Posted in World of Warcraft

Needing Azeroth

I made this blog private for awhile as I wasn’t playing much and didn’t have anything games related to say. And then something happened which you can read about in my personal blog here if you’re interested (it’s to do with cancer though so be warned). And now – because of this other stuff – I want to come back and restart the blog.  But what to write about? I’m playing some Hearthstone right now but not doing anything amazing (I ping pong between 20 and 18 – neither are numbers of which to be proud!).  I do have Guild Wars but can’t get into it. I miss…well you know what I miss … I miss the game and the world I turn to when things get tough. Yes, I want to return to Azeroth right now. I think I need to return to Azeroth right now.  I want to be Bravetank again.

Posted in Minecraft

Magical Times

I’m not sure I’m going to like streaming after all. It seems so intrusive. People saying hello in chat and the realisation dawning on me that I’m not alone in my Minecraft world, that people are seeing what I’m up to and that I need to narrate my experiences and explain my choices. Doesn’t feel comfortable. I think I’m happier narrating my experiences and explaining my choices on here, after the fact,

I am still enjoying Minecraft though. Ended up focusing on Simply Magic, a magic focused modpack for the PC. It has all sorts of different magical paths and I’m focusing on Witchery to start. Already have a very pretty witchery garden, growing lots of different trees (you need the saplings for your fumes), as well as belladonna, mandrake (which you can only harvest at night otherwise you get into a devilish tustle with the creature), wolfsbane etc. I have a cauldron, an oven and altar (the latter adorned with a zombie head to give it power … yes magic works in mysterious ways). I’m following the sometimes helpful questbook and certainly it’s got me this far, although now things are ramping up in difficulty. I have to get spectral dust by killing a spectral creature that I can call through a Rite of Summoning that looks far too complex for this stage of my  journey. The same goes for the magical mirror I am meant to be crafting. The only thing that looks vaguely achievable is the Distillery, but what I then do with that is again too complex for words. It’s the sort of modpack where I need to have a notepad beside me to keep track of what I need to collect. And it’s the sort of modpack where google is your friend. But it’s really interesting and fun, albeit hard work, and I’m  enjoying losing myself in Minecraft again.  And amazingly for a 40 something year old I am stillon edge  when exploring an underground cave and I still scream my head off when a zombie groans behind me.  Good times.

Posted in Uncategorized

Streaming Minecraft

So despite everything I said I’ve had no time nor inclination to play WoW over the past few weeks. So ended up only resubbing  for a month and now it’s all over. Not sure what that says about me and WoW going forward. Maybe whatever we had is really lost? Can’t go back, must go forward I guess.

So…going forward … last week I used my few couple of hours free to stream Minecraft on the  PS4 to my You Tube channel. I was missing Minecraft & had a hankering to give streaming a go. But the stream cut off halfway through and I didn’t realise and … well it was all rather disappointing (viewers – all 0 of them – missed some awesome mining). The other problem with PS4 Minecraft is it’s Vanilla & I like  modpacks.

So today I set up Minecraft on the computer again, downloaded FTB Feed the Beast mod pack & OBS for streaming and linked everything to Twitch and spent over an hour streaming. Had one viewer for about 5 minutes. They said one or two things in chat which was nice. But viewers or no viewers  I had a lot of fun. The realisation is slowly dawning that these days I prefer Minecraft to WoW and I enjoy streaming (although all I do is talk to myself the entire time). I think I’m going to do more of it and hopefully get better of it.

My stream is here if anyone is interested. Today’s stream got off to a shaky start – I was fiddling with my settings and forget to speak for awhile! Gets better as it goes on – although I should apologise for the scream when a creeper pays me a visit!



Posted in World of Warcraft

Third Time’s a Charm

I’ve logged on three times since committing to my WoW return and have had a few false starts. First I went in on Darllen – my 101 Priest – thinking she’d be a good one to get going with. However, I immediately felt overwhelmed by all the stuff in the class hall, the non stop chat and my quests. So I decided to have a fresh start and roll a brand new character, a Blood Elf Paladin called … Bravetank. Now there are lots of Bravetanks scattered on different realms on my account – including the original “I will be both a tank and a PvPer” Bravetank over on Defias Brotherhood (bless her little brave and deluded soul). But I no longer have a Bravetank on my main realm. So off I went- quickly rolled my new alt and started to play.

I was immediately bored by the Blood Elf starting zone though, and the thought of the 1-20 questline so I decided to orb it to Undercity and then zeppelin it to Orc land. What felt like hours later I was finally in the starter zone (having got lost along the way and nearly killed several times by uber level 6 mobs – oh how the mighty have fallen) and my allotted time to play was over. Not much of a start.

By the time the magic playtime hour rolled around the following day I had decided it was ridiculous to be starting a new alt. After all I should be experiencing Legion now (and it’s subsequent patches) not redoing stuff I’ve already done hundreds of times (no matter the comfort blanket benefit of doing so). I want to see at least some of the new stuff I’ve missed (although I’ve resigned myself to not seeing any raids or dungeons – I need to avoid the stress of other people this time round).

So anyway I logged Luxmii,  my 100 Shaman who hadn’t done any of the new content and  was all ready to answer Khadgar’s call when my computer decided to have a hissy fit and the screen went all black and I had to do several restarts and basically after all that had barely any time to play and only ended up helping Thrall at the Maelstrom, choosing an artifact and then that was that.

Today I’ve got about an hour to play (although I’m using most of that typing on here). I’ve decided I don’t want to play a shaman. There was a reason my first(ish) thought was to roll Bravetank the Pally, I want to play a Pally. And I have a 104 Pally Terema. I just need to get to grips with her Class Hall, the chat and my unfinished quests and restart her journey.

3rd time lucky.

And it’s worked (I think). It has only taken me about half an hour to get my head around the Class Hall, my quests, ignore the chat, fly to Val’sharah, ride on Malfurion’s back, capture a new pet and almost ding 105.

Happy days.

I’m getting there.


Posted in World of Warcraft

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.


Posted in Neverwinter

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.

Posted in Hearthstone

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.

Posted in Hearthstone, World of Warcraft

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.

Posted in World of Warcraft

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.

Posted in World of Warcraft

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.