Goodbye


I think it's fair to say that this blog is no more. While I really enjoyed it at times, it always ended up feeling more like a chore.

I want to thank everyone who has been reading this for supporting my little experiment. In the near future I will be starting a more broadly focused tech/personal blog, which I will share the link here as soon as it's live. Until then, take care.

Also, I'm still on twitter: http://twitter.com/allirense

Cheers!
Fri

Introducing Lasoka!


I did it. I rolled another alt. I've wanted to play a Tauren Shaman since I saw the intro on my friend's computer. I quickly dismissed the notion because my friend told me to roll Alliance. But as you can see I've finally decided to go back and try it out.

I'm still building on her character. Lasoka is smart and spunky and she's going to be an Engineer. I'll be occasionally updating the blog with her progress. Right now she's at level 10 finishing up the last few quests in Mulgore.

I get lonely Hordeside, so if you're on Moon Guard don't be shy and say "Hello!"

Thoughts on the Blizzard Dev Q&A (with Gnomes!)


Unless you've been stuck without internet and the first WoW blog you
decided to read was mine, you already know about the WoW Developer
Q&A over on Twitter. Here are my thoughts about a few of the
responses.
Q: Will Path of the Titans be as time consuming as
obtaining Sons of Hodir reputation?


A: Sons of Hodir was easy, we're thinking more along the lines of
Argent Dawn rep actually. JK! As a matter of fact, we don't want the
paths of the titans to feel grindy at all so we're trying to make sure
that each step along the way feels more like a great quest, or a key
achievement (like killing all the bosses in a new raid zone). So, it
should be more oriented around accomplishing something that feels
important rather than grinding.

This is something I'm really looking forward to about Cataclysm that
for some reason I keep forgetting about. I think--or I'm hoping--that
it will elicit character development. I forsee the possibility of
interesting RP fodder resulting from this, and not just because Modan Co is filled with archeologists.

Q: Will Alliance ever get an ingame band like the Hordes
L80ETC?


A: Sure, if somebody knows of an awesome Alliance band...

Something with Gnomes:

  • The Mekkatorquettes

  • Sprynklez and the Sprocket Launchers

  • The All-Star Tinker Fun Band

  • The Boltbreakers*

  • Whizze* and the Leper Gnomes

  • 4 Non Pink Pigtails

  • Geared Pink (via @psynister)

  • GNOMES N' ROSES (via @Xanedris)


Q: With Cataclysm revisiting the old world, any plan to make
the old reputations worthwhile again?


A: With each expansion, we introduce new reputations with new rewards.
Sometimes we introduce reputations that are obviously related, such as
Argent Dawn/Argent Crusade and Cenarion Circle/Cenarion Expedition. We
don't update the rewards for existing reps, as we don't want to put
new characters at such a significant disadvantage.

Suggestion: If the old reputations are still going to exist post
Cataclysm, make them more valuable without causing a disadvantage by
having more vanity items (such as pets and mounts or RP gear)
available with revered or exalted status.

Q: Will there be anymore epic storylines with cinematics like
the wrathgate questline?


A: We have big plans for additional in game cinematics! We are happy
with how the Wrathgate questline worked out, and want to do more lines
like this.

Yay!

Q: Can locks have a summonable flying mount now please?

A: Now? As in right this second? No.

At least this hasn't been ruled out entirely, but I also want to know:
When are we getting our green fire!

While the Q&A may not have provided a ton of information, I was
happy to see a few questions answered, such as the current Goblin
establisments not turning Hordeside. It also made me even more excited
about Cataclysm. Forget Arthas! I want to make my Goblin already!

*Awesome Modan Co member!

Clever Clicks: New Title, Still Tasty


I've changed "Friday Linkday" to "Clever Clicks" for two reasons: 1) The title is way more awesome, and 2) this way I can post on any day of the week and not just Friday.

1. The discussion of the difficulty of raiding on Wrath continues by this post by guest blogger Thespius over at World of Matticus. I'd written a long comment that was deleted when Safari crashed.

While I agree with what has been said in the article, it is still difficult to find groups when you have recently hit 80 and everyone is running Uludar and TOtC--no one runs Naxx anymore, particularly not with a barely geared noob like myself. At least in BC there were plenty of people running Kara over and over to obtain gear. They keying process also gave people the perfect opportunity to obtain the gear necessary to run Kara. Now it's a lot more difficult to know what you're supposed to do next. It's a chaotic free-for-all of PUGs in TOC and Heroics.

2. Anna gives an excellent description of what RP actually is for those of you who might not know, or think we sit around saying "forsooth" all the time.

3. Immersiveness has been a popular topic lately, and it's tackled in this excellent post by Elnia. The particular focus is on how the story in WoW is broken up--by other quests, stopping and restarting of the game, etc. I remember this bothered me while leveling. I'd be on a fascinating quest chain, and then I'd be stopped by a bunch of lazy villagers asking for animal parts and the ears off enemies.

No Post-Weekend Update this week since my mother is in town and I've spent my entire weekend touring my city as opposed to touring Azeroth.

WoW is Too Hard - A Casual's Perspective


There has been quite a bit of talk since Wrath's launch regarding the content. Blizzard's goal was to make it more accessible to casual players, and in the end many hardcore players feel they are getting through the content too quickly and that it isn't as much of a fun challenge as in Burning Crusade.

Recently the topic was brought up again in a post in World of Matticus by a guest blogger Mimetir. Memetir's main point was that the ease of content meant that players could easily jump in once reaching 80 and not really know what they're doing. Larissa (sorry, hon, I don't do accents) told people to stop whining. She doesn't think it's too easy. It was Elleiras's response that elicited this post.

Blizzard's intention with Wrath was to make the raid game accessible to even the most casual of players...We knew that Naxxramas would be easy.

I'm not arguing what Elleiras is saying in the post. In fact, a hard mode and an easy mode of the same dungeon sounds, well, the same. The problem I have is that I may never get to experience it.

I am a casual player. I have to do this 50 hours a week:

Then I need 8 hours of sleep a night or I'm cranky and exhausted when trying to do the above. I also have social engagements, and other activities I'm involved in. I also like to do other things in game like events, RP, and alts. I'm busy.

I'd love to start doing Naxx, but anyone else who might be interested is already sick of it. The people complaining about how easy everything is mention how no one raids there anymore. If I can't do Naxx, I'll never be able to move on to Uludar and TotC, and even if I was able to gear up enough for one of those with Heroics, who would want me? I'm too green. I haven't raided enough.

WoW is too hard because no matter how accessible the content, if you get behind, you're stuck.

Post-Weekend Update: It was a Dark and Stormy Night



QOTW: "Do you think 44 G.N.E.R.Ds are enough to get 50 honorable kills?"

It rained non-stop this weekend, perfect for staying in and playing WoW. I spent Saturday RPing on Eadwacer (Modan Co's newest Geologist) and Sunday doing Hallow's End on Frijona. Here's my current dilemma: I really want the achievement and the title. Can you think of a more Warlocky title than "the Hallowed"? My mom and aunt are coming to town Thursday-Monday. There goes a few days of prime Headless Horseman grinding time. Luckily I managed to nab the Sinister Squashling pet already from putting out fires.

Frijona's Headless Horseman Wishlist


Here's my plan of action: Kill the Headless Horseman every day I am able. I finished Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdoms today, so I'll try and get Kalmidor tomorrow and Outlands on Wednesday. I love how you also get gold from those things! After Kalmidor today if I have enough G.N.E.R.Ds I'll try for the PvP achievement. Meanwhile, I'll park myself in an inn so I can try to get as many wands as I can. At the moment I only have ghost. I'm hoping at the guild meeting tomorrow we'll all zap each other.

In other news, if you visit Azeroth United and click on the Blogger Unity link, you'll see this! It's currently second row, middle column:

It's me! If you ever feel like putting up a giant link to my blog, feel free to use it. Azeroth United is something I'm proud to put my name on. I encourage anyone reading to donate to their Hearts Hands and Voices campaign. Just $10 will get your name in some awesome drawings.


Leveling Poll Closed. And the Winner is...


Claren!

Claren the Druid won by a landslide. Now that the votes are in, who can tell me why? What's so great about Druids? Did Claren win because she's the only class that can heal that I had in the poll?

Heroic Drama


It's been a long and wonderful three day weekend! Luckily my real live was void of drama, because in game it was overflowing. I previously mentioned how my friend quit his guild due to the guild being lax on the age policy. I encountered something I hadn't in a surprisingly long time: a bad PuG experience.

Modan Co doesn't raid much, but I enjoyed it in BC and I thought I'd attempt to gear up in case it's something I decide to do. The best way to do it I determined was to run heroics. The first heroic I tried running actually was with guildmates: ToC. It was a disaster. I knew I had to improve my gear a bit on my own, so I bought a few pieces. I then had some successful runs of other heroic instances.

Yesterday I tried to run the daily which was Old Kingdom. I got in a group, and I should have known it was going to go poorly as the two Death Knights argued over who was going to tank. Finally one said, "I have the gear and spec, but I'm not good at it, but I'll do it." We decided to give it a try.

We're pulling trash and the tank manages to drop aggro, so the mobs attack the healer and the healer dies and pops his soulstone. No one remembers the soulstone bit because all of a sudden the tank and healer are blaming me because my gear isn't good enough. I try to explain that of course my gear isn't all purples, that's why I'm running heroics. The tank says I'm supposed to run regular instances first. I don't want to get into a fight or whine, so I don't bring to the their attention how impossible it is to find a group for a regular instance. Instead I say that this isn't my first heroic and I've done fine before. The healer retorts, "What, you did one that your Uludar-geared friends pulled you through?" Meanwhile, the Hunter DPS is asking me to kick the healer out of the group (however, the healer is the group leader so I can't do that) and the Death Knight DPS is telling me it's not my fault, everyone has to start their gear somewhere, and it's the tank and healer's fault really. Then before I know it I'm kicked from the group.

I find another group a while later. We do fine and eventually we get to Herald Volazj. After the first Insanity, the other two DPS die. I feel a sinking doom, but I continue to push as fast as I can. We make it to the second Insanity, and manage to kill all the doubles, and finally we get Volazj down.

No achievement, but I'm pretty damn proud of myself. I DPS'ed Herald Volazj in Heroic mode from about 50% to 0 including Insanity by myself. I wished that the healer and tank from the original group had seen it. That would've been so sweet. At least I got the Wand of Ahnkahet.

What's My Age Again


[Player], how old are you?

I ask this question in OOC chat frequently. Now that I'm not in a guild with a strict 21+ age policy, I like knowing how old the people are that I'm playing with. For me, I like knowing. It helps me to know how to relate to the person.

For a friend of mine, this is a huge issue. My friend recently left a guild he was heavily involved in because he found out that they were no longer sticking with their 18+ policy. The thought of playing with children makes him very uncomfortable. I don't share his issues, possibly because my best friend in the world also happens to be my 17-year-old brother. But I can understand how others might find this to be an issue.

The man behind the mask - real life ages in RP settings

RP is where real age can be the trickiest. While I tend to avoid romance-based RP settings I know many others who chose to take part in it. Knowing that the player could be 15 is a good enough reason for me to avoid it. I wont even have one of my characters flirt with another character if I don't know for sure that the player is over 18.

If you're finiding yourself heading into an RP that you would feel uncomfortable if you found out the player was underage, or significantly older, it's essential that you find out the other person's age right away. There are plenty of in-character ways to get out of a sticky situation:

"My gold just came in from the Auction House!"
"I've just gotten a distress call from the Oracles! I'd better go!"
"Wait, you're a Scryer? This will never work. Get away from me!"
"I completely forgot to wash my hair today. I'd better go do that."

Be Honest

If someone asks you how old you are, just be honest. There are some people like my friend who feel uncomfortable playing with underage people. Don't take it personally. At the same time, a child's parents might not want their child playing with 30-year-olds in game. This is understandable! There are hundreds of other people on your server who would love to play with you. Just move on.

For guild leaders

If you have an age policy in your guild, stick with it! My friend was so disappointed to find out his guild wasn't sticking with the policy. If you're going to make exceptions, do it sparingly and for very good reason only. Inviting a 13-year-old because you really need a shaman is not a good reason. Inviting a 17-year-old because his best friend is in the guild might be legitimate.

Sometimes guilds change policy and that's okay, but always make sure to let your guild know beforehand and explain why the policy change is taking place.

For guild recruits

If age policy is really important to you, ask one of the guild leaders or officers how strict they are and what kind of exceptions they make.

Don't lie about your age to get into a guild. Officers can often tell--as someone who used to read tons of guild applications for a 21+ guild, I can tell you this is true. If you do slip through the cracks you might end up getting outed and embarrassed later on. I can understand why a particularly mature 16-year-old might want to join an adult only guild. However, there are guilds out there without age restrictions that value maturity.

Be careful!

On the telephone line, I am any height, I am any age I want to be. -Savage Garden

People lie about their age enough in real life, but online it's even more prolific because people can't actually see your wrinkles or acne to determine that you're a senior citizen or a teenager. As always, be careful what you tell or do with people on WoW because regardless of what they might tell you, there is no knowing for sure who they actually are.

Apologies for the 90s song references in this post.

Enough with the Math: T10 Bonus QQing


Warlock T10 set bonuses are up on the PTR notes!
  • Warlock T10 2P Bonus - The critical strike chance of your Shadowbolt, Incinerate, and Corruption spells is increased by 5%.
  • Warlock T10 4P Bonus - Each time your Immolate and Unstable Affliction spells deal periodic damage, you have a 15% chance to gain 12% spell haste for 10 sec.
I'm slightly disappointed. The critical strike chance is fine.The 4 point bonus is a little bit too much math with a a % chance of a % haste gain. Meanwhile, Ret Pallies get "Your Seals and Judgements deal 10% additional damage." Why not, "Your Immolate and Unstable Affliction spells gain 5% haste for the length of the spell." Even the Mages "Your Hot Streak, Missile Barrage, and Brain Freeze talents also grant you 12% haste for 3 sec when the effect of the talent is consumed." Three seconds is quite a bit shorter than 10 seconds, but I'd rather have something that always happens than some that might happen twice during a boss fight.

Not that I'll likely have much chance of getting the T10 gear. But I want my fellow Warlocks that are more hardcore to have a chance at something really good. All we can really hope for is that unlike the hideousness that was T9, our T10 will look beautifully evil and dead sexy.

Post-Weekend Update: Big Naga Down!


The Death of Lady Vashj

Frijona, along with the Modan Co and some friends, were finally able to kill the great naga leader, Lady Vashj in Serpentshrine Cavern. Hopefully this will return balance to the Zangarmarsh ecology and the Sporelings will be able to live out the rest of their lives in peace.

Too Many Heinsoos

Our guild leader, Heinsoo, had to leave quickly following the raid. We missed him so much that a few of us created a mob of Heinsoo clones. (Mine is Heiny, second from the left.) We then proceeded to run around Ironforge and Stormwind as stereotypes of our fearless leader. In other words, yelling "Son of a..." and "I'm docking your pay" a lot with many /facepalm emotes.

This sort of craziness is why I love that guild so much!

Frijona and the Sporelings - Part 2


[Here's part 2 of the story! Serpentshrine Cavern is tonight and I'm completely stoked!]

"Fri. Frijona. Someone is here to see you!"
Frijona awoke to a blue hand shaking her and the voice of Fahssn the Sporeling. "Huh? Wha?" she said, yawning.
"A lady from the Cenarion Expedition is here to see you. She says she was asked to find you after you did not return to the Expedition. Her name is Leesa'oh. Come and speak to her!" Fahssn pulled Frijona up to her feet and she followed the Sporeling outside. A violet-haired Night Elf paused in her conversation with Mycah and approached.
"You must be Frijona. I'd had word that you'd gone missing. I am Watcher Leesa'oh of the Cenarion Expedition."
"It's nice to hear that the Expedition was concerned about my whereabouts. I was attacked by a large group of Naga. The Sporelings found my and brought me here where I've been healing. Since you're here, I would like to discuss with you what's going on with the Sporelings."
"The Cenarion Expedition has recently become aware of the Sporelings plight ourselves. I might be able to answer some questions you may have. Mycah tells me that you've been told that Sporeling young are being eaten by fungal giants. I've been doing some research into their diet. Previously they ate mushrooms that grow East of here, but that area has been taken over by hostile Ogres. We're not sure exactly what the Ogres are doing here but we suspect that they are slaves to the Naga."
"The Naga have attempted to use Sporelings as slaves as well," Frijona explained. "However the Sporelings cannot do the work and are killed."
Leesa'oh frowned. "That's horrible news. Unfortunately I don't have much information regarding the Naga's presence in Zangarmarsh, but I know the Expedition is looking into it. As for the fungal giants I've been working on a plan. I've managed to recruit the assistance of a particularly intelligent fungal giant named Fhwoor who had kept himself from eating young Sporelings. I've already discussed this with Mycah. He's been able to provide me with information, and we've managed to steal back quite a bit of the fungal giant's original food source, and we believe it will grow to the West of here. I'll have him explain. Fhwoor!"
There was the thudding of footsteps, and a fungal giant appeared. Frijona prepared to fight incase the giant decided the Sporelings looked particularly delicious.
"Fhwoor help Sporelings! Not eat them." Fhwoor said. The Sporelings appeared nervous anyway, and stood with their backs to one another. "Fhwoor say, we no eat this. But Fhwoor people say need food or starve. Leesa'oh and Fhwoor have plan."
"Fhwoor did you bring the crates?" asked Leesa'oh.
"Fhwoor forgot!" Fhwoor lowered his head. "Fhwoor sorry."
Leesa'oh smiled. "It's alright, why don't you go get them?"

Leesa'oh took the Sporelings to the West to transplant the fungal giant's mushroom supply, while Frijona, Fhwoor, and a Sporeling named Synis guarded Sporeggar. Frijona knew that it would take them a while to transplant all of those crates of mushrooms, so she didn't feel concerned. Fhwoor however, began pacing.
Suddenly there was a splash sound. "What was that?" said Synis. The three of them turned to look in the direction of the sound. It was a Naga.
"What'sss thisss? You're sssuposed to be dead!" the Naga said. Frijona recognized the naga instantly as the one who had nearly killed her. Sure enough, soon the rest of her posse appeared in the water behind her.
"We have come for the Sssporelings! Usually they're not worth keeping alive, but we have a ssspecial job for them. Now where are they?"
"You're too late," said Frijona. Fhwoor had moved in front of Synis so he couldn't be seen. "The uh, see here this Fwho--fungal giant? He's uh--eaten them all! He and the other fungal giants. They're all dead, see. Eaten. Yup."
"You are the worssst liar I have ever heard," said the Naga. "I happen to know there is a Sssporling hiding behind the fungal giant. Get it!"
This time, as the Naga began moving forward Frijona was prepared. She cast a spell causing the Naga to quickly run in the oposite direction, visions of the Tanaris desert in their heads.
"That wont last long," said Frijona. "I am going to call a demon, but when they return you must help fight!" Speaking in Demonic, Frijona called forth a large blue demon--a Voidwalker named Konkath.
"My will is your command," said the Voidwalker.
"KK, I want you to insult those Naga when they return."
"As you wish," said Konkath.
The Naga returned. "Nicsse little trick there, Warlock, but it wont work on usss again!"
"Naga are so ugly," said Konkath dryly.
"How dare you insssult usss!" said the Naga. "Kill the big blue demon firssst!" The Naga rushed to attack Konkath. Frijona wasn't sure how much help her companions would be. Sporelings did not have the bodies for fighting and she was not sure if they could do magic.
"FHWOOR SMASH!" yelled Fhwoor, and ran forward, clobbering a Naga on the head. The Naga fell over. Frijona couldn't tell for sure through the spells she was casting, but it appeared to her that Fhwoor was smiling. Frijona smiled back.

Soon all the Naga were dead except the leader. "I think we should keep this one alive," said Frijona. "She might be able to tell us what these Naga are doing here. Just cover her mouth, Fhwoor, so she can't cast any spells. I'll get some bandages to tie her up." Frijona pulled some heavy netherweave bandages from one of her bags, and tied one around the Naga's mouth and another around the Naga's arms to hold them behind her back. "Put her in one of the caves, will you Fhwoor? We'll decide what to do with her when the others return. Meanwhile, KK why don't you start moving the Naga bodies out of here. They'll start to smell soon. Smell worse, anyway. Synis and I can guard the prisoner until the others return."

Friday Linkday: October 2, 2009


For some reason I find Friday Linkday posts really difficult to write. It's not that I don't read at least 4 good posts during the week. It's that sometimes I get ready to write the post and the top thing on my mind is how I got a perfect score on the Helvetica vs. Arial quiz and I really want to brag about that.

That aside, here goes:

1. Love, love, loved Nibuca's post on Affliction spell rotation aptly titled So You Think You Can Dance. And people call being a warlock easy. She didn't even mention pets and trying to decide between Life Tap and Dark Pact.

2. Casual WoW Player is posting again! Since I will never roll a pally I don't care much about the most recent post, but more good things will come methinks.

3. So, You Wanna Raid? Now you can experience all the joys of raiding during server maintenance!

4. GameStop is Pre-selling Cataclysm. It says it's being shipped November 1, 2010. Note that it's over a year away. Even if it does come out by then.

Cataclysm is over a year away? That makes me sad all of a sudden. I want my Goblin!

Welcome to Moon Guard - The Trailer


I play mostly on Moon Guard, considered the last bastion of actual RP on RP servers. Interesting stuff goes on here, to put things lightly. A guild mate of mine, Leozon, decided to create a machinima series based on all the crazy shenanigans that goes on around here. I'm eventually going to be doing some voicing, but Leo finished the trailer, and it's pretty awesome. Or perhaps I'm biased, but I think you'll agree, particularly given that it's his first work. But you don't have to take my word for it:



Be sure and check at 2:06. That's Fri in the Kirin Tor tabard!

Frijona and the Sporelings - Part 1


[This is the first part of an in-character account of Frijona's time spent in Sporeggar. Modan Co is doing an IC run of Serpentshrine Cavern this coming weekend. This should explain some of Fri's particular hatred for naga, and why I'm so excited about having her kill Lady Vashj!]

Frijona Spindrella arrived in Zangarmarsh with the intent of assisting the Cenarion Expedition, but the young Warlock found herself easily distracted. Since arriving in the Outlands, she'd been spending all of her time in the hot, harsh climate of Hellfire Penninsula. The swamps of Zangarmarsh were a welcome relief. The large tops of the giant mushrooms that populated the zone offered shade from the sun. Frijona was most impressed by the herbs in the area. With her herb sack ready, she began filling it with the anticipation of examining the herbs later on. Of most interest to her was the long white stalks of a herb which according to her book was called rageveil.

Frijona was working with a rather tricky stalk of rageveil, when suddenly she heard a hissing sound and behind her. She looked up. About seven green and blue serpent-like creatures were standing above her. They seemed to be laughing.
"Naga..." Frijona said, standing up and preparing to fight. This was not her first run-in with naga. There was the group in Feralas guarding the ruins, and the mob that tried to attack the ship she was on when she'd taken a job as a deckhand. Never friendly and always extremely annoying. Frijona was about to call on a demon to send the naga backwards when she realized that in all the excitement over herbs she'd forgotten to call on one.
"Thisss one is barely ssskin and bones," hissed a naga, apparently female. "Hardly enough for a sssnack!"
The naga laughed. Frijona thought they were going to perhaps let her be.
"Ssstill, we can't let her live." The naga laughed again and before she could cast an appropriate spell, began to close in on her. The last thing she saw was a particularly burly naga raise a pole-arm above her head.

The warlock awoke in what appeared to be a small, although oddly brightly lit, cave. "Naga..." she said, remembering. They must've taken her prisoner.
"You're awake!" said a strange, high pitched, gurgly sort of voice. Frijona looked to her left where it was coming from and her eyes widened in shock. The creature was very odd looking. It was short and purple with almost glowing yellow spots on its body, particularly on its very large forehead.
"You think I look strange, but to me you look strange. Even for a Human you look odd. But that is no matter. You are doing much better. Wait, no you cannot get up! You must rest. And eat!" The creature thrust out a round light green object that appeared to be a fruit in front of the woman's face.
"Erm, uh. I don't, I mean, no thanks?" Frijona tried to push back from the food, but her head throbbed with a sharp pain.
"Up to you. It's a sporepod. I will leave it here" the creature said. He set the fruit down next to her. Frijona tried to remember the last time she had something to eat. She couldn't, which was her signal that she needed to eat again. She picked up the fruit. She smelled it. No specific scent. Slowly she raised it to her lips and took a very tiny bite. It was soft like a fungus but did not taste like a mushroom. It was also near liquid on the inside. It was almost tasteless, like water, and as Frijona chewed and swallowed she noticed that she had not wanted to spit it out the moment she put it in her mouth. She realized that her body did not want to expell it the moment it entered her esophagus. She did not have to fight any spasms of her stomach.
She wasn't sure how she could tell, but the creature seemed to be smiling. Frijona smiled back. "Yum," she said.

Frijona had tried to get up again after finishing the sporepods, but the creature stopped her again. "You must rest more," he said. "The naga knocked you out hard."
"I am not sleepy," Frijona said. "Why don't you tell me about yourself?"
"Yes. I am Fahssn, a Sporeling and you are in Sporeggar."
"Tell me more about Sporeggar. What do you Sporelings do?"
"Sporeggar is our home in Zangarmarsh. We Sporelings are simple people. We fish and do crafts and try to take care of our families. We do not have wars like you humans. We have not done so. But now we must fight. Things are changing and it is not good for Sporeggar."
"Why not? What is changing?" Frijona asked.
"I will find Mycah who can tell you more. Mycah asked to meet you when you awoke. You awoke so I will find Mycah."

Fahssn left and returned with another nearly identical Sporeling. "This is Mycah. This is: What is your name?"
"I am Frijona Spindrella. But you can call me Fri," Frijona said.
"Hello Fri," said Mycah. "I am glad you are awake. We were not sure you would live. Fahssn said that you had interest in Sporeling trouble. Why is that?"
Frijona smiled. "You helped me, so I would like to help you if possible."
"Humans are too busy with their other problems to help the Sporelings. But I will tell you what is going on. We have two problems. First is the fungal giants. There used to be few, but now there are many who try and eat our children. We try to fight but they are much bigger and stronger. We must go in very large groups to bring one down. But worse than the giants are the naga. They have not always been here. They are killing us because we make bad slaves."
Frijona's bony hands formed fists. "WHAT? They KILL you because you make bad SLAVES? That is the stupidest, most horrible thing I have ever heard!" Frijona winced and put her hands on her head.
"It is a bad time for Sporelings but you must be calm and rest," said Mycah. "Lie down now and sleep and we will talk more in the morning."

Midweek Update?


Some General Announcements:

1. I cannot get the Mithril Pocketwatch even though I have killed Coren Direbrew 15 times already. A mount would be nice, too, but I can live without that. I'll die without the pocketwatch.

2. Because the twitter include suddenly started looking horrible, I have removed it for the time being until I either find out it's fixed or I can fiddle with it and make it look nice on my own. Meanwhile, follow me on twitter here.

3. Very exciting RP-related stuff happening in my guild. I'm super-stoked because it relates back to the Sporeggar storyline I did a while back and it includes many naga casualties. I'm thinking about writing the Sporeggar storyline into an actual narrative story at some point in the near future. It would be nice if I could get it done before we actually head up to Zangarmarsh on Saturday.

4. Speaking of Modan Co, we're still recruiting experienced archeologists. Apply on the forums.

5. I'm also getting started on a new project that I hope will be server-wide in magnitude. (I'm talking about Moon Guard, of course.) More information to come!

Friday Linkday: September 18, 2009


I'm over in the chat channel for the Twisted Nether Blogcast this evening. We'll see how long I last before I crash. Lots of links this week, perhaps to make up for not doing this feature last week? Perhaps.

1. Awesome post by Abi (who is a dude) on great uses for Demonic Circle in various end-game raids and instances.

2. Pirates Day is coming! I would find it hilarious if someone actually didn't know about this until reading my blog, but lets just say that I'm excited. Brewfest should be fun, too. The brewfest garb is the one outfit in WoW I'd by psyched to be able to get my hands on in real life.

3. Anna who has too many of herself posted about using accents in RP. I love the accents in game. The Troll accent is my favorite. This is a great post for anyone wanting to start using but isn't sure where to begin.

4. Should Guilds Be Democracies was a fascinating read for me. When I was an officer I once got in an argument with another officer regarding a policy that most of the guild members, and myself, didn't agree with. The officer told me pointedly, "This isn't a democracy." And I remembered thinking it should be more democratic. Go read the post.

5. There's been lots of speculation as to what the upcoming guild talent points are going to entail. Matticus has a clever post appropriately titled Guild Talent Point Wishlist. My favorite wish from his list is "let's be pals" because we can all use to make the rep grind a little easier.

6. You should probably wait until after Pirate's day to do this, but here's an easy guide on getting rep with the Bloodsail Buccaneers.

And there you have it, with only 11 minutes to spare!

These Are a Few of my Favorite Zones


A few pieces of information and screenshots of one of the zones planned for Cataclysm, The Abyssal Maw, is up on the official site. They look pretty amazing with bright colors and soft details. I wasn't thrilled by Northrend's zone landscape. It was all painfully similar, compaired to the Outlands where each zone was beautifully unique. I suppose I couldn't expect much given that Northrend is a Northern continent, but look at Kalmidor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Do the weather patterns in the zones there make any sense?Looking at the images for The Abyssal Maw enticed me to take a trip down nostalgia lane. While there are a couple zones I loathe and have threatened to never return to quest in ever again (namely Strangethorn Vale) there are zones that still take my breath away. I present to you my favorite zones from each continent.

Eastern Kingdoms


None of the zones in the Eastern Kingdoms particularly stand out to me. I chose Hillsbrad Foothills as my favorite because it reminds me most of home with tall lush trees and lakes to the farmland in-between.  For these reasons I chose Southshore as Frijona's hometown. Hillsbrad Foothills is also a fairly lore-centric zone, adding to its appeal. Apparently Southshore will be taken over by the Horde in Cataclysm. This is an event that I have not yet determined how Frijona, who has no beef with the Horde, is going to react.

Kalimdor


If Hillsbrad Foothills is similar to where I grew up, Feralas is the zone that most resembles the sort of place my family vacationed to when I was a child: huge, lush trees! gorgeous coastline! highborne relics! Okay, perhaps not the relics. Although my dad was really interested in Native American cave paintings. Feralas is, simply, amazingly beautiful. It's easily my favorite realm in all of Azeroth. 

The Outlands


I don't know who at Blizzard came up with the idea of giant blue mushrooms in a zone, but it was creative genius! There is no zone I love more than Zangarmarsh. It's breathtaking to explore. The quests are fun. The Sporelings are adorable! Some of the mobs can be herbalized! There's lots of naga to kill!

Northrend


Picking a favorite zone in Northrend was difficult. I finally decided to go with Zul'Drak because even though it's not the prettiest zone (that would probably be Crystalsong Forest) it has the most interesting quests. I've always found Troll lore incredibly fascinating and Zul'Drak is an entire zone dedicated to it! Zul'Drak is by no means an ugly zone, either. It's unlike any other zone I've seen. It's full of ruins and has a sinister feeling. Stay away from the voodoo!

What are your favorite zones?

Post-Weekend Update: It's a Poll!


I played quite a bit this weekend but didn't accomplish much because most of the time was spent wrapping up an RP story arc with a Modan Co guildmate. I reached Honored with the Knights of the Ebon Blade and picked up a nice cloak. I'm also halfway to having enough gold for my epic flying mount. Being 80 is nice for getting more gold! My current goal is to get Revered so I can pick up the Flameheart Spell Scalpel.

Now that I'm 80, I'm wondering who I should level next. Choices:

1. Cordelaine, level 58 Night Elf Death Knight - Moon Guard.
She has purple hair and is bad ass. I have not yet decided much about her backstory. Probably your general "hero of the Alliance dies and is raised as a Death Knight by the Lich King and is then freed from his grasp at the Battle at Light's Hope and regains her free will" or something like that. She definitely wouldn't be pure good or evil. More an "ends justify the means" type. Like Frijona, but a little less "protector of the small." There's an excellent Death Knight RP guild on Moon Guard with several Modan Co alts.

2. Eadwacer, level 20 Draenei Hunter - Moon Guard.
I'm pretty sure I wrote about Eadwacer before. She's adorable, with the dark blue skin and white hair buns. Her story was that she had a powerful position with the Draenei before the Exodar crashed. After the crash, she lied low and begun going by an alternate name (Eadwacer) learning the crossbow and the languages of the new land. It's very loosly based off the Anglo-Saxon poem Wulf and Eadwacer. Logged into her recently to pick up her level 20 mount.

3. Lorei, level 17 Blood Elf Rogue - Scarlet Crusade.
I'll be leveling her occasionally for sure, since I created her in order to get a look at the Horde side of things before Cataclysm launches. Haven't thought of what she's like IC all that much. She's on Scarlet Crusade so I can play with a friend of mine who is leveling a Death Knight over there. 

4. Claren, level 17 Night Elf Druid - Moon Guard.
The only way I'll level her would be to turn her into a Troll once Cataclysm hits. I don't know what it is with Druids. They sound so awesome, but I just can't get into it. However, I'd love to have a Troll one, and going through levels 1-15ish as a Druid again just doesn't sound appealing.

5. Something Else?
Or, I could roll something new. But probably not. The only new characters floating in my head involve Goblins and Worgen. (Thinking Goblin Hunter and Worgen Mage.)

Since I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do, I've decided to make it a poll! It's on the left. You will vote, wont you?

Note that I didn't list Sprynklez. I've decided that in Cataclysm Srpynk is going to become a Priest. She's going to give up her stabby ways and devote her life to "The Great Lightbulb in the Sky, Master of Knowledge, Creativity, and All Things Soft and Fluffy."

The World's Slowest Leveler Hits 80!


That's right! Frijona, played by the slowest leveler of all time (that would be me) finally hit 80 yesterday! I was in Culling of Stratholme at the time helping Arthas by spamming Seed of Corruption at nameless undead so I completely failed at getting a screenshot of the moment.

What's next? Probably gearing for Naxx, maybe some heroics, and leveling my Horde alt. I want to see the Horde content pre-Cataclysm. There's some great stuff out there, and I'll feel like I'm missing out if I don't give myself the chance to experience it. Maybe I'll even get some screenshots completed for the Wallpaper Project. (There are some really beautiful scenes there already!)

Faction Changes: None for me, Thanks


Paid faction changes are now available, much sooner than I expected! While for some this is a huge change that is long overdue, I for one will not be changing the faction of any of my characters. Here are a few reasons why not:

1. The only character who, in my opinion, is at a high enough level to change is Frijona. Even when I played on a Normal server and didn't really understand what RP was, Frijona had a personality and the inklings of a backstory. Her history is distinctly Human. The only way I could allow myself to change factions and thus races would be to change her name and theoretically (and perhaps ICly) "kill" Frijona. And I just can't do that, I'm too attached!

2. I really enjoy my guild, Modan Co. I seemed to have joined at an ideal time since after joining the guild went through a large growth spurt. (Due to a recruitment thread on the realm forums, being mentioned on WoW.com, and word-of-mouth.) Now I have the opportunity to be part of bringing the guild into exciting new directions as Cataclysm approaches.

3. If I were to change factions it would be to play on another server with a friend of mine. (I believe I've mentioned him by several of his character names in the blog, so I think I'll call him Z from now on to be consistent.) I rolled a Blood Elf Rogue on the server, partly to talk to my friend and partly because I want to see Horde content before Cataclysm comes. Changing Fri into a Horde character would defeat the second purpose.

4. Similar to number two--I have many friends on Moon Guard, Alliance side, that I would be sad to leave.

5. I like the Alliance-side mounts so much more. Once I get to 80 and get epic flight I want to start working on getting the mount achievements. Even though Fri has a pretty Dreadsteed to ride, I'd rather her collection of mounts include fuzzy rams and swift horses instead of scaly raptors and skeletal horses. What I really hate are the raptor mounts. Even with all the ridiculous things in the game, nothing breaks my suspension of disbelief more than the existence of raptors in Azeroth.

And thus, even though I am not primarily playing the faction preferred by Blizzard, I shall remain for the Alliance.

Post Weekend Update: Mew!


Frijona didn't get much playtime this weekend, but I did get to show off my new adorable white kitten, a gift from Modan Co guild member Kreus. Thanks again!

Friday Linkday: August 28, 2009


Exciting stuff in the WoW Blogosphere this week what with all the talk about Cataclysm. It's always hard, with all the awesome posts I read throughout the week to pick posts that I really want to include in this feature. Sometimes I wonder if I should pick posts on a theme, but that rarely works out. I may try that in the future as I'm continually adding more and more WoW blogs to my Google Reader.

[Side Note: Why isn't there a clever word for "WoW blog"? Something like blawg for "law blog". How about blwowg? Or we could shorten it to blowg.
Instead, we should just leave it as it is, since both of those options look completely awful.]

1. The Pink Pigtail Inn discusses one interesting upcoming change--being able to join PUGs with people from other realms. Personally, I'm looking forward to this. There will be a much larger pool of players for running random instances than before. The main downside I foresee is having to group with players from Normal realms more likely to use the annoying chat/l33tspeak phrases I abhor than on RP realms.

2. Cataclysm's Edge is the blog to read for news and information on Cataclysm. There's a great post regarding all the stat changes that are coming up in the expansion, and brief explanations of what that might mean for players.

3. Speaking of major changes in Cataclysm, Abi was on the dot (no pun intended) with one of his soul shard predictions!

4. When I was a new player I may have done many noobish things. But that sense of awe we all felt when we first started logged into the game, listened to the introduction for our race, and raced to that first quest giver is something we can't get back. Faulsey's beautiful post recaptured those feelings, complete with screenshots.

BONUS: Will Stranglethorn Vale be in the New Azeroth?

Cataclysm: Your Warlock and You - The New Races


In my guild, it's no secret: I'm pumped about Cataclysm. We're all excited, talking about what we're going to name our Goblins and how completely amazing the Worgen starting zone looks. We're speculating about what Archeology is going to do to the game and it's never long before I can't hold it in anymore and start spamming "Heroic Deadmines! Heroic DEADMINES!" in /o. A couple guildies can't wait to roll Dwarf Shaman and the Gnome Priests will be completely adorable. All classes will be changing in one way or another but one class that's going to experience a major makeover is my most beloved class, Warlocks.

While none of the current races are going to have the ability to become Warlocks, both the new classes, Goblins and Worgen, will be able to train in the dark arts. Let's take a look at their abilities and see how they will benefit, or hinder, Warlocks.

Worgen

Worgen, being Azeroth's equivalent to warewolves already have a bit of evil within them so it makes sense that Worgen can become Warlocks. I expect to see a lot of wolves running around with Felhounds, simply because that will look cool. I think people wanting to roll Worgen and haven't played a Warlock yet will be likely to give it a try. The original, pre-Arugal's curse Worgen were said to be powerful mages practicing dark magic. That sounds pretty Warlock-like to me. It makes sense that those infected later would still have the desire and skills to master the fel magic.

Two Forms - instant, 1.5 sec cooldown, Turn into your currently inactive form.

As Warlocks we already know what it's like to have evil lurking within ourselves. But mainly, this is just plain cool, particularly when you think about running around as a wolf with a demon at your side.

Darkflight - instant, 3 min cooldown, activates your true form increasing movement speed by 70% for 10 sec.

Warlocks can always use a new way to get away from things. Since I also occasionally play a rogue, I've often thought it would be great if I could sprint on my Warlock to get away from nasty mobs while my minion sacrifices itself for me. This makes the Warlock's already incredible survivability even better!

Viciousness - passive, increases all damage done by 1%.

People complain about the Goblin racials being OP, but seriously? THIS is OP, and of course, awesome. Warlocks are DPS, and this means more DPS plain and simple.

Flayer - passive, skinning skill increased by 15 and allows you to skin faster.

YES! Just what every Warlock always wanted! For all the leather items we wear!

Aberration - Reduced duration against curses and Diseases.

This will be an additional challange for Warlocks playing against Worgen in PvP, since curses are essential to our class.

Goblins

It was obvious to me that Goblins would be able to be Warlocks, primarily due to our friend Gorzeeki Wildeyes of the Dreadsteed quest chain. Also, why not? There's no lore stating that Goblins can't use magic (which, if true, would be extremely limiting on class choices). Since they can use magic, there's nothing stopping them from becoming Warlocks. They aren't a particularly religious race and are the sort of folk who would do whatever necessary to get what they need gold. Plus, the Goblin voice sounds quite similar to the imp's.

Best Deals Anywhere - always receive the best possible gold discount, regardless of faction.

Less gold for stuff? I'm officially jealous of every Goblin in the game. Every single one of them. Maybe I wouldn't still be scrimping for my epic flying mount if I had this racial.

Better Living Through Chemistry - Alchemy skill increased by 15.

More jealousy! Alchemy is an excellent profession for Warlocks, something I know to be true given how much happier I was when I switched to it from tailoring. It's always great to have potions around and it's just so much easier when you can make them yourself.

Pack Hobgoblin - Instant, 30 minute cooldown, Calls in your personal servant, allowing you bank access for 1 min.

Question: Can you actually see the servant? Because that would be really cool. I think Warlocks should be able to do this with our imps! That aside, it's still an amazing talent for any class. No more having to run to the bank before going into a raid! And if you're an alchemist, you can pick up all the awesome potions you've made with your +15 alchemy skill. Sweet!

Rocket Barrage - 30 yd range, Instant, 2 min cooldown, Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing 30 fire damage.

Awesome! This just sounds really cool, and it's fire damage so it's not like this goes against something Warlocks are doing already. I wonder, though, if you can see the belt on your Goblin at all times.

Rocket Jump - instant, 2 min cooldown, activates your rocket belt to jump forward.

Escape mechanisms always come in handy for Warlocks, and sorry Worgen, this is so much cooler than just plain running. Can you imagine having a Goblin Rogue? You could be jumping and sprinting all all over the place!

Time is Money - cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.

Okay, so perhaps Goblins are a bit OP, with their 1% haste increase! Cast your DoTs faster!

Many classes are now available for previously existing races. No previously existing races that have not been Warlocks in the past are going to be available for Warlocks now. I could see Trolls as Warlocks, or perhaps Draenei. After Cataclysm, Warlock will be a rather exclusive class in the game, after Druids, Paladins, and Shaman. [See the chart.] Why is this? I think Blizzard realizes that not every race has the stomach to allow Warlocks. Mages might be happy that their class is available nearly accross the board, but we Warlocks know the truth, that just about anyone can be a Mage, but it takes someone special to play a Warlock.

Post Weekend Update: Big Tongues over Puppy Men


-I finished the Frenzyheart/Oracle quest chain. My choice of Oracles was pretty obvious. Pets! I don't have enough rep to buy the egg yet. Also, the Frenzyheart folks are pretty much jerks, with the exception of the wasp hunter that follows you around for a while. He seemed alright. He didn't get all excited that I was his slave like the others. I was a little sad to let him go. But...pets!

-Frijona is now one level away from 80! As soon as she hits 80, you wont have to suffer through another "ding" post, at least until the new expansion hits.

-Speaking of Cataclysm, if you haven't watched the trailer yet, go do it now. I'm so excited. I'm completely pumped. I can't wait a year and a half for this! Heroic Deadmines, folks. Heroic Deadmines!

Coming Soon: Something awesome. But it's a secret!

[Image Credit: It's all over the internet. If it's yours, let me know and I'll credit you appropriately.]

Friday Linkday: August 21, 2009


I know everyone's pumped about Blizzcon and Cataclysm today, so I doubt anyone's going to come and read my little blog with all the other excitement going on. By the way, I just have to say how completely thrilled I am with the Cataclysm announcements! Archiologyst profession! Goblins as a playable race! Revamped Azeroth! Heroic Deadmines!

1. Today's first link is Why I Hope the Iceberg Will Hold a Bit Longer from The Pink Pigtail Inn. Larisa explains her desires for Blizzard and World of Warcraft to hold out a bit longer as the top MMO. It's an incredible piece. Personally, from what I've heard about Cataclysm I think Blizzard is going in the right direction. I'm so much more excited about what's going to happen now than I've ever been.

2. Many people gave quite a thought of what might be in the next expansion, but Seri listed a few things that for sure wouldn't show up. It's hilarious! My favorite was "New Dungeon: CoT Gnomeregan" where you would fight against the incoming Troggs.

3. Have you ranked the classes in the game? Rantings of the Afflicted, of course, put warlocks as number one. Check the comments for my rankings in the comments.

Finally, here's link number four, from Postcards from Azeroth:


The Stabbing Warlock and Other Noob Moments


I log into World of Warcraft for the first time. I listen to the introduction about the Humans, and walk my newly minted Warlock to the quest giver before me. My task is to kill a few Kobolds. Having never played an MMO before, I find myself standing in front of one of those candle-hoarding creatures stabbing at it with my dagger. I have a couple spells on my bar, but not only do I not know how to use them, but I don’t even know that they exist. Moments later the Kobold kills me, and I can see the laughter of a couple onlookers.

If I hadn’t paid so much for the game and spent weeks researching what class to play, I may have given up right there. I didn’t figure out my spells until visiting the class trainer and learning new ones. Unfortunately, this was not the beginning of my noob moments.

It was several levels before I dared use the Auction House. I used to just sell everything to a vendor. The crowds of people standing before the auctioneers in Stormwind scared me, about as much as the first time I ever spotted a Horde character.

My biggest noob moment was when I received a quest to visit Ironforge and had no idea that the tram existed. I spent an entire day attempting to walk there, going through the Burning Steppes at level 14. I found no way through, and eventually ended up swimming from Westfall to the Wetlands and running over from there. I didn’t ride the tram until after I’d obtained my first mount.

Realize that this is before I learned how to autorun. Yes, I’d been continually pressing the up button on my keyboard. I didn’t learn about it until my then-boyfriend started playing. Of course he figured it out right away.

What were your biggest noob moments?

Coming Soon: I’m really excited about this week’s links! Check back Friday.

Update of Unspecified Time Period


Since I haven't been playing as much as I'd like to on the weekends, here's a general update of what Frijona's been up to since the last time I updated:

-Frijona received her adorable little Oracle companion from the Northrend Children's Week quests. The little Wolvar is cute, too, but this little guy was being picked on. His name is Ickl0o, Ickle for short. You can see His Adorableness in the screenshot to the left.

-Ding! Fri reached level 78! This is the home stretch! I should be 80 in no time!

-I completed the super-long quest chain in Zul'Drak involving the Loa Har'koa, at least up to the dungeon. It's a fascinating quest chain I suggest everyone do if they get a chance. It's full of lore! And trolls! It starts with Strange Mojo which begins on a mojo that drops while killing Trolls for the quest Mopping Up. I also had the opportunity to do the Amphitheater of Anguish while I was in the area.

Post-weekend update should resume as soon as my weekends stop being so odd.

Why I'm a Warlock - Part 2


Yesterday I gave an overview of why I decided to play a warlock. Today I’m moving into why I’ve stuck with it. I’ve been surprised by the players I’ve read about in blogs and listened to in podcasts whose main is not their first character. Perhaps it was because of my research that I still love my warlock best, or maybe it’s just because warlocks are, obviously, the best class in the game:

1. We have minions. As Everwrath so cleverly pointed out, minions are not pets. Minions don’t need to be fed. They don’t even need to breathe. They don’t need to be placed in stables. They can be called on whenever the warlock needs one, and they look as scary as, well, Hell.

2. We can survive! Five mobs on our back? No problem! We have our minion take aggro, and with Seed of Corruption (this blog’s namesake) everything is dead in no time. And in the unlikely event that we do actually bite the dust? We can just pop back up with our Soul Stone! Gloria Gaynor would be proud.

3. We have Fear. ‘Nuff said.

4. We’re evil…but not really. We use fel magic and summon demons, but we mainly use it to fight the evil creatures of Azeroth and beyond. We’re the epitome of giving someone a taste of their own medicine.

5. We get our own mounts. Not just any mounts, but flaming horses. Don’t you wish you had a flaming horse mount? You do. I know you do.

6. We have the best mana regeneration. I’m not talking about Mp5, I’m talking about Life Tap and for Affliction warlocks, Dark Pact. I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to play a mana using alt and started panicking and wondering what I did with my Life Tap button.

7. We can make summoning stones and soulwells and soulstones. Beneath our evil exterior, people love us.


9. We can turn into a demon! Who wants to be a tree when you can be a demon?

10. We have a big bag of souls tricks up our sleeve. We can make flaming meteors fall from the sky, or teleport across a room. We can make our adversaries speak another language and even make a group of foes run away from us in fear. And because of our plethora of DoTs, we warlocks always get the last laugh.

[Image Creditwww.warcraftmounts.com]

Why I'm a Warlock - Part 1



Originally this post was going to be a list of reasons why I love being a warlock, but then I realized my warlock love goes back in time to my pre-World of Warcraft days. The first RPG I ever played was a Mac game from the early nineties called Tarskmaker, and the sequel, Tomb of the Taskmaker. Both are top down pixilated games where your character accepts quests from a mysterious “taskmaker” figure. Tomb of the Taskmaker featured a choice of gender for your character and three class choices: fighter, thief, and magician. I knew right away that I wanted to be a magician, even though the game stated that it was the most difficult.

One of the things I really liked about the game was that dying was not the end of the world. In fact, I think these games had the most creative "death" I've ever seen. Once you died, you were sent to Hell. In the original Taskmaker you had to go through a maze lined by fires and demons (that you couldn’t really fight). In Tomb of the Taskmaker, Hell was different depending on how you died. When you made it out, you were left with only a butter knife. This might seem pretty low, but obtaining money in the game was easy since there was random free stuff all over the place you could pick up and sell or use. Mobs would drop all sorts of jewels that could be deposited in ATMs for cash. (Yes, there were ATMs lining a medieval-style castle!) Dying in games and having to start over again always really frustrated me, and I found the Hell feature rather amusing. 

This game lead to me wanting to be the magician/mage type in every RPG I played. Before WoW, the only MMORPG I’d played was Maple Story, in which, of course, I was a magician. My friend that I was playing with and I did not get very far in the game, so I was never introduced to the tank/DPS/healer concept, so when I decided to play WoW I didn’t consider it when choosing a class. 

Not that I’m sure it would have made a difference. What got me into WoW was watching the intro video on my friend’s laptop. I loved the Tauren shaman and the Dwarf hunter. My friend played Alliance and told me the Tauren was a “bad guy" and belonged to the Horde, thus instilling in my brain that the Horde was evil. I know different now! Really! 

Before I picked up WoW, I spent quite a bit of time researching what race and class I wanted to play. Since Tauren, and thus the Horde, were “bad” I chose Alliance. I was disappointed I couldn’t play a shaman, and a paladin had no interest to me. I wanted something darker. I thought about a rogue, but I really wanted to use magic. I thought about being a Night Elf hunter, since I enjoy archery in real life and liked the idea of having a pet. But I read a variety of places that this was the most popular class in the game. The mage seemed uninteresting in comparison to my last two choices: a warlock or a shadow priest. 

The shadow priest, I read, would be constantly pressured to heal. The warlock had pets (excuse me, minions). My choice was made. 

The next question was race, which turned out fairly simple. My friend said that Gnomes were “lame” and so I chose to be a human. I made Frijona look like me, and then entered the game. After appearing in Northshire Abbey in that blood red dress and obtaining the first Warlock quest, I was hooked.

Coming Soon: Part 2! Obviously.

[Warlock Image: www.profilebrand.com]

Friday Linkday: August 7, 2009


It's time for this week's links! With Patch 3.2 hitting this week, WoW blogs are aflutter with reactions and information related to the "Call of the Crusade" patch. Here are a couple of my favorites:

1. I really like Gray Matter's post on First Impressions. It's a casual look at some of the first few things he noticed when logging in after installing 3.2. Isle of Conquest sounds like something I'll never, ever want to do given my general distaste for vehicles.

2. More of a guide than a summary of reactions, Banana Shoulders has included an excellent compendium of information on The Argent Tournament. The crusader's tabbard looks pretty cool.

Of course, that's not the only thing bloggers are blogging about:

3. After logging in I got something in my mail about Northrend orphans! I thought, wait, it's not Children's Week! It's not exactly, but it's sort of the same. You get an Oracle or a Wolvar to take around Northrend and then at the end the orphan mails himself to you! Isn't that adorable? I can't wait to do it! I'll probably get on it tonight. When I do, I'll be following WoW.com's lovely Walk-through.

4. Finally, if you've read anything about "female gamer archtypes" please read Sydera's Revisited post over on World of Matticus. Luckily, all the guilds I've been in have been extremely female-friendly and I hope my experience is more of the norm than the article suggests.

Politeness Goes A Long Way: The Valiance Expedition Rep Grind


Here’s the thing: I don’t have very much gold. I’m level 77 and I’d like to be able to take an epic flyer around Northrend. The reputation discount for Artisan flying in 3.2 really excited me. Right now, I’m Revered with Valiance Expedition so I could get the skill for 4250 gold. But since I’m nowhere near that, I’m pushing for Exalted, by doing four PVP daily quests in Grizzly Hills and one PVE daily quest in Howling Fjord.

The Howling Fjord quest is called Breaking the Blockade and involves riding around on a stolen Zeppelin and bombing pirate ships. The best part of the quest is the imprisoned Goblin that yells when the zeppelin arrives and leaves. The first time I did it, it took me about five tries and quite a bit of time.  I can now do it in one run. Stand as far towards the very front of the zeppelin as you can (think “I’m King of the World” in Titanic) and then tilt your camera at the boats. When the boat is behind the zeppelin you can tilt your camera around and get a few shots in. Be sure and hotkey the bombs as well.

The PVP quests are fairly straightforward.  The only issue I’ve had with them is being ganked by Horde players. I don’t PVP. When a Horde player attacks me, and he’s not say 5 levels below me, I’ll just run away. With level 80s this sometimes doesn’t work. Yesterday, I had to hop Hordeside to ask a Belf Priest to stop ganking me. She apologized and said she was having a bad day and went to play on another toon. Later, another level 80 decide to start killing me, until I /plead–ed him to stop. He /sorry–ed and left me alone, so I /thank-ed him and he left me alone. Politeness goes a long way even in skirmishes between factions!

My Wishlist to Blizzard: Things I Want in the Next Expansion


1. Some graphic updates. I'd like to see trees that don't look like paper cutouts snapped together.

2. More customizable characters. And by this I don't mean a small selection of additional hairstyles nabbed from other races, but I want to change my character's weight and maybe eye color.

3. Quests with plot. I don't want to run around grabbing animal parts, but I that doesn't mean riding around in a vehicle and chopping off tree limbs is any more enjoyable. I love really long quest chains with fascinating plots.

4. More cut scenes.

5. New races that start at level 55. The Death Knight class to me wasn't as exciting as the races in Burning Crusade. Perhaps if we'd had two epic classes that would have seemed more even. But since Blizzard doesn't want people spending all their time leveling so they can experience more of the endgame content, starting the new races at level 55 would be the way to go.

Post-Weekend Update: Let's Get Potterly


What did I do in game this weekend? Not much. Problem one, I had a long work meeting on Saturday. Then after the work meeting was over, I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was dark, magical, and humorous at points. I even teared up a bit at the end. (Note that I'm the hugest sap ever. I cry at any movie that's the least bit remotely sad.) My main complaint about the film? The lack of the Harry Potter theme music. That music causes a thrilling feeling for me, and I missed that!

Any thoughts on what the WoW movie is going to be about? Will it have a sad ending? Will I cry?

On Sunday I spent time getting the blog re-design working. Isn't it lovely?

Oh, right, and I was mentioned in WoW Insider for my post on Tenen the Explorer. Welcome WoW Insider folks!

Coming Soon: How to obtain rep with Valiance Expedition quickly before 3.2 comes out (hopefully not tomorrow!), thoughts on the upcoming expansion.

Friday Linkday: July 24, 2009 (New Blogs that Might be Interesting)


Welcome to the New Blogs that Might be Interesting edition of Friday Linkday. Realize that while the title may be self explanitory, "new" is relative, meaning that I just discovered the blog, and I use the word "might" because if the person suddenly stops posting (which I have been known to do, hypocrite that I am) it wont be intersting anymore. Without anymore rambling, here we are:

1. Postcards from Azeroth: A blog with a wonderful concept, taking screenshots of the game and formatting them into beautiful postcards. The postcards are reminiscent of those you might find in a box at a flee market.

2. Two Wolf Moon: An RP blog! I always get a bit giddy when I find these because there aren't many around and I'm casual/"normal" with my RP these days so I don't feel quite up to giving others advice on the subject. This is just great. I do wish the font was a little bigger.

3. Alureith Silverbough: Eep, her header image is so pretty! This blog is really brand new, and I hope the author gets to play some more so we can hear more from her.

4. A Casual WoW Player: "I have played WoW for four years and I'm still a noob," says the writer in the intro post on BlogAzeroth. So am I! The writer also stopped blogging for a long time and then started again. So did I! The writer used Zangarmarsh in the blog header so must love the zone. So do I! OMG can we be best friends?

Finally, and this isn't a blog specifically, but I suggest everyone check out Buff'd.net. It's a site like Digg, but for Wow-related posts and stories. You "buff" stories you like, and "nerf" any spam you see. You can check out my profile here and buff the stuff I submitted!

Coming Soon: I know, the template is still the same. It's coming soon, I promise!

Tips for Your Brand New Druid


The first few levels as a Druid are hard. I know this because I've been through them at least five times. The thought of being a Druid appealed to me since before I even started the game. I wanted to be able to morph into a cat and run around. The first alt I ever made was a Druid, and I think I actually got her to 18 before I eventually decided to transfer Fri over and deleted the Druid because I didn't want to spend the money to transfer over a level 18 character. If I wanted another Druid, I could just level it again. I started another Druid on my new server to level up with a friend of mine, but he got sick of his and that left me without much incentive to continue leveling mine. That happened again with another friend, and somehow even though I kept deleting my Druids for whatever reason (I know pre-barbershop I deleted one at about level 8 just because I didn't like the hairstyle anymore) and then recreating them again because it still sounded appealing. Also, I loved the character I had in my head.

Claren (and all her previous reincarnations) is an idealistic environmentalist. Lots of love for nature, constantly spewing whatever fact she hears that supports her cause regardless of how little evidence it may have, maybe even making stuff up because it sounds good. Perhaps she's spent too much time in bear form or in the Emerald Dream. Now that I've finally noticed my Druid creation/deletion habit, I've determined to not delete Claren even if I get completely sick of her. For instance, I've decided to stick her at level 16 until 3.2 comes out so I don't have to level up to 30 for her travel form. (I have taken her to the barbershop twice.)

Some tips for the first few levels:

1. You will die. You will die all the time. I thought maybe by the time I was on my nth Druid I'd be able to manage without dying. Nope. Being able to wear leather (a change from my clothie warlock) doesn't help. Two mobs at your level might kill you. Three will for sure unless you're lucky.

2. Remember your racials! As a Night Elf, wisp is awesome for slowing down leveling time by getting back to your corpse faster. Shadowmeld is also great since the patch changes for getting away from a mob of mobs. Taurens have war stomp to get them away. Use war stomp, cast regrowth, then cross your fingers and ruuuuuuuuuuun!

3. The first 10 levels are particularly painful becasue you don't get your bear form right away. Then you get your bear form and it's cool having lots of HP but then your damage sucks. Still, I suggest getting your bear form right away. At the very least, it's fun to do your bear dance. Once you have the form, you can start off by casting damage at your targets and then morph into a bear as your HP goes down.

4. Contrary to pretty much every single guide I have read, I suggest going Balance for levels 10-19. Why? Because in my opinion, it's better to be able to kill as much as you can as quickly as you can with magic instead of taking forever to swipe something to death. Perhaps this is just because I'm a caster and that's what I'm used to. Then once you hit 20, it seems like a good idea to respec to Feral because you can do DPS in your cat form. I'd put the first 5 points in "starlight wrath", the second two in "improved moonfire" and finally the last 3 in "moonglow" before respeccing at 20.

5. Entangling roots is an awesome spell. I found myself using it so often even when fighting only one mob. I'd cast moonfire then add the entangling roots. They'd stick while casting wrath, which would usually break the roots, and then I could still cast wrath again before casting another entangling roots to stick the mob in place again. For longer fights I'd find myself basically slowly kiting the mob using entangling roots. The main problem with this is it really drains up mana. You have no idea how many times I've tried to lifetap myself on my many Druids!

6. This took me a couple Druids to figure out, but you can cast a second wrath (or cast any spell) as soon as you've finished casting wrath. You don't have to wait for the previous wrath to actually hit the target before casting again. You'd think, as a Warlock, this would have been obvious. But this was not the case.

7. Remember when creating your Druid that her or his hair or fur color will determine the fur color of your Druid's forms in 3.2. Because I knew I'd probably be staring at an animal at least half the time, I gave my Night Elf dark blue hair so she'll have pretty black fur once the patch comes out. Here's a handy guide to what hair color goes with what on the new forms.

Interestingly enough, Wow Insider posted a guide on this topic while I was considering writing this post. They go much more in-depth than I do with macro suggestions, what the spells do specifically, more spell rotations, etc. but they suggest speccing Feral right away. 

Coming Soon: Something Warlock related! Maybe! Also, I might be fooling around with the template, so just bear in mind the site might look a little wonky for brief periods of time. Just reload the page if that happens.

From 1 to 17 in Three Continents and Two Planets


Here is a Dwarf cheering after having just obtaining the World Explorer achievement. Note that he's not tricked out in epic purples or even blues. And no, this Dwarf didn't change clothes just for a photo-op. In fact, Tenen the Dwarf Warrior actually did most of his exploring in only his default skivvies. See, Tenen is only level 17. Tenen hasn't been fighting gnolls or completing quests, he's been exploring--and that's it.

My guildmate familiarly known as Nutty decided to complete the World Explorer achievement after discussing with a friend how much XP could be obtained simply by exploring. Nutty has quite a few alts, and wanted to try leveling one in a different way. World Explorer was the perfect goal to try for. Tenen explored Azeroth and the Outlands from March 12 to July 10, 2009. It took Tenen 4 full days of playtime to reach level 17 and complete the achievement. Being a Warrior was a helpful decision. It allowed him to "charge" into hard-to-reach areas. Summons (provided by me!) were necessary for a few final stops difficult, or even impossible, to reach without a flying mount and portals were necessary in reaching otherwise level restricted areas of the Outlands and Northrend.

Nutty is an RPer in Modan Co and on the Moon Guard server, and Tenen's personality made him the perfect vessel for this exploratory mission. Dwarves have a racial interest in expliration, and Tenen was the type of Dwarf who would be inclined to venture into dangerous teretories just to see what might possibly be there. Now the title proves it; that Dwarf has seen everything.
 
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