101 things to see and do before you log for the last time

It was a usual day in guildchat, people whining about deathknights, ganking people and generally chatting about random things. Then, suddenly the normalness was broken by the sound of gnome squeaking “I’m bored, what can I do?”. From the resulting conversation the idea for this thread was born, after all, there are so many things you can do ingame. Things to do solo, things to do in groups, with friends, with guildmates.

So without further ado and in no particular order, here is number 1.

Complete the Deathknight starter chain.

Even if you have zero interest in playing a deathknight, the starter quests are fun, interesting and tell their own little story. The books littered around Ebon Hold and some of the NPC comments are worth it alone in my opinion.

cupcake

I’ve completed it around 5 times now, 3 of which were on the beta and I still keep discovering new surprises hidden away. The fact that you get to bear witness to your crimes, watching as you have a tangible effect on the landscape is also good, for the first time Blizzard are showing cause and effect. Certainly some of its content is dark, but I think its dealt with in a far more realistic fashion than the rest of the game, where death has no meaning, as everything we slaughter respawns like clockwork.

Serendipity and all that

Main Entry: ser·en·dip·i·ty

Pronunciation: \-ˈdi-pə-tē\

Function: noun

Etymology: from its possession by the heroes of the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip

Date: 1754

: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for ; also : an instance of this

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I don’t believe in second chances either for myself or others. You make your bed and comfortable or not, you lie on it. However I was doing a spot of forum trolling and ended up the guild recruitment  section of the official blizzard forums. Whilst browsing away happily, I came across a post from my old GM who I cleared everything from Attumen to Illidan with. Out of naughtiness I posted bumping the thread, not expecting anything to come of it, after all we hadn’t spoken in almost a year and our parting was not exactly sweet. However, we ended up talking and four hours later, we had agreed to transfer. So the Gnomeling and I are back raiding again.

Will it be perfect, probably not. Even though its a small guild I can pretty much guarentee I will not like everyone all of the time, nor will they like me. However, it feels good to be back playing with certain people.

A fresh start

A new server, a new start and as such a new blog.

Angelic as always

Tonight I finally got my halo.

Just as my characters migrated to their new home amongst old friends, I migrated my blog to wordpress. Fingers crossed both moves were the right ones.

Life after Death

Another attempt at the Friday Five RP challenge. This time the task was to write about “If your char died and was resurrected as a Deathknight, what would happen?”
———-

The sword felt heavy in her hands, so cold and so hungry. Swinging it experimentally she almost decapitated a passing ghoul and the voice in her head murmured its approval.


Outside her head was clearing now, the voice so calming so seductive whispering through her foggy thoughts. Turning her blood to ice, inciting her to violence. Telling her all about those Scarlet insects, how she had to crush them beneath her black boots. Images flashed through her fractured mind, women screaming as the sword descended, children cowering behind their parents. All superimposed against a fiery red burning sky, so real she could almost taste the acrid smoke.

Never before had she waded in the blood of the fallen, never before had she seen people run screaming from her. It felt so alien but so so right. All the time, the voice was there, tutoring, encouraging, suggesting. The battlefield was a symphony of loathing, the screams of the dying, the singing of the blade and the grunting of the ghouls as they ran about their grisly business.

With time came the hate, these pitiful creatures didn’t deserve their lives, their beating hearts. Merely a pestilence on the face of the land, vermin to be purged once and forever. Where once she had brought succour to the wounded, nurtured and healed, now she stormed through the lines bringing her Master’s message of death and destruction.

She learned fast, a quick eye and a swifter blade brought passing praise from her instructors, not that it mattered. Whether they rewarded her or flogged her meant nothing. All that mattered was the voice, when it was silent she felt hollow, an empty vessel serving no purpose. Desiring it, craving it, she took to worse and worse acts of depravity. Slitting the throat of an infant in front of its moaning, mewling mother, ripping flesh from bone and crushing skulls under foot.

Then, came that fateful day at Light’s Hope. One minute she had been facing off against a young paladin, circling him, enjoying the dance. Then the next, a sudden burst of pain exploded in her mind. The voice…. the voice was gone, leaving a void of nothingness. It didn’t stay empty for long though, memories blood soaked and horrible swam through her consciousness burning her. Her armor felt too big, too heavy and her head spun. Slumping to the ground, her scream echoed through her whole being, bringing back haunting memories of women, their mouths open in frozen, gaping screams, women she had slaughtered, wives, mothers, daughters.

Desperate, like a cornered rat she begged the voice to return, nothing. Closing her eyes she threw herself at the throat of the nearest paladin, hoping either his death would return her one true master to her or failing that someone would end her misery by killing her like the rabid and diseased dog she was. Instead, gauntleted hands caught her wrists, disarmed in seconds she was forced to her knees. A cool hand stroked her forehead, voices talked over her, calling her feverish, saying she needed to rest, that it would take time, others, mostly those with a pulse suggesting it would be better to end it now, cut her down like a mongrel cur.

One voice, louder than the others spoke, “enough blood has been shed tonight. She lives”. All arguments ceased. Arms lifted her, loosened her armor and carried her away from the muddy field into the chapel. Losing consciousness, her last thoughts were first of all of loss and loneliness, but as her mind faded into blackness, that voice… the man who saved her, who gave her yet another chance…. perhaps there was still some hope.

The Mitts Report

Mitts hit her 50th season today and picked up 2 new mini pets in the process (sprite darter hatching and robo chicken). I’m actually surprised at how much I’m enjoying leveling her. Compared to the Gnomeling’s evil enhancement shaman the difference between damage taken per mob is huge even though the difference in damage is minor.

The vanilla wow content is so empty though, its rather sad, this is the first time ever that questing in STV we haven’t seen a soul, horde or alliance. Apart from that Shaman encounter I mentioned earlier, we haven’t even been ganked at all. A quick check of /who 10/50 proves there are plenty of people leveling, but the majority it seems are alts being powerleveled through instances and so Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms are empty of all adventurers. In fact we have seen more lv 80’s running around doing their explorer/loremaster/seeker achievements than we have seen people of similar level. If we were leveling solo or had just bought the game, I think we would have found it rather depressing.

Off the beaten track

One of my first memories of WoW is being a little baby druid and going on a pvp raid to Crossroads, We ran through Darkshore and Ashenvale staring at the scenary and finally we hit the Barrens. The change in music, the giraffes, both of us were just transfixed in wonder. We didn’t actually make it to Crossroads as we were having connection problems at the point and we err lost the raid, but to our little lv 12’s it was a huge adventure. We had felt Teldrassil seemed so huge so see the world map and all these so very different zones was amazing. We later found Crossroads and in fact those alliance toons probably spent more time in the Barrens than in Ironforge, better weather and all that.
Way before the explorer achievement was added to the game, I loved wandering off the beaten track, staring at the scenary and taking screenshots. Ideally I would love an extra explorer achievement or something to reward the people who don’t just run around ticking off a prescribed list of destinations like sheep on package tour, but I suppose the second you give some tangible reward you ruin the point of it. That said, im working on a list of my must sees before you quit, a zone by zone description of the off the beaten track stuff and hard to miss quests. The plan is to start with Arathi but I’m busy doing the AQ quest line chain on my priest so its a little delayed.

PTR Musing

  • Serendipity now reduces the cast time of your next Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing spell by 4/8/12%. (Down from 6/12/20%) – this is a fairly big nerf to what was orginally proposed and while I can see the 60 percent reduction assuming of course you had already cast 3 flash heals or 1 binding heal + 1 flash being a tad overpowered, I’m not sure 36 percent will make enough of a difference. Especially since you have already had to use in the best case scenario 2 global cooldowns to stack it to 3. Its always going to be situational just like most of the holy tree.
  • Body and Soul *New Talent* – When you cast Power Word: Shield, you increase the target’s movement speed by 30/60% for 4 sec, and you have a 50% chance when you cast Abolish Disease on yourself to also cleanse 1 poison effect in addition to diseases. – I’m in two minds about this talent. Personally I don’t agree with Blizzard’s philosophy that all talent trees should be fit for pvp and pve. When you have 2 healing trees as priests do, one will always be better assuming equal skill for pvp, its impossible for it to pan out any other way. I can see the movement speed aspect having pve aplications, for example: every guild has at least one guy who usually plays a caster dps who sucks at moving out of stuff, they are far too busy staring at the damage metre to notice they are on fire or standing on a black hole, and this talent could buy them enough movement speed to get them out of danger. In fact on any fight where movement is required this could be fun, finally the ability to finish your cast, shield yourself and then beat the rest of the raid to the safe spot. The chance to remove poison is more iffy, if 2 points in the talent bought you 100 percent chance, then yes, great. But the biggest poison problem for priests in PvP was vipersting which has already been nerfed quite considerably in its own right this patch.
  • Noblegarden has been redesigned into a week-long holiday with new items, quests, and more. Various achievements have been added, including the meta-achievement Noble Gardener, which is now required for the meta-achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. – Yay, proper fun things to do rather than just having one day to run around lowbie zones egg hunting.
  • Sprite Darter Eggs: May now (very rarely) drop from Sprite Darters in Feralas. Note that only Horde characters can attack and kill Sprite Darters. – about time really. Having faction specific pets is great only if both factions have something unique available to them.
  • Tiny Emerald Whelplings: May now (very rarely) drop from Adolescent Whelps in the Swamp of Sorrows. – Hopefully that will up my chance of farming one.
  • The achievement Brew of the Year has been removed from the Brewmaster meta-achievement. The achievement Brew of the Month has been added in its place. – All in all, I wish they hadn’t given into the QQ on this one. Not because I’m a member of the Club, although I am but because people who weren’t interested in the festival fun and frolics before they gave tangible rewards and could be checked off are in my opinion doing it for all the wrong reasons and shouldn’t be rewarded when they aren’t interested in taking part.
  • Horde characters may now obtain the quest CLUCK! from Chickens. While Farmer Saldean won’t be selling Special Chicken Feed to the Horde, perhaps “Westfall” William Saldean in Brill might… – Again, just like the Spite darter change this is long overdue for the same reasons.

Over all, I’m fairly happy with all the changes so far. The only real priest nerf is the changes to mana regen and I’m confident if its impossible to function with the new changes, they will be fixed.
Other bits and bobs I’m excited about
Fishing dailies in Dalaran: I might have been a late convert to fishing, but I actually rather like the fishing quests and im glad some new ones have been added. The tasteful jeweled fishing rod, just perfect for doing a spot of city fishing and the crab minipet plus the fact one of them sends you to Shozalar basin and I could happily spent all day there under the rainbow of River’s Heart is just chocolate icing on the cupcake (Yes, giving chocolate up for Lent was a huge mistake, went out for lunch yesterday to a place that does fabulous hot chocolate with marshmellows and cream and I couldn’t have one, next year I’m so giving up something I dislike).
More cooking recipes: Including one to make jelly, finally dinner parties in Dalaran can be complete.
The Argent Tournament: Knights in shining armour, Ladies in Lakes, jousting, mini pets, and smashing people’s faces in with lances….. can’t wait. It is if they are building a mini-dalaran in Icecrown, complete with Inns, tents and profession trainers. Everything a wannabe champion might need in the days and months to come.

When you discover you are living with a pyschopath

My warrior and the gnomeling’s shaman were happily and innocently leveling in Tanaris this morning, frolicking in the desert sun and generally minding our own business. Then along comes this lv 80 shaman helping a lv 40 bloodelf hunter quest, so what does the big strong tauren do? Naturally he pursues our lowbies and whilst Lylia being the self sacrifical sweetie he is, gave my mount waterwalking and told me to run for it, his ghostwolf couldnt escape from the shaman’s epic bear. To be fair, the shaman only killed him once and then left, allowing him to ankh but …..
Why did Blizzard put a portal in Dalaran straight to Tanaris if they didn’t want you to teach bullies in the desert a lesson? No the Caverns of Time is not the correct answer to the portal question btw. So we log off, log our mains and hurry off to do some sunbathing. Unfortunately it seemed that Mr hero shaman who bravely pursued two lowbies across the ocean, didn’t do so well in PvP versus a lv 80 warrior as he did versus a lv 46 shaman. In the same time it took Lylia to do 18k of damage, the shaman managed a mere 1k to him. I was a late arrival to the party so it wasn’t as if the shaman saw me and gave up, he was just a keyboardturning muppet who can’t fight or run away from a prot warrior.

So where does the pyscho bit come in? Well Lylia spent the next 2 hours killing them in a variety of locations leaving a trail of skeletons all the way from the Lost Rigger Cove to outside Mudspocket. The moral of this is, there are always bigger fish with bigger teeth in the sea and even if you are the mightiest player on the server, sometimes you will be beaten via quantity which is one reason why we don’t gank unless provoked. Hopefully thats a lesson Mr Cow learnt tonight.
Edit: Lylia’s guide to successful camping – kill the flight master so your friends (victims) can’t leave.

Flying Solo

We gquit this morning. I still have mixed feelings about it, but given the amount of drama, some of it loot related, I got to the stage where I dreaded reading the forums in the morning. I think part of the problem was the guild wanted to be all things to all people. Which as we all know never works, then there were all the asides during forum discussions where people never quite named who they were attacking or exactly what their issue was with, which left a faint bad taste in my mouth because at the back of my mind, I couldnt help thinking, “is that aimed at me” but even if it wasn’t and im fairly sure most of it wasn’t, I still found it dreadful because it was aimed at someone in the guild. For example three separate people have all used the “door is thataway” (paraphrased slightly due to language differences, actually more than slightly but you get the jist) line in forum posts recently and as someone who actually likes debate and discussion on the forums, I find that so hard to accept, especially in a guild which prides itself on its maturity and friendly community.

So why the mixed feelings? Well, it basically stems from the fact that I tried fairly hard with the guild. I tried to be an active member both on the forums and ingame, in short I tried to do everything right yet all we got in return was the feeling that people thought we were being the unfair ones. For example, Lylia who had being tanking a lot felt he was getting mixed signals about the speed of runs, there are the body pulling camp (mostly ex-hardcore raiders who are edging forward or doing sleep emotes) and then there are the ones who wanted to go slower, so he made a forum post asking for clarification and explaining why its frustating (hoping that both camps would discuss it and come to mutual agreement so he knew what the majority wanted) and then the thread gets a “FFS” post from a Council member which pretty much ends any ability to discuss the topic (and I’m sorry, but if you are an officer/council, you can’t turn that hat off at will, it just doesnt work like that).
Now what? Not sure, but I know I don’t want to join another guild for the forseeable future. I want to level my alts, do some pvp and possibly do some PuGs (because that way, if they annoy me or upset me I can walk without feeling anything) plus I know there won’t be any drama filled forum threads waiting for me in the morning.
On a side note, I’m sure some people will assume we quit because we are “loot-whores” or because we want hardcore raids, they are wrong. Its not about loot, its not about server firsts, we were happy with the ability to raid 2 hours a night when we felt like it. In fact most of it can be attributed to the forums, it appears the pen is indeed mightier than the [foam sword].

Riding in the rain

Mitts reached exalted with Stormwind this morning and got her bloodstained and sticky mitts on a beautiful black stallion.

When I think of warriors I see the polished plate of medieval times, jousting (one of the reasons I’m loving the PTR so much) and damsels in distress, so the warhorse goes perfectly.
Plus Hannibal might have crossed the Alps on an elekk err elephant but I’ll bet he didn’t have to contend with them constantly getting stuck in doorways. Stormwind and dainty Dalaran just weren’t designed with big hairy mammoths and elekks in mind.