Posted in World of Warcraft

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?

Posted in World of Warcraft

Lost in Redridge

A few quick things to update today. Where do I start?

1. Hair colour! Of course I have to start there – I spent my youth dying my hair. My mother didn’t like it- particularly when I did silly things like only covering half my hair (by accident – it would have been cooler had it been on purpose) and so looked crazily two toned. One boy from school told me it looked like I’d sacrificed a chicken on my head. And no- in case you’re wondering – we don’t do that kind of thing in Wales. We use an altar like normal people. Things came to a head (won’t ask you to pardon the pun- just enjoy it) when I dyed it jet black – my mother told me to tell people I’d done it to raise money for charity….

Anyway… Bravetank has gone auburn. A very different look. It’s taken years off her to be honest. She looks like a tank you can trust now. Takes pride in her appearance, shines her shield…that sort of thing. She also got a new pair of earrings. Yes Bravetank is now a girly girl.

2. Mounts -huge drama yesterday when it seemed (to me) the game had glitched and I hadn’t ever been offered the 2nd Paladin mount. I searched all through my abilities and spells, every single one of my bags, then illogically my talents, the dungeon finder,  anything & everything I could click on no matter how mad it was. Nothing. I couldn’t figure it out. So I went to Eastvale and bought a swift brown steed instead. It was not the same. I rode around on her rather morosely. Not even my hair made it look cool. So on a bit of a whim – having remembered I was exalted with Ironforge (they love me there)- I went and bought a gorgeous ram instead. Bravetank looks great on that! And it’s really made her much more in tune with her dwarven heritage (see I am working on her roleplaying backstory). Then I came across a paladin trainer and clicked on him out of curiosity (I click on everything – it’s the best way to make friends) – there were about 5 things I hadn’t trained in. Nothing major but…yes you guessed it – summon charger was one of them. Stupid stupid error. Thank god I hadn’t finished my angry letter to Blizzard. Anyway I still prefer my ram so that’s definitely my current mount of choice (in honour of my Grandma Helga Dwarfy – see the story is getting more depth already and I clearly have a way with names).

3. Redridge horror – the third thing that happened was that I had an adventure in Redridge. Now at 51 I don’t expect to have adventures in Redridge. In fact I don’t expect to have to go there. I left that behind me when I levelled in the same way as I left Northshire Abbey (apart from worship on Sundays), mail (apart from the stuff that comes through the post) and walking (apart from in dungeons & even that makes my leg crampy). I’ve hardly ever levelled a character there. I find it too …well…red. That’s the only word for it. And ridgy. Red and Ridgy. Now what is that area called again? I forget. In actual fact I think there are too many red dusty firey zones in WoW. They are bad on our poor mounts’ feet and they make my T zone shiney. My favourite zones are the wintry autumal looking zones (don’t fear- I won’t launch into another poem about Autumn) like  Terokkar Forest and Dustwallow Marsh and before Cataclysm the Wetlands. I get snow blindness in Winterspring, hot and bothered in Stranglethorn Vale (plus I don’t like the gorillas tickling me – they are buggers for that), scared witless in any of the Plagueland areas and filled with total and utter nihilistic despair in Hellfire Peninsula (that only many frequent upgrade green armor items can overcome -WoW shopping therapy). Anyway Redridge (oh yes that’s what it’s called) is one of the red dusty places I like to avoid. But yesterday I needed to get to Swamp of Sorrows – I’m a hero and the board had posted my instructions. Looking at the map it looked like there was a way to it via a new area in Redridge. I called over to my husband, “Can I get to Swamp of Sorrows through here?” He looked at the map and replied, “Yes.” Now this is important for later. He looked and confirmed yes. So off I merrily, innocently and trustingly went- looking forward to some levelling time in a swamp (a wartorn area is Azeroth- there’s not much for any of us to look forward to really – swamps are as good as it gets). Anyway I get to Redridge and immediately see a group of elites. I quickly start walking backwards with my hands held up in a gesture of surrender but then realised they were level 19 elites. Not sure what that converts to in real money but it shouldn’t be anything a level 51 should fear – not even Bravetank. So up I rode to them brazen as you like. They turned a bit nasty but my ram put a spurt on (my panicked yelps as good as any tug on the rein) and we were away.  Off I went in what looked like the right direction – how wrong I was. My fingers saw the danger before my eyes (not sure how- it’s never happened before) and I halted the ram in time to stop us hurtling to our deaths off a cliff. There was another way down but that was filled with murlocs. Low level murlocs admittedly but still too much trouble for what was clearly not the way to the swamp. So I tried to find another way through- but all I could find were mountains. I tried another way- back to those elites (they offered me a coffee this time- even they couldn’t be bothered to fight). Another way- the murlocs – quietly going about their murloc business.  Another way- mountains. I was going round and round in circles. My fingers were exhausted. My ram was begging me to take him back to Dun Morogh or at least let him jump off the cliff. Eventually my husband noticed my despair (my head was buried in my keyboard at the time) and he came over. “What are you trying to do?” he asked. “Get to Swamp of Sorrows, I told you,” I said, articulating every single letter and breath in between letters through gritted teeth with audible sighs (quite an impressive combination – try it!).

“You need to go to Duskwood for that, I told you.”

“I know you used to have to go to Duskwood,” I said, “But I thought I’d found a new way and you confirmed it.”

“When did I confirm it?”

“When you looked at the map, I pointed out where I was going and you said yes.”

“Oh right- well I wasn’t really listening, I was distracted. You should have known that.”

Words fail me! No they don’t. Here they come. How??!! How can I tell when he’s really listening and talking to me and when he’s not. He seemed to be listening. He was looking at the map, answering, generally responsive. How on earth am I meant to know when that means proper listening and when it means he’s effectively unconscious as far as my conversation and presence goes. But of course if his beloved football team scored at that point he would be amazingly conscious, alert and able to write expertly about all aspects of the goal on Twitter. Grrrrr (words really have failed me now – I’ve gone feral instead).

Anyway the whole thing made me very very fed up! I hearthstoned back to Stormwind a defeated woman and ended up hanging around the dwarven district getting back to my roots.

Very frustrating. I can only hope Bravetank’s auburn hair has not made her lose all sense of direction. I was bad enough in dungeons before. But if I can’t find my way out of Redridge what hope is there for me!

On a more positive note – I’ve been meaning to link to this for ages. Danslate – fellow blogger whose great blog can be found here recorded my script The Case of the Bloody Five a few weeks ago & it is now on You Tube. You can find it here. Please go along and have a listen. I’m amazed at the voices he can do and how he brought it all to life. It’s really great, I loved listening to it & I’m honoured he did it.

Right- I’m off to study a map of Azeroth. Those complex zones will not defeat me again!