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

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

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

What does this have to do with my 2019 resolutions?

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

So, my only resolution for 2019 is this:

Be the positivity you want to see in the community.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

I wish everyone a 2019 full of happiness and love.

xo

Blog header photo by Roven Images on Unsplash

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

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

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It’s mid-October, and you know what that means – it’s time for the annual Gnome Run! This year was the 8th run, and the turnout this time was absolutely phenomenal. Last year they had almost 3000 gnomes race, and raised $5,500. THIS year, oh my goodness. According to organiser Dravvie, there were over 7,000 (yes SEVEN THOUSAND) gnomes in the race today, and they have raised $14,000 at the time of writing this (and that number keeps going up. It was $13,000 when I first started writing this post lol!!). The goal was $4,000. It’s incredible.

This year, as many of you will know, the Gnome Run was added as a micro-holiday to the game. the Blizzard team set up a race track for all of the gnomes to follow, so you knew where you were going. A lot of people were concerned that Blizzard were “taking over” the Gnome Run when it was added as a microholiday to WoW. However, Dravvie wrote an amazing article for Wowhead that talks about how amazing Blizz were in asking for her ok before adding it to the game. The article also talks about the history of the event, and how it has grown over the years.

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There were gnomes EVERYWHERE. We had banners to run through so we knew where to go, blockades stopping us from going off track, REFRESHMENT TABLES and loads of NPC gnomes cheering us along the whole way. It was so brilliant the way it was set up. I hope that Dravvie and the team love what Blizzard did to bring the race into the game.

For me, I ran into some lovely twitter friends…

Once again this year, I did the run with the gorgeous Ms Miggi, but would you believe it? I didn’t manage to get a good pic of the two of us together! So bummed. Though we do both look pretty determined in this pic…

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Running with Miggi! (@MsMiggi)

The run itself is always loads of fun. It was incredibly helpful having the gates to pass through, because I’m always so good at getting lost. We only got disconnected once, and that was zoning into Stormwind after getting off the tram. The servers held up brilliantly well. They’re just amazing.

Once we made it to Booty Bay we did try to make a heart, as is tradition. Our shard didn’t do too badly, until a naughty person dropped one of those toys that turns everyone into Moonkins… so that was a little disappointing. But truthfully, it wasn’t as bad as last year, so I think that’s good 🙂

As is also tradition, once the race was done, we jumped on a boat to head over to Orgimmar to /lick the warchief. I’ve never made it all the way into the Throne room. I think the furthest I had gotten was to inside the gates of Org before I’d get horrifically killed. This year, though, I was successful! Well, kinda… you see, stupid Cinder didn’t /lick Saurfang… she /kiss him instead. Awkward! She was immediately killed for her insubordination. But it was worth it.

So by the time I finished writing this, the total donation amount is currently sitting at over $14,600. It’s astonishing and wonderful.

Well done to Dravvie and her band of helpers for putting on yet another amazing Gnome Run. And well done to the Warcraft community for making it another amazing year.

See you next year!

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I’m currently in the middle of a different post, but I saw that the Blizzcon2017 schedule was released today and just had to squee about it for awhile! Seriously, the hype is oh so real.

Blizzcon schedule now live

Blizzcon schedule now live

Blizzcon this year looks AMAZING. There are so many panels that I’m planning to watch, that I don’t know if there will be enough hours in the day.

One of the more notable differences to the schedule this year is the inclusion of an extra stage. This means more panels, which equals one happy Blizzfan! The addition of this extra area has meant that some of the panels that Virtual Ticket attendees haven’t been able to see in the past, are now on stage and being recorded for us. The stages also have new names to show the focus each area has.

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Blizzcon 2017 stages and their names

The stage I’m so excited to see is the Heroic stage. The panels on this stage are everything I could have wanted to see, and more. Panels on this stage alone include:

  • LoreCraft- the art of storytelling which is all about the writing side of Blizzard games (and area that I am just so passionate about!)
  • SoundCraft – and interactive Blizzard sound demonstration which has is described as being a live demo of how some of the in-game sounds are made!!
  • Exploring the Wide World of Blizzard Careers – because who doesn’t want to work for Blizzard!
  • Stay Awhile and Listen – this has the following description: Everyone at BlizzCon has their own unique story to share about how Blizzard has impacted their lives. Hear from four different storytellers as they narrate their touching, funny, and memorable experiences live. AMAZING! I can already tell I’m going to end up in tears watching that.

The stage also has a bunch of art-related panels, and some coding and programming panels, too, which will be so great for anyone who is wanting to move into that area.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!! the Epic stage is described as the Community stage, and it too has some excellent panels listed, including an Author Showcase, LIVE recordings of The Instance and AllCraft (I’m with Rho- had no idea this existed…and me personally, I wouldn’t be calling this a podcast…but should still be interesting non-the-less), a panel with Geek & Sundry (ZOMG), a panel called Living Blizzard – Pursuing Your Passion (which, for someone like me, sounds amazing and will probably make me cry)… there’s also two panels about getting into cosplay.

Already, this is more hours of visuals than I’ll have time to watch, and we’re not even talking about the main events here!!!! In the announcement of the schedule, Blizz mentioned that the Opening Ceremony, which is usually held on the main stage, will actually be presented across the multiple stages. This sounds brilliant, especially for physical attendees- not everyone can fit into the main stage to watch it. This way, they will have a bit of live action at whatever stage they end up sitting at. And as a Virtual Ticket holder, we just get a darn awesome view of everything 😀

Clearly I’m more than a little excited about it all. More excited than I have been in past years, actually, mostly due to the additional stages and all the creative panels. It’s right down my ally in terms of things I’m really interested in. I’m extremely grateful I’m not the only person who enjoys this stuff, and even more grateful that Blizzard recognises this and does some presentations for us. I’m expecting an announcement about the closing act in a few weeks’ time. Here’s hoping it’s someone fun! The one thing I did notice was that the cosplay competition wasn’t listed anywhere. I’m wondering if it’s the panel currently titled as Community Night, or maybe I’m just blind.

Anyway,  if you want to check out the schedule for yourself, and start flagging the panels you want to see, go check it all out at https://blizzcon.com/en-us/schedule#fri-nov-3.

What are you most looking forward to checking out at Blizzcon??

This week one of the most anticipated micro-holidays finally rolled around- the Trial of Style. A micro-holiday all about transmog!!! It really is a lot of fun. It does help to go in prepared, so I thought I’d give those who haven’t had a go yet a quick run down of what to expect, and some tips to help you along.

How does it work?

The Trial of Style is a very short scenario with a random group of 6 players, during which everyone plays dress-ups and we vote on who wore it best.

To get started, go visit your friendly transmog vendor in a capital city (the transmog vendor on the Grand Expedition Yak does not seem to know about this event… poor fella). Choose the option to queue for the scenario and wait a couple of minutes.

You’ll be teleported to one of the rooms in Magisters’ Terrace. A timer will immediately start counting down while the hosts introduce the event. At the end of their introduction, they will announce the theme for the competition. Once you know the theme, you have 2 minutes to create a transmog to suit it.

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Transmog vendors and barber chairs can be found to the left and right of where you zone in. (Changing your appearance doesn’t cost anything in this event, so don’t worry about going broke!) Everyone is dressed in smocks so you can’t see what other people are creating in advance.

Once the two minutes are up, it’s a round-robin of fashion, as you go up in pairs to show off your creation. Those who are not in stage vote on who they think matched the theme best. In the end, three winners are announced and brought up on stage (although everyone gets some form of prize for being there).

Here are some pics of some of my placements (forgot to get any for my paladin!)

The rewards from the event are tokens that can be used to purchase transmog sets for your armor type, so one each for cloth, leather, mail and plate. There’s also a shirt that you can purchase if you manage to win one of the scenarios. If you don’t manage to place in your scenarios, don’t worry- it only takes 4 attempts to get enough to buy one of the sets. Note: you can only purchase a set that you can actually wear. For example if you are a mage, you can only buy the cloth set. You cannot buy a different set type for an alt.

Tips

There are a couple of things that might be handy to know in advance of going into this.

  • One of the themes is called “Tabard Time”. Make sure you have a tabard available in your bags so that you can use it as part of this theme, otherwise you’ll be a bit stranded (though not all hope is lost. My druid got 3rd place in the Tabard theme without having a tabard, because others did have one either!)
  • Remember you can transmog your weapons, but only to matching weapon types i.e. one-handed swords can only be transmogged to other one-handed swords/axes/maces etc (depending on what your class can wield)
  • If you want to transmog to a different weapon, grab yourself a very cheap weapon from the AH to keep in your bags. That way you can quickly equip in the scenario to give you more transmog options.
  • Toys can be used! I used the “Stolen Breath” to make my breath all frosty to help finish off my “Winter Wear” transmog set, and I think it worked nicely. I never got to do a theme that would have made my Blazing Wings useful… maybe next time 🙂
  • If you are so inclined, you can pre-plan your transmogs, making it a lot less stressful. The wowhead guide for the event has a full list of all of the possible themes you can get. Create and save some sets in advance to help take some of the pressure off.

My biggest tip, though, is to just have fun! I had some really amazing groups that were such a laugh. There was one group in particular who was really chatty which was nice, and they all had bloody awesome transmogs! It was so hard to choose who to vote for! It’s also a great way to get some transmog ideas. 🙂

I was pretty happy with out how I went in the end. My shaman got third, second then first for the 3 that she did. My paladin got a third and a second. My mage got a second and a first place. My druid had the hardest time because I have so little leather gear, but she managed to get a third place in one of hers, which was nice.

Good luck to anyone entering it! It’s still going for a couple more days yet, so you’ve got a little time, but don’t leave it too late!

About 2 weeks ago I managed to pick up a casual job thanks to an old boss and some awesome friends. Getting back to work has been really great – knowing I’ve got money coming in again to pay bills is a big load off my mind! But it does come with the downside of a lot less game time. Even less than last time because I actually care about this job, so I’m not being cheeky writing blog posts and what not during work hours! But even with less time in game, I’ve still had a really successful couple of weeks.

Mythics

We’re doing pretty well with our progression, getting 1 new mythic boss down per week. Since getting Krosus down a couple of weeks ago, we’ve successfully managed to continue getting him down each week, which gives us 4 mythic bosses on farm. From next week we’re stoping the heroic runs altogether and starting mythic from scratch so that we have more time to spend on progression bosses when we get to them, which is great.

We got Spellblade down the week after Krosus, and then last weekend it was Tichondrius’ turn to go down.

We should have had Botanist down tonight as well, but thanks to Easter and WoW server crashes being the attendance boss from hell, our raid night didn’t end up happening at all. Hopefully we’ll get him down on Wednesday so we can start the long slog on Star Augur.

Team wise we’re doing really well. We’ve got the numbers which is awesome, and we’re all really gelling together quite well. There’s tense time of course, but that’s part and parcel of mythic raiding, I think. It’s just about making sure that at the end of the night we’re all still mates. We’ve got a great little healing team as always, though really need a strong swing healer to fill gaps for us when someone is away. But otherwise, things are going really well.

Riding around

I’ve been pretty lucky with some new mounts lately. Firstly, I finally got my fox mount! I do love it so much, though I think my pandaren shaman is a little too big for him, so I think I’ll use him on my night elf toons instead. 🙂

Then after raid last week I was so lucky!! Thor was flying over Azuna and asked me “what’s an Ephemeral Crystal?” I spun around and asked if he’d seen one. I immediately flew to where he saw one, and off I went. (Thor wasn’t really interested in the mount, and he knew how much I wanted it, so I hunted with his blessing!). It only took me about half an hour to find all 5 crystals needed to get this beautiful mount!

Then of course there was a Mind-Riddler’s Worm, which the WoW secrets discord group had been hunting for since Jeremy Feasel sent out a series of cryptic tweets. It was really fun to watch the whole thing unfold. I had joined the server just to follow along – people are amazing!!! I knew they’d figured it out when my notifications for the server started going bonkers. It was such great work on their part! There’s a great guide on how to get this mount for yourself – shouldn’t take too much time, especially if you have some friends with you to help make the old raids part faster. It’s such a funny looking mount, but I had to get it! I loved that when I got the final piece that rewarded me a mount, there were loads of people just hanging around on them, floating on these strange worm things in solidarity. So much fun.

And then lastly there was of course the unlocking of flying on the Broken Isles. And so now I have a whole other level of exploring to do from up in the air! 😀

March of the tadpoles

Another micro-holiday came along. This was one I was really looking forward to – March of the tadpoles! Seriously, is there anything more adorable than baby murlocs?!?! No, I didn’t think so. 🙂

So for this micro-holiday, we were able to go see a whole bunch of the more adorable little baby murlocs running around. And best of all, we got to befriend one for the day! Every single baby murloc that was there had a different name, and it’s very own little personality. I had such an awfully hard time choosing which murloc to adopt – I wanted them all! I didn’t want any of them to feel left out! There were some running around really fast like hooligans, having so much fun; there were others there were just hanging out chatting; there was even one little guy that just kept “fainting”! He was hilarious, and I nearly chose him… but then I thought a lot of people would choose him, so I didn’t. I wanted to choose one that no-one else would. (I blame this song that my Mum used to sing to me as a kid for this whole feeling sorry for the “runt” of the litter thing I have!)

In the end I found a little guy hiding in a corner under water. His name was Bloop, and I loved him straight away! He seemed like me – too shy to hang out with everyone else, but still kind wanting to be a part of things… at least from a safe distance.

We went on some adventures together, and in the end he gave me a little present – a Wet Rock. I’ve kept it in my bank for safe keeping. ❤ It was a wonderful little holiday!

Questing all over the world

The rest of my time has been spent on the Broken Shore and around the Broken Isles in general doing World Quests. I want to do a whole separate post about the Broken Shore world quests, but in the meantime I’ll just say that I love them, and I’ve been having so much fun with them!

As well as the World Quests, I’ve been banging my head against the wall that is the healer’s solo artifact challenge. I’m so determined to get it!!! But no luck so far. In time, in time.

 

So that’s my big catch up post! What have you been up to?

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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I’m stealing Z’s blog idea and posting a screenshot from each month of 2016 as a way of saying farewell to it. You can read Z’s end of 2016 post here.

THIS IS REALLY HARD!!! I keep finding a bunch for each month 😥

2016 has been… well it’s been a bit of an up and down year for me. I left a guild of amazing people to pursue a higher difficulty of raiding, which has been a bit of a shift in mind-set to say the least. It’s paid off, though, and I’m happy to have gotten Cutting Edge on both Archimonde and Xavius this year.

For 2017, my plans are to try and find a better balance between all the things I do, and spend more time enjoying what I’m doing.

January

This was when I was doing all of the starting zones for each class that I hadn’t done before. I enjoyed this a lot 🙂

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Best disguise ever!

February

February was a busy month, with me spending a fair amount of time levelling up my first druid. During this month I also got Shadowmourne for the first time, and had my first Girls Gaming Night with Leeta, Navi, Miggi and Mel. But the biggest highlight for this month was without a doubt, getting the Proven Healer title in the Proving Grounds.

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I did it!

March

During March I completed the Field Photographer achievement, and have a bajillion screenshots! It was also the month I decided to leave Deadline to raid mythics. I also finished levelling my hunter through pet battles, got Navispammed! and spent a LOT of time taking loads of screenshots of the Gilnean starting experience. I still love that place.

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Gilneas

April

Looks like April was when I created my mystery new monk! Huzzah for answers to that one! hehe But most exciting – Cutting Edge: Archimonde! I got thrown into that fight a lot sooner than I expected, so it was quite nerve-wracking!

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May

So I have no screenshots from May. I’ve lost a whole month of pics. Either I didn’t take any screenshots for the whole of May (YEAH RIGHT!!) or I’ve lost them somewhere during my attempts to get my Mac Bootcamped. Buggered if I know where they are! Thankfully WordPress has some in my gallery, so that will have to do for May. From memory May was spending a fair chunk of time on the beta, and of course, raiding.

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June

I finished levelling my monk in June – it was the last time I levelled a toon in Draenor. I also got me the mount from mythic Blackhand, and found (and helped!) my first real newbie!

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July

July was a great month – Legion was in sight, so of course we were all spending hours in our garrisons fishing up turtles 😀 I got to kill Ra-Den for the first time, and took a million pics of my vuhdo and UI setting in preparation for the “destruction” of the pre-patch.

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“I will defend this city with my life”

August

The Legion arrived, everyone breathed a sigh of relief that we survived Warlords of Draenor, and WoW had what can only be described as the best launch ever. I am still in awe of the moment Legion went live and nothing went wrong. ❤

I can’t just pick one screenshot here, sorry. Damn near impossible. There are two sets. Firstly – saying farewell to 2 heroes – Varian Wrynn and Vol’jin. I took these pics the night before the Broken Shore dropped. I knew we were going to lose them both, and I couldn’t bear to not say goodbye.

The second picture I chose was one that, to me, represents the best thing about World of Warcraft – playing with a bunch of people, regardless of faction, and coming together to kick some serious ass. For me, flying around from demon to demon during these invasions was an incredible experience, and a wonderful way to get us ramped up for Legion. And also level a bunch of toons REALLY quickly! 😀

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September

In September alone I took almost 500 screenshots. (Yeah… I have a big problem!) September was a very busy month of levelling and getting ready for the Emerald Nightmare. But most of all for me, it was about exploring a new world, and discovering all of its secrets.

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October

October was all about mythic Emerald Nightmare, levelling my mage, hunting for books and Pepe, and running with gnomes! And having my heart broken by this fellow…

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November

I started getting more into getting achievements done during November, and found myself staring at dots and lines, searching for orbs, helping celebrate WoW’s birthday, and getting Elegon to give up his goods. November was the month we got Xavius Cutting Edge achievement. And I spent a lot of time just roaming around taking pics of all the beautiful scenery.

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In the Halls of Valor

December

My paladin found Ashbringer, Winter Veil came to Azeroth, I unlocked class halls for all my toons, and spent a lot of time in ICC raids looking for pets and clothes.

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I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year’s celebration (not matter what you do!) and may 2017 be filled with all of the things that make you happy.

xo

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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This weekend was the annual running of the gnomes. It’s a fun in game event created by some lovely people to raise money for breast cancer research. It’s a great event that the WoW team even featured this year!

This was my second year running it, so I was a bit more prepared – I had my tabard already from last year, and had at least a vague idea of where I was going. The servers went down a fair bit, but Blizz were hard at work getting them going for us all again. In the end the start was a little rough, and people ended up just starting to run as soon as they were able to. Which ended up working out fine. I managed to find Klor and we grouped up at Ironforge, but got split up when the servers kept crashing for us at different times.

I successfully went the wrong way a few times and died. But in the end I made it! I was really glad to be there for the forming of a the heart – last year I missed it. And even better – we all actually managed to make a heart shape!

It was a lot of fun, and I hope it continues on in years to come. This year they managed to raise over $5000 and had a bit over 2800 people do the run in total. If you didn’t make the even but still want to make a donation you can, just head over to the donation page.

Last week my partner Thor and I were exceptionally lucky to be able to attend the Melbourne Legion release party, hosted by Blizzard and featuring guest visits from Celestalon and Gen St Michel (3D artist – check out her AMAZING stuff here https://www.artstation.com/artist/lazypixel). We got there because of two AMAZING human beings – Spazz Wesson (my Reins of Azeroth co-host) and Asylun (whom I met through Girls Gone Wow!) The both had spare tickets to the launch and were kind enough to let Thor and I tag along with them!

It was a really wonderful night – I had so much fun. I was also completely hyperactive (partly because zomg Legion, but also partly because sometimes my anxiety likes to manifest itself in hyperactivity). So I was bouncing about the place a fair bit!

We got there a bit early so we could find and meet each other. When we arrived we could see some green things covering the windows of the venue. We were all eventually shuffled in to a line, and then later some amazing women in a demon hunter and a night elf cosplay roamed up and down the line to chat with people. They looked incredible.

And then we were in. Everything was green – green lights everywhere, mixed in with some black light that made my green nails and my hearthstone pendant glow, which was awesome. They had loads of food and drinks. Gen and Celestalon came out and roamed around everywhere to talk with everyone. There were raffles and trivia and stuff.

A big highlight for me was getting to meet Dayani. She was the first Restoration Shaman I found when I first started looking for people to follow for tips and advice. She’s always struck me as being a thoroughly wonderful and intelligent human being. I love her guides and her cooking tweets!! I was super nervous about meeting her. But thankfully Thor is a champion and encourages me to do things even when I’m terrified, so off we went to find and meet Dayani. And she really was as wonderful as she is on twitter. And she gave us cookies!!!! They were delicious.

It took me all night and a big push from Thor for me to meet Celestalon. I was mostly terrified of turning in to a gushing buffoon. I mean, he’s part of the team that puts together this amazing game that we love so much. WoW is such a big part of my life at the moment, and he helped build that. So of course I was terrified. But I ended up getting to say hi, and he signed my Illidan funko pop and took a photo with me. I thought we were done, but then Spazz (who is just the most amazing people person!) came up and said “this is Cinder – she’s the other host on Reins of Azeroth with me”. And Celestalon says (I shit you not) “Oh, that mount podcast!” CELESTALON KNOWS ABOUT A PODCAST I DO! Oh man it was incredible.

The worst part was when I met Gen. I couldn’t see her when she was up on stage because there were taller people in front of me, so I didn’t know what she looked like. I was patiently waiting with Thor for Celestalon, when a space cleared and this lovely lady turns to me with an expectant face. Thor says “That’s Gen!” except I didn’t hear him, and I yelled “Who?!”. When I realised what he’d said, and what a dick I’d just been to a wonderful artist, I was mortified, and was a bumbling mess for the whole conversation. Gen was so delightful and kind! But I was so embarrassed and not thinking straight. So much so that although I remembered to ask her to sign my Illidan pop, I forgot to ask for a pic 😦

I could go on about it all for ages, but I won’t. Suffice to say, it was a really great night. So here are a bunch of pics for you!

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Blizz also posted pics and a video on their page at (I nicked the billboard pic for my featured image for this post because it’s SO DARN AWESOME) You can see them here:

 

 

 

 

It’s WoW’s 11th birthday! And boy did we get some goodies this year. The one that everyone is talking about (because everyone always talks about it!) is the Inflatable Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. I’ve only ever had one in Diablo, so this was a novelty for me. My favourite thing about it, though, is that when you equip it, a bolt of lightning shoots down on you from above! Very dramatic. I also like that the weapon enchant transmogs that you have on your weapons also apply to “Inflatable” Thunderfury. So my warlock, with her red set, looks kinda cool with a dripping red-tinged Thunderfury.

Other gifts that we got were the usal experience boost, wands to turn you/party members in to a murloc or a Gnoll, and a costume to turn you in to Edwin VanCleef. I haven’t used that costume yet, so I don’t have any pictures, but you basically turn in to him.

I really like these little gifts that we get each year. It doesn’t matter if they’re silly or pointless, to me it’s just Blizzard’s way of saying “hey, thanks for being here!”, to which I say “thanks for making a game that makes me want to stay!”.

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