I've been playing Warlords and playing super casual. There I said it. And you know what? I'm having a lot of fun with it.
I've been trying to organize my thoughts on the Cataclysm beta and the constant stream of data and information that is showing up on the blogs and websites that I follow. It all changes so quickly, that I guess I'll just put out what I am feeling right now.
My overall feeling is one of trying to avoid as much of the game play footage, new leveling experience and anything regarding the Goblin and Worgen starting areas. I am allowing myself to follow the class changes for the Shaman and have played with the talent calculator a little bit. The talent trees are changing so much, I'm not making any judgment yet, just watching.
I have also decided that I don't want to be in the beta and will donate my key if I get one. I was in the beta for Wrath and played around with the Death Knights, I have not played one since that time for more than a few levels to use as bank alts or to chat with a friend on another realm. I actually suck as a beta-tester, I'm not really good at filling out the bug reports or trying all the different combinations of things to thoroughly test the game and help make it better.
So, basically, I don't wanna be part of the beta and I don't wanna see too much of the new experience that Deathwing has brought about. I am working on putting a set of heirlooms together for a Tauren Paladin and I plan to level that through the new/modified zones.
I played around with the latest Cataclysm beta talent calculator at MMO-Champion and this is what I've come up with a 31/8/2 Elemental build. . A lot of the crap is gone and I've hoping a lot of the goodness is in the passive bonuses.
I was a little disappointed with how easy it was to put together and how little customization could actually be done. Maybe the revamped glyphs will give us some of that, I hope so. Otherwise, most Elemental Shaman will still be running around with a cookie cutter spec of every other lightning slinger out there.
...as I had mentioned before, I joined Bound and have been having a bunch of fun in game again. I am not part of the hardcore raiding team, The Ruthless, or the primary raiders, The Ascendants. Nope, I'm just a lowly Voyeur. But it's cool, I'm not sure I could keep up with those crews anyway - they are dedicated and very good players. I've just been running Heroics and filling in on occasion on non-progression nights in ICC. I have laid eyes on the Lich King and participated in the fight, although I have not been present for a kill - no title for me...yet.
I've been doing all of this on Okole, my Elemental Shaman. I've tried to play the Druid and even started a Warrior, but I just can't stay with either of them. Bumwaller is a maxed out Elixir specced Alchemist though, so I do some crafting with him.
I'm also doing a few more a-cheese-ments before they disappear in Cataclysm. Picked up The Keymaster and the Coin Master over the past week and got Exalted with a few more factions. I've been collecting Emblems of Triumph and Frost and building up my Tier10 Elemental and Tier9 Resto sets. Also nabbing Champion Seals to get a mount for my squire and get some heirlooms together for a possible new toon in Cataclysm. More on Cataclysm later, I've got a bunch of thoughts that I need to organize for that.
My application was approved and I'm now a member of the Bound guild on the Staghelm server. I have joined as voyeur rank, basically just a casual player, for now. I've been running random Heroics and getting my gear back up to speed and then maybe I'll try to jump into the 10-man raids. So far, I'm having a blast playing again and getting to know the new guild mates.
I've been goofing off with a little warrior for a week or two now, trying to gauge my interest in playing WoW again. It's been fun and I've been chatting with an old friend on his new server. He's been after me to transfer my main over and apply to the guild he has been playing with.
Well, a few days ago I logged on to the old server, cleaned out the guild bank, disbanded the guild and started the transfer process. No, I didn't ninja quit or anything like that. There were actually no active players in the guild and most had been inactive for at least 3 months. It was a little difficult to do, and I felt a little pang of nostalgia when I typed the /gdisband and confirmed it.
So, now I'm over on Staghelm and have put in my application for the new guild as a support player, not as a full time raider.
I got on tonight and logged in to their guild vent channel and listened while they did some VoA and then they decided to do Ulduar 10 hard modes. Greatjohn didn't go with them to Ulduar and asked if I wanted to do some random heroics. I felt a little apprehensive, as I've not played for quite a while, but I took the chance. I went as elemental, and ran Utgarde Pinnacle and Old Kingdom. Really good groups and I held my own I think.
I missed that - it was so much fun, no stress about healing and Greatjohn tanked with his paladin and we got some achievements to boot.
I think I'll stay around for a while and hopefully I get picked up by Bound and can do some runs with them.
I got this email from Blizzard offering me a week of free playtime, and at first I thought it was just a scam. I did a little bit of research and it turns out it is a real offer.
I had to go look for where I had put my authenticator and go through a password reset process, because I couldn't remember what my Battle.net password was. Amazing that I had forgotten a password I typed in almost every day for a couple of years. Copied the client of the external drive to the primary drive and downloaded the patches to get me up to date.
I finally got in and it was all very familiar, but at the same time it felt a little odd. I wandered around a little bit and logged in to the different characters to pick up the pets that were sitting in my mailboxes - a Corehound pup and a little penguin. Not exactly sure why I got them, but they were in every mailbox. I wasn't sure what to do next, a I realized why it had felt odd. None of my friends were there, I pulled up my friends list and there was no one online.
I realized I don't miss playing the game, I miss playing the game with my friends.