Monday, January 31, 2011

Wasted time and effort (yawp)

I have made a mistake. I have dipped my feet into the Grand Game.

I'm talking about the AH game, of course. It's available to all, each and everyone, it's just as equally mean and demanding to all and the success is totally depending on yourself and your understanding of the market. Information.

Last week I said that I found my initial dip kind of too easy. Considering I don't have a single capped crafting toon I still managed to reap about 10k profit over the week, mainly from the severely overpriced prime and major glyphs which still sold like Coca-Cola. Nice play, considering my inscription toon is capped at 375 and not coming up from there anytime soon.

Of course I had to plunge myself into the depths after that. I purchased the cards to build the Hurricane Deck (Darkmoon cards of the Winds persuasion, that is). The deck cost me - done this way from the cheapest cards in the market - some 17k, while they were sold at 24k. Nice, if that had only materialized: the price of the deck plummeted over the weekend down to 18k and AH has now quite a few of them on sale.

On the bright side, I'm almost back where I started, money wise, meaning that I have managed to do about 20k in a bit over a week. Last I checked I had done 40k sales, meaning that my profit-% is around 50%.

Not bad. We'll see where this takes us when I get my system running.

On the play side, my main toons have been frozen in time. Laiskajaakko is taken out of the naphtalene only for the Brothers, my spriest is working on tailoring and enchanting occasionally and DK is just sitting there, doing some jewelcrafting once in a while. The main toon I'm playing currently is my banker, a restoration druid who runs a random every now and then if time permits. (My typical AH run takes about a hour with checking mail, restocking, reposting and specified scanning).

Now to heal in the Outlands dungeons has become the 'favourite' pass time for this toon: maybe it's the effect of Gnomore, but I just cannot take on doing the killing quests with this one, either. The fighting part of most of the quests just puts me off and as a resto druid the options are pretty limited. I'm lazy, I don't want to change gear or spec to accommodate the questing, so I just hit the LFD button and wait for the group.

Glad to say, as a healer it is almost immediate, even in the levelling dungeons. It seems that even though the healer/hybrid classes are predominant in the groups, none of them are willing to make the switch either. Levelling as dps in questing is so much more convenient and faster than as a healer, so I fully understand them.

However, being a pure healer brings interesting discussions in groups. It's always the healer's fault when something bad happens, and it doesn't matter how you explain the thing. In this one PUG there was a pretty vocal warlock, who insisted on pulling mobs in chain: the tank pally was doing his best to contain the aggro and had something wrong in his set up. In short, it caused a wipe (Hellfire Citadel, the bigger area after the tunnel): he pulled the whole area, some 20 or so mobs and ran first out of line of sight, then out of my range. As the only heal I can cast while running is Rejuvenation, a weak HoT, it wasn't enough to contain the damage.

This warlock started on nagging on the healer (didn't even take time to write a name there), how druids are so OP at this level (62) in these dungeons and how the healer did a sucky job. In my polite manner I explained how I can't do a thing if I'm not in the range or if I'm forced to move, and told him to check the facts, STFU and concentrate on his dps.

What a change in tone. He didn't even mention healing after that, pointed out that the tank had wrong sigil (or whatever the paladins have) on and generally thanked the healer at the end. It seems no-one had said anything against him, ever, and the first time someone paid any attention was now as he was shown where he was standing.

Anyhow, levelling up through the LFD is very interesting. You really cannot regard the rest of the group as being even a lousy AI, and you really have to adapt to how the tank - dps co-operation plays. I don't remember ever having to take other players into account as much as tank or dps as I have to do as a healer, so while playing a healer while levelling is demanding, it's also the most interesting part for me.

Pretty nice counter activity to the static AH grind, really.

Gnomore got a few hours, too, mounting up to lv16. LFD opened up, but the main interest is in the mount at lv20. The Darkshore has changed all for the best, but as the final steps of the main quests require killing, they are left unfinished: also the easter egg for two achivements requires some slaughter, so the latter one remains un-earned. Which really pisses me off.

This for now. I'll keep my stocks up and may even tell about my AH stories.

C out

Friday, January 28, 2011

Throne revisited

There they were again. The Three Stooges, in all their glory. Well, this time - again - in Stormwind, but dedicated to take on The Throne of the Tides again: this time the whole experience.

To get to the Vashj'ir - as well as any other Cataclysm high end area - is pretty easy. Just login, go to the island within Stormwind and pick your portal. WOOSH and you're there.

Except that when we are around, things are not exactly that simple. Oh, the WOOSH part was ok, we got to Vashj'ir area, but to get through the maelstrom in the Shimmering Expanse was another story. You see, we should have understood at that point that the game was somehow bugged. While Laiskajaakko, the tank and miner and bullsh blacksmith went around the area mining (it's amazing how empty Vashj'ir is nowadays, and how much there is to mine!), Förgelös was the first to enter the maelstrom...

"Wait! What?! I died!"


"Yea, I died as I parked above that swirly-thingy. No reason!"

You must be kidding, bro.

"Wait. Killed by Exhaustion?!"

At this point Bishopgeorge tried to enter the maelstrom and noticed that a) he got the fatigue debuff and b) he didn't get in, right away at least. And concluded that you have to enter the darn thing exactly from the top of it, and smack in the middle, otherwise you get the fatigue debuff and - eventually - die.

I had to try it myself, and sure as hell, I was about to die before I got out of there and went for the white hole for entry. We then summoned the ill fated rogue among us, he would have gotten lost in the whirl otherwise...

The instance felt even easier than before. Main things that had changed were that we were all now level 83, so slightly on the high side for the normal levelling instance. But our undermanning tactic should have countered that. At the same time Förgelös had received some green rings (Alcite Band) and some other green crafted gear to compensate the outdated Northrend blues, still being below the gear score of the normal dungeon PUG you might find through the Dungeon Finder.

No, really. The trash felt almost as trashy as the ones in the WotLK instances. Crash in, trash them, move on. Very little need for any crowd control or care. The overall comment was that the instance felt sluggish and the characters abilities seemed to lack the punch they had a week ago.

This went on to Lady Naz'jar, whom we downed after several tries last time. This time - however - she went down on the first try and without breaking a sweat. Only one time pop of cooldowns from the tank, no real thing in there. Wo-hoot and rejoice.

Except that from this point things continued to go 'our' way.

The encounter didn't proc the conclusion and we couldn't initiate the cut scene nor open the gate to let us out. We tried this and that and some more, until we gave up and hearthed out. Only to find out that the instance was stuck in the moment and we had to reset it to proceed.

Rinse and repeat. This time it worked, we had not died once (to our surprise and disappointment) and we faced the Ulthok thingy.

All posh and full of ourselver we crashed in and...

Wiped. (Hooray, we died!)

It was a splash, bang, 50k+ in and out! We had gotten careless due to the instance being so easy till now. As we ran in and took Ulthok down without even blinking, we came painfully aware of the fact that the instance WAS too easy. To add to the injury, we killed Erunak's squid helm without a thought and helped Neptulon to defeat Ozumat, even though Förgelös decided to die and watch the fight from the other side of the gate again. Like I mentioned earlier, he has this cunning habit of giving the bosses some equal ground every now and then, and this time he decided to do this before the final of the instance.

His loss: as he was standing outside when Ozumat was vanguished, he didn't receive the achievement for the instance!

Due to the running from SW twice, we spent some time discussing how anti-climatic the finale of the instance was, very much a let down in both story and difficulty, and noting time and again that the instance was - in the end - very much too easy. Even though it's an entry instance for the WotLK skipping newcomers, it still doesn't pose any real challenge to a full group. Hecklers, if the three of us cleared the place in two tries, severely undermanned in the end, then a whole group should clear the place in their underwear!

To add insult to the injury, everyone else got a piece of gear or two except the tank, who is running around in WotLK purples and crafted Cataclysm greens. Which means that the gear composition of the group is pretty much in level with the required ones.

The decision was made to tackle Stonecore next. Let's see if we can two shot the first real instance.

I sincery hope not.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Preparation pays

Be prepared and you do not end up like this.
Or this.

Not to mention this.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gnomore stint

First of all, apologies for this part of being one day 'late'. It feels stupid to blog that line, but this time I feel I have to apologise because of myself. This is because of a single simple technical issue and simple mistake.

The situation with following Gnomore has gotten easier after he got above level 10: you can now see the stats from his Armory page. This takes away the need to take a screenshot of the statistics from now on. As for now I will make a separate folder for each of the sessions with Gnomore and I will compile the stuff on one reference page even later on. Sounds good, right?

Anyhow, Gnomore is going strong. He's been playing an AH mogul and sold all the herbs and ores he's been gathering, and thus the bank account seems pretty assuring:

However, it occurend to me that as I have an inscription character, too, I might as well try to sell the herbs as inks in the future. Currently it seems that even the Ivory Ink sells way above the actual herb prices for some reason or another. As to the ores... At least Copper and Tin seem to be selling better and higher prices as bars, so it will be a visit to the forge every now and then.

Next I will need a new herbalism bag... which my Priest might do for Gnomore at one point or another. I do have one Hyjal bag available, but I will take that out only after Gnomore can pay for it.

After checking the AH and posting the unsold recipes Gnomore found out that it was time for Lunar Festival. You see, there was this funny man standing outside Darnassus bank with that stupid exclamation mark above his head.

And one thing lead to another. After a silly ritual of blowing up half the arsenal of Darnassian Elders, Gnomore took the final part and stepped into the light.

And found himself in Moonglade, the secret and sacred enclave of the druids. This is something I have never understood: why did they have to invent a Lunar Festival to let everyone visit Moonglade anyhow? Besides, the only thing worth travelling there for - except for druids of course - is the guy with funny big horns.

Of course, the festivities require applicable apparel, so while browsing through the things available for the festival tokens (another stupid concept!), Gnomore noticed that there is a festive suit available for mere five Coins of Ancestry.

That is the only reason to collect the coins for Gnomore, as you get no experience, no reputation, no prestige for doing anything for the festival at the low level.

The mandatory picture showing that trying to take a snapshot even in a game you end up with some jerk in the picture you've been waiting to take...

In Moonglade there is one peculiar thing, though: you can get in, but you cannot get out except by hearthing. You see, there is a flight point, an unisex one serving both factions, but the Flight Masters are clever bunch:

Yup. They notice that you are not a druid and refuse to server you, even for good money. All Gnomore was left with was to explore the whole Moonglade while being at it.

Long story short, just as the exploration got finished, Gnomore got pounced by Omen. That big, ugly double headed doggie just sat on him and that was that. You want proof?

That is me under that ugly thing over there. Not the nicest way to get an exploration achievement, but hey, who's counting?

Nothing more to do in Moonglade, so Gnomore hearthed to Darnassus and decided to finish the exploration of Bloodmyst Isle: there were a couple of places still uncovered, Talon Stand being the most prominent and difficult because of the fact that it is located up on top of the hill surrounded by the undead dragonlings.

Talon Stand is up there on the island, so it's swimming around. But who can complain with scenes like this?

As it happens, in the northern part of the Bloodmyst Isle is the Hidden Reef, which actually hides - in addition to a quest boss Aqueous (?) - some pretty nice views. It came to surprise to me that the underwater scenery has been this nice even before Vashj'ir, which is kind of bland after the blood red sea.

Been there, seen Bloodmyst and it's off to Darkshore. One mental note for the future, though: use ground mount instead of flight. All the blinking herbs and mining nodes made me weep on the way there...

In Darkshore Gnomore was greeted by an Elder: second coin towards the Festive Suit!

The only quest for the day was to check the survivors of Darkwing, and one thing I have not gotten in terms with in the latest changes is apparent in this picture:
You can see the 'important' NPC's from a far, because their name tags stand out like a neon sign in the dark. Even with this, I had some difficulty finding one of them, which was disguised as a shrubbery under a tree just above the shoreline...

Nice part of this visit to the Darkshore was the fact that Gnomore completed his 50th quest and got his skills upgraded by a very appropriate priest.

So, Gnomore is stuck in Darkshore, off to find more coins if he has time for it. This session's pictorial can be found at this site.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Experimenting (yawp)

Spent my weekend involved in AH experimenting. To such a degree that I only had a very, very short stint on Gnomore.

The experimentation had three aspects: inscription, tailoring and jewelcrafting. Surprisingly that Tailoring returned the invest in the least amount of time. Maybe my lucky shot in purchasing Embersilk at low prices and selling Embersilk Bags at the right price had something to do with that, but there were also several sales on some low level, cheap to do things, which have pretty interesting prices in AH.

Jewelcrafting seems to be worth every dime, too. Old - WotLK era - normal and epic gems sell with nice profits, with a steady flow of certain types. On the positive side, the supply seems to be pretty decent, too, so to purchase an uncut epic and selling it as cut one you may well profit over 50g. Also the normals have gone up in prices and make a decent income.

The odd bastard child which everyone loves or hates is Inscription. There are as many guides on how to work on this market and how to make it work that you can just choose your own way with them. Your mileage may wary, as they say, and what works for others may not work for you. The worst part of working in Glyphs is the fact that you cannot really start by small and grow from there. Or you can, but then you are just betting on certain glyphs to be best sellers with good profits rather than fishing with a proper net.

So the experiment in Inscription was taken in two steps: bet on the high margin glyphs to gain some income and expand to wider set of glyphs as the money starts to flow. The most interesting part of the whole exercise was the play with the ingredient prices: the herb to pigment to ink game is definitely more interesting than posting and cancelling the glyphs, over and again. From time to time it was faster in profit way to just sell the inks at pretty high prices, and as long as the price of Cataclysm herbs stays high, you can really play with the lower tier herbs quite a lot: it's not profitable to go and use the Blackfallow inks to purchase the lesser ones, yet.

All in all, tailoring made a couple of thousand overnight, Jewelcrafting about the same, both in profit. Inscription just got profitable over the weekend, with about 300 glyphs on sale.

What made it interesting as an experiment is the fact that none of those tradeskills are anywhere near skill level 500, even. Inscription is now capped on my banker at 375, so I'm effectively out of the high end meddling, but I'm still making quite a decent income with it.

Too bad poor Gnomore had to suffer from this. But you know, when the game sucks you into doing something, there is next to nothing you can do.

C out

Friday, January 21, 2011

Applying for the Throne

Ah. Another Thursday, an evening with brothers. In WoW.

The usual question opens up our discussion: "What shall we do tonight?"
As usual answer comes from all three at the same instance: "Conquer the World Well, I don't know. How about the Throne of Tides?"

Ok. Settled. The exceptional success of Blackrock Caverns was pushed aside and no-one had any interest in trekking back there so we started towards the Throne. Forgetting completely the greatly successful fiasco  entrance we had last time we started moving towards the whirling maelstrom leading to the entrance of the flashy instance.

Needless to say, we were all a bit nervous about the place: as the instances in Northrend had taught us to use our main skills to the max and forget about all the other skills completely, this seemed to be a new paradigm shift for all of us, for some more than for the others. Thankfully I had been keeping my fingers alert over the three manning of IC5 mans by using all skills in my bars more or less every now and then, making the tanking maybe a bit more hectic than typically, but still helping the healer to keep up with it all.

The trash mobs were a bit lackluster encounters, as be blew through them in a breeze. The only one causing us any thought were the Naz'jar Sentinels with their pools of goo, demanding us to move and kite the mob.

Finally it was there. Lady Naz'jar. Förgelös, our resident blabbermouth rogue pointed out that this was easier than last time because we hadn't died on the trash at all. How wrong that sentence was proven pretty soon after we took on Lady Naz'jar.

And again.

And again.

After a while we started to get frustrated because after each wipe we could see that we were progressing nicely. At the same time Förgelös and Bishopgeorge were discovering new skills to use, which actually helped to make the progress even further. It took about 7 wipes for our gear to dissipate and we had to take a break and visit a vendor. It was time to reconcile what we had learned.

You see, the problem wasn't the Geysir Lady Naz'jar puts in. Nor to cancel the Shock Blast, which the tank did routinely (/flex). Nor even the adds which spawned, because we pretty soon came up with a way to deal with them.

It was the cursed Plague Seed infection Lady Naz'jar placed on a random member. Cursed damage over time which put too much strain on healer.

(To be honest, I'm fooling myself: they were all pains to begin with, but we learned to cope with them. The infection was something we couldn't do a thing about. Or at least we didn't find a way to avoid it.)

From the tank point of view, the fight is simple and nicely multi-faceted in threesome. First it's Lady Naz'jar, solo tanking duty with moving the boss away from the Geysir swirls on the floor and interrupting the Shock Blasts every now and then. In this part there are no cooldowns needed: it's a simple tank, interrupt, move encounter. But at 60% she summons two Naz'jar Spellsingers and one Sentinel to deal with the intruders - us - and that's when things get tricky. Not for the tank in a full group, naturally, but in this threesome. You see, we do not have the luxury of crowd control at this point: the rogue doesn't get in fast enough to sap any of them. We had to come up with another strategy...

My first idea was to have Förgelös kill first Spellsinger, Bishopgeorge to fear the Sentinel and Laiskajaakko take the second Spellsinger. It was discarded at first as being too messy and too slow to activate. At one point it occured to Bishopgeorge (who had been practising the skill on the trash already) that he could Mind Control the Sentinel. It was tricky, as the Mind Control cast time aggroed Sentinel on him.

The funny part of it was that it worked. It worked well in fact, but it required inventive use of cooldowns on the tanks side to aid the healing during the time of the Mind Control - which had the additional bonus of replenishing Bishopgeorge's mana!

As we returned from the repairs, everyone had done some shopping, too: we were lacking buff foods, every one of us, so the added boost of food in the cycle made things even more even. With all the buffs I found out that my tank's health rose above 80k!

And off we went and wiped time an again, every time getting closer and closer. I even commented to the guild chat that Lady Naz'jar was our new Scourgelord Tyrannus: a fight we just didn't get through.

In the end the fight turned out to be a fascinating one. Sans the Lady Naz'jar spank and tank, the adds formed to the following pattern:
- Adds spawn, tank picks up one Spellsinger, dps another.
- After initializing the aggro on the first Spellsinger, tank takes aggro of the other Spellsinger too (Heroic Throw ftw.) and taunts the Sentinel = All three mobs on tank.
- Tank hits a required cooldown (Shield Wall if in near 'full' health, Last Stand and Enraged Regeneration added if below)
- Healer puts a HoT on tank and
- Mind Controls the Sentinel
- Proceed to pounce the Spellsinger still up to pulp
- If time, beat the Sentinel down.

And at that point Lady Naz'jar would come out. Over the fight you can damage Lady Naz'jar with throwing a Heroic Throw on her (also shooting and thrown weapons work, casts... I'm not sure, we didn't have time).

If we were lucky, as we most certainly usually are not, Sentinel was down. If not, I had to tank them both till healed and Bishop would take the Sentinel again: the increased dps was a boon in the mix, really.

Before the last fight I decided to make some adjustments to my gear, though: off with the Cataclysm greens in some spots and in with the tanking purples from WotLK with more dodge and avoidance. Exchanging 5000 hp and some 50 armour with decent chunk of avoidance in general might have an impact.

It did. The amount of incoming damage reduced dramatically and the fight was on.

In the end she went down. It was one of those silent moments, only Förgelös stating from somewhere there "Did we really get her down? What happened? Wait, did I miss something?" and cheers.

It took us about three and half an hours from zero to hero, to come up with a strategy and execution to reach this.

The rest of the instance seemed bland: the middle boss after Naz'jar was a weak exercise, and didn't even require cooldowns (popped them twice in Lady and available even more). The headhugger... Sufficient to say that Förgelös' daggers had gotten a bit beaten on Lady Naz'jar, so one of the broke before the headhugger and another in the fight. (He's always trying to give the bosses an upper hand for some reason). Still we one shot it.

As we entered Neptulon's chambers, our gear was pretty wasted. Förgelös had his old item lv200 daggers on him, almost broken, Laiskajaakko was more or less yellow on the damage screen and all. Still we had over-exceeded our expectations manyfold: It was our first time in the instance and we made it to the final boss!

The last fight was epic, too, as we fought well, hard and till the last drop of muck.

What a night. What a bunch.

Next time we will claim the throne!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More on Gnomore

Thanks to Tesh from TishToshTesh for the comment and response to my question about Gnomore's way of progress. The response was a set of questions itself, which lead me to think the basic zest of Gnomore project more deeply. The response was as follows:
I have a potentially odd question or three: Why bother leveling at all? What is there at higher levels that a pacifist would care about in the first place? In other words, what's the point?

This isn't to say that this is a silly project, not at all. There's something deeply appealing to me playing against the grain. It's just, well... what can you even *do* at higher levels that you can't do at lower levels if you're not worrying about killing stuff? Yes, you can survive better with more levels, and you can go to new places without wildlife eating you, and maybe some crafting that is level-based, but even there, most of the economy is built around optimizing murderers, and the "endgame" is about murder treadmills.

So, maybe dig a little more into the "why" and derive the means to that end?
Now the original idea was to repeat the well known Pacifist Undead Priest experiment and level up to the cap without killing a single creature. Granted, he started his priest and rogue way back when and levelling by herbalism or mining wasn't an option. So he resorted to doing battlegrounds for the exp, in a way allowing the other players to kill each other while restraining himself on healing and using bombs. The original way I thought on doing this was to be the Healer, not the killer, and go through Dungeon Finder, but that would be the same, now wouldn't it? Not actually the pacifist way even if i didn't kill anything myself.

Now I did some reading on that splendid blog about levelling a character without killing a single thing, and it seems he has started yet another character as Gnomore is, complaining already how easy everything is now as you get experience from herbalism, mining, dailies and all. Sure, I'm not at all saying it is as hard as it was back in 2007-2009 when he levelled his first toon to level cap, when all you had was quest experience and exploration to go by.

My response to Tesh's question was to do the levelling for the exploration's sake: without experience you cannot go from Azeroth to Outlands and Northrend, Mt.Hyjal and so on would be closed as they are. Sure, I could do the naked run from one end of the continent to the other, but would I like it? I doubt it.

I'm a social player for the most part, so the dungeon party healer approach was closest to my normal mode. However, this is the way I'm levelling my banker druid, healing a random every now and then, so why bother.

So I will be levelling Gnomore by gathering professions and exploration, with occasional quest every now and then. I'm not making the errand running my aim, I just take the quests which seem appropriate and which I can relate to as being 'important' to my character. The question of dailies will be dealt with when the time comes, and for sure I'm not rushing this. I have all the time in the world, Three Stooges to go with and probably even level up my mains to see the end content, who knows.

Gnomore, the Pacifist Gatherer, will go along when the mood hits. Hopefully often.

Besides who cares if it's been done before? I haven't, and that counts!

C out

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gnomore, we have a problem!

First things first: Gnomore, the pacifist gnome priest, is closing on level 15. I have come to the conclusion, that the pictorial adventures of Gnomore will continue in Picasa, while I'll report only the progress and some selected issues or notions I have had while playing.

The pictorial can be found here and I will post the beginning picture of the most recent play session in every update post I post.

Last time we left Gnomore, level 9, in Exodar, by the mailbox...

Where we collected the latest winnings of the sales. All in all, Gnomore has made already over 250g and paid off the loan of 40g he got from my other alt.

All in all the adventuring in Exodar area is pretty lucrative, both in levelling and gathering terms: there are quite enough of nice collecting and errand boy quests around and the distribution of mining and herbalism nodes is pretty decent.

In no time Gnomore was level 10 and faced a difficult choice:

Well, difficult for someone without a vocation. But as we have a set of directives on us, the choice was really simple: holy. Too bad the 'characteristic' skill we received was a damage dealing one...

Which was left out of the action bars, naturally. Oh, how many times I have twitched to push the button to kill a critter?!

To go along without killing anyone is a hard job: slow and frustrating. Especially when you meet other characters who just whizz past you in levels as you struggle to gain the next node mined or gathered... But then again, sometimes the other characters are helpfull, too:

This paladin just happened to be there, as I was going along doing this quest in which you have to collect the Navigation maps and compass from the tables around these camps. I didn't approve her use of force there, but then again, it was suitable punishment to the pillaging thieves!

I thank myself for not grouping with this paladin, though, because I noticed something with my druid character which froze my blood. When you group, you share the kills, too. This means that when and if Gnomore ever goes into a group and that group kills even a critter, this will show as a kill in his stats. This is a serious setback for this project. For the time being the situation is as follows:

No creatures killed at level 13!

Now I think the more appropriate set to follow would be the damage done or largest hit dealt, but I have to check whether that is also tied to the group or if that is individual statistic.

Otherwise this project is screwed...

If I knew I'd put a poll in here. The question would be:

Is Gnomore going to be a total pacifist (aka no killing nor participation in groups killing creatures) or standard healer who doesn't kill himself?

My vision was the kind of Florence Nightingale type pacifist: doesn't condone the use of lethal force, but accepts it as part of the current situation and tries to heal and help those in need. The total pacifist would be even longer, as in that case I couldn't participate in LFD parties at all, and the only way to progress would be the endless grind of picking flowers, mining nodes and searching Archeological digsites.

The voice is yours: which way should Gnomore go?

C out

Monday, January 17, 2011

When I get on a side tracked... (yawp)

What a weekend. Nothing I planned really happened, but a lot of other things did.

I planned on putting my main, warrior tank, on exp freeze and play through Mt.Hyjal and Vashj'ir, play some Gnomore to get him to LFD level range and do some crafting on my priest.

Did next to none of them.

Instead, for some curious reason, I played mostly with my banker (yikes!) as he was already in the level range for Blackrock extravaganza. The old raid instances have been 'lowered' to random 5 mans and Copramo spent most of the time in there, healing the heck out of ragtag groups, most of which didn't even know where they were. Heck, I didn't know most of the time, and as I mostly got picked up by a group which had lost their healer, I didn't even get the big picture of the place!

What was the most curious about this experience is something worth discussing about. Sure, all the high up "been-there-since-early-beta" people who have grinded (ground?) Blackrock as a raid instance way before Burning Crusade came out know the place like the bottoms of their (often forgotten) pockets. But there are an amazing number of players who have never, ever set their foot in the instances. And I mean ever. Myself included.

Especially Blackrock Depths is a dumbfounding whole as a 5 man instance: the LFD loading screen doesn't tell which part you should be doing. At one run it was just one boss (right,  from the start!), on another we had to plunge through majority of the map to get to the boss needed (another one!) and so on. I'm SO confused on which boss is the one the group should go and smack, and I'm definitely not the only one!

Blackrock Spire is almost as bad, except that there you have more linear approach. But... the LFD doesn't tell which one of the two you should go and complete! And you get quests for both from the questgiver conveniently inside the entrance - just in range of the first mobs, which is a bit of a design flaw in it's own.

It's nice they did this and 'force' the new players to go through the hellish depths of Blackrock Mountain while levelling, as the story will later on bring them back to Blackrock Caverns and all. But it would be nice to know which part or which bosses you are supposed to kill before you start: there was this one tank who said that he'd been in Blackrock for over two hours and he just wanted to finish the instance. He had had the whole group changed twice over and they hadn't found the boss they were supposed to kill for the dungeon to finish. Needles to say, we found it and one shotted it.

It was very nice, though, to find myself in the queue for the Burning Crusade instances at level 58 and after that one run (they were never this easy back when BC launched!!!) he was lv59. One to go and the sky is ours!

Of course, I had to dedicate some time to Gnomore, too. It takes about one hour for a level with this bugger, so the progress is very slow. It's especially rewarding, when you see a new character level from 5 to 15 in the same time it takes you from 11 to 13 yourself... and that newcomer has way better gear at that point.

C out

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Three rode to... success?!

"What shall we do tonight, Brains?"
"The same as every night, Pinky. Conquer the world."

Not a very bad comparison there, really, when you think of the bottom line of Pinky and Brain versus The Three Stooges (in the sense discussed in this blog, aka. the adventures of three misguided brothers in WoW): both start with grandeur ideas of conquest and glory, only to fail miserably in trying.

Gee that sounds great condensed that way.

The start was similar last night. "What shall we do tonight?", a common question heard from three players. Not simultaneously, naturally, as we logged in at a bit different times and - naturally - didn't know someone had already gone there. After two different discussions we decided to take on the formerly impossible Blackrock Caverns.

All except Bishopgeorge being at lv82 (that bugger had dug himself to 83 via Archeology), we slightly over levelled the instance. Despite of that, we had visited the place only once and then resorted to the LFD to get us at least a feel of the place; an experiment that left us with very negative view of our possibilities to actually finish the instance at all. All those new - to us at least - mechanics and things left us a bit dumbfounded. The encounters include interesting and different mechanics than anything we've seen so far (except for Laiskajaakko with his 'extensive experience' in ICC raids...), so we felt a bit off to even be there.

First was Rom'Ogg the Bonecrusher. Had the Tank kept his cool, we wouldn't have pulled that fellow while cleaning the trash away from the area. To add to the pain, the darn shackles got somehow inside the mob itself, making it effectively impossible to target! Not even tabbing showed the shackles, so... Oh, we wiped.

The second try was perfect show of execution: Rom'Ogg went down even with one cultist picking on us on the run. "RAZZ SMASH!!"

I started to wonder what the heck had happened to the group when we cleaned the trash from Rom'Ogg to Corla: I could pull whole groups of four and they would go down without us even breaking a sweat? Was it really all about new daggers Förgelös had acquired the last time or what?

But Corla, Herald of Twilight, with her Evolution rays... Mind you, this is the second time we even visited the instance, and already the pressure was mounting. How to handle the two rays with three players so that we could a)tank, b)spank and c)heal effectively over the fight. The solution was to have Bishopgeorge on one ray, tank Laiskajaakko on the second and our resident town fool dps dance the night away backstabbing the Herald.

All fine and dandy, except for a slight bit of lack in communication, which lead to Evolution of Bishopgeorge, an immense damage spike on Förgelös and effective wipe as Laiskajaakko was swat on the floor.

Back to the execution part: everyone watch their own cooldowns and buffs, and not listen to anyone else giving any sort of comments on them.

Corla went down without the slightest problem.

There was silence.

Some more silence.

"Now that was awesome."

And the congratulations and comments started flowing. We downed Corla, Herald of Twilight on our third try as trio, on our second visit to the whole instance, without the help of any darn strategy guides!

Full of ourselves and Bishopgeorge grasping his new Baton we went on to Karsh Steelbender. The flame elementals were tricky due to the quicksilver adds they heat up, but nothing serious. As customary, you have to wipe to learn the basics, so we wiped on Karsh because one darn stupid tank didn't move him out of the flames promptly enough.

Like Corla, the second time was impeccable performance: like watching a movie. Quite astonishing.

The corehounds were just pushovers, really, nothing to comment, and we really descended hard on the Ascendant Lord Obsidius with his two adds and role switching.

We were exhausted, exhilariated, excited and really proud of ourselves. Three manned Blackrock Caverns on our second visit! We didn't manage that on Forge of Souls, despite the fact that it was more simple and straightforward, we had better gear related to the instance and we knew the instance better.

The conclusion was, that even though Blackrock Caverns has more interesting mechanics and a bit more demanding bosses, it was too easy for comfort.

So we had to take beating to get us back to the ground, and to the Throne of the Tides we went.

Oh, yes, that felt like home again: even trash requires some crowd control, which we are short of. And at least the initial boss, Lady Naz'jar, requires some increased dps to get through the adds in time before the fat lady sings again.

Needless to say, we wiped once and again and after the third time we decided it was time to rest and reconcile what we had learned.

All in all, a fantastic evening, loads of laughs and glorious "WTF just killed us all?! 30k OVERKILL?!" moments. Something to forget before we ride again.


C out

PS. Just a thought: if we three man the instances and are in a same guild, shouldn't the run be a full guild run?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Power of words

There has been quite a few posts about how PUGs suck, how there is animosity towards tanks and healers and how people are just jerks in PUGs in general. In my current craving for positive things around me in life I decided to look at this thing the other way around.

As we are all responsible for the atmosphere of a PUG, the question really is...

How to improve the PUG from the inside?

As it happens, I got the best possible experience on this yesterday. My main idea was to jump in to my AH banker and check the mail, get some Archeology on him and log off. Out of habit - or just for the heck of it - I punched the character en queue for a random: as he was at level 54, the wait could have been around 20 minutes on the server I'm on.

No such luck. Didn't even get to Ironforge IP before the Random Group was ready.

Off to the Sunken Temple, the shortened, pitiful, run around version of the former Temple of Atal'Hakkar. Sure, most of the people hate it, but I found the maze-like structure fun and in it's own way demanding place. It was one of the first instances we cleared as Three Stooges, so that may have something for the place...

Never the less, I was summoned as the replacement healer, and the group was performing quite decently. The tank was a selfish bugger, not really suitable to tank at all. Told that he was a newbie tank, but went on like on steroids. Despite of this,, One by two we cleared the bosses, and as you may know the hall where Jamaal resides is full of those nasty undead trolls who turn into ghosts who happen to love the healer. And that the casters in there just happen to shoot fear around, usually causing major aggro chaos and huge add pulls.

Well, long story short, that all happened on the last three groups, until which I kept everything under control very nicely. (I can brag from time to time, right?) That was until a) fear hit our rogue DPS, who b) ran into another group, which c) for some reason took it on the healer, me. Talk about crud hitting the proverbial fan.

There I was, mana depleted, with caster and couple hunters hitting me, tank very much involved in gathering the mobs he could and losing health in alarming rate. I did my best to stick to the tank, hoping to hit Swiftmend (proccing Effloresence) and hoping that the tank would pick up the aggro.

It all failed, naturally.

Just when I was about to call it a day, I got a heal. And another.

The other druid in the group had dropped out of feral and brought me up to the land of living! The day, and the encounter was saved only by the mutual co-operation of the druid kind.

After Jamaal was down I generously thanked the feral feller and made him to the top of my heal list. Screw the tank, this guy saved my life!

As I got out of there, I punched the LFD on again. This time I got to flight before the group was there: it seems that the second wave of alts is just up in the last levels before Outlands.


As you may know by now, that you can run parts of Blackrock as whole 5 man instances. It's been split into smaller runs than earlier, but this group... it seemed they wanted to have it all. The tank was obviously from a PvP server, hopping and jumping and delivering serious damage on the way. She was easy to heal, though, as she kept her self heals on pretty constantly.

It was a run from one mob to another in a speed I have never seen before. Chain pulling would be belittling the whole run, it was one constant fluid motion. After a couple of tricky, and almost lethal, pulls the tank stopped for a moment and said in /party

"Awesome healer is awesome."

That was all. Only smilies from the rest of the party, and me blushing at my keyboard. Why, I hadn't done anything any healer wouldn't have done. But from that moment on, that tank was my aim, focus point and devotion. I followed her like a puppy, and the only time I didn't we wiped, even though there were two priests and a shaman in the group!

At one point I even had to run back to save one of the priests and the shaman from mobs in the Lycaeum, where the iron dwarves come in lots and are normal: they just were cut off from us in the frantic race the tank kept on.

Few nice words work better than cussing and calling. If the tank or healer isn't doing en par your expectations, praise one of the dps or the other one (tank/healer). Bring positive words into the meddle and see the whole group gather more strength from it. Forget the one calling, cussing and making jerk of him/herself. Unless of course, that one is acting really destructively and causing the group to stall...

It's easy to go down to the level of "OMGWTFNWB", which is usually very destructive. Make a point of splendid use of CC, nice DPS, great heals or perfect pulls and use the power of the positive.

You may be surprised.

C out

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Detached from the world

Reading Twitter pays sometimes off. There was a nice little discussion about phasing and it's effect on the game experience earlier, to which some bloggers have commented (and to even more to which the tweeps have commented on) on their own. In a way the chit-chat - as far as I know - lead to Rowan's splendid post "A Little Player in a Very Big MMO", to which Pete from Dragonchasers later in Twitter added one link to a very, very nice post about the problems of phasing, that being Battle Priestess Moxiedoodle's post "Hey! What about that Other Game?", which in turn pinpoints one sore spot I've been trying to find myself.

Whew. What a monster of a sentence.

Anyhow, now that I have lured you off from the blog I'll return to the topic. Even though I think that the quests flow nicely from hub to hub and that the whole system guides you forward at increasing speed, it still detaches you from the actual game world. It works well - exceptionally well, in fact - when you start a new character who has to get to know the basics of her trade and get the feel of the world as it is before she can take it on herself.

Fine and dandy, like a tutorial.

But for the higher level character that seems a bit exaggerated solution. The freedom to go from one hub to another has been taken away, as you must follow the story of the area to 'unlock' the next hub or flypoint. I felt very much cheated as I flew around Mt.Hyjal when I could see the flypoint mark on my minimap only to disappear as I came on the spot where it was supposed to be. Even more disheartening was the fact - which Moxiedoodle also pointed out - that the mining nodes which showed on the minimap just blinked out when you come to the spot. And no, there was no-one to be seen around the area.

For me the feel of being part of the world comes from the freedom to roam around and find the quests you really want to do. Unnown was a great blow to my belief that Cataclysm still had that trait, even though Gnomore has done miracles to the attachment to the world itself. With Gnomore I'm effectively out of the loop of guidance and mandatory quests only because I cannot do them due to the killing restriction: most probably this will cause severe problems to the character later on, as the phasing and leading from quest hub to another will become an issue working against the levelling. But I'll deal with that when it's due.

The question is, has Blizzard gone too far with the hand holding, hub to hub leading and catering to the speed levelling?

Is it really so that Cataclysm was the first blow which will kill WoW as we know it?

C out

Morning quickie: Nothing to hide

In WoW, there is no need for censorship. Why?

Because there is nothing to censor. Period.

C out

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here and there and everywhere: Gnomore

Last time we left Gnomore sitting at lv6 in Westfall. Warring zone with loads of disturbing mobs to be afraid of, but luckily, like I showed last time, we have a pop-icon looking after the things over there...

As Gnomore was visiting the gate of the garrison to be, he noticed how the dissidents and homeless were trying to get in as the guards were holding them out. This struck as a bit odd thing, because...

They only had to walk a few meters to enter the garrison through the unfinished wall... like the mobs do!

So not everything is equal in WoW, especially stupidity of the NPC's...

To cut the long story short (and to be seen to all who are interested in this address), Gnomore explored the Westfall area, got the Achievement and started looking for greener pastures.

That does look like more lush and green, now doesn't it? Of course, when you compare that to the dry and dusty Westfall, it looks delightfull, but as Gnomore crossed the bridge, it wasn't as inviting after all.

So after some exploration

and corpse running,

 it was time to fly off to 'new' areas and different green pastures. However, as this meant a travel through Stormwind, it was decidedly a good time to check the mail and visit the AH again. Just the few minutes in the city resulted sales, though.

And that was only the tip of the iceberg: I could pay the loan back to my main and still have over 57g earned after this session! The low level herbs and ores seem to sell pretty decently in the server right now.

Off to the boat and to the greenest place in starter areas: Teldrassil!

The peculiar thing in this place is, though, that I couldn't find any mining nodes at all. Herbs and curiosities in abundance, but nothing to dig. Perhaps the fact that this is on wood has something to do with it?

Oh, and just my luck...

A rare. You don't see those too often, but when you do you really have the itch to change the keybinds.

Anyhow, the most interesting pair of quests I've done so far have been in here. One to retrieve the Dreamcatcher for the elven lord, the other to check out a missing scout in the village overrun by Furbolgs. The only problem were the Furbolgs...

You see, the Dreamcatcher was in the same house as one furbolg guarding it (seen on the left in this picture). Power Word: Shield on and run in, catch the catcher and run out as far as you can. Worked. The missing scout was at the second floor of a house with two furbolgs at the ground floor and one at the second...

PW:S and Renew FTW!

I made them both on the same run!

But soon Teldrassil was explored, loads of herbs collected and it was time to move on to the next starter area, Azuremyst Isle. Being the lazy bugger (and all this taking about 3 hours of my Rift time!), I just ran Gnomore to Exodar and ...

Look, there's a Call for a Hero in there! Free Exp!

So there Gnomore is, level 9, some 17 quests done, over 57g earned and no creatures killed.

You can see in the pictorial ( here ) a more detailed version of the journey. There are some funny things you do not pay attention to when you are really playing 'the normal way', like how much of the gathering nodes are surrounded by mobs or how the spirit healers are placed poorly. Or how incredibly much you really get experience from one quest alone at this level range.

The further I'm going, the more I wish I had a mount: this only because I know how much faster that would be. Then again, the excitement of the project is to survive as long as possible and get even that difficult node gathered. Renew and PW:S have become my best friends and they are popped up every time at the first sign of trouble. Sometimes they work (in equal level areas/mobs), sometimes not (like in Duskwood).

The problem with the current progress is the fact that my Herbalism is already over levelled to the content: the skill isn't increasing anymore except in very rare occasions. Then again, as Gnomore is below lv10 I find it very hard to go further without making the levelling too hard in terms of actual levels. In a way I'm giving in to the comfort seeking me in this: I rather gather the herbs and ores giving me less exp and no skill up than risk corpse running in areas which would give more of both. We'll see what happens when I get higher.

The plan is to level to 15 and start looking for random dungeons for levelling. Actually I'm more looking forward to level 20, when I get to train Archeology: that will be a new speed up to the levelling.

What I fear the most, however, is the dark pit of levels 42 onwards in LFD instances. On my druid I haven't been able to complete most of the instances at that range due to the groups disbanding or breaking up in cussing and calling, so to get to the Outlands will be a challenge, really.

How come the journey seems to be more important than the destination? Beats me.

C out

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend in the Rift

Yes, you read right. This weekend was spent mostly in Rift, with slight incursions to our beloved WoW. Just to relax my twitching muscles after intensive Rift sessions I visited Deepholm with my priest, made some business in AH and even levelled Gnomore a bit more (more on that in days to come).

Rift. For me Rift is like WoW in steroids, adding working and good bits and pieces of other games into a coherrent whole. It's a mix of WoW in polish, EQI/II in collectibles, Lotro in graphichs, WAR in public quests and many other pristine and working things from other games. The world and concept is original IP, very intriquing and compelling as whole: there is more lore than you want to conceive, like in all of the others.

And the main thing is to kill and kill some more.

The amount of collectibles (Shinies, whee!) and crafting material makes the world worth exploring, though. I didn't realize how much I had missed the concept of shinies which I was introduced in EQ2 till I came across it here again. It seems that Gnomore fills that concept as well, being extremely compelling and intensive as such, without killing at all.

Rift isn't ground breaking nor innovating anything new: it's just refining the working parts of other games into something new, doing what Blizzard did with WoW. Making something new from the parts used in other games and making it their own.

There. I fear that if I go and pre-order Rift, that will be the end of my WoW career: I cannot compare the games in any reasonable way, except that Rift is new and has so much to explore. Will that love last? I don't know. For the time being Three Stooges are keeping me in WoW, as well as my dedication to level Gnomore at least out of Old Azeroth to flying mount and Outlands.

Till the next Rift beta, I... must... resist...

C out

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Enter the Gnome

Like everyone else in WoW, I have this slight resentment over the gnomes in general. They are too peppy, too tech and too... small for comfort. Somehow they have been the race I have not felt belonging in the world: they are like dwarves in speed or something.

However, as Unnown project went awry, I decided to have another 'new class-race' combination to begin the quest with, and Gnomore was born. The idea is the same, though: Gnomore says no more killing, only healing and mending. This means however, that he isn't complete pacifist in that sense that he supports his own faction, group and party (party on!) and lets them kill. But he doesn't condone the way the other, more known pacifist priest went along: to get others to do the killing for him. Save life were it can be saved, run if it cannot be done shall be all of the law!

Gnomore was born under bad stars, really. Gnome starter area switched to Gnomeregan, and the gnomes in there are radioactive. My first fear was that Unnown's fate would be repeated, and I couldn't escape Gnomeregan! This proved to be a wrong assumption, as I ran out of the confinement and into the open air.

Now think of it: if you don't kill, you don't get experience, loot or new shiny gear out the the quest rewards. I think this is the only way to gimp your character in WoW in any way! The first quest was to kill 6 radioactive gnomes: like hell I wasn't going to!

Anyhow, the plan was to get herbalism and mining to Gnomore as soon as possible, but there was only one but. Money. Gnomore couldn't get any money at all because the only quests available are killing quests! The first errand boy quest opened at lv2, which was a long way due at that point. So off I went and ran around Khanaros, all the way to Ironforge to get enough exploratory experience. This trip included a short visit to Stormwind and Elwyn Forest to do the similar errand quest as he did after returning to Gnomeregan: I had forgotten to set my hearthstone to IF, so I missed a bit... After completing the quest in Dun Morogh I got enough to start herbalism and I found this beauty:
Poor maintenance of the roads...
Oh, yes, a herbalism node in the middle of the road. In fact, that is not the only one around the area, as it seems that the nodes are where they have always been, the roads have just been painted over them...

Anyhow, the view I got to enjoy time and again in my greed to get as many flowers picked as possible was this:
The Valley.
View from the Spirit Healer at the Ironforge gate. Lovely, but starts to bore you pretty soon.

Gnomore gathered his bags and started running here and there in Dun Morogh to get enough experience and herbs to make some money. Sad part of this is that he cannot run to the dwarves starter area due to the lv4 troggs inhabiting the tunnel leading there, so that part of the 'known world' is off limits. But on the other hand, the other way is open:

To the Wetlands it is! More scary than anything, more dangerous than expected. Even Loch Modan felt like a blissful paradise compared to the scare of the Wetlands.

After reaching Menethil Harbor, Gnomore reached level 5 and got a new skill to his action bars: Power Word: Shield! Now he can go and pick herbs where ever he wants to! So off to Elwyn Forest it is, where the herbs and ore are plenty!

To be honest, I found it amazing that it truly was this way: the nodes replenish faster in Elwyn than in Dun Morogh, or are not picked as often, as I got my bags filled faster than in the home areas. I also got two interesting quests done: surveying the mines, other of which I did as a suicide mission. I just popped the shield on and ran into the Jasperlode Mine, completing the quest with about 15-20 kobolds on my heels!

I decided to stretch the fun in the end, and ran into the Westfall region. Another nice pop-culture reference was rubbed on my face as I entered the area:

There you can also see my UI and all: level6, only Flash Heal and Shield in my action bars. This counters my urge even to kill critters, which I have been so keen on doing with my other toons.

Gnomore rests now in Westfall and will continue from there with more pictures, I promise.

Conclusion from the pacifistic start
If you trek outside the beaten path of quests and fast levelling, you are really on your own. Not killing is no viable option for the fast leveller, and I'm not going to do any speedo thingies in here: I had the option to ask for my brother to come with his alt to help me, but I refrained to doing the levelling the hard way.

I made one amendment to myself: I sent some money to the poor priest to get mining, mining bag and a herb bag to help in the crafts. I will also enter LFD healing as soon as that becomes possible, meaning that the levelling speed will increase at lv15 onwards, and capped at lv20 with mount and Archeology.

I commented the project to Azariell last evening, that I don't remember been so exited about WoW since I started playing it. The thrill of staying alive is there again, to get that one herb/ore before the mob notices you is really exhilariating, and all the time you are on your toes. For some reason I thank myself for not starting this on PvP server...

It is slow, very slow, to level up without quest rewards and accompanying kills. It took me about three hours played time to get to lv6.5, granted though that I levelled my fishing and cooking at the same time. Still, the picking and mining is a way to speed up the levelling for normal toons, and that's why it works for me.

Gnomore will go on exploring the safer parts of the world, finding new flypoints and making connections. For some reason I find it sad that I didn't start him on a RP server, though, but then again, on a normal server he's even more of a curiosity than anything else.

I liked this starter. We'll see how it proceeds!

C out

PS. The Pacifist Gnome pictures will be in this location from now on.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Failed one: Unnown

I had a dream. To have a different kind of worgen character. Where the lore and the game put a strong emphasis on the worgen who come out of the Gilneas are in fact refugees from an attack by Horde and thus are forced to be fighters, I would have wanted to have a Florence Nightingale kind of character: not fighting at all, only healing and mending. Feeling repulsed by violence in all its forms, not supporting it but keeping the ones she thought were fighting for the just cause going.

So Unnown was born on thought level. I did, however, make some precautions and run my The Wild Hunt character Huffman through the Worgen starter area to get the feel and see the action, so to speak. And I was impressed: the setting was exactly the way I wanted it to be for Unnown. It was perfect.

As it happens, I didn't take screenshots from the early stages of the project, as I have never been too keen on them. But as the phasing craze did pass, I started noticing things going awry with the project.

There is supposed to be people in this picture.
The further I went, the more strange things started to go. The action was only where the story had progressed, really, and the rest was like from a scifi story from the golden era: I was living in an experiment gone wrong, in a dead and quiet world.

The giant hasn't born yet.
And after a while the world started to crack.

Crack in reality.
The world was empty save for two creatures I encountered: first were the spiders around the first Worgen village, and the second were the Stags around the Great Wall. Otherwise the world was empty of all life. Even the Spirit Healers were having a day off!

Spot the missing Spirit Healer? Of course not, it's not there!
But mostly due to the fact that there was no life, the views were pretty and I spent more time admiring them than I originally thought. Take a look at these ones:

And as I left the Gilneas area, the truth hit me: you cannot escape.

And the further I got, the more severe the crack in the reality came.

Until finally I fell over the edge of the world, reality and life itself, into the void and beyond...

Gilneas from below: "The fate of Gilnaes has not yet been decided. You cannot escape yet."
After a ticket and nice contact with a very nice and professional GM I got a confirmation and apology from the GM: it isn't possible to go through the Worgen starter questline without killing a thing.

Sorry, Unnown, I have let you down. Rest in the void, forever.

C out