So I vowed I wouldn’t buy BfA. I vowed after resubbing a few weeks back and hardly playing that I wouldn’t resub again. But this evening I found myself thinking about downloading Guild Wars and my husband said don’t get Guild Wars, get WoW. “I’ve only just cancelled my sub”, I said. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, “Guild Wars is not what you need right now.” So I went on Battlenet and resubbed. I also bought BfA and it’s downloading as I write this post. “You need it,” he said, and he’s right.
I’m down. I remember writing on this blog years ago that I play WoW when I’m sad, when everything around me feels hard and terrible. And things are hard right now. I’m still in the middle of my cancer treatment – Herceptin injections every three weeks that make my bones ache, make me shiver, make me tired, make me sad. I’ve done chemo, I’ve done radio, I’ve had the tumour removed, but its not over yet. These injections take me up to the end of next Jan. They make me feel rotten. That feels like a long time to feel rotten. Yes I’m alive but I’m not me.
And I’m back in work but not really up to it. Luckily I can work from home when I need to but that doesn’t stop me feeling rubbish and ineffective, imagining everyone rolling their eyes and sighing when I email in once again to say I’m working from home as I just don’t feel well. My Occupational Health report says I should only go in now and again for meetings but I feel like I need to do more so I am doing more. But it’s exhausting. Even taking leave is exhausting. Last week we had a few days away in a caravan and I overdid it walking on the beach and going in the pool. This week I have had fever and shivers. Then found out I have lymphodema of the breast and cellulitis. Now on antibiotics. The fun never stops.
And so I turn to WoW again. And not just a resub but a whole new expansion. I’m hoping it can help me feel better about things. At the very least it might help me wind down a bit. I have a habit of working in some way, shape or form whenever I get on the computer and I know it’s not helping. Yesterday I clenched so hard as I worked on stuff I didn’t need to work on that I gave myself jaw ache. I need to destress
I’ve not read anything about BfA. It all stands before me to be discovered. I am excited but guilty. It’s a lot of money to spend to try and cheer myself up. Meditation comes for free. Or just hiding in my bed. But I’m a gamer. Old habits die hard. So I turn again to Azeroth.
I haven’t made much progress this week as every time I’ve gone to play I’ve found myself fiddling round with Addons instead. Over the past few years I’ve not really used Addons. I’ve been playing so intermittently that I’ve not seen the point. It’s probably a sign of something – a real return to the game? – that I now want to start using Addons. Sort of like giving someone a sock drawer. I’m in it for the long term baby.
But it’s all so complicated. Last week I tried to use Vuhdo, Grid, Auctioneer, then Auctionator, a Pet Battle addon, HealBot, OverAchiever, and some others I forget about. Auctionator seems to be doing enough out of the box for me so I’m happy with that. I’ve not looked at the Pet Battle one yet except to turn of all the stuff cluttering up my map. I sorted things out on Vuhdo for Darllen my priest but then decided I wanted to go back to Terema so that was a waste of time. I uninstalled HealBot without properly looking at it after deciding to go with Vuhdo but now I’m not using Vuhdo so aargh!! I just generally exhausted myself installing stuff, opening it up, looking at all the options, deciding it was all too much and then uninstalling everything.
Some of this is the treatment I guess. A lot of things are too much for me right now. I need to keep things simple. But generally I just can’t cope with all the different ways you can customise every single thing you use these days (in life, not just WoW). It’s great when you know how to do it but overwhelming when you don’t. I have limited energy right now. If I spend half hour tinkering with stuff then that’s half hour out of my play time and probably me done for the day.
The worse thing was trying to use ElvUI. I really wanted to freshen up my UI (I use the default Blizzard one – the shame). I installed it, clicked through those first couple of screens that automatically set up a few things for you, but then I was left with a new UI I didn’t like and a gazillion different screens/tabs to read to work out how to change it. So I uninstalled it.
I’m only using a couple of Addons now- basically the ones I don’t have to do anything with. I want to use my energy to play not tinker. And the more mindless my play the better – focus on target, spam buttons, loot corpse, move on. It won’t always be this way but right now I need to play WoW like I need to live my life, on the simplest setting possible.
My return to WoW is progressing. I’ve managed to get Darllen my priest all the way to 102. Yes I’m going great guns! In all honesty I got a bit sidetracked trying to sort out Luxmii my shaman. I had forgotten I had boosted her to 100 so I found her in Dalaran but with no Legion quests and for some reason I can’t seem to get the artifact or class hall quests started at all. I’ve run around Dalaran, gone back to Stormwind Harbour and Stormwind Keep, then back to Dalaran, and I cannot find anything anywhere to get me started. I wrote to a GM who gave me a lovely detailed response but it all presupposed I has access to the Class Hall, which I don’t. Anyway it was all too much for me – I’ve not got that much energy at the best of times these days and I can’t waste what I’ve got running round Dalaran, so I hopped back over to Argent Dawn realm, and Darllen my priest and restarted her. Yesterday I completed the second artifact quest so I’m now levelling Disc (which I’m enjoying a lot more than Shadow) so I’m going to try sticking with her for awhile.
But it’s all a bit strange on Argent Dawn. The guild I’m in seems to be losing members by the day so I’m usually the only one on. I’m not much for chatting but I now realise how much I enjoy reading other people’s chat. I’ve thought about changing guilds. Thinking about life at 110 (and onwards with BoA), there’s a part of me that would like to be in a guild where I can take part in some friendly supportive guild dungeon runs to practice my healing. But that said I’m probably not yet up to the stress of any type of dungeon run – even with a friendly guild I’d have crazy performance anxiety. Plus energy-wise I can only play in short bursts so I’d probably struggle with any group content. So I probably just need to focus on getting Darllen to 110 and then see how I am.
But I might still have to change guilds. It would be good to see a bit of green chat as I grind my way to the top. My real world has shrunk so much in the last few months (I only seem to leave the house for hospital appointments) that I really don’t want my WoW world to be even smaller.
Well it’s been awhile. A lot has happened, mostly chemotherapy, stomach injections, sickness, aches, pains and tears. And a misguided attempt to get into games that do not start with the words “World of…”. What was I thinking?
I’m currently undergoing radiotherapy. In some ways it feels worse than chemotherapy. During chemo I was attached to a drip and they gave me tea and biscuits while I read my Kindle. Lovely. Of course three days later I wanted to curl up and die but that time on the drip … ah the memories. In contrast during radiotherapy they expose my top half to the world, draw all over me, giggle over in jokes I don’t understand and make me hold my breath for 20 seconds while they zap my left breast with something that, to date, has failed to turn me into a superhero. I have another 16 of these ahead of me. After radiotherapy I continue with 3 weekly injections of Hercepin (basically something that stops my type of tumour cells from sending out Feed Me Seymour signals ) until January 2019 or so. In other words treatment is ongoing and I am not yet a superhero. It sucks.
But there is WoW. I started playing again on my Starter account a few weeks ago but my Dwarf Shaman, unimaginatively named Herceptin (at least she’s not called Tumour) did not float my boat. I wanted to play my proper characters. So I resubbed yesterday and played Darllen my Shadow Priest. It was fun although I was playing on my old Mac which is no longer really up to it so there was a delay every time I tried to cast a spell which was a little off putting and led to at least one death (my keyboard panic thrashing was nothing to do with it Your Honour). So I’ve now reinstalled WoW on my laptop which is, I hope, more up to the task (although it does get a little hot under the collar whenever I ask it to do something other than coding – I think it’s the shock of seeing graphics).
I think I’m going to stick with my priest. Last time I played I got my Paladin Terema to 110 but I know I’m never going to want to melee in a group situation (I don’t like to rub shoulders) so I really need to commit to a range character. I know I want the option of healing so that leaves a Priest or Druid or Shaman (am I missing anyone?) and I’m not that keen on the Lunar Solar Druid stuff and I’ve not really thought about Luxmii my Shaman in ages (to be honest I forgot about her until writing the post – I think she’s stuck in MoP somewhere wishing she could fly). Maybe I need to rescue her.
The truth is I’m not loving the Shadow Priest. I think you can level as Disc but not sure what that would be like. I need to look it up. I definitely miss not being able to heal myself straightforwardly (if you know what I mean) and I don’t like looking …well…Shadowy.
But it’s nice to be playing. Not sure why I thought Stardew Valley and YouTube could replace Wow. I blame it on the chemo.
So it’s been a long time since I last posted. In that time I’ve had 3 lots of chemotherapy, lost all my hair, been measured up for radiotherapy (have three tiny tattoos so they know where to point the beam) and finally seen the first signs of regrowth on the top of my head (yay!). During that time I have done little to no gaming – not even Hearthstone which is a bit of a shocker given how much I was playing in the last post (I’ve not even seen the trailer for Witchwood!)
However, I have discovered a game I can play and enjoy right now – Stardew Valley. Now I know this is not a new game and I know many of you will have already been, seen and conquered it, but it is new to me. The other day I stumbled across a review of the game saying how chilling and relaxing it was and how it was helping people de-stress at the end of a long day and it sounded absolutely perfect for me right now as I recover from chemo and wait for radiotherapy to start. So I started playing it and I have to say I love it. It is everything the review I read said it was.
Indeed I love it so much that today I started a new YouTube Channel to record my gameplay. I think the channel might motivate me not just to play Stardew Valley but actually to go ahead and try some other games that I’ve never played before. I’ve been so into WoW, Hearthstone & Minecraft in the past that I’ve really narrowed my gaming horizons – time to expand them. Anyway the first episode is up, it’s a bit rough but it’s here if anyone wants to take a look. Don’t worry – I don’t mention the big C and I’m not using a web camera until I have more hair (the wigs I tried did me no favours and my current scarf wear just screams chemotherapy). I’m hoping recording videos for the new channel will help me rediscover my love of gaming and, through living in Stardew Valley, the joys of nature (albeit the pixellated version!).
It’s been awhile I know. WoW has gone from my life yet again. I wasn’t up to it after my operation and certainly not up to it during the last chemo. Daughter logged onto her starter account yesterday though and created a blue haired goblin warrior and it was lovely just seeing WoW stuff on the screen for a bit. But it’s not for me right now.
However, there is still gaming, specifically Hearthstone. Hearthstone is perfect for me right now. I can log on and play just one game (all I’m up to at the moment), log back out, rest, code, sleep, whatever, and then when I feel up to it log back on and play another game. I’m not going to storm up the ranks this way but it is still nice to be playing. Actually I’ve been playing more Arena than ranked lately which is very unlike me. Currently I’m in the middle of a Rogue run – wins seven, losses two, so it’s all in the balance. Very exciting! In ranked play in December I reached the dizzy heights of 12 playing mostly Highlander Priest. I struggled in January – I was a bit fed up with Priest so switched to a budget Secrets Mage. However, I kept struggling against CubeLock unless I was very lucky with my card draw. However, towards the end of January I acquired a golden hunter legendary which I disenchanted for Aluneth and now my budget Secret Mage deck is budget no more! Hoping it can help me climb the ladder this February (if I manage to break away from Arena that is).
There was news today about the Year of the Mammoth celebration – each quest you complete between 1 Feb and 14 Feb enters you into a prize draw (max 14 entries). The prize is 1000s of card packs. Would be truly awesome to win! The prize draw should at least keep me motivated to complete my daily quests over the next fortnight. That said I have chemo next week so who knows? My last chemo ended up with me in hospital. Hope this one is a little easier so I am up to recuperating with a bit of Hearthstone. Winning the prize draw would be the icing on the cake of course. Fingers crossed for a good month.
So I wasn’t able to play for a bit as I had an operation. I was in more pain after the op than I thought I would be (still in quite a bit of pain to be honest but the pain killers are helping). But yesterday and today I’ve been back on and I’m almost, almost, 109. This is the slowest journey to 110 ever. I’m being my usual inept self – I’m meant to be in Highmountain but keep getting lost and ending up in Stormheim and I’ve thrown myself off more cliffs than I care to remember. More positively I’ve rediscovered an interest in pet battles and put a ton of stuff for sale on the auction house – 9 levels worth of mining & skinning. I might actually be a millionaire if I sell everything (or I might not be – I’m really bad at maths). It’s been lovely coming back to Azeroth. It’s been very peaceful- the guild I’m in is not one of those “in your face” guilds. I always think of it as like Cheers. It’s a place where you feel at home and always welcome but are left alone unless you don’t want to be. I love the guild and I’m very grateful for the fact they let me stay even when I’m unsubbed.
Not much else to say. I keep feeling guilty about killing & skinning animals in WoW but this is ridiculous given yesterday in real life I ate a turkey and stuffing roll (it was disgusting though and I threw half of it away). I’ve also been feeling guilty about neglecting my blog. And while I play WoW I feel guilty for not focusing on my studies. Yes guilt is still an ever present thread in my life. I’m now going to make myself some breakfast even though I was going to try a fast today. So I will feel guilty about that too. I thought battling cancer would free my mind from petty concerns but actually my mind is tied up in the worse knots ever. But that’s not really WoW related so I’ll stop there. It’s hard unravelling my head but I will try my best to at least keep my WoW & personal blogs separate. This blog is for Azeroth only. Suffice to say I just want to enjoy my time in Azeroth guilt free and that’s something I am still struggling with.
So the other day I wrote that I did not currently have much energy for WoW. However, I seem to have discovered a way to play for slightly longer stretches, and more importantly a way to enjoy the time I play (not sit behind the keyboard feeling overwhelmed and drained before I even start) and the answer seems to be playing my paladin Terema.
Terema was my first ever WoW character so holds a special place in my heart. But somewhere around Wrath time I dropped her for a mage main, Seashell. For awhile I just had it in my head I couldn’t play melee. Actually that’s true when it comes to dungeons and raids – in the heat of battle everything is a blur and I have no idea what to target. That said I do like Paladin healing (the little I’ve tried) and in the past have been the healer in some lower level dungeons. Of course Bravetank the character originated as an attempt to crack the tanking nut ( his blog was meant to chart my progress). I failed to crack it (mostly because I cannot find my way around any dungeon) and poor Bravetank the pally has been abandoned in Shattrath City of all places.
Anyway Terema is currently my highest character (107 as of today – yes I’ve not even maxed any character in Legion yet). Clearly I’d had a bit of a questing spree with her when I was last subbed. Seashell in contrast is a ghost in Stormwind. I have no idea how that happened or why I left her as a ghost but I don’t have the oomph to sort her out so there she stays. I like to think she’s haunting Innkeeper Alison and slowly driving her out of her mind.
Anyway as Terema is the highest character I thought it might be worth having a go playing her (the 110 goal being the much nearer I thought I’d feel less overwhelmed). I’ve also realised part of my weariness when playing is to do with the fact I’m not enjoying my Shadow Priest. I just feel so bored by her. So I thought changing to Terema might help.
And so far so good. I was able to level her yesterday and complete the Val’Sharah storyline (yes I’m that far behind ). And more importantly I had moments when playing when I finally had that lovely WoW feeling I’ve been looking for – I was on my own clearing mobs, enjoying the scenery, the atmosphere, the music and basically the whole process of questing and levelling and feeling like you are actually getting somewhere. I had that moment yesterday and I remembered why I love the game and keep coming back to it. So thank you Terema. As a reward I’m going to get you to 110 and let you be my main in the Battle for Azeroth – I think you’ve earned it.
I am doing shockingly bad in terms of playing WoW right now. Just don’t feel well enough. I wanted WoW to be an escape from all the health related stuff I’m dealing with but I’m struggling. I am just so tired. I log on, do one or two things and then log off again, exhausted. Crazy. You’d swear I was physically running around Dalaran. It seems however excited I feel about all the Blizzcon stuff I’m going to need to get a whole lot better before I’m up to it.
At least there’s Hearthstone. Or there was. To begin with it felt like Hearthstone was something I could manage. I could log in, play a game, log out, then later if I felt up to it go back in and play some more. But now I’m not sure. When I play I’m switching between a mid range control Hunter, this Warlock deck (minus the Lich King which I don’t have) and a Highlander Priest deck. However, I lose far more than I win. Now of course this could just be my skills (lack of) but I think it’s more than that. I find myself mentally and physically flagging mid game, feeling overwhelmed by it all and basically just wanting to concede. Not going to hit Legend that way.
But it’s the WoW thing that has me feeling really sad. I’m just not up to proper gaming right now and it’s a shame because I really miss Azeroth. I might just have to content myself with logging in, flying somewhere beautiful and just sitting awhile, enjoying the scenery. There are worse things.
Well Blizzcon has got me all fired up again. In a good way. Actually Blizzcon always gets me fired up in a good way. I’ve never been one to rant and rave about why they did this/that and not that/this. I don’t have that type of obsession with the game that would make my soul burn at every perceived wrong turn. Sometimes my soul might twitch. On occasion it might tickle. But never burn.
Yes today I’m fired up in a good way. The main cause of this is the Vanilla server announcement. That got me really excited. The video they showed of everything rolling back in time was amazing. I’ll need to rewatch it so I catch everything. All I could think throughout was Menethil Harbor and the Wetlands. I’ll see them again just like they used to be.
Menethil Harbor and the Wetlands are my goto thoughts whenever I get all nostalgic about everything WoW used to mean to me. I loved the area so much. I remember spending a lazy Saturday morning questing there and one moment noticing the way the light hit the ground and just how beautiful it was. We live near some wetlands and when I go there I’m always transported back to that moment in WoW. I love it when real places do this to me. In fact I often find myself deciding whether I like a real place/landscape by how much it reminds me of WoW and how well it evokes my WoW feelings.
But Cataclysm came and flooded the harbor and the whole area never looked the same. I know you can still go there but it’s changed, things feel different (for one thing I keep tripping over all the sandbags) and I don’t like it. But now there’s hope. On a Vanilla Server I could go back and see it all again just as it was and maybe, just maybe, recapture that moment when all seemed right with the world.
I’m less excited about the Horde v Alliance Battle for Azeroth – haven’t we been there like a thousand times before? The change to PvP/PvE servers sounds ok and I really like the idea of the return of 3 man scenario type things – I used to love scenarios, they were a way to get that group feel without having to go full hog and endure a 5 man pug. I’m also excited about the new playable races.
But all this yesterday gave me a conundrum. You see the other day, although I’d resubbed to WoW, I had to delete it from my laptop because I’d run out of space. I had decided I would play on my daughter’s computer as and when I had time. This was a solution but not a great one because in reality it would take a lot to get me off my own laptop. I am always busy doing this/that and if WoW isn’t just a simple click away I won’t play it (I mean the thought I might actually have to put my computer down and walk over to another one is unthinkable – yes an unthinkable thought – how Zen is that?). So I started questioning the logic of resubbing.
But yesterday’s Blizzcon got me all fired up to to get back into WoW properly before all this new stuff happens (I need to clear the old new stuff before I can enjoy the new new stuff if you follow). So here I am at crazy o’clock ruthlessly deleting things my computer probably needs to survive just so I can free some space for WoW so that I can pay again.
On that basis I’d say Day 1 of Blizzcon was a success,