Angling for fishing improvements

A little Bug on a bigger Bug!

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Finally exalted with the Anglers, for my adorable buggy friend. I wish these came in other colours than slightly off-salmon pink though.

On a mostly unrelated note, wouldn’t fishing be more fun if there was an added thrill element? Perhaps random giant Catfish attacks or dead fish raining from the skies, just something unpredictable to take away from the monotony of it taking 40 casts to catch 5 piranha. Better still, why can’t I throw a bleeding and battered Bloodelf* into the river and then net up the piranha and what’s left of the bait nice and quickly with minimum of fuss.

*You could substitute this with something less humanoid and perhaps more dead if you’re squeamish (although I believe if we’re being totally accurate it’s the churning water of a panic stricken creature which attracts them so ……… Bloodelf it is!)

Patch Notes Thoughts: Easier Chakra Surfing

I’ve been keeping a vague eye on the notes for the forthcoming patch, oohing over the thought of riding dinosaurs but my brain has been rather disengaged. However one little tidbit I spotted today changed that:

The 4pc PvP bonus for healing priests has changed: Reduces the cooldown of Chakra by 25 sec and during Spirit ShellFlash Heal costs 50% less mana. (from MMO Champion).

I’m not particularly interested in the second half (Holy for life!) but the first bit had me thinking. Now I’m a chakra hopper by nature and the thirty second cool down between switching annoys me considerably. I’ll happily admit to not being the greatest fan of chakras as I think their implementation has always been clunky and I hate running around with huge disco lights under my feet yelling “Holy Priest….try and kill me” to all comers. However I think a five second cool down between switching states is a huge improvement, so huge in fact that I feel it’s got no place being a set bonus at all.

The whole point of chakras as I understood them was so that we could switch on the fly as sadly PvP in particular doesn’t come in nice perfectly timed segments with the opposing team seguing politely from aoe to single target and back again. I know from playing against plenty of other Holy Priests, most seem to pick a chakra and stick with it regardless of the situation, especially now they last after zoning/death so hopefully this change will change that, pushing people into a bit more experimentation. That said, I don’t see why this change couldn’t be either baseline, leaving the PvP set bonus as it currently is or altering it’s implementation slightly. Why for example can’t it work like the Monk roll? In that you could switch once and then again without incurring a time penalty. It would be more dynamic than just a flat cool down and would potentially allow for more tactical play.

Right now this is a necessary change but a really boring set bonus.

Slightly off-topic, one of the more common searches which seems to bring people to my blog is “What chakra should I use in pvp?” and that to me feeds into the sense that quite a lot of Priests feel trapped in one chakra because of the cooldown. (For those of you which are interested, I’m currently working on a rather massive post with flow charts and possibly diagrams to cover what I use, when and why).

 

All I want for Winter Veil is……

A couple of weeks ago the Blog Azeroth shared topic was

Winter Veil is around the corner and it’s time to sit upon Greatfather Winter’s lap and answer the important question, “What do you want for Winter Veil?” Is it that expensive grand expedition yak? a nice transmog custom outfit? or a Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock?

What is on your Winter Veil wishlist?

suggested by Noahdeer.

Having been both a good little Gnome and a good hard working girl, I’d like my stocking to divulge the following this Winter Veil.

  1. Mr Bigglesworth. As a little girl, I had my own pet cemetery moments (at least in the sense of wishing that the dead didn’t have to stay dead) and even now I still in my deepest dreams find myself wishing for undead pets. Since I suspect my childhood dog, his bones bleached white isn’t going to come tapping down the corridor, I’ll take Mr Bigglesworth as a substitute.
  2. An end to Dailies. Yes I get the whole “don’t do them” argument but they are there sitting in quest logs and with reputation bars not maxed laughing at me.
  3. More time to actually play. What with my commute and with my work load, time outside work not spent asleep is remarkably precious right now. At this time of year especially, there are so many other demands on those fleeting moments that I’m struggling to find any time at all in Azeroth.
  4. This one basically leads on from 3. Ideally if every thing goes according to plan, in the new year, we’ll smash the nasty commute into little pieces which then will hopefully allow me much more time to do other things like finish the 100 plus drafts sitting waiting to be finalized, to possibly find a guild to do some raiding with and to complete all the other little projects sitting half done, like my Tree of Life cushion.
  5. Come up with a Winter transmogrification for Sprout who is still wearing a semi matching set of PvP and PvE gear all collected from MoP and held together by a tabard of all things.

Of course I wouldn’t say no to “Peace on Azeroth and Goodwill to all Gnomes” either. Garrosh’s bloody and battered head in my stocking would be greatly appreciated too.

The Sincerest form of Flattery

Me and the Auction House now that it’s brimming with pets are a bad combination. Despite still having to build a team to properly take on Major Paine, I decided I couldn’t wait to pick up this particular spirit and some how, without me really thinking about it, money changed hands.

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The observant amongst you might notice that she’s named after a character belonging to someone we all know and love. I found myself unable to resist, after all, the spirit is clearly cat like as well as being awesome and inspirational. I still have to test how she reacts when presented with large quantities of Human males though.

So that brings my total of pets named after bloggers to five with still a huge quantity of pets to go to.

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Painted Skies: IntPiPoMo

It is with horror that I hold up my hands on the last day of the month and admit that I have only managed to post 26 screenshots so far for IntPiPoMo. However by the time the trees start going up to celebrate Winter Veil, I will be finished, I promise. Today’s theme is loosely based on sky as I fell in love with the backdrop to Mists as soon as I got the Beta installed also the theme to Skyfall is constantly being played at work so it’s semi burned into my brain.

A more peaceful time

A more peaceful time

A foreshadowing of what is to come

The Darkness above the Gate

The Gathering Storm Clouds

The Gathering Storm Clouds

A Light in the Darkness

A Light in the Darkness

Hope

Hope

This brings me to 31 out of 50 (and the moral of this story is… next time count as you go!).

Daily Delights

My feelings towards Dailies are well documented. I hated them from the minute they were introduced in the Burning Crusade, seeing it as nothing more than a cynical attempt from Blizzard to force the player base to log in each and every day. Nothing in the subsequent five years has done anything to alter that view point, in fact I’d argue the opposite. Which brings us to MoP, the expansion of the Daily. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand Blizzard’s desire to gate reputation. They don’t want a repeat of previous expansions where a good chunk of people did nothing but run dungeons over and over til their eyes bleed, reached exalted with everything and then preceded to whine about having nothing to do. However I don’t believe the current system was the way to handle it.

What would have been wrong with having a reputation cap per faction per week just like the conquest, valor, justice and honour points. It could easily have been the total amount of rep per day times seven, perhaps increasing as you climbed the reputation levels. That would remove the frustration felt when for whatever reason you can’t log in on a specific day and yet you need that rep like yesterday. A further simple twist would have been to make it just like conquest in that you can earn X amount from one area (arenas), Y amount from another (battlegrounds) and Z from a third (rated battlegrounds). That way people could do a heroic wearing a tabard for a bit, do a few dailies and perhaps use their professions for a bit more. Variety is the way to stop people getting bored, not shoehorning them into doing a set number of quests every day.

So now we’ve established beyond all reasonable doubt that I loathe dailies, despise them and would quite happily leap up and down on top of them yelling unpolite comments about their nearest and dearest, I want to talk about the dailies I find bearable. Perhaps my all together favourite is this beauty. I love speeding down the wall, eyes half shut as the landscape goes flying past, frantically trying to steer past spilled oil and barricades. In fact whenever I’m passing by, I pop up there and repeat the course and to me, that’s what dailies should be, quests you actually go out of your way to do because they’re frantic and fun.

Another favourite which also favours speed is this one from the Temple of the White Tiger. Now the first time I did this, I hesitated and failed time after time, getting more and more frustrated. Then driven on by Mr Harpy’s offer to do it for me (naturally he being a rogue did it perfectly the first time), I took a deep breath and ran for my little life. Indeed when it comes to this quest, the phrase “he [or she] who hesitates is lost” couldn’t be more accurate.

There are few others I enjoy, wrestling a shark with my bare hands springs to mind as does battling with my “nemesis” at the Temple of the Red Crane but the vast majority are just a mindless time sink in which I grab as many mobs as possible before aoeing them down and profiting. It’s just like having to do the dishes over and over again intermingled with throwing out the rubbish and picking up the leaves from the garden. I log intending to do all sorts of things, pvp, chat with people in my friends list, tame pets but by the time I’ve tackled my dailies, I’m so sick of the game I tend to log off, looking for other things to do.

The issue is exacerbated by the really random nature of the dailies, getting the same set three days in a row is just painful, especially when you happen to hate those particular quests. If dailies are going to be Blizzard’s answer to providing new content then those dailies have to be fun, they have to be varied (and that includes using the model used to great effect in Money Matters) and above all, they should be just one other aspect of the game. Something that people can choose to do, not a path we’re forced down regardless of how much playtime we have.

As a side note, returning to Money Matters, wouldn’t it be awesome if there were multiple different ways to approach the bulk of the dailies. You could take an intellectual route, perhaps tricking your way to your objective or maybe by simply being nice. The next time around you could take a more agility driven path, focusing on speed or sneakiness. Another day, if time was an issue you could steamroll your way through using brute force and strength. The final path would of course involve stamina and being in it for the long haul.

Shark Attack

I’ve been slightly absent this week, work has been a little full on but hopefully from next week I’ll be back to a more regular posting schedule. One involving more words and a few less pictures but in the meantime….

Mr Harpy tends to operate on a policy of “if it’s kill-able  it should be killed at least once just because” and although this has resulted in a few amusing deaths, it’s mostly been a rewarding little hobby.

Now we’re both rather fond of sea-life, sharks and whales in particular so when we spotted these two  swimming off the coast of Krasarang Wilds we knew we’d have to try and kill them.

Our very first experimental attack, carried out in the first few days at 90 didn’t go too well as it turns out these chaps pack quite a punch. However with a bit of refining and a lot of running, the tide turned in our favour.

The end result being a satisfying one although they don’t drop any loot to speak of.

Next up, we’re going to try the same technique on the Whale Shark.

He’s my fire

Last night I was a little bit down and so when I woke up this morning, Mr Harpy had a little surprise for me.

Yep, he’d taken me minfernal hunting in the middle of the night and had caught this little chap so now Sprout gets to pretend she’s a warlock (aided by pet biscuits).

Buoyed up by this, I spent the afternoon catching the remaining pets I needed to pick up my very own Venus. All I have to do now is resist the temptation to rename Venus to Bananarama.

Sunday Storytime: The Aftermath of Theramore

Just three little stories charting the reaction of my three very different Priests to the events of Theramore.

Night Elf

Twisting the soft shining fabric of her robes, the Nightelf Priestess lent against the Temple Garden walls. Eyes closed she tried to bring peace to her turbulent thoughts. Every time she felt she was winning the battle, pushing her unchecked emotions back into the pool of her subconscious, the image of a dark blue haired elf rose like a drowning woman, gasping for air and vengeance. As a tide of rage washed over the Priestess, her magic rose to answer it’s song and for a moment everything felt right. Then opening her eyes, she glanced down to see instead of the familiar golden light bathing her hands, ribbons of shadows twisting around them. For the first time in her long life, fear enveloped her in it’s dark embrace. An alien emotion, it sat smugly on her tongue like a toad, poisoning her mind. She could taste it’s sourness every time she swallowed and in response, the shadows weaved around her like a shroud.

Forsaken

The heat of Orgrimmar was just as oppressive as it’s walls, rich red sand coated everything and turned even the finest food to ashes on your tongue. Not that particular issue was a problem to  the Forsaken Priest surveying the city from her vantage point by the waterfall, watching the Orcs below as if they were ants on the dust. Stretching her aching bones, she moved to the shade, Garrosh was keeping them waiting on purpose, probably hoping the sun and the implied insults would push their tongues over the edge. He had a lot to learn, no one does patience like the dead. In dark crypts and in dusty coffins it pays to turn a blind eye to the passing of time, no point in measuring it out in cobwebs or decaying flesh. Hearing heavy footsteps, she looked up to see her escort heading her way, clearly it was time. Wrapping her long dark cloak around her boney shoulders, the Priest acknowledged their salutes and stalked towards her meeting with the Warchief. Once a soldier, always a soldier and for a brief second imagining the conflict to come, she felt almost alive again.

Gnome

Scurrying through the Mage quarter, wrapped in her heavy cloak, the Gnome slid from shadow to shadow, drawing no attention. Past the increased military patrols and past the gossiping Mages sitting outside the Blue Recluse she hurried. Up the winding staircase she ran, stopping only in the safety of her own little apartment on the top floor. It was only then, in private as she unwrapped herself from the woolly cloak, discarding her gloves and scarf that she allowed herself to weep. Spilling hot salty tears for those considered friends now nothing more than dust in the wind. Poor Cassa Crimsonwing who had wanted nothing more than to fly with her gryphons and Spot, whose excited barking would no longer echo through the stone passage ways of Theramore Keep. Eyes red and sore from crying, she started to collect her bits and pieces. Spell books, herbs, warm clothes, cool clothes, dried Heaven Peaches from Darnassus and a jar of pickled eggs all disappeared into the travelling bag. Throwing her tiny green ragdoll on top, the Gnome proceeded to bounce up and down on the case until protestingly it shut. Justice and revenge, when it comes down to it, they’re sisters under the skin and in that moment, Sprout didn’t care which she got.

The Wanderer’s Festival – IntPiPoMo

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.

Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy

With so many of the WoW festivals revolving around killing and death, the Wanderer’s festival is a real breathe of fresh air. There is no big bad to slaughter, no towns to save, just a leisurely Sunday beach party focusing on celebrating exploration and dreams coming true.

The party starts with the celebrants emerging from the jungle, some carrying lanterns which they take to the water’s edge.

Once released these glowing beacons float out to sea, drifting out to explore.

I find myself returning week after week just so I can sit on the beach watching the world go by.

I love the idea of a regular festival and/or event that happens all year around and really hope it’s something that Blizzard develop further at some point. So far we have the Wanderer’s Festival with it’s hatchling and of course the Darkmoon Faire but perhaps the market at Halfhill could expand into a proper market on a Saturday with twice as many stalls, some selling unique items and recipes. Maybe those enterprising Goblins in Booty Bay could set up a Fish market to help fund the rebuilding project or the Vrykul could host a little gathering once a fortnight to help draw people back to Northrend, obviously we’d have to dress up to avoid being on the receiving end of a pointy spear but the opportunities could be endless.