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Look! Up in the Sky!

After Kil’jaeden is defeated, Illidan uses a magic crystal to open a portal between the worlds so that they (and, presumably, we) could get back home. But, what’s that saying? A door swings both ways, I blieve?  While we could see Azeroth from over Argus … we can see Argus from here!

Initially, only those that brought down KJ in raid could see it, but this Tuesday, they opened the final wing of The Tomb to use LFR-ers (uh, “Raid Finder”, they say over at Blizz).  And on that magical day, Argus appeared everywhere.  Except for Northrend!Dalaran.

Be warned! Lots of pics and a video below!


The old capitals had a good view.

DarnassusIronforgeStormwind

But, sadly, Exodar missed out again.

Exodar

Kaz Modan …

Booty BayWestfall

… and Kalimdor …

FelwoodFeralaseMoongladeTheramoreUn'GoroWinterspring

Sometimes it showed in the most unusual and interesting ways …

r

And while I couldn’t see it from Northrend!Dalaran, other places in Northrend had a good view.

Borean Tundra

Even Pandaria had a good view, now that the mists have cleared.

Pandaria

And, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the cinematic that explains this little bit of fel candy in our skies.

What’s in Your Wallet? – Amulet of Spirits

If you’ve been playing this game a while – and I have – you tend to accumulate some stuff in your bank that people just don’t see any more. Some of it is for quests that don’t exist anymore, some of it for endgame content that nobody bothers even doing any more.  For my own amusement, I’ve decided to torture you with an occasional foray into my junk bin. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane!


Amulet of SpiritsEvery now and then, you receive an item required to complete a quest, then complete the quest, but then, when the quest is done, the item is still in your possession. The Amulet of Spirits is one of those items.

This item was part of a quest in MaraudonThe Pariah’s Instructions.  In this quest, you had to find five Centaur Khans and kill them for a specific jewel they were carrying. The Amulet was used to make them corporeal enough for you to actually attack them, because they were ghosts.

Once you had all five of the jewels, you combined them with the Amulet to create the Amulet of Union, which you then turned in for a tasty trinket, Mark of the Chosen.  This was a big deal at the time, because trinkets in Vanilla were pretty rare, and you rarely had one before level 40 or so. In fact, I think this was my first ever trinket, and had it equipped well into Outland.

Maraudon at the time was a lot more complex and dangerous than it is now. Back then, the areas outside of instances were generally inhabited by wandering elites. Maraudon was in a class of its own, though. There was an entire complex leading up to the entrances to the instance – yes, two entrances – and pretty much all of the mobs roving around were elites. And this is pretty much where the Khans you needed to kill were found.  Two of them were just inside the instance itself, which was a little dicey.

Yes, there were challenges aplenty in Vanilla. Don’t get me started.

The final challenge was turning in the quest. The Centaur Pariah was a wandering mob located in southern Desolace. While stumbling across him to get the quest seemed simple enough, the turn in was kind of interesting because all databases and other help sites kept sending you to the wrong location. He was, in fact, roving the same path as when you original found him. I usually found him hiding behind an old sandstone column (1). But the first time around – and the last time around (because it had been a while) I was going nuts trying to find him.

Long, elaborate, difficult, and rewarding. Excellent Vanilla quest line.

Nowadays … well, the Pariah still wanders southern Desolace, but he hands out neither quest nor reward. The Khans are still wandering around, but they’re no longer elites, and, in fact, Outer Maraudon is just the area outside the real instance now, not dangerous at all. And Desolace is greening, no longer the desolate desert it used to be. And trinkets? It’s raining trinks, my friends, between jewelcrafters, alchemists, and scribes, it’s hard not to find trinkets in your breakfast cereal.

If you have the amulet, you have in your possession a relic of the past which no longer has any purpose, other than nostalgia trips like this.


(1) – Well, I liked to tell myself it was sandstone. Sue me.

It breaks the heart

Bulvinkel

Grimm spent weeks stalking and finding his first spirit beast, Gondria.  Since then, he’s been content with what he has, but always been on the lookout for additional members to the stable.

Unfortunately, that’s never happened.  Oh, we’ve seen plenty of other exotic spirit beasties in our travels, but never when logged in as Grimmtooth. Flora saw Skoll a couple of times while pugging, but of course Grimm was never nearby when it happened.

And now, this week, Flora’s encountered Bulvinkel, a spirit beast moose (as promised by Ghostcrawler). Grimm was half a world away, and, of course, by the time he arrived, the beastie had been tamed (or worse, killed).

Don’t be that guy

Jas Port 110

It’s amazing. Mere days after posting a link to one of my articles about How2Auction, I get an in-game chat from a guy that just doesn’t “get it” with regard to an item I was selling.

In this case, one of my side markets are the Tomes of Illusion that Enchanters can make.  The mats for each come from the expansions they correspond to, and some of those are a little pricey, especially the older ones from Azeroth or Outland.  I don’t mean vendor price, but what they sell for on the AH, which is considerable, if they’re even available.

So you’re looking at on average a cost per tome of around 1500 GP, and of course there’s going to be the traditional markup. If there were no profit, I wouldn’t sell it.

Thus the stage is set.

HIM: Your price for Tome of Illusions: Azeroth is too high

ME: It sells well enough at that price.

HIM: It’s just a cosmetic thing!

ME: But it takes rare stuff to make it

HIM: But the mats are easy to farm

ME: Well, if you bring me the mats, I’ll make it for the mats, though a tip would be cool.

HIM: Fuk u

And halt.

This reminds me of a recent series of threads on Twitter, in which artists were being yelled at because they wouldn’t provide free artwork “for exposure”.  There are a lot of tiny little twitch channel commandos out there that think they’re hot shit, and expect to be catered to as such, and no dumb bish “artist” will be permitted to dis them by not doing shit for them for free.

Entitled little weasels.

Here it is in a nutshell. If you want it, it has value.

I don’t make claims to even remotely the same level of talent of the artists I see day in and day out posting samples on Twitter etc and trying to scrape out a living doing what they love. But I feel in some small way the frustration they must every time some jerk yells at me for not giving away the goods for free.

Don’t be that guy.   If you want a thing in WoW, you can

  1. Pay market price
  2. Bring the mats and be nice to someone with the skillset
  3. Get friends that don’t mind your freeloading

If you want art/code assets from a person, pay them“Exposure” means fuck-all, and it doesn’t put food on anybody’s plate. If you can’t pay an artist to decorate your Twitch channel, or a coder to set up the front end for your database, go get a real job. Maybe even learn to do yourself.  Stack Overflow at least won’t charge you to tell you how to do for yourself.

Squad Goals and Creature Comforts

3 MilI have a huge, huge rant about glyphs and the glyphmongering economy in the feed chute, but despite some very negative things I have to say about that, it’s still important to note that a resourceful person can make a decent virtual living in this game and still enjoy the game.

Today I poked my head over the 3,000,000 GP mark collectively with the combined sales of glyphs, tomes, and enchants – plus the occasional doodad that has no use to me – such as cloth.

I spend maybe a TOTAL of an hour a day on this, so don’t let anyone tell you you have to be dedicated to the cause of making the cashes. You can be a “dirty casual” AH tycoon and get along just fine.

One may ask what’s the point of having all this gold if not the act of having the gold?  Good question. My original goal was to never be wanting for the basic comforts of the game, be that mounts, gear, or supplies. Since the token came out, that goal has been modified to include “while never having to pay real money to play”, and occasionally for a family member as well.  Even with the higher cost of the token, I’m still managing that and coming out with a net positive.

Finally, I’ve modified my goals to include “being able to buy other stuff” by converting gold to Blizzard Bucks. Ever since Blizz revealed that you could buy Blizzard Bucks with tokens, and that you could spend Blizzard Bucks on anything in the Blizzard store, new vistas have been opened.  For sure, it’s also inflated the cost of tokens by around 100,000 GP per, but that’s because people are buying the HELL outta those suckers (so much for the rumors of Blizzard’s demise).

If this were a bigger chore, or the market less cooperative, I wouldn’t be doing it. But when I can have this kind of “security” without having to go nuts like some of those creatures I see humping the auctioneer’s leg hour after hour, I call it a win.

I won’t repeat myself, though the time may be ripe for an update to how I do this thing.  But the core principles still hold. Here’s past posts on the topic for your entertainment.

I’m currently working hard to get my JC and Potion sales going, though getting that “one-off” Alchemy boss has proven to be quite difficult. I don’t really know if there’s a market for either until I have some data, so that’s where we are right now.  But in this expansion, consumables are king, so that’s where I’m angling.

Art Department, can we talk?

I’ve recently completed my class mount quest, and, well, I need to preface my thoughts a little bit first.

Listen, art department peeps, I know you’re hard working Artists with a Capital A. And I respect what you do.  Going from solid models to 3D models requires a broad skill set.  Creating new sounds for fantastical creatures that don’t even exist is challenging under any circumstances. And you folks in the lead positions, I know for sure that it’s difficult to give good leads to the art and sound peeps and fold it all back together at the end of the development cycle and get it in to the assets people to be merged into the test servers.

I respect the challenges in developing all the pixels we see and use in the game.

Having said all that, I have to observe that somebody actually signed off on this.

Priest Mount

Its a good … whatever, Brant

I can’t even. It’s like somebody mashed an owl and a lion together without a) being told that it was supposed to be a mount or b) knowing what a lion or owl looked like originally. And the sound … the sound the thing makes when you summon it is reminiscent of the Witch King’s mount in Lord of the Rings. There is nothing divine about this creature’s screeching wail. It’s like somebody got the sound files for the Death Knight mount mixed up with the Priest mount files, and everyone’s too embarrassed to admit it. Working as intended, yo.

I hate to sound ungrateful, but, seriously, if they’d posted a note that “the Priest mount will be delayed for a few weeks for additional enhancement”, I would not have objected at all, expecially if I knew what we’d get “on schedule”.

Next up: mage mount.  It’s a fidget spinner, yo.  I can live with that.  It’s like that Pandaria Red Cloud thingy.

So that explains that

Perhaps you’ve seen the skies above the Black Temple and wondered, “why can I see Azeroth up there in the sky?”

Spoiler alert … this is the end cinematic from the Sargeras fight. Don’t watch it if you don’t want spoilers.

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