Tuesday, December 25, 2007

046: Standing out

Turns out I wasn't the only one working hard to obtain a goal for christmas!

Way back in my leveling days I went to help out a friend in a Zul'Farrak run. One of the other party members happened to be a Shadow Priest and a female just like me, and her and I got to talking. Almost a year later, we still talk at least once a week and occasionally step in to help each other when needed. Her perhaps moreso than me, being as how she's got a bad case of Alt-itis at least 3 level 70s by now and a couple more soon-to-be. Anyway, she's been going on about taming this rare pet on her Hunter for some time.

Now I'm as far from an expert on Hunter pets as they come, but I was fairly certain that none of the pets in the game were terribly unique. I knew about the extra-invisible cat in Darkshore and the rare spawn lions, but even they didn't strike me as particularly unique since so many people go for them in order to stand out. To be quite honest, I've seen so many of these 'rare' pets around that if it weren't for reading Petopia and BRK's blog, I wouldn't have known that they were rare at all. So when Shado announced her intent on taming some super rare extra special unique pet I didn't really raise an eyebrow. I didn't even pay attention to it much, just tossed out the old 'let me know if you need me for anything!' and went on my merry way.

This morning she whispered me to congratulate me on my dragon, and then she mentioned that she finally got her special pet. Oh, says I, congrats! Stay where you are, she replies. You have got to see this.

She flies to Terokkar where I'm fishing Golden Darters for my Healadins, and dismounts.

Holy God damn hell, is that a spectral wolf? Yes. Yes it is.

I'm assuming it was introduced in 2.3 since petopia says it comes from Dustwallow. It can't be tamed like a normal pet is, as it only exists as a summoned aide to a mob. You'd probably think, like I did, that any hunter could just trek to Dustwallow, locate the right mob and pick on it until it summons the wolf and then tame it, but no. Not quite that easy. See, the tame beast spell is a 20 second cast. The spirit wolf is only present for aproximatly 8 seconds, once summoned.

At some point, a Hunter out there decided to see if it was possible to tame it anyway. They enlisted the help of a Shaman for
Heroism/Bloodlust (30% increased spell haste) and a leatherworker for Drums of Battle (+80 spell haste). Or possibly a Shaman leatherworker. On top of that, they socketed Mystical Skyfire Diamond in a meta gem slot (15% chance to reduce the next spell's casting time by 50%) and brought along a Priest.

That Hunter and his team then located this particular mob and had the Priest mind control it in order to be in charge of when the spirit wolf is summoned. He or she then had Heroism, Drums of Battle and the gem-proc all going at the same time and told the Priest to make the MC'ed mob summon the spirit wolf. After undoubtably many agonizing tries, he or she managed to cast Tame Beast the very second the spirit wolf appeared. It worked. The wolf died immediatly after, as it was scripted to die after 8 seconds, but the Hunter could ress it like any other tamed pet. And there it was.

I very much doubt it was planned by Blizzard that the wolf should be tameable, but someone found a way and then people
began to copy it. (A statment has since been released, saying that Blizz won't change the fact that it is tameable.) My friend Shado heard about it from somewhere and set out to get it herself. And she did. Now she's trekking around Outland to level him up slowly but surely, as the wolf is only level 30 when summoned. She's the only Alliance to have it so far, and there's only one Horde with it that we know of.

She stands out.

It got me thinking about my own Winterspring Frostsaber, about the Spectral Tigers of two guys in my guild, about Tamashi's Raven Mount and all the other truly unusual pets and mounts out there that people invest time and effort into getting. It's all about standing out, of being able to show just how dedicated you are to this game, how much work you've put into it.

My hat goes off to each and every one of you out there who have gone for and achieved something that's special to you in this game (whether it's something you can show off or not). May there be a new goal on your horizon and best of luck achieving it!

Monday, December 24, 2007

045: My Christmas present

Late last night, shortly after the dailies reset, I reached exalted. A certain Mr. Stormrage was not amused!

The Netherwing were most impressed though, and saved me from Illidan's wrath. After landing safely in Shattrah, one of their best dragons offered to bond with me in thanks for everything I'd done for his kind.

May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

044: 5 worst wipes

A few days ago, Ratshag tagged me to write about my 5 worst wipes. It just so happens that he did this mere days before my worst wipe yet, but I'll chalk that up to coincidence!

It was actually pretty hard to complete this. I don't really get upset by wiping. I honestly couldn't remember many wipes at all, but I suppose that's a good thing! I've picked those that stood out in some way or another, but none of these are what I'd consider awful:

#1: The setting is Zul'Aman with Kamuflasjefylla and everything has been going peachy. I'm starting to remember which boss has what tactics, though the random order we do things in isn't helping much. At any rate, everything goes down like pie and we're standing at Zul'Jin's feet, ready to kick ass yet again. Well, we would have, if the server hadn't decided to begin randomly tossing off 3-4 raid members in mid-fight. And then do it again, after we wiped and corpse-ran. And then AGAIN. We're getting pissed off, people are rebooting and making sure nothing is wrong on their end, but it's not helping. Finally, things seem to stabilize a little and we get ready for attempt number 4 or so. Adagio does a Ready Check and everyone is prepared, awesome, let's go! Hey wait, why is Tairha on the wrong side of the flaming gate? Turns out he'd clicked ready, and then gone AFK. Brilliant! Oh well, we'll just make the best of it, right? As long as everyone stays connected it shouldn't be an issue, we can 9-man this!

I think Dave disconnected once during that try, and since he'd respecced Holy to be a healer for the time being that was a bit of a problem, but he managed to log back on and we managed to keep him alive while he was DC'ed, so all was well. Zul'Jin falls slowly but surely in HP. Phase 3 hits. I can't even begin to tell you how much I hate phase 3. I call it the RP phase, because I can't do anything but /tickle and run from the tornadoes. Any and all spellcasting - healing included - does some nasty damage to yourself so all the DPS casters are forbidden to do anything unless they're at 100% health. Which we never are, thanks to those bloody tornadoes.

Finally, after what seems like forever, phase 4 hits. Zul'Jin transforms into a Lynx and begins charging people. Once he's charged you, hell insist on slapping the bejeesus out of you for a while and there's no taunt in the world that can change his mind. Very risky business for clothies (unless you're lucky enough to be a mana battery and thus BoP priority♥), but our healers are on the ball and whoever the first victim was survived.

The lynx-shaped boss charges his second victim... and it's Tairha. Standing outside the gate. Zul'Jin slaps her around a bit, evade bugs and resets.

The only bloody time we managed to get as low as 25% with all healers having decent mana, everyone alive and at a decent health and no disconnecting issues on the tanks, and it freakin' resets. We try again since we're all alive... and wipe miserably when 2-3 people DC yet again. We fold. Not worth it.

#2: Wiping on Hydross in SSC with a 25man team of Black Temple geared raiders. I wasn't fussed, but everyone else were!, to the point of Tamashi whispering me to assure me they're not usually that bad. Which I thought was really cute.

#3: I've written about this Karazhan run
before, but it was so awful it deserves to be mentioned again. We'd just taken in a Holy Priest on trial back in Reavers, and I was raid leading (I think?) our first run with him into Kara. And then we wipe on Attumen trash, and on Attumen, and then on Attumen's trash AGAIN. Talk about embarassing.

#4: I might have mentioned this one before too, but not in much detail I think so here goes! Back in Reavers, a guildie asked me if I could help him out in Blackrock Depths. He'd had a full team but then the healer had ditched them. Well, says I, I've got about +1k healing in my Healbot set, though I'm shadowspecced. Think your party members would be opposed? They weren't. So I trekked all the way over there, intent on being a healer only. Should be cake, right? I'll have no trouble keeping that tank alive! Not so much. My guildie, who was offtanking, disconnects, and the proper tank isn't particularly good. Combine that with two DPS-hungry pyromages and we have a wipe. Hopping back into shadowform and trying to kill things wearing my holy set (and this was before the patch, so there wasn't much +spell dmg on it either) just doesn't cut it. The tank leaves group without a word because wiping with a lvl 70 in BRD is just that appaling, apparantly, and one of the mages 'has to go'.

Their loss, because when I get pissed off I get pissed off. I'll tank this damn instance if it's the last thing I do! Ten minutes after that senseless wipe, I've recruited an Elemental Shaman via LFG who says she can toss on her holy gear and try and keep me alive. There is some discussion on whether Vampiric Embrace + her healing will be enough to hold me up and then I decide bugger this for a lark. Keep your normal gear on, I'll get my Warlock friend to come on his level 70 Holy Paladin, let's rock this casbah.

The guildie disconnected yet again and stayed offline, but I was far beyond caring at that point. We carried that Mage and the stunned (but very happy) Elemental Shaman through the entire instance, killing every single boss we could find.

#5: Last week. My Black Temple virginity had just been popped. I wasn't on Tieryn as she and a couple others are still waiting for another priest to reach 70 so they can all be attuned together, but I was on a Shadowpriest. A friend had lent me his, since he had to go on his Paladin to help heal and why not give me some experience when there's a free slot? It was a scrambled together raid and it really wasn't optimal for BT, but they were game for giving it a go.

About an hour later, the raid was called after we'd wiped spectacularly on trash several times, and, when we were finally ready to take on High Warlord Naj'entus, the maintank messed up the pull and got both adds + the boss on us instead of just the adds.

I still had a ball because hey, Black Temple!

Not much posting from me these days, I reached 3500g three days ago and decided to stop messing about and borrowed the rest. I've got myself an epic bird now, and in 72 hours I've reached Revered with the Netherwing. It's a lot of hardcore rep-farming, but if our estimates are correct I will have my
Dragon for Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

043: Rhêa

Have you ever thought about who that Horde is, if you play Alliance, or the other way around if you're Horde? Have you ever thought about them as people, beyond them being an enemy player and checking to see whether or not they're flagged for PvP? I hadn't. Not really.

Yeah, sure, I roam around Alliance capitals with the Undead frequently, but I didn't know any of them. I knew Neas was a funny guy that cared more about pushing the boundaries of the game than questing/raiding, and who'd happily share his fun with a random emote-happy Human Priest. I knew Rhêa enjoyed ganking for the sake of ganking and had been doing it since before I started playing WoW. I knew that even though his gear was considered 'shit' his skills granted him victories over people with far superior gear. I guessed from his username that he liked the Dark Tower books, but didn't know for sure. Beyond that, though?

Lurking on the realm forum boards didn't give me much. People don't get personal on there, perhaps especially on Dentarg's forums. Flamewars aren't exactly rare to put it like that, heh.

In a quiet room in the Mystic Ward of Ironforge, furios emote combat took place. Me and a Paladin guildie versus Rhêa the Undead Holy Priest. You want to talk things over with Rhêa. You question Rhêa. Rhêa wants to talk things over with you. On and on. But how?

In a flaming thread on the realm forums where Rhêa had posted, I had typed in my email. After about fifteen more /talk emotes we reached our goal. Rhêa replied in the thread, asking me to come on Dentarg's IRC channel. I quickly removed my email again. IRC? I last used that when I was 19 (I'm 25 now). Luckily the Paladin had once gone on there and could help me sort out my settings. Turns out Rhêa's email address had mysteriously died in a fire, but he had MSN!

Rhêa has mercilessly slaughtered me many times. I don't think I've killed him more than once - and I had help! - but my memory is that of a goldfish so don't hold me to it. He is a really nice guy. Loves the Dark Tower books. Hates questing. Visits Ironforge every single day. Collects non-combat pets just like me. Invited me to come to Orgrimmar some time as his special guest, after I mentioned that I'd never ever been there. Communication is glorious.

Did you know that if you exploit terrain jump and get yourself up to the top of Ironforge - not the airport place but the mountain peak right above IF itself - there's an Alliance banner there with a couple NPCs? Did you know that if you're Horde - or have a Horde friend with you - and you kill them, you loot Alterac Valley items?

I know. Rhêa showed me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

042: New Guildies

12:23:29 [W From] <70:Adagio>: it was about 9 am GMT, uk time i hear a knock on the door, shoot out of bed, get halfway down the stairs to realise i was half dressed, so i grabbed the nearest thing
12:23:39 [W From] <70:Adagio>: it was a purple with PINK fluffy thingys on it -_-
12:23:49 [W To] <70:Adagio>: You, sir, are a true Paladin!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

041: Serpentshrine Cavern

I had logged out and was procrastinating making dinner when Chiwi nudges me on MSN, telling me to get on cause they were taking me to SSC. Turns out they'd had to cancel their Black Temple progress raid due to some people not showing. :/ As soon as I logged on I had a raid invite and then I got summoned... to Shadowmoon Valley? What? Ten minutes later Doomwalker was down, and we headed to Hellfire to poke Kazzak. He goes down too, and we fly onwards to SSC. Hydross, Lurker, Tidewalker and Fathom Lord all bite the dust yielding aboslutely no loot. Well that's a lie, there was one Nether Vortex so I'll get my Belt of Blasting now (once I grind the rest of the primals), and there were some boots that I received for my healing set.

Again my impressions are pretty jumbled up and blurry, but I must say, SSC bosses seem easier to me then ZA. Lurker, for example, was cake compared to a boss like Zul'Jin.

I'd thought I'd have more time, since they were technically supposed to be working on BT until the reset, but obviously I need to start reading strategies and watching videos right away. Just so I have a better clue what's going on. Who knows when I'll be going next time.

(Sorry if my blogposts are boring these days, life is hectic both in and out of the game!)

040: Zul'Aman redux!

Kamu are making their first attempts at Reliqblahblah of Souls in the Black Temple tonight, but I'm not getting attuned to Hyjal/BT until later. They don't particularly like Kael, thus me and a couple others are being grouped together for our attunement so they only have to do him once. So far I've mostly been farming primals for enchants and hoarding badges like they were candy, but last night I went on my first raid with them - to Zul'Aman.

Absolutely no loot for me, it was pitiful. We spent hours and hours wiping, too, which isn't normal for them. They have ZA on farm, technically. Last night's raid had a poor setup, Dave said, and we actually swapped out one of the drunk Holy Priests for a Paladin after wiping a couple times on Zul'Jin. (Then we wiped some more!) Up until then we'd run without a single Paladin, and with me being the only Shadow Priest. The healers were two Holy Priests and a Druid. There was no way I could produce enough mana for them, though I did my best. As Dave said at some point - you never fully appreciate Blessing of Wisdom and Mana Spring totems until they're not there.

Dave, by the way, is my self-appointed mentor, friend and Raid Leader. He was the one (supported by Tammi) that told the Guild Leader to invite me, fresh out of Karazhan, rather than recruit someone with better gear whom might not be loyal to them. He plays a Priest as well, though he switches between Holy and Shadow. Oh and on that note, I've written here before that Tammi is the GL of Kamu, but that's actually only on the Armory. The main tank, Potta, is the real boss, but Tammi ninja'ed the rank.

To me, having only been in ZA once before and only ever seeing the first boss without downing it, the whole instance sort of blurred together. Not to mention we didn't do them in the 'proper' order. I remember the first boss. I remember the Eagle(?) boss because I was the only one allowed to DPS him beyond 60%, and this was repeated so many times, loudly, that I won't forget for a week. ("If your name's not Tieryn, STOP ¤@#$ing DPSing the Boss, NOW!") I remember Zul'Jin, because I spent phase 3 wandering around trying to avoid whirlwinds and emoting people. Any spellcast you do during that phase causes aprox 1500 damage to you, so me and the Warlock were out of work. I also remember him because we wiped on 1%! I think that was the wipe that made Dave swap out the Priest for the Paladin.

That Voodoo Gnome trinket dropped, so did
Jin'rohk. No one actually needed either. The trinket was handed out with /roll 10 and some of the melee people rolled on the sword for looks only. Made me laugh. Actually, I spent about half the raid laughing so hard I nearly cried. Tammi was whispering me and I don't know if she did it on purpose to help my nerves or not, but she kept cracking me up. Over and over. I'm sure you've been there sometime yourself - you keep wiping and stupid stuff happens and you just start laughing. It got to the point were everything was funny.

I was told afterwards that I'd done well, but there were definitely mess-ups. I had some issues with the fireballs on... one of the bosses. Eagle I think? Took a couple of tries before I figured out exactly what their range was, and how to spot vacant areas more easily. I was given a shackle job on the second to last boss after we realised the Holy Priests couldn't handle shackling and healing as well. It went okay, but it did break at least once. Re-shackling is next to impossible when the Spirit Bolt is up, I'll tell you that!

Other than that I don't really remember many details. I had fun though. And while I know some of the others were dissappointed that I didn't get any upgrades (and that we wiped for hours and hours), I'm honestly happy enough to have the experience. To have survived my first Kamu raid without messing up too much.

Here's to next time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

039: Winds of Change

Leaving the guild was both and easy and a hard decision. Easy because Reavers is casual and was never meant to be anything else. All the officers (except me) have raided hardcore before and, for various reasons, don't want to anymore. Hard because they're all friends. I've met several of them IRL. I have a lot, a lot, of respect for some of them.

Chances like this do not come often, however.

I've left Reavers and joined Kamuflasjefylla. They've cleared Hyjal. It's gonna be a tremendous challenge.

Illidan here I come. ♥

Saturday, December 1, 2007

038: +1000 shadow spell damage

A guildie needed an SL run for the keybit some time ago and I thought why not? I've been exalted with Lower City for ages, but still need Aldor drops for the last few thousand rep with them. Let's go! We breeze through it all, kill Murmur and... wait what? Spellstrike Pants pattern? Well color me amazed! And color a Mage in my guild green with envy, too!

A week or two of mat-farming later:

Getting it gemmed took a chunk out of my epic flying skill fund, but it was worth it. (Still farming the Primals for the epic spellthread.)

I also ran a heroic with some non-guild friends last week and got mildly scolded for my gear. Namely the fact that I was still running around with Wand of the Netherwing when an epic wand had been made available through Badges. Two heroics later I picked it up and also made my very first honor-point purchase ever (epic gem):

Another thing I was picked on for was that I'm using a healing trinket (Scarab of the Infinite Cycle) alongside my Icon of the Silver Crescent. Honestly though, all the other trinkets I have are +spell crit on equip - the Scarab is the only one that offer +spell dmg. They told me to farm some Heroic or other for an epic trinket but I forgot which one, which is just as well since my 'to do' list is getting kinda long.

Regardless! +1k shadow spell dmg has been broken. With the spellthread it'll be even more, and I still need to switch glove enchants from +15 spell hit to +20 spell dmg, now that I'm ahead of the game hit-wise. The new damage goal is to break +1100 shadow spell dmg before Newyears.

Btw, that's me sporting the Aldor tabard, after finally dinging exalted yesterday :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

037: More Horde affairs II

I'm going to continue writing about my adventures with my Undead buddies, because it's more interesting than me whining about how there's no raids cause everyone's having exams these days, or how boring farming for mats is, etc. Also, I'm going to start using proper names on some people cause by now there's simply too many Bears, Paladins and Warlocks to keep them apart.

(Randomly, if you can figure out why the font changes after the first image, I'll give you a cookie. I can't figure it out for the life of me and things like that really bug me :/)

It's Wednesday afternoon and I'm hanging out in Stormwind. Got nothing to do so I'm talking to Chiwi, the Warlock that adopted me a while ago, and Tammi, the female guild leader I mentioned recently. Tammi's DJing on vent, Chiwi's tapping his feet for his arena partners to log on and occasionally I alt-tab to surf a little. After about 45 minutes of relaxed idling, I finally hear what I'm waiting for: Stormwind City is under attack!

I hurry over to the flight path and sure enough: it's my favorite Undead Priest! No longer Holy, but as the Draenei say: Eh, details. I /greet and /hug and jump up and down, he /hugs and /loves and wants me to follow. I nod. We don't even make it down the FP ramp before two Rogues stunlock him and kill him.

There's an interlude where I sit by his corpse and wait for him to return, while wondering where exactly Horde pop up as ghosts after being killed in an Alliance capital. It can't be that graveyard by Goldshire cause they take way longer. Raven Hill possibly? No idea. Eventually he spawns, I /pat, we mount up and continue. Through the trade district, past the Stockades and into the Canal. He kills a couple guards offhandedly (and underwater) to get them off his back while I keep posting in /3 to say he means no harm and to leave him alone. Then it's through the Cathedral district and over the Canal to the Dwarven corner. He's got about fourteen guards after him by the time we hit the Tram portal and again he motions for me to follow. Again, I nod.

He says there are fewer rats in Undercity
Neas the Undead Priest and myself, waiting for the Tram.

On the other side of the Tram Tammi is waiting for us, wanting to know what Neas is up to. To my surprise, four other Hordies, a random lowbie Alliance and a guildie of Tammi's are waiting with her. It was like walking straight into an unexpected party.

Coming out into Ironforge, the raggedy band of Hordies attract quite a lot of attention so we all jump into the lava canals and speed through towards the Commons until they've all been murdered. Some Alliance are quicker than MC & druid healing, obviously.

Some quality Druid humping
Tammi takes the opportunity to do what
Druids do best on poor Neas' corpse.
(you're all perverts, I tell you!)

After some waiting they all respawn, and we make it to the open area in front of the bank and AH before they're dead again. Tammi squeals and points to the roof of the Armorsmith - it's Rhêa, the other Undead Holy Priest! We love Rhêa! Rhêa is probably even more commonly known among Alliance than Neas is - he's not just a ganker, he's the ganker. This guy spent more time on top of the Inn in Darkshire pre-BC than Alliance spent time in Ironforge. Now I'll admit I've killed both Neas and Rhêa before, and probably been killed by Rhêa a handful of times while leveling up in Duskwood, but that's all in the past.

Tammi is an exploit terrain champion just like the Horde crew and is up on the roof within a minute. I on the other hand, need a little more time. I /beg Rhêa to help me without realising I haven't got my PvP turned on, but eventually I manage to get up on my own.

Mmmm, high quality
We immediatly sit down for some casual discussion of the Dark Tower books.

The others soon respawn and it's time for them to celebrate what they came for, which I found out later: Neas had been banned on the official forums due to his obnoxious, spammy posts, but the ban had finally lifted and they'd all come to Ironforge to gank themselves silly in celebration. Not the most noble of purposes, but hey, don't I look cool up there with all the Undead? :)

My pet Horde, Lâncer, is unhappy and needs to be fed :(
Also, can't imagine why they think Neas and I are having an affair!

There was lots of Mind Control'ing going on to give them all Druid buffs and to help Rhêa heal them all up (the other Hordies kept jumping down to give the Alliance a fair game at killing them off - which they did over and over - then Rhêa would ress them back onto the roof), and there was at one point a little Priest coffeebreak too. I think I sat up on that roof with them for two hours, constantly being whispered by people who wanted me to kill all 5 of them on my own. Errr, no. Tammi and I were also called out in yells that we were Horde spies. No, we told them, we're not spying - just sleeping with the enemy!

Horde do it better, I tell you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

036: More Horde affairs I

The crazy Undead Priest came back for an Ironforge pow-wow! Unfortunatly not all the Alliance were as friendly, so I had to mind control him a couple times to save his life. There's a WoW movie being made on my server these days (parody of Lord of the Rings) that involve both Horde and Alliance and it's made by (among others) the standing Paladin in that screenshot. He's taken several trips to Orgrimmar to shoot scenes and the Undead Priest have MC'ed him in return to save him.

Friday, November 23, 2007

035: Busy busy!

Been super busy lately and slacking with blogposts. I've started this course and it isn't that it's demanding a lot of my time and energy, it's the exact opposite. It's mind-numbingly boring and leaves me drained every day when I come home, even if it's still fairly early in the day. Also, I have a toothache and a week to go still before I can have it fixed. :/

In WoW-news, I was adopted by a batshit Warlock from the most progressed Alliance guild on the server the other day. We'd talked briefly a couple times, mainly just exchanging hellos, when one night he was bored enough to drag me through all the Ogrila prequests just so I could accompany him for the dailies. Needless to say my epic riding skill fund has benefited nicely! It's made me think about the social networking of WoW and how it really is important to have friends in the game outside your own guild. I can't count how many times I've wanted to do a heroic but haven't had enough people on, or I've wanted to grind something but no one else was interested in coming along. The more people you know the less likely you are to ever log off cause there was nothing to do but idle in Shattrah.

(I don't like to grind or quest on my own. I'm a clothie and a carebear and I stink at PvP - bodyguards are the way to go!)

After making friends with this insane Warlock though, I was invited to join his guilds vent for some daily heroic runs late at night. Now this is a guild with at least 3 females in it already, of which I think two talk frequently on vent. That didn't stop people from going 'WHO WAS THAT?!' as soon as I spoke and whispering the Warlock to find out more. Which is cool, I get that I was a stranger and all, but I doubt they'd have been terribly interested if my voice had been male. Later there were some whispers (that were copied to me by others) regarding my voice and what it sounded like. I'll spare you the details, heh. I thought of TJs posts (
here and here) about the girls that complain about the attention they get when they don't lift a finger to try and stop it. I actually did stop talking on their vent unless necessary and told my friends there why. While I didn't really care what people were saying, I don't want to feed that kind of stuff and find myself some day down the line caring about something else they said.

I find the whole hoopla over females on vent/in the game fascinating though. Like TJ said in her posts, it's not exactly a rarity. There are thousands of girls out there playing WoW - There are female guild leaders (I'm the GM of my guild and the GM of the guild I was on vent with is also female), female raid leaders, really awesome female PvPers, etc. It's not a new concept at all, so why is it still treated as a big deal by some? That said, and again TJ pointed this out as well, it doesn't happen often. I can only think of once in the previous 8 months or so (that it happened to me), so that plus the fact that they had other girls in the guild is probably why it threw me for a loop.

Anyway, I've been planning to post this here but it never seemed to fit:

Tieryn tanked Durn the Hungerer in Nagrand several weeks ago, with a Warlock for DPS and two healers. Now he's not exactly the toughest of elites but still people get bug-eyed when I mention that I tanked him as Shadow Priest. Face it people, anyone that can build and maintain decent aggro can tank elites and bosses with enough healers on them :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

034: Alicia's Poem

I posted this on wow_ladies just now, but I figure I'll post it here too in case someone out there knows. And in case you haven't seen it yourself and would want to.

I randomly swung by that little park in Stormwind Keep today (where you have to kill those noblemen for the Missing Diplomat chain as a lowbie). To my surprise I saw that huge honking yellow exclamation point on my minimap and quickly located this little girl wandering around the park with a quest for me. Her name is Alicia and she wants me to deliver a letter to someone named Caylee on the Aldor tier in Shattrah. Okay, I think to myself, must be the start of some shiny new quest chain or whatever.

Head to Shattrah and sure enough, opposite the Mark of Sargeras dude there's a new NPC: Caylee Dak the NE Hunter and her Nightsaber, Dusky. I'm surprised, however, when I hand her the envelope, get my 3-4 gold and.... don't get a follow up? Wait, that was it? I discover that I can talk to Caylee again and when I do the only option is to ask her to read me Alicias poem - the one that was in the envelope.

And it's sad :/

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
across Northrend's bright and shining snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,
on Westfall's fields of golden grain.

I am in the morning hush,
of Stranglethon's jungle, green and lush.

I am in the drums loud and grand,
the hunderous hooves across Nagrand.

I am the stars warmly gleaming,
over Darnassus softly dreaming.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.


It reminded me of that toombstone in Hillsbrad Foothills (read about it on wowinsider I think) that was put into the game in memory of a person close to a Blizzard employee or something that had died. Is this something like that? Was this put into the game with patch 2.3 or has it been there longer and I just never noticed? Does anyone know what the story is? And is this only for Alliance Aldor people, or does Alicia ask you to deliver it at the Scryers tier if you're Scryer?

Sad panda :(

Edited: A lovely poster on WoW_ ladies found out. Awwww :/

033: Horde in Stormwind

Not how I expected to spend my day.

On my server there's this crazy Undead holy Priest that stops by Ironforge and Stormwind almost daily. If you attack him he'll kill you, but if you don't... he'll mind control you and bring you up the mountain alongside Valley of Heroes. You get a fantastic view from up there!

This time he brought a Rogue with him for company. Unfortunatly once they'd managed to MC me all the way up to the top (I stink at exploiting terrain, obviously) the Priest jumped off and slowfalled, effectively missing out on the screenshot. More pics: one two three

(I'd wanted to remove the UI, but names and guilds no longer show up when I alt-z. Boo!)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

032: Winterspring Winterspring Winterspring

Was a rolling restart. Can't sleep. Have to quest more. 20 more turnins to go and I'm done. Exalted. Finished.

Things I will not miss about Winterspring:
* The Winterfall Runners
* Rak'Whatever, the rare purple kitty
* Grizzle the elite furbolg
* Princess Tempestria shouting at me
* Lvl 70 Hordies with nothing better to do than ganking in Winterspring
* Not having enough Shamans and being forced to wait for respawn
* The distance between Winterfall Village and Frostsaber Rock
* People stealing my mobs!

This grind has given me:
* More than 5 random blue world-drops
* 5-6 different Darkmoon Cards
* Enough Runecloth to cover all the walls in Stormwind
* An Orb of Deception
* Migraines

* Revered status with Timbermaw Hold
* Countless green items
* An obscene amoutn of Frostsaber Leatherworking recipes

With patch 2.3 I should be getting a 20% discount on the mount, right? What with being exalted with the faction? How much does the mount cost anyway? It always seemed so far off so I never actually checked. I still can't quite grasp that it's almost over. Whatever will I do now?

His name is gonna be Frost.

Edited to add:

031: Pet Hordelings

This post is for Doom.

Zul'Aman last night didn't go terribly well. That said, it went a lot better than I'd expected, so I guess we came out of it alright! The trash wasn't an issue except for that 4 (6) mob pull right before the first boss. Took a couple tries before the healers figured out that this was srs bsns and the DPSers woke up from their snorefest. The boss himself was unfortunatly too tough a cookie for us. We've only ever downed Prince once and never Nightbane or Netherspite so our gear isn't the best ever. We were doing a champion job at it though! Yours truly died many many many times (3rd in aggro all the time and no chance in hell to reach the reset point before he'd eaten my face) for the cause.

Our main issue is healing, being as how our main healer, the Healadin of previous posts fame, is on a mini-WoW break. His replacment is the sexy female Healadin (one of my best friends IRL) and while she's an awesome healer she was running around in half Shaman loot and half not that great Paladin loot. Once respawn hit us the first time we decided to close up shop and headed to karazhan instead. There, we proceeded to clear out Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera and Curator in 2 hours, effectively gearing up the sexy Healadin a little bit. It'll probably take some more work, but we'll get there. We had him down to 60% on our best try and I'm pretty confident that we'll pick him off without much trouble next time.

Boring boss and trash talk aside - Zul'Aman is pretty! I love the fact that it's outdoors and I got strong Zul'Gurub vibes when we first entered, even though I've only been in ZG a couple times before. Had a whole bunch of hex stick things drop btw, so half the raid are getting pet frogs soon. I didn't realise it was gonna be that common, but hey, as long as I get one of 'em!

In Winterspring news, I've been slightly sidetracked today. My goal was to clear 9k rep and I managed around 7500 when the Rogue and the Feral Druid came by to keep me company. By 'keeping me company' I mean 'distract me entirely from what I'm supposed to be doing'. Then this Hordeling Warlock showed up and we spent some time attacking him only to mind-control-heal him back to full health again and buffing him, then attacking him again. He repaid us by attacking the Druid. Bad move!

It was fun when he AFK'ed in the middle of the 3 of us though (we even set up a campfire), we were plotting to MC move him to an entirely different location for shtis and giggles when he suddenly logged out on us. Hordelings that don't want to play makes us sad pandas :(

We found another one AFK'ing outside Everlook, but after I'd MC moved him about 50 yards he came back to his computer, got scared and ran away. We were gonna bring him to Frostsaber Rock for a picnic damnit! :(

Sidenote: I run several addons and one of them - a hunter addon I'm guessing - shows the pet's name in red along with a sad face whenever the pet is unhappy and needs food. The creators haven't been able to make it tell mind control victims apart from pets though, so whenever I MC a Horde the addon warns me that they're unhappy and need to be fed. It's the most adorable thing ever.

Then the server shut down abruptly (probably fixing the Shaman loot, eh?) and there was no more Wintersaber Trainer rep (or Hordeling pets) for me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

030: Patch 2.3 so far

Word on the forums was that if you grabbed the new FP at the STV Rebel Camp and flew to Booty Bay, you'd cross directly over the Gurubashi Arena and get flagged if you weren't already. The fun thing is that apparantly you could be attacked by Alliance too, once you landed in BB. Of course we ran through Duskwood to test it - who doesn't want to kill their own guildies once in a while? - but sadly it didn't work for us. Might be a PvE realm thing, since we're always flagged in STV and thus nothing changes for us when flying over the Arena. For those of you on PvE realms, did you test it out and go Alliance killing? And if you did, how did the guards react to it?

Besides that slight dissappointment in what could be a super fun glitch, I'm very happy with 2.3. I don't like that the Wintersaber rep gain is so much easier, but hey, at least I'll get my purple kitty sooner than expected. I'm also very happy with the auto-leave-shadowform when I hit a holy spell. It's gonna cut down that precious GCD second during PvP which might save my sorry ass every now and then! Noticed also that quests you haven't yet picked up show up on the minimap now. That comes off as a wee bit lazy to me, but hey, whatever.

Beyond that I haven't really tested things out yet. Haven't even bothered to pick up Fear Ward. I went straight to Winterspring this morning and I plan to stay here until we head for Zul'Aman tonight (provided that the server lives). There's already another Priest grinding Wintersaber rep and I expect there'll be several more as the days go by. I want to finish asap to avoid the crowd :[

ETA: ding! Revered.

Monday, November 12, 2007

029: On being human

As a sidenote in his comment to my previous post, Dammerung snarks a little on the fact that I play a filthy Human. (Then he promptly goes back to his blog and throws flattery at me to make up for it - at least he's a smart Orc.) It reminded me of the times I've browsed my realm forum and seen people with their panties in a knot use this as an insult in arguments. "Well I'm not the person who bought a fantasy game and rolled a human" type thing. I've never bothered to get involved in pointless arguments like that but you know how you sometimes read something you take offense to in whatever way and you know it's futile to reply so you compose a scalding response in your head for your own satisfaction/entertaintment? Orrrrrr maybe that's just me. Anyway! I've done that re: playing a human and will now treat you to my (tl;dr) point of view on the matter:

When I began playing, I was in the (probably very small) group of people who've never played it before and have never seen anyone else play it, but who have read through an entire official guidebook multiple times. See, I decided I wanted to play this Warcraft thing but knew my computer wouldn't be able to handle it. Not having a video card at all was merely one of the clues. However I'm a practical girl when it comes to money, and the next time I had plenty of the stuff I picked up a copy. It'd take me a few months to put aside enough for that shiny new computer and I didn't want to find myself having just bought it... and not having enough left over to buy the actual game. I also picked up the official Bradygames guidebook (with the awesome Penny Arcade comic strips in it) so that I could figure out the very basics of the game before buying the new PC and installing it.

It took some 4-5 months (my savings fund got distracted by this thing called Christmas), but finally the new PC arrived and the game was installed. I'd had plenty of quality time with the guide and had a fair idea of what the different races and classes were like. I'm not ashamed to admit that I immediatly went for the Hunter class. Quite typical, I know, but the reason I'm not ashamed is because I never actually did join the legions of not-all-that-great-players-who-rolled-a-night-elf-hunter. See, for some obscure reason that I don't even understand myself I romanticised the idea of the Night Elf race and I romanticised the idea of the Hunter class, but point blank refused to combine the two. Don't ask me why cause I honestly have no idea. I wanted a human hunter. Not a Night Elf, not a Dwarf, and certainly not a Horde (I was too much of a good girl to play the 'bad' side).

What do you do when the combination of race and class that you want don't exist? You roll a Human Warrior. It made sense at the time. I think I remember having picked up on the fact that Night Elves were the typical choice of female players and I wanted to avoid being like everyone else. How I'd picked up on that I don't know. To this day the only races I haven't touched are Dwarves and Trolls (and Trolls only cause the Horde in general doesn't seem to work for me - I can never get past level 10ish) so for whatever reason Dwarves have never appealed to me at all. I liked the idea of a Gnome Warlock, seeing it as a sort of tiny pack of pure dynamite, but realised that this too was quite a common thing when someone mentioned to me that they were drawn to that class/race combo for the exact same reason. Having exhausted all the (then) options, the only race left for me to roll was Human. I couldn't think of any good reason not to and the race wasn't unappealing, so off I went.

The reason it was a Warrior was simply that I couldn't be a Hunter and it seemed to me as an 'easy' class to start with. You bang stuff over the head with a weapon, right? How hard could it be? Everything else seemed so technical with spells and healing and summoned demons and all these fancy abilities. Warriors, I decided, couldn't possibly be that complex. Give me a sword and a shield and I'll go around killing things until I've figured this Azeroth world out enough to brave something tougher!

Some 42 levels later I only had my Warrior and one other character, a level 6 Undead Rogue that I never quite figured out how to play and thus abandoned. Friends happened and OMG roll on my friends server! She'll help us out! and shortly after I had started fresh with a human Warlock on a PvP realm. Human because I still hadn't gotten over not wanting to do anything common.

(Mind you the actual numbers might show that there were and are more Human Warlocks than there are Gnome Warlocks. I have no idea, to be quite honest. Not to mention that Human in general is probably the most common class of all. This was all about what I believed in my head to be common and not, you know, actual facts. Afte rall, what I roll is 100% about what I feel happy playing and once I'd latched on to the idea that something was typical it'd take some time to let go of that.)

Around level 20ish my friends and I realised that our combo of Warrior, Warlock and Warlock weren't optimal for getting PUGs to instances and group quests. It seemed at the time that there were hardly any healers at all on our realm and since I hadn't fallen in love with the Warlock class I volunteered to re-roll Priest. Human, again, because I had good experience with the race and because my friend fully supported my belief that 'Night Elf = Stupid 12 yearold' was pretty much fact. (This was confirmed over and over with every single PUG group we ever touched.) I have now graciously adapted this belief to 'Night Elf = Stupid person that will wipe your group UNLESS it is someone you know not to be an idiot, or is level 70 and in a respectable guild'. And even then there are exceptions.

It took some time to catch up with my friends, obviously, and when I finally did the 'Lock died off on us (too busy with his raiding Druid on a different server) and the Warrior went SQUEEE DRAENEI and re-rolled Shaman the moment the expansion was out. I ended up leveling my budding Shadow Priest alone through most of her levels but didn't really mind. The first time I ever touched any other Alliance race was when I created my Gnome bank and when I, very guiltily, rolled Night Elf just to try some class. Probably Druid, but I really can't remember. As the months have gone by I've gotten over my dislike for the other races though, and I now operate a small army of Humans, Draenei and Night Elves. There will probably never be any Dwarves in it, but maybe some day I'll try something with a Gnome. It's unlikely though, as the only classes I lack are Shaman and Paladin, and as far as I can remember Gnomes can't be either.

Anyway, to get to the point of most Human insults out there: I really don't see why it's a not-cool thing to roll a Human in a fantasy game. I bought this game to play in a medieval-ish fantasy world and I'm quite content to play a Human living in this world. It's still very much a fantasy to me since this Human wanders around with Elves and Gnomes and Spacegoats, which obviously doesn't exist in real life. She travels through landscapes we'd never see here on Earth and battles magnificent monsters. To me the game is more than fantasy enough and I see no need to play a made-up race to make it a proper 'valid' fantasy. The argument that if you want to play a fantasy game you shouldn't play the race you actually are in real life is moot in my opinion. It's still pretty damn fantastic.

Then again, if I'd known then what I know now, I'd have re-rolled Draenei Priest when the expansion came purely for the racials. I mean, come on, Desperate Prayer? Crit heals me for around 600hp. What the hell is that about? At least I'll get Fear Ward tomorrow. Now that's a 'common' I'll whole-heartedly embrace!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

028: The non-WoW'er and you

I'm emergency backup for Karazhan this Sunday, and thus I felt I should warn my guest prehand just in case a crisis happens and they call me. She wanted to know what this Warcraft thing was. Highlights include:

MBB: A raid means that ten people from different parts of Europe all log on at the same time, and their characters are all in this castle, fighting together to kill bosses. These bosses are so hard you need ten people to manage it.
Alex: Okay. Not like Super Mario then.
MBB: No, not like Super Mario.

MBB: *explains briefly about there being lots of lore behind the game*
Alex: Oooh, you should get all the books and read it all.

Alex (looking at the newly purchased WoW 2008 calendar): So which one is you then?
MBB: Uhm, I don't see any humans here, it's all Orcs and Night Elves. Wtf. Oh, wait, that one's a human. I think. Mage, looks like.
Alex: Nice cleavage.
MBB: I should show you the female Orc on the loading screen, she's like Victoria Beckham. Completely flat chest with two footballs attatched.
Alex: Ooo, show me!

MBB: And this is my Rogue.
Alex: She looks like a human!
MBB: She is a human.
Alex: I didn't think you played any humans.
MBB: Actually the Priest and the Warlock are both humans too, they just wear so much gear you can't really tell.

Alex: OMG that one is so cute!
MBB: That's a gnome.
Alex: Why don't you play her?
MBB: She's just my bank.
Alex: But she's so cute! She's got pink hair!
MBB: She's a gnome.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

027: The disease known as alts

Fair warning: guests are coming to stay this weekend and I might not have the time to blog each day. Will make a valiant try though.

I enjoy
these WoW music videos a lot, so I'm spreading the link for those who haven't seen them yet.

Alts! (It's TJ prompt time!) I'm sure you know someone or have someone in your guild or have heard of someone crazy enough to level one of each class. It's great, they say, it really teaches you how to play the classes better. But have you heard of the guy that took it one step further and set off to create not just one of each class, but one of each class in each race? Yeah, that's some quality batshit there. I can't remember where I read about him anymore, but apparantly he'd finished with priests (meaning he had leveled a priest of each race that can have a priest to 70 - both horde and alliance) and was on his second warlock. Or he'd finished with warlocks and had started priests. Either way. If he manages to finish one day, that's a lot of alts. At least Shamans and Druids won't take him too long.

I like this story, it makes people that settle for one of each class look a lot less crazy. Like me.

Currently I'm lacking a Shaman and a Paladin, but I'll get to them eventually. I've got a baby Druid and a baby Rogue, both around 11-12, and a Mage at 19. My Hunter (BM of course) is at level 22, my Warrior dinged 34 the other day and the Warlock is 41. Then there's my lvl 70 Shadow Priest of course. Some of these have banners at the bottom of the blog, but not all.

(Remember the Druid I mentioned starting back when my guild was lacking tanks? Yeah I'm not really feeling the Druid class, so I rolled a Warrior instead and it feels like coming home.)

There's nothing I love more than to be able to log out of my priest after a day of heavy raiding and heroic-ing and go wandering around Elwynn Forrest with my Rogue. No stress, just enjoying the game. Or log on my Warrior and hit up a guildie for yet antoher boost in Cathedral, in the hopes that the Scarlet chestpiece will drop (5/6 Scarlet set! Though she needs the tabard, too). Or log on my Hunter and let her wolf eat some mobs for breakfast. Sometimes it just gets old playing the same character for hours and hours. I even find myself avoiding my Warlock because she's just too similar to a Shadow Priest. When I'm tired of Tieryn I want something radically different. Usually I don't want to play a caster at all.

More than one person have told me that I'm spreading myself too thin. I disagree! The beautiful thing about alts is that there's no stress. You have a level 70 already so you can take your sweet time with the rest of your chars. Play them whenever you feel like it. Muck around at one level for months or speed through them every time you hit max rested.

I'm not saying it works for everyone. I have people in my guild who only have one character that they play (and they tend to be insanely good at it, too), and who never manage to get into this whole alt business. For me though, the variation is key to not getting tired of the game.

With 2.3, I expect we'll see a lot more alt-playing. In my guild there's several people who have rolled a different class and played them up to around 20ish and parked them there, waiting for the patch. Others have mentioned brushing off their old abandoned alts once the patch is here. Personally I have no patience to sit and wait like that, but I'm excited to see just how much of a difference the increased experience will make. If I dare bet on which one of my little ones that'll reach 70 first, I'll have to go with the Warrior. She's so much fun to play and I know she'll be needed. Dentarg is still a realm with only 1% tanks, after all.

I'll probably never get to the point where each of my alts are level 70, but that's not my goal either. I play them to learn the other classes. To do something other than face-melting for a while. To explore the zones I ignored with Tieryn. To try out the other races. Some people say they want to reach Black Temple to get their money's worth from this game. I feel they're underestimating the vast expanse of game that exist before level 60, or level 70. There's tons of fun to be had there, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

026: Naxxaramas

Today I got myself attuned to Naxx. Dunno if we'll actually get enough people with us to go there but it's nice to simply be attuned. You never know when the chance will pop up, after all! Only two days ago I got dragged along for a random Ony run with a friends guild and ended up walking away alive and with the backpack I'd wanted.

Speaking of Naxxaramas, some guildies have been spamming these on our forums and I thought I'd share them for those of you who haven't heard them before:

/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_01.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_02.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_03.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_04.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_05.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_06.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_07.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_08.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_09.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_10.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_11.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\Ashbringer\\ASH_SPEAK_12.wav")

Copy these one at a time and paste them into the game. The Corrupted Ashbringer is a sword that drops from Mograine in Naxx I believe, and if you have it equipped it'll randomly whisper to you as you play. Quite creepy. Some of the coolest lore in the game too, in my opinion. If you have the sword equipped and enter Scarlet Monestary's Cathedral, all the Crusaders will be friendly and kneel to you. If you go all the way to Scarlet Commander Mograine (Junior), a scripted event takes place to reveal the story behind the corruption of the Scarlet Crusade and why Highlord Mograine (Senior) ended up as a Death Knight boss in Naxx.

However equipping it also makes you hated by the Argent Dawn faction.

Ashbringer isn't the only creepy whispering thing though:

/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\CThunDeathIsClose.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\CThunYouAreAlready.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\CThunYouWillBetray.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\CThunYouWillDIe.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\CThunYourCourage.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\CThunYourFriends.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\YourHeartWill.wav")
/script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Creature\\CThun\\YouAreWeak.wav")

C'Thun whispers randomly to everyone in the raid inside AQ40, intending to break you before you've even reached him.

The list has hundreds and hundreds of sounds, so go have fun!

Monday, November 5, 2007

025: Gone fishin'

When I posted yesterday I realised that bloggers clock is entirely different from mine. Normally that doesn't matter, but I've signed up for NaBloPoMo and should be getting up one blog each day. Fair warning: I'm not even going to try and figure out what bloggers day rhytm is, and definitely not adjust myself to it. Too many other and more important things to do. So expect there to be some inconsistencies in the blog dates here in Mana Battery land - two posts in one day and none the next, etc. Regardless, I will make a fair try at having 30 reasonably spaced apart blogposts up at the end of November, which is the most important thing.

DING! 375 fishing!

Yes, I ding in tradeskills too, because gosh darnit it deserves some recognition to finally finish leveling things like tailoring and fishing. The ding itself happened rather quietly in the middle of my first appearance in the Stranglethon Fishing Extravaganza. A couple of weeks ago we got a new mid-level guildie who then promptly brought in his lvl 70 Tree because we were just that awesome. Turns out he's a fisher! Up until that point, I'd been pretty much the only person in the guild that seemed to care about reaching 375 fishing and obsessing over those Pure Water pools in Nagrand. Now we were two! Last weekend was supposed to be my debut in the fishing contest but life happened, as it does, and I went to bed about an hour before the contest started so I could have some precious five hours of sleep before the raid that night. The new Tree won and got a shiny new fishing rod.

(I really need to come up with some better nicknames, we have an awful lot of Bears and Trees now. Unfortunatly this Trees awesome existing nickname is untranslatable.)

Fishing is slow. Skilling up happens every 10-12 catches or so once you get past 300, which means you need close to one thousand catches before you see 375. It sounds like an awful lot but it wasn't really that boring. I fished whenever I felt like it and skilled my cooking on the side. The key really is to not push yourself, as fishing two-three hours in a row will get pretty damn dull. (Unless you've parked yourself by the Stormwind canals with a guildie and he's running back and forth to the AH to model different tailored RPG-costumes for you, inbetween trick or treating and explaining to people where you got your sexy red dress.) I also made it a rule to fish whenever I was waiting for a boat to arrive.

The Fishing Extravaganza contest occurs every Sunday in STV between 2pm and 4pm server time. It's announced in a yell and everyone starts roaming the western coast up and down, hunting for fishing nodes. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect so I'd brought along the mini-mage (currently a Buccaneer, which makes flying to and from Booty Bay really interesting) as a bodyguard to handle self-confident mobs and any possible gankers. The new Tree was there too, hoping to catch one of the rare fish he didn't already have and ready to answer all my questions.

I'll spare you from a play-by-play cause a fishing contest isn't all that thrilling. Suffice to say that I almost won - I had 38 Tastyfish when the winner was annoucned and got the remaining two within a minute - and that we all stayed until the end of the Extravaganza in the hopes of some rare fish consolation prizes. The Tree caught two (bastard!) and I caught one, earning myself some shiny new +5 fishing boots. That might sound like a tombola prize, but in fishing every single skillpoint counts. There are waters out there were you need an insanely high amount of fishing skill in order to avoid the tiresome 'Your fish got away!' messages, and lures just don't provide enough boost. Ideally, a serious fisher should have the Extravaganza fishing rod (+35), the hard-to-get rare fish prizes of eternium line (+5), boots (+5) and hat (+5), a separate pair of gloves with a fishing enchant on them (+5) and a decent lure attatched to the pole.

Sounds extreme, I know, but simply to fish in certain lakes in Terokkar, you need a base fishing skill of 405. That's 375 fishing skill and lure. However 'just' 405 will mean that several of your catches will get away and be a waste of time. To fully stop any fish from getting away, you need to pack 500 fishing skill. 500! With your core 375 skill and a +100 lure, you still need 25 points. If you use the rod you get from the Shattrah quest, you've got an extra +20. You still need either the enchant or one of the Extravaganza prizes to climb the last points, and that's skipping the fact that +100 lures aren't the easiest to come by. At least I don't think they are. Limited supply at some vendors and engineer made only, I believe. Thankfully I have some engineering hookups I can abuse.

Why do we bother? Cause there's money to be made selling you our tasty catches, of course. You want food buffs? We can whip up +20stam/+8mp5, +44heal/+20spi, +20agi/+20spi, +23spelldmg/+23spi and +30stam/+20spi.

Love the fish. Love your fishers.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

024: Noobs

I've met many silly people in WoW, but to be quite honest none of them have really stood out as a Noob with a capital N. Perhaps I've been lucky? The only ones I can really remember are the level less-than-10 in Tirisfal Glades that decided hitting my friends level 60 human mage was a good idea (she hugged him & one-shot him into oblivion) and the silly person that kicked me from a Botanica PUG because I mind-controlled the Mender. You know, the one that can give an insane half-hour +spelldmg buff? He didn't approve of the casters in the group getting that buff.

Neither of those were terribly noob-ish though. The less-than-10 was more than likely a newbie to the game and had no idea that flagging yourself in the kiddie pool area is a bad idea (especially around the Scarlet Monestary) and the Botanica-jerk later half-apologised by saying he didn't realise the buff lasted that long. What makes me remember them isn't so much what they did as making fun of them in guildchat for several days after each incident occured.

To me, being a noob is more when you know something isn't right and people keep telling you something isn't right but you keep right on doing it anyway. Like a melee hunter, to use a cliché. Thankfully, I have yet to run into a noob like that. Knock on wood!

Friday, November 2, 2007

023: He's a Rogue, what did you expect?

I've never had as much fun on vent as last night, when - in the middle of a Karazhan raid - the Rogue and Warlock disconnected. Shortly after the Druid offtank goes 'Uhm, the Rogue called me and said they can't get back online cause some guys came into their room, stole their router and ran away with it'.

After a while they did return, however, and let us know that everything was fine cause not only did they get their router back, they also stole these guys' Xbox 360.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

022: No!



Damnit, the thing that always attracted me to the Winterspring Frostsaber was that it required a
ridiculous amount of time and effort to get. I wanted the one thing in the game that isn't easy to achieve (besides 0.000001% BOP drop items, obv).

Now it's going to be common.

Sad panda.

Ah well, at least Pinne the Shaman will be happy. Her grind won't take nearly as long as mine has (and I'm not even halfway).

021: PvP

I play better PvP when I'm drunk. That's how much of a carebear I am, isn't it sad? I've been hauled off to the Arena a few times a week by the Healadin for 2v2 and now I've got a 5v5 too. I'm not really doing it for a valid reason anymore either. First off I wanted to get the Merciless Gladiator's Spellblade, but you need to pay an arm and a leg for that and now that we have Prince in Kara pretty much on farm... yeah no. So I glanced at the Shadow Priest set and decided it looks quite nice. Probably gonna pick up the headpiece first and then go for the shoulders. Dunno if I'll bother with the rest, I'm pretty much only doing it for the awesome looks! (Because I really need yet another set to carry around in my bags... /sigh. At least I'm not a Paladin.)

Is it just me or could the Arena matching system be a little better? Last week we walked into a 1400 rating 5v5 that waved a freakin'
Warglaive of Azzinoth in our faces. It got messy.

Knowing that PvP and I will never be friends, why on earth am I on a PvP server? Long story made very short: friends. Originally I had a warrior on Eonar PvE, but I re-rolled when the bestfriend started playing. I make due the best I can and just switch to alts if things get too bad. Probably the only time I actually enjoy PvP is when there's twenty Alliance outside Kara and a couple of Horde decide to try and run through. Though technically that's more of a massacre than PvP.

I feel completely justified in massacring outnumbered Hordies outside Kara after what they did to us during Hallow's End though.

(Headless Horseman? Yeah he's in the SM Graveyard. Which one that is? Easy, just aim for the one with the two feet thick carpet of skeletons outside. Watch out for the thirty-five Hordies camping the instance portal, the two hunters with traps patrolling the entrance to the Monestary and the group of about seven that's guarding the summoning stone. Have fun.)

Proper entry is coming - I accidentally saved over my notepad draft of Serious Post #2 and have been avoiding it since.

Monday, October 29, 2007

020: Gayadins and other animals

Healadin: http://www.wowwiki.com/images/1/1d/T4_pala_mhuman.jpg
MBB: is that a unicorn pala?
Healadin: oyea
MBB: its somehow not as cute as a plain unicorn
MBB: or a plain pala for that matter
MBB: even the human inside that armor looks embarassed
Healadin: hehe
MBB: hes like
MBB: 'there's a purple horn on my forhead, isnt there'


MBB: is that an arrow on his crotch?
MBB: subtle.
Healadin: haha yeah, showing where da power is :P
MBB: and you keep telling me paladins aren't gay.
Healadin: that's not a hint focused towards other men you know
Healadin: you always tend to think gay ways
Healadin: :P
MBB: it doesnt say that anywhere
MBB: however, you have a purple horn on your forhead
MBB: i think that speaks volumes, personally

Actually, he doesn't, because he passed on it for a very happy rogue. Our healadin is a gentleman and we love him for it. That doesn't mean I won't make fun of him when he eventually does get his t4 helmet token though!

Obv this means Prince
went down last night. \o/

019: Comics and Ponies

I promised my guildie the Wonderbear (now respecced to Boomkin Tree? What? Seriously? He'll always be the Wonderbear in my heart /sniff) that my next blog would be about Ponies. Yes, Ponies. For those of you who have been living under a rock lately, we are of course referring to the Looking For Group comic. FOR PONY!

Randomly, it may serve as proof of how frequently my mind is elsewhere to mention that I was once in a PUG with a warlock named Richaard with two a's. It took me two weeks to realise that, duh!, he was a fan of LFG and that's why he'd named his warlock that. Perpetual head in the clouds, I tell you. End random story and onward to the comic goodness!

Penny Arcade (Horde and Alliance)
With such a vast community around it, it's not really surprising that so many comics have blossomed around Warcraft. I encountered my first one in the official strategy guide before I'd even started playing. Unfortunatly I don't think the strips
Penny Arcade made for the guidebook are available anywhere online, only this brilliant one that they made around the time BC came out. However, I will actually go as far as to recommend buying the guidebook just for the comics in it. It's probably not all that expensive now that it's partly outdated anyway.

Looking For Group (Horde)
LFG is the only one I know of that's properly published, and thus, it's not based 100% off of Warcraft. Copyright issues, of course. You'll find that Richard - the undead warlock - is able to do things a warlock wouldn't be able to do in the Warcraft Universe. Like making portals and raining hail on innocent villagers. Apart from little details like that though, it's obvious where their inspiration came from. This one is so heartily recommended that I'll be dissappointed if you don't click the link and check it out. Come on, do it for Pony! (make it to page 42 in order to get the Pony reference)

Manic Graffiti (Horde PvP and Alliance PvE)
From what I understand,
this comic has made regular appearances in the livejournal community worldofwarcraft for who knows how long. I don't frequent that community, but from the moment my friend passed me a couple links over MSN I was hooked. The art is stunningly detailed and I may be in the process of comissioning a portrait of Tieryn as we speak. Well worth a read! PS Druids are emo.

Dark Legacy (Alliance)
Superbly funny. It also has the best screenshot from warcraft ever: the infamous boatride to Stonetalon Mountains. Yes, they took the boat from Theramore and ended up in the Stonetalon Mountains. Which, as I'm sure you know, is simply choc-full of ports to dock in. Not to mention sea.

Chronicles of the Flaming Ruby (Alliance)
A Night Elf with a chronic licking problem, gay Rogues, gay Paladins, Warlock-school, horde kidnapping the artist and demanding to be featured in the comic as ransom, Warcraft Soccer with the GMs as referees and so so so much more. You're missing out if you haven't read these! The Chronicles (and the dancing video) are the core reason I got obsessed with Blood Elves.

Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth (Alliance)
Sadly this comic is no longer updated, but it still deserves a link even if GameSpy's intervening ads are fiendishly annoying.
Flintlocke is the only comic I know of that uses screenshots for the artwork, btw. I was going to say something about how that must have been nitpicky work that took ages, but it's not like hand-drawing everything is any easier. Anyone else recognise themselves?

The Noob Comic
Lastly, there's the
Noob Comic. It's last because it isn't about WoW as much as it is about MMO's in general. While some aspects of it might confuse people who have never played EverQuest, Guild Wars or Final Fantasy XII (like me), the basic issues are the same as you find in Warcraft. Plus it's still funny, even if your mind revolts at their pvp system.

I'm sure I haven't linked all the WoW comics that exist but that wasn't the point of this blog either (feel free to comment with your favorite links though!). If I was able to introduce you to one you weren't aware of yet, that's more than good enough.


Monday, October 8, 2007

018: Oldschool Sunday

We were unable to do Kara this Sunday due to both our Kara-tanks being busy, thus there were a lot of people online without anything much to do. Pinne (the level 50 resto shammy bestfriend) had been dragged to BRD by the crazy oldschool mage, so I tagged along for the ride. Still hadn't got my Shadowforged Key so why not? We took down a variety of bosses in an attempt to make Pinne ding 51, including the one that drops Ironfel. Haven't figured out exactly where I need to go place it yet cause crazy mage yelled 'Ony!' and then things began to rumble, kind of like an avalanche.

There were echoes of 'Ony!' throughout the guild, so we scheduled her at 7pm. Our newest healer hadn't done the last part of the attunement chain, thus an UBRS raid was quickly formed. I'm not sure if anyone has ever plowed through UBRS quite as fast as we did yesterday, it honestly felt like we'd reached the end-boss in about five minutes. It was a lot of fun though, especially for me since I'd only been there twice before. There was QQ when the beast didn't let go of his Pristine Hide. There was a random drop which would have made a lucky raider very rich before BC. There was laughter. I can't have been alone in having fun though, because suddenly hungry players wanted more more more and a spontaneous Molten Core raid was formed. I'd never actually gotten attuned to MC but that part was fixed in 5 minutes (Thank you Kabale♥).

It was my first time venturing into the Core. What impressed me the most I guess, is that the trash was actually tough to take down. We were ten people ranging from 64 to 70ish and we still had plenty deaths and at least one wipe. The best part though was when the tank went afk for ten minutes. Naturally we got restless and the rogue looks up at the two Molten Giants in front of us and goes 'I can tank one'. Kabale goes 'Tieryn can take the other, I've seen a Shadow Priest do it before'.

Mooseh and Tieryn sizing up their targets
Oh moment of glory! But unfortunatly a DPSer or two went afk too, so we had to wait.

Obviously I wasn't going to let the chance escape me though, so when the tank was back and charged the skull, I Mind Blasted the hell out of the star and managed to nab aggro. It was a bit difficult to hold onto it but I managed to and look Mommy! I tanked it all by myself! Of course I realised afterwards that I'd done it all with Salvation still on, so that probably explains the difficulty in holding onto the aggro :P

Yes, I am crazy enough to have rolled the epitome of healers with the intent of using her to tank. Because it can be done. To an extent, anyway. My grand goal is to tank Onyxia as Shadow Priest, because
it's been done and one day I will do it too.

There was much laughter. There were demands for the Wonderbear to call out the raidwarning **LOOT THE DAMN DOG**, which he did. There was more laughter.

Anyway, we took down
Lucifron & Magmadar and I made cheesy screenshots because damnit, they were my first ever MC kills. By then it was almost 7pm and people would soon be logging in for Ony so we hearted out, picked up our medallions from the bank and set out for Dustwallow Marsh.

Tieryn fighting Onyxia
Sadly I died along with 2/3 of the raid at the beginning of Phase 3. (I moved out of the way of her breath - unfortunatly she moved too.) That didn't stop us though and she was 3-manned by the sexy gay rogue, the Wonderbear and the best damn Healadin on the server. My new goal is to fight Onyxia and live through the whole thing :P

No loot. I had hoped for the tier 2 headpiece to drop from Ony or to at least end up with the backpack as a souvenir of the event, but alas. She actually dropped Shammy loot I believe, and the shaman that had logged on his old priest alt cursed high and wide. Not that tier 2 is any important anymore, of course. It's just so damn pretty! And wouldn't it be something to be able to say that yes, you're in full tier 2 and yes, you got it all after BC? Now that, my friend, is an acomplishment.

Dear Guild,

let's declare oldshool days more often. Please? Also, I want my Benediction/Anathema now, so can we do Majordomo next time? Meanwhile, you'll find me farming for The Eye of Shadow in Winterspring.

your Mana Battery

Saturday, October 6, 2007

017: Lucky week

First Ritssyn's Lost Pendant dropped in Kara and I won the roll. The next day I gave up on looking for a crafter and dragged guildies into Shattered Halls for a rep run: Pattern: Spellstrike Hood drops. Then, the day after that, we do a guild run of Botanica for rep and what do you know, both Kamaei's Cerulean Skirt and Pattern: Whitemend Hood drops. I'm the only clothie and the only tailor, I get both.

So now I finally have my precious hood and a bunch more to boot. Happy as can be :D

Thursday, October 4, 2007

016: I'll keep you my dirty little secret

On a different server somewhere out there, a belf gayadin and a gay belf rogue found a private corner to unwind at the end of a long day leveling. They, in turn, where created after a long day spent leveling the resto-shammy and doing whatever Tieryn was doing that day. We were bored. We needed something new. And that male belf dance is so much fun.

This post was heavily fueled by Chidori and the Flaming Rubies.


All I want is my Spellstrike Hood crafted. Had a guy lined up to do it via a friend, he said no problem, whenever I was ready with the mats just whisper. Friend even said he'd log onto that guys account and run a heroic to get the nether himself if it came to it. I was a happy Mana Battery. I was purring.

Crafter quit playing wow.

Right, well, gotta troll /trade to find a new guy then. Not so hard, yeah? Spend 3-4 days periodically calling for a crafter with no results. See other people doing the same thing. Finally one day I come back from afk'ing to see that somebody has infact advertised that they can craft Spellstrike Hood in the trade channel and they also have a Nether available. Great! Whisper! 0 players found! Whatever, he logged off, it happens, I'll add him to friends and he'll be back eventually.

He does come back, but I'm the polite kind and do not whisper people while they're in a raid. I wait and wait and wait and two more days pass and finally I catch him idling in Shattrah. Whisper. No reply. Wait, wait, wait, oh look he's gone afk. Fantastic.

Player comes back from afk, I whisper again. He has no Nether. No, he says, he doesn't really run heroics often either.

I JUST WANT MY HOOD PEOPLE. It took me weeks of grinding to gather all the mats now GIMME MY HOOD :[

The Raiding Shadow Priest Part I: +spell hit

Disclaimer: I only raid 10man, things might be different in 25man raids. Also, I don't know everything.

In almost every post in this blog I've been going on about my +spell hit rating. So what's the big deal really? Why is it so important? What does it do for a shadow priest?

First of all, let's look at the concept of spell hit. Wowwiki says: "The more spell hit gear a caster has, the lesser the chance an enemy will resist his spells." As the game is set up there will always be 1% chance to miss, no matter what we do. It's the remaining percentage that we're concerned about.

If you throw a spell at a mob that's 3 levels below you, your hit chance is 99%. If you throw a spell at a mob that's the same level as you, it's 96%. When you get into Karazhan and throw a spell at a mob that's 3 levels above you (or any boss), your chance to hit is 83%. That's getting a little low. Since it's obviously necessary to down mobs and especially bosses as fast as possible, it's vital that almost 2 out of every 10 spells you cast are not resisted. Any spell that is resisted is a waste of casting time and mana.

Enter +spell hit.

PvE raiding mobs marked with a skull are considered as level 73 and thus you have 83% chance to hit them. At level 70, you gain 1% hit for every 12.6 spell hit points you've gathered from gear. The theorycrafters have done the math for us and tells us that 202 spell hit rating converts to aprocimately 16% and 83 + 16 = 99. In summary: to not resist more than the unavoidable 1%, a shadow priest needs +202 spell hit. That's a lot.

Enter Shadow Focus.

Shadow Focus is a tier 2 talent in the shadow tree and has a maximum of 5 points. For each point in this talent, you gain 2% spell hit for all shadow spells. Since pretty much everything we do is shadow magic, that's one hell of a useful talent! In fact, it's imperative for a raiding shadow priest to max out this talent until they get their +spell hit going.

(The talent Focused Power also helps the +spell hit for Smite, Mind Blast and Mass Dispel, but being in tier 6 of the Discipline tree it's really not worth it IMO)

So let's say you're level 70 and have no +spell hit but you just specced 5/5 in Shadow Focus. You now have an extra 10% chance to hit with all your shadow spells, landing you at a comfortable 93%. You will need 76 hit rating in order to cover the remaining 6%, which is a much more reasonable number. Once you reach 101 hit rating, you've covered 8% and can downspec to 4/5 Shadow Focus and spend that point on something else. The full list has been posted before but I'll throw it in again:

76 hit is the cap with 5/5 Shadow Focus
101 hit before you can go to 4/5 Shadow Focus
126 hit before you can go to 3/5 Shadow Focus
152 hit before you can go to 2/5 Shadow Focus
177 hit before you can go to 1/5 Shadow Focus
202 hit before you can go to 0/5 Shadow Focus

All numbers rounded up to the next whole number.

When I digned 70 I had a puny amount of +spell hit because I didn't know what on earth it was. Once I figured it out with a little help from my guildies I set about gathering any +spell hit piece that was available to me. For example the day I realised that 2 pieces of the Mana-Etched set gave +35 spell hit was a glorious day and it got a big ol' post on this blog. (I'm still using those.) It's not easy accumulating all that hit but it's not easy to down bosses without it either, and most high-end guilds will require you to have 202 spell hit as one of your most prioritized goals. I won't say the most prioritized because guilds differ, obviously.

That said, it's not only gear that can help you hoard spell hit. Xornot's Gem Finder, which is linked to the right, lists all relevant gems at the click of a button. Any enchanter that's revered with Cenarion Expedition will be able to put +15 spell hit on your gloves. (Consider getting that instead of the +20 spell damage enchant until you've reached your cap.) There might be other ways too, but none that I'm aware of.