters with Bee pets, I’m really hoping there’s a Bee mount hiding somewhere in this expansion too.

This expansion really brings the children into the scene.

This was a gorgeous tea party to stumble across near the maze in Boralus. The human girl is holding an adorable patient cat in her arms.     

Even ducking underwater gives some gorgeous views.

This is one very beautiful expansion. There’s a lot of exploring yet to be done and I can already see my screenshot folder filling up after only a fortnight.

 

Cathedral of the Eternal Night Achievements

Cathedral of the Eternal Night  is the new dungeon that came out with Patch 7.2 today and you can’t queue or walk into it until you  have unlocked the Broken Shore world quests and completed all 4 world quests that were initially up and then you get a quest to go in and kill the last boss.

After raid tonight a few of us decided to go in and complete the 3 achievements that are in there on mythic difficulty. There were no guides on wowhead so we had to work out the achievements ourselves. It was a really fun run as we ended up taking Naz and I, and we both decided to stay in resto spec, Impurityx and Rix as bear tanks, and Overpowered came on his DK. It actually worked out really well having Naz and I both healing because we had to drag the fights out while we worked out the achs and having 5 people with brez’s was just awesome.

The first achievement is Boom Bloom, where you have to defeat Agronox after fulminating 4 budding flowers in the Cathedral of Eternal Night on Mythic difficulty. We worked out there were small budding blooms around the room and when we were targeted by the fulminating lashers, we had to run on the budd and let the lasher detonate on you. It was actually a crap ton of damage that the explosions put out. We messed it up the first time and just had the lasher detonate on the actual flowers that were around. Luckily we could run out after we finished the other 2 and reset it for another try.

The second achievement was the most fun and it was a Steamy Romance Saga. The ach here is to defeat Thrashbite the Scornful after all party members have read the entire Steamy Romance saga. There were 4 bookcases around the bosses room and he randomly chooses a person to charge. That person needs to hide behind the bookcase so the bosses charge destroys the bookcase and one of the 4 novels needed to be read will fall to the ground. They’re numbered 1 to 4 and every party member has to all read them in order to get the totally tantalized buff and then you can kill the boss.

The last achievement was to defeat Mephistroth, the end boss, after blocking 20 Shadow Blasts with the Aegis of Aggramar on Mythic difficulty.  Rix took the shield here and intercepted 20 of the shadow balls the boss threw out from random places around the room.  

Because we ran through it so quickly with the main aim of being in there to work out the achievements, I really didn’t take any time to look around the dungeon. I can’t wait to go back in there and just sightsee because from what I did see, it looked really awesome.

The Tangerine Traveler

I was in Dalaran over the weekend when Hip asked me had I found Pepe yet as he has come across him earlier that day. I hadn’t had any luck with spotting him yet,  so Hip popped up to Dalaran to show me where Pepe had been for him and as he was running past the pet shop Pepe was casually sitting on the bench out the front.

Hip pulled me into a group because we were apparently in different versions of Dalaran and there he was! My very own Steampunk Pepe.

pepe-2

pepe

I’m a huge fan of Steampunk so this Pepe is far and away my favourite one of all the different dress ups that he can appear in.

Funnily enough as we were making our way to the flightpath, there he was again! I can’t believe I haven’t seen him before just to see him twice in a few minutes.

pepe-1

Have you had any luck finding Steampunk Pepe yet?

 

Going up?

All my toons usually get the Going Down achievement fairly early into their lifetime. Generally as a result of me falling off something by mistake.

So I absoutely love that Z picked up the Going Up achievement just to even it out.

going-up

Once you’ve climbed to the top of the tower inside, you can hop onto a ledge and make your way outside to some gorgeous views.

nashals-watch

stormhiem-hills wowscrnshot_091016_180912

Exploring Karazhan Crypts

Spectral sight

Demon hunters are hands down the most fun class to explore on. Their double jump, glide and fel rush means they are able to get into or on top of things and pop their heads  into places that other classes might have a bit of difficulty with.

I happened to be passing by Karazhan with Twice last night and we thought we’d have a bit of a poke around the ruins of Karazhan to see if anything has been changed in the prelude to Legion.

Karazhan holds one of the zones that is most talked about and hardly ever seen as it used to require exploits to get into. But now, with the pre-patch for Legion, the entrance into Karazhan Crypts has been changed.

If you go down on a non-demon hunter or a toon that hasn’t done the Broken Shore quest lines, you’re still greeted with the closed metal portcullis.

Karazhan Crypsts 10

But after you’ve done the Broke Shore quests or are on  a demon hunter, the metal gate is open and you’re faced with a wooden gate. This  is no barrier to a demon hunter with double jump.

Karazhan Crypsts 1

Once over the gate, you can explore your way around some really dark and creepy places.

We made one of the rooms into a demon hunter only game and tried to see if we could jump around the room without touching the ground between the tombstones

The changes to Karazhan for toons that have done the broken shore quests, or able to skip them entirely like demon hunters is really exciting. We’ve been told that Karazhan will be re-used in Legion, so I wonder if the crypts beyond the gate will make an appearance. It’s a pretty dark place, so I really wonder if it will be open to the general public as it is now or if there’ll be further changes before Legion is live.