Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Druid Week: Kallonika

  Kallonika is a modified form of Kalonice, a Greek name meaning Beauty's Victory. She hasn't got any stories yet.

  My first Druid was a male Worgen named Kalev (pronounced Caleb) which is a Hebrew name meaning Dog. It was a perfect name/race matchup, and I love Worgen shape-shifting forms, but I ended up being dissatisfied with all the snuffling, so I deleted it at 60, and rerolled Horde.

  When I bailed on Horde-Durotan, I rerolled on Horde-Proudmoore. I had gotten to 60 again, so I was tempted to pay for a second transfer, but I can't really afford much more than $15 a month.

  I'm leveling through BGs, which can get monotonous at lower levels, but comes with the occasional chance at achievements, like Ironman, which I picked up this evening. I'm becoming quite the flag runner. I play mostly Balance and occasionally Resto, but my focus is on using all tools available to get the job done. Glyph of the Moonbeast is very handy.

  I hit level 35 today, so I get to grind more Tailoring. I've found leveling professions to be a good motivator to leveling an alt. Level 1-90 seems like a lot, but breaking it up into chunks kinda helps a bit. In 6.0, I plan on Tailoring being one source of Enchanting mats, Blacksmithing on my Monk the other source, and between the two, I should always have access to cheap mats for enchants.

  I also intended to level Herbalism. I rarely gather, but I could in 6.0, since gathering can make a lot then, and also I want mats for myself from the start. However, since I have rerolled my Mage and Warlock to the Ally side, I'm practically limited to three characters on this side of this server. I have Alchemy/Inscription on my Pally, fully maxed and researched, I plan on having Blacksmithing and Enchanting on my Monk, so I can tap the Ore shuffle, and I need to complement those two with one more set of professions. I may have to drop Herbalism and pick up Jewelcrafting instead. This would give me all three major sources of enchanting mats (cloth, bars, gems) as well as all major raid supplying professions. I would only have to buy leg armors.

  Or I could reroll one or both of the Mage and Lock back to the Horde. Or I could level my DK bank alt and give her profs. Or I can drop Tailoring and focus on the Ore market more fully, with Mining and Jewelcrafting on my Druid. I haven't figured it out yet, and it seems a bit complicated. I know this for sure, that Alchemy/Inscription is staying, and Blacksmithing/Enchanting is too lucrative to not have. I only have to figure out how to compliment those.

  But in any case, I continue to level my Druid, alternating between pwning BG's and processing piles of cloth. I don't know what I intend to do at level cap, but it'll be 6.0 by then. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

  I don't have any transmog yet, but I'm keeping Staff of the Verdant Circle handy. I like the look of the caster leather heirlooms a lot anyway, so all I really need is a better matching 1h mace. More options will open up as I level, so I'm not worried.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Death Knight Week: Blood is Thicker

   There used to be a saying: The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. This proverb has since been changed to mean quite the opposite. Saying blood is thicker than water now implies familial ties are more important than others. This is a complete subversion and it is wrong. Shared hardships are what bind people together, not genetic happenstance (though family often has shared hardship as well). The blood we spill on the battlefield is what makes us call each other brothers and sisters, no matter what language, race, creed, or citizenship.

  Every player's Death Knight comes from one time and place. For whatever reason, we came from all races across the know world to come and prove our worth to the Lich King. We were raised by him into undeath for one purpose: to destroy, once and for all, the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn in the Plaguelands.

  There is a book in the Ebon Hold during the Starter Zone, The Death Knights of Acherus, that changes after certain quests. It is a roster with notes. In reference to the the player, it begins:

Name: <name>
Status: Alive
Comment: Needs more cowbell

  Apparently we begin with a fever. After Victory at Death's Breach!, it reads:

Name: <name>
Status: Alive
Comment: Personally responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Scarlet Crusaders. Hungers for more.

  How quickly we make a name for ourselves. After the quest The Scarlet Apocalypse, it reads:

Name: <name>
Status: Alive
Comment: Soulless killing machine. No remorse. No regrets. Has killed more Scarlet Crusaders, destroyed more lives, and caused more chaos than any death knight before <him/her>. Promoted to Scourge Commander.

  Clearly, we revel in our undeath. Finally, after An End To All Things, the book reads:

Name: <name>
Status: Alive
Comment: Scourge Commander <name> was granted the [Greathelm of the Scourge] by the Lich King for <his/her> complete and utter domination of the armies of Tirisfal and Hearthglen. There were no survivors left from <name>'s brutal attacks. Currently en route to end the Argent Dawn.

  Also when completing An End To All Things, the quest text reads:

Kneel, champion. I place this helm upon your head to complete your terrifying visage. Any that dare look upon your dark countenance will know that death comes. Let none stand so boldly against your king so as to face your merciless wrath, <name>.
There remains one final task.
<The Lich King looks west.>
Light's Hope Chapel.

  Thus ensued The Battle for Light's Hope Chapel, and make no mistake, we were Team Evil.

  We soon found that we were betrayed by the Lich King, used only as pawns to draw out Tirion Fordring. This did not go well for Team Evil.

  The end of The Light of Dawn reads:

There will be no atonement for us, <name>. We are forever damned to walk the earth as monsters. While the Lich King may have loosed his grip upon us, the specters of the past will forever haunt our memories.
We must make amends in the only way we know how: Death...
I ask you now to join me in Acherus as a Knight of the Ebon Blade. Together we will destroy the Lich King and end the Scourge.

  As veterans of this battle, every Death Knight is bonded by this defining experience. As comrades in the Knights of the Ebon Blade, we later had our revenge against the Lich King. We may now serve in your ranks, Horde or Alliance, but we are not like you.

  We are dead to you.

  We were raised into undeath by our greatest enemy. We served that enemy, for whatever reason, be it a fear of death or a lust for power. We may have then broken free, but there is no returning from the crimes we committed against Havenshire and New Avalon. Our only redemption is in battle, and in a future, permanent death.

  Consider finally the words we hear earlier in the questing experience, after A Special Surprise:

Felt good, didn't it? You're not one of them anymore, <name>. You're Scourge. You're one of us. Forever...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Death Knight Week: Friends

  I joined Eutopia on Ally-Durotan sometime while leveling up my first character, and mostly kept to myself, busy questing. I got into raiding shortly after hitting the cap, and after some catch-up heroics and frost badge grinding, I got into the ICC group.

  Rhodanna was our Death Knight tank, and was a great raid leader, I think. I don't actually remember who the raid leader was. Whoever it was officially, Rho was just bossy enough on vent to push us through content. She also had a voice that we unanimously agreed would be perfect for a sex-line operator. Even my roommate was like "Damn! That's a sexy voice!" when he first heard her.

  I still mostly kept to myself unless it came to Hunter talk. Whenever I'd go on about some subtle detail of Huntering, she'd say she was going to get me a Hunter channel, which I think was a polite way of telling me to STFU, we're raiding. That's where the tagline of this blog comes from, as it was first titled The Hunter Channel, but I renamed it to reflect my terminal altitis.

  We got to 11/12 on 10 man before Cata dropped (we started late), and the team drifted apart, with some, including Rho, going to other games. I regret not leveling my own Death Knight sooner and learning tanking from her.


  About 6 months into Cata, I finally bit the bullet and left Eutopia (I'm loyal to a fault). It was only a bit of guild hopping before landing in Ephemera. At first I was content to just do my own thing, pugging whenever possible, but soon I got into the Rated Battleground team on my Priest, and sometimes my Hunter.

  Our Death Knight FC was Swadeleeii. We often referred to Swade as a raid boss. I was more often on the Offense, so most of my efforts were towards group healing, spot healing, a whole lot of dispels and getting peeled off Rogues. Whenever we would turtle, though, I found healing him was almost an after-thought. He pretty much never died. Yeah, DK's were so OP in 4.3, but this guy took and ran with it. Literally, that was his job. Get it? Yeahh....

  These guys were a lot of fun, but the team didn't stick through MoP, though. I was just as hesitant to leave Ephemera as I was to leave Eutopia, but the writing was on the wall soon after the patch dropped.


  In MoP,  I tried different raid groups, both Horde and Ally Durotan, but Holy Bullcrap (I'm a Tauren Pally, get it? OK, stopping now.), people are dense when it comes to Pally tank stats. I couldn't stay in a group a month before someone would tell me to "Stop gearing for DPS and reforge for avoidance."

  I rolled a test character on Proudmoore and played a bit with Taint, a.k.a., the gay guild, a.k.a., the biggest guild in WoW. I transferred my Pally over to Proudmoore mostly because I didn't want to just faction change, since I have a lot of alts on Ally Durotan already. I wanted to broaden my WoW-social horizons. I did not expect to continue raiding on my Pally.

  I did pug a bit though, since I was geared enough after all, and I was lucky enough to join Egalitarian Misanthropes. What a name, that one. I certainly was ready to hate everybody equally at that point. Kilhara is the Death Knight Main Tank of our group, and much more experienced raider and tank than I am. Though we haven't gotten too deep into details in conversation yet, just watching the way she moves while tanking is enough of a learning opportunity. My movement can always use improvement, i.e., no butt-tanking 5 adds.

  She's good-natured, but also a strict enough task-mistress to push us through content. She reminds me a lot of Rho in that respect. I'm still new to the team, only been there a month, but I've learned people's names and have even chatted a bit after raids. I credit her with setting the tone on vent that allows team building to take place. We're all looking forward to killing Garrosh.

  We may have to have a conversation, though, about my current aversion to avoidance, in favor of Hit, Haste and Expertise. She's under the impression that "They're nerfing the shit out of that." They're not. How this goes down will be the final test of my compatibility with this group. I expect we'll be able to make a team-building experience out of it.

  But hey, at least she lets me stack Stamina. I'm at 937k health raid buffed, 1.03m with Shammy buff. It gets me kicked from LFR's sometimes.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Death Knight Week: Kalmali

  I'm doing Alt Appreciation along with Lae and others. It's about that time of the expansion cycle where this kind of blogging is fun filler, after the mid raid and before the last, little-to-no information on 6.0 (The Dark Below?). I'll be doing several posts a week, which is so much more than I'm used to, but this theme brings together a few things I've been wanting to post about. I'll post first about my own character of the class of the week. Second, I may post about other players of that class that I remember fondly, that I'm playing with now, or that write blogs that I follow. Third, I'll post my perspective on the class lore. Finally, I'll also post about each race option of that class, addressing lore and racial abilities both, as well as races that are not an option for that class and why I think they should or should not be allowed. *edit* Too much, maybe another time.

  It's an 11 week project, naturally, so it'll be interspersed with Siege of Ogrimmar commentary and 5.4 gold making. 3 solid months of posting incoming.

   Kalmali is a Sanskrit name meaning "dispeller of darkness." I chose the name not based on what a Death Knight might be named, but rather what any young Dwarf might be named, especially one destined, presumably, to serve the Church of the Holy Light. As a servant of the Lich King, the name was a bitter irony. As a Knight of the Ebon Blade, it is a more subversive irony, as well as an oath of revenge.

  That's about as much RP as I do, just a good name and a bit of story.

  My Death knight went through a few iterations in Wrath. I knew I wanted to tank, so I first tried playing a Night Elf, but no, I just will not play an elf. I tried Human, but I don't like the male Human model, and I already had my female Human Priest. I tried another Dwarf, and it was perfect.

  I capped January of 2012, but I didn't get into tanking raids until 4.3 where I did a couple of Firelands runs, a couple of DS half-runs, then a whole lot of LFR. I did the occasional LFR run as Unholy and I tried out Frost in 5 mans, but mostly I stuck with Blood.

  In Mists, I've been occasionally tanking in LFR, and tried a few alt runs on normal mode. When the tank/raid leader of my main raid group took an unexpected break, I stepped in and started gearing up for normal modes, but after he came back just as unexpectedly, I quit that group. Now my DK is just a JC/Mining alt, making gold.

  DK is one of the two classes I've only played one spec of, for the most part, the other being Monk. I occasionally dabble in the other specs, but mostly I just like to tank. Since I don't anticipate raiding normal modes anymore in Mists on my DK, I'm probably still going to be sticking with Blood. With the exception of Lao-Chin's, which is still BiS upgraded twice, all my tank gear is 502+, so I'll be tanking some 5.4 LFR for sure.

  My transmog is the Overlord's set with the Field Plate Helmet substituted. I like having a functional look I might wear in real life, with no huge spikes smacking into the side of my head, no shoulders that would break my clavicle, ect. My current weapon is Bo-Ris, which makes me happy that I can use my Legend's Glaive for transmog. Strength polearms FTW! Though other weapon types restrictions have been loosened, I like to stay with the weapon type I have equipped. On standby I have Darkmoon Executioner for 2h axe, Royal Mallet for 2h mace (very Dwarvish!), and Archaic Defender for 2h sword.