A Burning Crusade Tank trying to make it in the Mists!

Welcome to The Rusty Shield!

Zaren the Warrior's experiences in the World of Warcraft.


And So It Begins!

Another night in Mist of Pandaria Beta!  Yeah!!!

I rolled a premade Monk character.

Somebody out there has my Zaren name, so I tried to come as close to it without having to use special characters.

Come ON…MOP!

Boogie2988 at Youtube.com said it best:

Will that be me for the start of Mist of Pandaria??

Well, I’ve got enough vacation time!  I only have to go 5 levels on Seven Toons, but I’m sure I can do it with a steady supply of Pizza and Cherry Coke!

(I love Cherry Coke!)

Now here I thought I made a Bad Arse Toon!  I mean look at his eyes!  They’re squinched up like he’s looking right through you!  No Asian jokes…Please!

Yeah I’m all like walking around all tough.   Ready to drop any hostile NPC that comes near when I come across a town and decide to get some repairs.

So I look for a Blacksmith to get repaired and sell of my grays when I come across THIS LOVELY LADY:

THANK GOD I’m married!  LOL!!

If I hooked up with HER, she’d think she’s running things!!

(Love the Pink Bow!)

Obviously, this is still Beta and some character models have not been seen to yet.   But hey, the Chunky ones need love too!!

Besides, do YOU want to argue with a 500 lb Bear in a Dress wielding a Hammer???


Oh Yeah….!

Obviously I’m late to the party with this information, but I’ve been busy…so shut up!


I have not played Diablo 1-2, so I don’t know what to expect, but I can’t wait for it to be available!

It seems like yesterday I was hoping for Mist of Pandaria Beta to start and that one day Blizz would announce the date for Diablo III.

Well, that day came and went!  Not only did I miss the initial excitement, but MOP BETA was already out and I had NO INVITATION!


See what happens when you move away from an addiction????!!!

Like I said, I will look forward to playing Diablo III and will probably do some research on Diablo before logging in the first time.

I’ve got my Mist of Pandaria Beta downloaded . . . finally!  (barring any patches or quick fixed)

Now to enjoy the gliches and server busy error messages!


My first day in Mist of Pandaria Beta!

I signed up for Blizzard’s Annual Pass cause it was a no brainer for someone like me that hasn’t suspended or cancelled my main two accounts in over 5 years.

So it’s understandable that I’ve been waiting on the MoP Beta since October 2011 when I signed up.  All information available stated that Annual Pass subscribers would be invited in waves based upon when you signed up and longevity of your account, etc.  I was disappointed to not be among the first 300,000 invited as I signed up at BlizzCon.

Well, I finally got my invite!  I had downloaded the client long before that happened.  After hours of trying to get the Beta to load properly, I finally got to the loading screen.

I decided to make a female Pandaran, because we had to wait so long to see the current model.

I remember playing a Pandaran at BlizzCon 2011 only to find that the female Pandarans at that time were just male NPCs with a little pink bow and a sign over their heads that say “I’m a Female.”  Funny and weird at the same time.  LOL  🙂

Now this is a nice change of pace!

I’ve mentioned before that female Draenei were hot, but Pandaran Chicks are SMOK’N HOT!!

Okay, I like the thick ones…. don’t judge me!  Anyway, Pandaran women GOT BACK! OH!!

I especially like watching my toon run!  Something about her tush swaying back and forth…Ahem!


The Starting Zone was pretty much how I remembered it from BlizzCon except for one thing. . . .

I thought the Panda starting zones were crowded when I was at BlizzCon.  This was ridiculous!

As usual, players trying the get/turn in quests to the quest givers block access for other players.  And I’m sure there are a number of Jerks that think it is funny to block other people’s progress.  It’s unfortunate, but I guess it’s unavoidable.

It took me several hours to complete the quest here.  I started it the day I logged in and finally completed it the next morning as many of the “children” left for school or work.

There are no side quest to take in Beta.  If you don’t complete the required quest, you will not be able to progress further.  As such, there were many characters from the previous day attempting to complete this quest.

But Hey, it’s Beta!  You gotta expect that!

I also remember the initial pictures of the Vermin.  This is what they looked like as of BlizzCon 2011

This is what they look like in Beta

Not as cute as envisioned, but you still want to kill them because they are them!

Wow . . . Purdy!

This big dragon was parked over Stormwind when I logged in after a bit of hiatus.

Apparently, someone has gotten the Legendary Weapon!  Nice!

Reminds me of back in the day when I got the WinterSpring Frost Saber and the Furblog Exhaulted achievement when it meant something!

The King of Ironforge (Alive back then) would announce you as being an ambassador!  Newbees would constantly ask me where I got the mount.

It used to take months to do either achievement.   Probably can do them quickly in my sleep now.

If the King of Ironforge is dead, who makes the announcement  now????

The Calm Before the Storm

It seems to me that many people are looking at the next expansion, Mist of Pandaria, as a nice little piece of fluff that signals that Blizzard has lost its edge and catering to the “casual” player.  That the Pandaren storyline is not relevent to the overall theme of World of Warcraft.

Many view the Pandarans like this:

While I choose to want/view Pandarans as this:

Truth is, this is SUPPOSED TO BE the CALM before the storm of WAR.

Think about it.  You can’t fire a weapon forever.  It has to cool down sometime.  Maybe even get some maintenance.  So those of you out there that think Mist of Pandaria is just some fluff should look at it as sort of a cool down before jumping back into action.  Sure, the landscape is majestic and pretty, but keep playing and you will eventually zone into some action.  Not to mention that the Monk Panda has some pretty nice animated moves so far!

With the exception of Vanilla WoW, Horde and Alliance HAD to work together.  The villans were so powerful, it required cooperation of both opposing factions.

In some ways, it seemed kinda stupid though.  I mean Horde and Alliance needed to work together to stop the Evil Threat but they still continued to fight with each other.  How do you join forces against a common enemy when you continue to create casualties on both sides?

My point is this – You can’t constantly be in a state of Conflict.

EVENTUALLY there is a time of PEACE or at least recovery before the next big Battle or War.

The world did not go DIRECTLY into World War II the day after World War I.

A Heavyweight Champion does not schedule another Title Fight the day after he wins his current title.

Mist of Pandaria is supposed to provide that needed break to get ready for the next big conflict.  Not for the Horde or Alliance, but for the subscribers.

As a veteran player you had to gear up to fight the Burning Legion  and Illidan or try to get to Sunwell.   Then there was the constant gearing up for ICC and eventually the Lich King.  Deathwing throws a tantrum and messes up everything – now we have to kick his arse!  From a linear point of view, it seems never-ending.  No humanoid species can endure that constant barrage of conflict and threat.  (well, except the undead)

In Mist of Pandaria, we get back to the time when there was no supervillan to take care of.  In fact, the cause of the problems on Pandaria is due to the conflict between the Horde and Alliance.  The only real bad guy is the one you’ve been dying to take care of once and for all!

As a veteran WoW player, wouldn’t it be more epic to REALLY FIGHT the opposing faction as the MAIN point of this game???   I think so!

So you get a chance to see some Pandas.  Learn how to be a Monk and then sway some of those Pandas to your factions agenda .

Everyone picks sides and then we go at it!  Yes!  Finally!

Only problem, there are several other native races out there to deal with at the same time and THEN you have to deal with some misty manifestation of Evil (the Sha) causing problems while you’re trying to get all that done!  Fantastic!  Hope you all had your Orange Juice!!

The Sha which turns out to be the manifestation of negative energy.  Initial concept drawings give the impression that they are like Void Walkers.  I haven’t seen any additional pictures of them outside of BlizzCon, so it will be interesting seeing what the final animation will look like in the Beta and Live games.

But take heart!  You get to make some native friends to help you out!

If you are Alliance, you have partnered up with the Hozu.

If you are Horde, you have hooked up with the Jinyu.

Along the way you have the nuisance of the Verming. (Who I would already like to kill by the thousands)

The Mantid, which is a sentient insect like creature, doesn’t look like their on the list of friendlies.

And the Mogu look like they have a bad attitude to start with!

There you have it!  You get all involved in your faction’s war against the other and you have little mutant rabbits and insectoids and people with bad attitudes to deal with IN ADDITION to some Evil Manifestation sneaking up on you when you’re not looking …Great!

So that is WHY you need to have Pandas!  A little calm and comic relief to enjoy before the next War!

I, for one, can’t wait!


Mist of Pandaria

Well  its been a while since BlizzCon, and I’m still putting thoughts together about the upcoming expansion.

I guess it was the fact that, for three days, I was right in the middle of two of the happiest places in the world – Disney Land and BlizzCon!

Today, I want to give anyone who graces my blog my opinion on the Mist of Pandaria and it’s starting zone.

I know a lot of people think that Pandas in World of  Warcraft are a step back for the franchise.

I can see the so-called “hardcore” players saying that.  After all, Pandas are cute, right?  I mean, I like Jack Black, but he’s only gonna kick a lot of Arse because it’s written in the script.

But to me, there is something so cool about a Beer-Bellied Bear that can whip some Arse then sit down with you and have a brew!!!  Its like – “Lets see what you got . . . ok good . . Lets have a drink!

Reminds me of a time when I took the Physical Agility portion of the Police Exam.  In my group of applicants were some strong contenders from the looks of them.  Now, I’m no runner type and I certainly don’t have a runners body.  But my group was sent off to attempt the 2 mile run portion of the exam.  I noticed one other guy in the group that I think weighed in at 300+ lbs.  We’ll call him Mr. Panda.  In fact, I think he was pretty much shaped like a Panda. (but a little rounder)

We lined up at the starting line and ready, set , go!   Some of my group shot down the coarse like they were being chased by Deathwing or something.  Some of us (me) were pacing ourselves.  There is a time limit on the run, but you don’t get any medal for the fastest time.  So I paced myself to make it a few seconds under the mark.

Since most of the group has run past me, I’m gonna stay near 300lb guy, cause he was keeping a good pace.  He looked like he was gonna pass out any second . . . but he’s keeping a good pace.

MY PLAN was to stay with this guy and sprint the last 500 feet to make myself look good. (don’t judge me!)  Leaving Mr. Panda in the dust.  Well . . Mr. Panda picked up the pace considerably!  (He apparently had the same plan)  It took all I had to beat that guy to the finish line.  In the end, everyone (including me) had a deeper respect for this guy, cause we all judged him on his looks.  However, he MORE than exceeded our expectations!

I think Mist of Pandaria will do the same!

Ready? . . . Set . . . GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!

I had the privilege of playing the Mist of Pandaria demo at BlizzCon and it was much fun and very amusing.

It has been a while since I have seen so many people in a starting zone.  I only wish I had tried to whisper someone and ask that person to stand up for a second so I could see how close or far from me they were.  Don’t even know if you COULD do that, because I was so into playing the toon.

The Character Screen is familiar and it being a Mist of Pandaria demo, it only showed your beginning Panda with the available classes for your black and white bear.

I wish I could say I was smart enough to have rolled a Monk right off the bat.  Habit had me pick a name (Zaren), choose a class, (Warrior) and hit GO!

Even though my first Pandarian was not a monk, it was fun running around completing quest and exploring the starting zone.  My level One Warrior owned all foes that he came up against!  Unfortunately, I wasn’t focused and only leveled to level 3 during the twenty-minute period that we were allowed to play.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and quickly got back in line to roll a monk.

OK!  Made my Pandarian Monk,  (Zaren) and got my first quest and quickly donned my weapon and moved on to the next quest.

The Starting Zone was very bright and Oriental in nature.   The Main Temple was fun to run through although it took me a while to find the scrolls that I needed.  Remember there are at least a hundred other people crammed into this zone picking up the needed items.

As I progressed, I had to fight several NPCs to complete the quest I was on.  This being a Demo, most of the NPCs looked alike.  (not being prejudice)  It was funny, however, that the female Panda looked the same, but had a subtext that said, “I’m A Girl!”  Nice!  🙂

Again with all the players in the same zone completing the same quest, it took a while to fight the correct number of NPCs.  You really have to get that first hit in quick, because another player would roll over to the NPC you want to fight and tag it before you even get to the NPC.  Mission accomplished!  On to the next quest!  Slowly but surely, you make your way away from the Temple to complete other objectives.  Over all it was extremely fun and I can’t wait to have my permanent Pandarian!

Some of the zones felt a little vague and incomplete, but what could you expect as the expansion was just announced earlier that day?  I’m sure all of this stuff will change by the Beta and again when it goes live.  Even so, I can’t wait to try it all out.

A lot of bloggers and fan sites are currently talking about talents, but I think it’s way too early to put that much attention to them.  As with Beta everything changes prior to LIVE.

Whether you think Pandas are silly and should not be a part of WoW Lore or you can’t wait to play these bouncy guys, you will enjoy seeing their story unfold and be interested how the developers and historians work this idea into the current game.

Is it just me or does this one look like it was inspired by Dr. Seuss?

More on Pandarians soon!

I Am the “King” of the Mountain!

More BlizzCon pictures from the seat of the Ice Throne!  If only my toilet was built like this!!

Between my cell phone and camera, I am still finding pics that I took at BlizzCon 2011.

Goblin Engineers are everywhere

There was a wall to write your name on that was later defaced by some guild or player that covered up a majority of names.   A second wall was made available later and my wife and I got our names up on that one also!

Luckly, Zaren, (next to Stap) managed to find a spot on the original wall out of the way of taggers that wanted to monopolize wall space.

My Lovely Wife (Princess!) managed to find a spot on the wall also!

Some fantastic artwork donned the floor of Blizzcon!

I wouldn’t want to see this guy coming full speed towards me . . ever!

An awesome statue of “Tyrael” from Diablo.

I’ve said it before . . . Dranaei chicks are hot!

It wasn’t REALLY warm that day, but Dude HAD TO BE SWEATING in this thing!

She was just HOT!  Mmmmmm!

My first Blizzcon was very awesome! 

It was nice to be in a place where Geeks and Nerds could just be Geeks and Nerds!  We Owned the Streets during those days!! NO ONE was gonna mess with us!!

Coming from Chicago, I get different vibes about places I visit in my travels.  Anaheim, California felt very safe and relaxed to walk around in.

I dare say that even if trouble were to befall convention goers there in Anaheim, Horde would help out Alliance and Visa Versa.

More to come about Mist of Panderia!

My First BlizzCon!

Just got back from my first Blizzcon!

It was a special experience to say the least!  I got to meet a lot of new people and gamers from around the world!

One of my favorite parts of BlizzCon was the fans costumes.  I didn’t actually get to see the contest itself, but I met many of the fans that put the work into making some fantastic looking outfits!

I only play WoW, so I don’t know what this is from.   However the attention to detail is amazing!


A Blood Elf and Ogre were rocking it out between presentations…

Not sure if this is a Night Elf, but I definitely wanted a Grape Soda after taking this picture!  Mmmmmmmm!

All of the costumed fans were always nice enough to stop for a bit so you can get a picture of their hard work.

Some where scarier than others . . . but she was friendly all the same!

BlizzCon gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling!

Does it seem like I’m focusing on the Females?   Don’t judge me!

The panels were informative.  The Demos were fun to try.  And the sales girls got all my money . . but I enjoyed it all immensely!

More Blizzcon stuff to come!

Level 60??


I’ve been doing renovations on the house, so I haven’t been playing my main, Zaren.  Didn’t want to get all caught up in a quest line or whatever and then have to abandon him for a bit.

I’ve been running around on low-level alts just to wind down after building something, and guest what?

No more low-level characters!

My Paladin started at level 12 and I did a post about him making it to level 22.   (deleted most of my Pallys by level 15)

 Now my Paladin is level 60 from just a half hour play each night!  At least it seems that way! 

Seems like yesterday when I got him his new War Horse and some plate gear.  He was a skinner/flower picker for the cash.  Now he’s an Alchemist/Herbalist, cause I’m tired of paying too much for mana pots!  Now he’s rockin a new Charger and he can fly in Outland and Vanilla Wow.  I had to do two levels without a flying mount, so it sucked not getting to herb nodes until now.  Oh Yeah!  Got to get him a Winged Guardian too!

Been running him as a Holy Paladin.  Probably will keep him Holy until level 70.  It’s been so long since I’ve Tanked level 60 content, but I do remember level 70 dungeons.  I can’t wait!

Maybe time to roll another character?  I still need a Tailor and Inscription guy.