The Time Has Come (for the AQ War Effort)

For someone who's "into" MMORPGs to the degree that I am, I'm surprisingly rubbish at keeping up with what's happening in Classic in terms of tweaks and patches. I guess that makes for a more authentic experience, considering that I had no clue what was happening to the game as a whole back in Vanilla either. Back then, every change came as a surprise to me.

Fortunately for me Wilhelm pointed out in a post that the AQ war effort started yesterday - I would have been disappointed if I had missed that. I wrote about my memories tied to the opening of the gates when the event first started on private server Kronos.

After reading that some guilds are apparently super prepared and have stocked up on enough materials to basically complete the collection pretty much instantly, I was curious to see how the two servers on which I have characters would fare in comparison. As a reminder, I play Horde on Pyrewood Village (PvE), and Alliance on Hydraxian Waterlords (RP-PvE).

 I could hear the sound of lots of people making bandages when I arrived.

I checked progress on both this afternoon, at which point it must have been about 24 hours since the hand-ins started, and while they were nowhere near done they were well underway. Pyrewood Village was about a third of the way there, while Hydraxian Waterlords had only handed in about 15% of the required materials - but then it has a notably smaller population.

One thing that was interesting to me was that even though both servers have an Alliance-Horde ratio of about 2:1, Horde on Hydraxian Waterlords isn't far behind the Alliance in terms of progress, while on Pyrewood Village, the Alliance has already done almost twice as many hand-ins.

On both servers there was a similar pattern of the high-level materials being provided much more quickly than the low-level ones - on both servers the Alliance was already full up on Thorium bars for example, while the bottlenecks on both appear to be linen bandages for Alliance and wool bandages for Horde. Those materials may well be easy to come by, but which raider wants to spend their time farming linen for hours?

My initial reaction was a brief surge of delight when I visited the Ironforge military ward on my night elf hunter and realised that one of the hand-ins was Spotted Yellowtails - I had just been fishing the day before to feed my pet and had several stacks of them, but was happy to donate them to the war effort instead. Of course, then I realised that all I'd get in return for my hand-ins was a piddly bit of rep, which I don't really care about, so...

I might just see if I can make a bit of money off people keen to do more hand-ins by farming materials. I had already been wondering why prices for Runecloth and wolf meat were suddenly noticeably higher than they'd been previously (before I had realised that the war effort had started).

And of course it would be cool if I could be there for the actual opening of the gates. On Kronos it was a bust for me due to the open world PvP, but fortunately I'm on two PvE servers this time around. Of course, the question remains of how soon we'll get there. The initial progress seems to indicate that the gates should open quite quickly, but then Kronos was full on Thorium bars on day one too and then ended up taking more than five months. While I don't think that things will be this slow on either of my servers in Classic, I do expect progress to slow down as people get rid of their stockpiles and find themselves having to do actual farming of otherwise fairly useless materials to advance the cause.


I Kind of Want to Play Retail Again

No, not BfA - and not really Shadowlands either. But I'm intrigued by this giant level squish that's supposed to come with the Shadowlands pre-patch and that's supposed to allow people to level (close) to the level cap in a single one of the old expansions. Plus there'll be a new starter experience too, and I'm always up for checking out one of those.

I could make a Draenei and level her through Outland, to get a refresher for how it feels in the live game before encountering it in Classic TBC (whenever we'll get that).

My husband said he'd be game for levelling a pair of alts through Wrath (not a particular favourite of mine, but an opportunity to play with him again would be worth it).

The worgen druid that I levelled in MoP never finished all the zones there - after the squish she should be level 37 or so, so I could actually level her up by completing any remaining quests.

And of course I've never played through any of the expansion content that came with WoD and after.

I'm not sure I'd actually want to do all these things - but dipping my toes in and trying a couple actually sounds interesting, and it wouldn't require any additional purchases beyond the subscription I'm already paying for Classic. Plus you know that whenever that pre-expansion patch actually drops, all the blogosphere will be playing and writing about it, and it's always fun to be part of that sort of zeitgeist.


Level 60 Hunter, Round 2

My night elf hunter hit 60 today, hurray! In real world time, it took me a while to get there (almost six months), but in terms of /played the journey was actually about 16 hours shorter than on my tauren hunter. I guess not worrying about mount money this time around really paid off?

She dinged from handing in a quest in Eastern Plaguelands, though she hasn't actually done anything in that zone yet... the quest in question originally came from Winterspring and I only handed it in because the quest items took up four bag slots and I really wanted to get rid of them. Silithus is also still completely untouched. Once again, I can't really relate to people running out of quest content at the higher levels (though being rested a lot of the time definitely helps).
I already did a partial review of my levelling journey when this one hit level 40, so I'll just post a few more screenshots that I've taken since then:
I am easily amused, as evidenced here by me feeling the need to screenshot mine and another hunter's pets being shrunk by a curse in Uldaman. I'm pretty sure I have a similar screenshot of characters being affected by this in my original screenshot folder from Vanilla, because some things never get old.
In southern Stranglethorn, in the hills with the Venture Co. miners that throw explosives, I ran into a priest called Love who got herself into trouble with an accidental overpull. It was a situation I could relate to very well, so I quickly swooped in and saved her, which resulted in several grateful emotes. Being loved by Love tickled me.
Still the best escort in the game. Also, I actually managed to get my mechanical chicken this time around! On my tauren I remember the Tanaris beacon dropping once when she was still very low level and I was low on bag space, so I didn't pick it up at the time, figuring it would drop again soon enough, and then I could never get it to drop again, meaning I missed out on the third chicken escort you need to complete to get the pet. You bet I didn't make that mistake again.
Just as I was starting to wonder whether everyone's just that good in Classic and that's why we never wipe in any of the dungeons anymore, this Zul'farrak pug managed to wipe to Antu'sul in a pretty spectacular manner.
I remember this quest in Azshara being quite a pain back in the day because - being unsure of just which island I was supposed to go to - I spent a lot of time swimming around the coast in confusion. Fortunately I knew what to look for this time around. Also, while I recognise Xiggs Fuselighter as an obvious Star Wars reference now, I totally didn't get it back in the day and that makes it okay and not annoying in my book.
After the poor show I was treated to after saving Sharpbeak on private server Kronos a few years ago, it was nice to see him get rescued properly this time around.
Speaking of things that Kronos got wrong: Rexxar doesn't aggro on Alliance players! I'll never forget him and Misha chasing me halfway across Desolace on Kronos and how annoying that was...
In the ruins of Andorhal I found my first epic of Classic, but it was sadly underwhelming. I think I ended up selling it for twelve gold or so...
Wilhelm commented on this the other day, but it's always funny to get stuck in "rush hour" when you end up on the same boat as some guild on its way to Onyxia's lair (presumably). Makes the server feel very alive.
Talking about my tauren's levelling journey, I noted that Un'goro had been strangely devoid of devilsaurs, presumably hunted to extinction by keen skinners and leatherworkers. I don't know if this is less of a thing now with even better gear in the game or whether it's just because Hydraxian Waterlords has always been a bit quieter, but either way Un'goro wasn't nearly as empty there and I had to dodge out of the way of roaming devilsaurs more than once. One time I even ran into King Mosh himself.
Flying up and down the coast of Kalimdor I got to find out what happens if you get disconnected mid-flight - I thought you would appear at the nearest flightmaster or something, but nope - I reappeared in mid-air without a gryphon upon reconnecting and ended up plummeting onto what I think is an otherwise unreachable plateau in Stonetalon Mountains. I had a bit of a look around and then hearthed out, since I was nowhere near where I wanted to be and there didn't seem to be a safe way off.
I had virtually no memory of this escort quest in Felwood; I suppose I might have done it back in Vanilla but I'm pretty sure I didn't run into it on Kronos. Pretty sure I would have remembered the giant tree...
We'll see what I'll decide to focus on next.