Thursday, March 27, 2008

WoW Journal - 27-March-2008

So patch 2.4 hit Europe yesterday, causing the sort of chaos that is considered normal in these cases. Most people reported easy patching, but from the three computers I patched one managed to crash during patch application, and I had to run the Blizzard repair.exe to fix the installation again. Then of course many addons refused to work any more, and the big WoW addon sites like were down. It is strange how different the game feels if you don't have your usual addons working.

Once in the game, I followed advice from guild chat and first took the relevant quest from the middle of Shattrath, before using the portal to Silvermoon and flying to the new Sunwell island north of it from there. This being the first day, the place was still in it's first phase, with only two daily quests available. One was easy, killing 5 robots and reactivating them. The other was more annoying, because you needed to collect 4 quest items, which appear to have a drop rate of about 10% from the Wretched Fiend, possibly a bit higher from the Wretched Devourers. And of course the place was swarming with players, there were more players than mobs at some areas. There was also a non-daily quest, which teleported me to the Throne of Kil'Jaeden, where I got two more daily quests. I grouped up for those with a guild group, because they were there and we had to kill some elite mobs, but as you first have to weaken the mob before killing them, that might be possible solo. The other quest there was extremely easy, because you have to charge up a summoned pet by leading it next to dying mobs, but mobs killed by other players work. After doing those quests I noticed to my annoyance that there was no teleport back to the isle, so I had to fly back to Shattrath. I saw more daily quests there, but didn't get around doing them.

Instead I joined a guild group to visit Magister's Terrace, the new 5-man dungeon. Very nice place, I think of it as a raid dungeon for 5-man groups. The first boss is a bit similar to the last boss of Steamvault. The second boss is a mini-Curator. The third boss is a mini-Moroes (or mini-Maulgar) encounter, where you have to fight a whole group of different classes. And the last boss of Magister's Terrace, Kael'Thas is a complicated encounter in several phases, which took us a couple of wipes to learn. There were some other interesting features in this dungeon: as part of the quest to kill Kael'Thas, you get to use a scryers orb, showing you a nice cut scene preview of what I presume is Sunwell Plateau. Except at character creation World of Warcraft isn't using cut scenes otherwise, and everyone in my group agreed that it was a nice addition. The other interesting thing was that to unlock heroic mode for Magister's Terrace, you have to finish the quest to kill the last boss in normal mode. Very good idea, and much more logical than unlocking it with some reputation. Not that I'm planning to do much Magister's Terrace in heroic, because even with a raid-gear equipped guild group the place wasn't trivial in normal mode, especially Kael'thas. Although beating him was more about learning the encounter and finding out where to to "swim" in gravity-free mode, and not necessarily a gear check.

Well, handing in the head of Kael'thas made me ding friendly with the Sunwell Offensive. And this morning phase 1 was already 48% complete, so there is visible progress. The most often asked question in chat was where the badge loot vendor was, but apparently he only appears in phase 3, and wasn't available yet. The Sunwell Offensive quartermaster was up already, and I could see that my priest needs revered with the Sunwell Offensive to get the recipes for the epic gems. My warrior alchemist would need exalted to get a recipe for a nice alchemist stone trinket, but grinding a reputation to exalted for 1 item seems excessive. Not sure if I am going to do that, I'll start with the priest. But with the warrior I'll be able to do the fishing daily quest, which I haven't had time for yet.

I finished the evening in Karazhan, short run from start to opera, so I'm at 138 badges now. I haven't checked the various sites what exactly the badge loot for priests is, I'll check it out directly once we reach phase 3 and the vendor is up. I'll be speeding that process along by doing lots of daily quests and Magister Terrace runs, probably in normal, for the reputation. Once I get the hang of that place, it might even be good to visit with my warrior, for loot drops.

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