Happy Hallows End

Beware of Gnomes and Goblins and other such beasties!

Trick or Treat!

As the nights draw in and all Hallows Eve slides through the shadows, getting closer and closer, Ambermist of Battlechicken challenged us to describe how our characters would dress up for a spot of candy acquiring.

If your character were going Trick or Treating in Azeroth, Tyria, or wherever they call home, what would their costume be? Tell me all about the what and the why and if you can find a picture of it or something similar, please post that with it–I’d love to see!

We tend to dress up as what scares us the most and for Sprout, the bogeyman under the bed and the monster lurking beneath the bridge has always been a Troll. Thus this Hallows End, she will be found cavorting around demanding sweeties whilst dressed as an evil little Troll creature, complete with pet snake to hiss on demand if people aren’t generous enough in their candy sharing.

Give me sugary snacks or I’ll let my snake hug you!

Seeking Redemption: A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic this week is a touchy subject for me, I’ve always been a firm believer in asking forgiveness not permission but only when caught red handed in mischief. However, in order to write this, I’ve put my “big girl shoes” on and gritted my teeth. Here’s hoping confession really is good for the soul, as suggested by Matty.

What is one thing, just one thing, you did that was pretty awful in Azeroth, that you wish you could get some kind of redemption or forgiveness for, or even just get off your chest?

First the extenuating circumstances leading to my crime.

Back in vanilla, my then guild got server firsts on everything after Razorgore (the Horde beat us to that one) but everything in the garden was far from rosy. Too many egos clashing, massive competition to top the damage metres and lots of cliques hidden amongst the raiding team. We Priests however all got on fairly well, communicating mostly through the Priest channel, the name of which we changed regularly to stop non-Priests from infiltrating. The biggest “fly” in our ointment was a former Priest rerolled Mage who thought that we “healers” existed to serve, nothing more and who set about orchestrating  a campaign with the Guild leaders to prevent amongst other things healers rolling against dps alts on dungeon drops that no main wanted on our Molten Core/BWL fun runs. Things came to a head one BWL where our GM (who ruled with a rod of iron) was catnapping with the intention of logging later for AQ40. In his absence, the one healer who was an officer lead the raid and awarded Mish’undare to a fellow Priest. Now everyone’s favourite Mage ignored the war raging in guildchat and took the step (too far) of phoning the GM at home who promptly erupted on-line and proceeded to read the riot act. DKP was threatened and even I (usually considered immune to the yelling) ended up on the receiving end of furious whispers because I had done nothing to stop the “crime”.

The Priest Officer turned first to shadow before vanishing in the dead of night, having “mislaid” the guild bank and the rest of us were under scrutiny and house arrest by the rest of the guild. We in turn, reacted like the children we were currently being treated as. Rank 1 fortitude buffs on certain people and lots of “accidental” deaths on Nefarian during the Priest call topped the bill. However my sin came a bit later when still smarting from the fall out I happened to be spending a lazy afternoon on-line  picking herbs in Felwood and chatting away to a range of people including a pvp hungry Horde Druid who had logged his Alliance alt for some ganking gossip. Our server had a fairly small community and the news of rebelling Priests had spread like wildfire, after all, no other guild wanted to be “infected” and so once we’d covered the latest who ganked who news we moved straight to the events of that BWL. Some how I found myself breaking my own cardinal rule and the identity of a certain Mage fell from my lips like cherry blossom petals from the tree. Naturally my Druid buddy excused himself from the conversation a few minutes later and logged off, I continued picking flowers and waited to see what happened next. It didn’t take long, soon Mr Mage was complaining about being ganked by a 5 man group including a particular Druid. In all, he died five or six times before the cavalry reached him.

I didn’t give his location but then I didn’t need to, the Druid was perfectly capable of using the /who function but that doesn’t mitigate my crime. As soon as I started typing I knew what would happen, after all Druids were in a similar boat to Priests, having to fight to be accepted as something other than healers and more importantly I knew that this particular Druid would be happy to avenge me.

In closing, I’m not in the slightly bit sorry that the Mage got ganked repeatedly and from that moment forward had a target painted on his back but I do regret the fact that I sunk to his level, that I got into bed with the Horde to get revenge.

 

Edit: Mr Harpy made me add this bit which is probably the worst part. We ended up being part of the rescue group because the guild had to stick together and all and despite said Druid emoting /love at me, when my GM charged him I had no choice but to play my part as a good little Alliance healer. In short, not only did I get a Guildmate ganked against my own “principles”, but I played a starring role in the corpse camping of my Knight in shining armour because I didn’t have the guts to admit that it was all my fault in case my DKP got wiped.

The three reasons why I love the Tillers

I admit to being a little dubious when Blizzard first raised the idea of farms in WoW, but a month into the expansion I find myself exalted with the Tillers and more importantly glad I farmed their rep. Quite often the best pleasures in life are simple ones and in many ways you can’t get simpler than planting vegetables and tilling the land, which in a roundabout way brings me to my all time favourite Tiller items.

Gin-Ji Knife Set

This wonderful set makes your character don a chefs hat and start chopping as if you’re in the final minutes of a closely fought Iron Chef battle. You swiftly reduce your kill to a pile of blood red guts such is your enthusiasm. There is a 20 minute cooldown because we can’t have it all, but given that you can use this little beauty on the fallen corpses of your enemies it’s well worth every penny not to mention the bag space it consumes. It’s not usable on anyone who releases fast but those who hang around hoping their mates will kill you… well they could be in for a surprise. A word of warning though, anyone who has been through the “mincer” is likely to spend the rest of the battleground stuck to you like glue (or hiding in a corner shaking).

Goats

I’ve always been fond of goats, in fact I think gnomes and goats have a lot in common as demonstrated in the picture below (the arm belongs to Mr Harpy).

Now I finally have a mount which correctly reflects the state of my bags.

I.e. weighed down with everything apart from the kitchen sink.

Scarecrow

The cocky crow is a wonderful touch, it’s just a shame the scarecrow doesn’t come to life, asking about getting a brain or even better given the time of year set out to get it’s own braiiiiinsss by chasing passers-by because everyone secretly knows that scarecrows or tattiebogles as they call them around here are actually very creepy.

So what are you waiting for, if you’re not exalted go go go and if you are exalted and you haven’t bought your julienne set… shame on you!

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: The Rules of Me

R is for Rules amongst many other things.

I almost passed on last week’s shared topic, suggested by Matty, partly because I felt there are some potential grey areas in my rule set but after giving the matter some careful consideration I realised if you bend, you tend not to break.

So without further ado,

The Rules of Me: What are your personal rules you wish others would know about you?

1. Whether it’s professionally or personally, I expect honesty from others and in the spirit of my Grandmothers I give what I get in return. One of these days the people I deal with in a professional capacity are going to catch on to this and my life will become so much simpler.

2. As far as PvP is concerned I hate the other faction with a passion usually reserved for inconsiderate drivers (yes, you….. the idiots who hog the “overtaking” lane for 20 miles doing 30 in a 70 because you can’t handle changing lane and you plan on turning right at some nebulous point in the future) and soggy Brussels sprouts. I will put my faction first and if that means healing that jerk who is constantly mouthing off on the realm forums and that everyone hates rather than let some annoying spit spamming male Goblin Hunter (you know who you are….) kill him, well sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

3. The phrase “Lose fast” turns me into a monster determined to ensure that we do the opposite. Losing five nil, no problem I’ll go and tag a couple of nodes behind their back to prolong the agony. 2 flag caps down and being graveyard camped, utter that phrase and I’ll be hiding on their roof with their flag or killing their flag carrier who is unescorted because the rest of his team are sitting on the corpses of the “lose fast” brigade. I might be on the aggressive side of competitive but I don’t understand the mentality of people who participate in games which keep score without trying to win.

4. I’m fiercely loyal to those I consider friends and of course to my family as annoying as they are. In fact the vast majority of times I’ve lost my temper in-game have been because of insults or blame wrongly apportioned to those I care about (blame rightly apportioned is a completely different story :p).

5. I’m a thousand times harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. Thus attempting to be mean to me is basically wasting your time. My inner demons have already gleefully yelled it in my head whilst leaping up and down on what’s left of my self respect.

You know you’re taking Pet Battles far too seriously

When the sight of this

makes you really happy in real life. It doesn’t matter that I have a horrible cold and can’t stop coughing, it doesn’t matter that I have to get up stupidly early to go to work tomorrow because I have a rare baby ape!

The fact that I hate pet battles and am only doing them because there is a list and I have to tick everything on it off is totally irrelevant by the way.

An Offhand look at the prettiest Off-hand frills MoP has to offer

Now that I’m 90 and in a slightly more stable position, factions are starting to love me and my item level is high enough for the LFR this weekend, my thoughts are turning back to transmogrification. In many regards MoP has provided us with some of the prettiest items we’ve ever seen at the start of an expansion, thus in no particular order, here is my pick of the off-hands currently available to us.

Umbrella of Chi-Ji

Perhaps the most beautiful item archaeology has produced to-date. My Druid is currently levelling purely through herbalism and archaeology in the hope of making it soon. Not a hundred percent sure but I think I’d pair it with something simple as not to distract from from the umbrella.

Inscribed Red Fan

Made by Inscriptions, this particular fan is both bold and bright. I can’t help liking the idea of my characters fanning themselves to cool down in the heat of battle.


Shomi’s Fan

This tree like fan is delicate and fragile looking.


Malevolent Gladiator’s Reprieve

Purchased with Conquest points.


Wakener’s Light

As a Priest, I’ve always loved the lantern type off-hands and I think this is a great addition to them in Pandarian way.

A few of my favourite things: The MoP Edition

The sheer quantity of “fun” items released with Mists has me both amazed and struggling for bag space.  Do I really need a golden banana, probably not but who knows what the future holds. Throwing away a cask of beer could be risky, for all I know I might end up stuck half away up a mountain with nothing to drink at some point soon. Therefore I thought I’d talk you through my favourite silly stuff so far.

So in no particular order, here are my favourites to date:

1. Tuft of Yak Hair

This lets you summon a rather large yak and ride him around the Dread Wastes for a minute or so. You can’t control his speed, only direction.

2. Oddly Shaped Horn

This is basically a Mushan version of the Yak Hair, you get three charges which summons a very large Mushan and get to ride around on it’s back for a little while. Totally pointless but rather fun.

3. Ruther’s Harness

This is the reward  from a  Goldilocks type quest and he’s become my good look charm in battlegrounds, although recently given the sheer number of premades featuring warriors and holy paladins, he’s not been that lucky.

4. Shushen’s Spittoon

It might be rather naughty of me but the second I saw this, my mind immediately jumped to possible pvp implications. If there comes a time when the /spit emote just isn’t enough, deploy this one their unreleased corpse and spit away to your hearts content (of course I’d never do something so …. bad).

5. Silversage Incense

Even angry little gnomes need to find serenity somewhere along the line.

6. Autumn Blossom Tree

You grow these on your farm once you’re honoured or above with the Tillers. Each tree only lasts 3 minutes but I think they’re rather pretty.

Right now our policy is basically if it moves (and even if it doesn’t) kill it and see if it gives shinies. What items are you currently hoarding away and why?

Dog eat Dog: or why I’d rather save the Vermling and feed the player base to the Sha

I’ve always been a firm believer in the WoW community, that regardless of the depths some players sink to, that they are the minority but now after levelling and starting the daily grind, I’m starting to wonder.

The sheer number of players who are so focused on achieving their own objectives that they’re happy to step on other people amazes me. You pull mobs next to something you need to pick up and next thing you know four other people are trying to nab it whilst you beat up it’s guardians. Spectral guise has turned out to be priceless in buying enough time to grab pickled vegetables or loot some artefact. I don’t know, perhaps it’s just me but I never go for anything that someone else is fighting next to on the principle that they wouldn’t be fighting some trash mob if they didn’t want whatever it was. I’ve noticed as well people with mobs on them running straight for the nearest player aoeing in the hope that they can shake off a few without having to kill them. It doesn’t matter if the guy aoeing happens to be struggling against his own mobs and might die because helping out would slow them down.

Best of all are those who come running up to something you’re already looting and then turn around and /spit on you because you “ninja’d” THEIR item. Had a couple of hilarious conversations with irate questers who seemed to think that just because they’d set their sights on looting a specific item everyone else who was closer to said item should have read their minds and walked away. When me, Mr Harpy and the Godmother were running some Alterac Valleys for achievements and fun, we encountered perhaps the most amusing example of this to date. So there was Mr Harpy, tagging Snowfall for his graveyard achievement, the last thing standing between him and Master of Alterac Valley when this Gnome Priest uses leap of faith to pull him away and promptly starts tagging itself. Of course I arriving at this point, promptly pull the Priest away in turn who then starts this massive rant in both whispers and chat about how unfair this is. Regardless of how we worded it, he didn’t seem to grasp that I’d basically done the exact same thing that he had, only my timing was ever so slightly better. Had he arrived first and been tagging, I wouldn’t have touched him because it’s the wrong thing to do unless they do it first of course because greedy people don’t deserve to profit from their badness.

I do wonder, especially now most people have hit 90 and are doing the dailies whether Blizzard should have adapted the archaeology model into working with quest items too. So that instead of 1 jar of pickled vegetables spawning and being contested by the fifteen or so people within ten yards of it, jars would spawn and would only be visible by you and your party members. This would make people slightly less aggressive in their looting tactics and perhaps speed up the dailies, which right now could really do with a speed up. I know doing them all is optional and on paper it’s easy to say only do x, y and z today but once you start getting close to certain rewards, it’s not that simple. Factor in pressure from raid guilds and arena teams and the situation gets worse.

 

 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

When I was a little girl, my Mother would read me a story every night. I’d curl up on the sofa with a glass of milk and a bar of  turkish delight and listen. We read David Copperfield, The Children of the New Forest and a whole library of similar novels. A fair few of which probably weren’t all that suitable for a child. Out of all of them, Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass had a huge impact on my impressionable mind. I wanted to play croquet with flamingos, paint rosebushes and acquire a cat with a giant smile. Unfortunately none of those things ever came to pass, I’ve had to content myself with painting pictures of roses and playing croquet with the next best thing, mallets designed to look like flamingos. Thus when exploring the Pandarian coastline I came upon this idyllic slice of seaside life:

I found myself humming away,

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle — will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

Inside the house we have the Walrus,

who when you speak to him replies with:

A warcraft parody of Lewis Carroll’s lines from the book in which the Walrus tells Alice that “The time has come, my little friends, to talk of other things / Of shoes and ships and sealing wax”. Outside hammering away at boat we find the carpenter, working hard.

It’s these little scenes which make exploring Azeroth and now Pandaria all the more wonderful. When an expansion breaks, you never know what you’ll find around every corner and this time around, Blizzard have really outdone themselves.

If you want to visit them, you’ll find their island getaway on the north coast of Kun’Lai Summit.

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