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.

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.

 

Cool things I’ve found in Legion.. so far

This is just an absolute random assortment of things I’ve found fascinating in the last week:

Eavesdropping on NPCs conversations lets you see some really funny conversations

hunter-hall highmountain-mothers-meeting

Fish in the light posts in Eye of Azshara

light-post-in-eye-of-azshara

There is a person in the toilet in outside the wall of Dalaran

peeking-in-the-dal-toilet peeking-in-the-dal-toilet-1

I can actually plant the different types of herbs in the pot plant in the barber in Dalaran

dalaran-barber-shop-flower-pot

dalaran-barber-shop-flower-pot-1

The unicorn that you can get the NPC in the library room in Dalaran to spawn

unicorn-dal-library

Suramar Zoo

suramar-zoo

Zee has a gorgeous bedroom in her Order Hall

zees-order-hall-bedroom

There are so many cool things I’ve found already tucked away in various corners of the Broken Isles. It’s a really great expansion and has so much to see when out and about exploring.

 

 

Battlepets of a different sort – Pokemon Go with friends

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately with Pokemon Go and trying to catch them all. More for the cuteness factor of the pets rather than wanting to battle other people really. After talking to Cinder and Thor, who are also into catching the little monsters, we decided to meet up in the city this morning and have coffee, cupcakes and a catch up.

Where I live and work is pretty much a barren wasteland for Pokemon, so going into the city was a real eye-opener.. there were pokestops (most with lures) covering my map no matter where I looked and I managed to pick up a ton of new little guys to fill out my pokedex. I’m still a really low level but in the couple of hours we were out, I went from lvl 9 to 12 and collected a heap of pokemon I hadn’t seen.

Love the name of the nearest pokestop we were next to.

Funny Pokestop

As for those cupcakes, I think I’ll be making a special trip back in for another round. They were absolutely awesome and in the most amazing flavours including Bubblegum Marshallow, Croquembouche, Cookies n’ Cream and Hot Cocoa.

Cupcakes

The shopping centre  we met at was pretty awesome, when it was being built rather than demolish the 19th century Shot Factory which was once the tallest building in Melbourne that was on the site, the designers worked the entire factory into the middle of the centre including an enormous dome to cover it all.

Clocktower

All up it was a really fun day and awesome to catch up with two of my wow friends 🙂

 

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Taking low level alts to Draenor for the Pet Tamers

I’ve always liked to leave alts around at various Pet tamers, usually the ones that give Pet Bags like the Deadwind Pass and Winterspring Tamers, as it saves me flying from tamer to tamer to do their dailies. I also have a little Gnome priest that has spent the better part of the last 2 years stationed in Stranglethorn Vale doing the pet battle daily, as one battle will get a level 1 pet to level 7 with little chance of the lvl 1 pet dying, so a nice fast fight for xp for pet and toon.

I haven’t dropped alts off at the tamers in Draenor as the Pet Charms the bags drop were soulbound so I only visited the tamers if I happened to be near one when out and about on Zeirah. However, I noticed the other day that the charms had become account bound and that got me thinking how I could drop alts in front of Draenor tamers to do the daily pet battles as they could do the daily, get a bit of xp for the quest and send the stones off to Zeirah who could turn them in at the garrison vendor for upgrade stones.

I didn’t want to move any 90+ alts that have opened up their garrison as I like being able to do their missions daily, they bring in a nice bit of gold and the xp missions are handy and as their minions get higher ilvls and open up the higher gear missions they do missions to give 645 gear for when they hit level 100. So that meant bringing alts that are sub-90 into Draenor. I decided to try moving my level 43 rogue, Zeira down to Spires of Arak to Vesharr. I chose this tamer as he’s in a town so I figured there should be little to aggro around him and possibly  a close-by mailbox. Turns out there isn’t a mailbox in that town but the flightpath to Axefall is right next to the tamer so I could make my back to Axefall and post the charms away.

The first step in getting my toon to Draenor was actually getting to the Timeless Isle in Pandaria first to use the portal into Gorgond. A friendly mage with a portal to the Shrine took care of that. Given how low level she was I asked my bf to let me borrow his level 100 toon to fly her over to the Timeless isle and escort her through Draenor.

Once on the isle I made my way to the underwater cave, just near Stinkbraid’s pirate ship.

Timeless Isle chair portal map

In the cave there is a circle of chairs surrounding a bonfire. Sitting in a chair and clicking the Bonfire teleports you to the north-east edge of Gorgond. Having a way to get non-90s to Draenor was a genius move on Blizzards behalf.

  Timeless Isle chair portalGorgond chair portal

Getting through Gorgond and down to Spires took a bit of patience and time. I did have it in mind to stealth my way through, but stealth broke instantly and her aggro radius was huge so mobs basically fell over each other to get to her from half the zone away, she definitely needed a bodyguard to avoid a massive corpse drag through the zones.

Flipping between screens to attack the mobs and then rez my little toon was a little slow (and frustrating) so my bf kindly offered to come play his toon himself and that made the rest of the trip down to Spires much faster. I would recommend if you want to take a very low-level into Draenor, see if you can find a friend who’s willing to devote a bit of time to helping you and try to make sure they’re on a class that can rez, it’ll save so much time compared to having to run back to your corpse.

Vesharr

Putting a low-level toon in front of Vesharr was so much fun I  decided to move a second toon down to Shadowmoon Valley to Ashlei. I  figured Canji, my level 90 Alliance hunter who I don’t have plans to level any time soon,would be perfect. The higher level toon made getting through Draenor a breeze compared to the rogue and she was more than able to solo her way down to Shadowmoon.

She was able to fly herself to the isle and then I chose a different path to take which skirted most of the mobs in Gorgond and at 90 her camouflage (stealth ability) didn’t break even in aggro range so I was able to walk pretty much the whole way down through Gorgond, through Talador into Zangarra and then ride down the Taanan Channel and into Shadowmoon. Much simpler and faster!

Cliff Path in Gorgond

Stealthing in Gorgond

Canji's path

I wouldn’t mind moving one more toon over to Nagrand but it’s a much further trip than Spires and Shadowmoon, so  I’ll leave that for another day.

Draenor Tamers and low level alt viability

Vesharr – Spires of Arak.

No aggro around the Tamer as well as access to a repairs/vendors and an inn for faster logout. There’s no mailbox but the flightpath to Axefall is right there (Make sure you pick up Axefall flightpath on the way through) and you can fly to Axefall, post your charms and fly back without drawing aggro.  Not sure how this would go for Alliance characters as I don’t know the Alliance town nearby but I’m guessing it would probably be fine.

Tarr the Terrible – Nagrand

This will probably be the next tamer I try to get an alt to. High in the north of Nagrand it’s a lot longer run than to Spires but once there it looks like there should be little mobs to aggro around the tamer and there is a mailbox and vendor in the immediate area. It also means easy access to the black market auction house to see what’s listed.

Ashlei – Shadowmoon Valley

Much easier for an Alliance alt. Ashlei is fairly close to Embaari Village which gives access to vendors/mailboxes and repairs. There is a mob that pats close by but I’m don’t think even a low alt would be in aggro range. No mailbox near by for Horde.

Gargra –Frostfire Ridge

Low chance to draw aggro however no access to any mailboxes so your charms are going to be a bit difficult to post away. Fine if you want to let them accumulate for a bit though.

Taralune – Talador

Should be ok for aggro once you’re there but I couldn’t find any close by mailboxes.

Cymre – Gorgond

I don’t think I’d try this one. I stopped past her on the way through with Canji and it looks like the mobs are super close. I think they’d aggro on a low level alt pretty easily and there are no mailboxes close by.

Mobs around Cymre

Goblin Hideaway Nagrand

After finding the clumsy adventurer in Nagrand yesterday while out and about doing stables dailies, my Shammy found more hidden things in Nagrand (ok, well maybe not really hidden, just things I’ve overlooked every other time I’ve been there).

Nagrand goblin beach

It would have been amazing if that pool pony was clickable and she could have bobbed around in it for a bit.

100

level 100

Despite the queues on Barth (and pretty much everywhere really) Z hit level 100 in a pretty reasonable fashion. I had decided at the start of the expansion that I would quest my way to 100 and finish each zone in turn so I could see all the stories as I went. I rushed to 90 in MOP and it wasn’t until I went back and did loremaster months later that I got a good understanding of the zones and the npcs I had been seeing every day for months.

Hordies start in Frostfire Ridge which is quite orc heavy, it was pretty cool to see the little nomadic tribes the Orcs lived in and Frostfire Ridge is quite a pretty zone even if it is mostly just snow.

Frostfire Ridge

The quests were quite interesting, it was pretty cool to see Thrall meet his father, Durotan and his mother Draka, who is absolutely beautiful.

Draka

I decided to skip a lot of the bonus objectives after Frostfire as I didn’t want to outlevel the zones so that’s something I’ll have to go back and finish off. My favourite zone was definitely Spires of Arak. Before questing in there my impression of Arakkoa were of noisy screeching birds from Outland but the story line in this zone gave a really good insight into them and they have such  personality.

Nagrand was the last quest zone and I hit 100 about half way through but I decided to make sure I finished the quests in there. The final ending to the zone was really amazing but since there are people haven’t finished the quest yet, I’m don’t want to spoil it by revealing too much. I thought the ending though was really well done and gave really good closure to the ending of MoP. If you’ve read War Crimes, it was a great follow-up to that story.

Exploring around the top of Nagrand I came across a really beautiful Lagoon. It has a stacking debuff that is put on  you so beware if you spend too much time there, but its worth going up there for a look.

nagrand lagoon 2

Horde don’t get to quest in Shadowmoon Valley which is a real shame as this is a beautiful zone. I popped over there to find the battlepet tamer to battle and spent quite a bit of time exploring. I have plans to level an alliance alt through Draenor so that I can see the other perspective and I’m really looking forward to seeing the quests in this zone.

Shadowmoon Valley

Once you have cleared all the quests in a zone you can buy a map from Ashran that shows you all the treasures in the zone that you may have missed. Even with the icons marked on your map some can be really tricky to find with jumping puzzles to be completed.

Cinder found a really good short story,  Hellscream,  on wowhead that fills in the missing time between the end of MoP/War Crimes and where we are now. I’d definitely recommend having a quick read of it.

So now Z’s 100,  the decisions over what to do next loom. Gear, garrisons, pets, followers, there is so much to keep occupied and that’s without even thinking about alts.