Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blizz Cast Episode 2 Online! (Blizzcast)

The latest episode of "Blizz Cast" (blizzcast), the official Blizzard audio podcast, was released today.

Click the image above to listen in, read the transcript or to see some of the new screenshots.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Epic Mounts x 5 (Once again, Mountacular)

Pimp'n ain't easy, but it show do look good. BLAM! The boys are finally riding in style.


Ding! (64), Nagrand and Questing

64 was an important ding for me. First off, I took the opportunity to find out if anyone would still need me, or feed me. (no, I'm not old enough to remember the Beetles, I'm just a dork.) Turns out no one did, so I continued feeding myself.

Second, this opened up the quests in Nagrand. I love Nagrand. Unlike every other zone in TBC, it's beautiful, and very calming to play in. There's also alot of "go kill eleventy of this and eightyteen of that, etc." quests which Multiboxers LOVE. Why? Because mobs are like butter to us. And we're.. you know... the knives or whatever... right.

So anyways, Nagrand has a pile of excellent quest line, many of which end up with spectacular gear rewards. I decided not to be picky, and simply grab every quest I ran across. Even if I had to collect a ton of drops, I still did the quests. The xp was good, and the loot was better.

It's Nagrand where we run into our old pal, Hemet Nesingwary, a dwarf with an itch for killing critters. We first met him in Stranglethorn Vale, where he had us hunting a wide variety of wildlife. But when TBC came out, Hemet felt it was time to level to 70, and find more challenging game in the Outlands. So he handed over his STV operations to his son, Hemet Nesingwary Jr., and setup camp in Nagrand.

He once again offers us a series of Hunting quests, which are just great for multiboxers. And the best part is, that each series ends in a fight with a higher level elite, which normally stops solo questers in their tracks. But not us! I easily dispatched every mob in the entire series at level 64. It was great fun, and paid out in xp and gear upgrades. Don't miss it.

I've stated before that I'm trying not to quest too much in outland. That rule goes into effect right at this point. Once I was done with Nagrand, I started to move into instances for my xp, so as to save as many quests for 70 as possible.

We have alot of initial expense at 7o, being our flying and epic flying mounts. Quest, once you hit 70, are an insanely easy way to make a pile of cash, especially as a multiboxer. We can blow through quests so quickly, and the payout is the same for all 5 toons. That adds up quick. Some quests that pay 9g before you're 70, pay out over 22g after. So it's in my best interest to save the quests for later.

I chose to do Nagrand for two reasons.

1. The gear upgrades would help me get into higher level instance.
2. The quests would give me the money I needed to get my epic ground mounts.

It did both just perfectly. This leaves Blade's Edge, Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley unmolested, and ripe for the gold digging once 70 gets here. We'll see how that works out.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Blood Furnace: Cake

The Blood Furnace is the second wing found in Hellfire Citadel. It's labeled as a 61-63 level instance, which places it second on the TBC instance list, right after it's little brother, Hellfire Ramparts.

After I stormed through the Ramparts (minus the last boss), I wondered just how far I could go. So I naturally headed into the Blood Furnace to see what kind of damage I could cause.

I was once again amazed at how effected 5 DPS focused toons (with mail armor and shields) are in 5 man instances. And this time, I was sporting my new Water Shield, which adds a ton of mana regen, even in combat.

I found myself quickly chain pulling the place, and the first boss (The Maker) fell quickly to nothing more than focused DPS. It wasn't until the second boss that I had a problem. Broggok, as it turns out, is a big softy... it's his friends who suck. All sixteen of them.

When you first clear the room before Broggok, you'll find him floating on the other side of a gate, with a huge leaver in the ground in front of it. Hmmm... this seems easy. Pull leaver, let Broggok out, kill Broggok. Nope.

An observant eye will notice four cells around the room, each gated up and holding 4 Fel Orcs who look like they're missing their prom. When you pull that huge leaver in front of Broggok, the gate in front of him stays closed. The gates holding back the orcs however, open. One at a time, but still.

You'll suddenly find yourself scrambling to manage 4 elite mobs. This means repositioning the group, and fast. Something I don't yet pride myself on being able to do. As soon as the last of the four is down, the second cell opens and releases another 4, who come from yet another direction. /ugh

I of course had forgotten about this fight, so I didn't setup a strategy ahead of time. Instead I did what most DPS people do when they panic... NUKE!

While I managed to barely keep my group up, and take down all four teams of orcs, it left me with exactly no mana as the previously mentioned gate, in front of Broggok, opened. Broggok found 5 Shaman, with no mana, and oddly dressed in identical clown gear, standing over the bodies of this 12 favorite buddies.k Not good.

He floated in while I was frantically standing perfectly still, and thinking good thoughts. (I've heard this helps you regen mana faster... not true.) It was this point where I finally admitted to myself that setting up a button to drink water might just pay off.

We got smooshed.

Luckily this 16 buddies didn't respawn. We came back in, dropped twenty, and blew him away. The next time I went in, I managed to focus fire 3 of the 4 orcs in each group, and tank the 4th while my boys regen'd mana. It worked great.

The rest of the instance was even easier. The mobs didn't last long, and the final boss dropped almost immediately.

Blood Furnace was actually alot of fun. I enjoyed figuring out how to take down Broggok. But it was still a bit easy at 63. So what does this mean... can I do Slave Pens already? What about the Underbog? This has real possibilities. I'm getting cool blue loot, and the xp is nothing short of spectacular.

I know I need gold. And instances are not the way to get it. Quests are. But I'm trying to think ahead... If I wait and quest when I'm 70, the gold more than doubles for each quest turn in... and when I'm 70, I'll need 5k just to get BASIC flying mounts... not to mention the 25k for epics. ^.^ So maybe instances are where it's at.

We'll see.

Speaking of mounts... my ground mounts are feeling really slow... We'll have to fix that next.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Multiboxing Basics: Accept Macro

When you're trying to manage two or more toons in World of Warcraft, it's the little things that make you want to kick puppies. Like quest givers. Moving your mouse to 5 different screens to click on an NPC (assuming the camera stopped in place that allows you to see the NPC) then choosing the next quest, and accepting it can be very tedious. (what difficult lives we live. /sigh )

Anyways, a macro I've grown to love is the Accept Macro, found at

/script AcceptGroup();
/script AcceptQuest();
/script AcceptTrade();
/script RetrieveCorpse();
/script RepopMe();

Now, whenever my main gets a new quest, I simply "share" it with the group, then hit this macro. Boom! All 4 other Shaman instantly accept the quest. You'll be shocked by how good this makes you feel. It really shouldn't. Helping an orphan reach the cookie jar doesn't feel this good. It's amazing.

This really shines when you come to a new quest hub and pick up 5 quests at a time.

You can start holding your breath...

There's alot going on here at Twenty Totems headquarters. (We sit in a circle behind Thrall's Throne and pretend it's our headquarters.)

I've got upcoming articles on Alterac Valley, The Blood Furnace, The Slave Pens, The Mana Tombs, Nagrand Questing, Ring of Blood, Eye of the Storm, World PvP (in the bone wastes), several macro/add-ons, a bit of fun with Holidays and a whole lot of DINGS!

WoW has become so exciting, it's been hard to put it down long enough to blog... but it's all still coming.