A Few of my Favourite Things: Mr and Mrs WoW’s Community Project

Mr and Mrs WoW have proposed an interesting community project to combat the negativity bouncing around as we slowly drift through the doldrums. They are asking the community at large to inform them what we love doing in Warcraft in these slow days before the expansion is released.

For me it’s a fairly simple list and I hope my little diagram gives a few hints!

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Up there at number one is Archaeology because it gives me the opportunity to wander around Azeroth just as I used to do whilst herbing in the original game. It’s an excuse to relax, look at the scenario and perhaps kill a few mobs or do a spot of fishing as you meander past. On top of that, you also make things which provide the opportunity for either toys or grey items to muse over, perhaps sparking a story or two.

My second choice is exploring old dungeons, the ones I’ve run a thousand times before but never used to stop and take in the scenery. Blackrock Depths is a definite favourite because I like hanging out in the Grim Guzzler picking up Dark Iron Dwarf outfits (my old raid leader really hated these) and the odd pickled egg. The music isn’t too bad either and you can always pick up a few items of clothing to help transform your latest outfit into something even better.

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Third I’ve picked Festivals, those annual excuses to get out of the cities and wander about visiting zones you haven’t seen in ages, dressing up and generally being silly. My favourite of these is Hallows End with it’s broomsticks, headless horseman and candy but really I’m a sucker for all of them, even the weekly Wanderer’s Festival.

My final choice is a bit a cheat really. It’s not so much something I do in WoW but something I do in between playing and that’s catching up on what the rest of the community are doing and saying. Sometimes it takes someone else’s perspective of something like Pet Battling to change your own perception of it (Thanks Navimie and Cymre). I hated archaeology when it was first introduced but I remember reading someone’s almost ode to the wonders of digging in Azeroth’s fertile soil (can’t remember who wrote it) and became hooked. The Godmother helped alter my feelings towards Garrisons and so on. Playing a multi player game is one thing, but diving into the community shows a whole new world out there.

Pre Warlords to do List – It’s Panic Time!

So we have three months almost to the day and it’s time to start panicking in this neck of the woods.

My list can essentially be broken down into 2 parts:

  • Things which having played the Beta I feel are things I want to have achieved
  • Things which would be nice to have but won’t make a huge difference either way

I am however trying to keep both lists relatively short to save myself getting distracted.

  1. Level a Warlock to 90 and attempt to get Green Fire. I’ve no idea how possible this is, leveling itself won’t be an issue as I have multiple Warlocks to choose from but whether I can level, gear to a decent enough standard and beat the boss in time I’m not sure.
  2. Acquire as many of the items on the Toy Box List as possible. Due to the sheer size of this, I’ll probably do a separate post or series chronicling my attempts to achieve this.
  3. Sort out Snowflower’s transmogrification requiring items from UBRS asap as the dungeon will clearly be changing prior to Warlords being released.
  4. Attempt to get Dulcamara to the end of the Brawler’s Guild. She’s rank 7 at the moment but has received a few upgrades since my last attempt at beating the fight she was stuck on. If I keep failing as a Mistweaver, I will try speccing dps to have a go.

My focus with List Two is more to keep things ticking over, for example when I’m running UBRS I’ll try and remember to use a tabard to finish up my Panda Rep and whenever the Faire rolls into town, I’ll do a couple of dailies and my profession quests.

  1. 60 exalted reputations on Snowflower. Whilst this would be great before November, there are new reputations coming with the expansion and I’m not missing that many.
  2. Enough Darkmoon Faire tokens tucked away to purchase the new clothing coming with the expansion.
  3. Farm the other 8000 Dinosaur bones I need for the White Raptor. Riding it on the Beta has shown me how lovely it is.
  4. Farm around 300 Oshu’gun Crystal Powder to get the two Halaa mounts. I have the kill tokens I need so slaughtering some Ogres in practice for the expansion should be easy enough.

I’m sure there are a thousand and one other things but to begin with at least, these eight should keep me out of mischief.

ALT:ernative Chat’s 10 years, 10 questions: Looking Back at the Last 10 Years

Just before I went away for the weekend, the Godmother raised an interesting set of questions on our WoW experiences over the last 10 years and whilst wandering around an art festival and trying not to be sick on people for the last two days, I’ve been mulling over my answers.

 

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Wandering the aisles of our local supermarket, Mr Harpy picked up WoW from the shelf and suggested we give it a try. We weren’t long back from almost a year of travelling and were looking for some sort of distraction to help us readjust back. He had played all the previous Warcraft games and was a big fan of the franchise. I on the other hand had only played Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne which we had picked up whilst travelling through Canada the previous year. I had no idea what a MMO was and certainly no clue what we were getting ourselves into. At first we just bought one copy to see if we liked it and at first, I quickly bored of the whole thing. In fact it was only by level 10 or so that my interest was sparked again and I think that was by the sheer size of the game, oh and the sea monsters off the coast of Darkshore. In my absence Mr Harpy had managed to join a Guild full of Female Nightelves and imagine my surprise when I discovered that 99 percent of them were played by guys (I may have been slightly more naive at that point) and once I got over the shock of chatting to “real” people through a game, I started to enjoy myself more and more. In the end buying my own copy seemed like the right thing to do and we did, driving an hour to track down another copy.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

The first character I rolled on my own account was a Human Female Warlock. I still have her and by coincidence she was on the realm which was recently joined to my current server so ideally I would like to level her from 62 to the cap at some point.

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She reached Knight-Captain in those early days of the Honor system before being abandoned for a Priest and a  PvP server, thus wears her PvP gear with pride and a certain amount of snark, reminding me that she could have gone all the way had I not left her for bloodier pastures. Her bags do make for an interesting time capsule with their Darkspear Troll Mojo (apparently I really didn’t like Trolls) and her Thrash Blade though. Whilst I did love playing a Warlock, the whole soul shard thing in world pvp was a pain especially given that you had to travel quite a distance to find high enough level mobs from both Hillsbrad and the Barrens plus the summons whispers… grrrr.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

 So whilst Mr Harpy was busy installing our first copy of World of Warcraft, I was flicking through the manual making important decisions like faction, race etc etc. I wanted us to roll a Druid and looking at the pictures, Nightelf catform beat Tauren catform hands down. I know, I know…..  We have since then played both factions and I am rather partial to the Forsaken but we still play Alliance primarily.
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

After lots of reflection, I think three person healing the end of Anub’arak 25 man Heroic to our first kill has to be the most memorable. Killing C’thun at the time was amazing but we had weeks and weeks of preparation leading up to a sensible kill, clearing Ulduar and getting our Proto-drakes was pretty good as was getting my legendary and of course my Benediction but Anub’arak wins out because it was such a close run thing. Half our healers were dead and people were thinking it’s wipe but somehow, the three of us managed to keep ourselves, the two tanks and enough DPS alive in order for us to get a kill. My hands were shaking so much that around 8 seconds after the giant undead bug keeled over, I died too having too excited to bother healing my debuff any more. Although beating an Arms warrior in vanilla on my Priest for control of the mine in Arathi Basin was pretty sweet too.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

The sheer scale of it. Feel like Healing, join a battleground or dungeon queue. Feel like wandering around by yourself, go for it, there’s plenty of places to go. There was a time when I would have instinctively picked Healing as an answer to this and I do still love it but my anxieties mean that I have increasingly found it hard to partake in this social aspect of the game. I’m hoping that with this new expansion I’ll be able to conquer that, but the truth is, I suspect that I’m just too emotional fragile at the moment.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

Duskwood has held a fascination for me since I first set foot across that rickety bridge almost 9 and a half years ago. I hang out in the Scarlet Raven or wander it’s boneyards visiting old friends. I especially love to visit at Hallows End when all the spooky decorations are out.

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On the Horde side, I’d say Silverpine Forest is a clear favourite again especially at Hallows End.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

On my mostly main Snowflower I have 197 days played although I suspect if I logged every alt and added it all up, the total would be far more scary. It hasn’t been continuous as unfortunately I’ve witnessed more than I’d argue my fair share of in-game Drama. What with Guild leaders who hacked their own websites to read private messages, GMs who did a fair impression of Jekyll and Hyde, turning from a good laugh into a psychopath kicking people for nothing more serious than a slight mistake which they apologized for and just other general nastiness. There was a time when Mr Harpy ran a guild and was accused of running a Cult of Personality by the other officers because the rest of the guild didn’t respect them enough. This would have been funny if it wasn’t for the fact that rather than approach him, said officers thought that coming to me accusing him of being unfair made more sense. Sometimes you just need to run away before the madness gets to you. That’s before I even get into the loot drama, the general rows and spending most of vanilla in a top end raiding guild where everyone hated everyone else and healers were on par with Mages in Dragon Age, useful but best locked up somewhere and denied any loot which might encourage them into unholy ways.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Always and much to the annoyance of Mr Harpy who doesn’t care about lore but just wants to know that he can aoe grind and get healed, not die whilst my nose is buried into quest text. To me the game is a bit like a choose your own adventure game and therefore you have to read the quest text otherwise you’re blundering around in the dark killing for fun and gold and fancy clothes not because X is bad and deserves to have their head cut off and carried back to Stormwind.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

There are a few occasions when I should have spoken up sooner and louder. On the whole though, there might be a lot of blood on my hands but I think my Nightelf Priest would be semi proud at least of the way in which I have carried her through Azeroth.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? 

Very little. My parents, my Mother in particular see gaming as some satanic ritual guaranteed to condemn you into a life of sin so discussing it with family is completely out. I have after all, enough to argue with my Mother about already. Blogging about the game has helped me keep my hand in with writing, something which was always a massive part of my life and I do have a Wind-rider club guarding my monitor.

A Vision-wrapped attempt at a personal WoW revamp

I’m in a funny place with WoW at the moment. I want to play, in fact I even have a mini list in my head of things I want to do but when I log in I find myself randomly staring into space and doing nothing at all. Today for example I logged my Monk and went Timeless Isle. Once there, I rode around aimlessly for a bit, had a go at killing something and discovered I’d completely forgotten my keybinds. Smarting slightly from my narrow escape, I logged my Priest and attempted to do some archaeology. This to be fair, was marginally more successful but now I’m in the “interesting” position of making rares on almost every type and they take too long for my current WoW attention span.

  • I want to level a Warlock to 90 but questing feels stale.
  • I want more achievement points
  • I want to become exalted with 60 reputations on Snowflower.
  • I want to make a Horde character now that our server has been merged and level it to 90 in preparation for the expansion.
  • I want to make more gold because I never enter expansions with enough

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things I want to achieve when it comes WoW and yet I just can’t find the enthusiasm to push myself forward. In some ways I feel I’ve spoilt the current game for myself by dabbling away in the Beta.

So rather than sink into self pity, I decided that what I needed was transmogrification to cheer me up.

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I’ve tried to pick items that require dungeon runs or quest chains that Snowflower hasn’t completed yet like the Chillwind chain in the Plaguelands and of course the Polychromatic Visionwrap since UBRS is being revamped in the expansion. The plan therefore is to attempt to farm these or similar items over the next fortnight and hope at the same time that this re-wakes my enjoyment in the game.

Liebster Love part 4

Liebster-award-rules

Here are the answers to my next 22 questions.

Mon of Mon Plays WoW:

  • Why do you play WoW? This is actually a question I’ve been putting a lot of thought into recently. I’m not even sure I’d call my current WoWing “playing” as it mostly consists of tiny snapshots these days. I log and talk to my cooking apprentice on Dulca. I might do the odd spot of PvP on Snowflower. Sprout might get an outing to make cloth for another bag. Random alt number 17 might gain a level or two but I have no real purpose. I don’t raid (too anxious and if I’m being honest, I feel raiding without being willing to get gear from other sources plus cloak is lazy and unfair to the rest of the team), random battlegrounds show you the worst of humanity more often that not and there are only so many pet battles I can stomach. Mr Harpy thinks I’m an optimist desperate to the see the best in things and personally I suspect it’s stubbornness. In my head I’m not ready to quit, I want to play through Warlords.
  • If you had to play one class, and one only, what would you pick? Priest. I’ve deviated away from this on many occasions only to find myself running back to the comfort of the one class I’ve always been happy playing.
  • How long have you played WoW for? February 2005… although there have been breaks along the way.
  • What is your favourite meal or delicacy? (Gaming related or not) What I’m cooking right now, whole chicken roasting slowly in the oven. It’s buttered skin sprinkled with paprika, oregano and with slices of fresh lemon tucked up beside it. I’ll be serving it with flat breads, red wine and a spicy tomato salad. 
  • What got you in to gaming? I got my first computer when I was quite small but then as a teenager I decided it wasn’t cool and abandoned gaming completely. It was only when I met Mr Harpy that I got sucked back in, primarily playing first person shooters over a lan with him and his friends. Turns out I had a shed load of aggression and loved shooting his mates repeatedly in the head. From there I graduated to Age of Empires and Dungeon Keeper I and II and haven’t really looked back since.
  • Why do you blog? I’ve always loved to write. I won my first ever short story competition as a rather precocious six or seven year old (for the record it was terrible) and was always encouraged to write by my mother. She with a tiny bit of imput from me created scrapbooks for me starting when I was two or three, which I still have and blogging is a continuation of that.
  • What is a strange habit you have when playing WoW? To completely lose track of time.
  • What is your ideal next expansion? One with strong characters, both male and female, compelling and interesting quest lines and stunning scenery. 
  • If you could create a mount, what would it be? A giant bug a la Princess Huhuran. 
  • What is your favourite raid or instance? Hmm a toss up between Karazhan or Ulduar.
  • What could you never live without? Books, bacon and and long hot baths. (I’ve love to say Mr Harpy but I know life is not like that).

Chatmay of the WoW Debutante:

1. How long have you been blogging?  Why did you decide to start a WOW blog? Scarily enough, I’ve been blogging since the end of May/start of June 2008 which surprisingly enough means this year is my 6th anniversary.  I must admit when I started, I never thought I’d last this long. It took me another year to force myself onto Blog Azeroth and another year and a half before I managed to make a twitter account.
2. What has been the highlight of your blogging career? Discovering that people do actually choose to read my ramblings.
3. What games do you play besides WOW? At the moment I’m playing Dragon Age: Origins and trying not to fall for Alistair, Candy Crush because I have a disturbing need to get three stars on every level and Harmony Isle just because…harmonyisle02I’m also fond of Transport Tycoon. 
4. What hobby do you spend the most time on besides gaming? Reading, crafting, sewing, gardening and cooking all divide my time fairly equally at the moment.
5. What kinds of foods do you like and when do you snack the most? I prefer savoury over sweet although I found a fascinating sounding recipe in an old cook book the other day for a mashed potato chocolate cake and I’m definitely going to try that.
6. What period of time/expansion have you enjoyed the most in WOW and why? Probably Wrath. I loved the bad guy, the zones and the quest chains leading up the Icecrown Citadel. Also it played host to some of my favourite five man dungeons in Halls of Reflection and the Culling of Stratholme.
7.  What is your favorite profession in WOW?  What is the rarest pattern you have made in a profession? Herbalism so no rare patterns just that peace of mind which comes from wandering around picking flowers and taking screenshots.
8.  How often do you twitter about WOW?  In one day? I’m not the most prolific tweeter out there, in fact I probably on average tweet less than once a day.
9.  Do you attend any conventions for comics, anime, WOW, gaming, etc.? No. If Blizzcon was closer, I might be tempted but in reality I’m awfully shy.
10. Tell about a close friend you have had in WOW and whether you are still in touch. Because of the above, I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had that many close friends in WoW. None of my real life friends play or at least they’ve never admitted it to me and whilst I’ve always got on with most of my guildmates, I wouldn’t say we were particularly close. 
11. Random WOW fact or adventure you have been on. I couldn’t think of a WoW adventure I’ve been on that I haven’t already described at some point or another so instead I thought I’d show you some photos of a real life adventure I went on.

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The view from the roof of the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City (and yes, I was up there legally).

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A Mayan Ruin

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The only surviving monument to a town laid to waste by a volcano

Liebster Love Part 3

Here are the answers to the next 22 questions I was asked as part of the Liebster Lovage.

Liebster-award-rules

Amerence’s Questions

  • When did you start blogging , What it’s all about and why? My very first post was in June 2008, which looking back is a surprisingly long time ago. I’ve blogged about various things including food, books and computer games but writing about Warcraft has definitely taken up the bulk of my efforts.
  • Post your most favorite Screenshot of all time!

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  • Favorite city in WoW you hang out to and why? I spent most of my time hanging out in Stormwind, it’s got easy access to all the amenities plus the different districts mean that regardless of your mood, there is somewhere to sit. 
  • Do you play other games besides WoW? Any console you using besides your PC? At the moment I play WoW, Hearthstone, Transport Tycoon Deluxe (nothing beats building a transport network when it comes to chilling out), Dragon Age Origins and a couple of app games regularly. 
  • What’s your favorite Trasmog gear? My Benediction teamed up with the Virtuous set.
  • How many WoW characters in game do you have? Do you equally play them a lot? I have a lot, around 45 I think but I tend to only play a few at any one time. 
  • What’s your current achievement score? Whats the most favorite one and why? 14100. Choosing a favourite is tricky because all of them conjure up memories, some positive and some negative.
  • What was the most memorable experience since you started playing WoW? The two most positive experiences which stand out are getting my Benediction and killing C’thun for the first time. On the memorable for all the wrong reasons side it would be have the various guild dramas I experienced, especially during the original incarnation of the game and then in The Burning Crusade. GM’s “hacking” guild forums to read your personal messages to other guild members being just one example of “interesting” behaviours.
  • How many total deaths of critters do you currently have? What are your thoughts about these creatures since they can battle now with your own Pet collections too. On my mostly main, 7605. I suspect most are casualties of Holy Nova and Mind Sear.
  • First word comes in mind when you think about WoW and why? Time sink. Yes I know it’s not technically one word but hey… 
  • Warlords of Draenor is coming up soon, its the new expansion everyone is talking about, What are your expectations and why? I’m hoping it will grab my imagination all over again. At the moment I’m struggling to find a reason to log for longer than half an hour at a time. I don’t enjoy PvP much at the moment, random battlegrounds are really hit or miss with far too many premades going up against pugs. I can’t raid due to my self loathing although how I’m expecting the expansion to fix that, I’ve no idea and there is a limit to how many characters one wishes to level. Plus the few character slots I have left on my server are already earmarked so I’m a bit hampered there.  

Sofia at Altoholic Anonymous

  1. What other games do you play? Dragon Age, Dragon Age II, Transport Tycoon, Diablo III, Harmony Isle and various other app games which catch my interest.
  2. What else do you like doing apart from gaming? Reading, sewing, sketching, cooking, gardening. Our garden was a big factor in selling the house to us and it’s fast becoming an obsession. I’m actually excited that my father-in-law is going to give me some tomato plants. I already have strawberry plants sitting in the green house waiting warmer weather and I can’t stop adding to my herb collection.  My latest plant related interest is trying to create little gardens in tubs and plant pots and I’m working on a Gnome garden at the minute. I’m planning on painting a stone to resemble a cottage, adding a bit of height at the back and possibly some blue/green glass to suggest a pond. Then it just needs a little path and my Gnome’s home from home will be done.gnomegarden
  3. What is your best WoW (or other game) memory? Comprehensively owning my brother in law at Age of Empires not just once but twice. He’s never asked for another go… I can’t imagine why.
  4. What is your favourite colour? Azure blue, the colour of tropical seas.
  5. Read all the lore or speed level? Read it all. I’m usually the person running into walls reading the quest text whilst the rest of the group are off slaughtering things.
  6. Are you a one character kind of person or an altoholic? I’m trying to become a one character person at least until I’ve achieved everything I want to but I’m not convinced that it’s possible.
  7. If you could design one aspect of WoW, what would it be? Quests. Long complex quest chains of the sort that Blizzard probably never wish to see again.
  8. Horde or Alliance? Alliance for real (as opposed to undead) horses, Gnomes and the Deep run Tram.
  9. Do you have any pets in RL? Not any more but I grew up with a slightly mad spaniel.
  10. What inspired you to start blogging? Reading other people’s, realising that I had enough screenshots to paper the house and knowing that I desperately wanted a reason to write regularly but that I lack the discipline to do that without a proper purpose.
  11. What is the first video game you ever played? Harrier Attack. I can’t remember how old I was but I know it was Christmas time and despite everyone telling me that girls couldn’t play computer games I demanded a go because it had Harriers in it.

 

Alliance or Horde – 30 Days of World of Warcraft

My eye is often caught by shiny things, in that regard I’m far more of a magpie than a harpy.

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So when I noticed this on Meat Vendor’s Tumblr, I filed it away for future reference. I know quite a lot of bloggers have been doing this for April but I don’t have the patience to write every day especially in the month I’ve had to sacrifice chocolate on the altar of lent so this is going to be much more of a random affair.

Day 1

This is surprisingly tricky for me. I primarily play Alliance, a faction picked way back when because at the time in order to be an Elf you had to be Alliance but is that where my heart lies? I thought I knew the answer to this but some how, I’ve ended up writing something very different down. Instead of extolling the virtues of the Horde, I lost myself in memories.

I think about the music in the Valley of Heroes and I see Bolvar Fordragon at the Wrath Gate. I remember my first visit to Darnassus where I was blown away by the sheer size of the city and the delicate beauty of the Temple Gardens.

Then of course there is this:

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I mean the Horde don’t have Nessy in their tunnels do they?

Add in Gnomes, the fact that Humans and Worgens get proper horses as their racial mounts and Darkshire, well then… there is no escaping it. I’m a blue eyed Alliance girl through and through.

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Being the only faction with a beer garden in Dalaran is just the royal blue icing on the lion cake.

Liebster Love: Part 2

Today for part two of the Liebster Love, I thought I’d answer my first 22 questions. Part one can be found here.

Liebster-award-rules

Velgana’s Questions

  • What made you start playing World of Warcraft? A random encounter in a shop. Mr Harpy had played the original Warcraft games and thought it would be worth trying out.
  •  Some may be healthier than others, but what is your favorite snack to chomp on while gaming? I tend not to eat whilst playing as I’m rather messy. That said, if I was eating at the computer I’d go for something like crusty bread stuffed with salami, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Where do you draw inspiration for your blog topics? Anything and everything. Quotes that make me think of aspects of games that I’m playing, things I encounter whilst gaming, other blogs and news sites.
  • What advice would you give to someone who wants to start blogging? Do it. Don’t hesitate, don’t hide and most of all, enjoy it.
  • What is your most treasured item in WoW? My Benediction both because I loved the quest line to get it and because every time I look at it reminds of the people who helped me get it!
  •  How do you balance your time between gaming and doing real life things? My spare time is really precious these days so I do what I feel like whether that’s WoW, reading a book or watching a movie.
  • If you are going to be playing during Warlords of Draenor, have you decided what character you’re going to boost to level 90? No. I have however narrowed it down. It will most likely be Horde and I’m erring towards some sort of female Orc. My first thought was Shaman because healers are my comfort zone but I’m not convinced. I have an Orc Shaman already at level 69 so it seems a little silly to make another one.
  • Do your friends and family know about and read your blog, or do you hide it from them? My Mother knows I blog but she is under the impression it’s purely about crafty stuff. She equates gamers with ax murderers.
  • Out of all the world, dungeon, and raid bosses from Warcraft, who would you like to have dinner with and why? If I was hosting a dream dinner party I’d invite Jandice Barov, Onyxia in her human form, Corla, Herald of Twilight, Freya and Svala Sorrowgrave. The wealth of knowledge, bitchy chat and just general hating on everything would be amazing. Would still need to figure out the menu though but that might be a post in it’s own right at some point. After all, who wouldn’t tune in for the Warcraft version of “Come dine with me”?
  • When you’re not slinging spells or swords, what do you do? Schooling, work, hobbies, ect. I currently work full time but am looking to pursue a second degree course this autumn.
  • If Blizzard decided that at the end of the day they were going to pull the plug on the Warcraft servers, where would you log your character out at? Hmm this is difficult. A lot of my absolute favourite places were destroyed in the Cataclysm. I suspect that at the end of the day, I’d go for something like a quiet snow encrusted peak in Winterspring or down by the sea in Westfall.

Cymre’s Questions

  • What is your earliest memory in WoW? Dying in the Spider cave in Teldrassil back when packs of blood thirsty spiders would launch themselves at you.
  • What is your favourite activity when playing? Discovering and doing things I hadn’t noticed before, whether that’s exploring off the beaten track or learning how to play a new class/spec properly.
  • What is your best WoW memory? Definitely a toss up between getting my Benediction and killing C’thun for the first time. We went from having to practice entering the room properly, from people stacking on top of each other at the worst possible moment and beams of death taking out whole groups to a coherent focused team working together which was a pretty amazing feeling.
  • If you could have any title in WoW, what would it be? “Of the Harvest” currently sported by the Worgen Druid Trainer, Celestine. I’d grow a thousand Pumpkins or reap corn til my hands bled for that title. My second choice would be this:WoWScrnShot_022414_001407
  • What is one thing in-game you could not live without? Gnomes!
  • What is your favourite item in-game and why? For PvP it would have to be the Gin’ji Knife set because nothing beats adding insult to injury and in PvE I imagine it would have to be my Ogre Pinata.
  • Who was the first character you created and do you still play them? Erinys the Human Warlock and no, I don’t. She’s been sat in vanilla PvP gear in Stormwind since around May 2006.
  • If you could design any transmog piece, what would it be and why? Small and pretty cloth shoulders for low levels. Staffs with lanterns on them like those the NPCS have and a weapon covered in chinese lanterns (the flowers) a la this post.
  • Who inspired you to start blogging? GuildMum and Saresa of Destructive Reach.
  • What is the first thing you’ll do when WoD becomes live? Not sure yet, probably head off and start questing.
  • What was your biggest noobish mistake? Thinking I’d never get a Felhunter after I stuffed up the quest the first time and basically logging off, thinking I was a fail at being a Warlock.

 

The Pre Expansion Bucket list – Three months in

(new additions are blue, completed items are in red).

If I’m being honest the list has stagnated some what in recent weeks. I’ve been lacking that WoW feeling but I’m hoping that these things go in ways and I’ll get my motivation back soon.

Non-character specific

  • Reach 14000 achievement points.
  • Get a Magical pet to 25. Done. Basil the Twilight Fiendling has reached his 25th season.
  • Get an Elemental pet to 25. Done. The annoying Audreytwo otherwise known as the Singing Sunflower also reached the level cap.
  • Get 30 Pets to level 25
  • Defeat Garrosh and my stupid lack of self confidence at the same time. I beat him in Hearthstone.. does that count?
  • Make a decent amount of gold to enter the expansion with. I hate being broke even more than I hate farming.
  • Explore Vashj’ir properly. This is the only exploring achievement I still haven’t completed. Done by my Gnome rogue so now I never need return unless I want to!

vashjir

Dulcamara

  • Make friends with everyone on the farm. Done and as it turned out, it was surprising easy. I just spent a few minutes flying around in between doing the cooking daily as well as heading to the Valley for some between battlegrounds buried treasure pick ups.

friendsonthefarm

  • Get Cooking to 6oo, do the Master of the Ways and pick up the Cooking School Bell
  • Farm the other 8000 Dinosaur Bones I require for the mount (I’m getting closer. The idea now is to get around 200 a night).
  • Complete rank 6 in the Brawler’s Guild as a Mistweaver. Done. I’m now working my way through rank 7.
  • Get Endless Healer on the Proving Grounds.
  • Master of Alterac Valley, only 33 graveyards to go.

Snowflower

  • 35 reputations ticked off. 
  • hit 40 exalted reputations. 
  • 45 reputations to go.
  • Exalted with the Oracles
  • Collect Oracle Eggs until one miraculously turns into a Dragon. 
  • Fish up the remaining coins I need from the Dalaran fountain.
  • Argent Tournament goodies. I need more tokens to be able to buy the mounts I still have outstanding. Still quite a long way to go here although I did score myself a Unicorn Mount.
  • Finish up Frostbitten

frostbitten

Briarrose

  • Briarrose is my long forgotten original Druid currently rusting on a massively imbalanced (not in her favour) PvP server, stuck at lv 73 she needs some love mostly because she has awesome bits and bobs in her bank and can rightfully wield the original vanilla PvP set. Sure the Druid version isn’t my cup of tea but I am rather partial to the staves so she needs to find herself some Boomkin gear and get slaughtering.

Calantha

  • Finish farming the Oshu’gun Crystal Powder I need (in the region of 300ish) to grab the two Halaa mounts. I already have the tokens you get from pvp, it’s just the grind I’ve been putting off.

Dorrie

  • Make it to Outlands.

Mentzelia

  • Get my Worgen Druid to level 90 
  • Farm her a transmogrification that I’m happy with

Anann

  • Level so that I can tame one of these beauties. Very much a work in progress. She’s currently level 31 and parked in Ashenvale.

WoWScrnShot_121513_225209

Come full Circle – Thoughts on the Healing Changes

Reading through the Healing blog a couple of  things stood out.

Additionally, as gear improves, the scaling rates of health and healing will now be very similar, so the relative power of any given healing spell shouldn’t climb so much over the course of this expansion.

That’s absolutely fine as along as DPS scales the same way. It’s that arms race mentality which led to us this point so as long as that is reined in, Heals don’t need to scale in leaps and bounds. However if DPS start complaining that their damage has only increased by 100 points across 5 tiers, then Blizzard have to say “tough”. I know this is primarily a PvP concern but adding artificial rubbish like PvP power isn’t the way to fix it. If Healers scale slowly from gear, Tanks and Dpsers need to as well. Otherwise gearing Healers becomes a waste of time relatively and it takes the “ooh shiny” fun aspect of raiding away. Now I’m not saying that people only raid for loot, far from it but everyone likes upgrading their gear.

We want healers to care about who they’re targeting and which heals they’re using, because that makes healer gameplay more interactive and fun. To that end, we’re reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets, of course.

Smart heals are up there with shell suits as a contender for the worse thing ever invented. The issue will be balancing what’s left as certain classes rely more on Smart Heals than other.

 We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face an interesting choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.

This isn’t an interesting choice, it’s common sense or at least it should be. The changes to smart heals should help reinforce this.

Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay.

Can’t say I’m sorry to see them go. Although my Priest did the Proving Grounds with huge abuse of Heal it wasn’t fun. Having to use all of your toolbox is always more interesting than using one or two spells but this is something that can’t be forced. Having to heal like Simon Says isn’t fun. Having rotations isn’t interesting. What I love about healing, especially in group PvP is the unpredictable. Blizzard have given me the toolbox but ultimately it’s up to me to figure out how I want to use it. If we lose too many spells and I’m tempted to say one fifth is too much, we lose that choice and that decision making.

It was the last part of the post however which raised my eyebrows. Now I know it does say

Here are some examples:

but I was surprised just how small the list. In a recent post, I briefly touched upon the various instant cast spells and my list was surprisingly long although many of the spells are utility rather than heals .

  • Holy word: Chastise or Holy Word: Serenity (depending on Chakra state)
  • Renew
  • Power word: Shield
  • Cascade or Divine Star or Halo (Talents) 
  • Prayer of Mending
  • Circle of Healing
  • Power word: Solace
  • Desperate Prayer or Spectral Guise (Talents)
  • Levitate
  • Holy Nova (Glyph) – Is apparently going to Disc although I haven’t managed to find a proper source for that
  • Guardian Spirit
  • Shadowfiend
  • Power Infusion (Talent)
  • Void Tendrils or Pysfiend (Talents)
  • Angelic Feather (Talents)
  • Shadow word: Pain
  • Fear
  • Void Shift
  • Dispel
  • Purify
  • Leap of Faith

Now Circle of Healing and Wild Growth both gained a cooldown at the same time so I was quite surprised that Circle of Healing wasn’t on the list for cast time.

All of these changes taken together are intended to make gameplay more consistent between PvE and PvP, and invigorate healers with more dynamic gameplay.

Is casting on the move a bad thing? I would actually argue no, it’s not because it requires practice and the ability to do more than one thing at once. I agree that you shouldn’t be able to put out a similar output whilst bouncing around than you can standing still but I think Blizzard are walking a fine line between creating challenging, dynamic and intelligent gameplay versus mindless button mashing whilst standing still. I hope the former wins because I like deciding what I’m going to do, picking who to heal and managing my mana. Ultimately though, this is only one piece of the jigsaw and right now we’re trying to put the puzzle together in the dark.

 

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