Day 01 – Introduce yourself
Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog
Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW
Day 04 – Your best WoW memory
Day 05 – Favourite item(s) in game
Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)
Day 07 – The reason behind your blog’s name
Day 08 – 10 things we don’t know about you
Day 09 – Your first blog post
Day 10 – Blog/Website favourites
Day 11 – Bad habits and flaws
Day 12 – A usual day in your life/online time
Day 13 – People (players/bloggers) that you admire
Day 14 – This upsets you
Day 15 – Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Day 17 – Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)
Day 18 – Your favourite outfit
Day 19 – In your bags/bank
Day 20 – If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?
Day 16 – Things you miss (post Cataclysm)
Throughout taking part in the 20 days of WoW blogging challenges I’ve tried to be honest in my views and assessments. Some have been easier to write about, and some have really been a challenge. This one appears it will be a little difficult for me to express my thoughts and reflections concerning the content of the Cataclysm expansion. As time passes and we get deeper into the MoP content it’s easy to forget what we felt and experienced in the last era of the game.
Does anyone remember when there was a lot of moaning and groaning about heroics being difficult at the start of Cataclysm? I do. It even prompted an article called WoW, Dungeons are hard! written by none other than the elusive crab himself, Ghostcrawler. To the disagreement of many, I personally liked it when heroics were hard. I liked it when players had to actively think and work towards completing them. I liked the challenge and teamwork it fostered among players. Trash hit hard, things needed to be crowd controlled, the tanks had to be on their game and healers had to make important decisions on where to use their sparse and precious mana bars in order to survive. All healers also learned the important lesson of healing priorities and triage. The heroics in Cataclysm really did take a team effort, even for pugs.
Completing a heroic in Cataclysm felt like completing a mini-raid. It took a little bit longer to complete them and the repair bills were high if someone wasn’t pulling their weight. Don’t get me started on how many times I corpse ran in Stonecore because we lost a healer to the explosive crystals of the dreaded worm Corobus. I know I died a lot because people didn’t LoS Slabhide the drake by ducking behind a pillar. How much gold did I spend on repairs because sometimes a group had a bad pull or someone drew aggro from the trash before Ozruk? Ever have a tank that didn’t know what to do on Ozruk? Wipe, wipe, wipe. When things are hard that’s when I find it the most appealing. Beating a boss 3 mins before the enrage timer makes me /yawn, but downing the boss with 3 seconds left…well that’s exciting for me.
Loot dispensing machines
I took my kids to a skating rink a few years back and they had one of those arcade style crane machines. You know the kind where you drop a quarter in a slot and then you get to move the little crane arm around until you’re just over the candy or toys that you want. When you’re ready to take your chances you’d push a button and the large claw plummets to the treasure below, and if you got lucky the claw might catch one of the prizes and return it to you by way of a bin opening. On this particular claw machine you never lost. It always dropped prizes, but the kind of loot it dropped was basically worthless and often wound up in a nearby trashcan. My kids played it twice before they easily got bored.
Last year, while on vacation we were at an amusement center that had one of those machines. This particular crane machine game was hard. The prizes were nice toys and stuffed animals instead of cheap little plastic doo-hickeys. The whole family took turns and we cheered each other on. I have no idea how much money we spent, but we finally did win a prize. My son still has that car he won prominently displayed in his room and a week or so ago my wife and I made some changes in his room and so we had to clear out some of the older toys. My son, plucked that car from out of one of the storage boxes we had placed it in, and he put it back on his shelf telling me it was the crane machine prize. That made me smile because here was a $5-10 dollar toy that held special meaning to him. That little car was special to him not because it was a car that looked cool, but because it was one he almost didn’t win. It was a car he won having fun with our family. It was a car he felt like he earned for his effort.
Maybe that’s my odd way of thinking, but I do miss that feeling of accomplishment and in the current heroics I think it’s lacking. While I know that feeling is there in raiding, it seems to be missing somewhat in heroic runs. I don’t think I’ve heard once from anyone saying or complaining that they found a particular heroic in MoP as being too difficult. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone complain about any of the heroic dungeons at all. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. For Blizzard, I’m sure it’s a never ending battle of trying to keep the content relevant and balanced for people to enjoy. For me, I prefer it when it’s more difficult and I’m not getting rewarded with little cheap plastic doo-hickeys.
Gathering and the landscape
For MoP, collecting herbs has become so much easier to some degree. Specific herbs are quite easy to gather and they are no longer spread out among an entire zone like they were in Cataclysm. Now, you can gather tons of herbs relatively easy. I don’t think you can walk anywhere in Pandaria without tripping over Green Leaf Tea nodes. If you were an herbalist in Cataclysm, you might remember the hard work and effort of trying to gather Twilight Jasmine. You really had to travel almost the entire length of the Twilight Highlands to gather even a half stack of them.
I miss enjoying my gathering runs for farming many of the herbs I needed for my potions. I would mount up and fly around an entire zone searching and looking for herb nodes while enjoying the layout and scenery as it passed below me. You had to cover a lot of ground, and you got to appreciate all of the work the designers added to the game. I like my farm at Halfhill, but the scenery never really changes. The only things that seems to change on my farm at Halfhill is which plot a juicy crunch vine might be hiding to fight me when I tend my crops.
Vashj’ir – Oh, how I miss thee
I don’t know many people that liked Vashj’ir. Out of all the zones in Cataclysm a majority of players I’ve spoken with seem to have disliked it the most. Some players even have told me they hated it. The reasons for the unpopularity of the zone seemed to range from the storylines themselves, to all of the cut-scenes, to the awkward feeling fighting and moving underwater. I like Vashj’ir, I really do, and I like the zone for a few reasons.
I’ve been to the Bahamas and the East Carribean on a few vacations and one of my favorite things to do was snorkle and scuba dive. If you haven’t done either, I suggest you at least try it once in your life. It’s quite an experience to see the world from a different view, where plants and animals live in a world that is far removed from your own. Vashj’ir felt that way for me offering a quiet, tranquil beauty of life and nature in place that often goes unseen and undisturbed.
My hunter was the hardest working gatherer/farmer I knew during Cataclysm. She was a valuable worker for me. She is both an herbalist and a miner and so she would gather all the resources and materials to help supply my other toons. Since few people players liked Vashj’ir, it was rare to see anyone there other than someone leveling an alt which meant the mining and herbs nodes often were plentiful. It may have took a lot of traveling across the zone to get to them, but it always paid off.
In the span of an hour or two, not only would my bags be brimming with ores and flowers, but I probably helped bag the spirit crab, Ghostcrawler, for a fellow hunter. During my farming circuit I’d often see Ghostcralwer appearing and disappearing in his winding loop around the SW portion of the Abyssal Depths. If I had a few copper for every time I helped someone get Burgy Blackheart’s Handsome Hat, I probably could retire from hitting the gold cap. If only that dang item was a BoE! Ugh! I’d be wealthy!
For all the hours I spent farming in the Vashj’ir area, I still never even came close to gaining the Reins of Poseidus mount. I actually think that creature’s respawn rate is worse than the TLPD! I only found its corpse one time and that was at its most southern location. Other than that, the grand seahorse’s only appearance I can find has been the small orange squares that show up on my map from the NPC_Scan overlay marking and displaying its spawn points.
Cataclysm wasn’t that bad IMHO
Like Vashj’ir, Cataclysm was an expansion many players disliked. As a warlock who watched the numbers of his class fall to nil, I probably should look at Cataclysm with a more slanted view; however, I didn’t think Cataclysm was all that bad. When the Cataclysm Expansion trailer hit and when Deathwing landed on the gates of Stormwind, people cheered with excitement. Who wasn’t in awe as the great desrtoyer laid waste to a lot of our well known zones?
The idea of the designers adding flying to the old world of Azeroth couldn’t have arrived faster. The zones and storylines (other than Uldum) I thought added some flavor to the game. The revamp of the lower zones and questing hubs helped make leveling a toon easier instead of feeling like you were seeing the older content over and over again. The hunter in me even applauds the hunter challenge tames Blizzard added to spice things up as well. Get on a hunter and try a solo tame of Deth’tilac and tell me if you didn’t have fun or if it’s something you’ll soon forget.
Yes, Cataclysm had it’s drawbacks. The lead villain, Deathwing, was almost non-existent other than playing a role in the opening trailer, the login screen, and for causing a few patches of fire laying waste to all in its path that varied from zone to zone. When you finally played endgame content and landed on this monster dragon’s back for a battle for the fate of our world it came across at anti-climatic for me. Despite its drawbacks, Cataclysm wasn’t that bad IMHO. I’ll always remember it for what it was: another expansion under my belt, more fond memories of friends and of adventures, and another chapter in my history and ongoing struggle for surviving in Azeroth.