Posted in World of Warcraft

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Bear

I was really grateful for all the comments from everyone after my last post (& the comments on MMO Melting Pot too – what’s the protocol here- do I also reply there ?). Everyone had great ideas for what I should do now I’m 85 but already sick to death of dailies. The unequivocal consensus was that I should not do so many dailies  & in fact perhaps should drop them  altogether. Many of you suggested things like the Loremaster achievement (including really really reading the quest texts – not just relooking at them when I’m halfway through a quest with nothing happening &  the dawning realisation I’ve missed some crucial bit like needing to use some magic crystal on the mob before I hit them   – normally this realisation coming after I’ve killed 100 for nothing … ). Also suggested were doing older dungeons & raids, and learning  to make money (money that can make my dream of a Traveller’s Tundra Mammoth a reality not a guilty fantasy).

All were great  ideas and have led to me changing my routine.  Dailies-wise I’m now only doing Rokk & Katherine Lee  for the chocolate cake recipe  – unless I really really feel up to Molten Front (I actually want to see how that turns out). Other than that I’m focusing on three things:-

-Loremaster- starting with Twilight Highlands. I am going to do all the quests & explore all the areas and- when I remember (old habits die hard )- really read the quest texts.  Did some of it yesterday & I what I’ve learnt about the Wildhammer clan…well to be honest nothing  much apart from their annoying tendency to lose stuff – gryphons, relatives, themselves, their trousers ….thinking of starting up a Wildhammer Clan Lost & Found business for gold. I’d have that mammoth before the day is out.

-Raiding- I realise now that part of my issue is I’m actually scared to do  proper raids because of how hard it sounds but I want all that cool gear.  What a conundrum. But rather than settle for what I can get from VPs only I need to get a grip and go for it. So when I can I will sign up with my guild for their proper Friday night raid, use Teamspeak and everything (imagine my lilting Welsh voice on the air…a high pitched Anthony Hopkins), and try really hard to perform well at that level.

-PvP. I’ve made myself some vicious stuff  (really vicious – they bite as I sew) & bought a few extra pieces & now sort of have a PvP set.  Yes I’m all grown up. So much so that yesterday I ventured out again to  Tol Barad & also a battleground. It was all very exciting.

Firstly Tol Barad. Previously I’ve always had my heart in my mouth doing the dailies there. I’ve been killed so many times – often by the same people each day (do they  live there?). But I walked out with a bit more confidence yesterday. I had some resilience – physical not emotional  of course. But even better – I’d only been there a few minutes when the universe handed me a gift (even they are fed up of all my deaths – I’m pushing the limits of what resurrection can do). A Worgen Warrior (very tough looking) asked me if I wanted to group so we could do the dailies together.  He said it would be quicker,  but I like to think  he wanted my protection (please let me dream). So I said yes & off we went. And yes  it was quicker & yes I did relax a bit more knowing I had a strong warrior accompanying me (I was Frodo to his Aragorn). It was great. Halfway through the dailies we came across a Hordie bear. I’m sure the bear only  saw me to begin with and thought he’d found easy pickings. But how wrong he was. Sucker! Together me & the warrior  despatched him quick sharpish. I did my usual whoops around the living room (while acting fairly dignified in game…don’t worry …it didn’t last).  I wasn’t so lucky next time. He must have been stalking us and when I  and my protector were separated for just a second  (I was greedily looting I think – still haven’t kicked my Embersilk cloth habit) he lunged at me. I panicked and hit a wild selection of buttons – none of which involved casting one spell but did change my outfits four times- and rather quickly died.  Thankfully by  the time I’d ressed and run back the warrior had killed him. I was very grateful & swore I would not part from the warrior again. So we carried on with the dailies (me sticking to the warrior like a limpet) when again the bloody  bear reappeared (like a Goldilocks nightmare). This time he surprised the warrior & the warrior himself died. I was on my own. I had no choice but to dig deep. I entered a Zen like trance (wax on wax off) &  took a moment to look properly at my task bar & actually hit the right buttons in the right order and …I  KILLED HIM!! I KILLED THE BEAR (I offer no apologies for the caps – I am totally shouting). I was absolutely over the moon. The warrior was pleased for me too- although I think by now he was wondering what sort of lunatic he’d grouped himself with. He said he was also impressed with my DPS – so my neurotic fixation with  recount is paying dividends. So all was good.

Later – still full of PvP euphoria – just before bed (note to self- not the best thing to do if you want to relax of an evening) I went into Warsong Gulch – now with two more pieces of resilience gear and no money. The gate opened &  I remembered what I’d read – that  nothing shows a PvP noob more than running off in a totally different direction from the rest of the group – so I tapped into my inner sheep (baa) and simply followed the crowd over to the Horde base to capture the flag. I got a few hits in on the way & definitely could feel a  taste for blood growing – the lower the health of someone the more single minded I was to bring them down (think Terminator with a staff)-and yet I’m a vegetarian pacifist.  Scary. Obviously I died a few times myself (without any shred of dignity and using words even my tongue was embarrassed to say). On one of my forays I decided to stay with the flag carrier all the way back- seeing myself as some sort of hard core invincible protector. Probably someone with cloth  armor is not ideal for this – but I have resilience..that makes me invincible yes? I was certainly acting like it did. Somehow we made it back but then just stood around on the  upper ledge. I was confused. I thought the flag had to be put somewhere? More DPS appeared. Someone said, “All the dps are here!!!” in a tone that suggested  that was very wrong. I shuffled my feet uncomfortably – not sure what to do. I had thought I was helping. It occurred to me that my place was probably back at the horde side stopping them planting the Alliance flag. Wrong place, wrong time … again. Finally – with nothing else to do  I hurled  myself off the ledge down into the fight below- determined to prove my worth somewhow. I died of course. Quickly. But this time on ressing  I ran back to the Horde side & got in the thick of it there. I felt delight every time I saw a name in red. Something to kill.SomeONE to kill. God I’m so ashamed. It was great. Then it all stopped and – WE’D WON!!!! A zillion honor points came my way. What a buzz.

I went back to Old town & exchanged a number of justice points for even more Honor points like the Honor point junkie I now am – taking me up to something great like 700! I now have two main goals- build up my PvE gear with Valor points & proper raids and build up my PvP gear with Tol Barad, battlegrounds & justice point exchanges.Plus do some Loremaster stuff when I can. And get that bloody chocolate cake recipe. And try & do a few World Tree dailies.

My cup runneth over 🙂

Posted in World of Warcraft

I Hate Bombing

Some of you who have stumbled on this site looking for an important and perhaps even thought provoking anti-war tirade are going to be disappointed by the frivolity of this post. Or a little angry. Or maybe so genuinely puzzled and bemused you end up stumbling to the fridge looking for some solace and sanity in  a Kit Kat. Unless of course you are my until now undiscovered soul mate who knows exactly what bombing I’m referring to without me having to spell it out because it’s so obvious, because you’ve been there, felt it and endured it. In which case I hope your therapist laughed less than mine when you told him/her about it. I’m referring of course to the bombing of Skettis – that awful daily that I’m currently putting myself through daily (clue is in the name I know) to get a flying jellyfish – or nether ray – whatever the hell they’re called.

What a dreadful dreadful quest. It’s hell. Sheer hell. Shall I list what’s wrong with it? Please can I? The therapist is insisting on charging me double if I continue to waste her time with this crap. Ok…

1. The big birds that attack you just when you’re about to bomb their eggs. I mean how unreasonable is that. I am just trying to destroy their young, their precious next generation, and they have the gall to get all tetchy about it and come swooping down on me, hamstringing me and my mount and making me fall to the ground- dying in the undignified way of one too panicky to click slowfall properly.

2.Trees – there are trees and leaves everywhere. They get in the way and make me feel all smothered and claustrophobic when I fly around. Also they make it more difficult to find those eggs. It’s making me a total supporter of deforestation. You wouldn’t get this hassle if it was a concrete jungle filled with high rise flats with the eggs neatly lined up on top. Blizzard and nature take note – we need more concrete.

3.That annoying guy who daily needs to be released from the prison in one of the trees. He never moves once I release him. He says something like “Let’s get out here” but then stands there, like he’s expecting me to carry him or something. I end up running off a bit and then stopping and looking back at him encouragingly (yes my WoW character has all sorts of facial expressions – hasn’t yours – how odd). Eventually he comes – sauntering along like one not that keen on escaping a prison in which he was kept relatively well fed and watered. Actually now I think about it that’s probably why he ends up back there each day- after we get to the foot of the stairs and he says “Great thanks!” he probably waits until I’m not looking and runs back up to lock himself in. Total time waster.

4. For this daily hell I get the pleasure of seeing my rep bar with the Shatari Skyguard creep up millimetre by millimetre. They are never that impressed with me unless I bring back a load of shadow dust as well- the thought of which makes my hands all itchy.

5. It’s nowhere near Ogrila – the other place I apparently need to go if I am to sufficiently win the Shatari over to my cause -enough anyway for them to be willing to sell me (sell me mind- not give me – they have to like me enough to let me spend my money with them – the world is mad) a nether ray. And they know I’ll do it. Because I’m that desperate to add another mount I’ll never use to my collection. This game is both a dream and nightmare for any “completionists” like me (i.e. neurotic, OCDish and obsessed).

Compare this daily with the lovely Wintersaber one. I get the little cub out each day. He either wants some meat or a toy. Aww bless. I fly a few feet away, one shot a couple of owlkins, yetis, bears or winterfall shamans (who killed me enough times when I was levelling for me to enjoy every single one I bring down) and then turn in the quest. He yawns in a very satisfied manner. I store away yet another whisker and we’re all happy. One day nearer to the mount. It’s clear, definable, enjoyable and most important of all really really EASY!

Yes I want these dailies to be easy. I don’t want to be attacked by birds or blinded by leaves. In  fact come on Arrakoa – just lay up all your eggs in a row just outside the camp and let me come along and blast them with arcane barrage. You’ll have less squawking mouths to feed (and bloody hell they grow up aggressive) & I’ll get my flying jellyfish. We’ll all be happy. And throw a bit of concrete down while you’re at it.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Defying Gravity

My excitement knows no bounds. Not only have I had my swift lovebird (see last post) but I’ve also now got the companion Peddlefeet and a flying carpet.  And what’s more – I’ve finally plucked up the courage to make and WEAR the black mageweave set.

I think husband slightly disapproves of the outfit. I told him that she has a cool yellow cloak and he said, “No one will be looking at her cloak.” He then said he hoped I hadn’t spent too much on the cloth since there didn’t actually seem to be alot of material in the outfit. His attitude isn’t helped by the fact some young man (I think- but who knows in this game) was so enamoured by my name the other day that he told me he loved me and offered to get me lots of cloth for my tailoring. Husband thinks I’m attracting the wrong types. I think anything that speeds up my tailoring is worth considering.

Anyway in regard to the outfit – is there such a thing as dressing inappropriately in the game? Can you show too much thigh and buttock? I wrote about this over on the F Word site in the “You’ll Catch Your Death in That” article. I’m still battling with some of the same issues now as then.But I like the outfit so I’ve taken the plunge. She’s embracing her right to wear what she wants to wear – no matter how chilly it gets or how her thighs chafe.

In other Seashell news- she is nearly topping the dps charts in most dungeons apart from the one I ran around equipped with a fishing rod…! It’s so nice to be effortlessly powerful as opposed to all my other characters who are strenuously weak. Also everytime I put focus magic on someone I feel great and magnanimous – you’d swear I’d just done a five hour stint in a soup kitchen. “There you go- have some extra critical hit from me. No don’t thank me please. Oh you weren’t going to. What a surprise.”

To be fair I’ve actually had some good groups of late. There have been a few new tanks (Seashell is 63 so running with the Death Knight crew). The ones I’ve met have been quick to confess their inexperience and courteous to all. How long before the brutality of the dungeon world beats that out of them? One even fairly won a need roll then offered it up to the other person who’d lost saying “You need it more than me.” Amazing. I’ve stayed with a couple of groups for 2 or 3 dungeons which for me is a sign of commitment on a par with getting engaged.

Had an addon fest this morning. When I had to reinstall the game a few weeks back I lost my add ons and I hadn’t got round to re-downloading them until today. Went for Auctioneer, Tidy Plates, Decursive, Mage Nuggets (which makes me whisper something like, “Thank you for Innervating me” – which sounds slightly obscene I think), something on Achievements (the Overachiever?) which is helping me /love all the critters I need to, and Atlas Loot which I adore. It has made me very focussed in dungeons – since I actually know what items might drop I can “enjoy” that lovely tense moment just after the boss dies and we wait to see what’s dropped. Husband has been a tad shocked at the vulgarity of my language when something stupid in plate inevitably appears.

Fishing and cooking continue – I’m on a quest for Enormous Barbed Gill trout so if anyone knows the best spot for them let me know. Wowhead has sent me to all sorts of places but so far I’ve only caught one (and been killed several times – can’t believe fishing is so dangerous – I’m clearly doing it wrong). I’m getting all excited at what I’m hearing about Dalaran cooking and fishing dailies – is it really the promised land? I want to make Delicious Chocolate Cake. I can’t believe I’ve reached the dizzy heights of the 350s in all my professions (Archaeology doesn’t count of course  – it’s still on something like minus 7 ).

So it’s been a good couple of WoW days. I seem to be making real progress, actually enjoying the dungeons and meeting some really nice people who have been a pleasure to run with. Now who’d have ever thought I’d say something like that!!

Posted in World of Warcraft

All Grown Up

Aaargh total pressure. This might be a blog post actually read by Blog Azeroth people. I was selected Blog of the Week on Sunday and it’s only now occurred to me (Tuesday) that I actually need to post something (I’m a bit slow on the uptake).

It’s a good time to post though because this week I feel I’ve finally reached a milestone. I’m a real WoW player. I’m doing dailies. Properly. You know – making sure I do them regularly (one might even say daily).

When I first started reading online about WoW and listening to podcasts everyone would talk about doing dailies. It sounded really important. I wondered what it would be like to have dailies to do. How did you get them? Was there a quest line that led to them? They had a total mystique about them. I imagined telling my mother importantly on the phone, “Can’t talk sorry I’m doing dailies,!” and her being suitably impressed by her daughter.

It’s similar to when I was younger – I heard someone say they “owed” their sister 50p. I was awestruck. What did owing mean? I couldn’t conceptualise it at all.All I knew was I equated growing up with being able to owe something. Sadly how right I was.

Of course it’s not that I’ve only recently done my first daily. I have done some previously – in an ad hoc fashion. I never stuck it out for long – a bit of Knights of the Ebon Blade stuff for Terema until I tired of Icecrown (day 2), the Winterspring Frostsaber for Luxmi (I am proud of that one I have to admit!) and..well … that was it. But now it’s a very different story.

With Seashell my level 48 mage I have become quite obsessed with dailies. Every day she does her fishing & cooking ones- both because I want to level them & because I want to get the achievements you get when you do all the fishing dailies in one area, all the cooking ones in one area etc. And I’m actually sticking with it and even enjoying it. I like getting my little green bag after the fishing one & the chef award after the cooking. It is strangely satisfying. And on top of that right now she is also doing the Darkmoon Faire ones (even the annoying games – I’ve become quite the tonk expert) and then the Love is in the Air ones – running around delivering bracelets to the Alliance lords and masters like a deranged suitor.

On top of the dailies thing I’m also finding myself very Achievements focused with her. I’m actually looking at the 100 Mounts achievement and thinking yes I could do that (I’m totally deluding myself of course but that’s beside the point – I have aspirations). The What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been is turning into one of my top priorities in life. What’s happening to me? Seashell’s WoW journey seems so different from any of my other characters. She is doing professions, fishing & cooking, getting reps up, trying to collect mounts and companions and now trying to get some mega achievement. Levelling is turning out to be rather incidental to her journey. It happens while I’m doing other things like finding an area offering me skill up for skinning, exploring new areas in which to fish, running dungeons in tabards to build rep. It’s a much more holistic journey and feels a more well rounded experience. She’s even got her own style courtesy of transmogging.

And the whole thing has reminded me just how great a game this is – it can offer so much variety, so many ways in which to play your character and spend your time online. I know other people feel differently but I personally really do still love playing this game and I’m still finding fresh ways to enjoy it. They say to try to find things in life that get you in the zone – a state of total absorption. It is said to be a good state to be in because it usually means your mind has stopped wandering off to the past or future and is instead in the present. My mind needs that – very much so – and WoW offers it to me. That’s a good thing.