Monday, March 31, 2014

Liebster Awards (part one)


      I feel so honored! TomeMel, and Kamalia all nominated me for the Liebster awards!! Thanks guys :) I looked to see what this was and couldn't help being excited because it's questions... and I like questions since they prompt me with topics that I don't have to think up first. And so I can't resist answering all the questions (though not all in one post because it would be a million miles long).

Tome's questions:

1. How long had you been playing WoW when you realized it was not a passing fancy but true love?

This is a good question I think. Maybe a few months. I knew I liked it from the beginning, and back then I had a guild full of so many friends, always busy and chattering and that help. Then I started really soaking up the lore and the environment. I remember excitedly exclaiming to my husband one night 'My elf has a shotgun!' Maybe that was what did it? Any game where you can have an elf running around with a pet cat and a shotgun is pretty darn amazing. (That said I always mog my guns into bows now because I got tired of the shooting sound.)

2. Are you a screen shot taker and if so guesstimate how many you still have.

I am a screenshot taker. I wasn't as much at first but the more I play the worse I get about it and this blog has only encouraged me. I've got... thousands? Hundreds for sure. I think I still have pretty much all of them. Though lately I tend to spam a bunch to get the shot I want so I do sometimes go through and delete the ones that are just bad to save space.

3. What is your favorite zone and why?

Storm Peaks. Because of Ulduar and the way it looks in part, but most of all because of the music and the snow.

4. What are you most looking forward to or dreading about Warlords?

I'm looking foward to the new zones and new stories and Seish is so excited about having a garrison and army of minions. (I don't know what to do with him and his ego sometimes) But I'm dreading the decision about flying. I don't mind waiting 'til max level at all. I can even be fairly resigned to waiting until the first patch, but I love my dragons and they are just not the same on the ground so if they neglect to put flying in the expansion at all I will be a little heartbroken.

5. Who is your favorite non-essential character in game? A favorite repair guy or an auctioneer you much always deal with

There's one banker in Silvermoon that I always seem to visit, Hatheon. And Kiro the War Harness Maker next to the bank in the Valley of Honor is my favorite repair vendor.

6. When I first started my blog I was too scared to comment on others. Blog Azeroth Thanksgiving Event 2011 changed that for me. Is there an event or blogger that made you feel comfortable commenting on blogs?

Well Lae commented on one of my posts for her alt appreciation week and that made me feel a little bolder but I was still really shy. But gradually I kept trying and almost every blog I got up the courage to comment on I got these wonderful friendly responses. So there was a catalyst, but mostly I think it just comes down to the fact that there are a lot of awesome bloggers out there.

7. Do you have any strange WoW quirks? For example I seem to think the harder I hit the keys the more forceful my attacks are. I know ... but it can't hurt.

If I hold my breath while hitting the lucky roll button it won't give me gold again. Hey... sometimes it works. Usually not, but sometimes. And I do the same thing with my attacks! Hitting the button more forcefully makes them work better. It's science.

8. Do you have WoW themed things in real life? Example.

Well I've got the gryphon plushie from the pet store sitting on my desk next to me. I would like the windrider too some day. And I've got the visual guide and I'd have a phone case if they made them for my phone. So a few, I guess. I'd like to have more.

9. Are you lucky enough to have real life friends or a spouse who plays WoW too or are you bravely going it alone?

I've got several real life friends who play WoW. Including the one who got me into it! And then I got my husband to play with me too, though he doesn't like it as much as I do and is currently taking a break until Warlords.

10. Do you still find surprises in-game that you didn't know were there? I recently saw someone selling a Wine Glass. How did I miss that! My bank alt needs one! 

I still do, especially in cloth gear since I hardly have any clothies at all. And sometimes in older content, or little nooks and crannies in dungeons. Even in Pandaria I still stumble across neat little places that I had never seen before.

11. Finally, do you think you'll still be here when they pull the power and turn off the lights? I know I will.

I will. And I will be heartbroken. Azeroth is my second or third home.

Eleven Miscellaneous facts about me:

1. I am, in fact, female, even though the vast majority of my characters are not.
2. I love history, and cultures, and languages and particularly love well developed and fleshed out fantasy ones. I also love creating them for stories I write.
3. Green is my favorite color.
4. I play D&D with friends every Tuesday, where I play a whole lot of... you guessed it... Paladins. Though I play pretty much everything else occasionally too.
5.  I've got a soft spot for bards too. Sort of wish WoW had something of the sort.
6.  I'm a shameless coffee addict. I feel that there's very little that can't be improved with a cup of coffee or at least a good tea.
7. I love the horse mounts in WoW partly because they make me miss the ones I grew up with just a little bit less.
8. I'm a big fan of Original Star Trek. (Somewhat less impressed with the movie reboot.)
9. I could not name a favorite book or author because I love too many of them.
10. I do not currently have facebook, twitter or any other social media. WoW, this blog and an im program are where I do all my online socializing.
11. My best friend gave me the nickname 'Plaid' in college(It's a long story) and it stuck. I answer to it far better than to my birth name.

My nominees:
(I think most of you have already been nominated so please don't feel obligated to answer my questions too unless you want to.)
Kamalia et alia
Sugar & Blood
Tome of the Ancient
Reputation Grind
WoW I suck at this... (my real life best friend and occasional partner in crime and rep grinds.)

My Questions:
1.What is your favorite thing about WoW?
2. If you could add or change one thing about character customization what would it be and why?
3. Why did you pick your preferred class (if you have one.)? Was it the first thing you rolled?
4. What is your favorite WoW race and why?
5. What is the luckiest thing that's ever happened to you in game?
6. What do you think is the nicest thing somebody has ever done for you in game?
7. If you could play any race on either faction (Horde Draenei for example) would you still play what you do? If not, what would you play instead.
8. What are your plans for Warlords?
9. Did Mists of Pandaria meet with your expectations? Why or why not?
10. What is your favorite major city?
11.Do you or will you play any other MMOs?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Paladin in a blue dress

     Laen loves his plate dresses. Rim and Seish scoff and wonder how the heck you're supposed to get anything done dressed that way, but he doesn't care. And he's been waiting for a while for the tier shoulders to drop for him from Seige of Orgrimmar. Not just because it's an upgrade and puts him one step away from the four piece bonus. Oh no. Mostly because those new shoulders mean new transmog.
     It's nothing spectacular or creative really, mostly just the current tier gear with a few alterations. The shield doesn't entirely match and I don't care. I've been wanting to mog something with that shield for ages and Laen was lucky enough to get the drop on his first attempt. I am a little sad that the enchant makes the phantom blade he worked so hard at getting mats to make look just like the one he was using before but, oh well. Function trumps beauty, the enchant stays.
     Hopefully the mog will help keep stuff interesting for the long slog of grinding up valor ahead. There are shiny wings at the end. Have to keep that in mind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We are Legendary! (finally)

     Since I got Seish to the challenge stage of the Legendary Questline I'd stalled out for quite a bit. I gave it two tries that day after 3 hours of LFR and I was too tired to do anything but poorly. Since then I've just once in a while gone over to give it a whirl, limiting myself to two tries at a time to keep from getting frustrated. I learned a few things during this process. One being that I should never try something like this when I've just had a cup of very strong coffee. When I get close to accomplishing something tough I get tense and tense plus a cup of strong coffee ended up with Seish dead on the floor.
     Weeks dragged by and a lot of them I didn't even try, waiting for that mystical right mindset. Well last night I broke my rule about two tries a go. I gave it three with about an hour of afking and chatting in between the second and the third. And you know what they say about third tries.
     After that it was a matter of sitting around on the Isle first thing this morning to get in a tag on all four Celestials. Not so bad at all.

     What I didn't realize was that this would give the guild an achieve too! Sure Seish is the GM and one of the few people left playing in it, but he did it mostly all alone. But sure enough, Seish is Legendary and so is his guild.

     The tiger cloak proc matches his mog pretty well, especially Quel'Dalar. And I'm so excited. So late to the party too, between how hard it is for me to find time to run LFRs and how slow I was pushing myself through my nervous fingers to do the challenge. Seish thinks we could have had it a month ago. He's probably right. His gear hasn't improved since then, it was just all about me beating myself so I could beat the challenge.
    Then since I'd finally finished it I had to try out the Blizzard Raid Finder feature and get in an Ordos kill.
     I suspect I'll be doing a lot more of those... and Laen's already started on his legendary, even though I told myself I'd be content with getting Seish one. That healer wing proc is so pretty I can't resist trying, and Laen would love an extra boost to his ability to heal all the things. (Sorry Rim, not sure I'm brave enough to tank that many LFRs, so you'll probably be the odd paladin out.) New goal for before Warlords: Get Laen a cape with shiny wings.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stonetalon and Desolace: Leveling the old fashioned way.

     For the Godmother's leveling the old fashioned way project and my own amusement I've been spending a little time playing around on Saelindir. He picked up a few quests in Stonetalon but it didn't take many before he'd leveled well past the zone. He's not in a full set of cloth heirlooms, but all he's missing is the robe, so the experience builds quickly. He'd made his way to Desolace earlier to pick up the flight path so he picked it up and off he went.
And I got this fun screenshot on the flightpath with both of the moons in it.

     I hadn't done the beginning of Desolace on Horde side before, I guess. Or at least I didn't remember Furien and his quest. Saelindir had fun tracking down the tablets and killing satyrs. And by the time that quest chain had been finished it was already time to move on to Feralas!
     But first he spent some time in Hillsbrad doing laps and catching his herbalism up to where it should be. I foresee frequent herb gathering and tailoring breaks in his future to keep his professions up. But the herbing didn't take long at all.
     Back in Desolace he mounted up on his trusty mount thing and rode off South. (This mount is so ugly and strange, but I love its animations so much that I couldn't resist having one when they were on sale. Especially since it's the closest thing to a Kirin WoW has. Saelindir has adopted it and made it his very own. They're both just odd enough to fit somehow.)
     Sometimes I'm annoyed about having to manually go and pick up flight paths. Mostly on characters like Laen who are level 90 and have basically no flight paths to take when I'm feeling lazy because they spent their whole career in dungeons. But sometimes, like on Saelindir, it is fun making that initial run out to the next zone. I get to stop and enjoy the scenery and take silly screenshots.
     He's currently in Feralas where he's questing and leveling his flower picking and waiting until he can head over to Thousand Needles where there are a bunch of quest rewards he has earmarked for future transmogs. He also got the Duel-icious achievement from some uppity pandaren shaman yesterday who challenged him. It was a close one but Saelindir was very proud of himself.
     I'm really glad there's only one free boost and that I've already decided what I'm likely to use it on. If there were more or they cost less I might feel tempted/obligated to save myself time and boost Saelindir. But I'd be missing out on a lot of fun, and a lot of valuable learning.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Do Your Job! (an LFR Rant)

     There's a reason I do most of my LFR healing on Laen now that he's maxed. He's one of the very sweetest tempered of my characters. Tai is far too cranky to do much healing in random groups. If you stand in the bad Tai thinks you should die a horrible death, and he'll let you. Laen will keep trying to heal you even the fifth time you do it and feel bad if he fails. I put myself in a Laen mindset when I got do LFRs and I am much more patient with the stuff that sometimes happens in there.
     But yesterday in Siege of Orgrimmar something happened that even made Laen lose his cool.
     I use recount. I have the meters up, not so I can shame people that might not be pulling numbers as high as mine, but so I can get an idea of how I am doing.  If I see another holy paladin doing much better healing than me, then looking at the mini breakdown of what they did can give me an idea of ways I might improve. So it took me until the second boss in wing four yesterday to notice what was happening.
     I had noticed on the first boss and the trash leading up to paragons that the other holy paladin in the raid kept dying. When she got her second battle rez on the paragons I started looking for her, assuming that she was just working so hard at healing that she wasn't moving out of the things she needed to. That was when I glanced down at recount and realized that though I could see both the tanks on the top six of the healing meter I was the only paladin showing. Then she died again and since she was the only dead person in the raid at that moment, I targeted her. She got another battle rez, but I couldn't see her casting anything so during the next lull in damage I inspected her. She was a ret paladin!
     She was queued as heals in ret spec but wasn't dpsing either. Laen started to get a little angry. The heals were sufficient, we were having a good run, but she wasn't doing anything at all. Though she was clearly at the keyboard to accept every battle rez that people threw at her in order to keep all the healers up. Through the rest of the fight I debated saying something about it.
     I don't like calling people out in LFR. I've seen it done too many times out of meanness. But this was different. Before I had time to make a decision, though she called herself out. Started bragging in chat that she couldn't believe nobody had noticed that she wasn't healing. I pointed out that I had noticed she wasn't dpsing either. Long story short people got angry. In this case, I think rightfully so. She told everybody that told her she was being a jerk that we were crybabies. People told her she was selfish. She said she'd queued as heals to help her friends get a faster queue. The universal consensus was: then heal. And eventually she did get kicked. We got a new healer that was actually healing and Garrosh went down in one smooth shot.
     But I still feel a little angry. I looked her up on armory. She wasn't a boosted 90 and from what she said herself this wasn't an honest mistake. This was somebody who queued up for a job she wasn't specced for and didn't even try to do it. That's a jerk move and there are no two ways about it.
    It's made even worse by all those accepted battle rezes. At least one of which could have gone instead to a dps that was actually at least trying to do their job. The way I look at it, when you queue up for a specific role you are committing to doing your best to perform it. I know LFR doesn't work that way. I know everybody doesn't try as hard as they should. But there's such a thing as decency.
      And there was that time in Cataclysm I tanked a heroic on my death knight that I didn't really ever tank on because I accidentally hit the random dungeon button while trying to queue for a holiday boss and didn't want to leave the group in the lurch. That makes it hard for me to sympathize with people like this.
     Nobody was asking for high numbers or topping the healing charts. All anybody was asking was for this person to try to do the job they said they would do.
     Laen is disgusted. He's not sure how anybody can call themselves a paladin and then lie and let other people die because they couldn't be bothered to heal. Luckily he's not as cranky as Tai, so he'll get over it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leveling the old fashioned way.

     Saw this post of the Godmother's and couldn't resist the idea of joining in, especially since I have no intention of using any 90 boost except my free one and that's mostly spoken for. So I've got a few little alts on their way the old fashioned style. One in particular I'll be posting about occasionally for this.

Meet Saelindir:
Priest, herbalist, and professional clothes horse (though you can't tell the last because he hasn't acquired any great mog gear yet.)

     I'd already started work on Saelindir when I saw the post. He was level 27 then, he's level 33 now. He's got almost a full set of heirlooms. He'll have more when Laen gets around to acquiring the JP for them. He'll be leveling through a combination of questing, occasional LFDs and whatever other random futzing around I get into the mood for. And he's holy, though may acquire a disc off spec. My highest level priest right now is a level 40 shadow priest so I wouldn't consider boosting one since I need to learn the class. It should be interesting. I'm not great with characters that wear cloth and don't hit things in the face. 
     So far I'm having fun with Saelindir, though. I have big plans for him when he gets high enough level to acquire some transmog gear and in the meantime he's been occasionally modeling entries for me in Dragonray's Mog the World in 80 days contest. Through this I have discovered that priests get some really neat looking gear! Why hadn't I played one before? (Aside from the part where they don't hit things.) They're like paladins in dresses, right?
     He won't be racing to 90. He's competing with Ailuuya's race to 60 and a couple of other side projects for leveling time, but with any luck he'll get there before Warlords anyhow, even if he's doing it the longer way.

Old Ladies Raiding: Mogu'shan Vaults

     This Saturday our fearless leader Matty guided us into our first Pandaria Raid. Mogu'shan Vaults. Rothorin got to fill in for Tyl for a while since a second tank seemed like it would be handy. I tried really hard to remember how to Brewmaster. Between that and Rothorin's subpar and ungemmed gear I'm afraid he kept the healers on their toes. But they kept him up (aside from those learning experience wipes that we're so good at laughing off.)
     Then we got a real tank so Rothorin went heals. It took me a bit to switch gears. Rothorin spent a little bit trying to remember that 'okay we're no longer tossing beer around, setting stuff on fire and kicking all the things'  And his gear's still not as good as Tai's so even after I remembered what I was doing he didn't do nearly as well as Tai would have. So it's probably just as well that for the last boss a bit more dps was needed and we had two very capable healers so Tyl got to come back in. He'd have been sad to miss out on the screenshot anyhow.
     It was so much fun, I was ridiculously proud of us by the time we left the raid. We did a normal mode! We wiped some but we did what Old Ladies do best: laughed, dusted ourselves off and hit it harder the next time. I hope we'll try more of them! Sadly I didn't get to stick around for Blackwing Descent, real life called. But wow did I ever have fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hearthsteeds and Things

     I hadn't realized the preorder was available the other day until I saw someone on Timeless Isle on the mount and hastily alt-tabbed out to check. I'll have to wait a week or so for mine, but I'll be getting it, and with it the 90 boost. This is leading to lots of deliberation about who is getting the boost. I don't intend to ever buy a boost so it's a one time thing for me and requires a lot of thought. So far the leading contender is still Ailuuya my little draenei paladin. Of course now I've decided that free maxed professions are a far better deal than skipping the whole 90 levels, so if Ailuuya is to be the lucky girl she has to race her way to 60 first.
     She managed to make 20 so far. And being just a little disappointed with the looks of her paladin elekk has decided she's adopting a talbuk, at least until the shinier level 40 model is available.
     She's also fulfilled her original purpose and acquired the Tabard of the Hand, but there are still so many quests left on Bloodmyst I haven't done that I might make her stick around there until she's finished them all. Looking at this screenshot now I'm not surprised she picked this Talbuk. They kind of match.
     I've been curious ever since I got into the beta for Hearthstone where this mount was going to come from. I was excited and relieved that it wasn't from something I'd missed but a really easy achievement. It took me four games with my trusty paladin deck (What else would I play?) to achieve the necessary victories and then Seish got to pick up the new mount. It kind of matches his armor. He doesn't really seem to mind riding around with a face full of whatever that glowing mane is made out of.
     It really is a neat mount for such a simple achievement. I like the colors, I like its strange, vaguely undead face. But my favorite part is the flight mode. And the gorgeous, transparent feathery wings.
     This is Seish's 184th mount. He's getting closer and closer to that armored dragonhawk. There are still a few he could pick up from the Argent Tournament Dailies. And one more from Tol Barad dailies. And sadly if the date on the preorder is any indication he's got plenty of time to do them in.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Story and Mog Post: Tai's Shado-Pan transmog

     Trying something new: a snippet of character backstory and a semi-relevant transmog. This one's been brewing for a while.
            Bohao sat beside Fish on one of the wall tops that overlooked the training grounds. He always seemed to find the stranger there, watching the exercises with his single glowing eye.  The platter of food he'd brought with him when he came rested on a small table and as they watched the apprentices in the yard below, Fish took the occasional bite, mechanically chewed and swallowed it. Bohao wondered if he ever even tasted it.
            He'd healed completely in the many months since they'd found him. Desheng had found him an eye patch to replace the bandages, and he'd begun to move around on his own. But he still never spoke, never seemed to do much but feed himself and tend to his own other needs with a sort of calm detachment. And watch the trainees. He was always watching, sometimes even when it was his turn down in the yard Bohao thought he felt the stranger's eye on him. What did he think? Bohao wondered, as he did every day. What was going on in his head?
            Sighing he gazed off skyward as he picked up the thread of his own words again. He wasn't sure it did any good to talk to Fish, the man never so much as grunted in response, but it filled the awkward silence. Somehow Bohao could never bring himself to just leave the man alone as so many others did. "And Desheng ran off before..."
            "What are they doing?" The voice that had interrupted him was low, rough, and sounded almost rusty with disuse. The accent was a strange somehow but each word was understandable. Bohao looked around him, puzzled, but there was no one there on the wall but Fish. Fish: who had stiffened where he sat and who, as Bohao watched, dropped his half-eaten dumpling on the plate and stood.
            "Did you say something?" Bohao asked, feeling stupidly shocked by the sudden change in the skinny, furless stranger. He was standing now, and every line of his lean form bristled with tension. That tension dragged Bohao slowly to his own feet.
            Even more surprisingly Fish's hand lifted to point down at the trainees in the yard before them, and this time he was watching, saw the man's lips move with the words. "What are they doing?"
            Almost reluctantly Bohao dragged his eyes from the somehow transformed stranger toward the trainees. They were doing one of the more complex exercises; monks of each of the three schools were taking part. One of Brewmaster Peng's best students stood at the center of the ring, doing his best to dodge and deflect the blows directed at him from five of Master Shuzhen's windwalker students. To the side one of Master Huifeng's older apprentices stood, channeling energy into the pandaren at the center of the group.
            "They are training." He explained. "Wulong practices avoidance and deflection, the ones around him practice hitting someone who is trying not to be hit, and Dewu practices channeling his chi to heal." He turned his eyes back to Fish, but the man had fallen silent and merely stood, frozen and intent. Again Bohao couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking as they stood for long moments in that silence.
            "Can I learn?" Fish's voice almost startled him when it finally sounded again and Bohao looked thoughtfully into the stranger's face.
           "I don't see why not..." He said slowly. "I'll talk to my master."
     I'd been wanting to do a Shado-Pan transmog for Tai for ages, but kept putting it off because I couldn't see how to do it when in order to keep his eyepatch he can't wear the helm. To make matters worse the faction tabard doesn't match the helm or any of the gear that does so that was out too. In the end this was what I came up with.
Shoulders: Cutthroat's Mantle
Chest: Iconic Vest
Feet: Blighted Leather Footpads (second choice boots, still doing weekly lockouts for the first choice)
Weapon: Wicked Mithril Blade (This is one of those situations where I wish I could make the enchant less shiny)
Off hand: Fan of Fiery Winds

Disclaimer: No actual pandaren NPCs were harmed in the making of this story (or even included for that matter. All of the awesome furry people came out of my own head. As did the training nonsense. :D)
Notes: Tai was called Fish at first because he was a hairless, silent thing that came out of the ocean, and there's loads more to the story because I like stories.

Tai and the accidental sporebat

     Tai spends a lot of time giving runthroughs to the alts of friends. I didn't realize just how much time he had spent until during yet another runthrough this popped up:
     I was too startled to remember to screencap it at the time, but later realized that the only thing I'd actually done purposely for this rep was a couple of sanguine hibiscus turn-ins when running it at level. Even Seish doesn't have this rep because I just never got around to it.
     Tonight though, I remembered that the Sporeggar quartermaster sold a pet. So off I went, gold in hand, to buy one. Only they didn't want gold. They wanted mushrooms. Tai tried to fly around and gather mushrooms but after a lap of Zangarmarsh he was starting to doubt they existed. Some comments on WoWhead suggest trying a ground mount. So Tai and Ying did a few laps and lo and behold there were actually lots of mushrooms and it really took very little time to get enough to go and buy a cute little sporebat pet.
     That's a pretty cute reward for a rep grind done entirely by accident!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lucky Laen

     Laen seems to have the RNG luck when it comes to pets. The kicker is it only happens if he doesn't get gear upgrades. Last week in Throne of Thunder he didn't get any upgrades for ret spec, but his last lucky coin roll netted him this:
     It's surprisingly cute for an elemental :)

      Tonight's Wing Four of Siege of Orgrimmar was rather awful. It wasn't a fresh run to begin with and there were many wipes and tank departures and Laen was healing his heart out. No gear upgrades, not even those shoulders he's been coveting (partly for mog purposes I'll admit it, even if they would be an upgrade) But the paragons were nice enough to drop a friend for him.
     I'm thrilled. Of all the raid pets Kovok was the one I wanted most. Because, you know, he's Kovok and he's cute and most of my characters helped raise him from just a bitty little bug thing. So Laen and I can't even complain about having to wait until next week to try again for those pesky gear upgrades.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Screenshot wrap-up

The last of my screenshots for Tycertank's February Wowscreenshot a day.

Day 24: Half
I swear half of my screenshots are in Silvermoon... or through doorways. This is both.

Day 25: Cut
 He looks far too enthusiastic about cutting that meat.

Day 26: Light
In the right light even Icecrown Citadel is just beautiful.

Day 27: My view today
Spent a little time on my little paladin on Bloodmyst Isle. I seem to keep finding really pretty views over in the draenei starting area. Maybe it's just because I haven't been there very much so it's new enough to me that I look more carefully.

Day 28: Reflection
Vashj'ir. It really is a beautiful zone and the story for part of it is very interesting. It's sad that the water mechanics and my own laziness usually tend to make me avoid leveling in it when I get to that point.

And I just realized this is my 101st post. Hard to believe I've done that many of them already. Hopefully I can come up with even more interesting things for a few hundred more.