Emperor’s and The Alliance

Dear Reader,

After the slaughter at the gates of Warsong Hold in the Borean Tundra I grew bored or frustrated with Gnasch.  Wrath was coming to an end and I knew I was not going to ding 80 any time soon.  So I made a decision.  I parked Gnasch in Warsong Hold and rolled an Alliance toon on another server.  Maxymo the Human Warrior was born on December 7, 2010.

I had two reasons for rolling him.  About this time I became an avid reader of WOWInsider.  Certain contributors talked about playing both sides of the fence.  I wanted to see the alliance side.  Unfortunately I would only see the post-cataclysm version but I wanted to see it even with the changes.  The other reason was much more selfish and loathsome.  I had become a frequent talker in guild chat on the Horde side.  I thought, ‘If I leave will I be missed?’. Ugh!  Sad but true.  I have issues with needing to be missed I guess.

So there I was in a new human warrior at Northshire Abbey.  I was just heading out of the abbey to pick up my first quest when I got a whisper.  She wanted to know if I would mind signing a guild charter.  I had done this in the past to earn gold but this did not come with an offer of gold.  She was just a person asking if I would sign her guild charter.  All the other requests came with gold and then an instant /gkick when the guild was formed.  This time there was a surprise.  When she got the 10 guild signatures I was promoted to officer!  What?  I had never been anything but at best a member.  Now here I was holding officer power.

Turns out it was a brother and sister who formed the guild.  She was really nice and we got along smashingly.  He was one of those that was too good for the game.  All the mechanics to him were clunky and the game too easy.  He was leveling a worgen warrior and did it mostly through battlegrounds.  He was learning to speak Korean because he wanted to get in on the closed beta for Tera which was developed by a South Korean video game company.  Evidently you had to speak Korean to get into the beta.

I do remember why I named him Maxymo.  I was reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. 1 at the time.  I was in the era of Diocletian.  He was co-Ruler with Maximim.  And it seemed that even pretenders to the throne were name Maxi-something.  So I named him Maxymo.

So there I was an officer.  I got to play the bad cop and disciplinarian.  I love this role.  We hummed along for awhile with no problems.  I leveled as I am wont to do.  The GM recruited and we got more and more people.  The Worgen bitched constantly on how easy the game was and how there seemed to be an imbalance in battlegrounds.  Horde was destroying Alliance.

Then one day I got a whisper from a guild member.  He was trying to recruit me to come with him to form another guild.  After some inquiry it was found that he was about 8..  He thought I was ‘cool’ and wanted me to come be his second in charge of his new guild.  We officers talked and finally we /gkicked him because he would not stop trying to steal our members.  He wanted better access to the guild bank and the money in it. He ‘needed’ money to buy a mount and to by riding.  This is common theme in guilds I have been in.  We told him he would have to earn it like the rest of us.

After kicking him out he started harassing me.  I put him on ignore.  I logged in one day and I had left Maxy in Stormwind.  The kid’s toon was standing right next to me.  I went to go about my business.  He tries talking to me via the /say command.  I ignore him.  He then proceeds to follow me everywhere while babbling apologies.  I should have reported him but I did not know how.  I logged out.  After an hour I log back in and mercifully he is gone.  Yeah!

I leveled Maxy till I got to about level 60 and was in Tanaris.  The guild was falling apart.  The Worgen had gotten to 85 and quit.  We did not do anything as a guild and I am slow leveler.  When were down to about 10 members I quit the guild and faction and realm transferred Maxy.

It was back to the old server and guild.  I was now an Orc Warrior.

Yours truly,

Gnasch

The Birth of Gnasch

Dear Reader,

 

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I don’t really have a main, but if I did it would be Gnasch.  After dabbling with the undead warrior I rolled new toons and tried many races and classes for a couple of months.  Nothing ever grabbed and held my attention for very long.  Finally I rolled Gnasch . . . a troll hunter.  Why that name?  It sounded vaguely troll in a Tolkien kind of way so I went with it.  I was, am and will always be Marksman spec because….well that is what I chose first and I am not much for the spec of the month club.  What drew me to the class was the pet.  This was back in the day where you have to go tame your first pet but not till level 10.  There was a series of quests that taught you how to tame the three different types of pests, how to feed and how to control them.  Trolls started in the Valley of Trials because the Echo Isles were still occupied by the bad trolls.

I made it to the then legendary Barrens.  There was a toon running around with the name Hexadecimal.  I don’t remember what class he was but he helped me out after I told him I liked his name.  I kept seeing him around Orgrimmar and at the Crossroads.  I finally worked up the courage to ask for a guild invite.  He invited me and I have been a member ever since.

I knew nothing of rotations, damage meters, addons, or gear scores.  People in guild chat were talking about Justice points and running heroics.  I wanted to get there and run with them.  We were nearing the final patch for Wrath.  People in guild kept asking me to group with them so they could enter a dungeon or raid to spend currency on gear.  I would do it all along feeling very jealous.  I wanted to run dungeons with the guild.  But I was still a noob and trying to get to max level. And I was still in the old world.

I did ok till I got to Outland.  I was rather excited to go through the Dark Portal.  Standing on the Outland side of the Dark Portal watching the eternal battle is still one of my favorite sites in-game.  I started leveling in Hellfire.  I HATED IT!  Why did I hate the expansion that so many love best to this day?  Because I died…over and over and over again.  I was there about an hour and got stomped on by the Fel Reaver.  I don’t play with the sound on so I never heard him coming and thought that the shaking did not apply to me.  STOMP!  CORPSE RUN!

When Outland first went live many of the quests required you to group up and kill elites.  I remember this one in particular –  Wanted: Blacktalon the Savage.  He is an elite  Stoneclaw and is tucked in a cave with some other non Elite non-elite stoneclaws.  My rotation was terrible and did not understand the use of traps.  I also had a tiger pet which is a ferocity pet. If you are a hunter you know that ferocity is the pet spec for high DPS  and running dungeons.  For me during leveling solo I needed a tenacity pet for holding aggro and tanking for me.  I did not know this and leveled with the tiger.  I would pull Blacktalon and he would be on top of me and ranged only worked at range not in close.  I would quickly die.

As so life (or digital life progressed).  I slowly inched my way across Hellfire and into Zangermarsh.  Things seemed to get easier and I progressed more quickly.  Somewhere in Nagrand a guild mate told me I was using the wrong kind of pet.  I needed one that was a tenacity pet that could tank for me and hold aggro.  I looked it up and decided on an ape.  I went to Stranglethorn and tamed me an ape.  His name was Grapeape.  I still use him today as my leveling pet.

As we neared the end of Wrath I slowly got myself to Northrend.  I started in the Borean Tundra.  I got my first quest and ran out of Warsong Hold and promptly died because I thought I had to kill the swarming flying bugs there.  I learned later that the mobs I was after where down in the dig site.  I made it out to Garrosh’s landing and parked my toon for a long time.

Yours truly,

Gnasch

Beginnings

Greetings,

Now that I have the Matrix posted I need to explain how I actually play and my history in game.  I first gave WOW a spin via the free trial during the middle of Wrath of the Lich King.  I rolled an Undead warrior whose name I forget.  In any game the undead have always fascinated me and I was happy to see that WOW gave me the opportunity to play the undead.  I rolled a warrior because I thought that it was generic enough that I could possibly succeed at it.  During this time everything even in the stating zones was hostile unlike today where they  are just neutral.  The vampiric duskbats proved to be deadly because they do a knock back.  I had a hard time seeing them, would aggro them and eventually I would die.  My arsenal was thin and I had no idea what I was doing.  While adventuring around Tirisfal I stumbled upon a quest involving the crypt and the family Agamand.  The details are a bit fuzzy but the end of the quest chain had the quester going down into the crypt  to kill the leader.  I proceeded down there and kept getting killed by the various undead.  They were densely packed and I could not handle multiple mobs at once.  You had to kill Captain Dargol and he was in the bottom in room filled with his minions.  As I remember the world chat was filled with people trying to complete this quest and asking for help.  I was too stubborn to ask or reply.  Not to mention too afraid of appearing to be a ‘noob’ that I would not group.  I just ended up leaving it in my quest log and moving on to SilverpineForest.

In Silverpine I had my first serious run it with the dreaded Murloc.  Around LordamereLake they ran rampant if you got past the bears.  I still have nightmares about Murlocs.  I remember talking to someone about them and explaining how I would be glad to get to higher levels to be rid of murlocs.  That person laughed and said that they existed at all levels but there were more of them and were harder to kill.

I dallied about in Silverpine killing undead and spiders for awhile.  I had one serious issue though.  The Son of Arugal (a level 20 Elite) wandered the forest.  I had no idea what an Elite was so I would engage it and would be one shot.  I tried to avoid it but it was hard to see between the trees.   So I got killed quite a bit by them.

Pyrewood village was another place that I remember with horror.  If I remember correctly if it was night it was full of worgen and they were hard to kill.  During the day it was full of alliance troops.  Either way I could not begin to figure it out and kill anything.  I was perhaps the worst warrior ever rolled.

Regardless of the difficulty and the problems I was having I was hooked.  I went ahead and bought the full version and started anew.  And it would not be the last warrior I rolled.

Yours truly,

Gnasch

Long Time Coming

Greetings,

I am sorry for not posting for a long time.  No excuses.  I have been hard at work leveling.  However I have made some changes to the way I am doing this.  No toon will be leveling as anything but DPS.  I can no longer abide the dungeon finder and groups.  It is not my thing.  The idea of leveling through zones as one spec and going into the dungeons as another is too much work.  Having to carry two sets of gear and gearing for both is beyond my capability.  The idea was to get 22 toon through to 90 with the loremaster achievement which has nothing to do with dungeons.  So I am not doing it.

Since I last posted I got my first Alliance toon to level 90 with the Loremaster achievement.  He is the Worgen Feral Druid.  My wife named him Loopen. I will expand on him later.  He is an Alchemist.  This has proved more grindy (yes I know that is not a word) that I had realized.  I had to do some major grinding in Outland.  Still working on the Outland discoveries.

Currently I am leveling the Alliance Death Knight as 2H Frost.  I am not all the enamoured with her but I will do it anyway.  She is working her way through the Cataclysm stuff as I write.

More later,

Gnasch

 

Method to the Madness

Greetings,

My goal right now in WOW is to level one character per class per faction to 90 and achieve World Explorer and Loremaster.  I will also level each character’s primary and secondary professions to the level cap which is 600.  Any additional achievements that are earned are just gravy.

One of the reasons I like to do this is to learn the ins and outs of the class mechanics. While leveling Gnasch to 90 I had to research rotations, talk to other players in-game for help on mechanics, and play around with the class.  I really enjoyed doing this.  I found many web-sites to help me along.  WOWInsider led me to the Hunter’s Union and Mr. Robot for gearing.  WOWHead became a mainstay and Noxxic was also heavily used.

I finally came upon a method to make it all work.  I put together my progression matrix and followed it.  What follows is the general method I have used pre Mists.

I complete almost every quest in each zone in the old world.  I start out in all of the factions beginning zones.  These are not part of the Loremaster Achievement but the zones are part of the World Explorer Achievement.

I try to run the zones in order but it does not always work out that way due to logistics.  As an example, it is far more efficient to play through Arathi and then The Hinterlands rather than run through Arathi then go to Kalimdor to do Stonetalon. This way I can hit all the zones in a more efficient manner.

After I finish the old world I usually am about level 62.   I move on to Outland, then to Northrend then back to do the Cataclysm content.  What has happened in the past is that I usually ding 70 somewhere around completing Nagrand.  I will then move on to Northrend leaving half of Outland unfinished.  I ding 80 somewhere after running though the Boren Tundra, Howling Fjord and most of the Dragonblight.  I then will move on and do all of the Cataclysm content.  Finally I will come back and mop up whatever is left to net the achievements.

That is how I have done it three times now.  I am going to have to revise my plan this time around.  I will still run the old world in order and not move on to Outland before that is done.  This time around my plan is to run Outland and Northrend completely and then move on to Cataclysm and Mists.

With DPS I very rarely run dungeons at low level.  I am not a fan of dungeons and I would level too fast.  In the current class scheme I will be performing all three roles.  So as a tank and a healer I will have to run dungeons to learn how to perform each role.  I am sure I cannot learn to heal or tank just questing.  But when playing DPS I will probably skip most of the old ones.

Both Tol Barad and the Molten Front are on the progression list.  I am pretty confident that I will not be running those.  I have done the Molten Front 3 times for the mount (my favorite mount) and now that mounts are account wide I do not see any reason to plug away for 2-3 weeks to earn the Marks to open up the Molten Front stuff.  I will just have to wait and see.

That is how I will approach the challenge.  Next up will be my Gnasch’s history.

Yours truly,

Gnasch

Progression Matrix

Greetings!

This post is going to be low on commentary.  I am going to post my Progression Matrix.

A big part of how I achieve Loremaster and World Explorer is what I call Progression.  It is how I proceed through the game.  You can also see it as play style but I think of it as progression.  How did I come up with the matrix?  I am a big fan of WOWHead.  I would guess that some people see it as cheating but I think of it as a part of the game.  So here is the matrix.  I will explain it right after I post it.

  • Azuremyst Isle (A)                 Kal      (1-10)
    • The Exodar (A)                       (1-90)
  • Teldrassil (A)                          Kal      (1-10)
    • Darnassus (A)                         (1-90)
  • Durotar (H)                             Kal      (1-10)
    • Orgrimmar (H)                        (1-90)
  • Mulgore (H)                            Kal      (1-10)
    • Thunder Bluff (H)                  (1-90)
  • Dun Morogh (A)                     EK       (1-10)
    • Iron Forge (A)                         (1-90)
  • Elwynn Forest (A)                  EK       (1-10)
    • StormwindCity (A)                (1-90)
  • Eversong Woods (H)              EK       (1-10)
    • SilvermoonCity (H)               (1-90)
  • Tirisfal Glades (H)                  EK       (1-10)
    • The Undercity (H)                  (1 -90)
  • Bloodmyst Isle (A)                 Kal      (10-20)
  • Darkshore (A)                         Kal      (10-20)
  • Azshara (H)                             Kal      (10-20)
  • Northern Barrens (H)              Kal      (10-20)
  • Westfall (A)                            EK       (10-15)
  • Loch Modan (A)                     EK       (10-20)
  • Ghostlands (H)                       EK       (10-20)
  • SilverpineForest (H)               EK       (10-20)
  • Moonglade (C)                        Kal      (15-20)
  • Redridge Mountains (C)         EK       (15-20)
  • Ashenvale (C)                         Kal      (20-25)
  • Duskwood (C)                                    EK       (20-25)
  • Hillsbrad Foothills (C)            EK       (20-25)
  • Wetlands (C)                           EK       (20-25)
  • Stonetalon Mountain (C)        Kal      (25-30)
  • Arathi Highlands                    EK       (25-30)
  • Northern Stanglethorn (C)      EK       (25-30)
  • Southern Barrens (C)              Kal      (30-35)
  • Desolace (C)                           Kal      (30-40)
  • Cape of Stanglethorn (C)        EK       (30-35)
  • Hinterlands (C)                       EK       (30-35)
  • Dustwallow Marsh (C)           Kal      (35-40)
  • Feralas (C)                               Kal      (35-40)
  • Western Plaguelands (C)        EK       (35-40)
  • Thousand Needles (C)                        Kal      (40-45)
  • Eastern Plaguelands (C)          EK       (40-45)
  • Badlands (C)                           EK       (44-48)
  • Felwood (C)                            Kal      (45-50)
  • Tanaris (C)                              Kal      (45-50)
  • Searing Gorge (C)                   EK       (47-51)
  • Burning Steepes (C)                EK       (49-52)
  • Un’Goro Crater (C)                 Kal      (50-55)
  • Winterspring (C)                     Kal      (50-55)
  • Blackrock Mountain (C)         EK       (50-60)
  • Deadwind Pass                       EK       (50-60)
  • Swamp of Sorrows (C)           EK       (51-55)
  • Silithus (C)                              Kal      (55-60)
  • Blasted Lands (C)                   EK       (55-60)
  • Hellfire Peninsula (C)             Out      (58-70)
  • Zangermarsch (C)                   Out      (60-63)
  • Terokkar Forest (C)                 Out      (62-70)
    • ShattrathCity                         (1-90)
  • Nagrand                                  Out      (64-70)
  • Blade’s Edge Mountain (C)    Out      (65-70)
  • Netherstorm (C)                      Out      (66-70)
  • Shadowmoon Valley (C)        Out      (67-70)
  • Howling Fjord (C)                  NR      (68-72)
  • Isle of Quel’Danas (C)                        EK       (70)
  • Boren Tundra (C)                    NR      (70-72)
  • Dragonblight (C)                     NR      (71-80)
  • Grizzly Hills (C)                      NR      (73-75)
  • Zul’Drak (C)                            NR      (73-77)
  • Sholazar Basin (C)                  NR      (75-80)
  • Icecrown (C)                           NR      (77-80)
  • The Storm Peaks (C)               NR      (77-80)
  • Crystalsong Forest (C)            NR      (80)
    • Dalaran                                    (1-90)
  • Mount Hyjal (C)                     Kal      (80-82)
  • Vashj’ir (C)     
    • Kelp’Thar Forest         EK       (80-82)
    • Abyssal Depths           EK       (80-82)
    • Shimmering Expanse  EK       (80-82)
  • Deepholm (C)                         Mal      (82-83)
  • Uldam (C)                               Kal      (83-84)
  • Twighlight Highlands (C)       EK       (84-85)
  • Tol Barad (C)                          EK       (85)
  • Molten Front (C)                                 (85)
  • The Jade Forest (C)                 Pan      (85-86)
  • Valley of the Four Winds (C) Pan      (86-87)
  • Krasarang Wilds (C)               Pan      (86-87)
  • Kun-Lai Summit (C)               Pan      (87-88)
  • Townlong Steppes (C)            Pan      (88-89)
  • Dread Wastes (C)                   Pan      (89-90)
  • Vale of Eternal Blossoms (C) Pan      (90)
    • Shrine of Two Moons Pan      (90)
    • Shrine of Seven Stars  Pam     (90)
  • Key
    • H – Horde
    • A – Alliance
    • C – Contested
    • Kal – Kalimdor
    • EK – Eastern Kingdoms
    • Out – Outland
    • NR – Northrend
    • Mal – Maelstrom
    • Pan – Pandaria

I don’t follow this completely.  I do try and run them is some order.  But when I run Arathi and go ahead and do the Hinterlands next.  How I do each zone also depends on where I am starting.  If I start in Kalimdor I try and ‘go with the flow’.  Zones like Told Barad and the Molten Front will not be run this time around.  I have done Loremaster 3 times now but I did it during Cataclysm.  It will change the next time.  The next post will be an elaboration of how I go about running this mess.

Yours truly,

Gnasch

The Coming of Insanity

Greeting Readers!

 

After playing WOW for 6 months or so I found that I needed to start doing something I really loved.  Making spreadsheets!  There is so much stuff to do I could not keep track of it all.  At first I was using paper but I have such terrible penmanship that it became necessary to use Excel to keep track of it all.  Somewhere I discovered the Loremaster achievement.  I am a completionist.  I needed to do this on my main.  Then I though I needed to be self sufficient when it came down to professions too.  Therefore I need one toon per profession.  For that matter I needed a toon for every class!  AND THEN I NEED TO DO IT FOR BOTH FACTIONS!!!!  You see how this went.  I now have two three ring binders with my tracking spreadsheets in them.  This is how I break it out.

 

  • Tab One:  Character Matrix – I will demonstrate below.
  • Tab Two: Zone Progression – Explanation in a another post
  • Tab Three:  Cooking- There is some much to do surrounding cooking that I had to have a separate tab to keep track of it all.  Then MOP hit and things got worse
  • The Rest:  I have a tab for each toon which includes a spreadsheet for primary professions (Recipe, Plan Patter… etc.), a Best In Slot Gear Matrix for end game and a Bucket List for achievements.

 

This all led to the inevitable.  I am going to attempt to level 22 characters (or toons) to the level cap…which is 90. Why 22 toons you ask? Well that is 11 toons per faction.  So I will level 11 toons from the Horde and 11 toons from the Alliance.  I will play a main spec per class (plus the obligatory dual).   Here is the break out for Horde

 

  • Undead – Death Knight – DPS – Unholy – Frost- Blacksmith – Mining
  • Troll – Druid – Tank – Guardian- Feral – Alchemy – Herbalism
  • Troll – Hunter – DPS – Marksman – Beast Master –  Leatherworking – Skinning
  • Blood Elf  – Mage  – DPS -  Arcane –Fire –  Jewelcrafting – Mining
  • Pandarian – Monk – DPS – Windweaver – Mistweaver – Jewelcrafting – Mining
  • Blood Elf – Paladin – Tank – Protection –  Holy – Inscription – Herbalism
  • Undead – Priest – DPS – Shadow- Discipline –  Alchemy – Herbalism
  • Goblin – Rogue – DPS – Assassination – Combat –  Engineering – Mining
  • Tauran – Shaman  – DPS – Enhancement – Elemental – Tailoring – Enchanting
  • Blood Elf – Warrior – DPS – 2H Fury – Protection –  Blacksmithing – Mining
  • Orc – Warlock – DPS – Demonology –Affliction –  Enchant – Herbalism

 

And here is the Alliance

 

  • Human – Death Knight – Tank – Blood –Unholy – Blacksmith – Mining
  • Worgen – Druid –DPS –  Feral – Guardian – Alchemy – Herbalism
  • Night Elf – Hunter –DPS –  Beast Master – Survival – Leatherworking  – Skinning
  • Dwarf – Mage  -DPS – Fire – Frost – Jewelcrafting – Mining
  • Pandarian – Monk – Tank – Brewmaster – Mistweaver – Mining – Jewelcrafter
  • Draenai – Paladin – Holy – Protection – Inscription – Herbalism
  • Dwarf – Priest – Heal –  Holy – Discipline – Alchemy – Herbalism
  • Gnome – Rogue – Combat – Subtlety – Engineering – Mining
  • Pandarian – Shaman – Elemental – Restoration – Tailoring – Enchanting
  • Human – Warlock – Destruction – Affliction – Enchant – Herbalism
  • Worgen – Warrior – Arms – Protection – Mining – Blacksmithing

 

 

As you can see DPS the most represented.  I started out as DPS and most comfortable DPSing.  I will go over my play style or lack thereof I a later post.  I will also go over my history in WOW.  For now you should know (on the Horde side) I have leveled my Hunter to 90, my Warrior to 90 and have started the Shaman into the Jade forest. Before Mists dropped I also started the Night Elf Hunter.  She is somewhere in the 30s.  Recently I started the Worgen Druid and he is currently level 27. 

 

On all of these toons I am going to get the Loremaster Achievement.  Yes, I realize that now that achievements are account wide this not necessary, but this is who I am.  I got Loremaster on the 3 Horde toon above and since MOP dropped I have gotten Loremaster of Pandaria on the Troll Hunter.  I am one quest chain away from the Pandaria Loremaster on the Warrior too.

 

A note on professions.  While leveling each toon I also level the professions to maximum level.  Yes that includes even the secondary professions . . . even Fishing.  Although I just noticed that I did not even bother leveling it on my Horde Shaman

 

Yours truly,

 

Gnasch