Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cataclysm Journal 28 - The Fire Burns.. Daily!

From the lands of fire, to the mountains above..

The battle continues where we left off. Pushing the invasion into the Firelands, fighting our way further across the fire lords plane, while defending against the counter attacks being simultaneously launched on Mt Hyjal. This, in combination with fierce hostility from members of the Horde, has put us on edge throughout the current stage in our adventure.

The abominations within the enemy ranks
With a selection of 'dailies' now available in the new areas, it was time for me to contribute to the war effort. Revolved around earning as many [Marks of the World Tree] as possible, for those urgent reinforcements, we make our start at the Molten Front. Being the good Samaritans we are, our first task had us rushing to the front line to rescue our troops from being toasted to a crisp. However this soon saw us thrown even further into the field, with the duty of thinning the elemental ranks, including their beastly 'dogs of war' (who of course stood no chance against our own - Sugardaddy). At the same time closing any portals bringing in more enemy soldiers. One challenge, which took some getting used to, was remembering that we cannot fly (leading to numerous trips to the graveyard).

Pushing back the armies of fire
After reaching a point, it was time to head back through the portal and aid the defence of Mt Hyjal. (Which acts as the secondary quest hub). Similar to the battle on the other side, we were sent to hunt incoming enemies from the surrounding area. Though rather than in a means of furthering the invasion, we were defending endless counter attacks in retaliation with Ragnoros hoping to stop us and continue his plans of destruction. Admittedly some of our efforts, alongside killing raging elementals, were seemingly less direct. Not to say unimportant of course. This involved giving the boot, quite literally punting, baby turtles, who had managed to become stuck in a tree, down into the crystal water below. Proceeded by a cartoon-like 'swooping' sound, a rather amusing (combined with guilt.. obviously) quest unfolded - [Punting Season]. We finished the days fight, with aid from a few fellow Mount Hyjal protectors, taking down some of the most elite forces among Ragnoros' forces.

WIN A TRIP ACROSS AZEROTH! 10 Gold a go! Just give this cute and cuddly Turtle across the pond and WIN!

Overall, a quite rigorous day prevailed. That with mobs proving to be tougher than the ones we encountered while leveling, especially when taking on multiple groups at once (which we're slowly improving at), and the rather uneasy feeling of being 'ganked'. In these new grounds, expect some heavy enemy horde activity (PVP). I repeat. There is a high risk that you will be killed. Unsurprisingly by those pesky rogues who like to approach out of thin air, make mince meat of you while you take down numbers of quest mobs. Though, two can play that game. [Camouflage] then... BOOM! Finish with a [Kill Shot]!

Sittin' by tha fire
After purchasing [Matoclaws Band] (Yet another epic), for a bargain I must add, from the Firelands vendor at the Molten Front, it was time to change the pace once again. Well with all the fish we had been hooking-up with lately, having fishing now as our new skill, we really built up an abundance of the stuff. Let it all burn! That's right, we took up cooking! Which quite literally went hand in hand with fishing. Learning to make a campfire we set out to cook every last bloody [Raw Bristle Whisker Catfish] that we possibly could! Getting both professions to around 150, getting achievements has never come so fast! Just in the same way fishing allows us to cast the days troubles away, cooking allows us to feast until we drop! No stopping us now!

Cooking Award

Now, time for a quick step out. Real ID and dungeon grouping is now live?! So, although in testing, this means we can now group up and tackle 5 man instances with any of our (same faction) friends, on any server (to an extent). For more information head over to the Real ID Party Discussion (WoW Forums). However this shall work out, myself and Feignheart will sure be delighted to team up with our long lost adventurers! What's your take on the new feature?!

Before wrapping up, I would just like to introduceWorld of Warcraft blogger who has slipped onto my blogroll with ease! Please welcome Nairu from - Nairu's Journal! To roleplaying and beyond. This is a gem among the many writers out there. Venture into the game through eyes rarely seen.

As always, until next time in our journey...

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- Jamin

Sure looks different from the grave

Friday, 15 July 2011

Cataclysm Journal 27 - Into the Fire and Beyond!

Flame-grilled Killin'...

Seems we have once again been drawn back to the board. Taking notice of yet another announcement, aimed at all the brave adventurers of Azeroth. Surprisingly enough to Feignheart, myself, and our trusty companion, it came from our new allies of whom we'd teamed with previously in the defence of the world tree, back in Mount Hyjal. Upon taking a closer look at the Heroes Call, standing sternly in the Stormwind Trade District, we took on our quest - [Guardians of Hyjal: Firelands Invasion]. So getting together our gear (while placing SugarDaddy, our pet, in his porta-kennel) we set forth on our next adventure. Onwards!

The meeting beneath the ever-winding roots of Nordrassil
Arriving in Mount Hyjal, we headed for briefing. However, along the way, we became sidetracked. This being - [The Call of the World Shaman]. Making our way down into the twisting entanglements of Nordrassil, we responded rather instinctively to the plee. Bear in mind, this 'plee', happened to be from Thrall, Warchief of the Horde! So on-guard we went. Upon reaching our destination, greeted with real voices, we are thrown right into a cinematic (which is always a good start). Though to save spoilers, it was very curious to say the least. In a way that left many questions begging to be answered... and a missing Warchief. This means that, without him, the healing of Azeroth cannot be undertaken, which was our reason for being called upon. Of course this meant we were now responsible for finding him, or anything of him we possibly could.

The anger of the Warchief is unleashed
Across the elemental planes we go. From air to water, earth, wind and fire, we courageously battled. In search of anything we can find. Each different stage included some interesting mechanics to keep a good flow. Eventually, we did manage to save the almighty Shaman. Returning in all his glory, and more, while presenting us with a most formidable gift - [Mantle of Doubt]. (More Epics!). Another treat, unexpectedly, was becoming exalted with The Earthen Ring, which I am sure will prove to be rather beneficial to us in the future. Such a brilliant side-storyline, as such, with absolutely fantastic voice acting throughout! Which I must add is a massive step forward for the game, top quality.

 Breaking through the portal
Now, back on track. To the briefing! Though, as we landed on our target, we were sent off almost instantly, without hesitation, to aid an attack on enemy forces to break through a portal and head into the lands of fire. Unfortunately, due to circumstances which we were unprepared for, this assault failed. It seems Ragnoros had acquired some new forces which managed to push us back putting a, temporary, halt with our invasion into the heart of his domain. We were en-tasked with a mission to gather reinforcements for another attack. Soon enough, it became apparent that we were now ready to move forward and on with our invasion. Through the gates of hell, and into.. The Firelands!

Like a suspended rock filled with all the worlds hate and fury contained in a volcanic state

With raging elementals, monstrosities of stone and a selection of fiery creatures coming at us left, right and center. We had emerged straight into the fight. Especially with the added factor that we were now unable to fly! Something to do with the extreme climate.

Upon knocking back the incoming attacks and getting a footing, we took our time to sniff around and investigate. The new zone wasn't as we had expected. In terms of structure and questing that is. Rather than quest chains leading you from location to location across the zone, we were presented with a entirely different concept. We describe it as as a progressive zone, for obvious reasons, to be explained. Firstly, the difference is that we are now following the invasion in 'real-time'. It's up to us to push the story forward. Acting as a daily quest-hub, the zone advancement is controlled by us aiding the war effort against Ragnoros. To begin we are tasked with helping to build up a base, in the form of an eventually growing split of the world tree. From then on we are left to complete quests in turn for [Marks of the World Tree]. These allow us, upon accumulation, to gather reinforcements and advance the battle and zone as a whole. What is also a big change? Rather than server performance, this is all based solely on Feignheart and myself. With our favourite game mechanic, phasing, this all becomes possible.

Taking the fight to Ragnoros on the front lines. The adventure thrives on...

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- Jamin

My little pony?!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cataclysm Journal 26!

The worlds our oyster..

Throwing in quite the mix with this one. Though first of all, jumping in the Random Dungeon Queue once again. Still on normal, as we have yet to hit the requirements for Heroic difficulties and fitting in as much practice for myself and Feignheart before jumping in at the deep end. What perils will we face first. Our fate lies in the hands of the dungeon queue. 

Throne of the Tides

BONG! Within seconds the drums had alerted us that we had a group ready for battle. So without hesitation we entered, even if our destination was still shrouded. You have discovered... The Throne of the Tides! Looks like we we're heading down beneath the sea bed and into the Abyssal Breach, of which we had touched upon previously in our adventures through Vashj'ir. Though it wasn't until now, after being left on a cliffhanger, that we had received a chance directing us into the uncharted depths.

Neptulon The Tidehunter
An underwater palace was far from what Feignheart and myself had been expecting, despite the name. Though considering the usual aesthetic presentation and desires of the Naga, it suited them perfectly. With it's long stretched hallways, leading between each chamber, and it's vibrant colours with jewel encrusted features, it really was fit for a king. Yet at the same time, it gave an unsettling feeling of mystery. Playing through this instance showed us some interesting mechanics and provided a cinematic which, as always, gets our thumbs up.

After our run through the Old God's domain, we were all warmed up and ready for more! Back in the queue we jumped. This saw us venturing from the heavenly heights of the Vortex Pinnacle, all the way down to the bottomless pits of The Stonecore. However, even though these are places we have already covered, I must say, no two runs are the same. If anything, being more prepared, they happened to be better the second time around. Also allowing more room for improvement.

Grim Batol

It wasn't before long until we were thrown into a yet undiscovered territory, to us at least. Grim Batol. Not given a moment to take in the vast mountainous structure, straight into the action we went. Cutting down packs of Twilights Hammer agents, we came up against a number of strange and malicious beings. Though what struck me as most surprising as we ventured deeper and deeper in, was the very familiar infrastructure and scenery. Almost too familiar. Ironforge! It hit me. Especially when I was to later to find out that it was previously a stronghold of the Dwarven Wildhammer Clan.

Seems we have our voices back (/roar)
Now, taking a step out from dungeons for a breather, we began looking at what we had acquired along the way. Among the various items and some rather trashy ones (to vendor), we again came across our [Justice Points] which had been accumulating. Upon closer inspection it appeared that these allowed us to purchase powerful equipment. It then dawned on us, that throughout our time in the instances, that we hadn't picked up anything for ourselves. So with Heroics just out of reach, we decided to have a sniff around for improvements to punch us up to the next level. First up; find a replacement melee weapon! Luckily enough, an acquaintance of ours managed to come up with a suggestion. Being a blacksmith, they would be able to craft us a weapon of our own. The only catch being we would have to present our own materials. This wasn't such a problem, after all the fortunes we had amassed over our journey from 1-85. Though, that wasn't to say the price of these products on the Auction House didn't sting a little. However we proudly present - [Elementium Poleaxe]. Next up; the justice points vendor. After a little hunting we found our guy. Looking through the various upgrades they had to offer, even those we still didn't have enough currency for, we soon came across an item. This time presenting - [Hornet-Sting Band] - which also so happens to be our first epic! So, in 'iLevel' speak, this means we are now geared for Heroics!

Lady Naz'jar
Though, who says preparation stopped there! Having a closer look at ourself, more so Feignheart, we had a few more tricks up our sleeve. First up, a visit to the hunter trainer. Though, this time not for skills. First of all, we rather cheaply, got our paws and hands on [Dual Talent Specialization]. This feature allows us to have two talent tree sets ups! Even though we may not yet use it to it's full potential, it's sure to come in handy at some point. This also lead us to 're-spec' entirely. I say entirely, though we remain Beast Mastery. The difference being we have optimised and adjusted ourselves for max level activities, such as dungeons and group PVE/soloing. Then, oblivious up until this point, we were shown the light. Well, as far as character customization is concerned. GLYPHS! These little beauties, which I purchased all on the Auction House, should really give us the edge on the field of battle. Still shocked that we hadn't noticed these sooner.

Anyway we are now 'decked-out', so to speak, as many of the city folk like to say, with all our upgraded and touch ups! Now it's time to take a step away from what we have been taken by. How about some fishing? One afternoon, while passing back through the Deeprun Tram on our way to the bank, we took a detour through the canals by foot. It was then that we got into conversation with a fisherman named Arnold Leland. Completely taken by his enthusiasm, we subdued to learn the art of his mystical ways. The way of the Fisherman. Besides, we needed something constructive to occupy us while we awaited deployment (in the LFD queue).

Having never taken up the profession we went out and purchased our [Fishing Pole] and bait. Lets go fishing! Right from the off, nothing could stop us! 25 Fish... 50 Fish...100 Fish.. Two Hundred and Fifty Fish later and we were STILL going! Who would have thought, this whole other game could be so fun. Or more so, relaxing! Oh how we had wished we knew about this sooner. Plus, alongside all it's many benefits I'm sure, how could we pass on seeing more potential exploration go amiss?!

Thunder Falls
So, where better to start our new skill than with a Daily Quest, that is, after having caught a [19 Pound Catfish]. This had us sent out into the forests of Elwynn, beyond the boundaries of Stormwind Keep, simply to catch a select number of a particular fish. Simple enough. We were to pass through the human town of Goldshire which, on behalf of Feignheart and myself, was totally unexpected. So much that we slowed ourselves down and had a look around, which lead us into the Inn and Blacksmith. Such a comforting feeling, home-feeling was floating in the air. With the cheery and subtle music, to the light a welcoming scenery. This gave us an idea in itself. After taking care of our little fishing quest up at Thunder Falls and continuing on, we decided while we're at it, to go and [Explore Elwynn Forest]...

The never ending forests, which create a protective layer, seem a peacefully green world away from any danger, with the long winding streams and silently still lakes that lie seemingly untouched...

After really having opened my eyes to a whole other section within this magnificent game, we have covered a number interesting hurdles. We are now 'skint' so to speak. However, we now have: [Master Riding] in which we [Broke the Sound Barrier]. Not to mention a surprise letter we received from the 'Keymaster' with some welcome gold! 

However, the fires now rage....

Before we depart, I would like to mention a site dedicated to (WoW) fishing. A absolutely Brilliant site at that! I would really recommend everyone to head over there and check it out if you have ever even thought about fish-ing, let alone have it as a profession in your spell book, to look around. What are you waiting for:

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- Jamin

REMEMBER: Fish Don't Leave Footprints!