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.

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.

Our beta experiments

Each time a new expansion is about to hit, we ask ourselves the same question: “should we change our main character?”.

It implies that we aren’t happy with our actual mains… To be honest, we haven’t been happy with the Hunter in a long time. There are some great things about it, but the gameplay is no longer one of them.

Therefore, we’re always trying other classes in the hope to find a replacement.

We’ve tried many classes lately, both on live and beta servers, and the pattern has been the same for all of them: discovery – excitement – disappointment. For example, we would try a destruction warlock, get comfortable with it, reach max level, have fun completing quests, go in a dungeon and, almost directly, get bored with it.

After a few weeks hurting ourselves, we’ve finally found the right fit and, guess what, it’s the same class for both of us!

For Gamrok, the problem didn’t come from the class but from the role. He just doesn’t enjoy DPSing in dungeons… Healer was where the fun was when he started to play, 14 years ago, and it still is today.

For Sisqi, the problem was that no other class could bring her as much fun as the Moonkin. Eventhough she found the Paladin and the Warlock interesting, the Druid is what makes her feel the most comfortable in dungeons. Nothing like a dashing cat to catch back the group, especially those Demon Hunters.

As for the faction, no matter how beautiful Kul Tiras can be, and no matter how crazy Sylvanas can go, we’ll stay faithful to our faction: For the Horde!

TLDR: We’ll switch mains in BFA but not for a class we’ve never played before, our druids will finally have the place they deserve.

Now, off to complete those last achievements before 8.0 is realeased.

Insane in the Membrane

After many Sundays (and when we say many, we mean many) spent killing Goblins, Pirates and Murlocs, we finally made it, we’ve lost our sanity (what little we had)!

Gamrok

Even if I’m used to grind, the last part of the achievement Insane in the Membrane took it to another level. Pickpocketing thousands of Murlocs on the Isle of Quel’Danas really took a piece of my sanity away.

I remember that Sunday afternoon when Sisqi and I ventured to Booty Bay to see how hard it was to kill the guards… I don’t know how many hundreds of hours we’ve spent working on that title since then, but one thing is certain, I’ll wear that title until my last day in WoW.

Below is the video of when I completed the achievement, I wanted to make sure I’d never forget that moment.

Sisqi

I remember how it all started, a few years ago, with killing thousands of Goblin guards in Booty Bay. It was quite the massacre and, for a long time, we couldn’t enter any Goblin outpost without being attacked by the green little fellows.

When I got exalted with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, I knew that there was no way back, I just had to get the title “The Insane”. I think that this was my greatest ambition throughout the entire game and, yesterday, we finally made it.

I think that Blizzard knew exactly what they were doing when they chose the name of this achievement. Pickpocketing Murlocs for 34 hours (yes, 34! I’ve kept track of time) took grinding to another level. I think that you must, indeed, be insane in the membrane to be able to complete it.

It’s by far my most favourite achievement in WoW, and I’ll be wearing my new title with pride until the end of time.

A look back at Legion

At this point, we can safely say that we’ve seen Legion in its final state. So, why not having a look back at all these things that kept us busy during the last two years. This is not a review, just a list of “we did/didn’t enjoy”.

General design of the zones

The Brutes: From Stormheim to Argus, this expansion was gorgeous. Of course, we have our preferences, like High Mountain and Mac’Aree, but all zones were fantastic to level and to quest in.

World quests

The Brutes: We’ve always been fans of daily quests. It’s a nice system that keeps you busy and gives you the feeling to work toward an aim, mostly the reputation with a faction. I remember, in MOP, Sisqi and I were thinking that it would be nice if they could find a system to keep our interest in the dailies beyond the exalted status and, boom, they’ve made it with the emissary caches and the random rewards they contain.

Class fantasy

The Brutes: To us, one of the best things of this expansion. We wish we had the time to complete all the class halls. We’re actually sad that it won’t continue in BFA. We enjoyed every aspect of it, from the halls to the special mounts and the amazing quest lines.

Prestige and PVP quests

The Brutes: Eventhough we’re not PVPers, we enjoyed these quests. While the Tower Assaults are a quick PVE strike granting PVP experience, events like Black Rook Rumble really hit the spot by introducing us to some fast paced PVP content. We enjoyed each of this event and, sometimes, they were even the funniest things we’ve done all day. Also worth mentioning: the PVP brawls, also a ton of fun.

Fishing

The Brutes: There’s no secret here: we love fishing, and we are really happy that Blizzard has provided us with even more reasons to use our (gorgeous) fishing poles. Way to go Blizz!

Mythic dungeons


Gamrok: It became my challenge and probably my first source of end-game content. It’s exactly what I was looking for: an intense but short instance that would make me want to become better geared and skilled. Finally, all this work on my rotation and my ilvl is put to the test. I’m really happy to read that myhtic dungeons are gonna be pushed further in the next expansion.

The mage Tower

Gamrok: I’m a bit shared about this one. I enjoy a challenge and working toward an achievement, but the difficulty of the challenges doesn’t feel balanced. For example, the Resto Druid challenge is incredibly longer, harder and more frustrating than the Beast Master Hunter. So, we may all run around with our challenging appearances, but they really don’t mean the same thing.

Artifacts


The Brutes: We need something that gives us the feeling that each gaming session brings us further toward an objective and collecting the artifact power gave us just that. We don’t need to be geared instantly, we’re more of a “it’s the road that matters” kind of persons.

Story

The Brutes: Helping a faction with their own troubles, so they will help us in return isn’t a new thing, but helping Thalyssra to create a new source of Mana so we could overthrow Elisande and finally defeat Gul’dan was awesome. It really feels like a lot of work was put in the insurrection quest chain, and seing Thalryssa joining the Horde felt the same as when an old friend decides to join your team.

Treasure chests

The Brutes: It may seem trivial to some but hunting those hidden chests really adds a lot of pleasure to our exploration experience. Just one thing we’d like to see changed in BFA: don’t make us carry the treasure maps in our bags anymore.

Balance of power


The Brutes: The quest that almost made us quit: how dare they force us into real raids and mythic dungeons! Well, we were wrong. This quest is what made us use the premade tool, introduced us to mythics and was the greatest source of entertainment during our X-Mas holidays. Sorry Ion, we shouldn’t have doubted you.

Gating

The Brutes: While we understand why some content needed to be gated, it doesn’t make us hate it less. Gating broke our first run through the expansion. We enjoyed all the quest lines while leveling our Druid, once the gating was gone. Don’t do this again, please!

Professions and Obliterum

The Brutes: A complete fail! I can’t believe that they’ve managed to make engineering boring, and I’m not even talking about Jewelcrafting. Obliterum was inexistent to us. The only time that we wanted to use it to improve engineered goggles, it didn’t work. It has never been documented, why couldn’t engineers use it, it is a complete mystery to us. Cooking was horrible, I hate Nomi and I hope that he burns in his kitchen, just like he burned so much of my food!


(source)

Raids

The Brutes: Not much to say there. We don’t really raid enough to judge the mechanics. Design-wise, we enjoyed Emerald Nightmare and Tomb of Gamrokgeras the most. We really didn’t like Antorus.

We also enjoyed

The Brutes: Pet battle dungeons, Hidden secrets, Timewalking raids, The deaths of Chromie, the Death Metal event at the DMF and micro-holidays. All small things that add so much to the game.

Conclusion

Besides gating, Legion was an awesome expansion, probably even better than WOTLK when it comes to gameplay. Good systems were improved and new ones were introduced to enhance our experience and increase the replayability. Good job Blizzard and congratulation to the man behind all this: Ion Hazzikostas.

Balance of Power

It took us nearly 4 weeks to complete the achievement. We now walk around Azeroth with the most awesome balance artifact appearance.

Our fisherfriends

During our last holidays, we worked hard to bring our druids up to date with the latest content. Among our goals was “Fisherfriends of the Isles”.

We’ve spent more or less two hours a day fishing in raids to become best friends with each of these guys…

Our favourites were Suramar (because it was incredibly fast) and Val’Shara (because the raid was gigantic – more than 40 horde players and 20 allys).

We’re so glad that Blizzard has implemented more fishing activities and I hope that they’ll continue in the next expansions.

Where were you at Midnight?

While the world was raging outdoors, we were celebrating New Year’s eve at home, in our PJs. Comfortably installed in front of our computers, we were participating to the mayhem that was taking place at Orgrimmar’s auction house.

Continue reading →

The day we saved Christmas

What better time to tell a story than Christmas? It’s cold outside and cozy inside, we’re celebrating with our loved ones… But do we think about those who, secretly, work hard to make the magic happen? Well, this story is all about them.

Dragondoe

Finally, the last week-end before Christmas, I can’t wait to celebrate. Unfortunately, all this fighting against the Burning Legion got me delayed on my preparations. There is still so much to do, gifts to buy, cards to send and a feast to cook. It’s going to take me all week-end but I can’t postpone it anymore, I must go shopping.

Normally, I love going shopping with Madstag, but only two days for an entire Christmas shopping is too short, I won’t have time to go chat at the fishing store or spend a half day around a bonfire, I must go alone. I’m sad for my man, he’s gonna have to spend an entire week-end alone, but this is not the time for romance, shopping is serious business.

I woke up early, took my breakfast and silently got out of Moonglade’s inn. Madstag is still sleeping, the poor thing is exhausted after weeks and weeks spent on that dreadful planet. This end of the year holiday will do him good…

First stop, Orgrimmar. Our ornaments got destroyed last year after our tree caught fire when I tried to make a flaming ice cream. It was totally not my fault, I just tripped over the cat. Anyway, I was tired of the white, it’s time to go multi-color! After an hour or two touring the shops, I’m already walking with more bags than I can carry, it’s time to go deposit all of this at the bank.

As I pass in front of the tavern, I can’t help but notice a sad Orc. He’s crying and no one seems to notice him. I walk to him and hand him a cinnamon roll, he accepts it and gives me a smile that means “thanks, but it won’t help much”. I ask him if I could do anything to help but he just shakes his head… Men and their pride, sigh.

I sit beside him and notice that his leg is in plaster. I ask him how it happened, but he burst in tears. After sobbing for a while, he finally explains me that he’s part of Greatfather Winter’s helpers and that he’s in charge of the distribution of the gifts this Winter Veil. He has spent an entire year collecting them but, as he was getting ready to place them under the trees all over Azeroth, he broke his leg and he won’t be able to do it.

What a dreadful situation! No gifts? We may as well cancel this year’s holiday, I won’t let it happen! I tell him that I’m more than willing to help, I’ll still have plenty of time for my shopping during the week.

He tells me that the gifts are hidden in a cave he rented. I ask him to draw me a map, but he obviously drowned his sorrows in more beer than he could hold, I’d better draw it myself. He tells me that the cave is located in Winterspring. The place is easy to find when you’re on the right path, which starts in Everlook.

No time to waste, I’m gonna take care of the gifts. I drop my bags at the bank, dreamwalk to Moonglade and fly to Winterspring. After a short flight, I finally land at Everlook. I take the path East, just as Arnok told me. I walk for about an hour when I finally see the entry of a cave.

I prepare a torch and walk in. The cave is pretty deep, which is weird for a storage place… As I reach the end of the path, I enter in a large circular room. The only light comes from a huge blue pearl on a pedestal located at the center. I can see a Night Elf lady screaming things in a language I don’t understand, then I hear a crack behind my head and everything gets blurred then black.

Madstag

An entire month spent healing troops on Argus (and rescuing Dragondoe from the perillous situations she got into), I think that I’ve deserved a week-end of rest in Moonglade. I wish I could spend it with my lady, but, let’s be honest, I hate going to town. All that noise, all these people, it’s definitely not my cup of tea.

As Dragondoe is getting ready for her shopping trip, I pretend to still be sleeping. She’d probably look at me with her soft eyes and, as usual, I’d change my mind and go with her. I can’t take that risk, I’ve bought a ton of fishing bait and I can’t let it go to waste…

As I hear her leaving, I open an eye and inspect the room, it seems empty. I stay in bed a bit longer, to make sure that she didn’t forget anything. The coast is clear, I jump out of bed, get dressed and pick up my bag.

It’s gonna be a good one, I can feel it. I make my way to the border of the lake, install my fishing chair, make sure that no one is around and finally take off my boots. You see, people may think that I’m an adventurer, but where I belong is here, in the middle of the forest, with the squirrels and my slippers.

I ready my first cast, that’s usually when some catastrophe happens and I have to leave everything behind. The bobber is bobbing and nothing happens… Could this be real? Could this be THE week-end where I finally get to enjoy the calm and the peace of the nature. But it would be too easy… As I ready my second cast, an orc comes out of the bushes and asks me if I’m Dragondoe’s husband.

I loose it and start yelling “Let me guess, she tried to help someone and ended up in trouble? What is it this time? A sad dragon? An ancient warlord? A long forgotten prophecy? A devilsaur with a toothache? WON’T I EVER BE ABLE TO CATCH A BREAK?”

The Orc looks at me, half puzzled, half terrified… After a few minutes, I calm down and ask him what happened.

He tells me that his name is Arnok and he explains me that he’s one of Greatfather Winter’s helpers. He tells me how he has met my wife and how good a person she is, he also tells me that she’s gone to save the presents but that she might be on her way to the wrong cave. He was, apparently, a bit drunk when he gave her the directions and the zone where the gifts are hidden is also know to host many cultists and pirates lairs.

Afraid that such a good hearted person would end up in danger because of him, he asked around to see if anyone knew Dragondoe. Finally, it’s the owner of Orgrimmar’s fishing shop who told him that I was gone fishing and where he could find me…

After making sure that I have the correct location, I leave the Orc behind and fly to the rescue. From far, I can see Arnok taking my place in my fishing chair… At least someone will enjoy it. I fly straight to the right cave. It is indeed filled with presents, but, as we feared, Dragondoe is nowhere to be found.

I fly the to next cave on the right, it’s full of bandits and there’s no sign of my wife. I decide to check a third cave, this time on the left.

After walking down a long dark path, I can see a huge round room with a gigantic blue pearl in the middle. I shapeshift to cat and prowl to see what’s going on. A Night Elf lady is yelling things in a language I don’t understand to a crowd that seems to be worshiping the pearl.

Far, in a corner, I notice a few cages and Dragondoe is in one of them. Unnoticed, I make my way to her. She tells me that the cultists, led by that mad druid, are about to sacrifice her to the pearl.

There are too many cultists in here, we can’t risk getting both caught, I need a diversion.

I can see a few hay stacks on the other side of the room, I get closer and set them on fire. A thick white smoke quickly fills in the room. The druid and her followers try to put the fire out and, meanwhile, I get the pearl and run out of the cave.

The last time I felt this nervous, I was carrying the flag in Warsong Gulch…
I make my way to the other cave where the bandits are. I leave the pearl at the entry of their hiddeout and let out a huge growl. When the cultists finally arrive, decided to get their pearl back, the bandits already took possession of the oversized jewel.

I discretely make my way back to the cave where Dragondoe was kept prisoner.
As I enter the main room, I notice the evil Night Elf lady, she lays on the floor, where the pearl was before. She’s in tears and my wife is trying to cheer her up “don’t worry, there are plenty of other pearls in the ocean”.

The cult leader makes her best to talk in our language. We don’t understand everything but we get a few words “my precious”, “will not stop swimming”,… Then, she gets up, tidies up her robes and leaves the cave as if nothing happened.

We spent the rest of the week-end flying over Azeroth, dropping gifts at the foot of each Christmas Tree. Winter Veil was saved and I could finally enjoy the rest of my holiday in Moonglade.

As for the cult leader, we can sometimes hear the tale of a crazy druid lady who never stopped searching the seas for her beloved pearl…

The Brutes have gone hippie

Where the hell have we been? Well, we’ve been chasing butterflies and enjoying the change of seasons. We had a great Halloween, filled with good (and less good) horror movies.

We’ve also been reflecting on a way to enjoy WoW without being constantly burned out. Spending our entire WoW time hunting achievements was easily getting tedious. We needed to enjoy more of what the game has to offer, and we really didn’t enjoy instancing with our hunters. So we went back to our druids. Don’t worry, we’re still brutal, only a bit softer (probably because of all the feathers).

Gamrok

My first character in WoW was a druid… It was the time when only Taurens or Night-elves could be druids. I remember that morning, Sisqi was about to join me at the office for lunch and we were going to buy games for our Easter holidays… Instead of working, I had spent my time reading the descriptions of all the classes and races, trying to choose which character I would create. I rolled a druid for a few reasons:

  • I wanted to be Alliance (I know, silly choice);
  • I didn’t want to be a human (already enough of it IRL);
  • I wanted a class that could fill all roles.

So, for a year or two, until The Burning Crusade, I healed in raids and I was pretty happy. Until the day I decided to see what the other classes had to offer. From that moment on, I’ve only been switching characters: rogue, warlock, mage, shaman and, finally, hunter.

I kept playing with my hunter through Cataclysm, Pandaria, Draenor and almost all Legion, but I’ve never been really happy with my class. I thought that the strong ability of the hunter to solo almost everything would open all doors to me. Unfortunately, it did quite the opposite, I didn’t have fun in dungeons, raids or PvP anymore, so I kept hunting achievements.

Most of the time, I would play for a few months, then get tired of doing the same things all the time, quit the game, then come back for a few more months… This has been my WoW pattern for the last 6 years.

During my recent break, I thought that the day I would come back, I would change radically, I would go back to a class that would give me fun in raids and dungeons: the Druid. So, without further delay, I present you Madstag, my Tauren druid:

It’s been a few weeks that I’m trying to catch back on the expansion, mixing instances and quests, and I’m having an absolute blast! Not only have I found back the pleasure to heal in raids and dungeons but I’ve also found back the drive to gear my character, to perform as good as I can. My game time is more balanced which greatly helps preventing the burn-out.

Sisqi

When Gamrok told me that he wanted to main back his druid, I thought about leveling mine to keep him company. But, as I was playing with my moonkin, I realized how much more fun I had than with my beast master.

Eventhough the DPS of my balance druid isn’t as big as my hunters’, I just have more fun casting spells and shapeshifting. Also, I’ve missed my Tauren and I’m glad to find her back, meet Dragondoe.

I’ve practically caught up on on almost all Legion content, I’ve even started “Balance of power” which I didn’t with my hunter. I ran an heroic, a normal raid, a few mythic dungeons and had fun doing these! Now that’s something I thought I’d never say!

Until a week ago, I always thought that LFR and LFG were more than enough for me. I guess that playing the wrong class never motivated me to get out of my comfort zone. I dreaded running dungeons and raids, grouping up in general was like a stressful nightmare. This made me feel left out in the game for years. My moonkin, on the other hand, made me realize that all these things are actually fun and make me look forward to my next gaming session.

At the moment, Gamrok and I are in the middle of our 3 week Christmas holidays, which means that we have more time to game! Here’s a list of all the things that I wish to accomplish in WoW before the end of the most wonderful time of the year:

  • Getting exalted with Ravenhold so, I finally get the title “The Insane” (nothing new, but like that it will be official :p);
  • Finishing all quests in Suramar to get the “Insurrection” achievement;
  • Getting the fishing artifact
  • Leveling my Legion reputations, including the fisherfriends;
  • Getting my classmount;
  • Progress in “Balance of power”;
  • Getting a cool transmog because Dragondoe looks like a homeless gypsy.

There’s a lot more that I would like to do, but what would be the fun in completing all at once, right?

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