Archive for September, 2011

Patch 4.3 Leveling Changes and those Pesky Nice People

Posted in WoW Patch Changes with tags , , on September 28, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

My husband is on vacation this week so Sally’s had time to sit around and browse WoW sites since she’s not out saving the world. Apparently they have wifi at the Shrine of Aviana. Who knew? I can’t even find someone to sell me a drink there, but wifi, geez, makes no sense. Anyway, Sally was reading the Patch 4.3 PTR Patch Notes and found this:

Outland & Northrend Quest Flow

The amount of experience needed to gain levels 71 through 80 has been reduced by approximately 33%.

Many Group quests in Outland and Northrend have been re-tuned to allow players to complete them solo. They are no longer labeled as Group quests.

She was visibly upset about the group quest change but I told her it’s probably a good thing. As soon as we can, we’ll go back to Northrend and see if maybe those group quest are still green. Might come in handy if she gets stuck in cata content again.

And oh, it’s official now, servers really are different. On Zangarmarsh, Sally keeps having to log off and wait a few hours for nice people to leave the area. I mean a lot. Since reaching Mount Hyjal I can’t count the times she’s been buffed and there aren’t even many people around. She has to thank them, and then hurry away to remove it out of their view. Then of course she can’t go back without it can she, they’d see and wonder who that ungrateful warlock was. So yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, it’s just that he lives on Zangarmarsh.

The WoW Ironman Challenge — Warlock Level 84

Posted in WoW Ironman Challenge with tags , , on September 26, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

Ironsally finally reached level 84 but it wasn’t pretty. It has been the most painful level so far. Sethria’s pictured above as Sethria’s Demise is the quest where the feared linear leveling road block reared its head, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sally only managed to get to 83 and 8 bars in Icecrown. And even that was only done by abusing the many dailies and it was sucking the joy out of life. I had PROMISED myself I would never, ever, have to joust again but Sally wanted a title and it was XP, so joust we did.

After leaving Icecrown she decided to do a few Brewfest quests before heading to Vashj’ir. Really just stalling. Sally was ready to go, but not me. One of my many, shall we say “quirks” to be kind, is that I’m somewhat claustrophobic. I never really knew until I had to have an MRI. If you haven’t ever had one, I can only describe it as being buried alive in a storm drain while men with jack hammers try to hammer their way in to free you. All while you must remain perfectly still … and don’t breath. Yeah, that’s when I found out I was claustrophobic. I’m not going into the scene I made. Just imagine a lot of colorful language and thrashing around.

So the problem is Vashj’ir has kind of the same effect on me. I find I keep taking deep breaths irl. I can’t breath, help! As a warlock Sally even has underwater breathing, what’s wrong with me, we’re fine, geez. Get a grip you nut. I will not even log out a character there. I always go back to Stormwind to log out. I can’t leave them there, trapped under all the weight of all that water.

Things were going well, or as well as they can Ironman fashion, when we got to Fathom-Lord Zin’jatar, the first sign of trouble. Sally didn’t have enough mana or power to kill him, just couldn’t do it. She had been using Demon Armor for the increased survivability for Mak her voidwalker but it meant practically no spell power at all. She changed to Fel Armor, Mak’s health goes a lot faster but she has more spell power with Fel Armor.

Using Fel Armor and a Doomguard she finally took him down. Needing to get a breath of fresh air she went back to Mount Hyjal. Things went pretty well up until Sethria’s Demise. The quest requires you to take Sethria down to about 75% health to get her to change to dragon form. At that point you can call in reinforcements and all’s good after that. Sally could only barely scratch her health, I mean I think it was going down a little but not so you would notice before she ran out of mana. She finally Health Funneled herself to death from frustration.

Sally was stuck. She had about a half bar to go to 84 so she dejectedly decided to just grind the half bar to 84 and try again. At level 84 with a Doomguard, she finally completed the quest but it was close. I might have to lift the ban on Healthstones and Mana Potions if this keeps happening.

What’s next? Yup, aerial jousting. And you know what, I’m thrilled. Even if it is a form of jousting I am so happy to get to do something that doesn’t rely on Sally’s power, or lack thereof. Sally has the rest of Mount Hyjal and about half of Vashj’ir to complete. I don’t know what the next road block will be but I’m so hoping NOT to have to take her to Deepholm. Here’s hoping you’ll hear from her next time from the lofty level of 85.

Want to try the WoW Ironman Challenge for yourself? The Ironman rules are at Psynister’s Notebook.

Beware Brewfest Revellers!

Posted in WoW Holiday Events with tags , , , on September 22, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

It’s that time of year again. My druid abandons her solitary pursuits to once again risk the lives of four innocents. Their lives are wantonly gambled for the chance she’ll get a Swift Brewfest Ram in her Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest. I wonder if I’m the only one who does this. It’s been, well actually years since I actively participated in a somewhat organized group other than holidays, and solo killing is different than working as a team which I’ve pretty much forgotten how to do. I feel bad that those four other people are striding bravely to meet Coren Direbrew confident that everyone here knows their role.

That’s so not true. I guess it’s a little better this year. I get a little practice when I do The Protectors of Hyjal with my crew.  Unfortunately they’re not real so they don’t make me nervous and prone to mistakes. It’s nerve-wracking with REAL people. If I get nervous enough I can descend into that mindless Mangle spamming druid and totally forget about Rip and Shred.

This is why I try to stay away from unsuspecting groups. They probably assume I remember that cats can heal, they’d be wrong. Solo, I never heal myself as I wouldn’t live very long in caster form. I tend to read the words, resto druid and for a second I think, what class is … oh … it’s me. I could certainly rez you, if you were kind enough to remind me that I can indeed rez someone.

If the tank went down, I’d be more than happy to switch to bear. But the reality is, I’m probably I’m so busy mangling Coren’s butt to kill him before he kills some of my group-mates, that all four could be dead and I wouldn’t notice.

But, I’m sad to say for rewards this high, I yearly and gladly risk your life. You can’t imagine how many lives were lost to get me that Kodo.

What! I’m sorry but come on, Direbrew’s Remote, so worth it. I said I’d rez you.

Be careful out there.

No Country for Old (Wo)Men

Posted in General WoW with tags , , on September 21, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

My method for gauging the relative health of my server is checking on the town of Goldshire. This is a recent screen shot on Fenris during a weekday. For a few years Goldshire had been dead, devoid of life other than those six creepy Goldshire kids. I am so happy Fenris was made a new player server for a little while recently, it seems to have worked.

I logged into Zangarmarsh to do a comparison. I used Ironsally to go check out Goldshire. I tried to stay on the fringes and not attract attention as I didn’t want to try to explain why I couldn’t duel. It didn’t work. Ironsally was challenged, a conversation ensued. I’m pretty certain this was a fairly young player. Had I been thinking I would have made a screen shot of the conversation but since I didn’t I’ll have to rely on memory, it went something like this.

“Why not?”

“Inspect me, I wouldn’t be much of a challenge.”

“Why not?”

“Did you look at my gear?”


“Hmm, okay then, I’m doing a blog Ironman Challenge, I can’t duel.”

“You blog about wow?”


“You’re old.”


“That’s creepy, when I’m 30 I won’t be playing games.” (Where I decided they must be fairly young.)

“You know, when you’re 30 you’ll still pretty much be the same person and enjoy some of the same things.”

“No I won’t, I’ll be working and stuff. What’s the Ironman thing?”

I explained about how the Ironman Challenge worked.

“You could cheat.”

“It’s a personal challenge, I can’t cheat, I would know.”


After than it just cycled back to why can’t I duel. And here I’ve been complaining that you can’t meet new people anymore.

I’m trying to remember what I thought about grownups when I was young. They were authority figures to me, therefore scary. I don’t remember thinking much about what it would actually be like to be one, other than I wouldn’t have to pick up if I didn’t want to. I know I didn’t realize that I was actually an old person, just not ripe yet. Look sonny, you’re an old person in-waiting and you don’t undergo some secret old-person-complete-personality-transplant on reaching 30, 40, or 50, you’re still you, just older and hopefully a little wiser.

On the topic of cheating, I have some advice although I know it’s one of those things you won’t “get” until you’re older. By the time you reach the advanced age of 30, (giggle) you’ll have done things you’re not proud of, the memories are in your head and you have to live with them. It doesn’t matter if no one else knows you’ve done them, you know.

You’ll realize that there must be some maximum load, or tipping point on how much of this stuff your brain can hold before it explodes. You will not cheat because YOU WOULD KNOW. At least I hope that’s how it works out for you. And hopefully, sooner rather than later.

I don’t know, is this a rant? Or is this just general WoW. I think it’s just general. I’m just trying to communicate from that dark netherworld of old age using a blog as my medium. Doonn’t cheeeeat … at least don’t take up valuable storage space cheating in a game. If you’re going to cheat and lie at least do it where it counts.

Anyway, I’m only 29. 😉

Kara for One Please

Posted in WoW Solo with tags , , , on September 20, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

Now I really love Ironsally, don’t get me wrong, I really do. My Ironman Challenger is dear to my heart but on getting her to level 83 and a bit, her handler needed a break, big time.  My self esteem needed a pick me up. I’m tired of being so squishy. Hmmm, what would be fun and boost my lagging spirits? I KNOW, I’ll go beat the crap out of some low level bosses. Just the thing! I thought I’d try Karazhan, whether or not I could complete it, I wanted to at least SEE it.

One of my big wishes was recently granted. I just can’t ask some unknown person to form a raid with me, I just can’t for the same reason I’d be in Paranoid if I could be on an EU server. With the advent of WoW’s starter edition that changed. I created a starter account and leveled a character to 10. I checked, and the key was no longer needed for entry so I was ready to go. I formed a raid with my new friend and headed to Karazhan.

I really need help, I’m in a raid with ME and I’m getting anxious butterflies, geez. On entering The Livery Stable I thought I’d get an idea about how well this was going to go from Attumen the Huntsman. You have to clear all the trash first or they’ll join the fight. No problem. Great, let’s see if I can find anyone else. My biggest challenge will probably be finding my way, it usually is.

I must say that Medivh really knew how to live. Lots of art, beautiful ballrooms. I think I killed every single trash mob in there trying to find my way to Moroes but I finally found him. I won’t bore you with blow-by-blow encounter descriptions. With one exception they were all extremely easy.

From the little bit I read I think I was lucky that on The Opera Event I got Romulo and Julianne. No problem if you kill them at the same rate so that they’ll die within a few seconds of each other. Hey, that’s me! I’m doing my badass bear dance.

I continued to get lost and encountered a room with a giant dragon. I need to lrn2 read. I just lumbered in there without taking the time to look up Netherspite. A big mistake. I noticed all these beams of light and the fact that no matter what I did this dragon was not going down. Hmm, perhaps this bear should have prepared a little. The door was locked and Shadowmeld didn’t work so Netherspite got me.

I was not thrilled about the repair bill so this time I looked up Netherspite before continuing. I found a great video that showed me how to approach Netherspite. Although Netherspite’s optional, I wanted payback. Here’s my pokey little video of the end, I can’t help playing with FRAPS but I should take the time (once again) to read about it first.

Ha Ha Ha! I just noticed that I’m by myself and I still roll greed, pathetic. But anyway, take that you dragon.

Next up, The Chess Event.

Can you do the Chess Event solo? Yup, if I managed it, anyone can. I think it took about 6 tries, just try to use your King to do most of the work.

Finally, Prince Malchezaar next for the achievement! He was a little anti-climatic, no problem. Karazhan done!

My druid is wearing iLevel 360 dps gear. She is dual specced feral, so does have a tank spec but considering the ease of the raid at 85, I don’t think you need one. So if you aren’t a raider from back in the day and want to see it, it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. I know poor Attumen the Huntsman will be seeing me on a weekly basic for the chance at Fiery Warhorse’s Reins!

Dumplings, Envy, … and Ben Franklin Builds a Hot Rod

Posted in General WoW with tags , , on September 18, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

Oh my, this is embarrassing. I’m still thinking about my third wish I’d like to be granted by the supernatural being known as Blizzard. I took this shot to illustrate my need for tabard storage but … ah … I KNOW, what is up with that. What is up with all those Festival Dumplings. My druid seems to be in need of a festival dumpling hoarding intervention. I had no idea this was going on, well no conscious idea. I mean I can see saving the tabards and the pirate outfit, but dumplings. Sorry, really, but WTF druid! If you don’t do something about that I’m stepping in.

Sheesh, it’s amazing what they get up to behind your back. The two other things I’d like — being able to change my guild’s name and being able to change my mind mid-flight on a rental flight and jump off  with a parachute.

I was pretty lucky on the name of the guild I inherited. No misspellings in it, no weird combination of special characters and it’s not rude. It’s just … okay.  My husband thinks it should be “The Army of One” but I’d go more for something like “Tyranny” because I do have unrestrained exercise of power over it.

And soooo many times when I take a flight, half way through it I remember that I wanted to make a stop DOWN THERE, hey, hey, can you just drop me here? PLUEEEZ! Nope, they won’t do it. But none of these wishes seem big enough for a third wish. I’ll have to keep thinking.

Now the envy, sigh … I can’t help it. I read so many blogs where the authors talk about playing WoW with their husbands and I’m jealous. That would be so incredibly wonderful. He could be whatever he wanted, I don’t care what race, what class he wanted to play, just play. But alas it will never happen. I’ve been trying for almost 5 years without him taking even a budge toward taking up arms for Azeroth.

What does he like to do? He reads history, lots and lots of “real” history. Not the history of Azeroth like me. War, war, war, he seems to like it, why not here? The other thing he does is watch shows where some guys build muscle cars and hot rods. We have a twenty-five year old Corvette taking up the garage but nothing’s ever been done to it as we keep having to do stupid boring things like replace the water heater, or heat pump, or dishwasher.

So I’m convinced that he’d jump at the chance to play an MMO where he’d get to be Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson and build hot rods. I’ve fudged this screen shot to show him how in WoW he could play historical figures and build a rocket car. What … oh come on! I can so see Ben being a goblin, really. And the ride is so Ben, he was quite the ladies man when he was in France I’m told, he’d totally be styling those custom Zhevra hide seats.

Shared Topic: Your WoW Soundtrack

Posted in Blog Azeroth Shared Topic with tags , , on September 17, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

The WoW in-game music is awesome, but there are times (at least for me) when I’m listening to my own music instead. Are there any specific songs that you connect with WoW? Whether it’s tied to your own characters in some way or simply because it reminds you of WoW.

I noticed this shared topic posted by Saga on Blog Azeroth and thought I’ll have to come back and see the posts, sounds interesting but I turn down my volume really low when I play and usually don’t listen to music. I came back to read the posts and suddenly realized that I DO listen to music when I play Ironsally.

I think it’s a kind of  flask of scotch courage for her (me), just the musical kind. With enough motivational music I forget she’s nerfed and that’s when the chasing of rare spawns kicks in!

She got all cocky while listening to this and managed to take the Head of the Corrupter.

Okay, when I listen to Otis Taylor pretty much any of my characters start thinking they could solo a 10 man raid.

Great song to distract her from the fact that she was in scary, scary Mount Hyjal.

And a great motivational classic, she is a warlock, she doesn’t do mellow. Argh!!! Arthas, she’s coming for you! Be afraid, be very afraid.

My WoW Wishlist — Adjustable Quests

Posted in My WoW Wishlist with tags , , on September 16, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

My druid is still on her “doing the BC fishing dailies” thing. She’s nostalgic for the days of yore. An excuse to visit Nagrand, Zangarmarsh and other locations close to her heart. I’m very fond of BC, those were the glory days on Fenris. You could get a group for Durn or the Ring of Blood and meet new people. Times have changed but I still like to go back and visit.

I was flying around Zangarmarsh looking for Marticar and saw Fhwoor had a quest I’d apparently missed. Great I’ll stop and do it. He proceeded to aggro everything he could, I’m kind of glad I didn’t do it at the appropriate level. It was just nice to do something in an old zone.

Hey, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if you could wander ’round low levels looking for quests you’d missed and select the level. It’s not much fun bonking level sevens over the head at 85. If you’re going for The Loremaster or doing a quest chain for the lore, sure, but otherwise it’s not much fun.

Just like my other wish I’m not sure how it would be implemented or just how hard it would be to do. Maybe when excepting the quest you could select a level range, like 60’s, 70’s, 80’s. I guess this would have to be done by phasing. To me it seems to be a great way to recycle old content and spread players out over the world.

Yes, I have a bad case of the “I wants” maybe I should make my wishlist a category but I’m pretty sure I’ve exhausted my creativity with two ideas. If I ever get a third idea maybe I will. I suppose I should really try to come up with a third, I mean aren’t you supposed to get three wishes granted by a big supernatural being (Blizzard)?

The WoW Ironman Challenge — Warlock Level 82

Posted in WoW Ironman Challenge with tags , , on September 14, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

Ironsally is back in Dalaran. She had gone to Mount Hyjal on hitting 82 for just a visit and ended up staying a while. She was somewhat disgruntled by being stuck in Storm Peaks on Fervor of the Frostborn. Not a hard quest for any normal character but she was getting smooshed repeatedly. This meant she couldn’t continue with the chain and see the The Brothers Bronzebeard reunited which she really wanted to do. She did the bidding of the Sons of Hodir, except for Thrusting Hodir’s Spear, he’ll have to take care of that himself. She didn’t think the possible XP would be worth the certain death. She hasn’t been looting kills as she really doesn’t need any money, bad idea.

She got stuck doing the Sons of Hodir quests so I looked it up and the quest item she was missing dropped from elites she had just killed with the help of a boulder. She had turned in the quest so had to go back and kill the elite without help. Luckily they weren’t very elite, so she managed.

She did a few quests in Icecrown, one of the first ones was like playing whack-a-mole. You’d save a soldier from being entombed in a cocoon and he’d buff you with Blessing of Kings I think it was and she’d be trying to kill spiders while hysterically trying to click off the buff so the Ironman Police wouldn’t see it.

Staying in Wrath is really, really, slow. Not because the quests are green but because of the rotten XP you get from kills. I had heard people say the quickest way to level was grinding, but never really thought about how much just your kills help you level. It’s depressing to kill things WITH rested bonus and get about 150XP, essentially nothing. In Cata she was getting over 3,800 XP a kill so it seduced her away from Wrath for a while.

Cata is HARD. Although it was not all terror and death, she took time out to have some fun and get an achievement!

Sally stayed in Mount Hyjal and quested and enjoyed that enormous XP per kill up until she was sent to Sethria’s Roost. These guys were level 81. She tried one and it was back to being a boss fight. It’s just as well something made her come to her senses and return to Wrath. Because of the linear questing in Cata if she gets stuck on one there it will be all over, so she really needs to go back and take advantage of every quest left that’s green or higher to get at least another level. Bye guys, I’ll be back. Yeah, I’m so sure they’re shaking in their boots to hear that.

So Sally headed back to Storm Peaks for one last try at Fervor of the Frostborn now that she was level 82. On flying over Brunnhildar Village she remembered the daily. Might as well do it for XP. What’s up with that! Have they changed these dailies to give you the mount on your first daily or is Sally that lucky. My other characters were not amused considering how many times they had to do dailies to get that bear. I was also surprised that she managed to complete one of my favorite quests, The Drakkensryd. I’m pretty sure there’s some mechanic there that won’t allow you to die because she really can’t kill much of anything without her voidwalker, but she did.

She finally managed to complete Fervor of the Frostborn at level 82. She used Soul Link which she never uses normally as the voidwalker’s health is more important than Sally’s. She also set the voidwalker on him there toward the end to distract him. Ironsally finally got to see the Bronzebeards reunited.

So now Sally’s back in Dalaran, she got a shoe shine, did some shopping and is about to set off for Icecrown. Or she could finish up some green quests in Zul’Drak. I’m not sure she’ll finish them. Stefan Vadu really gives her the creeps, I don’t know what it is about that guy, but something’s not right there, shudder.

Ironman Challenger Commissions Portrait

Posted in WoW Ironman Challenge with tags , , , on September 12, 2011 by tomeoftheancient

Not really. Ironsally didn’t commission it, I did it for her. At level 80 she was feeling a bit down and I thought it would cheer her up. Meet Makdok, the reason Ironsally’s made it this far. Her beloved bodyguard. Okay, he’s just horsing around, just some hijinks … MAK! Send him back NOW!

“Send him back NOW” is the title of this incredible portrait of Mak. I feel an addition to my business wardrobe coming. It all started when I was doing my morning check to see if any of my favorite blogs had a new post. I found a new comment on one, with a link to deviantART. I’m nosy and it was ART! I must follow. I found this post by Furrama. I looked at her gallery at deviantART and went to her J. Christine Leach website.  I thought holy moly, I’ve got to contact this woman before she changes her mind!

She graciously agreed to accept the commission to portray Sally’s blobby Voidwalker. The only input I gave her was he’s really mean and buff. Before you know it I received her sketch.

It was perfect! Just how I imagined him. Sally was going to be so happy. I told Christy he was perfect so she said she would commence with the inkaning, one of those fancy highly technical terms artists use I guess. I then bounced up and and down on my computer chair in anticipation. Luckily for my chair, turnaround was amazingly fast and within days I received Sally’s beautiful Mak in all his glory.

I received a smaller web-sized version and a large version suitable for print. Ironsally was so pleased she’s managed to drag herself to within three bars of 82. So if you have a character you’d like to immortalize for all time, check out Furrama’s gallery, it’s really worth seeing. Ironsally loved it Christy, thank you!