Wednesday, November 12, 2008

World of Warcraft - Eve of the Lich King

Tomorrow will see the release of the second expansion for World of Warcraft (the MMO - funny how there are several different qualifiers now - Adventure Game, Board Game, CCG), and I'm almost certainly going to be picking up a copy, although I don't know that I'll be heading to the new continent of Northrend right away. I have a 70 Gnome Rogue who many of you have heard about in the past when he's gotten his ride or his flight mount, but he's been largely on ice for a while, mostly grinding for gold in Quel'Danas and a few dailies here and there. It's a slow process, and he's only about half way to getting his Epic Mount, which once he has enough Khorium, will be the Turbo Flying Machine. I figure once people have started heading to Northrend, that will be an excellent time to go mining. Money should be no issue once I get to Northrend, and I'd expect to get to 5000 GP pretty quickly, and I won't need to buy the epic mount. All I need is Khorium, and lots of it. 

What most of you don't know is that I started a new character last June or so to play in my friend Laurent's guild, Ten Ton Hammer on the Hydraxis server. That character, Amahiah, is a Tauren Feral Druid, and I've really enjoyed playing that class. I do best with the jack-of-all-trades classes as opposed to the single-purpose type, and while I can definitely see how people think Druids are too powerful in the game (at least for a lot of things), they are also a difficult class to learn to play because they have so many options. Best of all, though, is that they automatically get flight form at level 68, which is a huge savings in gold and lets you do those last two levels pretty quickly. 

Interestingly, as I speak we are something like five hours from the launch of the expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and Amahiah is also about five quests away from hitting 70. I should be ready to hit the zep any time I wish to with both characters. 

However, I'm not sure that's what I want to do just yet. One of the things I hate about WoW is when 500 of your closest friends are all in the same area doing the same things. That works in some cases when you'd just as soon not have to fight your way through a mob of mobs to get to a quest item, but at the same time you spend a lot of time waiting for quest mobs or items to respawn, and that's tedious. Better, I think, to wait a few days and let the masses wash through the first few new levels and go in when things are a bit less crazy. 

Right. Who am I kidding.

Regardless, it's been a hoot so far, and the Ten Ton Hammer guild has been extremely helpful and fun to play with, even if I haven't gotten in nearly as many dungeons as I would have liked (although I *did* solo Deadmines, traditionally an Alliance instance, with my Horde Druid as I was skating through Westfall in my quest to Explore the entire world, part of the new Achievement system). 

Pretty amazing that I've stuck with this game for so long, and even more amazing that it has become pretty much the only computer game I play anymore. Aside from buying Spore recently (and admit it, who hasn't), WoW has become it. Age of Conan was a mess, although I hear that it went very well for a launch. Warhammer Online just doesn't sound all that interesting, perhaps because for some reason I thought it was Warhammer 40k Online right up until the release, and the idea of another fantasy-based MMO just doesn't do it for me at all. The good news is that WotLK should keep me busy for at least a few months, and then I may transfer one of my Level 40 characters from another realm over to try becoming a Death Knight (no point in doing this with my existing 70's, and my 40 is the closest otherwise). 

Blizzard just announced they've hit over 11 million subscribers. 11 million. Multiply that by 70,000 and you've got a financial sector bailout.

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