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 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 🙂

 

 

 

Legion has now been out for three weeks. It has been an amazing three weeks, I have to say. The Emerald Nightmare raid opened last night, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect on how Cinderstorm got to this point.

**note: there will be some spoilers in this post. If you’ve been taking your time with things and I don’t want to be spoiled, please don’t read.**

My journey began in Stormwind. I happened to be near Stormwind park when I first logged in about an hour or so before Legion was due to drop, and I noticed Varian’s monument had appeared. So of course I had to pause and pay my respects. The music here is heart wrenching. It really gets deep inside you and squeezes your little heart to pieces. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and visit the monument, turn your music on and just listen.

I’m glad I saw the monument was up when I did, because this has really been the theme for me going through Legion. This is the trigger for me – this is why we fight. Because other people fight. And because Azeroth is worth fighting for. I’d hate for Varian’s sacrifice to be in vain. So I fight.

It was off to Dalaran, which was getting hit pretty hard by this point. It’s decided the city will just be moved. I mean really, moving a city is no small feat!! And so we arrive at the Broken Isles.

In terms of the “go live” moment, I actually got access to the opening quest about 10 minutes before it was due to come up. I wasn’t sure if it was a bug, so I waited a little before accepting it and moving on. It was weird because the quest had popped for me, but not for Thor (who was sitting right next to me, and was also in Dalaran). Something to do with the phasing I suppose.

First stop was to visit Thrall and Aggra and their little boy, Durak! Look at him! He’s so little! He was a cheeky bugger, running around his parents and around the well. Too cute. Thrall sent me off to find the remaining members of the Earthen Ring, who are hiding out in the Maelstrom while they regather strength and sort out a plan for kicking the Legion’s fel-butts.

My plan for levelling had been to level as elemental (as that was the dps spec I knew best), but put all of my artifact power in to my restoration artifact when I got it so that it would be ready for raiding. So with that in mind, I set off to get my Fist of Ra-den.

When I came back, we established my order hall – the Heart of Azeroth. (Class Hall appreciate post coming soon!!)

I decided to start my Legion adventures in Azsuna. Even though this was the zone I spent most of my time in during beta and I was keen to see some new zones, it was the zone that my jewelcrafting started in, so it made sense to go there first. The beauty of this place keep making me pause just to soak it all in. That, and I had deliberately not listened to any of the music beforehand. I wanted to hear the music in the zones as I was going through them. I was not disappointed. The music in the whole game is STUNNING. I listen to the soundtrack at work and it still brings me to tears. I love it.

I digress.

Here’s some pics in Azsuna.

As soon as I hit 102 I was offered the quests to pick up my other two artifacts, so I immediately set off to get my restoration artifact so that I could give it the artifact power that was taking up space in my bags. I also decided to see if I could get Doomhammer without being enhancement. The answer was yes, yes I could. (And lucky I did!) I’ll post more about these quests later, but here are some highlights.

None of the artifact quests proved to be too challenging (not even the restoration one, which was brutal during alpha/beta testing!)

I’ll continue this journey in my next post – this is turning out to be a lot larger than I expected! Next stop – Val’Sharah!

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?

It seems to be that barely a few weeks go by before we are saying “farewell” to another Blizzard employee. And it’s always followed shortly after with the chorus of “Blizzard is collapsing” or “this is the end of WoW – even the devs know it, that’s why they’re jumping ship” conspiracies. What people tend to forget is that most of people who have been leaving Blizzard recently have been there for 5+ years. And no-one really does that anymore! I’m not interested in conspiracies here. People move on – it’s just how things are.

It’s an interesting thing, this, being impacted by the employees of an organisation. It’s not a TV show with actors we’re watching each week, where suddenly there’s a face missing or a new on in its place – where it’s obvious something has changed. These are all behind the scenes people. We see their faces every now and again, but that’s about it, so why does it impact us like this when one of them leaves?

When I hear news about devs leaving, I tend to get upset. And it’s not because the person is leaving, per say. It’s the same reason I cry during awards ceremonies – I’m watching people who are passionate about what they do in life, and I feel like I’m wasting mine. It’s a personal thing. But it boils down to witnessing people who have figured out life. They’ve got it. They have found that thing they are good at and that they love. They are winning (in every sense of the word). It’s an amazing and beautiful thing to see. In one way, devs leaving is more about me than them.

I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to these people. Which sounds so fluffy, but it’s there. Every day I play a game that was built with the heart and souls of hundreds of talented, passionate human beings. And the combination of all of those human beings have made an incredible game that means so much to me. They are responsible for an experience that sparks my mind alive with stories and adventures and beautiful imagery and heart wrenching music. It’s because of them. These people are also the reason I have found new friends (when I am so bad at that naturally!) who mean the world to me. It’s because of them. It’s hard not to be grateful for all of that.

When something new comes out, I picture everyone who worked on it presenting it in their small hands saying “I made this thing. I hope you like it.” And I just want to shout out YES! Yes a million times over I like it. I love it! Even the things that frustrate me – I love them! You made this thing and it is beautiful, and I am immensely grateful. We all are. And this is why everyone at Blizzard has a special place in our hearts – because they are the reason we have this.

And this is why I get upset when they leave – because I haven’t been able to give something back to them. I haven’t been able to repay them for the happiness they have given me. I don’t feel like I’ve said “thank you” enough.

When devs say goodbye, and I respond with “thank you for everything – I wish you every happiness in the world” I mean every single word of that, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And if I shed a few tears, it’s only because I’m going to miss what you bring to my life.

xo

 

I hope everyone has an amazing experience levelling in Legion. Remember to eat, drink plenty of water, get some sleep, and get up to stretch your legs every now and then. But mostly – HAVE FUN!!

 

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:

 

 

 

 

There are plenty of other things to write about right now, but this draft has been sitting here for weeks so I’m just going to post it!

 

So I finally got the chance to transfer my mage back over to the Alliance. I  was having troubles trying to decide what race to make her. She has SO much transmog, so it was really important to me that she be pretty (I don’t care how shallow that sounds! My own body doesn’t look like this – I may as well play dress up with a body that does look good!) I was tossing up between Draenei, Night Elf and Human. I even ran a poll on twitter to get some advice. Draenei won out. But I didn’t feel it in my heart.

You see, I’ve been needing to change her name for a LONG time. I was taking her moving servers as the opportunity to do this. So I was thinking and thinking about what to name her… basically trying to recreate this character that I’ve had for so long (she was my first to max level back in the day!) She never felt quite right as a blood elf (even if she did look pretty!) The more I thought about her, the more the notion of her harnessing magic stuck with me. And so I thought about my favourite magic wielders, and of course Harry Potter came to mind. But I needed a woman. And then I thought about one of the strongest women in that book – Lily Potter (Harry’s mother). She was a powerful witch, and she loved her family fiercely – so fiercely she protected them with her own life.

And so Cinderlily was created. And of course she had to be human. I always imagined Lily with red hair for some reason, and of course she has her green eyes. I dressed her up in a new transmog and got her pet/patronus out for some pics. 🙂

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She’s going to be a fire mage in Legion – I can’t wait! 😀

 

 

I’ve taken so long to write this because my Dropbox is full and I can’t get screenshots while I’m at work anymore!!

I always feel behind when it comes to new content coming out. It’s the difficulty of time zones. The 7.0 Legion pre-patch ended up going live some time in the wee hours of Wednesday morning for me, which meant that I didn’t get a chance to get in to the game until I got home from work last night – somewhere around 6pm in the end.

I knew going in to this new patch that there would be some big changes, and that things might not work. So I didn’t hold my breath that things would be ok. But things were PERFECT. Every addon that I use was working. The new addon I downloaded was working beautifully. My vuhdo didn’t need anything done to it – it just worked! My Tell Me Whens needed minor tweaks due to spell changes, but they were minimal. I even managed to sort out the graphics issues that I was having on PTR – everything looks stunning. And for me, it just works. I know that I am immensely fortunate, and that many other people haven’t had such a smooth run. I do hope their issues get sorted quickly.

Transmog

So you’d think that I would have been up to all sorts of adventures given everything went so smoothly for me. But no. No, I’ve been in a never-ending transmog purgatory. I knew I had been hoarding a lot of BoE pieces in preparation for the pre-patch, but I didn’t realise it was this much. All I can say is thank goodness for Can I Mog It? It has been a huge time saver! But I still have a very long way to go.

I started working on clearing out my transmog on my old Horde server, where I had my only max level plate wearer. Because everything needs to be soulbound in order to be added to the Appearances, I had to make sure I had a toon available to wear everything. On the Horde server I had all 10 character slots taken up, and every single character had full bags and bank (all toons had at least Embersilk bags for all bag space – some had all hexweave bags). In addition, one of those toons had a maxed out guild bank with all tabs full of BoEs. And then there’s my main Alliance server which has another 4 toons with full bags. Plus all my other random lower level alts who will have bits and pieces I’ve kept over the years. It’s a bloody big job!

So far I have managed to get through most of what’s on my Horde server. My main goal has been to transfer my paladin and mage over to Alliance, which meant I had to get through all of my plate gear before I could move my paladin. I believe I got it all done! So she packed her bags (full of leftover BoEs to sell on my new server) and now she’s a cheeky Draenei again! ❤

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Cinderdawn – my cheeky Draenei paladin

It feels great to have an Alliance paladin again (although I will confess, I did like her as a blood elf, too!).

Once my paladin was moved, I worked on sorting out as much as I could of everything else, mailing between all the toons, learning what I could and returning what I would sell. I made my mage guild master of my bank guild, with the plan to move her and the guild to my Alliance server (just in case I wanted extra space!) In the end, I still had way too many pieces to take in the guild bank (even though it was jam packed full!), so will have to leave some behind. I can’t transfer her yet, though, because I discovered much too late that she needs to be guild master for 7 days before she can be transferred. So I won’t get to do that until Sunday.

I still have my Alliance server to go through and all of my little lowbie alts, but I really can’t be bothered right now. I’m transmogged out for now!

Turtles

So what have I been doing since then? Fishing. Yeah you heard me- FISHING! Most people will know by now that the murlocs that spawn in the waters around your fishing shack have a chance to drop both the Sea Turtle and the Riding Turtle. With the loot changes made in the pre-patch, personal loot options mean that a raid group of 40 can fish together and everyone can loot the murlocs. The loot is personal, so what drops is unique to you, but it means that with everyone fishing together, there are more Carp/Minnow captured to spawn the murlocs, giving you a better chance at the mounts. And of course I had to try.

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Chances of getting turtles from fishing greatly increased by hilarious hats!

Each day I’ll spend about an hour or so fishing in these groups. I got lucky and managed to get the Riding Turtle on my second day of trying! Still trying for the Sea Turtle – hopefully I’ll get lucky with that one soon. The beauty of this also means more chances of Nat’s Lucky coins, which can be used for purchasing pets and another Strider mount (if you have the reputation). I grabbed one of the pets, but need to work on the rep for the rest of the goodies.

Cinder_turtle

Cinder’s ADORABLE riding turtle!

Raiding

We actually dove straight into raiding on the Wednesday night. It was a mistake, but only because some people had broken addons which were messing up their UI etc. which made trying to do mythic Mannoroth a bit difficult to do! So we called it until the Sunday night to give people time to fix their UIs etc. Additional nerfs ended up happening prior to that, so come Sunday we just face rolled it, and same again Wednesday just gone. Still not luck rolling the mount, but given I never expected to be going in to mythic Hellfire Citadel at all, I’ve been really lucky.

Ready for the demons

There’s still a lot of work I need to do before I’m ready for the demons – I need to figure out ALL of my alts (haven’t touched any of them!) and finish up sorting out the transmog. And I want to go on a bunch of transmog runs so I can fill up some of the spaces in the Appearance tab. But I think the demons are due soon…

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My bank alt sits in the new Stormwind Park

 

We have a pre-patch date, and it’s just a few days away!!!

 giphy

Come July 19, we will have officially made it. The wait for new things to do is officially over! From here on in we’ll be having loads of content headed our way for months to come.  (and here I am slightly panicking because I still feel like I’ve not done everything I wanted to do by now!!)

It’s bittersweet, because it’s also when we say goodbye to Warlords of Draenor. And even though it hasn’t been the most popular expansion for everyone, I have had some really wonderful times during it. I’m definitely going to be sad to say goodbye to my Alliance garrison. The gold is nice, sure, but I liked having a space that way my own.

Now to frantically change a few last minute things. Happy pre-patch everyone!! 😀 😀 😀

 

 

I’ve been playing around on the Legion beta a little this weekend to see how well I hit things as restoration shaman in her mythic WoD gear (very well, by the way!). At one point I took a flight from Dalaran to Azsuna…. and suddenly I’m flying around on an Onyx Panther! This was one of my favourited mounts…. it seemed a little odd, so I got to testing. I set my Pureblood Firehawk as a favourite mount, and what do you know? Flight from Dalaran was on my firehawk!!!

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On a flight path from Dalaran on my own mount!

It doesn’t do this when flying to Dalaran, nor does it do it anywhere else in the world that I’ve seen yet (I went back to Pandaria to test – no dice).

I don’t recall this been announced anywhere previously. I do know my partner Thor has tweeted two the Warcraft devs this very suggestion. It would be VERY awesome if this was permanent and intended! I think it’s a great way for people to get to use their own flying mounts while we are learning flying for ourselves.

Here’s hoping it stays!!

I sure am getting around lately! (Not like that, silly!)

This week I had the pleasure of visiting EJ and Raven from Girls Gone WoW to talk about levelling, and especially about levelling in Legion. You can have a listen in Show 227.

Unfortunately Skype was a colossal asshole for us – we were all constantly cutting out or disconnecting, so it’s a bit messy in that way, but we pressed through! I also struggled to brain because I had to get up at 4am to be ready, but hopefully some things made sense and that it was helpful to people 🙂

I will say, some of what I said ended up being different 24 hours later when a new beta build came out . As of the newest build, it was decided that Court of Stars and The Arcway will no longer need to be unlocked – these will be mythic dungeons only.

And as I say in the show – things are still likely to change. I strongly recommend doing a little research in advance if you’re worried about artifact weapons for raiding with  multiple specs.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the episode!

(And I promise to write something more thoughtful for here over the weekend!)

 

 

Last weekend I completely geeked out because I was lucky enough to be a guest on one of my favourite podcasts, The Training Dummies. I’ve been listening to Rob and Darryl for awhile now (TTD and Realm Maintenance were some of the first podcasts I listened to after Girls Gone WoW got me in to them!) so it was a big nerd time for me to talk to them and be on their awesome show.

I had an absolutely amazing time. The topic of the show was about bringing the love back in to WoW. As a die-hard fan, this was easy for me, but not so much for others lately. My goal for the episode was to help people who are in a bit of a rut in the game feel a bit more positive about it, and to get back to that point where they fell in love with the game.

The episode is up on iTunes and Stitcher, or you can listen to it directly from their website here: Episode 131 – Dear Warcarft: It’s Not You, It’s Me.

In preparation for the show, I asked readers and twitter followers to let me know what it was that made them fall in love with WoW in the first place – what made them come back after that first day. I got so many responses! THANK YOU!! Unfortunately because there were so many I couldn’t read them all out in full during the show, but I wanted to share them all with you so I’ve posted them below. Sometimes we need a reminder of the wonderful things that are in WoW, and you guys really came through with some wonderful memories. (If you’re wanting to hear mine, you’ll need to listen to the episode! 😉 )

What made you fall in love with World of Warcraft?

@froothe thing that I fell in love with (coming from EQ) was my footprints in the snow in the Dwarven starting area.

@spankyhunterwhat made me fall in love with wow was the huge co op that wow had. 25+ players all working together. also a game that always updates. you dont lose everything when a new version of the game comes out, eg call of duty 2/3/4 etc etc. all your personal progression stays. also its a game that has a restriction of paying so back then it dettered a lot of cheating cause it took a lot of time to get a character to the point of being useful. if you lost your toon it was a lot of lost time.

@Mominatrix75The community. No other game I’ve played has a community like this one. Not only large but diverse and mostly positive.

@espirothA combination of my class (Druids) and the fact that I can do whatever I want in game. It’s not all about raids and dungeons. There are places to explore, professions to learn, pets and mounts to collect. There’s just so much stuff 🙂 I am the person that spent ages collecting things in Skyrim so I could make stuff. I like that kind of thing 😛

@SpazzWessonthe game itself. On my way to max I explored everything and at max I went to do old raids that I hadn’t seen.

@NavimieDruid I loved the variety that the game offered. I really liked the lore and doing things with others but I also loved that I could also do those things by myself. At first I played because I had friends to play with and then we got into a guild and got more friends to play with and then there was PvP and raiding… all these things that just seemed to add more and more things to enjoy and not enough time to do it all.

These days it is the addictive nature of achievements and collections that keeps me in game but the ties of friendship make the WoW cake even sweeter. I love that I can make friends because of a game and get to know them as well as I would amyone I met IRL. 10 years ago people would think it was weird to make friends on the Internet but now it seems to be nothing out of the ordinary. WoW inspires my imagination and makes me write my thoughts, fiction and poetry and I can’t imagine putting it down any time soon.

@Disneygirl85I’ve been playing WoW since 2012, and I have to say the thing that made me fall in love with the game is the story. Even though my main is a Mage, I didn’t create a Mage until Mists of Pandaria came out. My first character was a Shadow Priest, but she didn’t resonate with me. So, with the help of a couple guildies, I decided to create a Mage for Pandaria and THAT is when I fully fell in love with WoW. As soon as I found the class for me, it was so easy to become engrossed in the story of the game.


Thank you so much again to everyone for sharing your stories for the show. I hope that it helped reignite some love for WoW for you! And thank you again to Rob and Darryl for having me – they are both such lovely guys and made the whole experience so much fun.

 

Today Watcher Dev made a post on the forums about removing the cost of changing specs (that is currently on the Legion beta) but instead implementing a cost for changing talents. I’ll post both of his comments below (these can be found on the forums here)

We’ve definitely heard much feedback to this effect, and this is something we’d been discussing quite a bit internally as well over the past couple of weeks. In an upcoming build (hopefully the next one; if not, then the one after), the respec cost is gone, and players can freely switch between all specializations with the normal restrictions of cast-time, needing to be out of combat, and so forth.

Ultimately, the intent behind the respec cost (which isn’t really a new concept, dating back to 2004 class trainers) was to help reinforce a bit of spec identity through declaring a “primary” spec to which you could always return for free, and to serve as a mild gold sink. But in practice, changing specialization is a pretty significant transformation in terms of action bars, optimal gear in some cases, artifacts, and so forth, and already not something that people were taking lightly. I suspect the cost will not be missed.

An area that has appeared to need a bit more friction, however, is actually talent changes. Especially with no reagent cost at all now, it can be all too easy to activate AoE talents before larger packs of enemies in a dungeon, and then switch back to single-target talents before a lieutenant or a boss. Or someone might switch to a passive movement-speed talent when traversing an area, and then back to something functional before entering combat. At that point, we’re often hardly talking about a meaningful choice at all, but rather a nuisance of extra button-presses or UI navigation before you can use your desired talents.

And so, alongside removing the respec cost, that same upcoming build will also restrict the ability to change talents when away from a safe area (defined as an area that provides the Rested state). We currently plan to give Scribes a recipe to craft a consumable Tome that can be dropped in order to allow all nearby players to retalent freely for a time – particularly useful for group play.

and

A couple of clarifications, one of which will probably be a relief and the other likely less so: The Inscription consumable as currently planned would be something that anyone could drop, not a profession-requiring item like a Jeeves. But, in terms of the materials required, we’re thinking of something that’s more aimed at groups, and probably not the sort of thing an individual is likely to carry a stack of and use freely.

This is clearly more restrictive than the way it works in Warlords. Why would we ever add restrictions to something like this? Do we just sit around and amuse ourselves by thinking of things to take away from players? (We don’t.)

Ultimately, for a choice to be meaningful there has to be some associated cost or trade-off in the process. Do you want to eat your cake, or do you want to save it for another time? If you could do both, that wouldn’t be much of a choice.

When it comes to talents, which serve the primary purpose of customization and differentiation, consider two extremes in terms of how they could be handled. Please, take a moment to think through the following scenarios:

First, what if you could switch talents freely, at any time, including while in combat? You’d effectively no longer have a talent system – you’d have a spellbook with another 21 active and passive abilities in it, with keybinds to swap between them as needed. Every player of a given spec would have identical capabilities, with some cumbersome interface management required to swap among them on the fly.

Second, what if you could literally never switch talents, short of making a brand new character? Choosing a talent would be a far, far weightier choice than any decision you currently make in the game (other than choosing your starting class, I suppose). Some favored cookie-cutter specs would emerge, but with 2187 different permutations of talents, there’d be significantly more variety among players. But some niche talents would likely go almost entirely unused (though players who did choose them would be invaluable when those situations arose). And feeling like you’d made a mistake, and were stuck with one or more talents that you didn’t like at all, might completely sour your enjoyment of a character.

Anyway, we are of course doing neither of those things, but there’s a full spectrum of choice that lies in between. We’ve generally moved away from the second scenario and closer to the first over time (years and years back, respecs were so expensive in relative terms that players often waited for class changes to automatically refund their talents rather than spend the gold to move a point around). Other than the combat restrictions, the live game is not terribly far off from the first scenario.

There’s still a fair bit of thought that goes into which talents to select for a raid encounter, where you’re in combat for several minutes in a row and facing a variety of threats, and you may have to weigh whether you want better AoE damage for minions in the first phase, or better single-target burst later in the fight; whether you want a passive movement-speed increase for higher overall uptime, or an on-demand active movement ability in case you get targeted by a specific troublesome ability; and so forth.

But most other content, whether it’s a single quest boss out in the world, or a dungeon that breaks down to a series of sub-1-minute combats, don’t offer nearly that much variety. And so you take the AoE talent for the AoE pack, and the single-target talent for the lone boss, to the point that you might as well just have both of them all the time, which might be powerful, but wouldn’t be a choice.

So where does this leave us?

simpsons_bees

Of course the world is ending. Of course this is worst change ever. Of course Blizzard are stupid. /end sarcasm

You are not the only person playing the game

I’ve said this many times in the past, and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face. To be fair, these posts have only been made in the last couple of hours, so a lot of responses are gut reactions, and I can totally understand that.But throwing around “this change personally affects me greatly, so go back to the other way so that I’m not screwed over” is not what this conversation needs, because pretty much everyone can say that.

Which is why I’m here. I want people to take a moment to stop, take a breath and a GREAT big step away from the situation at the moment and think outside of how these changes directly impact you alone. Let’s talk about how these changes impact different types of players and see if we can find a solution that suits everyone.

There are a few points to cover:

  • removal of spec change cost
  • change of how talents are changed
  • possible alternatives

Healers/Tanks rejoice! No more cost to switch specs.

Firstly, the removal of spec change costs. The cost of changing specs has been a concern for me since it was first revealed. (See this post about it!) The TL;DR overview of my thoughts on the cost of changing specs is below, and hopefully point out why this cost was an unbalanced one:

  • many (if not most) healers don’t like to level as healers, so have a dps spec they use on a regular basis to level or do dailies with
  • locking in, or making it difficult/expensive to change specs means healers/tanks may get sat from raids instead of being able to stay in and changing to a different spec because they can’t afford to change
  • small raid teams who are already struggling to find raid numbers may have more difficulty finding even more numbers because aren’t willing to pay to switch specs (so where you could get away with having “swing heals/dps” players, you might need a separate person for each spec)

Many of the arguments I’m seeing on the forums at the moment are from people complaining that spec changes happen less often than talent changes, so why punish people for the thing they do most often? That’s a fair enough call. However what it doesn’t take in to account is the size of the impact on the people are are affected. It may not impact everyone, but those it does impact have some big quality of life reductions. To put it bluntly, this cost to me always felt “unfair” to hybrid classes. So I am glad this cost is removed.

Oh, to change a talent

So the second announcement in the above post, and the topic I feel needs some thought and open discussion, is around the proposed change to how talents are swapped. The proposed change is essentially that if people want to be able to change their talents, they need to be in a a resting area, and they will need a tome crafted by inscriptionists that can be dropped by any player.

There are two key points that this change brings up…

Player disruption

This is the big one. The loudest argument against this change is that it is incredibly disruptive. Players have become used to changing their talents whenever they want to, and putting in this restriction is going to be time consuming, expensive, and overall and very negative experience for players.

The reasoning behind putting in this restriction comes back to that ever present notion of “class/spec identity”. Love it or hate it, this concept is going to be sticking around. And this way of changing talents definitely reiterates that, the notion being that you need to decide if you’re a restoration shaman who likes raining on people all the time or if you want to use your totems for healing boosts (for example). But is it the right thing to do here? Possibly not. Ion’s explanation behind the dev’s thinking is that there is no real “choice” in what you’re doing – you’re just going through the motions and swapping out one spell for another with little impact.

My feelings are that some disruption is necessary. Others have argued in the past that associating a cost with talent changes doesn’t play in to class fantasy or make them think about their choices – they see it as a burden. I can understand this, especially when in the past the new talent system was promoted as something that allowed you to swap in and out of talents as fights needed them.

I think what the developers have in mind for how this fantasy plays out is not necessarily about how this plays as class fantasy, but how this plays as overall game play fantasy. The scenario is this – we as a team walk in to a raid zone together, with the purpose of taking down the “big bads”. As a group we get a battle plan together – who will stand where and do play what role (not just who tanks and who heals, but what a warlock might do to quickly move the entire group etc.) Part of that planning and strategising is sorting out what tools people will need to defeat this boss. And it’s at this point that changing talents would come in to play.

This idea is further reiterated with Ion’s comments:

…in terms of the materials required, we’re thinking of something that’s more aimed at groups, and probably not the sort of thing an individual is likely to carry a stack of and use freely.

The whole idea is based on a group mentality. This is a viable option for organised teams and raid groups, but is less so for pugs (which are still heavily promoted), especially if the mats required to make these tomes come from various profession sources.

So to sum up. my thoughts are:

  • a cost for changing talents is understandble
  • what the cost is should be given more thought
  • a group cost might not be the best approach.

We’ll come back to these points in a sec.

Boost for scribes

This is the point that most people are kind of washing over, because it doesn’t affect a lot of people. But let’s face it, Inscriptionists have gotten a bit of a raw deal so far in Legion. One of their primary purposes – crafting of glyphs – has been removed, so they’ve been a bit useless. Having this tome as a raid-required material is actually a really great idea. It helps them craft a consumable that would be needed over and over again, like potions and flasks or food or enchants and gems. I think this this is a really great improvement to the profession to make it viable long term.

What are our options?

If we take the above in to account, we can try and find a “happy medium” here somewhere. Discussing this with my partner and throwing ideas around, we talked about options and he came up with the idea of the cost still being a crafted tome, but one that is for individuals that has charges on them. This way the items are still useful for inscriptionists to craft; there is a cost involved with changing specs that is meaningful but not burdensome, and; people still have a feeling of freedom when it comes to their personal choices during raids/world content. And even though I’m not a fan of there being a cost applied to changing specs, this tome could also be used to change specs, giving it multiple purposes.

What do you think? What happy medium can you see here that could be suitable for all player types?

I know that I’ve spoken about the legacy server discussion a bit on Battletagged (episode 12 to be precise, if you want to hear it!) but I thought a post was in order as well because this topic won’t go away!!!

TL;DR version is this: A group of people hosted a legacy version of World of Warcraft on their own servers, which they named Nostalrius. Blizzard told them to take the servers down, which they did, but it has flared up the debate about whether or not legacy servers should exist.

Now this is a very dumbed down version of the overall conversation, because it’s not entirely just a case of whether or not legacy servers should exist. What gets dragged in to the conversation is whether or not this is worth Blizzard’s time and effort to build; what do people think they’re going to get from a legacy server; are there enough people who want this?; and the BIG one – whether or not people should have to pay for it.

What happened?

As of today, two big things have happened. Firstly, Blizzard addressed the “Nostalrius situation”, which you can read here. This is one of a handful of occasions that Blizzard has openly talked about legacy/vanilla servers in any sort of depth. Secondly, Blizzard have invited the Nostalrius team to the Blizzard offices to “have a discussion”. I will say, I am disappointed that Blizzard invited the Nost team to their offices at this time – not because I don’t want them to have the conversation, but because at this point in time it looks like caving in to the tantrum-throwing toddler. Whilst the Nost team leaders themselves may have been fine, many supporters of legacy servers (including users who have openly said they played on Nostalrius) have been less than mature about the topic, with offensive, abusive messages littered through the WoW community such as on offical forums, reddit threads, twitter, and through direct targeting of individuals (the abuse that Panser has received from these supporters is absolutely disgusting). I would like to have seen the Nost team either tell everyone to pull their heads in, or distance themselves from these types of people before Blizzard agreed to meet with them.

The survey

This post is about a survey that the Nostalrius team have asked World of Warcraft players of all types (legacy server supporters or not) to complete, the results of which will be taken with them to their meeting with Blizzard. Here’s how it’s being pitched:

We want this survey to be shared with the largest possible audience: former Nostalrius players, legacy players in general, but also anyone who played World of Warcraft at some point or signed the petition.
– from Nostalrius offical forums http://forum.nostalrius.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=44103

and

Goal of this survey is to provide feedback from the World of Warcraft community as a whole.
– from the survey itself

So essentially, they want as many World of Warcraft players to complete the survey. No worries – I am all for that!

Regardless of what my opinion on the topic of legacy servers is, I was keen to be able to contribute to what I was hoping was a balanced, open minded attempt at providing feedback. But it’s not. The survey is full of questions so leading that I had to stop filling out the survey because there was no way for me the accurately and honestly answer some of the questions. In addition to that, it’s so easy for this survey to “down vote” opposing opinions that it is very far removed from a balanced indication of player thoughts on the topic.

Let’s take a look:

First page is very straight forward – age, gender, location in the world, how long you’ve been playing WoW and how you rate each expansion. Sounds straight forward, but here we have the first example of being able to boost support for old content and downgrade support for current content. Whilst we are asked which expansions we have played, we are able to provide a ranking of all expansions. So if I were a person who wanted to push support for older content and downgrade newer content, I could give ratings of 10 to vanilla and BC and 1 to Cataclysm, MoP & Warlords of Draenor, regardless of whether or not I played them.

The next series of questions are for people who have played on Legacy servers and why they did so. I did not answer any of these questions as I have never played on a legacy server. However again, there was a question that made this section a bit leading. The section covers how long users have played on legacy servers for, which expansions they played on them and reasons why they did so. But then comes this question:

Did playing unofficial legacy server bring you (back) to official Blizzard Wow?

The response is Yes or No. The problem with this question is that it’s trying to give the result “people who played legacy servers were encouraged to play official WoW”. What it doesn’t capture is how many people left official WoW entirely to play legacy servers. The distinction is important, because if people left WoW to play free legacy servers, well that’s a different point altogether.

Moving on.

The next series of questions are about the World of Warcraft experience. Although there could have been better questions asked here, it’s not overly problematic, so we’ll move on to the next section which is where I was prompted to write this post. The section is titled “If Blizzard launches legacy servers”. It’s here that I’ll point out that all questions in this section are compulsory (most of the previous questions (except for those on the first page) have been optional). Here we are asked if we would play on Legacy servers if they were free? Would we play them if they were more expensive than WoW (no question about whether or not we’d pay the same as current WoW prices).

But it was this question that got me cross:

If needed, I would buy Legion to play on a Blizzard legacy servers *

If needed. The response to this question is True or False only. And this is where I stopped, because I can’t answer this question. I am an average World of Warcraft player and I am buying Legion because I enjoy the game and I want to know what happens next in the Azeroth story. I understand what they are trying to get at here – they are trying to show that if there were legacy servers, people would be willing to purchase current content to access them. It’s a nice statistic to throw out there. But how do I answer that question? As someone who is buying Legion because I enjoy WoW and isn’t invested in legacy servers, how do I answer this questions accurately? If I say “False” it boost numbers that support people don’t like current content. If I say “True” it lumps me in with a then falsified statement that loads of people would buy Legion “if only they had access to legacy servers”.

The following question (although broken) asks whether we would play on a legacy server if it required an active live subscription and if so, how long would you play on a legacy server for. (The question is broken because the second part is compulsory to answer, even if you said that no you would not play if it required an active live subscription, and there is no 0 option).

Up next we get asked:

Is it a good idea to have Blizzard legacy servers with players from multiple regions like Nostalrius? *

Having not played on a legacy server, I don’t know the answer to this. Yet it’s compulsory to answer. At least here you get the option to explain your answer.

Now we start getting in to the nitty gritty of what would be on these servers and how they would behave. We’re asked two questions that, as someone who has not been heavily involved in the ins and outs of legacy servers, I don’t understand, regarding timeframes of releasing content (I can only assume this is something that is referenced in legacy server groups? Doesn’t bode well for trying to get an honest and accurate response from all player types. And yes these questions are compulsory). Then we’re asked just how much we want legacy servers, or progressive legacy servers.

Up next we get to rate the importance of some aspects of WoW, all of which are compulsory. We’re asked to rank how important things like “Challenge” and “community/social aspect” are to us. But then we’re asked to rate how important “Realm-wide events and memories” are to us (as if that is something any game can just hand over to you with you putting any effort in to it). Next we rank the importance of “no pay-to-win”, which made me pause. Pay-to-win? Either that’s being thrown in for shits and giggles, or it has been included to imply that this is something that is currently in the game. The only thing I could think of as being “play-to-win” was the paid character boost…. that boosts you to 10 levels below maximum and gives you nothing other than that. That’s not winning. (And how do you “win” WoW anyway?!) Skipping a couple, the last ranking of importance is for “Abusers punished” which made me laugh like the cynical cow I am (oh the irony).

The last question on this page relates to server size, stating:

The original Blizzard legacy servers had around 1500 players cap. Nostalrius had often more than 13k online players. What should be the best cap for you? *

We are given a list of server sizes by number (e.g. 3000, 7500 etc.) as if people are sitting there counting how many people would be good to have on a server at a time. Surely a better response here would be to suggest a server size that is “Small country town – not a lot of people around / relatively busy -there are some people around / bustling busy city-like / holy crap is this a peak-hour train in Japan??!!

The last page of questions has a large focus on streaming (??); whether you will be going to Blizzcon (as a yes or no question – no acknowledgement of the multiple ways Blizzcon can be supported outside of attending the event itself); whether or not Legion and legacy servers can co-exist; a “pat yourself on the back” question about how you made your voice heard to support legacy servers (they missed the response of “I was an ass and went and harassed people”); and lastly, a free text section at the bottom if you have anything else to add.

Why do you care about a survey?

I know I am overly critical with this and that generally this post has been a boring ramble. But I really don’t like this kind of “research”. It’s misleading and is designed to tell only one side of the story, and I just get really frustrated by that. Whilst pro-legacy supporters have been given ample opportunity to promote their argument in this survey, those who are not in support of them or who are indifferent to them are given a 500 character limit free text box at the end of the survey. I think doing a survey to capture exactly what people would like from legacy servers is a really great idea – it’s a nice way to collate the information to present to Blizzard. But don’t present this as a “balanced opinion of WoW players”, because it’s not that. My voice is not captured here.

I don’t care one way or the other about legacy servers. If Blizzard are happy to have them and people want to play them, I am all for that – I want as many people as possible to love and play World of Warcraft! The reason this survey and the whole legacy server drama has frustrated me is how people have behaved – it’s toddler-like behaviour. And what I so very passionately don’t want to see is that behaviour validated. Which is why I don’t want there to be a survey out there claiming to have a open mind for everyone to complete when it is so very strongly biased to the one argument. I don’t want that to be the only answer that goes to Blizzard. I don’t want this survey to say that it “speaks for the WoW community” – my voice is not there, you do not speak for me. And I don’t want legacy servers to be implemented on the back of this behaviour and this attitude. I want proper discussions and grown up conversations about it, and decisions to be made from that. I know, Blizzard aren’t stupid and they’ll be able to see through crap. But also, Blizzard aren’t stupid and if there is potentially an opportunity for money to be made from here then they will probably go for that. Like I said, I would hate for a decision to be made without all sides of the discussion having been explored. There are people out there who are just as passionate about not having legacy servers as there are those supporting them.

What I would like to have seen is a survey written by someone who is not close to either side of the discussion so that all opinions could be captured. This survey doesn’t give people the opportunity to say why they may not want to see legacy servers brought out. This survey simply validates one opinion, and right now it’s the opinion of people who are throwing tantrums. And those are not my people. This survey is not my voice.

 

 

This week, I got an achievement I did not expect to get. This week, I killed Mythic Archimonde.

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Because my new guild only had a few kills on Mythic Archimonde, I didn’t expect to be in there for a little while yet. They needed to keep in strong healers to help out any lower level/newer dps players. But on Thursday, they got me in there as there were a few dps missing and one of the healers needed to go boomkin. I was terrified. I had watched the videos a few times, so I knew what abilities to expect etc. But watching videos is very different to actually being in there and doing the fight itself.

Turns out, I didn’t have too much to worry about. In the end I think I actually did alright. My healing wasn’t as strong as the others, but I held my own, and I did all the mechanics properly so I didn’t kill anyone (which is nice!)

It took a few goes – there are some mechanics that can very easily wipe the whole raid. But in the end, Archimonde went down. AND I was still alive at the end!!!! I was quite emotional. I honestly didn’t think that I would get the chance to even attempt Mythic Archimonde, let alone kill him. But here I am. 🙂

 

It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ll be honest, I’ve been busy and not really having a brilliant time of things so haven’t had a lot of energy to write. That’s not to say that things haven’t been happening, so that’s why I’m here.

Raiding

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All dressed up for a Mythic Mannaroth fight

The biggest thing is that I’m now 12/13 mythic bosses down in Hellfire Citadel. Things with the new raid team are going alright. I still feel like I’m not good enough, but I am trying my best and hopefully it’s enough. I’ll probably feel a bit more stable about things when my trial period is over. The existing healer team is very strong, and as a restoration shaman going up against well geared priests and paladins… well it was always going to be a bit rough. I just focus on doing the absolute best that I can, and making sure I do all boss mechanics properly (or admit to failing them when I do!).

The guild has a really interesting dynamic – everyone is very passionate about raiding and doing it well, which can lead to heated discussions. There’s also no issue with calling people out if they do something wrong in a fight. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea – and I never thought I’d do well in a team like that – but it actually works well with these guys. None of it is taken personally – if you’re called out for making a mistake in a fight, you’re not being called out on a personal level, just the mistake that you made so that it doesn’t happen again and so that other people don’t make the same mistake. It makes me work harder – it makes me want to be better. And like I said, it’s not personal. Everyone jokes around and seems to have a good relationship with one another. I’m liking the guild and the raiding – I really do hope they keep me!

The only downside at the moment is having to grind out valor. My game time has been shrunk a bit lately because of how busy I have been, and how often we raid. It feels like all my WoW time is going in the valor capping, and it’s awful. One of the better ways of getting valor is with mythic dungeons, which I personally am just not a fan of. But more than that, it just means that what little time I do have in game is spent doing that. I haven’t done mount farming for weeks. I forced myself over the weekend to do what I wanted to do (more on that later) but the niggling in the back of mind that I should be grinding valor was there the whole time which soured things a bit. I’m trying to find a compromise with myself, but haven’t got there yet.

Moving alts & transmog

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Silly Cinder…

I did have a realisation the other day that avoided what could have been a bit of a disaster – I’ve been wanting to transfer my paladin and my mage to my new server (hoping I get to stay there!). I feel really naked without my alts with me, so I was wanting to bring over the 2 others I had definitely planned on bringing. Thor suggested I wait until we’re in the team for sure, which is good advice. But then I realised something else. On my old server (where all my other toons are) I have 7 other max level toons as well as a bank toon with a jam packed guild bank, and another level 65ish DK with big bags that are probably about three quarters full. Most of these toons are hoarding huge amounts of transmog gear. Some has been to sell, but a lot is being held in preparation for the new transmog system in Legion.

With the new transmog system, a player needs to be able to equip the gear in order to have it added to the wardrobe. So for example if I wanted to add a plate chest to my wardrobe, a paladin, warrior or death knight would need to be able to equip it (which means they would also need to be at the appropriate level to learn it, too). I only have 1 plate wearer – my paladin. If I had have transferred here now, I wouldn’t have been able to learn all of the plate transmog gear I’ve  been holding on to! (She has no bag space either… I really am a bad hoarder!) So I saved myself some heartache there. What it does mean, though, is that no toons will be moving until the pre-expansion patch releases that brings out the wardrobe system. Very glad I realised all that before I made the move!!

Making a monk

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Cindersong – fierce, but adorable!

Speaking of feeling lost without my alts – I can’t afford to move all my toons over to the new server. It’s a server and faction change, which is over $60 per toon. I have 7 plus the guild bank toon, which means a small fortune to move them all. I’ve made the decision that I’ll definitely be moving across my paladin and my mage (because they were my first toons and I always find myself falling back to them.) I miiiiight move my warlock because she has the green fire and title etc. and I worked really hard for that! But not sure yet.

Anyway, this means that I need my other alts. So I have started levelling a monk. Most of the time I play her while on the bench from raiding (I’m not in for Archimonde fights) but this weekend I decided to spend a decent amount of time levelling her, so that I could feel like I’d had some “me” WoW time. I really love levelling. The world of Azeroth (and beyond) is so amazing. But there is so much content that gets skipped over. (definitely a topic for a future blog post).

Anyway, Cindersong is currently level 64. She’s Windwalker at the moment, but I’ll get her doing Mistweaving again when she’s higher level. For now, she’s having a blast kicking things in the face 🙂 (Monks really do have awesome animations!) After my monk, I’ll get back to a Night Elf druid I started levelling awhile ago.

All over the internets

So in addition to the WoW stuff, I’ve also been getting around the interwebs. A couple of weeks ago now I was approached by Dorelei who writes for the Chain Heal website (which is a GREAT site for restoration shamans, btw! Check it out!!). She wanted to do an interview with me for their “Shaman Meet Up” segment. So that was a lot of fun. You can read it here.

Battletagged has been going well – we’ll be doing episode 13 on Tuesday which is all about datamining. Should be a good conversation I think.

Reins of Azeroth is also going well, with episode 14 of that due to be recorded next Tuesday as well. I’ve been spending a load of time on the website for that, including making a huge spread sheet of all the mounts we’ve covered, which hopefully people are finding useful. It is starting to get to a the point where we are going to have covered all of the mounts, so it’s in the back of my mind that we need to figure out what to do after that. Achievements? Toys? Pets? All of the above? Who knows. People seem to like the show, though, so we might just ask what the people want 🙂

In addition to all of that, I’ve going to be a guest on 3 different podcasts in the next month. I am geeking out about all 3. One is Girls Gone WoW which I’ve been on twice already, but EJ and Raven are so lovely, and it was the first podcast I got into so it always has a special place in my heart. The other two podcasts I won’t mention yet because the shows haven’t mentioned me being on there yet! But they are two other podcasts that are right up there on my favourites list, and I am so stoked to have been asked to be on them! I’ll definitely be posting when they are out.

 

Ok, that’s enough from me! I think we’re all caught up here. 🙂

 

****If you do not want ANY information about Legion, and don’t want any spoilers about anything at all, please don’t read this blog post! I will be talking about the Restoration Shaman levelling experience (without giving quest details away) and will be sharing some screen shots. Proceed at your own risk!****

 

Regular readers will know that one of the main reasons why I was hoping to get early access to Legion was to test out the levelling experience as a healer. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to do this, as it has really given me something to think about. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do when it comes to levelling my shaman through Legion. So I’m using this post to not only give you guys some insight in to the experience, but to also talk through my thoughts about what I’ll do!

Background (or, why does it matter if you level as dps or healer?)

There are a couple of factors that made deciding whether or not to level as a healer a difficult decision. Firstly, there’s how it plays. Secondly, there’s the artifacts. So I’m going to break this down a bit.

Healer damage

Dps-ing as a healer has always felt weak and slow. And it’s understandable – we are built to heal and care for other people, not destroy enemies. For Legion we have been told that healers will have their damage increased so that they feel more comfortable dps-ing mobs and levelling up. But will it be enough?

The artifact effect

With Legion we are getting artifact weapons. These are superpowered weapons that you can “level up” to grant extra abilities, stronger spells etc. They are spec specific, they have their own quest/scenario experience to obtain and they are quite simply freaking AWESOME.

BUT

We get our artifact immediately after completing the Broken Shore scenario, and are unable to get a second artifact for a different spec until at least level 102 (as per testing on Alpha at the moment). As you level, you get quest rewards to boost the power of your artifact or to give it relics etc. This is where healers are starting to get worried. Is healer damage going to be strong enough to be able to level as a healer and power up our healer artifact? Or do we need to level as dps and then panic about getting our healer artifact later in the game and getting it levelled up in time for raiding?

How does it play out?

I’ve levelled my restoration shaman to about half way through 102. Not very far, but far enough to have spent a reasonable chunk of time out in the world levelling and experiencing quests etc. I’ve also dabbled as a holy paladin doing the Broken Shore scenario and holy paladin artifact scenario, but I’ll focus on the resto shaman here.

The damage

I will be honest – I still feel weak. But worse than that – it’s slow. It still takes a long time to kill mobs as a healer. The longer the mob is up, the more damage I take so I have to heal myself up, and so it takes even longer to get the mob down. There were times it was taking so long to kill a mob that they would respawn almost immediately after killing them. And if you were in a gauntlet style area, you were really in trouble.

It was also really disheartening seeing dps smash through mobs so much faster. It’s to be expected, I know, but it makes you feel bad.

The restoration damage rotation is very basic – flame shock, lava surge, lightning bolt and chain lightning. There are some talents you can take to make life easier – I took:

  • Torrent for the level 15 talent – just makes quick heals on yourself a bit stronger.
  • Gust of Wind for the level 30 talent. It’s bloody brilliant! I love this talent so much! So helpful for getting out of damaging abilities quickly. And you can do it in ghost wolf form, too!!
  • Lightning Surge totem for the level 45 talent – stuns the mobs around you (very helpful if you’re getting overrun) (Voodoo totem can be good too, but it has the same rules as Hex and only works on Humanoids and beasts, which means no demons. And there are a lot of demons!)
  • Earthen Shield totem for the level 75 talent – helps with mobs that are dishing out too much damage. Just helps shield you a bit
  • Echo of the elements for the level 90 talent – gives an extra lava surge which can be nice
  • Wellspring for the level 100 talent because the other 2 are no good when you’re levelling and doing damage (also, it looks cool!!)

Overall, the spells are fine. However I did find it difficult when there was more than 1 mob hitting me. Chain lightning just didn’t feel like enough. If Flame Shock were a little stronger and didn’t have a cooldown, it might help to just dot up all the adds and then chain lightning them all. Maybe?

Zone scaling

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Azsuna is absolutely stunning!!

Firstly I just want to say that this is such and amazing feature of Legion. I love that a zone will have purpose and provide a challenge, no matter what level I’m at!

Most of my resto shaman levelling was in Azsuna (which I’m going to share a picture of because holy heck is that place STUNNING!!!) I will say that I felt a shift in my damage when I got to 102. I felt a bit stronger and the mobs dropped a little more easily. Given everything scales to my level I don’t think it really mattered that I was a higher level, but perhaps the way it’s scaled at 102 makes my damage a bit better… I don’t know.

The other thing for me to keep in mind is that I will start with much higher gear than what I’m using on the Alpha at the moment – when making a new 100 on the Alpha you get kitted out with level 680ish gear. I’ll be much closer to 740 at launch so that will make it easier for me. The scaling for the zone is purely based on character level, so if you have higher level gear, life will be easier for you. This will help to a point – eventually the world will catch up and the gear will get replaced. But it will help for some time.

Does the artifact help?

Nope. The restoration shaman artifact has no damage increasing traits on it at all, so doesn’t give you any bonuses at all. Other than the fact that it looks AWESOME.

What do to, what to do?

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The way I see it, there are a handful of options here.

1. Level as a healer and suck it up

This a route that a lot of people will take. Having their artifact weapon raid ready is most important to them, so they’ll just level as a healer and deal with any frustrations they may feel. This is one of my personal choices.

The added benefit of this is that I can also go straight in to dungeons as a healer, with a nicely levelled healer artifact.

Also, I feel this is the intended path Blizzard want us to take (which truthfully I appreciate, but isn’t a deciding factor for me).

2. Level as a healer and group up with people

A reasonable approach, but not one that I will take. Levelling for me is one of my favourite things in the game. And I am slooooow. I like to read all of the quest text. I like to stop and take loads of screenshots of the beautiful world around me. I like to go exploring on strange paths. People who are keen to get to max level get really fed up. And I get fed up at being rushed. So this is not an option for me – levelling is always a solo adventure for me!

3. Level as dps and worry about your healing artifact later

A viable approach for some. Levelling as a dps will definitely be faster, giving you more time at max level to sort out the healing artifact and powering it up with world quests etc. However, it’s not something I’ll be doing. Even if I’m dps I’ll still be slow! And I don’t want to worry about my healer artifact being behind, nor do I want the pressure of getting it up to level if I’m starting off behind.

4. Level as dps and change loot specialisation before completing quests to get healer artifact loot

Now this is the real option to think about! While you are levelling you can get artifact power and relics as quest rewards, and sometimes as world drops. From what I’ve experienced so far, the world drops are generally the artifact power (which look to be able to be applied to any artifact, not just the one you have equipped), whereas with quests you can get both the power and relics. However if you change your loot specialisation, the quest rewards (relics etc) will change to suit that spec – not just the artifact you have equipped. Which means that I could level as elemental, with the elemental artifact (that I won’t power up), but keep my loot specialisation set to restoration, giving me restoration artifact rewards. When I am able to get my restoration artifact at level 102, I can immediately boost it with all the stored up relics etc. So in the end I get a faster levelling experience by being dps, and I get a powered up artifact.

I doubt this is what Blizzard has in mind, but again, that’s not a deciding factor for me – being raid ready as a healer is most important (and my sanity).

The downside to this option is that I don’t know for sure if this will be possible in Legion. i.e. will this approach survive alpha/beta? And is this available in all zones, or was I just lucky in Azsuna? This is something I will be doing further testing on in the coming weeks.

Last thoughts

Honestly, my preferred option would be for healer damage to just be stronger so that I could level as a healer. I’d like a “world buff” that makes all my damaging spells 500% stronger when I’m out in the world, so that I can damage things properly without wasting 5 minutes killing a mob of 3. I don’t want to fiddle with work arounds – I’d like it to work as intended.

At the moment the levelling is still slow and frustrating. Perhaps it will be different in other zones (I haven’t levelled healer anywhere else except for a handful of quests in Highmountain).  I’m also mindful of end-game content such as World Quests – I don’t want those to be a burden because of slow damage (hence the buff being a world buff).

BUT

It is better than current healer damage. So if you’ve been ok with your current healer damage and wanted it a little stronger, you will be quite pleased. I have also read comments that Discipline Priests smash through content (surprise surprise!!). (Holy Paladin damage in the Broken Shore scenario was awful, to put it bluntly. But I’ll do a separate post about that later).

So those are my healer damage thoughts so far. Has anyone else seen anything about healer damage? What do you think? Is it viable?

 

****If you do not want ANY information about Legion, and don’t want any spoilers about anything at all, please don’t read this blog post! I will be talking about the Restoration Shaman artifact quest experience (without giving quest details away) and will be sharing some screen shots. Proceed at your own risk!****

 

Today I went and did the Restoration Shaman Artifact quest line for the second time. The first time I did it I forgot to take screen shots! But I also wanted to do it again because the first time I found it quite difficult, and I wanted to see if it had changed at all to be any easier. It hadn’t really, but because I knew what to expect I only died 3 times instead of the double digit deaths I had the first time I did this.

We start at the Maelstrom (which I LOVE!!!!!!)

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So, without going in to specific details about the quest content itself, the main point is that we head off to collect the artifact weapon (that has changed names multiple times now! I believe it is currently being called Sharas’dal, Scepter of Tides, but is referred to by different names in the game still – something that will be sorted out by live date). You are accompanied by some other characters who are there to help, and it is your job to keep them alive while you go get the artifact. 

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out little band of adventurers

One of the characters in the group is the giant that you see in the screenshot above. He has quite a large health pool. He acts as the tank role and gets hit in the face a LOT. And HARD. When any of the players with you have their health drop too low, they get a debuff that makes them stop attacking until they are healed up again. Because the giant has such a huge health pool, it takes a LOT to get him healed back up again, but it only takes about 4 or 5 hits for him to drop low enough to trigger the debuff. What this means is that you as a healer get all the aggro, and you drop like a tonne of bricks once the mobs start hitting you instead.  Also, when you die and run back, the other players still have their debuff, so they’re just standing there not doing anything, which means the mobs are back on you straight away. You have about 5-10 seconds maximum to try and get at least one of them to have enough health to hit things again. It can be hard to do. But obviously not impossible – just need to be very clever about which cool downs and talents to use. I’ll be putting together a guide for this when it gets closer to release date to help people out (if they are interested).

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Heading up to the next level of the zone

There is another section with waves in it that I really struggled with the first time. I was going to struggle this time around, too, until my partner pointed out that I should try doing something a little different – it worked perfectly. The wording for that part of the scenario could be better. The way it is at the moment the wording implied (to me) that I would get control of the giant and would need to move him through the room. This is not the case. I needed to run into the room and try to dodge the waves so that everyone else could just walk straight through (why they couldn’t try to dodge with me is beyond me!) It worked out in the end, but I think some wording that suggests the intended approach might be good there.

The last boss is a fun fight, but I think needs to be a lot more difficult- the trash mobs posed more of a problem than this boss. She has some interesting mechanics, and there’s a scene at the end that makes me laugh a lot. Once she is defeated, the artifact is all yours!

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Artifact name changed so many times it’s just “Artifact Shaman Restoration Weapon” now 😉

The weapon itself is quite lovely, and has a really great animation that splashes water about the place when I run that I LOVE. At least I know I’ll be able to find myself out in the world! Just look for the leaking bucket running around!

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Getting water all over the place! 

 

Overall thoughts

I like that this is difficult. I say fairly often that I think there needs to be difficult content in the game. This borderlines on being a little too difficult though, only because of how hard the mobs hit you when the other players’ health pools get too low. There’s no real catch up ability – once they drop, it’s a vicious cycle of spam healing to get one up enough before you die. It can be quite debilitating – you end up getting completely helpless. The first time around that I was doing this I ended up staying at the res point on my own until all of my cool downs reset so that I had the best chance possible to catch up. I think it would be good if there was a “start over” option here for those who would want it. It still makes the scenario difficult, but not made overly complicated because of the debuff cycle. (Like I said, those mobs hit like a truck!)

I also found it a bit odd that the last “boss” was not difficult. I wanted her to be more of a challenge. In this scenario, the trash mobs pose more of a difficulty than she does, which seemed a bit out of place to me. I would like her difficulty scaled up a bit.

My biggest take away from this, though, is just how addicted I am to my Elvui and Vuhdo addons. I ended up making hover-target healing macros to try and make it easier for me, but I really did miss my ability to click my spells on my raid frames! Hoping that vuhdo will be up in time for the Legion launch so I can use it straight away.

I do love the artifacts, though. I feel a real connection with it because it’s something that I had to go and get on my own, in my own little adventure. I’m looking forward to getting my real one when this is all live, and nurturing it to full strength! 🙂

I’ve been doing some levelling as restoration, and I have to say, the world is so so stunning. I spent some time in Azsuna and it is overwhelmingly beautiful. I don’t want to post any pics because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I did want to show the resto shaman idle pose, which I also really like.

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Communing with the waters

So far – loving restoration shaman. Here’s hoping she’s strong in raids in Legion.

 

****If you do not want ANY information about Legion, and don’t want any spoilers about anything at all, please don’t read this blog post! I will be talking about the Demon Hunter starting zone (without giving quest details away) and will be sharing some screen shots. Proceed at your own risk!****

On Sunday night my guild was doing mythic Archimonde, which I am nowhere near geared enough for at the moment, so was on the bench. I decided that it would be a good time to get back on the Alpha, and have a look at the Demon Hunter starting area.

I had initially started a Demon Hunter when I first got in, but had a whole of 10 minutes available so didn’t get very far.

Getting started

If you’re like me, character creation is going to take a long time. There are so many choices! The skin tattoos have loads of different designs and colours, there are loads of skin colour choices (feels like more than previously? But I could be wrong) I particularly liked the eye covering choices – there was a lot of variety, so you could really go for something that just suits you and what you have in mind for your character.

Here she is:

DH first go

My night elf Demon Hunter!

I’m not going to talk about the starting areas quests themselves, other than to say that I really liked the flow of them and how the story was revealed. I also really liked how we got new abilities – I thought it was very clever indeed! There were a few cinematic not included which is just fine by me – they would have been full of story spoilers that I’m not interested in seeing just yet!

The zone itself is quite dark with LOADS of green all over the place. It’s definitely easier to see in a dark room, so bear that in mind when you have a go at this in Legion. But check this out! How amazing does it look!?!!

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The fel & the universe look amazing!

Abilities

So, on to some abilities.

First up, one of the most commonly used abilities is Fel Rush, which zooms you forwards (damaging anything in your path!) I really like this ability. I’m not very good with it yet, but it will just take some practice. Here’s a gif of my showing it (not very well! But I tried!)

DH

Testing out the Fel Rush ability

Fel Rush works really well with another ability that you get a bit later on called Vengeful Retreat. Vengeful Retreat jumps you back around the same distance Fel Rush dashes you forward, so it’s a really great combo to use when you need to get in and out of bad stuff (it also looks AWESOME!)

Next up we have Spectral Sight. This one is just kinda cool… not sure exactly how useful it will be in anything other than levelling. The spell allows you to see enemies and TREASURES through walls or that are stealth etc. Look out rogues! The ability looks like this when you use it:

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Using Spectral Sight ability.

The green around the edges is a bit much, I feel, but otherwise it’s a neat ability. You can see the enemies outlined in red, and a treasure chest outlined in purple in this screen shot.

Ex-warlock spell, Metamorphosis is AWESOME. It has a 5 min cooldown and with a targetable leap, slams you in to the ground as you turn into a hellish demon for 30 sec. It looks fantastic, too. This really made me feel strong, and also a little scary. You really don’t want to mess with a Demon Hunter!

 

The wings that you see there also come out during another ability called Glide, which, as the name suggests, allows you to glide from high distances, slowing your falling speed. This can either be toggled on by clicking the spell, or by pressing the jump button 3 times – once to jump, the second for your double jump, and the third to activate Glide (assuming there is still distance from the ground beneath you).

At one point during the questing we Glide off of a very high place. However when I did this my game crashed, and when I came back in again I was lower than where I needed to be and didn’t make my destination. I ended up continuing to fall. Which worked out alright because I got this killer screen shot of my Demon Hunter Gliding!

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Using the Glide ability

There are some other great abilities, like Throw Glaive, which does as it says and throws out a glaive to an enemy (which will make it nice and easy to pull some mobs from a distance), and Blade Dance, which has you zipping about all over the place. And of course there’s Eye Beam which I foolishly forgot to get a screen shot of. Aside from looking super cool, it’s a very strong multi-target ability that will annihilate anything in the beam line in front of you. You can move from side to side with this, too, though you can’t move forwards or backwards.

The Artifact questline

I’m not going to go in to any details about what you do in this. I struggled a little with this because it was lagging terribly, so it was difficult to jump out of damaging abilities in time. Having said that, I only died once, which is a LOT less than when I did the restoration shaman artifact quest!

The lag will be a problem in general because this class is aaaallllll about the movement. But aside from that, getting this artifact was a lot of fun! I felt it really suited the class fantasy perfectly. It’s such a “zippy” spec that it makes it feel really engaging and so much fun. I felt really powerful going up against this big scary guys and just zipping around the place and beating them up. It’s a little difficult (judging distance for rush etc, mobs hurting a lot), but I like that (and I will also put some of that difficulty down to lag as well).

Like I said, not going to give anything away about the quest line or story behind it. Instead, have a screenshot of me getting these killer glaives!

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Getting the Demon Hunter Artifact. LOVE these little cut scenes featuring ME!

Overall thoughts

I chose the Havoc specialisation because I have more experience with DPS and can talk about that a bit better than tanking (although I will definitely try out the Vengeance tank spec at some point!). As a DPS spec, it is really good fun. It’s such a mobile class. (DH’s will definitely be responsible for mass ressing raid wipes because they will always get back first!!) Generally I’m not a huge fan of melee classes, but this has you jumping in and out and all over the place, so it feels really engaging and not at all like you’re just standing there hitting things with your face.

Pros

The Vengeful Retreat + Fel Rush combo is a LOT of fun – I think that’s what made me feel so strong. At one point while I was fighting an elite I did the combo and found myself yelling out “yeah you can’t catch me, can ya?! Suck it!!” and then laughing maniacally. It’s a great feeling.

The Metamorphosis ability is excellent – I particularly love that I’m able to target where I’m going to leap to and land, as the landing has an AoE damage and stun so will be great for fights with lots of adds. A couple of abilities are made stronger when you’re in that form, so it just feels like a really badass time. And it just looks cool.

I don’t know how it compares in damage to other classes as I’ve only done the introductory area and have gone in to my class hall. However I felt quite survivable whilst doing those quests – I took a little damage, but not so much that I had to stop and wait to be full health before pulling again. There were times where I was taking on groups of 3-5 mobs (because accidental pull!) and didn’t die, which I felt was on par for health/strength.

For me, the double jump takes a little getting used to. There were times that it just failed entirely because I (probably) didn’t hit space again at the right time. Lag will contribute to this being a successful ability, too, so bear that in mind before taking a running leap over a chasm! Similarly, Glide is a nice ability, and I like that there are multiple ways of activating it. I’d recommend having it on your bars in case you can’t get it with the jump button properly. And again, it looks cool.

Also, from a transmog perspective – the gear you get while levelling looks AWESOME!!!! Here’s what I look like after finishing the intro quests and getting my Class Hall set up:

Cons

It’s going to sound really lame, but I honestly didn’t really have any. I think the only real con for me is how much of an impact lag has on this being a successful class to play – these starting areas/quests expect you to be quite mobile and the lag can really impact on that. So hopefully that won’t be an issue when it comes out.

There were a few bugs that I reported, though nothing drastic. Just things like a kill not counting for a quest or a bridge not being solid – stuff you’d expect in Alpha.

I think the only con (if you can call it that) is getting used to Fel Rush etc, and just how mobile this class is. That’s definitely not a bad thing – the rotation (so far!) is very limited. The real joy of this class comes from using those few abilities to get around. And it’s fast. Fury is easily generated and spent, so you always have something to do. You’re never sitting there waiting to have enough power to make spells work, you just use your abilities to generate the Fury you need to use a particular ability, which makes it nicely fast paced and quite controlled. So if you like a slower style of play with not too much moving around, Demon Hunters are not going to be for you.

Last word

Overall, I had a LOT of fun getting my Demon Hunter started, and I’m keen to make another one when Legion comes out. Blizzard have done a really brilliant job bringing this class in to the game. These questing is great – makes sense, logical, engaging, and I don’t feel needs too much knowledge of Illidan etc. to get an understanding of what’s happening (though it’s nice if you do know!). The class fantasy is perfect. I feel a little evil, but I just want to do the right thing – I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way! 😉

Nice work, Blizzard! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, for no other reason than that I could, I decided to run through the Worgen starting zone in Gilneas. I really love this zone. I find it to be incredibly beautiful (even though it’s full of rabid dogs and undead types!) I just love the building style and the accents and the gear that we get! So I made myself a warlock named Cinderaven and had myself a little adventure.

Here are some of my favourite screen shots… I may have gotten a bit carried away…. (Note – if you haven’t done the Gilneas opening area, there are some spoilers below!)

My poor neglected blog!

I have been so busy lately, and to be honest I’m not completely sure why. Just lots of stuff happening I suppose, and time passing much too quickly.

A little over a week or so ago I transferred servers to trial with a guild for Legion. I am back to being Alliance. AND I’m on a PVE server, so no more ganking! I can’t even tell you how much of a relief it is to be able to run around and do dailies and not worry about some awful person coming along and killing me repeatedly, making it so I can’t get anything done. Talking to Thor about it last night, he was saying that coming back to a PVE server has actually brought back some of his love of the game again, which makes me really happy.

So couple of days after we transferred our new guild got Mythic Archionde down, and were ready to start Mythic farm, which we both would be invited to go along to. It has been a very frantic time reading up on the mythic changes in the fights, and I’ve just generally been shitting myself because, other than the run I did with Navimie the other week, I hadn’t raided since around November last year – well over 4 months ago!

I was also nervous about raiding with a new team. Other than Thor, I didn’t know anyone in the raid, and that always makes me nervous, too. And then add to that the fact that this was farm for the team – they already had their strats worked out, they already know what they are doing. I find it a lot more difficult to go in to situations like that where everything is already sorted. I like learning with a team and figuring things out together.

But, having said all that, things seemed to go ok. Last Sunday night the healing leader got me in the teamspeak and introduced me to the rest of the healing team. Then an hour before our first raid on Wednesday night he spent time with Thor and I going through how they do things and the fights etc. He was very kind and patient, and made me feel a lot more comfortable about everything.

The raid nights themselves were alright. My lack of gear is painful. I’m healing for considerably less than everyone else. What doesn’t help is that everyone is so geared, so they don’t take too much damage, and as a resto shaman it means my mastery doesn’t kick in all that much. But I did the best that I could, and made sure to focus on doing all of the mechanics well (though I did get one-shot by the Barrage on Iron Reaver!)Looking through the logs for the fights afterwards, I was generally very low on the “unnecessary damage taken” meters which I think it good. Hopefully the raid leaders were happy with that!

Over the 2 nights I got 8 mythic bosses down, and was very lucky to get a few pieces of gear (including a new shield and my bis legs – warforged!) Unfortunately I didn’t get to do a couple of bosses that had key pieces of gear that I was after, however as the farm nights get easier I’m sure I’ll be able to eventually get in there and get the goodies.

So overall, it’s been a really interesting time. It’s great fun raiding mythic bosses again! And the guild are lovely – they give each other crap during raids, they’re serious about getting stuff done, but they also have fun and I like that. So hopefully they are happy with me and want to keep me for Legion!

In the meantime, I’ve been drooling over my Alliance garrison, which is just so darn beautiful!

A few weeks back, for a period of 24 hours, WoW was all about the Water Striders. Namely a change that had come through datamining one of the latest Alpha patches that showed in Legion, Water Striders would only perform their trademark water walking ability in the zones of the expansion they were available in. (That meant Azure Water Striders would only work for Pandaria content, and Crimson Water Striders would only work in Draenor).

I had a couple of rants on both of my podcasts that week about these proposed changes, and I was disappointed. It wasn’t that I shouldn’t complain about changes, it’s that I need to realise that sometimes people are listening to what I have to say and perhaps I should look at setting a better example. Don’t get me wrong – this post isn’t an apology. My feelings were real and other peoples’ feelings are also real, and I can’t apologise for that. What has led to this post is the notion that my outburst has contributed to the toxic environment that is currently so loud, and I don’t want that to be the case. I want to encourage thoughtful, constructive, passionate, discussions.

The Rant

Unfortunately the suggested changes were still fresh in my mind when I sat down to record the 2 podcasts I co-host. And whilst I have been disappointed/concerned about other Legion changes proposed, this was the first one that I really felt instantly negative about. Too bad for me that I was recording 2 podcasts that night and the topic came up, and I let my initial feelings be the first thing that was publicly heard. I’m not happy about that. Because what it shows is me displaying the exact type of behaviour that frustrates me to no end from players. Even more frustrating – I didn’t get the opportunity to share my more calm thoughts because the proposed changes were reverted the next day. But that is no excuse.

My reaction was from my gut. It came from a place of having spent an exceptionally long period of time partaking in an activity I’m not a fan of (fishing) to get a mount that I wanted mostly for its utility, and partly for the completionist in me. The frustration was raw. And again, I’m not dismissing feelings here. What I’m annoyed about was that I didn’t take a breath. Instead, I became another instrument in the rant orchestra; something I don’t want to play in.

Think first

I try to avoid the WoW forums, MMO-champ comments, reddit etc. when there are things to discuss, because for the most part, there is no discussion. It’s mostly a cesspool of self important toddlers throwing tantrums and cussing out developers for not doing things “the right way”. It honestly makes me sick. There are ways to disagree with proposed changes without resorting to “you don’t know what you’re doing”, “do you even play Warcraft?”or “you’re useless, go die in a fire.” As I write this, there are threads on the WoW forums complaining relentlessly about class hall portals being available in Dalaran instead of being a personal spell. Now this is Alpha and things are of course likely to change (and often!) We never had those spells. They have not been “taken away” from you. And yet, the riots are happening.

It’s ok to be disappointed or angry about a change you see in the game. It’s understandable  – people don’t particularly like change, so it can be difficult to have an initial reaction other than “oh what now?”. Go ahead – feel that. It’s totally ok! But what I want people to do is to take a deep breath and move away from their computer and go somewhere else until that initial feeling has passed on. The angrier you are, the longer you stay away. And like a rational adult, process why it is you’re feeling that way. Is it really the end of the world that X spell now does Y? Really?!

Blizzard doesn’t change things just for the hell of it. There is always thinking and reasoning behind what they do. Sometimes these changes don’t align with what you have in mind. You know why? Because you’re not the only person playing this game, and that change was not for you. For every change that you feel “breaks the game” are a whole crew of people breathing a sigh of relief that the change was made.

The goal

For myself, I want to do better about broadcasting more considered thoughts rather than the guttural reactions that seem to be everywhere on the forums etc. I want to contribute to thoughtful discussion about the game we all love so much. It’s fine to have a gut reaction, but I don’t want to add to the cacophony of moaning and complaining about every little change Blizzard puts out. I want to present the reasons why I’m having that reaction, and explore options about whether this is something I can just get over, or if it’s something that I feel needs alternatives suggested.

And I would also like to challenge others to do the same. Because whilst you may not care about the Water Striders changes or class hall portal location, chances are that one day there will be something that strikes a nerve with you and you’ll want to react. Go for it, but think before you respond. Remember – there are real actual live people behind every twitter/forum avatar. Blizzard is made up of human beings, and they deserve to be treated with respect (the same way we all do).

You can bitch and moan about changes – everyone is entitled to how they feel about a change. But don’t let that be the only reaction you have. You are capable of many emotions – get past the initial anger/disappointment and do something constructive with it. Post a thought out reply on the forums, tweet a dev, write a blog post, choreograph an interpretive dance – whatever floats your boat!

At the end of the day, Blizzard can do whatever they want. But they cannot please everyone. If you don’t like what Blizzard do to the games you play, that is totally ok – maybe you’re best finding a new game to play that makes you happy.

 

 

P.S – this has been sitting mostly finished in my drafts folder for weeks!! Lazy Cinder!!

 

 

The hunt for a new guild/raid team is still going strong, and I’m not having any luck at all yet (which will be the topic of a future post, I’m sure). However it hasn’t been a complete loss. On Wednesday the ever so delightful Navimie happened to notice my post on the forums about looking for a raid team. She was there looking for numbers for her guild’s mythic runs. Long story short, Navi invited me and Thor to come along to their raid run that night, which we happily accepted!

It was a really fun night, and was a stark reminder of how much I really enjoy raiding. I was so nervous, though.  Thor and I figured out that it had been about 4 months since our guild had stopped raiding, so I had the “omg I’m going to fail so bad!” jitters. We ran through on heroic as we didn’t have the numbers for mythic, but that didn’t matter. Navi’s team got to bring along some alts which helped get them some gear which is always helpful. I did a few bosses (including Archimonde!) as elemental, which was terrifying! But I don’t think I was too much of a burden (hopefully!). I was able to heal later on which I was loads more comfortable with. It really confirmed for me that healing is what I love to do, and that’s the role I need to be in for Legion.

I tried to sneak in a few pics of Navi, but they are a very “on the ball” team so I didn’t get much of a chance. Instead, after we were done, Navi came to my garrison for a dance and to get some pics together. And so I was Navispammed!

Thank you to Navi for letting me and Thor tag along to your raid, and for being such a delightful person to know. And for Navispamming me! I feel truly honoured 😀

 

 

Well today I finally made a decision about where I want to be in Legion, and have decided to look for a new guild and raid team. I have loved being in Deadline – the people are amazing. We always have a laugh, we know how to have a good time. It has been awesome. But there are some niggling issues that have lead to me wanting to find a new home.

Firstly, a lot of the players in the team have been paying WoW for a long time, and just aren’t interested in spending loads of time in raids trying to get mythic bosses down or doing achievements etc. I thought that this would be something I’d be ok with, but I’m really not, because what it leads to is people disappearing all the time making it impossible to even consider raiding past getting heroics down. Since I started playing WoW I’ve been in raid teams that have done the hard modes. I love how challenging they are, and I love the buzz of working your ass off on a boss and finally getting it down. Unfortunately this isn’t something the guild shares. And that’s ok – we’re just in different places and wanting different things from the game.

Secondly, I loathe being on a pvp server. Particularly this one. I was talking to my partner about this earlier and we’ve been on other pvp servers and it’s never been as bad as it has been on Barth. It’s brutal – groups of opposing faction just ganking relentlessly making it impossible to do what I want to do is not my idea of fun. It makes for a really miserable experience and I just don’t want that anymore. I want to be able to level in Legion without having the fear of looking over my shoulder or hearing that damn rogue sound, warning me of impending doom. So no pvp server.

Lastly, I am an Alliance girl through and through. I’m glad that I’ve spent time on the Horde side to check out the story, but I don’t like it. I don’t like how cranky and rough everyone is. I can’t remember who it was, but someone wrote in to Girls Gone WoW a few weeks ago and made the great point that if you like the Camelot style of stories, Alliance is for you. And that’s how I feel. I like things to look nice. I like to have seats to sit on, damn it! And I like the NPCs being kind. I want to go back to that.

So! I’m now on the hunt for a guild and raid team that I can call home from Legion onwards. I’m looking a team that is:

  • Alliance
  • non-pvp server
  • doing mythic raids in Legion
  • still loving the game!
  • ideally Oceanic server

I’ll be wanting to play my restoration shaman (with elemental off spec). And I do believe that my partner, Thor, will be coming along with me too as a frost/unholy DK (he’s crazy amazeballs).

If you know of any teams that would fit the bill, please let me know! Otherwise, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I can find a new home for Legion.

 

 

 

Today I finally got off my butt and did the Field Photographer achievement. I had been putting it off for the longest time because I wanted to be smart about it and not waste my time zigzagging all over Azeroth. Then I came across this splendid guide on wowhead – http://www.wowhead.com/guide=2952/field-photographer-achievement-a-guide It has both a text version and a version with the locations marked on maps, which was immensely helpful to me.

So of course the first thing I did was make myself a new transmog for the journey. With that done, off Cinderstorm went to explore the world.

You know what? It was the best. It really was. I got to see places I hadn’t seen in ages, and in some cases I hadn’t even seen at all. I had the music playing while I was flying and it was so nice to hear the different pieces as I moved through the world. I really love this game – it is so, so beautiful.

To me, this was a day well spent. 🙂

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This week I found out I was the lucky winner of a competition Skog was holding on twitter. I won myself a new twitter banner and a wallpaper! And I am in LOVE with them. And as an extra special bonus, he made an animated version of the wallpaper that loops!! ❤ ❤ ❤

I absolutely love what Skog has put together – it’s so far beyond what I was expecting. I think Cinder looks so great in these. She looks so fiercely protective in her healing one, and a little bit happy (in an evil way) in her elemental one. It’s just how I see both sides of her.

If you want some awesome work done yourself, Skog can be found on twitter @SkogDesigns and his commissions are currently OPEN. Check out his website for more samples of his work and to set up a commission – http://skogdesign.weebly.com

I made slightly smaller versions to share with you – check them out!

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My restoration twitter banner

Cinderwallpaper by Skog Designs smaller

My elemental wallpaper

And a preview of the animated version is here (unfortunately I can’t upload videos here myself):

If I ever decide to stream I’m prepared! 😉

 

I am a very, very fortunate person indeed! Thank you, Skog!!

I started writing this when the topic of Epic Battle Stones was still being discussed. Today Blizzard has responded to the feedback and decided not to go ahead with the Epic stones. So my post is probably a little useless.But here I am anyway.

I felt that the discussion around the epic stones was relatively polite and considered. The posts that I had read about this were passionate, yes, but they didn’t attack the devs as being “stupid” or the idea being “a waste of time”which a lot of other posts/changes have generated. It was refreshing to see actual discussion. I have noticed, however, that since a decision was made, people who thought the stones were a good idea are angry.

With that in mind, I’m going to still publish this post about my thoughts on the Epic stones (which is below), but I want to do another one in the near future about the “bitch away the changes” mentality that people seem to have, or seem to think is there in places it may not be.

So without further ado, here’s my thoughts on the future of pet battling…

The Epic Battle Stones discussion

There are arguments for both sides regarding adding Epic stones.

The thing I think that is most important about this “debate” all parties (who are interested in pet battles) would like to see new content added for Pet Battles. I am yet to see a comment from someone saying “don’t change anything! Don’t bring in anything new! Leave it exactly how it is and don’t add new content!”. It’s not there. Everyone who has an interest in pet battling would like to see some additions. With this in mind, Blizzard looked at ways to do this for Legion. One suggestion was to bring in Epic Battle Stones.

Adding Epic Battles stones would bring in another level of quality for pets, giving 5 rarities in total. No word was given on how often or how these stones would drop (i.e. could we farm these a get at least 1 per day? Or would they be super rare?) so it can be a bit difficult to comment in some areas. However, here are my initial thoughts about the stones.

Arguments for the epic stones

Gives pet battlers something to do

Pet battling in general is suffering the same fate as the rest of the game at the moment – that is, people have done most (if not all) they can do with pet battles (or what they are willing to do) and are left with nothing/little else to do with their pets. Many people have collected all of the pets they can from the wild, and some people have even upgraded them all to rare and levelled them all to 25. Which leaves them with nothing to currently do with their pets other than to farm, raise and sell them, which not something everyone enjoys.

Adding in a new level of quality would give people something else to do, even if that is just to grind out a new quality. This has been the general argument for having the stones brought in to the game.

It’s the next natural step

This is true, and is an point Rho argues very well in his recent episode of Realm Maintenance – just like it’s natural for players to have a level increase or gear increase every expansion, it should/could be expected for pets to do the same. Progression is expected in an MMO, and pets should experience that progression too.

I can understand this, and I don’t disagree with the mentality in general. But for battle pets it’s a bit different. In the rest of the game when you get higher level gear for your character, it’s for a purpose – it makes raiding easier, or world PVE easier. Where previously you may have needed a group to kill a rare, you can do it with 1 other person, or even on your own. Also, it looks different, so you can show off your hard earned super leet gear for all to see. There is a payoff for spending the time and energy to get the upgrades.

With pet battles, I query what that benefit would be. It may make your daily tamer battles a little easier, but that’s about it. Unless there was a cosmetic change too, your pets would look the same. So there isn’t an immediate sense that there would be a payoff for the “higher level”. Quintessence made a great point in one of her posts about this:

“It’s not like epic pets will make upgrading to rare any faster; it’s not the same as upgrading your gear, which then makes previous content faster. Epic pets may make trainer battles go a little smoother, but actually upgrading your pets to rare? It’s still a slow process as you collect battlestones and charms and continue hunting for rare quality pets. So there goes our grind to rare, long and now obsolete once epic pets are implemented.” (from “Epic Pet Idea – Epic Pet Slot” by Quintessence)

There is no “end game” benefit to having an epic level pet. The only content that it will make “easier” is pvp pet battles (which not a lot of people do) and the pet trainer dailies (which I feel haven’t been a huge challenge anyway). So the only additional gameplay coming out of this is more grinding with no real benefit at the end of it other than a menagerie of purple pets.

I feel like the whole pet battle system is a bit backwards to MMO gameplay. Where in your MMO you level up by questing in different zones and having a story line then doing raids/dunegons to get your gear, pet battles don’t have that. With pet battles we kind of skip straight to that “boss kill for better gear” mentality by simply finding a pet in the wild, defeating it, and hoping for a better quality drop pet. To argue there should be progression in the pet battles isn’t wrong, but I would argue that perhaps, given pet battling is already a bit backwards, could we look at ways of bringing in “questing” in to pet battles?

Arguments against epic stones

Too much grinding to do/not interesting game play

This is an argument that has people divided – Completionists will feel they must get all their pets to epic, so would be looking at grinding out stones for over 700 pets – ouch! Others argue that you don’t need to do that – just make a few key pets epic and let that be that.

I tend to fall on the “completionist” side of the fence, mostly because I’d be worried that I would upgrade the “wrong” pet. I can avoid that by just upgrading them all!! My bigger concern with this approach is that, which pet battling in general is well suited to players who don’t mind the super long grind, it’s not interesting game play, and perhaps there are better alternatives here. Or perhaps a better reward for the work it would require.

 

Difference between casual and “hardcore” pet battlers will increase

This is actually my biggest concern with having epic stones. For epic stones to be worthwhile, there will need to be pet battles where they are needed for a player to defeat the fight. If someone decides they want to start getting in to pet battles, there is a huge gap there for them that would make it immensely difficult to get involved. It would also be terribly daunting. So I’m concerned that adding this new level of difficulty would be a hindrance to getting more people involved in pet battles.

The flip side to this argument is that this mentality already exists within WoW – there are different levels of raiding suited to the different play styles of players. Some players are casual and would prefer an LFR/Normal level difficulty. Others want to go all out in to Mythic difficulty. So why not a similar approach with pet battles? I don’t disagree, but there would need to be a way for players to play at the level suited to them. At the moment there’s no option to set a difficulty level on a pet battle or a pvp pet battle. I don’t know how difficult that would be to implement, but that could be one way to address this.

 

Alternatives to the epic stones

I don’t disagree that there is a lack of things for pet battlers to do, but I personally don’t feel adding a new level of quality for pets alone is the answer to that problem. If epic level pets are to be brought in to the game, I feel it needs to more than just “here’s a purple pet”. So what are some other options?

Unlock skins/spell effects etc. for the pet

This is purely cosmetic, but could be a lot of fun. I know some pets already have loads of skins available for the various types. So how about unlocking different spell effects? Or how about unlocking a “trick” that your pet could do? e.g. if you have a pet spider out, when you AFK it will start building a web on you. Silly fun things like that.

Unlock a 4th spell slot

This could be complicated, but interesting. The 4th slot could have new abilities, or better yet, lets you choose one of the existing abilities your pet already has. This may change the game a bit too much, but is an interesting idea anyway.

Have a quest line for collecting/battling pets

This is my favourite idea and I hope that it’s something that Blizzard will look at doing at some point down the line. I mentioned above that pet battles work a bit backwards to the normal MMO experience. What’s missing is a story line to go along with collecting pets or completing pet battles.

I’d really love to see an interesting story line where players need to work their way through a series of pet battles in different regions with some “hard bosses”. Hell, maybe we could have a Legendary Pet quest line that means we need to fight a whole bunch of pets and collect tokens and things from them and catch a certain pet to help you on your way so that it can save a legendary pet that you get to keep. It doesn’t even need to be a combat pet – just a super unique, completely awesome and amazing pet. Something that will take some time and creativity in pet choices to get through.

Gives a small buffs

This was a suggestion Rho made on the previously mentioned Realm Maintenance podcast, and it’d definitely my favourite idea that I’ve seen. It’s not to boost raids/dungeons etc, but to give buffs like a small XP boost for example.

Other people have also suggested that it could buff your pet battle team to give extra experience gains, or increase your chance of getting other levelling stones.

 

All in all…

… there are quite a few alternatives available to a simple stat increase for epic pets. Part of me thinks that Blizzard knew this, but made the suggestion on the forums to get people thinking about what they do want for pet battles in general. It’s a great strategy if that’s what they did, because I really think people have come up with some great thoughts.

Can’t wait to see what’s to come in Legion for pets!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am still in a bit of shock as I write this.

This evening I managed to get the “Proven Healer” title for completing 30 waves on endless difficulty in the Proving Grounds. I have been working on this achievement since Mists of Pandaria. This has been about 3 years in the making. And today I finally did it.

I know so many people have done this and found it a piece of cake. Not me. I always had mana issues (in that I had NONE), I had nothing that would keep the tank alive when he was getting wailed on, and it just seemed that the dps would stand in everything in the world and die at the drop of a hat. Today I figured out why. I was always too over geared and the scaling was screwing me over.

Like I said, I’ve been working on this since it was available in Mists. Back then I was trying mostly on my paladin (which should have been a lot easier by default) but could never get it, no matter how hard I tried. I tried for awhile on my shaman as well during Mists but still failed. I tried again in Warlords briefly – still failed. I had looked at guides, I had tried all different stats, gear sets, talents/glyphs etc. Failed every time. I got in the 20s a couple of times but always fell flat. It was a very disheartening feeling, because so many people I knew managed to get the achievement without any troubles at all. Even people who didn’t main a healer. It was demoralising and I felt that I must just be the worst healer. It honestly made me question whether or not I was good enough as a healer to raid at all, and more than once had me on the verge of calling raiding quits.

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selfies during the down time between waves 🙂

I was inspired to try again today by this post on reddit from a user who has managed to get endless wave 30 on every single class, on every single spec. Amazing. I figured it had been some time since I’d tried again, so why not? I read through this guy’s advice. The way proving grounds works in Warlords is a bit different to Mists – in Warlords the mobs scale to your gear rather than your gear scaling to the instance. The goal is to get gear as close to about 615 ilvl as possible (some people say you can go as high as 635 – it’s whatever you can get really). In the end I was at 627, which was a bit on the high side, but still worked for me. The other trick is to use your legendary ring (the proc won’t work but the stats should be good) and use 2 great trinkets.

Gear

For most of my gear, I actually ended up using the Shaman set from the Salvage yard. It’s at 610 and suited me just fine. Also, I already had all of it for transmog (except the legs) so that was easy. The rest I either crafted or got from the Auction House. (And of course I transmogged it all, because everyone knows you heal better when you have a new outfit!)

My gear was as follows:

Helm: Streamtalker Coif
Neck: Heirloom – Eternal Horizon Choker (has an on use heal ability, however I didn’t realise this was a shared cooldown with healthstones, which are a stronger self heal, so you may prefer something else here)
Shoulders: Streamtalker Pauldrons
Back: Embroidered Wolfsfur Cloak
Chest: Streamtalker Tunic
Wrists: Streamtalker Armbands
Hands: Streamtalker Gloves
Waist: Streamtalker Belt
Legs: Packrunned Leggaurds of the Fireflash
Boots: Streamtalker Boots
Ring 1: Whispering Blackrock band of the Feverflare
Ring 2: Etheralus, the Eternal Reward (legendary ring)
Trinket 1: Corrupted Egg Shell (from a Timewalking Dungeon. Has an ilvl of 660. Has a mana regen ability)
Trinket 2: Demonic Phylactery (heroic) (Reduces mana cost of all spells)
Weapon: Soultwisting Staff

Talents

I got a bit ahead of myself and started the event before I had changed my talents or eaten any food (silly me!!), so I didn’t get a chance to change my talents. I figured I’d wipe pretty quickly and could change them after so went ahead anyway, but I managed to get this on my first attempt tonight. Here’s what my talents were:

PGtalents

If I were to do it again, I would probably keep most of it, however I’d change the level 100 talent to the Cloudburst Totem, as I was trying to avoid using chain heal as much as possible to save on mana. Elemental Blast is a brilliant talent for this, especially if you have mana shortages. It also helps to buff up some of your other stats for a bit which is nice 🙂

Glyphs

Glyphs weren’t anything special, although the one that I would definitely recommend is Glyph of Healing Wave, which also heals you for 10% of the heal you do on an Ally. Free heals for yourself means you’re spending less mana.

Other stuff

Don’t be a dunce like me and forget to eat – I’m sure it will help! Also, I realised part way through that I (still!!) hadn’t put a Chomp! identifier on my vuhdo bars. I highly recommend doing this as the target with Chomp will take constant damage until they are healed to full. It helps knowing who has that on them as soon as it goes out.

Don’t be afraid to use your cooldowns. People have set times in the fights that they prefer to use them, but I just used them as I needed them. There were times I would have been using a CD when it wasn’t needed if I had have done them at specific times and would have gone to waste. I also threw out my Fire Elemental to help out with DPS to push the wave through quicker.


 

So I just went for it. I managed to get through the first 10 waves no worries at all. Which I thought was a little weird but figured it was only the first difficulty so it would get harder and I’d fail soon. When I was at about wave 17 I thought that I might actually be able to do this. Going in to the 20s and I start getting nervous that I’m so close and I could really get it. And so I did. I started crying when I hit wave 30 (relatively easily in the end, mind you!) and it all fell apart at wave 32 because my eyes were all welled up. But it didn’t matter – I had finally done what I had set out to do so many years ago. And I worked my butt off and I did it.

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The end!

I know it’s stupid to be emotional about this, but this has really been playing on my and my confidence as a healer. Tell you what, I’m never taking this title off. Ever.

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I’ve been playing quite a bit of Diablo 3 of late. Season 5 started the other week and I have been playing away in the hopes of getting all of the Season 5 achievements for an in game pet. I only have 1 achievement left – to complete a class dungeon. So far I haven’t been able to. But I’m working on it!

Anyway, this is the second season I’ve played of D3. I had heard of “not a cow level” and a level full of rainbows and stuff, but had never seen them. UNTIL YESTERDAY! Thor and I were running through doing bounties when he spotted a rainbow treasure goblin. We killed him, and he opened a portal to a magical land of wonder and destruction – Whimsydale!

Everything is so colourful! There are rainbows and happy clouds that wee when you tickle them, and trees that are actually green and flowers and unicorns and cuddly bears. Of course all of it wants to kill me, so I do what I must. For the loots.

I’ll be honest with you – I had a huge goofy grin on my face and was giggling the whole time. It’s a great place. 😀

christmas_cinder

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, may it be full of love, laughter and happiness.

xo

I’ve been a bit quiet on here this last week. I’ve still been playing WoW, but not a great deal. This is for 2 reasons – 1. My work situation is pretty stressful at the moment, so I’m either too tired or too stressed out when I get home to play too much. 2. Most people are on a break, so there aren’t a lot of people online anymore. It makes for a lonely place at times.

The work stuff will get sorted out, one way or the other. The quiet guild will not get any better until Legion comes out. Which makes it a long time to be playing relatively alone.

Also, I miss raiding. A LOT. It’s only been a couple of weeks since we called it, but I miss it. And I’m not the only one. One of my lovely raid mates left the below message on the forums yesterday:

miss

It made me feel better to know that I’m not the only one already missing everyone.

I need to make a decision about what to do. I either need to just suck it up and wait until Legion comes out, knowing that things will be better then. Or I need to find a raid team in the meantime. Neither option really fills me with excitement. I do want to raid, yes, but finding a raid team that is doing the difficulty level you want to do, that raids at times that suit you, and that has nice, friendly people in it is just damn hard and time consuming. The other issue is that I don’t necessarily want to leave my current raid team, so I may only be looking for a temporary solution here, and I’d feel bad doing that to another team.

There is the option of pugging, but that doesn’t appeal to me – half the fun of raiding is playing with people you know and have fun with. That’s a lot more difficult to get on a regular basis.

I have been toying with the idea of getting the Legion pre-order and using the boost on making an alliance shaman and finding an Alliance raid team for her. I do miss being Alliance very much so it could be a good option. Still need to find a raid team though.

Anyway, this has been a bit of a rambly useless post today. Sorry!

In more exciting news, I’m on Girls Gone WoW again this weekend which should be a lot of fun. And hopefully this weekend I’ll have some very exciting news of my own to share with you all. So stay tuned! 😀

This weekend I finished levelling my Alliance toon to 100. What a wonderful experience it was! The levelling felt different, even though a lot of the quests are the same, they were in different orders or for different purposes so they had that “newish” tinge to them.

I levelled my Death Knight as Blood because it’s just loads of fun gripping everything in and never dying. Actually now that I’m thinking about it the only time I died during the whole experience was during the garrison campaign where we go to far north Gorgrond to get the artifact back and there’s the big tree guy and loads of enemies to kill and what not. I decided to be a smart ass and did Gorefiend’s Grasp, pulled almost everyone and I exploded. I had a good laugh at my stupidity. Still, I recommend levelling as blood – yes, it’s slower, but it’s fun 🙂

So one of the biggest differences between the Horde and Alliance levelling experience is the garrisons. And there is just absolutely no comparison at all. Alliance genuinely get a castle. There’s a fountain. There are actual roads. It’s just beautiful, and now I’m even more bitter about my Horde garrison!

There were quite a few other instances where the Alliance story made other things make more sense. For example, I better understand Socrethar now, Ner’zhul’s situation makes more sense now, too (and is actually a bit devastating). The cinematic at the end of the SHadowmoon Valley quest line had me in tears (darn you Blizzard making me cry all the time!)

And Yrel. Wow. I loved Yrel before hand. We saw her every now and again as Horde, and she always struck me as pretty badass. But then I got to know her, and boy is she is brilliant character. Honestly, I don’t see how she would stay in AU Draenor while the Legion is kicking our asses. It seems very out of character for her. So I’m hoping we’ll see her again, soon.

As usual I took a truckload of screenshots while I was levelling, and have made a little slideshow of them below. PLEASE NOTE: there are spoilers in these screenshots!! If you haven’t done the Alliance quest line yet and would like to do it without being spoiled, don’t look at these pictures!

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I know a lot of people got this excitement earlier in the week when it first came out, but tonight was our last guild raid night, and we all got our moose. And it’s so lovely! It has a funny run and flies weird, but it’s so pretty and I love it so much.

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look at the pretty blue stuff at his feet!!!

It is a bittersweet night tonight, because it was our last raid as a guild for Warlords. So I’ll be feeling a bit lost for awhile until I can decide what I want to do about raiding until Legion comes out. I haven’t quite decided. A break is probably the best idea so I’m not burned out by Legion, but I know I’ll miss it and want to raid again in no time. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, I have this lovely moose to remind me of my awesome guild and raid team. Can’t wait for Legion!

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!”.

What a weekend. I was awake at 5:15am on Saturday so I was up in time to watch the opening ceremony. Mornings are not my thing, but I was pumped, and have stayed pumped since. It’s an interesting phenomenon really, isn’t it? Even just watching people have fun and get exciting about these games that we play can transcend time and distance and be felt through a computer screen thousands of miles away. Amazing.

I’m slowly winding down, but am still buzzing a fair bit. There are also a few panels that some website folk were lovely enough to video for panels that were covered by the Virtual Ticket that I still need to watch (and the irony of that website being one I criticised very heavily in my last post is not lost on me!).

So because I’m still pumped, and because I still have more information to soak up, I’m not going to talk about what has been learned yet. I want to be able to talk about it with a clear and unbiased mind. At the moment I’m still all “Blizzard is the best! That was amazing! I love everything!!” etc. and I don’t trust my thinking just yet. Some processing time will do me good.

Having said that, initial reactions have me very excited, and if I had the cash right now I’d probably go out and pre-order the Collector’s Edition of the game. Yes, I’m that happy with what I’ve seen so far. The highlights of the weekend include:

  • TRANSMOG TRANSMOG TRANSMOG!!!! Holy moly it was everything I could have asked for and more. I will admit that there were genuine tears in my eyes during those announcements. Amazing. And great evidence of Blizzard listening to our wishes, no matter how big or small they may be.
  • Scaled questing zones – lets you level in whatever order you want to. YES PLEASE.
  • The competitions – the sound was awful for the bands, so I felt bad for them. But the videos and the cosplay were out of this world. I was audibly gasping as each of the cosplayers came out – really phenomenal work this year. And while none of my favourites even placed, it was still a lot of fun to watch (and I just adore Wil Wheaton) You can check out some pics from the cosplay competition on wowhead here (the official Blizzard pics aren’t up yet).
  • Legion Cinematic panel – I really enjoyed this! I would like to have heard some information on the music side of things as well, but there was limited time. Very fascinating to get some insight on how they put together the cinemantic, though.
  • The Legion cinematic itself
  • The Warcraft movie trailer
  • Being able to share the experience of Blizzcon with so many people on twitter. Seeing my feed explode when the transmog announcements were made filled me with warm an fuzzies. Equally, when my feed went completely silent during the movie trailer and Legion cinematic trailer, then exploding again when they were done. Great fun 🙂
  • Starcraft World Championship final – I caught the last half of the grand final. I had absolutely no idea what was going on, but it was fascinating to watch. I loved hearing everyone gasp when something interesting happened, and the cheering when someone was making a strong attack on the opposition. Like I said, no idea what was happened, but it was lots of fun to watch. I may get in to esports yet!

There’s heaps of other content that I really enjoyed that I’m forgetting right now. Yeah… still buzzing too much to be coherent.

Blizzcon 2015 Goody Bag!

Blizzcon 2015 Goody Bag!

In the meantime, my Blizzcon Goody bag just arrived at work! I’m pretty happy with it. The little vinyl pop I got was Lich King which I’m pleased with – he’s adorably evil! 😀 The bag itself is also going to be very useful as I’m looking at getting the iPad Pro when that comes out and will need a bigger bag to carry it around in. So overall I’m pretty happy with it.

One thing that I would suggest everyone keeps an eye out for is a series of blogs that Blizzard will be posting over the coming weeks about the class changes that are coming in Legion. It’s called the Legion Class Preview Series and will go through the expected changes coming for each of the classes. As I’m typing this they have released the initial blog post explaining what they will cover, and the Hunter class post has just been published. The initial post has a timetable for when each class is due to be published with links to each class as they’re done, so you might like to check out when yours is due!

Today has been a good day.

This morning I got up a bit earlier than I had planned because the sun was in my eyes and I needed to pee. And no matter how long I tried to ignore both of those things, they got the better of me and I got up, and stayed up. After the loo, I made a cup of tea and sat down to do my “chores” in WoW – check my auctions horsemans reinson my bank toon, log on to Cinderstorm and do her ship missions and garrison missions. I went and killed the spider near the food court of my garrison to try and get the toy, but no luck. So I queued for the Headless Horseman dungeon. In I went, and I actually had to heal a little because a mage decided to start the encounter and the tank wasn’t ready for a bit, which I didn’t mind because it gave me something to do. We all said thank you at the end, and then I opened my little pumpkin goodie bag. And I got the biggest surprise!
Tucked between a Sinister Squashing pet and a Female Goblin mask was The Horseman’s Reins. RIGHT THERE!!

I couldn’t believe my luck. The hardest part about all of it was stopping myself from screaming out a lout “woo hoo!!!” because Thor was still asleep and I didn’t want to wake him. So I bounced around on my seat for awhile and posted it all to twitter and then rode around to take a bunch of screen shots.

Feel Good Friday! is a weekly exercise to help bring some positivity in to the gaming community by sharing stories to make people smile. They may be heartwarming or funny stories, tales of your epic kills or something that you’ve found in game – anything that gives you some good vibes.

Quest complete!

I’ve spoken before about how one of my favourite things about playing World of Warcraft is the sound that is played when you hand in and complete a quest. It’s the sound of accomplishment, of reward, of satisfaction. It’s the sound that says “you did a GOOD thing!”. It’s the sound that got me addicted to the game. I remember hearing it for the first time when I started playing, and even then it gave me tummy tingles. It’s one of the reasons I love questing so much – I get to hear that lovely sound all the time, and get constant validation! It’s a sound that just makes me happy, especially if I’ve had a rubbish day at work and have felt like I’ve not accomplished anything. I can log in to the game, grab a quest and complete it and get my fix of satisfaction and positivity!

So you can imagine my delight when Thor discovered an audio snippet of the quest complete sound. If you want a fix, press play below!

He joked that I should have that as my ringtone on my iPhone. Which is clearly not at a joke at all, and something I immediately did. I made it the sound my phone makes when I get a text message, and oh is it glorious!

I don’t think I’m allowed to share the tone file itself, but there is really nothing stopping anyone from:

… if you catch my drift 😉

It is immensely satisfying, and brings a huge smile to my face. Because yes, I am just that big of a WoW nerd 😀

If you have a story you’d like to share that made you feel good, share it below in the comments! Or drop me an email at [cinder (at) cindersays (dot) net] and I’ll feature it in a future Feel Good Friday post. It doesn’t have to be a World of Warcraft story – it can be from any game at all. And it doesn’t have to be long – it can be a short message if you like. Just something that brings some positivity back to the gaming community.

So there has been a couple of edits to the patch notes for 6.2.3. I wrote about my initial thoughts on 6.2.3 in a post last week (which you can check out here if you are so inclined!) For the most part – yay!

Today’s updates I found to be interesting. Here’s what the edits are (which you can read here):

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 5.48.53 pm

The interesting part that seems to have a few people up in arms is that, of all of the ways we are able to earn valor, Normal/Heroic/Mythic raiding is not one of the options.

I find this interesting because it felt to me that one of the reasons to bring the valor upgrades back was to help people who are the “friends and family” raiders get a bit of a leg up to get through heroics so that they can get the Grove Warden (otherwise known as the moose mount). Every little bit helps, and so the valor upgrades were going to be a great way to give that extra little push to get through some of the tougher bosses. And judging by other podcasts/blogs/general twitterings, many others thought the same.

But here’s the thing. Friends and family raiders generally fall in to that category because they just don’t have the time to raid for long periods of time. They may only have a couple of hours a week to play the game total, and many of them have to make a choice between doing LFR or doing a normal run with friends. So I find it interesting that something that’s supposed to help this group of people requires them to spend even more time doing something else in order to get through the raiding at all. Which seems awfully backwards to me. I can understand the frustration for this type of player, and I feel for them, because I think this feel like another slap in the face for them.

The other information that came out was that there isn’t going to be a hard cap on how much valor can be earned each week, although there will be a soft cap in that there’s a limit to the sources from which valor can be earned. I’m not bothered by this in the least. It seems my views are in a minority here, but for me, I feel absolutely no sense of obligation to go cap valor each week. And I’ll be honest, I really don’t understand why people thing they do have to cap. Why? I’m genuinely asking why you feel obligated! If you can shed some light on this, please let me know in the comments! To me, saying “it’s there so I have to it” really doesn’t explain it well enough, because there are plenty of things that are “there” in the game that people don’t feel an obligation to do. It’s a falsehood and I don’t understand where it comes from.

This blue post raised my eyebrows though:

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 5.43.59 pm

The focus of this patch is dungeons…. ok then, fine.

But that last comment:

Part of the point is to provide a reason to revisit content that you may not have had much reason to do in a while, rather than just providing an extra reward for continuing your existing routine.

Ummm, no. The reason I don’t do dungeons is because I don’t particularly like them. Not because I didn’t think they were rewarding enough. And to say the point isn’t to provide extra reward for continuing your existing routine? Well, some people’s existing routine is going to be rewarded – all of those people who already run dungeons will be further rewarded (and honestly, yay to them! I’m genuinely glad for you). So that seems like a strange comment to make. But again maybe I’m in the minority again here and others do find dungeons unrewarding. *shrug*

What I don’t like about this is that it feels like Blizzard are ignoring how time poor some players are, and by putting the valor behind dungeons means that some people are going to miss out on getting any of those upgrades at all.

Anyways, that’s what’s happening with valor in 6.2.3. How does this impact you and your play style? For me, it’s not going to impact me. I feel no obligation to get valor at all, and if I want it, I’ll go do what I feel like doing at the time to get it, because I am able to spend a lot of time in game and have that luxury. But how about you?

Like a lot of others, I saw this post from wowhead on twitter, announcing the discovery of Terky’s* location:

Terky can be hatched from the White Murloc egg, which is found in a well hidden cave in Borean Tundra. So off I went to Orgimmar to catch the next airship to Borean Tundra. (click on any of the images below to see a larger version).

WoWScrnShot_101815_142452

I’m saaaaiiiillllliiinnnnngg!!

Once you get there, make your way south to the Riplash Ruins and head toward 55,88.

terky_map

Head down to RIplash Ruins to 55,88

You want to go to the northeast tip of the area to where this temple-type building…

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Go here and look down!

… and look down! See that rock there? That’s where you want to go.
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Time to swim! This is what the entrance looks like, Swim between the seaweed & pillars to get in. WoWScrnShot_101815_143005

For me, this is where my attempt to get the egg stopped the first time. I made my way in to the cave and was immediately pounced upon by a group of about 20 or so Alliance. They were well and truly set up in there, with summon stones down to bring in more of their evil friends. I said quite a few choice words and logged off in disgust. I really hate that kind of behaviour – it soured my mood and so I went off and played Wildstar for awhile.

Eventually I calmed down and logged on to see if the Alliance had gotten bored and left. They hadn’t. But now there were a bunch of really cheesed off Horde hanging around. So we grouped up and killed the bastards! And I was able to get in and get my egg.

Now don’t be fooled – there is a very large egg/pearl looking object on a rock with light glowing on it looking all important and what not. That’s not the egg.

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See the eggs being danced on? That’s not the one you want

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The egg you want is under this body (thanks pvp)

The egg you do want is actually behind that rock. There’s a pile of crap on the ground, and in amongst it is an egg that you can click on. click it, and if you’re like me, hearth as fast as you can before the darn Alliance come back!

Congratulations! Terky is now your friend!

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Showing Terky his new home

Wanna see something else fun?

Use your Magic Pet Mirror to turn yourself in to Terky, then /dance with him 😀

Terky dance! :D

Terky dance! 😀

*Boy it would be nice if this stopped autocorrecting Terky to Terry!

Edited: I misread the cross-realm information – Cross-realm Mythic raiding is EXCELLENT news!

It’s quite daunting waking up to see twitter exploding with opinions about some WoW news that was released while I was asleep. One of the problems with the time delay is that I see opinions before I see what the actual news it. It’s confusing, but more often than not, there’s an awful lot of complaining that appears and it gets me worried. No different this morning. As usual, I think people are getting their knickers in a knot. I’m incredibly happy about most things, and a little conflicted about one..

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first.

  • New Timewalking Dungeons – yes please! Even though I’m not a huge fan of dungeons, it gives people something else to do. And I quite enjoyed Cataclysm dungeons, so this is something I’m looking forward to. Also, not sure if there’s an answer to this yet, but Stonecore and Vortex Pinnacle have mounts that drop in them – here’s hoping they drop in Timewalking mode too!
  • Adding a random mount drop to all Timewalking dungeons – hell yes!
    So pretty!

    So pretty!

    That Infinite Timewalker mount looks AWESOME (and I don’t give two hoots that it is essentially a reskin of an existing model – it’s beautiful). I love dragon mounts, so this is super exciting. Yes, it’s going to have a low drop rate, and yes that’s going to be very annoying. But I don’t have a problem with this. I love the excitement of getting a rare mount drop! To be honest, this is something I think they should have done from the start. I think that there should be a rare random mount drop for all expansion dungeons – it gives people a reason to run them while they’re current, too.

  • Cross realm mythic raiding – this is a the BEST news in these patch notes! It will make it a lot easier to pug groups, which is really important with a dwindling end-of-expansion population. I might even get the chance to do some Mythic raids after all! I know this doesn’t impact everyone, but it’s something that has really been upsetting me lately, and making me wonder what I will do once we finish our Heroic kills. This gives small raid teams like mine the opportunity to actually do mythic raids. I’m very excited 🙂
  • Valor is back. And so are Item upgrades. Huzzah! I’m actually really happy about this. I know many others won’t be – I know that the old argument “we will be forced to run content we don’t want to do for the upgrades”. Bollocks. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. And if you have a team that is “forcing” you to do this, you need to find a new team. The tier is almost over. Many MANY teams are well and truly done with the tier – the competition is over. For those of us who still have bosses to get down, this might be that tiny little boost that helps us push a boss over. It’s a nerf without calling it a nerf. I don’t have a problem with that. I certainly don’t feel any obligation to run dungeons for this little boost of help – if I feel like it I’ll do it. But if I don’t, then I won’t.
  • Loot galore – so we have Baleful items with a chance to gain extra item levels, and Mythic Dungeons that could drop a new 110 Heirloom trinket (shiny!) and 725 ilvl gear. I like that the Baleful gear may drop higher ilvl. I feel my alts are quite weak going in to Tanaan and this has been a real barrier to me sending them in there. Having better gear will be a big help! And a new heirloom trinket – that’s always nice 🙂
  • Increased Felblight drop rates – This will probably cause the price of some items (like the super dooper gems) to drop, but overall this will be helpful for people wanting to craft their own gear (I know it will for me!).
  • Some pvp stuff – I don’t pvp, but season 3 is due to start soon. So there’s that.

So the big one:

Hellfire Citadel

  • Defeating Archimonde on Heroic difficulty or higher will reward players with a mysterious fragment of dark power that begins a quest which will lead to the Grove Warden mount.
Mooooooose!

Mooooooose!

This is where a lot of people are up in arms. I’m in two minds about it.

Disclaimer: it’s quite likely that I will get this mount. Our team is due to spend our second full night of progression on Heroic Archimonde on Sunday, and chances are we’ll get him down. (I am assuming that the quest and the mount reward will be awarded for those who have already defeated Archimonde on Heroic or higher difficulty in some fashion.)

It makes sense that there is a mount reward from the end of expansion boss. There always has been, so it was very weird that there wasn’t one all along. So I’m glad they’ve kept the consistency of having the mount reward by putting this in.

Here’s the rub. I don’t think it should have been this mount that was the reward. When this moose mount was announced my twitter absolutely exploded. I could not believe just how many people tweeted their excitement about this mount. Of course there were the folks booing that it was flagged as a store mount, but even then most of those people admitted that they would still buy it anyway. It’s been quite a big deal. So I can understand the frustration that this glorious mount is now gated behind Heroic raid content. There are a lot of people who just won’t get this mount.

Now one can argue that with the higher gear drops from the Mythic dungeons and the ability to upgrade gear with valor points and the higher drop rate of felblight means you can craft gear faster, that you could get geared up pretty quickly to run through heroic Archimonde. And all of that is true. For some people. Some people will pay for the carry, and that’s fine too. But there is a group of people who can’t do this, and it’s for them I’m a bit disappointed. It’s the family and friends raiders. It’s the very people Blizzard have been so focused on encouraging to play. Wasn’t the point of flexible raid sizes for F&F raiders? Wasn’t group finder introduced to encourage people to get a random group of people together to raid? Wasn’t that all for F&F? Putting this mount, (specifically this mount) behind a heroic end boss is going to be quite disappointing for those players. I can understand their frustration. My only hope for them is that they are able to take advantage of the item upgrades and can push through the get Archimonde down.

A couple of things that I think are not great about this announcement:

  1. The Grove Warden should not be the mount reward. Aside from what I’ve mentioned above, it also doesn’t match the theme of the WoD expansion. I personally think the Illidari Felstalker should be the mount reward. The models are used in the fight itself, and I think is quite a good fit. Alternative mount reward suggestion - Illidari Felstalker
  2. There’s a quest associated with this achievement. This is actually my biggest issue with this announcement. I get the impression that the quest line will be quite short and there’s not too much involved in it. However the Developers have said that it will reveal a bit about what’s in store for Azeroth in the coming expansion. I personally don’t feel that this information and this quest line should be gated behind more difficult content. Yes, have the mount, but don’t have the quest there too.

Look, for me, I’ll get the mount and I’ll get to do the quest so I’m happy. I think people do have the right to be disappointed about the moose mount being behind a heroic raid boss kill, but the mount reward should be there (just a different one!) I just wish people were a little more… polite with their frustrations.

The other changes coming in this patch, I think, are pretty awesome, and I’m looking forward to them. I’m looking forward to getting the nostalgia feels from Cataclysm dungeons that a lot of other people have been getting from the others. I’m looking forward to upgrading my gear a bit for my alts so that they aren’t such easy targets in Tanaan! There’s plenty to look forward to. Here’s hoping 6.2.3 comes out soon.

What are your thoughts on what’s coming up? And will you get the Moose Mount, or is your team unlikely to get Heroic Archimonde down? 

This weekend I was fortunate enough to sit down and have a chat to one of the loveliest people on the internets – Leeta! I was a guest on one of her shows, Behind the Avatar. We had a lovely chat – lots of fun and laughs about WoW and my blog and stuff! You can check out the episode on her website here: http://behindtheavatar.com/podcast/episode-106-cinder/ 

Thank you again Leeta for having me! 😀

Hope you enjoy!

NOTE: If you don’t want Wildstar Easter Egg spoilers, don’t read this post! 

One of the fun things about any new game is finding secrets hidden in the world. So you can imagine my delight at finding an Alice in Wonderland cave!

Guarded by a white “rabbit” type creature, I had to eat a plant to shrink down to a tiny tiny size and squeeze below some rocks to enter a burrow.

The white "rabbit" showed us the way

The white “rabbit” showed us the way

Once inside, there was a mushroom to eat that could make us grow big again and do a small jumping puzzle to get some treasure. Of course there was a smoking caterpillar type fellow, watching over us and judging us…

Cinder_Embersong.151002.174419

Trippin’ the la la

As I was leaving I noticed something else to click on around the corner. It revealed a hidden room with a mad hatter having a tea party! It made me a little sad that this poor fellow was all alone locked away in this hidden cave waiting for guests to arrive. And the fact that his current “guests” are stuffed toys really made me think about the actual Alice in Wonderland story and the Mad Hatter… maybe there was no-one there at all.

Cinder_Embersong.151002.174817

We’re all mad here!

The tea party room is only accessible if you are an Explorer, but the rest of the area can be accessed by anyone. I’d like to go back to get the loot from the treasure chest, as there are some neat items you can get for your housing.

I can’t wait to see what other surprises are in store!

Wildstar went free to play late last week. I did what I never expected myself to do and Bootcamped my old Mac to get Windows on it. I’m surprised my poor old computer could handle it, because it’s certainly on its way out. But for now, she’s doing well! I forked out the $20 to buy Wildstar before it went free to play as there were a number of bonuses for having paid for Wildstar in advance (such as extra character slots, priority in queues etc.) so I did that then got to downloading the game itself.

cinder_emberstorm2

My Aurin Esper, Cinder Emberstorm

After very little deliberation, I have made myself an Aurin Esper. I think she’s a total cutie!! (here is info about all the classes available, and here’s some info about the races. I strongly recommend checking these out before you make your toon!)

I spent a lot of time in character creation. There are SO many options to personalise your character. One of my favourites is the ability to choose the body type. I like that I can make a curvy character! She’s not big by any means, but compared to the other size options she certainly is! I like that I had the choice though. And I think she looks fantastic.

There are the usual options, such as hair style and colour, face type, skin colour etc. There’s also the option to completely personalise the face. Each element on the face has its own slider that you can use to change how the face looks. You can make the eyes larger, closer together, smaller lips, bigger nose, make the nose point out more, have a pointed chin etc. It was a little overwhelming the first time to be honest! But it did let me feel like my character was mine. I didn’t make too many changes to her face – just made her face a little rounder, her eyes a little smaller and her nose just a little bigger. I think she looks great 🙂 And even better – you can save a string of the options you have chosen for your character. So if you think you like what you’ve come up with, but want to try a different look (or need to recreate your character because you’re a numpty!), you can essentially save the look you’ve made and try something else. It’s a brilliant feature!

I actually had to make my character twice. See, when you create your characters in Wildstar, not only do you choose a class, but you also choose a path. The path is an extra thing that determines how you engage with the world around you and how you play the game. (You can read about each of the paths here if you’re interested). I’m the type of person who likes to explore the world around them – I’m always seeing something interesting and wondering off in the complete opposite direction to where I should be going for quests, just to see what’s there. So I thought Explorer would be the best path for me. I was very wrong. Whilst you get to run around and see every corner of the world, it also requires you to be good at jumping puzzles. Which I am not. I discovered just how bad I was at these when I spent almost an hour stuck on one of them. I was frustrated beyond belief, but was still trying to do it because I didn’t want to delete the character. You see mounts aren’t generally account wide in Wildstar. And Thor had been so generous and had given me a totally awesome hoverboard mount that he had one in a surprise box that I was unable to move to another character should I change it. In the end Thor insisted I create a new character and start again with a different path. It was definitely the right decision, even though I felt awful about having wasted the mount. But Thor being the wonderfully generous man he is had another hoverboard that he gave to my new character. How spoiled am I?! Second time around I made her a Scientist, which is actually really great – I get to run around and scan all these random things in the world and catalogue them, so I still get to explore the world, I just don’t have to do jumping puzzles to do it.

Cinder_Embersong.151002.204533

The awesome hoverboard Thor gave me – twice!

The gameplay is fantastic. Moving around took a little getting used to because you move so quickly compared to WoW. And that double jump… well now I understand what everyone was going on about! Double jump is the best! combat is really great too. It uses the Telegraph Combat, which basically shoots out the shape of your ability in front of you as you cast, and then out pops your spell. It makes combat really engaging because you need to actually target and face your enemies. And my favourite thing of all – you can cast and move. I can’t tell you how much I love that. So much fun!

The Esper is a dps/healer role, so the spells are a combination of ass kicking and helping spells, which means I’m a bit more survivable out in the world (so far anyway!) You also have the ability to make certain spells stronger, so if you want to focus mostly on doing damage, you can make your damage spells stronger, and the same for healing. It’s a bit overwhelming at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll figure it all out later on when I get in to dungeons and what not.

The only downside to the game has been the lag and the constant downtime. But it’s just been relaunched and there are a lot of people wanting to get in and play the game, so it’s to be expected. I’m only at level 8 as a result of the lag/disconnects and having to make my character twice. I didn’t play yesterday because I was getting too frustrated so I stopped. But hopefully tonight it should be quieter and I can get a good run of quests done.

Is anyone else playing Wildstar? Are you enjoying it?

A week or so ago now I finished reading World of Warcraft: Stormrage by Richard A. Knaak. It made me very cross.

This is the second World of Warcraft novel I’ve read, the first being War Crimes by Christie Golden (which is fantastic by the way – you should definitely read it!) I have about an hour of travel for work each day, which is a great time to read. However reading in moving spaces gives me motion sickness, so I tend to “read” audio books. I’ve had a lot of success with this in the past – I did the whole Game of Thrones series, the Harry Potter series (read by Steven Fry) for the 10th time, The Hunger Games books and many others. They have all been great to listen to, and had a great way of giving a different perspective of the books. I have enjoyed them all.

Until now.

I started reading Stormrage because it was suggested reading for the new Legion expansion, given it takes place in the Emerald Dream. The main plot of the story follows Tyrande and Malfurion (and others) as they go in and out of the Emerald Dream to fight the Emerald Nightmare. And that’s about it. Story wise, it’s pretty thin. But that wasn’t my issue with the book.

I had two main issues with this book that made it hard to get through (the other issues I could have dealt with). The first was the way the author introduced new characters. He had a habit of bringing people in to a scene by describing a person in the scene, then describing the scene, and the way the new character would enter it, and interact with the surroundings, then moving on to the way their clothes/hair/other features reacted to the scenery. The new character might then speak, and we’d hear about the tone of their voice, and then about how it made the first character feel, or what it reminded them of. This would continue on – back and forth between the two characters. Only after about 5 minutes of this would the name of the new character be revealed. And it was always as if it was a big deal. You could almost hear the dun dun DUNNN!!!!! in the background. This was done for every.single.character. It completely drove me up the wall and made it difficult to engage with the story.

The other issue I had was with the narrator of the novel. Aside from the fact that at times it felt like he was trying to sound like Jack Nicholson, his pronunciation of some names was so far off that it became immensely frustrating. The pronunciation of Sylvanas was particularly infuriating, and one particular section had her name mentioned so many times I had to turn off the book in a rage. Perhaps my frustration with the writing style already had me cranky, but this was really infuriating for me.

Overall though, I found the story pretty lacking. Which probably isn’t the author’s fault (I imagine he was told to write about this particular event and that’s it). But it did have me wondering how this would be brought in to the Legion storyline. As I mentioned, the story focuses on the Xavius and the Emerald Nightmare and having to go in to the Emerald Dream (repeatedly, so as to ruin any impact felt by exploring such a magical, revered place) to defeat it. This seems pretty similar to what we’re expecting from Xavius in Legion. Here’s what’s written on WoW’s official Legion page:

Xavius' involvement in Legion

Xavius’ involvement in Legion

Pretty much the same story, just starting somewhere else. I do wonder how they will make this feel “new” and interesting in Legion, because the impression I get from reading that descriptor makes it feel like we’ll play out the Stormrage plot line… of which there was not a lot. Although it would be really cool if we got to interact with some of the Dragon Aspects again! 😀

So overall, it was not the most enjoyable book for me. Has anyone else read it? What did you think? Am I just being a cranky cow? And how do you think the Nightmare will play out in Legion?

Today Blizzard announced a new partnership with Random House for a series of novels about the Warcraft and Starcraft universes. All well and good, and something that I’m looking forward to. But what really peaked my interested was the announcement that the first novel, World of Warcraft: Illidan is (obviously) about Illidan, and is due to be released in March 2016. Is this a clue about the release date of Legion?

There have been novels tied to new expansions in the past – Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War tied in to the beginnings of the Mists of Pandaria expansion, and War Crimes connected MoP with Warlords of Draenor. Both novels were released prior to the launch of the expansion they were connected to. Tides of War was released late August 2012, with MoP being released the next month. War Crimes had a larger gap, being published in May 2014, with Warlords of Draenor released in November of the same year. However, both played a big part in giving additional context to the next expansion, so it does make me wonder if Illidan will play the same role.

The timing may fit reasonably well, assuming that beta will be announced no later than Blizzcon. The beta for MoP lasted 6 months, and for Warlords it lasted 5. If this trend follows and we assume beta opens in November, that gives an April/May release date for Legion, with the novel Illidan coming out 1-2 months before that. Pretty tidy timing.

The question is, is April/May too far away?

Blizzard have made it clear that their intentions moving forward with World of Warcraft are to tie expansions together (Check out mmo-champion’s recap of Gamereactor’s interview with the devs for more). This is why Garrosh lead us to Draenor for the Warlords of Draenor expansion, and why Gul’dan is taking us back to Azeroth, in order to tie in Legion. But is this really working for us? The result of these tie-ins mean that we never actually get to defeat the bad guy. And I, for one, am unsatisfied.

Here’s the thing – we are champions in World of Warcraft. We have been present at some pivotal moments in Azeroth’s history (both good and bad), and it’s these events that make up the expansions for World of Warcraft. Until recently, each expansion served its own purpose – Burning Crusade saw us holding off the Burning Legion and fighting Illidan; Wrath of the Lich King had us fighting off the scourge and watching Arthas descend in to the Lich King; Cataclysm had us cleaning up after Deathwing’s destruction and dealing with the Twilight’s Hammer, then fighting Deathwing himself. Each of these has felt like it’s own piece of story – it’s own chapter.

Then we got to Pandaria. We crashed in to the place and lead to the destruction of some of the most beautiful places on Azeroth. But worse than that – the continued bickering between Alliance and Horde contributed to the Sha’s infestation of Pandaria and lead to the corruption of the Horde’s then leader, Garrosh. Garrosh did some pretty horrible stuff before Pandaria and became worse once there. He made himself a lot of enemies, to the point where even the Horde said enough was enough and participated in the siege of their own capital city. Everyone banded together to fight and eventually capture Garrosh (which is unsatisfying on a whole other level is the topic for my next post!).

But then Garrosh got away and took us to alternative Draenor. And so started Warlords of Draenor. Here we have continued to clean up Garrosh’s mess, now infused with Gul’dan 2.0 naughtiness. With Garrosh out of the way, Gul’dan became the main focus as he causes even more shenanigans. Once again we band together to take him down, and once again the “bad guy” gets away to lead us to yet another expansion.

And this is where my problem is.

The expansions rolling together has made it feel as if the latter expansions haven’t been their own chapters – they have been a prologue to the chapter before, to the point where it is now starting to feel like one long story. The continuity is nice, in that it makes the “story” of WoW make a bit more sense. But from a player perspective, it has a tendency to make it feel like now, 3 years later, we’re still playing out the same story line. We’re in the last patch of this expansion and we’re still battling off Garrosh’s mess with the Iron Horde – now Gul’dan infused – in Tanaan.  There’s just something a little bit unsatisfying about that. Same story, different expansion.

Maybe WoD just felt a bit empty because we had so many orcs at the end of Mists of Pandaria in Siege of Orgrimmar, and then again throughout all of WoD. So even though the story has progressed a little, a lot of the characters/enemies feel the same. I’m hoping that Legion will feel like it’s own expansion, the way previous expansions have. At least we know in advance there is a lot of story to cover!

Regular readers will know this, but for new readers, here is my disclaimer: I love World of Warcraft. It is a brilliant game that I spend a lot of time playing. This post is designed to be a “devil’s advocate” post, to get you all thinking and to get some discussion going. So tell me what you think – do rolling expansions contribute to player fatigue? Or do you think the continuity makes the story make a bit more sense?

I was casually scrolling through the in game calendar this evening to see what the bonus events were each week. Then I got bored and just kept scrolling, when I noticed something strange. On Wednesday March 30 there was no bonus event. All other weeks had it, but not March 30. Which has to mean one thing – Legion will be released on that date!

See? No bonus event!

See? No bonus event!

It makes sense – the new expansions are always released mid-week.

Alright, alright, so they put the Draenor Dungeon bonus event on the wrong date (shows as Tuesday instead of Wednesday), but that’s clearly a cover up, right? A last minute addition to cover up the Legion release date!

So that’s my prediction – March 29/30 for Legion release. Mark your calendars (in the space where the bonus event should be 😉 )

It’s been a long time coming, but I have finally moved my blog over to WordPress. I’d been on tumblr for quite awhile because it seemed a reasonable place to blog about a computer game. But the environment there is very toxic – a lot of negativity and general unpleasantness made it a not so great place to be. I didn’t want to be associated with that type of behaviour. It also didn’t really allow for conversations or debate about anything, and I would like to try and get that going a bit more on here.

There’s still a lot of work to do. WordPress has a great feature that allows you to import all your posts from tumblr to WordPress – and it does a VERY good job of it! – but there are some things it didn’t do (like add feature images to the posts). So I’ve gone back a few posts to add those in. There are also a lot of posts I’ll be deleting (tumblr weblogs etc) so that this really just focuses on only content I’ve put together.

But, I’m here now! There may be pixel-boxes all over the place, but things will eventually settle down. Hope you enjoy!

This week I took a bit of time out from World of Warcraft and have been playing a little of Diablo III.

I was very fortunate to receive a lovely first from my boyfriend earlier this week – he surprised me with Diablo III! It’s just the base for now, to see if I would enjoy it. Suffice to say, I do, and will more than likely buy Reaper of Souls over the weekend.

I have actually played a little of Diablo III previously – I was home sick one day and my boyfriend suggested I might like to try it out for a wee bit. I played for a little while but stuff happened in WoW so I dropped it.  Read More

I’m going to be on a podcast!

I’m going to be a guest on the Girls Gone WoW podcast this week!

We’re going to be talking about being a raid leader/guild officer. As many of you know I’ve recently been thrown back in to these roles, so thought I’d share some stories/advice. Have you got any questions for us about being in these roles or applying for raid teams or anything like that?

Legion has been announced! I’m still reeling from it all. There is SO much awesome stuff coming in this new expansion, and I am super excited about it all. But there a couple of things I want most of all from the expansion.

Firstly, I’m not going to bother recapping the content of the announcement or the info that’s been announced since – instead I suggest you visit these website to read up on it all if you’re wanting to see what’s going on.

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I repeat! This is NOT A DRILL!

This time next week we will know what the next World of Warcraft expansion will be. I for one am VERY excited about this! Not too thrilled about the time that it’s happening, but that’s because it’s being announced on the other side of the world – so totally understandable.  Read More

I’ve felt quite guilty having not levelled my mage to 100 yet. She was my first character, and I do love her. But when the mage changes came in for WoD, my mage just didn’t feel like my mage anymore.

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Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that a few weeks ago our Guild Master/Raid Leader decided it was time for him to leave WoW. I was devestated to say the least. He’s an awesome guy, and I’m glad I got to meet him in person at our guild meet up earlier this year. He’s level headed, good for a laugh and treats everyone – even people he’s only just met – as a mate. Losing him has been a real blow.

I was worried that the raid team and the guild as a whole would fold – he really is the heart and soul of the guild. But thankfully everyone has pulled through. We have a new Guild Master, Hip, who is also really lovely and keen to keep things on track and has made sure officers are happy and doing everything we can to continue recruiting for the raid team and what not.

New Raid Leader = me!

One of Hip’s first actions as GM was to appoint a new raid leader. Me. I don’t mind raid leading. I don’t think I’m the best at it, but I think I do alright. Still, I was a bit surprised they chose me given there are other, better players who could do it. But here I am, leading the raids now.  Read More

One of the features to come out of the 6.2 patch has been the addition of a shipyard to our garrisons. And I just don’t think I’m doing it right.

I have to preface this by saying that I actually love having a shipyard as part of my garrison. It makes sense to have it. I like to walk around the docks and kick the lazy peons having a snooze – I can almost smell the sea air! The missions side of it though, I just don’t think was thought out well enough. But I have some thoughts! Read More

This past weekend I spent some time in the Brawler’s Guild Arena in an attempt to get a new follower and a gem pattern.

Meatball

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He’s mine!

So raiding has been going well. We’re currently 10/13 just on normals, but it’s been good fun. The people who need loot have been getting it, so we should be good to start heroics soon (potentially would be sooner if not for stupid State of Origin. Argh, sports!)

This pic is from the Socrethar fight. It’s SUCH A pretty room!! The fight itself isn’t on my list of favourites, but was still enjoyable. The trash afterwards though, well that was something else entirely.

Last night we also one shot Fel Lord Zakuun which we did not expect at all. Then we went on to Xhul’horac. We were going in pretty blind – only a couple of people had seen the video (myself not included – oops!), the rest of us just listened to what they had to say, looked at the dungeon journal and then just tried our best. We wiped a fair few times while we figured out what everything did. For example, I learned the hard way that if you drop a Void Surge on top of a Fel Surge you will explode in a spectacular fashion! On the plus side, it also cleared away a lot of fire, so at least I had that going for me. The fight itself is quite interesting but VERY chaotic, even on normal. So many adds all of the place, crap all over the floor and things dragging you around or making you run away from each other – AND there are no invisible walls around the edge of the room so you can fall to your doom if you run too far. But we persevered and we got it. It was a really great effort and I think everyone was quite chuffed afterwards. The fight itself was a lot of fun, but more than that it was brilliant having us all work together to figure it out.

I’ve haven’t taken nearly enough screen shots of the zone yet – will do that this week on our next run.

How are you guys finding Hellfire Citadel as a raid? Enjoying the fights?

Fury of Hellfire (otherwise known as 6.2) has been out for a week now, and reactions (from what I’ve seen on twitter and heard in podcasts) seems to be a bit mixed, though most people seem happy with it.

Me personally, I freaking love it. But then I love most things about this game and don’t find myself bored much, so that’s not too much of a surprise. 🙂 I sent a long email to the ladies over at Girls Gone WoW podcast about my first week experience, and figured I’d share it here too, with a bit more detail.

So overall for me, 6.2 is fantastic. There is so much to do – there are daily quests (woo hoo!) and rares to kill and toys to find and ships to sink and dungeons to timewalk and fires to honour. It has been a stupidly busy week, but I’m loving it so far. Here’s a bit of “my week in WoW”:

I changed raiding teams…

and went back to being a healer in my previous guild. Turns out raiding with friends is far more important to me than getting progression. I also missed being a healer a lot more than I realised. I’m not the greatest healer in the world, but it is definitely what I prefer doing. And it really is lovely being in a guild and raiding with friends again. We just spend so much time laughing and generally having a great time. It’s great fun 🙂

Actually raiding in Hellfire Citadel

So far, this has been an AWESOME raid zone! I’ve really loved it. We did Gorefiend the other night and it was brilliantly gross. So much fun! We were going to go straight in to heroics, but like a lot of other guilds found it a bit tougher than initially expected, so we did normals instead, which I think worked out better because I think we would have been bashing our heads against a brick wall for a while on heroics if we had have stayed. This way we got some gear for our less-geared members and also had a sense of accomplishment with actually getting bosses down. I thought we actually did quite well all things considered. We have some people who have come back from breaks so are a bit geared, and we have a fill in tank. But we still got through a bit. What I liked best is that realistically we went in a bit blind – we hadn’t done as much research as we probably should have, so we had a few wipes to learn the fight, but we all figured it out together and got them down and I just really liked that. I’m proud of us 🙂

All of the world treasures!

I got my HandyNotes addon going again and have been running around collecting treasures and toys. There are some great ones out there – I really love the Jewel of the Hellfire and the Dazzling Rod (because who doesn’t love whipping out their dazzling rod?)

New pet toys!

I was surprisingly clever and had been saving up Pet tokens from the daily pet battles for quite awhile. I knew I had started doing this for a reason but completely forgot what it was, and was just doing the dailies out of habit. Then when 6.2 came out, I went to do my pet daily in my menagerie and saw someone new there. I clicked on her to see what she had to sell and it all became clear why I was collecting and saving the tokens – PET TOYS and new pets!!! And because I’d been a good girl and saved my tokens, I could buy just about everything on offer (just got 2 pets left to get which I’ll have in a couple of days). By far the best toy is the Magic Pet Mirror – this allows you to take on the appearance of your companion pet. It’s brilliant! If you’re in a group and someone has the Sky Mirror toy that can also turn in to you-as-your-pet. It’s a lot of fun. We had a bunch of Lil Tarecgosa’s flying around during our first HFC raid.

The Shipyard

I’ve built my shipyard and got it to level 2. Even though the run there and back is a bit of a pain, I really love having my own boats. (someone on twitter made an awesome suggestion that there should be a zipline from the garrison to the shipyard – I’d be ALL over that!!) Although I’ve noticed my peons are much lazier down there than usual!

I think I’ll probably do a whole post about the Shipyard, because I haven’t warmed to it yet. I like it, but I don’t think I’m doing it correctly. I don’t find it as intuitive as the normal garrison missions, so always feel like I’m doing the wrong thing. (Like constantly spending 500 garrison resources to change the abilities my ships have – I’m almost out of resources and my ships are barely levelling up!) Also, as someone who didn’t mind the short times on garrison missions, I find a 2 day wait for the ship missions far too long – especially when the rewards aren’t that great.

Timewalking dungeons

I did a bunch of timewalking dungeons. The first 3 were great – I had really lovely groups of people who were really kind and made the dungeons fun. The my luck ran out and I got stuck with a bunch of revolting groups – one with a tank that would afk after every single trash pull, and another who would pull too many mobs and wonder why I couldn’t heal anyone while I was being chain stunned. Someone in the group with the tank who would afk all the time was a smart ass after I politely asked if there was a reason the tank was taking so long between pulls. They said “If you’re in a hurry you can go then” so my bf and I did. With me being a healer that wouldn’t have helped them. But it was ridiculous! Argh. I just really don’t like dungeons.

But I got through them in the end and got my extra seal.

Mythic dungeons

I did two mythic dungeons with some guildies when they first came out. They’re… ok. Again, I’m not huge fan of dungeons, though I will say they are definitely a LOT better when you’re doing then with people you know and like. I think that if I went in and got useful gear out of them then I might feel a bit differently, or if they dropped a pet or toy or anything else that is useful to me given the gear isn’t. I do recommend them though, especially for alts!

Distracted dailies

I’ve been trying to get through all the dailies each day, but I’m easily distracted by treasure and toys and pretty scenery. I love exploring, so I’m a bit behind on the reputation grinds already for the flying. But I don’t mind – I’ve got some lovely screen shots out of it!

Midsummer

AND THEN it’s Midsummer! I wanted all of the pets and toys, so I sent 2 toons around to honour all the bonfires and collect enough burning blossoms for the Burning Defender’s Medallion and the Blazing Cindercrawler pet. I still need to send one more toon around to get enough for the Cozy bonfire toy and then I’m done. But those 2 toons took most of my Saturday so I’m not keen to do it again just yet! (Again, I get distracted easily so things take longer than they should!

So yes, a busy week. But loads of fun 🙂

How has your 6.2 experience been so far? Do you love it? Hate it?

OpenRaid Transmog contest

OpenRaid’s transmog contest has ended for another year and the winners have been announced.

A video has been put together of the finalists in the Grand Prize, and the placing prize winners in each of the theme categories. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcYCOBcO7oI

They’ve also done a storyboard showing all of the entries from this year. There are some absolutely brilliant entries! There’s a particularly macabre “my pet and me” entry, with a very well done “butcher” looking transmog (blood on the cleaver and everything) set in one of the kitchens in the game – meat carcasses on the bench and all. His pet pygmy cow is sitting on the bench, ready to be the next meal. It’s disturbing and hilarious and I love it!

I had entered two transmogs in to the contest, and one of them (the celestial looking one) was a finalist in the My Pet and Me category, which was a nice surprise, though didn’t place in the list of winners. The person who did win the My Pet and Me theme had a really brilliant transmog, and was well deserved.

Here are my entries:

Check out the news item on the OpenRaid for the full list of winners for each category. I’m already thinking about what to do for next year’s competition! It’s been loads of fun this time around. 🙂

Glyph of Ascendance

So I just learned about Glyph of Ascendance! I’m really excited about this.

The Wowhead video above shows what they all look like. The only downside is that I already struggle with wanting too many other minor glyphs! But… this is super cool so I think Glyph of Ghostly Speed will go for awhile.

Now, if only we could get our elementals to be the new models… 🙂

Today my paladin dinged 100. So to celebrate I made her a lovely blue transmog.

I actually really like this set. The blue in the pants is lovely. She’s still got her MoP legendary cloak because RNG-sus is not kind. But I don’t mind. I love those cloaks and am happy to keep it for as long as I can.

I had a big derp moment, though. Once I had dinged, I went through to see what I could do about making a healing set. Almost all the levelling gear I had transferring over to healing quite nicely, so that worked out. I had a higher level of boots in my bags, so I popped those on, then set about transmogging everything to look nice. But the boots wouldn’t mog. I reset my UI, I cursed for awhile. I even went back and grabbed an older pair of boots and popped those on to see what would happen – the old boots would transmog, why not the ones I needed to wear?! And then it hit me – they were leather. I felt like such a moron. So I went off and bought a plate pair and had no problems transmogging those. What a silly fool I am! Had to laugh, though. 🙂

So that’s 4 toons to 100. I think my mage will be next. My pally and mage were my first 2 toons, and even though I said to myself I wouldn’t level them for ages, I really miss them. So I think the priest and hunter are just going to have to wait. We’ll see though. Might hold off levelling another toon until after 6.2 drops.

My boyfriend did a thing, and I think it’s pretty amazeballs.

This pic is a mosaic of world of warcraft selfies people have posted to twitter – each one only appears once and they’re all unedited. You might not be able to see it too well – there’s a much larger version here where you can see each of the individual selfies. He posted it up on reddit and I really liked some of the comments people made about it. This one was my favourite (and I hope the person who wrote it doesn’t mind me quoting them!)

I really like this picture. It’s great to see that, despite all the complaints about this expansion, people are out there making their own fun. Look how happy the characters are!
Say what you want about the selfie camera, but you have to admit that there’s a certain spark, a certain life, in these pictures that would have been unimaginable years ago.

This is spot on, and exactly how I feel about the game. For me, it doesn’t matter what happens to the game, I’m always going to be able to find my own fun in it, and I’m glad so many other people can do the same.

How to stop being crap?

Last night was raid night, and to be quite frank, it sucked.

It sucked for me and because of me – not really anyone else. We did have a few issues with some key people being away, but there were people able to fill the roles and whilst it slowed things down a little, that’s not why I had a bad night last night.

Last night I got to heal, because one of the main healers had to fill in as tank to replace someone who was away. I was really excited and nervous. The only mythic healing I’d had a chance to do was on Kromog on Sunday. I think I did alright that night – was usually pretty high up on the healing meters, didn’t die too often to stupid things. I thought I did ok, anyway. But last night, argh I was a disaster and it really got to me.

Part of the problem is that I’m doing these fights on mythic as a healer for the first time. In some ways I feel like I was learning them all over again – learning what’s new about the fights, things I didn’t know about before because dps didn’t have to worry about it or vice versa.

Then there’s not having actually healed with these guys before, I don’t know team dynamics. In my last team, getting to heal with Zeirah and trollmonk and others that I had healed with for awhile, you got used to what each other was doing. These guys are lovely, don’t get me wrong. It’s more about not being able to predict what other people are going to do and when they’re going to do it. They also like to call out for CDs during the fight. Most CDs are planned in advance and are in Angry Assignments, but there are other CDs that I have that aren’t allocated and I’m nervous about using them, so sometimes my CDs will sit there unused because I don’t want to be in a position where a CD is asked for and I don’t have it.

My gear is also specced for ele. There aren’t a lot of differences because it’s all int and haste is useful to both specs, but on ele the next best stat is multistrike and for resto multistrike is low on the priority list, with mastery taking the top priority. When I was geared for resto as main my mastery was almost at 100%. Last night it was under 80%. So I’m sure that didn’t help a lot.

But I just sucked, and all of these reasons feel more like excuses than explanations. I died to stupid things, my heals were low. I was just downright crap and nothing I did made anything better. I tried switching around talents to see if I could make a difference, but nothing did. And we wiped a lot last night. We only got Oregorger and Gruul down (I managed to get a cloak from each which should be an upgrade for each spec which is nice)

What do you do when you have nights like this? Do you just pass it off as a bad night and hope it will be better next time? Or do I just resign yourself to the fact that despite loving healing, I suck at it?

Free Heroes mount!

Heroes of the Storm is finally launched and available for the whole world! 

I haven’t been playing it nearly as much as I should do/want to, but that’s another story. What IS fun news is that to celebrate the launch, we can all get a free mount by playing a silly little game! It’s actually great fun to be honest, and I wouldn’t mind doing it again. Just sign in with Facebook, ‘like’ the Heroes of the Storm page and then you’re off. WoW Adventurer did a great little step by step post about how to get it, which you can read right here (click it!)

When you’ve finished the little game, it will match you up with a hero that suits the characteristics you assigned to each person. I ended up with Zagara, who I know nothing about. But my friends got good matches – trollmonk​ you got matched as Brightwing! My friend Zeirah got Thrall, my bf got Li Li and my old raid leader got Arthas (which I found hilarious). 

Like I said, it’s just a bit of fun, but you do get a free in game mount for your troubles, which I think looks completely awesome.

Have fun! 🙂

I’ve been raiding with my new team for a couple of weeks now. We are currently 5/10 mythic, which I am incredibly happy with.

Sunday last week we managed to get down Mythic Flamebender Ka’graz and Mythic Gruul on the same night, which was an awesome feeling. Wednesday just gone had a few people missing because of State of Origin so we just did a Heroic clear.

Last night was our first attempts at Mythic Kromog. What a fun fight that is! I was really happy because they asked one of the druid healers to go boomkin, so it meant I got to heal for the night. I didn’t realise just how much I had missed healing. The joy of being able to face whatever wall I want to was overwhelming. 😀 In all seriousness though, it’s a great fight to heal. It’s very well organised group which makes fights like this a lot easier to manage. Cooldowns are organised before the fight, and the healer lead is great at calling things on the fly so it feels a lot more controlled. I think I did alright healing last night, especially given at the moment my gear is multistrike priority for elemental, so gear is not at its best (though not terrible either).

The biggest difficulty at first was getting people out of the grabby hands fast enough to move in to the new mythic phase (the pillar phase). We had quite a few wipes because people weren’t getting out fast enough. but we got through that, and then it became working on getting all 3 pillars down before the phase ended. The little pop up pillars are a pain in the butt, and you find yourself running around so much that it’s hard to get a cast off, but there are some sweet spots if you’re lucky.

Our best attempt last night was 18% which was pretty good. I’m hoping we’ll get it next week because after that is Thogar and he gives me 4 BiS pieces!

I’ve been spending some time getting a few more achievements under my belt.

Earlier this week I finally collected the pets I needed to get the So.Many.Pets achievement and get myself a little Stormwing. He’s quite the cutie!

This evening I grinded out the last of the Apexis dailies to get another fabulous monument for my garrison.

And in the process of getting my new monument, I got my first exalted rep in Draenor – Arakkoa Outcasts. I liked getting this one because one extra quest also gave me another achievement and a new title.

So overall, a pretty productive time 🙂

Let’s face it – this is all anyone is talking about right now.

I’ve read quite a few posts/forums/tweets about the lack of flying in Draenor and the possibility that there won’t be flying in future expansions either, and to be quite honest I’m absolutely sick and tired of hearing about it. But what I’m more sick of is those who are very vocal about their dislike of this decision throwing tantrums on twitter or on the Blizz forums and claiming they speak for the player base. Let me make this perfectly clear – YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. That’s not to say that I agree with no more flying – what I’m saying is that when people jump up and down on the forums and make statements such as those below, I don’t want to be lumped in the same group as them. The voices are loud, and many of them are childish beyond belief. They might as well be saying “I’m going to hold my breath until you give me some candy”.

“You NEED to take down flying mounts from your cash store.
You NEED to reimburse EVERYONE who ever bought a flying mount from the cash store.
Or you need to realize this is not a legally wise decision.

“…

I will be un subscribing after I finish this post. resubscribing is contingent on putting flight back in or getting a full refund on all things flight related.”

“This is a great way to make sure you lose another 2 million customers. Good job Blizz, since noone else can kill WoW, you’re going to do it for them!…”

Honestly I’m starting to wonder if Watcher was bribed by a rival company to kill WoW, each and every single of his decisions seems to go on that direction.”

“No player outside of a PvP realm thinks flying after you’ve already hit 100 is a bad thing, or breaks content. And you could just disable it on PvP servers if you wanted to.
Thanks Blizz, way to disappoint 7 million customers.

“Creativity and ingenuity at Blizzard has officially died.“ 

“Blizzard, you are nothing more than a sleazy, greedy, lazy, cowardly and uninspired shell of your former selves. Kudos to you I guess, for managing to string along your paying customers for as long as you did in regards to flying though. Gotta keep making those dollars right?“ 

Charming.

Is removing flight really worth quitting the game over?

No. It’s not. There is not one single person who could stand up and say “the only thing that I like to do in game is fly”. Because if that’s true, you are playing the wrong game. Yes, flying is super fun and interesting and the mounts are awesome. But that’s not the only thing this game is about. This is an MMO – you have internet dragons to kill and bad guys to round up and fishes to catch. There are other people to enjoy this game with- there’s PVP and pets to battle and quests to do and raids and dungeons and exploring and stuff. So much to do. If the only thing you like in this whole game is to fly, and have no other reason to play the game than to log on and fly around, then maybe this game is not for you. Seriously. (Don’t get me wrong – I love going out for a flight to explore a bit, but it’s not the only thing to do in game).

What you won’t do if flight comes back

A lot of posts on that thread went on about how much more they would do in the game if flying was there, and blame the feeling of being “trapped” in garrison on the lack of flight. What a load of bollocks. The only thing in game that is negatively impacted by the lack of flight is archaeology (and I agree – it’s a right pain in the ass doing that without flight!). But everything else – fishing, exploring, doing the daily pet battle trainers, Apexis dailies etc. – you don’t need flight for those.

But Blizzard lied!

Hmm not quite. They didn’t actually say definitely that flight would be in later in the expansion – they said they expected it to. Don’t get me wrong – I expected flight to be back too, and was looking forward to seeing my new Cindermane Charger  spread her wings in Draenor, but they didn’t promise it. I think a larger part of the issue of no more flying is how the players found out about the decision.

It was a shitty way to find out about it

This I agree with 100%. A lot of people were looking forward to flying coming back, and were waiting to see it in each iteration of the 6.2 patch notes. They have been very vocal about flying since WoD was announced to not include it. Blizzard knew these people felt the way they did, and that there were quite a lot of them. So to find out in a casual interview with some magazine or whatever is a slap in the face. I completely agree with this. The way this has been handled does feel like Blizzard haven’t recognised just how much people wanting flying back in the game, or that they are ignorant to the impact of players finding out important information (to them) via a second hand source. It’s like being broken up with by having your (now) ex’s friend pass you note to say you’ve been dumped. You feel like shit, and that’s fair enough.

Are you for it, or against it?

There are plenty of arguments for and against flying. With flight in the game, you get to explore new places in the game you may not have found before (I know this happened to me a couple of times in MoP). Flying also feels like a reward for getting to max level. Not getting the ability to literally lord over players lower than you makes you feel like a “lowbie” and to a degree diminishes the sense of accomplished for reach max level.

Also, some of us have worked super hard to earn a number of flying mounts in the game. Seeing them waddle around on the ground is terribly sad.

At the same time, without flight, the world is more immersive. The environment around you matters – if there are loads of trees around you (for example) they are going to affect how you view and experience the world around you, because you feel closed in. It has an affect on your experience. When you have flight, you just go up and over them to get where you need without actually engaging with the world around you. You’re missing the experience.

Not having flying also means that pvp servers are going to feel more like pvp servers. With flight it’s far too easy to AFK and not engage with the enemy faction at all. If you’re grounded, you can’t hide – you need to stand your ground and defend yourself…. which is the point of a pvp server.

We have had flying in game for quite some time now. I’ve only ever played the game with flight in it, and don’t know a time before we had the ability to ride on dragons across the world. My concern is how they can make this change in the story of the game. What logical reason is there for our characters to not be able to fly?

Suggestions to improve the game if flying doesn’t come back

  • Allow flight paths to use your own mounts so that you can actually see and use your flying mounts in game
  • Have some new unique ground mounts – not just reskins, please.
  • Stop giving flying mounts as rewards for achievements.
  • Half a suggestion – allow flying mounts to at least be grounded in flight form, and not have them waddling about the place (they really do look ridiculous).
  • Add more flight paths. Or have NPCs that are visited often (such as pet battle trainers) closer to flight paths.
  • Make archaeology easier to do without flying. Having to run around mountains multiple times for one dig is not in any way shape or form enjoyable.

Suggestions on how to bring back flying in the game but still make it immersive etc.

  • Have more indoor content (underground?) where flying mounts can’t be used (but ground mounts can if it’s a large space). This will allow for the puzzles and the immersion etc. but will still allow people to fly when they’re outside.
  • Have no flying in levelling zones- phase parts of the zones if that’s easiest. My biggest gripe with flying is the max level players that sit there and camp low level players who are trying to level up. It’s petty and downright frustrating and makes it feel like someone else’s enjoyment of the game is more important than my enjoyment of the game. Finding a way to deal with this would be most helpful.
  • Develop an expansion that makes flying compulsory. I imagine a twisting nether style area where there is little ground and we need to fly from piece of rock to piece of rock to quest/interact with the world- something like Vashj’ir but in the air.

They are just some thoughts off the top of my head.

So what do I actually think about no flying?

Honestly, I’m not for or against flight in the game. I honestly don’t care. I absolutely LOVE flying, and I will be glad to have future expansions where I can fly. But if it doesn’t come back, it doesn’t come back, and I’m ok with that. Because I know that if Blizzard were to make such a massive decision as to remove flying from the game, they would need to make some pretty significant changes to the world and the way we experience it for people to stay on board.

What I’m not ok with is the behaviour of people at the moment who are acting like toddlers and having them claim to speak for all players. They do not. you are entitled to your feelings, yes, but please do not presume to think that everyone else is having those same feelings. Take a step back and reflect on why you are feeling the way you are and articulate that.

I made a new transmog yesterday – a purple fire set. I really like it. I think it’s something a bit different, anyway. 🙂

So naturally I had to take some screenshots the dark place behind Scholomance. I love the new earthquake 😀

I’m still doing my trial with the new raid team.

This week seemed a bit rough – they had a few people missing, but thankfully were ok with pugging some people so we eventually got the 20 to do mythic. Then content that they normally get through quite quickly took longer than usual, so it was a bit rough. We also didn’t get through all the bosses to get to progression which was a bit disappointing. 3 hours of wiping on mythic Hans and Franz last night had me dreaming about brightly glowing patches under my feet all night.

As I’ve mentioned, this trial has me playing elemental shaman instead of restoration. I enjoy elemental shaman – it’s pretty straight forward and can be so much fun throwing out chain lightning all over the place. But I really miss healing. A lot more than I expected I would. My biggest problem playing ele is that as a healer, I had to stand in all the same places as everyone else, but it didn’t matter if I had my back to the boss – I can heal the people around me without actually facing them so positioning was never a problem. Now, it really really is. I know the most important thing is to try to stay alive, but surely right beside that is to face the damn boss so you can hit it with your magic smashing abilities!

It’s also a bit rough because, even though people say they don’t matter, I’m low on the meters. This is partly because I’m rubbish about facing the boss all the time whilst trying to run backwards. It’s also probably in part because ele shaman single target isn’t the greatest in the world. And then on top of that the totems issue is a pain (though I’m figuring out the best times to place them so they’ll actually hit the boss. Don’t get me wrong – I’m getting better. I was at the bottom last week and this week I’m a few up from the bottom. But it’s a bit demoralising at times to be so low. But I suppose at least I didn’t get stomped on, right?

Anyway, the point is that I miss healing. 😦

Last night I did a raid trial with the team Zeirah is currently trialling with. The evening was for progression on Mythic Hans’gar and Franzok.

I am trialling as an elemental shaman, and boy did I feel out of my depth last night! Not only was I learning a new fight that I’d never seen before, but I was also having to learn the ins and outs of my class (having played restoration for all of Warlords so far.)

The fight itself was interesting. A little more difficult than heroic, but not too much. I think the fight needs good raid leadership, and this team definitely has that. They are very organised which made everything much easier to deal with. I felt so terrible because I wiped the raid at one point as I triggered 3 stompers. But then others did the same so I didn’t feel too bad after that. But overall, their team was quite good! Everyone listened and learned from their mistakes which made the wipes ok. And in the end we got it.

Playing elemental was interesting. I do love playing that spec, but I need some more practice to feel more confident with it. Once I’d gotten in to a groove on the fight I remembered cooldowns like shamanistic rage to help with getting smacked by body slam. I remembered to use ancestral guidance to help with a bit of extra healing (though I need to work on finding better times to use it). And I remembered to drop my healing stream totem, too, to give a little trickle of heals where possible (though I doubt it did much).

The worst part about the fight was that my totem pets wouldn’t work properly! There’s a bug with them that makes them just pace back and forth in front of me without going over to smack the boss. It was a terrible dps loss, and over my dps for the fight was really bad. But the team did emphasise that it was much more important for people to stay alive than to do amazeballs dps, and when we got the kill I was still alive, so that felt great, even if my dps was bollocks.

The people themselves were great. They learned from their mistakes, they came back quickly from wipes AND they’re all nice! I hope it all works out ok and they want to keep us. It was much nicer going in to the trial knowing Z was there. Gave me someone to talk to, which was nice.

Hopefully I will get to run with them again on Wednesday, which means I have some research to do. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s nice to be excited about raiding again. 🙂

All about the raids

It’s been a week since all the dramas came to a head, and it’s only now I’m really in the right head space to write about it. 

Unfortunately the guild team that I have been a part of for almost a year now, a team that has many people in it whom I consider friends, has decided to stop pushing for progression. The officers and GM decided that, due to busy work/personal lives and a lack of passion for the game, that the raid team would do heroic raiding only and would stop until the next raid tier, rather than trying mythic. The decision wasn’t a surprise – the team had been changing and it had been pretty clear that something was amiss. And so it was that the announcement was made on Sunday evening last week after raid that the changes would take affect immediately. 

To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. It’s actually been pretty horrible. I’ve grown quite fond of the raid team and the guild members, and have thoroughly enjoyed raiding with each and every one of them. And it came to be that I had to make a decision – did I want to continue raiding with friends, but at a lower level than I would like to attempt, or do I venture out once more in to the breach, and try to find a raid team that wants to do mythics and who are a nice bunch of people. 

It’s taken a while to make a decision. For some people it was a quick decision, though. My bf, who was the main tank, was already on his way out. He usually raids much higher level than this and had only really stuck around because of me. So Sunday was his last night. He’s now transferred to Alliance and to a different server and seems to be doing well so far. Others made the move shortly after. Then on Wednesday, two of my fellow healers, Zeirah and trollmonk had found guilds to trial with.

I had put in an application to trial with a different guild myself. They fit the bill – had a few mythics under their belt, but mostly seemed to have a really good attitude. All of their advertisements and forums posts etc. were polite but to the point and their website looked good. So I applied. They asked me to trial as elemental shaman, which I agreed to. 

And then Wednesday happened. 

Wednesday was not a good day for me at work. Things have been incredibly stressful for quite some time now – almost a year to be honest. On Wednesday it just all got too much for when something (someone) incredibly stupid happened and I had a minor meltdown. I walked out of work that day genuinely unsure if I was going to be back. I went home that day and cried and cried. Every time I tried to speak I’d just end up crying again – it had all gotten to be too much. I tried logging on to WoW, but couldn’t face it and just logged off again and climbed in to bed for the rest of the day. 

I ended up cancelling the raid team trial for that night. There was no way I was going to be useful to anyone. And they seemed like such a nice group of people I didn’t want to drag them down. 

I was a bit lost for a few days (and I suppose to a degree I still am now). I spent some time on Saturday talking to Z about it all (she is incredibly patient with me!) She said that the team she’s trialling with are looking for an elemental shaman, as asked if I’d be interested. I decided I’d give it a go. I feel really terrible for the other team I applied to, but I think raiding with friends trumps everything else. Because even when you’re having a bad night, your friends will be there to keep your spirits up (or moan with you!) and it’s so much better. 

So that’s where things are at. I left my guild this evening before most people came on. I think if everyone was there I wouldn’t have been able to do it. And now I’m out the front of BRF waiting for my trial to begin. Everything is respecced to ele…. we’ll just have to see how I go. It will be weird being dps again – I’ve really gotten used to healing. Hopefully I don’t let everyone down. 

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Far too many things happening at once that’s a bit overwhelming. The short version is that I need to find a new raid team, as my current one only wants to do Heroics and not Mythics. But I’m not sure if I’m ready for a new raid team. That and my work has been so insanely out of  control that I’m struggling with anything. So a bit stuck at the moment. 

I’ll be sure to be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon!

Where are all the raiders?

martymuses:

cinder-says:

This seems to be the mantra of mythic guilds everywhere – where are all the raiders? Where are the people who want to kick bosses in the face? Where are the people who want to hang out with a bunch of random weirdos for a laugh and a few jokes? Where are the people who are…

I think there are also a lot of people – like me – who just don’t want to raid with that many people regardless of whether it’s the end of the end of the end of end game or not. Most of the people I raid with I’ve known for YEARS. A lot I’ve met in person. One is my bff. Sure, we pick up new people once in a while, and occasionally recruit to round out our roster for night people can’t make it, but for the most part we’re just not interested in inviting a whole slew of unknowns into our raid and having to police them. Forcing a 20-man format for the top tier of end game really was a mistake on Blizzard’s part. One I hope they fix (if not for the rest of WoD then at least in the next expansion).

Would I like to kill the hardest bosses and get the bestest loot? Sure, why not? But only if it’s with a group of my close friends. People I enjoy being with. People who’s strengths and weaknesses I know inside and out and can count on or compensate for accordingly. Otherwise it’s just not worth it. We’ll piddle around in Reg and Heroic and be perfectly happy. 

And this mindset in a lot of smaller raiding guilds is probably also contributing to the lack of interested players available for heroic recruitment. A lot of really decent long-time raiders who have gotten used to a small raid environment aren’t looking to jump ship into Mythic.

YES! This is a very good point that I forgot to include in my original post and is also true for so many other guilds. 

Blizzard spends a lot of time and energy reminding us that this is a multi-player game, and that it is best enjoyed with other people. They put in a lot of features to facilitate this, such a as guilds, group finder, LFR, dungeons etc. And we have been listening. Many people have found other players in the game that they could consider friends. They’re the people you have a laugh and a joke with – they are the people you feel comfortable with. They’re your mates! And raiding with them is fantastic fun. What’s not fun is having to tell a bunch of them there’s no place for them anymore (cull from 25 man) or trying to figure out had to add a whole bunch of people in to an already well oiled team. You can’t just force friendships. Adding new people to the mix can be very difficult – team compatibility is a massively underrated factor when choosing new recruits. 

On the flip side, being on the outside and trying to break in to a new guild is just as tough. The friendships thing was the hardest part for me when I left my first raid team. I had friends on the team (or at least people I enjoyed spending time with in game) and it was a real shock to be on a new server, not knowing anyone. Later when I was looking for a new team I felt like such an outsider – some guilds are so well established it feels like you’re trying to break in to the “cool crowd” at high school again, and for a lot of people this is not an easy task. I got really lucky with the guild I’m in now – they are such a great bunch of people. I really enjoy raiding with them. Which I think is why it can be so frustrating not getting to do the raids because we don’t have the full 20. 

And yes, if you’ve been in 10 man raids all this time, the jump to 20 can be a bit of a shock. I know it was for me as a healer for the first few fights panicking at how many more people there were in the process of dying at any one time. But not just that – it’s doubling the number of voices in vent/mumble. It’s doubling the number of people that need to be coordinated to show up at a particular time.

There’s 20 voices to compete with when strats aren’t going right.

And it’s quite a big leap for raid leaders who have only raid lead 10 mans to suddenly be thrown in with 20 people to boss around. Some people do ok with it, but others don’t. 

I understand why Blizzard made the raid size set to 20 only. I understand it’s easier to have 1 set difficulty, rather than trying to scale for just 10 or just 25, or even scaling for whatever size we want to bring in. But it has been a really rough transition for a lot of people, and I don’t know if it’s been worth it. I would be curious to see information about how many people are currently raiding at the highest level in Warlords of Draenor compared to previous expansions to see if others are struggling as much as we are. And perhaps in some cases it’s not an issue for the team to not do mythics, but for others like ours, where we are so keen on getting to do mythics, it is and issue. The options if you can’t get the group of 20 are to not do mythics, just keep trying to recruit, or leave your friends and try to find another team. None of these options promote the group play spirit Blizzard talks about it. And it’s for this reason I think this is one of the worst mistakes made in the game. 

Where are all the raiders?

Where are all the raiders?

This seems to be the mantra of mythic guilds everywhere – where are all the raiders? Where are the people who want to kick bosses in the face? Where are the people who want to hang out with a bunch of random weirdos for a laugh and a few jokes? Where are the people who are willing to do this 2 nights a week? Because we can’t find them. 

Our guild cleared Heroic Blackrock Foundry a few weeks ago now, but we haven’t been able to move on the Mythics, simply because we don’t have the numbers. For whatever reason there have been a couple of people away for each raid night, and because we have exactly 20 raiders it means we’re left with not enough people to do Mythic content. The obvious answer is, of course, to PUG the missing people, but this isn’t ideal when trying to do progression. And I suppose my question is why there are so many raiders lacking that we need to do this in the first place? 

How 20 man mythic broke raiding

My feeling is that the forced 20 man requirement for mythic raiding is what has caused the issues. People who were raiding 25 man had to drop some people, and teams raiding 10 man needed to double their team size at a minimum. And that’s where the issue is. There are more people looking for players than there are players who were “abandoned” by the cull of 25 mans. 

Now a “logical” thing may have been for some 10 man teams to merge to create the new 20 man required size, but this isn’t easy. Guild merges are incredibly difficult (especially when big egos are involved), and there is very little support available to facilitate this. There are so many issues to deal with – who gets to be the Guild Master of the new combined guild? Do existing officers still get to be officers? What happens when guild gold and guild bank contributions are imbalanced? What are the guild bank access rules? And that doesn’t even cover whether the two guilds are a good fit, and who gets to keep their main when there are 4 of the same class now in the team. It’s very tricky.

So we tend to be stuck. We have recruitment posts on the WoW forums of recruitment and on the specific server forum, but we are lost in an ocean of other guilds who are in exactly the same boat. That is, they want about 5 more players on their team to have a consistent group of just over 20 that allows for absences that come up. And anyone who does post as a player looking for a raid team is immediately pounced on. One post I looked at today was posted a few hours ago, and already has 8 responses on it from prospective guilds.

There have been a few posts from small groups of players looking for a raid team, but they all include roles that we have an abundance of (priests, I’m looking at you!) 

Everyone wants a free ride

This is another issue we have – some of those who do apply just don’t have the skills/gear/team spirit that is needed. We’re moving in to Mythic Blackrock Foundry – an ilvl of 650 just isn’t going to cut it. There have been situations in the past where the guild has decided to take a chance on a lower geared person, only to have them leave as soon as they’re geared up. Which isn’t fair and makes the officers even more reluctant to take on someone with a lower ilvl. 

Is it just about the loot?

One of my other theories about why it’s so hard to find raiders is the thought that perhaps people are just playing the game for loot, and will only participate in the easiest way to get it. LFR can be a pain and has different tier so it’s not appealing. But Normal or Heroic level – that can be relatively easy to get with little effort required. So are people settling for this so they don’t have to grind through Mythic? Maybe. 

What to do?

Well it’s a good question. Our team has decided to open up the option for everyone to change their main for 6.2 if they wish. The thought behind it is that perhaps we’ll get some gaps in different roles. There’s not too much change at the moment, but not everyone has indicated their preference yet so there may be differences soon. 

But other than that, it’s just a grind of trawling the forums, spamming trade chat and keeping an ear out for people who are looking for teams. 

Know anyone looking for a mythic raid team?

GUILD PLUG! (You didn’t think I’d post all this and not at least try to get some new members, did you?!)

Are you looking for a raid them that wants to get down the mythic bosses for the super awesome loots? Do you want to have a laugh while doing it? Only got 2 days a week? Then we might be the team for you! <Deadline> are a Horde based guild on Oceanic server Barthilas. We raid 2 nights a week – Wednesday and Sunday 7:30 – 11:30pm server time. We’re mostly looking for dps (not priests though!) at the moment, but if you’re a resto shaman or holy paladin, we’d like to hear from you, too! We are moving in to mythics so we’re looking for people who can commit to bashing their heads against a brick wall while we all learn, but I promise it’s a load of fun and totally worth it. If you’re interested (or know someone who is), check out our thread on the Oceanic Forums here for more info and for a link to the app on our website. 

Cinder gets the cindermane charger!!

I’ve wanted this mount since the preview came out ages ago. When it didn’t appear in game I waited and I waited. Finally it shows up – as a recruit a friend mount. And my heart sank. I didn’t have any friends who wanted to play WoW, and I couldn’t justify starting up a second account and paying for 2 months of game time for the mount either. So I resigned myself to not getting it. 

And then the WoW token came out and changed everything. My boyfriend had a starter account just sitting around that he’d got during one of the Blizzard sales for $5, so I “recruited” him and he activated it. Between the two of us we got the in game gold together to pay for 2 months game time on it, and here we are – Cinder on a Cindermane mount! 

I think it’s a beautiful mount, and it really suits her. 🙂

Deleted legendary ring post

So I deleted the 6.2 legendary ring post that I did yesterday. The Warcraft Devs twitter account had the following today about the ring procs that had been datamined:

I’m relieved, to be honest. I was trying to be positive about the whole thing because I don’t want to be negative about things I haven’t tried yet. But the general concept, whether it worked well or not, didn’t sit well with me. A solo based quest line that ends with a team based RNG proc item seemed very odd. So I’m glad this is not the case. 

The mechanic itself was interesting, I must admit, and I was curious about some of the specifics of how it would work. So I wouldn’t mind if they did bring it in for something else in future!

In the meantime, I suppose the lesson really is to take the datamined content with a grain of salt. 

Hey! I just wanted to know if you have/ever played a shaman? I just made one Horde side and he is a Resto Shaman and I just didn’t know the best way for leveling a Resto shaman?

Hey! I DO play a resto shaman 😀 But I never level as a healer. I always level and quest as Elemental. It’s faster (cos dps) and super fun (cos earthquake!). The only time I’ll switch to resto during levelling is if I’m going in to dungeons to level. (The faster dungeon queues are always nice, and the end goal for me is to raid as a healer.)

But if you’re not comfortable levelling as dps and switching to heals as needed, you CAN level as restoration shaman. It’s actually a lot better now because Blizz recently buffed damage done by lightning bolt and lava burst so they’ll do more damage. And best of all – they’re free when you’re in resto spec!

The rotation is mostly the same as elemental (which is why I tend to have elemental as my offspec to level/quest with – I don’t have to think much about what I’m doing!). Drop your searing totem, dot the target with flame shock, cast lava burst whenever it’s available (make sure you have an active flame shock dot on the target as this will make lava burst stronger!) and fill with lightening bolt in the meantime. That’s it! If you have multiple targets, you’ll want to throw in some chain lightning as well. And of course heal yourself whenever you need to in between. 

Just a suggestion, but you might want to use the Echo of the Elements talent while you’re levelling. It will give you an extra charge of lava burst which is nice – just a little extra dps.

Just remember that levelling as a healer is always going to be slower, and your spells won’t hit as hard, so be patient! But it is absolutely possible. Good luck! 🙂

Legendary Tarecgosa

Well, it took me 9 months of on and off farming, but I have finally finished the Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest legendary quest line. 

During the countless Firelands runs I did, I managed to see Flametalon of Alysrazor drop twice, but never managed to get the Crown of Flame from Ragnaros, or a heroic chest piece for the transmog set… which means I’ll be heading back in there for them both! (I didn’t see the Smoldering Egg of Millagazor either, but I already had that so wasn’t too bothered!)

I enjoyed this legendary quest chain. Sure, there was a LOT of Firelands runs that needed to be done, but the cinematics and the solo encounters were really fantastic. And getting a whole ceremony to myself in the middle of Orgimmar was pretty awesome, too! But best of all is getting to turn in to a beautiful blue dragon. I remember being there when my boyfriend got his during Cataclysm. I was in awe of the beautiful dragon the he turned in to. (I also had surprised him some streamer poppers when he finally got it! It was good fun). I’d wanted to get this staff ever since.

The whole thing felt epic… something that I’m not quite feeling with the current legendary quest line with the Khadgar ring quest line…. not yet, anyway.

So here are some snapshots of my journey – enjoy!

So you bought a WoW token

Ok, I admit it, I bought a WoW token with in game gold. And I don’t regret it for a second. 

I don’t know how long the idea of having the in game token will last for, I don’t know what impact it will have on the economy, and to be honest I’m not too bothered. Because last night I was able to pay for a month of my addiction WoW time without using real money and with very little effort. I paid $24k for it, which is below the initial price of $30k, though I expect the price will continue to go down over time. And I’ve accidentally spent more than that on pets, so you know…

Getting it was easy. There’s a new category on the Auction House called “Game time”. I clicked on that, it told me the price of the token, and I clicked buy! The token then arrived in the mail. 

Here it is in my bags:

I right clicked on it to activate it:

Am I sure?!? Of course I’m sure! 

Success!

The whole thing is being monitored pretty closely by Blizzard, and already they’ve made some changes to the pricing and what not. Here’s hoping it won’t get too out of hand and that this can stick around. Cos let’s face it, this is really handy. For whatever reason this time of year is always a bit financially crap, so not having to worry about paying for my subscription for another month is definitely nice. 

Has anyone else bought a token? How did it all go for you?

How Blackhand died

Some of the guys in our guild like to record our raid nights. Thankfully they recorded our kill of Heroic Blackhand from the other night. Thought I’d share it so you too can marvel at how little melee have to do in this fight! (except for trollmonk​ – he has to go up on the balcony in phase 2 which sucks!)

Blackhand is dead. I repeat, Blackhand is DEAD!! 

Tonight our guild FINALLY got down Heroic Blackhand. It took 94 pulls to get the guy down, but we got there in the end. In true Deadline tradition we got him down on our last attempt of the evening. I was shaking by the end. I can’t even write properly there’s too much adrenaline going on. So exciting! Only downside was no loot for me. I’ve not been having any luck at all with the bonus rolls. Haven’t once managed to roll any useful loot for myself in Blackrock Foundry. It’s been quite frustrating because we haven’t been getting healer trinkets. But I’m sure we’ll get some soon enough. 

BUT YAY!!!!!!! Ahead of the curve!! Savage hero!!! New titles! WOOOOO!!!!!

EDIT: OMG My lovely, beautiful, wonderful friend Zeriah gave me the healer trinket that dropped! Oh my goodness I’m overwhelmed, and so so grateful! It will replace a 670 trinket that has no spirit on it. zomg THANK YOU Z!!!!

Argh realm maintenance

Realm maintenance started early this week – 12am PDT – 6pm Melbourne time. Unfortunately for me I got a whole 2 minutes of game time. LAME! So now I’m reinstalling Heroes of the Storm to see if that’s available instead. 

Cinder says is here!

I was going to wait until the Easter break to set all of this up, but I just couldn’t wait. I found an absolutely beautiful tumblr theme to use for my new blog, and it snowballed from there. Come visit me! www.cindersays.net. (For those utterly confused, you may recognise me as Lexicon of Power!)

I’ve been wanting to change my tumblr blog for awhile now for a couple of reasons. Firstly, everyone refers to me as “lexicon of power” instead of Cinder. And I like Cinder better. 

Secondly, I want to be able to blog about other games, even if it’s only every now and again. I’m particularly keen on blogging about Overwatch when that starts rolling out. Having a name that was so embedded in World of Warcraft was limiting in that way. So here I am. 

I do hope you like the new site! Don’t forget to update your bookmarks if you’ve got me bookmarked. 

Changes ahead!

Hi guys,

Got some changes coming up to my blog in the near future, including new layout and a new blog name! Don’t panic – I’m not going anywhere! Just making a few changes 🙂 

Liebster’s 2015

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Zeirah nominated me to take part in the Liebster’s again this year. So here my answers to her 11 questions!

Z’s 11 questions for me

What makes you smile?

It sounds corny, but my boyfriend. He’s always looking after me, so if I’m feeling down he does all sorts of hilarious things to cheer me up. He makes me laugh a lot, and for that I am very grateful.

Where do you see yourself in 50 years?

Being taken care of in an old folks’ home! 

Is there one class in wow you haven’t been able to really gel with?

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Goblins. I can’t stand them! I find them to be incredibly selfish, and in that they’re pretty one dimensional. I tried playing a goblin and couldn’t even make it through the starting zone.

What is your biggest problem/challenge when it comes to blogging?

At the moment it’s having the time and energy. My work has gotten incredibly busy making a lot of things difficult to do anything at all other than come home and fall asleep at the end of the day. I have a folder full of things to blog about and just haven’t had the time. 

What is your dream career?

Something to do with writing. Something that doesn’t have me confined to an office 8 hours a day. Something that pays enough to be comfortable. (Hey, it is a *dream* job!)

What is the one thing in wow you love doing the most?

Hmmm this is tricky. There’s not a single thing that I like above everything else. But of the things I do enjoy, they tend to be with other people, like raiding and what not. Some of my favourite times were doing challenge modes with my bf, Z and other fellow guildies. It was hard work but we got there and it was awesome. 

What is your favourite book?

I don’t have one. I have a top 3 that are in no particular order: 
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

If you could choose the next playable race, what would it be?

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Val’kyr. I love their wings!!! Or the Brunnhildar – I’ve always thought they were awesome. 

What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten?

This is the most difficult question in the list. I’m very lucky because my bf is an amazing cook, and I am spoiled all the time with absolutely delicious meals!

Who is your favourite wow character?

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At the moment it’s Yrel and Draka.

What do you think the next expansion should be about?

NOT ORCS! Honestly I’m so tired of them, and I haven’t even been playing the game for that long! Other than that, I’m not too bothered by what the next expansion will be, so long as it has decent story to go with it, and loads of end game content (something that’s lacking a fair bit in Warlords). 

The next part involves 11 random facts about me.

1. I don’t like crowds.
2. I don’t have a favourite colour – any favourite colours depend on what is associated with the colour (i.e. my favourite colours to wear are black and red, but I would choose a blue mug over a red one any day!). 
3. I eat too much sugar.
4. I find adulthood and the world in general overwhelming and incredibly dull at the same time.
5. Awards shows make me cry.
6. I’ve always wanted to visit the Bermuda Triangle, just to see if I’d disappear (and if I did, where I would go!!).
7. I get motion sickness pretty easily.
8. I don’t excel at any one thing. I’m pretty good at a whole lot of stuff, but not good enough for any one of those things to be a career or anything. I’m just a jack of all trades.
9. I love the ocean. I love the smell of it, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, the cool of the water on a hot day – love it!
10. My favourite perfume at the moment is the coconut perfume from the Body shop.
11. Gardenias are my favourite flower.

11 questions for my victims!!

1. If you could gender swap any character in WoW, who would it be and why?
2. What keeps you playing WoW during the lulls between expansions?
3. What food would like to be able to cook?
4. Describe your perfect day
5. Do you listen to the in-game music while playing WoW? Or do you listen to something else?
6. What is the best dream you have ever had?
7. What is one skill you wish you had?
8. What in-game spell would you like to have?
9. Tell us an embarrassing story!
10. Who should have an in-game character made after them?
11. Who is your favourite “bad guy” (from anything – not just WoW)

My victims nominees

Please don’t feel as if you have to do this guys! It’s just a bit of fun 🙂

trollmonk – http://trollmonk.tumblr.com/

julieta-ravencrest – http://julieta-ravencrest.tumblr.com/

ladyaesir – http://ladyaesir.tumblr.com/

The 3 Lorewalkers

I have been running around Azeroth collecting music rolls for my garrison jukebox so that I could get the portable audiophone toy. (Which I did – but that’s another story.)

One of the easier rolls to get is the Music Roll: Song of Liu Lang which requires a wee bit of Lorewalkers rep to get. When I entered the room above Mogushan Palace I noticed there were three new pandaren standing there. Lorewalker HanLorewalker Fu and Lorewalker Shin. When you speak with them, you can ask them “Tell me of Greenstone Village”, and you can solo queue for the scenario of the same name. They will allow you to solo queue (or group queue if you want to do it with friends) for Mists of Pandaria scenarios, heroic scenarios and raid finder level raids. Pretty neat! I’m off to see if I can solo the scenarios for the achievement Scenaturday!

Visiting CosplayPy