Back to WoW for the Iron Tide

I returned to WoW yesterday, just in time for Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide..

What an awesome cinematic!  I thought it set the scene for the invasion rather well.  Patch 6.0.2 adds the Iron Horde Incursion, through the Dark Portal..

Red Portal and Incursion

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Sea Pony!

I was fishing the wreckage pools off the coast of Darkmoon Island, when this dropped..

I swear I wasn’t even trying! 😀

Children’s Week Pets and the Sea Turtle!

Children’s Week brought the opportunity to grab a few more additions to my pet collection, with Speedy from the quests in Orgrimmar, the Curious Wolvar Pup from Dalaran, and Peanut from the quests in Shattrath!

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Taming Troll Gods

In Northern Stranglethorn, we came across Pogeyan, the Fire Spirit!  He’s a large cat with a metallic sheen to his coat, and a rare mob too.. I was about to attack him, but I was reminded that as a Hunter, I could probably tame him instead..

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Mists of Pandaria – Pet Battle!

As well as adding the Pandaran race, a new continent, the new Monk class, and an overhaul of the Talent Calculator, the Mists of Pandaria expansion also brings with it a pet battling system.

There’s a review of the system on MMO Champion.. collection, levelling and training of pets, battling and stats, which sound a little like Pokemon and Geomon, two ‘pet’ collecting and battling games I’ve been playing a bit of recently.

Pets will now be tradeable, even once trained.  Some pets will only be out in the wild during certain seasons or weather conditions, so trading will be a nice option for those pets you can’t find yourself.  This reminds me rather a lot of Geomon, where I’m a little frustrated by the idea I can’t collect all the Espers myself.. and I like to aim for a full collection once I start!

I particularly like the idea that pets will become account wide.. I have a great collection on my main character, Kirria, including many which were gifts from friends, and I wouldn’t fancy my chances at collecting them all again.  I look forward to trying the system out for myself when I eventually get enough spare time to make it worthwhile re-subscribing to WoW.. but I’m not sure about naming all the pets I’ve collected!

The Lashtail Hatchling

I found another rather interesting quest chain while earning reputation with the Darkspear Trolls over in Stranglethorn..

Over in Grom’Gol Base Camp, I picked up a quest to go and kill of some raptor eggs.  I was just smashing the last egg when the Lashtail Hatchling appeared!  This added a quest to check with Far Seer Mok’thardin back at camp.. he said I should feed him Murloc meat..

After this, I headed back to camp but got no new quest.. so I thought he was a temporary pet, maybe lasting until I logged off.

That was, until I was sent to deal with some food thieves in the Bal’lal ruins, and my little friend found me a skull!  This set off a chain of tasks when the skull went back to camp, and into a cauldron for a bit of troll magics.. he turned out to be the skull of a troll lord, who wanted me to help him return to life.  Did I suspect that this might be an evil skull?  Not at this point..

Following the collection of some artifacts, the body of the troll lord’s enemy, and some mojo, the Bloodlord Mandokir appeared..

He turned out to be evil, and he demanded my Lashtail Hatchling! 🙁

His departing comments mentioned Zul’Gurub.. so I didn’t think this would be the last of the story.. then in Bambala, I got a quest leading to a Mind Vision where I saw through the inside of Zul’Gurub through the hatchling’s eyes..

More quests followed: fetching Braddock’s Big Brain for a Mind Control quest, and an attempt to rescue the Hatchling, where I attempted to flee Zul’Gurub!

My first attempt ended in capture by net, and I was sent back to the beginning, where I realised I was able to talk to the raptor at the start.  This turned out to be a fantastic little mini-game, with adult raptors teaching me different abilities such as chewing through nets, lighting fires to distract the soldiers, and dropping skulls in their paths to trip them!

Just at the exit, I was caught by a lurking Shade of the Hexxer, ending the Mind Control session.. looks like I need to go into Zul’Gurub and rescue the Hatchling for myself!

Proto-Drake Whelp

My 80th pet was a good one, from a friend.. the Proto-Drake Whelp!

He has the same model as the Red Proto-Drake 🙂

This pet came from the Mysterious Egg, which can be bought from the Oracles in Sholazar Basin once you have Revered Reputation.
This egg drops other pets as well as a mount.. so I should get myself over there 😉

i-42

Where i-40 was cold and windy, especially in the temporary structure we were seated in, i-42 was sunny and hot almost the whole way through.. 😀

I drove half the way down, with a death-grip on the steering wheel (I’ve not done very much motorway driving), past a ridiculous number of lorries and one place where an accident on the other side of the road caused our side to slow to around 10mph.  Tim took the last part of the driving.. we were hoping to catch up with another friend at this point, as text messages had shown we were only 5 minutes behind, but with a stop-off at Sainsbury’s we were never going to make it. 😀

Check-in was again nice and quick thanks to arriving early, and instead of waiting around to take our PCs in at 6, we headed to the pub for food and drinks first.

All in all this was far better than the cold and wet start to i40 last year.. we hadn’t been able to go into the site as the internet hadn’t been set up for our temporary structure!  Our group were seated in B1 this time, away from the loud and annoying people who think roaring for every reload is ‘atmosphere’.  Although it was still hot, there was a balcony to escape to, and it was a lot quieter and nothing was being thrown around.. definitely going to be pushing for this spot next event.

One of the first games I played here was the awesome Portal 2, which I had started earlier but lacked the time to finish.  Plenty of other people were playing, with some on co-op, so I had to get a move on to avoid being spoiled..

I loved GlaDOS’ malicious comments in the earlier part of the game, though I wondered how I was going to end up making a break for it as she seemed happy to test me endlessly.  Wheatley was quite funny up until his change, which I think I should have spotted.. but I was rather gleeful when he turned GLaDOS into a potato even if he did still have me trapped.

The different coloured gels were a lot of fun.  On my first encounter with the white goop though, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do and ended up covering as many surfaces as I could in frustration, before spotting the little ledge I was meant to go to.  I loved evil Wheatley, especially when he tried to kill me in stupidly obvious ways.. 🙂

The second day of LAN involved a barbeque with the rest of our group.. we had the weather for it this time at least.  I’m not sure if we’re technically allowed to have BBQs on-site, but no security turned up, so no matter 😉

We also took a look through the exhibition hall, where we tried out a few games on the Nintendo 3DS, including Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and a Zelda game which made me feel quite ill trying to focus on the screen while moving it around to aim the catapult.  While I love the idea, I’m going to be staying away from the 3DS.. if I feel bad after a few minutes use, it’s just not for me.

Aside from this, the only other real point of interest for me was the Demon stand, where they had an amazing car simulator running DIRT 2.  The fastest lap was to be rewarded with a year’s free internet, and of course I came nowhere near the quickest time though I loved the experience.  The seat, pedals and wheel come to some crazy price.. I think £24,000 was mentioned..

Elsewhere in the hall it was surprisingly quiet.. no freebies, and very little attempts by staff to draw people in to the various stands either.  There were people playing on what might have been some kind of tournament, but with no real interaction, we wandered through and back out again.

There are usually a number of flyers on the desks, and this time there was a 50% discount for the EA Store.  After trying out Bulletstorm on a friend’s PC, I bought both that and Crysis 2.. so much for not buying any more games.. 🙂

I made a start on Crysis 2.. but there were too many distractions to concentrate on it during the day and I was playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent when it got late.  There were a few changes to the sections I’d seen in the demo, with a bit more puzzle in the form of the chemicals I needed to find and mix.  The part where I had to avoid an invisible enemy in the water made me just as jumpy as when I’d originally seen it, which was probably amusing for those near me in our row.

Other games which saw some action were Beat Hazard on a friend’s computer while he played GRID on mine, some Killing Floor, an attempt at League of Legends (seriously out of practise) and a round or two of Unreal Tournament 3.  I had also brought along my Xbox 360, so there was a quick look at Stacking, and a bit of the co-op Zombie Mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops, as well as an all-too-brief look at Homefront for a friend who hadn’t seen it yet.  Maybe next time!

Tim made some use of his 30 day trial of WoW, though it was hard to tell if he was enjoying it or putting up with it for the sake of saying he’d had a go.  I also managed to get a little bit of time in WoW, and started off collecting bits for the Noblegarden Easter Event.. there were plenty of bunnies hopping around, including a pet.. 😉

I also pestered a friend to show me where to get the rather interesting Venomhide mount.. a pet which turns into a mount!

Unlike my Warrior friend, I had no trouble in being poisoned the required number of times.. he had to take off all his gear and use the most useless weapon he could find, whereas I just hit the Ravasaur with the basket I was collecting eggs in 😉

Eventually I had been poisoned enough and I was given my own Hatchling to take care of..

Our last night of LAN included some non-gaming hijinks as one friend started falling asleep in his chair.. this meant he got plastic cups balanced on his head :>
There was no chance of an all-nighter this time either.. all too tired, maybe from the heat, and we headed back to the tents at around 4.30am.

The last day didn’t include the usual CFMN vs inv TF2 match; instead we had a big game of L4d2 versus.. for which I had to switch to Tim’s PC as my copy of L4d2 had managed to corrupt itself.  Awesome game.. will have to make sure that we get more of this played from home too 🙂

The Crocolisk and the Fawn

A friend tipped me off that a pet was available, so I made a quick trip to Outland tonight to complete a Fishing daily.. which was a simple task of fishing in my home city for a baby crocolisk.. 😉

On my return, I was given a Bag of Fishing Treasures.. inside which was Toothy’s Bucket! 😉

This was my 75th pet, and so I got the achievement (Lil’ Game Hunter) and a present in the mail! 🙂

Hatchlings!

I was given another two pets today.. the Ravasaur Hatchling and the Darting Hatchling! 🙂

The Darting Hatchling runs away rather like the Mulgore Hatchling does, with a little cloud of dust at his feet!

Vorlak found these pets while fighting dinosaurs in the nude, as he tells me.. he is currently collecting mounts and now has over 70!

Numberswise.. I am now one away from the 75 mark, where I’ll get the Lil’ Game Hunter achievement and the Little Fawn’s Salt Lick reward 😉

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