Liebster Love: Part 1

I got home from what could be best described as a bad day at work to discover I’ve been put forward for the Liebster Award by not one person but six. Much celebrating later it dawned on me that I needed to answer 66 questions and I eeked slightly.

Liebster-award-rules

So rather than post a massive wall of text, I’ve decided to break this down into bite sized chunks. I’m doing to do this in a slightly different order to the list above in that I’m going to leap from 1# to 3#, leaving the answering of all my questions to part 2.

Without further ado I’d like to say a massive thank you to Velgana, Cymre, Amerence, Sofia, Mon and Chatmay who all nominated me. The answers to all 66 questions are coming I promise.

11 random facts about me

1. The humble tomato is one of my favourite things. I love them raw, cooked, roasted, puree’d, dehydrated, fried and in toasties.

tomatoes 009

 

2. I like debating (many other people call this “arguing for the sake of arguing” ).

3. When I was a little girl my favourite My Little Pony was Applejack.

4. I have unruly hair. These days I keep it long so I can tie it back and pretend it’s not there. I also still look like I’m up to no good most of the time, unfortunately I wasn’t “blessed” with a poker face.

birthday

5. I collect cookery books.

6. Frozen has managed to over take The Hunchback of Notre Dame as my favourite Disney Movie.

7. I can’t walk in high heels.

8. I love scary movies even if I have to watch them from behind the sofa.

9. I’d like to get a tattoo but can’t quite get past the idea of surrendering my skin to someone else’s control, especially with something which is so permanent. Although if I do manage to over come  that, I’d love a Firebird on my back, a feather trailing loose.

10. I give up chocolate for Lent every year. This is entirely due to my “fear” of my Mother as opposed to any religious reason.

11.  I have two large cardboard vampires folded up in a cupboard.

My Nominations are as follows:

(Yes I realise that’s not 11).

Questions

1. What’s your favourite line from a boss fight? Can be from any game with vocal boss mobs.

2. What’s your comfort food? The one dish which always makes you feel happy and safe when you sit down with it.

3. If you could only have one book, what would it be?

4. Create a battle pet/non-combat pet for the game of your choice. What would it be and does it already exist in your chosen game world in one form or another?

5. Dinosaurs or Sharks?

6. Favourite NPC in the game of your choice and why are they your favourite, what makes them special?

7. From a Lore perspective, what’s your favourite WoW race?

8. Do you play in silence or must you have music on? If the latter what sort of music makes up the soundtrack for your gaming?

9. PvP or PvE?

10. Best and worst quest in-game?

11. Ignoring WoW, what’s your favourite computer game?

I’ve tried to limit the WoW questions purely because I feel that they’ve already been asked by lots of people over the last few days and also because I’m totally nosy. Feel free to rebel and not bother answering, I promise I won’t get all sulky.

The answers to my own questions will be coming up soon.

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.

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“A Little Learning is a dangerous thing”: The Road to Beta

A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

When I was a student I had a crush on Alexander Pope*. The fact that he died in 1744 didn’t matter one iota. I loved his twisted tongue made bitterer still by the ill health which plagued his life and whilst hunting for a book my Mother lent me weeks ago (which I still haven’t found or read), I discovered a slightly battered copy of his complete works hiding on my book shelves. The above and often misquoted lines got me thinking about Warcraft in general but more specifically the upcoming expansion. At the moment we’re being drip fed bits and bobs of information about Draenor but I can’t help wondering if that’s a mistake on Blizzard’s part. It’s human nature to examine every last scrap of data, to pour over it and taking each piece as a separate item, subject it to the kind of criticism which made Pope so “popular” amongst his peers.

I remember when Naxxramas version 1 was about to be released and my then guild had a discussion on whether or not we should learn everything we could about the fights prior to the patch being released. We were the top guild on the server, a position we had held through three tiers of content (with a small hiccup on Razorgore… nerf Shamans!) and we knew that our greatest rivals, a Horde guild were hoping to learn as much as possible before setting foot into the dungeon, including checking out the PTR. In the end our GM prevailed with his policy of “We learn by dying repeatedly” and yes, we got lot more server firsts but looking back, I think it was an excellent policy. We had no preconceptions, we didn’t know that we had to kite Anub’rekhan until it dawned on us that standing still really wasn’t working and maybe that his creepy taunts weren’t just there to scare us but to give handy hints on how to kill him, we just jumped in fresh. Looking back, especially to when I first started playing, it was that constant sense of discovery and exploration which make the game seem so alive and compelling.

All these little details from Blizzard without any real meat wet the appetite sure but is that a negative thing? Take this for example:

Wish they’d stop biting each other and help me kill this thing

Muffinus certainly implying that come the expansion, Hunters will be able to tame Hydras. My first reaction was a squee of glee. I’ve wanted this little fellow as a Hunter pet ever since I got to Netherstorm in the Burning Crusade’s first week.

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Those seconds of excitement were then tempered with a slight grumpiness. Why do I have to wait for some as yet unspecified date in the Fall, approximately six months away for that. However my toy throwing from pram moment highlights a bigger issue. Each fragment of information Blizzard “leak” becomes a mirror for the game as it exists right this second. It reflects the lack of content, it reflects the fact that people are barely logging right now and instead are choosing to play other games, whether they’re Blizzard made or Goat Simulators. It reflects the annoyance that change often brings, an irritation where it doesn’t matter how many “dealing with change courses”your employer sends you on, never seems to abate, especially when you aren’t given all the information behind the decision. We’ve had the Flying debacle (my personal jury is still out) and the whole Proving Grounds conversation (talking of the latter, I’ve just watched Mr Harpy get Gold tanking on a brand new warrior and if he ever tanks a heroic for me like that……… ). We’ve seen people threaten to quit over the healing blog even though it doesn’t really go into enough details to illustrate anything other than the fact that there will be changes ahead, just as there have been with every expansion. Would it have made more sense to do Blizzcon, release what they could and then stay silent until there is a Beta ready to be released? Should we learn about the changes purely from playing them or do we as fee playing customers deserve more interaction in the design of the game that we love so dearly? It’s a fine line between feedback and criticism and one that’s even harder to walk when passion plays a role.

As for me, I’m not going to stop analyzing things I think worth discussing even though I only have ten pieces out fifty. Doing Jigsaws properly was never my forte and I was allegedly born opinionated. As for Pope, would he approve? Well given that he also wrote:

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

I can  only imagine he’d understand.

*My teenage crush list comprised mostly of dead people. Richard III, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick otherwise known as the King Maker, Lord Byron and Boudicca all featured on it.

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.

Distracted

My leisure time is decidedly lacking at the moment and what few moments I do have are somewhat divided.

Reading

books

My current reading list looks something like this. I’d definitely recommend Heavenly Bodies to anyone else fascinated by the skull beneath the skin, the illustrations alone are worth the price and from what I’ve read so far, it’s the left me with the nagging desire to go wandering across Europe visiting Catacombs.

Gaming

I am still playing WoW albeit with that numbness which comes with the doldrums before an expansion. It’s hard to focus on any one activity when you know that a massive change is en route, so I do a spot of pet battling or play an alt but there is no driving force behind my gaming at the moment. I want to tick more items off my to do list and of course level my little Warlock by wandering around exploring and questing but that’s an hour here and there.

Thanks to Ironyca, perhaps too much of my time is currently being taken by an evil little browser game.

I’m also still playing Candy Crush although my rules are still the same. No cash will be spent on the app and if I run out of lives, then I just have to wait. So far I’m at level 123 and it’s a great way of killing time whilst commuting.

Hearthstone

I got my Hearthsteed but I’m still dabbling.

Hearthstone_Screenshot_2.24.2014.00.59.09

Although I have to admit I haven’t gone back to playing actual people since I won the mount, instead I’m having fun taking on the computer. That said though, I didn’t actually mind the “pvp” games either, it’s when people feel the need to emote that I get nervous. I love the art work, the cards themselves and their descriptions are amazing.

Dragon Age

Yep, I’m back playing my 10th Mage through her Harrowing and hopefully beyond. There is something addictive about that Mage Tower! This time the plan is seduce Leliana and make Anora marry Alistair but then that’s been the plan before. Usually one of two things happens, I either get distracted writing fan fiction and before I know it, my Mage has fallen head over heels for Alistair which never ends well or even worse, I get into a rut around Ostager and just make a new Mage. I could actually do the Harrowing in my sleep and I’ve been yelled at by the Knight Commander so many times, I’ve explored all the possible dialogue options without having to go back to previous saves. I’m not a hundred percent sure what this says about me, but I suspect it’s not particularly positive.

Screenshot20140322220117697

I’d also forgotten just how pretty Dragon Age is, even Ostager looks beautiful.

Screenshot20140322223816898

Possible Temptation – Games I’m fighting the urge to purchase or play

Wildstar

I haven’t pre-ordered but I’m definitely tempted to try the game. After all it has “tree-huggers”, which sounds close enough to Elves to work for me. I’ve read quite a few reviews and whilst I’m not sure it would hold my attention for long, it’s definitely struck a cord or two.

Windborne

I found this whilst browsing Steam and there is just something about it which draws me in. I’ve always loved sandbox games where you can just wander around building and exploring.

Crafting

At the moment I’m sewing together a cat cushion but have so many ideas of things I wish to try dotted around the house. Matty introduced me to this and I can’t resist to the temptation to turn it into a little lavender pillow or similar.

nurikabe

I also found a book on salt dough when I visited the library last which brought back a lot of childhood memories so I’d like to give that ago sometime soon. Then of course, there is my Warcraft tarot cards to be finished, with the Worgen Harvest witch as the Hermit and of course Tyrande as the High Priestess.

I also need to assemble and find a place to put my Edward Gorey “Dracula” theatre. I picked this up years ago and it’s been sitting in a box just waiting for a home every since.

Finally I’m in the process of  re-organising my button shelf as I think it’s getting a bit out of control.

Essentially as with everything, there are far more things to do than there are hours in the day. That said, I’m always on the look out for new and shiny distractions, so feel free to make suggestions.

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: The Levelling Game

The shared topic over at Blog Azeroth this week is:

I am sure this has been done years ago perhaps, but I felt I should ask again as it is particularly relevant to me now that I am back :)

What sort of method do you use for levelling the multiple alts? Do you follow the same quest chains each time, do you avoid a certain quest section, do you only dungeon etc?? I am levelling my 5th to 90 now – from 85 and I just wondered how you guys do it??

I am not talking about the oddball levelling like just herbing to push yourself to the limit of insanity, but the more run of the mill levelling.

Suggested by Dragonray.

As it turns out I’m a creature of habit. For me leveling on the Alliance side goes much like this:

Mostly questing through favourite zones, for example I think every Alliance character I’ve ever rolled has done at least a part of Duskwood. Looking back, what is interesting is how my questing path has changed pre and post Cataclysm. For example up until the world was ripped asunder, I always went to the Thousand Needles and Tanaris and now I rarely do. Duskwood though is a constant and I’m still fond of Ashenvale.

A smidgen of Dungeons but again I err towards certain level brackets, for example Scholomance, Stratholme and Dire Maul East are rarely missed but if Gnomeregon is an option… count me out.

WoWScrnShot_022014_202639

PvP also plays apart especially from level 45 upwards where AV is available. If Alterac Valley is the Call to Arms whilst I’m leveling a character, I’ll usually stop doing everything else and just PvP.

Finally when I get tired of the above, I meander across Azeroth pet battling using the flight time to chat to people on Real ID, twitter or to browse the internet.

 

 

A Wandering Warlock Enters

To live in hearts we leave behind         
      Is not to die.

Hallowed Ground by Thomas Campbell

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So the Godmother suggested a thing which resonated me with. For reasons I haven’t quite managed to pin down yet, I don’t like the idea of a boosted character. I think that a part of my issue is that characters gain personality and history from their possessions as they progress from level 1 to 90 but it goes deeper than that.

To go back to the beginning in the truest sense required me to roll a Warlock of some sort which tied in a with a project of my own that I’d considered but not started. Dorrie the little Witch is the hero of a series of children’s books which I adored as a little girl. It’s a combination of the illustrations and that sense of untidiness, of trying hard in an adult world where the rules seem to flex so you’re always on the wrong side of them and of course her constant companion, Gink the cat which sucked me in.

dorrie

So Dorrie the little Warlock was born. Her transmogrifications will of course involve pointy hats and her leveling might be more of a meandering journey than a straight forward path from A to B but I’m sure she might manage to restore my flagging WoW spirits. Following in the footsteps of those who have gone before, I will try and emulate (as much as I can remember) my original Warlock’s road across Azeroth. I know Darkshore was definitely on the list and so was Redridge but other than that, I’ll have to piece together what I can from the screenshots which remain. I might even not bother purchasing flying on her to experiment with having to ride everywhere and after all, Felsteeds are creatures of beauty. The goal isn’t necessarily 90 but to explore, to wander and rediscover that sense of wonder. 

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