Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

I’m a creature of habit. My first Onyxia kills took place in vanilla, before flying mounts entered the game. As my then Guild tag acted as a sort of red rag to a Tauren (Orc, Troll and Undead too), we used to meet in Theramore and then either ride through the Marsh or make our way across the water slowly.

Now whenever the urge to kill her crosses my mind, I still go to Theramore before flying off to her lair.

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Things have changed somewhat since we used to gather, chatting by the main gate. An army of 40 players all in our glistening armour, looking more unified than we ever were (actually it was more like 38 because every raid had at least two players who needed summoning from somewhere…normally Gnomes). There is however still a beauty to be found amongst the ruined stone and gaping crater. I know it’s only a video game and yet, I can’t shake that feeling I have of loss whenever my character stands by what used to be the Theramore Tower.

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This story however has a happier ending. Much to my surprise, wrapped up in the usual Onyxia loot (Hunter/Druid…somethings never change), I discovered a mount. For once those fickle Gods of RNG smiled on me.

It was the best of times – A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The Shared Blog topic over at Blog Azeroth this week is as follows:

I know we heard the word “Throwback” many times around the net, but as part of World of warcraft expansions. I want to know what is the best expansion in game that really highlights a lot of your accomplishments in game especially that the new upcoming expansion is coming its nice to look back it could be the one when you started playing with your main character, getting a cool mount, being in a great guild, or your very first screenshot in game if you still have it or being in PvP battlegrounds or Arenas, even your raiding experiences back in BC or PRE-BC, Cataclysm, etc. You can be creative how you want to do this it could be storyline, poem, screenshots up to you it is pretty much a throwback experiences you can share to everyone.

Suggested by Amerence.

For me this has to be a toss up between the original game and Wrath.

When I first started playing, it wasn’t long before I found myself in a hardcore guild fighting for and indeed winning server firsts on everything from Vael onwards all the way to Naxxramas mark 1. Despite there being over 40 of us, despite there being a fair number of giant egos and quite a few times when I would have liked to kill at least one person in the guild, there was also a sense of pride in our guildtag. We played on a PvP server and it was more often than not a case of attack one and get swarmed by the rest of the guild.

Also of course there was the newness factor, I’d never ever played anything multi player besides first person shooters across a LAN with friends so suddenly raiding with 39 other people from across Europe including Russians from Vladivostok who would get up early to raid before work felt amazing.

Getting my Benediction as the second Priest on our then server and of course getting the only C’thun kill  (no one else killed him until the Burning Crusade) naturally rank high on my list of things achieved in the days before “achievements” but it was the silly things which stand out more. The long drawn out fights between Southshore and Tarren Mill, getting rank on my little Warlock before she was level 60 when the pvp system first came out and of course later on, same server Alterac valleys. The conversations in Priest chat, like the one which put me off eating seaweed for a very long time and doing things like drunken LBRS runs with 3 dpsers all desperately trying to beat each other by pulling as much as possible and no tank these are the things which stand out.

Selling the clothes off my back to buy my first mini pet because I hadn’t found the auction house and 40 silver was a lot of money back then, to me at least. Not to mention many of my favourite outfits are based around gear which has been available since the start, the Devout set, the Wildheart set and the Robes of the Guardian Saint are three examples which quickly spring to mind.

Wrath didn’t have the newness factor but it had several elements I enjoyed. First up a proper end boss, demons really aren’t my thing and the Sunwell didn’t exactly have the happiest of memories for me. Then there was Ulduar, quite possibly my favourite raiding instance of the entire game. As with the original game I was raiding at a fairly high end level and enjoyed completing for things like server firsts and also ticking off what were then hard achievements. When we got A Tribute to Insanityit felt like killing C’thun all over again especially given that we usually wiped to stupid on something. It also brought me my favorite 5 man of all time, the Halls of Reflection. Call me weird if you want, but I rather like being chased through frozen halls by a man with a very large sword (and based on what I found when I went and read WoW fan fiction with the  mature filter turned off) I’m apparently not alone.

There was the nakedness bug

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and Gnomes in the fish feasts. I got my one and only legendary, although I have to admit the lack of RP was slightly disappointing even though some of my guild kindly tried to improvise for me. There were flying carpets and real story telling. The Wrathgate chain for example still makes me teary eyed.

Ultimately though, there has been one constant to my journey across Azeroth.

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Mr Harpy and given that he’s currently in the process of leveling warrior number 3, this shot of us snuggling on a beach in Silverpine way back when our adventure was just starting seemed appropriate. I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of my time spent exploring this strange new world and am looking forward to everything that this new expansion brings.

Melted

Those of you who are long term readers are probably well aware of my hatred of Lord Ahune and his refusal to cough up pets or scythes on characters who could use it (I may have whined about it a few times).

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However this year turned out to be different and not because RNG happened to favour me. I’d had a bad day, which needless to say in my line of work can happen fairly frequently. I’d been soaked to the skin twice, slavered on by a rather large dog (although that was probably one of the best bits), seen the paper mountain on my desk multiply by five and managed to hurt my leg quite badly. I was tired and possibly quite irritable. I suspect I logged expecting more of the same but instead I discovered a dwarfish Godmother in the shape of my new GM.

So this is basically a Thank You! Not only for opening up your guild to an ever so slightly grumpy Night elf who is overly fond of pvp but a terrible loser (which is a lethal combination where random battlegrounds are concerned… it’s ever so lucky I can’t type and fight at the same time and perhaps even more lucky that fighting wins out over typing) as well as her even grumpier pet Gnome but also for my Frigid Frostling.

As it turns out Alterac Valley is his home away from home.

One troll and her dog

Meet Erizulie, troll hunter. She’s fond of bitter cactus cider, all sorts of animals except scorpids which are obviously some sort of demon in disguise and skinning things (particularly scorpids).

I also take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about Durotar. I’d forgotten how pretty the Valley of Trials can be. So she was created with two aims in mind. Firstly joining the awesomeness that is a guild called “Single Abstract Noun” and secondly leveling to lv 40ish.  Why lv 40? well because happily sitting in the shade of a certain keep is a dog called Spot.

The plan is simple as all plans should be. Reach a level to tame him, sneak into Theramore and steal their puppy from right out under their noses.

Now the hard part is going to be finding time to put this evil plan into action. My WoW time is a bit limited at the moment and when I am playing its mainly PvPing on my main or leveling my druid. However I’ve wanted that dog for a long time. I mean its obvious they callously stole it from Mulgore in the first place so its about time some nice troll came along and liberated it.

I’ve also created Tattiebogle the Undead Priest with some strange ideas about RP in mind. A Tattiebogle is both a scarecrow and one of the most amazing sounding words ever created. Operation save Spot is however the main focus of the time I (fingers crossed) will be spending on Argent Dawn.

Now I’ve blogged about them, I’m going to have to find the time to level them. I hope.

The joys of flat pack furniture

My computer is finally installed in its new home, only 3 weeks after we moved in. Which no doubt makes us sound like the most inefficient people in the world. However I do have an excuse. After University we went travelling and packed up the contents of our flat/lives into a series of boxes and divided said boxes between our parents. Once we returned with yet more stuff we moved into a tiny living space and just left all the boxes stored away in other people’s houses. Of course now we have a fairly large house, both sets of parents are jumping for joy at the thought of getting a bedroom each back but the fetching and sorting of stuff is taking a while, a considerable while in fact. The process isn’t helped by the fact that most of my possessions are books which I keep having to read to decide what I should do with them. The fact that I decided to sort all the books alphabetically by author, with fiction downstairs and non fiction/poetry/plays upstairs isn’t exactly helping the process either. I suspect we will be properly and completely moved in around June.

The other factor which has slowed us down somewhat has been my new pet hate, flat pack furniture. Apart from being evil incarnate with rough instructions which look more like the scribbles of a crazed axe murderer than a practical guide to building a bookcase not to mention either too many screws or not enough, words can not describe my loathing. Having played a (minor) part in building 9 bookcases, 3 tables and 2 desks I never ever want to see another box of the stuff. One seemingly obvious word of warning on the subject though, if you decide to make an item in the sitting room even though its designated to live in the office, make sure that once built it will fit through the door and up the stairs. Especially if you have stupid twisty stairs that look awesome until trying to manhandle furniture up them.  Having to make a desk once is bad enough, having to make it twice is ……..

Finally on the subject of WoW. I was woken up this morning by the Gnomeling ranting about a post Ghostcrawler made on the US tanking forums so I suspect I might have to wait until we are completely and tidily moved in before mentioning his subscription and the renewing thereof. So my plan is to rescue one of my old Horde druids lurking safely on a PvE server (when playing solo, I’m a coward) and finish leveling her. I still havent done all the horde WotLK quests yet so that would be a good opportunity to do so before Cataclysm hits. There are also a couple of other things I want to do before the next expansion goes live, reputations on a variety of characters  and a bit more alt leveling so I have more options available.

Reading over my last post, I can’t help wondering who I’m trying to convince though. I  do miss raiding but I’ve missed out on completing the last raid instance of every expansion so I guess it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise this time around. Vanilla, half way through original Naxx our GM/Main Tank who had taken gear priority left us for a marginally better guild which basically was the end of that. The Burning Crusade, I saw one boss in the Sunwell before having enough of the atmosphere of bitter hatred going on and this time I’ve managed one wing..ah well  maybe in Cataclysm.

Not with a bang but a whimper.

On Thursday we achieved a Tribute to Insanity, something which as a guild I never thought we were capable of (too many people fond of trying to tank the Faction Champions). By Friday morning it seems as if the guild is pretty much on the way out. Already the rats are leaping from the sinking ship in search of greener pastures and Icecrown seems impossible. Why you might ask… a simple forum post in which our GM stated that she wants to play a bit less. I suppose its one way of finding out which people are interested in a community and which are just after shiny purples.

Obviously things are not yet written in stone, but the prognosis doesn’t seem particularly good. Which leaves me in a strange mood, on the one hand I’m angry because my raiding has been brought to an abrupt halt and I had no control over it. Yes, I could look for another guild but finding one which wants both a priest and a warrior would be tricky if not impossible. Then there is the fact that over Christmas we have family commitments to keep and then in January we are moving house meaning that trialling for a new guild even if we could sweet talk our way into one as a package would be hard. Then on the other side of the coin is a sense of relief. If the guild had continued its fairly hardcore raiding, we would have been letting people down when January arrived and we had to disappear whilst we moved (our raiding roster was fairly tight and my boyfriend is/was the maintank). Not to mention the fact that I find the game less and less enthralling these days.

On a slightly more interesting note, here is a video of our heroic Anub’arak kill.

We use 2 tanks (both warriors), one on the boss and one tanking all the adds in an unhittable block set. 6 healers, basically 1 per mark plus one full time on the tanks (in the video two of them are holy paladins who have the tanks beaconed as well). As a disc priest I got the exciting job of taking one mark plus keeping shields on the rogues to make sure they stay alive as our strategy relied fairly heavily on tricks.

But it seems to borrow (and paraphrase)  T.S Eliot’s words,

This is the way the guild ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

At least we got to end on a high I suppose.


Tentacles vanquished, again

Its been an interesting week. We went from this

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yogg02(have to love NPCs who whisper abuse)

to

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I’m the sleeping white puppy at the front cuddled up with the spring rabbit (dinner). All in all, its a completely awesome fight, especially when all the pieces fall into place and people stop taking it in turns to do stupid things randomly. A slight feeling of sadness though, two weeks worth of raids and thats all the easily accessable bosses down plus one fragment thingie to summon the final one. Was hoping the new content would last slightly longer than that, but got hardmodes, alts and the tournament to play around with so won’t be getting bored just yet.

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