World of Warcraft:
My Characters

By Shamus
on Jun 26, 2008
Filed under:
Game Reviews

The worst part about World of Warcraft is the fact that I have been forced to stop playing it so I can write about the dang thing.

If you find yourself in World of Warcraft on the Kirin Tor server (Alliance side) then feel free to look me up. I play as Shadekin (Hunter) and Darkstride. (Rogue.) I have many other little characters here and there, but none of them are worth mentioning. These two represent a majority of my playing time in the game.

I don’t team up very often, but I do enjoy taking magic items I can’t use and mailing them to friends. I can’t bear to sell anything but trash to vendors. I give the rare gems to my guild, Pig & Whistle Society. I sell the herbs at the auction house, and I mail magical items to friends who might be able to make use of them.

If you like, say “hi” or send me some in-game mail. I might even fire an item your way. I actually enjoy this aspect of the game: Lifting up fellow players and screwing the parasitic vendors. I’d much rather have the satisfaction than the money.

I’ll probably be more open to grouping once I have a little more of the game in me. Right now I still read every quest, explore every hill and valley, and meander about taking screenshots and writing notes. Anyone accompanying me would find my pace to be agonizingly slow.

I do have proper posts coming that will look at the gameplay and nitpick the little details of the gameworld and such. I wanted to make sure I at least had some vague handle on the thing before I unleashed the blather. Luckily Shawn (my former partner in Chainmail Bikini and leader of the P&W guild) has been playing Yoda to my Luke Skywalker* for the past week or so, keeping me from making any egregious errors and enhancing my gaming experience with a continual and potent infusion of knowledge.

* Actually, I think my in-game skill makes me more of a C3PO than a Skywalker. I sort of fumble around in a dungeon saying “oh my” and “I’m doomed” until some festering minion of darkness tears me apart. Again. Shadekin died an average of once a level for the first ten levels of the game.

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2020242 comments. (Insert played-out "meaning of life, the universe and everything" joke here.)

From the Archives:

  1. Stevan R says:

    Use your talent points, they are wasted if you don’t select them. :)

  2. SteveSamson says:

    Shamus,

    Thrilled to hear that you are enjoying WOW. As much as some folks bash it for becoming a grindfest at the endgame (which it does) it’s still the most well-designed, well-executed MMO ever. My girlfriend and I have been playing it off and on for three years now. We’ve taken breaks to play LOTRO, Tabula Rasa and most recently Age of Conan, but we keep coming back to WOW.

    I’m also glad to hear that you are taking it slow, reading the text and enjoying the game. It’s easy to get caught up in the “must level quickly to catch up to my friends” mentality, but it sounds like you are doing it right, savoring the experience of learning and exploring WOW. I can’t wait to read your take on it, and to see your creative efforts in the form of some new web-comics. :)

  3. Thanakil says:

    I kinda expected you to be more of a magical or magical/melee player; they are usually more fun characters to play around with, the various uses they can have is hella fun and adapt very well to different situations.

    Especially the three “support” classes, Shaman/Druid/Paladin, who are very good at adapting themselves to whatever need to be done (even tho they all excel at some thing, and are weaker at others). Rogue was a pretty fun class too tho, I must admit. Never really tried the hunter for too long, but it IS a pretty good class if you’re looking to solo quite often.

    I’d totally play on the same server/join the guild (who seems filled with nice people) if I still played. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have my account anymore, or I would probably have came back to WoW 20 times in the past year, even tho I know that there’s nothing left for me to see (or almost nothing…).

  4. I think I will have to sign up for some WOW Widow support group if this continues.

  5. ngthagg says:

    I rolled a druid named Daragon on Kirin Tor earlier this week. I’ll look you up next time you’re on.

    I haven’t really gotten into the rogue class, but the hunter is great. Not only is the hunter a great solo class, but playing it well requires a basic understanding of threat management, which is essential to effective group play. You know you’re playing your hunter right when the only time you use your melee weapon is when you want to.

    For fun solo play, I haven’t found anything to beat the warrior yet. (Or a bear-druid, which is what I’m playing now.) Most classes wear down as the fight, necessitating breaks every few fights in order to recharge. But the warrior’s rage bar encourages you to keep going, to stretch that health as long as you can. It makes for addictive sessions of “can’t stop now, still have rage!”

  6. Sarah says:

    See, now, here’s where I agree with you. Especially if you’re playing alone, you should always read all the quests and things in WoW.

    …with possible exceptions being that stupid escort quest in the Desolace…He will totally leave without you, if you spend too much time reading!
    “Hello? I’d like to save you, can you please be slightly less suicidal?”

    As an upstanding member of my guild, I’ll offer you an open invitation to come Role-play with us sometime…being that it’s an RP server and all, it only seems polite.

    Here’s My Hunter, South, if you want to have a look.

  7. Zukhramm says:

    “Thrilled to hear that you are enjoying WOW. As much as some folks bash it for becoming a grindfest at the endgame (which it does) it’s still the most well-designed, well-executed MMO ever.”

    That’s the problem! I want to play a more open world game after lot of time spent on Guild Wars, but I don’t know what game to choose, I don’t want to go back to WoW, but it does, as you say, feel like the more well-executed.

  8. ngthagg says:

    Heather: Or sign up for WoW :)

    Apparently in the next patch Blizzard is adding some time keeping controls. This should help manage the WoW addiction, although I’d prefer a weekly quota feature where you could set a limit of, for example, 10 hours a week.

  9. Karl says:

    Would have thought RP players would be fine with wandering around listening to NPCs and looking at the scenery. You can remark on it in character. Having said that I hardly got to spend any time on RP servers in the end, as I couldn’t persuade my IRL friends to try it.

    Mind you I also heard that RP is actually kinda hard to find anyway on established servers, as they fill up with non-RPing people who just wanted to get away from the leetspeaking idiots on other servers, and also with leetspeaking idiots who just rolled in regardless of server type :(

  10. The Lone Duck says:

    For me, the game was most entertaining when A: I was running around helping friends through endgame stuff, B: having friends help me with endgame stuff, or C: running around doing random pvp.
    I suppose the thing about endgame, is the amount of character progress slows greatly, and the required time investment to progress becomes even higher, whether you grind raid instances, or grind heroic dungeons.
    WoW is a highly polished game. But it’s only a game. I never neglected my (former) girlfriend because of WoW. The reasons I still don’t play are A: my laptop died, and B: there were other games I wanted to play, books I wanted to read, things I wanted to do. I am curious what raids are like on an RP server.

  11. Elethiomel says:

    Hunters usually die often at low levels; once you have your pet you will wonder what this “death” thing that everyone is talking about is, if you manage it correctly. Having your own personal (healable!) tank is the dream of every mage.

  12. Aaron Nowack says:

    Shadekin died an average of once a level for the first ten levels of the game.

    For a Hunter and a first character, that sounds about right. Hunters are designed around staying at range, and until they get their pet they don’t have a lot of options to stay at range. Conventional wisdom is that levels 5-10 as a Hunter are relatively frustrating, but it’s smooth sailing from there on.

  13. Jason says:

    I think that once you’ve gotten some experience with the game, you definitely need to try tanking. There is a wealth of knowledge about tanking on the warrior forums on worldofwarcraft.net and on tankspot.com. With the type of analytical mind you have, you’ll enjoy reading “tanking theory.”

    Every first-time player needs to make sure that they do everything they can. Run all the instances. Explore every area. Talk to all the NPCs. You only get 1 first character so make it count.

  14. Zukhramm says:

    “I am curious what raids are like on an RP server.”

    Exactly the same. Players on RP-servers seem to switch between “game mode” and “roleplay mode”, which was one of the things that bored me, or well, in the end, what MMOs were was not the same as what I expected them to be. I wanted more adventuring and less slaughtering.

  15. Derek K says:

    “I think I will have to sign up for some WOW Widow support group if this continues.’

    I’d recommend this series of articles for Shamus. ;)

    http://www.massively.com/2008/06/10/gamer-interrupted-battle-of-the-hobbies/

    http://www.massively.com/2007/11/21/gamer-interrupted-how-to-turn-your-wife-into-a-gamer/

  16. Belzi.ET says:

    Hunter is a great class. My first character is a male dwarf hunter and I still enjoy it (after about 2 years).
    The possibility to solo make a quest who is marked as a 3-man-group-quest is just amazing. Sometimes, you fail and die (or if you’re lucky feign death), other times you beat the challenge. For me these are/were the most exciting moments.

    @10 – The Lone Duck:
    About raids on a RP-realm. I play on a RP-realm myself, but raiding isn’t in roleplay. It would take to long to discuss the moves and everything else with 25 people in-character.
    But I know of rare groups of RPers who do older raids in RP.

  17. Sarah says:

    Karl:
    Every server has a strong population of idiots. These guys are simply too stupid to be contained. The difference on Kirin Tor being that you stand a good chance of never having to talk to one, so long as you avoid Goldshire.

    The Lone Duck:
    About the same as everywhere else, I imagine. It’s not easy to RP while coordinating 24 other guys and gals with yourself and also not dieing…so we don’t even try.
    …we do have competition for “RP Gear,” though, vanity items that are chosen for looks rather than usefulness. We have one rogue in our guild whos character changed vocations mid-game to Priestess. She has a complete set of high-level priest armor!

    Elethiomel:
    Feign Death, Gods own ability…Literally, I think. It’s awesome, though. I believe you get it around 30…35?

    If you’re level 19, you’ve probably figured out most hunter issues by now. I do recommend trying all the specs, especially as you get higher in level. I was all in Marksman for a long time, which made me hit as if I had tiny nukes on the end of my arrows, but I find Beastmaster more satisfying…except that I lose about half my damage when my cat dies.

  18. JoCommando says:

    I’m glad that you have a built-in support net for your introduction to the game, Shamus. When I started WoW I didn’t know anything or anybody and (possibly because I started Hordeside) nearly everyone I encountered was either a child, recluse, or jerk.

    For example, within 6 hours of hitting level 20, three distinct people told me that my “gear is pathetic, n00b!” After explaining that I’d simply not had the opportunity to pickup or otherwise acquire better greens/blues I would get some response similiar to “whatev u just don’t kno how to play ur toon.” You’re doing a very nice thing with you freemail-giveaway generosity!

    Oh, and Allakhazam’s WoW site is your friend, though some of the posters are typical examples of both annoying WoW players and annoying forum posters.

    @ ngthagg, #5

    I agree the rage rush is fun, even if I liked it better in City of Villains (I think WoW did it first, though).

  19. qrter says:

    Actually, I think my in-game skill makes me more of a C3PO than a Skywalker. I sort of fumble around in a dungeon saying “oh my” and “I’m doomed” until some festering minion of darkness tears me apart.

    That made me laugh like an idiot. :)

  20. Arkmagius says:

    I’m wondering, is a large part of why you’re enjoying this so much that you are in a guild, giving you a pool of friends/allies, or is the game just that good?

    Also, you sound like a Quartermaster playing style. There’s a test somewhere (I think GuildCafe, but they changed their site) that grades you. They also have the old Bartle test, updated for MMOs. I’d be interested to hear what your results are.

    Edit: They have a completely new site. The location of the tests is in the top right corner of http://www.gamerdna.com/quizzes/

  21. Alexis says:

    Female night-elf hunter? Classic first character.
    and yeah I’m kinda snickering up my sleeve, but it really is a good solo class.

    #1 Spend all your talent points. I recommend following a build and diverging as you fancy, that way you get choice but also don’t go too far wrong.
    EG http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=cVbhdxxRizAo
    Drop pathfinding when you get your mount.
    I’m sure P&W have advice for you in this vein :)

    #2 Some classes only really take off when you get certain key abilities. Eg druid becomes easier at L20 when you get cat form, but becomes imba when you get mangle at *50*. Yes, this is a bit rubbish.

    #3 Sounds like you already have the right attitude, but – enjoy yourself. Levels are the enemy, you have a whole wide world to explore and it will go past all too fast.
    You might find the story of “noor the pacifist” amusing. There’s a pugilist warrior out there too…

    #4 Vendors are for selling junk to. Do not, whatever you do, buy bags, weapons or armor from them.

    #5 No shame to be twinked a *little*. Beg a little guild money and at least buy really good weapons every 4-6 levels. Or look on wowhead for questables, there’s a stranglethorn bow you can get very early with help.

    #6 Crafting is designed, good or ill, for selling down not self-sufficiency. Understanding that, enjoy this part of the game.

    #7 Learn a little about every class. This will help your teamwork and merchanting.

    Really happy you’re enjoying it :D

  22. Kevin says:

    Dying once a level is pretty good. That rate does increase as you go up, but the consequences are merely inconvenient, so it’s not anything to get riled about.

  23. Allakhazam’s WoW site — is great for getting the feel for things that aren’t clicking in a quest. I really enjoyed using it.

    I keep reading these and my 5:00 a.m. WoW habit is going to come back. ;)

  24. Shawn says:

    So much to reply to here!

    Shamus: Thanks. And you’re welcome. ;) Really, I just want to get any new or inexperienced guildies on the right track. You I’ve probably watched over a bit more closely due to CB and all, but hey. I think the basic idea is that if guild members know what they’re doing they’ll kick more ass, and if they kick more ass they’ll have more fun.

    Heather: If Shamus gets sucked in, you should really consider picking up a second account and joining him, so long as you don’t abandon your two children in the process. ;) A year and a half ago I gave my girlfriend the trial and said “Hey, if you play the game for 10 days and don’t enjoy it, no worries. You can ignore it forever. If you do like it, we can play together which will be much more fun that me playing and you bored watching TV in the other room.” She made Ryxi the gnome warlock, and was hooked. Now she’s level 70 and kicking ass and taking names.

    Sarah: You are so right about Goldshire. I used to hate it, but now I love it as the Asshat Moron Mecca that it is. Anyone challenging people 50 levels lower than them to a duel, or dancing naked on the mailbox, or “RPing” their romantic encounters in the Inn, is not out in the rest of the game being an idiot. They all congregate in one easily avoidable place. Unless your leveling a new Human character…

  25. Shawn says:

    Arkmagus: Having a good guild really does help tremendously. Even if you’re soloing 99% of the time, having a friendly and intelligent chat window is a godsend. Plus you’ll get a “yes” to “Hey can anyone come help kill Hogger?” or “So, is anyone up for a Deadmines run?”

    That said, WoW’s popularity is largely deserved. It’s a really well put together game that does a lot of things right.

  26. Dev Null says:

    Well there ya go – sounds like I was wrong when I said I didn’t think Shamus would like WoW much. Glad to hear it actually; it means Shamus has a fun new game to play, and we all get to read about it!

    (Haha! I have tricked you into playing by my clever reverse psy… No, actually I was just wrong.)

  27. Khizan says:

    I’m fairly sure that you’ll want to pick your talent points yourself, but looking at the suggested build posted earlier, I’ve got to butt in with my two cents.

    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=cV0GzgxRauVoVVbRV

    That is the best leveling build for a hunter. Learn the BM side first.

    *Focused Fire is only 2% more damage. If you do 100 damage per shot, it will bump you up to 102. This is only worth it when leveling if that 2% more damage makes your shots-per-kill decrease. That is so rarely the case that it’s not worth 2 points so early. It’s not really worth it till you get Kill Command at level 66.
    *Improved Res Pet is literally a lifesaver. It makes the cost much more managable, and it means that even with the lowest level of freezing trap(Level 20), you can trap the enemy and rez your pet safely.
    *Pathfinding: Not really worth 2 points. The 8% speed boost isn’t that great.

  28. Mari says:

    @Heather: Don’t lose heart. I hear there are excellent de-programming centers if you get your own chloroform and drag him in. ;-)

  29. Sarah says:

    I think I disagree on you with Pathfinding.

    Then again, I did a total respec of all my talent points when I got my mount.

    Another reason why I’m addicted to hunters: How in hell do you people stand running so slowly?

  30. The low levels and discovery of a new game is what I always remember enjoying the most. Between both EQ and WoW, my fondest memories are the low level instances/zones, and my learning of a new class and new game play.

    Savor it while you can, the levels go by way too fast. Soon enough you’ll be level 70 and debating gear, talents, rotations, every last little thing. And many here will be happy to join you in those debates. *looks up at all the posted comments concerning hunter specs* I prefer Marksman myself.

    At the low levels, it really doesn’t matter. In fact even in the high levels, it doesn’t matter too much. Save those things for heroics and raids. Enjoy the game, thats the most important part.

  31. ThaneofFife says:

    I’ve got to plug my main class on here. Shamus, you should really try a warlock. First you get a pet that can blast everything at your level (the imp), and then at level ten, you get a tank (voidwalker) that can keep your enemies distracted while you blast them yourself. Warlocks have by far the most flexibility of any class in the game–their DPS is unmatched, they can crowd-control with fear and seduce, and their voidwalker can even off-tank in most low-level group situations. Oh, and they get their lvl 40 mount (and riding skill) from a trainer for 5 silver, while everyone else is paying hard-earned gold for theirs.

    The only reason I’m a gnome mage (Kahooli–just joined Pig & Whistle yesterday) is that I wanted to try something different. If we turn out to be raiding a lot, though, I’ll have to transfer my main (Kalkin, Nordrassil/Alliance) over. My main’s guild is just getting started with big-time raids. We cleared Gruul’s Lair and downed Magtheridon in 2.5 hours on Monday night. Good times…

  32. Skelnik says:

    The key for playing a good combat rogue is keeping your Slice & Dice up all the time. (Oh, and not dying.)

    As for hunters, they’re good for solo and farming, but playing one may limit your chance to get into endgame raids. They are valuable to the group, particularily with the misdirecting shot, but if your server is like mine, there are too many hunters and not enough tanks / healers.

  33. Mike Lemmer says:

    Too much DPS and not enough tanks/healers, you mean. I think it’s a problem on every server, and most MMORPGs.

  34. Shawn says:

    Yeah, you really can ignore most advice and theorycraft as you level up. Which spec VS whatever is really only super important when you’re raiding and the like. Here’s some general tips for you though:

    1: Spend your talent points. Generally you want to pick a tree and stick to it, but randomly scattered talent points are better than none.

    2: Replace your old gear if you’ve had it for 10 levels or so. You don’t want to be level 35 carrying your old level 12 daggers. (And I’ll echo the comment above that once you get past level 10 or so, white gear you buy from a vendor should never be used in favor of dungeon drops or greens off the AH.)

    3: Keep in mind roughly what stats are good for your class, and try to pick those up as you get gear. For both of your characters, Agility is your best friend. Always grab stuff with Agility over stuff without it, and you’ll be pretty solid.

  35. neminem says:

    Nope, sorry, I’m exclusively Runetotem so far (joined mostly because I had friends there, and I don’t regret it at all). I do agree with you about vendoring loot, though – I’m always happy to get the same price, or even slightly less, AHing things instead of autoselling them.

    I do look forward to reading your posts about WoW – the other MMOs were interesting to read about, but this time, it’ll be a game I’ve invested significant amounts of time in over the past few months.

    Though what I’d really love to see, is your reaction to trying out Kingdom of Loathing. And it’s free, too!

    Oh, and yay rogues!

  36. Mart says:

    Shamus…enjoying WoW? The end is nigh!!

  37. K says:

    Go to deadmines NOW! It is the best instance of the game, and you don’t want to miss it. Level 18-20 is quite fine. Ask nice people along who play alts, so you don’t have a miserable time due to bloody newbs. ;)

  38. Zaxares says:

    *reads the first line* Uh-oh, looks like Shamus is getting sucked into the WoW-trap. ;) Ah well… As long as you’re enjoying it! WoW never quite suited my gaming style and tastes, but apparently it does for many others, as evidenced by its massive popularity.

  39. KingMob says:

    Shamus, you should really be sending greens you don’t want to an enchanting alt to disenchant. Frankly, most greens are very poor and no use to your friends – they’re meant to be gotten rid of any way you can – and by disenchanting them, you make it easier for you and your friends to get enchantments when you find a blue that’s worth enchanting.

  40. Blackbird71 says:

    @Shamus

    Glad to hear you’re enjoying the game. After a few false starts over the years, I only recently really got into WoW, and I have to say that your playstyle sounds quite a bit like mine. I actually go to lengths to avoid playing with my friends exactly because I want to take it slow and experience the game, while they are always trying to rush me up to their level. Fortunately, I’ve always got a companion on my travels who is at the same level and works at the same pace. Which brings me to my next point…

    @Heather

    You could always take the route my wife did – go join your hubby in the game! My wife and I have very different tastes in computer gamer. I’ve always been more of the RPGer with an occasional FPS or Flight Sim, she enjoys puzzle games, adventure games, and an occasional round of Sims. Over the years, I have made several unsuccessful attempts to get my wife into an RPG (usually the offline variety), but they just weren’t her “thing.”

    A few months ago, when I offered to get her a trial account for WoW, I was shocked when she actually agreed. At first, she was willing, but not enthusiastic about it. However, once she got past the initial trouble of actually learning how to move around and do stuff, she really enjoyed it. In less than two days, she was hooked, and honestly I think she likes the game even more than I do now (at least she spends more time playing).

    We each have a variety of characters, but we have one character dedicated to playing together. These are our main characters, who quest and level together, and it makes the experience that much better. One big advantage is it means you can always group with someone you like, but also it is a way for us to spend some time together and have fun. I highly recommend the experience for any married gamers, or anyone married to a gamer for that matter ;)

  41. MRL says:

    Fairly random, but: I started a dwarf on Kirin Tor! Name of Neddhr, hope you don’t mind if I send a /tell your way next time I’m playing.

  42. Draconi of Kirin-Tor says:

    your on kirin-tor? no kidding me too! mostly on horde though, and i quit the game recently, so sucks i cant say hi XD

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