Once More – Into The Breach

It has been a plain ridiculous amount of time since I last blogged, for which I have received plenty of well-deserved flak, but such is how matters worked out, and it was probably for the best anyways. Perhaps it would have been better if I had been a bit more persistent with the whole thing, but I simply haven’t been terribly enthused about anything WoW related (or MMO related at all, for that matter) in a while, and writing without any motivation beyond “because I should” is just horrid. On the other hand, when you have a topic which truly interests you, which gets your brain racing in a dozen different directions trying to speculate, math, or reason out the possibilities… well, in such a case, writing is easy. The hard part in such a scenario is not how to start, but when to stop, and when you find yourself in such a situation, you generally welcome it… as I do now.

What, may you ask, has finally given me this sudden impulse to ramble?

No, it wasn’t the press release from last week which detailed Blizzard’s ingenius plot to merge Farmville, Pokemon, Kung Fu Panda, and, of course, Warcraft, to concoct a product which could rival crack or nicotine in terms of addictability (which isn’t a word, but should be).  For those who follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m actually pretty pleased with how Mists of Pandaria looks and I have few, if any, complaints. My largest concern isn’t that the expansion will be awesome, but rather that subsequent patches during the expansion’s life cycle may not live up to that initial joy. As I would argue was largely the case with Cataclysm, but that’s neither here nor there.

No, I wasn’t in the first wave of MoP beta, unfortunately, although such a thing is just a matter of time.  I did do the Annual Pass immediately, in combination with my account being open since January 2005 (which is crazy to think about, but another topic for another time, perhaps), so I’m not too concerned this time around.

No, it wasn’t some shocking Death Knight revelation any of the actual beta testers (curse their souls; unconcerned I may be, but jealous and envious of those with access all the same!) discovered. DK wise, things appear pretty much as expected, from what I read, which isn’t shocking – we didn’t get any drastic changes (beyond the ones inherent with the talent reform), as most of our mechanics stayed roughly the same, and our new abilities are all pretty unambiguous in their effects, so no real surprises there. If you’re happy with your DK now, you’ll likely be even happier in MoP. We didn’t get anything likeable taken away/nerfed (in usability; numbers are rather pointless to consider at the moment), and got plenty of quality of life improvements, on top of some new toys to play with. Which isn’t to say I won’ t spend some time during beta talking about Death Knights – I almost certainly will – just that I see little to talk about as of yet, and thus will hold off till we see a bit more/things develop/I get beta access.

The reason for this entry?

Warlocks, of all things. Crazier still, it’s about the potential of Warlock tanks – beyond the rare gimmick encounter like Illidan. The very, very real potential.

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Consider In-Game – Vanilla

Due to length reasons, this post will have to be split up into three sections, one for each expansion. I could fit it all in one, I’m sure, but spreading it out will keep it from degrading in quality as I would inevitably get lost on one side point or another.

Before WoW

Surprisingly to many of my friends, my gaming history outside of WoW is almost non-existent. Prior to this game I had never played a mmorpg, I wasn’t familiar with the term shooter, and I didn’t own any of the latest and greatest console systems. In fact, aside from Age of Empires II and Warcraft III – two games which I absolutely loved, and still consider amazing for their time – I didn’t game at all. I was much more likely to have my nose in a book or be out at the movies with others, two things which I still immensely enjoy but have all too often taken a backseat to raiding.

But then, one day in Feburary ’05 (about four months after the launch of the game), a friend was talking about WoW, and I decided to give it a go to humor him. Thus it all began.

Vanilla

Not having a clue what in the world I was doing, I picked a random server – Daggerspine – and rolled a random class- warlock – of a random race – human. Having just started the Sword of Truth series at the time, I decided to name my toon Kaylan after Kahlan, a protagonist of the novels. Considering my friend decided to stop playing about two days after I started, I was left to my lone self to figure things out… and suffice is to say I can’t even began to describe how utterly clueless I was of the game.

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