Not quite there…

I’ve been spending very little time on the WoD beta to be absolutely honest with you. What little time I’ve spent there have been mainly to check out the garrisons and all of the new character models and their animations.

Most of the stuff looks pretty good. Even if there’s still some work to be done in getting the faces more like their original versions. However, as I was making a clone of my human female Warlock and took her for a spin… I noticed something.

The casting animations for the human female are just… Weird. At least to me. There’s something about the way she sways her hips, and the kickback from firing spells just seems a bit odd. Maybe others like it, but I personally can’t stand looking at it. (Similar to how I can’t stand the wild flailing of the arms of the female worgen when casting.)

What do you think?

[MoP] Warlock Gear Preview

With less than two months left before Mists of Pandaria is released I wanted to have another look at the Warlock gear that will be available to us.

Dungeon Set

This is the cloth set mostly available from 5-man Heroic dungeons. There are a few items with the same looks, some are also from quest rewards or the new scenarios. It’s fairly non-descript as it’s the same for all cloth classes. Out of the colours shown so far, I personally prefer the one with purple for my Warlock. The set feels fairly boring, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to wear it for long once LFR and the raids are introduced. The items are mostly ilevel 464, but there are the odd quest reward/tailoring item that is ilevel 450.

Dungeon Set

Season 12 Arena Set

The season 12 PvP set is absolutely gorgeous. I normally don’t do PvP on my Warlock much, but I think I may have to start because I really want to get my hands on this set. There are three sets with varying colours, depending on how you earn them. Dreadful from Honor Points (battlegrounds), Malevolent from Conquest Points (arena and RBG) and Malevolent Elite from Conquest Points, but requiring a personal rating of 2200.

2-piece bonus: Reduces the cooldown of your Unending Resolve by 20 sec.
4-piece bonus: Your Twilight Ward now absorbs damage from all magical schools.

Season 12

Challenge Set

From the new challenge runs in heroic 5 man dungeons you can get the challenge set. It has no stats, but makes up for it in looks, allowing you to use them for transmogrification. I personally love this set, and it’s another one on my list of sets that I just have to get.

Challenge Armor

Tier 14

From the raids you can get the usual tier sets. There’s the ilevel 483 from LFR, ilevel 496 from normal raids and ilevel 509 from heroic raids. I think the helm looks pretty badass, and I like the overall look of the armour. My one tiny pet peeve is the little discs. For some reason, once I saw them.. they were all I could see!

2-piece bonus.
4-piece bonus.

Tier 14

On the whole, I’m really happy with all of the Warlock sets that we’ve currently seen for Mists of Pandaria. I can see my Warlock wearing any of those outfits and loving it!

What are your opinions on the Warlock sets? If you’re not a Warlock, how’s your set looking? Are you hating it or loving it?

Images from Wowhead and MMO-Champion.

Cataclysm Download Version

As I’m sure a lot of people heard during/after Blizzcon this year we will be able to pre-purchase an upgrade to Cataclysm from Blizzard directly. For me, who lives out in nowhere with no local store, this is great news. No more having to rely on an online store to ship my game in time, all I have to do is order it online and download it, and I’ll be able to play one minute past midnight on launch day.

I’ve already placed my order today as the service became available. The only thing that may be a bit annoying for some compared to buying the game on release is the fact that you pay for it today (or the day you do the online purchase) rather than on December 7th. However, the way I see it – I’d have to pay the price anyway so the date doesn’t matter so much.

To get it, all you need to do is logon to your battle.net account and where your WoW games are listed you will now see the little green arrow button that means it’s a game that can be upgraded. Clicking on it will take you through to purchase Cataclysm. If you have more than one WoW account though, make sure you pick the correct one! Also, it doesn’t look like you can upgrade more than one at a time, so if you’re planning to upgrade all of your accounts you will have to do them one by one.

Once the payment is done, all you need to do is log back in to the game and after that the upgrade will be registered and you will start downloading the data. It’s pretty much like normal patch data, downloading in the background when you’re either in-game or in the launcher. Everything should easily be downloaded by December 7th, and as the clock strikes midnight (or rather a minute past!) you can logon and start playing.

Purchase Complete

As I’ve said, I already put my order in – since I don’t want to wait for the mail delivery guy in the afternoon of the 7th! What about you guys? Are you going to a local store to pick the game up at midnight, are you ordering it from an online store or are you – like me – trying the new download feature?

Cataclysm: Worgen Females

As I think everyone knows by now (so it’s not much of a spoiler) the Worgen race is being introduced in Cataclysm. For the longest time there was no model in the game for the female but only of the male. They’re finally added her to the game and I have a few thoughts on the new race joining the Alliance.

First of all, I think it’s nice to see a more fierce and savage race join the Alliance, we could use some fresh blood and something that’s not just all-together pretty. The Worgen story is interesting and captivating (as you will notice if you play through the starting area once Cataclysm arrives).

My main quarrel with the race is the look of the female models. I know we’ve only just gotten them playable and it’s already on it’s second (or third?) incarnation. I’m glad that they’re not too pretty, but it’s a shame that every single face option has a permanent snarl on her face. From the front this isn’t visible, and from the front they almost look too pretty, but then you turn around and see them from the side and realise that they’re not really all that pretty.

But there are a few other things wrong with the models. Some they might fix, others I’m not sure if they’re actually intended.

  • There is a point in front of the female’s ears where you can see straight through her skull.
  • When viewed from the front the torso seems oddly twisted.
  • The breasts are insanely huge and seem almost too high up on the chest. If Draenei are supposed to be double Ds then Worgen must be double E or F… Seriously, it looks like they might choke on them!
  • The butt, in profile, is actually square.
  • The tummy has a very odd protruding area, kinda like she swallowed a small racoon and it’s still being digested.
  • The above two things gives her body a very weird slouch and I think that combined with their heavy breasts they’ll be prone to back problems.

I hope that they address some of these issues, but I must admit that I’m not sure they will. Don’t misunderstand me though, there are a lot of good things with the female model too. I really like their hairstyles, they’re wild and untamed, much like the Worgens are meant to be. Their animations are also pretty good, both for melee and casters. With a few adjustments, I think the Worgens could end up looking really cool (admittedly the male model is already really high on the cool factor – we just need the female model up there too).
Some photos to show what I mean below, click to enlarge.

Cataclysm: Draenei Starting Zone

Ok, this is hands down the most boring zone post-Cataclysm so far. It’s changes absolutely nothing. I’m not joking, there’s no streamlining of the quests, no new quests, no removed quests – it’s exactly the same. There is no sign of there having been a cataclysmic event in this part of the world at all.

This of course means that this will be a very short article, and hey – it’s weekend, so I think that’s fine. I could have skipped writing it I guess, but I wanted to write at least a little bit about every race’s starting zone.

So, anyway.. please say hi to the Draenei Warrior; Sachla.

Draenei Warrior

Okay, so.. Azuremyst Isle. Yep, it’s exactly the same as before. Apparently the Draenei haven’t heard of the Cataclysm yet. I don’t know if it’s because they’re supposedly part of the TBC-era and I know Outland isn’t changing – but they’re still on Azeroth and that has changed. So to be quite honest I find it a little bit odd that there’s no sign of any changes at all.

The only discernible difference in the zone is the addition of the Target Dummies that every starting zone has now.

Die, dummy, DIE!

So, what about the post-Cataclysm warrior? Well, first off I felt very weak and like I was taking a lot more damage than I’m used to – but maybe I’m just remembering my old warrior leveling days with rose-coloured goggles on. Other than that, you start at level 1 with the new ability Strike, which has a cooldown. At level 3 you get Charge, and at level 5 you get Victory Rush. Note though that Victory rush has changed and now heals you – something that I think can be very useful for a low level warrior.

Anyway, that was all the info I had on Draeneis. Enjoy your weekend!

Cataclysm: Human Starting Zone

I wanted to test the gnome zone since I know theirs have had quite a few changes, but there’s a bug which makes you unable to finish a quest at level 2 already  – and you can’t get any further quests without completing it, so for now my poor little gnome is stuck. So I’ve continued on with the other alliance races, next up being human.

In the spirit of picking the new class/race combinations I know I should have been a human hunter, but quite honestly I think the human shooting animation looks horrible so I couldn’t stand it. So therefore, please say hello to the human warlock; Démonique!

Human Warlock

As you start out as a human there are a few changes to the zone, mainly in the NPCs. There’s a stand in front of you where people can sign up to help protect the lands against Blackrock Orcs since most of the military has been sent off to war by now. Every able bodied man and woman is needed, and that’s where you come in!

King Varian Wrynn is even there holding a speech – or standing around thinking to look inspiring, I don’t know – but I couldn’t get a screenshot of him before he vanished in thin air. I guess he had more pressing things to do than to stick around and chat to a nosy warlock. Oh well.

Hai gaiz?

Since the military is off doing.. military things.. I’m not quite sure why there’s an entire troop standing outside the church doing nothing to help with the Blackrock Orcs.. but I’m sure there’s a reason. Maybe they’re learning to.. stand.. or something.

As you may have figured out, the Defias Brotherhood has left, instead the vineyard has been over-run by Blackrock Orcs. Apparently the Cataclysm made them come down for a snack of grapes. As one orc told me.. “The grapes were TASTY!” Then he died, from an immolate in the face. But at least he got to enjoy the grapes first.

'tis burning!

Before we go off and fight the orcs though we have to do the old quests (yep, they’re still there) where we start the kobold genocide that will continue through our travels of the world. We also kill some wolves, you know.. the old stuff that was there before Cataclysm and apparently still is.

Anyway, once we’re done lowering the amount of kobolds in the world we finally get to the good stuff. The woman who used to have us collect grapes now hands us a.. wait for it.. fire extinguisher! How cool is that? So we head on over to the vineyard where we get to melt some orc faces (I’m sure there was a quest for it, but I’d do it just for fun too) and put out fires. Nothing can stand up against the might of a warlock.. with water..

We also get to kill the big, bad orc that’s apparently behind this mess as well. I didn’t know they had the brains for such things, but I guess the biggest orc = the boss orc and so we kill the biggest orc and win. Easy as pie.

Take that, fire!

This actually felt like one of the quickest zones to level through, and you get a new piece of equipment from just about every other quest it feels like. So far this is the zone that for me has felt the quickest and in a way the most fun (not counting worgen of course) of the old zones. I still have gnomes to go though, and horde. so let’s see who wins in the end.

On a warlock note we of course start with the imp already at level 1 (but I think that’s already on live) and Shadowbolt as our only spell. At level 3 we get Immolate though and at level 4 Corruption. Once we hit level 5 we get Life Tap. I swear by level 5 I felt like the little powerhouse a warlock is already. I think at level 5 this is the class that has had the most abilities so far.

Oh, and get this. We get a WAND from a quest! This is awesome news for all casters. Any time I’ve leveled a caster I can’t remember getting a wand unless I made one with enchanting or was lucky enough to get one from Deadmines, so getting a wand already by level 5 felt like.. Christmas come early.

To show how much equipment was given in those first 5 levels, check out my snazzy new outfit at level 5 and compare it to the starting one. I promise you everything is new and shiny.

I look awesome, yes?

Cataclysm: Dwarf Starting Zone


In an attempt to try all of the starting zones in the new world post-cataclysm it was now time for the Dwarves. Since I’m trying the new class combinations at the same time, of course I had to pick myself a Dwarf Shaman. So, please let me introduce you to Beiara, the Stout and Proud.

Dorf

First off, like the night elf zone the dwarf starting area doesn’t physically look any different to before – however unlike the former the dwarves have some new quests whereas the night elves’ quests were virtually all the same as before. Some of the quests you will recognise from before, but there’s also some new ones since the focus of the zone has changed somewhat.

The troggs that were previously wandering around the zone rather aimlessly are now attacking the dwarves. It seems that they didn’t understand the concept of an earthquake but believes that the world shaking was the dwarves trying to attack them, so they’re not upset and doing their best to take down as many dwarves as they can. The dwarves have retreated into their base and you’re tasked to help them stave off the offenders and find supplies for the people waiting inside.

There's a war, a WAR I tell you!

Obviously, being dwarves the first thing you’re sent off to get the people in lock-down inside Anvilmar is.. eh.. beer. Cause you know, what’s an emergency without a solid drink, right? Screw provisions, at least for now, and get beer. Got it!

There’s a bug where female dwarf shamans didn’t get a Hearthstone in their bags, which was a little bit annoying – but I guess that’s what bug reports are for. The male ones did (I had to check), but whoever coded it forgot to give one to the females. How unfair..

I liked a quest where you have to get artifacts from the troggs. Mainly because it’s a little bit different to your normal kill-loot quest since the troggs get really angry when you attack them and actually throw the artifact at you. Obviously being in combat you still have to kill them (unless you wanna spend some wasted time running away), and if you kill them too quickly they won’t have time to throw them (but no worries, then you can still loot it). It was just fun to see some variation to the quest.

After that a lot of the quests are the same as before. Finding the three items for the gnome and killing trolls. It’s been more streamlined though so there’s a lot less running between the caves, the little camp and Anvilmar. The quests flow a lot better, for sure.

Once the zone is finished and you’re heading off to walk through the tunnels to Thelsamar you never get that far because the earthquakes made the tunnel collapse. Fortunately for you there’s a gnome pilot who can take you across on his helicopter! Yay!

Get me out of here!

To conclude, the dwarf zone hasn’t changed physically but has definitely changed a bit when it comes to the questing – and in my opinion for the better. The dwarf shaman feels a little bit more interesting since you now get Primal Strike at level 3, so it’s not all lightning bolts at lower level, but you can feel a bit like an enhancement shaman if you want to.

Scenic route to Thelsamar

Cataclysm: Night Elf Starting Zone

I’m working my way through all of the starting areas for every race in WoW to see how they’ve changed in Cataclysm. If you want no spoilers at all I suggest you don’t read – but I won’t be giving any major lore spoilers.

Next in line after my Worgen I had intented to start the Goblin experience, but my Goblin is stuck on a quest she can’t complete and hence I’ve had to abandon her for the time being. So I’ve skipped ahead to the Night Elves. While at it, I figured I’d try the new Night Elf class; Mage. So, here I’m introducing you to my new Night Elf Mage, Meganira.

Yes, I'm colour co-ordinated. I'm THAT awesome!

As various sites have already mentioned the introduction cinematics for the races all have a new voice over-lay with updated information, so also for the Night Elves. As you start your new Night Elf though I have to admit that Teldrassil is pretty much untouched by the cataclysm. Maybe it’s because it’s a huge tree, I don’t know – but I was still a little bit disappointed that it didn’t even seem to have lost a branch somewhere (unless I’ve completely missed it).

The biggest difference really is the fact that, you know, you can now be a Night Elf Mage.

What they have done is stream-lined the quests, which I’m a big fan of and I’m glad that they did it. There’s a lot less running back and forth to first talk to this person and that, only to finally get a quest to actually do something. Most of the quests are the same as before, though the quest givers may have changed location slightly (very slightly). The one big difference being a new quest which will award you your first 6-slot bag.

As I was playing a Mage I noticed a couple of changes to the class. First of all, Arcane Missiles is now a proc and you get it at level 3. When I got it I was a little hesitant, but it ends up being quite a bit of fun. It makes the Mage gameplay much more interactive than the old spamming of fireballs. It also introduced me to my first look of the new built-in poweraura system, and it’s pretty.

Arcane Missiles proc

Since the zone has barely changed I don’t have much to say about it, really. There did seem to be an addition of a bunch of Wounded Sentinels around the tree in the starting area, but unless I missed it there’s no explanation to why they are wounded or any quest to aid them.

They did however add a small change when you do your quest to fill a phial with water from the Moonwell. As you reach it a Shade of the Kaldorei appears and gives you a small history lesson of your race. This then continues as you reach the other Moonwells in the line of quests, which is a nice addition.

Other than that, the Night Elf experience is very much the same way it’s always been – only now with mages!

NElf with a fireball.. feels weird..

As you reach the next town, Dolanaar, you also get your first flight path. Now, I don’t know if it’s intended or a bug – but your flight path is already connected to Darnassus, Rut’Theran Village and the new town in Darkshore. Which means a lot less running. Now, another really neat thing (in my opinion) is that when you fly to Rut’Theran you actually fly all the way down the Teldrassil tree. It’s much more cool than just going through a portal!

Going down the tree.. lalalallala

Hmm.. I'm pretty sure there used to be a dock and a flight path here..

Cataclysm: Starting a Worgen

First off, my client no longer crashes every 2 minutes. Whether this is because I applied a fix or because there was a new patch, I don’t know. If you’re still having problems, you can try what I did – which basically was to uninstall the client and download the enUS version. For some reason the enGB version seems to be a lot more bugged and crash-happy than the enUS one. So if you’re running the GB version and still crashing a lot, give it a try with the US one.

Now, as I’m finally able to play a little longer than two minutes I decided to start my project of checking out every starter zone for all the races. I love the starting experience and I’m curious to see how it’s been changed. Since Worgens are new and shiny (well, hairy at least) I decided to start with them.

I’m not going to go into detail quest by quest or anything, there are plenty of other places that do that. I just want to give my general impression of each starting experience and how it seems.

So, introducing my now level 11 Worgen Hunter: Rhobin (and his precious side-kick.. eh.. pet.. Chuckles)

Rhobin the Worgen

Their zone – as I’m sure you’ve heard and seen in screenshots – is lovely and dark, filled with despair. The architecture is Victorian and the men all wear top hats (okay, not all – but a large majority!). I love the women’s looks as well though and I’d love one of their hats for my own humans.

Anyway, the whole starting experience is rather pleasant – while slightly bugged in places – and the quests are a lot more diverse than what we’re used to. It’s not all go here and kill X amount of this, but there’s quite a variety. Sure, you still get quests to kill things or pick things up.. but you also get quests where you get to ride around on a horse and piss worgens off by tossing a torch at them.. or having yourself catapulted on top of a Forsaken ship. How cool is that, really?

I liked the fact that you get a bag within the first five quests, and it even auto-equips! You get another bag before level 10 as well – so by the time you’re level 10 you actually have two extra bags already.

The atmosphere is great and it follows a pretty worked-out storyline. You start out as a non-worgen helping the town out against invaders and end up becoming one yourself. Around level 10 you will get around to the quests that teach you more about the worgen heritage and history – which is pretty interesting if you’re into the lore behind things.

Around level 6-8 you get to the areas where thing are starting to phase quite obviously. You’re in a basement turning in a quest when the world literally shakes beneath your feet and as you come back outside the ocean has swallowed up the area where you were questing just a moment ago. It’s pretty neat, and I like how the phasing works – somehow it feels like it gives more life to the story.

On the whole, I really enjoyed the Worgen experience. Compared to the old starting areas from previous expansions you can tell that the game has really come a lot further with what it can do, and also putting more work into the starting areas.

Some random thoughts after playing a Worgen:

– The racial trait isn’t 1% increased damage as was originally said, it’s 1% increased critical rating

– Their casting animation when casting Hearthstone is way too.. wobbly.. while you’re standing there casting it looks like you’re about to lose your balance

– Some re-spawn rates of mobs are over the top and you’ll suddenly find yourself over-run and killed.

– Two Forms (the worgen racial that allows you to switch back to human forms) at level 10 is kind of bugged (image in gallery)

– I’m disappointed that when you use your racial sprint you’re actually doing just that, sprinting. Would have been much more cool if they’d get down on all fours to run faster instead of just normal running.

Below is a gallery of screenshots from my Worgen experience, if you click on them you’ll see them bigger with comments 🙂

I’m in Beta!

Yep, you heard me! I was really lucky and got a Beta key. Sadly it’s on a “spare” account I have so I have to make use with pre-made characters rather than transferring my own, but hey – at least it’s Beta, right?

Since I know not everyone wants spoilers I will put posts that are about my Beta experiences with a title that starts with “Cataclysm:”, that way you know that if you don’t want any spoilers you can disregard those posts. However, I won’t be giving big lore spoilers I imagine. I’m more interested in the starting experience for the races in the new starting areas and how the land has changed. But if you wanna be certain, don’t read anything that starts with “Cataclysm:” in the title.

I only got it last night and haven’t had time to do much, but I can show you (spoiler free) what my experience is currently:

Cataclysm Beta Experience

Yep, that pretty much sums it up so far. I tried a Worgen.. managed to get to level 5 before it started giving me those error and eventually not even letting me log back in. I also tried a couple of pre-made characters. You start right outside of Stormwind when you do.. and I managed to make it to the gates before it first crashed. Got back in, got to the market square.. and now it wont’ let me back in without crashing.

Tried a few more and it just keeps crashing. I hope it will let up cause at the moment it’s maybe 1 minute game play and then 3 minutes to reboot and get back inside. Anyone else had these problems? Is there anything that can be done to – not fix it, I understand that’s not possible, but at least make it happen a little bit less.