Transmogrification Journal 3: Paladin PvP Season-8 Wrathful Gladiator

Posted in Vanity on November 2, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            Hey folks, sorry for the huge gap in between these posts but I’ve been extremely busy lately. I meant to have this out 2 days after the Judgement Set, but things just kept snowballing and before I knew it, it’s been almost 2 weeks. I’ll try and get these out faster from now on. So, on to the set…

            Wrathful Gladiator is a very popular set on the PTR, but perhaps it’s because Blizzard removed the cost from the items at the vendor making it the only real option for premade characters. This was my first choice for a transmogrification set for awhile because I assumed it’d be far less popular than either the Judgement Set or its recolor, but that might not be the case if the PTR is any indication. Also, I had a very difficult time finding some accessories to fit this very well. On live servers I normally pair it with Thunderfury and Bulwark of Azzinoth but since legendary weapons cannot be used to transmogrify, I had to dig a little deeper to find things I really felt suited the set.

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Transmogrification Journal 2: Paladin Tier-2 Judgment Armor

Posted in Vanity on October 20, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            The second transmogrification set I’d like to talk about is my Paladin Tier 2 set, the Judgment Armor. This armor drops from bosses in the Lv60 Blackwing Lair raid, with the exception of the legs which drop from Ragnaros in the Lv60 Molten Core raid. Molten Core should be solo’able as a Paladin but it may take you some time depending on your gear. Blackwing Lair can technically be solo’d but the first boss is very difficult to do by yourself, it’s much easier with 2 or 3 people. This set is Paladin-only so only Blood Elves, Tauren, Humans, Dwarves, and Draenai can wear it. This is one of the most intricate and iconic set designs ever created in the World of Warcraft and is sure to be a popular choice for transmogrification. Fortunately, there are a wealth of items that match up very well with this set, so if you find yourself asking, “what shield matches the Tier 2 Judgement Set” or, “what weapon matches pally tier 2,” well, I’m here to tell you about my favorites.

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Transmogrification Journal 1: Paladin Tier-2 Judgment Recolor

Posted in Vanity on October 16, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            I’ve spoken at length about how I choose items to compliment the gear sets I collect for vanity. While the example was based around three shields, the same criteria hold true for selecting weapons, cloaks, tabards, non-set items, and even mounts. This post is going to discuss the first of my planned series about actual sets I am transmogrifying and using on the Public Test Realm as I try and decide which I’ll end up using when 4.3 goes live.

            I’ll begin with what is sure to be a popular plate set people will be using in 4.3 because it is not class-specific; the recolor of the Paladin Tier-2, the purple Judgment Armor, (what I call “the Blessings Set”) which is healer-plate available in Outland Regular and Heroic dungeons and is likely very easy to farm as a lv80+ for any plate class and spec. I saw a few warriors on the PTR using pieces of this set and I just finished gathering all 8 pieces for my own warrior on live servers, so he may end up using this set himself on occasion (Though Wrathful Gladiator is likely what I’ll stick him in). Anyway, on to the set…

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“Challenging”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            Perculia posed an issue on their blog, Flavor Text, about “If a game asks nothing of its players, what’s left of it as a game?” The question was raised on the subject of how World of Warcraft has become increasingly less challenging across all levels of difficulty, not just top-end raiding, as it has aged. The post is an excellent read and I recommend people check it out, but I can’t help feeling that it is asking the wrong question. I’m not going to get into a debate about difficulty in World of Warcraft as that has been covered by all angles and thousands of people over the last several years, but I’m interested at taking a brief (for me) look at the concept of “challenge” in general using World of Warcraft as a reference point.

            Now, I know people who play World of Warcraft “for the challenge.” What this simplistic statement usually means when these people say this is that their mission is raiding world-firsts, to face the toughest challenges as soon as possible and be the first (or among the first) to overcome them. There are also players in the game who sit in Orgrimmar or Stormwind their entire lives and amass gold by controlling markets on the auction house. There are people who collect vanity gear, pets, achievements, mounts, tame rare hunter pets, or just “play solitaire with a built-in chat function.” Now, on the broad, over-arching subject of game design, yes, challenge is intrinsic to what makes a game an interesting or “good” game, and you NEED challenge for a game to exist. But I feel that the “challenge” from a game does not necessarily have to be the INTENDED challenge the designers implemented when creating the game, nor do I believe there is a requite floor to the difficulty of a challenge. After all, stacking blocks can be a challenge. Building an intricate scale model of the Taj Mahal out of blocks is not the same degree of challenge as stacking 5 blocks on top of each other, but there IS a basic motor-skills challenge of stacking 5 blocks. Gravity can cause you to fail at the challenge of stacking 5 blocks if your motor skills and understanding of stable structure theory aren’t very good. If raid encounters or dungeon encounters become less punishing and challenging, that does not diminish or enhance the difficulty for Mr Bank-alt McMoneybags controlling a server’s economy. It may change the relative value of items, but that only affects his profit-margin “score” after he has completed his challenge, not the challenge itself.

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Aesthetic Manifesto

Posted in Vanity on October 11, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            I LOVE vanity gear. I can’t remember what it was that first started me on the road to actively collecting gear, but I remember that the desire to HAVE that kind of gear came the first moment I set foot in Orgrimmar as a lv10 Orc warrior, my very first character on my very first day of playing World of Warcraft. It was the end of Burning Crusade, about 2 month before Patch 3.0, and everyone was walking around in awesome looking equipment. The images of Warrior Tier-5 / Merciless Gladiator gear and Hunter Merciless Gladiator gear was a feast for my eyes and I couldn’t wait to grow up and one day be as cool as all those people I saw.

            With 4.3 rapidly approaching and Transmogrification already available on the Public Test Realm, I thought I would talk a little bit (ok, A LOT) about my thought process in deciding how I choose my gear sets and how I complete these outfits with accessories and flair. My purpose here is not to make anyone’s decisions for them or to influence people in any way, merely to illustrate my thought process as I gear-up (pardon the pun) for my own personal vanity-fest in 4.3 When I look for gear sets to build, there isn’t much to it beyond “does it look cool” and “how does my race/gender look in it.” Fortunately, I’m a female blood elf so there really isn’t much that doesn’t look good on me. My biggest complaint is that I’m small, so I lose some of the detail in breastplates and shoulder pieces. Some items that look amazing on big-shoulder races like male Orcs and Tauren just don’t look as impressive or detailed on my smaller shoulders. It doesn’t mean they look bad, just less impressive or eye-catching. When it comes to accessorizing my sets though, there are three things that I look for and consider in order to determine if they’ll complete the grand-unification effect of the set or ruin it;

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Top 10 Disappointments of Catacylsm (so far)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            As I was RUNNING through Silvermoon City, bemoaning my inability to fly here for the millionth time, the idea popped into my head to list my 10 biggest disappointments of Cataclysm to date. There are many things I like about Cataclysm, but it is so much easier, and more fun, to complain than to praise; so here are my top10 biggest disappointments of cataclysm (so far, it’s not over yet…)

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Transmogrify Demystified

Posted in Vanity on October 9, 2011 by firsthandtengen

            I finally had a chance to get on the PTR and take a look at some of the new stuff. I got to run two of the new 5-mans, “End Time” and “Hour of Twilight.” Both are really short, each having only 3 bosses and very little trash overall. The loot was in-game and some neat drops were seen even though I only ran each once. Overall neither was very challenging in a disappointing way. All the bosses seemed very simple mechanically and never posed too much of a danger. Maybe it’s because I’m in mostly 391 gear, but I seem to remember the Zandalari heroics being much more taxing the first time I did them on live. Maybe these will get re-tuned before 4.3. But, what I really got to sink my teeth into was transmogrification.

            There is a new building in Orgrimmar, right inside the drag, entering from the Valley of Strength, inside are the Arcane Reforger (now an Ethereal), Void Storage, and the Transmogrification guy. Reforging has a new interface which was nice, it is now radial buttons (like a multiple choice test format) and you fill in the buttons of the stats you want swapped, rather than the old style drop-down menu. Void storage offers 80 new slots of storage for Soulbound, non-Unique, non-stackable items. You cannot put in items with a “Unique” designation, you can, however, put in “Unique-Equipped” items. So, sadly, some items I would have love to have stored in there must remain in my bank, but as of this writing I have 41 items in there including old trinkets, archeology items, tabards, and some other miscellaneous stuff. You can deposit 9 items at a time, simply open void storage, open your bags, and right-click on the item in your bags and it will automatically be placed into the deposit window. The withdraw window works the same way, also with 9 slots for quick movement. Including the 1000g purchase fee, I spent roughly 3000g putting stuff in void storage, which is cheaper (and much bigger) than what a 26-slot dreamcloth bag would cost me on my server. Anyway, on to the transmogrification discussion…

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