Tomorrow patch 8.1.5 arrives in World of Warcraft, and with it comes the much-anticipated allied races of Kul’Tiran humans and Zandalari trolls (along with a WHOLE bunch of awesome content!) I am beyond excited (as usual) for new WoW content. But I will admit I’m feeling bittersweet.

Since I first learned of the Kul’Tirans being added to the game, I’ve known I wanted to play one. The idea of having a larger sized female model in the game with hips and a butt and a thick waist, who is still strong and powerful was something I couldn’t pass up. I promised myself that if they could be shamans, I would race change my main character to be one. And as luck would have it, shamans were announced at Blizzcon as a class that Kul’Tiran’s can play!

In a way I have been dreading this day for awhile. It sounds melodramatic, but my pandaren shaman was my first toon that I ever really connected with. She has been so good at embodying what I wanted from a character in a game like World of Warcraft. She has been strong, but kind, fierce but lovable. But these aren’t traits that are unique to being a pandaren – they are what I want from a female with curves who isn’t just comic relief or “that fat friend”. So I guess in a way I’m taking this opportunity to make a point.

Maybe it’s stupid to make a statement like this, but right now, for me, it’s important. I need to see a woman in game who kinda looks like me who isn’t a complete mess, who gets up and kicks ass and fights for what she believes in and doesn’t let others’ opinions of her appearance stop her from doing what she wants.

So tomorrow, once I have unlocked the quests, I will log out from my pandaren shaman in the place that made her happiest – her little home at Sunsong Ranch, overlooking the beautiful Valley of the Four Winds.

But for now, it’s time to farewell my pandaren self. Here’s to some amazing moments 🙂

And look, I’m not silly. I know that if I’m too sad not being my pandaren any more, I can always change back. 🙂

Are you creating a new Allied race toon?

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Warning – this post contains reference to sensitive content involving abuse and situations involving children. Please proceed with caution.

I’m a bit quieter than usual this month as I am spending the vast majority of it interstate for work. I was hoping that I would have some time to finish off some posts before I left, but as is usually the case, I didn’t really get enough time before hand to do this. Right now I’m writing this post as I fly form Hobart back to Melbourne (home) for a few days before heading off again. (edit: well, I started writing this post on the plane! Finished the last of it off at home.)

It’s interesting being out on the road for extended periods of time like this. It’s a lot harder to keep up to date on what is happening in the community. I’d pick up bits and pieces here and there about game patches and hot fixes, and little things every now and then about the races to world first for mythic Dazar’alor. (I saw Method won the race this morning while I was sleeping – huge congrats to them!)

Yesterday, though, was something else. We had been driving from Launceston to Hobart (for those who don’t know Australia – you know that little island that’s kinda tacked on to the bottom of Australia? That’s Tasmania. Launceston is at the top and Hobart is at the bottom). I had been looking every now and then at twitter and saw a few posts that seemed a bit sad, but I couldn’t really see why. It was only when we arrived and I was checked in to my hotel room that I learned the horrible news about Elvine (***WARNING* this link here takes you to a media release explaining what happened but it contains graphic information about despicable acts involving children. Please proceed with caution***).


There’s something strange about hearing horrible things about a person that you “kind of know”. For some people, they genuinely knew him in person, but for a lot of us it was more distant. Elvine was a part of the Warcraft community for a long time, streaming and writing guides etc, so he was a familiar face to a lot of people. And that has had a really strong impact on the way the news has been taken.

The shock in the community has been palpable, and brutal to say the least. I want to say upfront, I am genuinely sorry for people who are affected by this news. It’s hard not to be. The cause for arrest is nothing less than despicable. But the ripples it has caused throughout the Warcraft community has also been extraordinary. Those close to him seem to be feeling almost a sense of responsibility for the situation. That perhaps they should have picked up on some signs along the way that might hint at what was lurking beneath the surface.

But, for as many messages I’m seeing from people who were in complete shock, I’m seeing almost as many messages from people saying they felt something wasn’t quite right. Others still, terribly, had personal experience of his behaviour.

It goes without saying that not a single other person is responsible for what has happened here – no matter how close you may be to another person, you will never know what it in their mind and heart. People who do these awful things are also extremely good at hiding them, of only showing the world what they want to see. Please know none of this is anyone else’s fault but his.

And that is the reason I wanted to write this post. This awful situation has made people take pause and planted a seed of doubt about those around us, questioning their actions and wondering if there’s something they’ve missed along the way that could suggest something terrible beneath the surface. But I think instead of this, we need to come together.

What has happened here are the acts of a (sick) minority – not the majority. This is a time that we should be remembering what the Warcraft community is best at- being there for each other in the rough times. Supporting those who are struggling and upset, offering an ear or a laugh or a virtual hug to those who need it. Just being there for each other. It’s something that we are actually very darn good at.

This article by Vicky Schaubert on the BBC website had the most uncannily perfect timing. It tells a beautiful and moving story that is familiar to so many of us. It explains what World of Warcraft (and other online games) mean to us, and just how real our friendships with each other are, no matter how far we may physically be from each other.

This is the story that I want us to focus on and remember. Keep this in your hearts. Know that at the end of all of this, there is more good and more beauty in the people around us than not.

Be good to each other.
xo

It seems the Warcraft development team are back at work, because this week the first official Patch 8.1.5 PTR went up. And there’s a lot of great stuff in there. As usual, Wowhead are going through and presenting us with a peek at what’s to come (and doing a darn good job of it, too!)

The highlight for me, though, is something I’ve been hanging out to see since they were announced – Kul’Tiran shamans! Since being formally revealed at Blizzcon, I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for a peek at what they might look like. Thanks to the PTR going up, I’ve been able to do a bit of exploring!

Kul'Tiran character creation screen on 8.1.5 PTR

After a few dramas (mainly being unable to copy any characters on to the PTR OTHER than my shaman!) I was able to get my hands on a 110 shaman that I race-changed to Kul’Tiran so I could see the new race in action.

First up was taking a look at the Kul’Tiran totems. Comments on Wowhead’s post featuring the totems seems to be a mix of love and hate.

Kul'Tiran shaman with totems

It makes sense that these would feature anchors. Of course there are anchors – the Kul’Tiran are the children of the sea, so of course anchors and other nautical themes feature extremely heavily in every Alliance zone in Kul’Tiras. It’s these themes that made me fall in love with the Kul’Tiran people. It’s fitting that totems follow this theme as well.

Whilst I like the body of the totems, I wasn’t a huge fan of the anchor on the bottom of the totems when I first saw them on wowhead. However when you use them you don’t really see it- it’s just how the totems stick in the ground. Which makes sense, and looks great.

The only thing I’m not thrilled about is the water animation in the water totems. It doesn’t feel “watery” enough – it just seems to behave like blue fire. I’d love to see it have a similar animation to the water effects in the tide sages totems. And I feel the green of the earth totems is just a little too “fel green” for me. But they are really minor things. Overall I think these look great, and I can’t wait to use them on a daily basis!

I played around a bit to see what their casting animations were like – I think I’ll be quite good at capturing many derpy casting faces haha! But I love it. I think she looks fantastic.

For me, 8.1.5 can’t come soon enough! I can’t wait to be a child of the sea! ❤

It is New Year’s Eve. 2019 is on the other side of this day, and as is customary, people are making resolutions in the hopes of making the most of the year to come. I am one of those people.

2018 was a pretty ok year for me. It was tough, but I won’t complain. Resolutions-wise, I did quite well (check it out). Outside of myself, though, I noticed a trend that just got worse and worse as the year wore on. 2018 seemed to be the year of negativity. The year that it became “cool” to be a dick. The year of entitlement. Of focusing on the negatives, abusing people because of them and arguing “accountability” to justify their actions. Honestly, it’s been sad.

It has been a really hard year to be a Blizzard fan. Even more so in the last 2-3 months, where it seems that if you don’t hate everything Blizzard does, you’re wrong, and either an idiot or a shill. Which is such a sad mentality to have, and one that has honestly been getting me really down lately. I’m seeing it in popular personalities who have been long-time fans, I’m seeing/hearing it in other podcasts, and I’m seeing it all over twitter from random followers to friends. It has honestly been making me really, really sad. (And personally, I think they are wrong.)

What does this have to do with my 2019 resolutions?

This time, I’m not making an arbitrary list of things to do in game and calling it ‘resolutions’. I want to do something more than that. I want to do something that can help other people who may be in the same situation as me – who are bogged down by the constant negativity; who may not feel brave enough to be a small voice of positivity in a crowd of hostility. And that starts with me.

So, my only resolution for 2019 is this:

Be the positivity you want to see in the community.

I know it sounds wanky. I’m not actually very good at motivational speaking/typing 😉 But what it means is this – if I want to see more positivity in the world (both in gaming communities and the world in general) then that needs to start with me being more positive, more often, and loudly.

How am I going to do this? Well this is where a list comes in:

1 – Celebrating successes – loudly and often
This is about giving credit where credit is due. Pointing out the positives and celebrating them. I need to be doing this every day.

2 – Take “problems” for what they are
I think the most important thing about what I’m wanting to do is really reiterating that this is not about just rolling over and ignoring things that are “not right”. It’s not about turning a blind eye and pretending everything is ok. This is about looking at problems for what they are, and weighing them up against everything else.
Game lagged for a sec? Not really a huge drama.
Someone wants to bomb a country and kill everyone in it? Yeah that’s definitely a problem.

3 – Being constructive with criticism
Linked to number 2 above, this is about recognising when something isn’t right, and finding the best way to express our issues. It’s about gauging an appropriate response- the proportional response– to a problem. It’s speaking in a way that is respectful to the people the problem involves to help find a solution, not to embarrass, humiliate, bully or threaten. Avoiding escalation – trying to solve the problem, not make it worse.

4 – Be patient, be kind
Sounds like a no-brainer, but this one is going to be the hardest. Because this isn’t just about being nice about the things you like- it’s about being patient and kind to the people you disagree with. Seeing a message telling someone to “go kill themselves” over a bug in a game is enough to rile anyone up. But me telling that person to “fuck off” (as much as I would like to) isn’t going to help. Maybe reporting them on twitter and telling that person their behaviour is unacceptable is a better response.


I know it sounds fluffy and silly, but I really need this. There are so many things in the world now days that are worthy of our anger and frustration. And that alone is exhausting. But it seems like that’s all we know how to do now. We know how to complain. We know how to be mad. We know how to fight. What we’re losing sight of is how to be thankful for what we do have – how to appreciate the good things with the bad and expressing that gratitude.

So that’s my goal. I know it’s hard to measure, but that’s ok. I’m going to try, and I hope others do, too. I hope that I can help other people feel confident about talking about the things we love, and I hope that infects everyone. I want to be drowning in positive vibes! I will be doing my part on twitter and in my streaming and gaming in general. 🙂

I wish everyone a 2019 full of happiness and love.

xo

Blog header photo by Roven Images on Unsplash

Another year is coming to a close. It’s always a time for us to look back and reflect on the year, to celebrate our achievements and say goodbye to perhaps some of the sadder moments that have happened.

For this post, I’m going to take a look back at my 2018 bucket list to see how I did. And of course for the next post, I’ll set myself some goals for 2019.

Looking back on 2018

I tend to get to this time of year feeling a bit sad. Sad that I probably didn’t accomplish or achieve nearly as much as I would like to have. But that’s not the best way to think about things, is it? Because when I look back on my bucket list for 2018, I actually succeeded quite well indeed, despite the roller coaster that was my guild in 2018.

Let me touch on that quickly, actually. Those who have followed my blog or twitter this year will know that it has been quite the year of ups and downs when it came to my guild.

The short version is that after the high of getting Cutting Edge with mythic Argus, we made the decision to push harder going in to Battle for Azeroth. Looking back now, we all agree this decision was our downfall. I wrote a lot about this in this post, and then this post. What I didn’t end up writing about is how we came back together again.

What I didn’t end up writing about is how we came back together again.

As I wrote in my last post about all this, I moved servers to a new guild to trial as an elemental shaman. And I have to say, I got damn lucky. The team I trialled with were so lovely and kind, and extremely patient with me while I tried to figure out how to be dps instead of heals. They were extremely kind to me, and I’m so grateful for that. But in the end, as tragic as it sounds, the lure of old friendships called, and I ended my trial to try, yet again, with Realm.

Looking back on this past year, as tumultuous as it has been, there is one common thread throughout – friendship. Oh I know, it sounds so lame. but it’s true. The people in Realm are people I consider to be friends. I am glad to have them in my life. A few weeks back we had an in-game Christmas party that was loads of fun, and really struck home how much I enjoy spending time with these fine folk. It turned out, for me, friendships were far more important that raiding, and I’m completely ok with that.

The 2018 bucket list

At the beginning of 2018, as I do most years, I wrote a bucket list of things I wanted to achieve. You can see this post right here. I didn’t write it at the time, but in the back of my mind I’d had the bucket list from the previous year in mind, and wanted to make things a bit easier on myself. Although looking on it now, I really failed at that! This list wasn’t nearly as easy on myself as it could have been… but it was definitely fun. So let’s see how I did.

Make a list of every pet and mount available in Legion and get any that are missing (That are not RNG dependent).

Well I suppose technically I fail by default because I never made that list! BUT, I’m pretty sure I did get a lot of them. I got Uuna and finished her quest line, and then later go Baa’l when he came out in BfA. I finished the Family Familiar achievement as well as the Family Fighter achievement, getting pets from both of those as well.

I found Lost Mail and felt like Harry Potter as I got the Mailemental pet (and Katy Stampwhistle toy!)

I was also really lucky with mounts, getting the Shackled Ur’zul mount from Mythic Argus! AND I managed to complete the Lord of the Reins achievement! I was very fortunate all around, I feel.

Were I did fail (other than failing to make the list at all, haha!) was not getting the pvp mounts. They were easy gets, but I didn’t do them. There’s still a chance of going back, but to be honest, I can’t see myself doing that any time soon. But overall, I think I’d call this a pretty successful bucket list item complete. 🙂

Finish getting all of the class mounts

DONE! You can read all about it right here. This was an epic undertaking, but one that I’m glad I did in the end (not just because it helped a lot getting Lord of the Reins done!) It gave me a chance to play around on all the classes, to see if any of them really tickled my fancy for an alt. They didn’t… but I’m still glad I had a go at them all again for awhile 🙂

Get more Mage Tower appearances

This was tougher than I expected it to be. My original list of appearances that I wanted to get were:

  • Enhancement shaman
  • Discipline priest
  • Holy paladin
  • Frost Mage
  • Arcane Mage
  • Retribution paladin
  • Restoration druid
  • Protection paladin (though I honestly don’t see this one happening at all)
  • maaaaybe affliction warlock

What I ended up getting….

Shaman – Restoration, elemental and enhancement
(these were no-brainers – I absolutely had to get all of these.)
Mage – Arcane, fire and frost.
Yep, I got all three! I was pretty pleased with myself for that one 🙂
Druid – Balance and feral.
Yeah you heard me, feral. How could I not get disco kitty? It’s easily the best appearance out of all of them. I didn’t, however get the restoration appearance. I’ve never healed as a druid, and that darn scenario is hard.
Priest – Discipline.
This was tough. I’d never played Disc properly before. But I pushed through, because I really loved the appearance.

The Disc priest appearance was the straw that broke the camel’s back, though. It was a tough fight, and by that point I had started to resent the amount of time I was spending trying to finish these, so I stopped. But, I had set myself a goal of getting 8 (maybe 9!) appearances, and in the end, I actually did get 9 appearances. So I’m going to call this one a win, too. 🙂

Stream more

This one was very generic, but I needed it to be (for this year at least).
I managed to get Affiliate status a few weeks after making my bucket list, so that was a nice bonus!

Overall, yes, I technically streamed more. And to that end I can call it a win. But I certainly have a long, long way to go. Will all the raiding dramas this year, I was unable to have a regular raiding/streaming schedule because I kept associating one with the other. It has taken me awhile to separate the two, and branch out to stream other content. I’m still getting my feet with this, but I will get better.

What I have really enjoyed about my streaming, though, is finally settling on an identity. I love my little unicorn self! I’m really enjoying updating my graphics for the year… helps to keep things interesting 🙂 It also helps me to focus on the streaming itself, and not necessarily the games that I’m streaming (if that makes sense).


So, that’s my year! Honestly, I can’t complain. I know that I am a very fortunate person. So for all the difficulties and struggles I face, I know there are people who have it so very much harder than me, and I need to remember that.

I’m pleased with what I’ve managed to achieve this year, both in game and out. I hope you all have had a great year, too! Keep an eye out of my 2019 bucket list post, coming very soon….

Wishing everyone a very happy holidays! I hope your days are filled with happy hearts and happy tummies. ❤

Thank you to all of you for simply just being here; for reading my blog or liking my tweets, watching my streams or listening to my podcast, or just generally being an amazing person to know. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such lovely, talented people. ❤

xmas_cinder

 

 

It seems to be that the more adamant I am about writing more, the less I do it. It’s like the universe listens to my plans and says “Nup! Not today!” and I get ridiculously busy. Which is how I find myself in the middle of December all of a sudden. When did that happen?! I’ve been travelling a fair bit for work over the past month running workshops and the like, which is, to put it mildly, exhausting. I don’t travel well at the best of times, let alone when it’s for work and I’m stressing about a presentation I have to do when I land. Suffice to say my life has just been a bit overwhelming at the moment, meaning I haven’t written blog posts and I haven’t been streaming.

On the plus side, Christmas is two weeks away, and I’m having two weeks off! *block your ears, universe!!!* I’m determined to stream a whoooole lot during that time off to make up for the lack of streams of late. But before that, we’re having a guild Christmas party that I need to prepare for!

Which occurs to me… I haven’t written that I went back to Realm lol Side note! I went back to my old guild. The plan is for us to try yet again in 8.1, but taking a much more relaxed approach to the mythic raiding. I have hope. 🙂

Anyways, we’re having a Christmas party this weekend, because I just thought it would be nice for us all to get together and be stupid together. I’m going to do organise a scavenger hunt and Dalaran darts and a drunk raid and just silly things to have fun with. I even bought prizes! Half of the big box of goodies I had delivered recently was stuff for the Christmas Party.

R_xmas_C_prizes

Anyways, that’s where I am at the moment. Give me two weeks and I’ll be around a lot more!

xo

Today marks the first day of a 2 week event to help celebrate World of Warcraft’s 14th birthday. As has become tradition, upon logging in today I received a gift form the Dev team, consisting of a ‘thank you’ message, a reputation & experience game token, and 200 time warped badges to spend on whatever you wish. Each year they add something new for you to spend your tokens on. Previous years have included a corgi pup, an inflatable Thunderfury, and cosmetic bronze-tinted glasses. But this year, Blizz really outdid themselves. The toy people can buy this year is Overtuned Corgi Glasses. When they are used, they turn NPCs and friendly players around you IN TO CORGIS!!!!! 

When I first heard about the toy I thought it would be kinda cool. I was not prepared for exactly just how incredible it really is.When active, there are corgis EVERYWHERE!! I could not stop squeeeee-ing!

In the Auction House…

Riding around on mounts…

Strutting around in gangs…

Doing chores on the docks…

Taking magic classes…

Protecting our cities…

Or being terrifying!!!

All jokes and silliness aside, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Blizzard for 14 years of this incredible game that has brought me so much happiness and friendship. It really is something special that I am extremely grateful for. ❤

xo

It’s been 2 lockouts since Realm disbanded. It’s been weird not raiding. I played a whooole lot less. The break was nice in a way, but to be honest one of the main reasons I wasn’t playing as much because there just wasn’t anyone else around. It got very lonely very quickly, and it was seriously bumming me out.

On Thursday (with some help from the lovely Lemon) I changed my status on Wowprogress to “looking for guild” to see what would happen.

I had some decisions already set in stone:

  1. I was staying Alliance. I just dislike the Horde aesthetic so much that I don’t want to go back to it. Also, almost all of my toons are Alliance, and I just don’t want to have to faction change them all just to raid.
  2. I was probably going to have to move to Frostmourne in order to find a team. It’s a very Alliance heavy server with a high population, so lots of Alliance raiding guilds. And all the other servers are far too quiet, so if things didn’t work out I’d be stuck on a server with few options.
  3. I was staying shaman. I’m too attached to my shaman ways.
  4. No increase to raid time – 3 days max of prog raiding. Ideally, 2, but that’s pretty hard to find.
  5. No downgrades – I wanted to find a team within 1 boss prog of myself.
  6. The guild I end up in has to be a good fit people-wise. That’s what made raiding with Realm so amazing – the people. I want to be able to dick around with people and have fun and joke around with each other. And kill bosses.

I got a btag friend request the next morning, and well long story short, I’ve moved servers to Frostmourne and have a trial in a guild. AS ELEMENTAL. Yep, this shaman’s shooting lightning for awhile.

This was a big decision for me. I’ve been a healer for as long as I’ve raided (minus 2 weeks where I tried to be dps back in WoD), so raiding as a full time dps will definitely be a change. But I think it’s going to be a good one. I’ll still always have my healer spec there if I’m ever needed to heal, so that’s not going to go away. There are some changes coming in 8.1 for elemental shamans that I’m hoping will help make the spec a bit better to play… but we can only wait and see.

The thing that really attracted me to this guild was the recruitment person was really lovely, answering all my stupid questions. They also apparently watched some of my streams, which made me feel better because firstly, they know I’m a girl, and secondly, they have seen me play, so they know what they’re in for. They don’t mind me streaming raids, either, which is great. And lastly, something that will either be fantastic, or terrible, their raid times start and finish earlier. I’m a little nervous at the start time being 6:30, as sometimes I haven’t even left work until that time. But if I can get to work earlier and leave earlier, it will be fine. Which means slightly earlier nights, which I think will be good for my tired old self.

I’m obviously terrified. I’m always terrified of putting myself out there, especially knowing people will be watching and scrutinising. I’ve said that they just need to let me know if I’m not cutting it – I’d rather know sooner than dragging it out, because I don’t like letting a team down. But I just have to try my best. It’s all I *can* do. If things don’t work out, at least I gave it a go.

So! Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me that I can actually pull this elemental thing off, and that these guys are a good fit! 🙂

xo

I’ve been working hard since my last post to set everything up for me to get a bit braver and be more serious about my streaming.

Like I mentioned in that post, I’m going to start streaming some non-WoW content. Because of this, I’ve made the decision to move away from having my pandaren shaman be my “face”. It was a tough decision, because my pandaren has really been the embodiment of my personality for almost as long as I’ve played WoW. But that right there was the problem. So much of what I do creatively at the moment has been so focussed on WoW that trying to do something outside of it has been extremely difficult. WoW has been my clutch, and despite it opening so many doors for me in terms of friendships and content creation, it has also been holding me back. So my pandaren had to go.

cinder_unicorn_at_laptop

I thought a while about what I wanted to be outside of my pandaren. I am not even a little bit attractive, so showing my real face and body is out of the question (I do not have the self esteem to deal with that at all). The answer was obvious in the end – a unicorn! Well, a chubby unicorn anyway hehe. While looking for inspiration for what she might look like, I came across the perfect depiction of me. She’s chubby, sassy, and she games. 😀 There’s actually a whole series that I’ve purchased that depict her in so many different ways. (I can’t wait for Christmas!!!)

I have been madly making graphics and updating everything to have my new unicorn persona. My name won’t change – I’m Cinder now until the day I stop gaming. Despite having only recently revamped by twitch stream, it really didn’t suit the new persona. Thankfully Streamlabs have some really great set ups built in and free to use. I’ve gone all out on this. It has sparkles!!! It might be girly and silly, but I truly don’t care. I’m really having fun with this. I even made new emotes and badges (though I will say this was the hardest part – I really love the totems Sirius made for me).

Here’s a little peek at my twitch page…

unicorn_stream

Cute, huh?!

I have a friend helping me get a capture card for my PC so that I can hook up our Nintendo Switch and stream some games from there. I also had a look at some games on Steam (and was promptly disgusted at some of the games suggested to me there.) I’m even considering getting Discord Nitro to try out some of the games they have on offer. In the meantime, I’m focusing on getting a proper schedule going, starting tomorrow night. I’ll probably stream some WoW first… might even brave LFR (oh my!). Onward and upward! In the meantime, if  you’re interested in coming to hang out with me while I stream, you can find me here – https://twitch.tv/cinder_streams

Anyways, I wanted to share the new Cinder with you all. Hope you like her!

xo

 

It’s been hard to start this post. Or any other blog post for that matter, if I’m being completely honest. But this one, I don’t really know how to start. I know the things I have to say, but putting them in order is proving difficult. So how about we make a deal and pretend this is the middle of the blog post and flow on from there. Let’s give it a go.

The past few weeks (or months, really), haven’t been the greatest for me.

The guild crash

WoWScrnShot_100618_145054

Unrelated to the below (but in a way still very connected) my guild fell apart for good. We tried to keep it together but it was too much to try and push through. The gap between strong players and weaker players was becoming bigger and bigger. The in-game workload for officers and the GM was far too much, and the payoff wasn’t there. It was a really tough call, but it was the right decision in the end. So as of last week we stopped raiding mythic, and the guild officially went casual, with a social heroic run planned for every Saturday night so we could all still spend time together.

This week was the first week without raid, and it felt weird. Tonight was the first casual Saturday raid… and we only had a handful of people come along. So I really don’t know how that’s going to go in the future. Suffice it to say that I’m pretty sad at the moment.

For me, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do. Raiding has always been a favourite thing for me in game, so to not do it feels weird. But trying to find another raid team… well I dunno how I’m going to go about it. I’ve never had much confidence in my skills as a raider. I do know that I’m not terrible. I do mechanics, I heal while I do them, and I try my damn hardest. It’s the same as when I try to apply for jobs – I know that I can contribute well, but I’m shit at selling myself. Especially with raiding. Logs are a thing, but my numbers always look shit because I hate overhealing, and I make sure I’m focusing on doing mechanics first and foremost.

And this shitty lack of confidence in myself doesn’t help when (now) ex-guildies are getting offers left and right from other teams wanting them to join. I haven’t had anything. Which is petty, I know, but it just reinforces that shitty feeling about myself not being good enough.

I’ve been looking on the forums to see what guilds are after, and I’m not finding any at the level I want to be at who are looking for restoration shamans. (Well, Alliance guilds, anyway). There’s a high chance I’m going to have to go Horde if I want to keep raiding, and that on its own is not at all appealing. I’ll need to give it some more time and thought, and hope something comes along.

Then there’s…

The anxiety

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There are a handful of things that I am good at in life, but the thing that I am the very best at is pretending that my anxiety isn’t as bad as it is, and that it doesn’t affect me as strongly as it does. I’m very good at putting on the face that the world needs to see on me, and pretending that everything is fine. I can laugh and joke and make others feel great, and I do it in an attempt to hide the panic that grumbles inside me on a constant basis. I’ve become very good at it. So good at it that people don’t believe I have anxiety at all, and when I bring it up with doctors, they laugh it off thinking I’m just being melodramatic or joking around.

And yet.

I struggle to sleep, laying there as my body tingles with terror, restless and exhausted all at once. If I am lucky to sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks so intense they make me gag. At work, I go to the bathroom for a short moment of solace, squeezing my legs in an attempt to calm the roaring in my ears, to breathe, to focus. It’s exhausting. And over the past few months, it has gotten worse, to the point where it’s crippled me. I’ve not been functioning properly. It’s affecting my health, my relationship, my friendships, my streaming and gaming; everything that is important to me.

I bring this up, because firstly, I wanted to explain my absence (noted or not). I wanted others who may be feeling the same way to know they aren’t alone. And I wanted to be accountable for trying to get better. It has taken awhile to build the courage, but I went to the doctor again this week (a different one) and insisted they help me do something so I can stop feeling like this. I have referrals for a psychologist, and some anti-anxiety meds to help me get out of this funk. I’m not going to let anxiety get the best of me.

What’s next

So then what’s next. Well, I’m starting to feel better, which is why I’ve written this post. And I’m taking steps to keep getting better. I don’t know what the future is going to hold for me and WoW. I know I will continue playing, but I don’t know to what extent. I had a great chat with Neuro after our Battletagged show on Tuesday, and he was telling me about how much more he’s been enjoying WoW since he stepped down from raiding. So maybe there is hope for me outside of raiding.

One of the things I’m saddest about though, with everything that has been going on, is my streaming. It turns out that I really, really enjoy streaming. I’m terrible at it, and I don’t think I’m interesting at all, but I just enjoy playing games with other people. Thor (who I just don’t deserve- he’s so freaking amazing) has been incredibly patient and wise, and we’ve been talking about what I might do. And it became obvious – I just stream something other than WoW. We looked in to what I might stream, and there a whole bunch of games on the Nintendo Switch I’d enjoy playing, and of course Steam and even Discord has a bunch of games now. So I’m looking at getting a capture card and expanding my gaming options.

I’m still ironing out the finer details, but some changes are on their way. I want to get back in to a regular streaming schedule. I will (of course!) still play and stream WoW, especially if I manage to find a new team, but between that, I’m going to try some other games. This also means that I’m going to do a bit of a “re-branding” of myself. Whilst I love my pandaren Shaman, I need to move away from the strictly WoW focus. So keep an eye out for some fun new things in the very near future.

Look, if you’ve made it this far through my post, thank you. Thank you for sticking it out with me when I disappear for lengths at a time. Thank you for reading this post and helping me feel like I’m not alone. You’re amazing, and I’m grateful for you.

xo

 

Topic 40 of Z and I’s fortnightly blog challenge is all about getting to know the people behind the blogs. As usual, I’m late with my post, but better late than never! So! Here are a bunch of random facts about me!

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1. How do you drink your tea?

I like English Breakfast tea, a bit on the stronger side, with milk and honey. Really not a fan of fruity/herbal teas. I’m trying really hard to enjoy green tea… slowly getting there!

2. Favourite dessert?

Far too many things to mention. Right up there, though are Apple Turnovers. proper ones, with delicious fresh cream and flaky pastry om nom nom
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3. Favourite season and why?

It depends on where I am in the world, but anything that’s on the colder side. I like cool weather with blue skies and gentle breezes and jumpers and socks and scarves and also rain and changing trees and new flowers… bit of everything really. Just as long as its not hot!

4. What cheers you up?

I use music to help a lot of the time. I have specific playlists to boost my moods, and some to help me get out of funks. Other playlists are there to just rid out the low times. And if all that fails, Thor is always the first to cheer me up with his silly puns and snuggles.

5. Dogs or cats?

Both. I’d love one of each, and I’d love for them to be best friends 🙂

6. What’s your dream holiday?

Hmmm… somewhere new, where I can take loads of beautiful photographs, have somewhere to have a picnic with Thor then just relax and read/nap the afternoon away. Somewhere away from people!

7. How many kids do you want?

None.

8. Favourite weather?

See question 3. But also, rain.
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9. What would your last meal be?

Thor’s chicken soup, for two reasons. Firstly, its bloody delicious, and it always helps me feel better when I’m sick. But secondly, if it’s Thor’s chicken soup, it means he’s there too ❤

10. You can spend 24 hours anywhere, any year, where do you choose?

Honestly, I don’t know a god answer for this. All of the moments I would like to see would be greatly impacted by my presence, and I wouldn’t want to change them. If there was a way to see dinosaurs without being eaten or messing up the future of the world, then I’d see dinosaurs.

11. If you were a ghost, who or where would you haunt?

Many of you know that I have anxiety. I’ve had it since I was a kid. I remember my Mum was going out to a friend’s birthday one night, and I was losing my shit over it. I was scared something terrible was going to happen to her. So she made a deal with me. She said “if something happens to me while I’m out, and I don’t make it back, watch the clocks. I promise if I die, I will change the clocks to a silly time, and you will know that I’ve passed away but that I’m ok and that I love you.”. It seems ridiculous, I know, but it calmed me down and has stuck with me always.

So, to answer the question, if I were ghost, I’d go to my Mum’s house and change her clocks to silly times, just so that she would know that I was ok, and that I loved her.

12. What is your family ancestry?

Oh man we are so white. Our family history is pretty much all in England. Apparently there’s the very tiniest sliver of Spanish, but everything else is English. Pretty boring really. (My old boss has Viking blood in her!!)

13. What scares you?

I have anxiety – everything scares me lol

14. What are you most grateful for? 

Oh it’s corny, I know, but I’m most grateful for Thor. He believes in me when I don’t or can’t. And holy crap is he an amazing cook.

15. Dream job? 

This question is haunting me at the moment. since turning 35 I’ve been having a crisis about what I’m doing with my life. A big issue is that I don’t know how to answer this question. I don’t know what my dream job would be. All I know is that it’s creative, flexible with location and hours (i.e. I don’t have to get up at stupid times in the morning) and it satisfies me. I mean if I could do anything, I’d be a full time writer/photographer.

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one of my favourite photos I have taken

16. Do you believe in aliens?

Yes

17. Favourite sport?

I don’t like sports. Esports I can get on board with, though.

18. How do you relax after a long day?

By blowing up internet pixels in WoW 🙂

19. If you could meet one historical figure, who would you choose and why?

Honestly, I’d love to meet Jo Rowling. She gives me hope that there’s still time/a chance for me to be a proper writer.

20. If you had to be a teacher, what subject would you teach?

Fun fact: When I was in highschool I wanted to be a music teacher. We had to do compulsory work experience in our senior years and so I shadowed a primary school music teacher and a high school music teacher. I didn’t want to be a music teacher after that.
If I had to teach now, I’d probably teach English.

21. Describe your perfect day

Waking up in a little cabin by the beach, a soft breeze coming in through the window, blue skies outside. I’d hang out with Thor, read, go for a swim, play games and just not have a care in the world.

22. Describe yourself in a sentence

Undecided.

23. What makes you laugh the most?

Thor. And animals being derpy, like this one here.

24. What superpower would you choose?

Teleportation. I’d love to be able to travel anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted. Would make for a super fast commute home, too! 😀

25. Favourite animal?

I really do love owls. But honestly, animals in general are pretty neat, don’t you think?

26. Biggest accomplishment?

I’ve had my writing published once, and that was kind of a big deal, but also not at the same time because it was a uni thing. I’m proud of myself for getting on a plane to randomly nanny for 4 children in England… it was hard but I survived it and feel I’m a better/stronger person for doing that.

But I honestly don’t feel like I’ve reached my full potential yet.

The end! We made it! 

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Those of you who follow my twitter account will have seen that this past week was quite the rollercoaster. I’m personally still reeling a little bit from everything that happened (though I am overly dramatic, I know).

On Wednesday, Realm as a guild ended. And then on Thursday, it didn’t. Confused? Well, it will make sense. But to explain properly, I need to go backwards.

At the end of Legion

Realm as a guild technically formed at the end of the Tomb of Sargeras raid in Legion, though was made up of people who had been raiding together already for at least a year, some even longer. We went in to Antorus as a new team, determined to get Cutting Edge Argus. Which we achieved. We also managed to be the top ranking Alliance guild on our little server, which we were pretty proud of. We ended Legion as Titanslayers- strong and ready for Battle for Azeroth.

A few weeks before BfA came out we held a guild meeting to start making plans for raiding in the new expansion. We were having troubles trying to figure out our roster as it had suddenly grown to almost 40 players – waaaay too many. We needed to make some decisions about what type of team we wanted to be so that we could build the right team. So we asked everyone what they wanted from BfA; did we want to work on mythics, but bring through lower performing players (effectively being a “friends and family” mythic raiding guild) or did we want to push harder, be tougher about who came to raid and try for faster progression. The agreement from everyone was that we wanted to push harder. We were in a good spot- we had loads of players to choose from, and we all wanted to be better.

Going in to BfA

Going in to BfA everyone (including officers and GM) were dropped to trial rank. Our GM was re-chosen to lead us all, and new Officers were voted in (myself included). We had requirements about what level people needed to be at for raid, and agreed for the first few weeks of Uldir, we’d add in an extra night of raiding to help get us ahead.

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Our first week of Uldir was great with us getting Heroic G’huun down, giving us Ahead of the Curve in the first week. We were pretty stoked. The following week mythic opened, and we managed to get TWO mythic bosses down in addition to a heroic re-clear, giving us a bit of time to work on mythic Zek’voz.

And then last week happened. We cleared through heroic relatively quickly, as well as re-killing the first two mythic bosses, giving us days of attempts on Zek’voz. But we struggled. We didn’t get the kill. And worse than that, we felt like we were going backwards. On Monday, we had a really bad night, with many people under-performing and even more people getting extremely frustrated at both performance and lack of progression.

Here’s the thing about mythic raiding. It’s really stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to be performing to a super high standard. If you don’t meet that standard, you make mistakes, and mistakes mean wipes. For some people (like me) I like the pressure. I like the stress of it, I like wiping and failing, because we we do win, when we nail that delicate balance and we all figure out the dance together, the victory is so worth it. I love that feeling of accomplishment when it all just falls in to place and we win as a team. I love the nerd screams. I love our failed kill screenshots. I love it all. But it is really stressful. And you have to feel like you’re getting the payoff for it to be worth it.

Monday

After our rubbish night on Monday, the Officer team had a meeting, and our GM confessed he was done. He’d had enough. For him, as GM and raid lead, the stress and pressure is multitudes higher than for anyone else, and after that night it just got too much. The payoff wasn’t worth it, and he needed to step down. At that time he wasn’t 100% decided on what to do, and our meeting was to try and figure out what we could do. Could someone else take on lead? What would be the consequences of him stepping down? Who would step up? What could we do? I went to bed that night in tears – I could see the writing on the wall, and I was devastated. I could only imagine how our GM was feeling, too 😦

Tuesday

At the end of our meeting, one of our officers (and top dps) decided it was time for him to move on to a higher progressing guild (which he has found, and I’m super happy for him). We had suggested our GM think on his decision a little more and get back to us, but on the Tuesday, we also lost a tank. Then the Wednesday morning, another dps.

I spent a lot of Tuesday talking with the GM and other officers about the whole situation. It’s always a hard decision. I won’t go in to any specifics of our conversations, but a lot of what was making the decision so difficult came down to just how much the GM loved the guild and the people in it, but also just how stressed and worn out he was with it all. Being GM and raid lead has got to be one of the most thankless tasks out there. It’s so much work and effort to keep things running. And even with officers helping with bits and pieces here and there, and with talking to the team and asking them to take issues and concerns out of raid, it doesn’t stop those things from happening. It drives me up the wall, and I only experience it a little. It’s nothing compared to what a GM has to put up with.

Wednesday – the break-up

A team meeting was held on the Wednesday night (instead of raid) and our GM announced he was stepping down as raid lead, and that the future of the raid team depended on what everyone else wanted to do. People were asked to think on it for a bit, and let us all know what their plans were – did they want to stay and try and fill in the gaps, or did they want to move on to another team. No grudges would be held, we just needed to know so a decision could be made. In the end, too many people said they would be moving on without our GM in the leadership role.

So we came back together for one last team meeting with everyone… and our GM announced there were too many people looking to move on, so this was it…. and I bawled my eyes out (as did he, the poor thing). It was a horrible, emotional moment. I was genuinely heartbroken. I’ve been in guild break-ups before (far too many, actually) and they have always been hard. But this one felt different. This one really cut deep. It really felt like a relationship breaking up. I couldn’t imagine not spending each week with these people, laughing and yelling and struggling with these people. We all had good and bad times together… I didn’t want that to end. And yet here we were.

The fallout was… interesting. Once the meeting was done, people kinda just took a breath, and then decided to go run heroic Uldir together. I was a mess and sat out, but stayed in game because I just didn’t really know what else to do. But no-one gquit or raged or ranted. Everyone was just… sad. Overnight a couple of people faction swapped to join other friends in other guilds, but it wasn’t in anger. It was quiet and kind.

I posted about it on twitter, and had so many beautiful and amazing responses of support back from people. I was genuinely overwhelmed. But still heartbroken. I went to bed that night wondering what on earth I was going to do. How was I going to find a new team? Who on earth would take a shaman to a raid right now? Did I still even want to raid? And even worse… did I still even want to play WoW anymore?

Thursday

I went to work on Thursday exhausted and mentally drained. No-one at work really understood it (one person even kind of scoffed at the situation) which didn’t really help. I felt sad, and tired, but added to that, I was also sick to my stomach. Our GM was feeling almost instant regret about the decision, and it made me feel awful. I felt I had given him bad advice about everything. (My focus was on making sure he was going to be ok with the decision he made, and to not feel guilted in to sticking around if he didn’t want to. You know my mantra – WoW is a game, and games are supposed to be fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.) Thursday morning SUCKED plain and simple. I had lost my guild, and felt like I had been a bad friend to someone who has been exceptionally kind to me. I was not having a good time.

But then Thursday afternoon happened.

Thursday afternoon, our GM logged in to game, expecting the guild to have emptied, and instead still found it full of people. They didn’t want to go. This was their home, and they wanted to stay. That coupled with our GM’s regret… and well, the guild un-broke-up. Our GM posted in our Discord a really heartwarming message saying the guild would be staying together… and then I cried again as people cheered and left sweet messages and were just everything we didn’t want to leave behind. The thing that makes this guild so special is the people in it. Sure, we all fight and bicker and give each other shit, but that’s what families do.

We went back in to finish off the heroic clear on Thursday night with a renewed sense of togetherness. We also managed to one-shot the last 3 bosses on heroic and the first mythic boss, which just goes to show how much better peoples’ performance is when they’re in a good mood! 😀

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The aftermath

Things seem to be calm, now. The people who had faction changed managed to have them reverted (thanks Blizzard!!!) and came back to the guild as soon as they could. We ran our usual normal run on Saturday night, which went surprisingly well. And tonight’s mythic run, though thwarted by the attendance boss (thanks NRL grand final!), was smooth and successful.

Most people understand why things got they way they did – we pushed too hard. Raiding 4 nights a week was taking it out of people. The constant feeling of pressure was overwhelming for a lot of people, and it was wearing everyone down – not just the GM, but everyone. So we’re taking a step back. We will continue to raid mythic level, with the goal of getting Cutting Edge each tier. But not at the expense of the team.

The whole thing feels like a really sappy daytime romantic comedy in a way. But whatever it was, we’ve come out the other side of it, and I feel like in a way, we’re almost a bit better for it. Those who wanted more have moved to a place they can get that progression, and everyone else back here is on the same page. I’m grateful for this crazy bunch of beautiful people. Here’s to many more raids together as a the silly, dysfunctional WoW-family we are. realm_logo_on_dark_grey

xo

This long weekend I said to myself that I would take things a bit easier, and get back to just enjoying WoW. Yeah, there are things I definitely need to do, but my goal for the weekend is just to make sure that I’m doing the things I love. Like explore and finish obscure achievements and what not.

One of the achievements I ticked off today was Cursed Game Hunter. I only had a goat and a shark left to kill for the achievement, so was on wowhead looking for where they were, when a related guide popped up – Hidden Secrets of Kul Tiras. I mean, of course I had to check it out.

First thing I ticked off in this guide was getting Taptaf. He’s an absolutely adorable little piggy!

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The in the guide I saw that there were other pets that could be purchased if certain conditions were met. Turned out I had met quite a few of those. I decided to go get Greatwing Macaw because I just love the birds! This lovely pet was available to purchase from Dana Pull in a part of Boralus we don’t really spend a lot of time in. So off I went to find Dana. Not only did I find Dana, I found heaven.

Dana is found in Boralus:

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Here’s the entrance to his shop…

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And inside? PUPPIES!! PUPPIES EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

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I went around and patted EVERY.SINGLE.PUPPERS in there so they would know that I loved them all. What a magical place!!! (And yes, bought the macaw pet, too).

The NPCs in there make my heart swell, too.

It’s things like this that make World of Warcraft such a beautiful game to me. I remember seeing tweets from Blizz employees in the lead up to launch saying that their pets had been found in the PTR. It was a surprise to them, too, which is just so lovely.

There are so many things like this in BfA, too. Whilst levelling I found a couple of houses absolutely PACKED with cats! And somewhere in Zuldazar (I think!) is a flight point for Alliance that has little baby dinos that you can pet, too! And there’s so much more. It’s nice to take some time meandering around and finding these things.

 

 

How has it been a month since Battle for Azeroth launched? Holy moly time passes quickly. I suppose a bit part of that is about how completely flat out I’ve been in game. Which leads me in to the topic of this post, and the last Blog Challenge topic (I know I’m late!!) How do you level in Battle for Azeroth?

After raiding, levelling is one of my favourite things to do in game. Seeing new worlds, new NPCs, new secrets and adventures really tickles the explorer in me (and the screenshot nerd!) I love taking my time to follow random paths, hunting down treasures, killing rares, seeing new things and helping out a whole new bunch of people. And this is where we start facing some issues – the time I take to level is not conducive to being raid ready.

Being in a raid team (especially a team that wants to work on mythic bosses) means there are certain expectations. Characters are required to meet a number of requirements in time for going in to raid to make sure we are able to beat dps checks and heal all the damage going out. For our raid team, we expected everyone to have an ilvl of 340 and Azerite neck at 18 before stepping in to Uldir for the first time. (Keep in mind, 340 is the ilvl that drops from mythic 0 dungeons).

I am all for making sure that I’m raid ready. But I’m also not going to sacrifice what I think is important to me about the game. I’m in WoW to have a good time, and new expansions are a really special time for me. So I had to find a happy medium. This is what I did.

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1. I levelled alone. Our guild had a few groups of people who were levelling together to help speed up the process. They were also generally in War Mode, which meant they could all help each other stay alive in pvp situations. I didn’t do this for a few reasons, the most important being that I hate feeling beholden to a group. I want to go *my* way, and read all the quest text and stay for all the dialogue and take a million screen shots and visit all the new NPCs in the cities. I want to be able to travel down those random paths and explore every corner of the caves. I also don’t want to hold up a group by doing all those things. I don’t expect anyone else to want to do this (and to be brutally honest, I prefer doing these things on my own).

So solo it was. Levelling solo takes longer, simply because there’s only one of you to kill all the mobs and collect all the things. But I accepted this and knew it would be the case. Which is one of the reasons I took a week of work for the launch. It meant that, even though I would take a lot longer to level up, I’d still have plenty of time to do all the things I needed to make sure I could step in to raid in a strong position.

WoWScrnShot_081518_230829.jpg2. I started in War Mode… but turned it off when I got killed the first time. (For those who don’t know – War Mode turns on world pvp, meaning people can come along and kill you out in the world. It’s not able to be turned on or off no matter what server you’re on, which is pretty awesome!!) The experience gains were too good to ignore, so I tolerated it for awhile. I ended up getting killed in Boralus, though, which made me super mad because that was my home turf! So turned it off shortly after. I managed to make it to about 118 before I turned War Mode off.  Regular readers will know that I am terrible pvp, so it’s no surprise I did this.

3. I picked a zone and stayed until I was done… mostly. I started in Drustvar, and stayed until I finished it. The main reason for starting in Drustvar is that it was suggested as a good place to start if you have mining. Which turned out to be true. My mining got maxed out very quickly indeed, which was great.

WoWScrnShot_090218_131850.jpgAnother reason I stuck around in the zone was because of how dungeons were baked in to Legion – once you finished a zone, there was a dungeon to help wrap that zone up. It helped make the story feel more complete, and gave a much better context for the dungeons overall. This turned out to be the case for Battle for Azeroth as well, with Waycrest Manor being the dungeon at the end of the zone. Knowing the story that took me there really helps me appreciate the dungeon so much more.

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The second zone I went to was Tiragarde Sound. By the time I got here a whole bunch of guildies were already at 120, which started getting me a bit nervous, but I continued on my merry way (though I did miss a couple of side quests in this zone.)

beemountI had about a level and a half left to get to 120, and the pressure was on. Stepping in to Stormsong Valley I made the decision to just do the main storyline so the dungeon would make sense. I dinged before I finished the zone, however kept going so that I could unlock world quests.

Also, all the zones are STUNNING, so of course I wanted to stay as long as I could!!!

Post-levelling

After all that, I think it did alright with my levelling journey. I had a wonderful time levelling, I truly did. I am absolutely adoring the expansion, and being able to take my time with it all, to read all the quests and understand what’s going made the whole experience so much better.

Now, my focus is on raiding. So I’m running dungeons and doing island expeditions and allllll the world quests to get my reputation up and collect azerite for my neck.WoWScrnShot_091318_195635.jpg

I’m honestly having a fabulous time in Battle for Azeroth. I know there are a lot of people out there who are not having the best time, and are unhappy with all the bugs… I’m trying to keep my head down. I don’t want to get weighed down with the negativity. For me, things are great! And the bugs don’t ruin my enjoyment of the game. I’m hoping with a bit of time, peoples’ frustrations will die down.


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Last night, the first raid of Battle for Azeroth opened. Uldir is here! It’s a great looking raid. But more on that in a moment.

Before we headed off, I wanted to get a team picture of our starting team for the expansion (and thankfully my GM entertains my annoying screenshot-taking habits!). So we all got together for our first pre-raid pic. 🙂

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You might notice that’s a lot of people. Well, you’d be right. One of the biggest challenges that we have as an officer team at the moment is reducing the team numbers down to a more manageable level. Mythic only needs 20, and normal and heroic cap at 30. We have almost 40 people. Thankfully I don’t have a lot to do with really choosing who makes it to mythic and who doesn’t (other than personal observations).

But on to the raid itself!!

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Uldir is in Nazmir, on the Horde island of Zandalar. According to Blizz, it was an old Titan facility, where they were experimenting with the void energies that bound the Old Gods. Things did not go well, so they literally shut the door on the place and hoped no-one would notice. Genius!

I tried to get pics of all the bosses, but wasn’t always successful (darn rogues stealthing in front of the bosses!!), but here are some of them.

The overall aesthetic of the place is pretty cool. It has the titan feel that you would want and expect from something that the titans were involved with. It feels massive, but it’s designed in such a way that it doesn’t take a super long time to get from boss A to boss B.

Interestingly, the exit of the Underrot raid is apparently the entrance to this raid, so many of the Underrot aesthics are there, too. Lots of blood and decay. It really looks amazing.

So for our first night, our goal was to at least clear normal with as many people as we could. We managed to do this relatively easily, with the only real challenge being G’huun. That is a chaotic fight that did a bucket load of damage, even on normal. But it was a lot of fun, with some interesting mechanics.

Tonight we go back in to do it all again on heroic. Our goal is to clear out the whole raid on heroic to get Ahead of the Curve by the end of the lock out. I should be do-able… but we’ll see 🙂

Hope those of you stepping in to Uldir this week have a fantastic time. Let me know how you go!

Ok, ok I’m late for my own blog challenge. Oops!

For topic 37 we are sharing our first impressions of Battle for Azeroth in pictures. The challenge was 5 pictures… look, no-one thought I’d actually do just 5, right? I think I’ve done well to get it to 6, but boy have I ignored some great ones!

Before I get started, though, I will say this – the number of times I had to stop what I was doing and just look around in game because I was blown away by the experience is staggering. This expansion so far is everything that I wanted and more. It kinda makes me speechless… which does not bode well for a blog. So let’s do pictures instead!

I tried to choose the pictures that best summed up the things I loved while I levelled.

First up, the ferry system in Boralus. I am in LOVE with this! I wish the Flight Master’s Whistle could drop you off at ferry ports as well as flight paths. It’s a beautiful way to take in the city and the stunning views.

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Speaking of stunning views… I mean holy moly! ❤ I’m glad I could share this with Uuna 🙂 (I had her along with me the whole time I levelled. That was the deal we made in the quests to get her, and it’s a deal I plan to maintain every time).

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I love just how much water-themed magic there has been for the Alliance story. As a restoration shaman I’m really digging it 🙂

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I’m also loving all the mini-cinematics that we’re getting that feature our characters. It’s such an awesome way to make us feel like we’re really part of the game. It also made the bad things just that little bit more terrifying and heartbreaking…

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I also loved the little side-quests that remind us that we are living in a world where war isn’t the most pressing concern; where people still have their own lives and families to worry about. And they say ‘thank you’ in the sweetest ways.

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And lastly, Norwington Estate. If I could choose to live anywhere in Azeroth, this is where it would be. It has everything I love – beautiful home, mountains and ocean. Not to mention that Lord Norwington is just delightful, and there are ponies, and fireworks!!!

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Like I said – stunning.

Hope you’re all enjoying Battle for Azeroth!! ❤

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It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in one of these challenges (which is pretty hilarious given I’m one half of the team that runs these things… ) I’m aiming to do better with these challenges, though, so here I am.

I chose this topic for the challenge because I wanted to see some more positive posts around the place. Pre-expansion patches are always difficult; people are upset about class changes, addons stop working for awhile… the general sense of upheaval can really get to people, and it’s been showing in the community. My hope was to see some posts that focused on the good stuff. And here is mine.

The topic is in two parts – My Top 3 Legion moments, and then What I’m most looking forward to in Battle for Azeroth.

Part 1 – My Top 3 Legion moments

Ok firstly can I just say that Legion has been absolutely incredible with the amount of content it had. We had artifacts that had class customised scenarios to go with them, class order halls and class mounts and customised quests to get them. We had 5 raids, 13 dungeons, 7 new zones, and world quests on all of them. There were pet battle dungeons, and the whole mythic plus system, and secret mounts and pets and toys to discover… there was so much to do! And it was all incredible. So choosing only 3 favourite things is really hard, guys, just know that.

Shameless plug, but a couple of weeks ago I was a guest on Rolling Restart with Rho, and we talked a lot about the amazing things Legion gave us. It was a really fun show! You can check it out right here.

But I must stick to the topic, and choose 3 favourites. So, this is what I’ve come up with.

Cutting Edge Argus

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This is easily one of my highest rated moments in game. Cutting Edge kills usually are for me, because we invest so much time and energy in to getting these kills. We work our butts off and argue and cry and get frustrated, but we keep trying. Cutting Edge, for me, has always been about overcoming all of that to succeed. To kick butt. To feel accomplished. Doing that with a ridiculous and hilarious bunch of people fills me with joy, and makes me super sappy. (For what it’s worth, I re-watched that kill video again just now and it still makes me tear up. Such a good feeling!)

Cinematics

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Without a doubt, a huge highlight for me in Legion has been the cinematics that were so effortlessly weaved into so much of the game, from creating new characters, to levelling in each zone, and taking down raid bosses. The cinematics did such a wonderful job of pulling together all of the pieces of story in the expansion, helping us all make sense of what was happening.

I found this fantastic video on YouTube that shows all of the cinematics in Legion, from beginning to end. All up it’s nearly an hour long – how incredible is that?!?! Really puts it all in to perspective. And also reminds me of just how many times I’ve cried my eyes out in this expansion, holy moly!

Uuna

I’m going to preface this by saying that there were SO many NPCs and stories and side stories that I got attached to in Legion. Runas the Shamed in Azsuna, Ysera’s demise in Val’sharah,  Thalyssra in Suarmar and Mayla Highmountain in… well, Highmountain. All of them were so beautifully portrayed in this expansion, and made it such a wonderful story to play through. So in a way, this section is for all of those characters.

But really, one did stand out a lot. Uuna. I know I have written about her before, but this little quest line really was such a highlight for me.

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I loved that this wasn’t compulsory- that it wasn’t part of the main story. Though in a way, it really was. She was just one of the countless victims of the Legion. A tragically sweet and innocent victim at that. And so we go on a completely heartbreaking journey to save her from never ending darkness. Oh my gosh, it really is just so, so beautiful. I’m so glad I was able to save her. And I can’t wait to take her on my next adventure.

Part 2 – what I am most looking forward to in Battle for Azeroth

This is always a tough topic. New expansions hold so much promise. We know there’s going to be a whole bunch of new content coming. This pre-expansion content and story has already ripped our hearts out and caused so much divide in the community (not just Alliance vs Horde, either!) There’s so much to look forward to! Here are a couple of my favourite things…

Leading ladies

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Like everyone else, I have been living for the Warbringer series. Seeing the stories behind these kick ass women has been so wonderfully heartbreaking. I’m terrified, but I have faith that Blizzard are going to do these ladies justice by having amazing stories for them in Battle for Azeroth. And I can’t wait to experience it!

New Allied races – now with curves!

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I am absolutely with Ann here– I simply cannot wait to see the Kul’Tiran race – these ladies have curves! They got booty!

We don’t know what classes the Kul’Tiran can be yet, although it does look like they will be able to be druids given all the druid forms that have been datamined. I am really hoping they can be shaman. Firstly, so few of the allied races can be shaman at all, which is really frustrating. But more than that, I WANT TO BE KUL’TIRAN! I’ve never considered race changing from my pandaren. I love her dearly, and always will. But the Kul’Tiran… they’ve got something going on that just really sits so well with me. Maybe I will change my mind once I’ve played through the story in BfA… but for the time being, I would just love to be a kick-ass Kul’Tiran restoration shaman. *fingers crossed*

New raids

This one really goes without saying, doesn’t it? I’ve been so restless these past few weeks as the expansion has come to a close and raiding has ended. I miss it so much. I miss the challenge and the learning and fighting and tantrums. lol I cannot wait to see what Blizz has in store for us in raids in BfA!

 

So that’s my list! Do you agree? Check out what other people have put on their lists over on the main post at https://zandcindersblogchallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/topic-36-farewell-to-legion/.

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It’s the eve of what is bound to be an incredible emotional day for many Alliance players (and maybe even some unsure Horde, too…). Tomorrow, Teldrassil burns.

I’ve managed to keep the story of how and why Teldrassil burns a secret- I’ve successfully avoided it in the beta and all the website, and I’m so grateful for that, because I really have no idea what’s going to happen. What I do know, though, is that it’s going to be pretty emotional.

I couldn’t go in to this pre-expansion event without saying farewell to the beautiful tree so many of us love.

Like many players, my journey in World of Warcraft started in Teldrassil. I was a night elf mage called Sylaera. It was running around those beautiful woods that got me immediately hooked on the game, and, as you can see, I’ve not looked back. So it breaks my heart that this beautiful, innocent place, is potentially being destroyed.

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This is where it started

(Even as I took that pic, a new toon was being created 🙂 )

There was something about this starting zone that was just so… innocent? Maybe that’s just the memories that I have attached to the area. But it was beautiful, and sweet and such a lovely way to start the WoW journey.

Darnassus as a city was always a bit confusing to me. Everything seemed to be a bit all over the place. But I tell you, the first time I walked up to those gates, I was genuinely in awe.

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The giant trees guarding the gates, and how small I seemed…

I remember laughing the first time I saw the grizzly bear bank, fiercely protecting the Night Elves’ possessions.

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I loved the way everything just fit in this tree. This strange world seemed so foreign to me at the time (it was my first MMO, after all!). But I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of it.

Even now, years later, I still get distracted by how gorgeous it is.

And now that’s going away. And all I can think of is “what will happen to all the people?” What about the guy digging holes, and the people having a party in the courtyard? Or all of those beautiful tree guarding the city with their lives.

I just want to hide it from everyone. Horde, you can’t see this! It’s not really here! The whole place is just so beautiful an innocent… and I know Malfurion and Tyrande are there, and in some ways that’s reason enough to set the place on fire… but like, couldn’t you just lure them out and take them down somewhere else?

Teldrassil, you are beautiful, and I hope that, even though danger is headed your way, there’s something we can do to salvage this beautiful home of yours.

teldrassil

I really love a new pre-patch. There’s something about it that makes me feel like I’ve got a clean slate. It’s a new beginning which means new opportunities to kick butt in game and have new adventures.

It’s also an opportunity to have a bit of a spring clean and a makeover, which is exactly what I’ve done. I’ve not changed a lot on my website. Most of the things I did were to prepare my raiding killshots pages for Battle for Azeroth and archive the Legion ones. I also changed some pictures and some slight changes to the landing page. The biggest difference, though, is my new site logo!

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website

Back when I became a twitch affiliate I needed to get some sub emotes designed. Of course I immediately thought of the incredible Sirius, and commissioned her to make some totem emotes (which are absolutely ADORABLE by the way!!) I loved them so much that when it came time to spruce up my blog a bit, I decided to use them here, too. (and you guys should absolutely check out Sirius’ art on her website over at https://supersirius.net)

The biggest changes, though, were on my twitch stream.I’d been wanting a change for a little while, and the launch of Battle for Azeroth’s pre-patch was as good an excuse as any.

I found a neat theme that I liked that was also highly customisable called Stonefire from Nerd or Die. I just love it. (Helped that it was super decently priced, too!!) I made the theme a deep blue to show my Alliance allegiance.

Obviously it looks better when it’s live because it’s all animated, but you get the idea 🙂

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been busy with over the past week or so. That and, of course, getting used to all the class changes. As of writing this, there’s just over 3 weeks to go until Battle for Azeroth launches for real!!! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!

xo

Here’s where you will find the complete collection of screen shots and videos of Realm’s raiding adventures in Battle for Azeroth.
(Check out the gallery to see pics from other expansions)

Stream VoDs can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/cinder_streams/videos/all .
Kill videos can be found over on YouTube.

Battle of Dazar’alor 

[6] King Rastakhan

[5] Conclave of the Chosen

[4] Opulence

[3] Grong

[2 Jadefire Masters

[1] Champion of the Light

[0] AOTC Heroic Jaina Proudmoore


Uldir [3/8M]

[3] Mythic Zek’voz

[2] Mythic MOTHER

[1] Mythic Taloc

[0] Ahead of the Curve: G’huun (first week!!)

There’s nothing better than getting your guild mates together and taking down some bosses.

Here’s a collection of Realm’s team kill shots and videos for each of the raids in Legion. (Check out the gallery to see pics from other expansions)

Antorus

[11] Mythic Argus the Unmaker – CUTTING EDGE!

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[10] Mythic Aggramar

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[9] Mythic Coven of Shivarra

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Mythic Coven of Shivarra

[8] Mythic Varimathras

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Mythic Varimathras

[7] Mythic Kin’garoth

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Mythic Kin’Garoth

[6] Mythic Imonar the Soulhunter

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Mythic Imonar the Soulhunter

[5] Mythic Portal Keeper Hasabel

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Mythic Portal Keeper Hasabel

[4] Mythic Eonar the Life-Binder

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Mythic Eonar

[3] Mythic Antoran High Command

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Mythic Antoran High Command

[2] Mythic Felhounds of Sargeras

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Mythic Hounds of Sargeras

[1] Mythic Garothi Worldbreaker

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Mythic Garothi Worldbreaker

Tomb of Sargeras

Here’s a collection of Pit Crew’s team kill shots for each of the raids.


Nighthold


Trial of Valor

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
– Emily Dickinson

I’ve had this poem swimming around in my head ever since I read the latest official Warcraft novel, ‘Before the Storm’ by Christie Golden. Every time I think about the book, I keep thinking about hope, and what it means to lose it. And what becomes of the person who does.

~*~*~SPOILER ALERT for ‘Before the Storm’ and some Legion-end specific content.~*~*~

before_the_storm_coverIt was the latest episode of the Rolling Restart podcast during which Rho and Ben Bumhoffer talked about their opinions on the book that I got to thinking about my own thoughts and where I thought it was all going. (Side note: Rolling Restart is one of my favourite podcasts, by the way. Comes out every fortnight, and Rho gets some awesome people on to talk about random things.)  And it was during that podcast that I realised I had ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’ in my head since finishing the book.

For me, ‘hope’ was such a prevalent theme throughout the book: Sylvanas’ hope for the future of her people, the forsaken, and Anduin’s undying hope for peace between the factions are the two first obvious instances. But it went so much deeper than that. Magni’s hope that Azeroth herself would survive; Grizzek and Sappronetta’s hope for each other… everyone’s hope that Azeroth might survive, and the people living upon its earth would see out their days in peace.

Isn’t it hope that keep us going each day? That gives us a reason to wake up in the morning and go about our day? Hope that, if things are not good, they will get better; or if things are well, they stay that way? I feel like every part of this book played with the notion of hope; what it means to have it, and what happens to those who lose it.

And I suppose that’s why I keep coming back to this poem.

Anduin

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One of the criticisms I have seen of the book has been the character of Anduin and his relentless pursuit of peace. As if peace is a weakness, a youthful innocence that is not becoming of a king, and something to be ashamed of. As if wanting to be good and happy and kind, and wanting that for others, are character flaws. They are not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. How strong must your heart be to believe everyone is capable and worthy of happiness? How sturdy your soul to know peace is possible? And how brave must you be to feel all of this, when your own heart has just been broken in the most horrific way. The fact that Anduin is still capable of love and compassion and hope after everything he has been through (not just the recent obliteration of his father) is a testament to his resilience as a human being.

There’s a nobility in being able to see past the darkness around you to give light to others. And it’s for this reason I believe Anduin is one of the strongest people in the Warcraft universe. But it is also for this reason that I am terrified for him.

Until now, Anduin has embodied the theme of the poem- his hope is deep inside him, and it sings, sings, sings. But it’s this line that troubles me:

And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird

‘Sore must be the storm’. In a very literal way, we know a storm is coming because the book is quite literally called Before the Storm. We also know a storm is coming because it’s what triggers events in Battle for Azeroth. But what else will it trigger? Will Anduin’s little bird of hope be ‘abashed’? Or worse, silenced?

There were so many times that I cried during the reading of this book. I felt like my heart kept getting broken over and over again. Most of the time it was because it seemed like Anduin was being repeatedly punished for his hope. I cried as he publicly said goodbye to his father, and then as his servent, Wyll, passed away, and especially so when he watched in horror as the hopes of his people were destroyed and their family members murdered. Each betrayal would be enough for most people to crumble. But he just.kept.going. And still, at the end of the book, there his hope is, singing away.

But what if what is to come is too much? What if it’s the last that his hope can take? What becomes of someone like that? Well, I think they start to become like my other favourite character…

Sylvanas

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I am not saying Sylvanas is without hope. Far from it. In some ways she is almost just as hopeful as Anduin. Maybe even more. Because if you want to talk about a survivor, Sylvanas is the Queen of them. There are few people in Azeroth who have been through and seen what Sylvanas has. She has literally been born and reborn and reborn again, and that changes a person. (Quite literally in Sylvanas’ case). Sylvanas could never have become the Queen she is today if she were without hope.

But Sylvanas has a different kind of hope. To go back to the bird analogy, I think Sylvanas’ hope is a screeching bird- Loud. Constant. Desperate. It’s a bird that’s weathered the storm.

One of the things Ben said in the Rolling Restart podcast was about Sylvanas being protective of her people. Almost like a mother. It’s a great thought, because what is more fierce, more determined, than a mama bear protecting her family? It’s this protective nature that seems to drive so many of Sylvanas’ actions. She wants only to keep her people safe. The difference with her hope, though, is the way she strives to achieve this. That desperate bird calling inside her is why she takes such drastic, and sometimes cruel actions to do what she believes is right for her people.

In a way it even explains why she was such a cold-hearted bitch to her own people as they prepared to meet their still-living family members. She wants to help them, to let them ‘live’ forever. To give them a future better than the extended rot they face. She knows that if her peoples’ families reject them, they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives… and she doesn’t want that for them. She is desperate to protect them from their own hope. The trouble will be if she becomes desperate for them to love her… but that’s another topic for another day.

When we talk about criticisms of Before the Storm, most of them are around how Sylvanas is portrayed in the book, as being another villain; another Garrosh to defeat at the end of Battle for Azeroth. I find it disappointing that people are not looking deeper than this… but again perhaps another topic for another day. Suffice to say, if people believe Sylvanas to be so one-dimensional, they are missing some of the most interesting parts of her character. We need to remember- she’s not human. Her reasoning is different. Her motivations are different. Her hope…

It’s Sylvanas’ hope for her peoples’ future that makes me believe that it’s entirely possible for her to talk away from them so that they may be lead by the new ‘undead-but-in-a-pretty-way’ Calia Menethil. I don’t know how this would happen, but I believe it’s possible. I believe Sylvanas could sacrifice herself, knowing her people could be taken care of by Calia, who is now one of them.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and Calia’s situation will be the final straw for Sylvanas, and will tip her over the edge of being protective, and becoming all out vindictive instead. (An Undead divided, even?)

Regardless of what is to come, what Before the Storm did for me was show me just how much Sylvanas loves her people, and how her hope for them and their future is what motivates her. And even though I don’t agree with her methods, even though I cried my heart out as she had her own people murdered… I understand. Her hope still screams.

After Before the Storm

I feel like I could write about this book for days. How I became an emotional wreck reading it. How I loved the interracial relationship, and how I held my breath as they fought to survive. How I felt like I was being punched in the gut over and over again.

But I won’t.

Instead, I’m going to read it again. Because I really, really enjoyed this book. But most of all… most of all I felt proud of my King, I felt a better understanding of the Banshee Queen and I am full of hope that Battle for Azeroth is going to rip my heart out again with an amazing story.

 

I’ve been wanting to do something for my guild for quite some time. Sure, we’ve only been together (in this form) since the end of Tomb of Sargeras (so since around November/December last year? And to be fair, I’ve been raiding with some of them for the whole of Legion. ), but in that time I’ve grown so fond of my guildies. And I wanted to say thank you.

Thing is, the past few months have been a bit rubbish. Well, truth be told, the past year hasn’t been the greatest (work situations are just the worst for making you feel crap!) and raiding with these folks has been one of the few things that has kept me sane (that, and of course, Thor). Raiding with Realm is something I look forward to each week. I love these guys to bits. Even when we yell at each other. Even when we’re apes (ok, maybe especially when we’re apes). When we’re killing bosses together, or playing hide and seek in Dalaran, or fudging our way through mythic+ dungeons & bgs… it’s all just been so much fun. Pulling together and getting our Cutting Edge on mythic Argus the other week really was the icing on the cake of what was already an amazing expansion.

So I’ve been wracking my brains for what to do. And for the longest time I knew precisely what I wanted to do. But… well, I don’t have the talent to do it. (I maaaaaaayy have re-written the lyrics to ‘Part of your World’ from The Little Mermaid to tell the story of someone who wants to raid with us 😀 But I can’t sing for shit!) So I was back to square one.

Then the other day, when I was doing my WoW screenshots archiving, it occurred to me that I have a lot of screenshots. (Seriously… a LOT). And I had already been asking guildies for pics of themselves for me… so I decided to make a mosaic of all of us (and a whooooole bunch of pics from Antorus) into a wallpaper using our guild logo.

And so with the help of AndreaMosaic I made this…

Realm mosaic wallpaper V2_4k

UPDATED: added some more raider pics to it cos some people were missing in the first one 🙂 

The original is big enough that you can zoom in and see all the individual pictures pretty well (not perfect, but well enough!). If you want to have a look, check out the fullsize version of the wallpaper here. Here are some snippets:

I know I’m a giant sap, but I’m an older lady now, and I’m very fond of the people that I chose to spend so much time with each week. I just want them to know how appreciative I am that they put up with my cranky moods and my nagging for screen shots and silly wee wee songs and inappropriate jokes (though, I’m the tamest of them all, I swear it!). I am so thankful for these people who have stood up for me and come to my defence when trolls came to my stream; who have become facebook friends and not run away screaming when they see pics of me; who don’t make fun of my terrible kill videos; who are there for a chat in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep; who are just good fun people to be around (even when I’m not).

So Realm – thank you for being amazing. I am so looking forward to kicking ass with you all in Battle for Azeroth. ❤

xo

P.S. Here are some closeups of the guildies who sent me selfies ❤ (All the pics below are in the mosaic)

Well, we have officially “finished” Legion. Last weekend our guild finally killed mythic Argus, giving us the Cutting Edge achievement. It took over 600 pulls and countless frustrations, but we made it. We are now Titanslayers (a title we now use to brush off dozens of wipes during re-clear…)

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I’m proud of our team, though. Even though it took us longer to get this than expected, we got through it all with no rage quits. Sure there was bickering and frustrations and nagging and complaining, but we didn’t have to cancel any raids because we didn’t have enough people show up, and we didn’t have massive blow ups or people leaving. We came out the other side of this still a team, and I’m extremely thankful for that.

I put together the kill video for the fight. We had FOUR points of view for this one, which was really awesome! I still have so much to learn when putting these things together, but hopefully this still managed to capture the heart of it all. (The chimp sounds at the start are because we eventually became apes during this progression… 🙂

Now we are just going back and trying to get people the mythic kills they are missing, and getting out as many mounts as we can to people.

I’m proud of our little team. Here’s to new bosses to defeat in Battle for Azeroth!

Well hi there, friends. Today I wanted to take on a little peak behind the curtain, and show you where I am when I’m writing/streaming/talking to you all. It’s take awhile… in fact, it’s take the whole time we’ve lived in this apartment, so about 4 years? But finally – FINALLY I have all my gaming/nerdy paraphernalia together! I’m pretty excited about it.

A few weeks back we finally had the extra cash (and time) to go down to Ikea and buy some more shelves. We then had quite the adventure moving old things out of the study to empty it so that we could build the shelves, and build my new desk, then move Thor’s desk back in (and toss my old one in the tip). Our apartment is quite small, so it’s a really strategic Tetris game at times, moving our furniture around. With things set up in the study, it was then a case of getting all the bits and pieces from the random boxes and shelves around the apartment, and bringing them together to their new home.

And now it’s done! This is my little corner! On the shelves themselves, the top shelf is for all the stuffed Warcraft toys (I’m determined to collect them all!). The tall black thing on the left is a fan… so it has to wear a fun hat hehe. The picture on the wall there is from a scene of one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who (The Doctor’s Wife), which was written by Neil Gaiman (and also has Matt Smith, who is my favourite Doctor). On the far right of the top part is some beautiful artwork by the amazing Frenone, a token I got from the Australian Legion launch, and a Doomhammer necklace.

First shelf, top left, has more WoW goodies. Draped over the side is the amazing alliance scarf that the beautiful Natanie knitted for me ❤ ❤ Inside are collectables, mostly from Blizzcon boxes. To the right is the Star Wars shelf. To the right of that again is miscellaneous funko pops, including Wonder Woman, Thor, a Weeping Angel and Zoe from Firefly. And to the right of that again are all my theatre programmes (and a Singin’ in the Rain umbrella! <3)

Second row from the top we have my Collector’s Editions (just Mists and Legion so far- Battle for Azeroth will be added soon, though!) plus the 2 of the Chronicles books, and other Warcraft books. Also that long thin box in there- that was a Kris Kringle gift that I god a couple of years ago from a friend at work. Inside is Warcraft cookie cutters!! I haven’t used them yet… I really should.

To the right of that is more miscellaneous stuff, including a Harry Potter letter writing set (including wax seal!!), some of Thor’s Back to the Future collectables, a Doctor Who sonic spork (lol) and some Princess Bride cards. To the right of that is pretty much hidden by my monitors, and mostly contains random bits of nothing, although does have my Firefly – Still Flying book, and agraphic novel about Eminem (it’s freakin’ awesome). There are also two “books” that I wrote when I was in primary school. I’ll show them to you all one day 🙂 Lastly on that row are other stuffed toys, which are guarded by E.T. He’s currently wearing bunny ears… anyway, he talks what you squeeze his hand. He belongs to Thor, and even though we don’t really have room for him, I just can’t bear for him to be thrown away. So we always make room for him.

Lastly above my monitor is a signed print of the Firefly cast, and stuck to that is a pic of the amazing Joss Whedon (yes… I’m a massive Joss fan-girl). On my desk I have a replica Doomhammer, and because I am all about the Alliance, my Blizzcon Alliance coaster, and an Alliance notepad, which I use to make my raiding notes. And of course all my lighting is blue at the moment 😀

So that’s about it for the fun stuff. The rest of the shelves are stuff related to my writing (research books etc.) an old typewriter, and general storage. I’m pretty happy with everything. Under the desk I’ve currently got 4 big boxes full of stationery and shit. I’ve ordered some printed fabric to cover them… will show you when it arrives 🙂 But otherwise, I’m happy with it all.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed this peak into real-world Cinder 🙂

xo

It has been a very long time coming (thanks my slow-ass levelling skills) but this weekend I finally finished collecting all of the class mounts. I’m officially finished! All up there are 32 class mounts, with some classes having only 1, and others having 4. So whilst I was able to unlock the main mount for a bunch of classes, it meant getting the artifact and getting Power Ascended on it in order to unlock other colour variants. Not overly difficult, just a little time consuming.

All class mounts

Gotta say, even though there were some class mount quests that I didn’t like at all, the whole concept of getting a unique class mount has been AWESOME and I’m so glad Blizzard implemented it. Even though the levelling took a little while, I still enjoyed it all.

As for favourites? I’d say Death Knight, Shaman, Priest and Mage had some of my favourite mount quest lines, for sure. Oh, Hunter was quite good, too. Least favourite was easily Warrior. Just felt really boring to me (but that could be because I think Odyn is a giant penis and I don’t like having to do things for him!).

So this is the end result! Feeling pretty chuffed to have gotten through it all with plenty of time to spare. That’s another thing ticked off my bucket list – woo hoo!! Now I’m working on collecting the missing pets, which are from the pet dungeon and the Argus pet battle achievement (thankfully have managed to get all the other).

Death Knight

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Demon Hunter

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Druid

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Hunter

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Mage

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Monk

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Paladin

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Priest

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Rogue

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Shaman

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Warlock

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Warrior

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What a big weekend! Achievements and mounts and pets – it all happened!

~*~*~*~Note there are some class campaign and class mount story spoilers in this post for Death Knight and Rogue.~*~*~*~

This weekend I managed to tick of a lot of things from my bucket list, and even a few that weren’t there.

First up, my little warrior dinged 110.

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She’s still got a long way to go to get through her campaign, but at least for now the “hard” part is done. This just leaves my demon hunter to get to 110, then all classes will be at max level!

After completing the Death Knight campaign last weekend, it was time to get the class mount. I have to agree with the general cohort here and say that the Death Knight campaign is definitely one of the best, if not the best campaigns of all the classes. They nailed the class fantasy with this story. I felt down right evil throughout most of it, and was squirming in my seat when I was being asked to do some pretty wretched things. It was brilliant.

Then yesterday I went off to do the class mount story, and that was also brilliant. I really enjoyed it! It’s down right creepy having the Lich King constantly pushing me to do evil things in my ear… but do them, I must. For the mounts, of course!

I really enjoyed the scenario for this quest, as it took us to a place that we’ve not really been to before (whereas most other mount stories just take us to old world places. Which is great! But this was a nice change). The cinematic at the end was absolutely BRILLIANT. I got some amazing screen shots of my DK in that! The Death Knight stuff really is excellent, so if you’re even a little bit curious about it, level one up and go for it!

 

Today (Sunday) it was my rogue’s turn to complete her mount quest. The Rogue class campaign was ok… the trouble is that I just really don’t like rogues as a class, so the overall experience was tainted for me. Levelling her was so painful because I died a lot, and I just didn’t find it fun. Don’t get me wrong, it was still interesting, but let me put it this way- I didn’t take any screenshots of the campaign at all. That’s how uch fun I didn’t have doing it.

I did, however, take some screenshots of the mount campaign because that was quite good. Although truth be told, felt a little rushed. The basic premise is that we go do a favour for Ravenholdt, and he gives us a mount in return. The quest line really has nothing to do with the mount (whereas most of the other campaigns make the acquisition of the mount a big deal). Still, the quest line had me sneaking in to Horde cities to kill random targets. Which was tough because I don’t pvp, and these were not instances of the capital cities- it was live. So not only did I have to sneak past guards and what not, I had to dodge other players, too. I did alright, though, and got through it relatively well. Which is great, because truth be told, the rogue class mount is right up there on my list of favourites. I absolutely LOVE the raven models. And the fact that there’s four of them makes it even better!

 

It was after getting the first rogue mount that I started looking at my mount count, and adding up how many I had left. With the first raven, it brought me to 294, and the second raven (for having concordance on my outlaw spec) brought me to 295. Only 5 mounts needed to get to 300 for Lord of the Reins achievement and mount. Ok, I can do this! I quickly did a world quest for some Artifact Power to get my Assassination artifact concordance as well. Done – 296. The fourth was subtlety, which I didn’t even have the artifact for. So off I went to unlock the artifact, then went an killed the world boss for enough AP in one go to get concordance rank 2! And that made mount 297.

So then I had a think about which other classes had mounts for specs that I didn’t play. First one that came to mind was paladin – I didn’t have the tank artifact or mount. So off I went to get that artifact. Killed the world boss again and bamn! Concordance and mount for ret paladin done- 298. (I also discovered there are glyphs that allow me to change my Divine Steed ability to use one of the class mounts instead of the racial mount. This was an AWESOME discovery as I really hate the giant elek I run around on mid-fight!)

My next thought was my warlock. The mounts were a little different for this one- the first mount you just get for completing the campaign. The second you can buy with order hall resources, and I’d already done that too. The last mount, however, was a drop from a rare on the Broken Shore. I’d been stopping by each day waiting for him to spawn without any luck. Figured I’d see how I go again today… wouldn’t you know- there was the rare! I killed him and BAMN! Mount 299 acquired! ONE TO GO!

I was thinking and thinking and then I remembered my hunter! I still hadn’t unlocked the Survival artifact, nor its mount. So I went to unlock survival. I did it as BM as much as I could before swapping over. Was a little tricky in some parts, but got it done. Again, went and killed the world boss for 5 mil AP and there it was- mount 300!! Except for some reason it didn’t ding on my hunter. It happened when I swapped over to my paladin instead. Lord of the Reins is finally complete! I really didn’t think I’d get this done for a bit longer yet. But I’m very pleased that I have. 🙂

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LORD OF THE REINS!

Because I was on a roll with everything, I went and unlocked all the artifacts I hadn’t done yet that awarded a toy or pet from Power Ascended. The best one was the Death Knight, as there was an adorable whelping for each spec that I picked up!

All in all it was a very busy but productive weekend. I only have the warrior class campaign and mount campaign to do, as well as finishing off levelling my Demon Hunter to 110 and doing all her campaign and mount quest line. I’m almost there! 😀

By the way, if you’re wanting to find out which classes have bonus pets or toys or have more than one class mount, check out the Class Mounts guide on wowhead.

One of the more recent secrets discovered by the amazing Secret Finding Discord is a story line involving a pet from Argus named Uuna. Instead of giving a mount or a pet or achievement, this quest line is simply story. Utterly gut wrenching, heart breaking story. It’s beautiful and tragic and hopeful and perfect.

Here’s my adventure.

~*~*~This post contains spoilers. If you want to discover the Uuna storyline on your own, please do not proceed~*~*~

The whole process, outlining all of the steps to complete this story line is on wowhead right here.

Uuna is a companion pet that drops from a rare mob on the Antoran Wastes on Argus, called The Many-Face Devourer. Unlike most other rares, the Many-faced Devourer is spawned with a ritual that you perform by combining a bunch of bones found around Antoran Wastes. (see the guide) She’s not a guaranteed drop so you might need to try this multiple times (thankfully you only need to get the bones once! Each other time you just perform the ritual).

Once you do get lucky enough for Uuna to drop, the story begins. The quest line starts when Uuna starts talking to you. And it’s heartbreaking immediately…

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Mama? Mama! Why is it so dark? It’s scary here…
Can anybody hear me?
C-c-cold…

After a few emotes are performed with Uuna, she says the following…

Are you sad too? Are you lost like me?
At least we’re together now. We just… don’t know where we are.
But you’re my friend, and I know it’s gonna be okay.
I wish I could see better. It’s always so dark here!

I mean twist my heart much??

So we are off to take her somewhere there is light. First attempt is to visit A’dal in Shattrath City, but A’dal is a little too bright…

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We instead find a better place in Ashenvale…

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Off we go to find Nuu. This one took me a few times, because we had to goblin glide to two islands in the air off the edge of Mac’ree. I died a lot hehe. But I got there in the end, and Uuna got her sweet little bear, Nuu.

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Next we went to Bloodmyst Isle to get Uuna a magical wand, because “Bad guys really hate that.” Too cute!! ❤

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And then lastly it’s a flower crown, because that’s essential for fighting the dark. WoWScrnShot_033118_212809.jpg

I mean, look how freakin’ adorable she is!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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But then things started getting pretty dark. Literally. Void tendrils come and take her away.

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After Uuna is taken away, she can’t be summoned again. We have to find her. To do so, we go have a chat to the spirit healer who gives us the ability to see into the spirit realm. (I got confused here- there is no actual buff, and nothing looks like the spirit realm. This step just needs to be followed in order to do the next one).

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We now go to Dragonblight, where a Shard is in the eye socket of a dragon skull in Dragonblight. Upon clicking this, we are taken to a scary spirit realm that is extremely dark and ominous. In the distance I can see Uuna, though, so at least I know where she is!

We learn that this happens to Uuna a fair bit. No matter how hard she tries to get away, the darkness keeps taking her, over and over again. She’s completely alone.

Until now. I have never been so protective of a bunch of pixels in my life, and I am determined to save her! Out of nowhere, the fire goes out, and Uuna becomes terrified… the darkness is coming for her. I have to protect her.

Guys, this part was genuinely terrifying. Look at what is hunting her down!! 😥

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These hideous beasts are circling around, getting closer and closer to Uuna. I’m running as fast as I can to keep them back… poor Uuna is getting more and more terrified, but is bravely fighting them back with her sparkle wand. But they just keep coming…

But poor Uuna just gets so scared (and holy crap so am I, these things are terrifying!!!)

Friend? Are you still there? I’m scared!
I–I can’t do it! I just wanna go home!
Uuna wraps her arms around herself and begins to cry.

It’s at this point that I stop everything, run to Uuna and /hug her. It’s knowing that she’s not alone that gives Uuna the courage she needed to kick some serious butt…

She obliterates them all!!! And I’m so proud of her.

And then this happens…

This is the full dialogue of what she says:

F-friend, you’re here! You didn’t leave me!
Mama told me the Light would always find me. That’s you, friend. You’re my light!
And as long as my light is with me, there’s no way the darkness can win!
My light is super strong!
I’M NOT GONNA BE AFRAID ANYMORE!
I am ready. Let us begin the ritual.
The darkness is gone! I can see!
Oh, friend! We did it! We beat them!
What… what’s happening?
The light… it’s telling me to follow it…
Mama! Papa! They’re waiting for me!
Wait a sec…
There’s so much I never got to do. So many places I never got to see…
Is it okay if I stay with my friend? For just a little while longer?
Friend! The Light says I can stay! Woo-hoo!
Tell Mama and Papa I miss them, and… and I’ll see them soon!
Okay, friend, let’s get outta here! We have so many places to go!
Uuna hugs you.

Right in the damn heart.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Uuna chose to stay behind so that she could see the world. So of course we needed to make that a reality for her. And so begins a world tour of Azeroth (and beyond) with our new best friend. Who is just the sweetest darling. ❤

At the end, Uuna is so grateful for the time we have spent together. She’s so happy, that she gives me a hug. And this is the reward. Now, when Uuna is out, if I /hug her, she will hug me back. And it’s beautiful.

The whole storyline is amazing to do, even if you’ve read all of the text of the story line, it’s still worth doing. It will pull your heart to pieces. Just beautiful, and very well done by Blizzard.

xo

 

For the past few weeks/months a few people in guild have been trying to get a group together to work on getting The Chosen achievement. For this achievement, you need to complete the Trial of Valor on mythic difficulty without dying. That is, defeating Odyn, Guarm and Helya on mythic, and still being alive at the end of it to tell the tale.

We decided to try this when we outgeared it a fair bit, to give us a better chance of succeeding. Which brings us to today. Tonight was the 3rd night we had tried to complete (my second night, as I missed the first one). Most of the time people died to silly mechanics like orbs on Helya which, even with loads of gear, can one-shot people if they’re not careful.

Tonight, we lost one person to Guarm (I believe they just got a bit too close to the boss and got one-shot), and we lost another to Helya (got hit by an orb that hurt for a bucket load). 18/20 isn’t too bad, though!

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From this achievement, we received the title “… the Chosen” and a transmog set. I’m not the biggest fan of the transmog set, to be honest. But you know me and transmog- got to have them all!

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For me, it was more about getting that title. I’ve wanted it since I heard it, and am awfully glad to have gotten it. There will be more runs in the future for alts to get the transmog sets on other armour types… I’ve just got to decide which one I want next! 🙂

 

Content from cindersays.net.

~*This post contains pictures and information relating to the Battle for Azeroth Alpha. If you don’t want to know or see anything relating to Alpha, please turn away now~*

EDIT: MArch 16 – a new build went up last night with a couple of changes that will hopefully address some points below, so expect a follow up post in the future! Also, had a lovely reader remind me of the existence of Frost Shock, so I need to look at how I’m incorporating that into the rotation, as that might help with somethings, too.

Battle for Azeroth Alpha has been out for a little while now. I’ve been super lucky to get an invitation to the Alpha, so have been spending the past few weekends slowly making my way through the content, giving feedback and comments and reporting bugs and what not, to try and find all the little things that might need fixing before the game goes live. I’ve been streaming my adventures (you can check out some of the videos over on my twitch channel twitch.tv/cinder_streams). All I can say is BfA is going to kick BUTT. It’s flippin’ STUNNING.

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THERE’S A RAINBOW!!!!! ❤

Anyways….

So, of course I’ve been doing all of this initial levelling as a pandaren shaman on the Alliance side. I’ve been trying out elemental and a little of restoration. I wanted to write a little bit about the elemental side of things first, because that’s what I’ve been doing most of all.

NOTE: I am absolutely not a theorycrafter. I don’t sim anything, I go by gut, and am not at all an expert on elemental shamans in any way, shape or form. And obviously as this is Alpha, everything I write here today may be completely different tomorrow. 

For the most part, elemental shamans haven’t changed an awful lot. A lot of the same spells and talents are there, just shifted around a bit. (You can see all the spell/talent changes on wowhead here.) There are some spells we have back (welcome back Tremor Totem and Earth Shield!!!), but the overall approach is the same:

Cast spells to generate maelstrom

Cast spells to spend maelstrom

But whilst the approach is the same, getting there is a little different, and it’s lead to a very different, much slower elemental shaman, with very little variance and choice in game play.

Flame Shock

Firstly, Flame Shock is back to having a cooldown of 6 seconds, and is a baseline of 15 seconds on the target with no maelstrom cost. (i.e. It no longer increases duration based on maelstrom spent, as Flame Shock no longer costs maelstrom to cast. It’s worth noting that wowhead currently says that it does change the duration of the dot based on maelstrom, however in game this is not the case.). On the plus side you can cast Flame Shock on the pull (though you could do this in Legion too). The down side is that you can’t multi-dot more than 2 targets anymore. Unfortunately this has sometimes meant that Lava Surge procs have gone to waste on a non-Flame Shocked target, as the target with Flame Shock on them has died before the cooldown on the spell came up again to cast it on a new target, followed by the proc. This might not sound like a big deal, but Lava Burst does almost the same amount of damage as Lightning Bolt does without a crit and only generates 2 more maelstrom for its trouble, so you really want it to crit to make it worth your while.

Essentially this just means that we need to more careful about which targets get Flame Shock on them, making sure they’re going to stay alive for the duration of the spell so that we have a debuffed target to push Lave Surge procs into. The cooldown on Flame Shock also means that we’re getting fewer Lava Surge procs overall, which means getting those crit-buffed hits even more important.

So far, I miss being able to multi-dot adds for the multiple procs of Lava Surge… which is probably the reason they took that ability away. It’s just something I’m going to have to adjust to. I will say, though, that I do miss the ability to control the length of the dot on a target by choosing to spend extra maelstrom on a longer dot. It made me feel like I had some control over my spell choices.

Earth Shock

Earth Shock has also been reverted to an earlier version of itself, with the scaled damage based on maelstrom spent affect no longer in place. Instead, Earth Shock costs 60 maelstrom, and does a flat rate of damage. This has been the hardest adjustment for me. Two things that bother me with this reversion.

Firstly, a personal preference – when a mob is about to die, I would rather cast an instant 10 maelstrom cost earth shock than spend almost 2 seconds casting Lightning Bolt. Lightning Bolt is overkill at that point, and feels like a waste of time. So for me it makes killing mobs slower (especially if they manage to interrupt your cast.)

Secondly, tying in to the set maelstrom cost, sometimes it feels like it takes a REALLY long time to get enough maelstrom generated to use Earth Shock. And what’s worse- it’s extremely underwhelming. When you’re standing there not getting Lava Surge procs and just casting Lightning Bolt for ages, it’s a real slap in the face when you finally get that moment to cast Earth Shock and it hits like a wet noodle. Damage aside, it doesn’t have a satisfying animation or anything associated with it. (This animation has been true for Legion, but at least on live Earth Shock can hit like a truck, so it still feels satisfying).

Overall, Earth Shock is my biggest gripe for the class at the moment, and where I would really like to see some changes made, if possible.

Maelstrom generation

As I mentioned in the Earth Shock section, it can take a long time to generate maelstrom. I find the vast majority of my time is spent casting Lightning Bolt (in between Healing Surges to keep myself alive!) which, to be honest, just gets a bit boring. Part of the issue with lack of Flame Shocks giving Lava Surge procs is that it contributes to this slower maelstrom generation… it’s a vicious cycle. And again, once you spent all this time and effort building your maelstrom, to have the “finisher” be underwhelming just doesn’t make it feel worth it.

The talent Aftershock helps with this – Your spells refund 30% of all Maelstrom spent on them – but it does come at the cost of being in place of Storm Elemental and Liquid Magma Totem, and if we were in a single target fight, we’d be choosing Storm Elemental, because building up to a weak Earth Shock isn’t going to be as strong (though of course this would need to be simmed- getting out a few more Earth Shocks may end up being a damage increase over the damage

Another new talent that has come in, Molten Fury (Lava Surge now also causes Lava Burst to generate 50% more Maelstrom) may also be a nice help, though it would rely on being able to get lots of Lava Surge procs to be useful. Going against this talent most of all, though, is that it’s on the same line now as Elemental Blast, which is so embedded in elemental shaman gameplay it should just be baseline now.  (side note: Elemental Blast is still very satisfying, and at the moment does some nice damage. If this is reduced, however, this talent line will need some thought).

Lastly there is High Voltage, which is most likely the best choice to help generate more maelstrom – Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning can now cause a second Elemental Overload. The downside to this talent is that it’s not consistent, it’s RNG based, so the proc rate will determine how effective this will be (Elemental Overload helping to generate additional maelstrom through the extra hit it does).

It comes down to this: there are now only 2 spells for the spec that cost maelstrom – Earth Shock and Earthquake – there is no variance in their strength based on the maelstrom spent, and it takes a long time to be able to cast them at all, so they really need to be worth it.

AoE

Chain Lightning is everyone’s favourite spell in game (right?), and it’s still beautiful in BfA. But the damage reduction done to it is striking. Currently on live Chain Lightning hits for just a little less than Lightning Bolt. On Alpha, it hits for half the damage of Lightning Bolt, and generates less maelstrom per target hit. What I’ve noticed so far is that if you’ve got 5 mobs or more, this is fine. However anything less and you wonder why you’re there at all, and start cursing your fat panda butt for pulling those extra mobs. (Also, you’re probably dead because you’re so damn squishy).

Then there’s earthquake. Earthquake has had its cost increased to 75 maelstrom, making it pretty expensive to cast. Thankfully (at the moment) it seems to be worth it. But again, because of the high cost, you’re going to want a decent number of mobs (assuming Earth Shock gets some better damage going on).

For the most part, I found it difficult to AoE effectively during levelling unless there were about 5 “normal” health mobs. Chain Lightning + Earthquake was usually enough to get them down reasonably well. However anything from 2-4 mobs, or if there was an elite thrown in there at all, it was actually quite difficult to deal with, and would generally kill me. The maelstrom would take too long to generate so earthquake would take longer to get down, by which time I was pretty damaged myself. (Tell you what, I’ve never used my stun totem so much before!!!). Liquid Magma Totem is still available as a talent, which is nice. Again, though, it’s going to be better with large mob sizes rather than small. So we fine ourselves in this weird place with mobs of 2-4.

Movement

I’ve griped a lot in the past about how much movement really impacts being an elemental shaman. In fights with movement in them, our dps is punished pretty badly. In the past Blizz have done things to help deal with this: we’ve been able to cast Lightning Bolt on the move, or, as in the case of Legion, our Shocks not having cooldowns or maelstrom cost limitations; it wasn’t always ideal to reapply a flame shock dot on a target if it were a lower maelstrom, but it still felt like you were able to do something as you were moving from point A to point B so that was nice.

In Alpha, we have nothing that can be cast on the move unless Earth Shock has been charged up or Flame Shock is off cooldown. Relying on Lava Surge procs is also down given how much harder it is to multi-dot mobs. And to rub salt into the wound, Gust of Wind has been removed as a talent (zomg not my fart talent!!), so we can’t even quickly dash to get to Point B so we can start casting again. For me personally, I can deal with one or two of these things being in place, but it does feel quite punishing having all of these things combined.

There are talents that can help with this a bit, but it does lock us in to them if there’s a big chunk of movement. You could take Spirit Wolf (While transformed into a Ghost Wolf, you gain 5% increased movement speed and 5% damage reduction every 1 sec, stacking up to 4 times). There’s also Stormkeeper, which is the watered down Elemental Shaman artifact replacement talent – Charge yourself with lightning, causing your next 2 Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightnings to be instant cast and trigger an Elemental Overload on every target. If you know damage is coming, Stormkeeper can be pre-cast to assist with this. And whilst this does sound very good and reasonable, the kicker is that it’s on the same talent line as Ascendance, so you loose a big CD to gain essentially 2 casts on the run.

Something has to give here, though. Having to choose movement talents over CDs is a bit of a blow, really.

On being squishy

Oh my goodness the squishiness! To be fair, this is usually an issue when levelling as elemental shamans at the best of times. Except at the moment, because damage is underwhelming, it feels worse because things have the time to actually kill you. It’s extremely frustrating. It does feel like I spend more of my time healing myself than damaging enemies, which makes for very depressing game play. It doesn’t feel satisfying when you defeat a boss; you just feel bloody relieved that it didn’t kill you first. Like I mentioned above, having stun totems are very helpful, for sure, and having Earth Shield is nice, too! But I still die a lot.

Overall thoughts

At the moment, I’m not thrilled. The changes (minor as they may seem) when added together have made the spec feel extremely slow, and very punishing if we need to move. The slow maelstrom generation, and the lack of ability to just ping off the last bit of health on a mob makes the overall gameplay quite stilted- I’m spending far too much of my time casting Lightning Bolt before I’m able to do anything else. And that just gets boring.

When it boils down to it, the changes have made it so that the class no longer has choices to make when playing. I don’t get to choose between, for example, putting a longer dot on a target or doing a big Earth Shock; I don’t get to choose if I’m going to earthquake these 3 mobs or dot them up with Flame Shocks first to try and force some Lava Surge procs; I don’t get to choose if I’m going to drop a little Flame Shock on my target as I move- I’m either going to do nothing at all while we move, or I’m going to stand still and piss my healers off by finishing a cast before moving at all.

What I would to see is some flexibility put back into the spec. I want to think a bit about what I’m doing while I’m playing. I don’t want to feel like I’m spamming ‘1’ all the time for Lightning Bolt. I want to feel strong; I want to feel like my spell choices matter.

Don’t get me wrong, none of this is the end of the world… but it does have me looking at other dps classes kinda seriously for the first time since becoming a shaman, and I really don’t like that.

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So darn beautiful

 

So those are my thoughts at the moment on Elemental Shamans. What do you think of the changes? Do they suit you? Or would you like to see some different changes made?

 

I’m not very good at saving money in real life, but I’m a little better at it in WoW (mostly because we don’t have to pay rent or anything in game hehe). I’m not the greatest at making gold at all; I don’t have the time or the patience. But I do make enough to support my raiding requirements, and every now and again am able to keep some extra aside.

There’s a world quest on the Broken Shore that Khadgar gives us, to find some Kirin Tor Coins that he’s managed to drop on the ground. When we find one, we get a very short buff that leaves a sparkling rainbow trail behind us when we walk. It’s the most beautiful effect, and have wished for a toy that would give that same buff. Turns out there is one.

The Mad Merchant is a rare NPC spawn in Dalaran, and oh boy does this guy clean out your bank. He only sells 4 items, the cheapest of which is 250,000 gold (yes, a quarter of a million). Thankfully, that cheapest item is the Prismatic Bauble, and it gives that same buff from the world quest, only this time it lasts a little bit longer, and can be used every 2 minutes.

I LOVE IT.

I took my little Void Elf Warlock out for a run in the snow with it- isn’t is beautiful?!

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So now I’m broke again… but I think it’s worth it 😀

xo

I have been working on this darn post for weeks now and haven’t gotten around to finishing it. I should have added “write my bucket list post” to my bucket list. Lame.

So 2018 is a big year for many reasons. The most obvious being that World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Battle for Azeroth will be coming out. awww yeah!

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BfA’s release this year actually makes a bucket list a little tricky to do, because the release date will impact just how much I can get through. For the purposes of this bucket list, I’m going to assume that BfA will release on September 21st (which is the latest it can release, according to the pre-order). Obviously if BfA comes out a lot earlier, I’m not going to be able to achieve everything I want to… but we’ll see how I go. So, on with the list!

Make a list of every pet and mount available in Legion and get any that are missing (That are not RNG dependent).

To be fair, I think I’m most of the way through this, though there are obvious mounts that I am missing. Namely the pvp prestige mounts. There is at least 1 that I absolutely definitely have to get, and maybe even a 2nd if there is time. With the pets, I need to get Uuna and do her little quest line. I also need to get the new Mailemental pet, and need to finish the meta pet battle achievement on Argus (which thankfully is a lot easier than Family Familiar, but will still take a decent amount of time).

Finish getting all of the class mounts

At the time of writing this I have warlock, warrior, rogue, demon hunter and death knight left to go. The warlock is at 110, she’s just very slowly making her way through the rest of the order hall campaign, and will then move on to the class mount quests. The Rogue is at 108, so not too far off dinging (slow as she is) but my warrior, demon hunter and death knight I’ve not even started. And given how busy I’ve been lately, this is actually going to be a bit of a challenge to get done. But I will!

Get more Mage Tower appearances

When Battle for Azeroth launches, most of the artifact skins will remain. That is except for the Mage Tower challenge appearances, and the 15+ mythic keystone skin. Which means I have some work ahead of me! Below is a list of all the challenge appearances I want, in order of preference. The enhancement shaman one I’ve just been lazy about. Disc priest I’m just crap at… the rest I haven’t even bothered trying yet. But I do love their appearances so would really like to be able to get them done before they go away. The 15+ skin I’m less concerned about- that one would just be nice to have. 🙂

  • Enhancement shaman
  • Discipline priest
  • Holy paladin
  • Frost Mage
  • Arcane Mage
  • Retribution paladin
  • Restoration druid
  • Protection paladin (though I honestly don’t see this one happening at all)
  • maaaaybe affliction warlock

The one thing I am very glad about is that the Balance of Power appearances don’t appear to be going away, so I’ve decided that I won’t focus on doing those on any toons yet. That will be a future Cinder problem.

Stream more

I’m cheating a little with this one, because technically I’ve already “achieved” this, but I do want to stream more. I also want to be putting together more videos (though I would also like either some decent video editing software for my PC, or a better place to put my Mac so that I can do my editing work more easily!). I’m enjoying streaming, even though it kinda goes against all of my personality traits. But it’s nice having people around when we kill bosses 🙂

So that’s my list. I looks short, but each of those things is pretty time consuming. I’m genuinely concerned about my ability to get through all of these, given that March is hot on our heels, and let’s face it, Battle for Azeroth is more than likely going to come out earlier than September 21. But we will see how I go!

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How is it that a month has passed since I wrote in here? Usually this happens when I’ve spent a lot of time out of the game and have just been busy with work, but that’s not the case this time (although the being busy with work is definitely true!).

Anyways, it’s been awhile, so I thought I’d best do a catch-up post to let you know what I’ve been up to and what I have planned.

Alpha

So first up, probably the biggest reason I’ve been writing less in here is that I have been streaming quite a bit. It initially started to stream our raid nights, which was fun and all. But then this happened:

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For reals! This was me at work when I got the email. Followed shortly after by tears.

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I’ve been spending a bit of time in the Alpha running around and seeing how things are, reporting bugs and typos in quests and what not. And I’ve been streaming it, which has been quite fun. I don’t have a lot of viewers on raid nights because it’s a silly time in the US, but when I stream on weekends there are more people around, and it’s really enjoyable. I’m not a great streamer; I don’t show my face (because no-one needs to see that!) and I ramble a lot and get distracted, but hopefully it’s a little entertaining to people.

The other weekend I had a great time hanging out in alpha with some lovely friends in chat. We go to experience a terrifying quest line that just freaked me out so badly. It was scary and hilarious. I made a video about it, which was fun! It’s over here on YouTube if you’re interested. (WARNING: contains Alpha spoilers).

Streaming

Between streaming all the raids and now the Alpha as well, I’ve been clocking up a decent amount of streaming time. And somehow have managed to get a reasonable number of followers and viewers… enough that this ended up happening the other day:

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This basically means I’m able to have subscribers and stuff, which is kinda cool! I don’t actually expect this to go anywhere, but it is kinda fun 🙂 I celebrated by setting up a new overlay for my stream and making some new panels to match. I’m trying to get better at streaming, but I know I’ll never be anything interesting. I’m just doing it for the fun 🙂 If you want to stop by I’m over at twitch.tv/cinder_streams. (note: I will always say if I’m streaming Alpha so that if you’re not wanting spoilers, you can avoid them).

Podcasting

I KNOW! This was completely random, but we’ve started up Battletagged again. This time it’s going to be a lot more casual, with episodes being recorded when we have something to say (rather than trying to stick to a strict schedule). It’s just me and Neuro at the moment. We talk about it a bit more in our first episode back. We’ve got a new website address – Battletagged.com.au – but everything else should be the same. We’re back up on Stitcher and iTunes. Have a listen! And if there’s anything you’d like us to talk about on the show, let us know. 🙂

Raiding

Raiding has been going ok. We had a rough time with Kin’garoth as well… for awhile we just weren’t really using a strat that worked for us (one of the challenges of there being so many different strats available for a boss!) In the end we got there though, with a strat that seems weird, but it’s what works for us, so that’s good!

After that it was Varimathras which we managed to get down really quickly actually.  (I still need to make a kill video for it- oops!!) This week we went back to do a re-clear which took us awhile, but we do have a whole night to work on Coven tonight, which is going to drive us up the wall, but should be do-able either this week or next week.

Work

So real-life stuff. Well, I got a promotion- huzzah! That was nice. But I has also meant that my workload has increased quite substantially. At the moment I don’t mind tooooo much.. it’s been really great the past week actually because part of my work requires us to do public consultation to get feedback on what we’re doing, and then check in again with everyone at the end to make sure we did what people wanted. I’m at that end part now, with checking in, and I’ve been getting some really lovely messages back, saying how impressed they are with our work etc. It makes all the extra hours worth it, you know? (That and I do honestly feel like the work I do has the ability to do some good in a small way, so that’s great too). Anyway, all of this has meant super busy days at work, which some people have noticed because I’ve also been neglecting twitter!

Anyways, that’s where things are at at the moment. I have to finish off my bucket list blog post (which is part way written… but might be December by the time I finish writing it! lol) I also want to do some posts about the alpha and the class changes and things like that… I just keep running out of time to do all the things I want to do. Gah! Why is sleep a thing, eh? Or maybe I could just be younger so I could deal with having less sleep. I hope everyone reading is doing well. I promise to keep trying to write more often!

xo