I woke up the other day to see my Twitter feed buzzing with news of the Warlords of Dreanor beta starting. I told my boyfriend as soon as he woke up "I know, I got an invite" "...". The only e-mail I had from Blizzard was offering me 50% off of WoW. Way to break my heart Blizz! Thankfully a few hours later I also got an invite! I've never played in any of the expansion betas and I can't remember ever opting in for any of them besides WoD.
I started it up last night for the first time. Sadly as I'm from the EU and the only servers available at the moment are US servers I can't copy a character over.* I made a pre-made Priest, grabbed a Shadow and Disc spec, threw together enough key bindings to be able to play and headed in the same direction as everyone else! Unfortunately I was unable to hand in my first quest so I packed it in for the night after having a little run around.
There are so many excellent changes added to the interface options. The key binding windows all have their own section instead of the old mishmash which is a welcomed change. Raid graphics has it's own section. I'd have loved that with my old computer which was essentially a potato.
Logging in this morning I was able to abandon and redo my first quest and was also able to complete it. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with the beta. I've only visited a small corner of Shadowmoon Valley so far and it's incredibly beautiful. Part of me wants to not touch it and leave all of it until live but I keep doing "just one more quest". Why did I opt in if I wasn't willing to test it?
Garrisons are one of the aspects of WoD I was looking forward to the most. While there has been a lot of lag, many DC's and completely random phasing it's still been incredibly fun. I've started questing and even started my Garrison.
While it's beta it's very similar to an expansion launch and holy cow, people are ruthless! I'm one of those people who if I see someone fighting a mob right next to a vein or on top of it, I presume they're going for the vein and I'll leave it. One of the first quests requires you to click on flags next to trees. The trees are of course surrounded by mobs. As soon as you get into combat with them someone will inevitably come in and yoink your flag. Bloody scoundrals.
Did you opt in for the beta? Did you get lucky? What do you plan to do with it, explore the whole thing or just little bits, exploration?
It's been such a long time since I updated. You know whats to blame for that? Netflix.
A few months ago my Fiance and I decided to get Netflix. Unfortunately there is a huge difference in whats available in the UK compared to the US. So I've been using an addon for Chrome (Zenmate) which allows you to watch the US Netflix from the UK. Sadly while streaming from the US it completely kills everything else so I've not been able to play WoW while watching shows due to insane lag. It's fine while I'm watching UK Netflix though thankfully. So far I've watched quite a few movies, all of Lost, all of Dexter, many many documentaries and I'm part way through Breaking Bad. There's a disappointing lack of Disney on there though!
While not really playing I still didn't unsub from WoW I've still been logging in and having the odd tinker with things, keeping an eye on mailboxes and such as I tend to store things in mailboxes. I did lose a whole load of glyphs though! Thankfully I wanted out of that market so there's at least a silver lining. I had thought that during this time with not much going on I'd unsub from WoW and give Wildstar a shot. I got a weekend beta invite to Wildstar but it fell on a really busy weekend and of the little that I did play I just wasn't that into it. I plan on trying it again some time though but WoW still remains the MMO for me.
A couple of things have changed in the past few months while I haven't been around. Those of you who have followed my blog and or my Twitter feed for a while will know that I suffer from Depression, Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I changed medication around a few times which led to a few terrible weeks but everything seems to have evened out again. Due to my mental health issues I'm not incredibly active and due to my depression I haven't been taking very good care of myself physically either. Which means I've put on weight which in turn made me feel even worse. For the longest time I'd eat pretty much just what was at hand to stop being hungry for a little while (mainly crisps (chips) and chocolate) or not eat at all. Both of these options are terrible.
I've started cooking and I've fallen a bit in love with it. I'm losing weight but I'm also feeling a lot better, I'm not just eating empty calories. I've lost 26lbs so far and I'd like to lose maybe another 30.
I've been logging into WoW a bit more regularly this week it's nice to see the Gaze of the Black Price buff "Increases reputation gained with the Black Prince by 100%. Increases the chances his most hated foes will relinquish their Secrets of the Empire, Sigil of Wisdom, Sigil of Power, or Titan Runestones." I've started doing this quest on multiple characters but I've only completed it on my Priest but with the buff I've started actively collecting items on my Shaman and Hunter.
A friend who had stopped playing for a few months due to Uni has also started playing again as she has the whole summer to relax. She'll be coming to visit us in July which is awesome. We've met before so it'll be nice to see her again. Now that we're both back playing it means we'll probably start our second round of Challenge Modes soon. Though I can't decide who to do them on. It's a toss up between Shaman and Mage.
This week my group and I completed our Challenge Mode Golds. By completing Gold you automatically complete Bronze and Silver so obtain all of the rewards.
Bronze - Title. The Undaunted
Silver - Pandaren Phoenix mount. Which you can see the in the screenshot above. You can only chose one. I went with Emerald. In 6.0 if you have one mount you'll be rewarded with all of them.
Gold - Class specific armor set. Transmog only, it has no stats. Challengers Path ability in your spell book. Which allows you to teleport to the entrance of each of the challenge modes you've completed on Gold.
Completing each of the Challenge Modes on Gold in a guild group will also reward you with Thundering Serpent Hatchling pet which you can purchase from the guild vendor.
What are Challenge modes?
If you haven't yet done Challenge modes, I urge you to do them as they're incredibly fun!
Challenge Modes are timed heroic instance runs. They are however not just super fast heroics. They're heroics on steroids. Any gear over 463 will be scaled down to that level. Meaning you can't just bullshit your way through them with superior gear.
In terms of gear I didn't go out of my way to gather a BiS I had a few older pieces which I used. While your gear is scaled down gems aren't so I just went with the pieces which had the most gem slots.
Challenge mode. Disc PoV.
When you enter the instance on the Challenge Mode setting you're faced with a wall and an orb. Clicking the orb will give you a five second count down and then the wall will go down. On the right hand side of your screen you'll be given an objective.
Challenge mode. Disc PoV.
Once you begin a timer will also be added to the right hand side of your screen showing you how much time you have left to complete the instance.
The first two instances we did were Temple of the Jade Serpent and Gate of the Setting Sun which I did as Holy but then switched to Disc for the rest. They're all completable as Holy I just wanted to try them as Disc and also to help out with DPS during low damage parts.
I wouldn't say that the Challenge modes were difficult. They were challenging and a little bit stressful in parts but certainly not what I'd call hard. I was incredibly nervous going into our first one. Gate of the Setting Sun which has the bomber-man part at the very beginning, these bombs will one-two shot you. People's deaths weren't my fault but as the healer they felt like they were. We must have wiped on that first part about 12 times with me proclaiming "I'm not good enough to do these!" but once we all stopped being bad at life they went smoothly. We had quite a few wipes at the beginning of Scarlet Halls due to a bug, mobs not resetting properly. At the beginning you have to use the buckets of meat on the NPC and let the dogs chomp on him, however if he's stunned the buckets don't seem to work correctly. It took us a few tries to figure out him being stunned was causing the problem. Of course we were only going for gold and not going for realm best times so I suspect that would increase the difficulty if you were pulling more mobs, rapidly.
Bosses were easy but the trash hit like trucks wielding trucks and required ample cool down usage. Unfortunately our Tank didn't have a mic which made things a bit more interesting! Particularly the trash at the beginning of Temple of the Jade Serpent, mobs before and after the second boss in Scarlet Monastery for example. Thankfully my boyfriend is a great Paladin and helped out with some of his own cool downs.
I'm really glad we got a chance to do them before they go away and hopefully we'll start challenge modes much earlier in WoD so we get a chance to try for some more competitive times.