Monday, December 28, 2009

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

(or How The Kal'uak Spend Winter's Veil)

I got a Christmas Present in my mail today! Jaedia of the Lazy Sniper was my Kris Kringle from the Blog Azeroth post exchange this year. You can check out the other posts on the exchange by visiting this thread and following the links in the comments. She was right thinking that I have a strange obsession with the Kalu'ak. Thanks Jaedia! What a great gift!

The Kal'uak of Southern Northrend spend a lot of their time fishing, at least they did before the Lich King became prominently active in Northrend. These days they spend most of their time attempting to set the balance of nature right, and fight back the Kvaldir from their homes by the Frozen Sea. However, despite the hardships of the year, they do keep up Winter Veil traditions.

While not ever really seeing him, aside from tales, they do believe that Greatfather Winter casts his wintery veil across Northrend over the winter period. It is thought that Greatfather Winter is an emissary of the titans, come to Azeroth to bring comfort and snow at this time of year, though again, this is just a tale. Rather than worshipping him, they will gather around on Winters Veil Eve, to a huge banquet between each individual tribe. With masses of food, this is the one time of year they will eat anything other than fish. They even get a little merry. They tell such stories, tales of legend, over the fires and candlelight.

The idea that they eat foods other than fish at Winters Veil is mostly to wave goodbye to Greatfather Winter as he passes by the continent of Northrend, and to thank him for a good fishing year, in the hope that he will grant them once again the ability to catch good food over the harsh cold year.

With morale quite low in the Tuskarr people at this time, keeping up their almost family-like traditions keeps a small sense of normality within their communities. It is the one time of year they can get together and forget about the hardships they have had to forego, and may have to worry about in the coming year. As such, they welcome in the New Year in the hope that it will bring better things.

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Free Apps Abound!

If you are looking for some hand held fun for your iPhone or iPod Touch this holiday season, pop into the app store! There are loads of free goodies to be had in there this season! I popped open my App Miner application, and found several fun games that are sure to make anyone from kids to fumbly old people like me happy. Here are some of the ones I have found, but don't just take my word for it. Look for yourself, and if you find something fun, tell me in the comments!
  • Dark Harvest - Made by Red Rocket Games, this game is a match three game where you shoot colored blobs at a floating cloud of more blobs to make matches, without the cloud getting too heavy. Every level you clear, you grow a new evil vegetable for your army. This is a lot of fun, and slightly challenging. Other titles free from Red Rocket this season include Little Runner, MEVO and the Grooveriders, and Mr. Hand. I have tried MEVO and love it. Try the others as the whim takes you, they're sure to please someone!
  • Cornhole All Stars - Though the title is off putting, the game is really cute. It's a bean bag toss game (corn being a corn bag, hole being the target) that uses the accelerometer, making it as if you were to toss your device. You get to choose your all star and play against the computer or others. I had fun with this, I hope you do too!
  • Pig Rush - This is a cute and deceptively easy game. Tap high to make Pig jump high, tap low to make a low jump. Every level you pass, Pig runs faster, and therein lies the challenge. It is hard to keep up with Pig! Good for giggles, or to keep a kid in the backseat out of trouble for a bit.
  • X Invasion - I haven't downloaded this one to try yet, but the images presented make me want to let my boys try it out. This game is a flight simulator and shoot em up, killing aliens over San Francisco.
  • Panoramic Blackjack - Cards, anyone? This looks like a great game, and has all the options of a live game, and a Learn to Play mode. This could be good to use as practice before your next casino trip.
I didn't start this article in time to pimp the site appventcalendar.com, and I'm so sorry I missed out! Every day prior to today, there was a free game available, listed prominently on their site. There is still time, however, to enter the Plushed character contest. Drawing for the prize is on the 29th.

Alright, then, to your app stores and find the morsels I've missed! Have a pleasant Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Surprise Box Of Fun!


Those of us that collect UDE points (you know who you are), will be interested to know they have a new item to spend our hard earned points on. This!

I am 2 UDE points cards away from this box of surprises, and cannot wait to get one. Cross your fingers for me? I don't want the Path of Cenarius or another Papa Hummel's Pet Biscuit kicking around in my already overfull bags. I want a pet!

Update! Hubby had to grab a few things at the store and brought me my points. In between dicing onions and chopping cilantro I turned in the cards and ordered my box. In between setting the condiments on the table and shredding the taco meat I logged in Delgada and sat her on the end of the dock in Ratchet to wait for the boat. In between tacos, I managed to hit the boat, walk to Landro, and turn in my code.


I sat there for a good 30 seconds, hoping the random number generator was feeling like doing me a favor. It rewarded me with something I didn't have...

Yep, that right there is a stack of flowery footprints. Path of Cenarius is a cool toy that lasts 5 minutes, and you get 50 of them. I really wish I had got a pet. I really only want the kite! Maybe next time...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cards Go Here.


Send me a card, and I'll edit it in!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alliance Racial Abilities Do Matter!


As promised, though a bit late, here I am to say that the Alliance have overpowered racials and should be nerfed! Well, not really. Where Horde racial abilities certainly seem have a PvP angle on them, most people seem to think that Alliance racial abilities are directed more to the PvE game.

Let's start with the quintessential Alliance race, the Human. I, personally, have a hard time playing this race, because I am human, and this is not a big escape for me. However, for those that do, they enjoy racial abilities such as Diplomacy, specialization in maces and swords, increased spirit, and a get out of fear free card. Diplomacy itself is the reason many level a human, for the reputation increase. Dwarves have a heftier mace specialization, so if you love maces, I would roll a dwarf. For those that PvP, Every Man For Himself is a great skill to have, equivalent to Will of the Forsaken. The Human Spirit is a great buff for warlocks, priests, and mages of certain talent specialties. So, if you want to play as yourself, roll a human.


Dwarves have some interesting abilities. Some would argue that their treasure finding ability is all but useless in Northrend, where there are no hidden chests of goodies. I argue that they are able to find Everfrost Shards more quickly than the rest of us, speeding up the Sons of Hodir reputation grind. Stoneform is a nice ability, useful in both PvE and PvP for removing bleed, poison, and disease effects. Gun specializaion is great for dwarven hunters, who should never be caught with a bow or crossbow, it just wouldn't be proper! Finally, a passive resistance to frost is nice in this expansion of frost tossing monsters.


Gnomes are interesting creatures. This is another race I have troubles playing, mostly because I picture them as large footballs, and I feel the need to punt them. For those fond of PvP, their escape artist skill gets them out of traps and snares. Gnome casters have the benefit of their head being larger than their body, giving them a 5% bonus to intellect. Gnomish engineers get a skill boost to their engineering, which helps them get to their epic goggle patterns faster. Last expansion, gnomes must have been pretty happy about their passive resistance to arcane magic. The Kirin Tor have a handle on most arcane users these days, but there are still a few rogue mages out there.


Night elves, to me, have the worst racial abilities in the game. Only rogues and druids benefit from elusiveness, at least until they allow mages to return to Teldrassil. Shadowmeld is similar to ice block for it's threat reduction abilities, in that when it is cancelled, your threat is at the same level as when you cast it. It is a save, but a temporary one at best. Let's not forget that with both spells you can't move, one because you are a block of ice (duh!) and the other because it breaks when you move. Quickness is a good trait for PvP and PvE, and probably the strongest of the Night Elves traits. This is a great skill for the evasive rogue and the tank who needs a bit more dodge. Wisp spirit is nice if you die a lot, but let's be realistic. We don't want to die, so at best it is just a consolation prize. And finally, passive nature resistance is nice. Maybe it will be useful during the Cataclysm expansion.


Finally, we come to the Draenei. This race has a few wonderful racials, great for PvE and PvP. Gift of the Naaru is a fabulous racial, making it possible for non healers to help out during fights, or save themselves while soloing. Heroic Presence most Alliance players count on when grouping, allowing them to stack less hit rating in favor of beefing up other stats. They also have a passive shadow resistance skill, which is helpful in this land of the undead. Finally, a bonus to gem cutting skill is helpful to those draenei who chose that profession.

I know this is no news for those who have altitis as badly as i do, but I'm sure some will find this helpful as they consider which race to convert to, or even which new character to start up while in wait for Cataclysm. I welcome comments. Tell me if I missed a good use for one of these skills!

WoW Year In Review


This post is in response to a weekly topic on Blog Azeroth. I think I finished this just under the wire for the 21st deadline. Huzzah! Oh, and this was started at Bible of Dreams, another blog featuring shadow priests you should check out!

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I stuck with an Alliance character and leveled it to 80. It was a wonderful experience, and if I didn't have a home on Smolderthorn, Shadowsong would be the server where I would hang my hat. The Illuminati Order guild and the other people I met on that server have all been so friendly and helpful. I really wish I could spend more time with them!

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

Of all the areas introduced with the latest expansion, my most favorite new place would have to be the pit you fall through to get to the last boss in Azjol Nerub. One day, in a guild group, I plan to have a mage cast slow fall on me so I can get some good pictures as I fall. It is so beautiful! I also am in love with all the Kalu'ak areas. Windsocks, walrus people, fish lanterns, swimming turtle transports, and the predominant fishing theme makes me want to move into one of their vacant burrows and live with them.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

I am already getting my wish on this one. A few weeks ago, my wish would have been to have people to run things with. Now, I have so many people to run things with, I may never run out!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Delgada hit 75 pets. Shawndra hit 80, then hit 50 pets. My biggest achievement will be when I pull Shawndra out and hit the tank button on the random dungeon finder. I plan on doing that in the next few days. Reckoning battle group Horde, you have been warned!

What was your biggest failure?

Playing way too much without really accomplishing anything. Before 3.3, a lot of my time could have been used finishing old world quests, but instead I was busy running laps in Dalaran. I am hoping with the change to the dungeon system Delgada will find the time in between to run a few quests, get some reputations to exalted, and earn some money while doing it.


What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Every silly change that effected one of my jillion alts. Every pet that was made. Everything?

What do you wish you’d done less of?

No matter how many laps I ran around Dalaran, Delgada will never be more skinny than she already is. I think I covered this already :)

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I read so many blogs and listen to so many podcasts, it would be hard to narrow it down to one of each. Instead, I will list several of my favorites, leaving out the obvious ones that need no introduction from little ol' me.

Podcasts

For The Horde Radio - A (mostly) Horde centric podcast, Auntie Ed and her group of players put out a show about once a month. Most of this is done in character, which I really like. Auntie Ed also spins some tunes in between bits such as one from an undead warlock evicted from his apartment by a smoothie store and mail read with a Horde friendly dwarf. As I write this I am listening to their Holiday special, which deserves more attention than I am giving it. Might I add, I wish Shawndra had as sexy a voice as Auntie Ed!

Warcraft Outsiders - Michelle and John have come back, and the cast is better than ever! Michelle being the pro, with John being the ultra casual player, they play well off each other, and now they have a guest in the third chair every night. I don't just list this show because they had me as a guest, or because I am part of their guild. This really is a fun show!


HearthCast - Rewt and Freckleface are entertaining and informative. They seem to have found a good niche, talking about World of Warcraft for the casual and new player.

Epic Shardz! - Who could not fall in love with Zebgora and Tamori after listening to them? Beside the fact that they play trolls (what's not to love there?) they are really around my level of game play, talking about pets and kids playing (Tam's daughter Bloodpaw plays), Facebook games, holidays and achievements, with a lot of real life stuff thrown in.


Inside Azeroth - Steve and David, formerly of the Grind, join Katerina, formerly of Epic Dolls, to share their news, views, and happenings in Azeroth.

Blogs

Misery - Merlot has her finger on where to find any information about shadow priests, and some interesting and fun commentary.

A Darkened Soul - Chuckenorris also is a great repository of Shadow Priest knowledge. This cheat sheet is so helpful for all shadow priests.

Righteous Orbs - I'm not even going to spoil this one for you. Go over there and read.

I read a zillion other blogs, and am in the process of updating my feed reader. If you have some suggestions, comment below! Blogs give me something to smile about between breakfast and lunch at work.

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

I don't think I have learned anything valuable this year, but I have a small lesson or two for my readers to pass on to others.

1) If one plays a female, consider that they might actually be one until they break it to you. I bite my tongue most of the time when someone says, "Thanks, bro!" or "Let's wait for him to catch up.", or even, "Hey man, I'm dying, throw me a heal!" But sometimes I cannot help but snark back,"Anytime, sister!" or "It's ok, I'll join you girls in a minute. I just need a mana break." or just "I'll heal you, if you call me sweetie..". It's one thing if I rolled a male character. I expect to be taken for a guy then. Guys should be prepared to be mistaken when they roll female characters, too. (Sorry, guy in my girlfriends guild who I snarked at. You were just the final straw of my day. I can't promise to be better, but at least you know I am a girl now.)

2) If you are in a group with someone that is under performing, in your opinion, be kind. Not everyone is as uber as you. If you are familiar with their class enough to help, make some kind suggestions. If they blow you off, no skin off your nose, but if they don't, you may have just made their day by being helpful. They may have been hearing that they are bad but not have known where to look or what to do to improve.


I'm supposed to tag 5 people to do this. I'm going to cop out and allow anyone that reads me and writes a blog or feels like starting one to join in!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Change Of Pace

Hubby has a friend who apparently loves him more than I do, because he bought Fallen Earth for him. Because of a free trial on their site, I was able to hop in with him and check it out for myself.

My laptop is not the ideal machine to run this game. Character creation was made frustrating because of my sub par machine(though you could spend a good hour or more creating, there are so many items to tweak), but the game itself runs fine once the tutorial is over. Above is Shawndra in a world decimated by a horrible virus called Shiva (fitting name). She is a clone who was fortunate to be cloned for the last time, only to find out that she is dying, and needs to find some alpha clones to fill in the gaps of her dna structure. But, she is not strong enough, or skilled enough yet. In the tutorial you are a level 30, but upon your next cloning you are level one, and have to get up to level five before you can withstand the rough and tumble land beyond your chosen starter town to find these alpha clones. So, you resign yourself to cooking and making things, picking plants and scavenging debris and dead bodies.

So far it is an interesting enough game. I am tired of having to kill rats and chickens (watch out for those prairie chickens, they are badass!), or rather, I am tired of them mortally wounding me and waking up in the cloning center. It seems the smart way to level up is to pick and scavenge and craft, then spend your ap points where you wish, even if it is combat and not crafting. I am just not good at the shooter type game where I have to do more than face my foe, but actually make sure it is in my sights as well. Hubby was laughing under his breath and he told me to not be so rough on my new mouse. I know it wasn't the mouse's fault that I was performing so poorly. Something had to take the blame though.

More on this later. I just finished a 2 hour long trial, and I am intrigued, but not committed yet. I decided I needed a WoW break (meaning I went off to go play some WoW. No dragging me away just yet!) :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Dungeons And The 19 Twink.

Today, partly to test out the blocked experience bar on my rogue, and partly to see if the 15-25 crowd were as nubbly as the 80 heroic crowd I was having no pleasure with tonight, Rowena queued for the random instance. Rewards were to be a handful of copper and a random useful item. Rowena ended up in the Deadmines, working on the second boss.

The under 25 bracket people I started with were a warrior tank, a priest healer, a hunter, and a warlock. The damage dealers seemed to know what they were doing, even if the pets were being unruly. The tank was holding aggro well, but I think I stepped on his ego a coupe of times, stealing the threat away and taking care of adds that strayed. The run was rather uneventful, until we hit Greenskin. Somehow, the hunter pet ran past a bunch of mobs andbrought Greenskin, his two pirate buddies, and 3 more, with parrots. I was able to help clear two, and got Greenskin to about 20%, but evasion was on cooldown. We wiped, everyone came back ,and we tried again. This time, less adds, before we got the second of the four adds down, the tank died. The hunter helped with the last add, then I was on Greenskin again. Somewhere before that Greenskin and a parrot bugged at the base of a ramp, giving me time to bandage. It was a close fight, but I got him down, with only 5% health to spare. I think that was the last straw for the warrior, as he never came back. We ended up pulling a paladin in to finish the last boss, and Rowena got her achievement for Deadmines. Here in the picture you can see what else she got.

If you click you can see my badly drawn commentary. I am now off to submit a ticket for my twink friends out there so that I am one of the few that earn experience after experience is turned off, or at least get some kind of answer. The belt is yummier than what I had, though, and Rowena has a few more experience points she can trade if that is the way it has to be.

Since posting this, a ticket has been opened, which is sitting unanswered. I just submitted a post here about it. Hopefully I'll get an answer to this question soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs gave me the most wonderful present of a topic to write about for Christmas, and I thought I would unwrap it and write about it early. If you haven't been following, pop on over and start reading. Tam and Chas' posts are always good for a grin and some "yeah, that's me" moments. So, here is my gift from Tam:

"...if your characters (or you can just do Shawndra if you prefer, since she seems to be occupying your time and attention at the moment) were going to retire from the adventuring life, where would they settle down, and what would they be doing instead?"


Shawndra fell in love with Nagrand the minute she set foot in it. The fishing is plentiful. The grasslands are lush and green, and the herds of clefthoof and talbuk offer a good living, giving up their skins and meats. Living in Nagrand, after the toughening Shawndra experienced fighting the minions of the Lich King, would be the easy life. If the orcs of Garadar wouldn't put her up, there were one or two abandoned camps or outposts she remembered that would do fine. Just give her a pole, a fire with a kettle, a rude shelter, and she'd bring her knife and live well and happily.


Delgada would not retire easily. If she came to the point when that was all that was left to do, I imagine she would bank all but the necessities, find a corner of the world she hadn't explored thoroughly and continue working. If forced to retire, she would probably find a shallow grave and hand the one responsible the shovel. Sitting idly fishing or twiddling is just not her style. She did enough of that after a lovely piece of scourged toast with honey.


Halinka is rather young and the idea of retiring really hadn't been thought about until now. Halinka loves to read and would happily watch the world go by from the window of any number of places, so long as there was a room with a view. I'm sure Minya would like to see her retire. At least she is no longer hanging out in the Exodar waiting for Halinka's findings. Stormwind is much healthier!

I don't see Dinnaeh (formerly Esoterique) retiring. I do, however, imagine her being the tragic victim of casting fire spells in her sleep. She should probably see someone about that...


That's all I have right now. I looked back at some of my roleplay posts to see who had back stories, and it turns out I have many, but the main characters are listed above.

Now, for the second part of this gift. This is the part I give to you! Comment below if you would like a present of a topic to write about for your blog. I will respond with your very own topic, chosen with your blog's personality in mind. As stated in Tam's post, this is a gift, with no strings. Use it, don't use it, regift it, use it to paper your parakeet's cage, it is your choice!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Horde Racial Abilities ARE Important.


I have been toying with the idea of a shorter, pointier eared version of Delgada for some time now. If I really wanted to, the money would make itself available. But I can't imagine playing a priest without Will of the Forsaken. I can't have people dying while I'm running, afraid for my life and the well being of my robes. To me, arcane torrent and a 2% resist to all schools of magic isn't a good enough trade. Guess I'll just have to keep an Orb of the Sindorei handy.


Hubby and I were talking about racial abilities on the way to my step kids week day house. I cannot imagine my beast mastery hunter as anything but an orc. They just make more sense, with the racial bonus to pet damage and the attack power buff from Blood Fury. My hubby is all for a marksman hunter Troll, as well. Why? Their berserking ability grants 10-30% additional haste rating and the 1% critical strike bonus when using a bow fit perfectly.


I hear that the minute they made race changes available, a lot of pvp loving players changed to Undead. I can't blame them, really. Smarter and more resistant to shadow, a trinket-less get out of sleep, charm or fear ability, and let's not forget the ability to dine on the dead bodies of our kills! What better choice for pvp is there? And, for those time you have nowhere else to hide, underwater breathing is awesome. Yes, random pug in one of my random lowbie dungeons, undead can drown. Stay underwater longer and find out!


I haven't mentioned the Tauren, and only briefly mentioned the Blood Elves. The Tauren are very common as tanking classes for their 5% increased base health. War Stomp, their racial ability, is a nice way to stop the damage mid fight for a bandage, or enough time for the healer to catch up when they are behind. I have one Tauren character who is a shaman. She's a great little gal, but I haven't found clothing that looks good on her since AQ40, so she sits unused. Blood Elves have Arcane Torrent, which replenishes a small amount of mana (energy, runic power) and silences casters that are close by. I can see this being very helpful for a rogue, death knight, or a paladin, since they are up close to their intended victim(as long as they aren't players). It just doesn't seem as helpful for a caster, who would have to run up, cast, and run back for it to be used to full effect. I have a blood elf paladin in her mid twenties. I don't expect her to get much older, because I keep killing off my elves for something different. I get to a point with them and want to shoot myself in the head. Maybe they're just to uppity and perfect looking for me.


Well, I think I have demonstrated well how Horde racials are important. Tune in later this week as I pick apart Alliance racial abilities and traits. There may be a test later. You have been warned!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Looking For Group!


This has been my habit all week. Right after I get home, I log into WoW, ignore my husband(he told me to put that in there. He is partially right), check my bank character, then log in Delgada and start running instances. I always select damage and healing, but so far I have been chosen as dps only once. This is not altogether a bad thing. Delgada has resigned herself to being a healer and shadow only in secret. All the groups, save a pug on her own server, were a breeze, free smites thrown at bosses and mobs instead of becoming free flash heals. The pug on her server? I don't know, but that death knight took so much damage, I couldn't keep him up. Sorry, Mr. I have strange letters in my name, but there is something wrong there. I don't know what it is, but he needs someone in better gear than Delgada healing him in ToC heroic.

Last night she traveled to the Argent Tournament grounds and bought gloves and shoulders. I didn't even know they had gear vendors there. Her gear is coming up. I expect her gear level to climb rapidly, now that I am enjoying this random dungeon queue. I got to run the same heroic a couple of times in a row last night, even though it said I was locked. All I have to say is, sweet!

Today, I tried it on my bank character, Rowena. She hit one dungeon, but didn't receive the reward. I think it was because she got pulled in after the first two bosses. So I switched to Anselma and ran one of my least favorite instances, Blackfathom Deeps. She finished it, even after kicking a paladin who kept pulling when the tank (who was supposed to be me but ended up being a warrior) wasn't ready and wiped us in the murloc cave. Anselma got a Tumultuous Cloak of the Moon in her goody bag. Building a healing set is good!

I then logged in to Maura, my 70 rogue, to see what I would get as a prize, joining up with my buddy's 70 hunter. It took forever, about 4 quests worth, before we got a group. Utgarde Keep was difficult. I had to go before we finished, so I turned the keys over to my hubby (what a great guy), and he finished it out for me. As I left, I heard him grumbling "Ation bars all wrong, everything's all wrong", grumble grumble. Sorry! I guess she got a couple of badges for her efforts, along with some gold and a tonne of experience. So, it would seem the ability to run Wrath of the Lich King dungeons is the cut off for getting goody bags. I logged in Gwenna later that night just to see what the reward was for running a Burning Crusade instance. A goody bag, 6 gold and change, and about 1200 experience points. Today I will log her in and see how long it takes for her to get a group.

My research finds that, in the high teens and twenties, a tank and a dps (seperately) were able to get a group during the morning hours within 10 minutes. Two grouped dps in their early seventies took about 20 minutes during off peak hours. I haven't tried the 80 characters off peak yet, but I imagine the demand would be enough to get a group within 5 minutes for healer or tank, 10 for dps. I don't have anyone in the middle area between 25 and 60. Until I do, I have no answers for how available instances are through there. I am toying with the idea of only instancing with my paladin from here on out, so by the end of January I may have some answers.

I love this new tool and I cannot say it enough! I have grouped with all sorts of interesting people. I'm looking forward to my time in the queue today!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3.3 .... WOW!


The little things. They are what keep me coming back for more in this game. Logging in to find a core hound pup in the mailbox was great! Remembering that Breanni was supposed to have a few new pets to buy, I ran to the pet shop and picked up a new snake and kitty. They'll have to make a 100 pet achievement soon, with all the pets they keep coming up with. I made sure to give them all play time, running a lap or more of Dalaran looking for the last three books for the Schools of Arcane Magic achievement.

Core pup in tow, I decided to try out the new looking for group tool. I made allowances for patch day newness by not getting angry over glitches that I knew would be fixed soon. Other than a 15 minutes of disgrace at having to leave an instance group that noone got summoned into, the grouping was rather smooth. Delgada was chosen to dps the first instance, then heal the second. The second was everyone's favorite instance, the Oculus. One of the group said," They didn't hit this with a (nerf) bat, they hit it with a sledgehammer." No truer words were spoken. The first boss was a pushover, the mage boss in the center died without me noticing any of his signature frosty floor patches. The end boss was very forgiving of movement impaired people, or I was just getting better at getting out of the way when the boss threw out his bubbles of pain. Loot was rolled on, mstly to be disenchanted, and that was all I did in LFG that night. I really enjoy the new system. I'm not sure if everyone is on their best behaviour, or if I am just getting very lucky. those two runs were the most fun I have had in a while.

After the LFG fun, I ran regular ToC with some friends, and that was a blast and a half. Graham, my favorite pally tank ever (he reads this, I know, so I can say stuff like that. I'm sure he's not modest or anything. He's probably saying, "That's right, I am that good." to himself as he reads this. Makes up for how bad he rogues. -.^ ) tanked, I healed, and his two roomies (Hi Mar! Hi Ben!) were the reason for the group. Each walked away with three pretty purples last night, despite our lack of luck in getting leather or plate wearing dps to join our foursome. It was fun running ToC with people who were new to the instance, learning how to joust right there instead of through the tournament quests. I highly recommend it!

Tonight, kinda figuring I wouldn't get much play time in, I logged into Bladefist and my poor, neglected mage, Dinnaeh. She picked up her mail and set off to turn in some completed quests. She joined the heroic instance queue and waited. I thought for sure that being dps, it would be the same old thing, too many damage dealers and not enough tanks and healers. Dinnaeh had a group in less than five minutes. First instance she hit was Utgarde Pinnacle. She had never been there, so she picked up the instance quests, set out a table, threw intellect on the mostly melee group, and was second to last on the dps meter. Noone said anything (perhaps all their mods were still broken?Mine weren't, though they need organizing), and the run went smoothly in spite of my ineptitude (or lack of gear). I got three achievements in there, finished two quests, and ended up back in Zul'drak where I started. You know that fight with the guy on the dragon in Utgarde Pinnacle? Nerfed. I don't think that dragon breathed frost on the floor even once, and this was heroic! I'm all for making things accessible, but this was way too easy. This is where I have to say, why not just have people walk through an instance portal and give them a random iLevel 200 item, rare or epic, that is useful to the class. The instances I ran the last two days, with the exception of ToC, are close to doing that already.

I am mostly happy with what I have seen of 3.3. I haven't messed around with Delgada's shadow glyphs or spec yet, but she did pick up a mace that replaced both her damage and healing weapons. I enchanted it with Black Magic, so the mace has haste and now has a proc for more haste. I'll probably stick with the way she is for now, because if she starts running as many random instances as I know she plans, she'll be replacing gear pretty quickly.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Crunch Time!

I am a little late jumping on the bandwagon to lend my "voice" to the Hearts, Hands, and Voices campaign to raise money for Child's Play charity. To the right of this post you will see the Hearts, Hands and Voices logo. Click on it and it will take you right to the main page for the campaign. Click on the donate button, and give! Child's Play is an excellent charity that buys gaming systems and games for hospitals, helping invalid children to play.

Since this is really the last week, I wanted to chip in an incentive to those that read my blog to donate. Comment below this post to enter a drawing to get a handmade t-shirt with the faction logo of your choice (Horde or Alliance). Pictured below is my first shirt, with the Alliance logo (the picture really doesn't do it justice). The winner will get their choice of shirt color and size, sent to them with my thanks for donating. All I ask is that the chosen winner (or two or three, depending on interest) forward a receipt for their donation. Feel free to black out private information.


Here are my kids modeling different designs (for the Horde!) and colors (lighting is not my strong suit, thhat alliance shirt looks so cool in person!).


Even if this doesn't appeal to you, please, take the time and give. Every dollar helps put happiness in the hands of a sick child. I know I am glad I gave.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Are Invited!


Everyone is welcome to join Shawndra at her bountiful table. There will be stuffing, cranberry chutney, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and, of course, turkey! Shawndra is so proud, she even cooked the turkey. Here she is in her very first cooking show.



Join her in Orgrimmar for her special feast. The food is out of this world, and she'd love the company!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What I've Been Doing - November Edition


If you've been reading lately, it is pretty obvious that Shawndra has me wrapped around her little finger. She has been getting the bulk of my attention, needing tanking gear and catching up to her status as a main character. Delgada has come out to do enchanting for Shawndra, and right back away she goes when she is done. Maura has been out to do leg patches and heavy borean armor kits for Shawndra, which has earned her some levels in leatherworking, but back away she goes when she is finished. Shawndra is working on finishing Zul'Drak, then she will be off to Storm Peaks.

Halinka got out a couple of nights ago. She got to run Heroic Trial of the Champion with a few guild mates and a couple pugs. The healer was a pug, and was undergeared, so the instance wasn't finished. Our hunter got a shiny new pair of shoulders, though, so the run was considered a success. Halinka, at the end of the run, had enough tokens to buy a new pair of gloves and a new wand. It was a pretty successful hour of play, all in all.

Real life has been busy. Getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas is always a chore. Add on top of that poor grades and homework contracts for my oldest daughter, checking in on my mom who is getting the holiday blues, and closing up the kitchen for holiday break kept me really hopping. I did have time, however, to hang out with John and Michelle on the Warcraft Outsiders Podcast recently. I had a lot of fun, and I hope you will all give it a listen, and check out their other shows, Video Game Outsiders and Pop Outsiders. Their shows are lively and witty, and a whole lot of fun! They also have a great community site with busy forums and, of course, a fabulous WoW guild on the Shadowsong server.

So, that is what I have been up to this month. I skipped October, but I plan for this to be a monthly article, because it gives me something to write and something to look back on. Now, I am off to hunt wild turkey and shoot some rogues. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Tanking Axe!

Troggbane.

That is all. I'm late for work. But Shawndra assured me she wants this. Swords just aren't her style...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What's Under The Lid?

I am a lunch lady. This being the last week of school before Thanksgiving break, our district has a week of minimum days, so that teachers have time to finish grading and have conferences. In the kitchen, this means my day is squashed a little tighter, and we cut our menu down a bit. I'm not serving any less students, really. I'm just serving the same amount in less time. So, in order to make things easier on everyone, they take off the item that takes the most assembly, and our salad bar is cut down from five items to four easy to grab items.

You would think this would make things easier. Less items means less preparation time and faster serving times, right? Wrong! I have this nifty sheet of plastic covered ice cubes I use to keep the salad bar items cold. So that the children didn't have any ideas of popping the little water bubbles, I covered the empty space in my salad bar with a lid. The second grade were the first through, and by the time they had passed, I was losing my patience telling them to leave the lid alone, that there was nothing under it. So, I put a sign that said "DON'T TOUCH" on the lid. Then the questions began.

"What's under the lid?"
"Is it hot?"
"What's under the lid?"
"What is that?"
"Is it freezing cold?"
"What is that?"
"Why can't we have what's under the lid?"
"Is what's under there for the 6th graders?"
"What's under the lid?!?!"

The last threads of my patience were fraying. The sixth grade was next, and they passed the lid up like it wasn't even there. Today I am thankful that they could care less about eating fruits and vegetables. The first grade started lining up to eat, as they are last on minimum days, and I braced myself for more questions. The only peep I heard was,"That says Don't Touch.". Bless their little too-shy-to-ask hearts. I made it through the first day of minimum day week alive, and mean lunch lady didn't surface. Phew.

From Tuesday through the end of this week, I'll be serving a full salad bar. It's much easier than fielding the "What's under there?" questions. And my ice blanket will live past Thanksgiving!


I have a point to this story. With every new content patch, with every new expansion, there are many, many players who are also asking, "What's under the lid?". Nothing new, we are an inquisitive bunch by nature. Is it always good to know what is under the lid, though? Everyone plays this game differently. There are levelers, raiders, explorers, modders, achievement junkies and there are diggers. I'm sure that those that choose to delve into the test realm game files enjoy this game just as much as I do when I find a quest I've never experienced before. And all you test realm raiders, I'm sure it is just as exciting for you to figure out the strategy to a boss before it even hits the live realms. I know there are those of us that really get excited about reading about the changes before they hit the live realms. But should we open that lid and peek?

Shadowmourne is very slick looking. Shawndra, a connoisseur of axes, had to have a little help snapping her jaw back shut (without biting her lip, those tusks are painful!) when I described it to her. Then she heard about the process by which Arthas claimed Frostmourne, and figured the axe was just too much for her to handle. You see, she likes coming by her gear as easily as possible, and any idea of her weapon even trying to own her means it must be too much work. Had she not been next to me when I opened the lid and had one day come across Shadow's Edge, she may have gone ahead with the story line, forging the ultimate weapon. Now, Shawndra will be happy peering over my shoulder as I pore over weapons and armor, making her checklist of acceptable looking items that aren't out of her realm of ability, and also keeping a checklist of impossible to attain awards in the back of her head. They weren't impossible when they were just a code in the latest test realm patch, but after they were leaked and discovered in boss loot tables, I made the decision on what she was capable of. Should I have?

I remember our guilds first foray into Zul'Gurub. We didn't go in there expecting anything. We had no lists of loot we wanted. We didn't even have a dkp system sorted out yet. We went in there and wiped on the first two mobs. Did we cry at our lost chances at loot? No! We laughed, some until tears came, and walked in there and wiped again. Then we went in there, wiped the tears, rebuffed, and let the rogue pull, because that is what he was good at (he's good at a million other things, too, but I won't go there. ^.- ), and we got a little further. I don't remember what we got to that night. I know we had no idea what we were doing, and it was fun.

I would love the wonder of finding an untouched (for me) dungeon and going in with my buddies and giggling while we do everything wrong for the first two or ten tries. But, I know that we feel obligated now to look up boss strategies. So it won't be so strange to go in there, with someone else having blazed that trail for me. I might even know what the boss drops. No, I'm leaving the lid down on that one. You can't make me look!

The decision to open the lid is a personal one. I, for one, plan on not opening any lids and showing my fellows in queue anything that isn't in the game already. I'll wait until me and my buddies hit the first instance before I crack open the strategies, unless they don't mind blazing the trail with me. I sure hope they don't mind. Sometimes it's good to escape to somewhere noone has told you about...

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Best Change To The Game.


This is a shared topic from Blog Azeroth. Inspiration for this post comes from Lath at Hots and Dots. As of the start of this post, Autumnn of Grumble and Autumnn had also put in her two copper. Here are my two copper. Spend them, toss them in a wishing well, give them away, the choice is yours. If the topic makes you want to comment, but are afraid you'll say too much, blog about it!

I cannot give you a specific change that is the best the game ever had. Why? It’s not because I wasn’t paying attention. It’s because I love every change that happens, good or bad. Change is what keeps this game from stagnating. I know, some of you will argue that some class changes were not good, but follow my thoughts for a moment. Maybe the “bad” change decreased your damage output, or increased your mana consumption. What came from that change? Did it cause you to come up with an alternative? Are you using a spell you didn’t use before? Have you had to rethink your rotation to compensate? Maybe you had to re-gem and re-enchant your gear with a new stat to make the difference up. Then there was good from it! Doing the same thing all the time is boring. Using the same old spell all the time would really have me rolling every class in the book looking for something different (wait, I already do!). Different, to me, is good. So, change is good.

They are right now examining the effects of haste on shadow priest spells in the PTR. Now, before this ever happened, a fellow shadow priest reminded me how our talented Shadow Word: Pain worked. When we refresh it with Mind Flay, it keeps whatever buffs it had on it when it refreshes. He reminded me that when I cast it, I should always make sure to use my trinkets, potions, you name it to buff the spell before I cast it. That way, unless it falls off, I don’t have to worry about it again. What was happening in the PTR is that shadow priests, already knowing the mechanics behind the spell, were stacking haste, then doing the same thing they had always done, trading out trinkets and potions to come up with the exact right buffs to make that Shadow Word: Pain the nastiest it could be. Because Mind Flay was refreshing the buffs, it became a monster of a spell. Blizzard found that this made the spell too powerful, and took it from the Shadow Form buff they were planning that would allow haste to work with damage over time spells. I know a lot of shadow priests out there feel as if they were given the world and then told to go live under a bridge in a cardboard box, but I’m happy. I get to rethink Delgada’s gear choices and enhancements, rethink her talent point distribution, rethink her spell rotation (I know, it’s a priority, not a rotation!), rethink the food and potions she consumes, even maybe the color of her hair and what day she gets to come out and play. Am I upset that Shadow Word: Pain got left out of this party? Not really, though I would have liked to cackle maniacally at a test dummy before they took it off in the PTR while I watched it tick. This, for me, is change, and change is welcome. It keeps me interested in the game long after I have completed every “kill ten boars” quest.

Keep the changes coming, Blizzard! I look forward to every nerf, buff, and new item with all the enthusiasm of a blossoming pyromaniac lighting his very first match.


Alright, to be quite honest, I am sure loving the being able to fly right when I hit Northrend change. But don't tell anyone that is my favorite. You all know how flaky I am about who my favorite character is. I am that flaky about my favorite change, too. Forget I said anything. Really. I'm going to go try out the newest change to the game now. I heard something about a mohawk bomb...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So I Was Going To...


...write this fabulous post on if it was possible for a fresh 80 to tank ToC regular with a normal bunch and reap the rewards. I have this problem though. My guild doesn't let me do things like that. Yes, My fresh 80 butt was dragged into ToC kicking and screaming, under geared, to tank a few nights ago. I can tell you my health was about 17k, my defense was 480ish, and I was in mostly i-Level 170 and lower blues. I was enchanted and specced, sort of. I knew I wasn't ready.

But my friend insisted. So, I got up in front of the bosses after the joust and I failed miserably. I couldn't hold aggro, I wasn't using all the tools available to me, I stunk in more than just the gear category. I apologized, we lost a group member, and I put Shawndra in the inn in the Tournament grounds to think while I brought out Rowena to try and fix things. My friend helped with things too, making a cloak, enchanting a few items with defense and stamina, making a leg patch for me and some stamina patches for some other parts of my wardrobe. After a serious make over, Shawndra was now sporting a more healthy 22k health and a bit more defense and armor. While they looked for another body to fill our vacant spot, I reorganized my toolbar and found a few new tricks I wasn't using, and we started all over again. It went a lot smoother this time, with me not tanking in battle stance (I wasn't the first time either, but the pug we had before insisted I was), using vigilance on one of our overgeared members, and adding charge to my defense bar (I was specced for it, might as well use it in that stance instead of switching and confusing people).

It's been a long time since I tanked anything serious with Shawndra. Even back then, I was really insecure about my abilities. I tanked because we needed a tank. I'd like to get past the point where I grind my teeth and stare at my buttons, being so careful using all my threat generating and damage reducing cooldowns that I miss what the boss looks like. I don't want to be so afraid that I'm going to screw up the instance or raid for everyone else every time I pull, that I lose a mob staring at my cooldowns.

So, I guess I'll have to get more practice so I am no longer unsure of myself. Delgada is officially shelved as I focus on gearing Shawndra, who is coming along fabulously. The reason she is coming along so well is because KNR members are starting to return to the keys. Experience points in PvP and I imagine the Icecrown Citadel patch play a small factor in their returns. Others return from boredom with Aion, while others have no reason. I say, the more the merrier! We have had enough to field an instance group most nights, and when we haven't, we have seen others catching up with their characters of choice. I'm hoping in the next month to see enough on to run a 10 man, even if it's Burning Crusade content. I miss the guild getting together for a common cause. Perhaps it is time for an old school pirate pvp party. There are new boats to take over!

So, in conclusion, no, you cannot tank ToC in the random gear you were leveling in. Go buy yourself a few crafted and bind on equip pieces and get some health and defense boosts. Go quest in Icecrown for some of the items you can get there. Consider it a heroic level dungeon, because that is really what it is. Heroic content for a tank or a healer more often than not requires you to be almost at the gear level of the instance. Now, if you should decide to run the instance as dps and hope for the dribbles of gear the tank doesn't need, then you go right ahead. I'll just bat my eyelashes at my new favorite healer and see about another run. Shawndra still needs a trinket!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Unicorns




Stoppable Force posted today about the unicorns he is chasing in game, and asked us to respond with ours. I have different unicorns on different characters, but I'll try to lump them all into a single list.

  • Pets. Delgada, Shawndra, and Halinka are pet collectors. Delgada has her Hyacinth Macaw, Shawndra has her Captured Firefly, and Halinka has, well, a lot of pets. I would like, on any of those three, to get the Disgusting Oozeling or a whelp that wasn't a Special Edition pet.
  • Dresses. To a certain point, all my characters have a dress collection. I would love to have a way to pack them all in a vacuum sealed bag and store them in one slot of my bank. That way, I could get more dresses!
  • Knick Knacks. I love those grey items that fall off just one mob, or that drop rarely. Needle and Thread, the Romance Novels, Salt Licks... They're great. I rolled a rogue just so I could pick pocket some of these items. I want a shelf to store all my silly knick knacks, taking up that one bank slot, so I can collect more, and more! I hate that some of these neat things never make it through my bank cleaning days...
  • Pet Rock (or Happy Fun Rock, or both!). It's a silly thing I could probably have if I spent a few hours in a rock elemental area. I know this. I don't want to pay for one, I just want one to drop into my bags. Or two. I love throwing those things to friends!
  • Mounts. Halinka collects those. Sadly, she has not been getting the attention she deserves since having parked her in the Argent Tournament Grounds. She hates that place. I really need to reset her hearthstone for Dalaran. She would really love a hard to get mount. Sadly, she has lost the will to farm, so buying one is out of the question. Maybe we should set her stone for Lights Hope, and farm Argent Dawn reputation and the Baron's mount. Race you for it, Stop!

My ultimate unicorn is always of the moment, though. Shawndra is on the edge of 80, and the unicorn that is gearing and defense cap and all those fun things is hanging out, munching tufts of tender grass waiting for the ding. After that, with a geared tank, healer, and a semi geared dps, the unicorn might change to that of gearing the hunter, or even of raising my rogue.

Got a lot of work ahead of me, and it is time to run out the door to the real world. Thanks for the inspiration, Stop!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shawndra Returns!


I pulled Shawndra out of the mothballs to try and get the Halloween achievements done. Why Shawndra and not my latest loves, Anselma or Halinka of the Alliance? Because the Horde of KNR seem to be rising out of the ashes, again. Being that Delgada is the guild mistress, a representative should at least be on for the members. Delgada did all that Hallow's End stuff last year, so she stepped back to let Shawndra try and get hers done. Shawndra did very well, but in the end lost to the RNG boss. No Sinister Squashling means no Sinister Calling achievement, and it was all she had left. She did get her helmet, however. Better luck next year.

Since Shawndra had been dusted off for the event, a little play time was in order. Shawndra was sitting at the end of 74 when I started playing with her again, and trick or treating in all of Azeroth and Outland got her into 75. While she was out, she did some questing, and by the end of the event, she was 76. Somewhere in that time period she was given the Cold Weather Flying tome and a pair of heirloom shoulders by Delgada (with the knowledge that she would be sharing with Anselma the blood elflette paladin), and gifted the money for dual specialization. Shawndra loves her primary specialty as a Titan's Grip fury warrior, but felt it was in the interests of many of the returning members to have a secondary specialization as a tank. She was a pretty good one before Northrend was discovered, but was still a little afraid that she would let her group down when she was called to take the lead.

She was asked yesterday to tank Drak'tharon Keep. I started the instance with an announcement that I had not tanked since Karazhan, and to please watch their step. Shawndra pulled, and surprisingly only lost aggro for a second on a stray mob that one of the dps decided to take care of out of order. Doesn't everyone know to assist the tank's target? The mob was taunted and put back into place, and the rest of the run was pretty ho hum. Shawndra, despite her admitted rustiness, seemed to be keeping aggro pretty well, and the healer didn't seem to be losing a whole lot of mana healing. Of course, it helped that the healer was 79. Shawndra noted in party chat that one of the dps was complaining that the tank out-damaged them on a fight. I grinned. At the end of the instance, a pair of plate pants dropped, which, after close inspection, were disenchanted. It is amazing how long Shawndra's low level raiding gear has lasted her into this expansion! Even her tanking gear is mostly from Kharazan and badges.

After the run, I asked in guild chat if I had been terrible. The healer said I was the easiest tank he had had to heal yet. My buddy, the best death knight tank ever, and part time warrior, said I had held aggro fine. I was so excited! I had tanked my first successful regular Northrend instance. Woot!!

Later on, Shawndra went to Dragonblight and did the Wrathgate, then went to battle for the Undercity. The Battle for the Undercity is a great boost to any character's self esteem, as their dps gets a boost of at least 10 times the normal. Special abilities make themselves available more often, and rage bars never empty. Not only that, but I love the lore that is presented. Varian is an ass. If he took a few minutes to get aquainted with Thrall, he would realize that they were in the same situation. Thrall made the best of a bad situation, and Varian became a bigotted jerk too quick to jump to conclusions. Shawndra threw a rude gesture at him as he was ported to safety by Jaina Proudmoore. She then packed up her axes, nodded to Thrall and Sylvanas, and returned to Northrend.

Shawndra is back. I'm gonna have fun getting into the mobs faces again.

Monday, October 26, 2009

You're Doing It.

The game does not matter. So long as you play any game that is part of the massively multi-player online role play genre, you're doing it. Sure, you can make your characters on a Player versus Player server, or even a Player versus Environment server, and think that you are not doing it. But you are. You are role playing. You don't have to make your characters on a server that is designated for role play. You don't have to have an elaborate back story, or even an idea of a back story. Your character's name doesn't even have to be a real name (yes, lolbbqurmom, I'm talking to you). Just the fact that you twiddled with what class to play, what race it would be, what color hair it had, and how many piercings it had made you a role player. Yeah, and you guys out there, playing bouncy little female toons because you'd rather watch a girl's rear while you quest, give me a break. The minute you pretend to be a real girl to gain an advantage in loot drops, or any other matter, you role played.

That was just the beginning for you. Character creation can seem harmless enough, but you had to go out and interact with the non player characters with your new avatar. Now, everything that avatar does is related to it, good or bad, right or wrong, purple or green. You have begun to build a history for it. Did you know that once you got tired of killing boars, so did your avatar? That quest reward that you never got rid of because it matched your avatars eyes? That is history sitting in your bank, or you can call it what it is, role play gear. Did you sit your avatar down in an inn while you went away from your keyboard for a nature call? Your character enjoyed a nice frosty brew while you were gone, and flirted with a barmaid. Or how about all those quests you did to gain favorable reputation with the Skyguard? Your character could be called a flyboy, or a genocidal maniac only interested in wiping arrakoa from the face of Azeroth.

Did you know that denying group invitations pegged your character as a loner? Those snide comments you put up in general chat while you were dutifully having your character pick up quest items made your character add to it's personality, making it a sarcastic, handle with care kind of being. That nasty chat session you had when you got home from school, in trade chat for every bank alt and poor unsuspecting player to see pegged your character as cool in the eyes of every other foul mouthed yutz, and added your character to the ignore lists of more mature players. No player associates these things to you, the person sitting behind the screen, unless they know you in the real world. These things are attributed to a name in the chat channel, a bunch of pixels you threw together, thinking it was just a video game. Boy, were you wrong. You bought a part in the play called World of Warcraft, on the server you made the character on, and now you are stuck with it.

Of course, you could delete your character if, for some reason, it has given you a bad reputation. You could server transfer, or even faction transfer. Name, sex and faction changes leave that character on ignore lists, so if you were looking to wipe the slate clean, it just rearranges things a bit. Whatever you choose, you have learned one valuable lesson. Role play is a very basic part of this game, and you're doing it. Keep your nose clean, and your chat, and for goodness sake, have some fun with it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Riverside/San Bernardino Meet Up?

I hear they have this great meet up for the Los Angeles area World of Warcraft players, and I thought, gee, that isn't so far away. Then I looked a my husband, opened my mouth to say something about it, and promptly shut it. It really is far away. I live on the edge of a bit of desert that separates a historic stagecoach stop from Palm Springs. My closest famous neighbor is a dinosaur best remembered from a Pee Wee Herman movie. I guess what I am trying to say is, I feel like I live in the back of beyond. So, I need something closer than Los Angeles.

I know there are people in this area that enjoy World of Warcraft as much as I do. I know there are even some on the Smolderthorn server, even though it is an eastern time zone server. I know there is at least one commenter that isn't too far away too consider a Riverside area meet up a stretch, once in a while.

So, comment away. Is there a group already going? Do we desperately need to make one? I sure would love to gather with people who enjoy the same stuff as I do in real life instead of always behind this keyboard. I know you do, too. That's right, I am pointing right at you. Go on and start a discussion below.

My Ultimate Candy Grabbing Route!



I looked, mostly in vain, last night to find a guide to the best way to get everywhere there is a bucket of candy. I found a few routes on Thottbot, but nothing else. I know they are out there, somewhere, but I just cannot find them. So, I promised someone I would have a good route to follow on my site today. I am researching as I am writing, so it may be really late today (the 19th of October), but it will be today!

Now, the disclaimer. This guide assumes you are of the legal flight age, and can get to Dalaran, and have your hearth set there. I may work out a flightless version for those that are using this opportunity to level a character later, which might be difficult without flight, but not impossible.

Warcraft Overachiever has a great map of Horde and Alliance candy buckets for Azeroth and Outland. Links to these can be found here. They are numbered just so you can see them on the map, but this is not by any means a recommended path. If you don't like mine, use their maps to plot your own!

Now, my attempt at making things easier for myself will manifest itself in list form. Remember to fit in Trick or Treating when your debuff fades, and have fun! Stop and smell the roses, kill the flagged players, throw stinkbombs, and smear ash on your face. It is, after all, a holiday!

Dalaran, Crystalsong Forest
Portal to Orgrimmar, Durotar (Trick or Treat)
Ride to Razor Hill, Durotar (put out fires if you have time)
Ride back to Orgrimmar, Durotar
Taxi to Everlook, Winterspring
Taxi to Splintertree Outpost, Ashenvale
Taxi to Sun Rock Retreat, Stonetalon Mountains
Taxi to Shadowprey Village, Desolace
Taxi to Camp Mojache, Feralas
Taxi to Cenarion Refuge, Silithus
Taxi to Gadgetzan, Tanaris
Taxi to Freewind Post, Thousand Needles
Taxi to Mudsprocket, Dustwallow Marsh
Taxi to Brackenwall Village, Dustwallow Marsh
Taxi to Thunder Bluff, Mulgore
Ride to Bloodhoof Village, Mulgore
Ride to Camp Taurajo, the Barrens
Taxi to Crossroads, the Barrens
Taxi to Ratchet, the Barrens

-Achievement!-

Boat to Booty Bay, Stranglethorn Vale
Taxi to Grom'Gol, Stranglethorn Vale
Taxi to Stonard, Swamp of Sorrows
Taxi to Kargath, the Badlands
Taxi to Hamerfall, Arathi Highlands
Taxi to Revantusk Village, the Hinterlands
Taxi to Tarren Mill, Hillsbrad Foothills (if you have the quest, take care of the ale in Southshore while you are there)
Taxi to the Sepulcher, Silverpine Forest
Taxi to Undercity, Tirisfal Glades (Go out to the Wickerman and get your rep buff, and take the quests!)
Ride to Brill, Tirisfal Glades (take a break to help with fires and kill the Headless Horseman while you are here)
Ride back to Undercity, Tirisfal Glades
Taxi to Light's Hope Chapel. Eastern Plaguelands
Taxi to Silvermoon City, Eversong Woods (visit the Royal Exchange and the Bazaar)
Ride to Falconwing Square,Eversong Woods (put out fires if you have time)
Ride to Fairbreeze Village, Eversong Woods
Ride to Tranquillien, Ghostlands

-Achievement!-

Hearth to Dalaran, Crystalsong Forest
Portal to Shattrath, Terokkar Forest
Taxi to Shadowmoon Village, Shadowmoon Valley
Taxi to Sanctum of the Stars or Altar of the Sha'tar, Shadowmoon Valley
Taxi to Stonebreaker Hold, Terokkar Forest
Taxi to Garadar, Nagrand
Taxi to Swamprat Post, Zangarmarsh (no bucket)
Ride to Cenarion Refuge, Zangarmarsh
Ride back to Swamprat Post, Zangarmarsh
Taxi to Falcon Watch, Hellfire Peninsula
Taxi to Thrallmar, Hellfire Peninsula
Taxi to Zabra'jin, Zangarmarsh
Taxi to Thunderlord Stronghold, Blades Edge Mountains
Taxi to Evergrove, Blades Edge Mountains
Taxi to Mok'Nathal Village, Blades Edge Mountains
Taxi to Area 52, Netherstorm
Taxi to the Stormspire, Netherstorm

-Achievement!-

-Achievement!-

Since the buckets in Northrend are not part of any achievement (other than the gold and candy they dispense) I will only go so far as to link a post in the World of Warcraft forums. In this post, people are adding to a list of known locations for both Alliance and Horde. Hopefully by the time this post is up, they will have fixed the problem with Northrend candy buckets, but if they haven't, please, please do all your candy buckets in the achievement areas first. There is a known bug that when Northrend buckets are done first (not all of them but a few) some buckets in the achievement areas are not available.

I hope you all have a great time this Hallow's End. I'd love to hear of the fun you had, so leave your comments below!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pets!

Yesterday, Leafy got Stinker. Today, Nibuca got her fawn. Then, later today, Delgada got her fawn! It was totally unexpected, as Delgada has been neglected in favor of my alliance characters. My husband, right as he sometimes is, reminded me that Delgada was a guild leader of a guild that deperately needs to have one on, so I made a blood elf paladin (named her Anselma after my current flavor of the moment), and got her out of the starter island and into KNR. I then realized that a) she needed bags, and 2) I didn't want to buy them. So, I logged in Delgada to make netherweave bags from the stacks of cloth in the guild bank. Bags made, she walked over to the mailbox and, what, mail? It was cute little Chilly. I opened the note, and had Delgada learn the spell. My screen went crazy with all sorts of fun lights and sounds came into my headphones...and the achievement popped up. WOW! I had forgotten how close Delgada was to the achievement. She pulled out her little fawn from the mailbox, and danced around to the enchanter shop to get her new abyssal shatter recipe, then let the new Anselma log back in.

I shrieked when it happened, and I was on Ventrilo with the hubby and a friend. Of course, the husband and our friend and guildmate Baz will never understand the joy of getting one more pet. Baz seemed a little surprised at the number of pets I had collected, but it didn't last long, as I heard them join another battlefield in Battlefield Heroes, and they started plotting their next target's murder.

I hear you can make girl characters in that game now. Maybe I should go kill them a few times. Just for kicks...

While I am remembering, KNR (Smolderthorn-Horde) is recruiting! Level, class, race are no roadblock to getting in, but you must be at least old enough to drink. We're just looking for some fun people to hang out with! If you are interested, feel free to drop a line at knrguild.com, or contact any member in game.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Anselma

It's been a while since I brought up my human paladin, Anselma. She had been sitting on my husband's account, an unfortunate pawn waiting out her time until she could be moved back to my account. She was originally moved because she was the only free alliance character above level 55 I had available to move so that my hubby could make a death knight on one of the servers I was enjoying at the time. The death knight is just a name on an unplayed character list now. Anselma, on the other hand, is enjoying some playtime as the time I had to raid is just a happy memory.

Anselma was 55 when I moved her back to my account and to my Alliance home, Shadowsong. Today, she is sitting pretty at 66. Protection AoE leveling is fun! Nesingwary thinks I need practice hunting? HAH! I took on 4 of those clefthoof beasties and emerged triumphant, skins slung over my shoulder and meat packed for shipping. Rock elementals gone wild? Selma's your gal. She'll even break their rocky remains into dust and crystalline debris, just so you don't have to send clean up crews later. And those muck spawns below Halaa? Silenced, rounded up, and reduced back to the water they came from. Take that, Nagrand!

Halfway through with the Throne of Elements quests and Nesingwary's Nagrand Safari, Anselma headed over to Telaar. There, she hooked up with a minor celebrity...


Where is he famous from? Running up a little girl's cell phone bill, is where. Banned to Nagrand for his trespasses, he hands out quests and wears a color he is not quite fond of as punishment. It's ok, Jill, the robe does match your eyes.




So there you go. This is my shame, at not having posted for so long because I was wrapped around Anselma's little finger. She was my very first non Horde character, and I am remembering why I loved her before.

Because she is a cockroach. You can't kill her. Her health dips to critical levels and she bubbles. No mana? No problem. She bandages while they beat on her. Oh, pulled a few too many? No she didn't. One more joins the party? Hot sauce, this is fun! Oops, health is dropping and mana is dry....Lay on Hands! then, Seal of Wisdom and Judgement of Wisdom...back to health and mana is filling as they beat on her some more.

Alright, apologies done and a post made, I'm going back to playing with Anselma. Northrend by Monday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sold!

Money's too tight to mention....

But I just mentioned it. Silly song! In order to help pay a few bills before they became critical, hubby and I listed a few trading cards on eBay. I listed them around the lower end of what everyone was selling them for. I hoped they would sell, but I was kind of skeptical. It's not like the auction house in game, where if you don't sell it, you just re-list it. We needed the money, and I was sure we weren't going to get it.

I was wrong. A couple days into the auctions, I flipped over to our eBay sellers page, and we had sold one! I started packaging it in its promised inner packaging, and checked the delivery instructions. Between the street address and the city, state, and zip code line, the instructions read,"leave by back basement door".

I have been sitting here waiting for something witty to say about the instructions. Something about stereotypical gamers...I got nothing. But the instructions made me giggle. I guess that is enough. Well, the money is nice, too. Thanks for paying my utilities!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blacklisted

A couple of days ago, I logged in Delgada, and my favorite paladin tank ever is playing around on his hunter, so I whisper,”Wanna kill Coren Direbrew?” He’s holding a trinket of mine.” He replies,” Sure. Let me log in Graham.” I tease my hubby into joining us, so that we only need 2 dps. Since this is my first day of Brew Fest, I take the portal from Dalaran to Orgrimmar and start doing the Brew Fest dailies. Our server is one of the many plagued with a targeting bug, so I waste about 10 minutes chucking mugs at a robot that won’t be hit. I finally learn that if you stand next to it and chug, you will most likely chuck your mug at him. Two minutes later I am on my way to get my third Brew Fest stein. (I really want a house or a guild hall where I can put my trophies, instead of them gathering dust where only I can see them in the bank.) I get my stein, run the barrel run twice, and then decide it is high time we found more party members. I advertise, and find one. I keep advertising to no avail. I decide to run into the gates of Orgrimmar and advertise there. This requires some fumbling on my part as I turn on Trade chat (I loathe and despise trade chat, so it was turned off). Once it is on, I advertise for one dps. Someone replies, says he would like to bring his warrior. Fine! I wait until he logs in and he whispers for an invite. We are on our way. Hubby portals the group to Stonard, and we make our way to the instance.

Now, I am not one to study loot tables before an instance run. I only know Coren has trinkets because he dropped trinkets last holiday. I have no clue what they are called, let alone what they do. I have a vague clue that he drops mounts and some remote control for a mole machine. So, we get into the instance, take the mole machines to the bar, and begin our piñata breaking. It really isn’t fair to piñata breaking to compare it to the Coren Direbrew fight. When you play with a piñata, you are at least wearing a blindfold. This fight is much like cheating and beating the piñata to smithereens while able to see it. For those that may be new to 80, I imagine this fight is a little harder. Once you have taken the daily from the spy around the corner, you talk to Coren and insult him. This makes him angry, and he has two friends with him. The best way to handle this fight, in my opinion, is to focus down the boss, because when he dies, the additional mobs disappear. During the fight, more mobs (non-elite) will come out of the ground in mole machines, tossing you in the air if you are over them when they begin to surface. Please know, if you are the one to insult, make sure no one else is trying to insult him at the same time. It will use both, and that will leave the group with one last chance to summon him. Anyhow, we only had four attempts, as Graham had done his the night before after reset. I forgot to tell our two pick up members this, slightly upsetting the warrior, but at the time it was late, and tanks with summons were all but unheard of.

The fight begins, and ends, and begins, and ends, until all four insults have been used. Stamina trinkets dropped three times, and on the fourth time, a critical strike rating trinket drops. I only saw the critical rating on it and rolled need. My husband followed my lead and rolled as well. Graham is so over geared I’m sure he didn’t even care. I don’t think I have ever seen him use his Retribution spec. He is the ultimate Paladin tank. The warrior won it, accused us of trying to ninja the trinket for the guild, told us we were blacklisted, and left party and used his hearthstone. I was stupefied. He had won 2 of the three stamina trinkets, and the critical strike trinket, and I could not see what this guy’s problem was. We stood there in the tavern for a good five minutes or so. Then I looked up his character in the armory. This warrior had only one low level trinket. So, he obviously needed them. I wasn’t mad about that. So I scroll back to the trinket and bring the item description up. The second part reads that it increases melee or ranged attack power. Alright, I goofed. I saw critical chance and started drooling and didn’t care about the chance on hit wording below it. My husband says, “I just do what you tell me to do. It’s all your fault.” I try to whisper the guy, but he is already offline. So I look up his guild. No guild master on. I then remember the name of the character he whispered me on, and I whisper him. I apologize for not having read the rest of the description. He goes on to tell me I’m a noob. I told him it was an honest mistake, and that I am glad he got the trinkets, since he obviously needed them. No response. Whatever!

So, I’m on someone’s blacklist. I can’t read. I’m a noob. But I am NOT a ninja. I don’t roll need on something in an instance that would not benefit my character, unless I am instructed to disenchant it. Even then I usually wait until the end of the instance to shard anything, just in case someone decides later on it’s something they need. I hope he never has trouble finding a healer. He made my “I don’t like to play with“list. It’s not a black list. It’s a list of people that need to redeem themselves before I heal for them. I mean really. Take the game a little too seriously?