Crazy Girl

Have you ever done something you know is crazy, that you’ll probably regret, that you know is foolhardy even as you do it? I’m in the process of doing this. Last week I wrote about missing gaming and about giving Neverwinter a go (as it’s free) and perhaps trying to find time to play it. Well I’ve had very little time so that didn’t work so instead I’ve just resubbed to WoW & I’m currently downloading the latest patch!

Madness. Crazy girl. I’m still in the middle of a lot of work related stuff which is taking up massive amounts of time. I’m also rejoining the gym because I absolutely have to get fit again. So where is the WoW time going to come from?

Why am I resubbing?

Well the other day I had to take part in an icebreaker in work, one of those things where you have to say something interesting about yourself, something not many people know about. My go to interesting thing was the fact I play WoW – or used to play WoW – and the fact I blog about my experiences playing WoW, or at least that  I used to. Now for anybody reading this none of that is particularly interesting as you are all probably WoW players and some of you are WoW bloggers. But in work it is interesting – or at least if not interesting it’s different. And so it was my go to thing.


But this made me realise that a certain part of me is still tied up with being a WoW player. And that this is important to me. My last post talked about the importance of being a gamer. But I think it’s more than that.

I turned to WoW about 6 years ago when things were tough in work. WoW was an escape. Then I started writing about playing WoW and through that WoW became therapy. Then things settled in work and WoW became just fun, then at times not so much fun.

Things are not too great in work right now but I’m working hard to change that. And at the same time here comes the call of WoW. I don’t think the two are unrelated. I think right now I need WoW  back in my life.

So I’m resubbing.

Maybe not so crazy after all.



The Great Escape

I think without gaming I’m not quite myself and not quite living the life I want  to be living. That  all sounds rather grandiose and over the top I know  (what me, over the top, never!) but I honestly think it’s true. The realisation came to me today after finally getting a chance to do some gaming yesterday after a long long dry spell and finding that a certain calmness came over me yesterday in the evening (post gaming) that has continued into today. Last night I slept better than I’ve slept in ages. Coincidence? Maybe. I also had some fresh air yesterday and a long walk. Logic would say that’s the cause of my new zen outlook, but I’ve never been one for logic (read my blog posts).

I am choosing to ascribe my good feelings to gaming – because in my heart I know that I’ve been miserable without it.

The last couple of months have been intense. I’ve been so focused on developing my software skills that there has been little time for anything else. But I think that means I’ve lost some of “me” in the process. I’ve been getting up at crazy o’clock to code and develop and then going off to work. In the evening more coding then reading software engineering stuff in bed before falling asleep. Then up again. More crazy o’clock coding. It’s been hard going. I love learning and developing my skills in this area, for so long it’s been my hobby and passion, but I’m tired. It’s been all consuming and I think now and again I need to take it down a notch.

Yesterday – Mothers Day-  I found myself sitting on the sofa about to start coding but for once I stopped myself, remembered it was Mother’s Day and decided to turn on the  Ps4 and  treat myself to a game. I decided to give Neverwinter a go (as it’s free and I’d downloaded it some time ago). I quickly created a Drow Warlock – I forget her home town & deity- I was too eager to just get on with it. She is called Bravelock – yes my imagination knows no bounds. Early feedback –  I love the sparkly trails, breadcrumb narrative and quest giver audio. I found it hard getting to grips with the Ps4 controls (I miss WASD) and took ages to figure  out L1 and left arrow opens up Inventory  and left arrow on its own takes a potion. I still have a lot of other things to figure out and probably need to study  the Wiki (more studying …). But long story short I’m now L6 (slow and steady all the way)  and enjoying it. It was only about an hour yesterday and half hour today but finally I got a chance to disappear out of my brain into a different world with new sights and sounds. I got a chance to spam R2 – how much fun is that? I followed sparkly trails and levelled up. All the things I love in life! I know it’s all about the escape. I’ve not had any real avenue for escape over the past few months and I’m not sure I can live like that, no matter how much I’m enjoying the skills I’m learning. I  need time to decompress. So I have to fit gaming into my life somehow. Perhaps Neverwinter will be the great escape I’m looking for – albeit an escape that will only last about half hour a night before I fall asleep on the sofa. But perhaps that’s all I need to feel myself again.

Ah the Shame

Since returning to Hearthstone I’ve had to do quite a bit of catch up reading on Heathpwn to find out what’s been happening and what’s hot in the meta. It turns out it’s Aggro Shaman (although all I seem to see are Druids filling the board with increasingly powerful Jade Golems). I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Shaman. When I started it was my favourite deck to play but then I went crazy one day and disenchanted a Doomhammer to then find the class unplayable. But the new Shaman decks appear to be Doomhammer-less and all aggro and in your face. At least I think so. Aggro is another thing I’ve always had problems with. Do you always go face with aggro or do you sometimes trade? After X many years playing Hearthstone I should know this. I know where I am with decks where you’re fighting for board control and tempo but with decks where you need to make choices and even go face even when everything inside you is insisting you trade – well that’s hard.

I had to craft a couple of cards to play this deck – and I still don’t have Patches. Also realised I hadn’t done the Karazhan Shaman adventure so was missing Maelstrom Portal. All sorted now although I’m ashamed to say it took me two attempts to beat the Mirror.

I’ve been disenchanting quite a bit recently to get what I need for other decks too. So it’s been bye bye Rhonin and Rend and hello Yogg and lots of other rares and epics that I need to fill out my ranks and allow me to be somewhat competitive (if rank 19 can ever be called competitive…!).

Anyway  back to my aggro shaman – just played one game (getting a deck ready to play seems to take longer than the game itself). It was some sort of Freeze Mage – possibly a Reno one that never drew Reno or Flamestrike – thank heavens. I won by the skin of my teeth with a Lava Burst top deck right to the face boosted with double spellpower. It was not easy despite all the forum chat that says Aggro Shaman is just too easy to play, too strong, beats everything etc. It’s not going to be that way for me. I think I’m the only person who made Zoo Warlock and Aggro Hunter look really hard to play. In my heart I remain a control/tempo player so these quicker decks really push me out of my comfort zone.

And I also feel some shame – shame at jumping on the “easy win” bandwagon. Although for me I don’t think this deck will mean easy wins. So not even sure why I’m playing it. I suppose it’s the deep down desire to find a deck that will help me move up the ranks and maybe one day hit Legend.

Hope really does spring eternal.

It’s Been a Lifetime Baby

Oh it’s been so so long since I wrote on here. So much has happened. Oh not much at all really. Depending on how you look at it.

First WoW – my computer started crashing whenever I tried to play it. This started before Xmas. Maybe Oct or November. I forget. A long long time ago (bye bye Miss American Pie). So I unsubbed. I’m sad about this (started pining for WoW the other day when watching Kung Fu Panda 3 – not sure why) but I tried everything I could think of. It’s a Windows 10 laptop. WoW gets to the loading screen then the sound goes funny, everything freezes and I have to do a hard reboot. So no WoW.

But maybe it’s for the best. I have been so busy doing lots of Udemy and Udacity courses (mobile apps, web apps, Unity games etc). I don’t know how I would fit WoW in. Still don’t know where all this IT stuff will take me but I’m enjoying learning new things and creating stuff and that’s important right?

Being a parent, working full time and dabbling in IT development doesn’t leave me with much time for anything else (apart from binge watching Gilmore Girls – I missed out on this first time round so in mega catch up mode). I don’t even play Minecraft anymore (all three YouTube subscribers are devastated by this). Daughter &  I do enjoy the odd game of HoTS. I love playing LiLi – she heals without having to focus or aim (my kind of healer). Can still get rather frazzled (you know what I’m like in high pressured gaming environments – and it doesn’t come much more high pressured than HoTS easy AI setting….).

And more recently, home from work ill with an awful cold, I’ve returned to Hearthstone. I can’t do much – I’m too tired (and not just from the cold – visit my site if you want to read my tales of woe about my other issue) but I have completed the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan quests & finally completed the middle pre-built Mage deck  (I forget the name – Mayhem & Madness or is that just my life this afternoon?).  Still only Level 20 but it feels nice to be back playing. Even without the computer issue I just don’t have the time for WoW but I do have the time to play the odd Hearthstone game and I had forgotten how much I love it.

Nice to be back here too.

Content Rich Time Poor

I’m feeling so embarrassed. I’m still only 104. I’ve played at most 2 hours this week. The main reason for this is that I’m using the “magic hour” (first thing in the morning – 5-6am- before I go off to work) to continue working through the Udacity Beginner Android Developer course. Long time readers know I’m really interested in learning game/app/web development things so I’m always doing some course or another. If I’m not on Udacity I’m over at CodeAcademy working through the Java tutorial. If I’m not doing that I’m working on my Choose Your Own Adventure story for Geeks and Geeklets. And if I’m not doing that I’m updating my Going Vegan blog. And if I’m not doing that I’m on the sofa, a gibbering exhausted wreck, giving myself a hard time for only going to the gym once that week, not reading enough fiction, not writing another poem, not uploading another YouTube video, not starting the podcast I’ve always wanted to do, not using the painting tutorial book I borrowed from the library with lots of good intentions, not learning the guitar, not taking singing lessons, not climbing a mountain, not finishing all those half written books I’ve written, and Hearthstone, where art thee Hearthstone?

This all means (a)I feel overwhelmed with all the things I want to do (b)I feel like I’m back to neglecting this blog (c)I find that my WoW time is significantly limited.

When I am playing I’m working my way through Stormheim. I’m on stage 7/8 of the storyline and enjoying it very much indeed. Still playing my Ret Pally Terema and enjoying that too. So it’s all good fun. I’m content rich but time poor.

I know I have to decide what to prioritise in life and I guess right now for me that’s still the IT development side of things. But I really am enjoying Legion and I want to find a way to set aside some protected time for that. I probably need a “magic hour ” before bed as well as one in the morning. The problem is by about 9pm after a full day’s work and a 5am start I’m usually too exhausted to do much of anything. This means if I do play WoW I’m half asleep – click click loot loot, skim text, move to new area, check xp bar and yay gone up a segment, time for bed. That’s not what this game deserves. I need to find the time and energy to give it my full attention when I play, eyes wide open, fully present. Even if it’s just for a 10 minute stretch.  Otherwise I’m going to zombie click through all the good stuff.

At this rate though I’ll still be levelling when the next expansion rolls round. I guess if I’ve achieved lots of other goals in the meantime that’s no bad thing. But if everything else progresses at an equally slow pace then I’m going to wonder if I am perhaps spreading myself just a tad too thin.

Not so noble

Thank goodness for these comments here. I have been so lost trying to find the Lost Legion in Stormheim (and yes I appreciate the irony). I tried and failed yesterday morning. Then I took a break to do my Holy Artifact quest (confidence in healing now zero) and came back and got lost again. I’ve had to hearthstone back to Dalaran twice after getting myself so trapped it was the only way of escape. I have really really tried to find this npc.

For some reason though I thought he would have stayed on the wrecked ship, keeping himself warm, waiting for rescue. Or if mobile he would have climbed out of wrecked ship and made his way back to camp.  I did not think he’d have hidden himself in a cave filled with electric dragons and pools of water. Who does that? He’s given me some story of being trapped in a static field but it sounds lame, very lame. I honestly think he’s either a deserter, a spy or an idiot. Maybe all three. It;s possible the the rest of the quest line will reveal what’s really going on but right now if it was up to me I’d leave him in the cave. But I have to rescue him if I want experience – which I do.

Sometimes I wish we could delve deeper into the motives and actions of these npcs because honestly, they’re a frustrating bunch, and usually ungrateful to boot. But I want the experience (or the gold or loot) so off I go to do the quest giver’s bidding without murmur or complaint. I’m not a noble hero at all when you think about it. I’m a mercenary who’s on to a good thing in Azeroth. No wonder I get so excited when yet another catastrophe hits the land. I profit from it, pure and simple.

Yes it seems I’m a sociopathic warmonger with cut throat mercenary tendencies. Goodness. Who’d have thought.



Pocket WoW

So as you’ll all have heard by now at Pax West it was announced that:-

  • A Wow Companion Phone app is coming out on Tuesday;
  • This will be for order hall missions;
  • We will be able to use it to upgrade our order halls,  manage recruit gear and send our loyal followers off on missions;
  • Oh and see what World Quests are available.

Excellent stuff. Of course (and not to sound too ungrateful) the mobile app I really want is Pet Battles. But if I had that not sure I’d ever move off the sofa to actually log onto WoW!  It would be like Hearthstone with super pet cuteness.  This Pax announcement isn’t about that unfortunately but it is a step in that direction (maybe).

In terms of what we will have on Tuesday – I think it will be great to be able to sort out Order Hall stuff while lounging on the sofa.  Never used the remote armory or guild chat I’ll admit but Order Halls – yes – can see me doing that. The World Quest scheduler though- less certain about it. I’m concerned it’ll end up being too tempting to drop everything to answer its call. Quick Bravetank, this thing is happening RIGHT NOW, better get up, log on and to do it right away.  And while normally I would say that’s just not me in WoW (I’m usually never the one on top of anything that’s happening – far from it, I’m normally in the catch up team, sauntering along and taking my own sweet time), invasions revealed a different side of myself. For a week or two in August I could not rest in one zone if I knew an invasion was happening in another.  And I don’t wont to be (no – I won’t be) like that with World Quests. These will be going on forever (or at least until the next expansion). If one is happening and I’m busy then so be it, it’ll keep, it will have to (even if the loot is all cool and shiny – remember it’s just pixels girl, just pixels). So restraint will need to be the order (hall) of the day (geddit?). I can do restraint. Yes it failed me in August but that was a only a blip. Just a little unprecedented and never to be repeated blip.

I think.


Keep Azeroth Tidy

Just a quick post this morning to let you know I have recently re released Keep Azeroth Tidy on Smashwords. Totally free. It used to be on Amazon but you can’t go 100% free there, lowest is 99p I think. I took it down some time ago partly due to that and partly due to a crisis in confidence about my writing in general. It’s a collection of some of my earlier WoW posts – mostly parodies spoofs, that kind of thing, and I had some lovely reviews when it was on Amazon (sometimes I reread them just to make me feel better about myself).  Anyway it’s here  if anyone wants to take a look.

I totally meant to do that

Don’t read this if you don’t want to be spoiled about the Retribution Paladin artifact quest. Please don’t. I beg you.

Ok let’s give it another inch (cue inappropriate innuendo … nope I’ve restrained myself).

Helloooo. Is anyone still here?


Ok good – I’ll start.


As you know Terema my Retribution Paladin was my first ever WoW character back in BC days when I first started playing. I played her fairly solidly up to MoP (although did have a brief dalliance with a Shaman – another story)  but then the lure of the Mage became too strong. I was lonely. I wanted mirror image. I was lazy. I wanted portals. I was hungry. I wanted mana cakes. So Mage it was. I put Terema to one side to dance with my mirror images, teleport at will and gorge myself on cakes.

But you can’t live like that forever. It’s not the 60s. I started to miss Terema but baulked at the thought of levelling her through the rest of Pandaria and Draenor. And then by the Light’s blessing the Legion invaded and gave me a ridiculously quick way to level her to 100. “I will never abandon you again Terema,” I whispered crazily to my laptop screen one dark August night.

Then Legion properly launched last week and I immediately switched to my Priest. In fairness this was because she had actually done the Broken Shore Varian stuff whereas Terema had gone straight into invasions like the crazy Pally she is. In her world Varian was still alive and kicking. And more to the point she thought Tirion was fit and well, although his unusual silence meant he was possibly living it up in Tahiti with Agent Coulson.

But this morning I remembered my sacred vow and logged on with Terema. It’s time for her to take on the well deserved mantle of Bravetank’s WoW Main, she needs to complete the Broken Shore scenario and start her Retribution Pally Legion journey.

Having completed the opening scenario this morning I’m actually glad I delayed doing it with Terema. There were only 4 real people doing it today so I was able to properly see what was going. I also put on my gigantic headphones (size does matter … oh dear the innuendo got me in the end) and finally listened to the music and dialogue – both of which added considerably to the experience. And it was only to get better.

After Varian died (still sad) I ended up with Lord Tyrosus  in Dalaran where I was informed we needed to try to speak to Uther to find out how we could get the Ashbringer. This turned out to be a powerful and emotional experience – my companion’s feelings at seeing and talking to his beloved Uther had me weeping at the keyboard (kind of). And when we were told Tirion was still alive although fading fast – then wow – I actually felt a real sense of urgency to get to Broken Shore to save him. I mean – it’s Tirion. Off we flew, the music changing gear, this was serious, this was dangerous, but we had to do it and I knew no fear. On arriving we found him trapped  and tortured. A fight ensued with the “jailer whatshisname” – I won, thank the light for Justicar’s Vengeance. Then I ran off to fight “demon something beginning with a B”. I won again,  thank the light for Justicar’s Vengeance, Flash of Light and Lay on Hands (the fight went on forever). Then I ran back to Tirion with his Ashbringer only to watch him die after giving me his blessing to wield it. I’ll admit I had a tear in my eye.

I travelled back to Lights Dawn Chapel to see him laid to rest. As I ran in oh my goodness the floor opened and I discovered the Sanctum of Light, the wonderful cathedral-like class hall hidden beneath that small unassuming building. People knelt to me as I strode down the hall (in real life eating a slice of toast and spilling crumbs down my top) where I was advised to inscribe my name in a Libram, restart the Order of the Silver Hand and basically defeat every last demon in the name of the Light. I was also called Highlord. Highlord! And they said I’d never amount to anything. I was then ushered by my right hand man to the scouting map where after careful consideration I decided to go and help the Taurens in Highmountain.

Feeling all important – I’m now the Highlord after all – I flew to Thunder Totem posthaste and started making my way to Mayla  who was (according to my map) somewhere in the middle.  I ran round in a circle looking for the entrance and noticed an area where the floor looked “different.”  I ran onto that piece of floor with the courage only a Highlord can possess and promptly fell to my death as it was of course a lift shaft with the lift at the bottom.

An ignominious start to my career.  Hoping that neither the spirit of Uther or Tirion were looking on I quickly ressed and reclaimed my body and announced to all that I had of course intended to do it and it was a test of their faith in the Light.

I think they bought it. My Pally’s Legion journey has well and truly begun.


Mum can I fly please?

Ok so what’s the plan for flying? I’m running into rocks and falling off cliffs far too much for someone of my delicate disposition. Something needs to be done. There’s a post on Blizzard Watch  (re-post actually as it was previously published  back in April) that gives some information.

BW starts by saying, “You may have noticed Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part One in your achievement panel.”

Um nope – I never open my Achievement Panel but ok I’ll take a peek.

Right seems like I’ll have to complete lots of achievements. Sigh – of course. Remember when you could just save gold and buy flying. That was hard enough for a WoW pauper like me (some of my alts still can’t afford to fly in Northrend) but so much easier than this.

Basically I’ll need to explore the Broken Isles, complete world quests, complete a class hall order campaign, complete Loremaster of Legion, and reach revered with six different Legion factions.

The reward for that is …duh duh duh … increased ground mount.

Um what? That’s no good. Just letting me move more quickly on the ground is a recipe for disaster. I’ll just run into stuff more quickly.

And what else does BW say on this? Well nothing. That’s all they know. They do go onto say that the forum posts were in arms about all this when it first appeared in the Alpha & Blizzard’s response was basically at least we are letting you know up front this time and all this will cover the lions share and yada yada yada. I suppose it’s good that at least we know some of what we need to do to eventually get flying but we don’t know the full detail and more fundamentally I just don’t get it.

Why do we need to jump through hoops to get flying? If Blizzard don’t want us to miss all the pretty ground stuff (which I rarely see this as I’m usually stuck in a crevasse) why not just withhold it until level cap? And then let us buy it with good old fashioned gold like the good consumers we are.  And I know that some of what’s required will be done naturally as part of the levelling journey and so no harm no foul, but will all the quests really get that rep raised or will I still need to bow and scrape like some feudal peasant. I refuse to do so. There’s still some communist principles in these tired old bones (ok I’m only in my 40s and I’ve never been a communist but I could have been, oh yes, I could have been).

And why have these particular requirements? If the quests were at least related to proving flying competence that would be something. I could probably do with a refresher. Perhaps you could be required to reach a certain level first (aka age) and then take some lessons, then do a few quests to show you can fly in a straight line, reverse fly around a corner and parallel park your gryphon. Could even have some serious consequences – take to the skies after too many at Brewmaster and you’re banned for two weeks. C’mon Blizz – this is the sort of creative thinking we need. But raising rep so I can get on my mount and take to the skies. The one thing has nothing to do with the other. Feels like Blizzard just wants to keep us busy (i.e. out of their hair) and withhold treats until we prove we deserve them by meeting some spurious standard autocratically set by Blizzard and … – oh god just realised something …  Blizzard is my mother.