Tuesday, May 31, 2011

(D)Rifting Away

I know, I said my blog would be a Rift free zone. I know, I've long been a proponent of WoW, defending it at all costs. But that was back when there was no way my computer could run Rift. Yes, I know, I'm a terrible hypocrite, traitor, whatever...

My silence has been due to playing the Rift trial. Having played it, I think I may have fallen in love. Granted I haven't gotten that far, but so far it has been wonderful. There is always a chance that I will come back to WoW, but right now I'm (d)Rifting away.

I fully intend to create a more personal blog where I can talk about things not WoW specific, because I've really missed blogging. However, without any WoW related content to post I shall be silent. I will follow up with a link to my personal blog in the coming days.

I want to thank all of my readers, especially those who comment. You've become like friends to me. If you are going to miss me, know that I am going to miss you even more.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Pugnacious Priest wrote a post about where we like to chill found here, and I've found it rather inspiring.

Stormwind is the place to be, and specifically the Dwarven District is quite populous due to it's proximity to the portals to Cataclysm zones. I have to admit that Ice spends much of her time there, but I've not completely abandoned my other favorites.

Both Audrid and my new gnome have set Ironforge as their home, and I have to admit it's rather nice and quiet now. I can remember the hotbed that Ironforge once was during Vanilla. I was just a wee newbie back then, and I can remember looking at all the level 60 characters and their Epic gear, wondering if I'd ever make it that far. I guess I've come a long way since then, and so has the game itself. Ironforge feels almost as deserted as Darnassus now.

My bank alt, Levi, lives in Dalaran still. She likes to hang out with Frozo outside of Like Clockwork and groove to the hum of the nearby Chopper's rumbling motor. She occasionally takes a trip to One More Glass, for a visit with Christi Stockton and a glass of Dalaran Red. I've discovered that I'm not the only one still chilling in Dalaran either. It may be just a shadow of what it once was, but it seems more populous than Ironforge.

I still miss Shattrath. The Aldor Bank was Ama's home. So many hours spent there, laughing and chatting, dancing and playing dress-up, napping in the piles of gold. It will never be the same since I no longer have Ama anymore, but the memories live on.

Where do you find yourself hanging out?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 10)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 10.

Blog/Website favorites

My favorite blog used to be Righteous Orbs. Who didn't love the witty and unapologetic Tam and Chas? Then my favorite blog was The Gray Place, again for the intelligent yet unapologetic wit. Sadly both of these blogs have come to their end. Now, my favorite blog is Moar Alts, I think mainly because I feel as though Pilf and I sometimes follow the same paths. A close second goes to I Like Pancakes, beautiful artwork and a no-nonsense approach to the game as well as RP. ~points at the blogroll~ This is not to say that I love any of the about a hundred blogs that I read any less. It's hard to choose a favorite. The two I've chosen are the two bloggers I feel I can most identify with.

As far as websites go, like much of the population, I frequent Wowhead (phallic icon ftw). I'm also a big fan of Warcraft Realms, because inquiring minds wanna know just how many mages there are on that there realm. For profession guides I tend to go to The Noob School (even though there are ads to gold sellers on their pages). Although as a second choice I'd recommend Crafter's Tome, although sometimes a bit slow to load, there is tons of information to be found there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shared Topic: New Class

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is New Class Theories, suggested by Shadowfox. See other responses to this topic here

There have been many theories on what the next hero class will be, but at this time all signs point to Demon Hunter (which is consequentially what Shadowfox wrote about). Why else would the Writings of the Void quest chain exist?

However, if I had to choose what the next class would be I'd definitely pick a Monk type class. I discussed this briefly in my review of EQ2, found here. Typhoon Andrew also has written about it here.

When I first started gaming I played Baldur's Gate and eventually Neverwinter Nights. Just like in WoW I tried a little bit of everything, but in the end settled on the Monk class as my favorite. It was a disappointment when I started playing WoW to find no Monk class in the game. There is something just amazing about beating someone down with just your bare fists or a simple stave and the sheer power of your will, dancing out of harms way on fleet feet. Of course having the ability to heal yourself and others helps too. Everyone knows I'm a healer at heart. Monks are like the perfect combination of rogue/priest.

On the other side of the spectrum are those that long for a Battle Mage of some sort. A plate wearing caster, that can get into the thick of things without dying, but still cast powerful spells at range. Some have suggested a buff class, such as the Bard in EQ. There are so many ideas and options, none of them all that unique or new to the fantasy rpg genre.

In the end, as I said at the beginning, all signs are pointing to Demon Hunter. Time will tell...

Another 20 Days (Day 9)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 9.

Your first blog post:

My first Blog post ever was at Love and War in Azeroth, and can be found here.

Things have changed since then, not least of all the move to Blogger. When I first started blogging I was flailing lost in Azeroth, searching for a home where I could lay down roots. Nearly a year later and things have not changed much. I am still flailing around Azeroth in search of a home. My partner has tied me down to the Cairne realm, and I'm ok with that (most of the time). I occasionally still get that bit of wanderlust and roll an alt on a random new server just for giggles. These alts rarely make it much past level 10, as I always wander back to Cairne and back to him.

If I hadn't switched to Blogger and the new blog (my other first post is here) I would be celebrating my blog-iversary at the end of this month. I think I've learned a lot about myself and about writing over the year, but I'm not sure I've made any progress at all into finding a home in WoW.

The guild I was in through BC felt like a home. I was friends with so many people in the guild. The guild was active and raiding. I felt like a central part of the team. I had a home again for a brief while towards the end of Wrath, but it all fell apart in bitterness. People who I had thought were my friends stabbed me in the back. Now, when I think about searching for a guild, the memory of that heartache holds me back.

Technically I have a guild now, but it isn't really a home. I see one or two other guild members occasionally. Most of the guild is around on weekends when I am busy working, and so I am the oddball mid-week player.

When I think about what I'd like from a guild now, it would be what I had in the first guild I was in, Eclipse. It was a large guild of casual players. There was always someone around to chat with, even during the day in the middle of the week. Occasionally we'd get a guild group together to run regular dungeons or heroics or some battlegrounds. It was nicknamed "The Old Folks Guild" as the leadership and most members were older, more mature players.

I moved on from Eclipse to be a part of Lesson Learned, a fledgling raiding guild which eventually ended up raiding fairly hardcore. It has been an amazing journey and I wouldn't take anything back, but I do wish I could find a guild like Eclipse again now. Then maybe I would have a home again...

Then again, if I found a home and was perfectly content in my game, would I have anything left to write about?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The torture that is maintenance day...

It's Tuesday - maintenance day. I know, we are all going through our WoW withdrawals, but Tuesdays are particularly horrible for me.

You see, I work loooong hours on the four days that I work each week, allowing me no time for WoW on work days. Tuesday is like my Friday. I am freshly off of work and ready and anxious to play, and more often than not I am presented with half of the day wasted because of maintenance.

Now, I'm not begrudging maintenance. It must be done, and I'm glad it is normally done on a regular schedule that is well posted. I'm not crying for Blizzard to give me my money back and all of that nonsense. I understand maintenance must happen. I just wish my schedule was different or that the maintenance schedule was different.

I guess I am crying a little bit because I always end up chomping at the bit on Tuesdays, anxious to get back into the game. I catch up on the blogs that I read. Try to think up new posts for my own blog, maybe write a little bit. And then I am left thinking about what I'm going to do when the servers come up.

This is what gets me into trouble. I'd love to work on my baby warrior. I kind of want to try out an RP server again now that the new guild finder is in place. I really should run a dungeon on Ice. What about Audrid? She's in Outlands now. I wonder if there are mats for the enchanting rod I need to make on the AH? I should work on my professions on... all of my toons. What about Archaeology? Its so much fun! I really still want to roll a Horde alt and stick with it.

When it comes down to it I will probably end up playing Ice or Audrid with my partner, but what about all of the rest?

With limited play time I find that all these side projects are suffering, and I just wish I had more time. That extra time that I spend every Tuesday waiting for the servers to come up.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

And now for something completely different...

I've always dreamed of being a writer. It was never about the money or the fame, or even or the love of literature. It was about touching others the way that I've been touched by the authors that I love. There is something magic in reading the words that others have written, whether it be an article in a magazine, an epic fiction series, or one of our blogs.

We touch each other with our words. That touch can invoke any number of reactions, from rage to lust, from sadness to joy, and everything in between. Perhaps it is a selfish goal, but I want to touch others in that way.

I still don't feel as though I've found my voice. The voice I write with here is my speaking voice. I find that I want more from myself, but I'm unsure of how to push it out. The key, I'm sure, is putting more time and effort into my writing, which is something I rarely do with my blog posts. The posts with the most effort put into them are my little guides and my bits of Fan Fic. It may end up being pretty near impossible for me to coax much more into my writing in the near future, as I am heading into the busy season at work and hours are growing even longer than they already are, but I'm going to try.

At times I feel as though I'd like to move beyond the game with my writing. In the near future there may be added spaces here for things outside of WoW, but the blog as a whole will remain a WoW blog. If you're interested, I'll encourage you to check out the things that I'll hopefully be adding. Any and all feedback is welcomed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 8)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 8.

10 things we don’t know about you:

I have to admit, I've found this topic to be one of the more challenging to write. There is a fine balance to be found between finding things that my readers don't know about me, but also finding things that are appropriate to share. Anyway, here goes...

  1. My favorite color is emerald green.
  2. I am a lazy, pleasure seeker, with minimal motivation outside of desire, and I'm learning to be ok with that.
  3. I am addicted to caffeine, with my poison of choice being Diet Cherry Dr Pepper (Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry is a close second).
  4. I have an orange tabby named Sammy.
  5. I have a habit of naming the important purchases in my life. For example, my car is named Buttercup.
  6. I am terrified of heights, both IRL and in game. It takes me time to get across the bridges in Thunderbluff or down the chain to BRD because it scares me that much. I'm also afraid of the elevator bosses (both in game and IRL).
  7. I'm horrible at making decisions. When I have to choose I always feel guilty, as though I'm being selfish, and will sometimes choose what I think my companions would most like.
  8. While I've never been to a psychiatrist or psychologist for diagnosis, I think I have a touch of OCD, social anxiety and a bit of depression at times, as well as some massive self esteem issues.
  9. I'm a conservative socialist. I dare you to figure that one out!
  10. My favorite food is macaroni and cheese.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Since when did I grow an epeen and why does it hurt?

There's a group of guys at my work that always talk about WoW in their free time. Even though I've told them that I play and have tried to interject myself into the group's conversations, they still snub me. It gets my epeen throbbing and I end up sitting and stewing about it.

They are all in a guild together and I've heard them talk about their raid progression. I know just how noobish they are. They never did down the LK during the last expansion. Half of their guild quit the game because they couldn't get past Magmaw for a good while. I know I'm a far better player (and raider when I was raiding) than any of them. Why won't they include me in their little group? I'd love to talk about WoW at work during my downtime.

The only logical conclusion I can come to is that they don't include me because I'm female. Girls don't play WoW, and if they do they are the casual, huntard, flower-pickers who never get past level 40.

I finally find a place where I can come out about my geeky hobby, and somehow I still end up being the outcast.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Something that rarely ever happens...

There he was - just a-tankin BRD
Singing "Doo wa diddy diddy dum diddy doo!*"

*Which Torq/Warrayden tells me translates into "OMG! Ouch! Don't stab me in the eye!"

Long story short, this little gem popped out of my head mid-run in BRD. Now that Ice is 85, I can continue working on poor neglected Audrid. For the first time ever, I have completed BRD at appropriate level in one stretch. Sure we had to replace the tank once and a couple of the DPS, and we had an awesome Turtle/Hunter tank for a good long while (Warrayden), but Audrid and her hunter friend got all the way through it in one sitting. There really ought to be an achievement.

PS. Why is The Eviscerator the only boss in the Ring of Law now? I miss the random bosses!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Death Knight's Tale: Diplomacy

With Acherus won and a good night of rest behind me, I am aching to get back into action. The one who administered my stitches says I must allow my shoulder to rest before returning to battle, but dead flesh will never truly mend. I see no need for further rest, all I see is red, I want Him dead.

The medic gets his wish, for first Mograine requires a mission of diplomacy, a plea to the Alliance for tolerance and peace. I do not relish this kind of task, but perhaps it is a test, to see if I am beyond my bloodthirsty ways, to see if I can control myself in "polite" society. So I go, through this portal, to Stormwind, the heart of the Alliance.

As I walk through this jewel of a city I can feel the eyes glaring at me from all directions. It grows worse the closer I come to the Keep. The crowd grows bold, afterall, I am but one monster in the midst of hundreds. They throw curses as well as rotten food, rocks, whatever they can find, at me. One particularly daring human runs right in front of me, screaming, "Get out of our city, Scourge Fiend!" and spits in my face. This does not distress me, although it isn't particularly pleasant either. My escort, the city guard, pushes him away gently, as I nonchalantly wipe the spittle from my face with the back of my hand.

These people distrust me, and I don't blame them. Look at what I once was. The names they call me are fitting. I am a murderer. They are right to cower in fear at the sight of me. They are right to spit at and curse me.

Yet this letter I carry, signed by no less than Tirion Fordring, represents me as better than that which I once was. By this man's word alone I am permitted entry into Stormwind and presented to the King himself. Our newly formed order needs allies, and what better than to appeal to the King of Stormwind himself?

And yet, I wonder if I am truly able to be a part of this group of the living. My sole purpose now is to end the Scourge. I have nothing else in common with these people. I no longer even remember what my life was when I was alive. Physically, I am obviously of the Draenei. How I came to die in a place where the Lich King would find me and resurrect me as his warrior, I have no idea.

There have been a few since who claim to recognize me, to have known me from before, but there is no memory of that for me. I have no desire to learn of my history. The history that I remember is painful enough, I would not add more to the abominations I have already to account for. As such, I have no feelings for the Draenei as a people, as my people. The Order is now my family, my race, my heritage.

Knowing the atrocities I have committed in His name, I feel I have no right to a future. I will play the hand that is dealt me. I will go to this King of Stormwind and plea for our acceptance. But I can only do so as a logical next step. There is no feeling of loyalty to the Alliance for me. There is only the need to kill Him. To do so we need help. I will ask for help, and I will honor any contract we engage in with the Alliance. Beyond that, who knows?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Too busy to blog post... must... hit... 85...!

And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

Friday, April 22, 2011

A gaming crisis of sorts averted

Last night Torq and I were on Skype together trying to decide what to do in game. I was feeling a bit burned out on playing Ice and said as much.

~Cue Flood Gates~

You see, Torq (on his main and high level alts) is what I would call a hardcore raider (hardcore-ness subject to perspective). He is anxious to get Torq to 85, and his guild is anxious to have a Frost DK added to the ranks of Melee DPS they can pull from for raids.

When I mentioned to Torq that I wasn't really feeling like playing Ice, well, it drew parallels in his mind with a time that came before in which I deleted my level 84 Druid and my level 80 Priest among others. He was right to draw those parallels. Subconsciously I had reached that point where I was afraid to hit level cap. It is the same thing that happened to me with my Druid.

It is always difficult to deal with feelings that you haven't fully accepted or even noticed yet. I only just started to feel that little bit of burn out. But it was true, I was feeling that fear of hitting level cap. Irrational as I know it sounds, knowing that I don't really have any desire to raid left me wondering what else there is for me in the game. What happens after that?

Now, that is normally a very easy question for me to answer. ALTS!!! However, I have Torq to consider in all of this. Ultimately, he is one of the main reasons why I continue to play WoW. We have so much fun together. And so, irrational fear creeps in that once we hit 85 he will be off raiding and I will be alone. Of course it is irrational fear because I completely forget that we have 3 other pairs of alts that we are leveling purely with each other.

I have made a promise to myself, to Torq, and to all of my readers, that I will not be deleting Icelica any time soon. That would be the farthest thing from what I'd be likely to do at this point. I still have so much of her story to write. There is no way I can just delete her now. She still has a long way to go towards healing the wounds that being a member of Lich King's army has given her.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In which my new computer brought me to tears

So, just when I said I was back, I was thrown a curve ball and ended up away for another week. I had all sorts of posts planned and many ideas and the freshness of my new main kicking around my head, and BOOM. Crash went my motherboard.

It was bound to happen. I'd been inadvertently trying to destroy that thing ever since I got the computer years ago, so I wasn't completely surprised, but disappointed to have a week without it. I hardly thought I could stand it. Screw the game, I missed my blog!

Happily, yesterday I purchased a replacement with the recommendations of my guardian computer angel. It isn't perfect, and a few upgrades are still in store, but even just out of the box it screams when compared to the old computer.

After re-downloading WoW and getting my addons just so again, I stopped to look. For years I've been playing WoW with the lowest video settings possible. I thought the game was pretty enough. I had no idea. The textures, the sparkles, the details, the water, the air, the spells, even something as simple as the cobblestones in SW... I stopped and played dress-up on Ice, and she looks even more amazing than ever.

And then I had a moment of regret. The very first moment of regret at having deleted Amaranth. Not wishing I could play her, because I am well and over that, but wishing I could see her with the graphics improved. All of the beautiful sets of dress up clothes she had, all of the nifty staves and off-hand frills. I cried a little, just a little, just a moment, for that lost opportunity.

Why, oh, why did I not upgrade my computer sooner?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keeping Control

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I am truly a healer at heart. It is my preferred role, always. Over the years reading and talking to other players I've gotten the feeling that most  people who heal do it because it has faster queue times for randoms or their guild needed another healer for the raid, not because they love healing. As a consequence of this conclusion I have never stopped trying to figure out why I love to heal. Well, I think I have come to a conclusion.

I'm a control freak.

As a healer, I always feel as though I am in control. If I don't heal you, you will die. I don't typically abuse this power, but it is the truth.

Having now tried all roles in dungeon settings, I can firmly say that the reason I have had issues with playing as DPS is mostly due to lack of control (especially when playing pure DPS classes). As DPS, in most cases, you are at the whim of your tank and healer to control the flow of a dungeon. The appeal of the DPS role is numbers. Instant gratification via large shiny numbers. I love those big numbers too, but not at the sacrifice of control. It feels like taking a huge leap of faith to put your safety in the hands of a tank and healer in a random dungeon. I know, I know. It's just a game. The worst that can happen is a wipe, but nobody likes wiping.

Now that my main is a tank I can see things much more clearly. The thing that I am enjoying most about tanking, and the thing that keeps me on the edge of my seat, biting my lip in anxiety, is that the tank role is a constant battle to keep control (keep aggro). I feel like a child walking several misbehaving dogs on leashes and they all want to go different directions. Perhaps this feeling will even out in time as I grow more experienced, but I kind of doubt it. When I am healing I know I am in control. When I am tanking I am always on the verge of losing it. I know that at any time that hunter pet might growl, or the mage might randomly decide to frost nova mobs before they reach me, or (God forbid) the healer has gone afk without letting me know. All of which has happened.

In ways, playing in the role of a tank has presented the ultimate challenge to me. Maybe someday I will attain that perfect state of zen where I no longer care about keeping control.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shared Topic: Weird Gaming Habits

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is Weird Gaming Habits, suggested by Akabeko. See other responses to this topic here.

Well, I guess there are two sides to this coin, the weird habits we have in game, and the weird habits we have outside of game as we are playing. 

In Game 

I think I've mentioned before that any toon that gets a Rabbit's Foot keeps it (or a stack of them) in their inventory at all times for good luck. Many of my toons are collectors of random objects for sentimental reasons.

If I get a bug in my butt about leveling a profession I sometimes get borderline obsessive about it, feeling obligated to take care of that profession in every spare moment. This makes me very quick and efficient about leveling professions, but sometimes at a detriment to everything else in game.

I am one of those people who has a hard time going off of the beaten path. I have a tendency to get lost or turned around if I just go gallivanting across the country-side, which is odd because I have a very good sense of direction IRL.

I am absolutely obsessive about looting bodies. It irritates me to no end if I don't get to loot all the sparkly bodies, and will even pick up trash that other people leave behind from their loot. Every copper counts. 

I am horrible at flying. There is something about 3 dimensions that just doesn't work in my head. I always end up either too close or too far away from things, flying too high or too low. For this reason, I almost always take flight paths to get places unless they are really close.

Outside of Game

I can't eat while I play. Not even finger food. It is too much of a distraction. I can handle drinking things, but I can't do more than idle while I'm eating.

Regardless of whether I am at work or at home playing, I have a habit of leg bouncing when I am sitting still and focusing. It is a habit that both me and my father have so I guess it might be genetic. It drives my co-workers crazy at work, but that's because we are on the upper floor and I sometimes bounce it so hard it shakes the floor a little.

I keep a notepad on my desk just in case blog inspiration strikes. I keep one at work as well, because sometimes I think about the game in spare moments. Many a blog post has begun in this way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ice Ice Baby (not so much of a baby anymore)

Despite this past week of silence, I have not disappeared. Neither has Icelica, even though I haven't written about her in months. I've been leveling her alongside Torq mainly by tanking random dungeons in moderation. It has been a slow process, but very successful, and I am proud to announce that she isn't a baby anymore.

That's right, Ice has reached level 80 and is beginning her adventures in the Cataclysm zones, and in doing so may have cemented herself as my "main" for the expansion. She has a long road ahead of her though, not least of all is the continuing story that I am waaaay behind on writing.

You can expect for there to be some changes to the site now that I have a "main" again, not least of all will be a page dedicated to my little adventures in fan-fic writing. Don't worry. The changes won't be too dramatic. And in no way does this mean I am abandoning my babillion alts.

More to come.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Funerals are for the Living

I've been oddly silent this week, primarily because I've had a close family friend pass away. Sometimes the creative juices just get sluiced away when reality strikes, and I apologize for my absence.

Attending the funeral made me realize that the old adage that funerals are for the living is quite true. I find that in these moments of loss I am quite selfish.

And as I sat in the funeral home weeping with my friends and family, my mind was racing, screaming at myself not to be so selfish, not to be so weak. There are others who were closer to the one we lost. Their loss is greater. Why should I cry? But the more I berate myself internally to quit crying, the more I cry, until whatever triggered the tears in the first place is long over and I'm the only one left with red eyes and sniffles.

While I am sad about this death, I know he lived a full and exciting life. I have many, many happy memories to make me smile. Still, I cry. The tears are not for the dead, because they are beyond this world now. We cannot touch them. No, the tears I cry are for myself, for my loss, and for the fear of future losses.

And somehow it grows more and more difficult with every loved one I bury. Every loss gets harder. Selfish as it sounds, I'm afraid to end up alone, all of my friends and family gone. It feels inevitable. We all will die. I am not afraid of my own death, but the death of others, now that is terrifying.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 7)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 7.

The reason behind your blog’s name

When I started blogging I was so anxious to begin that I didn't take the time that I should have to come up with a name for my blog. I began blogging at Love and War in Azeroth. It was a spur of the moment decision, and I grew to regret it. The love part was something I could get behind, but the contrasting war was difficult for me to put into use in my blog. I never really was Love and War in Azeroth, it was just a label for a blog. That is part of the reason I ended up moving my blog here to Specced for Drama.

Around the time of the dramatic guild blow-up over 10 man raiding and the Amani War Bear (among other things) I started joking around with guildies and friends about making a guild called Specced for Drama. Eventually I did just that and my bank alt was the Drama Queen. It was just a bank guild, but I liked it. I liked it so much that it has become the name of my blog.

As much as I don't really like guild drama when I'm directly and emotionally involved in it, I do enjoy it from the voyeur's perspective. Drama is conducive to inspiration and creativity when it comes to writing (at least it is for me). I love lore, the dramatic story that unfolds as we level up questing through this changed Azeroth. I love the artistic and dramatic aspects of role-playing. These are the things that I am searching for in the game now. Every day I become more and more drama spec, and I love it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Community Hug

I couldn't resist Vidalya's challenge to seek out newer or lesser known bloggers and send them some encouragement. Check these folks out.

Please Feed the Troll -  Mystic writes a little about everything. The recent interview with a GM was very enlightening.

The WOW Debutante - Chatmay is sharing a wealth of knowledge about making social guild events and putting together that perfect RP outfit.

Nairu's Journal - Another blog about Roleplaying. There just aren't enough of them!

She Can't DPS - While Aestiah has been around for a long time, I'm not so sure everyone knows about her. Another RP/story blog, and perhaps the best written and with the best art. <3

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Newb Daze - Part Two

The continuing adventures of Newb Ama and her first toon, the warlock named Ashwynn.

I don't know exactly what happened after my adventures riding the tram, but I do remember that I ended up back in Stormwind to complete the quest required so that I could summon my newest minion, my Voidwalker.

I didn't quite understand what the big deal with the minions were. What I did know was that I found my imp, Biznip, annoying as hell, always complaining that I'm picking on the little guy and stuff isn't in his contract. I was so ready for something new.

The moment I met Kraknak I fell in love. He was big and beautiful and blue. His name was so much nicer than the imp's. His voice was dark and foreboding, unlike the shrill whine of Biznip's. I loved him, but I didn't really grasp what he was for.

I had grown weary of Biznip randomly pulling stray monsters to me with his fireballs, so I had put him on passive. And so, when I took Kraknak out, he was on passive as well. So, basically I had a giant blue decorative demon following me around. 

My friend (who introduced me to the game) caught up to me as I was questing through Westfall. He had the best geared Alliance Fire Mage on the realm at the time, and I was in awe. He took one look at how I was playing and laughed his ass off.

"You should be sending your Voidwalker in to attack a monster and then you start casting at it, that way he can hold the attention of the monster while you kill it," he told me. I tried it, and lo and behold, he was right. That blue blob sure could keep the attention of those gnolls in Westfall!

It made perfect sense, and although it was a late lesson to learn, I've never forgotten my very first taste of the holy trinity, Tank/DPS/Healer. From that day forward Kraknak was my guardian, and while he may not have liked being in Azeroth, I sure liked having him around.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shared Topic: Favorite Race

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is Favorite Race, suggested by PVE Rogues. See other responses to this topic here.

These "What is your favorite ___?" questions are the hardest for me. Really? I have to choose just one? We all know I have a hard time doing that. Just look at my list of toons, and those are only the ones I write about. I have secret toons in my closet. Is that creepy?

So, this is my blog and I make the rules, so I get 2 favorite Alliance races and 1 favorite Horde race.

  1. Dwarves - Lately dwarves have been my flavor of choice. I don't know if it is because I identify with them personally. I think there was a topic a while back about what race/class combination you would be irl, and I would definitely be a Dwarf. I'm short at 5'2" and rather... ahem... curvy, just like our lovely Dwarven ladies. I'm friendly, but no-nonsense, and stubborn as a mule.

    As far as racial traits go, many folks are enamored of the Stoneform ability, others choose Dwarves for the weapon proficiencies in Maces and Guns. Personally, my favorite racial trait is the newly created Explorer trait. Darn tootin' Dwarves are the original archaeologists, Harrison Jones be damned! And I ain't talkin' bout Herr Professor Ironpants or whatever he's callin' himself. I'm talkin' bout Brann Bronzebeard, folks, and dontcha forget it! 

  2. Night Elves - My previous main and the toon I dedicated myself to for nearly 3 years was a Night Elf. This was the toon that truly made me love WoW. Prior to this I had kind of been just going through the motions on my Warlock. The Night Elf lore was the first true WoW lore that I became engrossed in.

    Night Elves will always have a special place in my heart, even though their best racial trait is now a thing of the past. You know what I'm talking about? I'm talking about Priest specific Starshards, people. The removal of Starshards was quickly followed by everyone getting faster movement speeds in their spirit form. At least we still turn into Wisps when we die. Someday I'd like to explore the new version of Night Elf immortality, life after death as a Wisp.
  1. The Forsaken - Hands down, The Forsaken are the most bad-ass of the Horde races. No other race can survive underwater without breathing. No other race can feed off of the corpses of the people they've just slain. No other race, Horde or Alliance, has a more bad-ass leader than The Dark Lady. There is absolutely nothing more liberating than already being dead. What's the worst that can happen to you now?

    I don't know if The Forsaken are going to end up being the bad guys or not, but I like to think that what Sylvanas says is true, that they are just striving to create a future for their race. Only time will tell. Personally, I'm hopeful for a Windrunner reunion at some point in the near future, the result of which will be either to push Sylvanas back towards sanity or finally push her all the way over the edge into complete madness. One thing is for certain, The Forsaken story is far from over.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fun at the Office

You know you work someplace awesome when a conversation like this ensues in the office-wide communicator chat:

WTB more people to stay past 7:00 pm tonight.

I can't, I have to kill internet dragons tonight.

I can't, I have to kill tax dragons tonight, or the IRS will get me.

The IRS has dragons now?

They do!

And their gearscore is about a million points higher than mine, so PVP is not an option.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 6)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 6.

Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)

Ughh... you don't want to know. I don't have a camera of any kind anymore, so this will have to go without pictures.

Let's start with the computer. I purchased my computer in August of 2006 in preparation for the release of Neverwinter Nights 2. I bought a refurbished E-machine from TigerDirect, and it was a great machine when I bought it. Now, with 2.16 Ghz, 1GB RAM, and 150 GB hard drive, I've fallen behind, very behind. I couldn't even play Rift if I wanted to. It's kind of a wonder that I can play WoW. I play with the original keyboard that came with the machine, but I have a more modern wireless Logitech mouse but with no extra fancy buttons. I have an LG 19" flatscreen for my viewing pleasure.

All of this on a crummy second-hand store plywood desk that lost it's luster years ago, cluttered with pens and pads of paper with randoms scraps of blog notes on them, and my keychain authenticator in the spot of most importance in the center of the desk in front of the monitor.

I have a big, comfy rolling desk chair with black upholstery and an orange tiger print blanket draped on the back just in case I get cold (which happens often). It's my little corner of computing space, and I like it, although I am quite anxious to upgrade my computer (for obvious reasons). I'd love to have a dual-screen setup like I have at work. I'm saving my money, but it is slow going.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

She's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Paladin

It's been a long while since I've talked much about Audrid. I had originally thought that I'd talk about every PUG she was in, since that's how I was leveling her. I had no idea just how many PUGs that would be. When I started out a single dungeon could give you a level, two levels if there are a few quests. As you get higher level the levels come more slowly, and the PUGs become less memorable. I'd still like to do the PUG story thing, but it would take a lot of planning and a lot of record keeping. I'm just not up for it quite yet. Makes me wonder how our original Pugging Pally did it.

Audrid is now level 50, and actually starting to look like a Paladin. Just five levels ago she still looked like a circus clown. Granted she's still using the same weapon and beer stein, but at least she's not wearing those awful neon green short-shorts.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Newb Daze - Part One

I was wandering around Stormwind on Audrid the other day and I had a brief flashback from my early days playing WoW on Ashwynn, my warlock and the one I consider my first toon (even if she wasn't my real first toon, she was the first I committed to leveling up). Inspired, thus begins the story of newb Ama and her misadventures in learning how to play WoW.

I don't remember how long it took me to quest through the beginning quests in Elwynn Forest and eventually make my way to Stormwind, but I have a feeling it took me some time that first time around. I remember walking to Stormwind and entering the gates, the statues in the Valley of Heroes and making my way into the bustling town. I took screenshots of everything, it was so beautiful! I remember running errands for the Trias' Cheese guys, the folks at Gallina's Wine, and Larson's Clothiers. At some point I ended up in the Dwarven District and there was a quest to deliver something to some Dwarf named Stormpike in Ironforge. I was supposed to take the Deeprun Tram.

Now, I may have been a total newb, but I had enough knowledge to know that the shimmering thing at the entrance to the tram was like what you went through to get to an instance, a dungeon. I was terrified to enter the tram depot. I thought for sure there were monsters in there. I went back and quested some more in Elwynn, and eventually grew frustrated (most likely due to multiple deaths to murlocs). I decided it was time for me to make the trek to Ironforge, monsters be damned!

You can imagine my surprise when nothing attacked me on my trip to Ironforge, and the scenery was beautiful. I thought for sure I had missed something, since I knew that was an instance portal. I walked the entire distance from Ironforge back to Stormwind along the tram tracks in search of the infamous monsters of the tram, and of course I didn't find them.

Stay tuned for more newb stories to come.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 5)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 5.

Favorite item(s) in game

This is a rough one. Many of my favorite items in game have been deleted with the deletion of my main and other high level toons. So I'll do one item that I currently have on one of my toons, and my favorite item that has been lost in the deletion. 

Current Item: Dwarven Baby Socks - this is one of the early Dwarven Archaeology items you get, and I found it just too adorable to let go of. Audrid is my Archaeologist (of course she is, she's a Dwarf) and she is keeping every little relic she digs up (yes, her bank is getting very full), but her baby socks are like her security blanket, she'll never let them go. She even rubs them against her cheek for good luck at the beginning of particularly treacherous looking dungeons.

Lost Item: Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon - I fought tooth and nail to get this trinket for my level 70 Priest. Yes, you heard me right. At level 70 this still procced often enough to make a difference in my mana regen. I've always been the mana whore, if I'm ooming I'm... uhh... what rhymes with ooming? ~sigh~ Well, I'm not a very happy person, let's put it that way.

I had all of the Beast cards for a long time. But the Ace of Beasts was my bane! This was before Inscription even existed, so the only way to get it was by killing The Beast in UBRS. I can't tell you how many people got their Jenkins title with me running them through the Blackrock dungeons on my many attempts to get that stupid Ace. In the end I bit the bullet and bought the deck from someone who was selling it moderately cheaply, because that card just would not drop.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shared Topic: Favorite Profession

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is Favorite Profession, suggested by yours truly. See other responses to this topic here

This week's shared topic is an easy one for me to answer. My favorite profession above all others by leaps and bounds is Herbalism. There's just something so soothing about picking flowers. It wasn't always roses and sunshine though. Once upon a time you could fail to pick a flower.

I used to make jokes about it. I bend over and wrap my fingers around the stem and... ~slip~ Oops! I bend over and wrap my fingers around the stem and... ~smash~ Oops!

This was one of the most aggravating thing I've ever encountered in the game, and I'm sincerely thankful that Blizzard fixed it.

So what is it about Herbs that I like so much? Well, it certainly isn't the production professions that go along with this gathering skill. I've yet to have a maxed Alchemist or Scribe.

I'm a gatherer at heart. I think its the grind that I love so much. I'm the odd duck that greatly enjoys Fishing. I also love quests to kill 25 boars. Grinding in decent doses is something purely therapeutic to me. It may not be challenging in any way, but the monotony and ritual of it, the rhythm you get into, that is something so relaxing to me. My favorite quests in Outlands were the ones for Nesingwary in Nagrand, and I was truly saddened when I found out the number of kills required had been diminished. There's nothing like throwing on some good tunes to groove to and grinding away, whether it be grinding by picking flowers, or killing undead for cloth, or fishing up Mr. Pinchy.

Some of you may be wondering why Herbs when there's other grindy gathering skills to be had. Skinning is too easy and requires more killing. Don't get me wrong, I like skinning, but picking Herbs requires far less death. It's much more peaceful. Mining is the bane of my gathering existence. I have tried to no avail to like Mining. The nodes are harder to get to, and the competition seems to be more fierce. And the ting, ting of the mining pick is a grating noise.

Archaeology is fast becoming my new favorite Secondary profession. The grind is awesome, but it will never take the place in my heart for Herbs.

~scatters flower petals around as she prances off to pick some more herbs~

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm Quitting

Why does it feel so bad when we see these words? Why does it dig so deep when you listen to others explain why they are leaving. Their logic is sound. They have their reasons. It is acceptable to quit playing a game that you are no longer enjoying.

And yet, whenever I read a quitting post (or non-quitting, as in the case of Klep), I find myself bristling for a fight. I feel a need to defend Blizzard and the game that I still enjoy.

I think the worst part for me is the self-doubt. I get this itch at the back of my brain, of fear that maybe I am just one of these duped masses that people talk about. I'm just a sheep on the loot rollercoaster, chasing that next carrot on a stick. Maybe that's true, but I enjoy chasing that carrot. I'd rather chase that carrot than watch American Idol or whatever other garbage is on television.

I think I could greatly enjoy playing a different game, but it would still be an MMO and/or an RPG. These are my games of choice. So, you see, I'd still be chasing that carrot on a stick, albeit in a different environment. I like the carrots WoW has given me. I tried some other games. I found EQ2 nearly impossible to get into and there was never anyone to talk to. LOTRO was fun, but kind of Vanilla, since I already knew what was happening.

For me, half of the fun is the story. I can't wait to find out what happens next, even if it means killing the same baddies in the same raids over and over for loot while waiting for the next bits of storyline (or Raid) to come out.

I love Azeroth. Do I think Blizzard has room to make improvements? Hell yes, I do. I think Blizzard is always looking for ways to improve the game as well, even if I don't always agree with the changes. Do I find the game no longer worth playing? Nope. If I did then I wouldn't be here talking about it.

Did I scare you?

I'm in no way quitting WoW. I'm not burnt out or disillusioned or raging angry. I'm peacefully enjoying my game.

Sadly, those of you with WoW angst are ending up off of my reading list. I'm sorry, but that itch bugs me. Continuously hearing about why I shouldn't be enjoying WoW is hard on the self-esteem. I get enough of a stigma just for being a WoW player, now I have to feel bad about continuing to enjoy the game from fellow gamers?

While I'm not quite so militant against Rift posts, my blog will remain a bastion of freedom from Rift. If you're with me, go grab the nifty little button Reala made at Click the Lightwell.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wine-y Post Day

Levi here in Mage country, beautiful Dalaran, here to discuss the wonders of wine. I'm here at, arguably the best wine store in the world, One More Glass, to discuss the best wines in Azeroth with proprietor Christi Stockton.

Levi: Ms. Stockton... May I call you Christi?

Christi Stockton: Of course, dear.

Levi: Christi, I see that your selection here is limited to Dalaran Red. Would you consider it to be the finest of fine wines?

Christi Stockton: Well, our selection here in Dalaran is a bit limited due to the remoteness of our location. We serve both Dalaran White and three varieties of Red, as well as Caraway Burnwine, but I'm not sure I'd consider that a true wine. It's a foul liquor that the Dwarves seem to favor when they can't get their hands on any ale. While all of these are wonderful, the most extravagant wine I've ever tasted is the recently discovered Sunkissed Wine of Uldum. The folk of that region are loathe to part with it, however, and so it is quite difficult to find.

Levi: I see. Are there any other notable wines that we should be aware of?

Christi Stockton: Let's see. The Blood Elves of Eversong have a top secret recipe known as Eversong Wine, but understandably, they won't let us Humans get our hands on it. There's also a little known vineyard in the Outlands near Allerian Stronghold. They produce a light but potent wine they call Brightsong Wine. Rumor has it that it's as strong as some Dwarven ales and apt to cause visions, or stupors as I like to consider them.

Levi: Sounds... ahem... interesting. Are there other wines that are more affordable for the common folk?

Christi Stockton: I believe the Goblins of Stranglethorn have been producing something they call Junglevine Wine, which I hear is quite affordable. Quite popular with the ladies this season is the Fizzy Fruit Wine, another Goblin product that can be found in the Badlands. Of course, I'm not sure I'd trust my delicate palate to the Goblins, but these are quite reasonably priced when compared with my fare.

Levi: Haha! I'm not sure that I would either. Well, if we can't make it all the way to Dalaran to try your lovely libations, is there another location that offers fine wines, perhaps more centrally located?

Christi Stockton: Well, I've many friends among the Mages of Dalaran who would gladly teleport a fellow out here for the promise of a round of drinks. However, if the trip simply cannot be made, then I'd suggest the Gallina Winery in Stormwind. I believe they offer an exquisite Pinot Noir. While in Stormwind, don't forget to check out the wonderful cheeses at Trias' Cheese, tell them Lucian sent you.

Levi: Thank you so much for taking the time to share these wine secrets with us, Christi.

I'm Levi with DBS News. Happy Wine drinking. Goodnight.

Well, I think this might be my first year participating in Whiny Post Day. Am I doin' it rite, Klep?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blizzard has gone Disney on us?

I saw a post today that ruffled my feathers (not linking to it for obvious reasons). It basically inferred that there is concern that Blizzard only intends to revamp old content from here until eternity, just like Disney and their movie vault.

I've written a post about this before. The main theme of Cataclysm is changing the world, including the old world. It desperately needed to be done. They've taken that theme and run with it and I for one think this has turned out beautifully. I don't think this means our next expansion will be "Return to Outlands" or "Wrath of the Wrath of the Lich King," although I wouldn't be opposed to revisiting these zones, but with new new dungeons and content.

While some people may be disappointed with the revamping of old dungeons and upset that it isn't "new" content. They did make changes in these dungeons. They aren't exactly the same as they were before. They aren't just scaled for 85. Deadmines and SFK have been revised to progress the storyline of their given zones, not to mention that they include new boss fights with new mechanics. Many many veterans are enjoying the heck out of Deadmines and SFK as Heroics.

I for one am glad they are bringing ZG and ZA back. I am not a Wrath or Cataclysm baby. I have played these dungeons while they were real content and I was saddened to learn of their removal from the game. My understanding is that these new 5 man dungeons (like the others) are not going to be exactly as they were before. They are going to progress the troll storyline. They may have new bosses and new mechanics combined with our old favorites.

I might have cause for concern if I got wind that they were turning Karazhan into a 5 man Heroic. Then again, I might welcome that change as well. My feeling is that these changes are a good thing. I think it is always a good choice to make old content relevant again. Would you have rather they left ZG and ZA as they were, a dungeon people only went to in order to farm for mounts?

I think Pewter has put it best here. In terms of pure content released per patch, we're way ahead of WotLK.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun in PuGs - Dire Maul North

Well, it was an adventure that began with the level 45 tank saying, "I'm not sure if I'm high enough level for this dungeon."

Of course, the dungeon finder wouldn't throw you in a dungeon you're not high enough level for, geared and knowledgeable enough for is a different story.

Dire Maul North, along with all of the other Dire Maul dungeons, is the place where you learn how to deal with pats, but especially in Dire Maul North. They're everywhere.

So there was me on Audrid (healing up the place), my partner in crime on his hunter, a mage, a kitty druid, and a paladin tank.

Come to find out that our tank friend may have thought he wasn't high enough level just because he's a total newb. I say this with the kindest of intentions, but no one but a newb has a prot pally with half Intellect gear on, I don't care how low level.

We're talking Shield, Breastplate, Necklace of the Elder, Pants, and Ring. I could have forgiven all this if he hadn't basically refused to replace his intellect ring with the new Ring he won. We gently suggested to him that intellect is not the best tanking stat. He didn't say a word and just quietly kept plugging away, even though aggro was everywhere and he was quite squishy.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. We made it through with a scarce 2 wipes. It was a successful PuG, but I wonder how much farther our paladin friend will go if he continues to sacrifice his tanking stats for a little more mana, let alone what kind of hell the more cruel type of puggers will put him through if they don't just kick him off the bat.

End of the day, I have no room to speak. I'm a pally healer who wears half cloth, but at least I'm not wearing Strength gear so I can have stronger heals. /flex

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 4)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 4.

Your best WoW memory

There is absolutely no way I could possibly choose just one. The things I most love, the best memories, are the little moments that add up into my whole experience of WoW. So, instead of one, I give you my best WoW memories, all of them in chronological order.

  1. Questing in Darkshore with MLJ, a fellow Priest.
  2. Bumping into a vivacious little bear Druid, Jezz, in Tanaris and begging her to run ZF with me, to no avail. She hated ZF.
  3. Bumping into Jezz again in Booty Bay - being complimented on my Whitemane's Chapeau. We were inseparable after this - and ran many, many dungeons together.
  4. Running Sunken Temple with the Eclipse crew and joining the guild right after that run. I miss you, Ever, Dak, Ferg, Beo and many others.
  5. Discovering the joys of Ventrilo with the "old folks" in Eclipse.
  6. Jezz and I running into MLJ at Scholomance - so of course we had to have a Night Elf dance party.
  7. Going through the Dark Portal for the first time and exploring Outlands (with Jezz).
  8. Doing Children's Week events for the first time with Jezz.
  9. Running Mana Tombs over and over with Halpy.
  10. Wiping and struggling to get through Shadow Labs regular at level 68.
  11. Ding! Level 70 while questing in Nagrand.
  12. Forming Lesson Learned with Jezz, Pizzle, Cryion and Arctic.
  13. Having the Hallowed Trousers ninja'd from me on every single Sethekk Halls run. I didn't get new pants until I paid a fellow tailor to craft me the Whitemend Pants (the recipe wouldn't drop for me in The Arc). This is the origination of PANTS! When I finally replaced my pants I yelled out PANTS! in vent, I was so excited to finally have an upgrade for my legs.
  14. Baby steps to raiding - Heroics and Kara were HARD!
  15. Attempting Kara with a tank that was under Def cap. We eventually turned him into a pretty darn good tank.
  16. Doing Love is in the Air for the first time with Spell.
  17. Hours spent in the Aldor Bank in Shattrath just hanging out.
  18. Amani Warbear and 10 man raiding crits Lesson Learned for over 9000 - guild disbands - do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
  19. I'm in Resolution - I'm not in Resolution - I'm in Resolution - I'm not in Resolution. MLJ, you're a good friend for putting up with my guild hopping ways.
  20. Enjoying the sage advice of CrankyRaina and others during the peak of the now defunct Guild Relations Forums. I miss you, Raina. <3
  21. Getting revenge on Vashj (albeit at level 80).
  22. Running Battlegrounds with Waric, Nef and Sky.
  23. Tanking dungeons on my Death Knight. Discovering that I like tanking if I have a friend along. Thank you, Torq.
  24. Having Altitis and exploring Silvermoon on an RP server.
  25. Questing through Stonetalon Mountains on a Hordie post Shattering - the storyline is incredible!
  26. Deleting my high level toons in favor of my alts - this has been the most freeing of all experiences.

I guess it's noticeable that I'm a BC Baby. ~shrug~ I am what I am. I guess it may also be noticeable that while I did raid during Wrath, the kills and experiences therein were not such great memories for me. I should be including my Kingslayer kill on this list, but there's just too much negative that went with that kill that I just can't enjoy that memory.

~raises a glass~ Here's to making more wonderful memories! ~clink~ ~gulp~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Introducing Osimi

Osimi is a taxidermist and a master of anatomy. She has killed and dissected just about every type of creature you can imagine (or at least she had back on her home planet). She is a hunter and a lover of beasts. In this new world she has made it her mission to discover and understand all of the natural creatures of Azeroth.

Her current companion of choice is a white crab with turquoise markings that she named Acrimonious. She chose him for the strength of his claws and the hardness of his shell, and of course, for his googly eyes.

Her prized possession is her skinning knife, which she keeps immaculately honed, sharpening it at least every night before bed.

Her Draenei companions tell her she should live her life more closely to the Light and not delve in these unsavory hobbies, but she could care less what they think. There is nothing she likes better than spending a day (or night) in the wilds, getting her hands dirty either befriending the wildlife or hunting them for her research.

The thing she despises more than all others is corruption. She has a fierce hatred for the Blood Elves for their part in aiding the demons of the Legion. She cannot stand to be anywhere near a warlock. She believes their kind is beyond reproach. She cannot fathom that a warlock could work with the dark arts and not eventually become corrupted by it, despite their best intentions.

She prefers to keep to the countryside where she is least likely to encounter a demon or warlock or other forms of corruption. If she must go to a city she prefers to return to her people at the Exodar, or Darnassus, because the Night Elves aren't very tolerant of corruption either.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In Which I Bemoan the State of Priests

When I first rolled my Priest I never dreamed that I'd end up being the type of person that bailed on their class when the going got tough. I guess, in retrospect, that is just what I've done.

I don't think I've been the person who consistently jumps on the current flavor of the month class/spec. When Holy/Holy was the spec to be I was the hybrid Disc Priest who took Divine Spirit so our raid could have the spirit buff. I tried out Holy/Holy towards the end of BC, but I never really could get the hang of AoE healing. During Wrath I was a Disc Priest all the while Pallies were the crowning glory of single target healers.

With Cataclysm, and the changes and more changes and more changes to Discipline and the way bubbles work, I just couldn't do that to myself. I just don't have the time or patience or ironically the discipline to cope with the bubble rollercoaster. I tried Holy again, but I still just didn't feel the AoE.

I've tried playing Shadow, but it just feels so gimpy when compared with a Mage or a Hunter or even a Warlock. It feels like Shadow Priests can't even compete in DPS anymore. I don't expect to top meters, but its disheartening to be so much lower on the meters than others.

The Priest class used to inspire me. I had such pride in my class. My oldest WoW friend and I agreed and pronounced loudly that Priests were the best class in the game. We could do amazing things, the two of us, him Shadow and me Discipline.

Now we are both leveling Paladins (and loving it).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shared Topic: Favorite Weapon

This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is Favorite Weapon, suggested by Kallixta. See other responses to this topic here

I figured now would be the perfect time to introduce the latest of my Random Six. Here's Xoe* with her take on her favorite weapon(s).

My favorite weapon is one that cracks or smashes, whacks or bashes, stabs or slices, jabs or dices, pricks or gashes, sticks or thrashes. I am a weapon master, I love all weapons.

There's daggers and axes, maces and bows, swords and polearms, staves and fist weapons, and lets not forget guns.

But the best weapons are the ones that let me take my revenge on the fish folk, for there's no good murloc but a dead murloc. Even better is a pile of dead murlocs, even if I nearly lost myself in killing them. Praise the spirits for giving me a second chance, but I'd do it all again just to hear their Mrrggl as they died.  

*Nods to Mr Fenris. I found a 3-letter name for a toon.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Of Patches and Growing Pains

If you don't like WoW anymore GTFO and quit complaining about it. No one cares that you think Cataclysm has been the worst expansion ever. No one wants to hear you rant about how Blizzard ruined MMOs. Go play Rift* or whatever the flavor of the season is and good riddance!

If I cared that Blizzard was recycling old content I wouldn't have bought Cataclysm. The entire expansion has been based around this main theme of revamping the old world. Are you really shocked and awed that they're bringing back ZG and ZA? These were iconic dungeons. I couldn't imagine Blizzard just pressing the delete button. Afterall, every expansion has had some form of Troll dungeon. Someone at Blizzard really loves him/her some Trolls.

I, for one, am excited and happy about this news. Three new 5-mans? Woohoo! And we get to relive ZG and ZA! Plus we get the renewed chance at some awesomely epic mounts! ~Drool~ Now I just have to get one of my alts up to 85 so I can play with the big boys. I don't wanna miss out on ZG and ZA.

To all you spoil sports out there. ~Raspberry~

*No offense meant to anyone who is merely going about their business and playing Rift.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 3)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 3.

Your first day playing WoW

I remember the crunching sound the snow made under my toon's feet, and it even left little footprints in the snow. I remember climbing up the hill to reach Ironforge, the great statue of Anvilmar greeting you as you enter the gates.  It was stunning. And then, when you actually enter The Great Forge and see the lava flowing, it was amazing. I fell in love with Ironforge on my first day playing WoW. I remember flying to Ironforge on my very first flight, which was also my very first screenshot.

(which I still have in my folder of screenshots)

And then I looked around and realized that all of the people flipping and prancing and sparkling around me were real people all around the world playing this game with me. It was love at first sight. I didn't wait for my trial to end before I started paying to play. I think it was two days later and I couldn't wait any longer to be able to chat and send mail and join a guild, all that fun stuff.

The other thing I remember from my first days, was realizing that Paladins in WoW don't play the same as Paladins in other games. Although it may be the same premise, Paladins were too different from what I had grown accustomed to in other games. So after leveling Orenda into her 20s, I deleted her in favor of a Warlock, mostly because the friend who introduced me to WoW said they were easy to level.

The Warlock ended up not being the best choice for me either, but that's a story for another day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Apparently Audrid wears short shorts...

I never thought I'd say this, but...

I'm anxious to get to Outlands so my gear will look better.

You heard that right... Even the crazy green pants with the purple zigzag look better than this hot mess. They'd even totally match the green booties I'm wearing now. (>_<)

I really can't say any more. I'll let you judge for yourself.

I'm a Paladin?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Well, here we go again. Its been a long time since I've piped up on the drama-of-the-week, but I just couldn't resist getting in the ring on this one.

Kiss My Alas wrote a very well written post about her take on Big Bloggers effecting Small Bloggers. And, despite his recent departure from the world of blogging, Tamarind has taken it upon himself to respond at The Pink Pigtail Inn.

While it is not always comfortable to receive criticism, whether constructive or not, its something we all have to deal with. The internet is a public space, and as has been said before, even if you may be the most neutral of parties, eventually someone is going to disagree with you or dislike your blog.

Mama always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say then it is best to say nothing at all. However, nice is one of those arbitrary words that is entirely dependent upon perspective to have any meaning at all.

Discussion and argument are part of what makes blogging such an interesting passtime. The irony is that I have quite a neutral opinion myself. I think Tam makes very valid points. I think Alas makes very valid points as well. I don't think either of them is wholly "right." Disagreeing with someone is not necessarily being a dick. How you do it could be perceived as dickish behavior, but the simple act of disagreeing is not that. But as Tam has said, dickish behavior is highly subjective.

What troubles me about this whole argument is fear of linking and/or commenting. I like that sometimes Larisa and Tam and other big bloggers link to and comment at some more obscure but interesting blogs. It may be unfortunate that not every person that reads these bigger blogs is a "nice" person, but to blame any negative feedback that occurred after you were linked from a larger blog is to ignore the purpose of linking, which is to share readership and to promote discussion.

I think we all need to step up and take responsibility for our own spaces. Regardless of size, eventually a troll or someone who very vocally disagrees with you will happen upon your blog. If you don't like what is being said then you have a right as a blogger to moderate comments. No, you can't control what is said at other people's blogs about you/your blog, but you can choose to respond to it or ignore it.

I respect what Zel and Alas have said about different sensitivity levels. I agree that greater diversity makes for a better community. However a blog is not a private space (unless we make it so), and we all know that when we create our blogs. There are options to limit who can read what you write. It is a known risk we all take when we make our words open for the whole world to read. If you are not ready for that, then maybe it is time to reconsider your permission settings.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I don't want to live in fear of giving someone some link love, whether they have a large readership or not. And I for one don't want any of the larger blogs to not link to me if I happen to say something they want to talk about (regardless of whether they agree or disagree with me).

What kind of blogging community would it be if we couldn't have something as benign as Tuesdays with Tarinae at A Healadin's Tear? Oh wait, we can't have that anymore because she's gone too. /cry But I think you get my point.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

That Warlock Itch

I've been reading more and more Warlock blogs lately...

Oddly, I miss Ashwynn.

Since I have deleted my toons I haven't really missed them much, except Ashwynn. She was the last one I expected to miss, afterall, she sat for years as nothing more than my bank alt.

I don't make a good Warlock player. I know this, but I really love having demonic minions. Muahahaha!

Errm... yeah.

So my random six may be expanding to seven, before I've even gotten all of their stories up here. In fact, there are 2 that I haven't even gotten to level 10 yet. Do they make a d7? I don't think so. /sigh

Pardon me while I run off and create Warlock after Warlock deleting them until I find the perfect imp name.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 2)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge - this is Day 2.

Day 2: Why you decided to start a blog

I have always had a desire to write. As long as I can remember I have loved reading and writing. As a teenager, full of angst and emotion, I wrote what in retrospect is really bad poetry. I wrote every day, whether it be in my journal or working on poems. At some point I just stopped. Maybe I realized just how horrible my poetry was. Maybe I was no longer feeling so angsty or emotional. Maybe I had dulled my senses with marijuana. Whatever the case may be, I had stopped writing altogether.

Years later I discovered LiveJournal. Many of my good friends used it as a place to write and to share little bits of themselves with the world. So, I made a LiveJournal too. I rarely posted on it. I mostly used it as a way to keep track of my friends. When they all made the exodus to Facebook I removed my LiveJournal and followed them there.

Facebook, however, was nothing like a writing site, nothing at all like LiveJournal. It didn't take long before I was inundated by friend requests, bumping into people I didn't want to, and in general getting overwhelmed. I deleted my Facebook account. I don't regret that choice. I am shy and introverted to an extreme. Facebook was far too social for my liking.

Around this time, I started poking around different WoW sites, and I discovered the blog written by Aurdon and Rhii, I Sheep Things (Rhii has since moved on to her own blog Oh My, Kurenai). It was love at first click, and through their blogroll I discovered a whole world of WoW blogs. This was a whole community of people who were doing the same things I was doing and writing about it. I couldn't resist creating my own little space.

It was on March 23rd, 2010 that I began blogging at Love and War in Azeroth. I saw it as a way to practice my writing, a way to vent about WoW stuff, and a potential way to be part of a community.

While the blog has changed and my game playstyle has changed, the reason for the blog has not. I am happy with my little space on the web, even if especially because I have limited readership and am unlikely to be linked at WoW Insider. I'm not sure I'd be well equipped to handle the staggering amount of readers and comments that places like The Pink Pigtail Inn get, nor do I think my writing skill warrants such attention.

At the end of the day, the reason for the blog is just because I love reading and writing (about WoW).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Embrace of the Viper

This low level gear set is aptly named, because it creates drama.

I know what you're thinking, this is level 21 gear, low level loot is serious business, right?

Apparently it is.

Herein lies the problem... the stats on the Embrace of the Viper are itemized for melee or hunters boasting agility and stamina, while the set bonuses increase intellect.

And so inevitably any time I run Wailing Caverns I end up in a group with a druid healer and hunter who end up crying "Ninja!" at each other until someone gives up or gets kicked.

As if I didn't hate Wailing Caverns enough as it....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Introducing Shysse

Shysse is an energetic and very young Night Elf eager to learn the ways of the Sentinels, anxious to become one of the proud warrior women of her people. While her energy and dedication are promising attributes, she has a tendency towards wanderlust and an insatiable curiosity. This is what led her astray. This is how she met the Satyr Zenn Foulhoof.

He promised her happiness. He promised her she would have all that she desired and even things she had never dreamed she could have. He was strange and exotic, but oddly desirable, his hair an unusual red and so silky, his hooves a gleaming gold. She longed to simply touch him. She decided that she must gain his friendship, his love.

And so she snuck away from Dolanaar in the quiet of mid-day to bring him the things he desired from her. She indiscriminately slaughtered the wildlife of the area in search of flawless owl feathers, the perfect nightsaber fangs, that last bit of untangled spider silk.

She returned to him as night was falling, as the town was beginning to awaken. With blood and gore on her hands, she handed him these choice objects. And he laughed. He called her naive and gullible and kicked her away from him as he fled with her gifts.

She landed in the mud, covered in every horrible substance imaginable, the worst of which was her guilt and shame. And she cried. It was in this same spot hours later that her mentor, the Sentinel Kyra Starsong, found her.

It was in a daze that she went with the Sentinel and allowed herself to be cleaned up. She was brought before The Council of the Forest in Darnassus for judgement. She was told that this act of wrongdoing would prevent her from ever achieving her ultimate goal. She was banned from ever becoming a Sentinel.

Her heart broken, her entire world shattered, and no one to blame but herself, Shysse had a decision to make. To stay amongst her people as an outcast or to flee to another part of the world where no one would know her and her wicked deed. Her wanderlust won this battle, just as it always seemed to do, and so she boarded a ship for Stormwind and was on her way.

Stormwind would not be her final destination though. There were plenty of Night Elves that made their way to this Human city. She needed to be even further away, in a place where no one would recognize her.

Very few of her people ever made the trek to Ironforge, not least because the easiest way to get there was by using the Gnomish contraption, the Deeprun Tram, which tunnels deep into the earth to reach the mountain home of the Dwarves. Her natural distrust of Gnomish engineering and the dislike for being underground was just something she would have to overcome.

Once her journey was over and she had arrived in Ironforge safely, her distrust for engineering quickly became a fascination. She became fast friends with some members of the Gnomeregan Covert Ops, and is aiding them in routing the Trolls out of Dun Morogh. In return they are teaching her their stealthy ways as well as a bit about tinkering.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another 20 Days (Day 1)

Saga at Spellbound has come up with her very own 20 Days of WoW Blogging challenge. Just as I couldn't resist the first challenge, I definitely can't resist a second (even though it took me 3 months to complete the first one). Most likely it will take me a lot longer than 20 days to complete this one too, and I'm already behind the curve as it is. Here goes anyway.

Day 1: Introduce yourself

~waves~ Hi, I'm Ama. I play WoW and I write about it.

In Game
I like RP but I can't find people to RP with. So instead I give my characters a life of their own (even if I don't act it out much in game) and share it here. I've been playing WoW since just before BC was released. My main throughout BC and Wrath was a Holy/Disc Priest. While I wouldn't call myself a hardcore raider, I do have raid experience, and for the most part I'm not a fail-noob. I recently deleted most of my high level toons and am starting over fresh with a new batch of alts.

In Real Life
I'm in my 30s. I'm fairly recently divorced. I live with my parents in Madison, Wisconsin. I work for a cable company. I LOOOOOOOVE reading, especially the fantasy genre. I have an orange tabby cat named Sammy. He likes to hear himself talk... errmm meow.

~hides behind something/anything~ I'm ridiculously shy (at least until you get to know me). I prefer to share myself with the world through text rather than face to face or verbally. I've always wanted to be a creative writer. I think my shyness has caused me to be very concise with what I say, almost to a fault. WTB talent to play with words and shape them into works of art.

Look Ma, I'm writing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Introducing Liliva

Liliva was a young woman training in the arts of the harvest under Sister Celestine. Hours spent playing and helping her mother in her garden as a child, she was well-versed in herbs to begin with, and so the craft came easily to her.

Then the Worgen came.

Little did we know that the beasts were really our own, that this infection was spreading amongst us. How do you fight a disease such as this... a curse so easily spread?

Bitten by a friend who transformed into a Worgen before her very eyes, it was only through the quick shooting of Lorna Crowley that Liliva survived.

It is with mixed emotions that Liliva continues her life. Between the devastation of this curse, the invasion of the Forsaken, and The Shattering of her home, she has hit rock bottom.

When the curse first took her she slaughtered her fellows mercilessly, caught up in the savagery of the beast. She was caught and caged by her people. It was only through the medicine that Krennan Aranas was able to create that she was just barely able to retain her humanity.

Should she have survived all this?

Yet she has, and she continues to live, despite the death of Prince Liam, despite being driven from her home, despite the feeling that she is a monster even though she is now able to control it.

The Night Elves have taught her and her people much, and have welcomed us into their home. We accept graciously, and yet, we do not yet have a true place in this Alliance. We do not yet even truly know who we are.

Liliva has spent days since her peoples' escape to Darnassus just thinking about all that has happened, and about what her place is to be in the future of this world. Within the peace and tranquility of the Night Elf world she has come to the only possible conclusion for herself. She shall live in peace with everything around her. She shall avoid violence at all costs. When she is confronted with danger she will retreat. If retreat is not possible, then and only then will she harm another being physically.

She will continue to learn the ways of the Harvest, and as an extension, has taken to learning the Druidic ways of the Night Elves. As such, she must contribute to the community she is now a part of, and will do so by gathering valuable herbs and mining precious ore.

In case it wasn't clear, I am leveling my druid through gathering professions only. Wish me luck in this non-violent journey.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 20 Days of World of Warcraft: Day Twenty

Where would you be now if World of Warcraft never existed?

This has to be one of the most difficult questions to answer. Like Beru at Falling Leaves and Wings, WoW empowered me to leave a relationship that had been rancid for some time. The friends I made and the challenges I overcame while raiding made me feel strong enough to remember that I am a human being and I deserve to be happy. It took a long time and a lot of chit-chat with friends in game for me to really get to that point. Now, I am happily divorced, working in a career that I love, and I am writing again (even if just in this medium). These are all things that I am sure I never would have done if not for WoW. I don't want to think about where I might be right now if that hadn't happened. I'd like to think that I would have recovered my self-confidence in some other way, but I just don't know that to be true.