Insane in the Membrane

After many Sundays (and when we say many, we mean many) spent killing Goblins, Pirates and Murlocs, we finally made it, we’ve lost our sanity (what little we had)!

Gamrok

Even if I’m used to grind, the last part of the achievement Insane in the Membrane took it to another level. Pickpocketing thousands of Murlocs on the Isle of Quel’Danas really took a piece of my sanity away.

I remember that Sunday afternoon when Sisqi and I ventured to Booty Bay to see how hard it was to kill the guards… I don’t know how many hundreds of hours we’ve spent working on that title since then, but one thing is certain, I’ll wear that title until my last day in WoW.

Below is the video of when I completed the achievement, I wanted to make sure I’d never forget that moment.

Sisqi

I remember how it all started, a few years ago, with killing thousands of Goblin guards in Booty Bay. It was quite the massacre and, for a long time, we couldn’t enter any Goblin outpost without being attacked by the green little fellows.

When I got exalted with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, I knew that there was no way back, I just had to get the title “The Insane”. I think that this was my greatest ambition throughout the entire game and, yesterday, we finally made it.

I think that Blizzard knew exactly what they were doing when they chose the name of this achievement. Pickpocketing Murlocs for 34 hours (yes, 34! I’ve kept track of time) took grinding to another level. I think that you must, indeed, be insane in the membrane to be able to complete it ;p

It’s by far my most favourite achievement in WoW, and I’ll be wearing my new title with pride until the end of time.

A look back at Legion

At this point, we can safely say that we’ve seen Legion in its final state. So, why not having a look back at all these things that kept us busy during the last two years. This is not a review, just a list of “we did/didn’t enjoy”.

General design of the zones

The Brutes: From Stormheim to Argus, this expansion was gorgeous. Of course, we have our preferences, like High Mountain and Mac’Aree, but all zones were fantastic to level and to quest in.

World quests

The Brutes: We’ve always been fans of daily quests. It’s a nice system that keeps you busy and gives you the feeling to work toward an aim, mostly the reputation with a faction. I remember, in MOP, Sisqi and I were thinking that it would be nice if they could find a system to keep our interest in the dailies beyond the exalted status and, boom, they’ve made it with the emissary caches and the random rewards they contain.

Class fantasy

The Brutes: To us, one of the best things of this expansion. We wish we had the time to complete all the class halls. We’re actually sad that it won’t continue in BFA. We enjoyed every aspect of it, from the halls to the special mounts and the amazing quest lines.

Prestige and PVP quests

The Brutes: Eventhough we’re not PVPers, we enjoyed these quests. While the Tower Assaults are a quick PVE strike granting PVP experience, events like Black Rook Rumble really hit the spot by introducing us to some fast paced PVP content. We enjoyed each of this event and, sometimes, they were even the funniest things we’ve done all day. Also worth mentioning: the PVP brawls, also a ton of fun.

Fishing

The Brutes: There’s no secret here: we love fishing, and we are really happy that Blizzard has provided us with even more reasons to use our (gorgeous) fishing poles. Way to go Blizz!

Mythic dungeons


Gamrok: It became my challenge and probably my first source of end-game content. It’s exactly what I was looking for: an intense but short instance that would make me want to become better geared and skilled. Finally, all this work on my rotation and my ilvl is put to the test. I’m really happy to read that myhtic dungeons are gonna be pushed further in the next expansion.

The mage Tower

Gamrok: I’m a bit shared about this one. I enjoy a challenge and working toward an achievement, but the difficulty of the challenges doesn’t feel balanced. For example, the Resto Druid challenge is incredibly longer, harder and more frustrating than the Beast Master Hunter. So, we may all run around with our challenging appearances, but they really don’t mean the same thing.

Artifacts


The Brutes: We need something that gives us the feeling that each gaming session brings us further toward an objective and collecting the artifact power gave us just that. We don’t need to be geared instantly, we’re more of a “it’s the road that matters” kind of persons.

Story

The Brutes: Helping a faction with their own troubles, so they will help us in return isn’t a new thing, but helping Thalyssra to create a new source of Mana so we could overthrow Elisande and finally defeat Gul’dan was awesome. It really feels like a lot of work was put in the insurrection quest chain, and seing Thalryssa joining the Horde felt the same as when an old friend decides to join your team.

Treasure chests

The Brutes: It may seem trivial to some but hunting those hidden chests really adds a lot of pleasure to our exploration experience. Just one thing we’d like to see changed in BFA: don’t make us carry the treasure maps in our bags anymore.

Balance of power


The Brutes: The quest that almost made us quit: how dare they force us into real raids and mythic dungeons! Well, we were wrong. This quest is what made us use the premade tool, introduced us to mythics and was the greatest source of entertainment during our X-Mas holidays. Sorry Ion, we shouldn’t have doubted you.

Gating

The Brutes: While we understand why some content needed to be gated, it doesn’t make us hate it less. Gating broke our first run through the expansion. We enjoyed all the quest lines while leveling our Druid, once the gating was gone. Don’t do this again, please!

Professions and Obliterum

The Brutes: A complete fail! I can’t believe that they’ve managed to make engineering boring, and I’m not even talking about Jewelcrafting. Obliterum was inexistent to us. The only time that we wanted to use it to improve engineered goggles, it didn’t work. It has never been documented, why couldn’t engineers use it, it is a complete mystery to us. Cooking was horrible, I hate Nomi and I hope that he burns in his kitchen, just like he burned so much of my food!


(source)

Raids

The Brutes: Not much to say there. We don’t really raid enough to judge the mechanics. Design-wise, we enjoyed Emerald Nightmare and Tomb of Sargeras the most. We really didn’t like Antorus.

We also enjoyed

The Brutes: Pet battle dungeons, Hidden secrets, Timewalking raids, The deaths of Chromie, the Death Metal event at the DMF and micro-holidays. All small things that add so much to the game.

Conclusion

Besides gating, Legion was an awesome expansion, probably even better than WOTLK when it comes to gameplay. Good systems were improved and new ones were introduced to enhance our experience and increase the replayability. Good job Blizzard and congratulation to the man behind all this: Ion Hazzikostas.

Balance of Power

It took us nearly 4 weeks to complete the achievement. We now walk around Azeroth with the most awesome balance artifact appearance.

Our fisherfriends

During our last holidays, we worked hard to bring our druids up to date with the latest content. Among our goals was “Fisherfriends of the Isles”.

We’ve spent more or less two hours a day fishing in raids to become best friends with each of these guys…

Our favourites were Suramar (because it was incredibly fast) and Val’Shara (because the raid was gigantic – more than 40 horde players and 20 allys).

We’re so glad that Blizzard has implemented more fishing activities and I hope that they’ll continue in the next expansions.

Where were you at Midnight?

While the world was raging outdoors, we were celebrating New Year’s eve at home, in our PJs. Comfortably installed in front of our computers, we were participating to the mayhem that was taking place at Orgrimmar’s auction house.

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The day we saved Christmas

What better time to tell a story than Christmas? It’s cold outside and cozy inside, we’re celebrating with our loved ones… But do we think about those who, secretly, work hard to make the magic happen? Well, this story is all about them.

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The Brutes have gone hippie

Where the hell have we been? Well, we’ve been chasing butterflies and enjoying the change of seasons. We had a great Halloween, filled with good (and less good) horror movies.

We’ve also been reflecting on a way to enjoy WoW without being constantly burned out. Spending our entire WoW time hunting achievements was easily getting tedious. We needed to enjoy more of what the game has to offer, and we really didn’t enjoy instancing with our hunters. So we went back to our druids. Don’t worry, we’re still brutal, only a bit softer (probably because of all the feathers).

Gamrok

My first character in WoW was a druid… It was the time when only Taurens or Night-elves could be druids. I remember that morning, Sisqi was about to join me at the office for lunch and we were going to buy games for our Easter holidays… Instead of working, I had spent my time reading the descriptions of all the classes and races, trying to choose which character I would create. I rolled a druid for a few reasons:

  • I wanted to be Alliance (I know, silly choice);
  • I didn’t want to be a human (already enough of it IRL);
  • I wanted a class that could fill all roles.

So, for a year or two, until The Burning Crusade, I healed in raids and I was pretty happy. Until the day I decided to see what the other classes had to offer. From that moment on, I’ve only been switching characters: rogue, warlock, mage, shaman and, finally, hunter.

I kept playing with my hunter through Cataclysm, Pandaria, Draenor and almost all Legion, but I’ve never been really happy with my class. I thought that the strong ability of the hunter to solo almost everything would open all doors to me. Unfortunately, it did quite the opposite, I didn’t have fun in dungeons, raids or PvP anymore, so I kept hunting achievements.

Most of the time, I would play for a few months, then get tired of doing the same things all the time, quit the game, then come back for a few more months… This has been my WoW pattern for the last 6 years.

During my recent break, I thought that the day I would come back, I would change radically, I would go back to a class that would give me fun in raids and dungeons: the Druid. So, without further delay, I present you Madstag, my Tauren druid:

It’s been a few weeks that I’m trying to catch back on the expansion, mixing instances and quests, and I’m having an absolute blast! Not only have I found back the pleasure to heal in raids and dungeons but I’ve also found back the drive to gear my character, to perform as good as I can. My game time is more balanced which greatly helps preventing the burn-out.

Sisqi

When Gamrok told me that he wanted to main back his druid, I thought about leveling mine to keep him company. But, as I was playing with my moonkin, I realized how much more fun I had than with my beast master.

Eventhough the DPS of my balance druid isn’t as big as my hunters’, I just have more fun casting spells and shapeshifting. Also, I’ve missed my Tauren and I’m glad to find her back, meet Dragondoe.

I’ve practically caught up on on almost all Legion content, I’ve even started “Balance of power” which I didn’t with my hunter. I ran an heroic, a normal raid, a few mythic dungeons and had fun doing these! Now that’s something I thought I’d never say!

Until a week ago, I always thought that LFR and LFG were more than enough for me. I guess that playing the wrong class never motivated me to get out of my comfort zone. I dreaded running dungeons and raids, grouping up in general was like a stressful nightmare. This made me feel left out in the game for years. My moonkin, on the other hand, made me realize that all these things are actually fun and make me look forward to my next gaming session.

At the moment, Gamrok and I are in the middle of our 3 week Christmas holidays, which means that we have more time to game! Here’s a list of all the things that I wish to accomplish in WoW before the end of the most wonderful time of the year:

  • Getting exalted with Ravenhold so, I finally get the title “The Insane” (nothing new, but like that it will be official :p);
  • Finishing all quests in Suramar to get the “Insurrection” achievement;
  • Getting the fishing artifact
  • Leveling my Legion reputations, including the fisherfriends;
  • Getting my classmount;
  • Progress in “Balance of power”;
  • Getting a cool transmog because Dragondoe looks like a homeless gypsy.

There’s a lot more that I would like to do, but what would be the fun in completing all at once, right?

Grim Dawn – Ashes of Malmouth (1/2)

The first expansion of Grim Dawn is out and it brought a lot of new stuff to this already great Hack’n Slash: new class masteries, increased level cap, 2 new chapters,… You can check the complete list of new features here.
After having spent most afternoons of our first week of Halloween holidays fighting our way through the game, here are our thoughts about it:

Gamrok

I had a few weeks of fun last year playing Grim Dawn, but the unoptimized graphic engine broke the game for me. In some zones, the game couldn’t get above 20 fps on a last gen PC with a 1080GTX…

The first thing I noticed with Ashes of Malmouth is that the graphic engine has been updated and never goes below 60 fps no matter the zone. To me, that’s a big green light.

Also, the classes I rolled back then were too squishy (dual handed soldier with 0 physique) or too boring (summoner). This time, like Sisqi, I went for a balance between resistance and offense, a Witchblade (soldier + occultist).
So far (almost level 40), I’m having a blast. Leveling in heavy armor with a two hand and arc as main skill is insanely fun.

I know that I’m nowhere near the end game and that everything will change in ultimate but leveling is a big part of my experience, I’m not rushing, I’m on holidays and I wanna take it easy 😉

Sisqi

Before the release of “Ashes of Malmouth”, I was playing a summoner in Grim Dawn. While I had a lot of fun leveling my character before this expansion, I’ve grown tired of summoning things and letting them do the job for me. Let’s face it, nothing’s more satisfying and rewarding in a hack ‘n slash than smashing all and everything around you with a bad-ass weapon. So, I went for another build this time. No more “cast and run”, but a “come at me bro” type of character that can take quite some damage before dying.

The last time I went for a melee class was in Skyrim and Diablo, and man, did I miss it! I’m having so much fun, I can’t wait to see how my character will perform in endgame content.

At the moment, I’m following a Cadence Witchblade build, partially from a build Gamrok found on the Grim Dawn Forums, the other part by improvising.

Until now I’ve followed most of his advise though… I needed to start somewhere, right? ;-p

    Leveling guide by jajaja:

    Level with 2hand blade arc:

    Start soldier, rush mastery to blade arc, max it, then rush to laceration, max it. 1 point in blitz for gap closer, then rush to oleron’s rage, max. then pop a point in occultist and max CoF. Afterwards get soldier passives then more points in occultist for the passives as you see fit.

    Basically pop CoF and bladearc away.

    Start with falconswoop/hawk, then lizard to get kraken. afterwards slowly work ur way up to oleron, getting dryad/assassins blade on the way to level those skill.

    Get a high dmg 2hand mace from vendor on a high lvl char , or do the best you can if its ur first char, attackspeed isn’t that important, just high base dmg, a white one is fine. when choosing gear, make sure to get decent armor values and get armor absorption up with scaled hide/field of command. use ectoplasms if you need mana, if its your first char you can farm those from ghosts in A2 spined cave or something like that.

    Go all physique early to use high lvl armor/weapon.

    At lvl 75 spec to real build. devotions are straight forward and no backward speccing required.

So far, I’m having a blast! I can’t wait to see how this build will work when running higher difficulties, I’ll write a new post with my thoughts and ideas later on.

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