Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My MMO History

I get nostalgic every now and then and look back at how I ended up here and playing WoW. I thought it would be fun to have a little walk through time with the characters I've had in the past and in past games. These are just the games I stuck with past the free trial month. There are others that didn't even get played much past character creation. These all hold a special place in my heart as characters I developed and enjoyed.


Everquest
Emjia the Wood Elf Rogue


First MMO character I ever made. My brother was the one who was really into EQ. He was a big tough monk that was raiding and doing all sorts of neat things. My brother got myself, my sister and even my mother to play EQ. He never did play with us very often though as we were just noobs.

Emjia mostly sat in the wood elf city of Greater Faydark and worked on her alcohol tolerance. She would also get good practice on her safe fall skill by repeatedly falling from the tree house city.

She pretty much was the worst rogue ever. I didn't care too much about what weapons she had or armor she wore. I wanted it to look nice. This outfit in the picture my brother put on me because he thought the outfit I had purchased was too risqué for his sister to be wearing.

Emjia's favorite past time was exploring places she didn't belong with her druid friend Jayras. Jay was excellent for his spells to make us run faster and my sneaking was perfect for dragging our corpses out of really bad places.



Dark Age of Camelot
Goldie the Celt Bard

DAoC was the game where I truly fell in love with the MMO genre. Again it was my brother who started playing the game and got me hooked. My mother preferred EQ and my sister pretty much had stopped MMO gaming by now. Here though I decided not to play even on my brother's server. I never saw him anyhow and I liked Hibernia and it's pretty green landscape the best.

Goldie was a much better bard than Emjia was a rogue that is for certain. Goldie did have a peculiar and irritating habit of striking up her lute to run away anytime things got even a little scary. She would always come back to resurrect your body though. In fact, she had such a skill at getting away her guildmates came to rely upon it.

It was in DAoC I forged many friendships that still last until this day. The group of people I ended up joining lived not far from me. We met in real life for the first time in 2002 and get together several times a year still to this day. In fact, I'm spending new year's eve with these folks this year. It was these friendships that really made me get what was so cool about MMO's. I was officially hooked.


It was also here that I met a large Firbolg Hero by the name of Jharod. You may know him better as Keste. How this man and I came to be together I am not certain. He was convinced I was a guy playing a girl toon due to my potty mouth. I felt strongly that he was a grumpy old man due to his impatience with my dumb games. Some how these prejudices faded away and we found love. He came up from Texas to visit me for the first time in 2002. Moved permanently to Michigan in 2003. We got married in 2006 and now we're expecting our first baby in May 2009. Isn't that just a sweet story!



Star Wars Galaxies
Goldy Lhim the Twi'lek Entertainer

Star Wars Galaxies was a game that was a giant roleplayers sandbox. If you could imagine it, you could build it. This was the basis that Goldy flourished in during her time in SWG. The game itself was kind of bad. Today I consider the game unplayable with all the changes they've made. But way back when, this game was fun and really allowed me to use my imagination.

There weren't set classes you had to be, you built your own class. Goldy was a master dancer and a master doctor. She truly considered herself an entertainer more than a physician. Entertainer is not to be confused with call girl. Got it? I was a married Twi'lek!

Goldy built Lhim Entertainment and created numerous events for everyone on her server (or anyone wanting to come visit from other servers). Everything from simple parties to elaborate competitions. Some of my favorite hosted events were the talent shows, murder mystery dinner theater, beauty pageants, & great kauri race.

Goldy's name became synonymous with events and she quickly became a very popular person on the server. She would be hired by the Alliance Party to host balls or the Imperials to stage an event to cover their attack on Alliance bases. She was often requested to officiate wedding ceremonies, have a slumber party for a small group of friends or to host parties for a particular city. Holidays were big party times where Goldy would host costume parties or holiday parties complete with games and prizes. People would donate time, money and crafts for any event Goldy was wanting to host. It was really amazing.

Unfortunately this kind of fun could only last so long. The game went through several changes that were large and often would make my game time less enjoyable. In the end Keste and I left because it just wasn't the same game anymore and we weren't having fun.



Final Fantasy Online XI
Mejia the Mithra Thief/Ninja

Admittedly we did not spend long in this game. I thought it great fun and loved the complex chains groups could build together with their special moves. Taru-taru were simply adorable and my character had a tail! I was much better at the rogue lifestyle this time around.

Apart from that this game was a very uphill grind to get anything done. Money was always tight and when we reached higher levels it got close to impossible to find a group because all the higher levels were Japanese players who've already had the game for a year. While not a horrible game, it just didn't fit our casual style and we gave it up.



World of Warcraft
Goldy the Night Elf Druid

You may know Goldy better as Aratria, my recently outed secret druid. First character I made when we started playing WoW and first character to make it to level 60. I don't need to go on as to why we played (and still play) this game. If you're reading this you probably already understand.

We have quit WoW on and off throughout the years for different reasons. The first big reason being we hated the end game raiding. Keste's work schedule didn't work out well with myself and the guild. Just silly things like that. The last large break was due to the lure of LotRO which I simply had to try.

We're back now playing Desdarii and Keste and don't have any plans on leaving anytime in the foreseeable future. Besides I'm back to having a tail again!



Lord of the Rings Online
Goldenstar the Hobbit Minstrel

The last of the MMO's we've tried in some time. I'm a big time Lord of the Rings nerd and simply had to give the game a try. I was apart of the early beta and Keste and I each purchased a copy of the game upon release. The idea of being a hobbit in Middle Earth was too great for me.

Goldenstar was a typical hobbit. She was named after a flower as females are and would never be caught with shoes on. I did any and all of the food achievements that would give me titles like "Goldenstar, Champion Pie Eater" simply to keep with my Hobbit roots.

The game itself was well done from a lore perspective. Exploring the Old Forest and hanging out at the Prancing Pony had all the little nooks and crannies you would expect if you've read the books as many times as I have. It may not be as immersive for those who just saw the movies but Keste said he too enjoyed the atmosphere the game created.

We gave up the game around Christmas time last year when we found real difficulty finding groups and active guilds to finish leveling. All higher end quests required groups to complete and we simply were having a bugger of a time getting any help. It was odd too since we were a tank/healer combo.

We decided to return to WoW and we had a lot of catching up to do since we had missed almost a year of the Burning Crusade expansion. We promised not to do that again for the Wrath so we didn't always feel so far behind!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Miscommunication

I logged off a little irritated last night because of strange misunderstandings that spun out of control and caused a guild member to abandon a raid and leave the guild entirely. Honestly, I was stunned and confused as to what was happening. What was even worse was discovering that I had unwittingly played a part in causing this falling out.

Our guild has two pretty solid 10 man raiding teams. Both these teams were successful in Burning Crusade. We’re still waiting on some folks to get to level 80 or get some gear and hope to start up the teams again in the New Year. Until then the guild has been hosting some 25 man BC raiding events as well as some 10 man Naxxramus runs that include a little from both teams.

I did sign up for the Naxx runs but opted out of the first because of the overload of interest. I was lucky enough to attend the second run when someone had to work. From what I understand, these raids didn’t cause the problems.

The problems stemmed from the lack of participation in the 25 man raids that were scheduled. Specifically lack of participation from the raiding team of which I am a member. I know a couple from my raiding team had signed up but the majority of us didn’t for varied reasons. Most of the reasons I think stem from it being the holidays and a rather busy time of year.

For my part, I had declined the invitation from the get go to let the raid leader know not to expect me. I generally do not enjoy 25 man raids. Since they were doing older dungeons, I assumed it was just a guild run for fun to look in some of the dungeons we had missed. I personally wasn’t interested in it and would rather spend my evening working on random tasks or running a heroic or two. It was a personal choice and one I thought I was free to make.

This is where the misunderstanding came in. Because so many from my team had declined to attend these 25 man raids, the belief started that members of this team were rather snobbish in that we wouldn’t run raids with the other team. I don’t know why one would jump to that conclusion but that’s where it went. The claim that one raid team doesn’t like the other raid team is complete false.

I believe Keste and I compounded the problem because we declined the invite and then would be online doing other things while they raided. It was probably viewed that “we could be with you guys but would rather do anything else”, which honestly wasn’t the case. Keste and I like to do things together and he chose to hang out with me. Had he wanted to raid he would have been free to do so.

Misunderstandings just get worse when the offended person refuses to speak up to the people doing them harm. I had not heard a peep from anyone that my behavior was adding to this vibe. I say adding as I’m just one piece of the 10 people he was accusing of this activity. Had I been asked why I’m declining 25 man raids when I am online and available I would have explained. As things were I didn’t see a reason to explain as to why I didn’t want to attend a level 70 “for fun” run which is what I believed them to be.

Instead the poor guild leader got horrible accounts of the villains who weren’t playing nicely with others. Luckily, our guild leader was willing to listen to the other side and agreed that folks like me had a right to opt out of the raiding runs. Our refusal wasn’t out of competition, anger, spite or dislike for the other team. In fact, I didn’t view the runs as the “other team”. I thought it a guild run and open to anyone within dungeon level. It never crossed my mind that not attending would spark such feelings.

I sent everyone on the other raiding team a rose and a letter letting them know that I do like them and would be willing to run any dungeon with them. Hopefully it is received in the playful manner that I sent it and clear up any doubts about my loyalties to my guildees as a whole.

For the person who left, I did apologize to the officers on the forum for my involvement in causing him to leave even if I wasn’t aware I was doing it. I also offered to speak to him directly to apologize to him for the misconception and try to explain my absences from the 25 man raids.

People just need to learn to speak up and to the proper people when they have an issue. Goodness knows people hear it from me when I have an issue! Perhaps because I am so vocal it makes miscommunications like this harder for me to grasp.

I’m a big bundle of out of control hormones these days but at the foundation I believe I am a pretty logical person. If you have a question or issue with me, please do not hesitate to talk to me about it! It is way better than assuming the worst and ending up feeling like you need to leave the guild over it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merrymaker the Second!

I had missed pretty much all of the end game stuff in Burning Crusade with my druid, Aratria, so I had counted her out on the Winter Veil achievements. Specifically due to the Fa La La Ogri'la achievement. She had never even started the chain of quests to open Ogri'la.

Luckily, I wasn't the only one who had skipped this and Saturday Dumadin got a group of us together to complete those group quests so we could open up Ogri'la. It didn't take much time at all.

I have to take a little time out to complain about some of these achievements from the view of a druid that Desdarii just didn't have to face. For one I didn't own a flying mount. I was the flying mount. So to complete Fa La La Ogri'la, I had to go and purchase a flying mount. It was painful and felt wrong. Not to mention I planned on buying my epic flight at level 77 (still level 76) so my slow arse was constantly shot out of the sky. Good to note that you can still get the achievement if you fall off your reindeer. Just make sure you have a lot of holly.

Another druid issue I had is with the With A Little Helper From My Friends achievement. I was not allowed to shift forms or I'd lose my gnome/elf costume. As if it wasn't bad enough that I was a undergeared level 76 pvp noob entering the battleground, now I can't take advantage of my different forms! I ended up getting frustrated dying so often. I was a quick and easy target being 4 levels lower than most.

What did I do about it? I cheated. Sorta.

Not that I found myself super helpful to begin with but after four runs of Alterac Valley and only 1 honor kill to my name I decided to go the cowards route. I found a safe place in our base where action would be close by and I shadowmelded to soak up my fellow's honor kills. Sure I was found by the Horde a couple of times. I was in ghetto stealth and 4 levels lower than everyone else. I wasn't winning any hide and seek competitions. If found I would go into Moonkin and try to earn my keep. I wasn't trying to jinx the alliance, just get my junk done.

Doing this though ended up being the only way I saw to get this done without going absolutely crazy. It worked and though it still took several runs I was making at least some progress in each instance and completed the achievement. I feel a little bad for going about doing it this way but I have a feeling I'll get over it.

Anyway thanks to Dumie and friends I was able to have a second Merrymaker in my roster!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merrymaker!

I made it! I am now known far and wide as Merrymaker Desdarii. I guess I didn't anticipate this title going before my name.

The pvp portion of these achievements wasn't as annoying as I had anticipated. It was still very very annoying. I certainly didn't have a fantastic time each time I joined a battleground and lose my costume 2 seconds later. I didn't learn about it being easier in Wintergrasp until I had finished it. I complained and whined but I made it through it.

This is my 4th title so I'm feeling pretty happy with myself.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Winter Veil!

I wish every one a very happy holidays and hope you and your families are safe, happy and healthy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Classes I Can't Play

I read Euripedies post on “Lesser Classes” (his words, not mine) over on CriticalQQ and found it fun and a nice little post that really spoke of Euripedies the person more than the classes he was describing. It’s interesting how one person can get hooked on certain classes and yet completely fail at others.

It’s good to know your strengths and weaknesses. While I’m sure there are some hardcore (or just arrogant) folks out there that can claim to be awesome at every class, the majority of us have a niche. It makes it feel like Blizzard made the character for you. You understand its role, and you can execute these roles without problems.

There was a guy Keste and I used to play with who is a super nice person, but made me want to tear my hair out whenever I tried grouping with him. He rolled a paladin and was just so horrible at it that to bring him along just felt like a wasted group slot. We always did bring him though since he was a good friend and we did like him. He was just a really bad paladin. One day he put aside the paladin and tried a rogue. It was like night and day. He didn’t get the paladin but the rogue just clicked with him. He was good at it and we went from groaning at having him along to being content and able to count on him to do what rogues do. It was wonderful.

I’ve had similar hit or miss classes in my own experience where playing it I can just feel that I’m doing horribly. Either that or I just dislike the class so much that I quit out of irritation before I can become that dead weight in someone’s group.

Classes I’ve tried and really enjoyed would be: druids (resto and boomkin), priests (holy and shadow), warlocks and mages. Not only do I enjoy them I seem to feel a competency with being able to play them fairly well. Do you see what all these have in common?

I know my weakness lies in any class that has to melee. I think I’m just inherently lazy and the thought of having to chase around a monster just to keep hurting him is dumb. Let me stand back and hurt him no matter where he chooses to run. In fact, Keste has many occasions heard me moan about a monster forcing me to move because of line of sight or just going out of range. I don’t move much and don’t like it when forced to move. It’s also probably why I stink so badly at pvp!

Classes I consider myself a complete failure in would be paladins, shaman, & rogues.

I think I got a paladin once to level 6 and then gave up. I just didn’t get it and didn’t have any interest in figuring it out. I think I deleted that character. It didn’t even get demoted to a bank alt.

I had a 29 shaman that I built for a twink Warsong Gulch group once. I barely made it to level 29 and complained every step of the way. I also ended up being pretty horrible at it because they asked me to roll a druid later. For some reason, I’m just enthralled with Shaman though. I absolutely love having one and their delicious mana totems in my group. Of all the classes I wish I could learn to play better, this would be the one. I have a level 9 on the server that I go to every once in a while thinking, “maybe I can do it today”. I always log off in defeat.

I’m just not stealthy enough for rogues. I’ve gotten one to level 35 or so but sneak is so slow and I’m impatient. I ended up dead a lot which put her on the shelf soon afterwards. The funny thing is that the first character I ever made in an MMO was a rogue. I would be the first to admit that my Everquest rogue was pretty much the worst rogue on the server though. I think her alcohol tolerance was higher than her back stab skill.

Classes I’ve never even attempted would be warrior and hunter. Just never actually had the urge to try them out. Hunter probably just because there are enough in the world already. Warrior because it just seems a little boring to me. Plus the building yourself for the purpose of being beat on just doesn’t seem very intelligent. I’ve also have not rolled a death knight, yet. I probably will some day to see the story line but I doubt I’ll be playing it.

I'm certain I've found where I belong amongst the casters of Azeroth. I don't mind if I'm throwing fireballs or heals so long as I'm safely back away from danger.

When Elves Attack

Aratria and four of her very good friends attacked the Nexus to get us some more winter hats. Aratria refused to put back on her armor after obtaining hers and attacked as a holiday hand to hand fighter instead. Poor Aelaan did a great job keeping her alive through her silliness.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Naxxramas

Last night I was lucky enough to attend a 10 man Naxxramus run with my guild. I had originally signed up to join the raid but when they had more DPS than positions available I dropped out to allow others to go. Unfortunately Gwydion ended up having to work and he was nice enough to offer me the position he was to fill.

We were heading into the Arachnid Quarter which was pretty much as close to a nightmare as you can get for poor Desdarii. She’s terrified of spiders. She put on her brave face and Mags kept his rolled up newspaper near by to swat them away.

I thought the dungeon was extremely difficult. We wiped four times just getting through the trash mob spiders. I knew raiding was for the prepared and intelligent player but SHEESH this is difficult. We some how made it to the first boss, Anub’Rekhan, and gawked at his impressive amount of hit points. We then stared ominously at his two guards on either side of him.

Wait a minute… two guards?

DOH! We’ve been doing the 25 man Naxxramus with 10 people!

Oh we all had a good laugh about that and teased poor Rina for the oversight. After we made this discovery we did feel much better about ourselves. Our difficulties getting this far now seemed like some sort of heroic victory having done it with less than half the suggested number of people.

Since we had earned our way to Anub’Rekhan we thought it a shame to not at least go and poke him with a large stick and see what happens. We had almost killed one of the guards when our tanks went splat which of course caused everyone else to quickly fall to the floor afterwards.

Before entering again, we decided to try the 10 man version instead. After our first run through it seemed like easy mode! Keste cracked me up with “Lets get going folks, I’m used to doing this on Heroic”.

We were able to destroy Anub’Rekhan and I got myself my second wrath epic; the Agonal Sash. Pretty, isn’t it! We also were able to defeat the Grand Widow Faerlina which was exciting.

We had some issues with Maexxna, though. From all the guides we looked through we were doing things right and got it down to 2% but couldn’t close the deal. We had to stop due to time but we’re close. They did kill it last week so maybe I’m just a bad luck charm.

Anyway that’s my first experience with Wrath raiding. I’ll be working on making myself some upgrades and hope it helps next time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aratria's Secret Santa

Aratria had a fun little toy in her mailbox today from a secret santa known only as Guildie Claus. It's a super fun toy gorilla from the Dalaran toy shop!

I'm unsure who our secret Guildie Claus is but what a fun little game to play! I'm going to try and figure it out so I can send a gift back!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Awww Baby Cows!

I've told my story before of my Blood Elf Priestess who I RP'd as having an unexplainable hatred of Tauren. Well today in the mail, Ruebella from my old Horde guild emailed the following message with the attached photo.
Golds -
Can you still hate Cows after seeing the baby cow?

Honestly, no I can't. Look at that little adorable baby cow!

I haven't figured out where she found it yet but Rue found a little orphanage with 8 orphaned baby tauren and a lady walking around feeding them a bottle. I've asked her where it is so I can visit the baby cows, too. I'll report back when I find out!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Aratria is 72

I played Aratria in my off time this weekend. Mostly when folks didn’t want to do heroics and after I completed my dailies. I didn’t attend the Naxxramus raid so I got a lot of playtime during that. As a result I was able to level her up to 72. She’s about half way to 73. Sure I’m not the fastest leveler but I’m getting there!

It’s really odd. Things feel like they’re going much faster than with Desdarii it’s just not appearing like it’s going faster. It feels faster because I’m not reading all the quests this time around. I’m more just rushing to where I get the whatever and bring it back. It’s not appearing any faster though because although I’m just smashing through quests as fast as I can go, I’m still only 72!

I’m not questing in a pair with my hubby like usual which I can’t seem to figure out is slowing me down or speeding things up. I think for the most part questing as a couple makes things go faster. Questing with 2 or more only is a pain in the tush when each of you needs to collect 15 things and so you’re stuck killing 300 monsters trying to get everyone set. Kill quests or quests that rewards the group for completion is king when questing together!

Aratria did try a run of the Nexus this weekend. It didn’t go as smoothly as she had hoped. We ended up dying so often we gave up when the dungeon respawned.

The healer was too high for the dungeon and kept getting agro (Although what was she to do? Stop healing? I hope not!). The tank was a death knight whose primary character was a mage. He wasn’t a bad tank. He just needs more practice, I think. He was too focused on the kill order and adds kept breaking lose and hurting everyone which just caused more healy agro issues. It’s a magey thing to be sure. You tell us to kill skull then (apart from any sheeping assignments) we’re spamming bolts until skull is dead. The rest of the mobs be damned! He’ll figure it out.

Aratria’s completed the achievement for Fjord quests and has moved into Dragonblight. Let’s hope I keep creeping ever closer to be helpful to my friends as a healer.

Winter Veil Achievements

There are 12 achievements available with the Winter Veil event this year. Completing all 12 will get you number 13 and the title "Merrymaker". Many of these achievements are very simple and take just a bit of time to complete. Others will take a little longer but I did not see any that seemed impossible. I've already completed quite a few of these and some I am just waiting on (or procrastinating... like the pvp one).

On Metzen!

Simply complete the Mezten the Reindeer quest and you earn this achievement.

Simply Abominable

Obtained by completing the Stolen Winter Veil Treats quest.

Scrooge (Alliance / Horde)

You will need a snowball which can be purchased by the holiday vendors. This is pretty simple, just throw a snowball at Magni Bronzebeard if you are alliance or Cairne Bloodhoof if you are horde.

'Tis the Season

For this achievement you will need 3 pieces of clothing AND a fruitcake. Eat the fruitcake while wearing all the holiday clothes and you get the achievement.

The fruitcake cannot be purchased, it is mailed to you as part of a care package from
freeing Metzen or completing the treats for Greatfather Winter. Don't be like me and eat your fruitcake right away! They are soulbound so you cannot share your fruitcake. If you already lost the initial fruitcake mailed to you, fear not for there should be a second shipment that will come at a later date.

The clothing you will need is either Red Clothes or Green Clothes made by a local
tailor, Winter Boots crafted by your favorite leatherworker and either Red Winter Hat or Green Winter Hat which can be found on bosses in Northrend dungeons. The bosses will appear to be wearing the hat before you kill them so you can tell which ones will drop a hat for you.

Desdarii got her Red Hat in the Nexus. We actually took a group and just rushed to Grand Magus Telestra took her hat and then reset. We were able to do so 4 times before being locked out but it worked out ok as our 5th person already had a hat and was just helping. I've also heard of warlock/healer teams being able to complete this with just the two of them.

Bro's Before Ho Ho Ho's (Alliance / Horde)

You must use mistletoe on the brothers (as in holy men) listed in the achievement. The alliance has quite a few more to do than the horde but the horde ones seem to be in more difficult locations so I think it evens out.

Mistletoe is obtained by /kiss-ing Winter Revelers found in inns. It's actually one of 3 random items you could obtain from the revelers so it may take you a while before you get enough mistletoe to complete this. You can kiss a winter reveler once an hour and you will get a debuff. The debuff does not expire if you log out. You actually have to be active for an hour.

Now when I was attempting to do this yesterday I had no luck in getting any items from the revelers I found in Dalaran. There were two in the main inn (where the cooking daily is) but kissing them had no effect for me. The old world revelers worked just fine. When I was on my druid the inns out in Northrend didn't even have any revelers to kiss. Made it a tad inconvenient for her to participate.

The Winter Veil Gourmet

Use your cooking skills to create a Gingerbread Cookie, Egg Nog and Hot Apple Cider. The catch is that you need to have at least 325 cooking skill to complete this achievement. The cider recipe was mailed to me automatically (I'm guessing because my cooking was high enough). All of the recipes can be purchased by the holiday vendor near Greatfather Winter.

Note: When I attempted this achievement I did not get credit until I had actually drunk one of the ciders I had made. The other two completed as marked when I created them. I'm guessing this is not how it is supposed to work as the achievement says nothing about consuming the items.

Let It Snow

Similar to the "shove pumpkins on certain races heads" from Hallows' End, but this time it's more specific. You are looking for a certain race/class combo to throw snowflakes on.

The snowflakes are one of the random items you can obtain from blowing a /kiss to Winter Revelers in inns. They are not soulbound so I had all my character try for the items and sent them to Desdarii. She's just on the look out for a draenei priest!

The horde ones were not that difficult. Spend enough time in Dalaran and you're sure to find each type to pelt with snowflakes.

Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la

Complete the daily quest Bomb Them Again! in Ogri'la but this time do it on a flying reindeer mount. You will need either Preserved Holly or Fresh Holly to transform your mount into a reindeer.

The Fresh Holly is the third random item you could obtain from Winter Revelers in inns.

Preserved Holly you should get from saving Metzen and you can also create some using the Holly Preserver Machine from the Hero of the Day quest if you are a master cook.

A Frosty Shake

Use your Winter Veil Disguise Kit to /dance with another snowman in Dalaran. This kit will be mailed to you after completing the Stolen Winterveil Treats quest. You need a snowball in order to use the disguise which you can purchase from a holiday vendor.

He Knows If You've Been Naughty

Open one of the presents from Greatfather Winter under the tree. The presents will be available to open from Dec. 25th - January 2nd.

Crashin' & Thrashin'

This achievement is from using your Crashin' Thrashin' Racer Controller which won't be given out until December 25th. You use your controller to smash other players racers. Do it 25 times and you get the achievement.

With a Little Helper from My Friends

Probably the achievement I personally am dreading the most. There are little transforming machines outside of Ironforge and Ogrimmar that will change you into a little gnome in holiday attire. I believe I also saw one outside the teleport location in Dalaran. Stepping into the machine gives you the costume for 30 minutes. You must obtain 50 honorable kills while transformed.

The downside is these disguises do not persist after death. That means if you are horrible at battlegrounds like I am, it's going to take you a while to get 50 kills. If you die you will have to wait for the battleground to finish to get a new costume. I haven't even attempted this yet. It would be really nice if there were machines in the BGs.

Merrymaker (Alliance / Horde)

Completing all of the above achievements gets you the Merrymaker achievement as well as a new title. I know I am trying to become Desdarii Merrymaker

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First Wrath Epic!

The other night my friends and I were able to accomplish not one but two heroics! We went to the Violet Hold and the Nexus. It was very exciting for me since it was the first heroics I had been able to complete. I got myself some shiny new badges and learned the ropes on some of these more difficult encounters.

I was very happy to receive my first epic item while we were in the Nexus. I now have Gloves of Glistening Runes on my hands and I'm very proud to show them off. I also got some new boots and used my revered standing with the Kirin Tor to buy myself a new sword but the gloves are the first and only epic I have gotten in Northrend so far. Pretty neat!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Curiosity Killed the Moonkin

Aratria was working on The Echo of Ymiron in the Fjord she decided not to remove the effects of the incense when she had completed her task. Instead she started wandering about the village to just look around and explore thinking it was relatively safe. She was in the spirit world after all.

That's when Aratria saw him. The Lich King himself standing in the center of the village. It was too much for her to ignore. She was curious of what he was doing standing in the spirit world and decided she was going to walk up and poke him in the eye with her new dagger.

Well that's not exactly how the events played out. When Aratria got close the Lich King pulled her to him and pinned her to the ground. She then had to listen to him threaten her before finally killing her.

I guess she's got a little more work to do before she's ready to solo the Lich King.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Secret Druid Revealed!

Not that I kept her super duper secret to begin with but I'm ready to give up and just play my druid with the masses. The more I played her the more of my friends discovered who I was anyway. But let's make it official.

Everyone meet Aratria.
Pronunciation: ah-RAH-tree-ah
Current Level: 70
Specced: Balance (to go Resto at later date)
Professions: Herbalism & Alchemy

I've gone ahead and joined Turus Thalanaar with the rest of my toons since there's really just no better place to be. She was brought to Dalaran by none other than the amazing Firefizzle and Lord Gwydion himself gave her a tour of Dalaran and helped her get situated.

History

I do not have a story developed for Aratria at this time. She was on a PvP server for a long time and only RP'd ... well pretty much with the NPC's in town. It wouldn't stop her from trying with others but she generally got as much a response as the NPC's.

Aratria is actually the first character I had ever made in World of Warcraft and the first character I had ever gotten to level 60. As such I have a special love for this character. She was made back on launch day 2004 on Arthas (PvP) with the name "Goldy" as it is a typical name I game with. Our guild later moved to Nathrezim (PvP) and I moved her to be with them. I moved her to Blackwater Raiders sometime last month. Since I already have a Goldy on the server I of course had to rename her and I selected Aratria, which in Elvin means Golden Dancer. The name doesn't have anything with naked mailbox dancing. It's sort of an homage to a character I had in a previous game.

Aratria's roots are in old world druid healing. Back in the days when a druid who wasn't restoration was doing it wrong. She's seen the killing of Onyxia, visited with Ragnaros in Molten Core and has peeked her head inside of Black Wing Lair. This all back when these things were considered amazing feats. She quit raiding shortly after starting BWL because the 40 man raiding just wasn't for her.

I had leveled her to 60 as restoration and had never once respecced. It had been a tough road as restoration even though I was rarely alone. I decided to go with Balance for 60+ to make things quicker for my solo grind. I first tried feral but I really just don't like being that close to my enemies. Boomkin was closer to Desdarii's play style so I adapted to it much easier.

Personality

For Aratria's personality she's pretty reserved and polite until you get to know her or she has decided for you that you two are friends (which she will do sometimes). Then you'll wish she had an off switch. She lives simply and doesn't often ask for help or objects.

Being a druid Aratria is much more comfortable outdoors than in a city. She loves picking herbs just for the gathering of them even though she is a skilled alchemist. If you are out questing with her and find her missing, it's safe to assume she's found a pretty flower to collect somewhere. Either that or she's found some little corner to admire as she has a large dose of wanderlust.

She's also a bit of a softy when it comes to having to harm others which is why she prefers healing to killing. Also don't be surprised if you can't find her anywhere near you if you bite off more than you can chew. She's a runner and her drive for self preservation is strong. In time you'll come to appreciate this when she does return to revive you back to life.

So there you are, my latest project that I will be playing probably mostly on off hours or slow days when it is unlikely that Desdarii is needed. I've got her hanging out in the Fjord now as I enjoyed that zone more than the Tundra. Druids are quite fun classes and I'm enjoying playing her again even if she looks a little different with her new haircut.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

/anon

Keste and I were talking the other day about how sometimes, just sometimes, we really miss the /anon command. It’s an option in almost every MMO we’ve tried in the past for anonymous play. In fact, I’m having trouble recalling a game without it.

What /anon did was act like you weren’t online on friends and who listings. That’s it. Your guild wouldn’t see you as online, your friends wouldn’t know you were online and anyone searching in a /who for mages wouldn’t find Desdarii listed.

That is as far as it would go though. If someone just decided to send me a whisper, I would still get it. If someone saw me in town they could still interact with me fully. Desdarii wouldn’t be invisible. I would just opt out of being listed. Give the illusion I wasn’t around. You could still see and interact in guild chat and other channels, which would naturally blow your /anon cover.

Why in heaven’s name would anyone not want to tell people they’re online?

I can think of several reasons.

Limited time. You are just able to sneak in enough time to do some quests or check your mail and put stuff on the auction house. You could actually sneak on, do what you need to and log off before anyone starts asking for your time or assistance with something. Is it a big deal to just tell them you’re busy? Well no but some people get miffed when you tell them no even if you have a valid reason. This just lets you slip online, do your thing and slip away unnoticed.

A You Day. You spend all week helping others with dungeons they need and quests they ask for and just want a day to do whatever it is you want without interruption. There are still a ton of quests and rep chains I haven’t even started spread throughout the world. Perhaps it’s just a bit of time to do a little pvp. Whatever you plan on without interruptions from others.

Personal Tasks. You need 30 minutes to an hour to just do your dailies. You don’t want to be tempted away from this task by promises of dungeons or cupcakes. Other personal tasks like working on a tradeskill would also fall in this category. Going anon would let you sort of block that time off for yourself.

In a mood. I’m finding more and more as my pregnancy progresses that some nights people just peeve me off faster than others. I still have stuff I want to get done that night so avoiding the game altogether is not in the plans. Turning on /anon might help me from saying something I regret to others until I feel better.

All we really have for an option right now is Do Not Disturb (/dnd) which many other games have as well as the /anon option. It’s just not the same. It doesn’t prevent people from messaging you. Sure they get a message letting them know you are busy but it can be ignored and the whispers could keep rolling in. In fact, I've tried using /dnd on a particularly moody day with a message that warned "Preggers is hostile tonight" but it didn't prevent anyone from continuing to talk to me. I finally removed the dnd message since it obviously wasn't affective. Anonymous play allows you to prevent some whispers to begin with because folks don’t know you’re online!

It’s not something I would use all the time. For the most part I’m ok being found by the masses. Probably the most common reason I would use it for is blocking off daily time. I’m not very good with repetitive tasks and as a result can be easily lured away for any reason. It would also be useful to force me time to search for ore for jewelcrafting. I do dislike scrounging for ore. For now I can try to just keep using /dnd and hope I can stay strong enough to finish my tasks before flying off.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Heal or Not to Heal?

I’ve been talking with our raid leader and one thing we seem to be very short on is healers. Aelaan has been nice enough to stay restoration even though we know it’s not his preferred spec. Our other healer’s account was hacked and he actually hasn’t been able to return to the game yet. Our back up healer has taken to playing her hunter to 80. Our group sits just about ready to start Naxx with only one healer available.

Our main tanks are both hybrids. Gee a paladin and Keste a druid. Both have volunteered to go healy but then we’ll just be short tanks! Silly plan if you ask me.

Keste has been playing more often as a tree lately just due to the healer shortage we’re seeing in the guild as a whole. He’s good at it thanks to people like Phae and her wonderful blog but I know it’s not his preferred playstyle. Plus there is the potential for Keste’s work schedule to change to something very unfriendly to raiding (or seeing me awake for that matter). We’re still crossing our fingers on that.

We’re hoping to find a dedicated healer somewhere but I’ve got 2 potential healers in my line up that could fill this void. I have a priest as well as a druid on the backburner that I could level up. Finding a new DPS to fill Desdarii’s spot shouldn’t be an issue. The problem is I do believe I would miss Des.

Not just being a mage which is wonderful. All the free food, the portals all over, the pretty spell effects. Mages are great. On top of that though I’d also be setting aside all the extras I’ve done for Desdarii. All the achievements, all the money I’ve spent on pets for her, the titles I’ve earned, etc. I wouldn’t get to enjoy this hard work if playing on one of my other toons who by comparison have done very very little in the world.

On the other hand I’m not against healing. I’ve been Keste’s personal real live heal-bot for years. I believe I’m good at it and it is something I do enjoy. I’m not against doing this for the group as it’s a role I think I could really thrive in.

If I did do it, I think I would go with the druid. It’s just more versatile than the priest. Goldy is fun I love the personality I’ve given that girl but the tree might be more useful in the long run. I’m not certain. Perhaps some of my problem is not knowing enough about Naxx. For all I know priests could be highly desirable.

Our raid leader has told me not to rush on a healer unless I truly wish to play her. He’ll look for a healer elsewhere first to see if we can keep Des in the line up. I’ll probably start leveling a healer this weekend though just in case.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sons of Hodir Dailies

Why you should be working on this reputation?

Shoulder Enchants and it’s the only place to get ‘em.

There is a friggin’ long quest chain before you can even start doing dailies with the Sons of Hodir. It starts with “They Took Our Men” in K3, Storm Peaks. We are talking epic quest chain here. I don't believe it was too horrible. I was amazed that the quests kept coming and they were different types of quests not a bunch of Fed Ex or "kill this" quests. There were some that took me a bit to even figure out what I was supposed to do.

So if you haven’t already, get started on the chain because you have to grind this rep with dailies only. There is no tabard to champion these folks with. When done with the quest chain you will have 3 dailies to start out with:

They are all relatively close together so it's really nice. The Kalu'ak was all spread out over Northrend which I found a bit annoying. You can get them all done in short order.

There is also Remember Everfrost! which is sort of like the Netherwing Eggs. They can be found on the ground in the areas where you are doing the other quests. The main locations reported for finding these are Valley of Ancient Winters, Thunderfall, and Fjorns Anvil. Turning it in will gain you 350 faction and can be turned in for as many Everfrost Chips you find. Finding the first one will give you the quest.

These quests are all you get until you reach honored status with the Sons of Hodir. Then 2 more quests open up.

At revered you get a final quest to help you finish up this faction.

This grind will most likely take some time so start early so you can get your shoulders all enchanted up! I started on this last weekend so I'm not to far on this journey but I'm glad I found out about it now rather than learning later that I'm so far behind with this!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Facts about Keste’s 80

Keste states in his latest post that I was upset about his turning level 80 before me. Let me explain why.

ALL I DID WAS WAIT FOR HIS SILLY FUZZY BUTT!

Every time we were going out to quest I would be careful not to do any quests without him to avoid having to re-do them again with him. It just seemed more efficient for us to do them together once rather than each on their own. Makes sense right?

I usually did my dailies in the morning before work. Later that evening he’d be off doing his dailies (or so he says) and I waited for him to be ready to go. So instead of quests I did small little things that wouldn’t affect my exp gain at all. Mostly I fished. I fished a lot. My fishing skill is maxed if that gives you any clue how much I’ve fished waiting on him.

After all my careful consideration towards him and waiting on him so I wouldn’t get so far ahead the poohead has the audacity to some how secretly gain half a level on me and then wonder why I was upset.

I could of being doing stuff instead of waiting on you! RAWR!

Yes, I did turn level 80 the next day but it was a hard day’s work to catch up instead of the easy pace we had previously been sporting. It wasn’t like he was a bubble or two ahead of me. He was a good chunk ahead of me. Especially for one who supposedly was just doing the same quests as me.

He said it was because of his leather gathering that he got so far ahead. I don’t know if I believe him but now you know the full story. I wasn’t upset he had leveled. I was annoyed that he was sneaky and was purposely gaining experience behind my back while I sat like a ninny fishing and waiting for him.

It’s Going To Kill You, Stupid!

I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I have some of the funniest friends; even if they don’t intend to be funny.

Here’s the scene.

I walk into Utgarde Pinnacle with Geearthur, Alburet, Firefizzle and Keste (in tree form). We make our way to our first boss encounter, Svala Sorrowgrave. Thanks to the Lich King, she is a very powerful Val’kyr that has a very special ability called “Ritual of the Sword.

Ritual of the Sword is where Svala places one of us randomly on an alter and calls down a large sword slowly towards the victim. You know the old Illhoof sacrifice-maneuver but with a twist. There are three of her little servants or whatever they may be channeling to keep our friend captured until the sword reaches them. Some area of effect spells easily kill the servants and free our friend. Oh and for all my mage friends, ice block does not free you!

When my friends and I encountered this part of the fight Gee was repeatedly chosen as the sacrifice. While he stood there watching the sword drop he couldn’t help but wonder what happens when it reaches you. A large gash that could possibly be healed? Is it a big splat slicing you in two? Some other sort of magnificent death? Inquiring minds had to know!

I had to admit the curiosity of this Draenei was contagious as I started encouraging him to find out what the outcome of the sword reaching you was. On his last sacrifice, Svala was almost dead and Gee decided to stay in the hot seat just to see what happens. I’m safely on the sidelines telling him to go for it.

The other two casters killed the servants anyway but Gee refused to move wanting to have the sword hit him. Alburet feared for our brave Paladin and yelled for Gee to move.

“I want to see what happens!” Gee explained.

Alburet then exclaims, “It’s going to kill you, stupid!”

I was absolutely in stitches from the entire event. It’s funny how everyone thinks differently. Gee was certain it probably was going to kill him, he just wanted to see how it was going to kill him. Al was just concerned with the fact that it was going to kill him! The bluntness of Al’s reply just cracked me up. I was laughing for quite a while. I think I was still giggling when we got to the second boss.

Since the servants were dead the sword did not damage Gee at all when it reached him and shortly afterwards Svala was no more. No harm was done. We may have to try it again just to experiment.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanks to the Kalu'ak

I have earned the trust of the noble Kalu'ak (you know, the walrus people) and it has paid off nicely. I now have Pengu as a new companion and the Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole. Both are picture here.

Pengu is a very cute little bugger. His red eyes are a tad disturbing but he's got a very sweet temperament. I think I will adjust to his eye color with time. Until then I think I may be keeping an extra eye on him.

The fishing pole is superbly crafted. I was able to maximize my fishing skill thanks to its help. It will come in most handy for my off time. I'm still trying for that sewer rat so hopefully this two will give me a bit of luck!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Evil Costly Things

I believe that some things Blizzard put in the game just to keep my gold funds down. I know it sounds a little paranoid but talking about silly little things that most people will not purchase. They're seen as roleplay items or to some folks as just junk. However a person like me is likely to spend all of their cash just to have it. It seems like Wrath is just full of these little goofy extras that just make my eyes widen and my pocketbook empty automatically.

A perfect example of this silliness would be the opening of the barbershops. I'm sure that when they arrived many people went and tried it out just to see what it's all about. I'm also fairly certain that the majority of those folks have not returned. I've changed my hair on Desdarii no less than three times already and every so often I stop in to try on new horns but I haven't made the leap yet. I sort of like the horns I currently have.

That's not to mention the toy trains, fetch balls, chocolate celebration cake or other million little items you can purchase just for the fun of having them. These little things are added seemingly for my enjoyment and make me very happy. I'm more than willing to throw gold at any (OK all) of these play items. I think it makes things fun!

Mages have their own special set of cosmetic enhancements that I am currently fighting with myself about emptying my coffers for. They are just for looks and will not enhance my abilities in the least which will make most mages skip them. Somehow I can't help but really want them! The problem I'm facing is that buying them will make me dead broke. I blame my lack of funds on the "stinker" project.

Because I was uncertain of the cost of my spells and level limitations I have so far avoided these temptations. Now that I am 80 I am finding very little reason not to just go for broke (so to speak) and get them just to have them.

The items in question:
These items are tied to the Kirin Tor faction so if I wait until I get better reputation I will get a discount on them. The problem is that I'm horrible at waiting. It's a dilemma for me but one that most mages could care less about. I am honored so far and I want to buy at least one of them now. But which!? UGH!

The only downside I can see for possessing the Dalaran flavored buffs rather than the plain ol' arcane buffs is the slight learning process that will annoy you. There's always that person shouting "I DON'T HAVE MY INTELLECT BUFF!" anyway and having the icon change on them could just further confuse them. Training the populace on your special different looking buff from the majority of the mages in the world could be tiring. Maybe I can convince other Blackwater Raider mages to hop on board the Dalaran buff movement? What about it Mae? /giggle

Apart from that one downside I will suspect I will purchase it anyway and just get used to explaining the different icon. Maybe I'll make a macro explaining it. That could work.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Very Eventful Evening

Some very exciting things happened with Desdarii this evening!

I decided to start my evening finishing up exploring Northrend. Doing so unlocked my World Explorer achievement. I am now known far and wide as Desdarii the Explorer. I like it! I was also sent a spiffy new tabard in the mail!

I suppose the most notable accomplishment this evening would be that I have finished the journey to level 80. (I do like the new title quite a bit though.) Everyone I speak to talks about how long this takes and how they had to spend so much time doing it. I say "BAH!" to that. I wasn't even trying very hard and I made it to 80 in about 3 weeks. Considering I have reached max level less than a month after release, I personally don't really find that a super slow grind. But I'm a bit odd and I actually enjoy questing.

Proof of my questing enjoyment is getting the achievement for 2000 quests completed this evening. Some of my guildees were actually amazed at this number. I don't understand all the congratulations I received though. It's not like it was a goal I was working on, it just sort of happened.

Now that I have completed these accomplishments I need to plan what my next steps will be! I think most likely I will spend some much deserved time goofing off! That is if Keste allows me to! He's always dragging me into all sorts of trouble.

Welcome to Mordor?

When Keste and I first entered Icecrown my comment was, "This place is very Mordor." It certainly has that feel with all the very large black gates and wasteland terrain.

This feeling was driven home when we were asked to seek out and destroy the Ocular, a large evil eyeball perched atop of a tower.

My feelings on this is mixed. I'll be first to admit I'm a HUGE Lord of the Rings nerd. I love those books so very very much.

Part of me was excited seeing the Sauron look-a-like in Azeroth. After finishing the quest though I think I was less than enamored because all it took to kill the eye was a couple hits from a zapper thing. In it's defense it had a pretty powerful stare of it's own that packed a punch.

I think I've decided that I am happy that Icecrown pays this little tribute to a wonderful series of books. I could always gather my gnome friends and pretend they're hobbits!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Assault on the Wrath Gate

Warning: This post contains spoilers for those who have not yet completed the Wrath Gate quests in Dragonblight. Please continue reading and viewing the video below only if you wish. I'm not too detailed but the video is a large spoiler if you have not yet seen it and I highly recommend doing this quest chain yourself!


Angrathar the Wrath Gate is located in northwest Dragonblight. Keste and I participated in a truly epic battle following Highlord Bolvar Fordragon into calling out the Lich King himself. The outcome was just too horrible to mention. I'm still terribly upset by the events that unfolded when the dust settled on the battlefield.

I'll speak of it no further.

After all was over I was sent to see King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind. I was surprised to see one of my personal heroes there as well, Jaina Proudmoore. King Varian sent Jaina and I to Ogrimmar to speak with Horde leaders about what transpired in the assault on the Wrath Gate. I have to say it was very unsettling to be in Ogrimmar. I tried very hard to not visibly shake seeing Thrall himself face to face.

When we returned to Stormwind King Varian instructed me to meet up with others outside of Undercity sewers and follow him on a mission. Fighting beside the King of Stormwind and Lady Proudmoore both was such an honor! I hope I did not make too big a fool of myself.

Now that it is all over I need to take some time to reflect on all these events and what it will mean for the alliance going forward. The outcome of the assault on the Wrath Gate will have a deep impact on the Alliance. King Varian certainly dislikes the Horde a great deal and does not trust them one bit.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stinker!

I've been stuck at 49 noncombat pets since receiving Bananas and it was really bothering me. However, it was not bothering me enough to spend the ridiculous sum of 2,500 gold to purchase one of the whelplings I do not own from the auction house. My choices were limited. I still am unsuccessful in obtaining the rat from the Dalaran sewers. I resigned to the fact that I would have to wait until I could obtain pengu.

Keste once again jumped to my rescue and contacted our good friend Dumadin to use his engineering skills to build me a tranquil mechanical yeti. Keste helped gather all the materials and Dumie built it for me. Keste delivered the yeti to me this afternoon.

Immediately upon training the yeti I had a rather smelly package in the mailbox from none other than Breanni. I was also recognized for another achievement.

Breanni had sent me my very own pet skunk named "Stinker"! I had Keste pose in the picture with me since he was such an instrumental part of this victory of mine. Isn't stinker so cute? You get used to the smell after a while.

With so many pets now it's really difficult to choose which one I want to tag along behind me. I was joking how I wish I could have all 51 of my companions chase after me everywhere I went. Keste wasn't too keen on the idea.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgivingmas?

Keste and I are horrible at present giving. Honestly, it's mostly me. When I buy someone a present I want to give it to them right now so I can see their face light up when they open it. I believe this attitude of mine has infected Keste because he's now just as bad at me when it comes to present giving. We're lucky if we have any presents to actually open on Christmas Day. So far I've been strong and not allowing him to open his big Christmas present which I already have and wrapped so he can't peak.

As a Christmas present Keste had planned on getting me Bananas Charm from the card game. No sooner did he have the card and the code than did he tell me and email me the information so I could login immediately and obtain it.

So here it is. A full month before Christmas and I have one of my presents. And I don't care! I love little monkeys so much! I would have a monkey as a real life pet if Keste would let me.

Best part of this pet is clicking on him to hear his tiny little monkey noises. I've already been stopped and asked where you get that item. I proudly said that Bananas comes from having an awesome husband and trotted off happily with my little Bananas in scurrying along behind me. I then of course got a whisper and told them the complete answer to their question.

Thank you Keste for my little Bananas. No, you can't open your big present yet. Yes, I know you know what it is already.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fun Times with Nyriell and Desdarii

If you ever need lessons on how to not level, Nyriell and I are your perfect teachers. To be fair we did first finish a dungeon run of Azjol-Nerub so we weren't complete slackers. I can't say I enjoyed that bug infested dungeon much.

Afterwards we decided we needed a little relaxation time. I had heard about Spicy Tuna and his taming of all the crazy cat ladies' pets so we thought that was perfect.

Nyriell already had several critter bites made and I used some of my cooking tokens to buy the recipe for myself. I didn't have enough to make 10 bites but Ny was nice enough to share with me. I portaled us out to Stormwind and we raced to the crazy cat lady's home.

Nyriell went first taming 7 cats, 2 cows and a deer. It was too funny I had to take a picture. They followed her around like her own little critter army. It was too much fun! Unfortunately when her timer was up the critters disappeared so we had to wait before I could take my turn.

To pass the time we ran out to the lumber mill and picked ourselves up a couple of pretty ponies. We decided we liked the slower kind better. The armor on the swifter pony's looked silly. So we ran through the forests of Elwynn having a good ol' time on our new ponies.

By the time we had returned to the crazy cat lady's home, all her cats had returned as well as the cows. I tossed out my critter bites and got 8 cats and 2 cows to follow me around earning the Critter Gitter achievement.

This is when Ny had her spark of genius and said I should take my critter army into Stormwind. Since you only have a few short minutes with your critters after using the snacks I raced towards the gates of Stormwind with my cat and cow army in tow. We were ready to make our demands for cat nip and hay and whatever else it is cow and cats want.

I did make it to the Trade District but not much farther. It was worth it though when Wilven mentioned in guild chat all the cows and cats he saw just charge into the city of Stormwind.

/laugh

Matted Hair and Sharpened Claws

Say hello to Matted Hair and Sharpened Claws, a new World of Warcraft blog written by none other than my furry druidic husband, Keste! I was really wondering when he would decide to get in on the act. See he actually can write, not just blather on like I do. I knew it was just a matter of time.

He plays a druid and primarily tanks although can be found in panther form quite often. He has healed from time to time with success including Burning Crusade heroics. To my knowledge he has not played a boomkin himself so probably only minimal information about that play style. He is a big fan of the druid class and I think a nice addition to the blogging community.

Apart from his druid centered obsessions he is an add-on addict. He's really got it bad. He's got mods that tells him what his mods are doing. You should probably also expect add-on information and reviews from him.

I do recommend taking a look at his excellent post on Loot Rank. He sent the link to me and I blinked at it for about 3 minutes to make it look like I was figuring it out before admitting I didn't know how to use it. He made a wonderful post with instructions on how to use this tool.

Loving Frostfire

This weekend I completed a lot of questing and as a result reached level 75. It went so quickly I was shocked that I was already half way through the 10 level increase in a little over a week.

I believe I have mentioned before being unsatisfied with my mage since the 3.0 patch. I’ve done frost before and yes it’s good but I wasn’t a fan of the pet (if I wanted a pet I’d be a warlock). I attempted fire and while it was better damage I really wasn’t tearing things up quick enough. I believe monsters should be dead before they get to me. Without the slowing of the frostbolt, fire spec couldn’t do this. I was arcane until recently because I liked the speed of the spells and the fact that I could move and still be effective. This was faster but had the same problems as fire where I would get smacked around quite a bit even when using slow.

After reading the post on Critical QQ about leveling Frostfire, I decided to give it a try. I used the spec recommended by Euripedes and filled out the frost tree portion first as instructed.

I’m a very happy mage. Very, very happy. Thank you Euripedes! I am definitely staying with my mage as my main now that I’m truly having fun killing again. I recommend you read his post as it is most informative. Another good read would be Frostfire for Frost Mages post by Krizzlybear.

Why am I so ga-ga over this? Well it’s filling in the gaps I was missing when playing with the other specs.

Frostfire slows the monster as well as dots it. I can usually kill the creature quite easily before it has a chance to reach me. A defining trait of “glass cannons” I think. It doesn’t have the speed advantage of arcane but I’m seeing crits fairly regularly which certainly makes up in the casting time delay. I don’t have to remember to summon a pet (I’m a little too ditzy to be reliable with this). All things considered this seems to be the spec best suited for my playstyle.

Biggest bonus? That frostfire bolt is pretty as heck. All blue center with burny edge goodness. I’m all about killing in style.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wuzzy's Arrival

Today I had a surprise in my mailbox. A small crate that made adorable growling and then squeaking noises. Inside is the most adorable little polar bear cub you have ever seen.

I am not certain who sent it or where he comes from but I'm happy to keep him. There was a small note attached that was signed Devteam. He's so soft and cuddly! I've named him Wuzzy. If I ever find out who Devteam is I will certainly give them a huge bear hug!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fjord is Finished

I have made it to level 72 on Desdarii. Last night was one of those rare nights where I could just fart around all I like and do some stuff. I was able to completely explored Howling Fjord and I also finished 130 quests in the Fjord getting those two achievements. This morning I traveled to the Tundra and was able to complete the critter love achievement!

Desdarii has been lounging about a bit trying to fish up a rat in the sewers. Much like my luck on any quest that requires you to randomly fish up a pet, I’ve come up with bupkus. I bet stupid Keste could fish in there for 30 seconds and get his stupid rat like his dumb crocolisk and his ugly mr. pinchy. I’m not bitter though. Not a bit. I’m only 2 pets away from my skunk which I think adds to my irritation. I will not be beaten!

Desdarii was also able to get honored with the Kaluak. I received a jewelcrafting pattern for my efforts and I’m one step closer to that penguin pet. The fishing pole would also be very handy. Perhaps it’ll help me get my rat.

I’ve been keeping up much better with the jewelcrafting skill with much thanks to Geearthur. The miner/enchanter saw benefit in sending me his ore which has quickly elevated me from 380 to 400 jewelcrafting. Also Keste and Nyriell have been coming up with small bunches of ore from goodness knows where that they’ve sent me. It all has helped immensely. My cooking, mining, fishing and first aid are all 400 skill and above now as well. I’d say I’m doing fairly well.

Also this week Goldy got to come to the Nexus which was great fun. For a healer, she really enjoyed the capturing and torturing portion of that quest. She shocked him until he pleaded for death. It seems this little dwarf has an unexpected mean streak. She did well enough healing in the Nexus only really having problems on the “I’m going to shoot ice spikes out of the ground” dude. Luckily no one died but I don’t think it was through her efforts so much as a smart group.

Instead of moving on to the next zone, Desdarii is starting over in Borean Tundra to do those quests. I need to explore and get my quest achievements here as well!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Different Methods of Travel

Something I've found very interesting in my time spent in the Howling Fjord is the convenient methods of travel given. The little loaner vehicles help you get across the zone to where you need to be saving you travel time. I've found these to be most beneficial and am very happy with Blizzard's implementation of this feature.

Some of the free rides I've experienced:

Flying Machine

Iron Rune Construct

Bomber Plane



Flaming Spear Surfing

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yup, Still 71

In a new land where people are almost racing to level; I’m very content to take my time. We have some guildies that are 74+ now. I am running into people already level 80 and I honestly don’t care.

I wouldn’t categorize myself as a “slow leveler”, more of a controlled and organized one. I simply don’t want to skip a single quest. I don’t mind if it’s green or grey. I don’t care if I’ve got seventeen other quests waiting for me in some other area. I want to finish where I am first.

I’m also a bit of a wanderer. When I visit a new town I speak to every single NPC that has something to say. I browse every single vendor. I try the new foods and look at the clothes on my character just in case there’s some RP gem in there.

I am a quest reader. Gasp! Yes, much to my husband’s dismay I do enjoy reading new quests. This gets him a tad impatient with me as I stand at the NPC for an extra minute to read what it is he wants us to do. What he needs to admit is that it ends out working to his advantage when I know what we have to do when we get to the quest location.

I’m keeping up with daily quests like the cooking and the jewelcrafting quests. It’s nice they give experience as well just so they can’t be called total wastes of time. However, I will not start regular questing until I have them either completed or by lucky chance we will be killing where I can collect the items.

After I’ve finished the Fjord, I actually plan on going to the Tundra and doing those quests as well. I’m a completist. You will not rush me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hooray for Firefizzle!

This post is a special thank you to my friend and magely mentor, Firefizzle. He was astute enough to notice my jealous gaze each time he pulled out his D.I.S.C.O. ball. When he came to visit this weekend he had a disco ball loot card for me. He also gave Keste a Party G.R.E.N.A.D.E. card. This was exceedingly kind of him and I couldn't be happier than I am right now with my own private party in a box. Thank you thank you thank you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RL Guild Meeting

This weekend Keste and I met up with our some of our guildies in real life and had a blast. Meeting everyone was great. There were 10 in all gathered to meet face to face. Our good friends Firefizzle and Nyriell handed out these achievement cookies for everyone. I thought they were hilarious and took a picture before I eat it.

We had fun going to a museum and out to eat. Saturday night we sat around and played Munchkin, which is a fabulous game. I completely recommend it. Keste and I will be purchasing a copy for ourselves.

Meeting everyone was fantastic and was a truly memorable event. Gwydion, Rina and Ethwn were very gracious opening up their home to everyone and allowing us to meet and hang out there with them. Restriel and Drestrien were a hoot. Jaci was a sweetie and Rina is of course my mana-totem-loving sister. I'm so happy to have met you all!

I have to say meeting Firefizzle and Nyriell in person was simply wunderbar! They are such lovely people and it was a treat for them to have come so far and simply shower us with gifts! They are too much and it was nothing short of pure pleasure to get to spend time with them. We were driving home and Keste asked if I missed my buddy (Nyriell) already. I pouted in response. I will munch my German chocolate and think of you two! Thank you so much for coming!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Greetings from Dalaran

So much to tell as I've seen so much in the last couple of days! Keste and I are working well together helping the good folks found in the Howling Fjord.

I think thus far my most memorable moment was receiving training to make it to Dalaran. This city just hums with the vibrations of magic. Add to that that the entire city is beautiful it hard to find reasons to leave. I must of spent hours running through the streets. I visited every shop and spent a lot of gold trying man little curiosities I found. The chocolate cake is delicious!

I also visited the sewers and found myself a new ghostly skull companion. Pretty spooky. I also found this odd assortment of animals in the sewer. They seem strangely familiar and made me think of my little brother. I took this picture for him.

I completed a cooking task and was given a cooking award! It was very exciting. I can turn in the awards for more recipes which is going to be most useful.

Other than all the running around I've worked hard on keeping up my fishing and cooking skills. I have spent quite a bit of time fishing and then cooking up my catches. It's working well. Jewelcrafting is not going as well. The Fjord seems a bit populated at this time so finding unused mining locations is difficult. I'll most likely will have to return to work on this skill at a later date. I was able to finish one task and received a token for jewelcrafting.