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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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. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

I think this is one of the trickiest topics we’ve had for this challenge. I had to stop myself from reading other peoples’ posts about the zones they would design because I didn’t want to get discouraged (we have some AMAZING contributors to this challenge!!!) but also I didn’t want it to impact what I had in my head.

Oh how I wish I was an artist!! I can visualise this so well in my head, but my words just aren’t going to do it justice. I’ve made do by finding other bits and pieces of images – I hope you get the idea!

So for me, when it comes to designing my zone, I had to think about what I liked most about existing zones in WoW. This is what I came up with:

  • There is a reason for us to be there (i.e. it fits in with the story of the the game)
  • There is loads of lore and story to reveal
  • There is a reason to go back
  • The zone grows and evolves as we journey through it (think Suramar and Shal’Aran)
  • They have AMAZING music
  • They look beautiful
  • There are lots of awesome rewards

One of the newer things I love most of all has been Suramar and Shal’Aran, and the way that zone has opened up for us as we progress through the story. I love the tree growing each day, and I love that the environment changed based on where we are through the story.

With all of those things in mind, this is what I have come up with.

The Cracked Eye of Aman’Thul

One of the storylines that has always fascinated me is that of the Infinite Dragonflight, and I’ve been curious about how they’ll come back into the main story. My thoughts were that, given Kairozdormu’s involvement in getting Garrosh to alternate Draenor and leading us to bring back another Gul’dan, I feel like we’re due for another visit from the Bronze/Infinite Dragonflight to keep their plans on track. Having a read through Anne Stickney’s Know Your Lore post about the infinite dragonflight, and given we’ve now got the Eye of Aman’Thul, perhaps it’s coming sooner rather than later.

The story

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The Pillars of Creation around the Eye of Aman’Thul

Thanks to recent battles in the Nighthold, we currently have in our possession the Eye of Aman’Thul. The Eye of Aman’Thul was used to create the Nightwell in Suramar, and has some wobbly wobbly timey wimey stuff going on with it, too. Aman’Thul was the titan that gave Nozdormu the responsibility of taking care of guarding the “one true timeline” (not sure if he’s been doing such a good job of that…) As we know, Nozdormu saw his death, was corrupted and at some point in time turns into Murozond. This change hasn’t happened yet – where we are in time, Murozond has not yet been created, and Nozdormu is still around somewhere.

It seems to me that the Eye of Aman’Thul would be a very attractive item for both the Infinite Dragonflight and Nozdormu to have. Nozdormu himself could see this as a way for the Bronze Dragonflight to regain their ability to move freely through the timeways, and may also be a way for him to stop becoming Murozond. The Infinite Dragonflight would want to stop that from happening, and would seek to claim the Eye to control – if Nozdormu were to succeed, time would be rewritten and the Infinite Dragonflight would not exist.

So I see a bit of a battle over the Eye. Someone will come to claim it, and try to take it away from Azeroth, with others giving chase. They make it away from Azeroth to one of the nearby moons where the conflict takes place, during which the Eye is damaged and cracked. The explosion could also trap Nozdormu in time at the core of the Eye, leaving us to fend off the Infinite Dragonflight, find a way to release Nozdormu before he turns into Murozond, and seal the Eye of Aman’Thul before it explodes all time and energy.

The zone

The main base of this zone would be somewhere on the outer edge of the damage. The base itself would probably be relatively barren, but would have a very faint glow of golden and silver light from the Eye’s core. It would be a base of operations rather than a full city or hub.

"Shattered Moon" by Andrew Glazebrook, from http://glazy.blogspot.com.au/2006/04/shattered-moon.html

“Shattered Moon” by Andrew Glazebrook, from http://glazy.blogspot.com.au/2006/04/shattered-moon.html

The rest of the zone itself is quite fragmented – we’re only getting little pockets of places here and there where the leaking tendrils of power and time from the Eye stretch out and reach the pieces of the shattered moon. Each fragment is quite small (this isn’t a whole expansion I’m thinking of here, just one broken zone, although I suppose it could easily be expanded.)

Imagine something similar to this video, but with the central point being much larger and not moving around (only the little tendrils moving), the tendrils are all gold and silver, and just to the outer edge of the Shattered Moon picture above.

Where the tendrils from the Eye reach a fragment, the fragment reacts and shows what it would have been before it became a piece of a barren moon. Essentially all of the fragments would be the same world, but they would be at different points in its lifecycle. And because they are bathed in time and power, they will live and die for different durations of time. The fragments closest to the core of the Eye are the most affected, with their areas fluctuating through the lifecycle very quickly, trapped in a fast loop of growing and dying. The creatures on these fragments are very strong, thanks to the power of the Eye. Fragments that are further away are slower to age, and their enemies less strong – this is where we start.

Maybe because I’ve been watching too much Dr Who lately, but I imagine everything quite gold and silver, with the time energies casting their light over each of the fragments.

I am an absolute sucker for beautiful forests and mountains with lakes, so this is what I imagine the moon would have been in its prime:

"Secret of the Golden Forest" by Mugwort designs. Available from http://www.mugwortdesigns.com

“Secret of the Golden Forest” by Mugwort designs. Available from http://www.mugwortdesigns.com

All fragments, therefore, are variations of this, fluctuating on the full lifecycle of the birth and “death” of a planet. These cycles would happen over and over again, so there would be versions of the fragment that are still gold, but dead, and others that are brand new life growing from the barren fragment.

The creatures would be more than likely your usual forest type animals – bears and deer and birds and what not, but they would be affected by the energies around them, giving some of them strange powers, and others slight deformities. And of course the Infinite Dragonflight would be everywhere, trying to corrupt the world around them and stop players from saving Nozdormu.

I also like the idea of some fragments holding memories – this could be a neat way to have scenarios or dungeons etc., but can also help bring more lore into the zone. These memories could be used to put the pieces together to help find a way to defeat the Infinite Dragonflight and save Nozdormu. Or it could show us some of the events from when the Titans were around, and may show us a way to stop the Eye of Aman’Thul from collapsing completely.

One of the other big factors for this zone is that, because it’s a shattered world and we need to move from fragment to fragment, this would need to be a flying required zone.

The quests

  • An initial quest would need to be done to develop a barrier for players so that they themselves are not directly affected by the time energies of the Eye (so that we don’t just walk into a zone and die within a few moments). This would be a short quest chain. (or maybe we have a natural protection from the energies thanks to our “Gaze of Aman’Thul” buff we get for getting all of the pillars of creation together.)
  • I would also love a series of quests to give players access to flying within a couple of weeks. When we first arrive, we don’t know how to handle the time waves, so flying through them to get to the fragments is dangerous (and deadly!) We will rely on a series of portals to help us get around the fragments initially. But we don’t want to do this forever – we want to train our flying mounts to be able to manage flying around the area safely, so with the help of some Bronze Dragonflight members, they will train us to avoid the tendrils from the Eye to get us from fragment to fragment. This might unlock similar to the way we raised our little Cloud Serpent mounts back in Mists of Pandaria, but at the end of it, you get to unlock flying for yourself in a short period of time.
  • I see this has a maximum level type zone that would unlock in the same way that the Isle of Thunder unlocked – with different areas/fragments being made available over time as we get stronger. Quests would be different all the time because different parts of the zone are being unlocked, but also because the fragments will be in different stages of their lifecycle, so it always feels like there are lots of different quests and you aren’t doing the same ones all the time.
  • It goes without saying that there would need to be a blue box quest somewhere…

The overall goal of the zone is to get strong enough to unlock world fragments that are closer to the core. When we eventually get to the core to Nozdormu, there could be a raid where we either save him, defeat him, or save him but have events unfold as they currently exist and he turns in the Moruzond anyway.

The rewards

There would be your usual recipes and gear and what not. I personally would really love to see some transmog rewards.

Related to the flying quest line – once players have unlocked flying for their own mounts, there could be a follow up series of quests and challenges that will unlock a new unique mount for you.

And of course there would need to be a mount reward from the game. This would hands down have to be an Infinite Dragon of our own. Not the new time walking one, but one that looks like the original infinite dragons, like Epoch Hunter.

Epoch Hunter image by Florixia, downloaded from wowhead at http://www.wowhead.com/npc=18096/epoch-hunter#screenshots:id=270572

Epoch Hunter image by Florixia, downloaded from wowhead at http://www.wowhead.com/npc=18096/epoch-hunter#screenshots:id=270572

 

So there we have it. What do you think?

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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’s topic is “How do you explain gaming/raiding to your non-gamer friends and family?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

Argh life has a really annoying way of getting in the way of things, doesn’t it? It’s been a stupid busy week. So stupid, in fact, that I’m a whole week late with this blog challenge. Epic fails!

So, world quests. I personally love world quests. The main reason being that I just love being able to choose to do the quests that give me the rewards I want. If I want artifact power, I know exactly where to go and which quests to do to get that artifact power. Same for gold or missions that give me crafting mats or Blood of Sargeras. Add to that the fact that there’s legendary chance from the daily emissary quests (which I have had happen to me!) and they become even more appealing.

I also really enjoy being able to go back to zones that I enjoyed whilst levelling up, and continuing the story there a bit. Or even better – I go where a world quest is, and find that there’s actually a series of side quests that I never did while I was levelling! (See this post about my favourite quest!)

It’s fantastic! So in general I’m a really happy person when it comes to world quests.

As for my favourites, well I just love the funny and quirky ones. A lot of them seem to be for fishing… hehe There’s the one where you ride around on rocket boots spearing fish…

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I got one!!

…and then there’s this one I got to do for the first time the other day, where we fish up our catch by bombing them right out of the water! It’s utterly ridiculous, but I love it.

 

And as much as they drive me completely up the wall, I actually really love the Kirin Tor world quests. I love puzzles! (Although the Barrels of Fun isn’t really so fun for me. And I refuse to use the add-on because I’m stubborn!!) I really love the bubble ones, especially this one in Stormheim. Everything is so pretty way up high!

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I feel like I’m in LotR…

Believe it or not, I’ve also been doing the pvp world quests. The mount and pet are very good motivators, as is the gear! Even though I don’t really need the gear, it’s another transmog set 😀 So I try to do them as often as I can. And they’re actually not too bad at all. Levelling up my pvp talents feels really rewarding the way they’ve done it.

So those are my favourite world quests – what are yours?

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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’s topic is “How do you explain gaming/raiding to your non-gamer friends and family?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

This is such an interesting topic for me, especially at the moment with all the personal changes I have going on. One of the questions I have in my head at the moment is whether not to mention all of the extra-curricular stuff I do that’s based around gaming (podcasts, blogging etc) when applying for jobs. Despite gaming being immensely popular in Australia (check out this report) there is still a stigma associated with being a gamer. So when I meet new people and they ask what I do in my spare time or what my hobbies are, I find myself doing a mental scan to judge just how much I reveal.

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This stereotype is hard to shake

I feel as though there are multiple layers of explanation when it comes to my gaming habits. How well I know the person, how likely I am to speak with them about this, or how “tolerant” this person is are all factors that determine how much I open up about my gaming experience. Because I game a lot. Like, a lot. If it were sports or even church, people wouldn’t bat an eye, but because it’s computer games, all sorts of assumptions are made and stereotypes drawn upon.

So I have a tiered approach to how I discuss gaming with other people. I should say upfront that I don’t lie about my gaming. I am quite open and honest about it to anyone who asks. What does change, though, is how I talk about my gaming, and how much/how often.

Level 1 – Noob

This level is for multiple categories, and probably has the largest audience. I use this level for meeting people for the first time to give an indicator of what level I’ll talk about gaming with them in the future. It’s also the level that is for people who are critical of gamers. Like I said, I don’t (and won’t) lie about my gaming, and I suppose in some ways I deliberately talk about it (even if just a little bit!) to be defiant of these people. Many work colleagues fall into this category, and a lot of family as well.

At this level, when people ask what I do for fun, or what I did on the weekend, I’ll say “oh you know – the usual hanging out, chores, a few computer games, the usual”. Sometimes people will ask for more information, like what games I like to play. This may bump people into Level 2 and into further conversation.

But there are times when you can see by the way they ask “what games do you play” that they thoroughly approve, and so I’ll just respond with a very casual “oh you know, a bit of this and that. I like games with stories that are fun.” and leave it at that. Most conversations will stop there. Some will progress to level 2. Some, on the other hand, will jump all the way up to level 5. And that’s where the fun is 🙂

Level 2 – Casual

This is for the people who don’t cringe when I say I play computer games. On Mondays they’ll ask “did you play any games over the weekend?” and we can have a casual conversation about how much fun I may have had doing something, or how excited I am about a new expansion or patch. This is where I like most work colleagues to sit, as it’s the level of politeness that I would give to any other person who had an interest that I might not be knowledgeable about, or that I might not care about. It’s recognition that two people have different interests, and that’s ok! We can all still chat together just fine.

Level 3 – Experienced

These are the people I will admit to taking a week off work for a new expansion. They are the people who ask questions about why I like playing games, and what it is that makes me keep going back. I try to find ways of making things related to them. Sport, of course, can be a good analogy, especially when it comes to talking about Blizzcon. (“You watch the Olympics? Same deal, but with computer games!”) It’s also a good way to explain guilds and raiding especially.

But there’s the other side of gaming that I prefer talking about, and that’s the levelling and exploring. And people in this category do ask about it. The best analogy that I’ve been able to come up with is to say that playing WoW is like getting to live your favourite book or movie. You get to create a character just the way you want them to be, then take them on adventures in this wonderfully creative, interesting world. You will battle enemies, you will explore magnificent landscapes – you can even fish or pick flowers! This analogy works really well with a lot of people who are on the creative side, because they can picture it so easily. It’s also a good seller, with a lot of people wanting to try it themselves.

Level 4 – Hardcore

This is reserved for people who actually play games as well. These are your fellow gamers, your bretheren – the people who understand you. They don’t have to play WoW or even a game that I play myself, they just play something as often as I do. These are the people you can openly say “check out this mount I just got!” or “we finished the raid tier last night!” and they’ll not only get it, but they’ll celebrate with you.

I will admit, sometimes I drag people from Level 3 into here because I just get so excited about something, and the poor dears have been kind and asked how things are in game and well… you all know I can talk a lot! So I’ll explain the raid nights and how awesome it has been to kill a mythic boss and get awesome loot to make me stronger, and they’ll smile and nod and cheer, which is great. And then I’ll let them settle back into level 3 and I’ll calm down and stop bombarding them. 😀

I love knowing people in this level. I love being able to talk about gaming with other people and getting their perspective. It can be a lot of fun, and very rewarding.

Level 5 – I have a point to prove

This is a special level, dedicated to people who go out of their way to be dismissive and rude about gaming. I don’t get to this level very often, because for the most part if people don’t care about gaming, they’ll just move on, and that’s great. But sometimes there will be people who will just be plain rude, talking about how gaming is a waste of time and money etc. And I won’t let that lie. I find myself speaking up, and honestly, being a bit of a bitch. I don’t have a lot of patience for intolerance.

A lot of the time it’s as simple as speaking up when someone starts dismissing gamers. I’ve overheard conversations between colleagues about how playing computer games is “stupid and such a waste of time”, and I’ve popped my head up and said “you think I’m stupid?”. Sometimes it changes people’s minds. When people think gamers they tend to (incorrectly) assume they’re all teenage boys or the South Park stereotype. So when I stick my head up and admit to being a gamer, it challenges their perspective.

When people talk about the anti-social nature of gaming, I respond with “I played and talked with more than 30 people on the weekend, by text and voice chat. And that’s just the people I know – there were hundreds of other people playing in the world around me as well. How is that anti-social?” I have a group of friends and community of like-minded people who number in the hundreds, if not thousands. I’ve even had something I worked hard on appear on the front page of the website of a multi-billion dollar company. I talk to people from all walks of life, from all over the world. And best of all, it makes me damn happy.

WoWScrnShot_083016_164735.jpeg

Look at all the people!!

When people talk about gaming being a waste of money, I like to say “How much do you spend on going out to the pub each weekend again?” Pretty sure I spend a lot less money than you do for a lot more enjoyment.

I also like to challenge the perception that gaming is just hitting things, with facts like “I coordinated 30 people from all around the country/world via voice chat to make them achieve a common goal.”

In the end…

When it comes down to it, we’re all just people in this crazy world, and we all like different things. I would rather be as honest as I can about what I enjoy in the hopes of connecting with another person. We don’t all have to like the same thing, but it’s easy to get along and find a common ground somewhere.

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’s topic is “If you couldn’t play your main anymore, what class would you be?”, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. Z’s post about this topic can be found right here.

Every time there are class changes, there is always a class that feels more put out by them than any other. That’s not to say that their frustrations aren’t valid, it just tends to be how things play out. The latest class to be feeling the class change pinch are hunters, with a LOT of hunters out there extremely frustrated, and some already dropping their class that they’ve played for years in favour of something less “broken”.

It’s a sad time for anyone who feels their class has moved beyond something they can connect with, and I feel for anyone who has to go through it. For me personally, I don’t think I’d stop playing my shaman at all. It’s too much who I am. But you never know what could happen. I think if I had to change my main it would be a really sad day.

First things first – to heal or not to heal?

For those who don’t know, I main restoration shaman and play either spec as off spec (though focus more on elemental these days). I am assuming that whatever changes make me consider changing class are so substantial that I couldn’t play any of the other specs either, and that shamans are completely off the table.

I think the first question I’d have to ask myself if I wasn’t able to play a shaman anymore, would be whether or not I wanted to remain a healer. And I don’t know the answer to that question. I really love healing. A LOT. But I think a lot of that comes down to how well I gel with the restoration shaman class. The only other healing class I have enjoyed so much has been holy paladin. However the Legion changes to holy paladin have really changed that. I miss holy power and Holy Radiance as a spell. So I don’t think I could play holy paladin again for healing spec unless things changed back.

I’ve never been able to get on board with priest healing or druid healing. Which leaves monk heals. I have played a monk healer, and did quite well with it at the time. However I feel monk heals have changed style far too often. I’d be terrified they’d be getting changed yet again. So I don’t think monk would be it for me either.

Unless a new healer class is brought in (PLEASE?!) it looks like I’d probably not heal on another class.

To tank or not to tank?

I’ve not seriously tanked before, so this is a tricky question to answer, but still worthwhile to think about. I have tanked very casually as a Death Knight, and have a tendency to level my monk on a tank spec as well. But otherwise, that’s it.

I think tanking is a high pressure role to play. Don’t get me wrong – healers are high pressure too, but there are fewer tanks, and mistakes are pretty obvious. I think it would probably get a bit boring at times, too… maybe?

I do like the idea of having a tanking off spec available, so I’m going to say maybe to this for now.

Ranged or melee?

This used to be an easy question to answer – always ranged. I’m terrible at melee. I hate having to chase after bosses and it always feels so crowded. But then I played warrior during the Legion invasions, and it was a LOT of fun. And I levelled my paladin entirely as Retribution and I actually really enjoyed it. So in theory a melee class may not be off the cards.

Raiding?

I think this is the bigger question of all, that would impact my choice. Whether or not I’m raiding with this new class would determine whether or not I play a class that I could excel at, or whether I just choose a class because I think it would be fun to play. My biggest difficulty is that I’m not actually great at any class (including my shaman). I try, but it doesn’t seem to matter how hard I do try, it’s never usually enough.

With that in mind, if I were to raid with a new class, I would need to make sure I enjoyed it as well, for those days when I just flat out suck. I’m also not a huge fan of having to min-max all dps specs, which tends to be what happens when raiding with pure dps classes.

The final result?

You know, this is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Shamans just really click with me, so trying to choose a new class is really tough. I was hoping that laying out my thought process above would help make the decision easier, but it kinda really hasn’t…. lol

Ok, I think… I think if I had to change, it would be to either…

Druid

or

Mage

Druid because it gives me the option of any playstyle – tank, healer, melee or ranged. And they have some of the most BEAUTIFUL transmog in the game! I’m quite fond of my druid, I just need to be better at playing her. I play her as Balance, and I enjoy it a lot.

And mage would be another option, too. I always find myself falling back onto playing my mage. She was my first ever toon, so I’m quite attached to her. I find that I usually manage to find a spec that sits well with me eventually each expansion, so I think she’d be a viable choice, too.

Ok, well that ended up being a lot more difficult than anticipated! What about you? If you had to change your class, what would you change it to?

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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’s topic is 2017 Bucket List and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. 

Oh my gosh how has it been so long since I wrote in my blog? To be fair, the second week of the Christmas holidays was spent pretending the rest of the world didn’t exist. But still, I should have updated before now! Thank goodness I have the blog challenges with Z to keep me in check!

So this week we’re putting together our bucket lists for the year, with the idea of coming back to them at the end of the year to see how we did. Knowing that, in a way, I’ll be held accountable for what I put here has actually made me think about this a little more seriously. It also means (like Z) that I won’t have things like “get the fox mount” etc. because sometimes RNG hates me (I just want my little fox!! :'()

Cutting Edge – all raids*

As anyone who reads my blog will know, raiding is a pretty big part of my WoW time. I love it! So it makes sense that one of my main goals for the year would be related to raiding. The difference this year (compared to others) is that I’m  upping things and aiming for full mythic clears on all bosses. The * is there in case 7.2 comes out beginning of December… that would be making things a little tough for me to achieve!

We’ve had a few dramas with the guild over the last few weeks, which I’ll right about in a future blog post. At the moment, this is the goal for everyone involved in my new guild, so here’s hoping things pan out that way. Only set back is that it’s unlikely

Get my class mount*

This is another one that comes with a disclaimer that’s really based on time. We don’t know when 7.2 will be coming out, or what it will include (other than we know flyng will be coming with it, as will class mounts). I’m hoping that 7.2 brings the flying and class challenges for the mounts, but not the raid tier until a little while later. With Nighthold only opening tomorrow (SQUEEE!!!!) it would just be too soon to have another new raid tier in the time that I expect to see flying etc.

Complete Family Familiar Achievement

This achievement is a pretty big one – it’s quite time consuming, and sometimes you’re just waiting for a different pet tamer to spawn to be able to work towards it! But it’s absolutely doable, and I really love the pet reward!

Attend all the micro-holidays

I’m SO excited about micro-holidays!! The first one is out this weekend, which I’m really excited about. I think they’re a wonderful addition to the game (and that’s not at all a biased opinion based on the fact that my tweet talking about micro-holidays was featured on the Blizzcon stream!).

Level 3 more toons to 110

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As you will have seen from my previous posts, I’ve unlocked all the class halls and gotten artifacts for all of my toons, but at the moment I only have 3 at level 110. Because I’m focusing so much more on raiding this expansion, I don’t have as much spare time as I’ve had in the past to play/level alts. That and I don’t want to rush them – I want to enjoy the order hall experience for each of them. So I think 3 more is realistic. Chances are I’ll get more than 3 done, but just in case I don’t…!

Get the Brawler’s Guild mount

This one should be do-able – I’ve managed to complete Brawler’s Guild for the previous 2 expansions, so I should be ok with this one, too. Some people in guild have already got it, which is awesome! I need some better relics and trinkets for my sets, though, so my dps can be a bit stronger, but that shouldn’t be too tough.

So that’s my list. I’ve tried to choose things that will challenge me, but are doable with having less “outside of raid” time available to me these days.

What’s on your list?

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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’s topic is Underneath the Azeroth Tree, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. You can find Z’s post really soon! (It’s not quite ready yet.)

I liked this topic because it was supposed to be a kind of a wish list of things I would like to see in WoW. But you know, when I sat down to think about what I wanted, I came up empty.

I mean sure, there are mounts and pets and transmog pieces and things that I would love to have in the game that I don’t already have. But if I had them, it would take away part of the game for me. I love hunting these things down – even if it’s frustrating at times! Just having them handed to me would make them feel a bit less special. So I’m happy to leave those to RNG-sus to bestow upon me when the time is right. 🙂

The question still remains, though – what would I want in the game? I was reading this great post from Alternative Chat last night about the cycle of controversy, and how quickly people forget something is a problem when something else to become indignant about arises to start a new uproar. It really got me thinking about the people in the game and how unhappy people seem to be at the game/the devs/Blizzard as a whole all the time. It’s disappointing, and at times, upsetting.

That’s not to say that everyone playing the game is a problem – far from it! There are amazing, wonderful people in this game (some of whom I now call my best friends!) For me, it’s more about the constant feeling of dissatisfaction that a large number of players have with the game. It makes me sad, to be honest. There are so many wonderful things to love about WoW, and so many opportunities for people to find something they enough in the game, but they don’t see it. And I feel sad that they miss that. I also get frustrated a fair bit at the attitude towards people who don’t have a problem with the game are somehow “inferior” or just plain “stupid”. It’s a silly attitude to have, but it’s there.

So for me, my Winter Veil wish is for each and every WoW player to remember why it is they love to play World of Warcraft, to hold onto that, and have just one day of complete happiness in the game. (Yes, I’m actually wishing for world peace!) Just for a day, even if it’s just in Azeroth. Forget about the class nerfs/changes that may be coming; forget that you can’t fly, or your load screens a taking a long time, or there aren’t enough starlight rose to be found. Log in to the game and get out in the world and remember why it is you love the game, and just enjoy it. And let’s all have a day of good vibes. 🙂

What are you wanting to find under the Azeroth tree?

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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’s topic is You as an NPC, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here. You can find Z’s post really soon! (It’s not quite ready yet.)

I don’t know about others, but for me the dream is to have an NPC named after me in WoW. I know, so lame, but how awesome would that be?! Getting to see yourself in game – what a treat! But what would an NPC in WoW be like if it were based on me? Now that I had to think about.

This has been a really hard question to answer. I think if I were to have a choice in the matter, I’d probably want the NPC to relate to me in more than just name. Which is the problem – there is just so much that I do in this game, that it’s hard to choose just one thing that I’d want an NPC to do in game. And would I want her to be a quest giver? Or would she ben a vendor or something like that? So I’ve been thinking really hard about this topic this week! And then, it hit me.

One thing that I do more often than not is change my transmog. I hate to think how much gold I’ve spent on changing my transmog in game (I’m really glad there isn’t a way to track in game! I think it would be pretty bad tbh). So I think it would make sense that my NPC has something to do with transmog.

I also want her to be useful or helpful. Whilst it would be interesting to come up with a quest line, I thought of an NPC that I would like in game. Here’s what my NPC would be like.

Firstly, she’d look like my shaman – female panderen – and be named something with Cinder and Storm in it. And what she would do is be an old raid token vendor, for all of the old raid tokens (i.e. any thing that isn’t current). Her inventory would change every time there is a new expansion to add the token from the expansion that just ended (making her bags FULL of stuff haha!)

She would be in a faction neutral zone, such as the space between the 2 shrines in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in Pandaria so that both factions could visit her (because I’ve played for both sides). She’d be a little bit cheeky and a little sassy, and probably a bit impatient, too (let’s be real here, she is created “in my image”). Maybe she could occasionally throw water on people like any good restoration shaman would!

But, the really awesome thing about my NPC – her transmog changes ALL THE TIME. Like, every 15 minutes, she has a new outfit. And more than that, she’ll have a matching mount and pet to go with whatever she in wearing – JUST LIKE ME! So she’d be useful and stylish all at once!

Because let’s face it, I have a bit of a transmog problem…

…so my NPC probably would as well. 🙂

What would your NPC be like in game?

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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’s topic is An Azeroth Holiday, and you can read everyone’s thoughts about their ideal Azeroth (beyond!) holiday locations on our website here. You can find Z’s post about the topic right here. 

This week’s topic came about as a result of Z cheering me up one day. I was at work having a miserable day and she was telling me all the wonderful things I could look forward to about heading into Azeroth when I got home. It’s such an awesome topic!

So for this one, I went on a little adventure to some of my favourite places in Azeroth, and did some REALLY BAD photoshop work to make postcards for each of the places I would love to visit. 😀 I chose a few because where I go would depend on what type of holiday I wanted to take.

First up, summer holidays in Kun Lai.

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This is the very far north of Kun Lai, with the beautiful Kun Lai summit behind us, luscious waterfalls for miles around, a quaint little fishing village below, and a lush island off in the distance should you wish to go on a day trip. I’ve always loved this area, and to me would be a gorgeous place for a summer holiday.

Exploring in Howling Fjord

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I LOVE Howling Fjord so much. I love the cliff edges and and the rivers and lakes and trees. It’s always thought it would be an amazing place to explore and go canoeing! So this is where I’d go if I felt like adventuring.

Get away from it all… Highmountain

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High mountain is absolutely stunning, but even more so during the night time. A Highmountain holiday to me is like a spiritual pilgrimage – something you do on your own to find yourself. Climbing Highmountain would be one hell of a challenge, but absolutely worth it. It would be an opportunity to learn so much about yourself – to push yourself to your limits, and find your zen.

Camping in Val’sharah

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Val’sharah is so, so beautiful, and definitely an ideal place to go to get back to nature. I think you’d be hard pressed to not feel relaxed and calmed by your surroundings – just look how breathtaking it is! You just know it’s the perfect slightly cool temperature so that you can comfortably sit in the sunbeams. I feel like I could just sit here for days on end just reading. Gorgeous.

So those are my favourite Azeroth holiday destinations – where are yours?

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Bits and pieces for these pics came from Freepik here and here. 

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’s topic was suggested by Elgaric, and you can read everyone’s thoughts on how WoW has changed/impacted their lives on our website here. You can find Z’s post about the topic right here. 


So I think the initial intent of this topic was to talk about the dos and don’ts of pugging, and how to run one. But I haven’t done that for such a long time, so I’m just going to write about my thoughts on the current state of pugging. It’s quite a ramble – I just woke up from a super long nap and I’m quite dopey still! 

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with pugging. It’s usually with good cause: I won’t pug into groups for the longest time, but along will come a question or something or other than convinces me that I need to, so I’ll find a random group to do it with and things will more than likely go well. So I try another, and another. There will be some ups and downs, but you tolerate them because you have a goal you need to accomplish. But then it just gets too much – you end up in a run where no-one knows what they’re doing. But worse than that – they don’t listen to anyone  or communicate with anyone until they decide to yell at someone for being a moron (and they usually do this in a very colourful way ) and I get reminded for the umpteenth time why I don’t join pugs and stop doing them again for awhile.

Faith and manners

Which is where I am at the moment. I find pugging to be an experience in faith in humanity. Dramatic, I know! But accurate. You see, when you join a pug you have faith that, at the very bare minimum, they are polite. Now this might not seem like it should be the base level of a group, but it is. You see, you can have someone who does terrible dps or stands in all that things or goes the wrong way. But if you can tell them politely “this is the way to go” or, “please don’t stand in the green stuff on the ground – it’s really bad” and they politely respond with “oops! didn’t know that was the way” or, “thanks! This is my first time in here” then you’ve got people that you can work with. What you can’t work with are the people who don’t bother to respond at all, who then run off and pull a million things in the dungeon and quit, or start complaining that no-one was healing them when they pulled 5 packs of mobs in the opposite direction to where we need to go – those are the people that you’re going to have a bad time with. And unfortunately there seem to be a lot of them out there.

I always start a random dungeon/LFR etc. just by saying “hi”. You know you’re probably going to have a bad time of things when no-one responds (though to be truthful not always, to be fair). I’m not expecting full conversations about the ins and outs of everyone’s lives, but if you can’t be bothered saying hi, it makes it tough to ask if we can go kill some extra boss for a quest, or try and trade gear you don’t want or let a tank know to turn the boss around because aiming a dragon’s breath towards people is just not what you do…. Plus, you’re spending a bunch of time with these people – is it really so hard to just say “hi” back?

About a month or so back now I ended up in a random mythic +5 with our raid tank and 3 pugs doing Vault of the Wardens. It’s not my favourite dungeon to say the least, but I figured that at least with my raid tank there it would be ok. It was an experience and a half. Unfortunately the 3 dps we were hadn’t done a mythic dungeon at that level before, and their dps was quite low. I’m not sure if they’d even done the dungeon before on any other level either. So we missed all of the timers for it (the dungeon took 2 hours I think in the end?) It was pretty painful. BUT the 3 guys dps-ing were incredibly lovely. They were apologetic for their low dps, and asked for tips on how to improve for the next time they tried mythic +. They thanked us repeatedly for sticking with them and helping them out because “people just don’t do that anymore”. Sure it was a long and slightly painful couple of hours, but I would trade that for a quick dungeon with douchbags any day. And I felt bad for them, because they had obviously had a bad time of things in the past with people being impatient or just plain rude.

So yeah for me, a base level of politeness is all I ask for in a pug. And it hasn’t be there for awhile, which is why I haven’t pugged for awhile. I haven’t even gotten the attunement to go into Karazhan yet, let alone run it.

PuGs vs. Random Group Finder

For me, I’ve found group attitude tends to be different for complete pug groups (say for Mythic dungeons or something that just can’t be done in the random group finder tool) vs. using the random group finder tool. Maybe it’s the difficulty level that makes it feel different? I don’t think so, though. Ok so maybe this is just me, but has anyone else noticed the (general) attitude difference between PuGs and Random Group Finder groups? For me, most of my experiences in PuGs (other than the one I mentioned above) have proved to show more aggression, frustration and rudeness than Group Finder. I feel like the person who creates a group and pugs it out has a sense of “ownership” which can be great if they are good working with other people, but I feel it generally leads towards more of a sense of entitlement and frustration. It feels like there’s an attitude of “this is my group, and if you’re no good I’m just going to kick you because I have the power”. Or maybe that’s just me.

What I do find in equal parts funny and sad is when you do end up in a good pug, everyone is so grateful, and falls over each other with thanks and praise for being such an amazing group. Isn’t that just a little bit sad to anyone else? That basic manners and a good pug run is such a rarity that we are almost in a bit of a state of shock when it does happen?

Pugging is better with friends

I feel most comfortable pugging with friends. I really do. It’s a no-brainer, I know, but until you’ve changed servers and factions as your friends, you really start to feel how important it is to play with people you know. There are a couple of people in my guild who are lovely and I’ve done runs with them and we generally have an ok time of things (though again, these are pugs and we’ve had some doozies!!)

The point is – if you have friends or people you like to pug with, hold onto them for dear life! It makes all the difference in the world.

 

Anyway, that’s my ramble about pugging. It can be tough. Sometimes we just have to tough it out and join them whether we want to or not (and I WILL finish off the attunement for Karazahn, and might even run it!). But do remember this – it doesn’t take anything to just be polite. Say hi to your group, offer help where you can. Or if you don’t feel comfortable with that, just listen and go the right way. 🙂

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. You can read everyone’s thoughts on how WoW has changed/impacted their lives on our website here. You can find Z’s post about the topic right here. 

This week started the 12th birthday celebrations for World of Warcraft. It’s crazy that a game this old is still this popular, although I understand it. The topic we chose for the challenge this week is an opportunity to take a step back and look at how this game has impacted our lives. Because let’s face it – WoW can have a massive impact.

I started playing back at the end of Cataclysm in early 2012, shortly after Thor and I moved in together. He introduced me to the game, and I haven’t looked back. From day 1 at had be around the throat. This is what I did now.

Nothing has really changed, and I’ll be honest – sometimes I wonder if it’s a good thing. All of my spare time revolves around WoW. All of it. I start up WoW as soon as I get home and generally play until I go to bed. I write a blog about the game. I record 2 podcasts about the game. I buy all of the stuff. I’m a good little consumer. Sometimes it worries me, if I’m perfectly honest. I am terribly addicted to the game. If I’m not playing WoW, I’m tweeting about it all day every day; I’m reading articles about class balancing or raid strats or guides. And I do it during work hours, too.

There are honestly some days where I wish I hadn’t started playing the game at all.

But would I change anything? Honestly, probably not. (Except maybe how much I do during work hours!)

Because despite the all-consuming nature of WoW, it is one of the best things to happen to me (after Thor, of course!) The way I play WoW, it’s not only about the game. In fact, the game itself is probably about 65-75% of my WoW-ing. World of Warcraft is so much more than the game itself (oh but what a game it is). It’s also about the friends that I have made and this great big, beautiful community that I’ve become a part of.

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Without WoW I would never have met Z, who is truly one of the loveliest people I have ever met. And whilst we don’t see each other face to face very often, we email each other quite a lot. She is one of the few people in this world that I can be completely honest with, not matter how stupid, sad embarassing (probably because there are some stupid crazy similarities between us!) So for my friendship with Z, I will always be grateful.

And that’s not to mention the multitudes of other friends I have made through this game. And my podcasts! Klor, Neuro, Spazz and Sirius are some of the most beautiful people I know, and put up with me being completely random or cranky or very sweary. And my lovely gaming girls, Leeta, Natanie, Marie and Mel, who make me realise that I am actually capable of having friends with females, and whose monthly catch ups are a real bright point for me. There are SO many other people that are part of this wonderful WoW family, and I am grateful for them all. ❤

One of my favourite things about WoW, though, is that it’s something that Thor and I do together, and I really value that. I seen far too many relationships where people don’t do things together, and it makes me sad. We raid together, which has definitely taught us how to communicate better and have patience with one another! We also run random old content together and world quests, help each other out with professions etc – it’s just something we enjoy playing together, and I love it so much.

On a personal note, I’ve talked about my anxiety previously. WoW has really helped me to work on that a lot, to the point where I believe that if I didn’t have WoW, I would have turned into a complete recluse by now. WoW helps me have a space where I can vent out my frustrations by blowing up bad guys, but also forces me to interact with people in a way that I feel safe in. There is a distance between us, which makes it so much easier to deal with. That’s not to say that I don’t have anxiety anymore – that’s not going to go away any time soon. But WoW does is allow me to still interact with other people, and give me courage to do the same out in the real world as well. Since playing WoW I have become better at confrontation and finding ways of approaching and dealing with conflict, whereas previously I would have run away. I stand up for myself now, and am getting better at it all the time.

And of course, there’s the fantasy side of it all, and getting to live in this remarkable world that has been created. I don’t know about other people, but when I read a book I enjoy, I find myself wishing I could experience the world that the book was set in. Getting to see what was on the other side of the bridge that a character didn’t go over in a book, or seeing what a place looks like at night time instead of during the day when it was set in the book. WoW lets me do that. WoW has a story that I would have read and enjoyed without the game. It’s fascinating! So getting to experience it first hand, and feel like I’m making changes to that world… well it’s just incredible (and a little god-like in ways, too!)

So for me, I am always going to be so grateful for World of Warcraft and to the people who created it and work on it every day. I don’t know what the future holds – maybe there will come a day that I won’t be playing the game any more. But I know that I’m going to look back on this time of my life and be immensely grateful for it.

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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. You can read everyone’s favourite Legion quest on our website here. You kind find Z’s post about the topic right here. 

Legion has been wonderful with questing. The best thing about Warlords of Draenor had been the questing, and I was curious about how Blizzard would go about making it better. I was also curious about how well the stories would play out given that we could go in to each zone in any order that pleased us – how could they possibly make it all make sense and tie in together when we can essentially do a “choose your own adventure”? Somehow they did it. I mean, they really nailed it. I stayed in each zone (except Highmountain because I was max level within 5 quests there!) until they were completely done. Or so I thought. Because funny thing – when I go back to do World Quests I keep finding hidden quests that pop out of nowhere. It’s really wonderful.

So to choose a favourite quest out of all of this beautiful story has actually been quite difficult. I really enjoyed the Farondis quest line – I truly felt for him. And Runas. And the whole line involving Ysera was amazing. And the story in Suramar! When I first met the withered in Azsuna I was awful and dismissed them as possessed junkies who had gone past the point of being people and had reverted to being blathering creatures. But when I got to Suramar and saw what was happening, my entire opinion changed. I feel for them, and I feel dreadful when I have to kill them. I have hope that we’ll be able to do something to help them long term. Archanist Thalyssra is fast becoming one of my favourite NPCs – I have become very fond of her.

But I digress. The quest that I have chosen as my favourite is one of many favourites, but is one that stands out for it’s creativity, how much it made me mad, and how much it made me laugh. 🙂 I’m of course talking about the Murloc quest line in Suramar, DO THE THING! (Note: no idea of the gender of our leading murlocs here, so I went with a gender neutral “them/they” for our two lead characters)

note: I’m going to talk about the whole quest line here (though I won’t tell you how to do any of it – that would take all the fun out of it!) If you want the whole thing to be a surprise, stop reading now.

Meet Pearlhunter Phin

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How could you not love that face!

Phin is a handsome, sweet, down on their luck murloc who has but one thing going for them – they’re in love. But we wouldn’t be here if this were a regular love story. No, you see Phin is, of course, in love with a murloc completely out of their league – they’re in love with an Uptown Murloc, Mrgrlilgrl.

We meet Phin where Azsuna, Suramar and Val’Sharah intersect. (Technically waypoints are Suramar – 15.2, 52.2) The only requirement for accessing this quest line is that you are at 110 level, and I’m also assuming you need to have done the Suramar opening quests.

Our adventures with Phin are exactly what you’d expect from a situation where language is not common – lots of attempting to talk anyway, lots of exclamation points and LOTS of body language. And most of all, a lot of “oh god, what do you want me to do?!!?!”

When we first meet Phin, we find him rummaging around the beach, throwing bits of seaweed here and there, looking for something. When we “speak” to him, he offers us the quest Do The Thing! The quest text is this:

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Really not helpful. Even less helpful, is that when we accept the quest, everything starts glittering like it’s related to the quest. And Phin just stands there with an expectant look on his face, waiting for us to fix the whole situation.

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omg Phin, what do you want from me?!!?

This is what the entire quest chain is like. Phin rambles to us, gesticulating wildly, then sends us off to do something that we know nothing about. It really is quite glorious, and oh so frustrating. But it is all made up for with just how utterly hilarious the whole situation is, and the fact that the item text perfectly matches exactly what we’re thinking while we’re helping Phin.

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EXACTLY!!!

It eventually comes to pass that we have been trying to help Phin get something nice for their murloc love, and so off we go to watch the scene unfold. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t go well. Daddy murloc does not want his murloc offspring being involved with such a lowly commoner. There is an argument, and Daddy murloc quite literally kicks Phin out of his home!

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Daddy murloc is not happy

You can’t understand a thing that they are saying, but the disgust is right there in the actions and body language and the whole kicking thing. You can’t help but feel sad for poor Phin. So we follow them out, leaving Mrgrlilgrl with their awful father.

Phin is pretty pissed. Like, really pissed. They’re in love, and they’ve  spent so much time trying to find something to win over Daddy murloc. But noooOOOooo – Phin’s not good enough. Well, we’ll see about that! Our next quest appears to involve us helping Phin find a murder weapon (not even joking)

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So off we go again not knowing what we’re doing or where we’re going. This quest was the hardest one of them all when I did it the first time – there were no clues in the area at all, so I really had to wing it. And because it was at an intersection between 3 zones, I kept getting phased. But I pressed on. It looks like they’ve made some improvements to the quest because things were more clearly marked on the map, and the phasing wasn’t an issue the second time I did this.

Phin was kind enough to help out when things got dangerous.

 

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Eventually Phin finds whatever stabby thing they were looking for, and we race back to (potentially) commit an awful crime. But when we get there, a crime has already been committed!

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oh no!

Daddy murloc has been taken away, Mummy murloc is stuck in a web and Phin’s love has been knocked out – Phin must save the day!!!

The awful spiders in Suramar have taken Daddy murloc hostage, and it’s Phin’s/our job to find him.

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meanie spiders!

Eventually Daddy murloc is found – Phin as saved the day! How ever will Daddy murloc repay Phin for saving his family? Oh, we all know what Phin wants…

Daddy murloc is not happy about it, but what can he do – Phin saved the family! (Serious props to the voice actor who played Daddy murloc – he nailed disdainful murloc!!!) And so Daddy murloc agrees that Phin and Mrgrlilgrl can be together.

And they all lived happily ever after…

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So that was one of my favourite quests in Legion. What was yours? If you want to write/draw/vlog about our topic of the week, please do! you can join in each week at http://zandcindersblogchallenge.wordpress.com

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My lovely friend Zeirah and I are challenging each other with a weekly blog post. We choose a topic and both write about it. This week’s topic is all about Patch 7.1. You can read Z’s post about this topic right here.

It’s lucky Z and I do these challenges each week, or I wouldn’t have had an update this week at all!

This week patch 7.1 Return to Karazhan was released. And what a patch it is! 7.1 brings with it a new min-raid, a whole bunch of new pet battle content (including a new Raiding With Leashes achievement and wild pets to raise into mounts) and, of course, Karazhan – the mythic dungeon on steroids (plus a buch of other stuff) . So how have I been spending 7.1? Feeling bloody miserable.

This is not the fun post you’re looking for.

It’s a bad time to ask this question because I’m generally having a not so great time in game. Though it’s nothing really to do with the game, per se, and more to do with the people in it. To put things bluntly, I’m not having the greatest time in guild at the moment, and it’s really affecting how I play. Although I can’t place the blame solely on that.

As I mentioned up front, a big part of 7.1 has been the introduction of the Return to Karazhan dungeon. I have really been looking forward to this dungeon since I heard about it being redone (hell, I was excited when there were hints of rumours that it was being done!) I’m yet to step foot in there.

One of the most challenging aspects of Legion as an expansion is, I feel, mythic dungeons. Not because of their difficulty to complete, but in their difficulty to find people to group with. Now please do not get wrong – this is not any fault of Blizzard’s – I completely understand why things are this way, and if it were up to me, I’d also design it this way. But for me, it’s hard. I have never been any good at group finder. My anxiety always gets the best of me and I get too scared to join groups. I have been trying to get better about it, and have been running random heroics a lot more often than I used to, just to try and get better at playing with strangers. But I’m hopeless. I had a list of mythic dungeon missions from my class hall in my quest log for the longest time that all went away when 7.1 came out. Such a waste of opportunity, and all because I was too scared to run a mythic dungeon with strangers.

The obvious answer is to run with guildies, but even then that’s a problem (and comes back to why I’m not feeling great in guild at the moment) because I don’t feel comfortable with my guildies. I can’t make mistakes around them, because I know that comments will be made or griping will happen (because it does happen – seen it and experienced it). So it makes my anxiety levels all that much higher as a result. Which means I haven’t yet done the attunement to get into Karazhan.

You’d think that would be the worst of it. But no.

You see, the biggest trouble that I’ve had since 7.1 came out is that it has destroyed my display settings. Fixes that were made to improve display on Macs for OS Sierra ended up trashing settings for those not on Sierra, which includes me. Prior to 7.1 I could run with my settings on 8 during raid, and 10 out in the world. Since the patch went live, I can’t play the game at all unless they’re set to 4. Yep, 4. It has made me incredibly upset. When settings are on 4, there is no water texture – it just looks like there’s nothing there:WoWScrnShot_102716_175900.jpeg

I wouldn’t be as mad about it as I am if I hadn’t spent a ridiculous amount of money buying this computer just last year. (And please spare me the Mac jokes – they really aren’t funny). I just find it upsetting because the game is so, so beautiful, and that’s been taken away. There are apparently fixes in the works to help with this, but there’s no ETA on them. And there’s no money for a new computer. So I just have to deal with it for now. I know it’s a stupid minor thing, but it upsets me a lot.

Ok, enough being a sook.

There are some good bits though, right?

Of course there are! These issues I’m having are to do with me, and not to do with the game. 7.1 really is an incredible patch so far. One of my favourite additions has been the introduction of the Falcosaurs. They are these feathered dinosaurs that are roaming around causing trouble, so we have to go cull them a bit to keep people safe. In doing so, we create an orphan who needs a new home – so of course we adopt him! I have gotten one from Val’sharah so far. I tried twice to get the one in Highmountain, but it wouldn’t spawn for me no matter what tips I tried from wowhead, so I’ll come back to that another day.

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They are kinda cute though, in their own ugly little way 🙂

My absolute favourite thing, though, is that we’re continuing on the Suramar storyline. I love how dynamic Duramar is – it’s constantly changing for us. I’ve really been enjoying it. And boy did I kill the crap out of some demons there this week! They made me so mad with what they did!

But best of all – hands down absolutely the best of all – when in Suramar with the disguise on, I can *finally* use ghost wolf form, because I turn into a MANASABER!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I’m so pretty!! I wish there was a toy or glyph in game that could make this a permanent ghost wolf alternative.

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I also really loved going back in to Shal’Aran since betting exalted with the Nightfallen. I won’t spoil anything here, but there were some changes that I really, really liked.

A new Raiding With Leashes achievement also came out in 7.1 – there are now 18 new pets all up that have been added to Wrath of the Lich King raid zones – 16 for the achievement, 1 more for completing it, and another 1 that is super-dooper rare, but not part of the achievement. I ran all the raids on my shaman this week and got a grand total of…. zero. I got zero pets to drop for me. Oh well.

Overall, I think 7.1 is brilliant. It’s a huge amount of content that we’ve been given in this patch, and I can only see more to come. And I’m loving it. I’m sure we’ll get some hints about what is coming up next during Blizzcon next weekend. But for the time being, there is a load of stuff to do in 7.1, including me trying to be braver.

Hope you’re all having a great time in game! 🙂

 

My lovely friend Zeirah and I are challenging each other with a weekly blog post. We choose a topic and both write about. This week’s topic is all about our favourite Legion screenshots. You can read Z’s post about this topic right here.

***Heads up there may be spoilers in here if you’re not completely up to date with everything. So please proceed with caution.***

Ok so this week we’re taking things a little easier (or so we thought!) by having our topic of the week be our top 5 favourite screen shots that we’ve taken in Legion. I say it started out easy, but this is a really tough one. For starters we had initially said our favourite 1 screen shot. Not 2 minutes later Z asked if we could make it 5, which I laughed at because I was about to ask the same thing!

The thing is, how do you decide which screenshots to share? Do you share the ones that look pretty? Or do you share the ones that have a funny story or a sweet memory behind them? For me, I’ve gone with a little bit of everything. But it’s been really tricky to do, because Legion has been an amazing expansion so far, and the world we’re playing in and the memories I’m making right now are beautiful and plentiful.

(btw these aren’t in any particular order!)

First up – a memory

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This screenshot to me represents everything we’re fighting for. This is the reason we have moved an entire city to the heart of danger – so that those who fight have not fallen in vain. Varian’s death makes me cry, even today. Regardless of whether you’re Horde or Alliance, you can’t deny the sacrifice that Varian made for his people, and for the whole of Azeroth. He knew that when he let go of that ship, that he was going to die. But he did it anyway, because it meant buying a little extra time so his comrades could escape. And in turn, maybe they would be able to find a way to defeat the Legion. He knew what would happen, and he did it anyway.

Right before heading to the Broken Isles I stopped by the patch of grass in Stormwind to pay my respects – I was over the moon to discover that Varian’s memorial was up. And so I turned the music up, knelt down and cried a little and gave thanks, and stood up to go kick some serious demon butt.

Next – a summary of being a restoration shaman!

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Ok it’s really tricky trying to choose one picture about what it means to be a shaman in Legion, but this comes close. This was taken in my class hall in the water area (totally appropriate for my resto shammy!) and she’s casting her artifact ability (and looking damn fierce doing it!) This was taken right before Emerald Nightmare opened, and it really is the culmination of a lot of research, patience, trying/retrying, gold and tears to get to this point. It’s been tough. But great 🙂

Next up is just a “pretty” one.

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This is the ceiling in the mage order hall. I LOVE the order hall – it’s full of books and magic-y colours. It’s such a beautiful place. There are also portals to all of the different zones. But mostly, it’s the books that I love. There are little corners that you can sit in and watch the world (the view outside is, of course, Dalaran).There are some parts where the books are flying/floating around. It’s a really magical place and I just love it.

Next up we have (slightly spoilery!!) pretty and story –

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This here is what happens after you defeat Xavius in the Emerald Nightmare. Killing him cleanses the Emerald Dream back to its intended state. And it.is.stunning. The beams of light coming through the tress, the lush green grass, the beautiful flowers, the beginnings of a yellow brick road. And of course Ysera (and well, everyone else we had to kill to cleanse the place!) Killing Ysera was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in the game. I bawled my eyes out when I realised that’s what we’d have to do once she was corrupted by Xavius. It was painful, no matter how necessary. To see her back here in the Emerald Dream makes me feel a bit better – that she’ll always be here is a comfort. I mean, if you’re going to be left somewhere to live out the rest of your days, there are definitely worse places to do it!

And lastly, another beautiful + story pic (and also spoilers)

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This happened for me yesterday. Right before you hit Exalted with the Nightfallen you’ll be offered a quest that involves (essentially) charging up the tree in Shal’Aran. It’s a detailed and dangerous process that even cost a life. But in the end, the tree survives. And even better – the fruit it bears cures the withered. Again, this one made me cry. I was crying before I got to the end because I was so worried about people dying in the scenario. And then when you see it was all worth it – well.

 

So there you have it – 5 of my favourite screen shots. There are so many more in my folder (over a thousand from Legion alone!!) so picking 5 really has been quite a challenge. Hope you liked them 🙂

 

 

 

My lovely friend Zeirah and I are challenging each other with a weekly blog post. We choose a topic and both write about. This week’s topic is all about professions. You can read Z’s post about this topic right here.

This week’s post topic was suggested by Elgaric (who has a new podcast coming out soon – Azeroth or Bust). Thanks Elgaric!

Professions in Legion have changed quite a bit. It’s no longer a case of grinding out crafting items to level up – there is story and questing involved. And quite a lot of RNG. Whether it’s good or not depends on the person you speak to. Me… I am absolutely nowhere with my professions. But I think the changes are good.

My two professions are mining and jewelcrafting. Towards the end of Warlords, when it was becoming apparent that I’d probably want a gathering profession to compliment my crafting profession, I switched things up a bit and made my professions mining and jewelcrafting. The gems were going to be handy, plus there’s that cool toy (which I have not yet made!), so I figured this would be a good choice. So far I have not been able to get to max level on any of my professions. Not mining, not jewel crafting, not fishing, cooking, archaeology or first aid. And I’m not too sure how I feel about it.

It’s an odd thing, because I think it’s drilled into us that we need to have our professions maxed at all times. It’s probably just psychological, but it feels really weird not being maxed out right now. In some ways it makes me feel like I’m not playing the game “correctly” by not having maxed out professions. Like I’m just being lazy or something. Which I promise you, I’m not!

Mining

At the moment, I’m 3 points off maxing out my mining. All the nodes are grey, and despite how much I have been mining, I still only have rank 3 in one of the mining skill types. So I just have to keep at it and hope for the best. But I don’t see me getting rank 3 in each skill type for quite some time. Mining nodes aren’t nearly as common as they have been in previous expansions either, and while we don’t have flying it takes longer to get the ore, too. So this one is just a patience thing. The only real benefits to the ranks are that you get more ore from each node, and from what I can see, there’s no real benefit to getting to max level mining anyway. So I’m not overly bothered about this. This one is definitely psychological.

Jewelcrafting

Jewelcrafting on the other hand, is pretty painful. There are a couple of elements to JC that makes it rough to level. Firstly, the base patterns/recipes will only get you so far through the levelling process, and rank 3 doesn’t help much either – at about 784 they turn yellow, and 790 they turn green, which means you have to make a lot of items to level it up.

Now this wouldn’t so much of a problem if gems were easy to come by, but they’re not. I already mentioned above that mining was a little rough. It’s even rougher when I can’t spend excessive amounts of timing farming ore all day. So having ore to prospect is already difficult enough as it is. But it gets worse, because gems just don’t like to drop from the ore. You will always get gem chips (which are essentially useless). If you’re lucky you’ll get small gems (which, once you’re around 764 are usable in 0 JC recipes). Then if the RNG gods smile upon you, you’ll get the big gems. I wish I was exaggerating with this, but I’m not (well, not too much). Thor bought me a 200 stack of each of leystone deposit, and felslate. At the time it cost him around 20,000 gold. (no, there are not too many zeros in there). All up, from both stacks, I got 3 big gems. 3. (the RNG gods really don’t smile upon me).

To make matters worse, there is no levelling up from cutting big gems after a certain point (I forget this one, sorry). And besides, you need to keep your big gems for the rings/necks you’ll need to craft to try to get a skill up after 784. And even then… I have rank 3 for the Vindictive Pandemonite Choker (demon hunter class neck). You know what it takes to craft one of those? 3 Pademonites, 1 Furystone and 2 Infernal Brimstone. So you can now see why the average Joe is needing to charge well over 20k for the class necks.

Right now my Jewelcrafting has hit a lull. Gems are still hard to come by (even more so because I actually need them for raiding now – 5 pieces of my gear have gem sockets!), but what’s even more difficult, is getting the rank 3 patterns to drop. Most of them drop from heroic dungeon bosses. And they’re not a guaranteed drop (which is obvious given I don’t have any of them yet). I’m currently stuck at 785 jewelcrafting until a rank 3 recipe drops so that I can have a chance at getting 1 skill point. It’s not the greatest feeling.

All I can say is thank goodness for the Darkmoon Faire. At the very least, I’ll be max level JC in January (oh god!!) Again, I wouldn’t mind this so much, if it were not for the fact that there is a really nice, strong gem – Saber’s Eye – that can be crafted only at 800 jewel crafting. It gives +200 of your primary stat, so it’s really nice. It’s also expensive to make. But so far, a long way off for me to even think about making.

The others

I’ll be honest – I haven’t touched any of the secondary professions in any meaningful way. I started doing cooking until I realised that Nomi was going to keep burning my food, so I held on to it so I actually had mats to craft my food with. That and Thor managed to get the recipes that I needed, so I just get my mats and send them his way for cooking. Fishing I’ll do if there’s a world quest, but I’m not going out of my way to do it.

First aid has been interesting – without researching it, I have no idea how to level it. However the random times where there has been a quest pop up asking me to go apply first aid to an NPC out in the world has been quite interesting. If there’s a way to trigger those events that would be cool so I can level that up. So far I’ve not come across anything.

And Archaeology. That I’m doing a little bit. Not a lot, but a little. If the digs are nearby I’ll go do them. And obviously the week that the spectral moose mount is up, I’ll be digging up the Broken Isles like crazy!

So overall, my professions are still quite aways off.

How does it feel?

I can’t speak for all of the other professions (although I have touched on Enchanting & Herbalism on my mage, too), but I have to say – I don’t hate it. It does frustrate me, but I don’t hate it. I do like that professions are more challenging. I REALLY like that there are quests and story to go along with levelling the professions (the mining of felslate stuff is really quite gross but awesome). I’m not overly bothered by not being maxed out (though still wish I was!)

I have 2 thoughts on how to potentially make jewel crafting not so brutal to level:

  • Have a recipe that allows us to combine 20 small gems into one of the big gems. This was datemined on wowhead at one stage, but it hasn’t made it to the live game. I do wish that it would.
  • Make it so that you can level to max level JC with ONLY the base recipes, but in turn, make the drop rates for the higher ranks more rare. This way you’re not relying on RNG twice to get your skills up (RNG first time to get the recipe to drop in the first place, then RNG again every time you craft something in the hopes that it will give you a skill up). People will still be encouraged to farm for the higher ranks so that it’s cheaper to craft the rings/necks given you don’t get a guaranteed item type when you craft it (e.g. I can’t specifically craft a Vindictive Pandemonite Choke of the Quickblade every time – the suffix will always be different.)

What I do like, is that professions give you gold. I’ve managed to craft 3 of the Demon Hunter necks, and sold all 3 for a reasonable amount, as well as a couple of the rings. The random crafting mats (like fish, meats etc) that I pick up while doing World Quests are all selling for a pretty good amount, too. So it does feel rewarding to craft and sell things.

I don’t think professions are in a bad place at all. In fact, I think they’re doing quite well. They’re not perfect – there are definitely some improvements that can be made (Nomi, hon, I’m looking at you! You’re better than this!!) But I don’t think they’re worth the public outcry. Honestly, I think it’s mostly psychological.

Overall, I like what has been done with professions in Legion. I’m looking forward to seeing them progress over the expansion.

 

My lovely friend Zeirah and I are challenging each other with a weekly blog post. We choose a topic and both write about. This week’s topic is our favourite Legion dungeon. You can read Z’s post about her favourite right here.

I’m going to preface this by saying that this is actually a really hard decision to make, because I think that all of the dungeons so far in Legion have been amazing. And with the next one including Karazahan, well it looks like they’re just going to keep on getting better.

I do have a bit of a ranking for my favourite dungeons, but it does seem to change a fair bit depending on the group. Eye of Azshara for example is right near the bottom. Too many of the fights can go completely south if you have a bad group, and as a healer it’s so frustrating having to “fix” everything all the time. However, when I do that dungeon as a dps or with a great group who know what they’re doing, then I have a much better time of things. (I will admit, I think I hate it a little bit only because I haven’t managed to get my hidden artifact appearance from there yet!)

Vault of the Wardens is another that’s not too high on my favourites list, but that’s only because I’m so terrible at Cordon’s fight! Those darn walls of ghosts in Mythic… I’m just terrible at them! I was very grateful when I was running this yesterday to have a guildie who was a demon hunter. Demon Hunters can use their spectral sight to see where the ghosts are after they’ve disappeared, so I just followed him around to stay alive. The story for the Vault is pretty cool, too.

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Cordana in Vault of the Wardens

I have a good time in all of the dungeons, though. I really like falling down the water holes in Neltharion’s Lair. It was particularly fun on Pirate’s day – looked like I was surfing my way down!! As for the dungeon itself, it’s the only dungeon I feel a bit disconnected from. I put this down to the fact that I *still* haven’t finished Highmountain yet. (that’s a story for another time).

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I wasn’t around during Wrath so I had no frustrations going in to Assault on Violet Hold. I quite like it! I like that it’s different every time. My only frustration is the spider boss not giving me a titanforged version of the healer trinket! Halls of Valor seems to be a dungeon that a lot of people dislike, but I really enjoy it. I liked Stormheim as a zone and I enjoyed the story going in to it. And that golden/rainbow bridge is so beautiful to go across!

Maw of Souls also ranks quite high on my list. The whole concept is just really interesting to me. It’s also short, and I love a good dungeon that can be quick to run through but still be challenging. Helya is an awesome boss – she looks amazing. The fight itself drives me up the wall, but in a good way. It’s only frustrating because I’m a clumsy pandaren who keeps falling in the holes 🙂

Favourite dungeon/s

But my top two favourite dungeon/s are the two mythic only dungeons – The Arcway and Court of Stars. And of course I have no screenshots of these dungeons, so I’m going to have to direct you over to the Wowhead guides for these dungeons for you to see some pics.

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This doesn’t have a lot to do with The Arcway dungeon… but it’s a pretty cool screenshot, no? 😉

Arcway first. 

It’s basically a power station for Suramar city, helping to send around ancient mana to the city’s population. But it’s also full of creepy shit, and of course demons are hovering about the place to take advantage of some of its power, too.

I like the randomness of this dungeon (although to be fair I’ve only been in here once!) Each week the other the bosses appear in is different, making it a little more interesting to run repeatedly. I like the Ivanyr encounter best of all in here. The fight itself is quite straight forward – get off interrupts, don’t stand in crap, make a pretty shape with the Nether Link etc. But I like fights like that. I like fights that are relatively simple to execute, but deadly if you make the smallest mistake. Miss an interrupt on this fight and it can hurt a LOT. Run away with Nether Link instead of working as a group to make a small shape – you gonna lose. I just like it.

I also just really like the spell effects that are in this dungeon. It’s refreshing having all this purple/white/blue everywhere (except for the demon part, of course). When I went in this dungeon we also managed to get a couple of the achievements done which was nice. Overall, I really enjoyed this dungeon.

My top favourite is Court of Stars. 

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For this dungeon, we get to go to a party! I really love this dungeon. It’s only 3 bosses (short and sweet!) but has some really interesting mechanics to not only the bosses, but to the trash and buffs you can get.

The premise of the dungeon is that there’s a party (but of course!) and Grand Magistrix Elisande is rumoured to appear. Which is great, because she needs to go down. When we first get to the dungeon we’re escorted to the party in our own private gondolas (when will these be a mount, btw?!) Throughout this dungeon is one of the most interesting aspects of it – scattered around the place are buffs or items to help players defeat the dungeon, however these buffs are specific to your race, class or professions. For example Druids and herbalists can pick a flower (Umbral Bloom) that will give everyone in the party 10% Haste.  Death Knights and Monks can consume a drink that will give the whole party improved health and mana regen. Stuff like that. The buffs are randomised, so it’s different each time. (The Wowhead guide for this fight has a map and detailed list of what each buff/item is and where to find them.)

I found the trash leading to the first boss harder than the boss himself. Which is fine. There are beacons that need to be turned off as we get closer to him, to help disguise our entry (though I personally found turning out the lights a pretty obvious indication that something suspicious was going on!) The boss is pretty straight forward, so we head off on to the next one, which is where the profession specific items come in handy. The boss itself is straight forward, however it’s her companions that cause trouble. They all empower each other, so fighting them all together is pretty much impossible at this stage. You need to use items around the area to distract one emissary at a time, so that the boss is eventually left on her own. And I like her fight because of the fire 😀

The next “trash pack” is the best idea for a dungeon in ages. The premise of this is that a party is happening in one of the nearby buildings and Elisande is probably going to show up at it. We want to kill her, so we head in that direction. However there is a Burning Legion spy in the room who is bound to stop us, so we need to take out the spy first. To do this, we all get the Masquerade illusion from Ly’leth Lunastre. We then walk around the party and speak to 5 Chatty Rumourmongers who give us clues as to who this spy might be. All 5 clues will help identify who the spy is. We confront them, and then kill them out on a the balcony when they turn into their demon form. I just really like this idea. It helps slow down the pace of the dungeon in a nice way that doesn’t just rely on brute force. It really fits with the theme of sneaking around Suramar, too. Looking at the guide again now to write this post, I see that there are also other ways of identifying the spy if you’re a Protection Paladin or a Demon Hunter with the Spectral Sight ability. Either way, it’s a very cool idea, and is the main reason I chose this dungeon as my favourite.

Elisande, of course, pisses off by the time we get to the balcony. Apparently she has more important things to do. Good for her. So we kill her Advisor, Melandrus. The fight is straight forward really. Just lots of moving around!

All in all, I find this dungeon to be really, really interesting. I love the theme of it, I love how it looks, and I love that there are unique elements to it (the buffs and the “spy trash”). I am also extremely glad that this dungeon is mythic only. This really does need to have an organised group to do. Or at least a group that will communicate with one another. I can just imagine being in a random pug with people who don’t know the dungeon or don’t listen or wait to follow the dungeon correctly, just pulling everything in the world… *shudder*.

So that’s my thoughts on the Legion dungeons. I am really impressed with them all so far (and that’s a big deal coming from me – I’m not usually a dungeon fan at all!) I’m really looking forward to seeing how Karazhan will turn out!

 

My lovely friend Zeirah and I are challenging each other with a weekly blog post. We choose a topic and both write about. This week’s topic is the saddest quest in Legion. You can read Z’s post about her favourite right here.

Z and I are both softies, which is how this topic came up. When talking about our experiences in Legion we kept coming back to quests that made us cry. So we decided to write about which of these made us the saddest. Unfortunately I didn’t take screen shots the first time I did this particular little quest line, so, even though I had said I would never do it again… I had to go an do it again. 😦 But after THIS time I won’t do it again!

I also have a sneaking suspicion Z and I are going to be writing about the same quest…

The quest I chose is the unnecessary genocide of primitive Ravenbears in Stormheim.

1wowscrnshot_092416_114857This quest line is quite short – only takes about 5 -10 minutes to have your heart ripped open, so you don’t have to wait long. The first quest can be found on a Frightened Ravenbear in Stormheim, not too far from the Stormtorn Foothills flight path in Stormheim. He is visibly distressed, jumping up and down to catch your attention.

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We follow him down the path to find the reason for his distress – bastard dragons are tormenting his friends and family. All of them look terrified and are in trouble – of course we’re going to help them!

Inside the cave that is their home, I meet with their chieftain and attempt to communicate with him. We figure out that he’s in trouble, so taking down some of the jerks tormenting his people is a no-brainer. But it also looks like they’re trying to put something together to help appease the “lord” that is causing them so much distress. So off I go to get some bits and pieces for that, too. But not before hanging out with some of them.

 

Outside we get a better picture of what’s happening here. Some awful, awful dragons are taking much delight and pleasure in tormenting these primitive creatures, who are squawking for dear life, and paying for the dragons’ entertainment with their lives. You can also see the decoy Ravenbears they’ve made to help divert the attention away to something that won’t suffer at the hands of these dragons. I don’t think it’s working, though.

Once we’ve collected the reagents for their ritual and killed off some of the evil dragons, we go back to the chieftain, who is delighted with us, and expressing it the only way he knows how – by flapping his little wings ❤ He’s so happy we’ve come to help him that he invites us to come along to the ritual. So off we go…

The ritual area shows the Ravenbear’s primitive nature, but there’s something really beautiful about it. They make a dragon out of their reagents, and perform a sacred chanting/movement that involves dancing, waving and flapping our wings, all in an effort to appease the dragons who take pleasure in causing these creatures so much pain.

They are successful in catching the attention of the leader of these dragons – Nithogg…

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But he is less than impressed with their efforts. And so rather than ignoring their primitive ways, or laughing off their primitive attempts, he kills them all. No hesitation. Just full of malice and hatred. All of them dead.

The first time I did this quest I cried my eyes out. I was so upset and so mad. So mad, in fact, that I logged off from the game for the rest of that day. They were just trying to be little Ravenbears. Nothing more. They just wanted to live their lives. They weren’t hurting anyone. They were just there. And these awful creatures come along and torment them and annihilate them for no reason other than that they can. I think it upset me because I feel like in some ways this is how our world is becoming. People don’t like certain races or colours of peoples’ skin or religious beliefs, and so they torment them and annihilate them just because they have the power and because they can. And it really upsets me.

Thor tells me if I don’t start this quest line again, then in that reality they’ll always be alive. Which is all well and good. But I tell you, when I saw Nithogg as the first world boss the other day,  I took much satisfaction getting rid of him. I killed him for the Ravenbears. Poor little creatures.

So that’s the quest that tugged on my heartstrings the most. Why didn’t I choose Ysera for this? Technically I cried a LOT more with Ysera – I was sobbing as we were defeating her. But I knew that it had to be done. It was an awful, heartbreaking situation, but we had to do it or there would be terrible destruction as a result. With this quest, there was no reason what so ever to kill these Ravenbears. They were just trying to live their little lives, and they got wiped out. It was unnecessary and sad.

Also, this little quest was a close runner up:

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Have you guys come across any quests that got you in the feels?

Z and I have been chatting about Legion a fair bit lately, and it came up that we’re both feeling like we’re not blogging enough (well, I sure am not! Z has been doing quite well indeed!) Anyway, we decided to set a challenge where we would both blog about the same topic, to encourage us both to write more.

This challenge is our favourite Legion NPC. You can find Z’s blog post on the same topic right here.

Ok so anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written will know that I’d not very good at favourite lists, because I always want to choose more than 1 option. And that’s no different this time! I have two, but only because they’re both technically not Legion NPCs, so I thought I needed to make up for that.

So without further ado…

**note: there are spoilers in this post about the Shaman class order hall campaign and artifact acquisition. You’ve been warned!**

Stormcaller Mylra

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Stormcaller Mylra is a follower in the shaman class hall. And she’s a BOSS. We first met Mylra back in Cataclysm. She was in Deepholm on the alliance ship and had us flying around on her gryphon to get some Twilight’s Hammer types. Even then she was wonderfully sassy, joking around about how stupid the Twilight’s Hammer were, and how we needed to kill them all, before changing her mind to capture one as prisoner to “ask him some questions” (which translated to “hold him upside down above a propellor and “accidentally” drop him when we’ve got the information we need”). She’s sassy, but deadly.

And that’s no different in Legion. We first meet Mylra when Dalaran makes its move to the Broken Shore. She flies us to the Maelstrom, which will become our Class Order Hall, and helps us fight some demons who follow us there. Later, it is she who flies us down to Deepholm to chase after a seriously wounded Thrall who is trying to find Doomhammer. Thrall gets pretty mopey down in Deepholm, but Mylra keeps our spirits up with her sassy comments, (“He’s wounded. He’s likely to kill himself down here and I don’t wanna be the one who has to tell his wife!”) even when on the brink of death!

Later on we’re able to have her as a follower for our Order Hall, and even better – as a bodyguard. I took her out with me while I was levelling as healer (argh!) and she was the best bodyguard to have! Not only was she great at hitting the right things and not pulling other stuff, but she was sassy! She’d run around yelling “I’m gonna kick yer butt!” in her dwarf accent and it’s just… it makes it feel like she’s really there with me – that we’re a team.

I just found myself really drawn to her as an NPC because she was strong (I mean she will take you down if you mess with her!), but she’s also funny, smart and genuine. I really love her, and hope that we get to know more about her in the future.

Archmage Khadgar

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And now you’re seeing why I’m including 2 choices here! So of course Khadgar has been around for quite some time. But as someone who didn’t start playing until Cataclysm, I missed a lot of his earlier involvement in the story. For me I got to know Khadgar during Warlords of Draenor. And even then I didn’t pay a lot of attention to him (other than wondering why on earth he felt my shipyard was an appropriate place to hang around for almost an entire expansion!)

Something happened, though, after I saw the Warcraft movie. Now I know the two Khadgar’s are different, but for me it was an opportunity to see where he came from and to get to know him a bit. And he’s sassy, too! (I’m sensing a theme here!) But it’s not just that. I mean this man is extremely powerful, but he runs around joking with us every day. Why is that? To be honest I think he’s a bit lonely. And also he is one of the few who truly understands what’s happening at the moment. I think power and knowledge like that can be a lonely experience. So we kinda keep him company. Well, it’s what I like to think anyway 🙂

 

So those are my two favourite NPC in Legion so far. There are actually quite a few others I have liked, but i didn’t grab screenshots while I was levelling with them so I didn’t include them here. Maybe when I’ve levelled some alts I’ll come back to this!

Who are your favourites so far?

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