The Truth about Challe

Witchcraft has been on my mind these last few days. In part because of the rowan tree laden with berries in my new back garden but also due to the chaos of moving which always makes you look at your possessions in a new light.

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This was a post I started almost a year ago but took no further. I think my intention was to write about the Jade Witch, Hallows End and my favourite Warlock trainer but can’t be too sure but my original working title seems to have been The Witches of Warcraft. Today however inspired by something I discovered on the beta, I thought I’d resurrect it.

One of my all time favourite stories as a child was that of Baba Yaga, my Grandmother and Great Grandmama could tell it in such a way to have shivers racing down your spine. I still don’t like dark forests when the mist comes in because for all you know, that scratching sound, the wind on bark perhaps could be the chicken feet of Baba Yaga’s hut watching and waiting. So there I was riding around Nagrand on an Orc Hunter, exploring and looking for new pets to tame when I came across this rather creepy looking cave.

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I mean fairy stories should teach us all that people who hang wind catchers made of skulls outside their caves have to be approached with caution.
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Inside the cave turned out to be even more creepy, I mean who puts that many nails in a poppet?
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It was the woman inside who caught my attention though. She’s not the first Challe to be encountered in the hills of Nagrand after all. At first because I hadn’t done any quests here I thought perhaps it’s just a mistake or laziness on Blizzard’s part but somehow it kept nagging at my brain. To that point that I even logged on to live and flew to Nagrand to confirm that my memory wasn’t playing tricks.

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Of course on discovering that Challe on Live was Troll, I thought it must just be coincidence but my over active imagination wouldn’t let it drop and instead of logging back onto my Nightelf, I thought I’d do a spot of Orcish questing and with hindsight, I’m so glad I did. A couple of very sad quests later of which I won’t go into details because it spoils the emotional impact of doing them yourself, it seems that Miss Challe, she of the isolated orphanage isn’t quite so charitable and kind after all. In fact, she’s the sort of face eating monster who lurks in the shadows and really shouldn’t be trusted with children. In fact she really deserved having “her” face eaten by my pet cat as displayed in the picture below.
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Of course this helps put certain things about her Home for Little Tykes into perspective, the little Orc boy caged in bones for example and the large quantity of red meat and bones in the kennel take on whole new sinister meaning but that’s what I love about Warcraft and this particular expansion in general. As it gives us the ability to see beyond face value, to engage with characters who have fascinated or interested us for years and potentially to kill them, adding another dimension to the game.

For those of you wishing to see the chain for yourself on the Beta, it’s Horde only (sadly) and can be picked up straight away in Nagrand on a Level 100 Premade or a Lv 98 if leveling through. Gar’rok, the quest giver can be found by the Throne of the Elements, if you’re standing in front of the Giant Elemental types, he’s off to the right hand side up a little path overlooking the lake. The Wowhead link shows a map with his exact position on it.

 

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Wildstar Wonderings

If Doctor Seuss made video games I imagine it would look much like this.

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I fully admit that I didn’t bother reading much if anything about Wildstar before diving in and so this is basically my own internal dialogue as to whether I wish to buy the game made external.

Plus points

I love the whimsy of the game. Exploring any virtual world has always ticked my boxes and Wildstar is no different there. Unlike recent WoW expansions too, it seems to favour wandering around looking at things rather than being forced into doing one quest at a time. It’s impossible not to smile when you shrink yourself to follow white vermin down rabbit holes and discover this:

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The detail is stunning, I’m findings things to ooh and aah over everywhere I turn. I like the puzzle aspect of the game too, it’s not as simple as walk to x and kill 10 of y because after all games should get you thinking. The fact that I can wander to a higher level area and still get the quests even if I promptly get splatted pleases me.

Rivers have currents and if you don’t swim, you’ll be pulled down stream. I’ve spent far too much time drifting along testing this particular feature.

Pink Sheep…. nothing else needs saying.

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Once I got the hang of the challenges I also found myself really enjoying them, especially the non killing ones (it turns out I’m a pro jumper) and yet, despite this I find myself questioning whether I wish to purchase the game.  In order to do it justice, my graphics card would definitely need upgrading especially as jerky computer games mean migraines for me but that’s not an issue as Mr Harpy points out, we’d need to do that soon anyway. I think his apathy towards the game doesn’t help but then, I know if I said I want to play this, he’d have no issue getting two copies and trying it out.

So what are my negatives.

I’m not sure of the combat side. Now, I picked a class purely at random and ended up as an Aurin Esper without really knowing what I was getting in too and I’ve no issues at all whilst leveling but I’m not sure I like those boxes the game draws on the floor.

The character creation screen lacks options I feel. I was really hoping for more hairstyles/colours plus body shapes and yes, I realise it’s a multi player game which already taxes a lot of people’s graphics but still. That said, I’m playing a blue haired bunny with a large behind.

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The whole cowboys and aliens vibe bothers me too. I suspect I’m a traditionalist in the sense that I like medieval-esque settings for games.

I think the whole housing aspect will swing it one way or another for me and now I just need to stop staring at the scenery and make it to the correct level for a piece of my own green and verdant land. Plus my bags are filling up with decorative items to put in a house and I can’t wait to see what they actually look like.

Liebster Love Part 3

Here are the answers to the next 22 questions I was asked as part of the Liebster Lovage.

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Amerence’s Questions

  • When did you start blogging , What it’s all about and why? My very first post was in June 2008, which looking back is a surprisingly long time ago. I’ve blogged about various things including food, books and computer games but writing about Warcraft has definitely taken up the bulk of my efforts.
  • Post your most favorite Screenshot of all time!

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  • Favorite city in WoW you hang out to and why? I spent most of my time hanging out in Stormwind, it’s got easy access to all the amenities plus the different districts mean that regardless of your mood, there is somewhere to sit. 
  • Do you play other games besides WoW? Any console you using besides your PC? At the moment I play WoW, Hearthstone, Transport Tycoon Deluxe (nothing beats building a transport network when it comes to chilling out), Dragon Age Origins and a couple of app games regularly. 
  • What’s your favorite Trasmog gear? My Benediction teamed up with the Virtuous set.
  • How many WoW characters in game do you have? Do you equally play them a lot? I have a lot, around 45 I think but I tend to only play a few at any one time. 
  • What’s your current achievement score? Whats the most favorite one and why? 14100. Choosing a favourite is tricky because all of them conjure up memories, some positive and some negative.
  • What was the most memorable experience since you started playing WoW? The two most positive experiences which stand out are getting my Benediction and killing C’thun for the first time. On the memorable for all the wrong reasons side it would be have the various guild dramas I experienced, especially during the original incarnation of the game and then in The Burning Crusade. GM’s “hacking” guild forums to read your personal messages to other guild members being just one example of “interesting” behaviours.
  • How many total deaths of critters do you currently have? What are your thoughts about these creatures since they can battle now with your own Pet collections too. On my mostly main, 7605. I suspect most are casualties of Holy Nova and Mind Sear.
  • First word comes in mind when you think about WoW and why? Time sink. Yes I know it’s not technically one word but hey… 
  • Warlords of Draenor is coming up soon, its the new expansion everyone is talking about, What are your expectations and why? I’m hoping it will grab my imagination all over again. At the moment I’m struggling to find a reason to log for longer than half an hour at a time. I don’t enjoy PvP much at the moment, random battlegrounds are really hit or miss with far too many premades going up against pugs. I can’t raid due to my self loathing although how I’m expecting the expansion to fix that, I’ve no idea and there is a limit to how many characters one wishes to level. Plus the few character slots I have left on my server are already earmarked so I’m a bit hampered there.  

Sofia at Altoholic Anonymous

  1. What other games do you play? Dragon Age, Dragon Age II, Transport Tycoon, Diablo III, Harmony Isle and various other app games which catch my interest.
  2. What else do you like doing apart from gaming? Reading, sewing, sketching, cooking, gardening. Our garden was a big factor in selling the house to us and it’s fast becoming an obsession. I’m actually excited that my father-in-law is going to give me some tomato plants. I already have strawberry plants sitting in the green house waiting warmer weather and I can’t stop adding to my herb collection.  My latest plant related interest is trying to create little gardens in tubs and plant pots and I’m working on a Gnome garden at the minute. I’m planning on painting a stone to resemble a cottage, adding a bit of height at the back and possibly some blue/green glass to suggest a pond. Then it just needs a little path and my Gnome’s home from home will be done.gnomegarden
  3. What is your best WoW (or other game) memory? Comprehensively owning my brother in law at Age of Empires not just once but twice. He’s never asked for another go… I can’t imagine why.
  4. What is your favourite colour? Azure blue, the colour of tropical seas.
  5. Read all the lore or speed level? Read it all. I’m usually the person running into walls reading the quest text whilst the rest of the group are off slaughtering things.
  6. Are you a one character kind of person or an altoholic? I’m trying to become a one character person at least until I’ve achieved everything I want to but I’m not convinced that it’s possible.
  7. If you could design one aspect of WoW, what would it be? Quests. Long complex quest chains of the sort that Blizzard probably never wish to see again.
  8. Horde or Alliance? Alliance for real (as opposed to undead) horses, Gnomes and the Deep run Tram.
  9. Do you have any pets in RL? Not any more but I grew up with a slightly mad spaniel.
  10. What inspired you to start blogging? Reading other people’s, realising that I had enough screenshots to paper the house and knowing that I desperately wanted a reason to write regularly but that I lack the discipline to do that without a proper purpose.
  11. What is the first video game you ever played? Harrier Attack. I can’t remember how old I was but I know it was Christmas time and despite everyone telling me that girls couldn’t play computer games I demanded a go because it had Harriers in it.

 

Reaper

I’ve just upgraded my operating system to 8.1 and whilst I was flicking around to see what had changed, I discovered this little game. It’s frustrating in parts but adorable with quests, leveling and talents as well as a good little story line written with tongue firmly in cheek.

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When I first encountered these mobs, they all looked like the two sat on the ground but my thoughts of “ooh cute” lasted approximately 10 seconds, the time it took for them to launch into the air all claws and fangs.
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It’s been a while since I’ve bounced around in a 2d environment attempting to put all the flora and fauna I encounter to the sword and it’s been good to rediscover just how therapeutic this can be. Will I on reaching level 10 pull out my purse to upgrade the game to one of the three options available, right now I’m not sure but based on the 5 levels I’ve played so far, the answer is probably yes. I’ve always been one for anything which enables me to bounce around in the air spinning ever so slightly out of control slaughtering things.