Nothing Boring on Borean

Marrowthief’s still working on raising his baby venomraptor, and I’m making sure to take pictures of the various stages of life for the little dino. I’ll post pictures when the process is done; I’m about halfway to completing my collection of shed teeth.

The actual reason for this post is to document an actual PvP encounter I had today… on the PvE server Borean Tundra, of all places!  World PvP seems pretty hopping, at least in Hellfire Penninsula, where the Alliance outposts get attacked all the time. The actual incident today, though, was more random.

My main on BT is a gnome Death Knight named Blackrat. She’s level 61, and in fact had just dinged. I was going over talent points when I heard a plaintive “help” in /say. I closed the talent window and turned around to see a 63 Forsaken Death Knight utterly whomping a human DK — also level 61, interestingly enough. Without hesitation, I deathgripped the Forsaken, and with my permaghoul flattened him in a matter of seconds.

It was surprising how easy it was. Thinking back, I don’t THINK that the Forsaken’s health bar had been significantly depleted before I attacked him. It’s possible it was. But, still, I consider my actions more than defensible, defending one of my fellow Alliance, after all.

Less than 5 minutes later, before my PvP flag had run out, I was flattened by an 80 Troll Hunter. Utterly splatted. I don’t know if the Forsaken had called in the Troll or what, but I strongly suspect that was the case. If not, well, there’s no shame in getting splatted by a player 20 levels above me… and if he DID call the troll in, I still consider the whole incident a moral victory. :]

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A New Contender

Ohhh, the Barrens.  The Barrens has, for the moment, defeated me.  It’s so long. So big. So much stuff still to do before Salem’s done with it. And after finally hitting 20 with him, getting cat form and a kodo, I found myself soon not wanting to work on him for a bit. However, I still wanted to keep up with this overall project — the carebear pver on a pvp server — and thus rolled up a Death Knight.

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Say "hi" to the nice folks, Marrowthief.

Marrowthief’s professions are skinning and enchanting. Skinning raises quickly and with it, MT can provide mats to Salem (who does leatherworking). The greens that Salem makes can then, in turn, be send to MT for disenchanting. Mudfish buys vellum, sends that to MT to make scrolls to sell on the auction house. Mmm, synergy.

Enchanting, unlike skinning, raises v e r y s l o w l y. I have accepted this. I am zen with it. Om.

My intention with MT was to get his skinning to 300 and then hit the Outlands, but a trip into Ungoro Crater distracted me with the idea of getting one of those nifty Venomhide Ravasaur mounts. It’ll take 20 days to raise the little hatchling, but oh my word. SO worth it. The little guy is adorable, and I can’t wait to watch him grow up!

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Look, he's smiling at me!

I feel sorry for the Alliance; getting the Winterspring cat mount isn’t half as cool as raising a dinosaur from a baby.

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Healer Bear

I’d popped online for a few minutes, intending just to get a couple of quests out of the way, when an incoming whisper asked if I’d be willing to heal for Shadowfang Keep. I hesitated at first, being a Feral druid in Feraly leather, but then agreed. Salem’s still at the point where talent specs don’t matter all THAT much, and I made sure to stock up on Melon Juice before making my way from the Barrens to Silverpine Forest.

Things started a little rough with other party members thinking we were doing Wailing Caverns instead and another member AFKing for a cigarette; I was almost to the path leading up to the instance when the summons finally came (and remember, I was coming in from all the way at Camp Taurajo!) Then another party member announced that he’d spilled beer on his computer. I also got mild questioning about why I was in the guild I was in; this last worried me a little at first, since I was afraid I was going to hear that my guild had a horrible reputation or something, but it soon became clear that the other guy just thought his guild was the bestest for leveling characters and yadda yadda. Definitely a shrug it off moment.

The instance itself went well enough. There were a few wipes due to overpulls, but nothing major; we got through things very quickly. Maybe too quickly — there were a lot of times when I’d give mana warning and they would not stop to let me sit and drink. (There were times I did anyway.) The mana thing really puzzled me when I considered that the tank was a paladin who was also often low on mana. I expected that a paladin of all classes would be understanding of the need to stop and drink. But, ah well. The only thing that really annoyed me was how that same paladin rolled on every BoP that would be even remotely useful to her, and KEPT rolling on BoP items even after she’d won stuff. Leather shoulders? Rolled on it. Leather bracers? Rolled on it. Cloak with dodge and other stats? Rolled on it. Cripes. Greedy, much?

Nobody shared quests, either.

Ah, well. Such things happen in PUGs sometimes. You have to learn to just shrug and get on with life. I’ve experienced plenty of good PUGs that this in no way soured me from doing them; I am, in fact, very heartily looking forward to the new LFG that’s coming in Patch 3.3. And Salem didn’t come away from Shadowfang Keep completely empty-handed. Not only did he get the achievement for the dungeon, but his bags were stuffed with leather from skinning the worgs and worgen, and he hit level 20 while inside. So it’s all good.

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Salem as horned lion, sporting a bitchin' nosering.

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Go, Speed Kodo! Go, Speed Kodo! Go, Speed Kodo, go!

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A Flag Carrier is Me!

I got bored with questing this evening, so since Salem was a tidy level 19, I sent him off to Warsong Gulch to see how he might fly. Less than 20 minutes later, Horde won with a 3-1 score, and my cuddly black cow-bear-cheetah was the carrier for all three successful flag captures!

It was a pretty heady experience for me, who’d never captured a flag personally in years of Warsong Gulch dabbling. I used every trick I knew, liberally applying Nature’s Grasp, switching forms whenever I was slowed or rooted, hitting my trusty Aquarius Belt when necessary (and possible), everything. Usually, it doesn’t work, doesn’t make a difference, but tonight… tonight everything seemed to go the way I’d always imagined it should.

There were deaths, of course, lots of deaths. No Ironman achievement for Salem this evening. I don’t care, though! I captured a flag! Three times! I had teammates going “help the fc” and such and it was a thrill to realize that they were talking about me. And we won!

Truly, an awesome evening.

Salem the Conquerer. Just imagine that the quillboar is a member of the Alliance, like a gnome or a night elf.

Salem the Conquerer. Just imagine that the quillboar is a member of the Alliance, like a gnome or a night elf.

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The Early Hybrid Days

The first 20-plus-some levels of a druid’s career is a lot like making a character, playing it to 10, and then making another character of a different class. There’s a feeling of constantly starting over.

The first 10 levels is like being a newbie priest. You have some okay nukes, you have some heals, and you run out of mana a lot. (No wands or shields, though.)

The next 10 levels is like being a newbie warrior (albeit without the Charge ability or Rend). You melee slowly but powerfully, building up rage, throwing out the occasional special attack.

The next 10 levels, you’re a newbie rogue. You get to stealth around, you get a build-combo-points move, and you get a finishing move.

In each case it feels a little like starting over a new character, going from having a small but tidy stable of abilities to just one or two. In some ways it’s mildly frustrating, but the advantage of being the ultimate hybrid outweighs the disadvantages. If I’m fighting in cat form and get some adds, I can go bear for more survivability and the joy that is glyphed Maul and Swipe. I can also use Nature’s Grasp to do some easy crowd control. Or (as a Tauren) War Stomp to stun everyone and pop some heals. And if all else fails, there’s always going cheetah to run away.

Salem’s level 17 now and still doing quests in the Barrens. As mentioned, I did the questline for Aquatic Form rather than buy the skill; the reward is a very nice belt with an on-use self-heal. That belt is a lifesaver for a young druid and quite easy to get if you know where to go to pick up the parts of the sea lion pendant. I recommend that anyone rolling a druid take the time to do it.

Salem as a Blood Elf woman. Gotta love the holidays.

Salem as a Blood Elf woman. Gotta love the holidays.

Close-Up of Salem Bearface. Grr!

Close-Up of Salem Bearface. Grr!

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Rednames in Moonglade

Encountered two night elf druids in Moonglade when I teleported there to pick up my cure poison quest. They were skull to my wee lowbie Tauren and could have squished him as easily as he could squish a critter. But they pretty much ignored him and gallumped away on their big stripey armored cats.

Guild chatter was amusing tonight. Not in any specific way, just friendly. I get the feeling that some of my guildmates are True Newbies, which is kind of cool.

Ding 15. Nothing much else to talk about. The Barrens continues to be very large and very… tan. I kind of wish Deathwing would get off his scaley rump and split it in two.

Mmm, Cataclysm.

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Headless Horseman: Afraid of Cows?

For some reason, the Headless Horseman doesn’t ever attack Bloodhoof. He goes after Razor Hill, Brill, that blood elf newbie town whose name I forget… but not Bloodhoof. Either the tauren just aren’t cool enough or he’s afraid of us. I like to think it’s the latter.

Salem had his first encounter with the enemy today while running from Camp Taurajo to the Crossroads. It was a lone female Draenei, only a few levels greater than him, with a bright yellow name over her head. Of course — the Barrens are Horde territory; she was flagged and Salem was safe. Still, he stopped to watch her go by, and she paused just long enough to wave before heading on. A simple, peaceful encounter.

Hit level 14 later that morning, which means, I think, more druid class quests. The cure-poison one for certain, which always makes me go ‘meh’. It’s a long, boring, annoying questline and the spell you get from it is replaced not long afterward with a better version. The questline for aquatic form’s much better, especially since they changed the reward belt to a blue-letter item with an on-activate self-heal. Definitely worth the effort to get!

Moo.

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