Sep 21, 2005

Whirl of Warcraft

I've finally found some time to spend playing WoW the last two nights. I've been working on the house like a dog, and was starting to get twitchy.

Monday night, I tackled my level 52 hunter quest in Azshara - searching for the furbolg hunter trainer out in the sticks, hunting some wild stags for him, and then finally scouring the coastline for a decent spawning ground for the Wavethrasher hydras. The last phase involves killing a green dragon in Sunken Temple, so I hope to hit that with some guildies soon. Not much xp (too much searching around), but got to explore all over Azshara. Those nagas and satyrs need to spruce the place up - the place is a wreck!

Last night was the highlight. I'd finally scraped up the cash and scoured the auction house for the raw materials for my first Dawn's Edge axe, and my awesome guildie Jandari said he would have it made for me and in the mail by the time I returned to Ironforge at the close of the night!

I'm now working on gathering my quests for Blackrock Depths, so I first picked up all the easy ones (Ironforge, Kharanos, and Steamwheedle Port). Then, before heading to the Burning Steppes, I wanted to knock out the series in Searing Gorge.

I had no idea that I was going to have so much fun! I began the night soloing. The questing was a little slow - all drop quests and the mobs were pretty far apart, spawning in discrete lava pools and such. Hint: when working on The Flawless Flame, the Heart of Flame quest items only drop from the fire elementals! The Golem Oil drops from any of the golems or elementals, and can be gathered pretty quickly.

I spent a while bopping around the Cauldron area doing Forging the Shaft, even exploring the vast underground area dug into the side of the Cauldron. Really huge back there - pretty cool. Helped some folks take down an elite dwarf boss called Overseer Maltorius, too. I kept pulling aggro, since I was the highest level dps character, so really had to do some dancing to keep my hide intact! There's a huge golem down there called Obsidianas, or something like that - I need to figure out how to activate that thing so I can duke it out with him!

Finally though, the crowning jewel of the night was The Flame's Casing. It's a rare drop quest, and the enemy are these lvl 47-50 elite Twilight's Hammer cultists. I started out soloing. I could handle the mobs, but the heavily-armored ones were pretty tough to take down since the fights were so long, and my trusty nightsaber companion, Zuel, was having a hard time of it.

So, I gritted my teeth and decided to take a chance and LFG for some companions. My typical experience with a pick-up group involves a frustrating collection of adolescent jokers who play poorly, whine about treasure drops, and make the session a frustrating exercise. To my surprise, I ended up with a group of three other skilled, honorable, and fun players and we had a total blast.

My new post-1.7 talent spec (31 Survival /20 Marksman) is working out great. I'm critting so much more often, but not enough to pull too much aggro - just right. Plus, if I do get the creep's attention, I've got so a great collection of new melee-mitigation and aggro-management powers to bring to bear.

The Symbol of Ragnaros drop turned out to be very rare, and we had to wade through an army of elites to finally find one, but with such a great group, it was a blast. We also discovered a cool, virtually hidden area where an NPC gives out the Prayer to Elune quest. Being an upstanding night elf, Elune and I are tight, so I picked that up, of course! The drop for that quest is also frustratingly rare, but hang in there - you'll get it! There was even a mage handy to teleport me to Darnassus to turn in my Prayer quest.

Between the two quests, we fought a great platoon of elites, and my xp showed. I gained half a level to hit 55, and a quarter towards 56 on top - hoody hoo! Even though the drops weren't spectacular, I did earn enough cash to fund the raw materials for my second Dawn's Edge! (All I need now is four affordable Blue Sapphires, but the price has been through the roof lately.) A most excellent night, in all!

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