Meet Ray Charles

I know I should be ashamed… Not very cute compared to the feathermanes, but it’s got bloodlust and it makes me laugh.

The Nightborne

When the allied races were first introduced at Blizzcon, I was unimpressed to say the least. They felt (and still feel) like a low effort attempt at creating new content. So, when we pre-purchased Battle for Azeroth, I wasn’t in a hurry to unlock those “new” races. Another reason behind my lack of enthusiasm is that the racials of the Highmountain Tauren don’t fit my herbalist druid as well as my original Tauren. So, out of curiosity, Sisqi and I went to the Orgrimar embassy and started the quest to unlock the Nightborne.

The quest was more entertaining than we suspected and it felt great to be included in the politics of the Horde. I was proud of Lor’themar Theron’s attitude and I was very happy to see Thalyssar joining the Horde. After all, she was probably my favourite character in the entire Legion story.

As for the Nightborne model, I could use it to compliment my future boosted toon. But I’m still undecided about which class I’ll choose. I still have a few tests to make…

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.

Continue reading →

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?

Who is Gamrok?

I don’t really have a background story for Gamrok… He doesn’t come out of a tale filled with heroism… Instead, I always pictured him being a mix between two different personalities.

His first half would be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for his heroic image and his muscles. No challenge seems big enough for such a character, he’s always ready to jump of a cliff to rescue his old neighbour’s cat…

The other half is Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter, not for his cowardice, but for being a total jackass. Always smiling to the ladies, he walks down the streets as if he was leading the parade. His favourite quote would be “It’s not because you’re not as fabulous as I am, that you’re not fabulous at all!”.

You mix these two guys and you get Gamrok, always looking for a challenge, always ending up in perillous situations and, eventhough he always gets rescued by the fearless Sisqi, he always manages to get out of the danger with a charming smile, as if he just saved everyone. A real hero…

Class Fantasy, Nay or Yay?

This time Z & Cinder wonder whether “Blizzard nailed it on the head, or is it just leaving you cold and wanting to re-write the way your toon’s class is portrayed”. Blog challenge accepted!

I’ve always been a die hard fan of class specific lore so, my answer to the question is most definitely: “Yay, Blizzard nailed it on the head”!

Beast Mastery: Among the most gifted hunters, there are those who have from birth felt a profound bond with the creatures of the wild. These beast masters are drawn to the perilous primal world, invigorated by its dangerous and untamed nature. Primitive landscape becomes home. Ferocious predator becomes kin. Whether in the thrill of the hunt or the heat of battle, beast masters call forth a litany of vicious animals to overwhelm prey and gnaw at their enemies’ will. – Blizzard

Pet Taming

The taming of beasts is reserved to hunters only, and has always been one of the things I truly enjoyed about that class. I remember, in Draenor, the secret quest chain to tame Gara… The day that I discovered that there was such a thing for us, beast masters, I went ecstatic. Class specific lore adds so much more to your character. Gamrok and I eagerely jumped into this taming adventure to obtain the magnificent ghost wolf, Gara.

With the release of Legion, Blizzard started implementing more and more “special” tameable creatures throughout the entire game. Imagine our suprise when we heard about this awesome news!

The first to be introduced were the mechanical pets. If you’re not a Gnome or Goblin, you must acquire the engineer-crafted Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix to begin with. Once crafted and learned, you can tame about any mechanical hunter pet available in the game. Some are quite easy to obtain like the mechanical sheep Tekton, while others remain a little bit more challenging, like the Arachnodrones found in Alcaz Island.

The new Hunter pet family added in patch 7.2: the Feathermanes. My favourites being the Wolfhawks, that’s why I’ve tamed all three of them. The possibility of taming this new pet family requires the completion of certain achievements and quests. Wowhead, as usual, has a really nice guide that you can follow blindly.

Then there is the most ultimate challenge: Fenryr, whom you can only tame by soloing Halls of Valor mythic. Yes, you’ve read that right: you have to solo a mythic. I’ve never tried it myself, but I will… soon… one day ;p

As you can see, the range of tameable pets seems to grow day by day. It’s a hunter only thing and I’m very, veeerrrryyyy happy that Blizzard has put so much effort in our taming experience.

Class Order Hall

The Class Order Hall for the hunter is the one and only “Trueshot Lodge”. There is no place better for hunters than the Lodge. I love this place… It’s beautiful and cozy with bonfires, snow, pinetrees, and it has various bows, guns, and polearms on display from the history of World of Warcraft.

Trueshot Lodge is the home base of an ancient order of hunters known as the Unseen Path. The Lodge was originally built by night elves and tauren working together on Talon Peak in Highmountain. It serves as the order hall for hunters.
Talon Peak was known by another name that has not been mentioned. The site was blessed by Ohn’ahra herself through [Talonclaw] and thus inspired the change. – WowpediA

As you can see on the map, there are three watchtowers: the southern, northern and northeast tower. Only the southern tower has survived the centuries, the other two were apparently damaged beyond repair, and were replaced by smaller towers that are, currently, seen around the Lodge.

We also have a portal to Dalaran and the flight master has a unique set of flightpaths only for hunters. Inside the Lodge, we can imbue our artifact weapon and consult our command map for missions and objectives.

The artifact researcher is named Holt Thunderhorn. He is located near a large book at the east side of the lodge. The tome starts blank, but will grow to hold the “Tales of the Hunt”.

Around the Lodge there’s the Gladiator’s Sanctum, the stables, and a hidden cave where Ogdrul is trapped in a rune circle.

I could have never imagined a more beautiful Class Order Hall than the Trueshot Lodge. I’m happy that my hunter can call this her home, but I’m also a bit sad when I think that, after this expansion, I’ll be spending less time in this beautiful place.

Class Mount

The scenario to obtain the hunter class mount was amazing! It starts with a cinematic where everyone is gathered around the fire and celebrating. Then, the scenario begins…

First, you have to go out into the night and must use your tracking skills to find four great beasts, which you have to defeat. After that, you have to put the spirits of the Wolf, Fereki, and Hawk, Vetholnir, to rest to be able to proceed to “Challenge the Wolfhawk”. Haukenulfnir, the wolfhawk, is an elite and a bit harder to defeat than the other NPCs. Once she/he is down, the final stage can begin: “Revel the Night Away” – Return to Odyn and feast the night away.

After the scenario, you return to the Trueshot Lodge, where a wolfhawk flies into the camp and chooses you!

The Feathermane mount has a different color for each spec. To get all three of them, you must unlock Concordance of the Legionfall with all three specs. I did and it was totally worth it! This is one of my most favourite mounts throughout the entire game so, once again… I can say that I’m a happy hunter 🙂

Artifact, gear, talents,…

Before Legion came out, I wasn’t very happy with the hunter changes they had announced. In fact, I was very negative. Once Legion was released, however, I rapidly became aware on how ridiculous that was. I love the changes they’ve made. Each spec is more distinct from one and other. Granted, I’ve never been a fan of Marksmanship or Survival so, needless to say that I couldn’t care less about these two specs. I’ve always played Beast Master, and I’m glad to see that everything that Blizzard has done until now, made me love my favourite class (and spec) even more.

Beast Master feels more than ever like a real master of the beasts… We have two pets, thanks to the artifact weapon, which I really love. I sincerely hope that Blizz will continue focusing on more than one pet in the next expansions. I would feel too lonely without my entire zoo around me 😉 The thing I like is that our talents are more focused on the damage done by our pets. We still have Cobra and Multi shot, traps, and some really cool utility spells/abilities like “Flare”, “Tracking”,… All in all, when it comes to the talents, I am a happy BM hunter.

Our artifact weapon, Titanstrike is pretty cool. Eventhough I may not like every appearance, there are plenty of great looking ones. Overall, I like the artifact system. It adds a lot to each class lore, which must be very refreshing for altoholics or lore nerds. If I would have more time I would love to level all classes and specs, only to see all the different stories.

Talking about stories, I loved the entire Hunter Class Hall Campaign! From the most simple quest to the night with Rexxar, the entire campaign has been a wonderful adventure. Not to mention the title “Huntmaster”, that we gain after completing In Defense of Dalaran.

Last but not least, I think that, in this expansion, the gear for the hunter has made a bit of an upgrade. I mean, look at the Hunter Class Order Hall set: Guise of the Unseen Path. Gamrok has transmogged his last gear into this set, which proves how great the hunter set in this xpac really is.

TLDR, I’m very happy that Class Fantasy took such an important place in Legion. It adds so much more depth to each of the classes, which makes me love the game even more (if that was even possible ;-)).

Day of the Tentacle

Both Sisqi and I have been reading Lovecraft’s books since we were kids. We love everything related to the Cthulhu mythos: novels, comic books, video games,… The idea of ancient beings, hidden in the dark corners of the earth, manipulating the mind of the humans, has always been one of our favourite plots in fantasy. So, when Blizzard inspires itself directly from Lovecraft’s world (Yogg-Saron, C’thun,…), we are instant fans!

There are not a hundred ways to say this: We love Cthulhu!

Yesterday, Sisqi was wandering around the Eye of Azshara when she stumbled upon Kosumoth the Hungering. I had already read that he was the boss that could drop the Fathom Dweller, an aquatic mount, but I didn’t know that it was already available.

After a quick research, I’ve found this guide on Wowhead: Kosumoth the Hungering. It’s pretty straight forward and feels very much like the hunt for the Riddler’s Mind Worm.

I really enjoy those secrets, it adds another level of depth to the game. I can’t help but wonder how they find all those hidden items? Do they explore each map, each cave, each ocean in the game? Some of the caves in this chain are very hard to find and I don’t think that I would have ever seen them without the guide…

One of the caves was even hidden behind a toothless shark.

When you finally have clicked all the items in the right order, you can go back to an NPC, Drak’Thul, and unlock a world quest where you are to slay Kosumoth. Apparently, the loot alternates weekly between the aquatic mount and a pet, the Hungering Claw.

We both obtained our very own tentacle, but we’ll surely come back next week for the mount.

With a possible next expansion themed around the old gods, we are both super hyped. Please, Blizzard, make it happen!

Why do you blog about WoW?

Another community challenge from Z & Cinder. This time the topic is about the reason behind our blogging:

“Everyone who has created a blog has done so for a reason. For all of you WoW bloggers out there, what was that reason? Why did you choose to put fingers to keys to write about a computer game? What type of posts do you like to write? Does your blog have a theme to it, or do you just wing it and write whatever you want? We’d love to know!”

So here is why we blog about WoW:

  1. The main reason why we blog is because we want to keep remembrances of our adventures in World of Warcraft. We spend an incredible amount of time in Azeroth, fighting, exploring, fishing,… It would be sad not to have anything to remember those moments by. In fact, our WoW blogging started with separated blogs where we were keeping our screenshots, without text. Then, we started giving our opinions about quests and dungeons. And, finally, Navimie gave us the idea to blog together, that’s how The Brutes were born.
  2. Creativity would be the second reason. Developping this blog gave me a reason to get better at CSS, I coded the entire theme of The Brutes and it was an amazing experience. That’s not all, it also gives us a place to write our stories and to work on little projects like creating funny comics or videos about challenges like the Ironman. The blog is a great motivation behind our creativity.
  3. Finally, we really enjoy the blogging community. Even if the first reason behind our writing is nothing else but our own remembrances, we do enjoy our little corner of the internet. Big sites like MMO Champion and Wowhead are filled with guides and objective posts. We don’t want objectivity, give us the people’s experience, what they do in Azeroth, what they love about it, what they hate… We feel closer to the real people, those who have a job or a family or both, who have to create their own adventures based on the time they have in the game. It feels more real to us than reading about pro-gamers and how long it took them to down the last boss.

Voilà, what we wish to the WoW blogging community is to grow and to get closer to each other, each with thousands of posts to remember our goofy adventures by.

My PvP adventures in Legion

Before Legion came out, PvP had never been a big priority of mine. I usually give it a try at the end of an expansion when my to-do list becomes shorter and real PVP’ers are much more geared. Which means that I was standing no chance in any battleground or arena. It always leads to a certain frustration that makes me give up on this part of the game.

In Legion, however, the entire PvP system has changed. First, you’re less dependent on your ilevel. Second, there is this whole new system with Honor talents and Prestige which grants really nice rewards.

Prestige

Each time you earn 50 Honor ranks, you hit another level of Prestige. By working your way through the first 50 Honor Levels, you unlock your talents. These will remain permanently. After that, each Prestige level will reward you with pets, mounts, achievements,…

I first thought that it would be impossible to get anywhere with this system when you’re not a hardcore PvP’er. It levels pretty slow despite the decent amount of Honor you gain with the PvP World Quests. Like I’ve said before, I may have started very late in this expansion, so I’m only Prestige level 2.

Now, seen from a big PvP’ers perspective, it must be well paced. If this is all you do in the game, you want to take your time and enjoy each minute of leveling your Prestige. Things that are done in the blink of an eye are too short to truly enjoy, right?

Something I really love are the new Honor talents. My favourite is most definitely the “Dire Beast: Basilisk”. You summon this very slow Basilisk that does quite a fair amount of damage. He’s huge and pretty funny because he arrives with an attitude like: “ok, ok, I’m coming, hold your horses”. I tried to pick up another talent, but I just couldn’t get rid of him. I guess that I love to have an entire zoo around me. The more, the merrier!

World Quests

The first time I saw PvP World Quests, I had no clue on what they were about. I remember one day, arriving by accident at a Warden Tower Assault… I ran out of there like my pants were on fire, not knowing what it was about.

Once Gamrok and I decided to check out what these quests were about, we discovered how much fun they are. A few weeks later, we’ve become the two unstoppable brutes in both arenas and Warden Tower assaults. My favourite quests being the Black Rook Rumble and the Bareback Brawl.

While doing the Bareback Brawl, I stumbled upon this rare dragon… I started killing it, and at a certain point he submitted to me and I could fly around on his back, using these really cool abilities. It also came with an achievement, which are always more than welcome ^^

One of my first times in the Black Rook arena, I was being ganked by a Rogue… I died one second after each jump down, over and over again… the frustration *grumbles*. I’ve been chatting with Mr. Rogue afterwards and it turned out to be a nice guy who was just having some fun. Granted, too many people see these WQ’s as PvE events. What’s the fun in that… right? Now, it’s Gamrok and me who are doing the exact same thing. Not that I’m any good at PvP, but it’s quite funny seeing all those people flee/disappear upon our arrival with a “oh no, not these two again”. Not that I like to be anyone’s living nightmare *evil grin*.

On a funny note: upon your arrival at a Warden Tower Assault, Lady Sylvanas says: “Greymane’s forces hold this Warden tower. Break their ranks! Show no mercy!” I always understood: “Break their LEGS! Show no mercy!”. Until I repeated her out loud one day and Gamrok started laughing so hard… “What a Warchief we have, breaking all our enemies legs” xD So, “breaking legs” it became… we still laugh about this one.

PvP Brawls

I had read that there wouldn’t be any new battlegrounds in Legion, but that they would intoduce other versions of the existing ones instead. The first PvP Brawl I tried was the Warsong Scramble.

The only difference between the Scramble and the original Warsong Gulch is that there are three flags intead of one. I had so much fun doing this, it was the only thing I did that entire weekend. This is, by far, my most favourite Brawl. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in my role as flag carrier that I forgot to take any screenshots. I’ll never forget that beautiful weekend though.

Another one I really loved was the Arathi Blizzard. Not so much for the experience, but for the snowy landscapes. Snow always makes up for a lot of things…

Anyway, I’m a big fan of these PvP Brawls, and I sincerely hope that they will go on in this direction.

This is the first expansion that I enjoy PvP this much. There are goals to achieve, which counts a lot for me. When I play my character, I love to have the feeling that I’m working towards an aim. Thanks to the new PvP system, I’ve finally found that aim.

The night before he died

It had been a long day, completing quests and slaying demons all over the Broken Isles… I was near the Tomb of Sargeras when I finally decided to take a break. The night was about to fall and I would soon have to go back home.

The place, located near the wall of the unholy temple, wasn’t exactly cosy. The only spot to sit was a big flat rock. I first cleaned my face and my hands from the fel demon blood, then I tried to take place on my improvised chair. I wasn’t even leaning on it that it already moved. I got up to see if I could do something to keep it steady, when I saw some light coming from underneath. As I pushed the rock aside, I uncovered what appeared to be a secret hatch. I opened it and went down a ladder, I then walked through a long torch-lit tunnel. I was wondering if it would lead me to another treasure, just like those hidden all over the Isles…

As I finally reached the end of the tunnel, I started to climb another ladder, this one was much longer than the first and it felt like an eternity before I could finally see the end of it. After a last hatch, I emerged and finally noticed where I was: at the top of the Tomb of Sargeras.

The place was very silent, the only thing that I could hear was the heavy sobs of somebody crying. It didn’t take long before I could spot him. There he was, our great foe Kil’Jaeden, sitting on the floor, his face covered in tears.

I didn’t know what to do, so I cleared my voice and asked “Everything ok?”

He looked at me and didn’t even try to get up. He answered “What are you already doing here? Isn’t it tomorrow that your lot is planning to come and end me?!”

Caught off-guard, all I could answer was “I’m sorry but I’ve found your secret passage… I wasn’t sure where it was leading…”

I don’t know why I did what I did next… Maybe was it one of those moments when two dudes get closer, even if they’re not on the same side. I approached him and offered him a beer. He accepted it.

I sat beside him and listened to his story. The guy was filled with regrets. He knew that he had to pay for what he had done but something else was troubling him. He told me that the demons from his planet would continue coming to Azeroth, even after his death. He heard that Illidan had a stone that could open a rift to Argus… Unfortunately, it was a spoof, it wouldn’t do a thing.

He asked me if I would agree to help him and, eventhough I should have never trusted somebody like him, I told him that I would. Sharing a pint with a dude creates a bond… He handed me the remote control of a device that would activate a rift similar to the one they used to come to Azeroth. No one in his Legion wouldn’t accept to do such a thing and no enemy of his would trust him enough to do it.

We spent the rest of the evening sharing stories. He showed me pictures of his ex-girlfriend, Cecile. He explained me that hate often begins with a heartbreak.

He also told me about the less known side of the Legion, you wouldn’t believe the parties they were having…

At some point, the beer ran out (even I don’t carry more than a dozen bottles in my bags), we bid our farewells and I promised him that I would fulfill his last wish.

During my flight back home, I felt an inexplicable sadness. Today, I had made a friend out of an enemy, and, tomorrow, I would help killing him.

The next day, we marched upon the Tomb of Sargeras and, after an incredibly hard fight, the enemy died. As we were fighting Kil’Jaeden, many people were surprised to see empty beer bottles all over the place, I even saw Khadgar tripping over one. I guess that you don’t really care about keeping the place tidy when you know that you’re about to die…

As Kil’Jaeden predicted, Illidan used his stone and, while everyone was looking at him, I used the remote and activated the rift. It’s better if no one knows the truth, people need to believe in their heroes.

Since that moment, Argus can be seen in the sky from anywhere in Azeroth. To me, it’s a reminder that no matter how hard you fight, it’s around a fresh beer that things really get settled.