Tag: levelling

Are we there yet?

Yesterday I got lost on Azuremyst Isle. And someone was watching. The shame, the shame.

Just to explain – I was trying out some streaming on Twitch (Channel=Bravetank1), levelling my warlock. I’m curious about the whole Twitch thing & wanted to see what it would be like. I had a maximum of 3 viewers during my stream and one of them was me neurotically watching myself on my IPad as I played on the laptop just to see what it all looked like (& to check out just how Welsh I sounded).

And then I got lost. The trouble is I am a human levelling in Draenei land because I do not want to level in Elwynn Forest/Westfall again (one more time will tip me right over the edge and will surely result in me jibbering away in some corner with a candle on my head). I had intended travelling to Teldrassil by boat & flying from there to Azuremyst Isle. But on reaching Rutheran Village I found I did not have enough money to fly to Azuremyst Isle and so had to do a couple of quests in night elf land. I then proceeded to do all this arse backwards (literally – I walked backwards the entire way (kidding – although I suspect that would get more viewers on Twitch). When I arrived in Dolanaar  there was only one quest on offer (the dreamcatcher one) and that was red to me. So I travelled back to Shadowglen to do a few quests there, then back to Dolanaar to earn a few coin, then finally I flew to Azuremyst Isle only to find again most quests wouldn’t open for me until I’d levelled. So after a bit more faffing I decided the best course of action was to run back to the Draenei starting zone Ammen Vale and get to level 8 there. That’s when the trouble started.

By this point the one viewer who was amazingly sticking with me through all this must have wondered what the hell he’d stumbled upon  – some two year old who’d sneaked onto his parents’ WoW account perhaps (although actually a two year old would have been level 15 by this point and ruling it in Deadmines). In truth I wonder if the viewer was Twitch bot (do they exist?) because the only comment in chat was a suggestion to use some sort of advertising addon – any real viewer would have been typing “What the hell are you doing? L2P you noob!” or words to that effect.

So anyway I wanted to get back to the crash site but I couldn’t remember in which direction it was. I was convinced it was not the area off to the north east  – that was Bloodmyst Isle surely? Yes definitely, I remembered it well. I muted myself on Twitch & called husband over, asking “Where do I go?” He pointed to the area I had already categorically categorised as Bloomysyt Isle. I scoffed heartily (choking on a pear). He looked puzzled and then instructed me to “Try that blob there then”, pointing vaguely in the general direction of my laptop. Cheers for that I thought, heading off to what looked like a blob  (turned out to be a small pond). I looked at the other undiscovered areas on the map – ok bottom south west then, I’d try there. Silently and rather grimly I headed off in that direction. Now & again, remembering I was streaming, I chirpily announced things like “Oh nearly there” and “Not long now” (as if my viewer was a restless child in the back of the car). Turns out I was heading to Odesyus Landing  – oopsies, wrong again. I turned around and tried somewhere vaguely north – not a great idea – as usual the Bristlelimbs were not in the most friendly of moods. Now of course at any point I could have tabbed out & checked a map (any words to that effect in the comments gets the “Duh No Shit Sherlock Award”).  I know about maps. I’ve lived. But I wanted to figure this out myself. I mean come on – level 7, Azuremyst Isle – I knew I could do this. By now of course I really wanted to end the stream and go for a lie down but I knew I had to press on. The only area of land uncovered at this point was the area I had deemed Bloodmyst Isle. Yes you’ve guessed it (if not then you’re probably more like me than you’d care to admit and have got your own alt lost somewhere in the grounds of Northshire Abbey). I muttered to husband (so quietly only the dog could hear) “I think you may be right” and then cheerily announced to Twitch “Ohh I think it’s this way” (of course I was the only viewer at this point so it was all rather pointless and a tad disturbing). Anyway finally I got to the crash site, did a few quests, dinged 8 and breathed a sign of relief.

What a disaster.  I’m now Level 10. My next stream will undoubtedly show me getting lost again on my way to Bloodmyst Isle. Scintillating viewing I think you’ll agree.

The things you do for love

I started out with such good intentions. I was a Blood Elf but I was going to devote myself to the Tauren. I was going to be the Greatmother’s emissary in Azeroth, bringing light to a hostile and threatening world – spreading the Tauren message of love, harmony and respect for nature in a stylish Blood Elf way with a figure to die for.

It soon became clear this was going to be no easy task. Have you tried getting from the Blood Elf starting area to Mulgore as a Level 1 with no money. I got to Orgrimmar easily enough (I’m not that clueless – close though) but the next stage.. oh my! I was aggroing things from Tanaris I swear. Every mob in Kalimdor smelled blood and came out to get it. I almost gave up & then remembered my level 70 Horde Warlock on the same server. Lightbulb moment! She could send me gold so that I could fly to the Tauren starting land! I’m ashamed to say I must have died about 30 times before I thought of this. Sharpness is a quality that still alludes me.

So I got to Tauren land. Did a few quests. Wept respectfully over Greatmother Hawkwind’s funeral pyre. It was all going swimmingly even though occasionally the quest text referred to my hooves (hooves! … I’m a blood elf in designer stilettos I’ll have you know).

But then something in my hunter blood started to stir & I knew I needed to tame something cool. Did a search on Petopia & found this little mite. My heart melted & I knew he was the one for me. So I waved goodbye to my Tauren brethren, promising I’d be back soon. They looked at me quizzically – we’d never quite overcome the language barrier – and off I went.

I got to Undercity & made my way down to Silverpine Forest. And there it happened. Everything changed. To begin with I just thought I’d pick up a few quests on my way  to the spot where the Lost Gilnean Wardog hangs out  – just to keep the levelling process going you understand. Nothing too awful – killing a few enraged worgen that’s all. I told myself the Tauren would have been all for this – I mean these mobs were worgen and enraged – a combination that surely cries out for extinction.

So I did the quest and ran back to camp to get my silver coins and experience points. But that’s when it happened. I caught her eye, she caught mine, we tossed them back to each other (groan… I know  –  but the old ones are the best). There was no going back.

Sylvanas – she’s rather mesmerising isn’t she? And she seemed very impressed with me. Very. Before long we we going on long rides together, she was confiding in me, I was painting her rotting toenails, it was lovely. And before I knew it I was unquestioningly obeying her every command – no matter how vile, hateful or disturbing.

I’ve done a quick review and in my first couple of levels serving Sylvanas I have done the following:-

1. Collected countless diseased organs – I really should be quarantined.

2.  Gathered ferocious doomweed for Apothecary Witherbloom even thought I knew it was to weaponise the blight –  I even hummed a bit as I collected it – I find gardening so relaxing.

3.  Helped Agatha turned numerous fleeing humans into Forsaken – and flew back to Sylvanas with undignified haste for a pat on the head.

4. Killed several Worgens in bear form, who were  inconspicuously trying out a new tanking spec – thus single handledly further reducing the number of tanks queuing in LFG

5. Rummaged around countless crocolisk innards to find Dempsey’s body parts – only to have my three deranged amigos (Walden, Godfrey and Ashbury) kill the raised guy the moment he gave them some lip.

6. Stood by while Godfrey killed the cowering troopers we were meant to be rescuing (and in fairness to Sylvanas not even she knows about that).

7. Recovered mysterious “supplies” from the murlocs on the coast in Hillsbrad – there was green goo and stuff coming out of the barrels – I’m thinking it’s not wheatgrass  (although the Undead do swear by its health benefits).

8. Brought flesh samples to someone who “wrings his hands together and laughs maniacally” when sending me on the quest. I think at this point I reached a new low.

9. Brought 12 still beating yeti hearts to Keeper Bel’varil only to find he didn’t need them anymore  –  then considered eating them when he told me they had excellent nutritional value.

10. Poisoned 30 Stormpike trainees with a barrel of water – and looked on as they gratefully ran to the water so that I could make sure EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM was poisoned.

It’s a fact – I am beyond redemption.  The Tauren and their whole respect the earth schtick is but a distant memory. I am Beanie the Plaguebringer. And I’m having so much fun! 

Rep Grinding with the Joneses

Day 1
I love my new neighbours the Joneses – god they’re cool. I really want to hang out with them. I think if I can get friendly enough with them they might invite me into their home – or at least as far as the garden (don’t want to push it too early on…but there may be a garden party I could serve drinks at or something). And if I really prove my worth they’ve said I can have a ride in their car. But I have to show them how loyal I can be. I don’t mind. It’s worth it to get in with the Joneses.

Day 2

They’ve suggested I should pop around every day and they’ll give me a few little jobs to do. Sounds great. I mean that’s what friendship’s all about yes? I scratch their backs, they scratch mine. Except – when I mentioned the itch on my back they just pointed me to their cat’s scratching post (& the cat hissed at me when I went to try it). But  that’s ok. I don’t mind. I want to do things for the Joneses. Every single day of my life. Yes I love it. I‘m their guy.

Day 3

Minor setback. I turned up at their house and they said there were some things I needed to do before they’d even consider allowing me to be friendly with them. I had to earn my stripes they said. The first problem…um no …I mean challenge…there are no such things as problems when you’re working with the Joneses… the first challenge was that although they’d asked me to go to their house for my first job (they were very specific about that) they actually wanted me to do jobs  for them on the  other side of town. But I didn’t mind. I mean yes I have no car & yes I had no money for the bus but I needed the exercise.  So I was more than happy to walk the 30 or so miles to where I actually should have been- which ironically turned out to be the place I originally set off from to go to the Joneses… it’s all character building stuff.

Day 4

Funny old day. When I arrived at the job depot (it’s all very official this “becoming friends with the Joneses” lark) they told me that I had to become adored- absolutely  adored- by their relatives the Smiths first. So off I went to visit the Smiths. Took me 6 months to even get Mr Smith to crack a smile (& unspeakable things for him to give a wry little laugh) but eventually I got there. The Smiths now adore me.

Month 7

After the  Smiths  I hiked  back to the Joneses- ready & willing to start becoming their bestest bestest friend. Each of them made me do 4 chores each  day  – things like cleaning the car, weeding the drive, taking out the garbage – that sort of thing. But they liked to end each day with a fun little challenge. So on Monday for eg  I had to give a lion a dental check up (not fun- particularly when it turned out he had a cavity- he did not like the sound of the drill); on Wednesday I had to teach a bear  how to waltz (he stood on my toes but I just had to grin & bear it…and boy did we laugh at that pun); and on Friday I had to let a one handed chimpanzee take out my appendix. All good fun – including the  complete blood transfusion I needed on Saturday  (the chimpanzee refused to sew me back up after the operation – declaring “Stitches are for Bitches”).

Months 8 to…well difficult to say…felt like eternity

I did all these fun jobs – up to 15 each day – for a long long time. I had to start at 6am to get them done. I never finished until gone midnight. But it was time well spent if you ask me. Didn’t see much of my family of course. And I lost my job. Ended up living in a cardboard box (but on the SAME STREET as the Joneses – I was in heaven, I really was). And at the end of what must have been 10 years or so old Ma Jones smiled at me – yes she actually smiled – then gave me a wave and beckoned for me to follow her INTO HER HOUSE! I’d done it. The Joneses loved me!

And what delights awaited me inside….

As soon as I was through the door old Ma Jones said, “Come with me,” and took me upstairs to her bedroom. She immediately started rummaging in her wardrobe. First she pulled out a delightful woollen hat – the type that keeps your head nice & warm and is perfect for life in the old cardboard box. “Here you can have this,” she said. Then she pulled out more exciting things…well more hats anyway …there were posh Sunday bonnets, flowery wedding hats, cute looking head scarves, retro flat caps, policeman helmets & military berets – every single hat you could think of. “Take this. And this. And this,” she said, throwing more & more hats at me. In the end my arms were full of them. Then she thanked me for taking “all this rubbish” off her hands, said she appreciated my services & escorted me to the back door (she said it was important I leave by the back because I looked a little rough from sleeping on the streets & she didn’t want all her adored friends to see me). I knew that was the sort of thing you only say to your very bestest friend though so I was more than happy to leave that way with all the rich treasures she had bestowed on me. My head will never again suffer the indignity of wearing the same hat two days running. I felt truly loved- exalted even- by the Joneses & that night rejoiced in my cardboard  box for the years of my life I’d given up to them.

And tomorrow I start with the Lewises- I hear they have scarves & trinkets. Bring it on!

The Peter Pan approach

I’m feeling really guilty about something. I should be spending my time doing the Midsummer festival this week. After all I wrote about it last week – all excited and enthusiastic about defiling bonfires. But ….I hate it. I’m finding it so boring it’s in danger of turning me off WoW for good.

I have tried. Honest I have. I’ve killed Lord Ahune. That was ok. Nothing special but satisfying enough (like every meal I eat on this goddamn low carb diet). I then started doing the torch series. Currently struggling to throw & catch four on the trot so that’s not looking too good. But it’s the bonfires themselves that’s the problem. I’ve honoured & desecrated a few in the Eastern kingdoms but after only 4 or so I’m finding it tedious beyond belief. And when I can’t immediately find one I’m instantly in a rage.  It’s really bringing out the worst in me. I mean what a stupid place to put it in Duskwood. And to find out that the Horde one in Swamp of Sorrows is in Bogpaddle not Stonard as I thought. Aaargh. It’s making my stomach all tense! I hate it hate it hate it.

So what should I do then? Just grit my teeth & get on with it? But I can’t!!! (I’m saying this in the whiniest tone imaginable by the way.) Surely gritting my teeth is not what this game is about? Surely that’s not what I pay good money for?

Is it the game or me? Do I lack some fundamental trait that I need to be a good and worthy WoW player?  I’m starting to realise that the only thing in WoW I don’t end up seeing  as a chore is the one thing that when I first started playing I was eager to be rid of – and that’s levelling itself. I really enjoy levelling more than anything else in the game. And what’s worse- I enjoy levelling in PuGs. God what does that make me? I’m like some sick masochist. Why do I take such pleasure out of what is sometimes so such pain?

I used to think levelling was all about getting to the end goal. With my first character Terema – a Ret Pally-  I can remember working so hard to get to 70 (it was BC times). When she got there I took a screenshot and everything (did it wrong so never got to see it  but that’s another story of despair). The whole levelling experience always had  that end goal in mind – the wonderful finishing line that wasn’t really a finishing line but a doorway into the adult world. But I hit 70 just days before Wrath so I didn’t spend too long in the experience bar free zone before I was off levelling again & the same was pretty much true of 80- I think I stopped playing for awhile, and then it was Cata time so Terema was always on the go.

It is only with Seashell (& now Luxmi & finally Terema- my  Trinity of 85s) that I’m starting to  spend a significant amount of time in the  post levelling zone & I’m just not enjoying it – so I’m playing them less & less. At least with Seashell I was doing LFR and HoT dungeons regularly to get my valor gear  but even that feels like torture now so I’m not doing it. And I’ve not done a guild raid since I started training for my rowing marathon- I just can’t guarantee I’ll have the time or the energy so I’m not signing up. But I thought I’d still at least do LFR & the HoT dungeons – but I’m not.

I’m particularly disappointed I’m feeling this way with Seashell as I invested a lot of time getting all her professions up  so she could fish and cook herself all the buffs she needed. What was it all for? With Luxmi I’ve not even done that. She’s also not geared enough for LFR and can only do the older Cata heroics. The same is true of Terema. They’ve basically got to 85 and I’ve become bored of them & cast them aside – it’s like some sort of marital 7 year itch & I’m the cad in all this.

So what do I find myself doing instead? Well taking the  7 year itch metaphor further I suppose you could say I’ve cast my eye elsewhere for distraction and excitement (this is reading bad isn’t it?). I’ve basically thrown myself into the immoral debauchery of levelling a ton of alts. I have no shame.

The main focus of my attentions are:-

1. Styleesh –  my Discipline Priest. I’ve discovered I love healing as a discipline priest. She’s probably the one I want to play most often now. She’s also levelling inscription which is fun but fruitless – nothing sells on the AH.

2.  Seally – my new Night Elf Druid. Currently feral DPS which I’ve never really done- enjoying being a cat but still not that into melee

3. Frip- my Tauren Balance Druid (just got Moonkin form today as it happens – how do you play in that form- it totally blocks everything?) Might end up going Resto since I seem to love healing more than anything.

4.  Salno -my Blood Elf  Demonology Warlock – currently hellfiring everything in sight and getting reacquainted with her minion after a long time apart.

5. Androse – Blood Elf Holy Pally – just looks so cool as a plate healer – have neglected her for far too long.

The latter three haven’t been played for months & months so I’m giving them a spring clean i.e. clearing out their bags (auctioning what I can & vendoring the rest); checking their professions and dumping what I’m no longer interested in (why did I pick skinning for every bloody character?); going to Icy Veins to find out best spec and rotation and then redoing my talents and tidying up my task bars. Then when I feel all cleaned up & spick and span I’m going in LFD and doing dungeon after dungeon until I go from rested experience to purple. Then I log that character off & log in one of the others and start again

And it’s been great fun. I’ve really enjoyed it – particularly the variation. But  what does it say about me? Do I  have no staying power? Why can’t I commit to raid gear levelling  or  the achievement grind at 85? I get bored of it all that’s clear – but should I be pushing past the boredom? But I just can’t. I really don’t want to do that in a game that’s meant to be fun. But does this in turn mean I’m like some weird WoW Peter Pan – an eternal adolescent refusing to  grow up and join the big world? Even worse am I like some ghost of  WoW – refusing to let go & move on,  permanently stuck visiting the old haunts and doing the same thing over & over again?

I hope not. I really do. I’m consoling myself with the thought that it might all mean I am wise beyond belief  (say yes  say yes) and that I’ve reached some great metaphysical truth – some wonderful enlightenment – that it’s all about the journey itself and not the end goal. That the goal is there to keep us on the road, but it’s the road itself that brings the  satisfaction. Say it’s true please…

I seem to love this road that’s for sure. In fact when I see the end in sight I’m now taking sharp detours off it to try a different road. Perhaps these detours mean I’m truly enlightened and my alts are actually a sign I’ve reached nirvana.

Maybe. But it still means I can’t look Seashell in the eye 😦

It’s Magical

I did something momentous today. I paid for a realm transfer for my first ever character Terema (from Darkspear to my main server Defias Brotherhood). Terema is a Ret Paladin (although she did some levelling as Prot because she looked so cool with a shield & I liked to pretend I was tanking when I was on my own – once gave my non combat pet a stern row for pulling). She has been 4 blocks away from 85 for forever. When I  got Seashell my mage to 85 a few months ago I felt a huge stab of guilt for poor Terema over on Darkspear stuck in Uldum & wondering what on earth she had done wrong to make me leave her in that way. Then yesterday I got my elemental shaman Luxmi to 85. This was a particularly bitter blow to Terema (I think)  since Luxmi was my second ever character & had always been chasing Terema’s tail. But now she’d finally overtaken her. I could almost hear Terema railing at the heavens at the injustice of it all.  So today I took the plunge & finally paid for the transfer & within the hour there was Terema on Defias Brotherhood.

I immediately logged her in & asked for her to be invited to the guild. I feel very much alone these days if I don’t have that scrolling green text on the left hand side of my screen. Even if I’m not joining in the conversations because I’m somewhat occupied being beaten to a pulp somewhere I still like to read it (probably the reason I am being beaten to a pulp come to think of it) – it keeps me entertained.

But I also had work to do. Terema had let herself get into something of a state down in Uldum. She appeared to have spent all her money on fun camel rides since she only had about 150 gold to her name. Then I remembered one of the last things I did with her was upgrade her flying so she could get a swift gryphon (she hasn’t got any other fancy mounts – she still rides her old Pally horse – she’s a purist is Terema – plus the laziest mount farmer you’ll ever hope to meet). Profession wise she’s “capped” at  450 so needs some training. Her mining is in the 200s. Even when I was regularly playing her I got totally bored with mining and to my  husband’s horror would just run past sparkling nodes promising him I’d go back to them later. I never did. Yes she’s a lazy miner too. This is all starting to make me think she’s been perfectly happy doing nothing in Uldum. She’s probably hooked up with a Ramakhen priest or something.

I then checked out her achievements. Oh they brought a tear to my eye. The innocence of it all. The overall number is low (much lower than Seashell) but they’re in things like Exploration and Quests. Terema has explored most of the areas in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor & Northrend. For some reason  the Outland ones are not showing as completed but most of them are. She has also done many more quests than Seashell. This is all because Terema levelled the old-fashioned way when I first started playing the game. She actually did all the quests in the area, and then diligently moved onto the next area & did all the quests there. I have not done this properly with any other character after  Luxmi – who got up to early Northrend that way, but then stopped there. The reason for the dramatic end to all questing on all my other characters (and Luxmi in Northrend) was my discovery of  dungeons – or at least discovering LFG and finding the nerve within myself  to enter dungeons. But Terema is almost a dungeon virgin (that sounds like something a masochist admits  on the phone when booking an S&M appointment doesn’t it?).

Terema’s first ever dungeon was Blackrock Caverns. Obviously I died at the chains right at the start. I had no clue what was going on. I found the whole experience mind boggling & terrifying.  It was during that dungeon  I also discovered how hard I personally find dungeon melee dps to be. All the way through I kept on losing my target & getting confused. This continued in other dungeon runs until  after one particularly bad performance in Throne of Tides (how the hell was I meant to know Ozumat was above me!!!!) I found myself on the receiving end of a ” L2P” & that was it. I decided Terema’d go back go being a quest only character (I tried to convince  myself there was nobility in that choice- not just me slinking away with my tail between my legs). I just didn’t have the confidence to do the dungeons at that level as melee.

But today I felt differently. It’s probably because I’m a bit quested out at the moment. I had to do all of Deepholm yesterday with Luxmi to get Therazane rep so I can get the shoulder enchant & I really didn’t fancy running all over the country again with Terema at everyone’s beck & call. But also I’m a lot more experienced  in level 80-85 dungeons now (not good of course – but experienced)- albeit at range. I felt like I could give it a go. I wanted to try again.

The first thing I did to prepare (see I do prepare sometimes – never works but I do try) was check out Icy Veins to remind me of the correct Ret rotation. I remember taking my first break from Terema awhile ago & when I came back discovering there was this whole new Holy Power system (I forget which patch that was). It changed the game for me dramatically & I never really got my head around it.  So today I tried again to familiarise myself with it all and of course with the stats I needed to prioritise. This in turn sent me off to the reforger to try & get my hit up to 8% – it’s still a little under  but I’m getting there. I finally looked at the AH for any gear upgrade I could afford. Shockingly there was nothing there for my remaining 10 gold so I gave up on that. And then I queued.

I was too scared to queue for a random Cata in case I got Grim Batol (pathetic I know- but that place is scary). So I decided to sacrifice the JPs and pick a dungeon. The one I picked was The Stonecore.  I have done that & Vortex so many times on both Seashell & Luxmi that I thought it would be a safe one to try

After a 20 minute queue I got in. Oh my god- the first pack was horrendous. And I hate Millhouse. Despite having tried to line my abilities up on the action bar in a way that mirrored the Icy Vein rotation I was absolutely baffled once in the heat of battle. I could not work out when to use Zealotry. Then there was Inquisition & Templar’s Verdict too. They all seemed to flash at the same time. I kept on quickly rereading the tooltips  but that meant I wasn’t fighting. It was awful. My dps was just over 3K. I used to do that with Seashell just by turning up and smiling (admittedly she has a very powerful smile – gets her teeth whitened every month). It was all so embarrassing.

As the dungeon progressed I got into it a bit more but I also kept on getting confused when I couldn’t find my totems. I had  played my  Shaman so much the previous day I was still in Shamanic mode. Indeed I lost a great deal of time trying to turn into a ghost wolf. Just didn’t happen for me. At the end I was last on the dps list –  4K ish while the next one up was 6k. But we hadn’t wiped. That was something. And they hadn’t booted me. That was even more.

I logged off when I had finished & immediately went to get a Pally add-on for rotations. I had used CLR before so I re-downloaded that. The next dungeon I tried was Vortex. This time I was being told what to do every step of the way by my CLR friend. Obviously this was easier and my dps got into the 5ks. Not great I know- but it was getting higher. Then amazingly I hit 85 (level not dps). Those 4 blocks were done! Finally finally Terema, my oldest character, was up there with Seashell & Luxmi. It was a good feeling and even though her dps was atrocious I felt proud of her.

My last dungeon today on Terema was Lost city of Tolvir. By now I had Guardian of Ancient Kings so had a little pal ready and willing to help me at all times (actually for 30 secs with a 5 min break in between – very good terms of employment there- would love to try negotiating that in work…). I put the ability with Zealotry & Avenging Wrath  & made a little vow to  myself that whenever available I’d remember to use my cool downs. I’d also finally got my head around the need to keep Inq up and to use TV on 3 holy powers etc. You know- the basics of playing a Ret Pally! It was all starting to click. I felt myself moving away from the range frame of mind to melee. I mean I was actually remembering I needed to fight alongside the tank as opposed to waving at him from the other side of the room. The dungeon went well & I started breathing again.

But I’m still finding it all very different of course. I so easily lose who I’m fighting. I’ve tried zooming out & it helps a bit but sometimes I find myself just mashing F to try to find something to hit. I also can’t quite see when Zealotry is off cooldown- sometimes it sparkles when it’s not available (great technical knowledge I’m showing here I know – I’m amazed Elitist Jerks haven’t come aknockin). So I’ve just had another add-on downloading spree – downloading ZOMGBuffs & Cooldowns to see if they can help. I’m just about to log in & try. It seems I need far more add-ons for melee than ranged. Everything seems to happen so much faster when I’m melee. When I’m ranged there’s time to observe & assess. But everything is a whirr as melee. Physically when playing melee I find I’m almost hunched over my keyboard. If I could climb in the screen and pummel the boss myself I would.

But god it’s exciting. It’s the best afternoon I’ve had on WoW in ages. I know people might disagree but it’s felt to me like there’s more to it than when I play ranged. I’ve had to think about the buttons & what to hit  (ok- I’m being told by CLR- but I am thinking about why it’s telling me that- before long we will be having healthy debates on the rotation I’m sure). I feel like I’ve had to really work at it today & every single increase in my dps has felt almost magical. And the fact this has happened with my most cherished of characters Terema, the first one to stand in Northshire Abbey & wonder what on earn this game could bring her, is the most magical thing of all.

The levelling arc

I’m feeling a little all over the place in WoW at the moment. I’m officially at “end game” I think but what does that really mean? You know when X Files used to have monster of the week episodes and then other more absorbing (in my opinion) arc episodes involving Mulder’s sister, black oil and a man smoking some cigarettes. Well that’s what it’s like.  I’m on a constant treadmill of monster of the week  stories but the cohesive absorbing nature of the arc- the levelling arc- has gone now that I’m 85.

I miss the excitement of it all – the goals, the discoveries, the newness. I’m aware I sound like a bored partner at a counselling session but at least I’m not sniping about toilet seat transgressions.  What can I do to get the thrill back? It’s the  7 day itch here – 7 days since hitting 85 (totally not –  much longer- but I’m going with the 7 year itch theme regardless).

Help me. Please. Below is my daily WoW routine. How can I insert some magic into it to stop me waltzing  off and having a thing on the side with the Sims?

1. Log on & drag my sorry ass over to Rokk for my day’s work. Grit my teeth as I make him yet another bowl of spiritual soup  and blindly hit my  keys looking for the “kill Rokk” button I know is hidden there somewhere when he once again fails to give me the chocolate cake recipe.

2. Portal over to Dalaran in the hope that Katherine Lee will give me something instead – certainly something more than bloody spices (Columbus could only dream of having the spices I now have). But no of course not. She never does. Nevertheless I run around Dalaran collecting half full glasses of wine for her without even a minimum wage as consolation. She & Rokk ring each other up & laugh heartily over it all and wonder how long they can keep it up.

3. Hearthstone to Hyjal and fly to Sanctuary of Malorne for my Mark of the World Tree dailies. Start with the Sethia’s Roost bit and hope as usual I can find enough  Behemoths to kill so I don’t have to fight the Pyrelords who always seem harder (annoying bloody Seethers making me have to turn around to kill them). Finally destroy the 6 I  need taking more damage than I would have thought possible at my level with such “able” assistants & go back for my measly marks.

4. Do the other dailies both sides of the portal. Enjoy in a way that will take several sessions with my  therapist to work through the mindless act of kicking tortoises into the water & moan when I’ve got to fly “all that way” to the shrine of Aesinna  to rescue some bears and then remember how much running I had to do before I got my mount at 40 and cluck about how easy the kids have it these days. At Molten Front I heal some victims  while creating lots of my own by killing charred combatants and muse philosophically about how futile it all is while eating a chocolate.

5.Queue for a HC on my own or with guild  – clenching my little hands together to pray that it’s not End Time (I hate that globe thingy at the end because when I’m asked to do it I get really nervous and flustered that I’ll do it at the wrong time). Cheer when I get Well of Eternity which is now my favourite and allows me to claim that Tyrande and Illidan are my BFFs forever.

6. Open my bag and look at the gold I don’t have. Browse the AH to see what certain cloth items are going for. Look at my tailoring recipes to see if I can make anything that will make me a millionaire. Work out that everything costs too much to make  so resignedly  sell off all my Embersilk cloth with a bitterness that only a skilled tailor  who once dreamed of making her fortune with cloth can feel.

7. Think about fishing for a rat in Dalaran. Read up on how to do it, realise it sounds like a rather  long and boring process (plus won’t the rat have drowned?) so decide that there have to be better things to do with my time like…

8. … go and find some critters to love …

9. …and then stop when they start reminding me of the  restraining orders they’ve  issued.

10. And finally end up in Stormwind Old Town haggling with the valor gear seller because I’ve not got enough points to buy anything good and in any case what I really want I can only get with tokens from raids I’m not confident enough to go in and then slumping to the floor as the futility of it all overwhelms me.

This is my life now. And it’s driving me  a little bit more insane each day.  What can I do? I have levelled all my skills except Archaeology & the only thing that can do is fast track me to full blown madness (10 steps for green, 20 steps for yellow, count the steps, gibber gibber, give me my precious sparklies etc. – I’ve seen it in action with my husband). I’ve ventured a little into Tol Barad and quite enjoyed that but not sure my blood pressure can take it (nor the neighbours judging by the way I screamed in joy yesterday when I killed my arch nemesis horde Thom – arch nemesis since Sunday when he killed me several times in Tol Barad and laughed at me a lot).

But there is something out there for me. I feel it. Something elusive I can’t quite put my finger on – something that if I find it will transform it  all for me and give me the  arc that  I and Seashell both need- an arc of meaning. But where can I find it?

The 5th Realm

I’ve been thinking a lot about the realms in WoW and the choice we have – PvE, PvP, RP, RPPvP  (and probably some other combination of the letters E,P & R that I’ve overlooked). It’s just not enough. I’m concerned that a certain category of player is being completely overlooked in the current set up. I think we need another realm type.

To select players for this realm there will need to be some sort of screening up front. Not everyone will be allowed into this realm. We cannot allow the player experience to be diluted. I’m thinking there would need to be some questions up front – yes/no questions perhaps. The type of player who deserves a realm of this nature will naturally be identified from the answers to some of the following. It will be like natural selection/evolution – but happening very quickly, right before your eyes via a clever game mechanic (so exactly as Darwin described). Continue reading “The 5th Realm”

Level 1 Dungeons

Wasn’t going to post today but have to write to block out the sound of the news relentlessly going on and on and on about the fact it will now cost 5p every time you need a carrier bag in Wales. Why is this news? Why? It’s a good thing to do for the environment and many of us are using the hard core bags for life anyway – if we forget them we need to pay the price (rather that be 5p than be taken outside and beaten which is how the news is making it sound). One woman interviewed said 2p was fine, but 5p no. What? Does the extra 3p per bag really make a difference (yes I know it does if you use 150 bags a year which is what the average Welsh person does apparently but…oh god see what I’m doing … I’m talking about these bloody bags too when I’m trying to escape them). Anyway “Mrs  2p is ok but 5p is extortionate” – do it for your ancestors – they will thank you when they’re not wading knee deep through piles of carrier bags that will take a 1000 years to disintegrate (yet another fact I learned today) just to get to the local store for their vitamin pill and botox injection (this is how I imagine daily life in the future – my life anyway). Continue reading “Level 1 Dungeons”