Fishing the Pristine Waters

Deminestia, who got her first mount just the other week, is now level 46 or 47 or something, has her first Swift Mount, is wearing mail, crafting stuff using Thick Leather, and running all sortsa instances that I’ve never seen before (because the only other WoW character I’ve had at this level is Spennix, who leveled almost entirely by questing, not in instances).

Here she is, with her still-faithful Dragonhawk Fido, fishing in the Pristine Waters part of Maraudon, after the first time I ran that part of the (three-section) instance.

Deminestia Fishing Pristine Waters

Sitting and fishing is so relaxing. :) I should post some fishing pictures from SL sometime…

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Blood Elf Riding Chicken

The Blizzard folks must have done focus groups or something, and decided that retention, or buy-in by new members, or whatever, was suffering due to things taking to long at low levels, because they have really wildly sped things up down there.

Last Wednesday some friends persuaded me to roll up yet another WoW character :) so I could hang out on the server that they are on. Being into hunters lately, and them being Horde, I rolled up a Blood Elf hunter, named Deminestia (the first time I’ve used an automatically-suggested name unmodified; I like it).

I was curious to see what the notes for Patch 3.3 meant about having lowered leveling requirements at low levels. Turns out what they meant was that they’ve lowered leveling requirements at low levels, and you level really frigging fast.

(And they’ve also left all the existing quests in place, which means there are now far too many quests in any given area; if you try to do all available quests, like Spennix used to back in the day, you’ll be far too high level by the time you get to the last ones.)

And then once you get to Level 15, you can start to use the new “Find a Dungeon”, which will automatically hook you up with like-level characters from all the realms in your battlegroup, and magically transport you to an appropriate instance. One result of which is that you level even faster.

Having run Rage Fire Chasm twice and Shadow Fang Keep once, here’s Deminestia with her faithful dragonhawk Fido, on Friday, at level 20. After less than three days of playing! And pretty casual playing, at that (no staying up all night or anything).

Deminestia and Fido

(Prettier larger)

And since they’ve also wildly lowered the level and gold requirements for mounts, here she is on her brand new Blood Elf Riding Chicken:

Deminestia Mounted

(Also larger)

That is one embarassing mount. :)

I’m curious to see whether all this speeding up of the first twenty levels will just make the next sixty drag, as I get past the point where they’ve accelerated leveling, and no longer have a mount to work toward (since I already got one). Of course there’s still swift mounts, flying mounts, swift flying mounts…

It’s not just about killing dragons

It’s time for another Spennix update!

Since hitting 80 and getting the Explorer title, Spennix has been doing the usual sorts of heroic things, standing on the wing of an airplane fighting off attackers while the pilot struggles to get them out of the Engine of the Makers:

Spennix on the Wing

Hunting fierce dragons on mammoth-back:

Spennix on the Hunt

Venturing into the occasional mysterious dungeon in the company of other hardened adventurers:

Looking Tough

Hanging about with kings and other royalty:

Spennix and the Bronzebeards

And gathering armies of loyal followers about her:

Spennix's Penguin Army!

(Wa ha ha ha! The squad of penguin minions was for the Critter Glitter achievement; and it makes a great picture.)

But WoW is not all about combat and dragon-slaying and penguin minions! Some of it is about, for instance, bunnies!

Who says WoW is all about combat?

That title “the Noble” is from the Noblegarden spring event, which is all about bunnies and chocolate and things.

One bit of it involves using an item to put bunny ears on a female (sexism!) of all of the primary races in the game. Having a tough time finding a female Orc, Spennix snuck into the heart of Orgrimmar, one of the capitals of the Horde, and sat invisible by the flightmaster, hoping an Orc lady would happen by.

Spennix in Orgrimmar

(That didn’t actually work, and I eventually ran into one in a square in Dalaran.)

And just for grins here’s Spennix, as a pink bunny herself, sitting on the back of the throne of the King of Stormwind, just because:

A bunneh may look at a King

And well this is getting sort of long :) but finally here is evidence that even WoW can have its quiet idyllic moments:

Idyll

Sitting on a mossy bank in the Marshlands of Un’goro Crater, with one’s town-hat on against the rain, a cozy fire burning, lazily fishing with one’s pet moth flitting around one’s head.

And if the hook is baited with nightcrawlers taken from the decaying bodies of zombies in the Western Plaguelands, well that just adds to the sweetness of the moment…

Spennix the Explorer and friends

Spennix has been busily exploring the world and leveling and so on. Here she is literally rocketing into the cold adventurousness of the Storm Peaks:

Spennix explores Storm Peaks by rocket

She recently hit level 80 (yay! currently the highest level in the game), but I don’t have a picture to go with that (ya don’t look any different at 80, and catching the yellow leveling-flare would have taken split-second timing with the camera).

She also finished exploring the Entire World, and got the corresponding title; here she is in the obscure corner of Storm Peaks that was the last place to be filled in on her map:

Spennix the Explorer!

(Note that it’s so cold you can see her breath; I like how Blizzard puts in cute details like this.)

Not too long after turning 80, she went on her first 25-person raid; into the Obsidian Sanctuary! Spennix-like (and for that matter Dale-like), she wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, but was not disturbed by the fact; she just ran in and stabbed whatever it was everyone else was attacking.

Here’s the group about to go after Sartharion, the main OS boss:

Spennix's first 25-person raid: Sartharion

If you look real real close, you can make out the back of her head more or less dead center (because the WoW camera is always centered on the character, which is probably necessary to prevent rampant cheating, but really limits the pictures you can take!).

The raid did really well; we didn’t lose anyone until we got to the final boss, and while it did take us three attempts to down Sartharion, we did it without too much trouble.

I wasn’t expecting much in the way of loot or anything, being mostly along for the fun and not really knowing what I was doing, but I rolled a 99 (after the person before me had rolled a 98!) and came away with a lovely set of Concealment Shoulderpads, which you will probably see in future Spennix pictures (can’t imagine she’ll get anything better to replace them with anytime very soon).

It was great fun. :)

In other WoW news, I rolled up a lil gnome mage on a different server where some friends are putting together a guild. Here is Tashalorum (currently level 12 or so):

Tashalorum!

Extremely perceptive readers may notice some resemblance to Spennix…

And back on Spennix’s server, I finally got Spennatrix (originally a Holy Priest, but respec’d to Shadow when I realized that I was never playing her because Holy is so hard to solo with) up to level 30, which in these enlightened times means she gets a mount! Here she is on her Spotted Frostsaber:

Spennatrix's First Mount

somewhere in Darnassus (the Elfish capital).

And that’s todays news from World of Warcraft. :)