Home Sweet Home: Burning Crusade Classic

Having written what’s below, I’m thinking you can’t tell at all that I love this version of the game. But I do. Whenever I log in I feel I’m home. It’s a gift of time travel to be able to play through this era of the game I never played the first time. The community is so nice. I have my best friend at my side whenever I need him. The game is rich in all ways. I wouldn’t want to stay behind in TBC, so I don’t mind for myself that there won’t be TBC servers. I’m excited to move onward and plan to have as many of my characters ready for Northrend as I can manage.

The Classic version of the game is where I spend virtually all my play time. It’s a challenge and a delight. There’s always a place I thought I knew well that is very different in this era of the game.

Dungeons are high on the list of Very Different Things. The one that stands out for me the most is the Sunken Temple in the Swamp of Sorrows. I’ve pugged that dungeon so many times in my years in WOW. I’ve memorized the layout and know just where the Temple is in the world.

So I go overland the first time to find the place and I go along the coastline to get there as the path of least resistance. Whoa. Not along the coast.

Inside, you can’t get a map layout of the place. As is common in the TBC dungeons, you have quite a ways to go through non elite mobs before you find the actual dungeon entrance. Once in this one, instead of the layout above, you have a multi-tier layout and need to make your way around various balconies before you can move down a level. All packs are in groups of five. So. Odd.

I always play all classes. One of my intents in playing classic was to learn all of them from the ground up. You can do that here as you gain and really need to use every skill you purchase.

Everything you pick up is useful, either as a crafting agent, weapons or armor, food, drink, or you love getting junk to sell because money is tight.

In this era of the game, you feel like a genuine hero right away. No one has enough troops to fight whatever is marauding in your area, and they really need you.

The world feels cohesive, it all fits together and leads you naturally from one area to the next.

Someone will always help you if you ask.

My family is in this era of the game playing, which of course helps a lot. You can get help with anything since my spouse has a level 69 Mage. He has the highest level character of all of us, something that’s never happened before, but he’s the best.

I’ve come to realize that leveling up characters is actually my favorite part of any game. As you level in this era, it really feels rewarding.

We’re on Bloodsail Buccaneers, and it has a homey feel to it. Lots of new people coming in to prepare for Wrath.

GameNotes February 11, 2020

Darkmoon Faire is now live on the Classic Servers.   Old hat for some, but as with everything Classic, I’ve never seen the bare bones version of the Faire.  I have always meant to do all of the attractions at the Faire, but haven’t gotten around to it. Here’s my opportunity to try out the Faire at it’s most basic, and eventually, that will lead to my trying out everything.  If only I can find the Faire.

Bizarrely to me, it floats between Elywnn Forest and Mulgore.

I do not and never have known the Horde areas at all.  So, once I saw it was in Kalimdor, I thought I’d send Atheren, my level 15 Hunter, since she’s already on the continent.  I looked up how to get there from Darnassus.  Simple.

Unless you have no clue and you take several wrong turns.

The worst of them was trying to die my way through the Charred Vale.  Only to find two high level Horde were guarding the pass, once I finally made it across the vale.   Eventually I made my way down to the Barrens, crept along a length of mountains, and finally found myself in Mulgore.

I died 15 times during the trip.  Most in the Vale.   All my armor and weapons are at zero and useless.  I sure hope there’s a repair guy at the Faire!

It took most of the evening, and I left Atheren standing on a hill where I hope nothing attacks.

No clue where the Faire actually is, nothing shows on the map, as happened in a trip to The Barrens with an earlier character.    As I was crawling along, I thought, maybe I should really play through with a Horde character just so I can find my way around when I have to enter these areas.

BFA level Atheren is at ilevel 384. Moving along.   Also, everyday I look for the WQ for Whiplash, the last elite I need in Stormsong for Stormsong Adventurer.   Then I’ll drop back to Northrend with her to get the achievements there.   So fresh faced and happy, la la la.

I’m leveling two other characters towards 120: A 116 Priest and a level 89 Hunter.   After all of the darkness lately at higher levels, working on Cooking and the little Farm at Halfhill Market in Pandaria seems pretty great.   I’ll move her on to Draenor once she hits 90, but I think I’ll wish I could linger there as well.

The Priest is very slow going.   As Discipline, fights are long but she’s practically invulnerable (except against four or more, ouch).  As Shadow it’s a little quicker, but I have never liked Shadow.

GameNotes October 1, 2019

This week it’s all about that gnarly level 20 Warlock quest to get the Succubus.  I actually can’t stand that pet, and never use her in the current game.  All that squealing, gasping, whip cracking. So annoying.  Even so, in Classic it’s a Class Quest and so it must be done.

I took the ship from Menthil Harbor to Theramore Isle.  I then wended my way along the road you see part of leading out of Theramore.  Everything in Dustwallow Marsh is way over my head, but I just kept running.  I never died, but lost my Voidwalker several times to spiders and crocs.   Most annoyingly, the map above never filled in at all, even as I made my way into the Barrens themselves where everything was right at level.

This meant running up the road and down the road (The Gold Road and it’s variations) looking for the camp of my quest guy.


The camp isn’t near the road enough so you see the tents or the gold dot for the quest turn in as you run by.  If you’re in Ratchet, you’ve gone too far!  (I did not get that far before I turned around.)

Finally, comparing a Wow Head map with details filled in, to my approximate position on the big blank map, I turned in off the road and voila.


So you make your way across the world to see this guy, and he sends you to Ashenvale.  AGGHH!


Riiight, you say, Ashenvale isn’t far away.  And the moon is in the sky.   After all the time I spent getting to this guy, it took another hour perhaps to find a way through the Stonetalon Mountains, past grubbly little Horde guys, to get to Ashenvale.  I love the Astranaar area, luckily, and have never been so glad to see it.  Done for the night on this quest.

Next log in, I make my way to the Heartwood, with wizards and warlocks galore spawning and re-spawning quickly all around.  You can see the interactive gear when you hover your mouse over the tree, but it’s grayed out, except for a sweet spot on a root of the tree which I finally found.

Then back to Stormwind to fight a Succubus in the basement of the Slaughtered Lamb so you can have one to call your own.  The fight itself was simple and my Voidwalker handled most of it.

Got her, stuck her in a sack, back out questing with the Voidwalker.  Can’t wait to see what the next Class quest for Warlock is.


Battle For Azeroth Wrapup

The story wrap up seems awfully rushed, barely acknowledging the Alliance.    I liked Kaylriene’s summation for the most part   https://kaylriene.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/2503/

and just can’t figure out why they started the whole thing in the first place.   If they allow the Horde and Alliance to work together going forward, I’ll be happy, though I will not say it was all worth it.   With Blizzcon now just a few weeks out, I may get a ticket this time to see the drama of what comes next unfold.


Oops hit publish early..zzzzz

GameNotes September 24, 2019

World of Warcraft Classic

I’m still enjoying the Classic game.  I find it immersive and always interesting.  Though I am using Wowhead’s guides to the Classes, I find myself playing them very much as I do on the BFA servers.   In fact, I’ve gotten over the newness of it all enough so that I’m just playing as I do, working on crafts, trying to push ahead on the characters that are most appealing.  Not quite power leveling, but trying to figure out how I can fill that xp bar just a bit faster.

I love the grouping built in, and I’ve been starting groups myself for some boss types or kill 20 of these type quests.  It isn’t easy for me, but it certainly is smoother.  Also, I am not playing this version of the game not to play with others, I can solo anytime, anywhere, but right now, I don’t care to.   I’ve changed my mind on dungeons, and am working my way to level my Paladin and Warrior to send them on in.  They can do it!

Where everyone’s at

Warlock  Level 21

Paladin  Level 13

Warrior   Level 13

Druid  Level 13

Hunter   Level 5

Mage  Level 3

Rogue  Level 3

Priest   Level 6


Gnome who I beat to a node gives me a ton of conjured foods.

Kind soul helps me get Hogger when noone is nearby to group with.

Higher level Priest guildie follows me around for a bit so I can kill the dread 20 harvesters.  Stack em up!

Class Quests

Level 5 Priest cures a Mountaineer with a specific rank of Lesser Heals, then uses Fortitude on him.

Warrior kills Dead-tooth Jack, gets a key, finds she has to go back and kill him again to access a container at his feet for the actual quest item.  This is why people were talking about keys in General Chat!

Warlock level 20 Quest, she has to go to the Barrens!!! I’ll have to research how to even get there.  The way I know would be to go through Stranglethorn to Booty Bay and sail to Ratchet, making my way from there.  Apparently I could take a boat to Theramore from Menethil also?

My Warlock is my main, still.  At Level 21 she is bouncing between Westfall, Redridge and Loch Modan.

I did finish the Loch Modan and Algaz areas, and made the Wetlands run in cool comfort, right at level with everything there so there were no one shots from Crocs this time around.  Nothing approached me.  I kept an eye out for low levels making the desperate run so I could help them if they needed it, as others helped my lowbie Hunter on her run.

Stormwind, My Stormwind!

I find myself looking at all of the little details as I walk through the city.  The bricks, the fiery wall sconces at night, the moon over the Dwarven District.

I love this Stormwind.  There are however a couple of places where I go to make a turn and there is no turn there.  I haven’t explored the whole city, but it is on my list.


Battle For Azeroth, aka The Current Game

As immersed as I am in old Azeroth, the upcoming patch reminds me I have quite a bit of work to do on Reputations.  I spent some time on those.   I love the game overall, and have no understanding of the competition that players have between the two versions.   It makes me happy every time I log into Boralus and hear the music.   There is a ton to do at max level, far beyond just raids, and I’m thankful for that.   My thinking for a long time has been, not that the game “caters” to hardcore or casuals, but that it does a rather amazing job of providing something for players of all levels, interests, and play styles.   That is why it is still here and thriving at the 15 year mark.

GameNotes September 10, 2019

Small notes this week, not much play time, and none over the weekend-but I guess nobody else could play either.

My general thoughts;

To my surprise I don’t think I’ll go in a dungeon anytime soon.  My Warlock certainly has the level, but I haven’t any faith in her ability to fire off spells quickly and efficiently as you want to do in a dungeon.  It’s all soooo slow.  Mana is always an issue.  I’m sure it is for others as well, but I’m responsible for me, not them.  If I can’t do it well, then I’m not ready to do it.  We shall see.  Maybe another class will be more confidence inspiring.

It’s not going to be the large, bulky bear who I can’t even see around.

I kind of like my Paladin and Arms Warrior, but they’re not dungeon level yet.

Hunter is pretty good.

Fishing!  Boy do I hate the “Your Fish Got Away” message as much as the current game message “Your cast didn’t land in fishable water” despite a school of fish being right there.  At least I found a great fishing spot just outside Darnassus.  I need to find a spot like that in Westfall or Stormwind.


The King is a Weasel

GameNotes Tuesday September 3, 2019

Today’s dead Warlock is brought to you by the Defias Brotherhood.    The Gold Coast Quarry and it’s deep, deep mine are a great place to work on the “People’s Militia” quest.   Spawn rates are quick, how great is that?   Need Gnollpaws?  There are lots of giggling Gnolls popping up constantly too.

Still, the Warlock is now level 15 with a whopping 98 silver in her pocket.  Also, enough Linen to make a fair few 6 slot bags.


My Night Elf Hunter, who I wanted to be an Engineer, had to make the long run from Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands to Loch Modan.  From there to Iron Forge for training, then on to Stormwind just because I thought I might as well get the flight point.

This brave level 5 Hunter made the run with only one death, to a crocodile.

She might have fallen a second time to a spider, but a kind soul running alongside me took it on.   Another kind soul gave her a Handstitched Leather Vest and Boots on the boat over from Darkshore. I almost sent them to myself in the mail so they would get messed up before leaving Menethil, but it worked out ok.   Lots of nice people out there!


My Druid is level 12.  I didn’t plan to be playing a Druid much initially, so I didn’t read much.  How surprising to me that instead of my familiar cat form at level ten it’s bear.  I’ve used bear form in dungeons as a stand in tank plenty of times, but it’s not my preferred form.   Luckily I helped my nephew do his bear quest way back in the day so I knew how it went.


Odds and ends:

The Deeprun Tram seems like a rather wondrous thing in this world.

When Gryphons fly over, they seem so fast.

Is there really only one mailbox in Stormwind?

Darkshore is way different from what I remember.   Things seem in the wrong place.

Is the Dwarven District of Stormwind dark and smoky, or am I imagining it?

Must not forget to keep making Soul Shards.



Classically Progressing

My Druid is level 10, my Warlock 9.  I’ve logged in all my characters to try them out.

Hunter seemed pretty great once I stopped jamming auto attack. It’s natural for me to have a rotation, even with only one skill, so having your only ranged skill be auto-attack…zzzz.  Plink…fingers off till it’s in melee range, then one slice usually does it.

I nicknamed my Mage 3 Shot Shirley.  Downing mobs in three shots with no mana loss, comparatively.  This was just a quickie skill tryout.  She may be wriggling by the roadside starved for mana before I know it.

Still have not played my horde characters.  Likely to concentrate on Alliance ones first, getting each to ten to get a feel for how they play.

There’s all the time in the world, no need to rush to 60 and then what?

I’m completing every quest in every area.  The additional quests fill in the story much better than the streamlined modern areas.

Oops on not paying attention to levels this evening.  I noticed too late Prowlers and Young Forest Bears were three levels over my head.   I’d killed a couple before realizing it, and somehow, once I noticed, they killed me like nothing.  Luckily a group saved me from many slow deaths.

On my Warlock, my kingdom for any instant cast spell that lets me tag things faster.  Competition remains fierce for everything.

My Imp has a glass jaw.  He’s down every two seconds.

Blah blah all the talk about Retail.  I finally figured it’s a private server mentality using that term, which Blizzard itself has bizarrely picked up and uses too.   You’re paying to play now, my friend, so everything is Retail.   I prefer to use the terms Classic and Current game, which is more descriptive, I think.

Even with the mob tagging issues, and the troll meisters in General chat, I’m loving the game and really enjoy seeing so many people running around everywhere.

GameNotes August 27, 2019

And we’re live!  I did some last minute torturing over what class and character to play, and decided to go Feral Druid as my lead instead of a Warlock lead character.   I had read all kinds of disparaging commentary on the Feral Druid.  I’m just used to the class, and the only thing I notice so far is that, as with every other character, I run out of mana after about three hits.  Whack, whack, auto-attack, and then there’s enough mana to finish off the mob.

The druid is at level 8 after this evening’s play.   11 silver in her pocket!  I was merciless in killing things, particularly humanoids, who often have armor, coppers in their pocket, or other sellables.   Always out of inventory space in my backpack, I just kept running back to sell my stuff.

I bought no weapon skills, because I’m just not sure what the best choice is for my character.   I’ll get that information, and train accordingly.   The first skill I did buy was Moonfire, which put me way ahead of the game tagging mobs fast and from some good distance.

I confess I beat a few Hunters to the prey, and I was pleased to beat them out.   Hunters are a favorite class, but, dang, that range and quickness can be annoying, if you feel like you could go to get a cool one from the fridge while your caster drags out a slow spell.

The general chat wasn’t all warm and fuzzy as the stress test chat was.  I kind of felt like I was among the people who post on the official forums all the time.   Maybe it’s just the Night Elf area.

I’ve liked the scrolling out of quest text in the Tests, but I found that two quest givers turned away and closed out the quest box to respond to another player over and over- Denalan and Zenn, in the Night Elf area.   Of course there was also the annoyance of waiting till Zenn turned from frog to whatever he is.  He always had a crowd around him.    I don’t recall anything like that in the Human area.

Ha! There was also a quest on a timer, where you had five minutes to get a cure to an NPC.  I haven’t seen anything like that in ages.

I played my Warlock just to level 2.  It was still dodgy getting Kobold Vermin, later in the evening, but I managed pretty quickly.   For all the time my poor Druid suffered with inventory overload, and she never got a bag as a quest reward or drop, my Warlock got a 6 slot bag from the third Kobold she killed.   I’m sending it to my Druid.  Though I created the ten characters you can have on a server, I’m thinking I’ll concentrate on those two.  I didn’t get a chance to try out the Troll hunter I created, but I loved that we could create characters early today.  That helped so much, as a stress reliever, and to just go in and play.

All in all, pretty smooth except for a few early World Downs.   As fun to actually play and make progress in as I hoped.   For a game I’ve played for over ten years, there’s a lot to learn and know and explore.  It’s pretty great.


GameNotes August 13, 2019

Wow Classic Character Name Reservation

There I am, the realms lists come up 20 minutes early.  Watching the clock, fingers poised. 5:00. nothing.  Then servers Locked! Then realms are up, mine shows “low”.  Logging into realm…bammo! You’ve been disconnected.  It now wants my email and password.  Brain has left the building.  Type it in, get in a long queue, wait it out, name taken!  I had a list of three second choices.  Babbling all the while, I create my character with a secondary choice.  I get my other two character names.  Then I notice they’re all warriors!  Noooo!!!!  Delete, create, three times each during the process.

Later, reading the forums I see people got bounced to servers they hadn’t checked.  Nah. But I looked and they were all on Mankrik!   More bad words.  delete, delete.   Two of the names available on the server I actually wanted.   I honestly thought none of these things would happen, and it would be all smooth.

Ever hopeful, maybe the characters we already created today can just zoom into the world and get started without horrible things happening.  A few dozen kobolds to kill, sure, but doable.  Running up to the beasties jamming your auto attack is the way.


System Shock 2

System Shock 2 is being remastered by Nightdive, who are also working on bringing System Shock 1into the modern era.   Rock Paper Shotgun has a fascinating article called  “No one Knows Who is Patching System Shock 2”    https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2019/08/12/no-one-knows-who-is-patching-system-shock-2/

It goes into the history of Nightdive getting the rights for System Shock 2 from an insurance company (?) and mysterious patches that were made available from some unknown party that made the job of remastering much easier.   It fits the game, this shadowy backstory.

GameNotes Friday July 19, 2019

It’s a quiet week for game news, that I would note.  When I used to do a weekly Game Roundup (with the cute little lasso that annoyed a commenter), I had a list of game sites I looked at to see what was new.  I’ll have to develop a new list.

Via RPG Watch, a game update for System Shock.   I don’t see a recent update on their page, but a video of the medical area of the Station in “pre-alpha” state looks pretty spectacular.  The graphics are sharp, the character gets a big bad ass type wrench, there are door puzzles, odd walking trash can mobs (what they look like).  I’d love to play!

We’ve only played System Shock 2, the original was never available when we were playing these type of games.



Though I don’t have a Switch, I love the look of the new Luigi’s Mansion 3.  My son and I had a great time with the original.  This looks much in the same spirit.




How I came across it, I can’t say, but I love this video on making Fantasy maps and this is the best place to share it, I think.




The last (?) stress test for Classic Wow has been delayed.  I’d think it’s close enough to launch they could just leave it go.   Everyone wants to just get in there and play for real, or spend their time more profitably among the junk heaps of Mechagon, right?