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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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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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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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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Part two of Topic 29: the 2017 wrap-up double challenge bonanza! 

The second challenge topic we had for December, to help wrap up the year, was to show one favourite screenshot for each month. I like this challenge, because I love taking screenshots (I have almost 3000 just from this year alone!!!) but boy is it a tough challenge choosing only one picture for each month. (ok so I may have cheated a little with the collage up top….). There’s so much exciting stuff that happens! BUT, a challenge is a challenge, so here we go.

January

There were a lot of beginnings in January (aside from it being the beginning of a new year). Firstly, this is when Pit Crew was born. It was supposed to be a new start for our raid team. And whilst things didn’t quite turn out that way, I do have fond memories of our first night in Nighthold, which also opened in January. My screenshots folder is PACKED full of pictures of the raid. It really was beautiful. January was also my first time in Karazhan, and also when we got our Arcanist’s Manasaber, for helping out the Nightbourne.

The screenshot I’ve chosen to share, though, is from my order hall. I chose this pic because it shows one of the things that I love most about WoW- the little things. These two NPCs are actually part of ~*~*SPOILER ALERT~*~*~ the restoration shaman artifact quest line. They’re not here all the time, they just stop by from time to time. And they are just adorable. Adelee is trying to teach Grash how to dance. It’s absolutely adorable. And like I said, is the little things that I love about this game. 🙂WoWScrnShot_011817_180459.jpeg

February

February gave me Experiment 12-B, completed Brawler’s Guild, a ghost moose, and a bunch of raiding achievements. It was also the month I wrote about being harassed online, and was also the month someone in game randomly saw me and whispered me to tell me they enjoyed my blog.

The pic I’ve chosen to share is from when I get my Arcane mage hidden artifact appearance. This whole quest chain was hilarious. And I just adore farmer Cinderlily with her sheep followers!

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March

We went back to the Broken Shore in March, I “discovered” places in Dalaran that have always existed (I’d just never seen them!), I got extremely lucky with loot drops (hidden appearances, legendaries and mounts, oh my!), and bought myself Yu’lei. I also spent a bit of time levelling my priest, got all my hidden appearances for my mage, and took a whole bunch of screenshots of the Cathedral of Eternal Night. I also wrote a few posts in March, my favourite being where I designed my own zone in WoW.

This pic for March, though, is of myself with 4 other lovely ladies I’m so fortunate enough to call friends. Each month (or as often as we can!) myself, Leeta, Natanie, Miggi & MrsO all get together just just hang out in chat and play some games together. Sometimes we run dungeons together, other times we’ll do invasions or old raid runs or even try our hands at Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. But no matter what we do, we always have a great time, and I’m so glad to know them. ❤

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April

April was “quieter” because I got a new job, so had less time to play. But I still managed to squeeze in an awful lot! It was the month of mounts: I got my fox mount, the Valajar Stormwing, the Leywoven Flying Carpet and I found the Long-Forgotten Hippogryph. We also got to solve some riddles to get a new (to be honest, pretty ugly) mount!

Other than all the mounts, we killed a whole bunch of mythic bosses in Nighthold, and I spent a looooong time bashing my head against the Mage Tower challenge (and not getting it at that time!).

The most fun thing that happened in April was the Inky Black Potion. Everyone went bananas for it, and it’s not hard to see why. I flew all around Azeroth and took a LOT of screenshots with that potion.

We also got to play with baby murlocs, in what was one of the most adorable micro-holidays of the year.

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May

I spent a fair bit of time with my paladin in May, getting her levelled up and finishing her class hall story. We had two micro-holidays that I attended- the Spring Balloon Festival, and the Glowcap Festival. It was also the month I got my Ratstallion mount, and when we started working on mythic Gul’dan.

During this month, we also learned of a little murloc pet, Squirky, who could be captured off the coast of Azsuna, on a very small island full of very strong murlocs. I was extremely lucky when I went to get a Squirky of my own- the lighting was absolutely spectacular, leading to the picture below. I think it looks like a painting. Those cotton candy clouds are just divine!

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June

Class mounts became available in June. I really enjoyed the quest line to get my shaman mount. Oh and what a mount it is! I also headed off to get my mage her class mount, too. I took part in the Running of the Trolls for the first time this year, and it was a lot of fun. Our raid team killed mythic Gul’dan AND mythic Helya – and all of this is just in the first 2 weeks of the month!

I spent some more time levelling a priest, brought Dog to Dalaran, and helped save Chromie. I also followed the clues to get my own Sun Darter Hatchling (which I wrote about here). Tomb of Sargeras took up the bulk of June, though. I took SO many screenshots of that raid. I really enjoyed everything about it. It felt like it had a proper story that contributed to the overall narrative of the expansion. I loved that completing the raid changed the physical world around us. The picture I’ve chosen, for me, represents everything we’re fighting for this expansion- our home (for me, Stormwind) and to stop the Burning Legion.

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July

In July I got to raid with my lovely friends Zee & Neuro again for awhile (though the poor things really did not have a good time with us… things were not great at the time 😦 ) I got myself a Wild Dreamrunner mount and the Paladin and druid class mounts. I even went to visit Faeb, just to say hi. It’s also the month I got my beautiful new PC, Alice!

The highlight for July, though, was hands down *finally* completing the Mage Tower challenge on my resto shaman. I had given up for quite some time as I had gotten so, so frustrated with it. But I stuck to it, and finally got the darn thing. And I felt very accomplished indeed.

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August

We had the Trial of Style in August, and it was a LOT of fun, and I managed to get the Remember to Share achievement, which gave me yet another mount.

However, without a doubt, the biggest thing to happen in August was going to Argus. Not only did we get to explore this world we have heard so much about… but we got to see a whole other side to Azeroth. It hit me right in the feels, this pic.

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September

Another month of mounts, artifact challenge and hidden appearances, and of course, raiding. But easily the most defining moment in September was, after hours of running and and searching a seemingly endless maze, finally seeing this treasure box at the end of it all (and of course getting the Lucid Nightmare mount). I had intended to write about my experience getting this mount, but it was also around this time that my blog went down for extended maintenance, so I didn’t get to. For what it is worth- I absolutely LOVED getting this mount 😀

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October

I ran with gnomes, got more hidden artifact appearances, and got my little priest her class mount. It was a lot of “alts” time that month, just ticking off the achievements.

We also had Hallow’s End, where I got to fly around like a sexy maniacal pumpkin! WoWScrnShot_102017_221050.jpg

November

It’s always all about Blizzcon in November, with everyone flying around in their Blizzcon class mounts. It was also WoW’s birthday, so of course there was lots of alt-levelling here, too, including getting my Monk her class mount.

November was also the month that the guild fell apart. Again. It was particularly sad and painful this time around, because we wanted it to work so much. But some personalities just don’t mesh well, and we split up and went our separate ways.

But on a happier note, November had the Moonkin Festival, which was ADORABLE. I loved having my very own moonkin squad! 😀WoWScrnShot_111217_225231.jpg

December

And here we are at the end of the year. December has given us yet another stunningly beautiful raid, Antorus. Again, a fabulous raid that really brings the story together. It’s also the first raid with our rebuilt team, Realm. So far, things are going really well, I think. It’s not perfect, but the imperfections aren’t as sour as they were previously. The people are great. Just so great. I’m so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of people in my life. And it’s for that reason that, even though history shows otherwise, I think we’ll work as a team. I have to have hope that it will.

So I end this series with a hopeful picture for you all. WoWScrnShot_121017_134442.jpg

 

Like I said, this was hard. There are far too many picture to choose from each month. But if I chose them all, we’d be here forever. I hope you liked the images I chose, though!

So that’s it for December, and 2017! Thank you to every person who has ever stumbled across my little blog, and an extra special thanks to anyone who has liked or commented. It means the world to me that you read my silly words.

May 2018 be full of love and hope and laughter, and all the things that make you happy.

xo

PS: Ok one last one because I can’t help myself! I just really love this pic!!

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We’ve put up two challenges for the rest of December over at Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge. Partly because we couldn’t decide what order to post them in, and partly (ok mostly!) because we’re just so busy these days that we didn’t want to miss the topics entirely because somehow 2 weeks passed by and we didn’t even realise it… SO! The first topic is the one I’m taking on today, and that is Return to Your Bucket List.

Back at the beginning of 2017 we had a challenge for everyone to make a bucket list for the year. It could be as big or as small as people wanted, as long as it had a goal people wanted to achieve for the year. So let’s see how I did with my list, shall we?

Cutting Edge – all raids* – not quite

(The * disclaimer on this is if 7.2 dropped in December. Well, 7.2 didn’t drop in December, but 7.3 with Antorus released November 30, so it’s fair to say that one doesn’t count towards this.)

This shouldn’t have been as difficult as it was… unfortunately 2017 turned out to be the year of the guild dramas. Technically I’ve been in 3 different guilds this year. Though to be fair they have consisted of a lot of the same people. But all this guild instability meant that raiding took a hit, and we just didn’t get the progression that I wanted this year.

Having said that, we didn’t do terribly. We did get Cutting Edge for Helya in Trial of Valor, and Gul’dan in The Nighthold. But unfortunately we were too far off getting it in Tomb of Sargeras, only getting 7/9Mythic bosses down. Still a really great achievement, but disappointing to miss out on Cutting Edge.

So far in Antorus we’re doing alright. Again, we’ve been plagued by guild dramas (why can’t everyone just be nice to each other and get along?!?!?!) so we’re only sitting a 2/11Mythic, but we’ve got time, and I have hope.

Get my class mount* – yes!

(The disclaimer for this one was based on not knowing when the mounts themselves would be available. Class mounts came out in patch 7.2, which dropped at the end of March). 

This one was easily achieved. Shortly before the patch came out the requirements to get the mount were lessened, making it even easier.

The questline to get the shaman mount really was a lot of fun. And the mount itself is AWESOME!! I love that there are different colourings of it for each spec.

But, not only have I got the shaman class mount, I also have the class mounts for my mage, paladin, druid, priest and monk- huzzah!

There will be a bit of a lull now as I start to level the classes that I don’t enjoy playing so much. I currently have my hunter at 107, my rogue at 103 and my warrior at 102. My warlock, demon hunter and death knight have only opened up their order halls. I should really get in there and get them at least one champion to help do some missions… might try and get that done over Christmas break.

Complete Family Familiar Achievement – yes!

I did it! At the end of May I finally finished this achievement. It was a hard slog, especially at the end when it came down to waiting for specific battles to spawn, and they just wouldn’t! But I got there in the end, and this little treant fellow became my newest companion. 🙂 Family_Familiar.jpg

Attend all the micro-holidays – almost

Unfortunately I missed the Thousand Boat Bash. But I did manage to make it to all of the others! It’s hard to choose a favourite, because each one had something fun and unique about it. I suppose Call of the Scarab had the least appeal to me, having not played when AQ40 opened up and what not. The Hatching of the Hippogryphs was flippin’ adorable, as was the March of the Tadpoles! Oh that one was so much fun. And Trial of Style was loads of fun, too (I see that’s coming back in March, so might have a more regular rotation than once a year!)

As expected, the micro-holidays are as much fun as I’d hoped they would be. They’re just a really fun thing to do every now and again. I had lovely moments with some new guildies recently doing the Moonkin Festival- we ended up having a moonkin dance party in raid! It was great 🙂

Most of all, though, what I really love about the micro-holidays is seeing so many large groups of people hanging out and doing silly things in game. It’s just awesome.

Level 3 more toons to 110 – yes!

When I set this goal, I was actually thinking I was going easy on myself at the time. I honestly expected pretty much all of my alts to be at 110 by now. What I (and many others!) didn’t know at the time was just how fast Blizzard would be bringing out new content this expansion. It was been a regular stream of content thrown at us. And whilst it has been AMAZING having all these things to do, it has meant that my poor alts have suffered.

Even still, I have do have 5 alts at 110- they’re the 5 classes I mentioned above that have the class mounts, too. But I’m a long way from being done. Having said that, I exceeded my goal of 3, so I’m happy with that!

Get the Brawler’s Guild mount – yes!

Surprisingly this was one of the first things I managed to tick off of my bucket list, completing this in February. I’m always really nervous about going in to Brawler’s Guild because I’m scared I’ll get laughed at for being rubbish (which has never happened, by the way!). Anyway, I just said to myself I had to get over that, and went in there and worked through all the fights over the course of a weekend. There are some really great fights in there. I’m not good at going in to those things blind, so I did a little bit of reading before each fight which helped. The last boss was fantastic- Ray D. Tear was his name and had every ability from the Hellfire Citadel raid. It was completely bonkers, but SO much fun!

 

And that’s it! Overall, I’ve been a lot more successful with my list than I expected. The only thing that really let me down was the raiding situation, and in a lot of ways that’s just out of my hands as it relies on so many people to get it done. But I’m happy with my year. 🙂

How was yours?!

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Hey, what a surprise, I’m behind on posting responses to our blog challenges! That is so unlike me! 😉 Clearly I have a lot of catching up to do, and rather than starting at where I last left off, I’m just going to go in any darn order that pleases me.

So, Topic 23 asked why I blog about WoW.

I’ve been writing in blogs/journals since I was 11 years old. I got given a diary from a friend of mine at the time, and sporadically wrote in it when I felt I had something “important” to say. When we got our first computer, one of the first websites I came across was Open Diary, and over the years maintained at least, sometimes multiple, journals on there. I made some really wonderful online friends there, some of whom I’m still friends with today. Eventually I got a LiveJournal account, but it didn’t really gel with me at all. It was “too cool” for me, and so I found myself moving back to good old pen and book.

When I moved to England, funnily enough, I didn’t write a lot, even though I was having a lot of adventures at the time. Instead, I took a lot of photographs, which in some ways replaced my words for awhile. One thing that did happen while I was over there, was that I found myself doing more creative writing, working on a story idea that has been floating around in my head since my last year of uni.

Coming back to Australia, I had a whirlwind of study and moving interstate and finding work in Melbourne and settling in here, and I didn’t write much. And then I met Thor, and, because we were on opposite side of the country, all of time was spent talking with him, and I didn’t need a journal. And then he moved in with me, and introduced me to World of Warcraft. And well, we all know how that turned out!

It doesn’t matter how long I stop writing for, I always come back to it. I love it. It’s what I studied at uni, and it’s what I always seem to fall back on. So when you ask why I write about WoW, it’s because I can’t help but write for starters. And secondly, it’s because so much of my life is about WoW. I spend a lot of time playing the game, and interacting with the people I have met through and because of it. I write about WoW because there is so much to write about, because there are so many stories to share, because I still just need to get words out of me.

One of the questions that seems to pop-up alongside why you write about WoW, is who you think reads about WoW. Who is your audience? And this is probably the part that will be a bit weird, but my audience is me. If you look at my past and see how I have written, it’s always been for me. For my blog, it has to be for me. Because if it’s not, I stop being truthful. I start censoring myself, worrying I’ll offend someone who might be reading. And I don’t like that. I don’t like the dishonesty.

So as rude as it sounds, I’m not bothered if people don’t like my blog, or if they don’t like what I write about or how I write it or what I have to say. This is my little corner of the internet to use my words how I want to. And if people like that, if people enjoy what I have to say and want to come back to read more, that is so immensely flattering and kind, and such a wonderful bonus to this whole thing. I appreciate each and every person who comes to my blog and reads it or likes it or comments on it- it’s a beautiful feeling! But it’s not the driver for this blog. The driver is me, and will continue to be me, and my adventures with WoW.

🙂

PS: For anyone who is looking for new/more WoW blogs to read, check out our Bloggers page on the Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge website. It’s a list of anyone who has ever participated in the challenge. You might find someone new to enjoy reading!

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each fortnight there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love collecting transmog pieces. It’s such a fun side part of the game for me, and gives me a great excuse to go do old raids and dungeons every now and again. I think also I really enjoy just playing dress ups. My actual body is not great for dress ups (nor can I afford all the pretty things I’d wear anyway!) so I use my toons instead 🙂

The trouble for me with transmog, though, is that I change mine all the time. Sometimes mid-fight. *shrug* Can’t be helped. So showing them all here would just be impossible. Instead, I’m just going to show you a couple of my recent favourites.

Retribution paladin – summer skies

This set is just so beautiful and blue and full of light that it always reminds me of a clear blue summer sky. It’s the transmog I’m most proud of, and is a transmog that has not been changed because I just like it so darn much. I finished off my paladin campaign just last week so that I could get the blue version of Ashbringer, because I thought it suited best.

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It’s made up of bits and pieces from Throne of Thunder, a bit of the MoP challenge set, and some earlier bits and pieces. She got her Tabard of the Lightbringer so she can be as bright as the sun if she wants. On her Ashbringer Artifact weapon, she’s using the skin Greatsword of the Righteous, in blue, and I pair this with her mount, Astral Cloud Serpent.

Cinderlily – farmer arcane mage

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I made this set when I got my Arcane mage hidden artifact appearance. I mean really, how could you not? Of course she needs to have a little lamb as her pet that follows her around the place. 🙂

The many mogs of Cinderstorm

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With Cinderstorm being my main, I’m on her all the time, so she changes outfits a lot. I’m trying really hard to stop doing that so much, and getting this mythic Nighthold set has really helped that. She has the artifact Fist of Ra-den appearance called Earthspeaker, and she’s using it in red, so she’s just a great big ball of fire – just how I like it! 😀 She uses the Cindermane Charger mount to get around – the fires are a perfect match, and it looks so awesome.

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For restoration, she’s currently using the purple raid finder version of this set, but without a helm. Her weapon is her artifact, Sharas’dal, with the Scepter of the Deep skin, in purple. She rides around on her Long-Forgotten Hippogryph (because the Void Talon doesn’t want to play with her!).

Most of the time on my shaman I’ll just have her in mostly pre-made sets, because I just like those best. But other times I’ll experiment a bit, like with this set:

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This one is like a dark storm to me – all black and windy and lightning and stuff. I love it.

I also have this one for Enhance:

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But I’ll be giving this transmog to my little gnome hunter once she’s at 110 and can actually use the pieces 🙂

Anyway, that really is just a handful of my favourite transmogs at the moment. Like I said, I swap a lot, and given I’ve got so many alts, I’d be here for days just trying to get pics of them all. 🙂

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This topic was put up to help get some great positive posts out there, to remind people why the love WoW. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

I really struggled with this topic, which is why it’s late! I thought long and hard about which areas in WoW reminded me of home….

Could I see my current home in the docks of Stormwind?

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Or could my childhood home on the beach by the mountains be found in the far northern parts of the Jade Forest?

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Was the small country town where I was born be found in Westfall?

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Or my temporary home in England, could that be found in the outskirts of Gilneas?

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The truth is, there is nowhere in Azeroth that reminds me of my home. And that’s just how I like it. For me, WoW is an escape. It’s somewhere that I can go to get away from the real world, to explore different worlds and different lives. And I am incredibly glad that none of those little worlds in WoW reminds me home. I would hate to imagine my home being destroyed by demons. And I would hate my Azeroth world to be overrun by “real-life” troubles. So for me, nowhere in WoW reminds me of my home, and that’s just how I like it.

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This topic was put up to help get some great positive posts out there, to remind people why the love WoW. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

It’s funny, I’ve put off writing this post for awhile. Not because I don’t have anything to love about WoW, but because there is so much to love and I’m finding it difficult to pin down only a few things to talk about. Like Ann, I just love it all and could go on for days. But I won’t! I’ve chosen a few things to talk about, but this by no means is everything I love. Hands down one of the biggest things is obviously the people I have had a chance to meet through WoW. And the characters and the story will keep me coming back for years to come. But I want to talk about some of a couple of other reasons. 🙂

The music

The music in WoW constantly breaks my heart with its beauty. I went looking for a favourite piece to share with you guys for this post, and here I am crying my eyes out just listening to it already! (I know, I’m a sap!)

Some of my favourite memories from WoW are because of the music. I loved all of the music in Mists of Pandaria, but the moment that stood out for me randomly happened the day after the Vale of Eternal Blossoms had been destroyed (good one Garrosh!!). I was kinda just afk-ing in the zone, just looking around at all the beauty we had had a part in destroying and feeling really awful about it. And then the music came in… the music had changed. When the Vale was pure and alive, the music was sweeping and beautiful and generally what you expect from such a stunning zone. When it got destroyed, the music changed. It still had similar themes, but they were sad and quiet, like a wounded song bird. I cried, I truly did. It was just a small thing, but it was the final straw for me. I felt so terrible about what had been done there – it was destroyed in so many ways.

More recently… well, we’ve had quite a lot of heartache already in Legion, haven’t we? So of course the music is just going to rub salt in the wounds of our already breaking hearts. The first time I knew the music was going to kill me in Legion was in the Broken Shore was of course during the Legion cinematic trailer.  But the real clincher for me came in the Broken Shore cinematic…

It just… oh man, it just gets right in there. It starts out well enough, all dramatic and action-y while everyone is fighting, but it starts to change as everything goes downhill, getting more and more tense. That moment when Varian realises he’s not going to get on that ship to freedom, and music softens as Varian asks Genn to give his son the letter… and then it sweeps up into this huge damn heroic moment as Varian lets go, and falls to battle to the death. It’s heroic as fuck, there’s no other way to describe it. But then, he defeats the demon, and the music stops, and in that tiny breath of silence we have hope, a tiny feather of hope that maybe, just maybe, he might survive, even as we hear the motors of the ship flying away. And then the demons come, and he’s a hero again, fighting until his very last breath until we’re at the feet of Gul’dan, and he’s saying that Varian has died for nothing, but we know otherwise, and Varian shouts “For the Alliance!” and the music confirms it – he’s a hero until his dying breath. And god that music, the way it works at that moment… my heart feels like Varian does as he shatters into a million pieces. #cries

We get to hear bits and pieces of those themes throughout Legion as we run around the world and to the raids and experience the important quests and what not, and every time my heart twinges.

I mentioned the original Legion cinematic earlier – re-watching that again to write about this music I realised that the other music I wanted to write about was actually featured very briefly in that! The other big music moment I had in Legion happened quite by accident again, and it made me cry as well (I’m sensing a theme here…) Obviously the death of Varian has hit me pretty hard, so I have a soft spot for this.

It happened shortly before Legion launched, and I was flying in Stormwind from the Keep to the Mage area where the Demon Hunters were hanging around at the time. Those who know Stormwind well will realise that in doing so, I flew right over the memorial to Varian, Lion’s Rest. I stopped to look and pay my respects. And then this happened:

I don’t know what it is about this piece, but it pulls on all the heartstrings. (And those darn lyrics don’t help, either!) It seems a beautiful farewell for a fallen warrior. ❤

Anyway, as you can tell, I have a thing for the music. It’s always so fitting, and really helps me feel so immersed in the game. One of my favourite parts of any new expansion or zone is hearing the new music that comes along with it. If you haven’t done so, I recommend turning the music on in game while you’re running around doing your World Quests and what not.

It’s beautiful

I mean, come on…

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Shadowmoon valley.

Shadowmoon valley.

Being a hero

This is a big one for me. One of the questions that Leeta asks her guests on Behind the Avatar is whether or not they play male or female characters, and why that is. When I first read that question it got me thinking about why I always play female characters. Of course part of it is that I’m female, so I want to play someone like me (hence a chubby pandaren suits me just nicely!) But it’s become more than that.

For me, in my real life, I feel like a lot of it is out of my control. I feel like I’m not good enough, and I feel like I’m not talented or useful in any way (hello anxiety and self doubt!). But in WoW I am so much more than that. I am strong. I’m (somewhat) intelligent (why did I have to set Gul’dan free again at the start of WoD?!?!). I am a hero. A hero! I get to wield strong weapons and use the elements to hurt or heal, and I love that. And despite it not being real (I promise I’m not throwing buckets of water on people in real life in an attempt to heal them!!!) I have found that as a result of me being a hero in WoW, I have more confidence to try things in real life. I feel empowered, and sometimes I even feel strong. And that to me will always bring me back. That and to me, there is no better sound in the world than the quest completed sound!!

 

So those are some of the slightly different reasons why I keep coming back to WoW. To be honest, I’ll probably end up doing posts about my thoughts on the other reasons as well, but for now, this is it. 🙂

What are your reasons for coming back to WoW time and time again? Why do you love it? Leave a comment below, or join the blog challenge!

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Z and Cinder have been WoW friends (and real friends!) for quite a few years now, and have both been blogging for even longer than that. Earlier in 2016 Z challenged Cinder to write about a shared topic – Favourite Legion NPC. And a tradition was born. Each fortnight a topic would be chosen and we would both write about it.

Now, the challenge is open to everyone! We want to help encourage people to blog about what they love, and at the same time, help you find other blogs that you might like to read. Visit zandcindersblogchallenge.wordpress.com

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week our topic was suggested by contributor TheBMatt, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

I doubt this will come as a surprise to anyone who follows my blog or twitter! I actually have 2 races that really bug me that I’m going to cover in this post. Keep in mind though, this is from the generalised perception of these 2 races. There are always going to be outliers and characters of these races that this doesn’t apply to.

And obviously first and foremost, the race I absolutely passionately hate without exception are the demons. DUH! That’s a no brainer, so we won’t go there for this.

Orcs

I know, I know. Like, I know. But I just don’t like them. Over the years I have managed to look past the way they look (I really like what Blizz did with the model updates) but I just can’t get past their aggression and warmongering. Everything is a fight, everything is a challenge. They would rather draw blood without question than analyse a situation first. It’s a bit like the stereotype in action movies – shoot first, as questions later. I really hate it. They’re angry all the time and pick fights for shits and giggles. It’s just not for me. And having them so prominent for so much of the game… did my head in. (Yes I KNOW this is all “orcs vs. humans” and that’s just how it is.

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He just looks so grumpy!

I get frustrated by Orcs as well that they would rather fight than make a home. Yes, initially it was all about them being displaced and trying to find a home. But that was a long time ago now. And rather than trying to do something with what they already have, they go be shitty and stab people instead. Which is why their whole aesthetic just bugs me – everything looks temporary. The buildings look rushed and like they were built for quick dismantling (which they are), but even their clothes… and the attitude. They are cranky and aggressive and unstable, and it makes me feel the same way when I’m in zones surrounded by orcs.

Goblins

There are a lot of things that I admire about Goblins – their resourcefulness is exceptional. But it comes at a cost. It sounds so petty, but the thing that drives me up the wall about Goblins is just how dirty their areas are. They are all smoky and oily and greasy and argh. I feel like I need a shower whenever I’m around them.

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Seriously?! Who on AZEROTH go swimming in that filth?! It’s just not sanitary!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love how creative and ingenious goblins are. But why does it always have to be all smoky? I cringe at the damage their creations cause the Azeroth environment!

The other issue I have is how money hungry they are. Which again, isn’t necessarily something bad, but it annoys me. All the swindling and undercutting and sneaky-ness. If one more goblin makes a “I’ve got the best deals in town” remark, I might lose it.

 

Ok so I’m stopping this here, because this whole post just makes me sound like the giant goodie-two-shoes square that I am lol. (My boyfriend has pointed out that I don’t like races with green skin… how awkward! I disagree, though – Kermit is AWESOME!)

The thing that I like about the fact that I don’t like these races, is that it’s a lot more reflective of the world, and actually helps with immersion. There are people in real life that I don’t like for various reasons. But we all find a way to exist on this planet together, the same way we interact with the races we don’t necessarily like in WoW. It’s all part of existing. 🙂

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ok ok, maybe Goblins aren’t toooooo bad… 😉

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