Classic woes and a fresh start

It’s been 2 weeks already with the whole Blizzard kerfuffle and while I don’t feel the need to justify why I won’t boycott Blizzard in the form of cancelling my WoW subscription, I did want to write down some things. I think the boycott is a good idea, I also don’t agree on what they did and how they did it. The problem is just that the game’s too important for me right now.

While I had stopped playing WoW as my bread and butter login daily MMO in 2014 (when I stopped raiding) and have only come back as a 3 month tourist for WoD and Legion, I have been subscribed for quite a while and it’s the game I play most right now and not much else provides fun. But that’s not the main point, the main point is that I’m finally playing Classic with friends who never shared a server with me in Retail. I started in Vanilla, they started when WotLK launched. I visited them on their server a few times for a bit (even did a cool thing once), but understandably never stuck around – so Classic is the first time we get to really play together, not just talk about WoW (which we have been doing IRL for over 10 years now).

Speaking of said guild group in Classic, we all hit 43-44 and had an Uldaman run scheduled when one had to take an extended break for an unspecified amount of time. Because we were only 5 people at level to begin with (still waiting for our Rogue to come back at all), we decided to put an official halt on this group until he returns, just maybe level to 45.

The good news is that we do have some alts and so we started converging on the same level and already did Ragefire Chasm on the weekend. 17 Warrior Tank, 15 Hunter, 15 Feral Druid Healer, 13 Affliction Warlock. Went pretty good for a 4man run. Next step is Wailing Caverns at 20, we’ll see if we 4man it again. Also the guild has 9 people in total, so we might pick up some of the others on the way – we’ll see.

Level 40 dungeons – Guild edition

Last night the guild gathered together to tackle the Armory and Cathedral wing of Scarlet Monastery, and maybe Razorfen Downs.

We’re still short one Rogue who has to catch up over 10 levels by now – so we might just move him to the alt group, because even those have surpassed him already, but he said his internet connection is finally fixed and he will come back.

Gladly we have another warm body, a feral druid, who has no caught up with us well. The original plan last week was to go at 38, but for scheduling reasons we had postponed to this Friday and surprisingly we had 5 people in the right specs, all at the same level (a first).

  • Warrior tank with 31 points in Arms
  • Shaman who uses shocks more than heals
  • Mage with water vendor spec
  • Troll Hunter with a very beautiful hairdo
  • Feral Druid

I’ll never be able to tell an interesting story about an overall uneventful dungeon run like Wilhelm can, so I won’t even try. Armory was quick and easy but people used to retail were a little confused that there was only one boss at the end. Also my explanation of what could go wrong with the whirling and the adds was unneeded as Herod went down without a problem. He dropped a Ravager – nice, but only a sidegrade for my Whirlwind Axe I guess.

Next up was the Cathedral. Being cautious I mostly pulled stuff around a corner both at the start of the courtyard and at the cathedral entrance and thus we didn’t have a single runner, add, or tricky situation. I even remembered to find Fairbanks and he dropped a cloth shoulder upgrade.

Again calling out the tactics for Mograine and Whitemane proved to be useless, they went down very very quickly. Sadly we didn’t get a Chapeau or the shield, but the Scarlet Leggings were a huge upgrade for me, despite being Mail and not Plate and our Shaman was happy with a Hand of Righteousness.

Level 40 and a Mage means portals, so luckily we could get to Undercity quickly, hand in our quest (new Main Hand Sword for me), take a portal to Orgrimmar and fly to Camp Taurajo. Just that Camp Mojache in Feralas also starts with “Camp” so our Hunter and Druid flew there instead. Only that our Druid noticed it right away and could fix the error in the Crossroads while the Hunter was making fun of him… until noticing too late he had made the same error.

Once all were there we did the Ambassador quest and the kill quest outside the instance, then made our way to the iconic entrance which of course forgot to take a screenshot of. But I had forgotten it but the moment I saw the big board head I remembered. Well done, WoW zone designers.

Razorfen Downs isn’t as 100% straightforward as the earlier dungeons, with the escort quest having you backtrack, the gong we had forgotten and nearly ignored, the detour to the hill with the skeletons. Would love to see a stream of a group who had never done this and not read up on anything. The bosses and groups didn’t really put up a real fight until we came to the final spiraling hill. Most of the mobs being undead and the instance counting as inside we had no sheep and no roots, only a 10s ice trap. So it was mostly charging in and burning down 1 or 2 as fast as possible and maybe not taunt off every single mob but let the group offtank one. Some of those groups really hurt, the only close calls were the last group before the last boss – it looked big, it was big, it hurt. And while doing it I remembered it being that way, but we made it without deaths. Finally the last boss – burning him down seems to be better than trying to handle all the adds.

Overall I’m equal part surprised and amazed that we made it this far. WoW Classic launched on August 27th, 2019 and six and a half weeks later we managed to do every dungeon we were supposed to do (skipped Deadmines and Stockade, but did a few of the early ones twice) – with largely the same group of four people, with the fifth slot sometimes filled by 2 more people.

This is also the first time I’m in a true Friends & Family guild made up 100% of people who are couples, have known each other for 10+ years online or offline, or work together. Sometimes multiple of those apply. We’re only 9 people – but we originally had only planned to be exactly 5. Apparently I’ve had to wait 13 years for this to happen that the majority of people plays on my server and I don’t have to chase them down somewhere, visit for a week, and let that toon wither. Too bad I couldn’t grab a few more, but this is a German server and having played on EU for so long, all my ex-guildies have of course chosen an EU one. Also it’s been so long that I wouldn’t say I’m close to more than one or two, so it’s only a minor letdown to not have them here.

Level 3x dungeons – Guild edition, with bonus rant

Not sure why I’m even worse at posting about these than I am usual to comment in a timely manner.

The dungeon group met up again on Sunday the 22nd to do Razorfen Kraul at Level 30. Our Rogue sadly wasn’t caught up again, had major internet problems, and didn’t have time anyway, so we 4manned again.

There’s actually not much to say – it worked fine and was a little boring, not even a wipe. It doesn’t make sense to go in before 30 if you want to do all the available quests and if you go in at 30 then 4manning it is no problem. Weird.

Because we were done so quickly we looked up what’s next and made a little error in our judgement here. Gnomeregan didn’t sound interesting enough so we went to Scarlet Monastery and did the Graveyard and the 20 Hearts quest in front of it – also no problems, and asking in /1 and LFG again yielded no DPS to join us.

As I’m only writing this only now, I’ll save the hassle to do a 2nd post and just continue – the magic of procrastination.

Last Friday we met again at Level 34+ to do the Library wing of Scarlet Monastery, again it was 4 of us (we do have a 6th guild member at Level by now, a Feral Druid, but he was unavailable as well) and nobody wanted to join. (What’s wrong with this server, no single DPS to be found for dungeon runs). The pulls seem to get a little harder, I messed up one or two, but thanks to a boar pet and a Mage with sheep we survived pretty easily, despite our Shaman Healer being in DPS gear. Unfortunately our Mage forgot to do the Level 38 labeled Mage pre-quest for the Mage quest to the Library, so we might be back.

Again this wasn’t really enough content for a scheduled evening so we decided to check out Gnomeregan and noticed we were indeed a bit too high level, with 2 of us being 36 already (and finally a pickup Feral Druid DPS, also 36) – but at least it was easy. OK, too easy – we need to find some challenge…

Having never really played much Alliance pre-Cata, I fortunately at least had done it for rep on my Level 100 Gnome recently and had run it a few time as a random on my Allied Races, so at least one person mostly knew the way. It was pretty uneventful.

If overall this sounds pretty unexcited, that’s probably because it is. Sure, it’s fun to play with friends and Classic is fine, but there are quite a few things that annoy me a bit

  • Classic isn’t hard, it’s just slow and tedious
  • Classic is slow and tedious
  • When it launched I had a ton of time and brought both my “solo alt” and my “group main” to 20, then 29 at the same time, with the solo alt being higher. Since then I didn’t have as much time (mostly not at the same time as my duo partner) and am now on the slow end of the group. Personal problem, but annoying nevertheless.
  • We planned a 5 person group and had 5 people – then one bailed out completely but got replaced by a reliable new member, but our 5th didn’t ever manage to catch up. Next run isn’t scheduled yet but even we only do 2-3 levels per week it becomes harder and harder to catch up
  • Alting wasn’t really fun in Vanilla and it’s not really in Classic – imho. I have my alt Rogue (because it’s clearly the best class, no matter the expansion :P) but I’m hesitant to even level a third one to 10. I really love the QoL improvements for altoholics in later expansions.
  • Finally, tanking isn’t really fun to me. Maybe I was hoping for it to be not so bad as I had feared, and I’m the last person to need easy gogogo rush and just charge into a group, thunderclap and keep it forever like in the last expansions. I learned to Warrior tank in TBC and worked my way up from 5mans to 25man alt raids (mostly OT, not MT, but still) – I know how to work for my aggro. But in classic I’m just 100% rage starved all the time. Maybe my group is too trigger happy, maybe I’m doing it wrong – but it’s simply not a lot of fun to wait for enough rage for a single skill most of the time. Also everything resists taunts. Leveling as Arms isn’t much better, but at least Rage is not a problem.

Lowbie dungeons – Guild edition

It’s been 12 days since I wrote about our adventures in Classic, but it’s not that we didn’t play. We successfully did Wailing Caverns last week (this time the Rogue had caught up a bit), then did it again the next day to finish all the quests (Serpentbloom, Deviate Hides, 99-year old Port).
Some days later we did Shadowfang Keep, even wiping on Arugal. Unfortunately he didn’t drop the nice robe for our Mage, but the Girdle was cool as well. And my Warrior likes the shield, even though it’s an Alliance one. Also I’ve been using the Wailing Caverns quest reward Sword since then.

So far it’s been mostly working out to decide on a target level and day and then everyone catches up. Unfortunately our Rogue (again) didn’t have time this week and so Blackfathom Depths will be 4man or with a pick up DPS. Our target level for BFD was 27, maybe we’re a little cautious here. But maybe we can do Razorfen Kraul directly after it.

Oh, hello draft I had forgotten. BFD went fine but we (again) did a second run because of the Lorgus Jett followup and we noticed that RFK doesn’t make much sense before 30 because of missing quests. So we did all of the instances twice now, and next Sunday RFK is planned as most of us are 30 already.

Ragefire Chasm – Guild edition

Last night we finally had everyone online and in the correct level range to venture into our first dungeon – Ragefire Chasm.

The group consists of:

  • Level 14 Tauren Tank Warrior in Arms spec (the author)
  • Level 14 Troll Shaman
  • Level 14 Troll Mage
  • Level 14 Troll Hunter
  • Level 10 Undead Rogue (Slacker)

Actually it went pretty uneventful except for one wipe when underestimating the lowbie Rogue’s aggro range and then some Hearthstone use by two people to get out of a chasm. The Rogue was too low to get the book quest so we ran it again and then only one book dropped. Anyway, all got to level 16 (13) and now we’ll meet up again at 20 for Wailing Caverns. That’s probably why I forgot the victory shot, because it was totally not epic. Also technically it wasn’t a guild run yet because we only made the guild after the run. Ah well.

Adventures in Azeroth – Classic edition

So my Warrior is still at level 14 and waiting for the full group to catch up, but I did play my Undead Rogue. I might have a Rogue problem, but who cares?

Cloth shoulders with AGI, yeah!

Level 24.95 now, just finished Shadowfang Keep with an all-23/24 group with zero problems. Before that (also today) I had to run Wailing Caverns a second time because:

  • The group didn’t do the 99 year old port (ok)
  • I only got 10 of 20 Deviate Hides (meh)
  • I got ZERO Serpentbloom (WTF?)
  • I forgot to loot one gem (this one was my fault, bags full I guess)

But now I got all quests done, had to camp Mad Magglish for “only” 15mins in a group of 3, had to solo 3 mobs for my 20th hide – but it worked. Except for the tank with zero orientation, guess we could’ve shaved off 5mins easily if he had listened to our directions. Ah well. Also marking mobs seems to be not a thing. Also CC is unheard of. But I can make Poisons now.

Non-Classic WoW

Being fed up with the queues in WoW Classic and just waiting for most of my group to catch up (I did level my Rogue alt to 14 and Blacksmithing on the Warrior to 9x though) I played some retail WoW.

I still have this plan of having one of every class to max level, and the classes missing were Hunter and Mage (after the DK dinged a few days ago). So 1 or 2 days ago I finally logged in the 111 Orc Hunter again – was standing at The Great Seal – emptied the bags a bit, flew to Vol’dun and… kinda killed it. I don’t remember any of my toons to just do every quest in record time, not even close to dying once. So I did 111.x to 116 on the first day and then 116 to 120 on the second day without really playing a lot. Mobs only hurt at 118+, before that I was just murdering groups of 3.

Anyway, only Mage left if I didn’t miscalculate. Started Vol’dun as well, dying multiple times. Hmpf

WoW Classic launched

… and I was there.
Stayed up until midnight, logged in without problems 3 minutes late and managed to get to Level 6 after 2:30 hours. Today I also mostly played WoW Classic and finished Mulgore.

WoW Classic Tauren Warrior at Level 12

And because there is one Ragefire Chasm quest in Undercity a sensible person would just take a zeppelin there and grab it.
Others decide to level their alt because they want one anyway. 4:18 h for Level 1-10 in Tirisfal Glades.

WoW Classic Undead Rogue at Level 10