Goblin Shaman Says: For the Dark Lady!

goblin lady on a bony pony

Oh what a glorious thing it is to reach your goals.

Early this week, the adorable goblin lady you see here hit exalted with the Forsaken, on her march to level 40.

This sufficiently incented me to crank through a couple more levels (thank you LFD and your 4-9 min waits for lowbie dungeons) so I could get her a pony.

OK, actually, I got her...7 ponies. But this is her favorite.

Yeah, the epic tryke is flashy and all, but this is what she really wanted.

Because nothing shows your allegiance to Lady Sylvanas more than prancing around on one of her ponies.

Awwwww yeah baby!

10 more levels then I can train up my professions again, but I have an 82 and an 84 who need some questing as well.

So much alting to do and so little time....

Happy Friday!


Screenshot Friday: My Favorite Gnomey

still life with gnome and night elf

 This little gnome makes my heart go pitter patter.

We just celebrated our 6 year anniversary this week. And believe it or not, we've been playing WoW together for five of those years.

He's been by my side through ridiculous guild meltdowns, megalomaniac raid leaders, passive aggressive guild leaders, three expansions, and untold numbers of ridiculous guild (and guild forums) dramas. We've fought side-by-side to save Bolvar, ridden our motorcycles all over Azeroth together, and cleared out ZF I don't know how many times.

When I'm feeling down, his sexy gnome dance can usually bring a smile. I mean how can you resist the sexy gnome dance?

For all these things and so much more, I am so lucky. Love you, Wrenz.

aren't these goggles the awesome?

Farewell Old Azeroth


Last night in Azeroth -- what to do? Take a morotcycle ramble around the old world of course. So many memories. Like fighting the world dragon in Ashzara. And my first explorations of Darkshore on my baby druid, my first toon. Remembering the fear of running past Splintertree post as a baby druid (ahhh! they're after me!) So many friendly quest givers, so many scenic spots that took my breath away on first view, then became a part of my game world, familiar territory, for five years of playing.

Fought back some horde picking on a poor little old shadow priest. Killed the Winterfall Runners. Stopped to watch the antelope frolic in the Barrens. And woke up this morning to a message intercepted from an angry dragon. Things will never be the same.

Farewell old Azeroth, and hello to the New World (of Warcraft) Order.

Starcaller Anexxia

Face to Face with Algalon

My last major achievement of Wrath of the Lich King. I never really put it on my to hope for list. I was afraid of being disappointed. Especially after all the Sunday afternoons spent watching people run into fire on Mimiron Firefighter attempts...


But tonight, I got to see Algalon for the first time. And after 40 minutes of working on him, we defeated him. And that makes me Starcaller Anexxia. And I am nearly teary eyed over it. Because it feels good to hit up that one last thing as the days tick down on this expansion.

Thank you Emtox for perservering on this, even in the face of flaking and no shows. This meant a lot.

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.

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.

The King is Dead! Long Live the Lich King!

Last night, after 11 raiding nights, spread out over 5-6 weeks, at a cost of about $1,000 gold to those of us who came most nights (we had a few weeks with repairs turned on which was a blessing, but this is still our RL's ballpark cost), we defeated the Lich King.With 10/10 standing for the ending which feels pretty damn impressive to me for a first kill.

This also meant I FINALLY got to experience the cut scene and the ending of the fight myself. The cinematic was a perfect end cap to the Wrathgate cinematic, and an effective closure to this expansion.

Good job Blizzard. And thank you for keeping one of my favorite characters true to himself to the very end. Sniffle. That's all I am saying about the ending and the cinematic, to avoid spoiling it for anyone. And yes, at the end of the fight, I thanked my guildies for allowing me to make it through that fight to see the conclusion myself first-hand, without having it spoiled.

The spoilers from twitterland prepared me somewhat for the ending but did not totally ruin the impact for me. So that's a good thing. And thank you for Naie after that incident for encouraging me to keep hope alive I could attain my personal goal, retaining the rallying cry I yelled every night 1 of every ICC raid we've done as a team.

It's been a long road to the Lich King. My RL just reminded me it has been 3 tanks, 5 healers, and 10 dps that participated in the learning curve from start to finish too. A huge effort. But we're done. It feels pretty amazing to actually kill the final boss of an expansion before the next expansion (or all its uber talent changes hits -- hello patch 3.0 I am looking at you.)

I took a ton of screenshots, none of which I am posting here as most are incredibly spoilerific, like this one. And I sat down on the stairs of the frozen throne for a very long time, and got screenshots there with some of my favorite raiders.

How We Stack Up

Just for fun, here are some statistics regarding our server's raiding progress, courtesy of Guild Progress:

Ranked Guilds: 310
209 Alliance 101  Horde
Icecrown Citadel 10 Boss Kills
    • Lich King 5.81%
    • Sindragosa 10.65%
    • Rescue Valithiria 18.39%
    • Blood-Queen Lana'thel 15.81%
    • Blood Prince Council 18.39%
    • Professor Putricide 19.35%
    • Festergut 39.03%
    • Rotface 33.87%
    • The Deathbringer 44.84%
    • Gunship Battle 48.71%
    • Lady Deathwhisper 49.68%
    • Lord Marrowgar 50.97%

  • Lock Hits Level 70!


    Kandira was 2 bars away from 70 last night when I got pulled in to ICC 10, filling in for a raider's no show (our three standby folks had also not turned up.) Raid time was followed by dinner, then back to the Outland salt mines to finish up for the big ding.

    I dinged turning in a quest in Shadowmoon Valley, just a few minutes after completing my Outland exploration achievement. My first pit stop was my bank vault, to pullout the materials I'd been saving up for my turbo charged flyer. I was pretty close except in one area -- Khorium. Despite having mined a few nodes over the course of leveling, I had only 17 ores and had to buy the rest. OUCH! That's all we'll say about that.

    So now the little lock is almost grown up. I suspect that these last 10 levels in Northrend will take a while. I hope she won't sit out here a year like the poor neglected Alliance toons...

    Ding! Baby Warlock Hits 60!


    That's right -- warlock dinged 60 and got to make her helicopter today!

    The one upside to a weekend shut up in the apartment thanks to the stomach bug that KOd me.

    Believe it or not, she's my first lock. Which means I also got to enjoy doing the Infernal quest chain for myself as well (I'd helped the SO do that at level in vanilla.)

    So far, I am really enjoying the warlock. And am toying with her being my backup plan should anything horrible befall shadow priests in Cataclysm.

    Baby Druid is All Grown Up!


    Yup, that's my not-so-little lady. Moments after dinging 80 and putting on all her shiny new clothes that she had banked. Including the Jet'ze's Bell that dropped several months ago for Guld in the Storm Peaks.

    I spent a while getting her dual spec purchased, and gemming an enchanting everything, then hopped into the LFD finder, with my pocket priest healer. After a few successful runs where I did respectable DPS (nice to see druid AOE in the 5s can do so well), I even set my priest go, and did some on my own.

    Later this week, I'll need to dig through the interwebs to find a good Boomkin and Resto spec, and for some ideas on spell priorities. It has, after all, been over a year since I've had a max level druid to DPS with.

    In other alt news, I cleaned up the mage's teribad spec, and finally took her to CoS, netting her a Drake (I actually won a roll against another person. For serious!) Her DPS is much improved. Yeah!

    And finally, took the shaman in to one of our alt ICC 10s. Was somewhat amused that we got the Saurfang speed kill achievement on our alts. Somewhat less amused to note that certain alts with a ton of ilvl 200/219 gear did higher DPS than better geared mains of the same spec have done in there. Cough.

    Happy Monday, and Safe Travels!

    Nothing Says "Happy Anniversary!" Like a Chopper


    Today is our six year anniversary. Since tonight's a raid night and Monday is always one of the toughest work days of the week, we celebrated with a fabulous dinner out last night. So, in the spirit of celebrating a day early, I gave my guy his anniversary gift in game a day early: his very own Chopper.

    It was a little less than a year ago that he finally got his first chopper made, on his gnome warlock. The same day he made mine if memory serves. I remember us saving gold up and counting our coppers from every auction that came in as we worked towards the goal of getting to make them. I want to say he got maybe a few weeks use out of it before I made the decision to make my horde main my primary WoW time focus, turning the page on three years of Alliance raiding and fun that felt increasingly stale for me by that point.

    Once it was clear my heart was set on playing horde, he rolled his DK, Guld, on my new server. And the rest is history. It took me a year to save up, and took a sneaky guildie accomplice to craft it for me last weekend. It makes me happy we can now be our own little motorcycle gang of two again. Riding around Dalaran and raising hell.


    Long Weekend Update Grab Bag


    Alts and Achievements

    Slowly but surely, I keep pushing my alts up that leveling hill. My warlock hit the big 4-0 on Monday, which meant...PONY!! The druid actually hit 78 too, but all she got were some feral talent upgrades she'll never use.


    Anexxia got her Love Fool title while my shaman got started on it, and I tried to make a small dent in the Elders achievement as well. I get a little restless doing an achievement as unwieldy and far flung as the Lunar Festival with its trekking across the globe to honor the Elders. So I have combined it with outstanding area exploration and herbing. I do need to give props to Blizzard for replacing the TB Elder with Ezra Wheathoof. It was a classy touch.


    Raid-wise, we had a good attempt on Putricide in 10 (40% when most of us in the team had not seen him), and in 25 we got Festergut to 9% which far exceeds our prior attempts. It took a while to get the spore management flowing properly, and we had to suspend attempts while a raid member had an extended work-related AFK. But our final attempt showed we can do it if we get folks to show up and focus next week. It was a positive end to a week that found folks expressing frustration in our forums RE: the lack of progress in ICC over the past month.

    Personally, I would, of course, like for us to progress more quickly. And I also get frustrated when folks haven't come to raids prepared (i.e. both knowing the strats and having their flasks/food.) And I understand how it can feel annoying when folks get caught up on fight mechanics that seem simple.

    To be frank, given the turmoil we had earlier this month with all of our raid schedulers quitting that task, a healer and DPS giving themselves a multi-week time out from raiding and a tank and DPS leaving the guild entirely, I am happy we have tread water. And I am confident as things have stabilized that we can and WILL do better.

    Furthermore, the guild's charter is to be inclusive with the raiding, which is always going to mean a slower pace. But since we don't even have a Cataclysm BETA in place, we are looking at not having another raid to conquer for what? 6 months? Thinking back to the end of BC, folks got to where they could get in BT (or not as the case may be) then defaulted to running their myriad alts through Kara. I personally ran and geared up 4 toons through there and made myself thoroughly sick of it.

    We've got plenty of time to conquer the Lich King. And unlike Ulduar, which only 1 10-man in our guild completed, and only one time at that, we won't be running up against an easy loot pinata raid with better ilvl gear.

    We have time to work on this and to improve. Folks just need a little patience.

    ICC by the Skin of Our Teeth


    Last night, after weeks of banging our heads against 25-man Lady RepairBill, as Moober affectionately nicknamed her, my guild finally took her down, and did a gunship 1-shot victory lap to celebrate. To say that we were pleased is an understatement. I think shocked was a little more like it.

    In the first 45 minutes of our raid, we had wiped fully or partially on the trash 3 or 4 times before getting to Marrowgar. We had ass-pulling of mobs, face pulling of giants, AOE pulling of every mob in the room. Oh yes, we had fun times. And Marrowgar wasn't a cakewalk either. Although we'd previously 1-shot him on 25-man, it took us 4 goes, losing our MT multiple times, bone spikes staying up too long, switching around our tanks and adding in an off-spec healer so we could get him down on our fourth attempt.

    Despite all that noobing it up, this week's raid was able to finally take down Lady Deathwhisper where previous raids with better execution could not. Why? Logs point to the fact that we went up 15k in overall DPS from our previous best attempt. A good deal of that seems to be from having had a raid that was stacked with melee, who completely kicked butt on the meters overall for the night. I don't think the difference was in gear, despite the fact that we clear three ICC 10s every week, because we've had 30+ raiders in ICC ready gear for over a month now.

    The gear component is one that comes up a lot though, with lots of wishful thinking hoping that if only we do another legacy raid of 25-man ToC and get a last little pinch of gear, that will make a difference. But our guild at least has shown that isn't our block. We do have some folks in our raids doing well under 4k DPS. We're casual and inclusive, so this happens. But it is important to note that those folks are not at the bottom due to having poor gear. Their gear scores put them neck and neck with folks outperforming them. And our weekly raid quests, which usually end up being two 25s and a few 10s worth of mains and alts before the week is through, have shown many undergeared alts performing as well as - or even better than -- their well-geared counterparts.

    It's hard to determine why one DPS pulls 2500 while another of their class pulls 4k+ when their gear is not disparate. Could be lag or low FPS on their computer. Could be they don't watch their threat meters and spend their time hugging the floor. Could be that they have Skype or IM open on their computer and are distracted. Or they could be like that former guildie of mine who was always watching a movie or television during our raids, interjecting Vent chat with commentary to that effect. Perhaps they're not doing the optimal DPS rotation, or their spec needs some work.

    It's impossible to troubleshoot what's going on from the outside. But the fact remains that at this point, we're not able to carry folks through the content and succeed. The past three weeks of wiping on Lady Deathwhisper showed that pretty clearly. Folks need to bring their A game. Being casual doesn't mean it's OK to not be flasking up, or coming to a raid wearing gear that is unenchanted or poorly gemmed. Casual is not a bandaid to cover up not trying. Yes, casual is putting having a good time first. And it is about having a life outside of the game. We don't have minimum attendance, or spec requirements, or any of the standard rules a raiding guild has. But the fact that we are casual that way shouldn't absolve anyone who raids from having personal accountability for doing their best.

    Next week, a new wing of ICC opens up. I know our 10-mans will be up for the challenge. As for our 25-man? We'll see. I am optimistic that last night's victory will push folks to give Saurfang their all on Monday. But putting your best foot forward in raids isn't a one-time event. It's something you need to do every time you head in the door to a raid instance. Here's hoping we continue to be up for the challenge.

    My Warcraft Year in Review Meme

    For the better part of this decade, I have been blogging this meme for myself. This year, I thought I'd do this with a Warcraft spin, and tag some of you to complete it too.



    My Warcraft Year in Review Meme

    Please leave a link to your meme post in the comments here. Please tag 5 other folks to complete the meme and copy these instructions and the questions into your blog with your answers.
    1. What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you'd never done before?
    2. What was your favorite new place that you visited?
    3. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
    4. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    5. What was your biggest failure?
    6. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    7. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    8. What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?
    9. Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

    1) What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you'd never done before?

    I left my accomplished druid and my Alliance server -- where I knew a ton of people and had been raiding for 2 1/2 years -- and started playing my horde shadow priest full time, on a new server where I "knew" folks only from the Livejournal WoW Ladies community. Best. Decision. Ever. I've met so many awesome folks on the new server and wouldn't trade the fun we've had this year for anything.

    2) What was your favorite new place that you visited?

    Hmmm. I don't know that I visited many new places in 2009 really, since I'd had my first two 80s by the end of 2008. So, I guess I'll go with Ulduar. It had some pretty vistas.

    3) What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

    I would like to have more opportunity to share my raiding experience and my passion for the game. Be that more blogging / podcasts / guild role I can't say. But it is a definite want. And I would like to have more time to write here.

    4) What was your biggest achievement of the year?

    Hmmm. I got my 4th character to 80, built my second motorcycle, and got to finish up the two BC instances my poor druid never got to see the final bosses die in (BT and MH) due to her having a scheming asshat warrior raid leader that drove her away from raiding and eventually out of that guild. Heh.

    5) What was your biggest failure?

    I suppose that would be the dissolution of my 10-man Alliance guild, in which I was an officer. But that was due primarily to a female guild member who was sad that the GM stopped spending all his in game time with her, caused a ton of drama and killed the guild. Remind me I need to post about married GMs with their borderline inappropriate in-game main squeezes.

    6) What did you get really, really, really excited about?

    Killing KT in 25-man for the first time on my shadow priest. It was the culmination of march hard work and effort, and was shared with some awesome folks. Kwick and Norm I am especially looking at you. Oh, and the first time we did Ony 25 and I did a million billion DPS on the whelps. MINNNNDDDDDDD SSEEEEEAAAAARRRRRRRR! Cough.

    7) What do you wish you'd done less of?

    Sitting around waiting for raids that didn't end up going. And the 45 levels I put into my shaman before the faction change service went into effect. I do love playing a shaman at level cap but I HATE HATE HATE leveling them.

    8) What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

    The WoW site I visited the most was definitely MMO Champion, hands-down. And all my favorite blogs are on the WoW Blog list to the right of this post. RAWR! It's awesome to have found so many new, interesting bloggers to read this year. They have each had a hand in making my WoW playing and blogging time a lot more interesting to be sure.

    9) Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

    I learned that it is not worth it to offer up constructive criticism or unsolicited advice. Even if you think you are friends with someone and see themselves repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot with their poor communication skills. Even if you see them run folks off with their communication style and their lack of respect for others' ideas and opinions. Just keep your mouth shut. Because all you'll get is a black eye for trying to help someone be more aware of how others are perceiving them.

    5 Folks I'm tagging to Complete this Meme

    Friday Five: Five WoW Improvements for Which I am Grateful

    I've been playing WoW for a while now ( I think it's my 4-year anniversary this January), so I remember the opening of the AQ gates, mounts that cost 600 gold with two discounts, and walking uphill in the snow all the way to 40. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and with an eye on the WoW 5-year anniversary celebrations, I bring you today's Friday Five:
    1. Easier transportation for the lowbies. I am so over leveling alts at this point, having done so many many times at this point. But slow mounts at 20, fast mounts at 40, and flight form for use 60-70? All of these bumps make it a heck of a lot more palatable.
    2. Raid content I get to see most of. Yeah, my guild didn't perservere with the 10-man hard modes, and thus never saw Algalon. But I have cleared everything else. That's a major improvement over not seeing the end of BT last expansion, or the Sunwell at all.
    3. Raid bosses that don't take weeks to learn. I'm looking at YOU Lady Vashj and Kael. That said, I didn't mind learning Nefarian and Chromag in BWL-- they took a few hours but we got them and it felt good.
    4. 30 min hearthstones. My priest and druid rejoiced when thee went into use.
    5. Cheap mounts. My first mount was my epic tiger at 60 (I got by with cat form until then.) I scrimped and saved up the 600g and had my SO, a Knight with Darnassus rep, buy it for me, so I could have the 10% Officer discount stacked with the city reputation discount. Now, I can buy even my lowbies mounts in every color.