Thursday, April 29, 2010

Account Cancelled

I shall return one day... perhaps. :) Thanks to everyone for reading my blog and sharing your experience in this fantastic game.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What's New for the Armory 2010

EDIT: They have officially removed the Armory updates, but the FAQ links below still work. The information here was cut and pasted from the site while it was up. Enjoy!

I don't have much commentary here at the moment, just some breaking news about new features for the 2010 Armory directly from their website:
New Features: Model Viewer, Character and Calendar Feeds 

The Armory's character profiles have been redesigned and improved with several new features including a 3D model viewer, character activity and calendar feeds, and more.
  • 3D Model Viewer: The 3D model viewer displays a character as he or she appears in-game. You can pan and zoom the camera, play animations, and save a default pose (for characters on the logged-in account) that will display for all visitors to the profile. Refer to the Character Sheet FAQ for more details.
  • Character Activity Feeds: Each character's activity feed shows the most recent in-game actions of the character that can be recorded by the Armory. These include achievements, boss kills, item acquisitions, and more. Character feeds can be customized using our customization tool, then exported as RSS feeds to your RSS reader of choice. Refer to the Character Feed FAQ for more details.
  • Player Calendar Feeds: Another new Armory tool allows you to export in-game player calendar data to calendar applications such as Outlook, or to online calendars such as Google Calendar. The tool can aggregate up to five characters on your account in a single feed, and is automatically synched with the characters' in-game player calendars. Refer to the Calendar Feed FAQ for more details.
  • Character Profiles: Character profiles have been redesigned to accomodate these new features and with the goal of improving usability and clarity, such as the Gear List view for a character's items.
Character Feed

What is the character activity feed?

Each character's activity feed shows the most recent in-game actions of the character that can be recorded by the Armory. These include achievements, boss kills, item acquisitions, and more. Character feeds can be customized using our customization tool, then exported as RSS feeds to your RSS reader of choice.

How do I create a customized character feed?

Click the RSS icon on the character's profile page (the orange icon on the upper right of the recent activity summary) to go to the Character Feed Customization page. The options on this page allow you to create a custom RSS feed that you can export to an RSS reader.
  • You can enter up to five characters to aggregate into a single RSS feed. Enter each character in a name@realm format. If you are logged in, you do not need to specify the realm - it will default to the currently viewed character's realm.
  • Achievement categories can be individually toggled to filter them in or out of the RSS feed.
  • Achievement criteria include any intermediate steps within an achievement, such as defeating a particular boss in an achievement to defeat every boss in a particular raid dungeon. Toggling this category off will turn off all achievement criteria globally, while turning it on will still follow the rules that you select in the Achievement category (for example, turning off Quests in the Achievement category will turn off the criteria in this category as well).
  • The Boss Kills category includes any boss that is tracked in the Statistics tab of a character profile. These include the end bosses of classic and Burning Crusade dungeons, and every boss in Wrath of the Lich King raids.
  • Loot acquisitions can be assigned different rarity thresholds to appear in the feed. You can specify a minimum item level as well.
How do I use the custom feed once I create it?

The URL for your custom RSS feed updates in real time as you change options and enter character names. When you are satisfied with the options and characters you selected, simply copy and paste the resulting URL into an RSS reader. Online RSS readers include iGoogle, Netvibes, and Pageflakes, to name a few. You can also import RSS feeds into Outlook and other e-mail clients. In addition, clicking the Facebook icon (which appears near the RSS icon on character profiles) allows you to integrate the Armory's feeds into Facebook.

Can I customize the feed that appears in the Character Feed tab of a character profile?

In contrast to the RSS feeds created on the Character Feed Customization page, the feeds that appear on character profiles (on the main page and the 'Activity Feed' tab) are intended to be an unfiltered feed of a character's recent activity and as such can not be customized.

Why isn't the Armory's custom feed page finding a particular character that I enter in the character name field?

Only characters on US realms are stored here, as this is the US version of the Armory. To switch to a different region, such as Europe, go to their regional World of Warcraft website and access the Armory from there. In addition, a character must be recently active and be at least level 10 to have a character feed. When entering character names, keep spaces in realm names ('Black Dragonflight') and make sure the character and name realm is spelled correctly.

Calendar Feed

What is the custom calendar tool?

The custom calendar tool allows you to export in-game player calendar data to calendar applications such as Outlook, or to online calendars such as Google Calendar. The tool can aggregate up to five characters on your account in a single feed, and is automatically synched with the characters' in-game player calendars.

How do I create a customized calendar feed?

Use the Armory's main menu or click the link on the top right of a character's calendar page to access the Calendar Feed Customization tool. The options on this page allow you to create a custom calendar feed that you can export to any compatible application or website. You can choose up to five characters on your account to aggregate into a single calendar feed. Simply select the characters you wish to appear in the feed from the drop-down menus. Event categories can be individually toggled to filter them in or out of the feed.

How do I use the custom feed once I create it?

The URL for your custom feed updates in real time as you select options and characters. Simply copy and paste the URL into an online calendar such as Google Calendar when you are finished configuring your custom feed. In addition, clicking on the URL from this page will download a file that can be imported into compatible applications such as Outlook

Is the calendar feed automatically synched with in-game player calendars?

Yes. Calendar feeds created with this tool should always be automatically up-to-date with in-game player calendars.

What is the 'reset security key' option used for?

Each calendar feed URL contains a unique security key appended to the end of the URL. This key is intended to keep your calendar data inaccessible to others. If you wish, you can reset your security key at any time by clicking the 'reset security key' button at the bottom of the page. If you reset your key, you must update the URL in your web-based calendars, or re-download the calendar file to use it with a calendar application.

So... what do you all think of the new changes? Sounds like there will be lots of new and exciting tools that players can use to show off what they are doing in game. Who knows, I may just link them to my calendar here. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wave Hi

So, I got my Google Wave invite today! Anyone wanna wave/shout out? :)

I'm still trying to figure out how to make Bloggy post here, but... oh well, everything but the bare minimums is even remotely close to a beta stage. Developers have only had a couple weeks to get their feet wet with even the simplest of applications, but it looks promising. I'm hoping they will develop an application for blogging that will allow me to post without allowing you, the general public, to edit the post itself.

So what about you?

Have you considered riding the wave?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

[UPDATED!!!] You Sunk My Battlegroup!

For those of you who don't know, I share computer time with my significant other. Unfortunately, I have also made the critical mistake of introducing her to WoW. What does this mean? This means that my level 80 Night Elf hunter of a girlfriend now alternates nights with me. Fortunately, my mental stamina is much superior to hers, evident in the fact that she is usually ready to go to bed by 10 PM. (Sorry, honey, but it's true.)

As expected, the little lady bonked out around 10:15 and I stopped the DVR and proceeded to log in to my bank alt to scan some auctions. Lo and behold, my server was greyed out. And not just my own, but several others as well. I soon learned that two entire Battlegroups had kicked the bucket. Apparently a complete power failure was responsible for taking out nearly 25 realms, which stayed that way until 8 AM EST.

After several unsuccessful attempts to log on after about 15 minutes, I began looking for other things to occupy my time. So, I headed over to Feathermoon (US-RP) and rolled a level 1 human warlock. I was not alone in my refugee status, and Northshire Abbey was filled with dozens of Level 1 alts as if WoW had just hit day 1. It was a very strange sight to see so many active players running around a single starting area. It was certainly strange competing for level 1 mobs and actually having to wait for Garrick Padfoot to spawn.

What was even better was that convesations between the sudden influx of players and the vets of that server. The locals were ticked, and for good reason, as dozens of level 1 alts ("Icritmypants" was one of the more memorable ones, I recall) began turning Northshire into Trade + Barrens chat squared.

Anyways, it looks like we'll be back up and running when I log in tonight. For those of you who play on Feathermoon, I apologize. :)

EDIT: Looks like my Battlegroup is still down!

EDIT x2: After much deliberation the entire battlegroup is back up and running. Hooray!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

RPG Memories

Ah, the RPG.

I've meandered off into the realms of sports (yes, actual physical sports... scary, I know), board and card games, various other genres of video games, but for some reason, I've always come back to some form of role-playing game. I've always been drawn to the idea of jumping into the role of some fictional character and embarking on an epic adventure. And since it's the shared topic over on Blog Azeroth, I figured I'd share my own experience with you all.

My affair with RPGs is one that reaches back over two decades. In that time,  One my earliest fascinations was with those endless series of "Choose your own adventure" books. With any number of different themes, the reader was cast as the central character in a novelization of what was, essentially, a role-playing game. The choices you made affected the outcome of the book, in turn (pun intended) altering the very plot of the story by skimming to another page. (Do you want to know more about my RPG nostalgia? If yes, turn to page 34. If no, what the hell are you reading this for?)

When I became a bit older, this fascination grew a bit more sophisticated. I began to read the Lone Wolf series of "choose-your-own-adventure" books, but this time a round, they came with a sophisticated twist: statistics, combat and items! It had expanded on the classic style of book that I had grown to love and several borrowed D&D elements. I collected several copies within the series (scrolling through the covers sure took me back) and can clearly remember sitting with my pencil and flipping through the pages, anxiously apprehensive to find out if my choices had led to my doom. Of course, you had to make sure not to sneak a peek at the other pages while turning to the designated page, because that was 'cheating.'

Eventually, the charm of these books wore off. For one, it was too tempting to skip some of the pages (some of which contained artwork) and often ended up spoiling the plot for me. In addition, the tedious realities that come with this type of role-playing game became apparent. There was a combat system, which required you to perform manual calculations in pencil, because doing so in ink was a lesson in futility. This meant lots of scribbling and jotting and erasing. You also used a crude sort of RNG by closing your eyes and slamming the eraser end of your pencil onto a grid of random numbers, which became quite easy to cheat at with a little practice. With all of the various items you had to keep track of, along with writing them down, then erasing, then writing them down again... by the ninth or tenth book, this became rather tiresome. I began to pass these by in the book store and reach for them out of curiosity and familiarity, only to place them back on the shelves. Sad, really. (You can read the entire series for free, online, here.)

Even after these books, I still longed for the classic adventure of swords and sorcery, and even remember spending hours in the public library poring over the various D&D books the kept in their shelves. I never had the courage to find someone as dorky as I was to actually play the game, so instead I would sit there and stare at the spells and monster descriptions and imagine what sorts of adventures I would go on, or what class I would play, or how I would make a dungeon. My fascination with role-playing games continued.

Along came King's Quest. I remember playing this game in 16 colors. Count them: 16. When I first popped this 5.25" floppy into my hard drive, and listened to the crude machinery of the disk drive read the binary code, and finally display the rich hues on my screen, I was in Tandy EX heaven.

After that, there was Space Quest, and Hero's Quest, and, ahem, Leisure Suit Larry. (Do you guys happen to remember having to get past the guy watching TV in the basement to sneak up the stairs to... oh, never mind.)

Now, technically these were not RPGs in the classic D&D sense. They are now categorized in the "Adventure" category, but all told a story in which you interacted with the environment, made decisions, and used problem solving skills and abilities in order to progress the plot, but you still played a role. Hero's Quest was more RPG-ish of the series, in which you could choose to play one of three classes (Fighter, Magic User, and Thief.) Nevertheless, I consider these games to be RPGs, or at the very least credit them with sparking more of my interest in RPG-type games.

Enter my teenage years: the advent of the NES, SNES, Genesis, Nintendo 64, the 386 processor, and Playstation. I have played at least one RPG on each system, including the Final Fantasy, Ultima and Might and Magic series. Eventually I went off to college, got a job and continued gaming through my twenties. I dabbled in shooters and Madden and Star Wars Pod Racing, but I always found myself pausing to check out the back of the latest RPG.

Somewhere in the last 5 or 6 years, I yearned for the nostalgia of my floppy disk days (actually, I remember playing games off a cassette tape hooked up to an Apple IIe, but I digress.) I began to dabble in the world of MUDs, but found them too stale. I soon discovered the MUSH, which was much more customizable and had more of the RPG elements I was looking for, such as emotes, etc. (Not so much "You hit the rat for 12 damage!") When I dug deeper, there seemed to be a MUSH themed for pretty much everything. I stayed with what I knew at the time, which was primarily Star Wars based. And so it was that I dove headfirst into these telnet based phenomena for about a year or so before interest in the genre faded. However, the yearning for more text-based adventures was not over.

In one of my many subsequent searches for obscure freeware, I came across this wonderful gem: Dwarf Fortress. In it, you can play in a single player RPG campaign or a very complex dwarf fortress building simulation. And the best part is, it's in ASCII. You read it. ASCII. And I loved it. I played it night and day, managing my little dwarfs and digging into the mountains, carving out an existence for the little imaginary @'s on my screen. I highly recommend it for those of you who like both old school ASCII graphics (there are downloadable graphics sets to make the game a bit easier on the eyes, but it's still an ASCII game at the core) and simulation games like SimCity and the like. It's been in active development for quite some time, but still has yet to get out of alpha stages. (Best part, however, is that it's free and completely playable for an alpha.)

And finally, about two and a half years ago, I felt the itch again. Everywhere I turned, everyone was ranting and raving about the World of Warcraft. I had played the RTS games a couple times previous, so I was familiar with the basic premise; orcs vs. humans, sure, easy enough, right? So, I picked myself up the free trial and never looked back. My intital concerns were that I wouldn't be able to play the game on my computer at the time, but the graphics card and our meager CPU put forth a decent effort and I managed to squeeze out 20 fps on average. I went out and bought vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade, signed up for my monthly subscription, and never looked back.

And so it was that I went from a scrawny little kid huddled between stacks of books (and flipping to page 34) to raiding Naxxramas, Ulduar and perhaps challenging the Lich King himself to a /duel. It's been a long journey, a quest of its own, if you will. In case you were wondering, it's taken me nearly three days to write this post. Strolling down memory lane and trying to narrow down which games influenced me the most has not been an easy task. I mean, there have to be at least two or three dozen games in the console category alone that I was forced to omit for brevity. To be honest, though, I had a lot of fun writing this one. I hope you had as much fun reading.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Circle of DPS

This little questionnaire is brought to you by none other than Death Goddess. It was inspired by the similarly titled "Circle of Tanking" and "Circle of Healing" blog chains, and continues in the tradition by polling us DPSers about, well, DPSing. So, without further ado, the questions (and answers):

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary DPS?

Thargnik, Enhancement Shaman (Armory)

What is your primary DPSing environment? (i.e. raids, PvP, 5 mans)

10 man Raids and 5 mans, although I dabble in 25-man raids when I can get the chance. Raiding at all is mostly a luxury due to real life time restraints.

What is your favorite DPS spell/ability for your class and why?

Frost Shock Stormstrike, most likely, although my spirit wolves are a very close second. Instant dual melee weapon strikes which can potentially proc Maelstrom Weapon in addition to the mana replenish are hands down the best melee ability an enhancement shaman has in his or her arsenal.

What DPS spell do you use least for your class and why?

Searing Totem. I'm not even sure it has any purpose past level 30, and it's seemingly random targeting (up to 20 yards) can be more troublesome than beneficial. (And as far as non-DPS spells, what in the hell is anyone ever going to do with Sentry Totem?!)

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your DPS class and why?

I feel that shaman have the best versatility as far as a support class goes. Maelstrom Weapon instant cast emergency heals, tremor totem drops, poison and disease cleansing, and general totem buffs make our class and spec a welcome addition to any group or guild.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your DPS class and why?

We're still a bit more squishy than I'd like for melee. Perhaps rogues have it as bad as we do since they wear leather, but I'm not quite sure about that.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best DPS assignment for you?

Any boss that doesn't give out a lot of AoE damage, or that has some sort of mechanic that preys on the fact that I have to be up close and personal. I'm not talking dragon tail-swipes or something quite so generic, but something more like Patchwerk's Hateful Strike. It's fine if the healers are keeping the tanks topped off, but not so much when I'm the one with getting one-shot.

What DPS class do you enjoy DPSing with most and why?

Mage. Nothing says DPS like a face-melting mage. I'm not quite sure why I like them, I just do.

What DPS class do you enjoy DPSing with least and why?

Paladins, mostly because I am jealous of their survivability.

(I also hear that they are laughably easy to play, but I can't speak from experience. Just sayin'.=D)

What is your worst habit as a DPS?

Not getting out of the way for Whirlwind, not dropping Tremor Totem on trash/bosses that cast fear or sleep, and forgetting to drop Cleansing totem when poison or disease is present.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while DPSing?

Waiting around, goofing around, and people fighting over gear. Immaturity is probably the biggest of them all.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other DPS?

Somewhat, although Rogues will always outdo us in terms of pure melee DPS. I feel we can hang well with DKs, Pallies and Warriors, though each brings their own strengths to the table.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a DPS?

Recount, EnhSim (Enhancement Shaman simulator),, and general in-game feedback, to name a few. There are probably a dozen websites and blogs I could list as well that I regularly peruse that also provide vital information, feedback or commentary regarding techniques or theorycrafting.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

That we make excellent healers. I love signing up for a group as DPS and then they are short a healer and turn to me, expecting me to be geared for my offspec and ready to go. Unfortunately, my offspec is just that... my OFF spec. My gear is considerably less favorable and I don't even think I've bought a single gem or enchant for it.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new DPSers of your class to learn?

Which totems to drop and when. There's tons of useless totems out there, a couple that you may need in rare circumstances, your utility totems for more specific circumstances, and then those that should be dropped 98% of the time. The same thing goes for weapon imbues and shocks.

What DPS class do you feel you understand least?

Death Knights, by far. Although I am learning more. I suppose I have been turned off by the concept of them since Wrath hit... I knew everyone was going to roll one, and I was very much anti-DK from the get go. My bias has subsided, but I still haven't leveled one past the starting area.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in DPS?

Recount, Omen3, Deadly Boss Mods, Elkano's Buff Bars, Bartender and AG Unit Frames. I also have a Windfury/Flametongue macro in addition to a focustarget macro to target what the tank (focus) is targeting.

Attack Power over other stats or balanced stat allocation, and why?

Pure AP is useless without hit and expertise, so you have to be capped to begin considering other stats, but there are cases to be made for favoring haste, armor penetration, or even crit at a certain point. I generally use EnhSim to tell me what I should be gemming or gearing for. However, AP is a pretty straightforward stat: the more attack power you have, the more damage each hit deals.

Pass this questionnaire on and fill out the answers, and be sure to stop by Death Goddess's website to let her know the results.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reduced Cooldowns for your Elementals

It was recently announced on the PTR that the cooldown on your Elementals has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10:
  • Earth Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
  • Fire Elemental Totem: The cooldown for this totem has been reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
This should definately provide a boost for PvE leveling, but it remains to be seen if they will come in handy in a raid or PvP environment. Reducing cooldowns seems to be part of a growing trend lately. What do you think?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day of the Dead

Edit: Day of the Dead has come and passed, this article was written prior to the holiday.

This year, tucked into the latest issue of the Gadgetzan Times, is a small excerpt concerning an upcoming but little known holiday: the Day of the Dead. While little is currently known, perhaps we can glean a bit more from these descriptions:

So what do we truly know about the Day of the Dead?

Day of the Dead

According to wikipedia, the Day of the Dead (or El Día de los Muertos), is a traditional holiday celebrated by Latin Americans, primarily in Mexico. "The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints'Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls' Day which occurs on November 2nd.

So what's in it for us?

Well, the text above reads: "During the Day of the Dead, people gather in graveyards to celebrate with and cherish the spirits of those they have lost. One can find the festivities in the cemeteries of any major city, where celebrants cook, dance and don costumes, and more." We also know there is a related acheivement, Dead Man's Party, which requires the player to honor the dead by dancing with a mysterious woman named Cristina. Purportedly, this in turn transforms the player into a skeleton. The properties of the buff read "Apply Aura: Transform," which I assume will be the buff du jour that provides the skeleton transformation.

(Edit: Actually, it transformed you into either a male or female version of the Day of the Dead celebrants.)

We also know there is a related quest, "The Grateful Dead". This, of course, comes with standard buff food in the form of Bread of the Dead. You should be able to redeem this quest in the following locations: Dalaran, Ironforge (both dwarf and gnome spirits), Exodar, Darnassus, Silvermoon City, Orgrimmar (both Troll and Orc spirits), Thunder Bluff, as well as a seperate Aldor and Scryer turn-in. All of the spirits should be located within their respective graveyards, (although it is not clear why Stormwind was left out.)

And what do we get for all of this?

This currently unknown item.

I've heard rumors that it is actually this as-of-yet unreleased mini-pet, but who knows?

(Edit: Confirmed. The mini-pet was added!)

But what about all this talk about dancing, donning costumes and... more? It could very well be just a reference to the items mentioned above, but I am curious about this deliberate vagueness on behalf of Blizzard. What is this... 'more'? Is this the new 'Soon'TM? =D

Stay tuned for a guide to the upcoming Pilgrim's Bounty holiday!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sons of Hodir and You: A Complete Guide


Sons of Hodir represents one of the most difficult factions in Northrend for which to gain reputation. For one, they don't have a tabard, so you can't "champion" them in your dives into the dungeons of the icy north. Second, merely getting to neutral requires you to slog through a good portion of the quests in Storm Peaks. However, recent patches have brought the Sons of Hodir Commendation Badges that grant 500 reputation. Needless to say, with patch 3.3 bringing even more value to this faction for your alts, you'll have to get at least one of your characters to exalted to reap the benefits that this faction has to offer.

Getting Started

First things first, you're going to want to find good ol' Gretchen Fizzlespark and accept the quest entitled "They Took Our Men!" (Before doing so, a fresh level 80 will begin as "Unfriendly") These quests will start you down the path to neutral status with the faction. If you're starting from the beginning, make sure to loot the Slag Covered Metal from the Stormforged Iron Giants for the quest "The Refiner's Fire" while doing the quest "Mending Fences". Turning in the latter quest will grant you a whopping 22,000 reputation and allow you to open several daily quests.

Relics of Ulduar and Everfrost Chips

The easiest way to gain reputation with the Sons of Hodir is to collect and turn in Relics of Ulduar. These items drop from a ton of different humanoid or elemental mobs throughout Storm Peaks and within any of the Ulduar instances. Gather 10 of these and turn them in for the repeatable quest "Hodir's Tribute" to Lillehoff for 250 reputation.

A more difficult way to gather reputation is to gather Everfrost Chips. The chips will randomly spawn throughout the Valley of Ancient Winters, Thunderfall, Dun Niffelem, and Frostfield Lake. A complete and thorough guide to collecting these rare and hard-to-find items is outside the scope of this primer, so I'll point you in the direction of some insightful tips on how to find them. Generally speaking, a good place to look would be the cliffsides throughout in between groves of trees or on the cliff ledges themselves. I couldn't wait for the next day to reach Exalted so I spent a good hour and a half flying around each subzone looking for these. The first chip you loot opens up the quest "Everfrost" which will in turn open up the repeatable quest, "Remember Everfrost," both of which will grant 350 reputation.

Polishing the Helm

There are a couple of small quests you'll have to turn in before you have access to this daily, namely "Forging a Head" and "Mounting Hodir's Helm". Completing these two will place a gigantic helm suspended above Dun Nifflem, where you'll be able to start the daily.

The quest requires you to collect 5 Viscous Oil from the mobs of the same name residing in the Hibernal Cavern to the west of Dun Niffelem. This quest is rather straightforward: enter the cave, fight through the Ravenous Jormungar to get to the little blackish blobs and destroy them. You shouldn't have too much trouble if a room is already cleared out, just head in a loop around the cave, as the respawn rate is remarkably fast. You can turn this quest in at the giant helm suspended from one of the slabs of ice on the northern side of Dun Niffelem. Turning in this quest will grant you 250 reputation.

Blowing Hodir's Horn

You will have to complete both "In Memoriam" and "A Monument to the Fallen", which in turn will unveil a gigantic horn on which (you guessed it) you blow. And blow you will. This daily is also rather straightforward, requiring you to travel to Thunderfall and destroy 5 Niffelem Forefathers and 5 Restless Frostborn. Once they expire, simply used the provided quest item and send them floating away as demonstrated in this example.

Unlike the previous quest, if there are a lot of other people doing this quest, you may have to fly around a bit to locate another pair of mobs to take down. This is also a great quest to do while looking for Everfrost Chips on the eastern hillside (see below for more information.) Return to Dun Niffelem to turn this quest in at the horn pictured above, which will grant you 250 reputation.

Hot and Cold

Once you complete the quest "Forging an Alliance", it will open up the daily quest, "Hot and Cold." The daily itself comes in two stages: collecting 5 Essence of Ice from the Brittle Revenants in Frostfield lake, and using them on the smoldering scraps near Fjorn's Anvil to create Frozen Iron Scraps. A higher number of players doing the same quest may require you to fly around the lake a bit, but the spawn rates are pretty quick. Bonus loot: Crystallized Earth will drop from the revenants at a 25% drop rate.

Head over to the east and fight your way through the Seething Revenants to the small, smoking piles of scrap metal. The scraps may be easier to recognize against the snow, but you only need to click on the quest item and it will automatically target one, turning it into a Frozen Iron Scrap. Once you've collected all 5, head back to the anvil in Dun Niffelem to turn in the quest. Bonus loot: Crystallized Fire will drop from the revenants at a 25% drop rate.

Turning in this quest will grant you 250 reputation.

Spy Hunter

So, you've turned in a couple relics and done a couple days worth of daily quests, and you've progressed to Honored with the Sons of Hodir. This opens up two more dailies for you to add to your options. You will find the new daily "Spy Hunter" by speaking to the Frostworg Denmother located in the northwest corner of Dun Niffelem. I would start doing this in coordination with Polishing the Helm. Both quests are right next to each other, so finish one and head over to do the other.

The quest itself involves following a spirit wolf around the Valley of Ancient Winters as he tracks down Stormforged Infiltrators. Once you call the worg, his speed will match yours. If you are set to /walk, the worg will do the same. Similarly, if you are on an epic flying mount, the worg will be running all over the place at epic speeds. (This can come in handy later when paired with another daily quest, see below.) The worg will eventually howl and the infiltrator will appear. Kill three of them and turn in this quest for 350 reputation.

Thrusting Hodir's Spear

The second quest that opens up will become available after completing the quest "Raising Hodir's Spear." Soon afterwards, you will open up the most entertaining daily quest in the game, "Thrusting Hodir's Spear." This quest can also be done in coordination with Spy Hunter and Polishing the Helm, as the Wild Wyrms you need for the quest are also in the Valley of Ancient Winters. Simply get close to one and click on the provided quest item, the Spear of Hodir. You will then mount the wyrm and begin an epic battle over the Storm Peaks to slay the wild beast.

The bulk of the quest is divided into two parts, wearing the beast down and then killing it. This little tutorial will ensure that you complete the quest the first time through.

Ride 'em

You will be given four talents when first mounted on the wyrm, which functions as a vehicle for all intents and purposes. These talents are hotkeyed onto your main button bar:

  1. Grab On
  2. Dodge Claw
  3. Thrust Spear
  4. Mighty Spear Thrust
You will be suspended hundreds of feet off the ground, so if you lose your grip or fail to kill the wyrm before it kills you, you will be thrown off the beast to your bone-crushing demise. (Snowfall Lager can come in handy for this quest if you're not familiar with it, and will save your ass if used before you hit the ground. However, I recommend that you save every Relic of Ulduar you can for reputation.)

As soon as the abilities are made available, use a Mighty Spear Thrust. This talent has a 10 second cooldown, and also puts your Dodge Claw on cooldown for several seconds. This is very important to note for two reasons: first, you should only use Mighty Spear Thrust directly after you dodge a claw swipe (see below) and second, you can die rather quickly if you ignore the claw swipes altogether.

So, you jumped on the wyrm and immediately thrust your spear into the wild beast. You will begin a familiar sequence of keys, spamming Grab On (1) followed by Thrust Spear (3). Watch for the claw swipe, which will reduce your health by a small amount. It's ok if you miss a claw swipe, but you will want to stay as healthy as possible for the second stage of this quest. As soon as you hear the sound and see the message ("The wyrm swipes its claws at you!") hit your Dodge Claw ability (2). Directly afterwards, use your Mighty Spear Thrust (4). If you find that you are losing grip, spam Grab On (1) for a couple seconds and continue with your normal rotation.

To summarize stage 1:
  1. Capture and mount the wyrm
  2. Mighty Spear Thrust (4)
  3. Grab On (1)
  4. Thrust Spear (3)
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4 until you receive the claw swipe warning
  6. Dodge Claws (2)
  7. Repeat rotation starting with step 2.
You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

Well, now you've done it. After poking the poor creature in the head with a gigantic pointy stick, you've really pissed the bugger off. Way to go. The wyrm will now start biting and thrashing at you, diminishing your health over time. And now you've got to fight for your own life. So, you're given two new abilities:

  1. Pry Jaws Open
  2. (Empty)
  3. Fatal Strike
Your goal here is to pry the jaws open, and shove your spear into the neck of the beast. The Pry Jaws(1) ability is a stacking ability with a 1 second cooldown. The Fatal Strike ability (3) has a much longer cooldown. My first instinct was to use the Fatal Strike ability as often as possible. However, your odds of killing the beast are determined solely by how wide you can pry open the jaws of the wyrm (i.e. how many stacks of the debuff you can place on the wyrm.) Hold off using Fatal Strike until you've reached 10 stacks.

Also keep in mind that your health is slowly diminishing. If you don't kill the beast in time, you will most certainly die. This is why the Dodge Claw ability above is so important. The more health you have in stage 2, the more opportunities for the Fatal Strike abilities. For stage 2, the pattern is quite simple:
  1. Pry Jaws Open (1)
  2. Wait until 10 stacks
  3. Fatal Strike (3)
  4. Pry Jaws Open
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, using Fatal Strike as soon as it comes off cooldown
Once you've succeeded, you will fall with the slain wyrm to the ground. For some reason, the wyrms are actually giant animated pillows, preventing you from taking any damage when landing on them. Turn this quest in for a whopping 500 reputation. This quest is still one of my favorite dailies in the game.

Feeding Arngrim

The last daily quest you will be able to access opens up when you have reached Revered with Sons of Hodir. This quest is best paired with Spy Hunter, as the mobs you'll need are wandering around the Valley of Ancient Winters. In addition, your spirit worg will help you attack the mob itself. The quest "Feeding Arngrim" requires you to disembody the Roaming Jormungar with Arngrim's Tooth, allowing the former King of the Sons of Hodir to feed off their disembodied souls. You'll only need to get them down below 25% of their health and the former king's spirit will appear to devour the ugly beasts. Feed the king 5 of these mobs and turn in the quest for 350 reputation.


You can definately boost your efforts by running Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning and farming Relics of Ulduar, which drop from nearly every single mob in the instance. If you really want to get to exalted as quickly as possible, you'll want to spend some time searching for Everfrost chips as well. And finally, run as many of the daily normal dungeon quests as you can and collect the Commendation Badges for a whopping 500 reputation.

And what do you get for all your hard work? Well, some pretty cool mounts and the best shoulder enchants in the game, that's what. And with patch 3.3, we'll be able to pass these enchants on to our alts without having to farm the reputation all over again (you just have to be level 80.) Blizzard has tried to make Sons of Hodir reputation easier and easier to get over the various patches, and with this guide, you should be able to get there in no time! Good luck!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New widget

Not sure if you noticed or not, but I've added a nice little widget linking to questions on the new website! If you don't know what it is, definately go check it out. Have a question that needs answered? Don't want to bother searching through hundreds of possibly irrelevant forum posts? No need to look any further, your question is waiting to be answered by hundreds of fellow WoW players!

Right now, the widget is displaying questions about 'shaman' (the most recent questions with the shaman tag will display), but it can be configured to display pretty much any topic. Let me know if you'd like to see something else.