Moonkin Marmite

The Druid forms seem to have the same effect on people as marmite, you either love them or hate them.

Mentzelia had only just hit level 25 and purchased her first glyph when she was /spat on for choosing to glyph out of Moonkin form. Now I don’t deny this was a deliberate choice made for a couple of reasons. Firstly Moonkin form is too big and ungainly for me. I hate getting stuck in doorways and in pvp in particular, being a massive feathery chicken means you’ve got a 10 foot target painted over your head which I’m sure works for some people but personally I prefer the sneaky sneaky approach. I also dislike the fact that Moonkin form at say level 15 and Moonkin form at level 90 are exactly the same, there is no ability to customise or change your look. Every Worgen Moonkin regardless of level, of whether they are playing a male Worgen or a female one looks exactly the same and in a game which has given us transmogrification not to mention so many choices of gear to play with, that’s just annoying.

WoWScrnShot_021514_233851

I’m fine with cat* and bear form but have never bonded with either Moonkin or Treeform. I suspect that’s because when I first rolled a Druid neither existed and I was used to seeing myself as caster whenever I popped up to heal or to root.

I also really dislike the new stag form as a travel form, mostly because due to it’s size, it feels like I’m running in slow motion. It’s just a shame that the cheetah can’t give rides because having people leap on your back whilst escaping conflict in PvP can be both useful and amusing.

Anyway, I’m curious. What do the rest of you Druids think? Is glyphing glittery stars to hide your chicken a crime? Should I be embracing my inner glyph of the Treant?

* I was actually really sorry to see the original Tauren cat form bite the dust. There was something about it’s awkwardness which just made it cute.

Mentzelia’s Harvest Witch Transmogrification

Most characters need a sense of identity for me to be able to play them beyond the start levels, without a sense of their hopes and dreams, their hobbies and hates, I tend to abandon them. My Worgen Druid had the opposite problem. I had a clear personality and history in my head, I knew what she looked like both before the bite and after but I couldn’t quite get my head around the sniffles and the vacant puppy look from the front teamed with rabid, rolling eyes and fangs from the side. Thanks in part to Mr Harpy’s decision to level a new warrior rather than transfer his existing one, plus the fun which is running dungeons at the correct level with just two people, Mentzelia has managed to make it to level 82 and Deepholm.

I come from a long line of green fingered gardeners, unfortunately I don’t seem to have inherited it as the only things I seem to be able to grow are herbs and cacti but because of that, the idea of the Harvest Witch took root in fertile ground. Even before she was attacked, she preferred solitude, wandering from village to village helping farmers with their crops for a bed and a good meal, throwing in a fortune telling by the fire. Now she finds the company of Humans uncomfortable, knowing she holds a mirror up for them, showing what might come to pass. That said, she still pursues the life she knew before, traveling from farm to farm, homestead to homestead, helping where she can, her crow and her cards her only necessities. There is a practicality about her, dark clothing to hide the mud and the blood. When you walk the borderlands between life and death, it’s not just your green fingers people pay for, but birthing skills both livestock and children.

She’s drawn to the spaces in between, hedgerows, hollows, glades inside forests, the places where most people quicken their pace and glance backwards not sure what they’re looking for but glad it’s not in view. The scythe serves two purposes, the reaping of crops done properly with skills handed down from generation to generation but also it symbolizes the acceptance that death is merely apart of the circle. We all live and then we die, our blood and bones serving to fertilize the earth.

WoWScrnShot_022814_162433

When needs must and she has to visit Stormwind, she spends as much time as possible lingering amongst the dead. Reading the cards in the shade or conjuring flowers on the graves of the forgotten, her crow watching from a headstone or perched on a branch.

WoWScrnShot_022814_182026

  • Shoulders: Cured Mammoth Hide Mantle
  • Chest: Acid Eaten Vest
  • Scythe: Battle Scythe
  • Gloves: Riplash Gloves
  • Belt: Yojamba belt of the Wave Crest

Gilneas is her true home though and she spends far too much time wandering the ruins remembering the life she had before it was all ripped away. Visiting the farms, now deserted or deep underwater where she learnt her craft at her Grandmother’s knee. The rose bushes she helped cultivate to help a local lad snare his heart’s desire are along gone, even magic can’t defeat salt water but the memories of them, their petals red as blood remain. Those trips to the marshlands to obtain herbs for fevers and climbing cliffs for hardy plants clinging by a root to the rock face, these are all memories which belong to another, to the woman she was before someone made her a wolf. Control can be learnt, the ability to twist her body in foreign shapes well that came naturally enough especially when practised under cool and calming Nightelf eyes, when your normal state is somewhere between a Wolf and Human, becoming a whole cat, a whole bear, a whole stormcrow, that’s easy. It’s the borderlands, the in-betweens, the shades of grey where the danger lies, not wolf, not Human but Worgen.

Gilneas too reminds her of the dark days before they “cured” her, when she was nothing but her instincts, the need to hunt twisted and made pleasurable by that undercurrent of cruelty which lies buried deep in most. Now, those instincts are suppressed… unless they run as that suggests the chase, suggests prey and sinking your snout deep into gushing blood, tasting the iron tang on your tongue and knowing that what you’re lapping up is life itself. She knows that many of her kind avoid their birth place like the plague, not wanting to be reminded of what they did, of what they became before Krennan Aranas managed to reign in the sanguine darkness but that’s why Mentzelia makes her pilgrimages. That basic understanding, that need to remember who we are and what we are capable of is crucial to both the people of Gilneas and also to the Witches of the Harvest, spells whispered once in secret, passed down from mother to daughter can now be voiced aloud but the message underlying the song murmurs never forget and never drop your guard.

If I ever get around to transferring my sketches for a Warcraft Tarot set from scraps of paper into real cards, the Harvest Witch would I think be the the Hermit, with the rocky cliffs of Gilneas behind her and one of those wonderful orange lamps in her hand.

The Druid inside Me

Hi my name is Erinys and I’m addicted to playing Druids. I didn’t realise quite how bad my problem was until I started taking screenshots for this post but it seems that Druids are one of my go to alt classes. Therefore in chronological order, I’d like to introduce you to my furry, feathered and often squawking friends.

Briarrose1
Briarrose senior was my third character to end game and she was born out of guild drama and general stress. I wanted to spend time away from guild chat and what better way to do that than to level a character who wasn’t guilded. Mr Harpy already had two Druids at level 60 by this point (his first two characters) so I had a good understanding of the class and I loved being able to mix it up in pvp. In fact my greatest moment in a battleground was probably the game in which when facing a same server Horde Premade, my little Druid held the Blacksmith against around seven decently geared and decently played Horde through abuse of feral charge, bear healing and sprinting off to heal up out of line of sight and bouncing back moonfiring.

briarrose2

Briarrose the younger was my first ever Tauren and again dates back to “vanilla”. I have to admit I actually miss the original Tauren cat form (because I’m weird like that) and spent ages when they brought in the new colours trying to find a catform I found acceptable for her. Briarrose has been Feral for ever and will probably stay that way even though I’m not hugely taken with any of their catform alternatives.

tabby

Tabby only reached level 10 and has spent the rest of her existence on a pretty much dead server. I don’t however have the heart to delete her.

tansy

Tansy is a Moonkin and a ganker. Her hayday was in Wrath when she could bring squawk and awe justice from the skies to evil Horde. I think Cataclysm and then MoP pretty much broke her heart because it’s become impossible to slaughter someone as you fall past them with your parachute cloak up. She was also rather fond of Wintergrasp even though the imbalanced population on her server made it “interesting”.

kimimela

My Troll Druid was made because everyone needs a Troll in their lives. She’s another Boomkin because moonfiring stuff, especially Gnomes and Goblins never gets old.

teasel

Teasel is Resto through and through. That’s the way she leveled and whilst she does have dual spec, the second one is also Resto. I have to admit though, had Treeform still existed as a permanent form, she might well have been another Moonkin. I leveled her towards the end of Cataclysm and primarily through PvP and it’s definitely been fun comparing her to my original Druid Briarrose. I miss feral charge as Resto for sure and also I don’t think the damage in cat/bear form scaled at all from where it was back then. Originally you could use cat/bear to kill in PvP saving your mana for healing, even against DPS classes if you did it right. I’d be very surprised if that was possible now.

mentzelia
Finally my baby Worgen Druid, my Harvest Witch, Mentzelia. My plan for her (once she escapes Gilneas which she needs to do before Hallows End) is to level as Feral just because I haven’t done that for so long.

My goals for this week then are to make that final push to free Mentzelia and are to find a proper transmogrification for my little Tauren Briarrose.

Proving your Worth: Why Class quests had value

Cymre put up an interesting post a while back about the old AQ Gates quest chain which got me thinking about a couple of my favourite and now removed quest chains. Then when I was attempting to clear out my drafts folder I came across this. A post I started in November 2009 but never got around to finishing or publishing (before now) plus it is Druid week and thus ever so slightly relevant (at least the first paragraph is).

——–

I’m currently re-running the Swift Flight form quest on my second druid. The experience has left me  feeling a little saddened and humbled. Why aren’t there more of these awesome quests scattered through the game. Why don’t all classes have the opportunity to discover more lore about their class? I had to use virtually all my spell book, from hibernate to cat form, to remove curse to moonfire. I visited places I’d never seen before, like the pink frosting masquerading as water outside the Barrow Dens and the river border of Azshara and Ashenvale. I came out of Sethekk Halls feeling like a proper grown up Druid.

WoWScrnShot_111009_141805

Back in Vanilla, I had the pleasure of doing the Benediction chain and I watched the Gnomeling do his Rhok’ledar (I was there for moral support and to kill any Horde who looked at him funny). Both were amazing chains but when you compare the Priest/Hunter epic chains to the Druid model, there are a couple of crucial differences. The Druid one doesn’t rely on RNG. I got lucky, my Eye dropped from our very first Majordomo “kill”. However I knew Priests who had to wait months for that chest to stop yielding leaves, conversely, my guild got Eye after Eye and so our Hunters were epic bowless. Putting the two parts that both Hunters/Priests needed on two different raid bosses meant that in order to experience your epic class quest you had to raid. For Priests especially, getting the Eye of Shadow on my server was hard. One guild (mine) tended to get 95 percent of all the Lord Kazzak kills and when you factored in the fact that we had something like 12 raiding priests and numerous priest alts, it took a while for them to filter onto the Auction House. Yes, you could farm it from those horrible demons in Winterspring but doing so as a Priest solo was hard and the drop rate sucked. That’s actually how I got mine, farming with three other holy priests and a resto druid until 4am – roots, smite, smite, smite, smite, wrath, roots, smite, smite, smite, smite, roots, wrath, wrath, wrath and so on. Painful doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. To be fair we started out with a bunch of dpsers but they all went to bed early. Not sure if that was because they were bored or because they had to get up early in the morning and we healers soldiered on.

So if any future class quests were added, I think that Blizzard should follow the Druid model and make the chain easily available to anyone regardless of how they choose to spend their time in-game. Availability obviously has to impact on the reward, but the rewards could be cosmetic or fun or even powerful at the start of the expansion but wilt over time. If something is easily obtained by say all warriors willing to spend a few hours running quests and probably doing a dungeon or two, I can’t think of any reason why it couldn’t be comparable with the first tier of raid weapons. It would provide a different gearing path and help factor out RNG for people trying to get their first set of gear together. As for dealing with the different specs, Benediction/Anathema was an awesome way of doing that and it would be nice to see Blizzard implement that on other stuff.

Which then got me thinking, Blizzard originally added quite a few class based zones. Think Ravenholdt hidden away in the hills, compete with its poison garden and staffed by persons of a dubious nature. Or Fray Island, the fight club of WoW where warriors would brawl to prove their worth and receive Berserker Stance. Then there is the Moonglade itself, the tranquil valley in which druids of both factions can meet, watched over by the Cenarion Circle. When Cataclysm rips a path through the world as we know it, WoW’s very own disaster movie, I really hope that areas like those get a bit more love.

Also WTB a Priest hideout where Erinys can sip honeymint tea and debate the finer points of religion with other Priestly types. Although I suspect we might as well just rent a battleground or a graveyard because given the diversity of our faiths, someone is bound to end up dead.

———

Returning back to 2013, clearly my crystal ball was a bit out of tune. When Blizzard added the latest class quest (the epic Rogue one), they made it require a raid boss and so much for embellishing those class areas…

What I loved about all three of these quests was the fact that they made you think about what it meant to play that specific class. Not only in terms of playstyle although all three required you to explore your spell book, perhaps the Druid and Hunter more so than the Priest, although plenty of people I knew did take Holy Nova especially for the quest but also from an RP perspective if you wished to indulge it.

With the Priest quest, you had to merge the dual nature of the class by acquiring both the eye of shadow and the eye of divinity before striking a balance between them.

You have come for redemption, yet you yourself do not realize this… Do you?

From a roleplay perspective, when I look back on all the terrible things my Priest(s) have done since that day in EPL, I remember this:

I never stated that you were here to redeem yourself, priest/priestess. You are here to redeem me and the innocents murdered while trying to escape Stratholme. My spirit and the spirit of those lost are bound here, cursed to endlessly relive our own tragic deaths.

and consider the slate wiped clean. I really would love to see the quest chain added back into the game, possibly with the Eyes being available through the Black Market.

I also loved the fact that you had to do it by yourself otherwise the “Cleaner” would come and squish you underfoot.

Be warned, you must complete this task alone. It is recommended that your allies remain at a distance. Interference by outside agents will result in a most severe punishment.

Although that plus the fact that Eris Havenfire would yell, alerting the entire zone Horde and Alliance alike that some brave Priest was attempting the quest did make it easier for the opposing side to grief.

———-

Therefore it probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the main aspect of the next patch which I’m really looking forward to is the “Proving Grounds”. Yes I’d rather have the storytelling and romance of class quests but given that Blizzard understandably wishes to design for the masses not a percentage, I’ll happily settle for that.


Azerothian Floriography: The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

This week’s shared topic is all about professions:

Professions are fun for some and a necessary evil for others.

Some of us have farming professions. Some of us have crafting professions. Some of us have a little bit of everything! Professions are leveled because they fit our style of play, help us in raiding, allow us to outfit our alts, and make us money.

What professions do you have on your main? Do his/her professions fit their personality? Why did you choose them? If you chose professions based on your character and not on gaming needs, would that change some of their professions they use?

(This can include the secondary professions of archaeology, fishing, cooking, and first aid too!)

suggested by Effraeti.

I admit to having a bit of a love and hate relationship with my professions. Some I adore, I have three Priests with alchemy for example, others especially when I was raiding felt more like something I was forced into rather than my own personal choice.

If it were solely up to me and all the professions offered the exact same bonus, all my characters would be herbalists. My first character was a Warlock and I remember running around Ashenvale on her and coming across my first Kingsblood. This plant and I looked at each other and in that brief moment I knew then that my destiny was to pick flowers.

During the rest of vanilla, my entire guild knew without looking at the guild screen that if I was online and we weren’t raiding or pvping, odds on I’d be in either Felwood or Winterspring meandering around herbing without a care in the world. Even though it was a pvp server, I was protected by both my guildtag (not because the rest of the server loved us but because they were used to us travelling in packs and had made the mistake of attacking innocent healers before only to be stunlocked by rogues) and my association with Mr Harpy. I had a couple of conversations on IRC with various Horde which went like this “Saw you in Winterspring, thought about trying my luck but thought it was probably a trap. Attack Priest, get aim shotted by shadowmelded Hunter and camped for ages for daring to attack his “precious”. Based on the fact that my beloved did once spend 5 hours camping someone it was probably a smart move and it meant that apart from the odd new player or the very brave, I got to pick flowers to my heart’s content. In fact I picked so many that despite my mana pot addiction, at the start of the next expansion I had a stockpile to use up.

When the Dark Portal opened and flight form was introduced, I switched herbalism from my Priest to my Druid and have been flying around pulling them up in my beak ever since.

Of course the ability to disguise yourself as a herb has to be one of the best things Cataclysm added to the game. I keep a large stack of these on me at all times. Attempt to pick me at your own risk however.

I find it particularly relaxing, put some music on and then just fly around. Some of the herbs have beautiful names, others amazing graphics and some have both. I particularly like Netherbloom because it’s sort of a creepy venus fly trap, reaching out every so often and snatching up that little purple glow.

As a child, I loved reading the Latin names of plants (in fact when I was about 10 and thought that having children was something you had to do, I was planning on calling a daughter Alchemilla Mollis, the formal name for Lady’s Mantle.. ) and have lots of books on botany and herbs, influenced perhaps by the fact that the three most important women in my life when growing up, my Mother, Grandmama and Great Grandmama were all great gardeners (well technically two of them still are).

My Grandmother is very formal when it comes to sending flowers, still subscribing to the Victorian ideas about the language of flowers, with different species and then different colours within a family giving different meanings. When applied to Azeroth, some seem fairly obvious, a bouquet of Grave Moss for example is surely the Goblin equivalent of a horse’s head in your bed. I imagine too that sending a Heartsblossom would imply that the sender can’t live without you. Others are slightly trickier to place but it could be a fun afternoon’s work figuring it out.

Herbalism is definitely a perfect match for me and with hindsight it suits my Druid more than it would my Gnome Priest. It’s easier to imagine the Druid chasing up rare species of plants in exotic lands than is to see Sprout, whose idea of weeding is probably to use explosives.

Choices

The more I play and read about the beta, I find myself struggling with an unexpected dilemma. Do I keep playing my Priest even though I’m not 100 percent happy with some of the changes or do I switch to my Druid?

Whilst I do want to get back into raiding at some point during the next expansion, given the fact that I’m about to start a new job in a new city a month before MoP is released, plus we’re going to be moving house in the next couple of months, raiding other than LFR is out of the question probably for the first tier. So it’s not the PvE side of things which bothers me, after all I was healing heroics at the start of Cataclysm despite the “Oh, it’s a priest…. this is going to suck” comments from my party members. In the words of the song, “I can get by“, grumpily sure but I’d manage.

My problem is PvP which brings with it a whole new set of issues and problems. The thought of losing to certain people, the ones that my current Disc Priest can happily beat in one v ones at the moment despite the fact that they’re similarly geared and dps specced is enough is to make Sprout curl up into a ball and cry (I know I probably have that effect on them but that’s totally different okay!). We’re losing so many of the tools I use on a day to day basis and getting little in return.

  • No more shadow cast time spells. Ignoring the kick/interrupt aspect especially when fighting melee because you can get around that, smite just doesn’t have same oomph as “mind blast” or “mind spike” in terms of the imagery it conjures up.
  • Mind control being a talent with a 30 second cooldown. This is perhaps my biggest issue because  I use it a lot in PvP. It’s won me arena games, it’s allowed me to hold nodes solo in maps like AB and of course throwing people off cliffs is priceless.
  • Losing our damage reduction talents. Resilience will probably fix it but you never can tell.
  • No more holy nova unless you glyph for it but you can’t afford the glyph slot because you need a whole bunch of other glyphs to get back the stuff which has become optional but isn’t really for PvP. Now I know mind sear works just as well for killing snakes and stopping people from tagging flags but when you’re solo, it doesn’t help you find the rogue that you know is sneaking up waiting for his moment.
  • Mana being a bit of an issue. Although not sure this is a real issue, at least in random battlegrounds because drinking is always an option if you’re careful.
  • The cooldown on dispels helping create an issue with mobility, something Priests have always had a bit of an issue with.

Which brings me to my Druid. A class that like the Priest I’ve played since vanilla and just like the Priest I have multiple Druids scattered across servers. I lost interest in the class when Tree of Life was introduced because it went against everything I loved about mine. I didn’t want to be stuck in one form, which all things considered was a bit odd since I’d spend hours chatting away to people sprawled in catform next to a brazier in Ironforge, purring at passer bys. I kept trying but I couldn’t bond with mine any more. The final straw was feral charge being moved out reach of Resto and my Druids, disillusioned and angry became feral and balance. I went back to Resto last season because playing the underdog is always interesting if not always fun. Tree form as a cool down, not a permanent form definitely helped too. I like being able to blend in, not being the healer instantly recognisable by anyone because they look like a slightly past its sell by day stick of broccoli.

In terms of off-spec, I’d much rather be Balance or kitty cat than Shadow which is a plus for the Druid. Also who doesn’t love pouncing people. But then am I looking back with rose tinted spectacles. The days of being able to tank 5 mans as Resto merely by changing your gear are long gone. As are the days of perhaps my Druid’s greatest triumph, holding the Blacksmith solo versus five or six well geared Horde through feral charge, cheetah and lots of healing whilst reinforcements rode in.

Perhaps it’s time to play something else entirely. After all, having healed for over seven years maybe it’s time to just dps and let someone else take care of the healing. Both the Druids and Priests have some fundamental flaws at their core, healing mushrooms and chakras for example. I’m not also hugely in tune with Blizzard’s movement towards pushing healers into dpsing because to me it’s for the wrong reasons. You should be dpsing to dps, not to gain mana or boost your healing. I suppose that’s partly why I’ve grown to prefer PvP healing than raid healing even though I still miss the buzz of downing bosses with people I generally like. In raids it becomes routine, you learn what the boss does and figure out the optimal strategy to counter that but in PvP that’s not possible because there are too many variables to consider.  Of course there is a rough order to your spell choice/the abilities you choose to counter the enemies choices but it pushes you to find uses for all your spell book. Whilst both are dances, in pvp especially encounters outside rated/arenas it’s like comparing “Strip the Willow” (PvE – formulaic unless someone screws up) done properly to a wedding disco where everyone is dancing to a totally different beat (random battlegrounds). Arena should be more like ballet but often ends up resembling the disco too. I suspect the over all theme here is that most people can’t dance. I actually got knocked unconscious once doing Strip the Willow because my partner had two left feet and far too much muscle. The fact that we were both drunk at the time was purely accidental.

Of course, the eventual end-game will be to level them all my characters but which one will come first, right now I’m really not sure and that is a source of great frustration.

Mog Madness – Round Two (Wild at Heart)

I got a pleasant surprise on Sunday, when I discovered I’d made it through into round two of Mog Madness. The small print however gave me cause for concern. An outfit for either a Hunter or a Druid incorporating the Glaive of the Pit or Marrowstrike (same skin). My worst fears were confirmed once I checked out the Glaive on Wowhead. After much bouncing around trying first my Hunter and then my Druid,  I finally settled on this.

I decided to use the Glaive because of it’s added orange glow (the only difference between the two weapons). That allowed me a slight flexibility in my colour choices, being able to play around with orange as well as bronze and blue.

As you can see from my screenshots, I decided to use bronze as my main focal point, with just the odd hint of blue (in the shoulders, bracers and chest) and of course the orange skirt as a bit of a statement.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,307 other followers