Dinging 100: ‘Back2Azeroth’ Goes Back to Azeroth

“Vitalit, we’re all ready to go over here, brew your coffee and let’s get to work,” Raenes captained, as he submitted the $14.99 Game Time charge, confirming the 30-day WoW gaming period.

It’s official: the gang is back in Azeroth!

After the long hiatus, the cuckoo clan of Raenes, Vitalit and Noob in Chief have returned to Azeroth to complete their quest to level 110..scratch that, level 120*. Per the release of Battle for Azeroth (dubbed ‘B4A’ to this group), both Dwarf brothers have grown exasperated of the myriad of reviews and glowing user feedback from the latest WoW expansion, and agreed it was time to take advantage of the extended Labor Day weekend to come back to WoW. However, there is one obvious and inauspicious observation that is impossible to not notice.


Where is Vitalit the Hallowed??

Answer: doin’ it solo. This is the first time the Dwarf brothers have played WoW remote, meaning, the threesome are not together gaming for the first time within the B2A tenure. The group usually converges on the “war room” to game, in one room together, slamming coffees, sharing jokes and singing to their favorite rock music in unison. This time around, rather than the traditional jovial and dynamic brother Vitalit sitting across from Raenes, crackling bits and hollering “Fight night!” during battles, a phone had to be used as the vehicle of communication between the two brothers and Noob in Chief. Despite the atypical circumstances, the ‘the-show-must-go-on’ attitude prevailed.

Meanwhile, Raenes and Vitalit scaled Warlords of Draenor at an impressive pace. Whether it was the urgency to advance to B4A or the potency of the the cold brew coffees, the Dwarf brothers utilized their Ango’rosh Crusher comrades to conquer the many Gorebound Demonguards, leading to the effortless slaying of Mongrethod.

From the sidelines, Noob in Chief watched in awe as Raenes and Vitalit pilgrimaged through the plains and valleys of Nagrand, eradicating waves of Leatherhide Clefthoofs with no regrets, paying no mind to the species’ path to extinction. The brothers’ additional lack of sympathy toward Porkchop, The Burninator, and Roakk the Zealot during the Ring of Trials displayed that they meant business, only focusing on the mercenary task at hand: to DING 100. As the night came to a close, the Dwarf duo freed Lantresor of the Blade, in-turn dinging 99 in the process, one step closer to the much-awaited Legion zone.

Gameplay ceased for the night not with late-night Whataburger taquitos or honey butter chicken biscuits, but gentle and gratifying “Goodbyes” via phone, contrary to normal WoW sessions.

The next day presented a new horizon waiting to be confronted, of which once seemed a distant asymptote was now a attainable target: DINGING 1-0-0.

Ironically, the Labor Day holiday was full of progress and hard work progressing through Nagrand. On a day typically reserved for rest and leisure, the Dwarf brothers endeavored through much strife and contentious effort to reach the Gates of Grommashar, met with the inevitable battling of Garrosh Hellscream, and dinging 100 in the process.

Screenshot_1With Nagrand and Warlords of Draenor in their rear view, Raenes and Vitalit were more motivated than ever to reach their goal of hitting 120, which is now in their cross hairs.

“Vitalit, before you go into Legion, download the ‘Immersion’ add-on, you are going to want to actually read and understand what’s going on in Legion…trust me,” directed Raenes, as he broke soil on Broken Isles.



Merry Christmas, from the B2A Lads

Merry Winter Veil!

On behalf of the entire B2A team, I’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. I, Noob in Chief, am chock-full of Christmas cheer this year.

When we embarked on this project nearly one year ago, we knew dinging 110 would be a challenge from a timeline standpoint. All three of us coordinating free weekends and syncing up in a central room together to game has been difficult. Now, the Christmas time period is synonymous with WoW and getting together to game, and the warm tidings that accompany the season just feels right (I for one can’t see Raenes and Vitalit NOT wearing red and green Santa hats as they grab quests).

We made great strides in 2017, and there is much to be excited about entering next year. When I was writing this post, Raenes and Vitalit dinged 97 and are well on their way to their goal of 110, which we will tackle next year after this holiday break. As predicted, we closed up shop for the night with the assistance of a few breakfast taquitos and honey butter chicken biscuits from our go-to local Whataburger, which now serves as the metaphorical period for ceasing WoW gameplay for the night.

Of course, to celebrate our achievements this year, there is no better way to commemorate clearing Mists of Pandaria and making progress in Warlords of Draenor than a few pints (or kegs) at Lion’s Pride this New Year’s Eve. We have much tales and anecdotes to tell.

We’ll see you at Lion’s Pride Inn, we’ll have a tab open and the first round of Hearthglen Ambrosias are on us.

Merry Winter Veil!


Noob in Chief, Raenes, and Vitalit


The B2A Lads are Coming Home

Oh hello, Azeroth. It’s been awhile, and the water feels great. After months of forlorn removal, Raenes, Vitalit, and I, Noob in Chief, are FINALLY returning to WoW.

Based on timeline speculations, the Dwarf brothers will continue their quest to 110 next week during the Thanksgiving holiday. We are all happy to confirm Raenes and Vitalit are finally reuniting under one roof once again, with coffees and Hearthgen Ambrosias in-hand, to climb toward our initial goal set almost a year ago.

We as a group would fist like to apologize for the large gap between our WoW gaming sessions. We are aware we have not gamed since Christmas of last year, and we did not preempt this significant gaming divide we are currently in. I personally have been very antsy sitting on level 85 for this strikingly long period of time, and I am glad this problematic issue is on the cusp of resolution.

The 2016 winter holiday season was perfect timing for Raenes and Vitalit, hence we all had ample downtime away from our corporate jobs and college commitments to embark on our stimulating, yet, arduous task. Now that day-to-day job conflicts, university graduations and vacations are not acting as restricting factors, inevitably we agreed it was time to enter the “war room” once again.

Another influential factor is the succeeding expansion the Dwarf brothers are entering once we re-embark into WoW next week: the Mists of Pandaria. Both Raenes and Vitalit have NEVER played this expansion, and are both very eager and curious to dive in together. This world also holds a very special place in both Vitalit and Raenes’ hearts, as the expansion is primarily based on Asian demography and geography, which encompasses large leisure and cultural interests to the brothers (Raenes studied Mandarin in Beijing for a year upon graduation from college, and both Raenes and Vitalit recently returned from a 15-day excursion to Japan, visiting notable spots including Tokyo, Kyoto, Shirakawa-gō, and Hiroshima). The brothers are still riding the Asia high, to say the least.

We will provide updates in real-time on what day we decide to game. We are also reactivating B2A’s Twitter channel, so be sure to check in there as well for up-to-date Back2Azeroth announcements, which will include information regarding our popular live-tweeting events. Again, we appreciate your interest in our journey and we are looking forward to next week!


“To ask why we fight, is to ask why do the leaves fall? It is in their nature… perhaps there is a better question.”

– Chen Stormstout


The Return: The Trek Back2Azeroth

Greetings, friends.

After an extended hiatus from WoW, Raenes and Vitalit are excited to say they are returning to Azeroth.

It was such a satisfying and pleasurable experience watching these guys ding 85 during the Christmas season; Raenes and I were enjoying the time off work to relax back in our hometown here in Texas and Vitalit was embedded in his final winter break as an undergrad college student, and it was a great way to bond over steaming cups of coffee, good music and cheap jokes. Fittingly, Raenes and I were having a conversation recently over cups of espresso, and we both agreed it was time to go back to Azeroth, and Vitalit instantaneously agreed without any lobbying efforts on our side.

We were able to make great progress over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, where we exceeded preliminary projections and the guys were able to ding 85, but we are far from our goal of 110. Raenes is estimating at least 50 hours of gameplay will be required to meet that objective.

With Vitalit’s college graduation approaching, coupled with the fact of Raenes and myself receiving notes from our HR reps asking for our summer vacation timetables, now is the perfect opportunity to target dates to continue our quest. We want to let you guys know that we are aggressively looking into times for Raenes, Vitalit, and I, Noob in Chief, to congregate again to continue this endeavor into the next phase of completion we that we embarked upon months ago!

We will make sure to supply a wide-distribution update when we finalize a date we decide to game next. Timing has unfortunately not been on our side of late. Raenes and I have been super busy in our corporate jobs and Vitilit is undergoing the stressful epoch of undergrad senioritis; However, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally coming into gaze.

Keep up to date on fresh 2017 B2A updates on our Twitter, and relive our progress and previous good times right here on the B2A blog. We promise to get back on the sticks and enter the B2A “war room” soon, I am for one getting antsy.

Vitalit Hellfire Peninsula.jpg


Noob in Chief, B2A.

First Impressions: WoW Reflections from Noob In Chief

Last week was my official onboarding with Raenes and Vitalit into the world of WoW, and what an introduction it was!

I was not given a proper welcome binder, formal orientation meeting, or preface discussion; I was forced to make my decent into World of Warcraft rapidly and promptly, but luckily I had assistance from the greats, Raenes and Vitalit.

As I grabbed my freshly brewed hot black coffee and entered the “war room,” which was a simple and small study turned into diminutive WoW community, it was not difficult to transition into WARCRAFT MODE. Raenes and Vitalit were already buzzing, but I could not depict if their stimulation was from their recent defeat of King Ymiron in Utgarde Pinnacle or from the half-full steaming Folgers coffee cups I noticed in front of both of them. Gut feeling it was a hybrid of both. I set up shop adjacent to Vitalit and took my first satisfying sip, and it was all downhill from there.

I was immediately bombarded with an influx of information, and it was difficult to keep up. Do not forget this was my VERY FIRST time playing, interacting or engaging with WoW, so saying my warcraft knowledge is marginalized is an extreme understatement. Vitalit, if you are reading this, I apologize for my noob behavior and distractions from your raids.

Right of the bat, I was particularly impressed in the amazing and wondrous landscapes of the zones and areas Raenes and Vitalit were journeying through. The sense of adventure and boundless excursions these two Dwarves were embarking on were truly awe-inspiring. My personal favorite area was Icecrown Citadel, which provided sentiments both dazzling and Game of Thrones-y, yet spooky, which was a great balance in my opinion. It made me want to activate Noob in Chief and #GoGnoming alongside Raenes and Vitalit (even though I would be more of a distraction and liability than an asset and comrade).

Another standout for me were the bosses. So cool. I remember making Vitalit pause his quest to have him expound about the huge rhino, Akali, in Zul’Drak. “Dude, get a pic with that guy,” were among the demands I made when I initially spotted the gigantic NPC.

The Prophet of Quetzlun, King Ymiron and Loken were some of the the characters I saw accept defeat at the large Dwarf hands of Raenes and Vitalit. It was fun watching the teamwork and collaboration that was occurring before my noobish eyes; There was so much action going on I could not keep up. Clearly, these two WoW veteran brothers were not phased.

Unsurprisingly, the selfie feature is killer. It was hilarious on my end watching Raenes and Vitalit commence on numerous selfie expeditions up soaring mountain peaks and immense castle tops, and hearing Raenes in real life across from me demanding, “Vitalit, get in my selfie and flex.” Naturally, I enjoyed the new add-on very much (hear Vitalit’s POV on the new selfie camera feature here). Ultimately, the numerous selfies and photo opps did not distract the Dwarf brothers from their core mission and goals, as I was alongside when they dinged 80 and completed the Wrath of the Lich King, which was a nostalgic moment for them, and a commendable occasion for myself.

As the clock banged 4 a.m., it was time for us to cease gameplay for the night.

We capped off the night with a late (or early) run to our local Whataburger, where we also have very fond memories as it was THE late night spot we would frequent the most in our younger days. It was great discussing the night’s gameplay highlights, top jokes, and upcoming blog content while devouring breakfast taquitos. It was the perfect conclusion to my inaugural exposure to World of Warcraft.

Special shout-out to everyone who tuned in to Back2Azeroth’s first live tweet event. It was awesome engaging with everyone and reading all the feedback, and it far exceeded our expectations. Due to the night’s success, we are looking forward to executing our next live tweet event soon, as Raenes and Vitalit inch closer toward their level 110 goal.

Be sure to stay abreast with updates from both Back2Azeroth’s  Twitter page and blog. We are currently working on the next blog post, so stay tuned!


Noob in Chief, B2A

Back2Azeroth Holiday Season Update!

Aye, festive friends!

Raenes and myself are excited to update all of you on our recent adventures in Azeroth. As you can see below or from our numerous updates on Twitter, we have been having a blast experiencing and chronicling all of our majestic journeys.

So here’s the moment you all have been waiting for. Let’s go ahead and jump into the holiday update!

Two “Murlocs” walk into a bar…

Journey Thus Far:
Playtime: 64 hours
Current Level: 80
Zones quested (order visited and most recent bolded):

  • Dun Morogh
  • Westfall
  • Ashenvale
  • Northern Stranglehorn
  • Cape of Stranglehorn
  • Feralas
  • Eastern Plaguelands
  • Tanaris
  • Searing Gorge
  • Winterspring
  • Silithus
  • Blasted Lands
  • Hellfire Peninsula 
  • Zangarmarsh
  • Nagrand
  • Shadowmoon Valley
  • Borean Tundra
  • Zul’ Drak
  • Icecrown Citadel

Dungeons Run:

  • The Deadmines (Vanilla)
  • BlackFathom Deeps (Vanilla)
  • Scarlet Monastary (Vanilla)
  • Razorfen Kraul (Vanilla)
  • Uldaman (Vanilla)
  • Zul’Farrak (Vanilla)
  • Blackrock Depths (Vanilla)
  • Sunken Temple (Vanilla)
  • Lower Blackrock Spire (Vanilla)
  • Hellfire Ramparts (Burning Crusade)
  • The Blood Furnace (Burning Crusade)
  • The Slave Pens (Burning Crusade)
  • Underbog (Burning Crusade)
  • Mana-Tombs (Burning Crusade)
  • Auchenai Crypts (Burning Crusade)
  • The Escape from Durnholde (Burning Crusade)
  • Sethekk Halls (Burning Crusade)
  • The Steamvault (Burning Crusade)
  • The Shattered Halls (Burning Crusade)
  • The Mechanar (Burning Crusade)
  • Utgarde Keep (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • The Nexus (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Azjol-Nerub (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • The Violet Hold (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Drak’Tharon Keep (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Gundrak (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Halls of Stone (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Utgarde Pinnacle (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Halls of Lightning (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • The Oculus (Wrath of the Lich King)
  • The Culling of Stratholme (Wrath of the Lich King)

Quests completed: 1021
Whataburger runs: 5
Hazelnut Coffee Creamers expended: Lost count after 3…

Who has the longer beard?
  • Three words: Nagrand, Nagrand, and Nagrand – I know I speak for my brother when I say  Nagrand has always been one of our favorite zones in World of Warcraft. Whether it’s completing the Nesingwary’s quest line of hunting big-game animals in the rolling hills of Nagrand (Sorry D.E.H.T.A), or becoming gladiators in the Ring of Blood, we always have memorable experiences leveling here.
  • Escape from Durnholde! (Instance) – This was another dungeon that my brother and I really enjoyed. The adventurer is sent back in time to help Thrall escape from his jail in Durnholde Keep. A pivotal moment in World of Warcraft history, we helped break our boy Thrall out of his cell and escorted him to Tauren Mill. Growing up playing Vanilla WoW, my brother and I loved to level in Hillsbrad Foothills, so it made us very nostalgic to go back in time and learn more about the zone.
Let’s break for it, Thrall!
  • The Culling of Stratholme (Instance) – This dungeon definitely came as an enjoyable surprise to us. Considering my low involvement with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion originally, I completely forgot this gem was in there! As most learn while questing in Eastern Plaguelands or dungeoning in Vanilla WoW, Stratholme is a nasty city where the scourge run amok, where it is the adventurer’s job to help cleanse the town. This is not the case in The Culling of Stratholme. We entered an ancient Stratholme to see how it once was, before the plight of the scourge. Many prominent characters from WoW lore show up throughout the instance, such as a Arthas (before he became the Lich King), Jaina Proudmoore, and the infamous nathrezim, Mal’ Ganis. As we continue through the dungeon, we learn about how Mal’ Ganis corrupted this city and changed it from a pristine keep to a dark place. As a result of this enriching story line and character appearances, this dungeon holds a top spot in our highlights.
  • Flying Mounts – Being able to fly immediately in Outlands and Northrend made our overall leveling experience very smooth and enjoyable. No longer are the days where you have to spend all of your time running back to turn in quests.
  • Selfie Camera – Pretty self explanatory, but having a selfie camera really helped us cataloging our adventures. With the selfie camera, any mountain or statue becomes a scenic spot to snap a picture (I am looking forward to the Instagram collage after we hit 110, Raenes).
  • Zul’Drak – Playing Vanilla WoW back in the day, some of our fondest memories were raiding Zul’Gurub or completed the troll-like instances such as Zul’Farrak. Now in WotLK, we were able to complete quests in a zone that completely aligned with that theme. While questing in Zul’Drak, we were able to see a rich story line of a corrupted troll trying to complete Arthas’ bidding. As a result of our determination, Raenes and I we were able to stop this crooked troll from injuring Azeroth! We also had a great time completing the Ampitheatre of Anguish, which is an arena type questline where you battle a series of bosses. Since this was a ‘Group Suggested’ quest, my brother and I were able to rise to the challenge and duo these bosses to become victorious.
  • “Vote to Kick” Feature – A hilarious but infuriating feature. One night while we were questing in Burning Crusade content, my brother and I found a group to run the dungeon: the “Slave Pens.” We waited about thirty minutes in the dungeon finder, so we were ecstatic to finally find a group. Upon entering, we saw that one guy in our group happened to be disconnected, so naturally, the party leader instigated a “Vote Kick” to replace this player in our group. Not thinking much of the circumstance, I agreed to “vote kick” this noob who had decided to stand up our group… but little did I know, the party leader mistakenly clicked and it was my brother, Raenes, who we unanimously kicked. Once I had realized what had just happened, I looked at my brother (in real life across the desk from I), and he had the saltiest look on his face. After the initial bitterness dissipated, Raenes and I busted out laughing and realized we had a funny tale to put up on the blog. Moral of the story, always be aware of who you vote to kick ;). Hehe.


Thanks for taking us to Hellfire Peninsula…
  • Hellfire Peninsula – When we selected this zone, Raenes and I both knew we were in for a grind. Within the first moments we arrived, we were consistently ganked and camped by Horde level 110s for an hour. Because of these circumstances, we decided to enter a few dungeons and head straight to Zangarmarsh, circumventing this zone.
  • Too Many Zones, Not Enough Levels – While we thoroughly enjoyed The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King this time around, we finished feeling as if we did not truly experience all that there was to offer. This is due to how easy leveling is.
  • Not Enough Gold for Artisan Riding- 4,500 gold is a mighty price tag to muster when your only source of income is from questing. Albeit we didn’t have the quickest mounts, we still had a great time leveling through the content.

Final Verdict: WoW’s 60-80 experience was more or less what we expected! While leveling, we were able to tap into our nostalgia by experiencing our favorite zones and instances. Grinding WoW and drinking coffee in the same room as my brother and our good companion, Noob in Chief, really has made my Christmas break something special. It was also great babysitting him in the “war room” when it came to his noob questions, comments and tweets!

Thanks for checking out the blog. Raenes and I are currently celebrating the holidays with our family and wanted to wish everyone reading a very merry season. On the horizon, we will be entering Cataclysm and look forward to keeping all of you updated. Make sure to check out our next LIVE TWEET event Tuesday for fresh content and journey updates (and selfies).

Stay tuned! Cheers 🙂


Editor’s Note: Deep Thoughts from the Sidelines

Hey, guys.

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be chilling with Raenes and Vitalit for the entire duration of this project. And, to reiterate, I have never played one second of WoW. Being given the moniker, ‘Noob,’ is a titanic understatement


That being said, I do not think I have been this interested and motivated to learn about a video game. I do not think there was a time in the last decade where I would see a friend playing WoW and not walked over to check out his quest (and inevitably crack a lame Leeroy Jenkins joke). For some reason, it’s just appealing to me, and I cannot wait to dive in to the strategy component of the experience with Raenes and Vitalit.

Some things I’d like to get out of this experience:

  • Understand the cooperative strategy players implement playing together (is it comprehensive? How technical can these quests get?)
  • Get a glimpse on how cool these so-called dungeon raids are
  • Percieve why and how this game was and continues to be so popular
  • Witness one of these pet battles

I probably should be doing other things this month while I’m home for the holidays besides tweeting and chilling in a small room, crushing pots of coffee, and eating Oreos with two gamers; spending time with family, reconnecting with old high school friends, staying on track with Spanish lessons, and studying for the GMAT will have to take a back seat this year. One positive element I have noticed being a part of Back2Azeroth thus far is the constant flow of sugar and caffeine (I am not mad about it).

I am making the trek to the “war room” Tuesday to unite with Raenes and Vitalit, where you can expect our first LIVE TWEET event to occur Thursday night. I can already smell and feel the Colombian roast coffee brewing.

What are your thoughts? We look forward to sharing our progress as we journey through Azeroth. Follow our trek on Twitter for up-to-date alerts. For the Gnomes!