Leaving Nagrand. Onwards.

Mabango hit level 66 yesterday morning and after handing in a few quest items was a good 20% on her way to 67.

Farewell Nagrand

However in keeping with the plan I farewelled Nagrand and headed north over Zangermarsh to Blade’s Edge Mountains. Somehow I feel like I’ve just left somewhere nice and things are about to get serious.

Into the Blade’s Edge

I started questing and soon found that the mobs were very manageable. So a good choice. However I was unimpressed with one of the first quests… kill 30 Ogres (and 10 Ogre’s Raptors)… 40 in one quest! Are they serious, better be a nice reward as that’s a lot.

BEM till 68 then to Netherstrom for the run to 70. I’m considering testing the waters in Northrend in 68 or 69. See how things go.

 

Navigating Nagrand

Mabango has been busy in Outlands. She hit level 64 and abandoned Zangermarsh for Nagrand. Its a similar process I took with Mabaho way back in 07/08. Up two levels and move zone. Its working well for Mabango as it means that the mobs are still fairly easy to kill but give good xp.

I had forgotten just how impressive a zone Nagrand is. And with my settings on this iMac at Ultra, I’m sure I’m seeing more than my old 6600GT card could cope with.

Approaching Garadar

Questing has been going well here, and although suffering several deaths and tragic  losses of my demon, has already reached level 65. It took Mabaho from Oct 07 to May 08 to do Outlands. Mabango has done from 58 to 65 in just less than a month. I am certain I played more then as well.

With guild xp bonus, better gear (including heirlooms and their xp bonus), a pet, flying mounts and I’m certain they have increased the xp per hand in and decreased the xp per level (I vaguely remember that in patches in late WotLK or so) its made a huge difference.

So 66 soon, and it will be time to move on. Maybe Blades Edge Mtns, then Netherstorm, then Northrend.

I’ll leave you with a couple more pics if you haven’t been here in a while.

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.

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.

Heroic Struggles.

My PrePandaPrep is going ok. Mabango has picked up a couple of levels. Mabaho has finished Vash and the Highlands and I’ve been running FL dailies for a week or so to get back into there. Dasal has levelled about 2/3 of her tailoring, but I have to farm some last bits of Runecloth before I can jump into Netherweave.

Mab also picked up an random epic off a mob which suited Dasal well. She’s got about 5 purples now.

The one area that isn’t going well is Dasal healing heroics. I’m really struggling for healing power when Holy and to try and get my head around the rotations (such as they are) in Disc. At this stage I’m planning to run a bunch of normals again, and earn JP that way until my gear is better. That way I can run Holy instead of trying to figure out Disc.

I guess part of it has to be the skill/gear of the others running too. If the tank is only just making the cut (and lets be honest, the over geared people are all in DS 5mans now) then that amplifies my problems.

I’ve said it before, but here’s more evidence of it, I really struggle when trying to switch a toon between specs rather than playing a different toon. It’s like Mab running Ele spec or worse, Resto (shudder). Maybe my brain is too old and inflexible?

King of the Mountain

With my new list decided, I hit the road.

First up I sorted out the bank alts. Mabango had been the herb holder, but that wouldn’t work if she was to eventually level up. So another was sorted out with a collection of bags and a lot of mail later, the herbs were moved. Similarly each of the others were checked through, tided and organised.

Next on the list I decided to tackle tailoring on Dasal. I emptied the cloth bank alt and spent 90mins sewing and d/e. Eventually Mabango scored a few pieces before I ran out of runecloth just before the switch to netherweave. So Dasal will have to get out there farm some. Prepare to be Holy Nova’d!

The real man Mandorugas

I also stumbled across the fact that Worgen are actually able to change to human after a chance encounter in Winterspring (where Mabango was questing). Went back and got this stylish individual…. oh dear.

I did try sending Dasal into another Heroic but it fell apart shortly after starting. So I switched over to Mabaho.

Mabaho was almost finished Twilight Highlands and still had some quests in his log. Got busy with helping the horde at Crushblow.

Bashing some Twilight Cultist.
Fire the Cannon – Lord Cannon is next up.
What! Me… swim???
Hey watch out, it’s the Temple of Doom….

This lead him on a few adventures, before finally getting Fading in the Twilight achieve. But that didn’t finish the quest chain I was on so a little bit more work and

In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” 
The fight is on. Skullcrusher the Mountain is going down.

King of the Mountain achieve too. Twilight Highlands done and dusted. Only Vash’jir to go. Going to have to scour the zone to find out where my last quest giver was.

So the PrePandaPrep is well under way.

Garona channels General umm.. somebody from RotJ (read the final sentence) The lady who opens the briefing. Hmm links nicely with the trap shortly after reading this too.

Pandas – The To Do List.

Inspired by the Harpy who was in turn inspired by this thorough list from Godmother I too have decided to set some goals for Pre Panda Prep.

Where to start.

Mabaho

I think Mabaho should finish up the stories of the various zones, so that means

  • Vash’jir (and although pretty I didn’t like moving about in Vash) – done April 25
  • Twilight Highlands — done April 22
  • Firelands
  • see if he can pick up a purple offhand and belt to complete his gear
Breaking in the Dragon

Dasal

Dasal will be all about gear I think. This will infinitely help the transition across to MoP, so Dasal will aim for

  • iLevel to enter DS heroic 5mans
  • purples in most slots (even Mab isn’t all purple yet!)
  • Tailoring to max.
  • Enchanting as well.
  • save the gold for Epic flying skill.


Mabango

Mabango is the more obvious goal, though perhaps the hardest to achieve…

  • level 85.

Sounds simple and she’s more than halfway there. But there’s a big slow patch in Outlands coming up. Mabaho took about 2 years to get to 70, 6 months to hit 80, and about 4 months to get to 85, when he was basically the only one that I was actively playing, Dasal and Mabango have come along since then. Absolutely it is faster now with guild and heirloom bonuses along with better designed quests.

The Others

Of my other alts, they are pretty much going to stay as is. I have to decide what to do with Mandrougas, my lonely Alliance hunter. I expect a DELETE is coming soon so I can get in and save a good name for a Panda. This will give me a free slot with the additional one from the expac so if I ever decide to I can create a Paladin, the only class I don’t currently have.

I still have a bit of a “Horde don’t need no stinking Paladins” opinion, but they have been doing good work as tanks and heals ever since their introduction. 

Perhaps the dust will come off Pumatay, but I doubt it. My other alts, ranging from lowly Engkanto (lvl4 troll mage) to Lusiper (lvl58 Tauren DK) will stay as they are, but I will go through their bags and banks to make sure they’re organised. And prepared to store the cloth and herb I’ll gather next round. (done April 22)

Goals should be achievable and be able to be done in small steps – check. I even have a good mix of stuff I can do when I have lots of time (Dasal and Mab in Heroics) or just ten minutes here and there (quests, professions). If I guess MoP would be out sometime late this year (November/December) I think there is time. Hmm, the beta is on at the moment, so maybe earlier??