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.

Your WoW Soundtrack

In this new community challenge, Zeirah & Cinder want to know more about our WoW music. It took us a while to write this post because we don’t really listen to anything else than the game music when we play WoW.

However, there are a few zones in the game that trigger songs in our heads.

Gamrok

Because of the quest Welcome to the Jungle, Strangelthorn Vale always makes me think about Guns’n Roses.

There was a time, long ago, when I was someone else (I swear), I enjoyed trolling Night Elves. I was playing a Dwarf and, everytime I was flying above Feralas, I was yelling insults against the wood folks. Eventually, it degenerated into a macro that would yell the lyrics of Lady Gaga “Paparazzi” eveyrtime I flew over Feralas, adding some “color” to the Night Elf roleplaying that was taking place below… It was stupid, but it made us laugh. It remains one of my favourite remembrances.

Sisqi

Scholomance has always been (and still is) my favourite dungeon in the game. Everytime I go there, I have No time to cry of Cradle of Filth in my head. I have no idea why, must be because the band looks like a bunch of undead. I could imagine them holding a concert in the depths of the dungeon.

I’ve never been a big fan of jungles, in-game ones included. It’s as if I can feel the hot, damp climate trough my screen. I remember going to Sholazar Basin for the first time, the song that popped up in my head was The lion sleeps tonight of the Tokens. I don’t particularly like the song, but it became my official OST for Sholazar.

A taming story

As requested by Alunaria, we’re about to tell you one of our taming adventures. Take a seat and turn on your second degree because the story that follows is filled with danger and heroism, but it also may or may not have happened exactly the way we tell it.

Gamrok

Most people know me for my natural charm and my magnificent muscled body. But what trully makes me the awesome Orc that I am, comes from my courage, my intelligence and my exceptional strength.
When, like me, you’re a natural hero, the challenges of the normal life may not be enough. I mean, come on, any hero already rescued Azeroth several times, it became trivial to me.

One of the reasons why I became a hunter is to tame beasts. What possibly could be more challenging then facing fierce creatures without your weapons, as equals?

Today, my thirst for danger is leading me to the Eye of Azshara. I’ve obtained from a very reliable source that a fierce beast, half lion half hawk, has made its lair on the southern part of the island.

I first carefully prepare my backpack with all the necessary equipment. You see, the secret of a sucessful taming trip lies within the preparation. After having double checked everything, I sneak out of the hut. Sisqi, as usual, is still asleep… I jump on the back of my mount, direction The Broken Isles.

I land close to the entry of the cave. From now on, I must be extra careful, any wrong move could lead me to my death. The challenge has begon and my instincts have kicked in. I check the direction of the wind and I mask my scent, I don’t want the beast to detect my presence. I walk close to the walls, very slowly, almost motionless.

I see the animal and I realise that it’s probably the most dangerous one I’ve ever faced. I keep in the shadow, watching its every move. The plan is forming in my head, I’ll have to jump on it from above and maintain it to the ground. If I give it a chance to open its gigantic wings, I’ll be dead under its sharp talons.

The time for action has come and jump as high as I can. I’m probably ten meters above the ground when I let myself fall on the beast’s back. I try to keep away from its head, I don’t want to give it the opportunity to bite me. The beast is angry and tries to turn, but I manage to stay on top. Unfortunately, I slip on the feathers. Even if I quickly manage to get back in position, the creature is fast and it has the time to bite my left boot. I feel the pain and the warm blood leaking off my foot but I don’t have the time to think about it. I mentally supress the pain and double the strenght of my grip.

After what felt like hours, the beast starts to tire and, suddenly, it gives up. I roll on the floor and I take a few minutes to recover. When I finally get back up, all I can see in its eyes is respect. That beast will follow me anywhere and it will defend me until its last breath. A bond has been created.

After limping back to my Wind Rider, I head back home. Tonight I’ll celebrate another victory and I will probably be the admiration of the entire Durotar.

Sisqi

As usual, when Gamrok finally decides to get out of bed, half the day has already passed… It’s been pretty quiet lately and that is what scares me the most. No hut on fire, no broken bones and no jailtime yet… Or my man is finally calming down, or the next catastrophy is about to happen. Knowing him, I would bet on the latter.

After the breakfast, I see him gathering a few things from around the place. He’s still very silent, he only had his third cup of coffee. When he’s not watching, I quickly check the content of his bag: A bottle of Dwarven Ale, a piece of stinky cheese and a steamy romance novel. Oh my, it must be quiet the expedition he’s up to. When I ask him what his plans for the day are, he answers “Listen, pumpkin pie, there are times when an Orc has to be alone. What I’m about to do requires extreme concentration. Not only would it be dangerous for you, but you would risk to put us both in danger. That’s why you’ll have to wait for me. But don’t be afraid, I’ll be very careful. You know me.” That’s usually when I start to panic.

He explains me that someone very reliable gave him a map to a secret cave where a fierce creature has made its lair. He’s gonna head there and tame the beast.
A reliable source, huh?! It seems like he’s been hanging with Marcel again… I’d better add some real equipment to his backpack, I don’t think that sharing a pic-nic or reading a naughty Tauren novel is a very good way to harness a dangerous beast.

I also quickly checked that secret map of his, I’m not gonna let him throw himself in I don’t know what crazy plan that local drunk, Marcel, has put in his head this time.

After a rather long flight, I land not too far from Gamrok’s landing location. As I suspected, his preparation consists mostly in drinking his beer and taking a nap. When, finally, he decides that the time has come for some action, I follow him to the cave.
You would think that anyone willing to tame a dangerous beast would try to keep his scent masked and be as silent as possible. Well, if walking with a piece of dalaran blue in your hand as only equipment means being prepared, then Gamrok was as prepared as he could be.

What follows is suitable for the faint of heart, because no blood was shed and no violence whatsoever happened in that cave. Gamrok simply walked in as he would enter any bar from town, and walked to the creature as if they were friends from way back.
The one thing that you must know about my man, is that beasts love him. I don’t know if it’s because of his charisma or the smell of his feet but, where most adventurers would be shred to pieces, all Gamrok gets is furry balls of affection, a few good licks and a ton of drool. It didn’t take long for the beast to even start chewing on his boot, letting his big toe come out. Another pair of boots ruined by a very “dangerous” taming adventure.

I think it’s safe to say that no harm will come in his way today. I silently backtracked to my mount and headed back to the village where my man would join me triomphant this evening. My man, the hero.

What’s in you bags?

Another great project from Z & Cinder! This time, we get the opportunity to show what’s in our bags.

Gamrok

I use Arkinventory to sort my bags. It’s my all-time favourite addon, the one I couldn’t live without. You just have to define a few rules, then it sorts your bags into groups. I use the same profile for all my characters, that’s why I’ll only show you Gamrok’s bag.

    A. My accesories, including: Hearthstones, treasure maps, Jeeves, whistle, gnomish army knife,…
    B. Quest items;
    C. Pet battle items;
    D. Fun Stuff (party grenades and awesomefish);
    E. Artifacts;
    F. Pandaria farm items (I don’t know why I still carry that around);
    G. Crafting & cooking material;
    H. Fishing lures and equipment;
    I. Archeology;
    J. Consumables;
    K. Everything that doesn’t belong to the other categories.

Sisqi

As you can see, I’m far from being as neat and tidy as Gamrok (in real life and in game ;p). I use the default bags, which are filled with whatever clutter I find and which I’m not sure whether I should keep or get rid of.

    A. Some consumables like food, potions,… and profession equipment for first-aid and fishing;
    B. A huge mess consisting of some quest items, consumables, champion equipment,… and… stuff that I don’t really know what to do with;
    C. More consumables (never can have enough food it seems ;p), profession mats, a quest item (again) and Sentinax beacons;
    D. All my important stuff that I can’t accidentally get rid off: Hearthstones, treasure maps, currencies, whistle, my artifact weapons for SV and MM,…
    E. Crappy gear that I still need to hold on to, even more quest items, some special fishing lure and my Master Hunter and Hunter’s Seeking Crystals.

All in all, we may have a very diferent way to organize our bags, but their content is pretty much the same. Our only wish is that we would have less clutter to carry around, like the treasure maps,… Crafting materials could have a tab of their own, where they would stack infinitely (like in Guild Wars 2, I believe). And, last but not least, we should have the possibility to upgrade the backpack. Maybe will we see it in a future expansion pack.

A day in the life of your toon

We stumbled upon a few bloggers doing this challenge from Z & Cinder, and it got us thinking about what a day in the life of Sisqi and Gamrok would be like.

Gamrok’s day

Just like everyday, I don’t wait for the sun to rise, I get up and I do my exercises: one thousand push-ups (on one hand) and 5 rounds of Orgrimmar, I don’t even break a sweat. What did you think, that I had these fabulous muscles for free, it takes a lot of work, you know?!

Then, I go to the market to buy some groceries. My awesome new tattoos don’t go unnoticed, a group of young nymphets scream when they see me, but I’m used to it and I don’t even look at them.

I get back to our home and I do the chores. I try to remain as silent as I can, I wouldn’t want to wake up Sisqi who’s still dreaming (probably of me).
I know that I spoil her, my friends don’t even know how to cook or how to clean. But she deserves the best, and I think we can safely say that this is exactly what she gets.

After having prepared her breakfast, I write a little note to my pumpkin pie. I let her know that I’ll be spending the day honoring the flame at the bonfire of Suramar. My old friend Marcel, probably the holiest guy I’ve ever known, has been asked to take care of it. I’ll be back before dawn.

I then take a windrider to Meredil and meet my old buddy. Very respectfully, we share a drink and memories of the past.

At that moment, I notice a young Night Elf girl approaching silently, a bucket in her hand. She thinks that she goes unnoticed, but nothing escapes my keen eyes. I also see three Suramar guards closing in on her, but she’s so focused on not spilling the water, that she pays no attention to them.

Horde or Alliance, it doesn’t matter to me. You see, I’m made of pure hero material, I can’t let a lady get in trouble. It’s a good occasion to practice my blind shooting, so I fire a shot over my shoulder, using only my hearing, not my sight. As expected, the bullet kills all three guards at once.

I walk to to the poor thing, she’s still shaking, but I sense that it isn’t out of fear anymore. I understand what’s going on… Like so many before her, she’s falling for my natural charm. Eventhough I can’t understand her language, I know that she’s probably offering herself to me. And, just like so many before her, I respectfully decline. You see, this magnificent Orc is already taken. I could get her name though… Alunaria. Well, little elf, your name will be on the list of my broken hearts.

An hour later, guess who decides to show up. Yep, Sisqi finally got out of bed. She missed the action, but I feel better knowing that she was safe.

Sisqi’s day

It’s eleven in the morning, and I’ve already done so much. The shopping is done and the dinner is ready for this evening. Gamrok, as usual, is still sleeping. He snores so loud that the cuttlery on the table is moving on its own.

I’d say that I do the chores silently, but honestly nothing could wake this slumbering Orc, only the smell of his coffee. It’s nearly noon when he finally decides to show up. He drinks what he calls his morning cup of Joe, I call it a bucket. Before I realise, he’s already gone and he has left me an almost unreadable note: Marcel – Bonfire – Suramar. My man, the poet.

I’d better go there myself, you have no idea what these two are capable of. Let me describe you the famous best friend of my husband: You already knew green Orcs and brown Orcs, but you propably didn’t know about red Orcs. Well, to my knowledge, there is only one. Marcel drinks so much that he’s permanently red-faced and his nose is deformed by the thousands (millions?) of beers he drank in his life. I don’t think that I’d hurt his feelings by calling him “the local town drunk”, he’d probably take it as a compliment.

While I love my man, I also know that he is not a saint. These two together is the perfect recipe for disaster. If we would want to get rid of the Legion, we’d just have to send these two with a few bottles of beer. Few are those who could survive it. Fortunately, I’m one of them. That’s why I’m heading to Meredil.

My mount hasn’t landed yet, but I can already hear their laughter. As I approach the place where the flame is located, I almost trip over the empty bottles they’ve left behind.
Here it is, the mighty scene of Gamrok and Marcel “honoring” the flame. They can’t even stand anymore, so drunk they are. All they can do is singing songs that would violate the most sinful ears. This bonfire has to be the most unholy in the entire festival.

Not far from them, I notice a young Night Elf approaching the fire to extinguish it. She didn’t notice the three Suramar guards closing in on her. I can’t expect my two heroes to do anything. In the state that they are, they probably can’t see anything anymore.

As I start to run, I ready my bow. My arrows reach their aim almost before my wolf could take care of the hostiles. The Night Elf says something, but I don’t understand her language. However, I can see that she’s grateful. She drops her bucket as a way to say that she won’t desecrate this fire.

I pick up the bucket and spill its entire content on Gamrok, who can barely stand. I drop him on the back of my mount and bring him back home, where he falls in a deep coma, until the next day…