Why I’ve hated World of Warcraft’s Rogues

I think pretty much all of us have classes and races in RPGs that we don’t like playing. And I’m sure we have many reasons for these: playstyles, looks, lore, better alternatives, and so on. But there are those classes you avoid, not because you have a problem with their mechanics so much as the fact that you just hate what they are and what they stand for.

For me, this has always been World of Warcraft’s Rogues.

The weird thing is, I have no problem with rogues, thieves, scoundrels, and similar types in other games. In RIFT, I think I’ve played a Rogue more than any of the other three archetypes. I’m not huge on stealthing and backstabbing, to be honest, but I get why people think that this class concept is cool. After all, assassins and thieves make up a huge population of fantasy novel heroes. They dress cool, they strike hard and fast, and they get to fill the Batman role quite nicely.

So what’s my beef with WoW’s Rogues? Why, to this day, have I never rolled one, despite suffering from extreme altoholism?

For me, it really goes back to the first couple of years of the game and the PvP scene. When battlegrounds were first introduced with 2005’s Patch 1.5, many of us who were starved for content were lured into these instances. I did my fair share of Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley, sometimes to have something to do, and sometimes because I was chasing some rewards. And I did a stint on a PvP-RP server because friends lured me there.

My time in these PvP settings taught me one lesson the hard way: Rogues are everywhere and they are raging jerks who are out to spoil your day. Having a class that can literally pop out of nowhere, stunlock you, and slice you to ribbons in seconds did nothing but raise my blood pressure and make me wish that I could just press a button and wipe out the entire Rogue population in the game. I’m sure I was killed by many classes, but the Rogues always seemed to be the ones that would corpse camp, that would delight in ruining your day, and that would /spit on you before dashing back off.

I made it my mission to try to strike back against Rogues, but this only was ever successful if they were in combat against someone else. In a one-on-one fight, I lost, because it started and ended on their terms.

And you know how it is — when you develop a bias against something, it’s incredibly hard to let that go. I haven’t touched PvP much since 2007 in that game, and yet I still find myself growling under my breath whenever I see a Rogue. I have no idea if they’re jerks or not, they’re probably lovely people who can’t get enough of dual wielding daggers.

I haven’t thought about it head-on for a long time now. The other day I was musing why my dislike of Rogues differed from, say, Elves. It wasn’t the creation of the writers and developers that angered me, but past actions by players that are forever associated with this class in my mind. And for better or for worse, it’ll probably stay that way. At least there are plenty of other classes to enjoy if I want alternatives.

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World of Warcraft brings Battle for Azeroth in August

Nothing like having pure white hair and no wrinkles to look that special brand of fantasy cute!

Thanks to Blizzard making a presence at PAX East this past weekend, we now have shifted from a larger launch window for Battle for Azeroth (summer) to a much more specific date (August 14th). Other than being somewhat earlier than I had anticipated, I don’t think that this really stunned me or anything. I mean, we were discussing a family vacation in either July or August this year, so now I might lean for the former, but other than that… cool? I guess?

At the turn of this year, I really thought Blizzard would be pushing the expansion off as long as possible for testing and whatever makes that studio take forever getting content out, but now it feels somewhat different. That the studio had a good pace going with Legion patches — 2017 was an excellent year for WoW in that regard — and it didn’t want to leave us with too long of a content drought.

Now that we have a start date for Battle, we can make more concrete plans for the coming months. At least for me, it’s the time to assess what I want to accomplish and what I have time to do. Let’s look at the timeline here:

  • It’s still early April.
  • We’re due for a pre-expansion patch around a month before the full expansion goes live, so call that mid-July
  • Then the launch on August 14th

That means that there’s probably a good three months or so before we get any new content. It’s enough time to level up a character, provided that one starts now and doesn’t dally. Might not even need that long, if you’re not really going to be that concerned with finishing Legion campaigns.

It means that there’s only a few months to keep making money with order halls before Blizzard shuts off the gold faucet there. It means that in four months, our artifact weapons will be kaput (or even three months, if that’s what’ll happen with the pre-expansion patch).

At the very least, I’m going to try to keep the money train going as steady as I can. I have two more allied races to unlock and some campaigns to finish. I’m feeling the urge to seriously work on a Horde character so I can have that “other side” experience for the expansion, since it’ll be more factionally divided than before.

Anyway, I’m excited. Should be a fun summer and give us a nice start into the fall!

World of Warcraft: Time on my mind

I think that my experiment to dive into World of Warcraft’s economic scene and try to make money from it has been fairly successful since I started it earlier this year. Since I started it at the new year, I’ve made 1.5 million gold (about 500k a month, more or less) and cashed those in for eight WoW tokens. That was enough to get me the expansion and several months’ of game time, to the point where I’m subbed into the summer months.

I’ve decided to scale back. Initially, I saw it as a goal to see how much I could earn through a few proven means, but that ended up taking a lot of my game time away every day — like up to two hours. If I only get 2-4 hours to play a day, then that’s just too much and doesn’t leave me any time to enjoy this game, nevermind others.

So right now I’m doing a quick 30 minute run every day to grab herb world quests, bacon world quests, Broken Isle treasure caches, and doing the emissary quest on my Death Knight alone. That, plus doing the order hall missions, has been enough to keep around 10,000 to 15,000 gold coming in each day with auction house flipping, and I’m left with enough time to pursue other goals.

What are these other goals? Mostly just wrapping up as much in my quest log from Legion on my Death Knight, which this past week was focused on getting the Suramar campaign done and unlocking another allied race.

I pretty much put blinders on and powered through this campaign, because it was 100% World of ElfCraft. I don’t think devs realize how much they overdose on elves so regularly, but here we have a whole zone devoted to them — including their Super Magical City of Joy — and nothing that has happened has endeared me to their cause. Not even when they trotted out little elf kids like it was Christmas Eve or something.

My eye rolling muscles got the biggest workout during one particular campaign mission where we were trying to assault the palace of some Queen Elf Bee. She comes out and starts lecturing the forces arrayed against her, which turned out to be no less than THREE different sects of Elves. At this point I’m waving my arms wildly and going, “See? See? We’re drowning in these dumb elves here! What is wrong with you, developers?”

It kind of reminds me of when the Borg came on Star Trek. At first they were really popular and terrifying, much like elves. And when the producers realized this, they started shoving the Borg in our faces every chance they got for ratings.

I’m not going to be assimilated into the elf crowd. Oh no. I will resist to my last breath.

I haven’t even gotten my class mounts yet, although I’m kind of at a loss why, since I’ve finished up the order hall missions, gotten everyone up to 950, etc. It’s not like the game is going to let me know what I’m missing.

I’ll tell you, I am very much intrigued that Kul Tirans might well be playable and have Druids as an option. I’ve wanted a straight-up Druidic human option for a while now, especially because we’re still hurting for Druid races. The wicker-style forms look bad to the bone, and I can totally see myself leveling up one in the expansion.

It’s made me wonder how much we’ll have to do in Legion once Battle for Azeroth comes out. Like, so much of what’s at the endgame right now has to become superfluous later, much like how the whole garrison building of Draenor is today. Maybe just level to 110 then ditch the storylines and sacrifice your artifact weapon like a good boy or girl?

Let me tell you, this game has a real expansion reset problem. I’m half excited about the reset just for a semi-fresh start, and half frustrated with how it represents the negation of everything we’ve been chasing for two years. You’d think they’d let us keep something other than a handful of weapon skins, but… yeah.

World of Warcraft: A song of Uuna

One of the side activities that I wanted to accomplish sooner rather than later was to unlock the little Uuna vanity pet. She came out a couple of patches ago and was notable for being a vanity pet with a whole involved storyline. It’s pretty dang neat, so I recommend trying it out.

Uuna is a dead Draenei girl who begins all of this being a disassembled skeleton.

Yeah, this is a happy place to be. Little dead girl, check. Thanks for the positive feels there, Blizzard.

Anyway, it took a couple of days to gather together the various bones found in Argus and then summon some sort of multifaced demon dog to fight. He didn’t drop her soul on the first day, but I was in luck on the next. Uuna was mine!

She’s not quite all there when you first summon her. She’s pretty freaked out as a spirit of a little girl, and I had to use emotes to win her over to become my friend. Next up? A world tour in which she would interact with various locales and then start gathering new accessories.

See that tiny floating island out there? I had to jump there. Thank you, goblin gliders!

I thought it was a really cool idea to have a vanity pet that kept upgrading its appearance. Uuna ends up getting her little stuffed animal pet, a flower crown, and a wand that shoots stars. But just when she finishes getting all of this…

She gets sucked down into the underworld. Well, good knowing you there, kid.

Fine. I’ll bust into the afterlife and drag you kicking and screaming back into reality. This isn’t worth the $2.50 an hour I’m getting for babysitting.

This, by far, was one of the coolest parts of any quest in the game. I was taken to this shadowy purple forest that genuinely looked and felt unsettling. And then the shadow-monsters started crawling toward Uuna at all sides — and I couldn’t attack them. I could sort of knock them back and try to keep them at bay. Then I gave her a hug and she exploded in sunlight, blasting the shadows away.

Aw. Excuse me. Something in me eye.

And with that, Uuna’s back and able to be summoned. Since my Death Knight is a Draenei, it seems oddly appropriate to have a little sister along for the journeys ahead.

World of Warcraft: Moose with blue paint

As we begin the multi-month countdown to Battle for Azeroth (or continue it, to be more accurate), I’m applying myself more diligently to pursuing goals that I want to see wrapped up by the time the expansion comes around. One of these is to unlock all of the four allied races that have been included in the most recent patch. This isn’t necessarily that I am dying to play them, but I do take a shine to the collection aspect that these races represent — and besides, every race comes with a free mount, so why not?

I kind of find it funny how some outlets were making it sound as if meeting the unlock requirements for these races ‘Tweren’t No Big Thing. “If you’ve been playing the game and doing all of your dailies and being as awesome as we are,” they say, “then you’ll already be there.”

Of course, we don’t all play MMOs the same way or for the same amount of time, and I think some people best keep that in mind. For me, I’ve been no complete slouch in this expansion, but my extended break a while back (especially in the post-Argus era) lagged me behind the pack, and when I turned to this goal, I found out that I only met one out of four of the requirements. While I had the Highmountain Tauren ready to go, I guess I still have a lot of the Suramar campaign (which was a surprise to me — I thought I was done there) and the two Argus factions. It’s nothing that I’m going to kill myself in pursuing, but a bit at a time and I should be there.

First up was to formally unlock the Highmountain Tauren. I really thought that this was going to be a lot quicker than it turned out to be. To its credit, Blizzard created fairly lengthy scenarios here, and my adventure in getting one of these Moose-men took the better part of an hour of cutscenes, travel, and questing.

It was definitely a joy to return to Mulgore and Thunderbluff. This area was always among my most favorite zones in the game for that western, wide-open feel. I have come to realize just how much I enjoy zones that are wide-open and favor unrestricted travel and lengthy line-of-sight versus the more cluttered and dense regions. And WoW does “dense” a lot, so places like Mulgore are more of a rarity.

Another thing that struck me with this quest was, as with the Silithus storyline going on right now, all of this is firmly Battle for Azeroth prelude versus Legion content. Lots of talk and fighting with old gods, which I’m totally fine with. Anything to change it up from fel green and demons at this point.

In the end, I finally got my Highmountain Tauren and rolled up a Shaman to see how it handled. The character creation options were a lot more interesting, which I assume is going to be an appeal of these races, and I enjoyed the moose antlers and blue paint as cow alternatives. It was kind of neat to be able to start at level 20 with a few perks — like bags, one talent point, the ability to use mounts, a halfway decent rotation — and yet be low enough that it didn’t feel like really skipping ahead. I don’t think I’ll really be playing much of this character, but it is satisfying to have it in the bank. One down, three to go.

Planning for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

With all of the alpha testing and news pouring out of the test server these days (most of which I am trying to ignore), Battle for Azeroth is increasingly on the mind as we truck our way through 2018. September 21st is still a ways away, but there will be a pre-launch patch before that, so everyone’s starting to shift their mental gears away from Legion and toward BFA.

I’m no different. Even as I dutifully go through my daily routine and keep making that bankroll, I’m increasingly given to thoughts and plans of what I want and need to do before the expansion arrives.

Probably the most important decision, at least for me, is to settle on a main character. During Legion, I’ve been going back and forth between my Hunter and Death Knight, with each character accomplishing different swaths of content and working on differing trade skills. While I’m not going to abandon my roster come BFA, I do know that it helps to have a single character for that first month or two to advance through the beginning content and get to know the ins and outs of the expansion.

After some evaluation, I think I’m going to focus on my Death Knight going forward. She’s done the most content out of the pair (including the full Suramar quest chain), and when it comes down to it, I just enjoy the look, feel, and playstyle of the DK over the Hunter. I’m going to miss some of my Legion artifact abilities, but we’re still waiting to see how the classes are going to shape up come BFA. I’m not going to stress about it.

Aside from my continuing project of making enough money to buy up tokens and secure my subscription for a good long while, I’m making a list of what I want to accomplish between now and the expansion. Working my way through leftover quest chains is important to me, but there are some other odds and ends that need addressing. Like maxing out rep with the Argus factions to unlock the classes (and mounts).

I still have that 110 level boost sitting around and no real pressing need or desire to use it. Actually, what I may end up doing is “wasting” it on a 110 horde character so that I can access the unlocks for the other two allied races. I keep mulling around the idea of a Highmountain Tauren Shaman, perhaps as a summer activity, and that’s the fastest way to getting one that I can think of at this juncture (all of my other characters, aside form a 60 Warlock, are Alliance).

I am also switching over my Hunter from tailoring back to herbalism. I still have a lock churning out hexweave bags for profit (I’ve long since maxed out the bag space on my two main characters), but I think herbalism would be more beneficial at the start of a new expansion anyway. Plus, I like collecting Felwort right now and the occasional herb farms.

What are your plans to get ready for Battle for Azeroth? What would you like to accomplish between now and then?