Wednesday, 28 March 2012

WoW Wednesday

"I'll be back..."

Well here we are at the inaugural feature of WoW Wednesday a weekly post about the 100 pound gorilla in the corner of the MMORPG room, World of Warcraft.

Today I am guest writing for Merry on her blog, She Kills Monsters. Who am I? I am Merry's partner in crime and gaming, I also play MMO's. I have tried a few over the years but as the saying goes your first is always your best.

I recently thought I had finished with World or Warcraft for good, but as Merry got back into playing it for reasons described I am sure in a previous post I got to thinking about it and well started recalling the reasons I first enjoyed playing it.

One of the big things in vanilla WoW (we call it vanilla for the game as it was before any expansion additions) for me was the ability to just switch zones when I felt like it. I have tried games like Rift and while the soul system was very immersive I just felt restricted to the same on rails zones. Maybe I get bored easy, I don't know.

The other thing I like was the depth of the mechanics, now WoW is not one of the best looking games and has been eclipsed by newer more attractive games on the block. But I think one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time is the simple to pick up, but lots of depth design the game has. I do hope they don't spoil this in the next expansion "The Mists of Pandaria" but we shall see...

So I decided to resub and start over to a degree, not to the same extent as Merry. I have kept my original account, I am not quite ready to say good bye to Fei Fei hotpants yet.  Of course me being a geek I never make it simple for myself, I have decided to go pure Linux at the moment to keep my UNIX skills sharp. The reasoning can be found at my boring tech blog.

I am currently running Linux Mint with a touch of Cinnamon for extra flavour. So with a dash of Wine  the Microsoft Windows emulator for Linux type operating systems I had that gorilla up and running in no time.

Wow (pun intended) even the background downloader runs :

I decided on a Shaman for the class as I like to play hybrid classes these days, and given every WoW player and their core hound pup has rolled a Draenei (usually female) Shaman I went for what I thought would be an under represented class and gender/race combo and rolled a Dwarf female Shaman. Lets meet Kareth, a nod to my first character that rather fetching night elf hunter Reth.

Here she is just about to leave the Dwarf starting zone all freshly minted, well that was about after 20 minutes of brain off game play. I have lost count of the number of times I have done the various race starter zones but hey they don't call us altoholics for nothing. It is also helpful that I have played the Shaman class before :

Yes I am also guilty of the Draenei female Shaman thing, heh, in vanilla I had a female night elf hunter, the then joke class and race combination. Well my reasoning was lore, in Warcraft 3 all Sentinels were female due to all the men sleeping (or pretending to be Druids so they could get out of doing the chores).  Hence Reth being created as a lady night elf with green hair. I expect you will see me back here on another guest post going on and on about the lore (or storyline behind the game).

It has now been a few weeks of on and off play, it is nicer this time round as I have no focus on getting to as they say level cap. The current level cap being level 85.  I did the revamped Westfall quest lines as I have not done that yet and then popped over to Wetlands as I can't stand the Redridge zone. The main thing is I have picked up shoulders.

As Merry can probably attest, you just don't feel your character is complete until they have shoulder pads. It may be from all the time playing at max level where a lot of the time you were defined by your shoulder pads. Just ask any male Orc player during that bug where their shoulder size was reduced.

I also picked up a nice quest reward shield that I expect to save for transmorgrification later on.

One of only two with the Ironforge crest.

I have also always been a bit of an addon junkie and a terrible min maxer as they say, so I have tried to keep that to a minimum. But on a Shaman below level 30 the manual dropping of totems (one of the core defining class abilities) has always grated on me. The solution I have found that works best for me is the Opie addon. Bound to the Q key (I never strafe anyway) it allows me to quickly deploy Totems with a flick of the mouse. As a bonus you get to see my user interface or UI as it is called in pro WoW circles.

I will continue to level my baby Shaman and see how things pan out for our Panda cousins. I still do occasionally play the one that started it all on European realms, Feiyra :

Sadly that name is not unique on Armoury any more, it was for quite some time. Also for anyone wondering I do also play male characters.

World of Warcraft has been a good hobby on and off for quite a few years now. It still holds my interest due to the size of the world, the variety of the zones and the depth of game play mechanics. I expect new shiny games will come and go, and eventually I will leave Azeroth for good. But for the moment with no pressing need to raid or even level characters to maximum level I am enjoying my time in game once again.

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