World of Warcraft: Deathlord Syp (and Burpface)


My kids absolutely love the abomination that fights alongside of my Death Knight, probably because one day I told them that his name was (as the name generator spawned) “Burpface.” Burpface and Syp, against the world. It’s the stuff of legends.

I’ve settled into a comfortable routine with World of Warcraft while keeping my focus mostly on my main (DK). If I don’t have a lot of time during a day, I do try to log in for 20-30 minutes to do my emissary world quests. I’m getting better about blasting through those, sorting out which ones might take too long or be in a more difficult spot. I know rep is important, but I’m always excited to open up the big treasure chest at the end of these and cross my finger for something good. No legendaries yet, of course, but I have gotten a lot of good purples. Syppy is now iLevel 836 and starting to get to the point where pushing up past that means that I’ll need to run raids or mythics.

Raids are doable with the raid finder, but mythics are more difficult to get a foot in the door. My guild, while wonderful and welcoming, is still mostly struggling to get leveled and geared up to the mythic level, so we haven’t run anything together yet (plus, we’re like one tank, 5,000 DPS, and no healers, so that’s an issue). And I guess WoW doesn’t use the LFG tool for mythics? That stinks, it really does. I don’t like games taking away useful grouping tools.

If I have more time, then I pour over the rewards for the other world quests to see if there are any huge gold bounties (I found one the other day that paid out 648 gold for running a dungeon, so yes please on that) or better gear.


Then I’ve been hacking away at my to-do list, AKA my quest log. I have quests scattered all over the place, remnants of old chains or this or that. I made it my focus to finish up the Death Knight campaign and my order hall campaign, both of which I was able to accomplish this past week. I got a particular kick out of (spoiler) how you end up taking on the role of Illidan in the raid boss fight. The NPC “party” names were funny and the comments more so, if a little meta and fourth-wall-breaking for what was supposed to be a serious story beat. Eh, I don’t mind a little silly.


The final fight through the Paladin class hall was, if not particularly hard, neat to do. Got me in the spirit of being a Death Knight, since we’re pretty much at odds with the Paladin worldview. Finally, I was crowned Deathlord and the story of the four horse…people of the apocalypse came to a conclusion.

I didn’t understand why my third artifact relic slot hadn’t opened up yet, which took some investigating. It’s not really clear, but you have to go back and talk to someone near where you level up your weapon, and that was obscured on my map.

With all of that, my iLevel is approaching 850 and I am starting to think of options for the future. Random raids? Look for mythic group runs? Or work on my Druid? I think our guild will start doing more coordinated activities once it settles down and grows more (it’s a fairly new guild but lots of great attitudes and friendships already).


I lightly amused myself with dabbling in some of the Halloween content. I fought the Headless Horseman for the first time since 2008, and boy was that a rush of nostalgia. Fight’s over within seconds, but at least the LFG tool makes it easy to pop in and out.

I think I’m getting to a point in the post-expansion period where I’m able to scale down my time/interest to a more normal level, which is great for all of the other MMOs that I’ve been neglecting. Patch 7.1 is coming next week, so there might be some more stuff to do. I also should clean up quests and look at other personal goals.

My favorite World of Warcraft: Legion toy so far


Out of all of the loot and toys that I’ve collected from Legion thus far, I have to say that the Rocfeather Skyhorn Kite is by far — by FAR — the most useful and appreciated. It’s basically a free, reusable one-minute glide-fall skill that’s on a 15-minute cooldown. Sure, goblin glider kits feature a glide twice as long and are on a three-minute cooldown, but you can’t beat “free” and “reusable.”  Plus, I very rarely need to glide down for minute than 60 seconds.

Getting it wasn’t too hard: You have to collect four specific treasures in Highmountain, and if you have the treasure tracker it’s pretty simple and very worth the effort. Plus, it looks snazzy, like you’re a kite!

Between this item and the whistle that summons you back to the nearest flight master, getting around these zones (some far more vertical than others) is made a lot easier. It’s not a perfect substitution for flight, but… much better than running around, especially when you’re trying to get to world quests quickly.

World of Warcraft: A drood’s life


With my Death Knight making fairly good progress in the early stages of Legion’s endgame, I felt like taking a small break to accomplish a goal over the weekend: To get my Druid through her artifact quest.

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that as it stands, two characters will probably be the most I’ll ever be able to sustain in this expansion, and even that might be stretching it. If I do go with two, I’d like to have a healer for variety’s sake, and I’ve always been partial to Druids in WoW. Maybe I won’t have her raid-ready in two weeks (or even level 110 in two months), but it’s a long-term project with a potential to help stave off burnout if I start to tire of the DK at some point.

The quest started off with a trip to the Moonglade and then some sort of supernatural highway that connects realms together. The Emerald Dreamway, I think? Very convenient area with lots of portals to places all around World of Warcraft. One never has a hard time getting around on a Druid.

From there it led into the quest to get my resto staff, G’Hardeeharhar. I don’t really pay attention to names with apostrophes in them, to be honest. But this portion did really shake me up, not as much for the narrative angle but for the fact that it was all tailored around me being a healer instead of a fighter. I wasn’t expecting that, but once I got into the groove of healing and saving things, it got pretty fun.


I’m putting Dryads on the short list of races in WoW that I wish were playable. Armor design would be a bear, I’m sure. BOW BEFORE HER, BUNNIES!


I got totally dozed in the final fight because I went into it in Moonkin form, trying to moonfire the boss into oblivion. It was after I faceplanted that I realized that the game had given me a druid party and that my role was to, duh, heal them. Was still a somewhat challenging fight, moreso because I haven’t played this character and healed on her for a good month or so now.

After getting the Staff of Ra and admiring all of the Pretty Nature(tm) of the class hall, I jetted over to Dalaran to pick up mining and herbalism. I don’t know why I failed to have any professions on this character, but I guess I was too busy leveling to worry about it. At least you can pick herbs and mine stuff at level 1 in the Broken Isles and get the stuff. That’s a great quality-of-life feature that I think needs to be applauded.

I also realized that I was a hearthstone short on my Druid — and it took me a few seconds to put two and two together to figure out that I had never taken her to Draenor at all, so she had no garrison whatsoever. Just a lot of dungeons and the Legion leveling event, that’s it. This expansion is really her first time questing for real — and I’m looking forward to it.

World of Warcraft: Embracing grappling hooks and world quests


Is there anything as fun in this expansion as the grappling gun? I want this in all zones, all of the time. So fun.

Since last we spoke of World of Warcraft, I’ve crested the hill of the pre-endgame and started coasting down the other side. Oh, it’s still a very long road ahead of me, but at least I’ve finally crossed the i800 barrier and unlocked world quests. That’s nothing for most of you, but for me? It’s a relief to at least be in the same ballpark as most players at this point. I felt like I was missing out on all sorts of daily rewards by not having world quests, and now? Now I’ve arrived.

Lots still to do, of course. But I have to say, I am really grooving on this world quest system, especially with the emissary quests. Plenty of rewards that I want and can use, plus a daily chance at a big one. I even scored a purple i845 trinket off of one of the chests the other day, my first purple of this expansion. Heck, I don’t think I had any purples in Warlords, which tells you how far I got there.

It all feels like you get on a fast track to fun and profit when you reach the world quests stage. For one thing, you can start going shopping for the rewards you want. For another, that whistle on a five-minute cooldown that takes you to the nearest flight master is a gem for a non-flyer. It’s made me go back and pick up the last few flight points that I missed along the way.


Heck, I might be able to start running heroics in a day or so, which means that dungeons might start to become relevant again for me. I enjoyed the visuals of this “ship of the damned” one in particular, even if it still felt like a (wet) slog. Probably didn’t help that we had a deserter early on and had to complete the thing with four people.

The pull of my Druid is getting stronger and stronger. I really do want an endgame healer and as long as her time-to-kill isn’t ridiculous, it could be pretty fun to level. Then again, I have just so many regular quests, class hall quests, and so on to finish on my DK that it feels irresponsible not to forge forward under full steam there.


Some of the quests continue to really impress with storytelling and variety. I liked this one in which you got to take on the role of a questgiver (for once) — to a group of kobolds, no less. Yes, candles were involved.


My seven-year-old asks me every day if he can fly my “owl” (my Druid). I turn off the interface and let him explore all he likes. Usually he’s looking for dragons, although on this particular day he got caught up in investigating a volcano. But not TOO close, because we’d burn up!


Uh, Blizzard? That is either the most buoyant shark in history or your programmers need to fix a little bug here. Also, how is me turning water under my feet to ice help me to walk on it? Shouldn’t this circle of ice just tip me right off?

World of Warcraft: Ninja class first impressions


I am no longer playing a Death Knight in WoW; I am Ninja, now and forevermore! See her slash! Dash! Spin! Jump! And then vanish into the night!

I’ve gone against the grain of DK’s sporting these giant two-handed slabs of metal called “swords,” electing instead to transmog Apocalypse into a stylish and slim katana. It’s amazing what one little change does, because now I see my character as lithe and precise instead of clumsy and huge. I keep wearing a red bandana to help with the illusion, which is the best I can do considering that plate wearers don’t have a lot of ninja hoods on hand.

So what is Ninja Syp up to? I’ve been plowing through several Suramar quests and generally found myself agreeable to this endgame zone, which is fortunate considering how much future time I’ll probably be spending in it. I also ran a dungeon last night that was a little too long thanks to a poky tank and a couple of unfortunate wipes. Yet it did pay off, as I was rewarded a pair of titanforged 820 pants. Hey, for me, anything over 800 is very much appreciated these days.


Let’s talk about Suramar’s Nightfallen for a minute, because I feel this should be addressed. I’ve actually seen some calls from the community to make the Nightfallen a playable race, which elicits such a deep, groaning sigh from me that it shakes the very foundations of my house.

Really, people? You want to play not only another Elf, but an emaciated heroin junkie Elf that kind of looks like the offspring of Voldemort and Dracula? Yeah, nothing like pronounced rib cages and hip bones to shout “sexy!” and “heroic!”

And here we are, being asked repeatedly to spoon-feed them mana for their addicitons when the craving gets too bad and they stop being functional. Are we enablers? I feel like we’re enabling. We should ship ’em all to a detox clinic — preferably run by Gnomes — and get some hearty broth in them. Nurture them back to real health. Show them a bright future. And then teleport them all to the planet’s core, because they’re Elves and all.


Hey, I found a Death Star pipe in Suramar! I think I can see Emperor Palpatine down there. How’s it going, man? Still falling?


Once I hit friendly with the Nightfallen (oh, this is just a sham of a friendship), I put a bookmark in Suramar activities and started in on Stormheim to get the last friendly rep that I needed for the world quest unlock thing.

There was a nasty bug that I encountered early on that is apparently quite common. The whole battle in the skies quest kept shutting down on me until I logged out, logged back in, and dismissed my pets. Oh, the quest itself was pretty cool and a great way to be introduced to this final leveling zone.

I even enjoyed being paradropped into the action, although I have to wonder why the army, which has spent gobs of gold on building these flying fortresses, can’t afford parachutes without obvious rips and holes in them. Also, why are we using parachutes? Isn’t this a world where mages can zap you with slow fall and that’s that? Shouldn’t there be an intern in the jump bay whose entire job is to cast a spell so that you can float like a feather down to the ground?

My progress continues to be slow, mostly due to the fact that I am so tired these days. There gets to be a point in the evening where I have the time to game but my body just goes, “Nope! To bed with you, mister!” and I must obey.

World of Warcraft: Dark tidings and glad news


I’m the third prettiest thing in this picture!

Whew. I think I can breathe easier. After having some panic over hitting 110 and not really knowing what to do, where to go, and what to prioritize, a little reading and research helped clear that up nicely. If I have a list, a plan of attack and can tackle things one at a time, I can overcome nearly anything. It’s the “DO ALL AT ONCE!” assault that sends me into paralysis.

I think the quests would have led me to where I needed to go in the end, it’s just that I hate wasting time that should’ve been spent more wisely. I’ve had so many experiences in MMOs when I finally discover that there’s some activity that I should have done every day for months now, and I was simply too ignorant to do it. Time lost can never be recovered.

So here is my to do list as it stands:

  • Work on Suramar quests and unlock friendly with Nightfallen
  • Complete Stormheim
  • Get dailies going
  • Finish class hall campaign
  • Consider starting up my Druid in Legion
  • Gear up (dungeons, class set)
  • Professions to cap: Engineering, Cooking, Archaeology
  • Work on flying achievement
  • Artifact research, order hall advancement, artifact leveling, etc.
  • Make money! (My sub is paid through the end of the year, so hopefully by Christmas I’ll be able to figure out some way to rake in enough to pay for WoW tokens in the new year.)

That seems doable. I hate feeling the pull between wanting to just slowly experience all of the zone quests for the first time and wanting to get to a point where I’ve unlocked the world quests and have a character that could actually do group content that isn’t just standard dungeons.


Val’sharah is over, at least. Wasn’t a bad zone at all, and I loved how there was a bit of Gilneas content at the end. It was a pity that this part was really truncated, but still… great to see the people and buildings even for a short while.

Taking the advice of many others, I’m not going to rush into my final leveling zone (Stormheim) for now, but rather have moved onto Suramar to do a little rep work and unlocking of things that need to be unlocked. It’ll all be there, so I’m not stressing it (or at least putting on a brave face). It certainly helps that, for an endgame zone, Suramar is pretty darn beautiful. No annoying jungles, lava fields, or blackened skies of death here. Sure, there are Elf junkies everywhere, but I get to kill a lot of them and that pleases me greatly.

Also, I have an agent on the ground:


Yessss… kill them all, my friend. Make them pay for their arrogance and illogical ears.

I’m really hoping to start clawing my way up to respectable item levels soon. Level 110 isn’t a cake walk; I’ve had a few fights where I died horribly, and that as a Death Knight. I do have an 810 helm from the order hall quest and just received an RNG upgrade on a cloak that turned it into an 825. Good start, at least.

Hey, remember when 720 was all hot stuff? Good times, man. Good times.

My only complaint so far is that dungeons — at least from the few I’ve run — have been overly long and not that lucrative. I do need to make the rounds to all of them, but often they end up being 45 minute slogs that only cough up a handful of pocket change for an awful lot of work.