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

WoWScrnShot_092109_202735

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.

WoWScrnShot_082206_013117

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.

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Furtive Father Winter: The Perfect Present

I returned home yesterday after a couple of internet-less days to discover this awaiting me in my inbox.

the harpy's nest

 

I’ll admit I was a bit stuck when I got your name. Which of your many toons was I going to draw?!  In the end I decided to try and make a night elf harpy holding Benedition since I remember reading somewhere that it was one of your favorite items. I hope you like it.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll keep this brief. A massive thanks to Tyledres from Frost and Claws for this amazing Furtive Father Winter gift. You basically nailed it as I love it to bits.

Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: I believe!

Last week’s shared topic caught my eye for a number of reasons but I’ve been so distracted I failed to get a post written in time. However that nagging desire to put pen to paper refused to go away so better late than never, here’s my contribution.

Canon refers to the actual events and characters that exist in a fictional world. Headcanon refers to any situations or characters that are imagined by fans of said fictional world. Sometimes they are silly, like the fact that Garrosh’s favorite treat is lemon squares. Sometimes they are serious, like positing that tauren store grief in the lungs. For my writing, I’ve come up with a lot of headcanon. Got a theory about a torrid romance between your favorite auctioneer and the patrolling guard? Given any thought to where mounts and pets go when they aren’t summoned? Do you know how your characters do their laundry, or what Baine Bloodhoof does in his free time? What are your headcanons, and where did you get the idea?

Suggested by Akabeko.

Long before I actually rolled a Gnome, the Longberry sisters fascinated me. I used to follow Bimble around Ironforge buying apples from her as an excuse to engage in conversion.

With time she and her sister Ginny morphed from being innocent fruit and reagent vendors into something slightly more sinister in my head. Instead of just helping the inhabitants of Ironforge get their vitamin D, something they clearly need large amounts of since they live underground, Bimble and Ginny are actually Gnomish spy-masters in the pay of SI:7. Shipments of fruit come in from all corners of Azeroth and hidden within the crates of sour green apples and heavy moon harvested pumpkins come reports of troop movements and blood stained battle plans. So if you happened upon the right code word next time you buy your juicy pomegranates straight from the Twilight Highlands, who knows what information might fall into your hands. Of course the consequences for messing with such things might be lethal, after all everyone who has ever read Christina Rossetti should know the perils of purchasing fruit from small creatures.

Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”
from the Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti.

I’ve also been running Violet Hold quite a bit recently. On Sprout I still needed to kill Moragg and since I went to school with a girl called Morag who I didn’t particularly like for a number of reasons, I really wanted to tick that off (to be fair, I was far nastier to her than she was to me, including “poaching” the boy she liked in 5th year by making sure he danced the last dance of our summer ball with me rather than her. It later turned out he was afraid of dogs so that relationship really didn’t work out but that’s another story).

One thing has always bothered me about the Violet Hold. What crimes did these “dangerous” prisoners commit? Can they possibly have topped the terrible things that we the player base have done and if not, why are we swanning around in the Kirin Tor’s tabards whilst they languish in magical prison cells. Thus to sway my own guilty feelings, I started coming with possible offences for these monsters.

This chap above for example might not look particularly ferocious when trapped behind a forcefield but meet him face to face and you’d soon be singing a different tune. His line of “Free to–mm–fly now. Ra-aak… Not find us–ekh-ekh! Escape!” is purely diversion, he doesn’t want to escape, he wants to eat your face with a side order of salted eye chased down by a pickled egg.

Moragg might look like a typical demon, the sort of thing you warlocks can make friends with these days, but secretly it loves nothing better than watching people get down and dirty. This was going fine until the demon happened to come across this:

The tiny gnome peered over the railing into the secluded Dalaran courtyard.
“The view from the balcony is amazing.  You have to come see!”
Armor legplates creaked as Marcus walked over, taking in a deep breath as he absently scratched his scruffy chin.
“The Hero’s Welcome is no slouch.  And there’s something in the room that might interest you.”
Tavi bounded into the room, pausing only a moment before jumping onto the massive bed.

from A Steamy Romance Novel: Northern Exposure

What happened next had a profound and rather disturbing effect on the poor creature. We’ll never know what exactly caused the outburst but once the demon was distracted (you really don’t want to know how much blindweed that took), the body count was in the hundreds.

I actually spend far too much time coming up with stories both for my own characters and those they encounter. I suppose I feel that all of them, from the one line baddies we slaughter on a daily basis to the passing NPCs deserve a story of their own and without the words to sing it themselves, we need to tell for them.

Why I beta test: A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The shared topic over at Blog Azeroth this week is:

Are you playing the MoP Beta? Why or why not? How much time are you spending there vs. the “live” servers. 

suggested by Frinka of Warcraft Street.

I’m one of those people who hate surprises, partly because I’m a total control freak and partly because I have rather expressive face. Birthday parties used to be a nightmare as I’d try and rearrange my features into something resembling a smile as I opened yet another bunch of weird and wonderful presents from people who should really know better. As a direct result of this, I still have a bad habit of sneaking a peek into presents before they are “officially” handed out just so I know what I’m getting and can prepare appropriately.

So yes, of course I’m playing the Beta. I’m not playing a huge amount at the moment but then I’m not spending that much time in Azeroth either right now. At the start I was fairly dedicated, running dungeons, trying out the new Panda start zone and questing as much as possible however life has got in the way a bit and I’m basically playing with pet battles and pretending I’m a farmer.

The idea of having to do it all again doesn’t faze me in the slightest, I’d rather have to do it twice but know what to expect than run in with my eyes shut. Whether we like it or not, Mists is going to come rolling out and thus playing the Beta, along with reading forums/blogs and the like is the best preparation we can do.

Sprout the Uncanny: A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The shared topic this week is:

If Blizzard added your main as an NPC in WoW, where would they be located and what would be their function? Give us a shot illustrating the fact.

Suggested by Cymre.

I actually found this surprisingly hard. The more I thought about the various possibilities, Sprout just didn’t seem to fit in.

Priest Trainer perhaps?

Well she’s not exactly the most patient Gnome out there. I can definitely imagine her yelling at any poor unfortunates who couldn’t master the correct use of a spell. Not to mention the fact that she swears like … well a tank, very good at taunting is Sprout, /chicken! I also feel that as a Gnome, she doesn’t belong in the Cathedral and she doesn’t like Ironforge (too claustrophobic) so as a Priest Trainer finding a home for her would be tricky. That’s before we even start delving into exactly what sort of deity she worships (I suspect it’s a dark and angry God!).

Tailoring Trainer then?

Given that she’s more into sticking pins into people than pinning patterns I don’t see this as a suitable career path. On top of that, the only recipe she’s interested in teaching is the embersilk net one so she’d be a very specialist sort of trainer.

Quest giver? You can’t go wrong with a quest giver can you?

Whilst she’d quite like the idea of sending people off on weird and wonderful trips to half way around the known world, Blizzard seem determined to stop that and sending someone off to kill something 10 yards away isn’t Sprout’s cup of tea. Also she’s not too taken with the concept of rewards, oh, it’s fine when she’s the adventurer but as the quest giver… people would be lucky to get 3 copper and a broken I-win button. In fact I suspect her go to reward would be a flea in their ear.

So what does that leave?

The Darkmoon Faire Island is Sprout’s home from home. She loves floating around it’s dark and creepy woods and beaches so it would be the perfect place for her to set up shop. She’d offer a range of balloons, red, orange, purple, green as well as some more “exotic” ones, a gnome effigy balloon, a tauren head balloon and perhaps a special cluster of balloons just like Vin and Jaga float away on after their respective quests. Every so often, she’d giggle and whisper random faire goers things like “They all Float!” and “You’ll float too!”. When the Faire wasn’t available, she would appear all over the Azeroth, half an hour here, half an hour there, offering her balloons and scaring low levels with her creepy whispers before disappearing in a cloud of dust, balloons and all.

“They Can’t Take That Away from Me!”

The Blog Azeroth shared topic this week is:

What are the top three items on your main that you just love for sentimental, fun or silly reasons and would hate to lose? Tell us a story, what makes them so special and as always illustrate with screenshots

Suggested by Cymre

I found this a little difficult because my current “main” has only been my main for the last six or so months. Thus I’m going to cheat slightly. For the vast majority of my WoW playing time, my main has been the same class, just not the same character. So here are my top items from the banks of my three Priests, the things that I’d hate to lose (and yes, I can’t count either :D).

Erinys

  • Benediction was an obvious choice for Erinys. Looking back I think that receiving it was one of her defining moments, the second she started to develop a personality of her own and become something slightly different to just an extension of me.
  • Next up, her Val’anyr. Now I’ve had a love hate relationship with my legendary ever since the first shard was master looted into my bags. On the one hand, especially in light of what they have done for other legendaries, it seemed like an after thought. No RP and no flavour. On the other hand, I only joined the guild which gave it me two weeks before Ulduar was released and as soon as one of the officers who had been with the guild for considerably longer had his, I was given the next one. Being picked for something over other people who have been around longer is always a lovely feeling.
  • Finally her Frostwolf trinket. Over the years, Erinys has spent an awful lot of time in Alterac Valley, in fact all my Priests have and this is a memento of that time.

Sprout

  • Dreamseeker Dandelion. Sprout loves this off-hand. When I was a little girl, my Grandmother was really into the language of flowers. From never putting red and white roses together unless you want their colours to be recreated in the blood and bandages surrounding a loved one to sending us laurel leaves and white heather before exams to bring us good luck. So this always makes me think of her.
  • The Darkmoon Balloon is one of my favourite pets. I love how “Children of the Corn” Sprout looks running around in PvP with this trailing in her wake.
  • I’ve also had a lot of fun popping down my Romantic Picnic Basket. It adds a certain style to the proceedings when you’re camping someone.

Dornröschen

  • Dorn was primarily a PvP character but she needed something else to wear for the odd Molten Core and ZG runs. So I went in search of the Truefaith Vestments pattern. Lots of Stratholme runs later, it was mine. I think it’s up there with the Mooncloth robes as a definitive Priest robe.
  • Battle Tabard of the Defilers. General Dornröschen is exalted with all three of the original battlegrounds but AB was the hardest to get therefore she wears their tabard with pride. In fact she’s the only one of my character who actually wears a tabard outside of rep farming. The fact that it matches her favourite pet and hair colour is just icing on the cake.
  • Royal Seal of Eldre’Thalas. This is the trinket which came out of the Priest version of the Dire Maul book “Holy Bologna: What the Light won’t tell you“. I always wondered just what Shadow Priest Allister felt the need to tell us. Something along the line of “healing sucks, go shadow and melt faces” perhaps. Back in Vanilla both Dorn and Erinys spent a lot of time in Dire Maul, farming mp5 gear as well as helping our MT get his sword so again it represents a lot of happy WoW memories for me.

Gone Fishing – A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The Blog Azeroth shared topic this week revolves around fishing.

Fishing is an odd sort of minigame in WoW and people I’ve talked to either love it or hate it. So what’s your take on the most grindy of sports?

If you love it: Why? Where’s your favorite spot to go drop a line and veg while waiting for a strike?

If not: Why not? What would make it more fun? Or is there a way to make fishing fun?

And lastly, for those of you with hard-won turtles and rats and lobsters ‘o doom—show ’em off! :D (Because I’m proud of my stupid rat and darned if I’m not going to sneak my own screenshot in.)

Suggested by Martha.

I have to start this with a quick confession. Whilst in theory I love the idea of hanging out in some of Azeroth’s beauty spots catching fish, in practise I hate fishing. For the whole of classic WoW, I avoided hints subtle and otherwise that I might want to join the guild fishing parties for stoneskin eels. In fact it was only the introduction of the baby crocolisks in the patch which brought us the Sunwell which gave me the impetus to level fishing at all. That daily must have been the first one my server was offered because I remember one of our Gnome Warlocks showing up at raid time with the most adorable little croc and thinking I want one of those. Yes, it’s rather sad that the addition of mini pets pushed me into fishing when the pleas, threats and abuse of my old raidleader couldn’t make me although I did farm other stuff including lots of herbs and my own weight in nature resistance pots so it’s not like I didn’t contribute (although in the very unlikely off-chance he’s reading this, sorry).

However, despite my dislike of fishing, I have managed to collect quite a few of the fishing related pets.

First up was Muckbreath who much to the envy of quite a few guildmates I managed to score with an impressive fishing skill of 10.

Although this is Chuck.

(the picture is actually Chuck though)

From there I caught the rest of his crocolisk siblings before moving on to bigger prey. Again, I got lucky with the Crawdad, the pet came from the first Mr Pinchy I fished up.

Unfortunately the sewer Rat took quite a bit longer, in the end, he too succumbed to my bait.

However, my white whale otherwise known as the sea pony continues to elude me. This is entirely my fault, I manage to fish for roughly ten minutes at a time before getting distracted by PvP or dailies or ironing. That combined with the fact that the Faire is only available one week in every month means I have limited time and worse I’m putting in even less effort to catch it. One day though, one day.

Given my love/hate relationship with fishing, it may come as a surprise that I have a MoP fishing wishlist, but I do.

First up, fishing boats. Looking back through my post history, I’ve actually been in pursuit of these for a while now but Blizzard still haven’t provided. Azeroth’s waterways are littered with small boats of all kinds which would be perfect to be re-purposed into seafaring mounts.

Some could be made through professions, the canoe for example would be perfect as a leatherworking item. Others could be made through engineering (possibly with the chance of being capsized every so often) and perhaps blacksmithing could produce some sort of submarine. There could also be a quest chain for keen fishing enthusiasts to create some sort of ultimate fishing vehicle complete with beer fridge, cushions and an umbrella to protect you from the heat of the sun.

New fishing rods would be nice as well. I still use the Kalu’ak one as fortune has never favoured me with the jewelled one but a few new options would spice things up. Perhaps a jade one for MoP or one made from fish bones as recyling is always good. It would of course make you smell like rotten fish but surely that’s going to help you catch a big one. Perhaps using it would have you periodically attacked in deep water by a large and random shark.

We have a fishing hat but what about a few more accessories? How about waders or at least a shirt with fish on it.

Finally mini-pets. With the addition of pet battles, the world of mini pets is really opening up so there should be lots of opportunity to acquire aquatic critters.

I’d like to see the following:

  • An Octopus
  • The baby shark that briefly showed up in the Wrath beta
  • A giant catfish ( I like their whiskers)
  • A heron who either steals fish from your line every so often or catches a fish himself

As a final final thing, can we please have a fishing trainer who is a reference to Jeremy Wade, I might dislike fishing in WoW but I find River Monsters strangely addictive.