Those we leave behind : Alts Etc Edition

I thought I was done with leveling characters for a while.

Why in Hell would I think I’d ever be done leveling characters?

Old name, brand new character

Old name, brand new character

Minutes after I hit “Publish” on my last post, some Twitter friends poked me and I feel like a total fool, now. The truth is, the answer was right in front of me.

An eternity ago (somewhere in 2012 really) I joined Stands in Bad. A few months later I got pregnant and I stopped playing altogether, and when I came back, I mostly played on the Horde side of the fence. But SiB is exactly like the dream guild I described last week.

The guild is pretty quiet lately, and I didn’t spend much time with guildies since I came back because everyone is busy elsewhere. As is everyone else at this point. No new content and other games being released pretty much means no one is around anymore. For a time.

I have faith that things will improve as soon as Blizz gives us something to sink our teeth into. Anything would do at this point, really. Just saying. *cough*

But one doesn’t just drop everything and move to a new server on a whim. Unless you have cash to spend on moving 6-7 characters to a different realm. Which I don’t. So I’ve decided to transfer my alliance main over, a draenei hunter, and to re-level a couple alts for professions. So far, the monk is level 17 and the rogue level 6. Taking care of a baby slows the progress quite a bit, but I trust I can get them to 90 with maxed professions before the expansion drops. I already had a level 88 shaman on the server, which is now level 90 with two professions at 600. I plan on making a DK as well, as soon as I can settle on a race. But that one will most likely get boosted.

In an effort to keep busy while we wait for the Warlords and to get involved in the Godmother’s project of leveling characters the old fashioned way, I will try and blog about my monk and rogue’s journey. I plan on leveling the rogue through quests and pet battles mostly, with some dungeons on the side. As for the monk, she will heal dungeons, for the most part.

Let’s see what happens.

Love and hate

Illusion: There are two people in this screenshot.

Illusion: There are two people in this screenshot.

I won’t lie, I have a love/hate relationship with raiding. I used to love it. A couple years back, I couldn’t wait for raid time, to get online and kill internet dragons all night. Up until Firelands, Then it all came crashing down. Firelands killed raiding for me. I blame my ex-guild for that. But that’s another story.

For the last three weeks or so, I’ve been raiding with my horde guild. I’m not sure how that happened. The boyfriend told me they needed a dps, and my brains kinda went: what the hell, let’s try it. It’s been sorta fun, but not omg-this-is-amazing fun. I was hoping I could get back the feeling I used to have, the passion for raiding. But no such luck. It feels like the flame is still there, somewhere, just really tiny. And I can’t find it, nor can I make it big again.

Last night, after what feels like a billion attempts (probably more like 30-40, I don’t know) we killed Garrosh. It was on my to-do list, and I’m glad that’s done, but that’s it. And it just occurred to me I didn’t even bother taking a screenshot.

The last time I really felt something about a big boss was in Icecrown Citadel, when we killed the Lich King. I was ecstatic. I haven’t felt like that ever since about raiding. And I’ve been wondering why for a long time.

The greatest feeling

The greatest feeling

The easy answer is that I’m done with raiding. But I’m not so sure. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic of the Wrath of the Lich King era, or maybe, and this is the more complex answer, maybe I haven’t found the right guild.

Guilds have been problematic for me since… WotLK. I was in a guild, got stabbed in the back by people I thought were my friends, and since then, I’ve been guild hopping, never finding a home to settle in for good. This, I believe, is the main problem. I enjoy playing WoW, but I’ve been mostly playing it by myself, and with my boyfriend. We’ve been in guilds, we raided, but never actually bonded with anyone, and we never stayed long in the guilds we’ve joined, for various reasons. The horde guild we’re in now is fine. Most people are nice and friendly. But it doesn’t feel like home.

I guess I’m just picky, but I have a pretty definite idea of what my dream guild would be. And until I find it, I’m afraid I won’t find the passion again.

In my dream guild, there are bloggers. People are active on Twitter. Ideally, it’s not a gigantic guild with 500 players in it. There’s a raid group, or many, and at least one of them does only normal (or only flex.) and is at least mildly successful at it. People are friendly and helpful. There are guild activities like old school raids and such. No drama, no elitists, no one gets yelled at for making a mistake. No sexism, no racism, no homophobia. I want a guild in which people care about and respect each other. I want a guild in which I can make friends to enjoy my favourite game with.

Maybe I’m asking for too much. But I do hope such a guild exists.

That Proving Grounds thing

PG medals

A testament to my skill, or lack thereof.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Proving Grounds silver medal being necessary to enter random heroics in Warlords of Draenor, and until now I’ve been trying to wrap my head about the idea. I didn’t want to have an opinion on this “heated debate” but I do have one. Just not one I particularly like.

I made some comments on Twitter about it, but I deleted them because it was brought to my attention that they could be interpreted differently than what I meant, and I didn’t want that. You might think it’s not such a big deal, and most of the time I agree, but some debates are more important than others, in my opinion anyway. The no-flying-’til-6.1 made me chuckle, and I don’t really give a damn about that and don’t understand why people are getting their panties in a bunch over this, but the Proving Grounds thing is another story.

When I first heard about it, my first reaction was annoyance. For the first time in my WoW experience, I felt like Blizz was telling me I needed permission to have access to a part of the content. Then I thought, well, with all those fresh level 90 newbs roaming the land, we kinda need something like this or it would be utter chaos. Heroics can be really hard, especially at the beginning of an expansion, so those people who have never participated in dungeons need some kind of training to be able to participate and pull their weight in group content.

So in theory, yes, I think a silver medal in Proving Grounds is a very good idea. It will make everyone’s life easier.

But in practice, it’s another story. See, I’ve been playing WoW for seven years now. My second character ever was a priest who’s been a healer for most of her life. I’ve tried all the healing classes over time, except for the monk, and throughout the years I’ve healed heroic dungeons and raids without much difficulty. I know I’m not the best healer there is. I often forget my cooldowns and probably don’t handle mana regen as well as I should. But I’ve successfully healed for years now. So I felt very frustrated when I tried my hand at the healer bronze challenge and failed*. After succeeding at the tank bronze challenge. When I’ve tanked maybe twenty dungeons in the past seven years.

The dps challenge on my hunter was fairly easy, and I won the silver medal on my first try. But my hunter is my main. It’s the character I play the most. I have many hunters of different levels, a lot of them at 90, and I try hard to be the best hunter I can be because it’s my favourite class. There’s room for improvement of course, and there are tons of better hunters out there, but I’m working on it.

My healers? Not so much. For me, healing is a distraction. It’s something I do when I’m bored with the long queues. It’s something kinda fun that I grow bored of pretty quickly. I don’t love healing. It’s not a passion like hunters are. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I can’t beat the healer bronze challenge. But for years, I’ve been used to getting away with being a mediocre healer with no real downside. And what truly bothered me, I’ve come to realize, is that now I have to take a long hard look at how I’ve been handling this game the last few years, and admit I am not as good as I could be at it.

So my problem is not really with the Proving Grounds thing. It’s with myself. I have work to do if I want to heal random heroics in the next expansion. Now the question is: do I work hard and improve at other classes/roles other than hunters, or not bother at all and stop playing classes I’ve enjoyed in the past but are not my one true passion? I have no answer to that question as of now.

I think it’s unfair to pin my problems on something that clearly is necessary for the well being of all players. In the end, I’d rather have to work a little harder, but be assured that when I step in random heroics, it will be with people who want to be there, and are supposed to know what they are doing. This doesn’t protect us from jerks, of course, but it’s a step in the right direction.

*As you can see from the above screenshot, I finally managed to snag the bronze medal with my disc priest after a couple more tries, but barely, which means I’ll need a better strategy if I ever try the silver challenge.

I am renewed

Ten points if you know where the title is from.

Guys, guys! GUYS!

My mojo is back! It crept in last week, without me noticing. Then it hit me.

I’m back, baby.

tumblr_miserrQJGn1rqnjuuo1_r1_250

I had the idea last week (or was it the week before?) to take a look at the Godmother’s prepare-for-the-next-expansion guide, and finally the master plan took form. 

The priority for me right now is to be done with all things Outlands. That means factions rep, quests, mounts and pets. The only two factions I’m really interested in at this point are Netherwing and Sha’tari Skyguard. Most of the other OL factions have been maxxed out on various characters of mine, but those two give eleven mounts total and a pet, which clearly can’t be overlooked. If I’m ever to reach the 150 mounts milestone and score the beautiful Jade Pandaren Kite, this is the place to start.

Before I started, I was sitting at 137 mounts, so even with both those factions at exalted, I  was still two mounts short of my goal. While I was out in Shadowmoon Valley, killing wild animals for their glands or stalking eggs and Nethercite, I remained on the lookout for other stuff like the ever-elusive khorium, so that one day I might get me a Turbo-charged flying machine.

Two days after I started working on Netherwing and Sha’tari Skyguard, I was revered with both. On day 3, I hit exalted with the Skyguard almost effortlessly. Today, I hit exalted with the Netherwing, after roughly a week of dailies and egg hunting. I also gathered enough materials to craft the aforementioned engineering mount, which put me at 149 mounts.

149.

Nether Rays

The hunter, proudly showing off her little Nether Ray family.

Netherwing

The priest and her Netherwing Drake.

I went back to my character’s armory, and realized I was missing one of the Cloud Serpents, so I flew over to the Arboretum, coughed up 2100 gold, and then…

Nothing happen. I had to switch to my warlock for it to register, so I didn’t get the cheer, but there it was, in my achievements panel:

 150 mountsPandaren Jade Kite

Now that I’m done with the mounts farming for a while (49 to go for Mount Parade!) I can focus on other things. Namely, getting all my characters to 90 and max out their professions. Yes, that again. I’m terrible and still haven’t finished the professions thing, but what can I say, I’m never sure of anything. On the horde side, I’m pretty much done with MoP. The reps, the quests, the gear, the raids. Only the rogue remains profession-less, but she’ll most likely be my banker anyway, so it’s not such a big deal. On the alliance front however, I’m far from done. There are toons to level, professions to max (gotta use those Darkmoon Faire bonus points wisely!), quests to be completed, gear to be gained, and more importantly, much faffing to be done. My bags are chuck full of all sorts of stuff I need to go through, my guild bank is a mess, speaking of which, the guild needs to be leveled as much as possible, and I still need to finish Shadowmoon Valley and Netherstorm for Loremaster of Outland.

I’m hoping for a beta soon, but I’m not too sad that it’s not here yet, because quite frankly I’m just not ready. But I’d totally drop everything for it. In a heartbeat.

NOT TOO SOON, EXECUTUS!

Putting up a fight

Sharklazertrex

Not only does this shark has pewpewlazerz, but it’s controlled by a T-rex! How does it steer with such tiny arms, I ask you! 

A couple weeks ago I tried my hand at the brawler’s guild and found it to be quite fun and well, easy, because item level 549 on a hunter makes pretty much everything easy. Only one boss got the best of me. Ixx is a huge pain in the butt for poor old slacker me, so it took me a couple tries to take him down, but I did in the end. I reached rank seven in two nights of brawling, and I bought myself the Clock’em pet which becomes available at rank four. I know at some point in the future I want to reach rank ten, but when that will happen is not quite clear at this point.

During my time at the arena, I noticed an NPC which was sporting a set of gear that totally caught my attention.

 

Brawl enthusiast

More enthusiast then that, you flatline.

This lady looks pretty badass, and my druid agrees. She immediately decided she needed this set, so off we went to farm it. Most pieces dropped on the first try for me, which was pretty lucky, thank you Gods of the RNG, but one piece gave me some trouble: the gloves. These drop off of the last boss of Black Morass, and if, like me, you’ve been in there a couple times, then you know why I hate this place so much. The instance in itself is quite fine. I remember it to be lots of fun back in BC, partly because it was one of the first Caverns of Time instance which totally rocked, but also because it was so stressful to run after the portals and kill all the enemies before they reached Medivh. I was a noob back then, and it was a real challenge. Today, its only purpose is to torture the idiots who venture in there hoping for a transmog item to drop. As I was saying, the damn gloves I was after to complete the set were on the last fricking boss, which means you have to go through all the other portals before you can be disapointed by yet another Moonglade Pants instead of the gloves you were after. Lucky me, this piece could drop on regular mode, which means I had to opportunity (and oh dare I say the great pleasure) to farm the instance five times an hour until they dropped, or, more commonly known as, until my sanity had left for greener pastures. But I came out a victor, a champion, with my gloves and my new kickass transmog set for my druid.

 

Brawl enthusiast and druid

Whatcha lookin’ at, poser?

Shoulders: Shoulderpads of Assassination
Chest: Tunic of Assassination
Gloves: Handgrips of Assassination
Belt: Girdle of the Deathdealer
Pants: Leggings of Assassination
Boots: Boots of the Shifting Sands
Weapon: Bloodfire Greatstaff

While farming for the set, I came across this beauty in the Mechanar. I looked for a set to go with it, and came up with this (thanks to Manda’s mogables):

Telescopic Sharprifle

Shoulders: Dragon-Quake Shoulderguards
Chest: Mail Combat Armor
Gloves: Grips of Fierce Pronouncements
Belt: Bloodmaw’s Belt
Pants: Bat Claw Legguards
Boots: Mr. Tauren’s Boots
Weapon: Telescopic Sharprifle

This set may not be perfect, like the gloves don’t match all that well, but it’s the best I could do with what I had. I had to buy the chest off the AH for something like 400 gold, got the shoulders off the Curator in Kharazan, the gloves from the Wyrmrest Accord Quartermaster and the rest are from quests. I’m also working on the Hunter tier set from Molton Core, and as of now only the pants are missing. When I get them, the set will look something like this:

Giantstalker I think the set works pretty well with the shoulders and gun, and will probably switch to this set once I get the leggings off of Magmadar. Although, I really love the Mail Combat Armor chest, and may use it in this set, as well. The belt clashes a bit, but maybe I can find something I like better.

Giantstalker modified

The ultimate faffer (or Lyr’s dilemma)

There are things I feel one must have to be the ultimate faffer.

  • Having at least three alchemists, one of each specialization, for procs on all your pots/flasks/transmutes;
  • Having at least two engineers, one of each specialization, for maximum coverage of all craftables;
  • Having four enchanters, one of each armor class so all the Timeless Isle gear tokens can be sharded;
  • Having all the professions (even the secondary ones) maxed out;
  • Having a max level rogue to open all lockboxes. You could have a blacksmith use keys for that, but I feel it’s wasted materials since you need ore to craft the keys whereas the rogue can just do it without any material cost;
  • Having a max level mage on every account you have (if you have more than one) for portals available to all your characters;
  • If you do have multiple accounts, having a two-seater mount, preferably capable of flying.

Surely I forget other important stuff, so be sure to let me know in the comments. Now, does one absolutely need to have all those things in order to faff? No, of course not. Can you be a very efficient faffer without all those things? Yes you can. Do I feel the need to have all those things? Yes, yes I do.

But then I question the necessity of all those things. Do I really need two max level mages only for portals? If I enjoy mages and love to play the class, then maybe it’s not a problem. But maybe I’m not really into mages to begin with. Maybe it’ll be there, gathering dust, only being used for portals. See, my problem is also that I feel like I have too many characters. Characters that I don’t play. I get them to max level, then they gather dust, seeing some action if I need something from their profession or something of the sort, and then they go back to doing nothing for months. Maybe it shouldn’t bother me, but it does. I think it all boils down to what you want to do, and what you enjoy. If having all the things mentioned above is something you want, then go for it. If you feel it’s unreasonable, then don’t. Inexplicably, I feel like I have to do things in order to be as efficient as possible, but then my OCD kicks in and tells me it makes no sense to have so many characters I don’t even play just for the sake of convenience and efficiency.

Then again, I think too much.

Loving the craft

Mining

May my bags always be this full.

I think maybe you know this by now, but I love working on professions. Yes, even after seven years of this, I still love working on alts’ professions. From time to time I need to take breaks from it for a couple months or it becomes a chore, but most of the time leveling professions, gathering mats and learning new recipes is exciting. Gathering materials yourself all around the world, then using them to craft items, some more useful than others, is deeply satisfying. I hadn’t thought about it before, but my lovely Rekrsiv has pointed out that the main reason for this is the immediate gratification provided by professions. You can do it all in one -very long, admittedly- stretch if you like, and benefit from the results in timely fashion. This kind of opportunity is quite rare in most aspects of life. Even in game, farming rep, gearing up, leveling a character. These things take time, and unlike professions, usually can’t be done in only a couple of hours*. I love instant gratification, me. It compensates for all the other stuff I have to be patient for.

Funny Ghoul Name

What is this I don’t even

Lately, I’ve been working on my warrior and my latest hunter. They both took mining, one to go with blacksmithing, the other to go with engineering. I also have a baby goblin death knight which will be my banker on the second account. Therefore, I made her an enchanter and engineer to facilitate access to an auctioneer at the shrine, and so she could disenchant any item I don’t plan on using or selling for profit. I picked this class because I love the unique hair colour the goblin death knights can choose, which can be seen in the screenshot above. She is stuck at 375 enchanting until I level her past 60, which will happen when I’m done with more important things like hitting 90 on the aforementioned hunter, max her mining and other shenanigans of the sort. The bucket list is coming along nicely, if not as quickly as I’d like, but that simply means I won’t run out of things to do until we hear about some sort of beta just yet…

*There are exceptions for this, like the Golden Lotus nowadays. or any Pandaria reputation really if you farm enough Scouts. Even gearing up can be done in a handful of hours thanks to Timeless Isle, but most of the expansion hasn’t been like this at all.

Brand new

huolon

First screenshot of the year, Huolon being killed on the roof where no one can hit him. Trolls never take a holiday.

First of all let me wish you all a happy new year. I hope it will be filled with happiness and love and health and wealth and epics and rare mounts and all that stuff.

2013 was a good year for me, considering I spent most of it pregnant, then gave birth to the best baby boy ever (yes, I might be biased but no really, he’s the best) but it also was a good year in game.

In February I cancelled my subscription due to being nauseous all the time and not feeling like doing anything except think of that little thing growing inside me. MoP wasn’t really doing it for me anyway, so it didn’t feel like I was losing anything. It simply was time to move on.

Fast forward a couple months later, sometime during the summer, I came back to the game because really, what else was I going to do? I thought I was done with World of Warcraft, because I thought I had to be. It hadn’t occurred to me that I could be a good mom and play WoW at the same time. I thought that to have one, I’d have to give up on the other. But I was missing the game, and I didn’t feel like puking all the time anymore, so I gave it another try. And I’m glad I did.

It felt like a new start. Thing that used to suck were now fresh and fun. I didn’t lose my temper as much as I used to when things didn’t go my way. I just tried again later. I worked on transmog sets, on leveling alts, on maxing professions, on achievements and grinds I had missed while I was away.

Now that we have a baby, it sure is a bit more difficult to do everything we want to do. Since Rekrsiv wants to raid, and it’s all he likes to do in game, of course we decided that I would take care of the little one while he’s with nine guildies, killing internet dragons. I enjoy a lot of stuff that doesn’t require me to commit to a rigid schedule, so it only made sense. The raid finder is good enough for me as far as raid content goes, and I can even add some flex in there once in a while since I can just leave the group whenever I need to – which is often because the baby is crying.

It was only late in the year that I discovered how much fun pet battles were,  and I am now trying to catch up on collecting and battling and levelling all the things. I didn’t enjoy pet battles the first time I tried them, but they are now one of my favourite things in game, along with leveling new alts, working on professions, and working on my bucket list.

My bucket list is constantly a work in progress. Never will I be completely done with it, or that would be the day I will really quit the game for good. I keep adding things to it, things that are of long or short term goals, and there’s just too much stuff to be done that I don’t see myself running out of things to do, and that makes me really rather happy.

I’ve changed a lot as a player in the seven years I’ve played World of Warcraft. I was a noob, then a raider, then a hardcore raider, then a quitter, and now a casual faffer. I didn’t know that word until I read it on the Godmother’s blog, and I instantly loved the term.

I guess this was a very long post only to say that my WoW resolution for 2014 is to faff a whole lot more, and to be a better blogger about it. When I first started playing, Rekrsiv had thought me (or tried to) that all that mattered was raiding. If I wasn’t raiding, there was no point at all. And for him it is true, like it must be for tons of players. Back in Cataclysm, when I was still raiding, it had become a source of stress, and even though I love raiding, I just don’t have it in me anymore to commit to a raid group. I’ve discovered that for me, the pleasure of being in game, switching from one character to another, crafting things, farming items, exploring, hunting achievements, or even just picking flowers is enough to satisfy me. And it allows me to be there for my son when he needs me, because I can spend one or several hours a day playing the game, it doesn’t matter. I do what I love, and that’s all that matters. Now I just need to find more time to actually write down the things I do that make me love faffing so much. That’s a nice problem to have, if you ask me.

Not quite there yet

The last week has been a blur of pet battles, babies crying and family dinners. It’s been fun but intense, and even though I feel like I have too much stuff on my plate right now, it’s a better feeling than boredom. Because now is not the time to sit on your thumbs.

We still have no new information concerning the Warlods of Draenor, but I trust we will in early January. The beta will be here any minute now really, and even though the expansion is still a couple months away at best, there is still tons to be done before we’re ready.

Battle Pets

Not quite there yet.

I spend so much time in game lately that I barely have any time to think. Think about what I want to do, both out and in game. Think about unimportant stuff like professions and the master plan. I really wish there was a master plan, some sort of direction but it’s only complete and absolute chaos. I wish there was a plan because there definitely isn’t any. If there was one,  I like to think everything would be easier.

After much deliberations and headaches, I finally decided which professions to give my rogue, hunter and warrior. I haven’t actually started working on it though, so anything can happen until I do. Changing my mind isn’t only something I do. In my case, it’s a fricking lifestyle. I suspect I’ll change my mind a couple times before I actually do anything, so I might have to hurry and do it already. I still want to get my draenei hunter to 90 so she can go on Draenor as soon as possible, but I’m also considering completely rerolling a brand new one on my horde server just because I have room for her and it might be less of a hassle this way. My realm isn’t exactly alliance friendly, but after all, it’s only to explore the world and see what the alliance side looks like.

I also have many, many pets I want to get to 25 and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll hit the trainers and try my hand at the celestial tournament. So far, the Northrend tamers have been a total roadblock, but I only have a handful of pets at my disposal. Once I’m done leveling all the pets on my list (most of the blues I have really, but not all of them) we’ll see where that takes us, but for now, I’m just trying to enjoy the ride.

On the hunt

Pet Battles Achievements

Late to the party is my middle name.

I’ve made tremendous progress on the pet battle front this weekend, and in all honesty, I haven’t had this much fun in game in a really, really long time. I love faffing around and farming and all that, but that’s everyday business. Pet battles feel fresh and brand new, for the simple reason that I never seriously tried it before. Until now.

It was quite easy to make such progress since I hadn’t done all that much pet battling in the last year. I had three level 17 ish pets, and I now have… well, a lot more. I managed to snag a couple of rare ones who are around lvl 19-21, which is quite exciting. Plus, it makes me look forward to maxing more pets. But first, I need to max my first team.

It was hard to pick my first three pets. I knew I wanted to start with Chuck and my beloved Sprite Darter Hatchling for sure, but I had no idea what to pick as my third pet for my first team. At first it was a Little Black Ram, then for a while it was the Terrible Turnip, then a Darkmoon Zeppelin, and finally a Small Frog until I finally tamed my first rare flying pet, a Dragonbone Hatchling.

I loved my small frog, but it was only of uncommon quality, so when I got a flying pet, I just decided to roll with it. Chuck is incredibly strong with his healing abilities, which allowed me to solo some battles, killing all three enemies and ending with full health at the end. I’m still in Cataclysm zones at the moment, which are a bit hard for my noob-ass self, so I might go back to Northrend to grind a bit more. My pets are of level 24, 23 and 22, so I should soon be able to hit Pandaria. I’m very excited for this, because I really want to tame all the things when I’m finally ready for Pandaria. I got some battle stones to upgrade the quality of my pets, but since I’m not sure what to use it on, I’ll hold onto them until I can make a decision.

I’m already starting to think ahead of which pets I want to level next, as it helps to have some sort of symbiosis between the three of them. I know the Terrible Turnip is at the top of the list, as it really sucks to kill a rare when you’re trying to tame it.

I don’t know how long this pet-battles-all-the-things! frenzy will last, but I’m really enjoying myself and it fits quite well in my schedule between baby feeds and changing diapers.