Mrs Spinks goes to Orgrimmar

spinksbarrens

It took only a couple of months for the dream of settling down somewhere away from all the fighting and politics to run a small pub to die. Silverpine was, after all, packed to the gills with forsaken celebrating the fall of the prince of lordaeron with only emptiness in their hearts instead of …. whatever it was they were supposed to feel.

They were bad company and bad customers.

Polishing the bar for the 76th time that day in silence, the old warrior wondered privately if, in a sense, the lich king had won after all. There was never going to be a scenario where forsaken retired quietly to farm crops and raise children. Only silence, darkness, infighting, and waiting for the next inevitable war of aggression to divert the masses from any kind of civil disobedience. Repeat until dead. Again. Dark Lady watch over us.

She left the keys to the till with the uptight cellarman who claimed that he had once been a Baronet, in King Terenas’ day. “That’s nice dear,” she deadpanned. “Don’t forget to count the bottles on delivery day. I may be some time.”

It was a long trip to the Southern Barrens, where old battle companions had settled. The windrider flew silently, across green open plains. When Spinks arrived at the farm it was nightfall. She hesitated about going up to the farmhouse, instead watching shadows play across the inside of the curtains and laughter and warmth ripple out. It was no place for the dead.

After watching for awhile, she left, taking the long road through Thousand Needles to the Salt Flats. Another day passed, but neither she nor the horse needed to eat or sleep.

spinksracecourse

The racetrack was quiet, gnomes and goblins still busily competing to show off their engineering skills. No one there cared who wanted to bet on the races, living, undead, as long as their money was good.

Spinks bet on the goblins — “Always bet on green, at least I learned that from the orcs.” Sometimes she won, sometimes she lost.

It was some days later that the warlock arrived, his fine silk and brocades trailing in the dust of the desert.

“I hoped I might find you here,” he said dryly, steepling skeletal fingers.

“Congratulations, you get a special prize.”

“You may have noticed the earthquakes. Elementals are attacking, all over Azeroth. It’s been getting worse. They’re focussed on Orgrimmar. Garrosh has even called the horde to help defend – I know, couldn’t happen to a nicer orc.”

She eyed him, a flicker of interest in the depths of the sockets.

The warlock nodded silently to the unspoken question. “The inner circle asked me to find you. Mrs Spinks, we’re needed.”

[Pictures] Pre-Cataclysm elemental on elemental action!

ogrimmarburns

I thought it might be fun to share a few screenshots of the pre-Cataclysm events, just for posterity. This is Ogrimmar being attacked by elementals. Tons of players have shown up to help kill the attackers, close the rifts and free prisoners trapped in elemental fire. Players also helped to barricade various parts of the city.

When I came in via the portal from Dalaran (enjoy it while it lasts) an Earthen Ring representative was standing around and gave me a device to free prisoners so I spent more time running around and doing that than actually killing stuff.

General and guild chat were alive with excitement.

combo_event

A couple more pictures from the event. Thrall is now in Outland, talking to Aggra and Gavan Grayfeather. I’ll try to get more of the dialogue this week but it mostly consislantresorts of Aggra telling Thrall to take his clothes off (I kid you not) and both the other shamans implying that he needs to choose now between being warchief of the horde or being a shaman. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that we’re stuck with Garrosh for Cataclysm rather than my favoured candidate who is pictured to the left.

edited to add: They’ve typed out the Thrall/ Aggra/ Gavan dialogue here.

And my paladin, disguised (but not very well) as a twilight cultist is practicing the summoning ritual which she will later screw up on purpose –— well, apparently it’s on purpose but I also think she’s not very bright so who knows?

elementalfight4

And here are some pictures of the elemental attacks throughout Azeroth and Outland. You’ll see that the native wildlife is helping to fight back the invaders too. I’ve shown ravagers fighting fire elementals in Hellfire Peninsula, native fire elementals fighting invading air elementals in Felwood, and the inhabitants of Garodar (including Garrosh) fighting earth elementals in Nagrand.

5 Reasons I love Brewfest (and some tips)

brewfest_wreath This picture is a wreath that’s currently on the front gates of Stormwind. You have to love a wreath made up of pretzels, pinecones and frothing (bubbling?) beer steins.

In game festivals are often based on real life holidays but I think that using Oktoberfest as the basis for some WoW-style entertainment was absolutely inspired. It’s good fun, no religious symbolism, and the (beer related) achievements pretty much write themselves. And yes, people really do wear those costumes. Only thing is, it isn’t October yet.

Birdfall has a comprehensive description of Brewfest with notes on all the achievements, pets, and quests. She also links to maps showing routes around the cities for the barking quest (to non-WoW players, yes I know how dumb that sounds ;) ).

I love Brewfest because:

  1. Trolls in Lederhosen. Vol’jin looks particularly cool when he comes out to tap the keg.
  2. You can blame your typos on the beer.
  3. Oompah music.
  4. Trade chat is always more amusing when characters are drunk in game. (The game slurs your speech automatically.)
  5. Boss fight IN THE PUB. I love that they smartly put the holiday boss in the single most appropriate place in the entire game, the only instance which has its own pub. (One could wish that it was a little easier to get from Ogrimmar to BRD though.)

Some tips for Brewfest

  1. While doing the ram riding quests, you get your ram to move faster by using the reins. Your ram gets exhausted more quickly the faster it is moving. You will see icons on the top right of your screen (that’s with no buff display addons) showing: what pace your ram is travelling at – green is trot, yellow is canter, pink is gallop, how exhausted your ram is (if exhaustion reaches 100 it switches to a slow walk), and how much time you have left on the quest timer.
  2. To make the timer in the barking quest, don’t go slower than a trot or faster than a canter and keep an eye on your exhaustion.
  3. The key to doing the barking quest in Ogrimmar is to use the back route between the Valley of Wisdom and the Valley of Spirit. And after you’ve passed the Spirit banners, turn round and jump off the ledge to get back to the entrance. If you’re not sure, try to follow someone else who knows the route.
  4. Alliance has easy mode, as usual. Just ride round Ironforge in a circle.
  5. In BRD, you can get a fast teleport to the pub by taking a swift right from the instance entrance, killing the adds, and using the items next to them (bales of hay?)
  6. Coren Direbrew spawns lots of adds. None of us know what they actually do, we were all too drunk to pay attention. But be prepared to use whatever AE tanking abilities you have.