Alliance or Horde – 30 Days of World of Warcraft

My eye is often caught by shiny things, in that regard I’m far more of a magpie than a harpy.

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So when I noticed this on Meat Vendor’s Tumblr, I filed it away for future reference. I know quite a lot of bloggers have been doing this for April but I don’t have the patience to write every day especially in the month I’ve had to sacrifice chocolate on the altar of lent so this is going to be much more of a random affair.

Day 1

This is surprisingly tricky for me. I primarily play Alliance, a faction picked way back when because at the time in order to be an Elf you had to be Alliance but is that where my heart lies? I thought I knew the answer to this but some how, I’ve ended up writing something very different down. Instead of extolling the virtues of the Horde, I lost myself in memories.

I think about the music in the Valley of Heroes and I see Bolvar Fordragon at the Wrath Gate. I remember my first visit to Darnassus where I was blown away by the sheer size of the city and the delicate beauty of the Temple Gardens.

Then of course there is this:

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I mean the Horde don’t have Nessy in their tunnels do they?

Add in Gnomes, the fact that Humans and Worgens get proper horses as their racial mounts and Darkshire, well then… there is no escaping it. I’m a blue eyed Alliance girl through and through.

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Being the only faction with a beer garden in Dalaran is just the royal blue icing on the lion cake.

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.

 

Joan of Draenor: Thoughts on Yrel (Spoilers for WoD)

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Image by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Joane d’Arc was always one of my favourite heroines. Her story once unpicked might be sad but she’s become an iconic figure of her age so I have to admit my curiosity was peaked when Blizzard described a new character as being WoW’s Joan.

Like Petrarch’s Laura, Joan is faceless. Any women and all women which is partly I suspect why she’s been so popular with painters and writers down through the ages as she’s the perfect blank canvas. Was she a great commander? By historical accounts, probably not but sometimes all you need is hope, a beacon to light the way and whether sent by God or not, she helped provide that to the French forces until the tides of war changed. Which brings us to the present day and Blizzard likening a new female NPC to Joan. My issue with that is Joan can represent many things and was called many names, witch, heretic, hero, champion, virgin, whore,  martyr, saint.. each label comes with a different implication. In choosing her, they risk walking a rocky road. So much has become bound up in her image and especially after the spectacular fail which was the female Draenei artwork April Fools “joke”, the spotlight is definitely on Blizzard to get a female character right. Choosing a woman best known for her demise is not the easiest place to begin. Especially when you’re trying to weave her into a narrative already heavy with the twisted corpses of dead women.

Of course Joan stands for much more than a roaring fire in the marketplace at Rouen but it would simple to lose sight of that in the burning brightness of her martyrdom. Yrel could be the perfect vessel to explore the relationship between the Draenei and the Naaru or Blizzard could merely have picked La Pucelle at random to represent a woman wearing armour, fighting to save her people from a brutish Horde. From the tiny snippets we’ve seen of the alpha so far, it’s impossible to judge. From screenshots I’ve seen of the press events Yrel starts young, naive and not particularly useful in a fight which of course would mirror up with Joan’s upbringing in rural France and that’s fine. Even the greatest heros have to start somewhere.

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(Image from MMO Champion).

It’s her relationship with Maraad I find a little disappointing. Time and time again Blizzard have been criticized for their female characters and their seeming insistence that they all stand in the shadow of a man whether that’s their father, husband or lover. Modeling on Joan would have been the perfect opportunity to break the mould but yet it seems that  we run the risk of Yrel becoming apart of Maraad’s story rather than an independent character in her own right. Sure we can’t break down Joan’s story without examining her impact on the lives of the men she encountered, her king, her friends who fought along side her and of course her enemies who in the end destroyed her but yet looking back those men whether King or commoner, French or English became defined by their relationship with Joan, not the other way around.

Right from the start (if the data-mined dialogue is to be believed) it seems Maraad is filled with rage.

  • Yrel: I was thinking I might go through the portal with you, my love.
  • Maraad: Yes, Yrel. You will have a home on Azeroth.
  • Maraad: But first, we will make these orcs suffer for what they did to you. Their sins cannot be forgiven.

 

  • Maraad: And now that these hordes have taken, broken, and defiled my angel Yrel, I intend to unleash my own…
  • Yrel: Maraad, my love. That’s enough.
  • Maraad: Yrel…
  • Yrel: You have been through too much, Maraad. Your thirst for vengeance will only lead to our death.
  • Yrel: Yes, I was taken, but I am not defiled, and I am not broken.
  • Yrel: Rest now. I will lead our attack on the Naval Base.

Reading this, I can’t quite shake the feeling I’ve been here before. We’ve seen other “good” men become twisted by their “thirst for vengeance”, it’s not that long ago for example that Jaina and Arthas could have borrowed a couple of these lines. Of course we don’t know enough yet to correctly represent the whole picture and yet, I feel that faint sense of unease. By describing a character in a computer game as a Joan of Arc you create a bond even if it was just intended to be a just a throw away line,  her victories, her losses, the betrayals she faced when the man whose throne she helped save refused to ransom her, her mockery of trial in which every answer she gave was another step down the labyrinth which lead to her pyre and her death all come as baggage. She might be faceless and voiceless but she deserves to be treated with fairness, not flung into a mould and come out cooing over an aggressive macho man.

 

 

Liebster Love: Part 1

I got home from what could be best described as a bad day at work to discover I’ve been put forward for the Liebster Award by not one person but six. Much celebrating later it dawned on me that I needed to answer 66 questions and I eeked slightly.

Liebster-award-rules

So rather than post a massive wall of text, I’ve decided to break this down into bite sized chunks. I’m doing to do this in a slightly different order to the list above in that I’m going to leap from 1# to 3#, leaving the answering of all my questions to part 2.

Without further ado I’d like to say a massive thank you to Velgana, Cymre, Amerence, Sofia, Mon and Chatmay who all nominated me. The answers to all 66 questions are coming I promise.

11 random facts about me

1. The humble tomato is one of my favourite things. I love them raw, cooked, roasted, puree’d, dehydrated, fried and in toasties.

tomatoes 009

 

2. I like debating (many other people call this “arguing for the sake of arguing” ).

3. When I was a little girl my favourite My Little Pony was Applejack.

4. I have unruly hair. These days I keep it long so I can tie it back and pretend it’s not there. I also still look like I’m up to no good most of the time, unfortunately I wasn’t “blessed” with a poker face.

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5. I collect cookery books.

6. Frozen has managed to over take The Hunchback of Notre Dame as my favourite Disney Movie.

7. I can’t walk in high heels.

8. I love scary movies even if I have to watch them from behind the sofa.

9. I’d like to get a tattoo but can’t quite get past the idea of surrendering my skin to someone else’s control, especially with something which is so permanent. Although if I do manage to over come  that, I’d love a Firebird on my back, a feather trailing loose.

10. I give up chocolate for Lent every year. This is entirely due to my “fear” of my Mother as opposed to any religious reason.

11.  I have two large cardboard vampires folded up in a cupboard.

My Nominations are as follows:

(Yes I realise that’s not 11).

Questions

1. What’s your favourite line from a boss fight? Can be from any game with vocal boss mobs.

2. What’s your comfort food? The one dish which always makes you feel happy and safe when you sit down with it.

3. If you could only have one book, what would it be?

4. Create a battle pet/non-combat pet for the game of your choice. What would it be and does it already exist in your chosen game world in one form or another?

5. Dinosaurs or Sharks?

6. Favourite NPC in the game of your choice and why are they your favourite, what makes them special?

7. From a Lore perspective, what’s your favourite WoW race?

8. Do you play in silence or must you have music on? If the latter what sort of music makes up the soundtrack for your gaming?

9. PvP or PvE?

10. Best and worst quest in-game?

11. Ignoring WoW, what’s your favourite computer game?

I’ve tried to limit the WoW questions purely because I feel that they’ve already been asked by lots of people over the last few days and also because I’m totally nosy. Feel free to rebel and not bother answering, I promise I won’t get all sulky.

The answers to my own questions will be coming up soon.

The Pre Expansion Bucket list – Three months in

(new additions are blue, completed items are in red).

If I’m being honest the list has stagnated some what in recent weeks. I’ve been lacking that WoW feeling but I’m hoping that these things go in ways and I’ll get my motivation back soon.

Non-character specific

  • Reach 14000 achievement points.
  • Get a Magical pet to 25. Done. Basil the Twilight Fiendling has reached his 25th season.
  • Get an Elemental pet to 25. Done. The annoying Audreytwo otherwise known as the Singing Sunflower also reached the level cap.
  • Get 30 Pets to level 25
  • Defeat Garrosh and my stupid lack of self confidence at the same time. I beat him in Hearthstone.. does that count?
  • Make a decent amount of gold to enter the expansion with. I hate being broke even more than I hate farming.
  • Explore Vashj’ir properly. This is the only exploring achievement I still haven’t completed. Done by my Gnome rogue so now I never need return unless I want to!

vashjir

Dulcamara

  • Make friends with everyone on the farm. Done and as it turned out, it was surprising easy. I just spent a few minutes flying around in between doing the cooking daily as well as heading to the Valley for some between battlegrounds buried treasure pick ups.

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  • Get Cooking to 6oo, do the Master of the Ways and pick up the Cooking School Bell
  • Farm the other 8000 Dinosaur Bones I require for the mount (I’m getting closer. The idea now is to get around 200 a night).
  • Complete rank 6 in the Brawler’s Guild as a Mistweaver. Done. I’m now working my way through rank 7.
  • Get Endless Healer on the Proving Grounds.
  • Master of Alterac Valley, only 33 graveyards to go.

Snowflower

  • 35 reputations ticked off. 
  • hit 40 exalted reputations. 
  • 45 reputations to go.
  • Exalted with the Oracles
  • Collect Oracle Eggs until one miraculously turns into a Dragon. 
  • Fish up the remaining coins I need from the Dalaran fountain.
  • Argent Tournament goodies. I need more tokens to be able to buy the mounts I still have outstanding. Still quite a long way to go here although I did score myself a Unicorn Mount.
  • Finish up Frostbitten

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Briarrose

  • Briarrose is my long forgotten original Druid currently rusting on a massively imbalanced (not in her favour) PvP server, stuck at lv 73 she needs some love mostly because she has awesome bits and bobs in her bank and can rightfully wield the original vanilla PvP set. Sure the Druid version isn’t my cup of tea but I am rather partial to the staves so she needs to find herself some Boomkin gear and get slaughtering.

Calantha

  • 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.

Dorrie

  • Make it to Outlands.

Mentzelia

  • Get my Worgen Druid to level 90 
  • Farm her a transmogrification that I’m happy with

Anann

  • Level so that I can tame one of these beauties. Very much a work in progress. She’s currently level 31 and parked in Ashenvale.

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