Are You Checking Out Patch 4.0.1 on the PTR?

my PTR baby druid

Thanks to our easily exciteable kittens, I was up bright and early Sunday morning, and decided to give the PTRs a spin. They just went live this weekend with the 4.0.1 build that introduces the many UI and talent changes they've been working on for Cataclysm.

I uploaded a request to copy over a couple of my characters to the PTRs, but since the estimated wait was 4 days, rolled myself this baby druid to check things out.

The first thing I was struck with, other than the proliferation of little white tiger cats running around, was that I came into the world with Wrath on my bar, and had enough mana to use it like crazy. I admit I pinched myself to see if I'd fallen asleep and entered dreamland. But no, Blizz is actually making it possible for those of us who like to level our characters up as casters to be able to do so without a bottomleess bag full of beverages.


I should note that I chose to go in while I was just ad the "available" stage of my PTR download, which means it had a ways to go before being completed. Overall, in the lowbie area, this had little affect on my playing, though I could tell at least once when I was getting a just in time download. The opening cinematic started with a long black screen and stuttered midway through, presumably also due to my choosing to play before the download was complete. Pretty minor issues though, which makes me hopeful they've found a good way for breaking up the patch files so the least-likely to encounter data files are the last to download, and thus speeding up the patching process for everyone.

It was moderately annoying, however, that after crashing out on the PTR, and relaunching, I was confronted with needing several additional hours of downloading before being able to play again. That was a bummer and put a crimp in my leveling explorations.

Trainer Upcoming Spells Available to You

Some of the best UI changes are around the management of spells. The above window shows my druid trainer's menu clearly showing my next trainable spell and its cost. No more clicking on a spell name in a long list to see when it will be available. Including its icon is a nice touch for those of us who are visual learners.

Similarly, I will never hustle myself back to the trainer to train some spell I couldn't care less about -- when you advance a level, you get both a tell and a big splash across your screen that tells you that a new spell is now available to you:

At level five, I ran myself up to Dolanaar and checked my mail to retrieve my BOA pets (only two of whom showed up-- eeep!)  Which brings me to the many changes with the talent and spellbook interfaces.


When playing a new class, such as me playing my baby warlock, you can feel clueless as to when some of your signature abilities are trainable. Well no longer -- your spellbook can tell you. Your spellbook used to be a rarely visited place, sought out when pulling out a rarely used spell for a boss mechanic. But now, it shows you all the spells you have to look forward to training -- and notes at wht level you attain them.

You'll notice a few more tabs on your spellbook now -- companions and pets are no longer a part of the character interface -- they are subtabs of your spellbook, and have also gotten an overhaul.


No more peering at page after page of 12 tiny icons and trying to remember which speckled egg summons which companion pet. Now your pet UI clearly states the pet name next to its icon and pops up a picture of it in action if you select it from the menu. Necessary change on Blizzard's part? Certainly not. But does it make me happy with my 100+ pets on two toons? You bet it does!

 Last night, I was able to get on and briefly play around with my shadow priest and my boomkin, and respec them. I think I actually giggled when my eclipse proc made my nature spell buttons sparkly. It felt really weird to be confronted with the new talent UI though. I was not prepared.


I'm a cuddly and adorable Forsaken shadow priest! Who're you calling a sinister shadow magic user? *cough*



It was weird to start at this screen then be shown only one tree until I'd met my 31-point quota. I spent those points, then moved over to the discipline tree, easily filling in my remaining 5 talents. It didn't really feel like I made many choices, mind you. Mainly "Silence, y/n/murloc", and "less dmg to self? y/n" The boomkin tree was more problematic, and made me feel as though I sometimes was forced to choose talents I didn't really care 
to get down the tree to the stuff I wanted.

Overall though, no great dramas with the new talents. I can't wait to try things out on more than just target dummies.

I leave you with this beautiful scene, of a Darnassus without water, where boats float in mid air. Saefe travels!

Pirate's Day, Harvest Festival, and Brewfest -- Oh My!

BrewFest Mounts 2009 ScreenShot_100409_131042

For most of us, September is devoid of holidays other than Labor Day (a day upon which many of us labor.) But not so in Azeroth-- it's the kickoff of the prime holiday season:

It's nice to have them all bunched together in the midst of the pre-expansion doldrums. Inevitably, the holidays bring the recently MIA back online and provide great opportunities to get the guild together to do something that all can participate in regardless of level and gear.

Harvest Festival

Not just an excuse to sit down at the enemy's table and eat their pie, this holiday is the single best way to power level an alt's neglected cooking skills. The bountiful tables outside the major citites make a good place to hold a guild party, especially if you are PvP inclined. Tons of achievements are attainable, including one of my favorites, wherein you get the Turkinator buff and run around like mad, shooting turkeys. Mwahahaha. *cough* But I digress.

No, wait, as Moober reminded me this really is a holiday just about sitting down at a table and eating strange conjured foods. Oh well. We still have Pilgrim's Bounty to look forward to for the above. Need moar coffee.

Pirate's Day

Last yer, my horde guild had a small dance party on top of the Booty Bay inn, to hang with the pirates, yo. I think my favorite part of the event is the long-duration pirate outfit it gives you. Last year, this was basically an ahicevement in search of a holiday. Too soon to know if Blizz has anything up their sleeve, given the Cataclysmic changes incoming.


Who doesn't love a holiday that features pink elekks and tossing pints of ale at Dark Iron dwarves? And a chance at the sexy mounts you see in the above screenshot? It should be easier than ever this year to get your shots at Coren Direbrew, thanks to the holiday bosses being in LFD. And it also means you won't have that same stingy guildie taking everything that drops, unlike two years ago *i'mlookingatyouyoungpaladin*.

What did your guild do last year? And what are you planning to do for the holidays this year? I'd love to swap ideas. And expect to see some more on these holidays here as we get closer to them.

Friday Five: Five Blog Posts You Should be Reading This Week


In no particular order, here are five blogs I read each week (or however often they update) that you should have on your blog roll too:

  • An Interesting Thing Happened in the UC Sewers
    Tessy over at Reflections from the Pond did Wrathgate again recently, and had a run in with a perfect stranger who jumped down her throat for not assisting Varian with his assault on the Undercity. And yes a big motivator for linking this post was 1) I want more frequent posts from Tessy! and 2) the video link is a must watch. Mwahaha.
  • The Walls of Wintergrasp and Terrain Exploits
    It's been a while since I've seen Cyn this worked up, or writing this much on a hot PvP topic. A must read. After all it kept him from our ZA fun run, so you know he was consumed with writerly inspiration.
  • Why the BETA will be Better Than the Release
    Larisa at Pink Pigtail Inn makes a good case for why playing the BETA might in fact be more personally rewarding for some players than playing the live release.
  • Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: A Call to Blizzard for a Better UI
    I liked Jaded Alt's article (at her new digs!) on her UI wishlist. Given the many changes to UI that Blizz has implemented over the past  5 years, we just may see some of them eventually.
  • Mages Making Money
    Mana Obscura's post got me motivated to clean out my banks and work on acquiring some more Gs in my bank to fund the inevitable expansion gold sinks.
  • Sticks and Orcs and Mary Sues
    I've really been enjoying Oddcraft's warchief election posts. Here's the latest -- Thrall vs. Basic Campfire vs. Richard Knaak.

This week was too much work and too little warcraft and reading these posts on my BBerry as I traveled too and from work gave me a nice Warcraft fix. And for that, bloggers, I thank you.


Three Reasons Why Guilds That Raid Need Class Officers

If only these guys had had class leader mentors, perhaps things would have turned out differently for them...

 In my vanilla WoW raiding days, our 40-man raids had specific numbers of raid spots designated for specific classes fulfilling specific roles. The class raid leaders (who were not always the same as the class officers) managed their invitee and standby lists, and kept tabs on how everyone was performing. My druids and I sat in our own Vent channel (only raid officers and the RL could talk to each other and over the whole raid), and had our own chat channel. We built comraderie while also having a solid sounding board for trouble shooting how our class and role should be handling any given encounter.

Fast Forward to Burning Crusade with its smaller raids. All of a sudden, many guilds, including mine, decided there really wasn't a need for class officers any more, since raid sizes were so much smaller, and we didn't always have multiples of each class/role. The emphasis moved to having raid leaders and then folks in charge of each functional area (tanking, healing, DPS) at the most. And thus, for many guilds, the class officer died out comleteely.

Given that Cataclysm may well sound the death knell for many guilds running 25-man raids, I can see how a call for a return to class officers may sound like craziness. But hear me out. There are some very solid reasons to consider having them -- even if they aren't max rank officers.

  1. No one is an expert on every class and role.
    That's right, mister hotshot raid leader, I am talking to you. It's infuriating when you are told to do something your class shouldn't (or worse yet can not) do. Or to watch the RL keep handing the dispells/decurses to the same class over and over again, while two or three more who could do it, stand by, not saying a peep. Class leaders know what their folks can (and should) be doing, and can feed the RL that information discretely. In a free-for-all situation, the raid leader doesn't always know whose advice to follow.
  2. Sometimes, players need tips on how to improve.
    I'm the type of person who goes out and finds great resources on the classes I'm playing and tries to maximize what I do and how I do it. Not everyone does this. And further, you can't expect them to. But you can ask your Officers to provide coaching and feedback in these cases. And feedback comes across as a lot more genune and useful when it's coming from someone who also excels in their class and role. No offense, but if a melee player starts telling me how to play my spellcasters, if they are lucky, I tune them out. If I've had it already, they'll get an earful.
  3. No one wants unsolicited advice.
    That's right, no one. Yeah, maybe you've gotten a helpful hint or two from someone that you didn't ask for that really helped, but most of the time, it's annoying. The unsolicited advice typically comes across as someone 1) thinking you suck and 2) trying to tell you they know better than you as to how to play. Having class leader officers tells the guild: these are our experts, and they are your go to resource for help, and are expected to know how to maximize their class in raids. This takes a lot of the sting out of the advice. 

If you are pursuing 25-man raids, and have several dozen active players, why not ask them if they'd like to have class leads or class officers? Those who are nominated by their peers will feel appreciated for being called out for excellence, and your quieter members of the guild will feel empowered to approach them for advice. Even if implemented in a more honorary than powerful role, class leaders have the ability to build a sense of community amongst players, while recognizing some of your best players for doing a great job, which may even help with guild retention.

Friday Five: Five Things You May Not Know About My Boomkin

Psychocandy0806 WoW_Psychocandy_dps_0807 WoW_Psychocandy_dps_0807

  1. Psychocandy was born at the start of January 2006. She was my very first WoW character, and my main up until Spring of last year.
  2. Did I mention that I actually leveled her as a healer? Yes,  I did that becasue I wanted to ensure I understood the healing role and would be ready to jump into main healing 5 mans and raids once she hit 60.
  3. I'd already had the raiding bug from the moment I rolled her, thanks to watching my SO raid ZG every week for several months. This is how my level 58 self ended up in Molten Core, healing.
  4. I wasn't a maxed out restoration druid though. Up until Patch 3.0 I had a hybrid build of my own design (not the somewhat more common Dreamstate druid build.) I was never ever a tree. I was a crazy regrowth spamming caster lady. And I kicked everyone's butt in the healing department. :)
  5. With Patch 3.0 I went Boomkin. I'd flirted with it earlier in BC, and after the changes to restoration healing made tree pretty much mandatory for performing well, it seemed like a good idea to make that swap. And once you start boomkin dancing, it's hard to go back...

BONUS: My character's name is Psychocandy. You may call her Candy for short. No, you may not call her Psycho. She's named after a song. Go listen to it.

Next time: Anexxia gets the trip down memory lane.

On the Importance of Learning to Say "I'm sorry."

Chopper ride through Elwynn Forest

(unrelated screenshot is unrelated. my poor bank alt is cowering in fear at the Defias plaguing Elwynn, not at Cyn's driving. Honest.)

In my 4 and a half years of playing WoW, I've had a few run-ins with folks who clearly stepped over the line of common courtesy into the territory of "oh no you didn't just say that to/about me>.<"

The things said are irrelevant. Because everyone has a bad day now and then. Or says something they don't mean and immediately regret. It's what happens after you are horribly rude or offensive that matters.

The mature thing to do is to own your behavior. Take responsibility for having behaved like an ass. And simply say, "I'm sorry."

You may or may not have noticed something very important above. It's that I didn't say "I'm sorry, but..." Or "I'm sorry you were offended." That is, in fact, a very important period. If you have upset someone else, they do not want to hear your myriad justifications as to why. Your rationalizations are irrelevant. Your childhood traumas not a valid excuse.

If you want an example of how not to apologize, just look at that woman who tossed a poor friendly kitty into a recycle bin. She is a textbook example of someone "apologizing" and in fact digging themselves into a bigger hole.

Of course, in the World of Warcraft, no one is going to make you apologize if you don't want to do so. You can totally choose to piss someone off and continue on merrily as though nothing happened. But here's the whole truth of the matter: especially if your offense happened publicly, that person isn't going to forget about it.

Oh yes, I know, it's "humiliating" to apologize.  It puts you in a less powerful position than the person being apologized to. Or it makes you feel bad. Tough luck! How do you think you made the other person feel? Suck it up already -- it costs you nothing but a moment of misplaced pride to do the right thing and apologize. And it can sour your relationship with someone else permanently to be too proud to admit you messed up and to ask for forgiveness.

I've been on both ends of this spectrum. I've lost my temper and been an ass. And immediately, publicly apologized to those who bore witness to it, and to the person I put in a bad position. I've also been the wronged person, who had someone else sat from raids when they refused to apologize, and as soon as they did -- through gritted teeth-- gave them a second chance. No, we didn't become BFFs, but we did in fact become more friendly than we had been before the incident of unbridled rudeness.

I'm starting to feel old fashioned in my wanting folks to have personal accountability, be civil, and own their behavior. Don't folks teach their children any manners these days?

Hey kids! Get off my lawn! And if that ball comes into my yard, I'm keeping it!

Following Our Individual Paths in WoW


While fishing this weekend on my mage, aiming to get her skill to 450 (which she accomplished), I had plenty of time to think.

I fished up a penny with Private Marcus Jonathan's wish upon it:

"I wish to grow a glorious, bushy mustache someday."

I read that coin, then cast my line into the fountain.

What would my wish be, I thought to myself, that I would toss into that little wishy well?

I suppose, this lady's wish would be that she hopes to fight for the liberation of Gnomeregan someday.

I stopped to ponder what my other characters' wishes might be. Candy would wish for 150 vanity pets. And Anexxia would wish that tailors could make custom-dyed voodoo doll vanity pets. And my undead mage would wish she could make a flying potion, and enchant a broom with it...

At first blush, it may seem that they have wishes all over the place. But on closer look, they actually reflect what I like to spend my time in game. I love to collect the virtual pets and bring them out at every opportunity. And it's truly leveling my professions and collecting all the patterns that motivates my leveling a new toon. And after all that is said and done, it's the raiding that keeps me interested in my main.

What's interesting to me is that these things that keep me interested in the game and coming back for more are just but one tiny sliver of the things that keep folks engaged in the World of Warcraft. Some love to level alts. And others love to PvP. And then there are all the creative RPers. And all of us have found our very own happy place within the same game.

How crazy (and awesome) is that? That one game would appeal to so many of us from such varied backgrounds, across the U.S. -- and the planet for that matter. And that we can each choose to play the game and focus on those aspects that truly speak to us.

I think it's pretty fabulous. How about you?

Friday Five: Birthday Week Edition

Ah, birthday week! You were very good to me this year...

  1. My SO gave me the one thing I really really wanted for my birthday...

  2. Blizzard gave my druid her very own fancy schmancy fishing pole.
  3. Cynwise, Ambermist and I had a druid dance party in the Eventide...
  4. ...which inspired a battlechicken rap!
  5. And Anexxia got her very own Elwynn Lamb, bring her up to 100 vanity pets! Huzzah!

Not bad for what turned out to be a pretty hectic week, including a sick day in the middle of it.

Friday Five: Five Reasons I'm Glad I Server Transferred My Alliance Toons


About two months ago, I impetuously gave myself an early birthday present and transferred my favorite Alliance toons off the server of their inception (where I'd started playing WoW 4 1/2 years ago), and to a server where some of my favorite twitter/blog WoW peeps live. After two months in their new home, I give you, 5 reasons I know this was the right move:

  1. I have fun even while on my bank alt, thank to the chit chat in the /twitter channel.
  2. Did I mention the super robust economy yet? I'm not a real hardcore banker, but I do like to have a comfortable cushion of cash, especially heading into an expansion. Fcusing on a few small items, including my inscription, I've managed to squirrel away a little bit of cash, and pay for all sorts of must-purchases.
  3. My boomkin got to see the inside of ICC and ToC. Those were two items not on any of my bucket lists because on the old server, that just wasn't going to happen.
  4. A new home enabled me to finally get the gnome mage to 80. The tumbleweeds rolling through the prior server/guild's chat channels didn't inspire me to play for very long. I really do enjoy the social aspects of this game. Good conversation can keep me on for longer than I've intended, while lack of any conversation, or worse yet, conversation at the junior high school level, can chase me offline pretty quickly.
  5. I absolutely adore my night elf druid, with her 100 vanity pets, and her motorcycle, and her old skool titles, and her silly barrel roll jumps. And I really missed playing her. Getting to log her on and have something to do is absolutely priceless.

An Army of Druids


When I first started playng my druid, back in vanilla, I lucked into a guild full of druids. We had up to 8 in our MC raids, and even after we left the guild over time, we all stayed together, in a private chat channel, cheering each other on. Slowly but surely tho, after the past 4 years, folks stopped playing, and my army of druids was down to just me and my friend El. And eventually, I stopped playing her a year and a half ago.

But then, in a burst of energy around staving off the pre-expansion blues via seeing the Icecrown content from the Alliance POV, and getting my gnome to 80 so she can assist in the liberation of her home city, I picked the druid back up. And I found her a new home, with some of my favorite WoW tweeps/bloggers. My first night of raiding, what did I find? An army of druids! And this is how I knew she had come home again.

Thank you Blog Azeroth for this shared topic, suggested by Nenunial at The Rambling Draenei Death Knight. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

P.S. Please be sure to take part in this next week's topic -- suggested by me: What Should Give Guild Rep?

Friday Five: 5 Reasons to Roll an Opposite Faction Alt Today

  I was not the one that made Jaina cry

  1. Your Icecrown Citadel raid and 5-man content, and the Wrathgate chain, have some distinct differences depending upon what side you're playing for.
  2. Each starting zone has its own unique flavor, and causes you to look through that zone with a whole new lense.
  3. Cataclysm is going to bring significant changes to much of the old world content, so if you don't do it now, you may never have the opportunity to see many of the places/do many of the quests that tell the old stories of the scourge.
  4. The other side has better candy.
  5. You just might make some new friends who will help your future worgen/goblin alt steamroll through leveling post-Cataclysm.

P.S. I didn't make Jaina cry. She was crying when I got there! You have no proof of these foul accusations!

Leaving Your Guild Without Burning Bridges


There are certainly reasons for a ninja /gquit. Such as when your Raid Leader is a bully and the Officers you've talked to refuse to stand up to him. Or when the GL doesn't have anything to say to you that isn't full of venom and mean spiritedness and you are finally pushed a little bit too far. But unless you have the absolute worst luck, those situations are going to be the exception, and not the rule when it comes to why you decide to tell your guild Buh-Bye.

How Not to /gquit

If you want to leave your guild and still remain on good terms with the guildies you left behind, here are few things NOT to do:

  • DON'T make a passive aggressive post on the forums about how you really hate to leave but mysterious unnamed forces and their <insert conspiracy theory> leave you with no choice but to go to that raiding guild.
  • DON'T post your buh-bye note on the forums then linger around online, milking your goodbyes.
  • DON'T log on in the middle of a raid and dramatically /gquit.
  • DON'T /gquit without telling anyone what's up, and ideally, without talking to an officer or your GM to see if your issues are resolvable.
  • DON'T /w the guildies you left behind, chiding them for not camping on to your /gquit.
  • DON'T start actively recruiting for your new guild from the one you just left.
  • DON'T trash talk your guild or its members in trade or on the realm forums.
  • DON'T log back in to your old forums to gloat over the new loot/achievements you just got with your new guild, or to tell your former guildies how they should change all their raid strats to match what your new guild does.
  • DON'T decide to leave, and line up your new guild, but come to one last raid and blow all your DKP on BiS items. You may feel that you "earned it" but your guildies will be bitter you chose to take that payout and run.
  • DON'T take all that you can carry from the gbank.
  • DON'T be surprised if you DO all of the above and want to leave behind an alt and find them unguilded 48 hours later.

Making a Graceful Exit

It's really not that hard to leave a guild with style, leaving the door open for your eventual return, and reinforcing the friendships you are leaving behind. A few tips:

  • Make a thoughtful goodbye post.
    State honestly, but courteously, why you are leaving. Good examples are: leaving to raid more, to raid less, to play on another server with RL friends/spouse. If you're leaving because your RL is a bully or you have another such personal conflict with a guildie, your goodbye note is not the right place to get into those gory details. You are trying to make a graceful exit after all, remember? Stick with something honest but more general in such a case, such as the guild did not turn out to be quite the fit you are looking for.
  • Share any specific reasons you are leaving with an officer or the GL before you go.
    Ideally, you'll do this before saying your goodbyes. This helps the Officer team understand how the guild may be improved, or if there are any gaps between the recruitment process and the reality of everyday guild activities that may need to be addressed. For instance, if you were looking for a casual raiding guild, but are leaving because once every two weeks is a lot more casual than you were expecting, that's good actionable feedback. If you are leaving due to an ongoing issue that you'd informed officers about, consider sharing with a different person this time around to see if that message sinks in.

Leaving gracefully basically boils down to being considerate of others, and not surprising anyone. This goes double if you are in a position of leadership in your guild. When an officer or raid leader ninja server transfers or faction changes, or just /gquits and turns up in a competing guild  few moments later, it understandably leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

With Cataclysm on the horizon, we're going to see a bunch more folks coming and going as guilds shake out and develop their identity -- be it 10-man, 25-man, or no- raiding. You never know where your guildies are going to end up, so why not make an extra effort to ensure you don't end up on their personal "do not invite" list?

It's inevitable along the way to have one really guild break-up but there's no reason they should all be that way. Safe travels and good luck.

Friday Five: 5 Boomkin Good Things


  1. If you stack 2 boomkin together for Saurfang, you can do synchronized dancing and jumping that just may leave folks wondering if they're seeing double. Mwahahaha. May also lead them to become hypnotized.
  2. Blizz announced that mastery 5% bonuses are contingent upon every piece of your armor being your appropriate proficiency. This means they are now accountable for ensuring boomkins actually have a BiS leather piece for every slot. Huzzah!
  3. Despite my long work hours, I've been able to fill in and kill some bosses here and there in ICC. That's 100% more Icecrown action than I thought this lady would ever have.
  4. I'm slowly narrowing in on getting the boomkin her PUG pug puppy. This is in large part why she has finally gotten rid of all her T7 Naxx 10 gear. I am still stuck with an ilvl 200 badge trinket, but I can live with it.
  5. Not a lot is more gratifying than going into a crowded skinnable pack, popping starfall+barkskin then slapping down a hurricane. Boomkin AOE is even more awesome than my beloved mind sear. For serious.

Happy Friday! And safe travels.

And the Winner is...Me! Blazing Hippogryph Mount is All Mine

  Priest on Blaxing Hippogryph TCG mount

That's right, your eyes are not deceiving you: that's an undead priest on a hippogryph mount. Mwahahahaha!

You see, over the course of the past month, I'd been retweeting the @rawrcast contest twitter phrase, for a chance to win a Blazing Hippogryph mount code, courtesy of the peeps. (NOTE: I've been a subscriber to the Rawrcast podcast for a good while, and had been following them on twitter since I made my first serious effort to find all the folks whose blogs I read/podcasts I listened to and follow them.)

I certainly didn't expect to win -- after all I most commonly roll a 6 or a 7 whenever I want an item that drops in a raid. Lucky is *not* my middle name.

So it seriously made my week to get a DM that I'd won the mount from the June contest. For those of you not familiar with it, the mount is an exceptionally uncommon loot card from the WoW trading card game.

  Shadow Priest on Blaxing Hippogryph TCG mount

Her feet are even still on fire in shadowform! How cool is that?

When I told my guildies of my extreme good luck, my GM asked me "So, wait, did you set a hippogryph on fire, Anexxia?" "! Of course not! It was on fire when I found it!" (likely story, yes?)

I don't think I'll be eligible to win their Blizzcon t-shirt slogan contest now, but that won't stop me from sending them my ideas...I am torn between a 2-sider with "I remember you..." on the front and " the mountains" on the back, or, in the sassy spirit their podcast embodies, maybe a naughty defile reference, but I am honestly too tired at the moment to think of one witty enough.

  Shadow Priest on Blaxing Hippogryph TCG mount

And yes, I milled around in Dalaran to show the guildies my new toy.

Thanks again Rawrcast -- you've made this pet and mount collector very very happy.


Mission Accomplished: Gnome Mage Dings 80!


With a lot of help from friends and guildies who patiently helped Fyn and I grind out XP and phat lewts in regular dungeons all day today, my wee gnome mage, who languished at 72 for the better part of a year and a half, hit 80 today. I am so proud. She will now be both ready and able to assist with the Gnomer liberation in a few months. Huzzah!

P.S. did you know penguins can fly? I had no idea:


Continue reading "Mission Accomplished: Gnome Mage Dings 80!" »

BQL25 and Dreamwalker25 Also Completed!

Wow. What a week for us Pirates...

Two new bosses down in 25-man tonight, and after killing Halion on Tuesday. I'm wiped out just thinking about all that raiding...


Blood Queen gave us a little trouble, thanks to blips with the bite order, then Dreamwaker was a relative cakewalk. I think we got her on our second try. Which was probably our third try ever on 25man. Thank you WoW Gods for a great night of raiding.


Halion Dead!


It was cool to get to sub in unexpectedly tonight when I got home. My second shot at him, and WHAM! Dead! Whooohoo!

I had an easy job -- stayed out in Phase 3 if I understand it correctly. Ran around and avoided that damn fire that gave me Mount Hyjal flashbacks. Avoided the General Vezax void crashes on the ground. Ran away from the fire circles. Had a great time. Not bad for a Tuesday night.

My Wrath of the Lich King Best Ofs...

  some things are better left alone. this lady is too big for the talbuk.
With the Wrath of the Lich King expansion all but completed, this felt like a good time to look back at WotLK and share my thoughts on what was most memorable and fun for me in this expansion.

Best Quest Chain Payoff: Wrathgate.

I've heard through the grapevine that some people I know actually avoid or skip this chain while leveling, but so far, I've completed it as soon as possible on each of my characters, be they Alliance or Horde.

I remember my first time through, which was Alliance-side. I was so proud when Bolvar Fordragon said to me, as an aside, Psychocandy, I remember what you did for me back in the day." (I paraphrase. but still.) Bolvar? Remember little ol' me? My heart fluttered, it truly did. And then I followed him into battle, only to watch him fall in battle, always the hero.

That would have been enough to give it the best of slot, but it's capped off with the Battle for the Undercity, which showed off their phasing capabilities, and truly made me feel I was an integral part of the storyline in a way nothing had previously.

Second runner up: The Wolvar and Gorlok chains in Sholozar basin."You see his face? He so scared!"

Best Addition to the Shadow Priest's Arsenal: Mind Sear.

Mind sear, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...I love you when the tank mispulls two packs but holds onto them. I love you when the pack of geists comes in to Rotface/Festergut's corridor. I love you when they # gets to something unfathomable on recount. And I most especially loved you on Ony's whelps. How did shadow priests live without an AOE? oh that's right, everyone used to love us for being a mana battery and for having a passive heal that was often a solid third healer in raids. That's right...


Second runner up: Improved Devouring Plague. Spam it baby!

My Biggest Sense of Accomplishment, Raid Edition: Defeating Arthas.

I honestly can not think of any other boss that took as much time and trial and error as Arthas. This is partially due to the changing nature of our raid teams each night. My earlier WoW raiding was almost always with pretty much the same 25/40 people each week, which made progression a little more smooth and go a little more quickly. But it just made the victory over him that much sweeter. The fact that he popped up throughout the expansion, taunting us, also gave us more bloodthirst than I had for Illidan, for example. I actually felet somewhat bad about breaking into Illidan's house and stealing his stuff. Killing Arthas? We were doing the work of the Light, and freeing him.

My Biggest Sense of Accomplishment, Not About Raiding: Finally Making a Go of it Horde-side.a.k.a. the little shadow priest that could. This entire blog for the past year has, essentially, been a chronicle of that.

My Hero of the Expansion: Bolvar Fordragon.

Yes, I know I talk about Bolvar a lot. And I named my kitty after him too. But for good reason! He embodied the goodness of the light in all things he did. Starting initially with the end of the Onyxia chain, but in WotLK with the Wrathgate chain, and ending with the Lich King's death cut scene, Bolvar Fordragon was always a hero, sacrificing himself for the greater good. They don't make heroes like him often. A big thank you to Blizzard for keeping true to his character throughout the expansion. Even though you disregarded his final wish to keep things quiet *glances at Dalaran fountain.*

No one even came close for me, so no runners-up for this. Sorry Tirion Fordring, even though you were a great hulking Paladin you just didn't capture my heart. Especially not after the raid nicknamed you Captain Popsicle.

Best waste of my gold: The Mechanohog.

Yeah yeah yeah. It's a waste of gold. You don't need a motorcycle. But it's so shiny! I had to make it twice. And I have never thought to myself that I wanted back the 12,500G in vendor mats that I spent on it. It paid for itself in amusing me while waiting for Ulduar raids to start, as I jumped off stairwells and foothills with abandon.

Second Runner Up: Making my very first engineer her helicoptors.


I'll post more best ofs as they occur to me. Because Summertime is all about sequels, yes? But what about you? What are your WotLK Best ofs?

Friday Five: Five Things That Should Give you Guild Rep in Cataclysm

The recent information Blizzard released to all of us who are eagerly awaiting the Cataclysm expansion mentioned that we'll all need to build reputation with our guild to take advantage of guild rewards, with Exalted reputation needed with your guild for some items, on each character who wants to take advantage of said guild perks. Given this little slice of information, I started wondering just what will end up granting you faction with your guild. Which then led me to what *should* grant you faction with your guild.

Here is my only slightly-tongue in cheek list:

  1. Warlocks summoning the tardy to raids at raid start time. Triple bonus rep for putting down more than one demon tv in 5 minutes to summon those who didn't notice the five summonses you already sent them.
  2. Crafting rep-based gear for your guildies. After all, it takes you time to grind out the rep to be able to make the gear, so that should count a a guild contribution, shouldn't it?
  3. Standing around a capital city, waiting 15 minutes to do an enchant for your guildies as they run to and fro trying to piece together the materials. 10 rep per 15 minutes of waiting on guildies time seems fair, yes?
  4. Putting out food for your group to enjoy and get that well fed buff. After all, you put in the time fishing and cooking up that feast, so seems fair you get a small perk for that.
  5. Answering the question "have the invites gone out yet?" -- that alone should be 10 points per answer, which would net upwards of 200 faction points per night, especially on weekly quest night. ;p

What would you add to this list? What do you think should give *you* guild rep? Take part in the August 2-7 Blog Azeroth Shared topic!

Dungeon Finder + Holiday Boss= Win

  Murloc suit

You were probably expecting to see a screenshot of my shadow priest mindflaying away on the new holiday boss, weren't you? But I don't have any screenshots of that run due to a funny little glitch. You see, I was talking to my SO as I queued in the dungeon finder to go fight Lord Ahune. And although I am positive I queued as a DPS (I have never ever queued her as a healer as I have never healed as a priest despite having forked over $1k G for dual spec holy), I got sent in as a healer.


The group, 4 guildies from another server, didn't remember anything about the boss. I took that opportunity to tell them I'd never healed and had not intended to heal but would give it my best shot. The ice stone was melted, and then I watched the adds run around and eat the rogue. And then the other melee, DPS, then the shadow priest, myself, and the tank.

Uh, that didn't go so well.

We briefly discussed what it was exactly that folks should be doing (melee should hit what the tank is hitting not tank mobs), and take 2 was so flawless we killed Ahune in our first pass of his ready to be damaged state (yes I DoT'd and wanded my bony undeaded arms off during that phase.)

I was so pleased that we all survived and killed Ahune that I felt just like the jumping for joy murloc suited me above.

I went on to kill him on two other characters with two to three friends plus some LFD peeps to round out our party. And this is coming from someone who stubbornly 3-manned most of the holiday bosses last year with my and my SO's army of alts and was not excited about having to go with a full 5-man party via LFD.

So far I haven't seen any of the shiny new fun loot (the shaman did get a cloak upgrade for her healing set though), but am crossing my fingers that at least one of my ladies gets to take home a frosty elemental pet. Several could also use the Frostscythe of Lord Ahune

For reference, here are the possible ilvl 232 cloaks obtainable from his chest:

How's your Summer Fire Festival going so far? I've only toe-dipped with Ahune at this point, but hope to get further along with the achievement this year than I did last year.

There Go My Blizzcon Dreams...


This year, Blizzcon falls during my sabbatical. Which meant attending Blizzcon was finally possible (we are usually really busy at work during Blizzcon) and would have been a great excuse to visit friends in Southern California to boot.

But it was not meant to be.

Wednesday night, I was 4250 or so in queue, and got the sold out page when I hit the 500 mark in line. Today? 8500 or so in queue.


I was looking forward to having a chance to meet up with some of my favorite WoW tweeps and bloggers. And to participate in a celebration of the game that I love and have been playing for 4 1/2 years now (!) Oh well. At least we gave it a good try.

Tempting to head down there that weekend anyhow, since it would be a great chance to meet folks, but not sure it would be super fun to hear about what a great time everyone else had at the Con when I couldn't actually attend, ya know? Might try to see if folks are coming out a few days before and plan a meetup then. Or something.

Also, I hope those eBay scalpers enjoy being reported by my more vigilante tweeps!

Now, back to leveling the DK's mining! She's almost to 300 now (in a late burst of speed the iMac made it back to me last night). I refuse to take her to Outland until she can mine the Fel Iron. RAWR!