Day 11: A Screenshot A Day

Day 11 – What I did today

whatididtoday

I had a go or two at Gold but fell short at the final hurdle. I think I need to focus a bit more and relax rather than start panicking. I suppose I should think of it as PvP rather than PvE.

I also paid the Timeless Isle a visit and picked up a bunch of coins, killed some rares and looted some upgrades for various characters. I still haven’t made up my mind about the Isle yet. As much as I hate dailies, I do like having something to focus on rather than riding around looking for shinies.

Taking time to stop and pick the Snow flowers

As you may have gathered, I’m not playing much at the moment. Now that’s partly due to my long commute and the hours I’m putting in at work but even when I do have time to spare, I’m not rushing for the computer either.

MoP is undeniably beautiful. I could lose myself in it’s landscapes for hours, wandering from waterfall to waterfall and yet, I’m not doing. I log, do the odd daily, the odd pet battle and then I log off. I haven’t even done much PvP, let alone set foot in the Looking for Raid. Neither have I done all the heroics or all the scenarios and as for being exalted with all the Pandarian factions….. not a chance. Ok, I’m exalted with two and part way through revered with all the rest (apart from the Shado-pan who annoy me on many levels).

Sure, the dailies have pushed me away in part but then I’ve always felt they were flawed as a concept (but that’s another post). If I’m being honest, I know at the heart of my issue lies a sense of loneliness. What’s the point of getting PvE gear if you aren’t doing PvE? I don’t have a raid to gear up for and my pets really don’t care whether I’m wearing twill or the finest epics that “skill” can buy. I miss the banter of guild chat, that abstract conversation which keeps you logged in way after your bed time and that sense of achievement when you finally come together as a team. The same is true of PvP, it’s far better when you are a team rather than a rag taggle bunch linked by hatred and mutual loathing.

Perhaps it’s finally time that I broke my own expansion rule, the one that says alts stay firmly in the background until all reps, dungeons and other such things have been achieved on the character du jour.

Maybe Snowflower (and no, she’s no relation to Snow Blossom) needs actually finish exploring that wandering turtle.

(On a side note, one of my favourite things about Windows 8 has to be the photo apps which are so easily available).

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.

 

 

Thoughts on being 90

Whilst levelling is a journey full of wonder and amazement, arrival at 90 is like landing at the airport to discover they’ve lost your baggage, customs want to strip search you but you’ve won the lottery to compensate. Sure there are a lot of positives but some definite negatives thrown into the mix as well.

1. Dailies, dailies, dailies as far as the eye can see. The choice is overwhelming as is the feeling that you should ignore the “fun” ones (Tillers/Anglers/Cloud Serpents) whilst concentrating on the rest in the run up to raids and the arena season starting. Given that I don’t go back to work until Thursday, we have been spamming the lot but it definitely feels like overload. On the plus side (a phrase I never thought I’d ever use in this context) most of the daily hubs involve going to one specific area and slaughtering & collecting. On top of that, compared to the Molten Front, killing vermling, playing catch with baby dragons and beating up sharks with your bare hands is a refreshing change.

2. Heroics aren’t really heroic in any shape or form. When I queued up for the first time I was really nervous remembering back to the start of Cataclysm when on some trash packs mana was an issue. I didn’t need to worry, in fact even after boss fights my interweaving of power word:solace into the mix meant I didn’t need to drink then either. I know the challenge modes are there for just that purpose but I would have liked the Heroics to be slightly tougher. It just feels a bit wrong where the Stormstout brewery for example felt harder on normal at 86 than it did at 90 on heroic (just wearing blue 450 gear in every slot apart from my 463 legs and my epic trinket from Coren).

3. PvP is awesome. My favourite all time battleground now has to be the Temple of Kotmogu. It’s fast paced, fun and a bit like arenaing but with objectives other than making sure you’re the last team standing. I definitely don’t feel squishy as Holy unless the whole opposing team piles on top of me (or I’ve been hogging a power ball too long) which is a good start to an expansion too. I plan on doing a proper post covering my choice of glyphs + talents as Holy for each of the maps once I’ve finished testing a few things.

4. Scenarios! I love all of the ones I’ve played so far (apart from Theramore). They’re quick, varied and because it’s not just standing still and healing like a proper dungeon, great fun (ignoring the lore side of it, Theramore is just a bit too much like running a dungeon).

The loot bags are annoying though, I know RNG is RNG but so far Mr Harpy has had an item from pretty much every second bag and I’ve had zero which makes gearing up a little more irritating.

5. Priesting. Why oh why can’t chakras last after death and on zoning. I know it’s not a massive issue for most things but it’s still a quality of life issue. Other than that, I’m pretty happy with Holy. Mana is 10 times better than it was at the start of Cataclysm in both pve and pvp. In fact the only other thing which annoys me is the lack of useful minor glyphs for my chosen spec. We have a choice of ten, four are shadow specific, one is disc specific, one is holy specific but requires your death and the others are just flavour.

6. Pet battles. Fear my Hopling because it will lick you to death! This turned out to be more addictive and less annoying than on the beta. I’m still working my way through pre Outlands pets but I hit 250 unique pets a while back and am route to 400 albeit slowly. I have to admit I went and tamed an Infested Bear Cub even though I said I never would. (By the way, they only seem to spawn after midnight if you’re looking, at least that’s the only time I’ve ever found any sign of them). Also whoever designed Jaguero Isle to have a separate weather system to that of southern STV can take a spinning crane kick to the face.

7. MoP transmogrification. Yes please! The cloth pvp set consisting of a pants suit had me panicking slightly but the weapons and off-hands are stunning.

8. Pandas. I’m still not 100 percent convinced, but I’ve made one even though she hasn’t made it out of the start zone yet. She’s a Priest (surprise surprise) called Snowflower after a book I fell in love with a little while ago when I found a beat up copy in a charity shop. I’m slightly saddened by the fact that my favourite beta hairstyle isn’t available at the character creation stage but am hoping it will be an option once she escapes the Isle.

9. The Storyline in general. I’m really impressed with the stories this time around. Blizzard have added some really lovely touches and some tragic moments. I was particularly taken with the fact that my evil double giggles.

It’s a great mix of tragic, comedic and thought provoking.

I think I started out looking for things to criticise, wanting to believe that WoW had nothing left to offer me, that I reached my final destination as far as the game was concerned but it seems that somehow despite my cynicism, Pandaria’s beauty and sense of wonder has managed to pull me back.

In which I attempt to get organised #2

Inspired by the amazingly organised Godmother, I’m attempting to prepare as best I can for MoP. However I’ve just acquired a full time job which at least for the beginning will require a fairly horrible commute leaving little time outside weekends for WoW. On top of that, in order to lose the commute we need to move which will eat into my weekends as well. In a terribly selfish sense, I’m actually starting to hope that MoP doesn’t launch until things are a bit less frantic here. Also if anyone can recommend any good audio books… I’d be very grateful. I’m going to be spending quite a bit of time sitting on a bus to and from work and I can’t read on public transport. Thirty seconds in and I’m nauseous, any longer and being physically sick is a real issue.

Everything in red has already been ticked off but I swear this list gets longer and longer all by itself. 

Dulcamara

1. Reach lv 75 so I can have a Shivarra.

2. Level Jewelcrafting

Ellora

1. Finish the Loremaster of Eastern Kingdoms

2. Finish the Loremaster of Kalimdor

3. Level Inscriptions

4. Finish levelling Enchanting

Erinys

1. Collect the last few pets she needs to hit 125. It’s possible that the individual pet achievements will be disappearing come MoP and I’d like to have the Brilliant Kaliri to go with my Arrokoa disguise.  

2. Finish up the last 10k I need for exalted with the Netherwing.

3. Find the last 12 mounts I need for the mountain of mounts achievement.

  • 6 Nether Wings
  • Green Proto Drake
  • Swift Burgundy Wolf  (Argent Tournament).
  • Epic Flying Machine
  • Get the Darkmoon Faire strider mount.

4. Read “Sunwell – The Fall of Quel’Thalas”, “The Last Guardian” and “The Lich King Triumphant”, the last three books I need for the “Well Read” achievement.

5. Complete Silverpine and the Southern Barrens quest chains from the Horde perspective again.

6. Get an Oracle egg every three days until one of them hatches a mount.

7. Exalted with the Ebon Blade

8. Exalted with the Oracles

Lylobean

1. Finish up all the Argent Tournament achievements.

2. Get the Darkmoon Bear mount. Done.

3. Level Cooking and Fishing to the cap.

Sproutling

1. Level Archaeology to the cap.

2. Level Cooking and Fishing to the cap.

3. Pick up the Nesingwary Brush Burner wand for future transmogrification fun.

4. Get the last pet that I’m missing from the Darkmoon Faire (the tonk).

5. Exalted with the Frenzyheart

6. Acquire Pebble. Only six more dailies to go :(

Sprouts

This character was created with one aim in mind, reaching a high enough level to save Spot before the bombs start to fall on Theramore.

1. Save Spot! Given that the Theramore guards are guaranteed to not like a Goblin sneaking in and stealing their dog, I’m not 100 percent what level I’ll need to be. I’ll start trying around the 45 mark.

2. Grab a diseased hawk.

Teasel

1. Finish up all the Fireland Dailies/quest chains

2. Get exalted with the Timbermaw

3. Get her onto the Oracle egg stage of those quests. The more eggs I get per week, the higher my mount chance has to be.

Twiceshy

1. Hit a high enough level to tame Chromaggus.

2. Pick up a Brain Bug too. Either the one with the brain showing or this one.

3. Find and tame Zaricotl.

4. Get exalted with the Thorium Brotherhood (10 k rep to go)

5. Level Blacksmithing

Calantha

1. 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.

Snowflower

I also want to get ready for my Monk who I’ll be levelling along side since Mr Harpy since he wants to be a fotm reroller! Although I must admit levelling my beta monk has been a lot of fun so far.

1. Double check I’ve got all the heirlooms I could possibly need for both dps and healing specs.

2. 4 big bags for my inventory plus a couple of the bank.

3. Decide on professions and get any mats to level them lined up.

4. Decide on race, Panda versus Gnome versus Nightelf.

General non-character specific stuff.

1. Think of names for all my non combat pets. So far on the Beta I’ve named the following which leaves me with quite a few to go.

  • Orange Tabby =  Boris (after an old book of Peter and the Wolf I found. In it the cat was both orange and called Boris).
  • Feline Familiar = Pyewacket
  • Wind Rider Cub = George
  • Sinister Squashling = Ichabod (for obvious reasons).
  • Darkmoon Faire Balloon = Cecy (after Ray Bradbury’s short story “the April Witch”).

That only leaves me with 140 names to come up with between now and MoP.

2. Fill the bank with as much gold as possible.

3. Run Karazhan every reset on as many characters as possible until Attuman gets stick of seeing me and hands over his horse.

4. Make sure every character has the largest bags possible.

That turned out to be a bigger list then I expected. Hopefully this will work out better than my Pre-Cataclysm to do list where I managed to tick off a grand total of three things.

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