Alas Poor Yor(r)ick!

[A/N: I know it’s been a couple weeks since my last post. I just haven’t had the will to write, really. And I haven’t been doing anything particularly spectacular in-game. Aaaaand, I’ve been suffering from a wonky sleep schedule, so I blame that as well. Like I mentioned on twitter, I’d rather not write at all, than to write something that’s so obviously crap. But this is a good attempt, I suppose.]

This has been me lately. It's been one of those days/weeks/months/years/lifetimes.
This has been me lately. It’s been one of those days/weeks/months/years/lifetimes.

I suppose a tad bit of a progress report is due, considering it’s been at least a fortnight since my last post (way back during Thanksgiving, whoa!). I have made some decent headway in some of my ‘projects’ on Alyzabeth. In no particular order:

*Managed to knock out quite a few of the Burning Crusade reputations I had been grinding out. The only one I had left is Scale of the Sands, which is basically me flailing around the Battle for Mt. Hyjal whilst spamming Arcane Explosion and racking up the reps. It’s not terribly difficult–more just time consuming, since the enemies come in waves, and it can require a bit of running back and forth between mobs (mostly with Thrall, Jaina’s pretty simple). I also need Ogri’la as well, but their dailies has always left a really bad taste in my mouth, so I’ve constantly dragged my feet on making a concerted effort to work on that rep. I know I SHOULD do it, but it’s one of those things I conveniently avoid doing.

*Managed to gain my 20 Secrets of the Empire, after what felt like a million years. I wooshed off to find Wrathion to turn them in, after which he sent me back to the Isle of Thunder to complete <The Thunder Forge>. It requires you to protect Wrathion whilst he forges some fancy-pants lance thingy; the first part is fairly easy, where you fight off some mogu while Wrathion’s busy tinkering to get the forge started. The second portion though…oh my gods, it made me want to throw my computer out my window. You have to help protect a Celestial Blacksmith NPC who’s charging up a room full of anvils, while little (and sometimes big) sha’s come at you. You have a Celestial Defender NPC to help you…but it didn’t really help me. My camera angle kept going wonky, and I couldn’t keep up with the enemies to keep them off the Blacksmith, and I couldn’t seem to get to the charged anvils fast enough to stop Insanity going off (a nifty little spell that completely fecks you up, and you NEED to interrupt it). Needless to say, I had to leave the scenario a few times in order to maintain my sanity (and to keep my computer safe). Somehow, eventually I managed it though (after many tears on Alyza’s part)! Not entirely sure how I did it, and if you were to ask me for tips or tricks, I couldn’t give you any–it seems I managed to spam my buttons well enough to keep the NPCs up, get the lance, and finish off the Sha Amalgamation.

(I did take some comments to heart from the wowhead page for this quest: http://www.wowhead.com/quest=32593#comments, if you should need it. I still reckon it was blind luck that saved me.)

No matter how many times I do this bloody boss, I will never completely suss out this bit. I've survived maybe twice out of the eleventy billion times I've run it. Le sigh.
No matter how many times I do this bloody boss, I will never completely suss out this bit. I’ve survived maybe twice out of the eleventy billion times I’ve run it. Le sigh.

I finished that scenario off, and ran back to Wrathion to get the next part…oooooooooooh, I need 12 Titan Runestones now. Great. Basically the same thing I did before, just different stones? Seems to be a theme here, but off I went. I managed to get lucky the first week I had the quest, and got six or so from LFR (the last two ToT and the first two SoO). It took a bit of blood, sweat, tears (and wine), but I managed to get my 12. I ran back to Wrathion, with a super excited mage–I’m getting closer to the end of the chain, aren’t I? I’ll have a shiny cloak?!

Yes, I am the spark, but first I must fetch him more stones! Somehow I think my mage is above this shit.
Yes, I am the spark, the fire that will spread across the world, but first I must fetch him more stones! Somehow I think my mage is above this shit.

Now I need the heart of Lei Shen. Oh.

Well.

I might of audibly sighed at my computer when Wrathion told me that. I know it’s a Legendary quest chain and all, but one can’t help but feel that this ‘friend’ of ours is taking the piss. Thankfully you can loot the heart if you’ve already killed Lei Shen for the week (which I’ve done), so I’m gonna take a stab at him tomorrow–thankfully, the ToT groups I’ve run into have been fairly seamless now that the content is a bit older, and people are better geared/more knowledgeable/more comfortable with the content.

From what I can tell, I’m quite close to the end. My husband is a step ahead of me, but he’s run into some problems defeating the Celestials, so he’s put it off for the time being. That doesn’t bode well for me, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. All Alyza wants is a shiny cool cape–she doesn’t care about it’s Legendary status, or its stats, just that it LOOKS awesome. But to be fair, on a personal level, this is something I want to finish before WoD drops.

*Managed to FINALLY get a couple pets to 25. I’m the world’s slowest pet leveler, and battler–I do it when I feel like it, and I get very easily distracted, hence why it’s taken me so long (/embarrassed). The first one to make it to 25 was Yorrick, the disembodied floating skull that Alyzabeth talks to (don’t all mages go a bit squirrelly at some point?). I’m hoping to get one of each family to 25 within the week–the rest I need are in the 23/24 range so it shouldn’t be difficult, so much as time consuming. My brain isn’t made for pet battles, but it’s something I do want to do more of, and knock out some achievements in the process. That, and I’d love to open up the Beasts of Fable and Pandaria dailies, and take a stab at the Celestial Tournament (ahahahahaha, like I’ll ever defeat that! But I’d like to try XD).

When you've been practicing magic as long as Alyzabeth has, you start to become...weird. No one has the heart (or stones) to tell her that she has a problem. He's a great listener though!
When you’ve been playing with magic as long as Alyzabeth has, you start to become…weird. No one has the heart (or stones) to tell her that she has a problem. He’s a great listener though! And yes, Yorrick with two r’s, because he’s ~*special*~

*Managed to get the achievement for the second wing of SoO. Every time I got thrown into it, it was right smack in the middle. I constantly needed the first two bosses in order to get the achievement and progress, but I couldn’t…until I could! I might of nearly wee’d myself in excitement when I saw not only Lor’themar, but Aethas there for the Galakras fight (especially Aethas without his cowl/face mask…thing! Very surprising). Also managed to get the third wing completed as well, so I can technically take a stab at Garrosh…except all the groups I’ve been in so far have been fail. I’ll have to wait for the reset and see what kind of luck I have on that front.

Alyzabeth has the biggest girly mage crush on Aethas (even though she could probably wipe him out on the DPS meter--look at his armor?!)
Alyzabeth has the biggest girly mage crush on Aethas (even though she could probably wipe him out on the DPS meter–look at his armor?!)

*Made progress on a couple of leveling toons: my shaman Zanzeeli, who had been stuck in the Outlands has finally progressed into Northrend, and sits pretty at 72. I also did a bit on my Alliance DK, Aveshka, on Shadowsong; I underestimated the advantage of having access to two separate AH’s in terms of looking for pets and other Things Made of Awesome. Hellscream’s AH is pretty abysmal at times, but Shadowsong can have some decent deals–if you have the money for it. Which I don’t. At least I don’t until my DK hits max level, and can start a farm, and I can start flogging stuff on their AH. It’s been kinda fun questing from a different perspective; she’s 84 at the moment, and I hadn’t done Cata content Alliance-side, and I’ve been making an effort to read the quest text. Sometimes I get so stuck in with my characters on Hellscream, I forget there’s a whole other half of the game that I’m not familiar with :D

I might of facepalmed when I saw this. Memories flooded back of when my husband and I slogged through all the episodes of '24' on Netflix. Just no.
I might of facepalmed when I saw this. Memories flooded back of when my husband and I slogged through all the episodes of ’24’ on Netflix. Just no.
This, on the other hand, made me laugh. Quite hard. It's the first time I'd done these quests, and then to find a fecking dwarf in a box...lols forever.
This, on the other hand, made me laugh. Quite hard. It’s the first time I’d done these quests, and then to find a fecking dwarf in a box…lols forever.

 

 

Mana Buns: Thanksgiving Edition

Even though I’m currently living in England, as an American expat, I find time to celebrate Thanksgiving (or as the English refer to it, Thursday). We have our own type of dinner (sometimes it includes yorkies instead of rolls, and there’s custard involved in some point), and despite my snarky, cynical nature, I try to keep the spirit of the holiday at heart–to be thankful for what I have, to see where my privileges are, and to be appreciative of them.

In Warcraft, there’s no exception. This year, I find I have a lot to be thankful for in-game. It seems I’ve run into a decent streak of good luck in the game in the past fortnight:

Awww yeah!
Awww yeah!

Managed to snag the Raven Lord’s mount after countless times running that depressingly fugly dungeon.

Awww yeah Part 2!
Awww yeah Part 2!

Managed to get the White Hawkstrider off of Kael’Thas (ahahahaha suck it you were a sucky prince anyway!).

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND:

My mage has now adopted a new puppy for the holidays. Comes with unlimited supply of brandy. And he drools! XD
My mage has now adopted a new puppy for the holidays. Comes with unlimited supply of brandy. And he drools! XD
Screenshots don't do this mount justice AT ALL.
Screenshots don’t do this mount justice AT ALL.
The blue version <3
The blue version <3
And it's yellowish/brown/tan version!
And it’s yellowish/brown/tan version!

I was extremely fortunate to have a generous husband who gifted me the Enchanted Fey Dragon AND Alterac Brew Pup from the Blizzard store, for an early Christmas present! He knew how badly I wanted the mount, and how I would of been willing to sell my soul to whatever Old God I needed to in order to get it.

But to top it all off:

Wat dis?
Wat dis?
Good gods this mount is huge. Look at my mage derpin about at the controls XD
Good gods this mount is huge. Look at my mage derpin about at the controls XD

When I logged onto Alyzabeth to go do my farms this morning, I saw I had mail from my husband’s engineer alt. I thought he made me a pet or something–sometimes he does that and gives me an extra because he knows I don’t have a max engineer to do that stuff with. I may have almost peed myself when I saw a Sky Golem sitting in my mailbox; I immediately started trying to get him to take some gold off of me, or to post it onto the AH so he could make some gold for himself. He refused, and made me accept it after assuring me he wasn’t worried about the gold, and he knew I needed it, blah blah blah.

He’s a bloke I don’t deserve, but I’m extremely thankful to have in my life :D I’m thankful that I’m privileged enough to be able to play this amazing game for as long as I have; to have the computer and internet and hell, even electric to be able to actually play the game. I’m thankful I have the financial means to pay for a subscription without sweat or hassle (again, thanks to my husband for that!). I’m thankful to be a part of the WoW community, and to have been met with support and camaraderie by the WoW blogging community when I first started this venture*. Over the course of 2013, I’ve become acquaintances and friends with some AMAZING people; over my course of playing WoW, I’ve met people who I consider my best friends (without having met them face to face even, but that’s irrelevant to me).

In my real life, I’m extremely thankful to be so privileged to be living in another country, to be able to still be with my husband despite the hurdles of immigration and distance and money. I’m thankful I have my friends, and my cats are safe and warm. I’m thankful for my mom, who even though she’s 5,000 miles away (which makes this time of the year wicked hard, I’ll admit), is still around despite having several health issues pop up after I moved away from the US. She’s still a phone call away (and a plane ride away next year), and I’m extremely fortunate to still have her here.

I’m thankful for Mana Buns, for my own little slice of the internets. A place that I can call my space, and my virtual home. And I’m thankful for everyone who reads my posts, and likes it, and comments on it, and RTs it over on twitter. And hell, I’m thankful for the people who follow me over @blanket_burrito, who’ve been nothing but supportive and friendly.

I’m on deviled egg duty today, so it’s time for me to sign off. See you on the other side <3

Happy Thanksgiving!

She Works Hard For Her Money

I remember buying those bags from NPC vendors.
I remember buying those bags–they were Quite A Big Deal back in vanilla.

Back in my halcyon days of WoW, I remember how difficult I found it to make money. Having one gold was something for me to brag about, an achievement that felt like a milestone. That said, I still needed help buying my first mount at level 40, a beautiful plain brown horse for my human mage; my guildies were very generous, and knowing I was new to the game, loaned me the difference so I could finally ride with the big kids. I still remember how bloody excited I was after I got it, so much so that I just ran back and forth between Eastvale Logging Camp and Stormwind. I didn’t need end-game raiding or shiny armor to make me happy then. That brown horsey was enough.

I digress.

Back in the days of Vanilla WoW, making gold could be considered quite difficult–at least it was for me. Dailies hadn’t been implemented yet, and flying mounts were an expansion away still. Options were limited once you hit level 60, and since I didn’t really raid or PvP much, my mage found herself desperately grinding elemental mobs in Silithus for common quality items to try and flog on the AH. I traipsed across the Burning Steppes and Eastern Plaguelands scavenging for items I thought had value. Every scrap I could get my grubby mittens on got sold, no matter how little I got for it (like the Tesco advert says, every little bit helps!). It was in a desperate bid to get my epic mount skill at level 60, which back in that day was nigh on impossible unless you were either 100% super dedicated to making money, or lucky. I never did get that mount–I kept my level 40 horsey all the way through the Dark Portal until I stopped playing at 68 and switched to my EU account.

Nowadays it’s a million times easier to make money, and I don’t blink an eye when my new alts manage to come up with several gold without having to exert any effort. Dailies are a HUGE boon in this respect, giving us another option besides mindless mat farming in order to generate gold. I admit I get super burned out on dailies, and haven’t touched any of the MoP ones in weeks (besides the 20 elites on the Timeless Isle for my mage, and the dailies to get my Tillers rep to exalted on new 90 alts so they can get a proper farm). That said, having the choice between money-making options is brilliant, and has made my WoW life infinitely easier.

Basically, kids these days. You don’t know how easy you have it blah blah fart blah ;D

Last night I noticed my ‘bank alt’, Spindlelegs reached 50k gold on her. That was never an official number. I never set out to get X amount on her, it was just a number that popped out at me when I was sorting through my affairs. I didn’t have a celebration or anything (well I was drinking a beer so that might count), but it was a pleasant surprise. Alyzabeth has a cool 38k on her at the moment–it was 40k yesterday, but I found a pet on the AH I wanted and 2.5k wasn’t a bad price. See, I don’t hardly blink at spending a couple grand, as where my old self would probably die at the thought of shelling out that kind of gold for a bloody pet (but then again, my old self existed in a world that didn’t have pet battles, soooooooo). I find that for certain things, if the price is right, I don’t mind parting with the gold–my time and sanity are more valuable, and therefore if I can spare the effort grinding a pet or glyph recipe or cut gem, I’ll do it.

I’m always fascinated learning more about how my fellow Azerothians make gold. I’m intrigued by the notion of playing the AH almost like you would in the real world, how the concepts of supply and demand work in a virtual space. Filling the gaps where a market hasn’t been cornered, be they glyphs or gems or enchants, timing your auctions just perfectly to maximize profits, knowing just the right price to put stuff up for–not shooting yourself in the foot and losing profit unnecessarily whilst keeping your product competitive. I stand in awe of the players who reach gold cap via those means, making smart choices on their server, where the gold making business becomes a game all in of itself (a game within a game? O.o).

I ain’t those people though. And I will never claim I am.

I’ve spoken before about how utterly disorganized I can be in this game, despite my desire to be otherwise. I see my husband making spreadsheets, and being very deliberate in the things he does. In comparison to him (and some others), I’m a hot mess, flying somewhat by the seat of my pants in pretty much every respect. Making my money isn’t any different. I utilize about zero strategy when I approach money making. The most ‘organized’ part of the affair (a tip I picked up from my husband) is to designate one toon who I guess could be considered a bank alt of sorts–my warrior, Spindlelegs.

Spindlelegs is unique in that she used to be a level 85 orc warrior in Cata. Whilst I love female orcs, I wasn’t in love with her, and I got the itch to play another forsaken on Hellscream. So, in a spur of the moment decision, I deleted the 85 and rerolled a forsaken warrior, and I don’t particularly regret the decision (in this case, my time and effort isn’t worth as much as the real life money I’d pay for a race change). I have every intention of leveling her, but for the time being she serves my purposes fairly well, parking herself in front of the Undercity AH. Everything gets funneled through her, and she collects all the gold which she distributes when my other characters want/need some money. It keeps things reasonably neat and tidy, my focus directed in one place, which my poor muddled brain needs.

Another thing I use is the Remote AH via the Mobile Armory, which has been a complete lifesaver for yours truly. Even though I’m at home and have access to the proper game, I’ll use the mobile app right before I go to bed and set up all my auctions (except on certain days when I know my husband will be selling, since I don’t want to undercut him–keeps our marriage solid ;D). I can easily switch between things I have on Spindlelegs, her bank, and her mailbox so I don’t even have to fuss with picking up my mail THEN posting it. I set the app so it takes a flat 5% off the lowest price so I can undercut people without even having to do the math. I don’t even LOOK at the prices; I just set my stacks and make sure those are good, and then press sell. I even collect all my gold from the app since it’s a one-click affair. I hardly use the in-game AH anymore except when I’m browsing for stuff to buy.

But what do I sell? It’s easy to find stuff when you have 7 farms that produce mats on a daily basis–and yes, I’m pretty religious about logging in and collecting my stuff and replanting my crops, even if I don’t feel like doing much else in WoW on that particular day. Most of it ends up being herbs and leather which I end selling at (what could probably be described as) dirt cheap prices, but I have SO MUCH of it that the profits add up after a while. I’m also starting to sell off some of my cloth and dust, and sometimes I’ll sell cut gems if I think they might turn a bit of gold. It’s a bit tricky on my server, since oftentimes I’ll have to repost the gems a few times before someone picks them up, but eh. No real skin off my nose. Golden Lotus is always a good money-maker, even if it’s only 50-60g per piece–I usually put 20 of those up at a time. Again, every little bit helps. I find I focus more on selling raw mats than crafted items for the time being, just because I’m not entirely sure of what will sell–selling crafted items feels like a much bigger gamble to me than just throwing up mats. I may try to break into that part of the AH at some point, but for now I’m comfortable with my methods, and they’re reasonably successful.

There’s a pattern here. It’s basically I’m lazy. I’m also not in any particular rush, nor do I have any set goals in mind which I guess has made it feel fairly…easy I guess.

And do I have anything particular in mind to spend it on? Not really. I’ve been tempted to try and pick up a Unclaimed Black Market Container but I’m not entirely sure what the end price for it is on my server. I see it a lot up for 10k, but with a long time left on the auction, and I have yet to hover around to see what the top bid is–it’s one of those things I may just have to do spur of the moment and see what happens (protip: I’m not a wild and spontaneous person by any means, especially with spending money, so it’s scary). I’d only really do it for the chance to get a fecking awesome mount, like Ashes of A’lar, which means I can die a happy mage whilst flying around on a glowy phoenix.*

Maybe someday I’ll be gold capped. I’m more likely to become the Queen of England but if it happens, it happens. I just reckon my wee warrior’s pockets are a bit heavy this morning, but at least I know I’ll never have to beg a friend or guildie for my riding skill money again.**

This was my entire WoW Vanilla experience.
This was my entire WoW Vanilla experience.

*My heart might literally explode if I ever get the Ashes. It’s all I’ve ever wanted since BC, and my attempts at farming it myself have been poopy.

**I apologize to my guildies way back when, since I can’t remember if I ever managed to pay off that debt. I feel bad now D:

TL;DR: Warlords of Draenor Edition

This would look totally boss painted on the side of someone's van.
This would look totally boss painted on the side of someone’s van.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock without a wi-fi signal for the past few days (or you’ve been intentionally avoiding it), you’ve most likely heard the big news to come out of Blizzcon regarding the future of WoW: Warlords of Draenor. I wasn’t terribly surprised that they picked that title; as you well know, it was copyrighted shortly before Blizzcon, and many (including me) predicted it’d be the title to the next expansion. I was surprised that, as far as we know of the story so far, it won’t be a predominantly Burning Legion-centric narrative. In short, we’ll be sent into the past (about 30 years or so), except it’s an ‘alternate’ timeline of sorts; Garrosh has escaped justice, and goes back in time to stop the orcs from drinking the blood of Mannoroth and becoming corrupted. Sounds good, except that he has intentions to unite the orc clans under his banner (known as the Iron Horde) to invade Azeroth, which of course Is Kind of a Bad Thing. Not to say it won’t involve the Burning Legion at some point since it was them that corrupted the orcs in the first place, but the primary narrative will surround an orcs versus draenei conflict, back when Draenor was still a proper planet, unspoiled by the effects of Ner’zhul’s dark magics.

I won’t go on and on about all the features they debuted at Blizzcon. A much better source for that would be wowhead, that has the best Cliff Notes version of the 411 surrounding Warlords of Draenor (http://www.wowhead.com/wod). In my very humble opinion, there’s nothing they showed that would make me say ewww icky, I won’t buy it/play it. There’s going to be some major changes in terms of raiding and such, but since I don’t do that outside of LFR, my own experience will be relatively unaffected by it. Instead, I figured I’d talk about the things I’m personally looking forward to, or intrigued by (with the usual caveat that any of this stuff can change at any time before WoD goes live–remember Path of the Titans?)

(And bullet format is much easier, so bear with me, plz and thank.)

*The free level 90 toon boost: basically when you buy WoD, you get 1 character to automatically boost to 90. It can be a level 85, level 30, even level 1. For me personally, I don’t think I’ll take advantage of this feature, unless I was really desperately struggling with a toon. I like having toons to level, it gives me something to do besides end-game content (which sometimes bores me to tears), and I like being able to get acquainted with my classes whilst leveling (even if I end up sucking at them at max level). That said, who knows, never say never right? And it’s not mandatory, and if other people do it, it doesn’t affect me, so I’m meh on it. As a game mechanic though, it’s very intriguing (though not particularly new in the MMO world), and kinda smart of Blizzard to offer: they know many players want to get to max level so they can do things with their friends, and making this easier (along with RAF) pleases that part of the player base.

*Level 100 talents (I’ll only be talking about mage ones here, for obvious reasons XD):
Focusing Crystal
40 yd range, Instant.
Conjures a focusing crystal at the target location, which is attackable by only the mage. The crystal will absorb the power of all damage dealt to it. After 10 sec, it will release bursts of energy, dealing damage equal to 130% of the damage it took, split between all enemies within 8 yds, over 6 sec.

This one interests me, because seven hells, it’s never something I’ve done before. Attack something OTHER than my primary target, in order to inflict damage on said primary target, and I’m the only one hitting it? That’ll take some getting used to, because my mindset is pretty much HIT ALL THE THINGS but if it’s only me attacking the thing, I might panic and think I’m doing something wrong (it’s a reflexive action on my part). A cool concept though, and I’m very interested to see how it’ll factor into max level DPS rotations for all three specs (if it does).

Falling Stars
Arcane Orb (Arcane) Instant, 15 sec cooldown. Launches an Arcane Orb forward from the mage’s position, traveling up to 40 yds, dealing 1000 Arcane damage to enemies it passes through. Grants the mage an Arcane Charge each time it deals damage.
Meteor (Fire) Instant, 40 yd range, 45 sec cooldown. Calls down a meteor which lands at the target location after 3 sec, dealing 10000 Fire damage, split evenly between all targets within 8 yds. Also burns the ground, dealing an additional 2000 Fire damage over 10 sec to enemies within the area.
Comet Storm (Frost) Instant, 40 yd range, 30 sec cooldown. Calls down a series of 7 icy comets on and around the target, each of which does 2000 damage, split between all enemies within 5 yds of its impact point.

These sound pretty decent too. Arcane Orb is very similar to Frost Orb, so that’s easy enough for me to picture as a decent addition to the arcane rotation. Meteor and Comet Storm (more Comet Storm since I’m frost, but that’s subject to change) as an AOE spell is always welcome for me as a mage, because I feel I shine the brightest when I get to pewpew lots of things at once, and everyone loves me for it.

*Garrisons: These are going to be HUGE, just going by initial player reactions. It’s one of the biggest things I see people talking about, as Blizzard’s nod to player housing (which, many WoW players have been bugging Blizzard about since forever). Player housing itself wasn’t something I was terribly concerned with, but after dealing with my farm in MoP, and having ‘my own space’ in Azeroth, I think it’s a really neat idea, especially considering how functional it’s going to end up being. You’ll be able to use it to gather resources and loot and help with professions (which were in dire need of a makeover), and you’ll be able to not only micromanage and upgrade your buildings, but your ‘followers’ as well. Your friends can even come see and visit your garrison (as long as you’re partied up), and I can see it becoming quite popular if it makes it live. It’s obvious Blizzard wants to push the social and community aspect of WoD by making your garrison open to friends, and to me, that can only be a good thing :D

*New character models: This was one of the BIGGEST things for me from Blizzcon. I’ve been waiting desperately for news about this project, and it feels like Blizzard has been working on it for a million years (which is understandable somewhat, it’s not a small undertaking by any means). When I play games like Rift or Guild Wars I always end up becoming insanely jealous of their character models versus WoW; not that WoW’s graphics are ‘bad’ per se, and WoW has its own style apart from other games and I would never want them to get rid of the style I’ve grown to love over the years. But it is a bit…dated, I guess?

That said, oh my gods. The developers gave us some teasers of what they’ve done so far, and it’s literally like night and day. The new models are much more detailed and expressive versus their older counterparts whilst maintaining the classic WoW style, and they’re still recognizable as the races we’ve been playing for years. All of them blew me away, but especially the dwarf and gnome women (go check them out at the link–DO ITTTT!). They say they’re about 25% done, and that seems about right; they can’t say whether they’ll be ready to go live at launch, or shortly thereafter, and it will most likely be a staggered release, but still. I will have to roll ALL THE RACES! when it happens, because they’re gorgeous!

(I guess my one question is, will these new models apply to our existing toons? Or only for toons created after the new models go live? I desperately hope Alyzabeth can get a bit of a makeover, urgh)

*Itemization: Guys! They’re getting rid of hit! And expertise!

I’m still kinda digesting that one, because hit has been a huge bane of my existence with my mage. I can’t do the deeps if I can’t hit shite, and that’s been the ONE stat I’ve had to keep my eye on for years of end-game content. They’re also scrapping reforging because it’s a PITA, and I agree–it sounds good as a concept, but it’s the biggest pain to get an upgrade, but then you’re thinking crap, I gotta reforge my junk AGAIN! All because my new upgrade dropped me 1% below my hit cap or whatever. It seems itemization is getting cut down quite a bit to make it a bit simpler and more streamlined, which I can’t complain about. Gear will change based on your spec, which, thanks the gods, finally; every hybrid player in existence cheered for joy when this was announced (I know my husband did, considering his struggles gearing a DPS/tank paladin). I’m not big on making things complicated just for the sake of being complex/difficult (and I imagine I’m not alone), so I think this could work out really well.

(Don’t expect me to get into the maths of these changes, because hahahaha, no, you don’t want that XD)

*Inventory & UI: Big stuff for me as well, because I never seem to have enough room for anything. Quest items not taking up inventory space? Me gusta. It’s something other MMOs have been doing for a while now, so it’s good to see Blizzard jump on that bandwagon. Your bags can also be allocated to hold certain items, like one for consumables, one for vendor items, etc–all things that separate addons have been doing for years, but functions Blizzard’s now adding to the default UI. Definitely can’t complain about that; I’ve scrapped using addon packages for a while and resorted to using the default UI, and it’s kinda nice getting back to basics. I also know how much time I’ve wasted trying to sort my bags, and wishing I could just put stuff automatically into separate bags without having to run third-party addons. Huzzah!

Heirlooms and vanity items are also getting their own UI set up (similar to mounts and pets) to free up space, which I like, considering how much of my bank space is currently clogged up with this stuff. It’s about time Blizzard made Heirlooms truly account bound; as it stands now, it’s only account bound on the same server and same faction (because you can’t post things cross-faction or cross-realm), and putting it into its own panel and making that accessible to ANY character on the account is awesome.

Our quest logs will also automatically break down quests–you’ll either have ‘main’ quests, and ‘side’ quests, which is something else other MMOs are doing (looking at you, Rift and Guild Wars!), so it gets a thumbs up from me :D

*This little tidbit I found under the Zones, Quests and Leveling section:

When completing quests, you’ll have a small chance to get a rare or epic reward instead of the expected one–this adds an element of surprise.

WHHHHHHHHHHAT? That’s kinda neat! It’s one of those things that I won’t get bent out of shape if I DON’T get a blue or puple, but if I do? I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

You also won’t be allowed to fly in Draenor until 6.1, but really…eh. That only starts to really bug me when I’m leveling my fifth alt or so through the content, so I can’t get terribly upset about it, especially considering there was a point in time when we couldn’t fly at all, so there’s that.

*Lore: WoW’s lore is one of the best features of the game for me, as a fan of the fantasy genre and as an aspiring writer (ahahahahaha yeah right). It’s one of those features I focus a lot on whenever a new expansion comes out, because for me it sets the tone and ‘feel’ of the content I’ll be consuming. I admit, I haven’t been super psyched about MoPs lore thus far–it’s okay, but it’s not my favorite, not when compared with the likes of Burning Crusade and Wrath (blood elves and zombies respectively). I’m excited to be able to see these mythic names in action: Durotan, Grom, Ner’zhul, Khadgar, and visit a part of Azeroth’s ‘recent’ past (albeit in alternate timeline form? O.o). I’ve always been curious as to what Draenor was like before it was torn asunder and became Outland; I’ve read the novels which were good, but it’s not the same as being able to see it in-game, as the developers envision it (and whether it matches up to my own vision I suppose).

I do have a beef though.

There’s a distinct lack of women, at least in terms of the main cast. All of the orc clans are led by men, you got Khadgar who’s awesome and my magey patronus, but there’s no major female characters that have been mentioned so far. There’s Y’rel, who sounds interesting enough, and I hope she works out and they write her well, but really. Blizzard straight up said WoD is a ‘boy’s trip’ which irks me, because it doesn’t NEED to be this way–they’re the ones in charge of the lore! Write some decent, well-rounded women. It’s really not difficult (protip: pretend women are people, with the same complexities and troubles and strengths and weaknesses as men). Aggra gets to stay home and take care of Thrall Jr instead of following her partner through the portal. I don’t even know if we’ll get a mention of Draka even though Durotan’s name has been dropped (and c’mon, of course they’ll throw in Thrall’s daddy! duh!). I really hope as they further develop the story, they can insert characters that aren’t automatically cismen and diversify the cast a bit, because there’s absolutely no reason it should be a boy’s trip. Urgh.

On a more selfish and personal note, I’m very curious as to the blood elf narrative in this expansion. Last we heard, the sin’dorei were quite disillusioned with the Horde under Garrosh’s leadership, and even though Lor’themar lent his support to Vol’jin as Warchief, there still has to be bitterness and anxiety on part of the blood elves. What position are they in going into this effort? How enthusiastic are they entering into this conflict, another one that they didn’t necessarily start, but have to participate in nonetheless? What about Dalaran, and the Sunreavers, and their conflict with Jaina, and the constant rebuilding efforts in Quel’Thalas…I’m eager to learn more, and how it affects my mage. (And on that note, weren’t the blood elves thinking about rejoining the Alliance because Garrosh was such a d-bag? Wouldn’t that be something! *cry*)

Oh, and Thrall is gonna smash things again. That’s good, I kinda miss my slightly aggressive (yet merciful) ex-Warchief :D

*PvP: Ashran will be the new PvP zone, and it’s been described as ‘Timeless Isle with PvP’. That’ll be interesting! I’ll most likely give it a go though, because it’s kinda open-ended world PvP with objectives, with an old-AV feel to it. Thing is, it’s also going to be cross-realm (because it’s near the Dark Portal) and there’s no limit to the players that can participate, so my computer may very well blow up in the process XD

I know this got extremely wordy, and if you read this far, good on you! Delicious mana buns to be had! And possibly a beverage of your choice, because that was a lot to get through and I normally try to keep it a bit more condensed, but I have Opinions and Ideas and Things I Want.

TL;DR:

Everything seems really cool and interesting, and I’m eager to get my hands on WoD. Hopefully we won’t have to wait long, since Blizzard said there will be no 5.5–it’s straight to 6.0 and Warlords. I don’t imagine they’ll want us to go without content for *too* long, but we’ll just have to sit and wait patiently for a release date (well, beta first, then release date, but you knew that).

So yeah. The end!

This is your reward for reading my word vomit. BaconSpaceKitty thanks you for your readership!
This is your reward for reading my word vomit. BaconSpaceKitty thanks you for your readership!

From Draenor, With Love–Alyzabeth xoxoxo

With just about 48 hours or so to go until Blizzcon officially kicks off, news has been circulating around the internets about Blizzard trademarking the title ‘Warlords of Draenor’, not only in the US but EU, Australia, and NZ. There’s yet to be any official confirmation from The Powers That Be as to what this refers to, but that doesn’t stop fans from speculating as to what exactly it’s for.

From my non-scientific and totally casual observation of the fandom in the past few days, it seems to be many are reckoning this could very well be the title of the next expansion–and I would have to agree with that. I’ll admit, I could very well be wrong and it could be the title for the upcoming movie, or an entirely different project I’m not aware of. This November will be WoW’s 9th anniversary, and next year we’ll have both the 10th anniversary to celebrate along with the long-awaited movie release (which, gods be good, will be half-way decent and do my favoritest game in the world justice!). I could very well see Blizzard taking us back to the start, so to speak; instead of ‘moving us outward’ (as I’d describe MoP content, with Pandaria and such), they could take us back to older content–Draenor, and tie the story and game back to its earlier incarnations. It would be a golden opportunity to spruce up older content that is showing its age against the likes of MoP (both gameplay wise, and lore wise). The Burning Legion is still very much an antagonist, and a pissed off one as well, a force we’ll have to deal with come hell or high water at some point. And even when you think about ‘recent’ conflicts in Azeroth (namely orcs versus humans, formation of the Horde and Alliance), you can’t have that without Draenor/Outland.

It would be a lovely opportunity to put a nice big fat shiny red bow (or blue, depending on faction) on the entire WoW package. I won’t speculate as to how many expansions Blizzard has under its belt, but I’d hinge my bets on at least one–they’ll push this till 2014, for that 10th anniversary. If they were to do something like that for the next expansion (retooling Outlands content and presenting it as a fresh expansion), it could even set a precedent for Wrath content as well; the Scourge is still a force to be reckoned with as well (albeit weakened thanks to our totally kick-arse efforts in Northrend), and again, slightly older content that could use a face lift, content which quite a few WoW’ers still hold in high regard.

Like I said, I could totally be wrong–wouldn’t be the first (or last) time I’ve been wrong about something. It’s just how I would do it, cycling everything back towards its beginning, during the halcyon days of Wow. Granted, you can never recreate that complete sense of amazement and wonder that players get when they first start playing a new game, but it would make some semblance of sense for them to go in that direction. Go back to what made Blizzard famous in the first place–we’ve gone as ‘far out’ as we can, I think, without completely losing sight of Warcraft’s origins.

With all that said (I’m sorry for the tl;dr), I’ve been in a Burning Crusade frame of mind the last few days. I had a look over Alyzabeth’s reps from the era, and whilst the important ones were exalted (Mag’har for talbulks, Netherwing for flying mounts, because I Have Priorities), many were sitting at friendly or honored, left to collect dust over the ages. A few weeks ago, my husband got the hair up his arse to clear out his reps and get stuff completed, so he was able to tell me which dungeons to hit up for the reps I needed:

Hellfire Peninsula dungeons for Thrallmar (which is finished)

Mana Tombs (for Consortium)

Netherstorm dungeons (for Sha’tar rep, and rings for the Scryers–by far the easiest way for my mage to get rings quick)

Caverns of Time–Escape from Durnholde and Black Morass (for Keepers of Time)

So I’ve been running those every day, and if I’m quick and don’t loot, it takes me maybe five or ten minutes to clear out a dungeon. It kinda helps when you have Arcane Explosion keyed to F for maximum spammage, and portals to send you back to Shattrath quick if you need it XD. I’ve also been running BC raids on the reset for rep as well–Black Temple, Karazhan, Mt. Hyjal, and even Tempest Keep so I can have a crack at the mount (which I’ll never in a million years get, but I still try, because I’m Sad).

Basically it’s just been massive amounts of faffing in Outland (and associated content), clearing up my house, getting things tidy JUST IN CASE! Because you never know. It’s been kinda fun just faffing about, not having to worry about DPS, just doing my own thing. The money’s been fairly decent, and I’ve gotten several tokens from the raids that I’ve turned in for armor, so I may very well try to complete those sets so I can give Alyzabeth something new to wear (again, my priorities are stellar).

Even though I won’t be in Anaheim, and I didn’t buy a virtual ticket, I’ll be waiting for Super Awesome News to come out of Blizzcon. If you live in the UK, you may very well hear me shrieking from my computer chair, depending on what Blizzard gives us. To say I’m excited is an understatement, because despite my fairly recent burn-outs with the game (or more accurately, with MoP related content), I’m still very much on board the Warcraft train :D

I forgot how purple this expansion was. So I had to use a mount that matched.
I forgot how purple this expansion was. So I had to use a mount that matched.
Urrrrrrrrgh. I make a really gross human. Talk about needing a really hot shower after she was done with that dungeon O.o
Urrrrrrrrgh. I make a really gross human. Talk about needing a really hot shower after she was done with that dungeon O.o
Yeah. Found this gem in Escape from Durnholde Keep. Um. I don't know either.
Yeah. Found this gem in Escape from Durnholde Keep. Um. I don’t know either
Also managed to snag this guy (not like it's super hard). He's completely rad though, I could watch his animation ALL DAY. I have named him Metalhead XD
Also managed to snag this guy (not like it’s super hard). He’s completely rad though, I could watch his animation ALL DAY. I have named him Metalhead XD
Can't get enough of this guy, seriously.
Can’t get enough of this guy, seriously.

Half-Pint Hellraiser

[Author Note: This entry was meant for last week, according to the Alt Appreciation schedule (http://laeleiweyn.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/alt-appreciation.html). Like the shaman one, it’s late. Still having ‘issues’, but I’m trying.]

 My relationship with the Warlock class is…well, complicated I guess? I’ve made plenty of them over my six-ish years of playing WoW, but they’ve never gotten far. I had an Alliance warlock I made who got somewhere in the 50s, bouncing around Searing Gorge and that general vicinity…and then I deleted her.

I don’t know either. I don’t even really know why, except maybe I got bored of playing a human?

*shrug*

Sitting pretty with some freshly crafted PvP gear, because hey if it matches, what the hell.
Sitting pretty with some freshly crafted PvP gear, because hey if it matches, what the hell.

That said, I have managed to get at least ONE warlock beyond that point, so hooray for me! She calls Hellscream her home (of course!), a wee goblin by the name of Zarozinia (thanks to Michael Moorcock of Elric of Melnibone fame for that name). She’s currently max level, and spends much of her time tending her farm, prospecting gems and making shiny things (hopefully the Jeweled Onxy Panther at some point), and shuffling trillium ore off to Skellietta for some wicked awesome transmutes.  She also works to keep her menagerie of demons in line, lest they destroy life all life as we know it.

She should probably tackle that last responsibility with a bit more care and urgency, but eh, can’t take life too seriously, can we?

I fully admit, I don’t do a whole lot with her. I’m just pretty terribad at the warlocking, which–I feel like I should be better, but I just can’t no matter how I try. Her PvE spec is a pretty cookie cutter set-up from noxxic, but I think it’s more operator error than any flaw in the spec itself; like with rogues, I find keeping track of dots and curses and that whole lot too much for my brain to handle. I confuse things easily, and spam buttons I don’t really need to spam–which is a huge DPS killer. I do well enough to quest with, but my dungeon runs have always been fairly abysmal, and I’m too terrified to step into LFR even though she’s sitting pretty at an ilvl of 483 (thanks to all the purples that you get just from farting on Timeless Isle).

There is something I’d like to try with her, and it’s a bit odd–scratch that, the thing ITSELF isn’t odd, it’s just my reasons that are a bit weird. I’m very keen on having ‘cool’ looking armor sets, ones that match well, and look Awesome and Badarse and all that stuff. I do it mainly on Alyzabeth, but I do aim to have decent looking sets for all the toons I can reasonably sort it out for (like I won’t grind for ages just for one piece of armor to drop–I have to gauge whether the effort expended is worth the payoff in my eyes). I’ve decided that my goblin would look absolutely brilliant in the Season 14 Grevious Gladiator gear for warlocks (http://www.wowhead.com/news=218738/season-14-pvp-preview-3d-models-rewards-gear-and-more#pvp-warlock. I tried taking a screenie of the 3D viewer of how it’d look on Zarozinia, but it’s kinda broken so you’ll have to use your imagination for now).

The only problem is, it requires lots of PvPing. And lots of Conquest points. And I feel so derpy when I PvP in general, let alone on a class I’m not super comfortable with. I can manage okay with my mage, but anyone else…it’s painful. I can manage to rack up quite a bit of HP if I hit up AV weekend and just chain-run those, because I find I can park my arse in a tower, help defend it, and be moderately successful). But CP is a totally different kettle of fish, and I’m not super confident.

BUT I WANT THAT SET! *cries*

So I’m gonna have to suck it up, and get my feet wet (and hands bloodied) if I want it. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility, but it does require some effort. I need to learn how to warlock PvP, which requires research. My brain has been quite mushy as of late, so I’ve been mainly vegetating with my kindle, so that hasn’t happened yet. I also need to acquaint myself with the newer BGs, because I haven’t run those nearly as much as the older ones. Much of it is going to be trial and error, which equals stress, which equals a very weepy and sad warlock running around with demons taller than she is (hells, blades of grass are taller than Zarozinia!).

I just need to do it.

I can. I just need to push myself over the hurdle. I’m the Little Engine That Could, if the Engine was a chunky white cis chick sitting in front of a computer mainlining caffeine to try and unclog her writer’s block.

I think I can.

I reckon she needs to invest in some platform shoes, seriously. She should be able to ride around on his shoulders like a mount or something.
I reckon she needs to invest in some platform shoes, seriously. She should be able to ride around on his shoulders like a mount or something.

Thunderstruck*

*Thanks to AC/DC for the title of this post, since this song came up whilst I was struggling to write this post XD

[Note from the Author: I’m late with this post, considering the Alt Appreciation schedule. I’m suffering through a serious writer’s block at the moment where I write a paragraph, and then give up and go do something else. Also having issues with my back, and sitting at my desk doesn’t really help, and I’d give my right arm to avoid throwing it out…so I just haven’t been around much–either writing -wise, or in WoW. I was also going to post something ‘different’ for shaman week, but it was taking me too bloody long to write it, so I’ll have to come up with something off the cuff and leave the intended piece for a later date. More information about the Alt Appreciation Project can be found at laeleiweyn.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/alt-appreciation.html]

 

I can’t quite remember when I rolled Zanzeeli and started playing her properly. It’s all a hazy memory (then again, aren’t all my memories hazy to begin with?), where I made her in order to lock her name in on my server, and then left her for ages. Once and a while I’d pick her up, and trudge through some leveling, but it was never anything that really got me hooked.

And it’s a disservice to the class, and I need to remedy that ASAP!

One day a couple of weeks ago, my husband mentioned that he needed some help leveling the last couple of MoP-level toons he has to 90. He does much better when he has someone to quest with, or running dungeons or BGs or whatever it is, but I don’t have any other toons around that level to help him with. So he asks what’s my next highest level toon is.

Which is poor wee Zanzeeli, who at the time was 58, sitting in Hellfire Peninsula waiting for me to get my finger out. He ‘challenged’ me to level her up to 85 or so, and then help him with his shadow priest (which, he’d probably finish leveling the priest faster than if he waited for me to do all that catch-up, but whatever).

So now I have a focus: get Zanzeeli as far as I can, without making my brain melt, because it’s not something I want to ‘force’ myself to do. I’ve dusted her off, and she’s currently sitting at 61, still questing in Hellfire, but I finally have flying which helps out so, so, soooooo much! And here’s the thing about it; whilst questing in Azeroth, it was a pain sometimes, where I’d be eating and drinking every-other pull, but now I seem quite a bit more resilient. I can pull a fair few more mobs and handle them without flailing off the side of the Peninsula, which is always A Good Thing. I’m having a fair bit of fun just running at my own pace, even though I don’t have nearly the amount of Cool Tricks and Bells and Whistles that shamans have at max level (fire elemental, I’m looking at you!). It’s a new project of sorts, something that I’m not trying to burn myself out on, and combined with the decreased xp needed to level/guild xp perks, it shouldn’t take me *too* long to make a dent in her leveling progression :D

As for future plans with Zanzeeli…I’m not sure. Obviously DPS of some description (I’m not going steady with either Elemental OR Enhancement, I’m a free agent), but in terms of End Game it’s hard to say. I’m not super 100% comfortable with shamans yet to say one way or the other what direction I want her to go in (and so much of it depends on when in the expansion’s life cycle she reaches 90, and what content is available at that point).

Ah yes, I had missed the clown armor from the Burning Crusade era. How is that chestpiece even remotely protective!
Ah yes, I had missed the clown armor from the Burning Crusade era. How is that chestpiece even remotely protective!?