Blizzard’s Backlash

Cataclysm was the first time I was disappointed by Blizzard. So many of my favourite zones were ruined by Deathwing and the new zones were not as great as Storm Peaks, Teldrassil or Shadowmoon Valley… By wanting to do too much, they had lost something.

Diablo 3 was released and it was crippled by the real money auction house. Instead of giving more love to the games that I was playing, they started creating more franchises that I didn’t care about. That’s when I’ve lost the connection I had with the company.

Their fanbase changed and I had less and less the feeling to belong in the community, only to a small part of it.

Those criticisms come from my own experience with their products. Unlike the criticisms that are turned against their behaviour as a company.

People got mad over the layoffs at Blizzard, then they were angry at them for banning a Hearthstone player who broke the rules of his contract.

First, I find it not my place to judge the behaviour of the company regarding the way they handle their management. If they need to do cuts in the staff, it’s their duty to do so.

Second, regarding the Hearthstone player, why is there a rule in the contract that says that players cannot state political opinions? Not because we should all hold hands together and sing songs, but specifically to avoid the kind of situations where you force a company to pick side, at the eventual expense of a part of their market.

Why do people get so mad? I believe that the backlash is very emotional because Blizzard build its success on creating a community of fans. They were the good guys, the geeks making games for the geeks.

I will never forget Chris Metzen’s speech during the Blizzcon 2010.

It’s not because Blizzard is now seen as a corporation instead of a bunch a cool dudes making games that there are no more cool dudes at Blizzard. They are still there and they probably have the same opinions as us, but they also know when to leave the business aside and focus on the real reason why we are all here: live epic adventures.

Diablo remains the Hack’n Slash franchise I’ve played the most in my life and is only second to World of Warcraft when it comes to the amount of hours I already spent in a game. To me, that’s what matters and that’s why I’ll continue playing Blizzard games as long as I have fun.

Tracking Quests Completion

Yesterday, while we were doing our dailies in Kul Tiras, Sisqi couldn’t remember if she had already completed a quest that pops up when you kill some specific mobs. If you ever ask yourself the same question, there is a command line to check if a specfic quest has already been completed.

/script print(IsQuestFlaggedCompleted(50897))

You only need to replace “50897” by the number of the quest, which can be found on Wowhead. Simply search for the quest, then copy the number from the url:

If it returns false, you never completed it, while true means you already did.

WoW lately

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly report, a serie of weekly posts narrating our adventures in Azeroth.

Nobelgarden edition

This week, we’ve been catching back on the main quest lines of Battle for Azeroth, we both completed the war campaign and the pride of Kul Tiras.

Jaina became such a badass!
Golthor blowing things up with Jaina…

We’ve also unlocked the Void Elves and the Lightforged Draenei allied races. We honestly thought that the Void Elves would be our favourite, since we’re not really fans of Draenei… Well, it didn’t turn out that way, helping T’paartos completing his trial was hillarious. That got us wondering: where is he now? Hopefully, we’ll cross him again…

Our new friend

Then, we embarked on an amazing quest: the Dwarf heritage armour. There’s no secret here, we’re Dwarfs fans. Having us helping to restore an ancient Dwarf armour with the help of the furnace master was a total hit. We’ve been talking about it almost every day as one of our favourite quest ever.

Visiting the old Ironforge was amazing
Sisqi in excellent company
Having us crafting our own armour was amazing!

It was also Nobelgarden and we went back to our favourite chocolate farming spot: Goldhsire. We both collected the 500 chocolates required to purchase the new toy (the Nobelgarden Heartstone) and the 5 new spring circlets. The funny thing with Nobelgarden is that we often see it as a chore that disrupts our questing, but, when we’re transformed as rabbits running amidst the chaos that is the egg hunt, we’re enjoying it very much.

You know you’re heading to Goldshire when…
250 chocolates for 5 circlets, totally worth it!
250 chocolates to hearthstone in style

Voilà, that’s all folks! More next week.

Tiragarde Sound

Until now, I’ve absolutely loved questing and levelling in BfA. Upon my arrival in Boralus, I started my adventure in Tiragarde Sound. There was an instant click with the new content, one that I hadn’t experienced in a while. I found myself stopping everywhere to admire the beauty of the landscapes and the details that Blizzard has spent so much time creating. Also, the music is mesmerizing. Every morning, I wake up with the Boralus theme song in my head, a great start for my days.

One of the first quest chains that I did lead me to the encounter with the kraken, Viq’Goth at Anglepoint Warf. I absolutely loved to take part in defending the sea gate. It reminded me of Tethyr, the kraken that attacked Theramore. It already was one of my favourite quests, imagine my surprise when I discovered the leviathan theme in this new expansion. As a huge Cthulhu fan, I was ecstatic.

I also enjoyed saving sailors from the siren songs, uncovering the betrayal of Lady Ashvane, and horseriding in the Norwington Estate,… So many great quests in this zone that are already creating fond memories. With a special mention to the side quests of The Roughnecks. They’re probably my favourite Tiragarde quests, from shaving goats, to gathering honey, and killing wendigos… I had a fun adventure which lead to the meeting of the majestic Wildhammer Dwarf, Boss Tak.

Description: With a performance like that, it’s clear you’re one of the top dogs here. Boss Tak will want to see you. He’s up north checking on one of our camps in Waning Glacier. Head up that way and give him a hand. Oh, and I don’t recommend looking him straight in the eye… or at his feet… or really anywhere near him. Best bet, close your eyes when you’re talkin’ to him. – Wow-pedia

I can’t help but chuckle at this description. What can I say? I have a certain fondness for Dwarves.

Now off to explore Drustvar and Stormsong Valley. The adventure continues…

We’re finally home

Dwarfs rule and I’ve fixed the captions, I’m so happyyyy!

After a far too long break from WoW, we have finally resubbed… Only with a few twists:

  • We’re back to the Alliance. During our time away from WoW, we’ve missed the Alliance the most, with its forests and its cosy inns. Also, Kul Tiras looks fantastic, it is perfectly on spot with our idea of fantasy;
  • After many experiments with other classes, we’ve decided to keep maining our hunters. The deciding factor is the fun. On top of the many advantages of the class, our hunters are dwarfs and, if you’d know us in real life, you’d know that we’re all about dwarfs;
  • The last one is a biggy: we want to keep away from the negativity train. While we didn’t stay away from WoW because of the negativity, we were certainly afraid to come back because of it. Honestly, the game is a total blast to us and we have so many things to do in it, that we don’t care if some parts are less fun than others. To that end, we’re trying to be more selective with the people we follow, that’s why we’ve started new Twitter accounts. Sometimes, a reset is all you need…

Oh, and our guild and blog are now called “The Sleeping Grizzly”, which is the name of the fictional tavern in our stories (you know dwarves and their taverns).

See you in Azeroth.

New rigs

After a far too long break from PC gaming, we finally decided to build two new rigs…

For the build, we didn’t go overkill on the GPU, the price difference between an RTX 2070 and a 2080 ti was 1000,00€ per computer. Since 4k PC monitors with decent refresh rates aren’t within our reach yet, we targeted a gaming resolution of 1440p.

We went for an i9 9900k, since most of the bottlenecking in WoW comes from the CPU. It is also the first time that we used an AIO watercooler (Corsair h115i pro). It is incredibly more quiet and, so far, it seems to cool down the CPU very effectively.

We departed from the black Fractal case for something fancier: the NZXT H500. It is an amazing PC case with great cable management. The size and minimalist looks make it the perfect choice for our gaming space. Our desks are both 150cm wide and we didn’t want to be encased between two black blocks. Also, for years, I trusted the reviews about Fractal cases, but I never found the define models as silent as advertised, nor was the cable management that great. Actually, the H500 is even more silent and it doesn’t even use any damping material. I must admit that the use of PWM fans and a watercooler are probably responsible for the lower noise levels.

We took a few pictures during the process:

You can find the complete part list of the build on PCpartpicker.

Congratulations to Sisqi for having participated to the assembly, she did an awesome job!

Diablo 3: The Darkening of Tristram

The anniversary event, The darkening of Tristram, has returned this year. I’ve already completed the Diablo 1 inspired dungeon on my PC, but I also wanted to run the event on my Switch. This time, I rolled a Necromancer. It was good fun exploring the labyrinth once again.

I’ve made some notes for the future since some things are easily forgotten:

When you start, make sure you start a fresh level 1 character. Run straight from the Old Ruins waypoint to the portal for The Darkening of Tristram without killing any mobs on the way. Once passed through the portal, you run straight to the Labyrinth without clicking anything. Clicking the cows, dead bodies,… will come later when you have obtained the necessary items. They are important for getting certain achievements, pets,… during the event.

The Butcher pet was the first one I got by clearing the dungeon with a fresh level 1 character solo. This will grant you the ‘An Eerie Red Glow Blurs Your Vision’ achievement and the Butcher pet at the end.

The Ogden’s Sign, and Ogden’s Brew (both banners), Red Soul Shard (legendary headslot gem), and The Butcher’s Cleaver (transmog) are easily obtainable since they are guaranteed rewards from killing bosses in the labyrinth. You clear the entire dungeon once and you have all of these for sure.

The next one is more tricky since it was bugged once again. How to get the plans for The Wirt’s Leg (transmog) and The Royal Calf (pet):

  • In Level 9 of the dungeon, you will find the Black Mushroom, click on it to obtain a Rotten Mushroom;
  • Go back to Old Tristram and find Adria’s Hut. Throw the Rotten Mushroom inside the cauldron to obtain Witch’s Brew;
  • Click the four corpses in town in this order: Farnham, Ogden, Pepin, and Griswold. The last corpse will drop the plan for Wirt’s Leg;
  • Then you can teleport back to town and teach it to the Blacksmith. You’ll find the plans under the Maces section. Now here’s where you have to pay attention since it was bugged 2 years in a row: If the plan is blue in stead of orange (legendary) don’t craft it! It costs 1 million gold to craft and a blue one (the bug) won’t do it. It has to be orange! They fixed the bug a few days later, but the damage was already done, I had lost a few million trying to craft the right Wirt’s Leg. I also had to first log into another character and then go back to my necromancer before the plan appeared legendary.
  • After you’ve crafted the legendary Wirt’s Leg, you have to salvage it so it offers up the Map of the Stars, which reads 2-1-3;
  • Go back to Adria’s Hut and click on the cow corpses in this order: middle (2), left (1), then right (3). This will open the Abandoned Farmstead portal;
  • Head through the portal and find Wirt’s Stash. Open the chest to get the Cow Pet Trinket and right-click it to earn the Royal Calf.

The Classic Demon Portrait is a reward for killing 40 unique classic monsters in the Anniversary dungeon, gaining you ‘The Protector of Tristram’ achievement. The full list of unique monsters:

  • Level 2: Rotfeast the Hungry, Shadowbite
  • Level 3: Brokenhead Bangshield, Madeye the Dead
  • Level 4: Blacklash the Burning, Gharbad the Weak, Snotspill
  • Level 5: Bloodskin Darkbow, Foulwing, Shadowcrow
  • Level 6: Bilefroth the Pit Master, Bloodgutter, Deathshade Fleshmaul
  • Level 7: Blighthorn Steelmace, Gorestone, Nightwing the Cold
  • Level 8: Baron Sludge, Firewound the Grim, Zhar the Mad
  • Level 9: Breakspine, Brokenstorm, Oozedrool
  • Level 10: Blackstorm, Goldblight of the Flame, The Flayer
  • Level 11: Bluehorn, Fangspeir
  • Level 12: Lionskull the Bent, Viletouch, Viperflame
  • Level 13: Rustweaver, Warlord of Blood, Witchmoon
  • Level 14: Graywar the Slayer, Steelskull the Hunter, Stareye the Witch
  • Level 15: The Vizier
  • Unholy Altar: Blackjade, Red Vex
  • Level 16: Sir Gorash

The Classic Angel portrait is awarded from the ‘I Sense a Soul in Search of Answers’ achievement. You can get this achievement by collecting all 7 Cultist’s Page items which are dropped by Temporal Priests. They can be found in the following locations:

  • Act I: The Weeping Hollow, Festering Woods, Cathedral levels 1, 2 and 4, Halls of Agony levels 1, 2 and 3;
  • Act II: Dahlgur Oasis, Desolate Sands;
  • Act III: Keep Depths 1, 2 and 3, Stonefort, Rakkis Crossing, Arreat Crater 1, Tower of the Damned 1, The Core of Arreat;
  • Act IV: Gardens of Hope 1, 2 and 3, Silver Spire 1 and 2, Hell Rift 1;
  • Act V: Westmarch Commons, Westmarch Heights, Paths of the Drowned, Battlefields of Eternity.

There can only be one Temporal Priest per location, which may drop duplicate pages so, be ready for several runs. They also drop while doing bounties so, you don’t necessarily need to complete this achievement with the same character you started the event with. Beware that you can’t trade these pages with a seasonal character!

I just finished the event for the second time, and I hope that everybody had as much fun as I had. Meanwhile, season 16 has started, and I’m experimenting with a new Witch Doctor build. But, more about that later!