Everything Looks Better in Shadowform

BEFORE shadow


AFTER shadow.

No, aesthetics aren't why I love my shadow priesty ways, but DAMN! She looks hottt in shadowform. Just saying.

This lady was my first horde character, and the only one I have leveled to level cap, three times over now. I started her on the server one of my RL friends played on, thinking we would get to hang out and do stuff together, but that's just not how it turned out. I eventually suckered all my friends into rolling horde alts there as well, and started a lowbie guild. But it turns out I have a bunch of online friends who like to start -- and abandon -- 4 or 5 lowbie alts at a time. And tho I do love Shadowfang Keep, I grew tired of running everyone's alts through it as my primary guild activity.

Early this year, I vowed not to let another level cap raise come and go without this lady (who has always been one of my favorites) getting to see some action. So I rolled a mage to test out the all-girls guild affiliated with an online girls gaming community of which I'm a member. I found the gchat to be lively, and decided to take the punge. In retrospect I have to say it's the best $25 I've spent gaming.

Despite my 3 week Internet outage, I made decent time taking her to 80. I ground out her tailoring to ensure she would have a full set of blue gear at 80. I spent countless hours working on reputation so that slowly but surely she could get a good weapon, access to the Hodir shoulder enchants, etc.

Despite my 3 years experience playing WoW, and the fact that I did some raiding (Kara) on my alliance shadowpriest (who I rolled only b/c I was tired of not having anyone to play with horde-side), I initially did not have the confidence playing this lady in groups. But my patient and supportive guildies gamely invited me on my first heroic, and many more after that. In the past two weeks, after our guild's first Naxx weekend, I felt good enough about her gear and dps to to volunteer for open slots in a few heroics put together by our allied guild.

It's all I hoped for and then some. Heck, she even got to do Vault and OS 10 mans today! My formerly overworked shaman can't even say that.

I still have my alliance toons, and pop on them to do the occasinal raid with my friends, or just to say hi, but this lady is the one getting all my time and attention... and it is finally starting to show!

Cooking Achievements Update

Pre-expansion, I compiled a guide to the Cooking Achievements that lead to the "Chef" in-game title. After skilling up my cooking on multiple characters, I've discovered that at least three of the required recipes for the Northrend Gourmet achievement do not appear to be currently attainable -- Kungaloosh, Fish Feast, and Orca Stew.

There are quest chains that reward you with a stack of Kungaloosh and Orca Stew, but neither quest provides you with the recipe to make those items. The Fish Feast looks like it should be a Dalaran Cooking Awards purchase, but it's not on the vendor. Since the achievement requires you to make 45 of 46 possible recipes, these omissions would make this achievement not possible. I have a GM ticket turned in on this topic and will report back if they let me know how this issue is going to be addressed.

The Long Road to 80...

Slowly but surely, I am still slogging along to 80. Many of the folks I previously raided with pushed to 80 in a week or so, seemingly playing 24-hours-per-day. I, on the other hand, work 40+ hours per week, which  leaves me playing nights and weekends only.

So far, the tally is:

  • 76 resto shaman
  • 74 BOOMkin
  • 71 frost mage
  • 70 shadow priest (horde and alliance)

I had intended on taking the druid to 80 first, followed by the shaman, but it became evident pretty quickly that our guild, which for Karazahn had been awash with healers, was more in need of a healer than a Boomkin. Thus, I have the 74 and the 76 instead of an 80. I am sure this is a familiar tale.

After I actually ding 80, I'll be creating some enchanting, cooking, and jewelcrafting guides for the site.

Happy adventuring!

Get Thee to Dalaran!

Since the expansion has been up and  running for a few days now, if you are interested in getting your professions (or fishing/cooking achievements) started, you really do need to get yourself to Dalaran. You  have 3 options for doing so:

  1. Wait for level 74 at which point you will be eligible for a quest that sends you there.
  2. Find a level 74 mage and pay them to port you to Dalaran
  3. If you see a friend of yours milling around Dalaran, have them queue you up as a  group to go to the Battlegrounds...which will eventually pop you out where you were queued -- i.e. Dalaran

I highly suggest that before you head to Dalaran, however, that you ensure you have your factions two starting area flight paths, and have gotten the Kalu'ak flight paths between Kamagua and Moa'ki Harbor and Kaskala. Note that turtle boats travel from Mo'ak Harbor to the other 2 locations, making the flight paths easy to obtain.

I'm in Dalaran, Now What?

First things first-- set your hearth at an inn. You have two choices -- your faction's inn, or the Inn in the Underbelly. Next up, head to Krases Landingand grab the flight path. Finally, take a good solid hour and explore the city. There are a lot of amzing sites -- and vendors-- within the shops. And be sure to tour the sewers. There's even a [Ghostly Skull] in pet in it for you if you can part with 40g.

After I made it to Dalran, my first orders of business included completing my first daily cooking quests, and stocking up on Northern Spices, purchased with my Dalaran Cooking Awards. And then I spent a few ours(!) working on fishing in the fountain. And somewhere in there I also bought a train set. Be warned, however, that the humor deficient may complain about the /train that ensues after you put your train set to work. And the toy shop may be hazardous to your mount fund.

The Battle for Stormwind

We knew something was up in Stormwind, since the King had set up camp in the Harbor. Valiant warriors lined the lookout point, keen to be the first to see attackers on the horizon.

Whatever was going on, clearly, the King was not pleased.

Once the invaders struck, I could not help my innate boomkin tendencies...and much rooting ensued.

Did I mention they were VERY BIG roots?

Relative calm came over the harbor after we pushed back the invaders.

And much rejoicing -- and some DDR (Druid Dance Revolution) ensued.

Less Than 24 Hours 'til Wrath...

Unlike many other folks, I am not heading out to stand in line to obtain my copy of Wrath at Midnight tonight. We probably have 5 midnight signings in a 30-mile radius, btw. I am just not a standing-in-line-for-4-hours kind of a person. We did actually get in the car and head out for the Midnight release of Burning Crusade. But by 11:00 p.m., when we arrived, there were already 300-400 people in line. We went home and picked up our copy of the expansion early the next morning.

Thanks to last night's unexpected downtime, and today's maintenance that was supposed to be completed no later than 50 minutes ago, I have not done the few last minute things I wanted to do for my characters to get them ready for Northrend on Thursday. However, unlike Thrall, I've got a map for my invasion that includes Northrend:

  1. Move all of my 70s to their chosen starting area before logging out tonight. Alliance side this means half at Menethil Harbor amd half at Stormwind Harbor. Horde-side, Undercity. I like to hedge my bets.
  2. Take Too Many Annas' suggestion and turn off YELL in my chat panel to help save my sanity. To turn off /yell  right clicking on the general tab of your chat window, go to settings, and uncheck the box next to Yell.  This will filter out annying players yelling YOUR MOM...but you’ll still hear NPC yells.
  3. Grab good quality water x80 for all 70s (-the mage) from IF/SW/UC.
  4. Double-check they have a 20-stack of their two favorite elixirs. If not, make them on the alchemist.
  5. Get the screenshot folder organized -- there's gonna be a lot of neat stuff to see and many pix to snap.

Once I get to Northrend I have 2 top priorities:

  1. Train up all professions on all 5 toons. This includes cooking and fishing.
  2. The mage will be recalling to Shatt as soon as she trains her alchemy so she can grab a last few skill points from old world herbs while making my toons their flask of choice.

Orgrimmar Under Attack!


After Thrall and Hellscream had a smackdown, trying to work out their longstanding...issues --with Thrall getting his ass handed to him -- in a shocking turn of events...

They were interrupted by an invasion of ghouls and frostwyrms in the Valley of Honor. 

I valiantly dotted up these flying carcasses, and dispatched many of them into the valley floor.

Who knows what tomorrow brings, but as always, I fight by the Dark Lady's side.

Countdown to Wrath...


With less than a week until the expansion, I have busied myself doing all the typical activities--

  • Cleaning out my banks
  • Selling off excess enchants as scrolls on the auction house
  • Mad rep grind to get the Ambassador title for one of my alts
  • Rerolling an undead mage (she's the lady in the above screenie) on a new server to see if it would be a better place for my shadow priest to play
  • Character transferring my shadow priest to that server I rerolled on, with its seemingly more active horde population

What have you been up to?

Packrats of the World of Warcraft Rejoice!

My druid's bank is full. It's always been full. There are her 35 vanity pets, the miscellaneous quest items...the full sets of Tier 1 and Tier 2 gear she can't bear to part with, the boomkin set she totes around with her...

I've gotten a lot of grief from guildies and friends over my packrattyness. "You're never going to want to wear any of that again", they say. "That crap is taking up all your bank slots", etc.  But truth be told, I didn't just keep the clothes around to play dress up -- I also kept them as mementos from my early days raiding. I mean, after all the bad luck I had pursuing [Will of Arlokk], I just can't shard it now can I?

As it turns out, Blizzard is rewarding packrats like me in two ways when the patch lands today:

  1. My plentiful mounts and vanity pets will become spells, freeing up 2 bags
  2. All the "crap" in my bank that dropped off final raid bosses will be proof of my killing them for their associated achievements

Unfortunately, I didn't save much that dropped for my main in heroic dungeons-- she usually had better gear from raiding than anything that could drop for her in them. I have a feeling though that after the patch we will see some renewed interest in heroics, for the achievement factor.

Today's post-work WoW agenda: Level inscription. Learn all mounts/vanity pets as spells. Reorganize contents of newly thinned-out banks. Retrain everyone.

WotLK: Factions to Grind

When it comes to picking factions to grind, I keep in mind a few variables: gear I can use for a specific character, supporting recipes for their professions, and vanity pets. I mean, would I have ground out Sporeggar rep to Exalted had there not been a [Tiny Sporebat]? No way!

With that criteria in mind, I made a list of the Wrath of the Lich King factions known to have reputation-based rewards.


The above factions with a * allow you to purchase a tabard at Friendly. When worn in a dungeon, that tabard allows you to earn rep with that faction, regardless of the reputation associated with the dungeon in which you are fighting. A nice way to encourage folks to branch out into a variety of dungeons, rather than living for a month in one just for grinding rep.

In addition to the above factions, if you are an engineer interested in acquiring the plans to make a [Mekgineer's Chopper]/[Mechano-hog], you will have to grind 4 factions you might otherwise skip maxing out: Horde Expedition Exalted (The Hand of Vengeance, The Sunreavers, The Taunka, and Warsong Offensive) or Alliance Vanguard Exalted (Explorers' League, The Frostborn, The Silver Covenant and Valiance Expedition). As of right now, I haven't seen any details on faction-specific rewards for these individual factions. There is a quartermaster for the combined grouping, however, the rewards are not that interesting other than the motorcycle. But as with anything not yet live, that remains to be seen.

The biggest surprise to me after reviewing all the reputation rewards was the lack of Blacksmithing, Alchemy, and Enchanting recipes from faction grinds. I'd gotten quite used to making my druid enchanter chase after a variety of factions to round out her enchanting repertoire.

Details on specific faction rewards after the cut.

Continue reading "WotLK: Factions to Grind" »

List of Lists: WotLK Info

Too Many Annas has put together a great compendium of WotLK information resources.

Be sure to check out the Banana Shoulders-produced "Siha's Inscription Guide" linked to therein and go cry. I am not sure where I can stuff any more herbs before my Scribe-to-be's bank explodes. Her recommended shopping list is a little more than what I have on hand right now:

  • 150x Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf
  • 100x Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Mageroyal, Stranglekelp, or Swiftthistle
  • 285x Grave Moss, Kingsblood, Liferoot, or Wild Steelbloom
    (NEED 40)
  • 270x Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, or Wintersbite
    (NEED 50)
  • 270x Arthas’ Tears, Blindweed, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Purple Lotus, or Sungrass
    (NEED 50)
  • 235x Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom
  • 490x Any Outland herbs

Guess my day's WoW plans are now clear to me...

Cooking Achievements in Wrath

Although it's not as awesome as "Iron Chef" you can earn a "Chef" title from achievements after Wrath of the Lich King launches. To earn the title, you need to complete all of the following cooking achievements:

  • Grand Master cook
  • The Cake Is Not A Lie
  • Kickin' It Up a Notch
  • The Northrend Gourmet
  • Second That Emotion
  • Critter Glitter
  • Our Daily Bread (differs for horde and alliance)
  • Dinner Impossible
  • Captain Rumsey's Lager
  • Sous Chef
  • The Outland Gourmet

Read on for details on each achievement's criteria.

P.S. Collecting all the recipes in game is not required for the Chef title, but it is a related achievement. I've compiled a guide to all the recipes currently available in game and how to obtain them.

Continue reading "Cooking Achievements in Wrath" »