Archive for the ‘General Gameplay’ Category

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A Guide to Merrymaking!

December 15, 2008

I love Christmas time.  And so, when I heard there was a title for doing all of the Winter Veil achievements, I got very excited!

I’ve gotten several of the achievements done already, and I figured I could try to write a handy guide for anyone trying for the Merrymaker title.

[Merrymaker] requires 12 other achievements to be completed.  Below, I have a list of these achievements and how to go about completing them.

[On Metzen!] Save Metzen the Reindeer.

You can pick up the quest for this from Kaymard Copperpinch outside of the Auction House in Orgrimmar, or Wulmort Jinglepocket outside the bank in Ironforge.  You’ll receive some ransom letters about Metzen, and the two locations you can find him.  One location is in Tanaris, in Lost Rigger Cove guarded by Southsea pirates (68, 41).  The other location is in Searing Gorge (70, 34).  In both locations, he is guarded by 4 mobs, with levels ranging from 44-47, so if you’re at a low level, you’ll probably want to bring help.  You just need to talk to Metzen and use the reindeer dust on him to save him.

[Scrooge] Throw a snowball at Cairne Bloodhoof during the Feast of Winter Veil. OR Throw a snowball at King Magni Bronzebeard during the Feast of Winter Veil.

If you’re looking for snowballs, there are a fewways to get them this time of year.  They can be purchased from Smokeywood Pastures vendors, engineers can craft a Snowmaster 9000, which turns water into snowballs.  You can also get free snowballs from the ground in Alterac Mountains, where you will have to spend some time looking for The Abominable Greench.  Be sure to pick up the quest [The Reason for the Season] from your Smokywood Pasture friends, which will lead you to talk to Cairne or Bronzebeard anyway.

[‘Tis the Season] During the Feast of Winter Veil, wear 3 pieces of winter clothing and eat Graccu’s Mince Meat Fruitcake.

This is probably one of the harder ones to complete, or at least the most expensive.  You’re going to need 3 pieces of winter clothing:

  • [Red Winter Hat] / [Green Winter Hat]: These drop from bosses in some regular (or heroic) WotLK instances.  The Red one is available from Grand Magus Telestra in The Nexus, and the Green one is available from Mage-Lord Urom in The Occulus.
  • [Red Winter Clothes] (Alliance) / [Green Winter Clothes] (Horde): Tailoring 250. This pattern can be picked up from the Smokywood Pastures vendors in Orgrimmar or Ironforge, but you may also receive it in the mail from completing the Metzen or Greench quests.  You may want to wait til after you’ve done those, so you can save yourself a bit of cash!  I recommend farming the mats rather than buying them in the Auction House, because prices will be very elevated right now.
  • [Winter Boots] : Leatherworking 250. Similar to the Clothes, these can be bought or received in the mail after doing the quests.

[Simply Abominable] Complete the quest to retrieve the stolen Smokywood Pastures’ stolen treats and receive a Smokywood Pastures’ Thank You.

You can pick up the quest for this from Kaymard Copperpinch outside of the Auction House in Orgrimmar, or Wulmort Jinglepocket outside the bank in Ironforge.  This sends you to Alterac Mountains, north of Hillsbrad Foothills, to locate a snowman (35, 72).  He’ll give you a quest to kill The Abominable Greench, which spawns every few minutes in the nearby area.  Unfortunately, you will probably not be the only one looking for him.  So here are some tips:
Check around the three spawn points: (30, 52), (29, 61) and (40, 73).  Which ever is least populated is probably the best place to wait.  He’ll spawn randomly at any of these locations.
Make a macro, and bind it to an easily spammable button.  Here is the one I used, and you can simply replace Arcane Shot with your own instant cast.

/target The Abominable Greench
/cast [exists] Arcane Shot

It’s good to team up with a few people, but keep in mind that if you are each waiting at different spawn points, it’s unlikely you will share the kill and all get the loot.  And don’t think you’ll be able to kite him to your friends, because everyone will attack him and kill him almost instantly.  In this case, it may be better to keep all your eggs in one basket.

[Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho’s] Use Mistletoe on the Horde “Brothers” during the Feast of Winter Veil. OR Use Mistletoe on the Alliance “Brothers” during the Feast of Winter Veil.

To get mistletoe, you need to /kiss at the Winter Revelers inside any of the inns in the major cities.  You can only do this once an hour, and they will give you Mistletoe, Handful of Snowflakes (needed for another achievement) or Fresh Holly.  This achievement is quite different for Alliance and Horde, so I’ll break it down.
Horde:  There are 3 brothers to find.  Unfortunately, it looks like you’ll have to have Cold Weather Flying to finish it.   Brother Malach can be found around (51,22) in Undercity, Durkot Wolfbrother can be found at (40,54) in Borean Tundra, and Brother Keltan is found on the floating ship in Icecrown.  The only way to get to this is by using your flying mount or taking the flight path that comes from a quest in Dalaran (which you can’t do until you’ve purchased Cold Weather Flying).  So here’s hoping you’re 77 before the end of the festival!
Alliance:   There are quite a few more people to visit, but getting to them is easier at least.  Here’s a list of locations, in an order recommended by someone on WoWhead:

  1. Brother Wilhelm – Goldshire near blacksmith (40.5, 65.2)
  2. Brother Kristoff – Stormwind Cathedral Square (45.8, 38.7)
  3. Brother Benjamin – Stormwind Cathedral, near pillars (41.1, 28.6)
  4. Brother Joshua – Stormwind Cathedral, end of corridor (38.7, 26.8)
  5. Brother Cassius – Stormwind Cathedral, inside the right room (43.3, 26.8)
  6. Brother Crowley – Stormwind Cathedral, entrance to right catacombs (41.0, 26.1)
  7. Brother Nimetz – Stranglethorn Vale, Rebel Camp (37.9, 3.6)
  8. Brother Karman – Theramore, with the practise dummies (67.3, 47.4)
  9. Brother Anton – Nijel’s Point, Desolace on the balcony of the inn(66.5, 7.8)

[He Knows If You’ve Been Naughty] Open one of the presents underneath the Winter Veil tree once they are available.

The presents aren’t available until the morning of December 25th, however, they will continue to be available until the end of the festival, January 2nd.  So you don’t have to log in Christmas day to get this.  If you still have a present from the previous year, I’ve heard you can open that and get the achievement.

[With a Little Helper from My Friends] Earn 50 honorable kills as a Little Helper from the Winter Wondervolt machine.

The Winter Wondervolt machines can be found outside of Ogrimmar and Ironforge, as well as in the centre of Dalaran.  The costume doesn’t persist through death, and bad news for Feral Druids:  It is canceled when you shape shift.  But 50 honorable kills are pretty easy to come by over 2 weeks if you just put on the costume and hop in an AV queue.  Be sure to keep an eye out for any of the race/class combinations for Let it Snow!

[Fa-la-la-la-Ogri’la] Complete the Bomb Them Again! quest while mounted on a flying reindeer during the Feast of Winter Veil.

Pretty simple if you’ve done the [Bomb Them Again!] from Ogri’la.  You’ll need to get your hands on some Preserved Holly which can be obtained from the quest to save Metzen the Reindeer, and afterward can be bought from the quest giver for 5 gold and 1 deeprock salt.  These also are not Bind on Pickup, so you can trade them.  If you haven’t done the pre-Ogri’la quests, you’ll have to do those first, they start at Mog’dorg the Wizened.  Note:  You will also need to have a real flying mount to turn this in.  Sorry again, druids!  However, you do NOT have to be on a reindeer when you actually do the quest – you just need to be on a flying reindeer when you turn it in.

[Crashin’ & Thrashin’] Gain 25 crashes with your Crashin’ Thrashin’ Racer during the Feast of Winter Veil.

When the presents under the Christmas tree are unlocked on the 25th of December, you’ll have a chance to get one of these from the gifts.  Like the Clockwork Robot of last year.  However, it’s got a very familiar look to it…

[Let It Snow] During the Feast of Winter Veil, use a Handful of Snowflakes on each of the race/class combinations listed below.

You can get Handfuls of Snowflakes by doing a /kiss to a Winter Reveler in any major inn.  There is a chance at getting Mistletoe or Fresh Holly as well, which will be useful anyway.  You can only do this once an hour, so be sure to hit the inn as often as you can to get enough!  This achievement can be completed in towns, including sanctuaries, so hang around the other faction’s side of the city if you want to watch out for some of those combinations.  You can also do this in arenas and battlegrounds, which is a bit more of a challenge!  Speaking as a Troll Hunter, I’m looking forward to having snowflakes constantly floating over my head!

[The Winter Veil Gourmet] During the Feast of Winter Veil, use your culinary expertise to produce a Gingerbread Cookie, Egg Nog and Hot Apple Cider.

This will require you to have at least a 325 cooking skill.  The three recipes are available, like any of the other holiday patterns, either by purchasing them from the Smokywood vendors or as a random quest reward in the mail.  The only mat for these that you cannot buy in your home city is Small Eggs.  For Horde, I recommend taking a quick trip to Thunder Bluff and searching around Mulgore for Swoops and Plainstriders, or to Eversong Woods to kill Dragonhawks.  You can pick up a few pretty quickly.  For Alliance, head to Darkshore where you can find a camp of Owlkin as well as Plainstriders who will drop these for you.  Please do not buy them on the Auction House.  Price gouging is not cool.  Also, note that you can’t get the achievement by just having these items or by eating/drinking them.  You need to actually craft them!  If you would like to finish the Treats for Greatfather Winter quest at the same time, you’ll need to pick up at least 6 eggs.

[A Frosty Shake] During the Feast of Winter Veil, use your Winter Veil Disguise kit to become a snowman and then dance with another snowman in Dalaran.

The Winter Veil Disguise Kit is a reward from completing the Stolen Treats quest, to kill the Abominable Greench (this will also get an achievement in itself).  It’s not a direct reward, but you will receive it in the mail shortly after completing the quest.  I’m sure there will be congregations of dancing snowmen in the Dalaran bank, that’s probably your best chance of finding another one.  You can get to Dalaran by mage portal or warlock summon if you are below level 74.

Hope this could help you on your way to becoming a Merrymaker!  Happy Winter Veil to all!

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WTB new PC!

December 12, 2008

After finishing my last exam yesterday, I wanted to spend an entire day just running heroics and getting some new gear and most importantly, practice.  So at 11 AM, we got a group together to run Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle!

It went decently, but I’ll go into more detail about that tomorrow on this week’s edition of This Week in Raiding!

Unfortunately, it seems I’ve been hit with the “ur graphix sux” bug.  My video card is lasting less and less time whenever I log in – I believe it’s overheating.  My game graphics freeze up: it’s like looking at a screenshot.  Only it tortures me by still playing the sounds fine.  I can hear myself getting attacked, but I’ve no way to defend myself.

So with that, it looks like I won’t be playing at all this weekend.  If I can conjure up some transportation, I will probably head out and try to find some upgrades for my hunk-o-junk PC.

In other news,  I spent yesterday catching up on watching some of my lectures before my exam.  And I’ve found that I can quite easily fish and pay attention to the Prof at the same time.

So yesterday was Achievement day!

I started off by finishing of my [Northrend Angler] achievement.  Then I went to the old world, and picked up [The Scavenger] and [The Fishing Diplomat].  Here’s a quick tip on that one if you’re Horde – you can just swim around to where the Stormwind Harbour is and get the achievement without ever passing the gates!  Sneaky!

Then I thought to myself… “Brajana the Salty”. Okay, it doesn’t sound good.  But at least it’s different!  So I ventured off to finish the rest of the required achievements.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of luck involved in those.  I’ve never been able to pick up Mr. Pinchy, and I have no idea how long I’d have to sit in front of that fountain to catch all those coins…

So then I thought to myself… “Chef Brajana”.  Hm.  That sounds better!  And there is a lot less luck involved in those babies.  I finished up the 1st level of [Northerend Gourmet] and in the process, got [Second that Emotion].  With my quondam luck in BC, I already had the rare recipes from the dailies, so that helped with [Outland Gourmet].

Also I did one of the most fun achievements in the game, [Critter Gitter].  Wow.  I love those Critter Bites!

My Eeevil Penguin Army!

My Eeevil Penguin Army!

Anyway, while I was well on my way to finishing off the whole thing for the title, I happened accross an interesting fact on Wowhead.  This title is NOT possible to complete at this time.

Grrr.  4 recipes are missing from the game, and you need to know 3/4 of them to get the final achievement for 45 recipes in Northrend.

I was very disappointed.  But it’s not going to stop me – they’ll fix it someday, and I want to be ready to get it when they do!

All in all, it was a productive Achievement day.  Now if only I could get in the game now to do some REAL playing…

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A Week of Crazy

December 10, 2008

Sorry for the slight lack of posts this week! Here’s the deal.

Today, I’ve got one of the scariest final exams I’ve ever had. So the last two days have been exclusively study time (except my dailies of course!) I also have a second final tomorrow, so once I get home from this one, it’s straight back to studying. Boo.

And here’s where I go all non-WoW and ranty. The transit service in my city has decided to go on strike today. Which means students like me have to find alternate means for getting to their exams, people have to take time off work, spend money on taxis, try desperately to find people with cars willing to take time out of their day to drive them around in the middle of a winter storm. They claim of course this strike isn’t about money. It’s about respect, they want more sick days and better scheduling (although they ALSO want a 10.5% pay increase). What I’d like to know, is how they expect respect when they disrupt an entire city, and hold the city as a hostage? I don’t respect that. They won’t be receiving any additional respect from me.  It’s not as if their quondam service has improved in the last several years, so why should their pay?  We have an economic crisis on our hands, and they expect to get more money.  All the while, punishing those who have nothing to do with their pay, who depend daily on them to keep their lives running.  I would like to know why transit service is not considered an essential service yet.

Anyway…

After I’m done finals on Thursday, I’ve got a full day of Heroics scheduled for Friday!  I’m going to try out some new macros and new rotations and try to post some results.

I’m also going to work on crafting some more of the Swiftarrow Set and other leatherworking pieces to replace a few more of my BC level stuffs!  Brajana wants loots!

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[Veteran of the Wrathgate]

November 28, 2008

They were all right, it IS cool.

The chain is long, and a bit interesting along the way, but when you get to the end and the post-quests, wow.  Pretty neat.

Anyway, as yesterday was my final day of classes, I took the afternoon and evening to start getting caught up on some play time, since I haven’t been on much in the last couple of weeks.  And it was great.  I got almost a level and a half yesterday!  Like I mentioned, I finished off the Wrathgate line, as well as almost all of Dragonblight.  Next stop?  Sholazar Basin!  I can’t wait.  There is not a whole lot of skinning to be had in Dragonblight, and the blood on my [Skinning Knife] is beginning to dry up.  Not cool.

I’ve got my leatherworking up a bit more though, and when I hit 77 I will likely start some leather and elemental farming so I can make some of that pretty Swiftarrow set when I hit 78.  I spent a good couple hours on Wednesday planning out my 78 upgrades, because I realized I didn’t know anything about which factions I needed to focus on or which recipes I needed to buy, but now I can approach my next couple of dings with aplomb.  I make a point to only plan my upgrades on stuff I’m sure I can get, so quest rewards, crafted items or reputation rewards, because I don’t like to depend on drops.  And it looks like Ebon Hold is my first target, with all their shinies at Revered!

Brajana – Level 76 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 413
  • First Aid: 400
  • Fishing: 381
  • Cooking: 400
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D.E.H.T.A.’s no P.I.T.A.!

November 26, 2008

Since everyone seems to be writing about the Wrathgate quest line, which I have yet to finish still… I’ve decided to post instead my thoughts on another interesting quest line in Northrend, the D.E.H.T.A.

For those who haven’t gotten through Borean Tundra, and who don’t mind some spoilers, the D.E.H.T.A. stands for “Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals”.  Essentially, it’s an anti-Nesingwary quest line.

I’ve always loved the Nesingwary quests.  I know that a lot of people hate that it’s just a grind, but as a skinner, I approached it with aplomb: There’s nothing like getting paid to grind for leather!  Wee!

But in the Borean Tundra, there is a caravan of hippies druids who aim to put an end to this dreadful torture.  Maybe you’ve been like me, been able to turn a blind eye to the mass killings caused by Nessingwary, but these druids will make you see differently.

If you’ve noticed a debuff called “Animal Blood”, this causes the D.E.H.T.A. activists to be hostile towards you if you approach them within 2 minutes of killing any beasts in the zone.

The quest line takes you through trapping Nesingwary’s trappers, freeing the most adorable and helpless baby elephants, and killing Nesingwary’s lackeys.  While maybe violence to combat violence isn’t the most ethical answer, after seeing those poor elephants, I know I’m ready to head out to Sholazar Basin and give Nessingwary a piece of my mind (shortly before I run around gleefully skinning everything!)

There is also another D.E.H.T.A. quest line led by their representative King Mrgl-Mrgl in the northern part of the Tundra who has discovered a tribe of intelligent Murlocs who you get to befriend.  The murloc tadpoles are the cutest little things you’ll ever see, and you even get to dress up in the murloc costume.  Be sure you /dance when you’re in it!

While I wasn’t a big fan of Borean Tundra in general, these quests were pretty fun and had a neat little story with them.

At least they are enough to hold me over ’til I get to do that Wrathgate line everyone’s so crazy about!

Oh!  And if you haven’t seen it, they’ve redone the Armoury!  The look has changed, and they’ve added achievements.  I was wondering when they were going to get around to that.

Brajana – Level 75 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 412
  • First Aid: 400
  • Fishing: 381
  • Cooking: 392
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Achieving the Achievements

November 21, 2008

I realized I haven’t really talked about achievements much yet.  Well, here’s my deal.  I like ’em, but I’ve found I’m not really going out of my way to get them like I thought I would.  I love the little *fa-shwing!* sound and the flash of light they come with, it gives me almost the same feeling that gaining a new level does.  But I have found that going back and running old dungeons I’ve run before, or grinding rep for reputations I don’t need anything from just isn’t as appealing to me as playing an alt or something.

Maybe this will change when I’m done school and have the time to spare to sit around and get [1000 Fish], but for now, I’m just enjoying the ones I get just by happening upon them.  Now that I’m leveling again, I am making sure I get the ones done I can while I’m working my way to 80, like the exploration ones and the loremaster ones, but these achievements are nothing more than an enchancement to the game.  I don’t feel I need to get them, but don’t mind putting in a little extra effort if I’m really close to getting one.

Speaking of achievements, a big congrats to Boostah, for getting [Realm First! Grand Master Skinning] and [Realm First! Level 80 Troll] and Ardena for getting [Realm First! Grand Master Fishing].  Great job 🙂  Boostah was so close to getting the level 80 Hunter one too.  He definitely got the [Guild First!  Level 80] achievement covered.

Brajana – Level 74 Troll Hunter

  • Skinning: 450
  • Leatherworking: 405
  • First Aid: 400
  • Fishing: 381
  • Cooking: 392
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Brajana’s Adventures in Wrath

November 17, 2008

So things have been pretty busy for me, IRL.  Wrath came out midnight on Thursday, but unfortunately I had two very large and difficult exams on Thursday, so I didn’t make it out to the midnight launch.  Instead of getting only 2 hours of sleep because I’m busy working on a Death Knight, I only got 2 hours of sleep because I was busy studying relational database design and token ring network topologies.

My original plan was to head out to EB Games and pick up my preordered copy at 2:30PM, after my second exam.  Unfortunately, I also have an extremely large final project due on Tuesday, and my group partner decided Thursday afternoon/evening was the time to work on it.  So we worked til 6:30, I managed to convince her we needed to take a dinner break so I could go pick up my game, and finally I was able to play 10PM that night.

I didn’t ge to play much Friday because I had ANOTHER exam on Saturday morning.  But I got a bunch of Fjord quests done anyway. Saturday, I had my exam at 10AM and then a couple local guildies and I had an afternoon of board games.

So my real Wrath time didn’t start until about 7PM on Saturday.  But I had all of Sunday to play, even if I shouldn’t have.

I’m sitting about 75% through level 73, with all of Howling Fjord and most of Borean Tundra finished off.  Here’s my take so far.

Howling Fjord is amazing.  I loved it there, and enjoyed all of the quests.  From the first quest on, I felt really engaged and interested in the story, and found the atmosphere beautiful.  I felt like I was just flying through the content, and there was no time that I felt like I really wanted to stop.

Borean Tundra… well, my first impressions weren’t great.  After figuring out how to navigate Warsong Keep, I get outside and am surrounded on all sides by these Nerubian creepy crawlers and everything was all grey and burnt red.  As someone who never enjoyed places like Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge, I was not very pleased.  But once I got out of the initial area, I was a little more satisfied.  Borean Tundra has some fun quests, like the D.E.H.T.A. quests and the seige tank quest, but I got very sick of swimming very quickly.

“Go swim out to these ruins.”

“Go swim out to this rift.”

Come on.

The Tuskarr are my favourite thing in the expansion so far.  They’re so cute!  They are walruses riding turtles!  And their quests are fun!  And they have a little non-combat penguin pet at exalted.  hehe!

I did actually start a Death Knight, which I wasn’t planning to do for a long time.  But I’d come up with a good name (wish I could do that with my Gorilla…) so I started him up and did about 20 minutes worth of quests.  I like the starting area, even though I haven’t seen much of it yet.

I have also now tamed a Rhino!  I wasn’t sure what to replace, but I figured… I never really used my wind serpent, and I can always go back and get a new one if I feel it’s necessary.  So I said goodbye to Sparkle, and hello to… Sparkle!  Yes, I named my Rhino after my wind serpent.  He’s fun, and I can’t wait to get him out on the AV bridge and make him punt gnomes all over the place.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  Next time I’ll talk a little bit about instancing and how that’s going.  When I leveled from 60-70 I only ran 2 instances.  Now that I have a guild to level with, I’m getting a lot more action in there.  It’s been pretty fun!