Milestones

Baby Tauren Druid Hit Level 40

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Despite the small amount of time I have to play her, my baby druid hit 40 today. It was a momentus ding thanks to it bringing me BOOMkin form and enabling the purchase of her epic Kodo!

Kids these days...grumble grumble...they don't appreciate how hard we old timers had it...we used to get our SLOW MOUNT at 40! And the epic at 60! And we LIKED IT THAT WAY!

Oh hai, wait, no, it was a pain.

Special thanks to my lovely leveling partner, Candelie. Boomkin+ Elemental Shaman=win. We have consistently done orange quests throughout our leveling process, and only run into trouble in a bugged ruin in STV that had invisible mobs come out of the floor to murder us.

At this rate, we may be to Outlands before the 3.3 alt mana preservation changes hit.


My 80 Mage's Starter Kit

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My mage finally made it to 80 this weekend. But I feel a little sorry for her. Because after spending all this time and energy leveling, I am a bit burnt out on what comes next. You see, she's 80 number four for me. And at this point, I am more than a little tired of the gear-up-the-alt grind, to be frank. So she is going to have to suffice for now with the entry-level gear kit I assembled for her. Everything she's wearing I was able to craft or purchase cheaply on the AH, with the exception of the trinkets, which were courtesy of our Brewfest boss farming.

Crafted

Cheap AH Purchase/Lucky Drop

She still needs level 80 rings, but it's not a bad start. I won't be embarrassed to bring her on headless horseman farm runs, and guild heroics. Which is good since realistically, given my work schedule + our raid schedule + having another alt ahead of her for gearing out, this is as good as it is going to get for a while.

I assembled the gear over the course of about a month, with the most expensive item being the Spellblade (tho I mined all the ore and used my + guildies' titansteel cooldowns), and only bought the Sash of Jordan because it was up in the AH for under 150g. That was too good a price to pass up. The shoulders were a lucky drop in Naxx some time ago which I held on to as incentive to get her to level cap.


Friday Five: Five Things for Which I am Thankful

I wasn't going to do a Friday Five today.

Honestly, it will be hard enough to go in to work given how many folks were personally impacted by the events that took place early in the morning 8 Septembers ago. It was a turning point for me as it was for so many others. BUt it is not a topic for this blog.

Since this day does give pause for much reflection, I decided to share five things related to WoW that I am personally grateful for right now:

  1. My guild. They're not all perfect and I could sometimes happily virtually strangle a few of them, but this is, overall, the best fit I've had in a guild. The day-to-day Pirate officers and raid leaders are thoughtful and open to feedback and are looking out for the best interests of the guild at large.
  2. My ladies. While I am at work, I have you on twitter to give me a smile or two (or a scoop on the latest data mined vanity pets). And in game I have your ribald comments, your more than competent playing backing me up in our many adventures, and your encouragement when leveling my alt hits a plateau of never ending quest-induced tunnel vision. Special shout outs to Sawyer, Tryn, and Norm. You ladies are the bestest.
  3. My ISP. I used to suffer through with a national DSL provider whose service "mysteriously" took a nose dive every night by 9:00. I had 2 fps in 25-man raids and a migraine whenever I called to complain about it and their offshore support would tell me it was definitely my old modem causing the nightly slowdowns but they could sell me a new router for only $100...I now am a Speakeasy customer. Yes, it's a lot more expensive. But it's also reliable and you get to talk to a company employee who seems to genuinely want to help you if you have a question or issue.
  4. My iMac. For three years, I played WoW on the very last PowerBook PowerBook. But when I saw that WotLK's specs did not seem to be 3-year-old laptop friendly, I took the plunge and upgraded to an iMac and have been astounded by the beautiful screenshots I am able to take thanks to having all my graphics settings cranked up, and the high FPS even while AOEing in a 25-man raid. It has improved my gameplay -- and my posture-- immensely.
  5. My SO. I would not have started playing WoW if it were not for watching him raid ZG when it first came out. And without his ongoing support and partnership, it wouldn't be nearly as fun as it has been. I can't think of any other regular activity that has kept me engaged for almost four years. When I decided to swap to the horde, he leveled up a new toon to play with me, and quickly became a pro at it. His tenacity, and his willingness to partake in the WoW math side game have helped make him the great player he is today-- and have rubbed off on me alittle bit too. Much love to you, Guld.
Happy Friday. Give someone you love a hug.

I Took the Faction Change Plunge and Lived to Tell About it

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My Draenie shaman is no more. As I had pretty much decided when they announced faction changes, I took the plunge and faction changed her so she could be a part of my horde pirate family. The hardest part of the endeavor was saying goodbye to the friends I have Alliance-side, accumulated over the past almost four years. I still have my druid on the server, but honestly, I mostly logged on this lady to do Jewelcrafting dailies and say hello to folks. Moving her to the horde cements my transition for them, and for me. I will try to chip away at them over time to get them to come play with us horde-side...this means YOU Milch and Thar and El and Jay!!

The overall process was easy enough, though it took me some extra time due to not being aware that read mail in my box would be an issue. Once it was safely deleted, my faction change went through within a couple of hours, and the server move within minutes after that. And thus, on Saturday morning, I was on a zeppelin to Northrend. I had almost all of the Northrend horde FPs, minus Gundrak and one of the Argent Crusade quest hubs. I retained my achievements for number of quests completed but my running tally halved itself. Good thing I am not pursuing loremaster! The contents of my bags all switched over without incident, except for my mechano hog. A GM ticket and a 24-hour wait were all it took, however, for that to be resolved so my SP could be riding in style.

My alliance characters, with so many years under their belts and a wide assortment of professions across them as well, are more prosperous than my hordies. And I had stashed a variety of cloth items for my not-yet-leveled up alts (who may never be leveled at this point.) So I made sure to consolidate all the goodies on my shaman to bring them with me. An especially fortuitous score was the Tome of Polymorph Turtle, on the AH for 350g. I have probably lost rolls on that thing a half dozen times over the course of my many ZG fishing boss summons.

It's been 8 months since I played my shaman for more than a few minutes time. Thus it took me a while to get back into the swing of things. For one thing, I hadn't healed on her since I was on my wee laptop and see I will need to install grid or some unit frames to not lose my mind doing that. I am getting her DPS well sorted, tho somehow she only had healing gear -- except for the heroic CoS pants. Her sorry state of gear is due in large part to the fact that she and my druid swapped in and out, boss-by-boss for our tiny 10-man guild's Naxx runs at the beginning of the year.

But even if I am DPSing ToC primarily in healing gear, and white-knuckle healing through the other heroics, it's nice to actually have the opportunity to get her out and about and playing again. I've really missed playing her. And it's nice to have my pocket JC available whenever needed. It has been strange for me to only have 1 level cap character for the past 6 months horde-side. Ever since vanilla, I've always had a stable of alts to choose from -- so i could be a swiss-army knife for whatever activity our friends and guildies were up for. It feels great to have that flexibility again.

My verdict? Well worth the money.

Next up: getting the mage to 80!

P.S. I took the shaman for one last chopper joy ride with her main squeeze right before I transferred:

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<3 that Wrenzil.


Another Coliseum Boss Bites the Dust

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We took down Lord Jaraxxus tonight on our second attempt. And two-shotted the Northrend Beasts (we had a tank and a dps who had not seen the fight before who needed a warm-up round.) Very proud of the guildies!

So far, there haven't been any special shadow priesty twists to these fights. Not that I miss MCing bosses because I assure you I do not.

I did have a nub moment where the paralytic poison killed me b/c I misheard our RL and thought he was telling us *not* to run to the tank unless he called for us to do so. So yeah. Cough. No harm, no foul. And ty to the kind Druid for the BR.


Ding! My First Post-patch 60 Takes the Plunge...

This past Sunday, my baby mage hit 58 and you know what that means...she heeded the call to trek to Outlands. Only, it's not quite the same epic journey you might remember it to have been. Rather than flying to Swamp of Sorrows then making the long trek by slow mount to the Dark Portal, she hopped into the convenient Dark Portal portal in Org, and hopped on her epic bony pony and ran through the portal. Once on the other side, she hopped on a gryph, went all the way to Shattrath, and set her hearth there.

It was not your old timer's first day in Outlands. And to be honest it was sort of a letdown to have that epicness diminished by convenience. However, given that this is the sixth character I've taken to Outlands...the epicness, for me, at this point, is somewhat less important than getting it done already.

Thanks to her BoA chest and shoulders with their 10% XP boost a piece, and to my SO for running me through Stratholme so I could complete all my quests, Monday night I dinged 60. 

Dinging 60 had been a meh experience on my last alt, an Alliance priest, during BC. It just meant I had another 10 levels to slog through to get to level cap and start raiding with her. This time was different.

The absolute first thing I did was learn my Tome of Plymorph: Rabbit, which had languished in the bank since the Easter Noblegarden week festivities. Then I ported and trained, and had the bank alt send me 700g so I could train flying and buy a wyvern. At which point I spent a solid 30 minutes flying around Hellfire Peninsula, laughing at the Fel Reavers that would not be allowed to sneak up on poor squishy me.

I've now also trained her skinning, herbing, and first aid, with only her cooking stalled in place thanks to a complete lack of desire on my part to farm bear meat. I can save that for another day. It matters more that I got my darn Staff of the Twin Worlds so I can stop feeling bad about the staff that shall not be named I was carrying around (hey-- all those scarlets in Strat had one too so nyah!.)

It will be interesting to see how the flying (yes, I will be buying the Northrend flying BoA book) and the XP boost items affect my ability to quest my way through the next 20 levels. On the one hand I will miss the incidental trash I used to have to kill through to get to quest objectives, but on the other hand, there shouldn't be any dying either.

Stay tuned.


State of my Shadow Priest

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Another week, another handful of achievements for my shadow priest...

  • Got to check Gundrak off my heroics list. It is taking me forever to work my way through these because as my third 80...there is simply not as much interest on my part in rerunning them, nor on the part of others to do them at all either.
  • Got my Stinker pet after gathering the requisite 50 pets.
  • Most surprisingly, I got my Epic achievement. I never thought when I transferred this lady over to her current server that I would fall in with a fun bunch of folks for 25-man content, but I did. Major thanks to Norm. <3

Post-patch Fatigue

I don't know about you, but I'm tired.

I've spent the past few days respeccing characters, reorganizing bank slots, reinstalling add-ons, re-evaluating y plans, etc. On top of that, I maxed out inscription at 365 (which is as high as you can get with the 350 skill level recipes that are the highest you can train up out in Honor Hold.) It made me happy to plop 50+ inscription scrolls into the guild bank last night, hopefully saving some guildies some cash.

And now that I am hearing about Grow 5 Gruul Kills and 40-minute Kara runs and such...I am exhausted. But that may just be because my achievements tab doesn't give me credit for any of the heroics I've done, and thinks that I never copleted Strat or Scholo or AQ20 which has started me obsessing about redoing them all.

Deep breath.

On the other hand, like many folks, I was getting pretty bored, having reached most of my pre-expansin goals some time ago. At least this will keep folks interested in doing runs for the next few weeks -- yeah! That means there is still hope for the raven mount in my future...

I am loving that my druid's T5/T6 healing set that was 2200 or so +heal is now 1160 or so +dmg as a moonkin. And holy smokes does she have a bunch of AOE now.

I am loving earthliving weapon and all the other talent changes for my resto shaman.

I am loving casting dispersion on my shadow priests and running around. And loving the tiny cooldown on devouring plague even more than I miss Touch of Weakness.

Mage-wise...well let's just say I saw *someone* running around dun morogh for a half hour polymorphing critters into penguins.

So despite the nasty bits, like still not havin my flier and vanity pets restored, there's lots to love in WoW these days.


My First Raptor

This morning, my troll shaman dinged 30, and hurried off to Sen'jin Village to pick out her raptor. She is both my first troll and the first character I have leveled to 30 since the entry-level riding skill was brought down from 40 to 30 (the others were already 40+ at that time.) I can only imagine how much less painful her mount will make the STV and Desolace quests.

Of course, as a shaman, she had ghost wolf with its 40% increase at her disposal already. But there is something special about your first mount regardless.

Next tasks: go grab flight paths in Arathi, Desolace, then head to STV to start the wild animal eradication project for good ole Nessingwary.