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.

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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.

 

How Sprout got her Squash

The Wyvern’s Tail is hosting a lovely little Hallows End competition and it being my favourite time of the year and all, I couldn’t resist joining in. I know it’s meant to be all about the screenshots but Sprout is one of those gnomes incapable of using one word when 37 would do roughly the same job.

Duskwood always has dangers lurking in the restless dark but this is never more true than at Hallows End when the veil between worlds is at it’s weakest. So without further ado, I present Hallows End Sprout:

Halloweensprout

The old covered bridge, cobwebs hanging from it’s timbers lay directly in front of her. Parking her mechostrider, Sprout closed her eyes for a moment letting the warnings flood her mind. “Don’t ride through Duskwood after dark”, “Fly to Redridge… the path is shorter and safer”, “Stay another night and leave in the morning, don’t be foolish little Gnome” and then once they realised that her mind was made up, the raft of more practical suggestions. “Don’t leave the road whatever you do”, “Don’t stay on the path, who knows what monsters walk”, “Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the way ahead, never look back”. It had seemed as if every one in the Sentinel Hill hostelry had some opinion, from the Innkeeper herself to the workers fixing the roof. Whilst the details differed, everyone agreed on one particular point .. entering Duskwood in the twilight was suicide.

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Dismounting, she swiftly checked the machine over, breaking down could be a dangerous disaster. Once Sprout felt secure in her ride, she double checked her bags. Melon juice, check; flask of hot bean soup, check; Dwarven Mild, check and finally a loaf of freshly baked bread. Whatever happened in those dark woods, she wasn’t going to starve. Starting her engine, she eyed the forests of Duskwood unhappily.

As the mechostrider leapt forward onto the bridge, for a moment Sprout feared that the planks couldn’t take the strain. That any second, she and her precious machine would be plunged into the cold dark water below. Despite their warped condition, perhaps a sign of lack of use, the bridge held and now she set foot in accursed Duskwood itself.

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Sprout had heard many stories from passing drunks in the Inns about Necromancers, ghouls and other such monsters who lurked off the beaten path in the many boneyards and resting places of the forest but being a Gnome of reason and sense, she knew these were nothing but idle superstition and an blatant attempt to impress or at least she had known this whilst safe abed in Stormwind. However curiosity and pride got the better of her, how could she return to the University without at least having explored a corner of the map. Turning her headlamps on full, she steered away from the road and up a steep incline, coming to an abrupt stop overlooking a graveyard. A graveyard crawling with things which her rational brain couldn’t quite interpret.

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The mad dash towards the path seemed to take forever and never had a Gnome seen a more welcome sight than cobbles, fences and lamps lighting the way. Promising herself to stay on the straight and narrow, Sprout set off once again for Darkshire.
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The only way forward seemed to be to keep her eyes fixed firmly on the horizon, that way blinking eyes in the undergrowth, giant spiders and big black wolves could all be edited out of the picture before her brain fully processed it and indeed Sprout proceeded some way in this fashion.

It was at this point disaster struck, heralded by a noise which chilled the blood just around a bend in the road. A scream and then a rough munching sound as if something large with many teeth was gnawing on bone could be heard up ahead. Tightening her grip on the mechanostrider, Sprout considered her options. By the sound of it, there was nothing left to rescue and so riding towards that noise would be the equivalent of desert serving itself to whatever was snacking in the dark. That left the forest flanking either side of the path, both sides were dense with trees and no light  penetrated those black branches. Resorting to what might be called logic in a less dangerous situation, Sprout decided that going north hadn’t worked out previously so this time she would try south.

Pushing her way through the trees she found herself in a field full of what she quickly recognized as corpse weed although she had not seen such lively specimens before. Quickly picking her way through the open ground, out of the corner of her eye she spotted something glowing. Something which on closer inspection turned out to be a Jack o’lantern abandoned but yet still lit. Looking around she could see no movement in the clearing and taking a deep breath she turned away from the gruesome pumpkin and rode towards the road.

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As she resumed riding along the road, a distinct silence lay blanketed over the wood. No longer could she hear the wolves howling or the shrill shrieks of the owls, instead it was just her own blood pumping and the rattle of her engine. Then from behind she though she heard a slither, a slippery sound of something unnatural sliding along the cobbles and with her heart in her mouth, Sprout looked behind her.

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That accursed Jack o’lantern was following her on long legs of twisted roots, it’s unholy grin fixed on her. Closing her eyes, Sprout gunned her engine and rode as if the Devil himself in vegetable form pursued her.

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It was only on reaching the outskirts of the town itself that Sprout dared to glance behind her and thankfully the road was clear. No glowing eyes, no long and twisted roots, no animated orange flesh, just an empty highway stretching out behind her. In her gratefulness to be safe and secure within the town, it never occurred to her to check the pumpkin patch which lay alongside the road but then who in similar circumstances can say they would have done different?

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Parking her mechanostrider, Sprout made straight for the Scarlet Raven, trying hard to not look at the jack o’lanterns carved everywhere for Hallows End.

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Once inside and parked on a stool by the fire with a hot toddy, she discovered that the locals were entertaining themselves by telling ghost stories. As the warmth seeped through her numb body, she found herself listening with interest to the tale of the Carved one. “Once upon a time”, the barmaid said, “there was a little boy who loved Hallows End more than any other time of the year. Every year he and his father would carve a Jack O’lantern for their field but then came the year of the Dark Riders and something horrible happened out at their farmstead. In the morning, a search party found only blood and that cursed pumpkin still lit even with the candle inside burnt down to dust. Ever since that night, on Hallows End a bewitched lantern appears in that field searching for souls to lure to their doom and every year it claims at least one victim”.

It was at this point, Sprout decided that she had heard enough and retreated to the safety of her room, upstairs and only accessibly by passing through the busy bar. As she readied herself for bed, she muttered about stupid superstition and ghost stories being just that, something parents told their children to frighten them onto the straight and narrow. Nothing something a Gnome would waste time partaking in.

After all… ghostly Jack O’lanterns… whoever has heard of such a thing.

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A Wild Blueberry appears

This week is Shaman week and by some serendipitous coincidence that just happens to be the class I’m currently leveling.

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This is Wildberri and her faithful balancing hound taking a moment out from a hard day’s questing and pvping to relax in the fresh Elwynn air. Named for a herbalist in one of my favourite books, so far she’s been great fun. It’s been a while since I played a Shaman and there have been a few “interesting” changes like being able to move whilst casting lightning bolt but most of all, I’m looking forward to being able to hex people into a compy (to the point that I bought the glyph when I was below level 10 in anticipation). The one thing which doesn’t seem to have changed at all though is people complaining that you didn’t heal them in low level battlegrounds. Yep, clearly I rolled an Elemental Shaman to heal low healthed random Rogues…. not run up to packs of Horde as a Ghostwolf and then punt them off the nearest cliff.. yep it was definitely to heal other people.

My previous Shaman experiences were all back in the Burning Crusade where I had a brief stint raiding as a Heroism and Brainheal botbuff, not I have to admit my most exciting raid role ever. Thus I’m looking forward to exploring the class all over again plus throwing as many Goblins, Orcs and other assorted Horde off cliffs, planets and whatever other edges the game presents. Remember Theramore!

Moonfang and Modern Manners

At midnight server time last night I and quite a few others were loitering in Goldshire waiting for the stars to align and those pesky Darkmoon folks to hurry up and drag their island into position. Once the portal was up, it didn’t take us long to spawn Moonfang and slaughter her.

It was only afterwards whilst I was kiting around a pack of hungry wolves angry at their Den Mother being so horribly murdered in front of them, that I started to think of the implications of the way in which we’d zerged her down. No grouping up to kill means that many people are purely focused on themselves and their loot which is why during my dance of potential death I got sworn at by a “corpse” who wanted ressing NOW!!!1!. I didn’t really have the time nor the desire to point out that I’m not a Druid (even though I’m wearing Wildheart knock offs) and thus can’t res whilst wolves are trying to eat my toes. I know people have experienced issues on the Timeless Isle if they release during a kill but asking someone who is fighting not just one wolf but an entire pack is stretching it a bit. However my issue doesn’t just lie with him but with the twenty to thirty others who were quite happy to loot and either play with their new toys or mount away whilst I struggled to survive. It didn’t matter that I’d helped to keep them alive during the fight nor that my current predicament was purely down to class mechanics (this is one place where passive healing as you nuke is a pain in the neck), they got what they wanted and as we weren’t partied up, I might as well have been invisible to them. My second kill highlighted another issue with this new system. As I and a handful of others were busy fighting elite mobs, there were around fifteen other people sat on mounts at the spawn point demanding we hurry up and kill things because as one person put it he had “limited time”.

WoW is a multiplayer game and almost every aspect of it works best when we cooperate and play together. Yes there were a few exceptions, including a sub 90 Mage who almost died horribly trying to get that pack of wolves off me but it felt like we were a disparate bunch who would have been just have happy soloing wolves in Duskwood if they happened to drop decent rewards.   Yes, this system works great for people like me, whose anxiety and shyness makes grouping akin to stabbing myself repeatedly with a knitting needle but I feel that the game could ultimately suffer because of it. It feeds into that toxic behaviour we’re so fond of discussing because when you don’t “need” other people, for many there is no point in treating them fairly or decently.

That said, RNG has treated us rather well as you can see from our little wolf family screenshot below.

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I also like the fact that there seems to be no limits on about the amount of loot you can potentially receive per day. Given that the Darkmoon Faire is such a temporary event I think restrictions would be annoying and from my experience at least, the drop chances seem quite high and I’m up to two pets and an item which turns me into a baby wolf for 10 minutes out of every hour and which more importantly doesn’t break on combat.

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I love Moon Moon’s animations too and now I just need to find a better name for him.

All dressed up with nowhere to go

Batinna is hosting a Dress up blogging challenge and of course I couldn’t resist joining in because any time spent playing with transmogrification isn’t being wasted doing something sensible.

The prompt for week 1 (which technically was last week) is Poor.

Now I know using MogIt is cheating but unfortunately I could only find the robe I wanted to use in brown so for this week only I’m taking the easy route. Meet a Night Elf Priest who has given up all her worldly goods in Elune’s name, going from settlement to settlement spreading the word.

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Items

  • Wand – Crescent Wand because what else would a Nightelf Priest use?
  • Shoulders – Double-Stitched Woolen Shoulders
  • Chest – Sorcerer’s Robe
  • Shirt – Black Swashbuckler’s shirt
  • Helm – Abjurers Hood
  • Gloves – Sage’s Gloves

I thought I’d also post a quick version based around the brown version. This is Sprout wearing a mix of clothing she happened to have in the bank.

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  • Shoulders – Mystic Frostwoven Shoulders
  • Chest – Archmage robe of Frost protection
  • Staff – Staff of the Plague Hound
  • Belt – Klaxxi Lash of the Seeker

Mad about Mages

This week it’s Mage week over at Lae’s Alt Appreciation Society, a class I’m surprisingly fond of even though I have very few Mages of my own. Not only is it my go to class in Dragon Age (I have far too much fun doing the Harrowing) but it’s a class I love in PvP. That combination of kiting with snares and blink suits me far more than say kiting on a Hunter even though many of the mechanics are the same.

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I have two Mages worth mentioning. My slightly mad, bad and dangerous to know Night Elf Mage with her pink robes and fondness for studying funeral rites.

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and my slightly saner, definitely quieter Draenei.

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Out of all the spells a Mage has at his or her disposal, there is one which has drawn me back time and time again and that is polymorph. It’s a spell I use far too much and one I hate being used on me. Even picking which flavour of polymorph to use can be amusing, do you turn that annoying Warrior into a Monkey or a Turtle? Given that you’re planning on mocking him to death as you kite him around in circles, Turtle would be an excellent choice but then Monkey turns you into something hideous….

Way back in 2010 I wrote this post about polymorph and for the purposes of Mage Week, I’d thought I’d revisit it to see what if anything has changed.

  • The common or garden variety sheep. All Mages learn this at lv 8Now level 14 so that the first PvP bracket misses out on sweet Polymorphing fun.
  • Penguin. Personally I find this one too cute, it would be like frostbolting Mr Chilly in the face. It’s learnt from a minor glyph and can usually be found on the Auction House. As soon as you get your first minor glyph at level 15, you can use this. Now level 25.
  • Black Cat. The book which teaches this requires level 60 and can be bought from Endora Moorehead, one of the owners of the “Sisters Sorcerous”. It’s on a limited spawn timer and costs 2375g (since all Mages start out as friendly with the Kirin Tor the friendly discount is already deducted. If you are not a Mage and neutral with the Kirin Tor, it costs 2500g and its 2000g if you are exalted). Whilst I liked the idea of turning people into cats, I feel the model cat is a bit too small and can easily be overlooked in both PvP and PvE. That said, if my Mage was a Bloodelf, I think this would be my polymorph of choice.
  • Turtle. This can be obtained in one of two ways. Either you can farm it yourself from Zul’Gurub or you can keep checking the Auction House to see if it shows up there. If you go for the former, you will need someone who can fish up Gahz’ranka and then it’s just a case of hoping it drops. Requires level 60. Ever since Zul Gurub went 5 man, this can be fished up in any of the Cataclysm Zones.
  • Rabbit. This book is only obtainable during Noblegarden. During the Festival it can be bought from a Noblegarden Vendor for 100 Noblegarden Chocolates. This also requires level 60 and unlike the other polymorphs learnt from a book, this one is bind on pickup.
  • Pig. Again this requires level 60 but unlike the others this is taught by a quest rather than a book. This is now obtainable from the Amazing Zanzo, a Gnome NPC in Dalaran.

Completely new additions since then.

From Glyphs

Bear Cub – Possibly cuter than the Penguin.

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Monkey – personally I really dislike this particular polymorph and am more likely to target it’s caster than any other form of poly.

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Porcupine – Comes in four different flavours. Blue as seen below, red, white and a yellowy colour. Which one you get is random but they did seem to rotate when I experimented on this poor spider.

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If I could add any other varieties of polymorph to the game, I think I’d be drawn towards either:

Polymorph Hatchling:

Naturally it would come in a variety of colours and would require the completion of a quest chain to obtain. The quest line would involve visiting all the different locations which harbour these birds so a trip to Mulgore, a visit to Darkshore and a sojourn to the Darkmoon Faire would be in order at the very least with obscure errands needing completing at each one.

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My second choice would be a buzzy and annoying fly type thing:

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There is also a tooltip for Polymorph Goat on WoWhead. I’d love that one to be added as well, especially if the “goat” wandered around eating grass. Who knows, perhaps the next expansion will see that thrown into the mix.

What versions of polymorph would you like to add to the game?

Day 7 – A Screenshot A Day

Today’s prompt is White.

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This isn’t a new shot but given that I love all three elements, the mount, the mini pet and the zone, I decided I was going to post it anyway.

To balance that out, I thought I’d post a picture with white elements that I took today.

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This is a seagull sitting on our neighbour’s roof, looking out over the village and planning whatever seagulls plan.

Skyline: WoW Daily Screenshots

Day 3 of  the WoW Daily Screenshots challenge, brought to you today by the word “Skyline”.

1. the line at which the earth and sky appear to meet; horizon
2. the outline of buildings, mountains, trees, etc, seen against the sky

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I had several candidates for this category but ended up going for the one which interested me the most. I love the jagged rocks mirrored by the spiky towers of the gates. Gilneas has a sublime feel to it. A charm which isn’t really replicated anywhere else in game.

A Screenshot a Day: Days 1 and 2

Never one to resist anything involving screenshots, when I first saw this challenge devised by Tycertank  linked on Ababeko’s blog, I knew I had to join in.

Day 1 is brought to you by the letter N.

I would like to present one of my favourite herbs.

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Netherbloom

Day 2 is sponsored by the word “Incomplete“, which to be fair, pretty much sums up everything I’m doing at the moment, especially my work load and the contents of my drafts folder.

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It’s certainly true of this rather glitchy screenshot in which general Warlockyness causes the trees in Elwynn to mysteriously disappear.

 

You’re Worth It: What I’d pay for!

There is much discussion flying around at the moment about the sort of things people would happily pay real money for should they be added to the Blizzard store. Now I am of the opinion that whilst there is a subscription, everything should be obtainable in-game even if you have to jump through a thousand and one hoops to get it, however there are a few bits and bobs which could see me reaching for my purse.

1. More Character customization options. Tattoos, dyes to make your armour really look unique, a bigger selection of hairstyles and did I mention tattoos?

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If I could break out the ink, I’d definitely play more Dwarves. I’d also love some of the Panda hairstyles to be available for other races, my Night Elf would love to be able to run around with flowers in her hair. I’d also like to see some of the items that only NPCs can wear showing up as transmogrification options too, looking especially at the NPCs in the Caverns of Time: Escape from Hillsbrad here.

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This staff would also get me reaching for my debit card. I’ve wanted one ever since the MoP beta and am so disappointed that I haven’t found one in-game.

2. My very own personal Grummle (thanks to Roo for the inspiration here). I don’t mind if he or she is a mini pet or bank access that you can summon every x hours or perhaps a source of bigger and better bag spaces.

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I just really want one. Being able to replace that starter back pack with something much larger would make me think twice too.

3. More Mini Pets including a Darkmoon Dolly to glide after you frightening small children.

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Preferably without the barrel. A pet bonsai which waddles after you in a plant pot on tiny little legs wouldn’t go amiss either.

4. A broomstick mount which is usable all year.

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I wouldn’t say no to one of these as a mount either.

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5. Something similar to exp boost but for professions. There are some droughts in the profession leveling process which make it make it really painful and I’d happily use real money to skip bouncing backwards and forwards to the auction house spending a fortune on low level engineering materials.

6. Character slots, both in general and per server and no 50/11 isn’t enough.

7. Vanity titles like those used by certain Worgens, <of the Winter> and <of the Harvest> for example.

Yep, I suspect I could be persuaded to part with cold hard cash for a variety of items should Blizzard ever feel like adding them.

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