Undercover in Warlords: A Few of my Favourite Things

Some spoilers included so look away now if you’re trying to avoid!

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently pottering around Draenor looking for bugs, exploring and generally getting a feel for the expansion. I had been feeling jaded with the game and had actually contemplated not purchasing Warlords at all. There is a lot going on in my personal life at the moment which has left me feeling extremely ill 90 percent of the time, plus I finish work in 4 days to start another University degree with the prospect of juggling that as well as personal stuff going forward into the autumn however it hasn’t taken me long to realise that this expansion hits my buttons like WoW hasn’t since Wrath.

I know a lot of people have been critical of various aspects of the game but I’m struggling to find negatives. Is Garrison player housing? No but it’s still nice to have your own slice of Draenor. Do I mind Ashran being my capital? No, it’s across between Dalaran and Theramore at least for the Alliance with a side order of PvP and personally I like that.

My new favourite toy has to be this:

WoWScrnShot_072614_232723

The Ancient’s Bloom is a drop from a rather nasty rare spawn in Shadowmoon Valley called Yggdrel which turns you into a miniature version of said tree for 5 minutes. Naturally you are rooted in place whilst transformed and so far at least, nothing happens when you /sleep, /cower or /dance but every so often you do a sort of roar animation to express your general grumpiness.

WoWScrnShot_072714_194459

Needless to say this will be one of the first rare spawns I attempt to slaughter on release but given that it was a rather messy kill with level 100s, it might prove tricky. It also goes into your Toybox meaning that acquire it once and you should have it on every character without having to lose a bag space.

My first new Draenor Pet:

WoWScrnShot_072714_200003

 

is a Teroclaw hatchling stolen from a random nest just north of Auchindoun. There is definitely a dinosaur feel to this little chap.

Finding Old Friends in the strangest of places:

WoWScrnShot_072714_203007

One of the aspects of WoW I like the most is the linking of content. We move from one expansion to another in search of adventure and having the NPCs do the same is a wonderful touch that makes the virtual world feel more concrete.

Home Sweet Home

Last week the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic was:

What in WoW reminds you of your home?

Suggested by Sycro of Sycro Owl.

Unfortunately I was too ill to put words on the page then so I’m sneaking in late.

I’ve been fortunate to call many beautiful places home and so rather than picking one, I’m going to take you on a quick tour of my life via WoW locations.

As a child, we lived in Germany in amongst the mountains and the fairytale castles so Gilneas immediately springs to mind. Their accents might be an approximation of English but those barren crags, dark waters and ornate walled city reminds me more of the Germany of my childhood than it does Britain.

WoWScrnShot_082511_131805

Then as a teenager, we moved to a far softer landscape surrounded by farm land in Scotland where you could see for miles, fields tapering down the sea. So in WoW terms I couldn’t imagine a better fit for Westfall and the rain in this particular shot is merely art mirroring life.

WoWScrnShot_090211_082433

There was an interlude traveling to places which didn’t remind me of home at all, following by a stint of living in a city about as far removed from Stormwind as possible and now, I live idyllically less than 200 metres from the sea in a tiny fishing village. The best equivalent I think in WoW would have to be  Sri-la village perched as it is at the base of a cliff. Okay, we don’t have a waterfall or any giant statues but that hidden away feel persists. There is only one road down into the village, passing the sea front and for a moment everyone seems to pause just to look down over the houses scattered below.

WoWScrnShot_072214_164948

This is the view less than a five minute walk from my front door and it makes me smile every time I see it.

IMG_0687

Fast First Impressions of the Beta (Spoilers included)

So far I’m pleasantly surprised.

My Nightelf is perhaps a tad too square jawed but I can live with that. I haven’t tried healing but am currently beating Orcs up on a 90 Druid and am heartily enjoying the experience. Would I want to do it 20 times, probably not but so far it’s been interesting and I’ve met some fascinating people along the way.

WoWScrnShot_071814_214344

I rather like the fact that the women did the fighting for once and having a Warden along for the ride… well that’s pretty awesome.

Also blood drinking Toucans are a wonderful touch and everything I’ve seen so far is extremely pretty if slightly gruesome.

WoWScrnShot_071814_211524

In fact I think Shadowmoon Valley mark 2 might easily become one of my favourite zones in game.

WoWScrnShot_071814_222905

The potential for transmogrification also seems interesting as my new character received this very quickly:

WoWScrnShot_071814_220954
Yep, a staff with a cluster of adorable little bugs flying around it’s end.

All in all, I find myself looking forward to the release.

Fragmentary Blue – June’s ROYGBiV entry

Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?

Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)–
Though some savants make earth include the sky;
And blue so far above us comes so high,
It only gives our wish for blue a whet.

Robert Frost

Given the beautiful azure blue of the sky today mirrored off the sea, this poem seemed so perfectly appropriate to introduce this month’s entry.

I have a love hate relationship with the Glacial robes. Love in that they are beautiful, elegant and oh so delicate looking but hate the fact that there aren’t any shoulders which match perfectly. Vestia’s Pauldrons of Inner Grace is another item that I’ve always been partial too and so having given the matter some thought and indeed tried multiple other options, I thought “why not….”.

WoWScrnShot_060614_235135 WoWScrnShot_060614_235147 WoWScrnShot_060614_235107 WoWScrnShot_060614_235129

  • Helm – Collar of Command
  • Shoulders – Vestia’s Pauldrons of Inner Grace
  • Chest – Glacial Robe
  • Gloves – Toad-Slime Gloves
  • Waist – Glacial Waistband
  • Boots – Falling Blossom Treads
  • Staff – Greatstaff of the Nexus

 

 

On boxes for Toys – Thoughts on Toyboxes in Warlords

This is my toybox. It’s traveled across Europe and the UK and is currently housed in our attic. These days it no longer holds toys but it’s one of those pieces of furniture which encapsulates so much about my childhood, I don’t see myself ever managing to throw it out. I’ve hidden inside it, turned it into a massive dolls house and stored my study notes for my degree in it. It currently holds winter clothes and is just waiting for me to finish scrapping off all those stickers.

Therefore it’s perhaps not a huge surprise that one of the things I’m most interested in with the Warlords Alpha is Blizzard’s long promised toy box. So far we have only seen screen caps but just having a fraction of the items currently littering up my bags safely stored elsewhere can only be a massive upgrade for the game. I did a bit of testing across various characters and discovered that I have far too many bag slots taken up by vanity items, with the vast majority of Snowflower’s bank slots being consumed by items like Gnomeregan Pride and Direbrew’s remote. On Dulcamara alone, my Monk made a year ago I have over 16 slots filled with fun but mostly pointless stuff.  Obviously until the game goes live and we get the final list, we can’t be sure how many of these items will vanish from our bags but I’ve reached the point where I’ll be grateful for any returned bag slots.

The other reason I’m looking forward to this feature is a slightly more practical one, there are plenty of these items out there, whether quest rewards or random drops that I might not know about and having a handy list whilst taking that serendipitous feeling out of acquiring things, helps ensure you track down everything you are interested in.

Obviously this is still the Alpha and we are potentially along away off the final toybox, I would like to see quest rewards like Jin Warmkeg’s Brew and the Cooking School Bell make it onto the list. However having a place to store all the Archaeological items and the items from the Timeless Isle will be a massive advantage alone. I’m also glad that items like the Mushroom Chair from Cataclysm and the Rituals of the New Moon from Wrath have also made the box because it would have been too easy just to put in bits and bobs from MoP onwards. The fact that the first engineering transportation trinkets have made the list gives me hope that the rest will follow suit and with any luck between now and launch, we can work with Blizzard to put together a comprehensive list of things which should be tucked away in the toybox.

A complete list of items encluded so far can be found in this thread on MMO-Champion or here on WoWhead.

Anti Doldrums Distractions – Translucence Sword Transmogrifications

Inspired by the outfit I put together for my Monk for May’s version of the ROYGBiV contest, I found myself a new distraction when it comes to WoW. Can I collect and put together outfits for all the translucence  swords in game. To further complicate the issue, I want each outfit to be for a different character and as swords are primarily used by classes I tend not to play this might require a spot of leveling on my part.

In total there are 7 swords which come in the following colours, yellow, purple, green, orange, blue and more jazzy purple.

There are to the best of my knowledge seven classes who can use one handed swords – Mage, Warlock, Monk, Warrior, Rogue, Deathknight and Paladin (I’m discounting Hunters simply because no Hunter would use a sword at the expense of a bow). My Monk has already effectively stolen green which leaves six swords and six classes to choose from.

Renataki’s Soul Slicer – yellow

Drops in Zul’Gurub from Renataki, one of the random bosses in the Edge of Madness event.

WoWScrnShot_052914_230743

I’m thinking yellow for my rogue, partly because Renataki himself is the ghost of a rogue and also because my little Gnome rogue was fond of putting pink and yellow together.

Continuum Blade – purple with glow

Requires revered with the Keepers of Time.

WoWScrnShot_052914_230819

This I think has to go to the Paladin and not just because it’s purpley pink.

Blade of the Archmage -purple

Requires exalted with Honor Hold.

WoWScrnShot_052914_230857

This one for my Gnome tank.

Pilfered Ethereal Blade - more purple, this time though with a slightly different hilt.

This is a quest reward from Declawing Doomclaw in Netherstorm.

WoWScrnShot_052914_230857

And the Death Knight gets this.

Ethereum Phase Blade – green

This is purchased from Dealer Jadyan, dealer in exotic goods in the Stormspire.

WoWScrnShot_051714_211501

My Monk already has the phase blade which can be bought at the Stormspire, (it’s possible you might need to switch the options on your buying screen to read all before you can see it) so I guess it’s back to Zul’Farrek for the rest of the outfit for her.

Vibro Sword – orange

This is a quest reward from Cutting your Teeth in Blade’s Edge Mountains.

WoWScrnShot_052914_230703

Based on my love of the Mage tier 5, I’m thinking Merrily my Mage will be working on the vibro sword.

Phantom Blade – blue

Crafted by Blacksmiths, the recipe which is BoP drops in Stratholme.

dorriesword

I’m erring towards blue on my Warlock simply because she happens to be wearing an outfit which already complements it. Now she just needs to level high enough to be able to equip a phantom blade.

Hopefully by the time Warlords come rolling around, I’ll have managed to acquire all these weapons and suitable outfits to go along side because it seems only fitting that my characters head through the portal wearing at least something to remind them of the importance of getting it right this time around, a poignant reminder of the fractured world that our Draenor became.

Random Musing – On Timelines, Pre-expansion Doldrums and how I’d spend the expansion budget before the expansion

On our way home tonight, fog slowed down the journey and so to distract from the frustration, we got to talking about WoW. Primarily as is perhaps common these days, we discussed the lack of content and this post was born of that.

I wanted to think of ways in which we could have content without distracting too much from the focus of Warlords so this is a rough version of what would happen in the doldrums between now and the expansion if I were in charge (and they gave me lots of money).

For the purposes of this, the events of War Crimes have taken place and Garrosh, that naughty Elf/Dragon and Wrathion are currently lost in time and space. Chromie being that sort of Dragon is desperate to put things right but obviously this doesn’t go particularly well and whilst she keeps assuring your group that she’s tracked down Garrosh and opened a portal to his location, when you arrive on the other side…. well it’s a different story altogether.

Perhaps you’ve zoned into Icecrown Citadel, only this is another timeline and it’s Jaina who sits on the Lich’s frozen throne, having first murdered her innocent prince. Maybe you find yourself a top Blackrock Mountain but instead of finding Nefarion lounging on his chair admiring the view, you find his sister laughing over his corpse because after all if you could choose between a palace and a cave… Imagine a timeline in which Keristrasza managed to slay Malgyos herself, ruling in his stead as consort elect and rather than ending her misery, your mission was to restore balance and free her. Maybe that baby fire elemental from the Fire Festival would have the last laugh and turn up as the end boss of Molten Core.

The fights would remain essentially the same merely scaled up and yes, there would need to be model changes/voice acting but balance that against the whining, the people threatening to quit and the lack of people on-line at the moment and I wonder whether it would work out worth it. Not to mention the fact that the possibilities could be limitless, even Hogger could become the Lich King in one reality or another and who wouldn’t want to see that?

Naturally Chromie would be apologetic that she’d got it wrong but since you’re there, you might as well kill whatever is facing you and hope to fix another strand of the time line whilst getting awesome loot. Plus you would arrive at the boss you were going to fight, so you wouldn’t have to drag yourself through eight side bosses and 1000 trash packs because Chromie isn’t that much of a sadist.

Of course there would need to be items but then that could be as simple as taking all the iconic loot from specific fights and scaling it up to whatever item level would motivate people. You could also have vanity items and /or battle pets which would only be obtainable whilst the pre expansion event was in progress to add icing to the carrot on a stick. The Jaina as Lich Queen encounter for example could drop a sort of mirror which when clicked on would spawn a reflection of Jaina in her Lich state to follow you around whispering those who target her with suitably nasty things about how their blood will freeze or Onyxia in Blackwing Lair could give a whelping pet in the style of lil’ Tarecgosa.

The reward for “fixing” all the timelines in pursuit of Garrosh and co would of course net you a suitably adorable lil’Chromie battle pet which (out of combat) be able to switch into a Gnome for 10 minutes every hour and would wander around after you talking science. There would also be achievements to pursue and maybe a title to show that you’ve surfed the twisting nether and come out of it relatively unhurt.

If you had access to Blizzard’s budget how you would fill the content void between now and the release of Warlords?

Green grow the rushes oh: May’s ROYGBiV entry

The colour for May is green, the colour of envy. We associate it with spring and new shoots sprouting but also with decay as it’s the colour of mould and drowned flesh.

I knew right from the start that I had to use the Jinxed Hoodoo skin because it’s a piece dear to my heart. Two of my Druids are currently sporting it as part of their transmogrifications and I’ve always intended farming it on my Monk. At first I thought about just creating something for my other Druid, the one I plan on getting to 90 and transferring from her old forgotten server before Warlords goes live but then I got side tracked by that sword and realised that my Monk was in danger of ending up envious of the Druids.

Despite my lack of love for yellow, I’ve always preferred these shoulders to the original and so it made sense to  use them to tie together those pale vanilla shades in the kilt and the detailing on the bodice.

WoWScrnShot_051714_211518 WoWScrnShot_051714_211501 WoWScrnShot_051714_211514

  • Crown of the Forest Lord
  • Mantle of Autumn
  • Jinxed Hoodoo Skin
  • Bracers of Rolling Fields
  • Duskwing Handwraps
  • Moss Cinch
  • Jinxed Hoodoo Kilt
  • Swampwalker Boots
  • Ethereum Phase Blade
  • Councilor’s Sceptor

I shall ride Midnight

WoWScrnShot_050714_214710

Apparently Attumen does drop a mount after all… After so many Karazhan runs I’ve lost count those fickle Gods of RNG decided that I should be rewarded for my persistence. Now I think I need a suitably “midnight” ensemble perhaps with flashes of red to match.

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.

Centro Historico 1 193

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

ruta puuc 120

A Mayan Ruin

Volcano 162

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,268 other followers