Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Thrill Of The Ding

I can't help it. I love leveling new characters. Hitting max level is almost a let down for me, because it means I can't watch the experience bar fill up. Sure, there is always reputation leveling, and I may try that soon on Delgada. But the thrill of the ding, the excitement of getting to spend a new talent point, the glee at putting on that piece of gear that was too high level to wear is what I love. I'm sorry I haven't been raiding, everyone. I would rather run Scarlet Monastery for the millionth time!

Who have I been working on? Halinka has just hit 46, and I got to run Deadmines with a few guild members on Minya today, which sparked a renewed interest in leveling her as well. She was on the brink of 15 when I logged her in today, and now she sits halfway between 19 and 20, newly kitted out in almost twink gear. Do I take her in to Warsong Gulch for the fun of it, or do I grab that last level so she can use her polearm? I couldn't decide, so I flew her to Exodar so she could take care of some auctions.

That's all I have for now. I just felt like explaining myself. I'm sure my guild knows. This probably only makes sense to me, but I just have to escape my escape sometimes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happiest Hunter On Smolderthorn Tonight!

He was just waiting there for me. There I stood without that last point in beast mastery, unable to tame him. So, I hearthed to Taunka'le Village, flew to Dalaran, took a portal to Orgrimmar, unlearned everything and spent my points, maybe not perfectly, but to at least get that last point in Beast Mastery. Then, with the help of Sinnerman, I took a portal to Dalaran, flew back to Sholazar, beat the feathers out of my wyvern for going so slow, and found him still waiting there. To think I had been admiring the Goretalon Matriarch and thinking of waiting for her to respawn after killing her for my Frenzyheart daily quest. I'm so glad Loque'nahak caught my eye!

The name Carlotta felt a little Italian, so I went with an Italian word that meant spirit (or essence). No bubble gum name for this fella!

On a side note, BlackJack gave up his stable spot for Essenza. He will be missed, but I'm sure he is running happily with his corrupted brethren in Zul'drak. You were a good pet, Jack. You earned your freedom.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

She's Real Shadow Priestess!

Halinka reached 40 yesterday while healing a group that was running thr0ugh Scarlet Monastery's Cathedral. She got the Hand of Righteousness and Whitemane's Chapeau, and spent her point in the Shadow tree to get Shadowform. Feeling like a real shadow priestess, she let me run out the door and get frozen yogurt.

Well, since then she has managed to hit 41 and is waiting patiently to hit 42 (one bubble and a smidge of another left). She managed to hit exalted with Ironforge and Exodar, which leaves only Gnomeregan Exiles to work on. She has about 7500 reputation to grind out for them. Knowing she would need help, as she has outlevelled Gnomeregan and doesn't have any willing victims (who is really willing to run Gnomeregan without having first drunk themselves silly or having been paid an exhorbitant amount of gold to do it?), I begged hubby to get a death knight out of the starter zone to help me finish out a gazillion quests. That should account for roughly 3000 reputation. Then we will go find all the wonderful quests out in the far corners of the world to garner the rest of the needed faction points. I say we, but it will really be just I. He is only doing this after being promised, well, we won't go there. Is it sad that I have to bribe my hubby to play with me? Yes, I know, that was a silly question to ask. I already know it is sad!

I leave you with a picture of the lovely Halinka, bathed in shadow and astride her favorite mount (until she gets a mechanostrider).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Project

In the interest of cleaning up my drafts folder, I am completing them, or deleting them. This post was started early in June. Boy, am I behind. Italics following will be updates on this post.

Hubby has this idea that I should do a podcast. Not we but I. I have no qualifications. I talk so fast sometimes I stumble over my own tongue. Reading my blog it should be obvious I have interruptions so frequently that the only coherent posts are the ones I write either at work during my break or late at night when the kids are sleeping and the husband is distracted by Battlefield, in any of its many forms.

So, he has decided that we need a place to escape the interruptions(speaking of interruptions, I just left the keyboard for twenty minutes to yell at the kids and clean up cereal my 3 year old helped herself to). We have a place, but it needs some work. It's a bomb shelter, probably built during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's not huge, probably about the same size as my smallest bedroom. It has a weird door on it, made of plywood covered with tin. It won't shut all the way, and the hasp to lock it is on the outside. Kinda inconvenient and scary at the same time. When I moved in to the house 4 years ago, it had twinkle lights strung in an "x" across the ceiling, a velvet poster on one wall, a nasty mattress on the floor, and indoor-outdoor carpet on the ground. My sister helped me gut it, and now it is just plain concrete floor, with a light plugged into the one socket. Is it time to fix it up into a hide away? Definitely!

A problem we have is the way the entryway works. The door opens, and there is this narrow entry that goes down into a small corner of the shelter. Husband believes this was put in place as a blast wall. Who am I to argue? After all, he is the expert when it comes to all things apocalyptic in this house. Anyhow, this makes it hard to get any furniture that isn't made of small parts into the interior. I'm hoping we can get the two office chairs and all the desk parts in there. For floor covering, I have a bunch of scatter rugs I think would do fine until we find a good area rug. He managed to escape the major spring cleaning going on in the house to go shopping at Home Depot with his dad, and picked up a few fluorescent lights to hang from the ceiling, and some paint to paint the walls white(they are currently brick red). He also has plans to run a cable out to the shelter for internet access. The wireless works well outside the shelter, but the signal isn't strong enough to get inside.

I'd like to get a couch and some shelving in there, so there is a good place to stretch out with a book, and store some canned goods, water, and other supplies.

Here is where the updates start. It is now mid July, and we have some furniture in there, some throw rugs I had from the last place I lived (no bare floors here to use them on!), the walls have a base coat applied, and hubby strung up some fluorescent lighting. He also added a "light switch" to the socket, with a remote, so we can turn the lights on and off without unplugging them. Cable for internet is still in the works, but we have a source for it that won't cost us anything but the labor to dig the trench and the pvc pipe to protect it with. Perhaps by Christmas I'll have a cozy hideaway/disaster supplies storage facility to run to! Please enjoy our short film of our progress, starring Sammy, with the breathy Shawndra as narrator. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What Holiday Would You Design?

On the forums today, Crygil asked, "If you were a developer for just one World of Warcraft in-game holiday/world event, what would it be?" I read through maybe 2 pages of what looks to be a very popular thread, with ideas that range from a gnome appreciation day/week, to a faction un-appreciation day (kill your own allies!), to a twist on St Patty's Day. Some had some ideas for a day to honor our past heroes (though I thought we already had that in the harvest festival, going to Ashenvale to visit a monument to Grom Hellscream), and some had some really outlandish ideas. Gnome costumes for Tauren? Thulgasta of the Malfurion server had a neat idea for a Leif Erickson day, complete with a cloth helm with horns anyone could wear. Idoka of the Scarlet Crusade server had another idea that is close to my heart, Troll Week. It's about 2/3 of the way down page four. the details are better in the hands of the person who thought them up! Elindi of Altar of Storms server had a great idea to have a beach party themed holiday, about 2/3 of the way down page 9. Goatvomit of the Uther server did a bit of research and came up with a Tauren-centric holiday and quests on page 10 near the top. Near the bottom of page 10, though short and sweet, a Teddy Bear picnic day told in the words of Diesalven of the Burning Legion realm has some appeal. Exphryl of Tichondrius has some neat thoughts on a Pirate vs Ninja event (who doesn't want a hook to complete their pirate costume?) on page 11 three posts down. The whole of the previous pages are sprinkled with people wanting more zombie invasions and a Mardi-Gras type event, though how it is implemented varies wildly.

I get to page 13, and Kisirani, a world designer, comments,"
This is a curious read. Do keep it up. ;)"

It would seem that they did. Brandston of the Ghostlands server, just a few posts down the page, thinks there should be a county fair, and I agree! I'd love to see Farmer Torp's famous pig! Oogle of the Misha server has a good idea for a flea market, centering on the professions, toward the bottom of page 14. Directly below that post, Vaca of the Bladefist server has some ideas of a Carnaval type event, or, if that didn't work, a murloc invasion. There were many other ideas, all of them showing some thought, even if I didn't take to them myself.

What kind of holiday would I want to see in game? I would first have to think, would it be something that all races and both faction could participate in? A race specific holiday doesn't sound like such a good idea when I start to think that way. I really am enjoying the idea of the county faire type event. It doesn't have to cross faction lines, as the original person thought that the best places to host the event would be Westfall or the Barrens. One on each side of the conflict would do. The areas chosen are also some that have been pretty empty as of late, and would bring new life to old zones. What kind of quests would be there to keep our allies busy? A pie eating contest, definitely. A greased pig wrestling contest, perhaps? Perhaps our friends would be charged to vote for the "best of show" among all the livestock entries. Maybe the sheep pen is plagued by a nasty wolf that needs taking out. Are some of the cooking judges being bribed (or can they be bribed) to choose an unworthy product as winner? Choosing a side could open up a whole new set of quests, siding with the sleazy judges or the angry contestants. Vendors could serve faire food, like they do in the Darkmoon Faire. Maybe there could be some cooking quests, to help supply the food vendors. For the roleplay crowd, maybe a circus tent with some rare animals and acts could be arranged. There is so much someone can do at a faire.

As much as I love the country faire idea, here is my idea for an in game event. I posted this on the thread. Seems I am the only one that came up with this, at least in the thread.

My original idea had been to return to Nagrand, and have an armistice of sorts, where the Draenei and the Orc would come together in a sort of good will meeting, remembering back to before the Orc were tainted with the fel blood. There could be quests of discovery for both sides, seeing how they once lived in a tenuous peace, trading their wares, their children playing at the foot of the bargaining table.

The orc and draenei, both learned in the shamanistic way, could have a spirit guide to lead us to important areas, and have an ancestor meet us there with a story of what happened at that place. Before that there would have to be some material gathering, much like the quest in Garadar that Greatmother Geya gives. There could be a special quest for shaman only that would give them a totem that would be on par with something already in game, but with an added perk like a spirit raven that follows the owner when it is equipped. Perhaps this would be a follow up quest to the spirit guide quest, where the shaman is asked to bring an item to a great shaman of their faction. Once there, the shaman leader of their faction would have them run a certain instance (perhaps one in Auchindoun) and summon a special boss to retrieve a corrupted totem, that would have to be purified (perhaps a solo follow up quest that has them kill evil spirits corrupting the totem) to make the quest reward.

There would be a great feast set out, talbuk and clefthoof roasting over huge pits, bluefish and mudfish set out on rough plank tables with drinks and platters of vegetables and fruits. There might be a sparring area to one side where we could go hand to hand or use staves to duel npcs. A fishing tournament is a must, with all the great fishing to be had out there. Maybe a prize for the person who catches the most fish in a given time, run once every hour? The winner could get some silly fishing frill like a sparkly bobber or a special fishing outfit (chest piece that works as a full outfit).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

From Out Of The Mothballs.

My first end game character was Shawndra, a troll warrior, which makes it fitting that I chose that as my blogging moniker. She was arms for part of the 60 end game, fury for the part just before the Burning Crusade expansion and for the grind to 70. At 70, Shawndra went protection, to help her guild experience Karazhan. She ran Karazhan enough to get her to exalted with the Violet Eye twice before she was put aside to gear up Carlotta, the hunter, and Delgada, my current main character. When Wrath of the Lich King was introduced, Delgada picked up and moved to Northrend, as did Carlotta, Maura, and Shawndra. Delgada made her way to 80, giving some time to Carlotta when it suited her. Shawndra and Maura have been, except for rare occasions, mothballed.

Yesterday Shawndra stepped out of the closet and pulled out her talent tree. She spent her points heavily in fury, all the way to Titan's Grip, and allowed Rowena to log in and send her some money and a new two handed sword, then stepped back into Dalaran, equipped her sword, repaired her gear, and hearthed to the Borean Tundra for some questing. Morgond, a good friend and guild mate, exclaimed,"I thought you killed Shawndra!" To which she replied, " Not dead, just stored away. " It is now time to bring her back.

Our guild has seasons. Seasons of raiding, seasons of arenas and battlegrounds, and seasons of trying out other games. It would seem that the guild is taking a PvP turn right now, and so, as a PvE girl, I have to have a project. Sure, if I get an invite to go run Strand of the Ancients or any other battleground, I'll hang out with the guild for a while. But I'm not great at split second decision making when I game. I sit there as someone pounds on me with a "duh" sort of expression, trying to figure out what I can do. I usually come up with the least creative solution, and get pounded into the dirt. That is why I PvE. Game controlled mobs don't run over to me unless I invade their space, so I have time to calculate, to set up a strategy. If I do accidentally invade their space, their attacks aren't generally creative, and so give me time to gather my wits and start attacking sensibly.

So, the project I needed was sitting there in mothballs, just waiting for me to bring her back out. Shawndra is now level 73, with a good start on 74. It is kind of fun to not be hitting ranged targets again, to get down and dirty and clobber things with my big old axe and sword. I'm not sure if I will eventually move her talents to protection when she is old enough, as tanking can be stressful, for me, and it seems to be all about multi target tanking these days. For now, we will be content to kill things faster, taking short breaks to clean our weapons and mend our wounds before we push on.

This could be fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

To Boldly Go...

I'm sorry, it's a little sideways and funky, but I had to get the pretty neon sign in the picture, and the marquis with the show I just went to see...Star Trek! Yes, I took it with my cell phone. I probably could have backed up and got the same effect, but then I would have lost my place in line! No, I would not have missed the movie, because even at a special early day before release 7 pm showing, the Fox usually has a few seats (or twenty) left over (except on Wednesday).

What a great movie! I won't spoiler anything here, because I have a feeling there are just a few more people out there that read my blog that love Trek as much as I do. I will say that I absolutely love my little Fox Cineplex, and hope that the renovation monies do more than just restore the inside to it's glory days look from the 1920's. I'm hoping for THX . They just recently were used for a commercial and upgraded to a Dolby Surround Sound system, and I can tell the difference. Maybe I just want too much. I already have inexpensive tickets, inexpensive concessions, a staff that is friendly and helpful, and some really neat decor, all right around the corner from my house. What more could a girl ask for?

Go see Star Trek in the theatres. You'll be glad you did. I know I am. :)

Here is a better shot from a while ago of the whole front of the theater. This old place has been in use for 80 years. I love it! Oh, and I guess a new sound system is in the works, among other things. So excited!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just One More Level?

Things on Smolderthorn have been quiet this past week. Too quiet, really, so after Delgada had finished her cooking and fishing dailies, and her mad rush for the Noble title, I logged in to my two alt mages (Esoterique and Gwenna) and hippity hopped their way to the polymorph:rabbit spell. That didn’t take too long, so I logged in to Minya, sorted out some auctions, hippity hopped her way to a head piece (those bunny ears…if there had been more time I would have taken every single one of my characters out just to get those silly things!). What kind of egg hunter was I? Well, by the time I decided to do this with a few alts, the insane camping of egg spawn points had been whittled down to a very few, so I just ran from egg to egg, getting most, and missing some. I didn’t even bother using the silly basket, as by running slower, I grabbed some spawns as people zoomed by me.

Noblegarden over, I logged in Halinka to do her Children’s week quests. When she finished hers, Esoterique set off to do her two sets of orphan quests. They were so much easier on a mage! It took as long on Halinka to do her one set as it took for Esoterique to do both sets. Done with those, it was a new day after all, so I logged in Delgada to do her daily cooking and fishing quests. While I was in Shattrath, she picked up her blood elf orphan, but didn’t do anything with her, because I had promised to do the achievements with the hubby. No chocolate cake recipe, no mini pet, no fishing pole. Delgada was only mildly amused with her new compass. Being a bit upset about it all, she stopped by the toy store and bought herself a few new toys to fiddle with.

Noone was on, hubby was off dropping 3 of the seven off at their mother’s house, so I was left to my own devices. I pulled out Halinka, hearthed to Menethil, and took a boat to the other continent. Theramore had many quests for her, and she dinged 37, then 38. She did all this even without Cartographer! I wonder if she would have hit another level still had she had a pointer to follow. Not long after the ding of 38, hubby got home, and it was TV dinner night, so I zapped a chicken teriyaki meal for him, pulled out a chicken parmesan for me, and sat down hoping for one more level. Then, having been in Ventrilo for all this time alone, it started getting more occupants.

One more level, please? Nope. Hubby logged in to start running some battlegrounds with the boys, and Delgada donned her newly crafted Frostsavage set and started enchanting some pieces with the materials she had. By the time that was done, they remembered to invite me to the group, and we tried out Strand of the Ancients. It was the first time I had been there, and I am still very confused. When I get home today I will have to read more about it. The battle lost, we hearthed to Dalaran, and hopped directly into Wintergrasp. I have only been to Wintergrasp to do Vault of Archavon and the fishing quests, so still confused, I picked up some anti-tank missiles and started blasting away. We lost. I’m sure it wasn’t my fault. I had such bad lag that I don’t think I got to do much of anything useful. I doubt I’ll do Wintergrasp again. My laptop can’t handle it.

After that, enough guild members had logged in, including hubby, to do the “Hail to the King, Baby!” achievement, so we picked up a lonely hunter from the lfg channel and finished it off. We wiped during the gauntlet because the silly healer didn’t get out of the dragon’s frosty breath (Delgada needs some practice mooovvviiinng). The hunter dinged 80, we finished the instance, achievement and all. Hubby and I headed out to the Argent Tournament grounds, and started out the quests there. My thought was that for the daily quest achievement, since it now only requires that you complete 5 daily quests, not the same one 5 days in a row, that there would be at least 5 daily quests out there that we could knock them all out at once. We finished one daily, then flew out to Grizzly Hills to kiss some frogs. That lady would not come out. I think we kissed at least a hundred frogs. By then it was late, so we flew to Ulduar and logged out, with the idea that we would gather stone and then go get wood in Crystalsong Forest to finish dailies 3 and 4, and that would leave one last daily, which would be the scourge killing. Busy day ahead of me when I get home, as we had also planned on trying to run Naxxramas (10) if we had the people to do it tonight (which is when I will be posting this!).

I am just slightly disappointed at the tease of having quests for the Oracles during Children’s week, and not actually getting them. Was I hearing things, or assuming things? I wanted a baby goreloc!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Computers: Can't Live Without 'Em, Can't Shoot 'Em!

It's been rough for me and my electronics this past month. April was the month of endless flu for me. For my computers, it was about the same. The hard drive on my laptop told me when I turned it on to back up my files, because it was about to burn. When I took it in to Best Buy, the diagnostic turned up bad memory as well. Just squeaking by under warranty by a week, they shipped it to Dell for a repair. That night, hubby's desktop decided it needed a new motherboard, as I was blissfully unaware, playing on hubby's new gaming laptop. Hubby was then relegated to an EeePC during my at home hours, or the entertainment rig hooked to the television. Somewhere before all of this one of my younger daughters (I think it was Sixth of Seven), beat up the Rock Band drum set, leaving it so badly injured that it doesn't register every beat now.

Well, my laptop is back, hubby is in possession of his gaming laptop, and the desktop has been laid to rest for the time being. Things would seem to be right with the world. I downloaded World of Warcraft, installed the add-ons I remembered I used, and went to work on getting the new polymorph spell for my alt mages. After about an hour and a half of hopping around Dolanaar, my computer just turns itself off. No warning, just off. It didn't feel overly hot, and I had a fan on under it. I sat looking at the screen in stunned silence, then turned it back on to go back about getting Esoterique her polymorph spell.

It didn't happen again last night, but it has managed to do it twice today, about an hour apart. I have had my laptop on for about an hour now, just running FireFox and ThunderBird, and no problems or excess heat yet. I'm going to go try and do some Children's Week quests on Esoterique. If my computer behaves, I may log in Delgada for some quests, too. Cross your fingers for me, wouldja?