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' 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.

Post-Weekend Update: Sylvynas be Damned!

This is a new section, basically detailing what I managed to accomplish in-game over the weekend, since I don't get much playing during the weekdays, it all happens here!

1. Whilst talking to my brother on the phone I managed to level my fishing up to 135, thus earning 2 achievments in the process. I'd love it if my brother (currently almost a Senior in high school) could play with me, but my parents only have dial-up. I'm hoping once he gets to college, if the game's still around, I can convince him. I don't think talk of the driftwood and sickly fish I was catching helped much.

Perhaps what I'll have to do is give him the game as a birthday gift, along with a trial account. After all the first month's free! Then Christmas is a bit less than a month later. Perfect time for a prepaid game card! By then he will be hooked for sure.

2. Ding! Fri hit 77. I also got her about 6 bars in towards 78. I'm really enjoying the quest chains in Zul'Drak.

3. Joined a large group to try and get "For the Alliance!" again. Now I have 3/4 down, because we managed to get Thrall, but failed on Sylvynas. I'm wondering if Sylvynas needs to be attempted first, since The Undercity is so hard to navigate, particularly with lots of guards chasing you and the amount of lag I have when doing this. Everyone seems to want to do SMC first because it's easy, and frankly I'm just about sick of that place.

4. I did, however, obtain the acheivement Know Thine Enemy. I have no idea how it happened because from where I was sitting I was putting dots on the boss the entire time.

Coming Soon: Tips on brand new Druids (since I've done the starting quests over 5 times now), or maybe something on the quests in Zul'Drak.

Friday Linkday: July 17, 2009

Hurray it’s Friday! Here are the links of the week:

1. Draele of Rantings of the Afflicted has an excellent idea about a new voidwalker ability, Void Strike, based on the Pain Strike ability of the voidwalkers in Nagrand. The warlock Q&A hinted at a new damage dealing ability for voidwalkers other than just having them punch people with their bright blue fists. This is a very well-thought-out idea.

2. Gryphonheart Items – Addon Review – Some of my guildies use this addon for creating RP items. This is a lovely and informative review of the add-on. (From Too Many Annas.)

3. Feeling burned out? I haven’t lately, but this is still a good reminder of why WoW is so much fun to play. (From World of Snarkcraft.)

4. Fashion Faux Paws - I haven’t mentioned yet how much I hate how the T9 set looks, given that they all look so similar. (Does anyone actually like them? Anyone at all? As my co-GM says, “Fun is the easiest thing to nerf.”) This post from Rolling Hots describes how particularly ridiculous the Druid set looks. Very funny!

Coming Soon: What Frijona and the gang are up to this weekend!

Sunwell Sunburn

It's strange to go into an instance that was once visited only by the hardest of core as an "oh why not?" thought while questing. It was an IC event setup by my guild and another, my guild was hired by another to do some investigating of the Sunwell.

Fri was one of the lower levels in the group--most being 80. There was a level 71 mage who popped in. There was less than 15 of us, I believe. As you can imagine, we had a difficult time. We wiped on trash several times before downing Kalecgos after three tries. At this point it had been over an hour and I had real life duties to attend to. The rest of the group ended up calling it on Brutallus. Still, it was fun actually getting a chance to see it!

The only drop I recieved was a Shadowsong Amethyst which I'm not sure what to do with. I went into the Auction House, but no one had any for sale. Perhaps it's bind on pickup and I'm just a moron? If not, I may just put it in the guild bank.

Trade: Shadowsong Amethyst, Moon Guard-Alliance side, 9999 Gold.

Friday Linkday: July 10, 2009

Now that I'm back to blogging, I've decided to add a new feature: Each Friday I will link to several wow-related blog posts that I find particularly interesting. Without further ado, here are this Friday's links:

1. On Heirlooms - Are heirloom items that increase leveling speed to alts fair to new players? The Pink Pigtail Inn argues that it is inherently unfair. Read the comments--some good arguments in there. As someone who hasn't hit 80 yet, it actually makes sense to me. I want to explore the content for the first time. When I get to leveling my alts more, it will make more sense to me to move through further.

2. Shared Topic: What if There Were WoW Lobbyists? - The Twisted Nether Blogcast asks what WoW players would try to get accomplished if we lobbied politically, a question which is particularly targeted to US players. As someone who works for congress, I can honestly say that we don't lobby--because we don't care. As long as our right to game isn't on the line, I think we'd just assume stay out of it. (If you want a more amusing answer, check out what Destructive Reach has to say.)

3. Groups are using the acheivement system to control who is allowed on certain raids, so of course people have come up with ways to fake it. (From Mystic Chicanery.)

4. I created my Druid, Claren, to try out the new forms, which according to this Wow Insider post, may not have been the best idea. Still, it's a fascinating read about the "history" of Druids. (I put history in quotes because it has nothing to do with their history lore-wise, but how they were played in the game.)


Six months after I quit playing and blogging (a hiatus which just happened more than it was actually planned) I have returned. The hiatus just happened in that I found myself not wanting to login. To be fair, I told my guild I would be going away for an indefinite period of time. Eventually my subscription ran out and for months I decided not to renew it.

My return to Azeroth was sparked by my friend who would occasionally email me with some new feature Blizzard had added in that he thought I'd enjoy. Nothing enticed me quite as much as when he told me about the leveling changes to patch 3.2. I thought the best way for me to get into the game again would be to roll an alt, and the ideal alt for me would be a Druid, because I found the new forms very appealing. Playing my Druid, Claren, has been fun and I've gotten her up to level 16.

I also found myself wanting to try out Horde and a PVP realm, so after some research I rolled a Troll Warrior, Renaza, on Twisting Nether. I'm loving the warrior class, which is strange because I've always seen myself to be a caster at heart. Still, there's something exciting about the metal clinking of her chain armor as she charges a target. She's at level 11. I'm trying to only level Claren and Renaza while they are in rested XP so I'm not wasting my time.

The original plan was to retire Frijona for the time being and basically start over, but I've found myself wanting to play her more and more. I'll probably hop on her this evening, perhaps just to see if I can still remember how to play the class!
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