The Price of Rewriting History

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This is a post that sat in my drafts folder for about four years. Yep, four years. The entire time it’s been simmering since the Cataclysm at the back of my mind. Two things have propelled me to dust this one off and finish writing about it. The first was the announcement of Vanilla servers at Blizzcon in 2017; the second, taking a second look at the journey through Azeroth as I level my lightforged draenei paladin.

Blizzard took a huge risk back in Cataclysm when they decided to wipe the slate clean and redo Azeroth. It’s something almost everyone wishes they could do but can’t – and for good reason. We don’t get do-overs sometimes. They in effect, rewrote history by erasing some of it – and the question I have long sought to answer out loud: Was it worth it?

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The Importance of Time

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It is said that the simplest stories are often the best ones. All it takes is a character, a world that draws you in and a journey. And the journey, the ups and downs, and the events and people in it keep us coming back to it. The journey is usually the highlight of story in a game world like Warcraft’s, and the journey is inextricably tied to what happened before and what happens next.

Somewhere along the line, Warcraft seems to have forgotten this mantra along the way. In the tug of war between game-play and story, I imagine story has usually come in second place. The results are glaring cracks in the game world, and a distinct lack of a compelling journey. The importance of story is not in question here – it affects the entire game world and gives players a reason to want to be in it. Today’s post is more about how Warcraft arrived at this point.

There are two points in Warcraft where I feel like the game world took a huge hit from decisions, and both these decisions took a single thing for granted: the importance of a timeline.

The importance of having a beginning to a journey, and knowing exactly how things follow after is huge. And we lose that continuity if time is this flexible thing we can manipulate at the drop of a whim. The story isn’t a journey anymore then – it becomes more about figuring out what the hell’s going on.

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Being Horde


It’s a been around three months since I started raiding hordeside and that’s around enough time for me to consider bringing up my army of alts there. (I am still a gnome at heart ofcourse, and I always poke my raid team about going back to the alliance but hey, that’s not what this post is about.)

I’ve rolled numerous horde alts in the past – often inspired by the Warcraft cinematics I watched. In fact my very first horde toon, an undead warlock, was inspired by the badass murloc-burning guy you see up there. I’m the sort of the player who likes to relate a little bit to my characters – even if they’re only being rolled for something like profession purposes. And so I was quite surprised that when I tried to roll my alts this time around, I found myself somehow unable to play a majority of the horde races. What had changed?

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Goodbye Cataclysm…


Cataclysm is drawing to a close with Mists of Pandaria approaching on the horizon. I’ve ranted about all sorts of things this expansion, considered quitting more times than I can count and possibly never forgave the devs for destroying Auberdine.

Despite all of that, there are moments of beauty even in the destruction-wrought Cataclysm and that will be my nod to what was for me, a very conflicting expansion. Here’s a glimpse of my favourite landscape of this world.

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I’ve included links to the actual images below – enjoy! 🙂

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Volcanic Stone Drake


Last night we finally finished up Glory of the Cataclysm Hero and received this awesome Volcanic stone drake as a reward! The achievements themselves were really fun to do, but  Headed South was one that required the most precision and co-ordination – especially since we 4-manned it! 🙂 I love the colours on this mount and am really stoked to finally have a stone drake before this expansion comes to a close.

Healing Perspectives: Heroic Morchok


The other night I had my very first foray into heroic modes. Ever. Normal mode Dragon Soul has got increasingly boring over the last couple months and at many points I felt distinctly too powerful while downing the bosses. Heroic modes have changed all that and although I’m entering these rather late in the expansion, they provide me with a fun challenge that has me pushing healing to my limit. And here’s the very first of them – Morchok!

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Healing Perspectives: Crash Course on Dragon Soul


So I’ve been on the hunt for a good guild and a good group of people to raid with. I have a trial run on Friday with what seems to me to be a fantastic group of folks whose raid philosophy I really agree with. However, it’s been ages since I’ve healed a normal raid before…nevermind as a super short gnome.

I’ve done Dragon Soul on normal but it’s been a while and everything’s fuzzy. You know what they say – the best way to learn something is to explain it out to others. So this is my crash course/recap for anyone who is recently returning to game and is looking to heal normal mode Dragon Soul. Mind you this is very much a healer’s quick cheatsheet version of what to be aware of – for more indepth details on mechanics/strats feel free to hit up any of the links in the resources section. Time to take down some internet dragons! Rawr! Oh yeah….I’m also going to give these bosses some cool names/titles just to make things entertaining here.

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In Pursuit of Stone Drakes


Every expansion comes with its own special flavour of mounts that harkens back to the expansion’s theme. Burning Crusade had the glorious Netherwing Drakes, Wrath of the Lich King had various kinds of proto-drakes in addition to the usual ones, and Cataclysm brings us Stone Drakes.

While I was contemplating how I’d like to wrap up this expansion, getting one or more of these drakes crossed my mind as being the perfect souvenir.  They look fantastic for one and are deeply reminiscent of Deepholm – an area that is vitally tied to Deathwing. It’s a great way to wrap up the expansion and expand my mount collection all at once! So how does one get a hold of these beauties?

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Are Epic Gems Too Epic?


Ah shinies. Patch 4.3 is here and so are epic gems. Well, atleast they’re in the game technically. I can’t really say I’ve got my hands on any of these mythical gems of epicosity. I’ve seen them floating about the auction house for sky high prices and I’ve opened geodes hopefully and I have to yet to hold one, cut one much less socket one. I held off talking about this for a little while in the hope that my initial reaction was just that — a simple reaction of shock and dismay that would quickly be proven unneeded and melt away. Unfortunately, Season 11 has begun and not much has changed.

Currently epic gems can be obtained by the following ways. The first is raiding normal or heroic Dragon Soul – each boss drops a token which can be turned in for a geode. Consequently, each geode has a small chance of giving you an epic gem. The other source is conquest points but these have their own limitations. Conquest points can only buy you pre-cut hybrid resilience gems.

The consequences of this extremely RNG dependant limited supply go far beyond a simple “no shinies for you”. It excludes the crafters, turns raiding into a semi-gathering profession and thus puts Jewelcrafting as a profession in a unqiuely bad spot. While I support the idea that epic gems should be truly epic, the idea’s implementation in 4.3 seems short-sighted and badly done. It leaves me wondering whether these epic gems have crossed the line of epic into the realm of irrelevance.

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