Outlands is Fun!

And that’s a surprise. Mabango is questing in Zangermarsh now, having hit the place up at 62, along the lines of what Mabaho did, years ago. She’s only the second toon I’ve levelled through here, Dasal having done the whole place in 5mans.

The xp is good and questing with my faithful demon is working out well. Equally helpful is the ability to fly. Remember originally, flying wasn’t until 70 (68 for the favoured ones [I mean druids]). I’m enjoying it and again, as it’s been years since I’ve been through here, I’m not burnt out on the zones etc. Hopefully Northrend will prove the same.

Running 5mans is a bit lazy, all I seem to do is cast Rain of Fire over and over. Then occasionally I hit some single targets. Even bosses drop before my DoTs have much effect.

As for other PrePandaPrep, Mabaho has opened the second faction, the Druids of the Talon in Firelands and has started working towards the final three factions. Give him a couple of months, he’ll get there.

No announcements about MoP, so there’s still plenty of time.

In guild news, it seems the combined forces of the inevitable end of expac blues and the release of D3 seem to have put the nail in the raiding coffin. The last few raid nights the teams haven’t been on. Shame, they’re 6/8 heroic DS.

Oh, I did try D3 myself in the wide open beta weekend. Never played the first two and this didn’t really enthral me, so didn’t pick it up. No, the next game I’m getting interested is something that I have been a fan of for far longer than Warcraft (even before Orcs vs Humans that I didn’t play). Mechwarrior Online is drawing slowly closer. I’ve been a Battletech fanboy since early high school, in about 1989. That could well have the power to draw me away from WoW.

Have a good week all :)

Cough, cough, gasp, wheeze….

I’m alive, yay, and my kids are doing better than I am so all good here in the Mabaho house. One more day at home today, then work on Tuesday.

I felt fit enough over the past 24 hours or so to do a little bit of playing. But only a little.

PrePandaPrep has Mabango now at level 61 and kicking butt in Hellfire. She hasn’t found much gear yet nor picked up much cloth for Dasal, but there’s 8 more levels in this zone to go.

We found a stash more of Netherweave in a bank so Dasal has turned it all into bolts, ready to tailor away, but I decided it would be better to let her enchanting catch up some. This way we can D/E the created stuff, creating more stuff to level enchanting (and hence D/E). Enchanting is a lot slower though, and more hands on as you can’t just set it to do 50 Enchant Bracers – Minor Strength and go and have a coffee (if you drink that hideous stuff, yeuch).

Mabaho has been plugging away at Firelands and if I get back on after this blog should see the second faction opened up as I only need 16 more Marks for that (about 8 quests). Still has a blue off hand though, I should read up on DS Heroics again and start PUGing again.

This coming week should see some more results as I don’t plan on being sick. And no announcements from Blizzard so I still have some time.

The sick week did mean I could catch up on Tome of the Ancient‘s interview on Twisted Nether, which I found really interesting. Was also nice to hear that Navi gave you so much support (Big thumbs up Navi!). I also managed to hear this weeks live one with Grand Old Podcast, whom I’d never heard of. A lot of lore knowledge there, that I will be checking out.

Not the Best Idea I’ve Had.

Wombat

Wombat…. Arrrgghhh run away :)

Hey, another meeting in Canberra. And hey once again, riding there seems the most convenient option (and again, the most fun!). And the weather is looking perfect, no rain predicted, well for ages. Awesome. Looking at the weather though, my lesson from last time (you know, where I didn’t read the temperatures) I almost didn’t learn. Hmm Canberra is going to be -3 at about the time I’m arriving. That’s going to be cold. At 120kmh that’s going to be downright frigid!

The plan was a straight run down the interstate early in the morning to the meeting. Arriving early so I could iron my uniform, shower (warm up!) etc. Meeting all day, then dinner and maybe catch a movie (something that has been really hard to do whilst the kids are little), then the next day sleep in (another bonus) and a enjoyable ride back along some of the more interesting roads I’ve been discovering between Canberra and Sydney.

So problem one is the cool temperatures, problem two is that I caught some kind of cold when I was on my last trip there and it’s still sorta hanging around, so I’m not 100%. Problem three developed on the eve of my departure, the kids had both came down hard with the same cold.

On the plus side, Mrs was happy to handle the kids, they were mostly sleeping anyway. I wasn’t too worried about the cold as I do have some reasonable gear that I have used in similar conditions (though only for an hour or so, not 4), and my cold wasn’t too bad.

Leaving at about 3.30am I rode out in about 4C. Down the freeway out of the city I was getting cold. But it was bearable. But don’t imagine a steady even drop across the journey. It basically dropped to 0 as I passed the city limits and quickly headed below that. Until I spent a couple of hours at -2 and hit -4 about 6am.

I stopped several times, mostly to hang out in a warm building (petrol station) to eat breakfast. The worst part was the last 20 mins, when I knew I was almost there, the sun was up but my knees were cold and my little fingers felt like ice blocks.

It was uneventful, except for the WOMBATS. Now I’m sure you all know about kangaroos and koalas down here in Australia, and maybe crocs, tassie devils, sharks and snakes too. (and spiders and sea snakes and…) Do you know about wombats? Pretty uninspiring solid little fellows about as big as mid sized suitcase. Oh did I say solid, these guys are built like main battle tanks, and have a reputation of destroying vehicles that they cross paths with, shaking it off and carrying on (not sure about the last part). Riding through the dark at freeway speed the road is suddenly smeared with black marks and at the end is a dark lump slightly to my left on the road. Looking like a large rock, I realised I was headed towards a wombat carcass. I swerved and managed to clear it – I’d rather hit a rock, it’d do less damage! This would occur twice on the way down, but the second one I moved as soon as the streaks appeared on the road.

Sunrise happened as I rode alongside Lake George. It was gorgeous and made the insanity of the ride worthwhile.

I spent about an hour warming up, showering etc and was still cold by the time I got to the meeting. Not my smartest idea. I’m now fairly certain I was on my way to hypothermia when I eventually got in.

The meeting went all day and I was nodding of towards the end, so much so that the chair basically begged me not to head home that night. After the meeting I crashed into the bed, sleeping from about 5pm, to about 7am, only rising for a late dinner at about 7pm (when my eldest rang me to say hi). Mrs was struggling with the kids but I was too tired and it was too cold (and would take me about 4 hours to get home).

In the morning I awoke to a pleasant -1 and a bike that was coated in a layer of ice. But I wasn’t too worried, it was already morning, the day was warming up, slowly, and I was headed back to Sydney, which would be at least 15C or so by the time I arrived. It sure wasn’t going to be worse than the ride down.

Cold Start 2

Cold Start: This is what happens to a bike left out in -3C

I set off at about 7:30 fuelling up in Queenbeyan as I headed off to retrace my route from my last trip, up through Tarago, towards Bungonia and the freeway. I figured this wouldn’t take much longer than getting through the city then up the Hume to about the same point. It would be a lot more enjoyable and less taxing.

This worked well and I hit the freeway only a little later than I would have ridden past the same point. I remembered the route pretty well and my only complaint was the angle of the sun made vision ahead sometimes a difficult proposition unless I put my hand up, even with sunglasses on. This also affected the contrast between the shaded areas in some points where I literally couldn’t see the condition of the road. I can see a sun visor (like dirt bike helmets or the more adventurer type helmets) being useful here.

Also passed a couple more dead wombats. I’m no longer convinced of their indestructibility, however still no need to run into one! Anything smaller than a semi still tends to need some serious repair work or even towing from the scene of the impact.

I hit the freeway – did some quick maths and ducked off onto Highland Way. I could make it through here and still be home as promised.

Another hour or so of cruising along this favourite road before I was taking the shortcut out from Sutton Forest to the freeway. Avoiding the Moss Vale stretch which only adds time and not fun. Less than two hours for home, I twisted the wrist and settled in.

Sorry no photos this time, all talk. Home safe, very sick. I probably shouldn’t have ridden, though only because my gear probably wasn’t quite up to the task (though not by much) and I wouldn’t have had to leave quite so early.

[EDIT] I’ve since worked out that with wind chill, those -4C temps, were more like -17C. No wonder my gear wasn’t working. Lesson learnt there…. hopefully.

Medic!!

Ok, no news for a while, been away for a couple of days only to get back home pretty sick though I was already a little sick before I left, and find two pretty sick little ones as well. So don’t feel like playing much. The three of us have been laying about the house in various states of sleep/awake since.

Here’s a shot of my bike while I was travelling.

That white stuff isn’t dew it’s a solid layer of ICE. My trip away was a bit “brisk” or “invigorating”.

Into the Portal

I’ve never finished Sithilus and the main reason has been boredom. It’s like Desolace used to be… long distances to cover for repetitive quests. So Mabango is 59, so what to do? Even with the bad experience of Mabaho’s initial excursion to Outlands bouncing about in the back of my mind, Mabango returned to Origimmer, before using the portal to stand at the gates to Outland.

Ready to step through

Taking up the first few quests seemed promising. Mabango, with her ever present demon was able to easily match even two or three mobs at once. This was far better than Mabaho who died about every second combat or spent the whole time drinking. Even “Enslave Demon” came in handy as if too many were pulled an enslave cast to even the odds. Then it was just a trick of managing when then were released to turn on her. It was obvious that they weren’t putting in their best efforts for Mabango though, and their threat generation is terrible.

Enslaving Demons became handy

Questing went well and Mabango made 60 last night. I returned this morning to sort out talents and training etc. I also picked up her new flying mount, how easy is Outlands now that we can fly from the start!

My new ride

I also ran Helffire Ramparts through LFG. A good run again, people seem to be well geared or Blizzard has done some adjustments (I think they have but I can’t remember exactly the patch notes). Mabango was topping the DPS charts for a change, as she should as she’s a three style DPS class unlike Mabaho (especially Mabaho) and Dasal who can be DPS/Heal classes.

So the terrible memories of Mabaho’s excursion can be put quietly into the back room as Mabango is doing well. She’s now resting up in Thrallmar for next time.

Resting for that XP bonus.

Artisan.

Mabango has been questing away in Sithilus and progressing well. I’m getting the definite impression that Blizzard didn’t do many changes (if any) in this zone as the quests are very much old style. Makes for a rather dull grind.

Mabango stumbles across a previous visitor to Hive Regal.

LFG popped while I was there this morning, giving me BRS. This was very uneventful as the healer, tank and at least one of the DPS out geared it and it was a case of pull everything and go for it. We had a druid casting Hurricanes, Mabango with Rain of Fire, all we needed was a Ele Shammy with Earthquake and it would have been all Earth, Wind and Fire on the mobs (sorry poor joke).

Mabango dinged 59 there (I’m not sure when she hit 58 though, as I thought she was 57!) So I will head off to Outlands to experiment.

Mabango’s efforts in collecting Runecloth meant Dasal almost made 300 Tailoring, with the final couple of stacks from the AH, she made it and cleared out my Netherweave cloth very quickly. I suddenly hit the problem that her enchanting isn’t high enough to disenchant her cloth items anymore. I used up the cloth making a bunch of bags, but not before I ensured that Dasal could cruise around on this :)

Magic Carpet Ride!

Firelands Progress

I have slowly kept working at the list I set up for PrePandaPrep. So far, Mabango has hit level 57 and is currently in Sithilus. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished the zone before, perhaps I will this time. The runecloth I gather will help Dasal with her tailoring (see two birds, one stone). I’m not sure I’m make the leap to Outlands at 58, though with a pet maybe it will be ok. I’ll get through Sithilus and see what happens.

Resting in Sithilus

Mabaho has been working his Firelands quests. I already had the portal opened but hadn’t completed any of the other factions (hadn’t collected my first 150 marks).

I’ve managed to sort that out, and opened up a new set of dailies (I’m sure most of you are familiar with them) with the Shadow Wardens. I did my first set of them this morning, so I’m well on the way to getting the second faction opened up. I guess this will take about a month?

Opening up the next part.