IntPiPoMo – With Pleasure Domes and Sunless Seas

So I’d almost decided that I wasn’t going to bother posting my last shots because December had all but snuck up on me but a chance remark in guild chat provided the inspiration I was lacking. On route to kill the Lich King someone started quoting Coleridge and in that moment, this post was born. So with apologies to the poet and thanks to a guild mate, I’d like to present the Azeroth version of Kubla Khan which takes me from picture number 40 all the way to 50.
 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
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A stately pleasure-dome decree:
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Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
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Through caverns measureless to man
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   Down to a sunless sea.
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So twice five miles of fertile ground
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With walls and towers were girdled round;
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And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
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Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
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And here were forests ancient as the hills,
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Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
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Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving Sprout would like to say a few heartfelt words in thanks.

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First of all to the Godmother of Alternative Chat fame (or possibly infamy depending on your stance on flying mounts on Draenor) who offered a stable and friendly home to Sprout and her associates.

Then to all those wonderful people I’ve encountered through playing WoW and through blogging about it. To Seph without whom I may well never have taken the plunge into writing on such a public medium. Also to Saga, Tome, Matty, Navi and Cymre who were some of my first readers and commentators when I finally managed to go public. I suffer rather badly from anxiety and to say my self esteem is low would be an understatement. Recently in particular things have been extremely bad, to the point where I’ve struggled to do anything socially at all because I’ve felt the “mask” is paper thin, that everyone else can see the flaws within. Just knowing there are people out there within the blogging community who don’t think I’m total waste of space helps and so thank you again to all of you, readers, commentators, lurkers and ships which pass in the night. Prinnie also warrants a special mention because no matter how bad I’m feeling, her posts can usually manage to raise a smile so thank you (and believe me, it’s hard for Sprout to thank Goblins!).

I also want to thank Amerance for hosting the first Blog Azeroth Thanksgiving two years ago which was the catalyst behind my twitter account and I’ve learnt so much from twitter (including the fact that you can lick your own nipple*).Thanksgiving-turkey-2

Thank you also to Mr Harpy who has the patience of a saint for putting up with me, even if he is a photo bombing bouncy green haired pest.

In closing, words can’t quite express just how grateful I am to each and everyone one of you. Thank you once more.

*I’ve been told this is common knowledge, clearly I skipped all the interesting classes at school.

IntPiPoMo – War(craft)

Today’s edition of IntPiPoMo is sponsored by the first syllable of Warcraft.
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#Picture 34 – The tent of a Troll serial killer

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#Picture 35 – A country graveyard

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#Picture 36 – Stormwind after Deathwing

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#Picture 36 – Cover her face, she died young

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#Picture 37 – The Green Mogu

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#Picture 38 – My what big bones you have

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#Picture 39 – Red Mist in the Morning…

Quick Thoughts on the proposed Gear Changes

My first thoughts on reading Blizzard’s new blog post about itemization changes in the next expansion can best be described as “NO NO NO NO NO” said in a tone similar to that of a certain raid boss. Once I’d stopped throwing my toys out of the pram, I decided to step back and unpick the aspects I find most concerning.

1. Spirit otherwise known as some healers are more equal than others

Secondary stats on armor pieces will also no longer include Spirit, nor will they include Bonus Armor, which are reserved exclusively for non-armor pieces (which are explained below).
Non-Armor Pieces: Weapons, Rings, Cloak, Necklace, and Trinket 

Secondary Stats
The information about secondary stats on armor above also applies here. In addition, Spirit and Bonus Armor can appear on these items. Spirit is only useful for healers. Bonus Armor is generally only useful for tanks. A Spell Power piece without Spirit may be attractive to healers or may be attractive to DPS casters instead.

  • The intent of including Spirit and Bonus Armor on these pieces is to make sure some items are still valuable only to healer and tank specs, helping to make sure they don’t have too much competition for gear against the more numerous DPS players in a given group. These are also stats we consider interesting, because how much of each of these stats a tank or healer might want is more subjective. For example, one tank in a group might prefer more Bonus Armor while another might prefer more Haste.
  • In the case of Spirit, imagine that stacking Spirit on every non-armor slot will give you more mana regeneration than you would reasonably need. That is to say, you likely won’t need Spirit on every single spot in order to function as a healer.

So in a nutshell, the only items with spirit on them will be the incidentals. The only way in which this will work is if all healers require virtually the same amount of spirit to function properly in a raid environment. In the last nine years of WoW this has not been the case (ignoring those healers who didn’t need spirit to start with) so that doesn’t inspire confidence now. Their use of “likely won’t” is even more concerning. I suppose I want the ability to stack spirit if I choose rather than having to accept that someone else thinks that X is a suitable maximum for any given level of content. What I want is likely to vary from content to content and fight to fight and yes I know I’m picky.

2. Secondary stats set in stone

  • Secondary stats don’t change based on spec on armor pieces (or any piece).

What I want on my dps spec is unlikely to be optimum for my healing spec therefore I will still require the bag space to carry around two lots of gear.

3. RNG is not exciting. It’s frustrating, annoying, petty and generally irritating (see Timeless Isle) but not exciting.

  • The design intent of these additional qualities on items is to make itemization more exciting and to give it more longevity. Rather than waiting weeks to get a breastplate, you might get one pretty quickly—but to get a true “best-in-slot” item will take much more effort and a bit of luck. Here are a few more points to consider for these properties:

I’d rather wait 15 weeks for the item I want to drop rather than get 14 second rate versions. Assuming (which I know is dangerous) that there are still haste caps, then the ebb and flow as you attempt to get lucky with the pieces you really want will get old fast. I’m also curious about how the tertiary stats will work as for example as a Healer I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want life stealing on anything and the same could potentially be said for cleave.

4. PvP gear

Although there was no mention of PvP gear in the post, I find myself wondering if the intent is to make that a lucky dip too in that you buy a token with your currency and then with fingers crossed hope it turns into something useful. If not then more people might be drawn towards PvP gear simply because you can see what you’re getting before hand. Although if PvP gear continues to be of a lower itemization than PvE this might allay that.

That said, we aren’t even in beta yet. The next few months most definitely will be interesting and in the words of rather annoying robot from Ulduar..

I’m ready to play!

IntPiPoMo – Trees and Plants

Today’s installment of IntPiPoMo is loosely categorized by plants and other such foliage.

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All Grown Up – Wildberri

Wildberri is my third level 90 and certainly the alt who has benefited the most from Lae’s Alt Appreciation. Leveling especially through Pandaria has been an interesting mix of doing stuff we either hadn’t done before or hadn’t paid enough attention to.

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Who let the Sha out? …. oh wait, that might have been us.

I’ve also (and this came as a huge surprise to myself) got sucked into pet battling in a big way. Not only have I acquired a lot more level 25 pets but I’ve finally managed to beat all the tamers up to and including Grand Master Aki. In fact quite a bit of my leveling has been done through pet battles as I’ve meandered across Azeroth. I even managed to tame one of these:

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Which definitely has to be a contender for the best looking battle pet in-game.

Now that Wildberri is 90 however it’s time to focus on transmogrification. I happened to pick up these pants from the auction house for 2g and thought they would be the perfect starting block. Blue is a great colour for Shamans and given that Elemental Shamans tend to be a target (after all, no one likes the thunderstorms and other freak weather occurrences which tend to happen when they’re in the vicinity), I thought I’d go for dressing as brightly as possible. If you’re going to be a target you might as well be A TARGET!

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Ultimately I think I’m aiming for something like this:

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I love the blues and bronze tones working together and the purple in the pants matches her skin tone. I just need to find the time and the luck to farm up the RNG pieces.

Next I think I’ll focus on sorting out her gear and generally getting used to playing dps again. I tried the proving grounds the day she dinged but had already consumed several large glasses of wine and my concentration was not the best. Bronze healing and bronze dps was easy enough but I got distracted by bronze tanking and hit a wall of frustration when my healer refused point blank to heal herself. By the time I decided I needed to rethink my tanking tactics it was too late to try again however I’m going to do it one way or another, after all I have a sort of taunt and a shield… what else do tanks need?

I’m also hoping she can take over from Dulca when I hit the wall in the Brawler’s guild but at the moment my Mistweaver monk still does more damage than her so that might be a while off (not sure if it’s purely gear or lack of practice playing the Shaman on my part or just the fact that Mistweavers do silly damage atm) but with gear she’s bound to over take the healer.

IntPiPoMo – Things which Fly

The rough theme of today’s IntPiPoMothings which have taken to the air in one way or another.

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#Picture 19 – Enchanted Fey Dragon selfies

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#Picture 20 – This what happens when you don’t cull seagulls!!

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#Picture 21 – Flying Towers

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#Picture 22 – Ballooning in the sun

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#Picture 23 – This used to fly

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#Picture 24 – For the Horde!

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#Picture 25 – Jade Dragon

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#Picture 26 – Blending into the night sky

Eight days left in November and I’m only just half way. The next few days might be interestingly screenshot overloaded.